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Gaming Discussion / Gaming+Dreaming
« on: January 22, 2020, 09:36:49 am »
I swear I remember boosting my attack power and then my life power in Zelda 2 in the last week or so.

However, I also don't recall having played Zelda 2 in the last week or so, and I'm starting to wonder if I may have dreamed that I was playing it. My sleep schedule has been completely f'd lately.

Have any of you ever had a similar experience, where you can't recall if you were actually playing a game recently or simply dreamt it? Or have you possibly had strange dreams about games, or dreams about romhacking ideas which you then searched for and found here at RHDN? Perhaps you dreamed an idea that is not on RHDN and wonder if it'd be possible?

"Never stop dreamin', because when you stop dreamin', it's time to die..."

~ Blind Melon, "Change"

Gaming Discussion / Post your PC specs! (The Performance Thread)
« on: January 05, 2020, 10:50:14 am »
I'm looking to squeeze every last drop of processing power out of a semi-outdated Windows PC, which was manufactured circa 2010.

HP Compaq 8000 Elite Convertible Mini-Tower
Mainboard: Hewlett-Packard 3647h
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500, 3.16 Ghz
RAM: 8 gb of DDR3 clocked at about 533 Mhz
GPU: PNY Nvidia Geforce GT 710 graphics card, with 2 gb ram
SPU: Whatever Realtek HD Audio came with it

For reference; running anything at 1080p is difficult for this graphics card, usually. I tend to stick with 720p or below. Would downgrading my OS to Windows 7 help, do you think, or is it just safer to stick with Windows 10? (I think it'd be safer to keep 10)

Any obvious bloatware that I can clear off the thing? Perhaps you could suggest a website that specializes in this sort of stuff. Maybe you know monitor settings which will make someone's life easier?

A general thread to just talk shop about Gaming PC's, if you will.

You may fire when ready, Gridley.

Gaming Discussion / Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« on: January 05, 2020, 08:03:14 am »
I just finished my first attempt at speedrunning Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. I wasn't recording; I was just practicing some techniques I saw a Twitch Streamer named 2snek doing.

I have never been a terribly patient person; anyone familiar with me will know this already. Speedrunning, therefore, would seem like an odd activity for me to want to get into, but I think that might be why I want to get into it. I have this weird idea about using it as a means of developing more patience.

However, the frustration inherent in attempting to do a game as fast as it can be done is extremely demanding mentally. Using the above example of Castlevania II and this map, I'll explain.

This map was a screenshot taken from Rick N. Bruns' map on, and you can view a larger size one by clicking thru it.

To do even the first part of a speedrun for Simon's Quest the way 2snek was doing it, you must follow these steps.

You walk left and jump on top of the blocks at the left side of the screen (1), then perform a glitch where you both whip and fall off of the right edge of the blocks at the same time, while also pressing down, and then releasing it at precisely the moment Simon's feet are supposed to touch the ground (at least this is how I think it's supposed to be done). This is not so bad.

From there, you walk left to point (2), the space between the 4th and 5th trees from the ledge to the left. I say 'walk' but actually it's 'fight two dualheaded firespitting lizard guys to the death.' Both the one marked (A) and the one in the middle will attack you immediately, and somewhere between 4-5 hits is fatal to Simon at this point. The reserve of 3 lives is needed for other parts of the run, so it's important that he doesn't die yet. Every time 2snek did this part, he ate some damage, 1 or 2 hits hopefully.

Now, once you kill the Lizardmen and reach point (2), with both of the previous Lizardmen out of the way, your next step is to walk forward for one frame, then jump to the left. This will spawn the Lizardman marked (B), and you have to whip in the air so that your whip hits him right at the edge of its range, then whip him 3 more times in order to kill him, but before he is able to release a fireball at you. If he drops a heart, you must pick it up without scrolling the screen left far enough to spawn Jumpy Panther at point (3), then immediately jump BACK to the right and get ready to attack Lizardman (A) again, with the same rules in play about not allowing him to spit a fireball at you and picking up whatever heart he drops, then jumping back the other way. You have to repeat this process until you have collected 13 of the half-hearts, totaling 52 hearts, so that you have enough hearts to buy both the Holy Water and White Crystal before leaving Jova.

I heard this described as the "Lizard Grind." It's the first step in a Simon's Quest Speedrun, and it's FRUSTRATING, as you can well imagine.

Does anyone here do any speedrunning of games? How do you control your frustration at it? Perhaps some other activity is quite frustrating to you, and you have go-to techniques for calming yourself?

Darn Jumpy Panther was tickin' me off, I tell you whut

And, go!

