Friday, 30 September 2011

Acquisitions Special

Nintendo just put up The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition free on DSiWare. While I'm not exactly a Zelda fan, it's free and also has local coop so I can play with Emily. It's downloaded and awaiting play when we have a spare hour or so.

Super Mario World (SNES)

Oops, forgot to do the "hold reset while turning the power off" thing, so SMW didn't save. OH WELL.

Getting a little better. The slidyness is still weird and I really don't like how the game pauses when you pick stuff up, or indeed when Morton tries to land on you, jerk. Cape is top tier, nerf now.

As you might have guessed, got up to Vanilla Dome AND ACTUALLY SAVED THIS TIME so that's what, a quarter finished? We did some extra exits but not that many so if you're talking 100% apparently the title screen says 18% done. Despite being coldridden Emily still rocks my socks at this game. Let's see what she's like in DARKSTALKERS?!

Ill Englishman in New York

Despite the title I'm not too bad, Emily however has a pretty bad cold and now a sinus infection. She uses up more tissues in an hour than I do in a year. Pray for her antibodies!!!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

SDA Marathons

We at SDA aren't happy to merely sit around in our parents' basements playing games. Occasionally we get together and do charity marathons; so far I've been part of two of them.
  • Awesome Games Done Quick 2011 - This was an in-person event that was 5 days long, with a wide range of games. I ran Morrowind for this, and though it didn't go too well, I had a great time getting to know people I've only ever seen as screen names on a forum. We're planning another event at the same time and location next year, look for us from January 4th.
  • Japan Relief Done Quick 2011 - This was an online event, 4 days long and full of people from all over the world streaming at their strongest games. For this I ran Klonoa 2, and did quite well, beating most of my practice attempts. Because I finished ahead of schedule, I also ran Commander Keen for fun, and though it wasn't very fast, a lot of the people who were watching got a retro kick out of it.
I'm also going to Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 to run the game that started it all, Quake. This is a difficult game to run and although it's less than half an hour of gameplay, it's intense and full of tricks small and large. I'm also doing Magicka, a 4-player action RPG hit from earlier this year. It'll be a lot less serious, we'll be killing each other a lot etc. Going to be a lot of fun, and I hope we'll get even more viewers (and donations) than last year. This year it's for Prevent Cancer Foundation once more; last year we raised more than $52,000 for them.

Super Mario World (SNES)

I am really terrible at Mario. I kinda remember finishing Super Mario Bros. when I had my first NES back in the recesses of my memories, but I'm pretty sure I never finished SMB3, and I only briefly played SMW at the school creche thingy.

Emily and I played a little hot-seat SMW and I performed really badly, haha. There's something about the really slidy controls and the fact that there are four buttons (seriously, Mega Drive only had 3, and in Sonic they all did the same thing!!!!) that just makes me die, a lot. Also why can't you let go of the 'grab' button to drop stuff, he just kicks it like a jerk. Damn you, Mario.

Anyway, only played briefly today, and got to Donut Plains 2. Two switch palaces completed.


As a member of the website Speed Demos Archive I'm interested in both playing games quickly and watching others do the same. I've been a member for a long time; the site used to only house demo files for Quake (hence the name) and I have quite a number of those up there to watch. However the majority of the site focus is off Quake now, with many people submitting runs for good, bad, new and old games. You can see the world record run of Super Mario Bros. there, among currently 662 other games. Sometimes we have multiple categories for one game, such as finding all the secrets or using the hardest difficulty.

My current non-Quake contributions to the site stand merely at a couple of different categories of run for Arcomage, but I have many other runs in the works. I'll talk about those soon.

Acquisitions Update

There's a second Jay St. Games store near here at a different mall, so I had to go check that out too. Here's my results.

Jay St. Games - $56.12 (2011-09-29)
  • Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1) - I found it! It wasn't cheap, but I'm glad I own this. There's been a couple of very bad speedruns of this submitted to SDA, I plan to make a decent one and finally get it added to the site lineup.
  • Bard's Tale (NES) - Lag.Bro asked me to look for this and they had one copy, snapped it up. Similar to Might & Magic.
  • Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat (PS1) - Haha, I remember this game fondly for being very difficult and the reason we upgraded the family computer to Windows 95. The PS1 interface might be worse, but it'll be much easier to record. Hopefully.
Not bad at all! Klonoa was a massive $40 by itself, but it was worth it. Klonoa 2 originally cost me £45 and I bought it completely at random, and it has turned out to be an excellent purchase, still providing me entertainment today.

Emily also bought a few things in all three of our Jay St. trips, if anybody is interested, I'll make a list of her new stuff too.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Ultima: Exodus (NES)

So I chuck this thing in my new NES and spend a while humming and hawing while I design a party based on vague assumptions about the game's classes. Emily and I team up with Marc and Jess for a truly formidable combination of DotCom and Dziesomethingski power. Ended up with Wzrd/Pldn/Ftr/Clrc.

