Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heal Beam is better than Aura Whirl

I should have read the Mechanics FAQ on GameFAQs more closely.  Look at Heal Beam, and then scroll down to Dual Techs and look at Aura Whirl.  See the multiplier difference?  Yeah.

Heal Beam heals the entire party for Robo's magic multiplied by 10, as a single tech.  Aura Whirl heals the entire party for Marle's magic multiplied by 5.5, as a dual tech with Crono.  Using Heal Beam frees up Crono so he can spam Luminaire.  In addition, since Heal Beam is only needed with every other spell Spekkio casts, Robo can spam Shock and just heal when necessary, which adds a fair bit of extra damage.

Since I have everyone's magic maxed except for Ayla's (30 magic tabs left), this is basically trading Aura Whirl's heal of around 540 that takes two party members to cast for Heal Beam's heal of around 990 that only requires one.

In short, the battle with level ** Spekkio just got almost three times faster.  This took me from a 58 minute run with minor errors to a 52 minute nearly perfect run.  I couldn't incapacitate one of the two guards on my prison escape and had to fight him, I triggered an accidental battle midway through Lab 16, and miscellaneous terrain snags got me.  When I got Robo and equipped him, I was sitting at 0:39.  I didn't check the clock when I got to the End of Time, so the difference of 13 minutes includes shortcutting the Factory.  I equipped everyone specially for this battle as soon as they joined, since the battles leading up to it largely don't matter.

So now the party, equipment, and strategy looks like this:
Everyone level ** with ** magic and ** speed.
Crono: (Haste Helm/Moon Armor/Gold Stud)
Lucca: (Haste Helm/PrismDress/Gold Stud)
Robo: (Haste Helm/Moon Armor/Gold Stud)
Spam *Luminaire and *Flare, and Shock.  Heal with Heal Beam as necessary.

Yeah, that's a lot simpler.  You know what they say...  Keep It Simple, Stupid!

The old Crono/Marle/Lucca method relied on queueing up Aura Whirl while Spekkio was in the process of casting Hallation and then firing it off again immediately when both of them were ready (the timing was just barely perfect with Haste Helms, with only a third to a half of an ATB bar of leniency), which meant saving both Marle and Crono's turns, resulting in much lower damage output.  With this method, it's more like "oh look, Spekkio used Hallation again.  Time to tell Robo to use Heal Beam instead of Shock when he's ready."  The results showed plain as day, six minutes shaved off.

Here's how the battle went down for me.  He led off with *Dark Matter.  I got off three casts each of *Flare, *Luminaire, and Shock (about 10500 damage) before he cast Hallation.  Set up *Flare and *Luminaire (about 2400 damage) and then queued up Heal Beam.  It healed the full 999 HP for everyone.  A couple more rounds of *Flare, *Luminaire, then Shock (about 7000 damage) was enough to seal the deal, during which he casted *Dark Matter again.  I'm ignoring the tens' and ones' places in the calculations, so that's why these numbers only indicate that I did 19900 damage. He only has 20000 HP, and the rounded off digits more than account for the mere 100 damage difference.

I wonder if I can get a sub-50 minute time with a little refinement.  Three minutes is a lot to ask when my run to the End of Time was nearly perfect, but it'd be awesome to see it happen.

To anyone having trouble with Spekkio's final form, get the equipment and stats I mentioned above and try this out.  It should work without the stats, but it'll take longer.  The equipment is absolutely required.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Adventures

I woke up on Thursday at 1 PM.  I expected it to be basically any other Thursday, but the weather said otherwise.  My weekend started on Thursday at 5 PM when a rather vicious storm knocked out the power to most of the city.  Unable to be contacted from the outside by friends due to horrible cell phone reception (Thanks TracFone+AT&T), I had nothing else to do but lie around and complain about how warm it was getting in the house.

The home phone still worked though, and since we have not one or two but three phones that don't need wall power to work, it was ringing periodically.  After a while, when I'd just decided that I needed to take off my pants to try and stay cool (shirt was already off by this point), a couple friends came and rescued me from total boredom.

We drove around trying to find an open restaurant, and eventually ended up at the Wayside Deli, specifically, Durty Nelly's Pub.  This seemed to be the only street corner in Charlottesville with power, and approximately everybody was there.  I got the worst roast beef sandwich ever (It was advertised with all sorts of toppings, I ordered it toasted, and what I got was a very lightly toasted if at all sandwich with nothing but roast beef in it).  Went over to the convenience store that's connected to it and bought a NOS to drink.  Then we went over to another friend's house to hang out in darkness on his back deck.

Once it got really dark (it was 1 AM at this point) we moved from the back deck to the front of the house.  Continued talking about random shit (I don't even remember what we talked about) and then his power came back on.  That kind of defused the lack of power party, so we left to go bug another friend.  Partway through this we decided to go see if any fast food drive throughs were open; we couldn't find one.

After a while more of hanging out on his front porch in darkness, we left around 4 AM.  I got dropped off at home where I discovered that despite my best efforts I couldn't get to sleep.  Only at this point did I remember that I have a fucking battery powered fan.  So I chucked the batteries in it and got a current going, but I still couldn't fall asleep.  It was light at this point (around 6 AM) so I went downstairs.  After a while of sitting around absolutely bored, my parents took my car and drove to Culpeper or something.  I would have gone with them, but I wasn't really interested in doing anything that they'd have dragged me along on (except for food).  I used the time to read the volumes of the Negima manga that I've had sitting around since Christmas.  I'm behind on getting the official American release, but I do my best.  Del Rey's doing a pretty good job with it.

Luckily, all was not lost.  The generator got started up when my parents got home, and the rattiest looking box fan ever that my dad has was brought up from the basement because it moves more air than my battery powered fan.  This thing is impossible to kill, my mom once drove the car over it (an old Nissan Stanza wagon that ate oil for lunch) and it still works.  I ended up camped in front of it.  Then at 5 PM the fucking power came back on.  Shortly thereafter the friends from Thursday called to say that the LAN party they had been planning was a go, so I took a shower, got dressed, and hauled my computer over there, grabbing some Taco Bell on the way.  Grilled Stuft Burrito (with beef) combo and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast no ice.

LAN party was awesome.  After a while of dicking around listening to Galneryus and browsing the internet catching up on things, I actually started gaming.  We got the absolutely worst game of Diablo 2 going, where the party never stuck together and only myself and one other person knew where to go.  I was playing a druid specced into shapeshifting named "furfag".  Yeah.  After we got bored of that I dicked around some more.  Started up my copy of Windows 3.1 in DOSBox and messed around in Paint.  The newer versions of paint lack a really neat brush from the windows 3.1 version: the one that only erases a specific color.  I made some bullshit abstract art thing that had a ton of colors and said "Win 3.1 FTW".  Then I played Minesweeper for a while.

Then it was suggested that we get a game going in an open source FPS based on Quake 3 called Nexuiz.  After getting my config set (mouse sensitivity defaults to like 3 or something, had to turn that shit up to 15 so I could turn) I joined in.  Somehow I won the second match.  Playing with a trackball.

