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...so in lieu of last post, if Falena had a national anthem what do you think it would be?

I kind of want to say this, because, most awesome title for an anthem ever, and also it has the line in there about "may the people shine like the sun of peace and happiness"... which sort of makes me think of "Let our mercy as deep as the Feitas and our authority as powerful as the sun be revealed to the entire world" (which I suppose is a quasi-Falenan anthem, only not sung?) and sort of makes me just think of the Super Happy Tree in Yoshi's Story. Maybe the Falenan anthem should be this. (Spoiler-free, completely unrelated to Suikoden, should be watched by all.) C'mon, can't you imagine li'l Arshtat and Ferid and such all drawn in crayon and singing their little happy hearts out? I knew you could.

But anyway, so I was searching for sun-themed songs (almost typed song-themed suns then, I really need sleep) that could work for an anthem, and then I came across "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More" and I just went "omg ;____;"... not in a really bad way, just in an "ouch, so haunting" way, because I think that song is really haunting anyway and then just associating it with a game that also has that effect on me... omg.

So I am impartial, and shall leave it up to you to decide. Because of course everything can be decided via the medium of LJ poll, even the anthems of otherworldly nations. *nods*

Also, why, yes, I will stop posting about Suikoden V eventually. Someday. Certainly. I'm sure of it. Don't hold your breath.


So what's awesome about the cosplay pictures on this page, right, is not even the Sialeeds cosplay (which is good, though I still haven't met the person who in terms of physical appearance is so much her it hurts), or even the awesome Ferid in this pic (because omg BIG WIDE EYES that is awesome. And so samurai-looking, which is the vibe I think they were really going for with Ferid), but the fact that they have a big shiny gold-fringed Falenan flag omg. ;_______; It so makes me want to stand up and start singing national anthems, except, you know, if Falena has an anthem I don't know it. But omg, thing of beauty. Can ai haz wun pleez.

Also, have a random Sialeeds-near-the-end-of-game-ish comic doujinshi thing, because I didn't feel like scanning more anthologies today but I found this on the intarwebz0rs and I figured the same people who wanted the Sialeeds doujin scans will think it's nifty. (Lucretia scans are in post below!)

Spoilers spoilers so many spoilers. Also sad stuff.Collapse )

Lucretia-related cuteness

By popular demand, here are various scans from my Suikoden anthology doujins that involve Lucretia being cute. Warning: large scans, minimally-compressed format, so big files. Also, unless you can read Japanese I think these are spoiler-free, though I don't know if there are spoilers if you can.

http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/lucretia-cuteness2.png Has the image from my XD icon.
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/lucretia-cuteness4.png Has the image from my Lelei!pillow icon.
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/lucretiabernadette.png Bonus Bernadette cuteness!
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/familyportrait.png This one lacks Lucretia, but has Sialeeds, Lym, Miakis, the Prince, and Kyle done in a very cute style. Sadly I couldn't reduce the blur on the edge of Miakis, but if you want the portrait part as a clean image it is possible to crop the edge of her in a way where it still looks like her but avoids the blurring.




...and the grand prize goes to whatever crazy wonderful bastich, who, their site being in Japanese, I cannot name, drew THAT.

Oh, wow.

You know, I had never actually encountered this. I didn't know there were enemies on Solitary Island. It's a haunting detail, though, a touch of realism that, when you allow the significance of it to sink in, really does drive home the atmosphere of sorrow and hopelessness the game is trying to create at that point.

[EDIT: "...the Solitary Island", I suppose. But somehow I've just had it in my head as a placename for the longest time, and it's kind of canon for me now. The first time I described myself as being "from" anywhere, fictional-identification-wise, it was Solitary Island, in the sense that I felt like "I" was really given birth to there; emotionally awakened with that scene.]


This post rated "arr", etc.

(Actually, one of the games behind this link is slightly non-work-safe, being what appears to be a strip poker game based on that woman who I believe used to be the front for the Ridge Racer games, so you might want to take that rating seriously.)

So we probably all figured that that pirate NES port of FF7 wasn't the only bizarre unlicenced game floating around out there, but even I, who have a history of unearthing these things out of a sort of morbid fascination (pirate stuff, for whatever reason, creeps me out somewhat), hadn't seen most of the stuff on this page. Japanese only, but the screenshots are enough; there's a port of Chrono Trigger, a rather good-looking NES version of A Link to the Past, another random "Zelda" game which appears to be turn-based, and a Titanic platformer, amongst other things.

Slightly veering away from the subject of unlicenced games per se, you can also witness this unholy union (seriously, would that not have messed with your head so much when you were a kid?) and what, for to me incomprehensible reasons, appears to be an attempt to port Windows 2000 to the NES. I'm not kidding.

Oh, wow!

I just experienced my very first earthquake. Don't know much about it because the British Geological Survey site is down (likely due to the fact that England does not have a notion of earthquakes being something that happen to us, ever, and thus the entirety of the population that felt it has probably simultaneously attempted to search for info), but it lasted a handful of seconds, shook the building rather nicely, and wasn't strong enough to knock anything off the shelves. At first I thought it was the storm, since there's been one raging badly outside for quite a while, and didn't take too much notice of it until, a few seconds in, I thought, "wait, this shaking is a little... intense", and was immediately backed up by Nall being all "...wtf?" from the next room.

That was really rather cool. Now I know what one feels like!
They never said it couldn't be done... mostly because no one had ever been insane enough to suggest doing it in the first place. But Chinese pirates, regardless, have done the seemingly impossible: ported a surprisingly detailed and complete version of FF7... to the NES. It's a scary and oddly wondrous thing, in about equal amounts.

[EDIT: Download both game and emulator here (via MegaUpload).]

