Time to share with you all the highlights from my next batch of Inktober drawings! You may have noticed that I am slowly getting better. My crosshatching has improved, plus I learned that large, bold areas of ink have a way of making a picture “pop”, so you’ll be seeing a bit more of that now. As usual, you can see every one of my Inktober pictures over on Deviant Art. Continue reading Inktober 2019 Highlights Week 2
I used to be quite the “Pokemon” fan. I have since, for whatever reason, outgrown my interest in the series, but it used to be such a big thing for me and has gone on to make a rather large, though somewhat indirect, impact on my life, that I needed to write a post about it. “Pokemon”, if you’re not familiar with it, is a series that manifests itself in many forms, including cartoons, card games, video games, etc., involving Pokemon trainers that catch creatures called Pokemon, which they use to fight in battles and such. It’s a rather simple concept, really, but addicting (oh, the countless hours I spent collecting Pokemon and leveling them up in “Pokemon Silver”). I hear that there are now more than 500 kinds of Pokemon, which I find a bit crazy at this point, but okay. (For me, the original 151 will always be THE Pokemon.)
The series first caught my eye quite a while ago, when I was rather young. I saw Pikachu, the most famous Pokemon of all, in a store, and I thought it was quite cute, and when I brought it up to a friend at school, he asked me if I was a fan of the series. Well, to be honest, I had actually not even heard of it yet. As I said, this Pikachu thing was pretty cute, but I didn’t know what it was. It was at this time that my friend enlightened me, and I became an instant fan. I found the anime on TV, and I made it my goal to learn the names of all 151 Pokemon (yes, that’s all there were back then). I watched the show and found sites on the Internet (my first major expedition into the mysterious terrain of the world wide web), and I made a list of each new Pokemon I found. In a way, like Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum, I wanted to collect all the Pokemon…even if only in list form. Continue reading How Pokemon Made Me a Gamer
The Duck is still working through the 30 day video game posts, slowly, like an unusually fatigued squirrel, with strength left in its fingers only, creeping towards an acorn, thirty acorns. In winter. When they move more slowly. No, it’s reptiles that move more slowly when it’s cold. Never mind.
And today’s topic, only topic 6, actually, which makes me further realize how pathetically slow I’ve been, is on the most annoying video game character, a rather difficult one for me. Some characters are indeed annoying, like Prince Tricky from “Star Fox Adventures”. But, is he annoying enough? Or Kiddy Kong from “Donkey Kong Country 3”, who is actually more creepy than annoying. Or Lanky from “DK64”, who is also creepy, in an annoying way. There are also bossy characters that tell you what to do, like various sidekicks in “Zelda”, or whenever Professor E. Gadd harasses me in “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”. Stop calling me, you creepy, old man that looks like a decrepit child!
Well, many people, I’ve heard, go with Navi, the fairy that helps you in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. Probably because hearing “hey!” and “listen!” every time you target an enemy gets old. And there are lots of enemies. But, is she the most annoying character I can think of? Well, as I often do, because I have no life, apparently, I made a list of annoying characters by console. And believe it or not, I came up with one few would think of. (Well, it would be weird if you didn’t believe it. I never lie to you.) And so the character that annoys me the most is…
Mario. Yes, Mario. From the “Super Mario Bros.” games. Why? Two words. Slippery shoes. I hate Mario and his slippery shoes. Never have I played a game where a character has so little traction on their feet. You’d think the soles of his shoes are made of butter or wet soap or a slick sheet of ice. I have so many unhappy memories of playing the old “Mario” games on the Super Nintendo and having teeny, tiny platforms to land on, and I land on them just fine (after dying many times because I kept missing prior to the times I did indeed land on them), and then Mario slides right off. You know how annoying icy levels in video games are, when your character always slides to and fro, and you have trouble getting them to actually cooperate with you? Well, in a “Mario” game, it’s like every level is an ice level. Thanks to Mario. And his stupid, idiot moron shoes.
I’m serious. It bothers me so much. I seem to have much less trouble in newer “Mario” games, but I still can never get over the amount of pain those old “Mario” games have caused me. If Mario wore some nice hiking shoes or even ran around barefoot, perhaps, the games would have been a different experience. But, no, Mario decides that it is a good idea, when embarking on a treacherous journey to save Peach again, to wear shoes that would get you killed walking in your own house, let alone mountains and forests and all manner of other locations that all like to involve bottomless pits and stick-like platforms placed here and there throughout bottomless pits. Does Mario think he’s funny? Does my pain amuse him? Is he that bent on bothering me that he’ll risk dying due to his slick shoes? It certainly seems that way. Few games are more frustrating than the old “Mario” games, and it is all thanks to Mario and his sadistic (and masochistic, as his own poor decisions harm him, as well) choice of footwear.
And yet, Mario is so dang popular, which only makes things worse. It does! Really! There are constantly new “Mario” games. But, do we see new “Metroid” and “Zelda” and other such delightful things very often? No, we do not. Samus and Link have the common decency to wear proper shoes in their adventures, and yet Mario gets the spotlight. Mario gets all the games. Mario gets everything. And this simply isn’t fair. Not to gamers that are not infatuated with this particular plumber. Not to gamers that would like to see characters that give a darn about their fans (by wearing shoes with traction!) get more games. No, this man named Mario has gotten out of control. Someone ought to rein him in. He is a fiend. A fiend, I tell you. That has the nerve to wear slick shoes, and yet he still stays popular in the gaming world somehow, probably only because he has some unsavory connections, which only funds his ‘shroom addiction.