Gaming Discussion / Should I play Terranigma?
« on: December 23, 2019, 10:33:33 pm »
I have played Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia, in their heyday. I tried out Terranigma, but it felt like "Wow this world is empty and there's nothing here for me to connect to or grab onto to pull me out of my mundane world."

It just didn't hook me. I don't get it. It feels empty. It feels cold. It feels pointless, because there is nothing there when I begin the game. It's like asking me to build New York City out of nothingness. I don't know. It just didn't grab me.

Sell me Terranigma. Don't spoil anything.

Gaming Discussion / What is the worst RPG you have ever played?
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:39:49 pm »
To keep things pared down, let's stick to RPGs that were officially released in either Europe, the USA or Japan. I know that there are a million Chinese Bootleg games out there that are basically trash on purpose because there is little to no regulation there, but we could go on for years with a pool like that.

For me, I'm gonna say Beyond the Beyond, just to get it out of the way. It was touted as the PlayStation's first RPG, and even comes from the same roots as the Shining series (Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force), but boy howdy what a stinker. The battles are ugly, the text is ugly, the music is forgettable (can't remember a single melody for the life of me), the progression of the plot has all kinds of arbitrary bullshit, and I believe there are a ton of game-breaking bugs too. But to top it all off, the story is like someone trying to explain the plot of an actually good RPG and failing miserably at it.

Gaming Discussion / "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« on: November 16, 2019, 03:43:57 pm »
I now, for the first time in a long time, have a NES and SNES and a CRT again. I got an RF switch for the NES today, because I don't have an RCA multi-adapter to use in order to hook both up, and the NES' RCA (aka Composite) ports are on the right side. Using the RF switch makes it so I can rest the SNES right next to it more comfortably, and now I don't have to crawl back behind my TV to change systems when I want to play a different game.

This leads me to the topic at hand; the "RF" and "Composite" filters that are used in emulators these days to give that 'retro vibe' (  ::) ) to games, in addition to the myriad "CRT shaders" and what not, look like hot garbage compared to the real thing. I have a decent CRT made by Toshiba in April 1994 now, and I have to say that whoever is designing these shaders/filters/whathaveyou is exaggerating greatly.

I have to wonder what people did to their poor TVs that made them look so awful, to the point where that's what they think an RF/Composite signal is supposed to look like. It really isn't half bad, and I don't even have to worry about the aspect ratio being correct.  :D

Your thoughts, ye retrou gaemars of the past age?

The SNK Neo-Geo games Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and Art of Fighting received many conversions to (other?) home consoles, varying in quality typically from one game to another, and one system to another, but one thing remained constant as a sort of throughline on all the games, as they were being ported...

For whatever reason, the SNES versions of these games tended to have music that was utterly amazing by comparison to the other versions, up to and including the Neo-Geo originals, at times. Is there a story behind this?

For example, take Geese Howard's theme from Fatal Fury Special/Garou Densetsu Special (probably one of the more pronounced examples of this phenomenon).

The Neo-Geo OST:

In terms of offering my opinion as a musician, I can say that it's a fair piece of 90s video game music. This is enough to get pumped to fight a boss in a game to. Sure. There's some drama in it, but mostly it comes off as merely content to espouse the skill of Geese as a fighter, and sort of stop there.

The SNES Version:

The Super NES version of the theme, however, has this coda that occurs near the end, before the loop, that is far, far too long to have been simply some afterthought, and has a dynamic that brings down the 'forte' to a sort of 'piano' for about 16 bars, with some truly interesting lines on the (synthesized) bass guitar. The Drama Level goes through the roof here. If you're playing as Terry or Andy, this is supposedly the crime boss who ordered the murder of their father, and that backstory seems like it could have informed the choice to extend Geese's theme, if not some other consideration.

Either way, this sort of elevates Geese Howard's theme from merely being fighting game boss music to some form of storytelling. Is there some background info on why the SNES version got such a plethora of remixes of SNK's original tunes, whenever Takara ported an SNK fighting game to the SNES?

Another (and probably far more obvious) example is Mr. Big's theme from Art of Fighting/Ryuko No Ken.

The Neo-Geo OST:

There are some voice samples playing, which I can't quite make out. The track has a sort of weird, funky, messed-up sense of what time signature it wants to be in, and there is definitely an 80's-90's Rhythm and Blues vibe going on, similar to something Quincy Jones might have produced, but mostly, it stays in the background. I have to wonder if the idea was that they knew this was mostly going to be heard in loud, noisy arcades, and therefore barely heard, and that this might have sort of hamstrung the production of it?