Also, from the same site, finally, I am vindicated on the fact that the literal fan-retranslation of FF6 completely eviscerates the spirit of it.


OK. An alien lands and gives you a six-chambered gun. Each chamber can hold one full-length media item: 1,500 pages of text, 90 minutes of music, 3 hours of film, one entire video game, a full speech, several dozen images from a single artist, a single season or plot arc of a TV series, one full live performance, detailed architectural plans and photographs for one building, even a full meal -- any discrete cultural work. The means of data storage is not important; for all intents and purposes, each gunbarrel holds one fully realized artistic or academic concept.

If you spin the barrel and fire the gun at a sentient being, the entire artistic contents of that barrel will be instantly uploaded into the target's memory and cognition. It will be as if they have not only experienced the work, they understand it at the same level you do, with all prerequisite knowledge also uploaded.

The target will not necessarily believe or enjoy the work as you did. They will experience whatever emotions and opinions they would've had if they'd sat through the work normally, though several times more intensely, and any opinions based on mere denial or ignorance will be transmuted into their truest, deepest opinions, the sort they would've otherwise reached only after years of contemplation, compressed into an instant.

The target will HAVE to confront the experience, and during the next several days they will uncontrollably commence to think about what they saw or heard. Love or hate it, believe it or reject it, it will remain a lasting and prominent part of their mental world. You have essentially forced them to know and comprehend your art-bullet, and they will never forget it.

The gun has infinite ammunition and the alien lets you have it for a full year before you have to return it. What six things would you load the barrels with? [Variants of are perfectly fair answers. Answer the question any way you wish, but please refrain from being pointlessly wacky. :) ]


So my initial first reactions were: Suikoden I, Suikoden V, as much of Super Play magazine as one can compress into a chamber (starting at the end and working back if space is an issue, as the later issues were better, in my humble opinion), and the first world of Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog (as I think the experience is, quite honestly, a purer one if that's as far as you get; the rest of the game is just less aweing by comparison); and the last two slots I still have to think about. I'm sort of deliberating over "a world from a platform game" because impressing people with deep understanding is the most important aspect of this for me, but it's something I feel is a sublime experience even if it doesn't really teach one anything, and I don't think I can pass that up.
So, hrrm. As I think I possibly mentioned some entries ago, I started watching metafandom recently (which is a fascinating comm, and I highly recommend it; it's everything I thought comms like fanthropology would be when I joined them, a quasi-daily round-up of all the best and most thought-provoking meta-discussions of fandom on the 'net), and this happened to coincide roughly with International Blog Against Racism Week. So for a while, my friendslist was full of posts on the subject of fandom and racism, and I read quite a lot of them, and I feel like I genuinely learnt a lot of things out of the debate.

Long ramble about colourblindness, and something I still don't get.Collapse )
omg, suiko_rpg, you are actually making me like Kyle. This is, like... well, fine and everything, since liking characters always > not liking them, but, but, Kyle. How. It's just, he's all this, and wanting to be the best Queen's Knight he can be and wanting to read books about knights so he can get back into that headspace, and I'm all omg that just makes me think of my headcanon!Celes (who was all fascinated by stories about knights when she was a chibi and wanting to align to that ideal; her becoming a Rune Knight was an oath she took entirely separately from her being an Imperial General, and it was sort of the thing that she clung to in the face of war not being the heroic shining glorious thing it was cracked up to be, and the thing that finally helped her pull through and see that what she was doing was morally offensive to her), and, just, he's actually srsly devoted to it and fluff. And he calls Sialeeds "Sai" and I just, like, melt over that for some reason, and, srsly, RP, you need not to make me start shipping them, because Georg/Sialeeds OTP and that's a canonically-unwieldy enough ship as it is without you sinking it in my head toooo.

Anyway, in conclusion I am groggy and incoherent but RPs are love. (They also need to be audience-participatory more often, darnit.)
Silly reason to ship Sialeeds and Georg #1:

Together, they'd actually have depth perception.

How does Sialeeds ever manage to hit anything with a chakram with one eye covered anyway...? Is she leeching off Georg's sekrit Chuck Norris powers (spoilers for V behind link)? I guess I forfeit my ability to actually criticise any deeper details of the workings of such weapons by hypothesising that they're actually feasible at all, though.

Fanart searching methods?

So here's a question for the fandom-oriented, particularly the non-live-action-fandom-oriented, out there. What methods do you, personally, use to search for fanart, and which methods turn up the best results? My methods are kind of limited to going to Google's image search and AltaVista's image search, and searching for characters' names both in English and katakana (with or without fandom name included, depending on the popularity of the name by itself). I'll also include abbreviations of their names if it seems like fandom uses those. Also, I'll run through a deviantART search, but especially for minor fandoms, this doesn't usually turn up that much.

I'd be especially inclined towards hearing how any FF6 and Suikoden fans out there have found art, because obviously those are the fandoms I mostly run in. I just periodically come across icons and such online which suggest that people are finding far better resources than I, and I'm curious as to what other people might be doing differently.

Also, LJ writer's prompt says "How have people pronounced your name? How is it supposed to sound?" I'm pretty sure my name is fairly easy to pronounce if you understand that it's a male name (I've had "Corinne", before), but in case anyone is curious, it's Corin with the emphasis on the first syllable, and Arkadios like "arcade" and "Dios", emphasis on the second syllable. Or that's how I pronounce it, anyway, whether or not it's particularly original-language-faithful.


I made a fanmix! Because Poets of the Fall told me to I've run across some songs lately that perfectly described, variously, Sialeeds, Gizel, and their interactions. So I spent a couple of days trawling for various songs and listening to my playlist-in-progress while out and about, and I've finally shaken it down to this, and I'm pleased.

