Tag Archives: playstation 2

Day 11: Gaming System of Choice

Day 11 in the 30 days’ worth of video game topics I began writing about…probably over a year ago is my gaming system of choice.  It’s a pretty straightforward question, and that is why I want to write about more than said console’s amazing selection of games and the other obvious things one would typically think about.

As you may know, I grew up with Nintendo and have owned every console they have released since the SNES.  It is no doubt rather ironic, then, that my favorite console does not come from Nintendo.  While my childhood consisted of Donkey Kong Country and The Legend of Zelda, everything changed when I finally made the decision, around 2003, to buy my first non-Nintendo console, the PlayStation 2. Continue reading Day 11: Gaming System of Choice

Top Songs from KH2.5

Some time ago, I took a break from the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, which wasn’t released in my part of the globe until about a decade after its release in Japan.  While I enjoyed the game immensely, I never could come up with a good topic in order to write about it, so I put off a post for the game.  You see, I beat the game, but I still had more extras to complete, and I was growing a bit tired of this good, but large, adventure.  I ended up quitting for a time to play Ni no Kuni, and then Portal 1 and 2, and then Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns….  So, in the end, I didn’t end up returning to this game as soon as I planned.  And so I decided I may as well at least get the music post over and done with.  What a good attitude I have.  And so I share with you all my top five songs from Kingdom Hearts 2 (with only one exclusively from Final Mix). Continue reading Top Songs from KH2.5

The Duck’s First Novel

Hello, everyone. I have something rather nifty to share with all of you, and I completely forgot about it until now. I finished my first novel. Now, in all honesty, it is, in fact, a fan fiction novel, but I still think it was a pretty cool accomplishment. This story is fan fiction for the awesome video game series “Jak and Daxter”, and it stars the main villains from the first game, Gol and Maia. You see, these wicked siblings were not always evil, but were made that way due to studying Dark Eco, a very corrupting substance, for far too long. This stuff warped their minds, which resulted in their decision to try and flood the world with Dark Eco so that they could remake it in their own image. Fortunately, they failed and ended up trapped inside the very Dark Eco silo they were trying to open.

In case you didn't believe me, here's the title.
In case you didn’t believe me, here’s the title.

And while it was implied in the “Jak 3” guide that the two were still alive centuries later during the events of the later games and could eventually return, this never happened, and how much can you really rely on what a guide says anyway? Nevertheless, I wanted so very badly to see another game with them in it, but since it appears that’s never going to happen, I decided it was time I took matters into my own hands. Gola and Maia would return, but it would be in the form of a novel I would write, proving all the more that I am an obsessive lunatic. Continue reading The Duck’s First Novel

I Don’t Have the Patience for Multiple Endings

As I’ve been saying, I have been busy catching up on a bunch of old games I was told were the duck’s quack, and one game I beat rather recently was “Chrono Trigger”, a game made by the same developers as “Final Fantasy”. The story involves our heroes traveling through time in their efforts to prevent the monster Lavos from bursting forth from the surface of the planet and causing the apocalypse.  While I would have liked to have had a better main villain than a monster, I definitely see why people have so many good things to say about it.

What I think I loved most about this game, aside from the absence of random battles, was the fact that your actions had an impact on what happened.  That’s what I always thought RPG’s were supposed to do, but more often than not, you really get no more say in the direction of the plot than what your character’s name is and what sword they tote around.  But, this game actually gives you many optional sidequests you can complete that will change the future and the game’s ending, as well. Continue reading I Don’t Have the Patience for Multiple Endings

The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

I had a rather short dream the night of 8/7/14, but I wanted to write about it anyway because it related to one of my favorite games of all time, “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”. In this dream, the game apparently had a scene with Gol and Maia, the main villains, that got cut from the game, and I remember I was playing the game and exploring this place that was supposed to be Gol and Maia’s citadel, but it was more like a Medieval castle.  I remember being in this hallway, and there were these platforms that would only appear in the wall for a limited time, and you had to climb up them to get through this doorway.  I tried multiple times to climb up them as quickly as I could, and I eventually made it through the doorway, which ended up leading outside Continue reading The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

Day 9: Saddest Game Scene

Today’s 30 day video game topic (oh, my gosh, this is taking me far longer than 30 days) is #9, the saddest game scene, which is really right up my alley (if I had an alley, but I don’t, as I live in a neighborhood, not a city). I love sad things in games. Some of my best gaming moments involve me weeping for all I’m worth (which is about 7, maybe 8, bucks) because I like emotional stuff. Crying makes me happy. It really does. And so I had fun thinking about what my topic would be for this post, though I must admit, I am going to cheat a little. (By looking up the answers? No. Not that kind of cheating.) Because I have two scenes, actually, but only one that I count as my official topic for this post.

