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[+nonfandom] fallen leaves

from this dream...

i hope i never wake up

DW writing journal + Vesperia 'fic + general update
[+nonfandom] dare disturb?
My Dreamwidth writing community, [community profile] rainfalling, is now up and running; and, oh yeah, I wrote a Vesperia thing. Playful D/s kink going on there, Yuri/Flynn, annnnd porn. Because my first fic for a new fandom is always, always porn. Idk why either, it just seems to happen!

The "fountain" scene mentioned in a previous entry will be posted eventually; I've actually got it mostly done, just two lines I'm not happy with. (And something I didn't copy down correctly, which is always... frustrating.)

This entry was originally posted at here, via Dreamwidth. Feel totally free to comment there using OpenID!

Tales of Vesperia PS3: Patty's "Amazing Chef" title scene
[+nonfandom] huge hug
In order to get this scene, you'll first need to:
  • cook at least 600 times (with anyone) and MASTER three recipes with Patty
  • stop in at Nordopolica at some point after getting your "airship" and talk to the flopsweating young man near Fortune's Market.
  • head to Zaphias after Flynn joins the party permanently and stop in at the inn to talk to the woman who behind the counter

When we go back through the game, I'll add -- better descriptions of what's going on during this scene. I was too preoccupied on my pass through it copying down all the dialogue, and I know I missed out on the action. :(

Translation!Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at here, via Dreamwidth. Feel totally free to comment there using OpenID!

Tales of Vesperia PS3: Party member!Flynn
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
Aselia has a great list up of Flynn's new skills and artes; you can compare them to his Xbox 360 artes, if you'd like. (I've heard that his speed was also improved greatly in the PS3 version, but during the actual battles he and Yuri had in the Xbox version, I was too distracted by their battle dialogue to notice anything Flynn was doing physically.)

The second I had Flynn available to me, though, I switched him into my party and then never removed him again. Below the cut, my thoughts on his AI and the adorable quirks in it.

There are probably spoilers here!Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at here, via Dreamwidth. Feel totally free to comment there using OpenID!

ALSO: Donkey Kong Country Returns
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
It's been a couple of days, but my memory is that the controls were comfortably loose. My only complaint -- I manned Diddy -- is that I wish there were a way, in the nunchuck control system, to differentiate between attempts to hold down B for running purposes and attempts to climb up on Donkey Kong's back. :( You have to hold up on the D-pad to do it in the wiimote control system, and it is REALLY NICE not to just climb up on Donkey Kong every time I try to take a running jump, grab onto a vine, grab onto a barrel, etc.

Otherwise: gorgeous game, especially the silhouette level we saw, and very true to the spirit. I actually liked the blowing aspect I've heard complaints about, I thought it was cute and restful. But I do understand why some people might feel it detracts from the manic pace of the levels in general.

This entry was originally posted at here, via Dreamwidth. Feel totally free to comment there using OpenID!

Epic Mickey, Hour 1
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
Extremely pretty. Just, extremely, extremely pretty.

Quick confession: I've got a torrid history with Mickey Mouse games. I've played three, all sidescrolling platformers -- The Magical Quest, Starring Mickey Mouse (two-player competitive, with players taking turns with identical Mickeys in a Mario-and-Luigi fashion), Disney's Magical Quest (two-player cooperative with Minnie Mouse as the second player, in the version I played), and Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse. I remember the second two games as being MUCH shorter than the first one, but I enjoyed all three, and that's what I've got under my belt to vaguely compare Mickey experiences.

We start out in Epic Mickey with the villain from The Mad Doctor, a fantastically-creepy Mickey Mouse cartoon that was also made into the second level of Mickey Mania. I was actually a little bit disappointed that it was in color because I thought I remembered the Mickey Mania level as being in black and white but uh yeah. I checked out a YouTube video and it turns out my memories of SEGA Genesis-era platformers are a lot kinder than they should be. SOME of Mickey Mania's levels were in black and white, but The Mad Doctor was not one of them, nor was it particularly creatively-handled.

So far, my favorite parts of the game are its "cut scene" story segments. They're -- kind of like watercolor...? plus collage...? Like you might expect of a children's storybook, almost. Kind of hard to describe. And all the characters have "voices", but these voices are limited to expressive noises. It's not Zelda-like noises, or Okami-like noises, just... noises.

Also: we found a projector and went into it and Mickey found himself in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" cartoon, sort of. This level is 2D, unlike the Mad Doctor sequence, and it has cute projector film animated at the edges. I'm watching Kay bounce around on springy lamps and ride beds being lifted around by vines to get to higher areas. Looks like the platforming is a wee bit imprecise, but she's also new at the game. (She's reached another projector at the top of the area now that is taking her to "Slalom". Back in a 3D area again.) ...This is weird!