It's not a shippy mix at all; I'm not all over the pairing (I'm intrigued by it, but it's not exactly the kind of thing that makes one go "*hearts*"), so I didn't make it hopelessly romantic, just attempted to describe the canon. It's actually much more of a mix about why Sialeeds makes the choices she does, how she follows them through, and what happens at the end, with Gizel-related songs in there because they just worked. There's a lot here that is Sialeeds-to-her-family, and I'd've had some Sialeeds-to-Lucretia if I could have found anything suitable. (If anyone could find me appropriate songs, that would be oh so squee. I've some songs left over that didn't get on here, so I could potentially go for a round two. Which I just typed as "around too" because of that weird thing where you type what the words in your head sound like rather than what they mean.)

Warning: this whole collection is Suikoden V spoilery, from artwork to song descriptions.

Will be x-posted to fanmix, if I can get over Newbie Social Phobia. XP

Also, almost forgot, darn - props to draegonhawke for reminding me that VNV Nation would be awesome for this, and also for the 30 Seconds To Mars rec.

Art and tracklisting behind the cut.Collapse )

Second set of Suikoden V doujin scans!

It is pitch black behind this cut. You are likely to be eaten by a spoiler.Collapse )

[EDIT: Okay, links are fixed, if these weren't working for you before. I thought my web hosting had unlimited bandwidth, but maybe not. :3 They're all on LJ's Scrapbook now, and I'm currently fixing the previous post.]

happy happy suikoscattershot time!

Dear Philip James Partnership,

Pest control have informed you twice, and I have informed you once, that you need to fix the two gaping holes in our roof. This work is non-negotiable and should ideally be carried out as soon as possible if you don't want your property being progressively destroyed by squirrels om-nom-nomming at the loft insulation. While you may be content to sit on your hands and cover these losses, I am not content to be kept awake at night while squirrel-feet scrabble around making an unholy racket above my bedroom. How hard is it to send a couple of guys over with some plaster or boards or something, seriously?

Only marginal amounts of love,

I totally saw a thirtysomething woman with silver grey hair today. The Falenans, they are taking over. Unfortunately, no slander to her appearance meant, from a very far distance I saw her hair and the random bits of fuschia on her clothing and I was like "WTF THAT PERSON LOOKS LIKE CHILDERICH". I think the slight stoop might have been what completed the illusion. I do apologise, random person-on-street.

As promised earlier, scans from my Suikoden V doujin. Mostly Sialeeds and Gizel stuff this time, since this is a Sialeeds-centric volume (which is why I bought it :3). More from the other book later, which is more general cast stuff. I've tried to make them as high-quality and pretty as possible, though there are some artifacts that I couldn't get rid of.

Scanning is an extreme sport, I swear. Pressing down the book on the plate to keep the bits near the spine flat makes your arm tremble like you're lifting weights. :3 At least if you're me, 'cause I'm a horrendous unfit fanboy, apparently.

Links behind cut, in case descriptions are spoileryCollapse )

[EDIT: Yahl, not Yahn. I keep getting his name confused in my head with Yohn from Rhapsodia.]
Sialeeds tucking drunk!Lucretia into bed = best reason to wake up at stupid in the morning to snipe a doujin on eBay evar. Is it canonically sound? Not really, though I'd love to see a translation of the scene just to see how feasible it isn't. Does it push my "awwwwwomgfluff" buttons? Most definitely.

Also, chibi Euram Barows looks oddly like chibi Edgar Figaro.

I've picked up a couple of these "Bros. EX Comics" doujin anthologies off eBay so far, and they're really pretty awesome; there's a whole bunch on there, searching for "suikoden anthology" brings them up if you're interested. They're that exceedingly rare breed of doujin, neither 4-koma gag nor pr0n; they're short, mostly-serious-with-some-humour stories that aren't even for the most part too pairingy (the Sialeeds/Lucretia thing was wholly gen), and both the ones I have right now are just dripping with cute and squee and happy. Also, they have fancy awesome colour pages that I'm probably going to scan for y'all, after I go off and actually do some shopping.

(also I just had a massive panic moment where I thought SAHDFSFDRE I HAVE JUST STUCK MY IPOD IN THE WASHING MACHINE but then I realised I hadn't. It was in the jacket I didn't wash, thankfully, but omg I never check the pockets of things before I put them in there, what. I need to actually start doing this afsdagd fail.)

*actually I think I've probably used this as a subject line before, in which case they have been squeed, but eh

gendered gaming, take 2

You know, I just realised something. I was ruminating on whether to try my hand at putting together an actually-Photoshopped "GuyGamer" cover as a dig at my previous entry. So, hmm, what to put on it? What about a nice, violent, bloody picture of a guy posing aggressively with a gun, dripping with sweat? Or maybe a shot from one of those new uber-realistic racing games taken at some dramatic angle, making the cover indistinguishable from the car magazines next to it? Or what about something that's sure to please the crowds, a good, close-up shot of a pretty CGed female character in a revealing pose, paying special emphasis to the rendering of her up-front assets?

Then I realised: that's what most game magazine covers have been like since, well, I hate to sound like a broken record, but the days of the PlayStation. (EDGE excepted, and Nintendo Power possibly also excepted, though I haven't actually seen the covers of any recent ones.) I have several issues of CVG that fit exactly the trend I describe, from shortly before it became a rag and I stopped buying it. (Circa '98 or so, I suppose.) I know shooting and racing games are games as much as anything else, but in any given magazine's spread of reviews there'll usually be something more gaming-specific to put on the cover than a generic, shiny, tricked-out vehicle.