Partway through this it was realized that a fair number of MAGFest staffers were present (pretty much everyone was at the very least an attendee), so it got asked out loud "how many people here AREN'T MAGFest staffers?" to which only about three people raised their hands.

We continued playing Nexuiz until photons started coming in from outside.  I'd lost total track of time by this point, so I don't know when we started playing or when we stopped, but it's one hella fun FPS.  Once it got bright enough outside, people started either crashing or shutting down and leaving.  I was part of the "shut down and leave" crowd.  Ever tried to pack up your computer's cables (no macfags at LAN parties, after all) in a dark basement where you can't see color?  Yeah.  Fortunately I didn't miss anything and got everything back home.  At this point, sweat was rolling off of my face.  I hooked my computer back up here, turned it and my server back on, set up my usual session, then took a shower and went to fucking sleep at 7 AM.

What a weekend.  To point some sleep-related statistics out, I'd been awake for over 24 hours when I got to the LAN party.  When I finally went to sleep, I'd been awake for 42 hours.  I got up briefly to eat dinner (woke up at 5 PM, couldn't get back to sleep), then my neck was having trouble supporting the weight of my head around 1 AM so I went back to bed.

Hopefully next weekend is normal.  Also hopefully soon my dad will get the Passat fixed so I have my car back.  Stupid water pump.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Season Anime

It's been a while since I posted about anime...

Okay, my genius self uploaded a thumbnail of the image instead of the actual image. Fixed.

I Hate WYSIWYG Interfaces

I've voiced my discontent with them before, especially Blogger's post editor, but while editing posts recently a number of issues have come to light that I need to bitch about.

WYSIWYG interfaces never seem to leave user-written markup alone.  They have their own idea of how it should look, and enforce this every step of the way.  Unfortunately, they always result in adding stuff that shouldn't be there, and generally cause a headache multiple times per use.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chrono Trigger Notes: Beginning to The End of Time

This is a largely informal bulleted list of things to do and not do.  It assumes that you have a good knowledge of the game and that you have at the very least a superlevelled party so that you don't really need the experience points, gold, or items from fights.  It's best to have everyone max level with enough of all listed equipment to outfit everyone simultaneously so no equipment shuffling has to happen.

The only Tabs this list considers to be important are Magic Tabs, as most people's power gets maxed through levelling (and for everyone else, repeatedly charm the first Tubster in Black Omen for all the Power Tabs you need) and Speed Tabs should be done after two or three playthroughs, especially if you charm the Panels in Black Omen.  I have no plans for a charm list or a tab list, they're already covered sufficiently on GameFAQs.

Since this post is essentially a huge wall of text, I'll put a jump break here to keep the main page unpolluted.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tyrian Elite Skill Hunter

Technically I completed this title on the 16th, but for whatever reason didn't get around to making a typical "brag about achievement shit in an online RPG that nobody else cares about" post until now.

As always, I'll explain a little about it for anyone who hasn't played Guild Wars.  You get progress towards the elite skill title tracks as you obtain elite skills on that character.  There are four title tracks: one for each continent, and one that credits you for getting all three continents' elites.  Sadly the title tracks are not tiered in any way, it's simply "get all the elites on the continent to get this title".  I would have liked to see it tiered by number of professions on that continent or something.

Obtaining an elite skill can be done in one of two ways:
  • The first, older, and more conventional method:  Buy a Signet of Capture from a skill trainer and kill the boss monster that uses that elite skill while you have Signet of Capture on your skill bar.  Use the signet, pick the skill, and there you go.  A change to Signet of Capture made it give you a sizable chunk of experience towards your next skill point, to make these titles easier to get.  It's a function of your character level, but at level 20 it works out to 5000 experience, which is a third of the experience bar.  If you can survive long enough to kill the boss and capture the skill, this is by far the cheaper method.
  • The second, newer, and more costly method:  Unlock the skill first.  This can be done either by capturing it on a different character, or by spending 3000 Balthazar faction at a Priest of Balthazar (Balthazar faction can only be gained through PvP).  Then, once it's unlocked, use an Elite Tome of that profession to learn the skill.  Elite Tomes can be obtained through pure luck by killing a boss of that profession on Hard Mode, by trading two Gold Zaishen Coins for one, or through trades with other players.  Tomes have the downside of not giving you the experience points you get for using a Signet of Capture, but have the advantage of letting you get a skill relatively easily that would be very difficult to capture.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I tried to write this whole post in haiku, but it just kept getting more difficult.  Plus, I would have had to cheat and split sentences between haiku.  You may notice that this next paragraph is worded so it will split up into groups of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables again, but partway through the paragraph it stops abruptly mid-sentence.  Deal with it.

I started browsing Wikipedia on a mathematical article about Euler's identity, and just through clicking links ended up on the article about BeOS, and then found Haiku.  What is it?  Well, it's an open-source OS that's inspired by BeOS.  Its aim is to be a fast, simple, and easy OS to use.  It's similar to most Unix-based OSes, but it's its own entire thing.  It's also in the alpha stage so far.  Regardless, they have an iso of alpha 2 available for download, so I grabbed it and set it up in VirtualBox.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meaningless Actions

There seems to be a large portion of the online population that tries to inject false obligations into the things you do in online communities.

For example, on YouTube, a lot of people will want you to subscribe to them if they subscribe to you.  This also happens on Twitter, people expect to be "followed back".

My problem with this is that it renders the feature completely useless, all in the name of inflating a number displayed on the user's profile.  YouTube's subscription feature allows you to easily see when the people you're subscribed to have uploaded new videos, or on occasion it recycles old videos and goes "oh lol this is new right?" so you have to go and clear them all out.  Twitter's following feature shows the tweets from the people you're following on your main page.

I guess nobody really wants these things to be meaningful.  I do though.  I only subscribe to people on YouTube whose videos I want to see on a regular basis.  The same for Twitter, I will only follow someone if I want to see their updates.  This is what the respective features were designed for, and nothing more.

Interestingly enough, YouTube has a separate "friends" feature, which is I guess what people are using subscriptions for, except that friending someone involves sending a request that they have to approve, and it doesn't inflate a number on your channel.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I repeat: Rock Band 3: Holy Fucking Shit

Just wached the stage demo of Rock Band 3, so I thought I'd follow up my previous post.

Pro mode truly looks like it's going to own me, especially on guitar.  It's also a game modifier with its own series of difficulty levels from Easy up to Expert.  Pro mode tells you which string and which fret to strum, and on Expert (Besides Easy and Expert they didn't show any other difficulties), they also tell you which chord a combination of notes is so if you play guitar you can just go off of that.

One thing they covered that I didn't mention before but I'm incredibly glad they're doing it: the keyboard controller and the Pro mode guitar controller both have MIDI out ports.  This means you can hook them up through your sound card (if you have one with a MIDI port) and use them to write or play music in various applications that support it.

