Real wallpaper, from the hills of Columbia? Ok, so I'm testing out Mediafire as a potential off-site file host (i.e. anything I'd host here if it weren't bigger than 5 MB) by posting my collection of kick-ass desktop wallpapers there and seeing how long it takes for them to them to be deleted, download capped, or otherwise dicked with by the site administrators. Given what I've seen them do to other peoples' shit in the past I can't say I'm exactly brimming with hope, so get to grabbing while the grabbing's good:
If everything pans out, Mediafire will be the new home for my custom BMS soundtrack, which has caused readers to email me on a near-weekly basis so that I can respond with long, angry rants about just how much cock the FBI can suck for party vanning the site I previously had it uploaded to. In the meantime, some kind soul was kind enough to upload it to Dropbox, so you can at least get it there for now. There's also the small matter of updating my mod list like I said I was going to, but that's taken a slight backseat to...
I'm currently working on a major update to Brave New World (AKA "my Final Fantasy VI mod"). Among many other changes, the two main things that it will address are a much-needed overhaul to the way stamina is treated so as to bring it more in line with the other stats and the level of swearing in the dialogue. It's that second thing in particular that we've gotten more feedback on that just about everything else combined, to the point that my response to such criticism pretty much comes out of a holster.
See, American audiences grew up with Nintendo's Orwellian censorship policies of the early to mid-90's, and pretty much any attempt to break free of that is going to look to them like what we got in the late 90's when Squaresoft got into a fight with Nintendo, took their toys over to Sony's house, and made that game about Mr. T grafting a gun to his arm and swearing a lot. People mistakenly assume that the (apparently excessive, from what I'm told) amount of swearing in the current version of the mod is a BMX XXX-esque effort to be "dark" and "edgy", which couldn't be farther from the truth. The goal with Kefka - by far the biggest target of these complaints - was to make him more faithful to his original Japanese characterization by making him the asshole he originally was. But even with our attempts to preserve Woolsey's spin on the character, players have been crying foul like I've raped their childhood with a flaming pitchfork.
(Funnily enough, we've gotten next to zero complaints about Relm - the other major character who was given carte blanche on the censorship front - probably because it's hilarious when prepubescent girls swear.)
In any case, the next update will have the more gratuitous swearing written out, an optional "clean" version of the patch, and a new take on Kefka's dialogue that won't make people complain about how we ruined him forever. There's also a bunch of actual gameplay-related changes, too, but it doesn't seem like people care about them nearly as much as characters saying bad words. It sort of makes me wonder if any of these people have read A Customer Draws Near! - their heads would fucking explode.
One last thing I want to bring up regarding the mod is a gentleman by the name of Lockirby2 (I'm assuming that's not his actual name) and his amazing/ridiculous low-level run through the mod. Finishing the game with an average level of 5.5(!), his run pretty much flew in the face of everything I thought was even possible, as well as most forms of conventional logic. It's quite possible that he is a wizard. He recently finished posting his run to Youtube, which I'd recommend as a cathartic watch to anyone who's played the mod and thought it was hard without running the endgame with max HP values in the double digits.
And to people who'd rather just bitch about the dirty language, I'd recommend this.
Life is full of beautiful irony: my little sister owns six belts that don't hold anything up (or closed) and none that do; hospitals and banks make most of their money by taking it from people who don't have any; and a device that would let you bitch-slap people into next week over the internet would not only sell more units than there are people alive, but would invariably be awarded a Nobel Peace prize. If you can honestly say that you've never wanted to pour a bucket of live scorpions on some cockmuffin you encountered on the web, then hello, person who's never been online before! Here's your complimentary scorpion bucket.
That the internet is populated almost exclusively by assholes is pretty much a given, and not really the subject at hand. The problem arises when assholes are given dominion over non-assholes in internet communities. The cause of this is the same as it is in real life: the larger the community, the more people tasked with the responsibility of upholding its rules, the greater the likelihood that at least one of those people is a total douchebag who uses the existence of rules as an excuse not to utilize their brain meats in any capacity beyond sometimes remembering to quit drooling all over themselves. This results in far less consistency in how the rules are enforced, to the point that the only one that's universally respected is number nine (well, that and thirty-four, but that's a different post altogether).
In short, a good internet community is one where its moderators are otherwise-normal, active members of the community who only act in their given capacity when someone is being an asshole; a bad one is where the moderators are the assholes, who seemingly don't even exist outside of occasionally stopping in to be a total dickbag. I run afoul of these individuals quite often due to my flippant attitude and inability to be nice to people I don't like. It also probably doesn't help that I tend to frequent forums of the latter type (one of them being particularly notorious for this problem) because I apparently hate myself. These interactions rarely go anywhere positive because, well, the only thing my parents ever taught me how to do is use words to hurt people.
It's because of shit like this that I approach most things in life with a great deal of apathy. I couldn't give less a damn about some white guy who shot an unarmed black kid or why Zach Snyder is for some reason allowed to continue making movies because the things that actually do choke my chicken do so to the point that I'm amazed I've made it to my late twenties without having a stroke or killing a guy. Writing, thankfully, serves as something of a catharsis to release the negative energy thrust upon me by those who choose to anger me. I won't name any names as to who inspired this particular little rant, but you know who you are you pompous little son of a bitch.