There's enough gender stereotyping already going around the industry that suddenly GirlGamer doesn't seem all that surprising. Like I said, I'm not saying traditionally "macho"-seeming game genres aren't valid, but it's the use of them to promote a WE ARE COOL AND MASCULINE RAR image of gaming that bothers me, especially because it makes the same kinds of broad-brushstroke assumptions about guys (just put a hot woman, a sweaty muscleman, or a car on the cover and you'll get your audience) that GirlGamer does about girls, and pushes out everyone, of every gender, who doesn't align to that stereotype. What happened to games magazines about games, as opposed to adolescent gender posturing? No wonder I bloody miss Amiga Power.


Take a quick look at this image.

childhood, INNA BOX.

That's what this photograph is for me. Somehow, this is just... so many levels of beautiful and nostalgic, despite the fact that I wouldn't have consciously thought of crayons as a particular nostalgia thing for me. It's just... the colours. And thinking, when you were a kid, that every colour looked awesome and they looked even better together. And the luminous pink right there, between the pale sky-blue and the burnt sienna-ish colour there? That is the colour of childhood for me, somehow. It's the colour of pink plastic, and just puts me ever-so-strongly in mind of toy playsets and little heart-shaped carry cases and rollerblades and all the paraphernalia that kids carried around with them in the 80s and 90s. It's an inherently toylike colour, an inherently artificial colour.

Also, the metallic crayons were the best thing ever. This was before we had gel pens, mind. The ability to make something look, rudimentarily, like it was made out of precious metal, was coolness distilled into a little stick of wax.

Almost makes me want a set of these again. Precise they were not, but they were unreasonable amounts of fun.


Randomly, I think this is so awesome.

It's not that he has a nickname based off his favourite character; I mean, a doujin soft creator being a geek? Stop the presses! No, what gives me a little fluttery feeling of happy inside is that this guy's become semi-famous. What started out as a homebrewed game, then a series of games, has become a series encompassing manga, light novels, anime, and a PS2 port. And the person who started it all is still known best by a geeky pen-name inspired by a fictional character he loves. That's just wonderful, somehow. (And it's really neat to see quotes like "According to the original creator, Ryukishi07..." in a Wikipedia article about this massive sprawling franchise. Creative names, handles, names-with-numbers-in, names that deviate from the standard template, are becoming as acceptable as monikers as anything else. No one feels the need to go and press this guy for his Real Name OMG. He's just Ryukishi07. Why shouldn't he be? Why is that less valid than anything else?)

And yes, bossgoji, I did look this up because I wanted to know just what this series you were talking about was. :3

This is why I loved AMIGA POWER.

There exist enough references to this product on the internet that I don't think the whole thing was a hoax, but the beauty of it is that we may never quite be sure. Has anyone else actually encountered the legendary fish drink?

Also, randomly, I'm still getting periodic emails (and e-christmas cards) from the darling little bed-and-breakfast we stayed at in Wales on my quasi-legendary expedition to Sugar Loaf Halt with raimei. (Summary, for those who don't remember: We decide to visit Sugar Loaf Halt, which has the dubious honour of being the UK's least-used railway stop, for precisely the reason that it was. While there, we saved a corvid from death-by-being-trapped-in-phone-box, climbed Sugar Loaf itself and got a pretty good sunset view over the landscape, and intrepidly flagged down a train in pitch blackness with a failing torch.) It was a really homey-feeling place, and somehow the occasional emails really do make me nostalgic to go back there. Perhaps we should do some Welsh sightseeing sometime.


Between Nall and myself we now have, collectively, a terabyte of data storage. I've never had a terabyte of anything before, and thought I'd record this while the current state of technology is still such that it sounds impressive.

Aah, I remember when 1Mb of RAM was impressive. I'm sure some of you remember when 16k of RAM was impressive. I've written journal entries longer than 16k. In a few years, literally just a few most likely, I'll look back on this entry and laugh as I tote around my 2Tb flash drive. Technological progress is a mindboggling thing.

Lost at the Crossroads of a Gay Utopia

I ran into this article through link-hopping a while back. It's a rather interesting piece on the fluidity and freedom of 20's cartoons, as contrasted with later productions which began to constrain the characters within them more and more to the limits of normal physics, and what might be seen as the oddness of the decision to closely emulate live action when one, in animation, can portray pretty much anything.

But what *is* a 'gay utopia' anyway? Confusion about language in the queer sphereCollapse )


I've thought about this offhand before, but it hadn't solidified into a sensible train of thought until today. I remember reading, probably when I was fairly young, commentary written by physically disabled people and people who have physical deformities on how able-bodied people "don't know where to look" when their eyes meet a person who looks atypical. It was phrased in a way that suggested that it was upsetting for the disabled person to be the target of these awkward looks, and also that it reflected on able-bodied people's attitudes towards disabled and disfigured people; that people who make awkward, hesistant eye contact, who pointedly look away, or who stare do so out of revulsion, dislike, fear or bewilderment. The former point I can certainly agree with; it has to be upsetting to know that you stand out, that people look at you and see your disability before they see an ordinary human being with the same mind, the same complex capacity for thought and invention and emotion and dreams, as anyone else. The latter, though, I don't actually think is as much the case as is feared, and I wonder if it would help disabled people somewhat to know that there are other, slightly less negative reasons that may lie behind the looks.

Why do I not actually have any kind of tag that covers posts like this one? Do I talk about Serious Issues *so* rarely?Collapse )

I wish I could knit.

Not only most awesome craft ever, but most awesome post title ever. IF YOU'RE NOT SAYING OM NOM NOM WHILE WEARING THIS HAT, etc.