Also, the reverse will be true too.  MadCatz, the company making all of these controllers, is making a device that will adapt any electric instrument with a MIDI out port to be a controller.  This means if you have a set of Roland drums and you want to use them in-game, well, get the box, plug it in, and there you go.  This will also let you use a real keyboard for keyboards, and one of the Pro mode guitars they showed off (the Squier Stratocaster one, which was actually made by Fender) is using it and is actually a real guitar in disguise.  They showed that off too, hooking it up to an amp and playing the game with it at the same time.  The other one, as I mentioned previously, is the Fender Mustang, which Azusa plays in K-ON! (fangasm).  Good job guys, now I want both of the Pro mode guitar controllers you've shown off.

They added drop-in drop-out play as well.  Basically any time (even during a song) you can pick up a controller and sign in, or exit the game and go do various important real life tasks.  So no more having to log everyone back in because your drummer decided to solo on the menus.

The keyboard will be able to be played using five adjacent keys in non-Pro mode.  Before I made a small inference based on the colors shown on the controller, but this is actual real information.

Gameplay has been extended into a ton of new modes, and with the song list going into the thousands of songs assuming you have every track ever exported and downloaded, new sorting options to help you find the songs you want to play.  It's clear that they're thinking of everything.  Gameplay on all levels should be way better than before.  Whether you're just playing with friends at a party and don't care about score or if you're in the upper echelon of ScoreHero users, it should be more accessible to all.

There's a lot of stuff I'm glossing over, but I think I hit everything important.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet in any of these videos is the price.  This is pure conjecture, but the Pro mode guitars, especially the one that's a real guitar, will probably be more expensive than your regular hunk of plastic with a strum bar and colored fret buttons.

We Are The Waiting...

Seriously, W3C...  When will CSS3 be finalized?  It's got a ton of extremely awesome stuff that I can't wait to play around with in a standardized manner.

Most browsers have implementations of the proposed CSS3 selectors already, hidden away with selector names beginning with a hyphen and a browser or renderer-specfic string.  Firefox uses -moz, the webkit renderer uses -webkit, and Opera being weird like usual uses -o for some things but not others.

I've only ever used the border-radius ones (see the header above if you're not using IE (and why the hell would anyone ever use IE)).  Rounded borders used to only be possible with images (eats up memory) or Javascript hacks (which eat up CPU time and memory), so having a standard way of doing rounded borders that the renderer can do with native code will be faster and less resource-intensive.

One of the biggest and best things is CSS fonts.  It will be (and technically is already in most browsers) possible to provide the font you want your page to be viewed in, and define things like the default size and family name so forth so you can just use it in font-family like any other font already installed on the user's system.  In before web pages that use all sorts of crazy hard to read fonts.  In all seriousness, it's a nice feature and real web developers who actually have the viewing experience in mind will use it properly.  I can't say as much for your average 13 year old who just discovered HTML and CSS.

One of the neatest things I see is the proposed border-image-slice selector.  This lets you make an image to be used for the border of an element, and define where the corners are, where the middle is (which would get cut out by the renderer if you allow it to) and stretch the middle edges vertically and horizontally to fit the rendered width and height.  Previously you needed eight separate images to do this, and with CSS3 you'll be able to do it with one.

There's also better control of using images with the regular border selectors.  You'll be able to control whether it's stretched or tiled and so forth.

There's more than just borders and fonts, you'll be able to do shadows, two-dimensional transformations such as rotate and skew (blogger uses rotate in its post preview, it's pretty neat and would have required an image without this), and gradients.

The aim of CSS3 seems to be reducing page load times and resource usage on the user's computer while providing better control over what they see.  And I like that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blogger progress

I noticed a couple days ago that the awesome preview feature that — get this — actually shows you exactly what your post is going to look like when you hit publish got moved over from Blogger in Draft.  It still has the bug where their element they place over the page to prevent you from clicking anything is positioned using position: absolute; rather than position: fixed; and thus scrolls with the page instead of staying in place, but maybe, hopefully, they can fix that.  If they don't, there's always Stylish.

What I didn't notice until just now is that "Customize" in the navbar has changed to "Design" and that the new template designer has also been moved over.  Going through it, I notice a spot for custom CSS, which is basically exactly why I ever used Edit HTML in the first place.  Funny little thing about using Edit HTML: if the template you're using gets updated, you don't get those updates.  I suspect that's what's lead to my headache with the things at the bottom of all my posts not showing up correctly.

So over the course of the next few days, if this blog looks radically different, I've been playing with the template designer.  Now that there's an easy way to get the look I want, I might as well use it, right?  Right?  I certainly hope there isn't some hidden drawback.  You can even adjust the width of your blog in it, which I had added a custom template variable to do so it was easily changeable and I didn't have to put the same value in five different places or whatever.

This place has needed a bit of a redesign anyway.  It's had a black background, red lines, grey text, and white links since, well, since I created it.  I've gone over two years with the same theme, so it might be time for a change.

Wonder when the new post editor will get moved over.  Its image management is way better and should make wallpaper updates a ton easier to do.  And when will they be adding the ability for us to make our own post editor tool buttons so we can easily apply custom CSS to content in our posts?

Edit: I transferred the blog over to the new template editor and pasted in all my old custom CSS.  It should look and function exactly like it did before, except now I can use the new template editor to change things.  Also, the stuff that should be at the bottom of each post is there once again, which is awesome.  I hate that custom CSS doesn't have access to the template variables (which act more like constants, but whatever), but maybe if we ask Google really nicely they'll change that?  Also, I can probably use jump breaks now.

Edit 2: or can custom CSS use template variables?  I just looked in Edit HTML, and I found my custom CSS.  Hmm.  They probably sanitize them if found, just to be annoying.

Edit 3: well, it didn't get sanitized, but it also appears to not be parsing it.  A big middle finger to you, Google.

Edit 4: I had to add an XSS protection exception to NoScript so that the layout editor would work properly.  If this is affecting any random person reading this, the line to add is: ^https?://[^\.]+\.blogspot\.com/b/preview

Edit 5: issue and solution reported on NoScript's forums.

Monday, June 14, 2010


So in the process of migrating CAINE's forums from lulzbb to SMF, I realized my server needs sendmail so I can fully test things out.

No problem, installed postfix.  Configured it, but it refuses to start.  Thus begins my trek of confusion.
root@invincimonk:~# postfix check
postfix: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
So I check in pacman, and sure enough I'm running an old version of OpenSSL.  So I upgrade OpenSSL to 1.0.0.  Problem fixed, right?
root@invincimonk:~# postfix check
postfix: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
WTF?  Now it's looking for the version I had installed previously?  Make up your fucking mind.  And yes, it still refuses to start.  It would be nice if it would, say, put something in /var/log to tell me exactly what the fuck is fucking up.

My next course of action was to see if pacman has an option for allowing there to be two different versions of a package installed concurrently, but if it has it, the man page certainly doesn't mention "concurrent versions" anywhere.  Plus, when OpenSSL is updated, it's probably for security reasons, and 1.0.0 is likely more secure than 0.9.8, so I shouldn't really have two different versions installed concurrently anyway.