Mario, you annoy me. You really do. Watching you die a dozen times in “Super Mario World”, due to your bad decisions, not mine, annoys me. If I die in a game, I want it to be because of my own mistakes, not those of my character. Perhaps if you wore proper shoes, maybe Peach wouldn’t be kidnapped so often. You probably run at Bowser whilst he’s in the middle of taking the princess, yet miss and slip right on past, while that dastardly turtle gets away with his crimes once again. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mario. You know what, I bet you want Peach kidnapped, so you can have more games. And more coins, that you spend on your unhealthy addiction to fungi.
And so, my readers, do you not see what a most bothersome, most obnoxious, most annoying person our Mario is? And it all stems from his slick shoes. That he bought. With the coins he didn’t spend on ‘shrooms. Hours of my life have been wasted trying to get him to navigate precarious platforms, only to fail because of these shoes. But, I can’t blame the shoes. I blame the man wearing them. I blame you for my problems, Mario. I blame you.
The Duck That Wears Better Shoes Than Mario and Would Make For a Better Platformer Character, in a Game Called “Super Duck…um…Ducks”
Occasionally, funny things happen in video games…that weren’t supposed to happen. Or sometimes, you see things you weren’t supposed to see. For example, look up in Hyrule Field in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and you can see seams in the sky. Or look very close at some plants in Final Fantasy XIII, and what’s that, they’re 2-D?!
But, back to the things that aren’t even supposed to happen. I’m talking about glitches. The funny ones, though. I had fun making my list on how I think too much into video games, so I’d thought I’d make a glitch list. A glist.
1. There’s one thing I’ve seen several times in The Lord of the Rings: Twin Towers (for the GameCube, if that makes a difference). There’s this one level where you defend this gate (Helm’s Deep: Breached Wall), and a bunch of Uruk-Hai with bombs on their backs are running up to do destruction. Sometimes, they float a bit off the ground as they run at you. It is weird.
2. This one is just hilarious. Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams can be a glitchy game. Sometimes, you can do something wrong and you can’t continued through the level. That’s not funny. But, what is funny was when I messed with one of the squirrels in a level early on. Wetstone Lake, I believe. There’s a squirrel near a beehive, after a cut scene, and I smacked it (because squirrels can be mean in that game), and it ran and then stopped and just stood there with its body up vertically behind its head. Its left eye got big and started twitching, and it lost all but one leg. That leg got long and started wiggling around. Then, I scared the squirrel with something else, and it ran back to the hive (and I don’t remember if I hit it again), but it got stuck in the air, looking like it was flying, while that left eye twitched again. It was pretty darn hilarious, but also creepy.
3. There was this funny, but deadly glitch in Rayman 2 once. Rayman was swimming along, and he went to jump out of the water, but he kept swimming…in the air. He swam in the air for a short time before I realized he was running out of air, so I tried to return him to the water to attempt to leave it correctly, so he could breathe again. But, alas, he drowned in the air. Poor thing.
4. Another Rayman 2 glitch, and this one happened early on in the game. Rayman was walking by one of those powder keg dispensers. There’s a hole in the wall (no, not where “the men can see it all”) covered by a flap, and a keg rolls through if you blow up the one you already have. Well, I suppose he was walking too close to the wall, because he fell through the dispenser into nothingness and died.
5. There was another time I went through the floor. In Super Mario Sunshine, in the first level, Bianco Hills, there’s a waterwheel. One day I was feeling impatient and wanted to get the other side of it without having to go around the wall or climb over it. It was turning away from me, and I found that with correct timing, Mario can slide under it. One day, my timing was off, and a paddle of the wheel pushed Mario through the floor. He was stuck there, and I think I had to restart to escape.
6. There was another funny thing in the same level of Super Mario Sunshine. It was with those orange enemies with the pink flowers on their heads. You can knock them into walls and squish them, and I did this, and it hit this wall and made the sound that it usually makes, but instead of disappearing, it just stayed there, stuck to the wall, making the same sound over and over again. It sounded just as loud no matter where I went in the area, so I had to leave just to get it to stop.
7. This next glitch only happened the first time I played Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the GameCube. During cut scenes, sometimes the characters would turn in different directions when they were talking to each other. They’d be turning to the side, sometimes they’d have their back to the person they were talking to. It was weird, and it’s never happened since.
8. Another glitch was in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. I don’t even know why I still have that game. Anyway, sometimes, in the farm world (the second one, I think), the ground disappears, and you’re just running around on nothingness. Everything else also just floats there as if there was a ground. The barns, scarecrows, the wheat. It’s quite silly.
9. Another thing happened in that same Spyro game once in the first world. I had Spyro run up to something that is slightly off the ground, and he was supposed to jump onto it, but instead, he got stuck under it, I guess, or at least, right next to it, and kept running and running. I couldn’t pause and leave the level, but luckily, he eventually stopped. Dope.
10. And this one’s not quite a glitch, but it made me angrier than all of them. Oh, the rage! The utter…rage! But, no amount of fury could ease the lugubrious state of affairs that was this mistake that the creators of the game, by some astounding miracle, managed to miss. And that is the sad fact that much of the passwords in Croc 2 didn’t work. I would play and play, get a password, as the game wouldn’t just, I don’t know, have save files. Then, I’d stop, and when I came back, the password wouldn’t work. Why, oh, why?! I finally started recording the passwords quite often, keeping a long list of them, and when I returned to the game, I’d go down the list until I found one that worked. It was so annoying! I finally just sold it to a game store. Have fun with it!
So, there’s my list. Surprisingly, I really don’t get glitches very often. Very, very rarely. And yet… That shows you how much I play, I guess. And these things seem to happen less and less as technology improves. And usually, the better the game, the less glitches you’ll see. You can tell which games had more love put into them. Not that the above didn’t have love. Just, not as much as they could have. How sad.
Not Usually a Glitchy Duck