In non-asshole news, Diabetus recently finished up his playthrough of my FF6 mod, though streaming his run through Kefka's Tower might not have been (in his words) the best idea due to the it's rather sloggy nature. Still, it was a blast to watch and provided me with the sort of feedback that you can only get in real-time. With that finally done, I can now turn my attention back to the crazy bastard who managed to LLG my mod while I get to work on inventing that internet bitch-slapping device.
I think I'll call it the "Painful Electroshock Numskull Incapacitation System".
Ladies and gentlemen of the internet (okay, just gentlemen), the season for sharing is once again upon us. In the circles of the internet that know me, it's common knowledge that I'm the proud caretaker of one of the largest - and best - collections of video game music covers in all the land. Every so often, when I feel that my collection has reached an appropriate milestone, I share it with the filthy, unwashed masses. You're welcome.
To clarify, this is a collection of remixes and covers, mostly of video game music and mostly of the heavy metal persuasion, collected from all corners of the internet. While proper and complete respect should be given to the talented individuals who made it (except for 5-3 Federation - that guy's a douche), understand that hunting this shit down is no easy task. And that's to say nothing of compiling it, which entails going through hundreds of thousands of tracks several times over to separate the good stuff from the vast majority that is not. I also go through and normalize volumes, clean up tags, and edit out the occasional bad fadeouts or 3+(!) seconds of pre-track silence that some artists are (apparently) too lazy to fix themselves. I can't say how long all of this would take the average person, but I've been working on it off and on for about ten years now.
As always, there's plenty of excellent new material in there this go around. This iteration also sees the creation of a new category: pony metal. You see, there's this show called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic that was initially conceived as a show for kids that their parents could watch with them without wanting to shoot themselves, but then the internet happened and now I've probably seen enough pony porn to get me put on some kind of government watch list. The show also boasts a startling amount of non-pornographic fan work as well, and has proven surprisingly popular with the metalhead crowd (they should air new episodes back to back with Metalocalypse - it would be the most fucking metal hour of television ever), resulting in the creation of a rather substantial amount of pony-themed fan metal (which is apparently now a thing).
(If ponies aren't your thing, don't worry. I keep it separate from everything else in a subdfolder that you can uncheck from the download so that you don't have to hear any sweet, testicle-enlarging guitar solos that happen to be named after Pinkie Pie.)
If you feel the need to thank me for sharing my collection (and you should), do me a favor and track down some of the artists it represents (many of them are on Youtube) and tell them thanks. That way, what I'm doing here is free publicity/exposure instead of wannabe piracy. And if you still feel the need to thank me, then send me the contact information of an attractive Swedish redhead in or around the Houston area (in fact, fuck the artists - just send me the redhead).
Speaking of free publicity, Diabetus talked about my FF6 mod in his latest podcast, which is really fucking cool. I still haven't had a chance to sit down with the Final Fantasy VII thing I mentioned in the last post, so that's next. And I've gotten a lot of good feedback on the Bethesda forums for my Morrowind mod list, so then I'll get to work on that. I'm a serial unitasker, so I can sort of only focus my attention on one thing at a time.
And right now, I'm focused on redheads... and ponies, for some reason.
One of the many things I wrote many ages ago that many people for some reason still remember was a little bit about a little game called Final Fantasy VII in celebration of it being awarded the entirely undeserved title of "Best Game Evah!" by the denizens of GameFAQs (a community you may recognize as also having elected a Goddamn Tetris piece as the best video game character ever in a desperate attempt to make its administration stop holding stupid contests. It didn't work.) The fact that a good friend of mine still had it lying around years later means that at least somebody thought it was a lot funnier than I ever did, and so I said I'd clean it up in the next few days and post it here. In the meantime, enjoy this spin-off piece about Metal Gear Solid III, which I wrote in the aftermath of the FF7 thing and personally consider to be much better.
I've also had a few complaints about failing to deliver on the so-called "blackjack and hookers" that were supposedly promised in my last update. In reality, it's a little-known fact that a typical phoenix actually contains a negative amount of both hookers and blackjack. Thus, my statement, while misleading, was still technically accurate.
In other news, an LP'er by the name of Diabetus has been streaming my FF6 mod, and I seriously cannot begin to describe how cool it is just to see someone playing and talking about something I spent two years of my life working on. Feels good, bro.
UPDATE: he streamed another video last night and may even continue to do more. I messaged him about it and have to say he's a very nice guy, too. Thanks again for showing off my mod, Betus.
Like a phoenix risen from the ashes, except with more blackjack and hookers, it's once again for the site to get a total makeover and begin life anew. One of the nice things about doing this every few years is that it allows me to pass off shit that's nearly a decade old as new content, though I should probably get to work at some point on something that actually is new. But first I need to finish up with the site update - it's enough for me to put up live, but it's far from finished.
With my Final Fantasy VI mod finally released, the main thing I intend to work on now is my long-neglected Morrowind mod list. Apparently, a lot's happened in the two years I spent working on FF6, including quite a few sites I link to being shut down because the government can suck a fat cock. Thus, it seems I have quite a bit of work ahead of me, and I'd welcome any feedback I can get on the Bethesda forums with regards to getting caught back up to speed with what's been going on and what needs to happen with my list.
Also, there's an photo gallery now, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to organize it. Again, any suggestions (within reason) would be welcomed. Aside from that, mind whatever placeholder text you see on the site for now, as it will hopefully all go away over the course of the next week or so.