If that's all we see of Mickey and the Beanstalk, it was still kind of an interesting little visual excursion, and I was thinking, probably more faithful to the cartoon than the Mickey Mania version I barely remember. (See, I can be taught!)

One other item of weirdness for me at least is the Gremlins. I vaguuurely remember characters that look like them but I thought they were from, like. Bugs Bunny cartoons. (They also look like taller cousins to the alien that showed up in late seasons of the Flintstones.)

The paint mechanic is interesting; I'll admit I was hoping we'd be able to paint EVERYTHING and get a reaction, bu t that's never how videogames work. And the wiimote is always a little bit frustratingly imprecise. (I wonder if Wii motion plus would help -- we don't have it.) I kind of love the way you can either defeat enemies with the "Thinner" or befriend them with the "Paint". Both options require equal skill, but befriended enemies will defend you until they take enough damage. (It's a visually-interesting thing to watch, where the paint you sprayed on them comes off with each hit they take.) And, of course, you can also spin attack or bounce on them repeatedly to squash them that way.

...Cannot really get over the concept of Mickey Mouse having a "spin attack"...

Also, you can apparently use "guardian wisps" in combat too, and... idk. Requires more thinking on, later. We bought our copy but I'd say it's at least worth a rent. See what you think!

This entry was originally posted at here, via Dreamwidth. Feel totally free to comment there using OpenID!

Names have been changed to protect the innocent
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
I've only been accused of disliking characters a few times in my 'career' as a fanfic writer. One event in particular sticks out in my mind today, so! I'm going to ramble about it. This is what LJs are for, right? :D

I wrote a truly terrible piece of -- it was a thing. I had written it in a manic glee, because it was very mean to the reader. It was het disguised as slash and kind of nonconsensual and all a big dream sequence anyway. When I decided I wanted someone to MST something I'd written, this... thing sprang readily to mind. I sent it off and waited in eager anticipation for the spasms from the MSTer's version of Mike, Tom, and Crow.

And waited, and waited.

When the MSTer was finally done with it, it wasn't quite what I'd expected -- the characters seemed kind of strained as they mocked my work. And the characters quickly decided I must really, really hate one of the characters I'd written about. Let's call her Sally.

I don't remember exactly how, but I know I found an excuse to email the MSTer and just... compliment them on the MST... and assure them that I didn't hate Sally.

The MSTer wrote back, with what he called relief, and related that he'd been surprised by the piece's treatment of Sally, given that I'd previously expressed admiration for how unbiased (in other words, free of dislike for any of the characters) his MSTings were. I'd very recently been accused in a review of hating another character -- let's call him Ted -- so I wrote back cheerfully that I'd heard that before.

The MSTer suggested, in what I'm sure he meant to be a gentle sort of way, that maybe I should reexamine the way I wrote characters, if it wasn't just him thinking I hated people I didn't.

Now. Here's the thing. I've literally never been accused of disliking Sally before. And if I'd been more honest and less eager to laugh with him at myself, I would have mentioned that the thing with Ted had been definitely, definitely unrelated. (He's just dead for a very important plot point before one of my fanfics start.) In fact, in all my years of writing for the fandom, I'd only ever been told that my stories had made readers LIKE Sally more. But it would be years before I really understood our misunderstanding.

See, Sally was -- as you might have guessed -- female. I wrote 90% slash back in the day, and I wrote a pairing that involved Bill and James. Sally was Bill's canon girlfriend. Fans of the Bill/James pairing hate Sally as a general rule and love Bill and James. Bill and James can do no wrong; Sally can do no right.

And that's the audience I was writing for.

I should make something clear: the MSTer -- as well as his versions of Mike, Tom, and Crow -- did not come out the other end of my fanfic hating Sally: they came out of it hating Bill. Their comments were largely directed at what a total asshole Bill was being to Sally, and apparently they decided that Bill's feelings towards Sally must be my feelings towards Sally.

But that wasn't it at all. I was deliberately jettisoning some of the surplus love I knew my readers had for Bill so that they would be forced, largely against their will, to feel sympathy for Sally. I have never, ever written anything wherein the failure of the Bill/Sally relationship was Sally's fault. I've always written it as Bill's fault, Bill's failing, Bill's dishonesty -- both with her and with himself.

So, yeah. I wasn't actually doing anything bad to Sally, but I was making Bill into an enormous tool without really noticing it, and no one had ever called me on it before. That's how well my writing fit my readers.