ArchLinux's wiki page for setting up postfix only covers setting it up to be the backend for a webmail frontend.  It says nothing about setting it up so that I can use PHP's mail() function to send mail.  That's all I care about.  My server isn't out on the internet somewhere, it's on my local network.  Nobody's using it but me.  I don't plan on using postfix for massive mail sending, I just need it so that SMF can send some emails so I can see how exactly the process works.  I'd much rather test it here in a controlled environment where if it doesn't work it only inconveniences me rather than testing it live when I do the migration and potentially inconveniencing every single one of the forums' members.

The reason I originally wanted it to be able to send email was so I could test the "forgot my password?" process to see what exactly it's like.  An issue that popped up during migration is that SMF and lulzbb hash their passwords differently, resulting in the passwords not being transferable from the lulzbb database to the SMF one.  So I figured I'd just stick a dummy string in the password hash field, which would essentially force everyone (including myself) to change their passwords.  I just realized that I don't really need to do that.  Instead, I can write a simple PHP login script that asks for the old lulzbb login info and fixes the hash in the database if the specified login/password info matches.

So this ends up not really being an issue, but FUCK is it still annoying.  Plus I might want my server to be able to send email for other purposes later on down the road.

Edit: Actually, with OpenSSL 1.0.0 installed, pacman now refuses to do anything.  FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU-

Edit 2: I can't even downgrade to 0.9.8 using the package in the package cache.

Edit 3: and trying to use the bad solution (symlinking the 0.9.8 version to the 1.0.0 version) reveals that there's multiple packages I need to move back to 0.9.8...  FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU-

Edit 4: I really like ArchLinux, but unless they can keep random package upgrades from breaking the system, I really don't know what to do.

Edit 5: well, by symlinking and to and, respectively, pacman gladly let me remove postfix and downgrade OpenSSL back to 0.9.8.  Ugly solution, but at least I can use pacman again.  And hey, the downgrade process removed the symlinks I had to make, so it cleaned itself up.

Rock Band 3: Holy Fucking Shit

Relevant link:

Wow, just wow.  We already knew there were going to be keyboards.  I was wondering how exactly it was going to work, and the trailer alone only really showed the note tracks.

It's a real fucking keyboard.  No joking around here.  It's basically a miniature keytar.  Hopefully it comes with a neck strap for rocking out at parties.

The thing I didn't even know existed until now is Pro mode.  Pro mode basically forces you to be more accurate, like you're playing an actual instrument.  Keyboards outside of Pro mode will use the customary five colors we're used to, which map to groups of keys on the keyboard controller.  Keyboards in Pro mode will call for specific keys to be pressed, like you're actually playing a real keyboard.

The other facet of Pro mode I know for certain right now is that there's an entirely new guitar controller for it.  With six strings and seventeen frets' worth of buttons (that's 102 buttons for the mathematically challenged), and strings to strum instead of a strum bar.  All I can really say is, thank you.  Thank you for injecting more realism into rhythm games, and thank you for injecting brand new challenge into an otherwise stale genre where each new game was basically "more levels, same gameplay".  I can't wait to get owned by the game all over again.

Side note, I just realized that the Pro mode guitar controller is a Fender Mustang.  Azu-nyan's guitar.

Vocals have harmonies, the feature first introduced in The Beatles Rock Band.  This fits perfectly, because often there are backup vocals or multiple people singing at once, and it's weird to only ever be able to sing one of the parts.  It does require multiple microphones to have all the vocalists playing simultaneously, but that's to be expected.

Drums they didn't touch on, but I can infer from the controller and the note tracks that Pro mode will probably require you to hit a cymbal when there's a cymbal crash vs. hitting the regular pad, which would count as a tom.  Up until now drum controllers (especially RB's) haven't been very intuitive at all.  Being a music person who started on piano in elementary school and moved through the symphonic band learning absofuckinglutely everything, intuitiveness and realism in the plastic instrument I'm using are pretty much required for me.  Other than lack of access to a controller, lack of intuitive design of the controller itself has been the major barrier preventing me from getting good at drums in rhythm games.

As for how exactly Pro mode works, they didn't touch on.  Personally I'm hoping that it's a game modifier of sorts, rather than just being the difficulty level above Expert.  It's going to have an insane learning curve, so being able to play dumbed down charts to learn the ropes of Pro mode will pretty much be required.

Hopefully there will be better support for multi-instrument play (as in, one person, two instruments, usually vocals and one other).

Since the genre is basically dying (It's pretty much confirmed that GH6 and RB3 are the last of each franchise) it's nice to see Harmonix going out with a bang.  Hopefully Neversoft will pull off something awesome as well, though matching what Harmonix has at this point will be really tough.  Looks like the company that originally created Guitar Hero is asserting its dominance.

Now if we can just get some Galneryus tracks in the setlist or as DLC.  They match this setup perfectly (vocals, one guitar, five-string bass, keyboards, and drums), and their music is undeniably awesome.

DRM = Anti-American

This is a rant that developed while I was writing the update nagging post.  It mostly uses Steam as an example, but the broader subject is how much corporations run America these days and how the country has abandoned some of its most vital founding principles.  Rather than posting the update nagging post with this rant intact, I pulled it out because it drove the post completely off-topic.  As you can tell from these rants I write, I feel very strongly about some things, and constantly feel as though I'm in the minority opinion.

Steam bitches at you if you have the audacity to put it in offline mode.  There's a story here.  I want to have it in offline mode, because I'm on Comcast and every now and then the connection just inexplicably goes away.  Most of the time it's not an issue because I'm asleep or something, but Steam has this nasty "feature" where it won't let you start playing the games you've legally obtained if you don't have an internet connection.

A while back, after we had a four hour long power outage, I guess Comcast felt like it had to compete so our connection went down conveniently just after the power came back on.  During this time I was naturally bored, so I figured I'd fire up Portal and play more advanced levels or challenges or something, but if Steam can't connect when it starts up, it just hangs and you have to kill it in task manager.  Later, after Comcast decided to turn our connection back on, I selected "go offline" and it goes "oh teh noes u wants 2 go offlien?  Steam will b teh suck!" or something.  If you press on it will go into offline mode as you want it to, but then it gets all pissy and won't let you play a game if it isn't updated all the way to the absolute most fucking recent version possible.  Then it bitches at you every step of the way, saying things like "Hey, you're in offline mode, do you really want to be in offline mode?  Wouldn't you rather be in online mode?" and "We can't connect to Steam Cloud even though you don't even fucking need Steam Cloud and can't turn it off, the world will end if you play this game, are you sure?".

Why do my configuration and game progress need to be stored anywhere except on my hard drive anyway?  If I'm migrating from one computer to the next, I'll either copy the files directly or just fucking transfer the hard drive into the new computer.  If I'm logging into my Steam account from elsewhere, it doesn't take more than about two seconds to change a game's config.  Also if I log in elsewhere, it's guaranteed to be on a better computer where I won't need options turned down just to have a smooth framerate.  This means remote access to my config will only make life miserable when I get back to my computer and have to turn everything down again because it remotely saved over it.  I likely won't care about game progress anyway.  It's completely unnecessary.

