Sega-16 is Still Hilarious

- Compiled and edited from my June 5 and June 12 updates -

So on the first of June I found this in my tracker:

And thought, Oh my, I guess somebody stumbled into my Sega-16 and/or April Fool's MOREC.

The next day, my suspicions were confirmed when I found the following URL in my site statistics:

I never looked at the link because my head still hurts from the original MOREC, and one word tells me all I need to know about the level of intelligence and reading comprehension to expect from it; hey asshole, what the hell did you think that line about me "not exactly [being] at [my] most patient time of the month right now" meant? And that aside I know the topic's going to read like a mashup of a Flying Omelette Site Tracking Adventure, Yahtzee's Mailbag Showdown and the Angry Reactions page at the Bad Webcomics Wiki; full of white knighting, knee-jerking, nobody asking about the Zero Punctuation line or that modified Witcher emblem, and people assuring WaterMelon that no really, Pier Solar was totally an original, emotional experience, especially when a lemming asks you how many times you've farted in your life, and that Rudy accidentally plaguing the Goaman was nothing like Cecil accidentally burning down the village of Mist.

Site reader Victor was brave enough to sacrifice a bit of his own mental health and read it for me, then give me the rundown. White knighting, knee-jerking, and nobody asking about the Zero Puncutation line or that modified Witcher emblem. So yeah, pretty much what I expected. But he also tells me that Zebbe...

... keeps calling me a "he." In all fairness, everyone thinks I'm a man at first, from people on message boards to people in the comments section of my my Cracked articles. I have what you might consider a boy's name, and I guess my language isn't very ladylike (though I can think of at least one person who's even worse). And no, I didn't expect him to read all the way to end of my Pier Solar review and see that "fake geek girl" comment, much less browse my site and find any of the other many, many pages where I allude to or straight-up state my sex. But this is even after another Sega-16 member tells him I'm female. So either his reading comprehension is even worse than I imagined or he wants to believe I have a dick for some reason. If I wanted to take a cheapshot at him - and I do - I'd suggest he's intimidated by the idea of a girl knowing more about video games than him.

... is still telling me to "not take things so seriously", which seems to mean either "Stop THINKING so much!" or "I should be able to say whatever claptrap I want without thinking of the consequences and if you find it questionable that's your problem". I think Jim Sterling would like to have a word with you, which is primarily about art, yes, but certainly applies to any form of expression. For fuck's sake dude, show a little responsibility, admit you said something stupid, and clarify your stance on the SNES instead of giving me that "8-bit data bus" crap. Then I'll admit I fell for Poe's Law, stop calling you "Mr. SNES is 8-bit", and we can both move on with our lives. I also guess I was supposed to find that Aaendi guy (Dragonboy to anyone at Sega-16 who might be reading this) coming to my forum, feigning interest in SNES programming before spewing MRA hatred about how women deserve it if they get raped* cute?

... seems to view himself as some "genius of retro gaming, a saviour from the golden ages of true gaming". So either he's having a hissy fit that Manfred von Karma would be proud of, or he thinks I'll "take him seriously" and tear into him. Oh, Zee-Zee, you really are too much. Come to think of it, that might be the reason he keeps calling me a dude.

Site reader Fuzy2K took his own stab at the topic and reported this back:

Again, I never looked at the topic so I don't know which of my writings JumpingRyle is referring to, but I don't recall ever "spewing nonsense about minor details nobody cares about" or spending five paragraphs "nitpicking 8-bit vs. 16-bit terminology" (wait a minute, Zebbe's saying the SNES is really an 8-bit console because of the data bus, and I'm the one nitpicking 8-bit and 16-bit terminology??). But come to think of it, I guess criticizing the gameplay and story of Pier Solar is like criticizing the acting and story of a porno film; you're absolutely right, JumpingRyle, nobody cares about that stuff because that's not what they picked it up for. But then again, he couldn't figure out I'm not a dude, what do I expect?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, I'd hate to be making a strawman argument of my own, but I think JumpingRyle is saying that putting time and effort into your work when people might not even notice it makes you a potential serial killer. Go fuck yourself.

And it looks like Zebbe is getting off on all this. Soooo, does that make me a dominatrix?

* Or something to that effect; Aaendi deleted the post he'd embedded the video in from this topic so I can't really double check what it was exactly about, and I obviously never watched the video. But the title of the video was something about justifying/trivializing the rape of women.

More on Pier Solar's Ending

In my main review I made a comment about how I didn't really bag out Pier Solar's ending too much for making me feel like everything I did was for nothing because the whole thing made me laugh hysterically. But after giving it some thought I decided, you know what? Pier Solar's ending really is a great big "fuck you" to the player.