The SNES Version:

Look. I do not have many friends at all, but I have hung out with people from many walks of life in my life. I'm a musician, and a Democrat, and also raised by hippies who listened to everything from Robert Johnson and B.B. King to Yes and ZZ Top. I have a wide musical, cultural palate. This is maybe one of the FUNKIEST things I have ever heard, particularly from a fricking 90'S HOME CONSOLE. It is jarring enough to be shocking.

This is THE FUNK. Holy crap. There's even some hella clean guitar riffs in here. This is great stuff.

What gives? Why were these tracks so heavily remixed on the SNES? And, why are they amazing???


People seem genuinely pleased about this. I am, too, I like having that choice at my fingertips, and am reminded of something BRPXQZME once said of FFIX, that he enjoyed a game that would let you take a sip of coffee once in a while.

I made this image in response:

FF Fan Reactions: An Infographic

Figure I may as well post it places.

Gaming Discussion / Your top 5 least favorite games of all time
« on: August 25, 2019, 09:42:34 pm »
I don't mean to grasp the mop bucket and broom too eagerly here but I was thinking about what games I think are just terrible. They aren't moderately crappy or insanely madcap hodgepodge weirdness that is funny in its ridiculous attempt at being entertainment (Sesame Street games come to mind), but just games that are forgotten, lackluster, unplayably obtuse or unfair to the point none of the other factors (graphics, gameplay, sound, etc) can save it. Just games that have nothing interesting at all to grab a player's attention.

If I were to think for a moment, the first one I can think of is probably going to be Trojan for the NES. It is an extremely pedestrian port with sloppy controls that are unhelpful in playing it, and the music is kind of grating and minimal, but also very loud and garish, which is not a good combination of things.

The enemy designs are pretty good, but a general crappy feel to the way things control and animate just suck all the fun out of it. The aesthetics and world building are also uninteresting to me, kind of a bland early 80s He Man retread. Rygar did it better, and isn't the best game ever either. It just has something that Trojan doesn't.

Another which some may not agree with as much as the last one is Jackal. Games where you are a car generally don't do it for me... I don't like driving and I don't think I have ever been concerned about cars, they were more my brother's thing.

Castelian for the NES is one that occurs to me, but in a way it's just about at the #IQuitThisLousyGameDevelopmentJob level of crapness, so ... I dunno it doesn't seem like it got far enough along in its development where the placeholder character was replaced with something better drawn. What the heck is that thing? It doesn't help its lazy design choices with tight or intense gameplay either, because it controls like a school bus without proper brakes on a frozen lake.

Time Lord for the NES (you notice how much of these were NES games? I never had a Game Boy ;D ). I don't know why this one boss in the Western level takes about 50,000 shots to kill but there isn't an excuse for that. The game is sort of 'almost there' in terms of design, but it doesn't save it by being clunky, again. Characters with that level of artwork don't belong on any game cartridge.

X-Men for the NES was one we rented because Dad had a bunch of X-Men comics, and I'd read a lot of them. We had a black and white TV, and it basically made the game unplayable in absolute. I've revisited it over the years to realize this is the least of its worries.

I never had Silver Surfer and I never had Jekyl and Hyde, and there were a lot of games which I never had or played when they were out. What are some of your choices?

Gaming Discussion / Microsoft is outperforming Apple?
« on: November 27, 2018, 02:48:19 pm »

Depending on how this goes (if Apple continues to suffer setbacks of this nature), Microsoft stands a very real chance of returning to their former superiority over Apple...

This is a very old debate, honestly. I remember back when I first began learning about home personal computing (on a Macintosh Performa 6116-CD, running MacOS 8, no less), and finding out that all the gaming was going on over on the Microsoft side of things. Funny enough, we (at least, the people where I was from, or possibly just 11 year old me) didn't call them "Windows PCs" but "IBMs" (the most popular maker of PCs which ran Microsoft Windows at the time). IBM is all but faded away at this point, and Microsoft is much more well known.

According to the article, while Apple, Google and Facebook have been getting cracked down on by regulators for various reasons, Microsoft has just sort of quietly been minding their business. I guess the nail that sticks up really does get hammered down...

...Your thoughts, fellow nerds?

Personal Projects / Jotaro's Music Mod w/Perfect OGG Looping, Addendum
« on: November 18, 2018, 09:43:44 am »
Firstly, you might want to read this thread, here (not a long one):

It's a music mod for the Steam Version of FF7, that puts the music in .ogg format, in high quality. It allows for music replacement.

Therefore, I made this:

INSTRUCTIONS: First, install Jotaro's .ogg mod, and then take the .zip file ( I provided you with, and place it into the 'music_ogg' folder in the 'data' folder, in your FF7 Steam folder.