But first, my unofficial topic, a scene from the awesome SNES game, “Illusion of Gaia”. For a reason even I can’t comprehend, Will’s dream makes me cry every single time. Without fail. This scene involves Will dreaming about being back home, and he goes downstairs and talks to his deceased mother. The music is really sad and depressing, and she asks him if he thinks the approaching comet is a good thing or a bad thing. And that’s it. And it is really amazing how effective this is at making me sob like a duckling. Continue reading Day 9: Saddest Game Scene

Day 7: Favorite Video Game Couple

Today’s 30 day video game post is number seven, my favorite video game couple (which is perfect for Valentine’s Day, no?).  Now I am not normally the type that is into love stories, as I have mentioned in previous posts, but video games are an exception, probably for two reasons.  One, because I love them.  And two, because never have I found a video game that focused mainly on the love story more than anything else.  There aren’t any romance video games, as far as I can tell, though there are certainly books and movies of the romance genre, which is far too upsetting to me, as I can only stand it in small doses and only when it isn’t too…icky.

And so, despite this normally being a topic that repels me, I was able to think it over with no gagging whatsoever.  Yay.  And several couples came to mind, Cloud and Aerith from “FFVII”, Yuna and Tidus from “FFX” (and even Vincent and Lucrecia from “FFVII”, which is not a favorite, but it came to mind when I realized all three of these couples ended tragically).  I even thought of Kafei and Anju from “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”, a couple that will always have a special place in my heart simply because I had to do so much darn work in that game to make it work out in the end.  But, no, those are not my favorite couples.  Why did I even bother listing them in the first place?  I don’t know.  What’s it to you?  Ahem, my favorite game couple…contains spoilers for “Super Paper Mario”, so read at your own risk.

Yes, my favorite couple is not one of those more well-known pairings from famous “Final Fantasy” games (alliteration), but from a “Mario” game.  A “Paper Mario” game, but still.  This couple is one which remains secret until later in the game.  Oh, we know this couple exists, as we get little snippets of dialogue whenever we complete a chapter, but the people involved in this particular love story are not known to us at first.  One of them is injured, while the other nurses them back to health.  One of them is from the Tribe of Darkness and is shocked to find this fact does not bother the other.  And they meet with opposition from a father that doesn’t approve of the union.  It’s really quite typical, really, but it kept my attention because of the mystery surrounding it.  Who were these people?  Who was this Blumiere and Timpani?  And how does it relate to the game?

Eventually we find that Blumiere now goes by the name of Count Bleck, this game’s main antagonist, who was not always evil like we see now.  We know his heart aches for this Timpani, whoever she is, and despite the fact that this fiend is trying to destroy all dimensions with the Void, you can’t help but feel a bit of pity for him.  This Timpani was lost to him when his father banished her to wander the space between dimensions due to him not wanting his son to marry someone of another race from theirs, and though Blumiere looked for her, he never found her, and his anguish caused him to create the Void in an attempt to destroy all worlds, worlds that are too terrible to be allowed to exist, if something like that could happen.  A bit rash, I must admit, but his story is still a tragic one, nonetheless.