You start on the world map? Wow... okay, walk into nearby village. Look at all the shops, every party member starts with 100g and that's enough to buy everyone a Mace, but I can't use them. Three Maces it is, I guess I'll keep most of my money ready for buying money or so on.

Holy crap I opened a treasure chest and it poisoned everyone. That's 400g down the drain just to cure everyone! About this point I looked in my spell list and noticed 'Open'... which negates chest traps. Okay.

Grinding seems easy. Everyone except Marc has a spell which can devastate an entire enemy party. However, experience is only given to the person who gets the kill, which means Marc is levelling slowly... I'll have to let him get a lot of hits in. Thankfully mana regenerates pretty quickly, so I can just powerheal him.

Got everyone to level two and also a bunch of gold... bought two Spears for Marc and Emily to use. Armour is really expensive... have to work on that soon, Cloth seems to give barely any protection, and Leather is quite a big investment. Wandered around a bit more, found a town called Dawn...?

Dawn is cool, it has a TON of stuff I can't afford yet, and it disappears when there isn't a double new moon. Unfortunately my game for today ended here because I stole everything from the general store and then got massacred by guards. Naturally I rolled with this, being a battle-hardened WRPG player. Lord British resurrects Marc and I realise I only have enough gold to resurrect two people. Hrmmm... I go to the hospital, and guess what, both resurrections fail! I now have two piles of ashes instead of corpses, which can't be fixed as far as I know.

Exodus is really mean. I'll finish it though, I swear.

Acquisitions Update

My collection has grown a lot lately, here's a rundown.

Good Old Games - D&D Pack, $34.31 (2011-09-22)
  • Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone - I don't know anything about this game.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard - or this one!
  • Temple of Elemental Evil - or this one. Though I think this is like the old Gold Box games?
  • Baldur's Gate: The Original Saga - I've played this quite a lot before, perhaps even finishing it, not sure. It's an excellent series. This release also contains Tales of the Sword Coast, a small expansion which adds more adventuring stuff and some items/classes.
  • Baldur's Gate 2 Complete - I'm not as familiar with the second game, though I have played it before. Looking forward to completing it and the expansion.
  • Icewind Dale Complete - Similar to Baldur's Gate, with the exception that you can make 6 characters and rampage around with them. I spent more time writing custom AI than actually playing this game.
  • Icewind Dale 2 Complete - Not played the second game at all, but I assume it will be similar in style and quality.
  • Planescape: Torment - I've heard much (good) about this, though I've only played briefly. Very intriguing premise, and the non-Forgotten Realms setting is refreshing.
  • Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition - Played extensively in the past, though I never owned the expansions, so those will be good. They both start you out at higher levels, iirc. Don't know anything about Kingmaker.
This a really great deal at ridiculous price, I signed up for GOG purely to buy it.

Jay St. Games - $72.29 (2011-09-23)
  • Darkstalkers 3 (PS1) - Love this game, though it is a weird hybrid port between various arcade versions. It includes all characters, which makes it pretty unbalanced, but fun. There's also some stat-building mode which makes it completely nuts.
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS) - From what I've seen this is a japanese tactics RPG. Here's hoping it's better than Fire Emblem.
  • Solstice (NES) - Follin! Also the game isn't bad.
  • Legacy of the Wizard (NES) - This game is incredibly difficult to finish, not because of pure difficulty, but also the need to change characters and such. Should take a while.
  • Ultima: Exodus (NES) - Old-school western RPG based on D&D. Merciless difficulty.
  • Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES) - The start of what made Ultima great.
Not a bad stash, and some fair variation in genre.

Jay St. Games - $65.84 (2011-09-27)
  • Might & Magic: Book One (NES) - Dungeon crawler of ridiculous size and plot. Will take forever to finish.
  • Plok (SNES) - Follin! I remember this game very fondly from my childhood, even though I didn't have a SNES. Used to play it in the afterschool creche thing.
  • Shadowrun (SNES) - When I was younger there was a combination roleplaying/cardgaming club that my brother and I went to regularly. I played a fair amount of Shadowrun RPG there, and I know this version is quite close to the original. Looking forward to doing quests for a dog.
I love you Jay St..

I'll be more heavily playing these gems (and also streaming them live) once I get back home to England. Look out for me and subscribe -


So I finally signed up for a blog. I used to have a LiveJournal years ago, but that's full of stuff I don't really want to read anymore. Also, I got married a few days ago and I think this is an appropriate time to start anew.

To that end, I'm sure I'll forget about this really quickly. If I don't, I'll fill it with inane comments on video games that everybody already worked out decades ago.

See you again soon.