Seriously, though, excellent thing. I love Chain Chomps with surprising ferocity; they somehow ended up being one of my favourite Mario bad guys, I've realised looking at this, even though I'd mostly actually forgotten about the fact. Also, when I was younger I never actually parsed that they were supposed to be a punning cross between dogs on chains and ball-and-chains, so I was really surprised when they had them bark in later games. I was just like, "oh, it's a ball-and-chain with a face, how cuuuute". (It was often easier for me to personify things that weren't obviously based on living creatures, when I was a kid. The animals I did attach to were often strange and "alien"-seeming ones, like reptiles, rather than the fluffy things. I'm sure there's meaning in this somewhere, though I'm not quite teasing it out at the moment.)
Luc, at the end of Suikoden III: RUNE CRYSTAL POWER, MAKE UP!
To run across a Suikoden fanmix on aforementioned community. Particularly, right now, Suikoden V. I could totally make one, but it would consist, like, entirely of tracks with punning sun/dawn/twilight/star-themed names. Though perhaps I could manage something between that and the fact that this is totally late-game Gizel-to-Sialeeds ("I celebrate no victories and my promises are sand"... so perfectly, awfully psychopathic), and this, to stick with the same band, could potentially be her response. But then, with that and "Dawn" and "Locking Up The Sun" (okay, maybe "Dawn" isn't that well-associated, but I like listening to it in association. And I like the idea of having songs with each of the significant Rune names in their names, somehow, if not necessarily this song.), it'd just basically turn into a Poets of the Fall album.

So, if you want to help me in my obsessive fandom/hour of need (I'm not sure which), rec me Suikoden V song calls. For any of the characters, for the interactions between them, for the game in general. I'll love you lots for it, and maybe we could put together a collaborative fanmix and post it on the comm?
Take perfectly good images and make them into cheesy animated GIFs. Every thirteen-year-old designer-of-their-first-website's dream; every surfer with taste's nightmare.

Interesting post from glazzal here, quoting a blogger - and one about which I have to admit I feel almost entirely opposite from the described. To me, there's something about being in that transitional state that makes life seem more real. Travelling is a time when all distractions, all obligations, all other potential foci of the mind are cut loose, and it's just you, the scenery, and, in some cases, your iPod or laptop and some food. Having nothing to do but recline, listen to music, stare out the window and eat - experience basic sensory pleasure, with no higher order of task to perform - almost always turns my thoughts in interesting directions. It's at those times I feel I push past the layers of cycling thoughts that operate on the surface and sink down into what's truly me. Sometimes I contemplate travelling just for the sake of doing it, not to go anywhere but to stick myself on a train or a coach and just sit for a few hours and daydream about characters. I love it that much.

So now I have the line stuck in my head: "Kingdom Hearts: Where Fictional Characters Go To Cross Over". It's making me imagine the KH hubworld thing as some giant videogame afterlife, or at least Purgatory. In fact, that works disturbingly well, when I think about it... KH is absolutely chock-full of all the things stereotypical videogame characters live and breathe: angst, love, The Power Of The Heart, angst about love, and three-foot-tall gelled spiky hair. At first it seems like heaven, but when you've been wallowing in your own internal dramas for a few units of afterlife-time, you realise that you're not getting anywhere like this, just dwelling on the past and spinning in circles*, and then you start to move on. It's the perfect transitional stage between life and... well, for fictional characters, more life, I suppose. It's where you go when you die tragically, you get written into all sorts of cheesy sentimental fic for a while, and then finally someone writes a serious detailed carefully-thought-out piece about you and you develop even beyond the complexity you had when you were in the original story. Some characters squander years in Kingdom Hearts, wandering from angstfic to angstfic, blithely and blindly wallowing in the fruits of their own bishounenness. Others experience a quick reprieve. But no matter how short their stay nor how intelligent their fans, no one escapes the fateful day they come face to face with... King Mickey. At least for most videogame characters, it really is like meeting your maker: Osamu Tezuka was inspired by Disney, after all, and his anime style inspired Japanese popular art in general.... This is making a disturbing amount of sense. I'm going to stop now.

And now for some utter non-seriousness: senza, I don't know if you've seen this, but I thought if you hadn't, you needed to. That is all.

(Icon by me, because I'm in a dorky mood. Someone's probably already done it, but hey. Steal if you wanna.)

*Not to be confused with what RPG characters do when they're trying to gain levels.
I keep feeling lately that I really want to do a clean sweep of my icons. I have a whole bunch of them that are tied to fandoms I'm not really in anymore and in fact are kind of vaguely squicky for me these days, so I'd like to replace them all with icons I'm genuinely attached to. The only problems are that first, I'd need icons to replace the ones I'm getting rid of - though I suppose I could build the collection back up over time - and second, and most importantly, I hate getting rid of things. At all. I look over my collection of icons about once a month, plan to delete things, and immediately think, "but wait, I could possibly use that icon, if this happened...". The idea of actually deleting them all and starting from scratch, even if in practice I'm going to put a lot of the ones I just took down back up again, is both a cleansing thought and an unsettling one. I like things to evolve organically, if they're going to change; I hate to just wipe clean, which is why I've been replacing my icons bit by bit. At the same time, having the old ones around is starting to bug me, so, argh... decisions. :3

I'm not really writing about this because I think you all want to hear about my Icon-Related Woes, though (which are really not all that Woeful, but still). I'm writing about it because it's a good example of how I tend to feel about life in general. I don't mind change, but it has to be organic; organic change feels a lot less destructive. I'm loath to destroy anything, to wipe out any part or record of my life, to start over when I've already built things up. I love history. I love foundations. I love being able to delve back into the archives and dredge up the rich patchwork quilt of my past, even if some of it really is patchy. It's me. It's precious. It's something I can't recreate. At the same time, I've found out through experience that I don't mind losing some things as much as I fear I will. When they're gone, I find I don't miss them so much after all, even if the consciously letting go is hard. I can't throw things away for the life of me, but if I lose something I'm generally not as clingy as I imagine I'll be. It's the idea of letting go that's a bother, more than the reality of its being so.