Well, we do end up finding out the fate of his beloved, and she turns out to have been with you all along, though unrecognizable from her previous form.  Mario’s sidekick, Tippi, turns out to be the lost Timpani.  Once an ordinary woman, she was found by Merlon, near death after her wandering between dimensions, and the only way he could save her was to turn her into a Pixl, though this also caused her to lose her memory of her past.  Her memory does finally return to her towards the end of the game, however, and she and Count Bleck are reunited, at which time he has a change of heart.  This is not enough to stop the Void, however, as someone else still wishes to see all worlds destroyed, and after a nice, epic final boss battle (necessary to a proper love story, wouldn’t you say?), Tippi and the Count find there is only one way to fully stop the Void, which was created by the Chaos Heart when Count Bleck forced Bowser and Peach to marry at the beginning of the game.  This solution (a rather corny one, but hey, we’ve been collecting Pure Hearts the whole game through, so I guess it’s unavoidable at this point), in so many words, is true love, basically.  The former Timpani and Blumiere marry, at which point the Void is destroyed (I rhymed), but the couple cease to exist.

And so Count Bleck has redeemed himself, as Tippi and he sacrificed themselves to stop the Void (he really shouldn’t have created it in the first place, though).  Things are both sad and triumphant, as the two seem to have been wiped from existence, but at the same time, all worlds are safe from the Void again.  However, we find things to not be so sad, after all, as we then get a short scene with the silhouettes of the Count and a certain woman in the distance, on a grassy hill in a beautiful place, where they stay for a short time before they walk over the hill and are lost to sight.  So it seems that, things did finally work out for Blumiere and Timpani in the end, after all.

So it may not be the best love story out there or the best couple, really.  But, I still enjoyed playing this game and wondering who these two people were.  It was the most interesting part of the game for me, as I wanted to know so badly who they were and what would happen to them next.  And how shocked I was to find this couple was the main villain and one of the main protagonists!  So this couple turned out to be my favorite, both due to the mystery of this particular story and the two people involved in it, the sweet Tippi and the charming Count Bleck (if you can get over his attempts to kill everyone, that is).  This is a love story I can handle.

Favorite Duck Couple, Couple of Ducks

Top Songs from KH1

“Kingdom Hearts” is a most fantastic game, with a wonderful story and great characters and lots of great music, as well, and so I shall be sharing with you all my top ten favorite songs from this game.  By the way, to make things more fair and because I have a habit of making unnecessary rules for things that don’t really matter, I will only be including songs original to this game (to my knowledge, at least), not songs from Disney movies or “One-Winged Angel”.  Otherwise, “One-Winged Angel” and probably “This is Halloween” would be in here, too.  The former because it’s just too awesome and the latter probably just because I love “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

10. “Merlin’s Magical House” is quite a fun song that plays in Merlin’s house (who would have guessed?) in Traverse Town.  It’s so cute and fun!  I just love it!

9. “End of the World” is the final level of the game, the place housing the remains of all the worlds taken by the Heartless.  This song is slow and depressing and makes one feel lonely and empty, very fitting for such a place.

8. “Monstro” plays inside, well, Monstro the whale.  It is a fun song to listen to while you wander around in this giant whale’s tummy.

7. Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship has some great music when you fight enemies.  I always thought it was quite a fun song.  And it sounds…pirate-y to me.  Yeah.  Pirate-y.

6. “Night of Fate” mainly plays when the Heartless come to Destiny Islands.  I love this song.  It just really gives a certain feel to this area, as Sora attempts to fight off an endless amount of Heartless overtaking his world.  The song speaks of hopelessness and one’s fruitless attempt to save their world when there is no hope of doing so.

5. “Dearly Beloved” plays during the title screen and other places, too, I believe.  It’s just a simple and slow, pretty song that’s played on the piano.  When I hear it, I instantly think “Kingdom Hearts”!  Just try not to!  You can’t!

4. I very much enjoy “Fragments of Sorrow” (thanks, PurpleArmadillo, for telling me the name of this song), as well, the music that plays in the End of the World during battles.  It is just so epic, and I love the vocals, especially at 0:43.  It’s pretty darn dramatic battle music, and it fits well for the final level of the game.  It makes you feel like you’re heading towards something really important, like the fate of all worlds rests on you and your actions, and, you know what, it does.

3. “Traverse Town” is one of the first locations of the game, and I find the music here to be very soothing and peaceful as you wander around this town at night.  When I played this game for the very first time, I remember wandering around this place, with this music playing, and just thinking I couldn’t believe I was really playing this amazing game.  (I didn’t need to be very far into the game to know it would be awesome.)  I still get the same feeling now.