Why are the updates so fucking important that I lose access to what I've legally obtained because I don't want my gaming experience in a single player game to be connected to and announced across the internet to anyone who wants to see?  Why does Steam play nanny and look for updates when you start a game in offline mode and refuse to start the game if it detects one?  I'm in OFFLINE mode dammit, it shouldn't be using the fucking internet!

This is why I hate officially-sanctioned digital distribution: you have no proof of ownership over what you've legally obtained, and the software is in control instead of you.  What's worse: any game released that can use the Steam platform that can be bought in a physical box with physical install media and an actual fucking existent manual still fucking requires Steam.  What the fucking bullshit is this?  If this is the way of the future, I'll stick with the past.  Because in the past I could play a possibly out-of-date install of a game while I lacked an internet connection, and nothing tried to check up on anything behind my back.  Because I owned the copy of the game.  With this bullshit, they own it and are just letting you play it.  If they want to they can remove access at any time.  And it's probably not future-proof either, so if Valve is ever in financial jeopardy and has to stop running the Steam authentication servers, then any random hardcore gamer tool with hundreds of Steam games will lose all of them.

In comparison, if you pirate a DRM'd game, you can crack or otherwise bypass the DRM and play it normally, without any restrictions, whenever and wherever you want, in any situation.  DRM really only hurts honest consumers, because the dishonest ones will just get around it.  This is why I expand DRM as "Digital Restrictions Management" instead of "Digital Rights Management".  DRM is all about restricting your right to do what you want with what you've legally obtained.  In the process of trying to crack down on piracy, all they're really doing is hurting honest consumers.  By treating everyone like criminals, they're also assuming guilt and asking for proof of innocence, which is exactly the opposite of one of America's founding principles: assume innocence until guilt is proven.  That's right, DRM is un-American (unpatriotic, etc.).  Fight the war on terrorism at home first: get rid of DRM!

There's an important distinction to make here.  I'm talking about consumers owning the individual copies of the games they legally purchase.  I'm not suggesting that consumers should own the copyright unless they somehow manage to legally obtain the copyright.  I had a tough time explaining this distinction to my dad (he thinks they're the same thing), and we are polar opposites on just about everything (hence why we don't get along very well), so I figured there'd probably be more people too stupid to understand.  "Owning the game" does not equate to "Owning the copyright and/or intellectual property".

We haven't been a capitalist country for a while now, we're instead a corporate republic.  That's where the government is in bed with all major corporations, and tells small companies and consumers to like it or GTFO.  Corporations can get away with whatever they want these days, and it's fucking sick.  Think about it: when was the last time you actually saw large companies competing for customers by lowering their prices?  Corporations figured out that the consumer wins instead of them when they compete with each other, so they stopped competing.

Upgrade nagging: Good or bad?

Most of the time I hate when a program nags me to upgrade it.  Everywhere I possibly can I disable automatic updates, but some things still say "hey! hey! there's an update! hey! hey! get the update! hey! hey! why haven't you gotten the update yet?" and so forth.  I'm thinking mainly Firefox here, which pops up at least two nag windows a day if there's a new version out.  Which oddly enough makes this all the more ironic.

Thunderbird on the other hand, doesn't seem to care one way or another.  Most of the time it will pop up a box saying there's a new version, but it's not insistent about it.  I didn't even know Thunderbird 3 had been released until just recently when I noticed a subtle change to the page I always see in the email pane.

I semi-recently set Steam to not always fucking update my games (really only Portal, the demo of Serious Sam HD never has any updates), but it seems to revert the option whenever it feels like it.

I can't even update Thunderbird yet, because one of the extensions I use (Contacts Sidebar, and why the hell isn't this extension's functionality standard?) isn't compatible with 3.* yet.  Apparently there's a prerelease version that is, but I think I can wait until it's actually released on

I only use two extensions in Thunderbird anyway, and both to do things that I feel should have been standard features.  Contacts Sidebar makes dealing with contacts a lot easier, simply double click one to start an email, etc.  It's basically adding the built-in functionality of the Contacts pane in Outlook Express.

I have Stylish installed, with one style that I wrote myself.  Ever notice how when you expand the header view, it takes up the entire email pane and you can't read the message?  Yeah, this style forces it to have a maximum height and provides a scroll bar.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Two Things I Like, Combined...

Bacon Hot Sauce.



Fixing NPC Sprawl... Imaginatively.

It's no secret to anyone who plays Guild Wars that the Henge of Denravi is the town with the largest distance between vital NPCs.  Heck, the point you spawn in at after completing the Aurora Glade mission is in the wilderness and you have to run for what seems like an hour before you find signs of civilization.  I usually map out and back in to get put near the NPCs, it's faster.

Perhaps the most glaring sprawl example, there are two collectors that are so far removed from everything else that I wouldn't be surprised if there's a player who's got the Tyrian Grandmaster Cartographer title and hasn't found them.  Also, storage is a mile away from the merchant and the traders.

They could fix this rather plainly by simply moving the NPCs to be closer together, or they could fix it a lot more imaginatively, as I'm about to explain.

They're putting more and more of Eye of the North stuff in Tyria with the War in Kryta event, so why not continue that?  Have some Asuran Teleportation Engineers with teleportation pads nearby each group of NPCs, and nearby where you spawn in from completing Aurora Glade.  You'd walk up to them and select between collectors, storage, traders, and so forth and be instantly teleported there.  They could also put in teleportation destinations at some of the more scenic parts, and the huge stage that used to host dance parties and concerts consisting of people using the /drums, /guitar, /flute, and /violin emotes on a regular basis back when Prophecies was the only campaign.

It's clear they've learned how to design towns better since then, and they've been doing things here and there to fix NPC sprawl where they can, such as adding storage near the entrance of Lion's Arch, but they've still failed to address the huge amount of sprawl in Tyria's biggest town.  I don't know how much effort they're putting into Guild Wars 1 with Guild Wars 2 on the way, but it'd be nice to see something done, and this would appeal to their "exert minimal effort to fix the issue" mentality that they've shown throughout the years.

Also it came to my attention while writing this that the words "teleport", "teleported", and "teleportation" are not in Firefox's spell-checking dictionary by default.  Really?

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Wish This Firefox Extension Existed

Can you blame me for being too lazy to sift through the currently 28 pages of results on the Firefox Add-ons site for "image"?  Well, I actually did.  Most of them are stupid and/or unneeded.  Like the extensions that add search plugins, or all the ones that add functionality that already exists in Firefox's options.  Seriously, what?

What I want: An extension that shows an item in the context menu when I right click an image that will temporarily save that image to my hard drive so I can upload it elsewhere, and then delete it after a set amount of time.  My hard drive is clogged with images that I saved to upload elsewhere exactly once and then forgot about.