So yeah, I should just wipe out those icons. I'll have copies of them saved, so it's not like I can't restore them if I want to. On the other end of this spectrum, I admit I have absolutely no comprehension whatsoever of the reason some of you delete your journals and create new ones so often. Short of being actively stalked, there is nothing on heaven or earth that could cause me to fragment my online presence in such a way; even then, I think I'd probably just lock down my journal for a while until it blew over, and only consider fleeing if it really would not die. It'd be like not having a history. Sure, I know I'm me, but other than the inside of my own head, what out there vouches for my very existence, if not these words, these archives, these stories, these papertrails? With these words I leave footprints in time. My trails may be easily erased or they may be passed down through generations, but I'll be darned if I'm going to erase them myself. I want to be a presence in this world. That's not the same as "wanting to be somebody" (not that it's bad to want to be Somebody, not at all; I just don't think it's a drive in me). It's merely wanting to be a person who can be noticed and known, if people choose.

So with that, a quick poll:

Do you value the hoarding instinct or the need for change more?

Hoarding. I find it hard to get rid of old things.
Change. I find it hard to keep old things around.
I'm not sure.
Other (explain in comments if desired).

Tickybox: overrated or the new black?



Simple as they are, the person who did these colourmanips still earns my respect, eternal 'til such time as they see fit to cross me in particularly nefarious ways. Green, damn you Amano, green.

So all my good Celes fanart is on my other drive-which-is-not-here, which is annoying, because I want to make Celes icons (having realised off and on for a while that I'm long overdue, but never actually having done anything about it) and good art of this good lady is hard to find. And by "good art", I mean "that which meets my strict standards of what looks like Celes and what does not". Anything in her Amano clothes is out, which writes off +90% of fanart for me. Most of the pics that do have her sprite-style are pretty poorly done, all told. And even then I'm still picky, because I just have this incredibly strong image of her in my head that very few people can ever match.

Two more paragraphs on this topicCollapse )

Also, rakarr? Yoshi in a tanooki suit. That was the random thing I was meant to draw all that time ago. Because I just remembered.

Also also, even if it is amusing after having just finished Suikoden V, lyrics sites really need to check their titles for mondegreens.
Long after moving on from holding the series as one of my primary fandoms, I think a new and significant reason suddenly hit me as to why I fell so much in love with Noir, the minimalistic 26-episode animated drama about love, hatred, murder and mystery on the streets of Paris (and in just about every other world location you can think of). I wish I could pin this down to a convenient little genre term (and I'd greatly value your aid in helping me come up with one), but Noir is essentially film noir slashed with the epic, and a touch of magical realism.

Spoilers follow.Collapse )

Noir is a classic film noir, but where the traditional genre makes itself incompatible with magic by presenting a hopeless and hostile world where nothing but the small-scale interactions and issues of the protagonists matters, Noir instead takes all the things that I love about the genre - the intrigue, the shadowy societies, the corrupt aristocracy - and makes it part of a pseudomagical framework where everything is really more than it seems, where Epic Quests can be and are part of what people might have to embark on to uncover the secrets of their pasts, and where, as in every magical universe, hope springs eternal.

See also the oddly pseudo-psychedelic opening, complete with the poetic prophecy that starts off each episode, and this song, which is the genre I've described above, to me. Soft and haunting and pretty and cruel and strange.

See, now film noir/Mafia/decadent aristocracy/magical realism mashup, that is a world I'd partake in when it came to off-the-wall, conceptual, identity-play RP. Send me on quests to uncover the secret reptilian nature of the British royal family, or let me be one of the sentient alien shapeshifters that make up the upper crust. Pit factions of rival assassins against each other in missions to be the first noble house to uncover - and successfully use - a rare set of alchemical diagrams. Have elite killers chosen by means of esoteric tests and rituals. Have Walther P99s engraved with mystical sigils, magic to heighten perception and response time, surveillance by use of aura-sight devices, and symbolism everywhere. Have a great false prophecy backdropping everyone's motives. And have the goal of it all be to transcend the murk and the trappings and the falsehoods, and find pure, true friendship, hope, and/or love. That, for reasons I cannot explain, would make me squee so much.

(Also, another thing that might pique the minds of Certaine Folkes on yon Friendly Liste: I'd also love to play in a "playground culture" RP/MUSH/thing, something set in the world of childhood, from the perspective of a child, where all the magic and exaggerated fears and perceptions and secret societies of a child's mind are real, where Tag and Red Rover are initiation rituals feared or held sacred, where stuffed animals really do talk to you, where you gain powers by make-believing you're a fictional character [but you have to roleplay convincing attachment to that person], where acquiring the Password to the Clubhouse is the most vital goal of your life. A character for that kind of universe I could probably play like a charm, without too much thinking about it, and I'd love to try.)


Best name for a store ever. I've been feeling wanderlusty lately. Any of you fair folks live around Hull? I can never remember.

Similarly, for the lulz.

Mario levels whose very construction is designed to make your childhood weep. (I really need to actually finish watching these.)

I need to comment on this so hard. Anything that melds videogames with the divine, the symbology burnt into our childhood minds as significant with the eternal and mystic, is right up my metaphysical alley.

Lastly, about bloody time. Music companies in finally-catching-on-to-the-idea-that-people-hate-being-told-what-they-can-do-with-their-legally-purchased-music shocker!


Harmonia calling?