2. “Hollow Bastion” is played in the enormous castle near the end of the game in a world bearing the same name.  I always loved this song, and I think it gives the place a rather ancient, mysterious feel to it.

1. “Simple and Clean” is this game’s theme, sung by Utada Hikaru.  It is no doubt the best song of the game.  I still remember when I first heard this song during a commercial, and it just made me want the game so very much.  (I must admit, though, I have no idea how the words relate to the game.  At all.)

Simple and Duck

Hardships and Victories of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix

“Kingdom Hearts” is one of my favorite games ever.  Seriously.  I love it.  And I love it so much, it’s not even easy for me to write a post about it.  There’s just too much I can rant on.  The story is amazing, complex, and beautiful.  The characters are wonderful.  And the way they combine “Final Fantasy”, Disney, and original characters and locations is just…  I don’t know how they do it.  It just works.  Disney and “Final Fantasy” don’t really seem like they’d fit, but Square managed to combine it all in a way that is just perfect, in a way I think few others could pull off.  In short, I adore this game and the series as a whole, but there’s strangely not a whole lot I can say.

            The game is simply perfect, or nearly as close to perfect as a game can get, and with the long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix” finally being released for the first time outside of Japan, I was so excited to play this beloved game again and finally get to see the extras I had been missing out on for so long.  And so when I was thinking about what to write for this post, I thought this game needed something extra special to remember my time with it.  Plus, if you haven’t played this game yet, I have no more to say except for, oh my gosh, what are you waiting for, go play it!  And if you have already played it, you don’t need to hear me ranting about what you already know.  So for this post, I will simply be discussing my experience with the most amazing “Final Mix”.

            Even though I had already played this game twice before the “Final Mix” version was released in my part of the world, I had such a great experience playing this enhanced version of the game.  Things started out rough at first, as there is this secret battle with someone called Unknown (I know it’s you, Xemnas…) that I wanted so badly to get to fight.  I thought to myself, the easiest way to unlock this battle would surely be to play the game in Proud Mode, as there are fewer requirements than in Normal Mode.  After all, the only time I got the secret ending of “Kingdom Hearts 2” was when I beat it on Proud Mode, because I just could not get 100% in the game on the regular difficulty.  Surely the same method will work here, right?  Wrong.  Proud Mode turned out to be much more absurd than I expected, and when I was being completely annihilated in Traverse Town (Traverse Town!  On your first visit!), I decided I’d never even get through the game like this, and so I started over in normal mode.

            Things went much more smoothly this time, and I decided that I was going to try my hardest to fulfill the requirements for fighting Xemnas (sorry, Unknown…), but if I didn’t, I didn’t.  At least, I’d be able to beat the game and see all the other secrets that “Final Mix” had to offer.  So as I played the game, I worked to collect all the Dalmatians (in the end, I found all of them on my own except for the 70-72 set), found all trinities, and I was surprised to find that there were actually bosses that appeared in the original version of the game that were new to me, not to mention enemies that really were exclusive to this version.  I guess I wasn’t very observant last time.  And not being entirely certain of what exactly was needed to fight Xemnas/Unknown, and for the pure fun of it, once I got to the final location of the game, I went back and got to work getting everything I had missed.

            After lots of leveling up, I kicked butt in Olympus Coliseum (the regular matches, where you have to fight a zillion things), but Sephiroth remained too difficult for now.  I went back and defeated Kurt Zisa in the desert and beat the Ice Titan once I figured out how to actually hit him.  It took a long time to get strong enough to beat the most terrifying Phantom, but I finally beat that thing, as well. (I loved that battle, though.  I love fighting scary things.  And I was down to almost no magic, with all my Ethers used up, when I finally dealt the finishing blow.  How relieved I was.)

            And all the while I worked on collecting items I needed for item synthesis (which I called my “Kingdom Hearts” grocery list) so that I could eventually obtain the Ultima Weapon, at the same time getting stronger and stronger so it would be easier to beat the bosses I couldn’t…beat.  I had trials and tribulations sneaking around, trying to take out Sniperwilds before they spotted me, and I had quite a frustrating time attempting to get Mystery Goo from those darn White Mushrooms (they’re adorable, but sometimes I just wish they’d use their words), and I tried countless times in Deep Jungle to get the stupid Pink Agaricus to just give me a Serenity Power already!  Eventually, I got the hang of all this and the Ultima Weapon was mine (I didn’t bother with Donald or Goofy’s better weapons, as I was so sick at that point of trying to get rare enemies to appear so I could get the items needed).