It should work in a "set it and forget it" manner where the set amount of time is configured in its options rather than having to select it from a submenu or something.  It might also keep track of the image URLs I've used it with in case I need an image again for something.  The directory it temporarily saves images to should be configurable, so I know exactly where the image is to select it on the site I want to upload it to.

I've tried writing extensions and I just don't have the patience needed to read through the cumbersome documentation.  If I could write it myself, I would.

The aforementioned search turns up a number of extensions to upload any image on the internet to a free image host like imageshack, photobucket, etc. as well as a ton of really obscure free image hosts.  All I want is temporary saving so I can upload anywhere.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chrono Trigger update

I started it up with the intent of doing another full playthrough.  Instead, when I got to Lucca and Taban's show at the Millenial Fair, I parked Marle and noticed that she got removed from the party, so I went and soloed Lavos with Crono.  Not too hard given that he was max level with everything but magic maxed and magic only needed three more tabs.  No healing was necessary (equipment was Rainbow/Haste Helm/Nova Armor/PrismSpecs).  Had to refill his MP a few times, of course, but that's normal.

The game doesn't do anything special if you solo Lavos, but it's a massive personal achievement.

Next I started again and blitzed to The End of Time without anyone in the party taking damage.  Fought Spekkio since at level ** he gives you, among other things, 10 magic tabs.  Maxed Crono's magic finally.  Saved, then said "what the hell", set up my equipment, used the bucket, and defeated Lavos with Crono/Marle/Lucca right then.  The ending you get for doing it at that point is the one where the frog and the Nu are chasing each other around and then they fall asleep.  Nothing special really.

Saved my system file after that one, and headed into extras mode to see what it unlocked.  I got part of the Treasure finder, where you can scroll around each area of the game and see what items are in chests or otherwise obtainable and where they are, and more music tracks.

Started it up again and kept on playing.  Grabbed the 10 magic tabs off of Spekkio again, and continued on.  I eventually stopped just before the Ocean Palace.  In the process I found another magic tab I'd neglected to get before, by charming Golem.  Since I don't use Frog's magic too much and he's the next character I'm maxing, I'm just saving the tabs.  I'll apply them when I notice I have enough to max him out.  Then it'll be on to Robo; and finally Ayla, who does use her magic stat, but not for much.

Also the entire time I've been naming people differently.  Specifically, since a portion of the cast uses names that aren't actually their real names, I've been naming people with their real names.  I hadn't actually paid attention to the name dialog before, but you do indeed get hyphens, so Robo can actually be R-66Y.  I would have renamed the Epoch to its name in the Japanese version, but you only get five characters and Silverado is too long.  Fits into five in Japanese though...

As far as notes about my achievement list go, the "make it through an area containing enemies without triggering a single battle" one is possible in more areas than I originally thought.  I almost made it through Lab 16 without triggering a battle.  The last enemy got me.  A couple of 2300 AD's domes are possible.

Also, I defeated Magus while only casting one spell.  I hit him with physical until he changed his barrier to lightning and then used Luminaire.  It didn't immediately kill him (I think the lowered magic defense from getting hit by the Masamune doesn't last very long), but I think I glitched the fight.  He took a bit over 5000 damage from it, and after getting hit he just stood there and didn't do anything.  No "Magus risks casting a spell", no *DarkMatter, nothing.  A few more physical hits took him down, during which time he didn't retaliate.  So there's that achievement done.

I think beating Level ** Spekkio should be an achievement.  He's fairly difficult, as he's balanced to be difficult for maxed characters.  He uses Hallation (party's HP goes to 1), and often follows it up with Luminaire (around 700 damage to the party with proper equipment) before you can get a chance to heal sufficiently.  His use of Salt (heals one character to full health) doesn't really happen often enough or predictably enough to be relied on.  With Crono/Marle/Lucca I made extensive use of the dual tech Aura Whirl, which heals everyone for around 540 when Marle's magic is maxed.  He's easier if you bring Frog or Robo, both of whom have a single tech that heals the entire party (Robo's is better, and his Shock is only a little less damaging than Lucca's Flare), but he's still difficult.

I'm thinking that the remaining magic tabs won't take more than four more playthroughs after this one.  I just have to remember to put off fighting Spekkio until I have everybody so I can bring better healing power and can experiment with dual techs some.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Elite Skill Titles

Since I got Protector of Elona a while back, I've been sitting at nine titles for a while now.  Getting ten titles will make the Rainbow Phoenix spawn in my Hall of Monuments.  So it came down to which title I could get the fastest.  I tried speedbooking, which would work, but is kind of cumbersome, having to constantly re-obtain the necessary quests.  But then I looked at my Ranger's skill list and realized I had been at one point trying to get the elite skill titles on him.  So I'm progressing fairly rapidly towards Tyrian Elite Skill Hunter at this point.

For the uninformed, elite skills in Guild Wars are powerful skills that can't be learned from a skill trainer.  Their icons have gold borders, and you can only have one of them on your skill bar at any given time.  To get an elite skill, you must buy a special skill called Signet of Capture from a skill trainer.  This skill is unique in that it's the only one you can ever have multiple copies of in your skill list and on your skill bar.  Once you have your Signet of Capture, you need to track down the boss that has the elite skill you want, kill them, and use the signet.  Then a dialog pops up and you can select from the boss' skills which one you want to learn.

Anyway, my previous progress was admittedly very small.  I have all the Ranger elites (because I have all the Ranger skills in the game), but I had maybe four Monk elites and one Necromancer elite, and none for any other class.

That has changed now.  Before I got organized and decided to knock off Tyrian Elite Skill Hunter first, I was just going through the list of Monk elite skills by attribute and mapping around the game getting them, ignoring which continent they were on.  As a result of that initial disorganization, I have most of the Monk elites now.  Then I got organized, shortly after I facepalmed and realized that you only need 90 skills for the Tyrian title, whereas the other campaigns have more.  So I switched and got the remaining Tyrian Monk elites I didn't have and moved on to Necromancer, where I now have all of the Tyrian Necromancer elites.  Next up is Warrior.

I've prepared to capture all the Warrior elites, and to demonstrate what that preparation entails (and show my progress so far), I bring you a screenshot.

Right in the middle of all those titles is the Tyrian Skill Hunter title track.  I'm exactly halfway done, at 45 of 90 elite skills.  The other continents' title tracks have more progress than I've actually put in effort for because some of the elites in Tyria are classified as Core elites, which means they're available in all continents and count towards all three title tracks.

Next time I log on I'll go grab as many of the 16 Warrior elites in Tyria as I can.

This sounds like it costs a lot of money, and even though skill trainers start out charging low prices and gradually ramping up, the effective cost of the vast majority of the capture signets is 1000 gold (1 platinum in-game).  So after a certain point, you basically need 1 platinum for every skill you want, meaning the Tyria title alone costs 90 platinum.  However, this matters not because as you work your way to each boss so you can kill them and get their skill, you get money and drops that you can sell for money.  I started out on the Monk elites with 25 platinum in my storage, and since then I've captured over 30 elites and bought the 16 capture signets you see in the above screenshot.  So in other words, money isn't an issue.  Getting to some of the bosses is harder than getting enough money for more capture signets.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tabs Tabs Tabs Tabs Tabs

Getting the rest of the magic tabs I need is going to be a lengthy process...  I need 158 more total.  Crono needs 3 more.  Then it'll be on to Frog, then Robo and Ayla.