The file path for it is thus: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FINAL FANTASY VII\data\music_ogg, provided you are using a Windows OS and you bought the game through Steam, I suppose. Let me know if it gives you any trouble.

It changes the music that plays during the final moments of Cloud's flashback in Mideel, so that it is more like the PSX version, with a certain person getting lifted into the air as the music crescendos in volume, and disappearing in a flash of light as the cymbal clashes for the last time. I say it's 'more like the PSX version' because the timing of everything (the text boxes opening and closing, new scenes loading in and out) is changed when you don't have to load from a CD, so I had to actually change the tempo of some of the a tempo parts, to make everything fit. I used audacity. Handy little program.

It's kind of a big moment. I know it's a 21 year old game, but it still feels spoilery. Those of you who have played FF7 (I'm gonna say that's a lot of you) will know what I'm talking about.

Look, I did work and didn't just hang around and get drunk! :) Wow look at me adulting.


Gaming Discussion / Styling and/or Profiling: Post Your Gaming Rig!
« on: November 11, 2018, 09:58:32 am »

Here is a thread wherein you may post a picture of your gaming rig, as it stands. Specifications are optional, but being that this particular board is rife with information aficionados (i.e. nerds), I generally expect that there will be specifications given, and indeed look forward to reading them myself. Interesting bits of Trivia are also welcome!

Darers go first, as they say, so here we are. If you click the photo, it'll take you to a larger version (apologies for the craptacular image quality...still trying to get a new smartphone). Below is a description contained within a spoiler, to keep this post from becoming a huge wall of text right off the bat.

I have a Windows 7 Mousepad there, heh. Got a wireless mouse which runs on a AA battery, and connects using a 2.4 kHz wireless usb dongle (much the same way a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller connects). My TV is a Hitachi 42EDT41A made in March 2005, not exactly state-of-the-art, but it gets me by, and the speakers sound great. Sure is a pain to move, though. Got a copy of SF2:The Animated Movie and FF7 Advent Children. Next to those is a SNES Game Genie Codebook which I've owned since the 90's (geez I'm old), and likewise, the booklet from my original copy of Final Fantasy Tactics, which are the only two pieces of my original game collection I have left.

Got a NES Classic Mini the other day, and a Wii Classic Controller to go with it. The little white box behind it is an HDMI-to-Composite (Yellow-White-Red) converter (remember when I said my TV wasn't exactly state-of-the-art?).

Finally, the boom stand in back of everything is my old webcam, which I use as a microphone only. The new webcam I've got is sitting right on top of the TV, and both are going into my HP Elite 8000 Convertible Mini-Tower. It's got a Dual Core processor clocked at 3.16 gHz, and I recently got an nVidia GT 710 GPU made by msi for a very decent price. It's nothing spectacular, but it does the job for the money. Sitting on top of it are an 8bitdo SN30 Pro and a Buffalo SNES Classic controller.

Now, happy posting!

I have had good experiences with Buffalo's replica controllers in the past (The Famicom Replica controller actually allowed me to fly using Curly's Machine Gun in Cave Story with its Turbo interval, fyi), so I am getting another SNES replica controller from them. Amazon says it'll be here by Monday.

It is labeled, "iBuffalo" this time, though, and I did a Google SearchTM for 'what's the difference between a Buffalo controller and an iBuffalo controller,' and the results were completely incomprehensible.

Is there anyone round here whom might have an opinion/empirical data/idea of what the difference is? Is it just a rebranding to boost sales? What is the new feature that requires it have an 'i' appended to the name?

Gaming Discussion / Best time of day for a game?
« on: June 07, 2018, 03:40:20 pm »
I prefer to play as soon as I wake up, because playing sleepy makes me play sloppy, and disinterested. But tempos and gameplay can be difficult to wake up to, I'm less of a morning person than I used to be. So I wondered, what time of day do you find best for gaming?

I've always liked it when I was ready to go to something (school, work) very early, and then I say "Well, let's get in a quick game..."

Gaming Discussion / NES games with the most ridiculous story?
« on: March 15, 2018, 09:06:24 am »
They say things tend to come in threes. I thought of another question about NES games that I don't often hear spoken about.

Lots of NES games basically threw up their arms and said "This processor/gpu/spu combo is still not sufficient to tell any kind of story" and rightly so; it is a little underpowered for things like that. NES carts could not hold a terrible whole lot of text when packed up with graphics files, instructions, control algorithms, and patches which repaired problems encountered during debugging. Voice files which could sound clear enough to be dialogue in the game just wouldn't fit, and the voice clips that do appear in NES games are gimmicks at best and buzzsaw-sounding waking nightmares at worst.