I'm not at home right now, but raimei has informed me that apparently there's a message on the answering machine that seems to be mostly in a foreign language, with the interspersed recognisable words "hello", "Merry Christmas", "bye", and "Hikusaak". The caller didn't leave an ID, and no one I know save the landlord actually knows our home phone number, as I still can't remember it and so never give it to anyone. Very odd wrong number, I suppose, but still. I wish I could take a listen myself; he said he's listened several times and can't make out any more than that....

Oh, also, this entry by heron61 manages to sum up my childhood experiences with learning about social bonds through videogames almost to a tee.

where we have to get to

You know, I really kind of like about old games that you never can get to the distant landscapes pictured in the background. I think it gave games a sense of expansiveness, of there being much more to the world than you could ever map. When you can run to all four corners of the world map and see everything that the game has to show you up close and in detail, it inevitably leaves you feeling like the world isn't big enough - because no person ever could see every aspect of a realistic world so quickly.

But also, I realised reading this article, I like it because it triggers my world-beyond-the-horizon qualia. I'm sure I've had this association in mind since long before I began playing videogames - I think the horizon always evoked it for me - but games at least certainly capitalised on it; the idea of an as yet untouchable, Utopian land off in the distance, a place your imagination was free to render as being all the things you wanted it to be. I don't want to argue that being able to reach the world beyond the horizon takes the magic out of it. A big part of myself is attached to the idea of that world being there, somewhere out there, and being everything I really wanted it to be. But if you do show it, it really has to evoke that ideal, and trying to do that is risky; you're extremely likely to let at least some people down no matter how impressive you make it.

So until I find the real thing in person, I'll stick with my unreachable pastel horizons. They were always much more evocative for me.

A scary Gmail security story....

If you use Gmail, especially if you leave yourself logged in while browsing other sites, check your filter and forwarding settings. An exploit, now fixed, allowed hackers to set up their own auto-forward rules in your Gmail account which could be used to forward any email containing, say, the word "password" to them. Full story and step-by-step guide behind that link. I didn't find anything untoward, but it's worth checking anyway.
Not only has it been full of awesome conversations and future conversation potential (in part due to my actually making the effort to talk at you guys for once instead of hiding in my cycling rainbow shell), sethrenn just made me aware of the existence of a translation of the original Legend of Zelda... into Latin. No, I can't read Latin. But does that make it any less awesome? ONLY VITALLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS ARE EVER IN LATIN. (Or, like, Harry Potter. I suppose Harry Potter is something of a vital cultural artifact of the modern day, though?) And no, it's not official, but, but. I will feel like I'm reading sacred text. Omg, omg. This has been a Very Special Episode in the life of the Corin, folks.

Locking Up The Sun

The particular musical style of this is unfortunately one that I have too many unpleasant associations with from previously sharing a braincase with certain people, but I still find myself compelled by this song, because it is so Suikoden V. (High-quality listenable here.)

And yes, I do seem to have a habit of picking extremely cheesily-titled songs to obsess over in relation to this game. Though that's nowhere near as ironic as the fact that since the first Suikoden I've had a tradition of giving my heroes tenuously sun-themed names that, of course, had to carry over in this latest instalment. (For reference's sake, GS1 = Merid McDohl, from "meridian", before I decided I was going to have the trend but the one that began it anyway, so the weakest actual reference; GS2 = Solen*, meaning sun in Swedish but also a reference to Xena's son in Xena: Warrior Princess; GS3 = Eshban, Hebrew for "fire of the sun", chosen deliberately to match the theme of that game; GS4 = Aurin, derived from Finnish aurinko for sun, also oblique reference to the Auryn of Neverending Story fame; GS5 = Ciro, Spanish name meaning sun. Although had I known more about the plot I would've used Arun, one of the other candidates on my list, which is a reference to the "charioteer of the sun and bringer of dawn" in Indian mythology, according to my notes on the subject.)

*Yes, this did get extremely confusing when Solon Jhee showed up.

non-existent inebriation for teh win!

Why do I feel like I've eaten two tubs of codeine when the sum total of painkillers I've had for this cold was two ibuprofen, and that was last night? If this is what excessive amounts of sleep does to me, I should sleep moar, except for the fact that I don't usually feel this cracky when I sleep moar. Must be some odd side effect of being teh sick. Or maybe talking about my fandoms is just THAT MUCH FUN.

Enjoying the meme so much. Keep it up, guys! I do not mind having more characters thrown at me in the slightest, even if you've already done one (or two, or three).

meme from unanon

Sickcat is sick and full of tierd and fail, blah. It's just a cold, I'm not dying or owt, but am experiencing a distinct lack of desire to really do much, which is kind of annoying. So, meme, because even if I don't feel energetic I can still geek, dammit. Also, I just got finished with Suikoden V, and just saw The Golden Compass and finished reading the trilogy (I need to write movie review at some point but have been tierdfailcat), so if people happen to want my opinions on characters from those series I'm especially likely to be able to give detailed answers right now, but feel free to shoot on behalf of anything you know I know.

Pick a fictional character from a fandom I know and I'll answer the following questions to the best of my abilities.

1) What is your opinion of this character? If you like, explain why you like him/her. Likewise if you dislike the character.

2) Is he/she important to the general plot?
This is a strange question to ask; wouldn't the asker know this as well as the ask-ee? I'll answer this if I know you don't know the fandom and are just curious about someone I've talked about, but otherwise, eh, kinda irrelevant.

3) Can you relate to this character at all? Do they grip you emotionally?

4) How much do you like the fandom that this character comes from?

5) Do you ship this character with any other character? Or, are you particularly intrigued by their relationship with any other character(s)? (romance-wise or platonic)

6) Is there anything about the character you would change?

7) If you were in the fandom with this character or knew this character in real life, how do you see yourself interacting with him/her? (Would you get along well? Fall in love with? Dislike? Friendly rivalry? etc etc)

8) Does this character make the cut as one of your all time favorites (if you like) or least favorites?