I didn't actually mess up Fiona's side quest.  Went to 12kBC's Commons and talked to the woman with the sapling and told her to keep it or whatever, then went and pwned the Retinite.  Saved Lucca's mom (on the PSX version the password is L Circle R Circle (Circle is in the same spot on the PSX controller as A was on the SNES)).

I successfully got all the way through Black Omen with my only source of healing being Shelters used at save points.  My party was the highest physical damage dealers, Crono, Ayla, and Frog.  At one point Crono and Frog had 1HP each (fucking Goons with their health-halving attack) and would occasionally die only to be brought back with 1HP at the end of battle.  I guess my next goal is to not have that happen.

I still don't really know how many magic tabs there are in a thorough playthrough.  It was enough to get Crono from wherever he was to 96, missing a couple (one in wherever it is you're supposed to use the Nu's scratch-point to get a magic tab, and another in the Blackbird) and accidentally using one on Robo by mistake (stupid Geno Dome).  So I guess it could have been **.  After I get the next three, the remaining magic tabs don't matter nearly as much since nothing is as crucial for beating Lavos as spamming Luminaire.  I think I'll probably end up simply getting to Spekkio, defeating him to get the 10 tabs, then using the bucket to beat Lavos over and over.  Though it'll need a different party than I'm used to...

A lot of things about the Lavos fight are essentially random, as it has no attack pattern in any of its forms.  Damage-wise, either PrismSpecs+Confuse or TripleKick the left bit to take it out in one shot, then two Luminaires kills the center bit and five or six more kills the Lavos Core.  Sometimes the core revives the other bits faster than others (requiring the left bit to be killed again), sometimes it re-enables its defenses, and sometimes you get way more Time Warps and other things that drag the fight on and require you to heal.

If everything goes right you really don't need healing against Lavos, though you need a fairly high level if not max level party with a good number of tabs used to really pull off a no-heal win.  Max speed is an absolute must, as is status protection.  Lavos can disable status protection, but doesn't always do so before it uses either of its spells that inflict statuses (Chaotic Zone and Spell).  If you're playing New Game +, there's no excuse to not have status protection on your entire party at all times anyway.  It comes in very handy all throughout the game, as lots of things use status ailments.  With status protection the only status that will affect you is Lock All, and it's used by things that are easily crushable with regular attacks.  They tend to have a high evade, but if you deal enough damage eventually they'll die.

I almost have all the equipment I want for optimum playthroughs.  Most of it is just getting more sets of the same armor, which I'm making harder on myself by forgetting that Ayla has Charm.  I have three Gold Studs now, so if I want to kill Lavos and use next to no MP, well, I can.  I'll get my third Red Mail (as well as my third set of all the various colored mails) on my next playthrough.  Their use is very situational, but can result in external sources of healing.  Also you can be pretty much invulnerable in some fights, like the Son of Sun fight.  Three Red Mails and the vast majority of the damage it deals becomes healing instead.

I may have to revise one of my achievements I came up with for the game.  During Lavos' miniboss mimic, I defeated its mimic of Magus without the battle progressing to its second phase, by shifting his barrier until he chose Lightning, casting Water 2 when Water was chosen, hitting him with the Masamune to lower his magic defense, and then when I finally got Lightning, whacking him with Luminaire for 5000 some damage.  I'd been mentally counting the health, and a good portion of that 5000 was overkill, but hey, I'll take it.  Before I can revise the achievement I'll have to try it on the actual Magus fight.  Whack with physical until barrier is Lightning, then Luminaire and see if he dies.  It could very well become "Defeat Magus with a single spell".  Though honestly, defeating him before he casts *DarkMatter is hard enough without an overleveled party as-is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blogger In Draft

Overall it's nice, and the actual real post preview feature needs to be implemented in the regular post editor immediately.

Albeit with one tweak.

Their "click trap" element they overlay on the post so that you can't click any of the links or anything in the preview window is positioned with absolute positioning instead of fixed positioning.  Meaning if the post preview has any vertical scroll whatsoever, the region below the first screenful isn't click-trapped.  Simply changing position: absolute; to position: fixed; will fix this issue entirely.

Also if the new post editor would stop adding spaces to the end of every single line, that would be awesome.  This happens both in the Blogger In Draft editor and the regular one.  Seeing as how the only way to get the Blogger In Draft editor is to go back out to the Dashboard and then enter Edit Posts from there.  That needs fixing too, if I've enabled Blogger In Draft, I should be able to use its features without having to go to the dashboard first.

And when will we get Dashboard and Edit Posts links at the top of our own blogs?

Edit (9:16 PM): One thing I just noticed is the ability to add images directly from your Picasa account.  I guess now I'll have to do another wallpaper update just to try it out.  Once I get a couple more wallpapers and do the one or two detexts I need to do, we'll see.


We all love them, right?  Well, whatever.  I just got to thinking what achievements I'd put in some games that don't have them.  I've been playing Chrono Trigger a lot lately, and the two overlapped...

First things first: I hate achievements that are unavoidable or that you get for entirely too easy things.  Getting past a certain part of a game does not warrant an achievement unlock.  I'm not saying there shouldn't be easy achievements, but I am saying you should have to use your brain and/or do things you might not have otherwise thought about doing to get an achievement.