            Even at this point, however, defeating Sephiroth seemed impossible, as I simply could not stop his Heartless Angel attack (it reduces your MP to 0 and your HP to 1, and then he attacks you before you can say “time out!”).  I thought I’d perhaps fight random enemies a little longer and get Sora to level 100 to see if that would do it (even if that wouldn’t prevent Sephiroth’s most horrible attack, but hey, I had to try something).  But first, just in case I can’t beat him, why not go and see if the battle with Xemnas is unlocked yet.  To my surprise, it was (apparently defeating Sephiroth is not required to fight Xemnas, even though I heard it was), and you have no idea how excited I was to find that today was the day I was waiting for, when I could finally try that secret battle I had been working so hard for.  Oh, glorious day!

            After several tries, Xemnas was defeated during a battle where I just went berserk on him in an effort to beat him as quickly as I could, with the hopes that this would allow me to face his worst attack as few times as possible (it drains your HP and doesn’t allow you to heal until you press the right button at the right time, and it makes me rather sad, not to mention trying to avoid him while staring at the bottom left corner of the screen and waiting for the correct command to appear is not easy).  Overjoyed, I then went ahead and got Sora to level 100, and I went to face Sephiroth again…and you know what?  I beat him.  Twice.  (I mean, it would be pretty pathetic if I couldn’t beat him even at level 100, and a much better gamer would have done it much earlier, but hey, I was proud anyway!)  Another bout of being a berserk lunatic in battle won the day against this one-winged monster, and my journal was complete.

            And not about to waste time with the Gummi Ship missions (I hated the Gummi Ship levels; they were the only part of this masterpiece that was cheaply made) and lacking the will to try and collect rare items ever, ever again, I was as done as I was ever going to be.  Not only did I get to see this version of “Kingdom Hearts”, new cut scenes and enemies and all, but this was also the first time I actually got the full experience, defeating all the bosses and finding all the lost puppies and the trinities and, yes, even tracking down items that made me tear my feathers out in wrath when an enemy I needed wouldn’t appear or that stupid Pink Agaricus refused to drop a Serenity Power yet again!  It was time to beat the game, and I did, in a most-unsatisfying final battle, since it was no challenge because I was so darn strong at that point.

            I love this game, even more now than I ever had before.  This was my third time through, but I realized this time that I had never really played this game before, not really, as there was so much I was missing originally.  There is so much more to experience than just the game’s main story.  I left so much unfinished my first two times, and this was the first time I actually stuck it out and completed nearly everything I could no matter how tough it got.  It was a whole new experience, and I guess you can say I kind of bonded with this game in a way I never had before.  I had been through so much in this game.  And so that’s why I wanted to share my experiences with this game with you, because it is not often you discover a masterpiece like this after having already played it.

Final Duck

Day 5: Game Character I Feel I’m Most Like (Or Wish I Was)

It is now day 5 (or topic 5, as I am way beyond day 5) of my 30 day video game posts, which focuses on a game character I think I am most like (or wish I was), though this may or may not already be pretty clear from the title.  This is a rather hard one.  There are a lot of characters out there, and there are some I share similarities with and some I don’t.  But, I am really not sure who I am most like, and it’s a strangely embarrassing question, I think.  I’d sound like a weirdo if I said, I don’t know, I was like Samus.  What a conceited jerk I’d seem like to everyone.  I think I’m similar to the super awesome bounty hunter from the “Metroid” series?  Yeah, right.  No one compares to Samus because she is awesome.  Well, no, I wouldn’t choose her anyway, as I am nothing like Samus.  Perhaps that counts as a character I wish I was like, but still.  That’s not a good topic, either, as there are a lot of characters I wish I was like.  I wish I was cool and brave like Samus.  I wish I was as sweet and kind as Sora from “Kingdom Hearts”.  I mean, who doesn’t have a dozen characters they wish they were like?