I kind of wish I could explain all of this to the MSTer, but it's been many years since his last email to me left me feeling confused and insecure and a little bit hurt. But it's kind of funny, as-is. He thought the intense dislike he felt for Bill and the intense sympathy he felt for Sally was an accident; really, it's just proof that my writing was completely effective.

Side note: I am not saying I was an evil genius, tapping the vein in precisely that way; oh no. All of this was completely unconscious. It's just how I learned to write, after years in slash-centric fandoms when dealing with one of the boy's canon girlfriends. And possibly as a response to the general archetype that girlfriend tended to be -- she's often very sweet and self-sacrificing, so writing her as a total victim in the breakup comes somewhat naturally?

There are no betas here
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
Shortest Vesperia-related post EVER:

Can we all stop calling the XBox 360 version a released beta? Because, I mean. It's not. A released beta game is a game released with severe performance issues. (See: Final Fantasy XIV.) The XBox 360 version of Tales of Vesperia is completely 100% finished. That we explore some things in the PS3 port that weren't quite as thoroughly explored in the original 360 game does not make the 360 version a beta that Namco should be ashamed to have ever dared releasing.

I think the term you guys may be looking for is "theater cut" versus "director's cut". Sometimes the PS3 additions may be things that would have made it into the 360 version if not for time constraints; sometimes they're just deliberate additions to make the PS3 port shinier and give people a reason to pick it up. (Say, the Repede mini-game that uses the Overdrive dolls. If you read the doll descriptions in the 360 version, they certainly SOUND like they could be racing, but it's totally possible that this game was only conceptualized so that we could put "new mini-games!" on the back of the PS3 box.) (Also the eight million new costumes that are only available as DLC anyway, or the awesomely-tweaked attachment system.)

The biggest addition is obviously Flynn; 60% more Flynn than previously advertised! So he's in your party and there are skits and other scenes, as the game progresses, where characters are able to ask him how he feels about Yuri and what Yuri's done. I think the scene before Zaphias where this crystallizes and Flynn gives us a speech about how he feels about Yuri and what Yuri's done makes perfect sense, and yes, does even make sense as a PS3 exclusive. Characterization wise, you could say this is a decision he does come to in the 360 version as well, but being prodded about it by the party and being witness to the things Yuri does -- I think it makes sense if that helps Flynn get there FASTER.

Like, you could easily sell me on this being a private resolution in the 360 version that Flynn never actually tells Yuri about, or tells him about a year or two down the line.

Vesperia is a subtle game and Flynn wasn't as big a player in the 360 version. Doesn't anyone think it would've been a little bit jarring to have one of your few scenes in the game with Flynn be an anvilicious scene where he talks at length about his feelings and essentially reverses all the opinions he's had up until this point with, in the XBox version, literally no warning?



And now for something completely different
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
Taking a break from previous Vesperia postings to just note:

Ranma 1/2. There is a minor, recurring plot detail in that one character, Ryouga, turns into a pig when splashed with cold water; this pig is the pet (dubbed "P-chan") of another character, Akane, and she changes in front of it, squishes it into her breasts, etc. Yet another character, Ranma, who is romantically interested in Akane, knows about this. He doesn't tell Akane.

Giant essays have been written exploring the reasons why. Ranma theoretically promises Ryouga he won't tell -- but he wasn't actually talking out loud OR to Ryouga at the time; he made the promise to a dog he thought was Ryouga. And how bound Ranma actually feels by this promise is a real subject of debate, since he starts to tell Akane about a hundred times and usually backs down not because he remembers that promise he made to Ryouga but for other, more self-involved reasons. (For example, Akane might in some way indicate that she thinks Ranma is stupider than her pet pig and squish P-chan into her cleavage; Ranma turns red a little, obviously has an impulsive moment of YOU KNOW WHAT, SHE DESERVES THIS!, and stalks out of the room.) Also, it would fit some of Rumiko Takahashi's other characterization if Ranma were holding it in partly from fear of what Akane would do to him for not telling her sooner. But either way, Ranma mostly just lies by omission and needles Ryouga about it, only very rarely taking an active role in keeping Akane in the dark.

So, if he feels like he promised something to Ryouga -- and he definitely felt like he owed Ryouga, because he IS responsible for Ryouga's curse -- it seems like he stopped feeling that way when Ryouga started sleeping in Akane's bed. Honor is very important to Ranma, but not this important, to judge by his own behavior.

But Ranma's behavior re: P-chan is not what I wanted to really discuss in this tiny, disconnected entry. XD What I really wanted to bring up is Soun, Akane's father.