9) Would you hype up this character (if you like) or warn about (if you dislike) to someone who is new to the fandom?

10) Is this character popular with the fanbase?
Again, wouldn't you know this too? But I guess I can sort of complain about how they're too popular/not nearly popular enough in this slot, if applicable.

EXTRA BONUS QUESHTUNS I MADE UP because I cut two out:

11. If you could tell this character one thing what would it be?

12. If you could spend a day with them, what would you do?


not quite cool enough, it seems

I saw graffiti today that read "TO COOL FOR SCHOOL". I really want to hope it was ironic, but sadly I think it probably wasn't.

I also saw a graffiti stencil featuring two men kissing (quite a popular one around Manchester, actually) that had been annotated with a long argument in comments: "Teh gay sucks!" (actual wording, more or less). "No, you suck!" "No, gay sucks!" "HOMOPHOBIA SUCKS!" I was rather amused and touched by the people seeing fit to graffiti in opposition to homophobia, personally, since most graffiti that's just scrawl-on-walls is pretty puerile and thoughtless....

Also, passing on a link of win: Movies in 15 Minutes has done a skit of The Golden Compass. Like all their parodies it's bound to be hilarious, but the best thing about this one is that m15m have teamed up with Project Download, so downloading it counts towards an extremely worthwhile cause. Pass the link around.

also before I go there is a thing

I keep meaning to post this, but it keeps slipping my cogs. This, from the description of Tavern of Hell, a scent by Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs (warning, stylised cartoon nudity behind link, may be slightly unsafe for work):

Description behind cut also mildly referencing questionable concepts.Collapse )

Basically, I just wanted to repost this because it captures a big part, atmospherically, of what my whole odd attachment to seedy Parisian aristocracy is about. I like to capture these things when they come along, and preserve them for the, perhaps, passing interest of others.

Wow. Looking at my old tags, it's been a good while since I had a bout of Diseasemaker's Croup. I may have to reread my Thackery T. Lambshead tomes sometime. Just, you know, to be aware of the symptoms; winter drawing in, and all, 'tis the time for coughs and chills, and whatnot, best to be prepared, take twice daily...


I've taken to randomly referring to things of size, metaphorically, as "as long/wide/deep as the Feitas" in the company of, so far, anyone who might happen to be in our house at the time, whether I think they'll get it or not. "I have a list of misgivings as long as the Feitas, but...". I have a sneaking suspicion this might start to replace (or at least compete with, since it's not as flexible in less formal circumstances), "Xbox" in my vocabulary.

I love being able to make in-references to my fandoms that make me feel I'm part of that world. They make me fuzzy and happy inside. Also, baloki makes far too many references to cheesecake whose injoke potential is wholly wasted on those who aren't as geeky about Suikoden. =P

now i bed. Bunnies to y'all! (Or kittens, if thou prefer'st.)

Which is the best definition of "win"?

to be victorious in a contest or competition; to acquire.
a state of being achieved by things that are considered awesome, especially on the internets.
having a discussion with a financial advisor that is interspersed with mentions of GameFAQs, the relative merits of games in the Zelda series, and why we don't play WoW, followed by his knowing what Suikoden actually is.


This poll is awesome enough not to need one.

Having a Triforce tattoo gets you in some brilliant conversations. He remembers Suikoden II as being "watercoloury". Hopefully I've encouraged him to go back and replay it.

(Also, note to self: Thursday, 3:30 appointment back at the same place.)

Download a text file, save a life.

Everything on this page points to this person's not only being sincere, but seriously altruistic even in the face of her suffering. She doesn't want the people she cares about to be put out more than they have to. She doesn't want anyone to send money. But she needs to raise it, and to that end has set up a scheme where all you have to do is click.

I strongly suggest spreading this link around. Just a link at the bottom of whatever entry you're writing today counts. Also, consider joining the mailing list where you'll be reminded to click each day, if you're forgetful like me.

Yes, there's the possibility that nothing could come of it. Yes, MegaUpload might not pay out. But it really doesn't harm anyone to give it a try.


...so wait, was Marks & Spencer in Manchester always a department store? Because I always remember them being, you know, upmarket food and clothing store with small stationery section. When I was a kid, M&S was where you bought your undies from, if you were posh (or rather pretending to be). It was where you bought school shirts and occasional party food. They did not sell plasma TVs (not that we had them then), or armchairs, or things.

Seeing that was a mildly bizarre experience. See, I have a confession to make: I like fancy department stores, with their perfume counters and their designer clothing and their little pots of lotions and potions for £100 for a fingernail-ful. And I like Marks & Spencer. I was a poor kid, and going to one of these places was, like, a special treat. You didn't shop at Marks & Spencer, except maybe if it was Christmas. You went for one item. So swishy upmarket stores became, to me, symbols of this idealised upper-class life that other people had, where they went around having busy social circles and getting to travel to distant places and doing important things that everybody around them appreciated and having extremely pretty dining rooms where they always entertained with fine wine. Which is so very much not how it is in reality, of course, but I liked the image. It's where my whole aristocratic, tophatted, dandified streak comes from; this glamourised image of the upper-class of a former era, which fancy exotic foods and perfumes play into for me.

But it's just... I am not used to seeing M&S selling TVs and sofas and things. It's not their niche. And so they're less like they were in my childhood, not the same familiar surroundings, even if ordinarily I like those types of places. I just associate them with something that never changes, I suppose. So it was a little odd. (Of course, it really only is probably because it's the big Manchester store and they were probably doing it all along, and I bet they aren't all doing that, so it's not like anything has really changed. Was just a moment of cognitive "whoa".)



Not Falling Off Ledges, Power and Wisdom

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