            So that brings me back to which character I think I’m most like.  Well, none of the heroes, that’s for sure.  None of the villains, either, fortunately.  I’m neither heroic nor villainous.  So I guess I’d have to go with a minor character.  After thinking long and hard, for much longer and much harder than I really should have been, I decided on one particular character I may share the most similarities with.  This character would be the not-so-well-known Vin from “Jak II”.

            You may remember the post I wrote on this guy.  Vin is this nervous, nerdy character that manages the Power Station of Haven City.  While I certainly don’t do anything important like he does, I believe our personalities have some unfortunate similarities.  For one thing, I am super nervous like Vin is.  I’m sick to my stomach right now.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because there are a million things out there to be sick to your stomach about.  Where to begin?  I may not fear Metal Heads as Vin does (if they existed, I’m sure I would), but I do fear all manner of illnesses, clowns, natural disasters, bears, crime, bear-clown hybrids, and that fateful day I just know is coming when a large spider is going to end up in my house or the smoke detector will go off due to low batteries, and I will not currently possess the necessary skills to stop it.  I also dread the day my computer finally dies.  Or gets so dang old, it simply isn’t compatible with anything anymore.  Heck, I was nervous enough when Youtube was acting up on my computer (I love Youtube).

            I am also paranoid.  While Vin thinks everyone, including Baron Praxis, is out to get him, I have suspected others were out to get me, too.  There were multiple occasions where I was alone with someone, and the thought suddenly went through my head that, if they decided to kill me, what would I do?  How would I fight back?  And if I failed, would anyone ever find my body?  (Well, I’m not going into the middle of nowhere with people, but a duck body may be pretty easy to hide due to our small and compact size, and my corpse may spend years in the ventilation ducts in the ceiling, which is surprisingly fitting, as the word ducts sounds like ducks.)  I started to panic inside, thinking this is a prime murder location.  If I was a murderer, surely I would murder myself here.  If they wanted to do it here, they would probably succeed.  Oh, if I just hadn’t made the decision to go here with them, I would have lived a long and happy life.  Or I worry that when we’re driving somewhere, someone is going to take a detour to drive me out into the middle of nowhere and butcher me rather than continue on to our planned destination (I’ll drive to the comicon alone next time, thank you very much!).  That’s the reason why I do the driving.  Plus, people drive like maniacs, with their lane-changing and their lack of turn signals.  You always know when I’m going to change lanes.  Always.  No surprises driving behind this duck.  You’ll just be stuck driving the speed limit.  Sorry.

            Also, it is not part of the game itself, but “Jak 3” has these goofy interviews with the characters, and while it is not canon, the characters are still, well, in-character.  Anyway, in this interview, Vin is also bothered by “people getting too close” and germs, which is why he doesn’t shake hands.  I don’t like people getting near me, either.  I don’t hug.  I also don’t see the appeal of kissing (get your face away from my face; I’m not food!) or holding hands (I don’t want to touch your clammy mitts, either!).  I also usually don’t like people sitting next to me.  I know I’m on a full-sized couch, but sit on the other couch.  My bubble of solitude needs a good ten-foot radius.  I also don’t like shaking hands.  It’s filthy.  We’re going to have an epidemic that will spread like wildfire because of this bizarre ritual to grasp the hands of everyone you meet.  You don’t know what disease they have.  If they have leprosy or some other affliction of the epidermis.  If they wiped their nose or coughed or sneezed on their hand.  You don’t know if they washed their hands or not after they went to the bathroom.  You can’t know these things, and it would be rude to ask, and yet you are expected to touch other people and get their germs on you.  Why?  I say we do away with the whole thing.

            So there you have it.  I share the unappealing characteristics of a guy described as “pathetic” and “a bit crazy” by other characters in the game.  Which are words possibly bouncing around the minds of my readers right now.  …Hey, you guys aren’t, perchance, considering to murder me, are you?  Oh, what’s wrong with me, now you know I’m on to you, which will only make my assailants all the more sneaky.  Must lock doors and keep Keyblade close by…  Not that I don’t always do that anyway…

The Duck is Keeping a Close Eye on You….