Now that I've said that, on to the main feature: Achievements I'd add to Chrono Trigger.  Also, notes about how they could or should be obtained where relevant.
  • Low Level: Beat Lavos with Crono at level 1
    • This is indeed possible, you just have to run from battles (hold both shoulder buttons) until you get the Wallet (which is after powering up the pendant), and let Crono die in all forced battles.
    • Crono will only get six experience from one battle, the forced battle when you first arrive in 600 AD.
    • This is basically the "complete a low level run" achievement.  If you get it, major props.
  • Girl Power: Beat Lavos using Marle, Lucca, and Ayla
    • It shouldn't be too hard.  If Ayla's levelled enough, TripleKick will kill the left bit in Lavos' final form with one use and then you can unleash hell.  Marle has *Cure 2 and *Life 2, and Ayla has Kiss, so healing and revival are covered if needed.
  • Flawless Victory: Win a battle without taking damage
    • Another relatively easy one.  Just before the end of the game, go back to 1000AD Guardia Forest and fight something.  You'll likely get it.
  • Stealth Master: Get through an area containing enemies without triggering a single battle
    • Either 600AD or 1000AD Guardia Forest is good for this, but I've done it in 600AD Cursed Woods as well. It's also possible in 65milBC Mystic Mts. after beating the Tyrano Lair, as the pair of Kilwalas that prevent you from doing it up until this point are gone.
  • Maxed Out: Get all characters to level **
    • Just takes time, really.  Either go with the cookie-cutter strategy and do Geno Dome levelling, or do the one fight in Black Omen that gives you 2064 experience and a HyperEther over and over again (and sell off batches of 99 HyperEthers for 495000 G).
    • Useful note: It's faster to level Lucca and Marle out of party due to their low attack damage.
  • I've Got The Power: Defeat Magus before he casts *Dark Matter
    • Either overlevel your characters or do this on New Game +.  Not too difficult if you bring enough damage.
  • Critical Damage: Deal 9999 damage with a regular attack
    • Maybe better known as the "Get Ayla to Level 96 achievement".  Once you've done that, it's only a matter of time.
  • Chewbacca Defense: Get found innocent in the trial
    • Talk to Marle before getting the pendant, take the cat back to the girl, ignore the guy's lunch, talk to Melchior and refuse to talk Marle into selling her pendant, don't press anything while Marle's deciding what to buy, then answer "Not tempted" and "I started it" in the trial.  There you go.
  • Hi, Mom!: Introduce everybody to Crono's mom
    • loleasy.
    • The best time to do this is just after recruiting Magus and resurrecting Crono.
    • Or you could do it as you go along.  Whatever.
  • Asleep At The Controller: Lose a battle that results in a game over
    • Most games have a failure achievement...  or at least Guitar Hero 3 does.
    • There are a few battles that it doesn't matter if you win or lose (Lavos at the end of Ocean Palace you're technically supposed to lose, which is why you get the developers' ending if you win).
    • To get the achievement you have to lose one that you're required to win (i.e. most battles).
  • Time Exploitation: Use time travel to loot the same chest twice
    • Get the chest in 1000AD, then time travel to 600AD and get it again.  Easy.
  • Upgrade: Get a powered up version of an item from a sealed chest
    • Open a sealed chest in 600AD, when it says an item inside is reacting to the pendant, leave the item in the chest.  Go get the same sealed chest in 1000AD.
  • Cyrus Avenged: Defeat Magus in the North Cape with just Frog
    • Put Frog in the party, talk to him and select Yes, and Frog will send your other party members away.
    • You really just have to be levelled enough.
  • Can't Keep Me Down: Get through the Blackbird without getting thrown back in your holding cell
    • Two ways to make this easy.  Either know where to go to get your first party member's equipment (the guard in the room is asleep and you can just grab the chest), or put Ayla in your party before getting captured by Dalton.  They can't take her fists away.
  • Oh, The Irony: Get someone to talk about Magus' defeat while Magus is in your party
    • lol, talk to someone in Guardia.  Plenty of people talk about it in both 600AD and 1000AD.
  • Why Pay?: Sleep everywhere that you can sleep for free.
    • Well, anywhere you can recover HP/MP that triggers the sleep fanfare and doesn't cost money.  Note that this fanfare is triggered a few times as you progress through the story, those don't count.
    • 65milBC: Chief's Hut
    • 12000BC: Terra Cave, Last Village
    • 600AD: Guardia Castle
    • 1000AD: Crono's House
    • 2300AD: nothing I can remember (Enertrons don't trigger the fanfare)
  • Autopilot: Win a battle with all three party members having the Berserker equipped
    • Pretty much only possible in New Game + unless there's two charms for it I'm not aware of.
    • If you're worried about dying, pick an easy battle.  1000AD Guardia Forest or something.
    • Props if you get this and Flawless Victory in the same battle.
  • Active Time: Beat Lavos with the Battle Mode set to Active.
    • Good fucking luck.  Activefags are so annoying.
Also probably an appropriately-named achievement for getting each ending.  The Playstation version names all the endings, so there's our achievement names.

I'd provide achievement point values, but not every platform with achievements gives points towards a "gamer score".  Steam might be the odd one out, I dunno.

Chrono Trigger update

It's been a while.  So what's going on?

I'm doing another playthrough to the true ending.  I've gotten everyone's speed maxed out, all that's left is magic.  I only need 166 more magic tabs, which should be maybe three or four more true ending playthroughs.  Crono only needs 10 more magic tabs to be maxed out, which will happen before this run ends.

This second time through the entire story is going exceptionally quickly.  I've completed the main story and am at the side quests, and I think I've only put a bit over 9 hours on the save.  I wasn't even going fast, I've been hitting chests that I know I don't need and fighting pointless battles (with the wallet equipped, to get money, for no reason).

Defeated Magus in three hits and four spells.  Two hits with the Masamune in the beginning to get him to change his barrier (he changed to fire, my party was Crono/Frog/Marle so I had no fire), hit him again with Crono, he changed to water/ice.  Whacked him with Ice 2, he didn't change so I whacked him with it again.  He changed, but changed to water/ice (lol, not really a change).  Whacked him with Ice 2 a third time, he risked casting a spell (i.e. below half health, second phase begin).  Hit him with Luminaire and it was all over.

I've been noting some things that I've never actually done in-game.  I'm thinking since I'm playing it again I should go do them at some point:
  • Defeat Lavos without reviving Crono - this one has to happen anyway, you get a special ending for it
  • Kill Magus instead of recruiting him - I guess I just like *Dark Matter too much
  • Defeat Magus with just Frog - it's possible, but I've never attempted it
  • Get all the prizes from Norrstein Bekkler's Lab in the Millenial Fair - srsly, there's a lot of stuff to get.  You can fill Crono's house with cats and get a clone of each character as well as a character-theme-playing Poyozo Doll for each character.
  • Leave the real Chancellor in the chest after defeating Yakra - lol.
  • Beat the top score of 2110 in the 2300 AD bike race - you only find out about this score in the developers' room.  It's a wtf hax score.
  • Beat Lavos with just Crono - I don't even know if you can do this.  I've done it with Crono and Marle, and Marle is barely needed (just to refill Crono's MP every now and then), so...  Start Taban and Lucca talking about the teleporter to get Marle to stand back, then use the sparkle on the right pod instead of going onto the left one?  Does it actually remove her from your party for that or is it just storyboarded that way?  I guess I could go get Marle killed after she joins the party.  That would work.
  • Defeat Magus in two spells - this is just luck really.  Magus goes from the first phase (barriers) to the second phase (*Dark Matter) when his HP goes below half, and *Luminaire deals over half his health in damage to him...
  • Name the people that use fake names with their real names when given the opportunity.  So...
    Marle = Nadia
    Frog = Glenn
    Robo = R66Y
    Magus = Janus
Also I think I fucked up one of the sidequests.  I don't seem to be able to start Fiona's side quest.  Oh well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My Facebook account is gone.  Good fucking riddance.  Now that I've cleared the cookies in Iron, I can use it again.  Not that I really want to since the Chromium version of AdBlock has nowhere near the functionality of Firefox's AdBlock Plus, and there isn't a NoScript equivalent...

Now I can stop worrying needlessly about whether or not I accidentally killed my account deletion.

I don't really have anything more to say for this post.