So NES games tended to tell you a silly story in the manual and just be games, which speech-fests like FFXIII and its ilk make me strangely miss, as dumb as it is.

So let's revel in absurdity a moment, for old time's sake.

I'll go with the Occam's Razor approach and say that an Italian-American Plumber from Brooklyn finding a magic realm inside of a sewer pipe (or whatever) is some of the dumbest shit I've ever heard in my life, and I even knew it was dumb when I was 5 and first read it. :) But I didn't care then, and I don't care now. Dumb is ok. At least I can just get to the bloody game by pressing start and waiting a moment while I'm told what world I'm in and how many Marios I have left.

Gaming Discussion / The most original NES games?
« on: March 13, 2018, 08:32:46 am »
There's a thread about what the hardest NES game is, now here's its companion. Which NES games had the best execution of an original concept?

Things to consider that might help narrow down the list: innovation is relative to the time period. Something that was original in 1985 can't really be fairly judged against something that came out in 1989 the same way you can judge a 1989 game based on the innovations of 1985. Time moves forward only, if a game is older it wins more originality points. I know that's dumb but it makes it easy to  understand and talk about, heh. Another idea that might be useful is to ask what the most original games of each year the NES was having new game releases were (i.e., Most original of 1985, most original of 1986, etc).

Secondly, for the intent of being clear, I'll say that originality is a subjective idea. One person might consider one thing original, and another might think it's simply a botheration to play. But unoriginality is one of those things that you can easily spot. If a work is patently unoriginal, then it kind of stands out. Something like Ninja Gaiden 3 or anything after Mega Man 2. Gimmicky quasi-improvements like changing the Item-1 Item-2 and Item-3 stuff to a robot dog buddy that you can make action figures out of are not exactly ideas you can call interesting, but let's say it has kept Capcom making games, so it's not a bad thing. Nobody likes arguing against business, since everybody needs money. So let's save that discussion for another thread, maybe?

Finally, I wanted to say that, to me, the most original games on the NES were ones that sort of hung out on the fringes of popularity, because it's a common thread in every era of human beings that the most unusual and innovative creators tend to not be as prolific (and therefore marketable) as those who churn stuff out as fast as they can without regard to the ideas they are really expressing. There's a lot of grey area in between those two extremes, and that's what makes a discussion lively, right?

I'll name only one that I find the most interesting in terms of concept: Metroid. Most games set in space at that time and throughout gaming history have involved sitting in the cockpit of an X-Wing. Metroid is a game where you can do more than shoot wave after wave of enemies... You can explore. Space isn't any fun unless there's some exploration involved, as the ill-conceived new Star Trek show has shown us (STRONG NERD OPINION DETECTED: NEUTRALIZE--NEUTRALIZE--). Spaceship Shooting games are as old as electronic gaming itself, almost, but Metroid let me get out of the ship. Interesting.

A thread to post about recent gaming achievements, whether they earned you a trophy or not.

Hmm, I just beat Metroid 1 again. Hrm, playing thru Breath of Fire with an EXP dumping code, because the darn game is stingy enough with damage upgrades, I'm going to job it because I don't like frustration, and I still don't remember where to go or how to get through the dungeons, anyway. I'm at Krypt, just got Karn, busy cleaning the place out.

Gaming Discussion / Annoying Gaming Habits (Yours or Others')
« on: November 08, 2017, 02:36:43 pm »
I'm discovering that I have an annoying (to myself) habit of whistling game music when I'm playing. I'm a musician, it's like I have a kneejerk instinct to make music.

Any gaming habits of yours (or someone else you know) that irk you a bit?

Gaming Discussion / The "Post Your High Score/Best Time" Thread
« on: November 06, 2017, 12:10:23 am »
And, go! :D Hehehe

My latest time in Emerald Hill Zone Act 1:

Gaming Discussion / Managing your gaming time.
« on: November 05, 2017, 11:10:47 pm »

I keep getting distracted when I try to play games. Either I'll be fiddling with the settings (thanks forever to try to get it to look nice (which I finally think I have), or I'll get pulled away as I'm playing. I am a fairly easy to distract person.

Any tips for concentrating on games when you have the time to play them scheduled out? Being so active in the myriad jobs you all seem to have, you must manage your gaming time very carefully. I can't even get halfway through a JRPG these days without getting caught up in something else.

So the two questions posed by the thread are 1) When, in your opinion, is the best time to play video games, and 2) how do you avoid distractions when you have this time blocked out and it arrives?

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