Shortly after Ryouga's introduction both to the manga and the anime -- like, around the Rhythmic Gymnastics mini-arc -- there is a scene where he enters the Tendou bathroom in pig form and jumps into the bath, currently occupied by Soun Tendou. Akane's dad.

Soun is smoking at the time, and he watches Ryouga turn into a man and leave the bathroom with very little reaction. Clearly this scene is meant to indicate that Soun's life has become so weird that NOTHING FAZES HIM ANYMORE.

Set aside for a moment the matter of inconsistent characterization -- Takahashi clearly developed Soun as a man who cries over the increasing chaos of his life later on in the series, and unlike Kasumi, she did this late enough that the anime was not able to correct for it. (Kasumi's very first appearance in the manga is to state that Ranma, incoming potential fiancee, had better be older than her, because "younger men bore me". This is impossible to imagine Kasumi saying even two chapters later, so in the anime it's softened into something like, "I do hope he's older than me... younger men can be so -- young..." in an extremely fluffy voice.)

But seriously.

Soun knows?

Soun knows?

At the time this scene occurred, it's possible Soun wouldn't have recognized the pig as Akane's pet -- P-chan is still a fairly new addition to the household -- but he should have put it together later on. And this isn't even the last time Ryouga changes in Soun's bath water; he and Ranma burst in on Soun while he's bathing and have a fight that involves liberal amounts of hot and cold water and both of them changing form repeatedly.

I can't help feeling like the only explanation for the existence of this detail in the Ranmaverse is that Takahashi meant to resolve the P-chan issue much, much earlier on. She expected to wrap it up, possibly by the end of the tenth manga volume. At that point, Soun could have been a deadpan voice in the background of the hilarious reveal saying, "Oh. I thought you knew, Akane." Probably it would have been revealed that everyone but Akane has long-since figured this out -- Nabiki and Kasumi especially.

But we didn't go that route. The manga concludes without Akane ever realizing that Ryouga is P-chan, so we have this detail just... left hanging.

Soun, an otherwise protective father who wants Akane to marry Ranma, is aware that her pet piglet is really a fairly unstable naked man. And he does nothing.

Did I miss fandom giving him a hard time for this? It's true I haven't been in it for like a decade. XD

Don't worry, it'll be back to Vesperia next entry.

PS3 Tales of Vesperia pt 2
[+nonfandom] fallen leaves
So, unedited has the translation of one of the extra PS3 scenes up on her journal now; it's got some serious spoilers but if you're at Zaude, you can totally go read.

I'm just going to note dorkily that Yuri can in fact wear the hairpins with the True Knight costume (and with the "Ponytail Lovers" costume); they're all pinned in at the base of the ponytail. It's funny, because Judith herself can't wear the hairpins with her ponytail, but...

Still holding out hope that we'll find some way to get the school uniform costumes and that the pins will be visible with Yuri's, since it involves him knotting his hair up in a kind of pretty way.

Other costume notes! The devil and angel accessories that belonged to Rita and Estelle are now also shareable, and they go like so:

Angel set (halo and fluffy white wings): Estelle, Flynn, Yuri (halo only), Raven (halo only)
Devil set (bat-like wings and a tail): Rita, Yuri (wings only, red), Judith (wings only, purple)

...I feel like I MUST be forgetting someone there, like Patty or Karol must also be able to wear the devil set, but...

I'll proooobably make more posts later. X3

By the way: the new ending sequence, with Flynn there, is. so. sweet.

That is all!

PS3 Tales of Vesperia
[+nonfandom] crayons
Important update:

Estelle has a veil accessory that she can wear in Tales of Vesperia. It's cute and white and a little bit bridal-looking.

In the PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia, it got a visual upgrade -- it's semi-transparent instead of opaque white, and you can see a faint pattern on it, too. But I just now realized that I can also equip it to other members of my party now!

Judith. Rita, whose veil is black and red and really cool-looking. Repede.

And, uh, Yuri.

That's it! The rest of my current party -- Karol, Flynn, and Patty -- are incapable of wearing the veil. But Yuri can wear it. And no, he didn't get Rita's black and red version. It's just... a bridal veil that sits on the back of his head. Awesome.

(Many of the accessories are now shared, although there are still accessories that only one person can wear -- but dude. This doesn't excuse Yuri and the veil.)

...Update the second: Yuri can also wear Judith's hairpins, but they don't show up normally. We're guessing they'd show up if he had his hair up, like he does in his delinquent school uniform. More on this situation as it develops.