I've mentioned before that Vagrant Story also ended with the protagonist getting hosed by a force of unimaginable power in order to contain it, but this time I'm going to discuss three games that also end with history being altered and the characters forgetting what happened. Spoilers for Ghost Trick, Bastion, and NIER ahead, so if you don't want them then head back to MOREC. Obviously, all three of those were better games than Pier Solar, but there's more to it than that.

At the end of Ghost Trick, Sissel, Lynne, Missile, Jowd, and everybody else try to infiltrate the submarine taking Yomiel to the terrorists' home country. But things go up the piddle pipe, the submarine starts sinking, the terrorists get the Tesmik fragment, everybody is condemned to a watery grave, and the only way to save their lives is to locate Yomiel's body, go back to five minutes before his death when the Tesmik fragment pierced his heart, and stop it from happening. The result is history being radically changed, and everybody but Sissel and Yomiel forgetting the game's main events ever happened.

At the end of Bastion, you've scraped together the cores needed to power the Bastion, and it's time to activate it. If you choose to restore the world, the characters are sent back to before the Calamity happened, and they lose their memories of each other and the game's events.

NIER is a bit oddball here, because as well as my being pissed off at the game's main ending anyway, the history-altering ending is a secret one; you have to play through the entire game once, then the second half two more times while collecting all thirty weapons to reach it. Kaine will start dying in agony, and you can either mercy kill her for Ending C, or sacrifice your "existence" for her for Ending D, which means your game data gets wiped. All memories of Nier are wiped from Kaine, Yonah, and everyone else, and Kaine is left feeling like she's been given "something very special".

I had no fucking idea what was at stake at the end of Pier Solar or why I should care, and why Hoston HAD to change history instead of simply using Pier Solar to make it destroy itself. Maybe Bethina would have come back. Maybe she could have rebuilt it. Like I said, it probably didn't help that the dialogue was so contrived and poorly written that I had only the faintest grasp on what the characters were going on about.

And there's no leadup to Pier Solar's ending, either; 4/5ths of the game is spent following a group of idiots doing conspicuous amounts of jack shit, then suddenly a couple of important characters are introduced, slain, and leave their MacGuffin behind so the protagonist can suddenly decide to use it to change history in a move that would make even Peter Parker facepalm at the sheer stupidity of it all. So the whole thing isn't so much a resolution and as it is a nuking, a kick between the legs out of nowhere, and lacking balls (or emotional investment, whatever) I wasn't pained by the notion so much as incredibly irritated. Conversely, Ghost Trick's gameplay revolved around going back in time and averting people's deaths, so of course it makes sense that the game's final boss (for lack of a better thing to call it) would be to undo the death at the center of the whole game. With Bastion, the goal from the start was to complete the Bastion and use it to undo the Calamity, which Rucks clarifies as he talks to Zia over the final level means rewinding time to before the Calamity happened. When that final moment comes you even get the choice to turn the Bastion into a giant flying island, and set the characters off to explore the new world, an ending I actually liked more than undoing the Calamity.

And that's really the big thing here: I choose to use the Bastion to undo the Calamity. I avert Yomiel's death. Hell, even in NIER I choose to delete my game data to save Kaine. But in Pier Solar, Hoston chooses to rewrite history, ripping all my work away from me and throwing it in the garbage in the name of a ham-fisted message about hypocrisy and "blurred lines of good and evil". And I think the only reason I'm not even angier about it is, on reflection, I'm not sure how much I actually contributed to the game to begin with; all I seemed to do was bus the characters around dungeons and towns, fight the same handful of battles over and over, and press a button to advance dialogue.

Incidentally, I wonder if WaterMelon knows what the kerfuffle around Mass Effect 3's ending was about.

And one more thing: Some people have called Hoston's fate a tragedy because he was tempted by Pier Solar's power or something. I actually found Ashley's fate at the end of Vagrant Story more tragic because he wanted nothing to do with the Dark, which drew Sydney's interest in him as the heir to its power because that meant he could control it. I had as much sympathy for Hoston as I did Guildenstern; he made his bed, let him lie in it.

Random Video Game Thoughts

What does Soma Cruz's mother think of him being the reincarnation of Dracula?

In Chrono Trigger, yon can retrieve the Rainbow Shell with Magus at the head of your party, and King Guardia and the Queen will casually chat with him and ask the shell be moved for Magus' sake, and everybody in the castle is not at all concerned about him. As well as that headscratcher, it got me thinking to when I played Black Sigil and went into Bel Lenora as Vai expecting a shitstorm, only to find nobody gave a crap. Reference to the Chrono Trigger scene? Or were they both just the result of design oversights?

"Lechku" is almost an anagram for "LeChuck"

Mew is said to be the ancestor of all Pokemon. But Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum specifically state that Arceus was the first Pokemon, that it created Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina to create time, space, antimatter, and then the three elves Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf to create human souls. So, there were at least seven Pokes around before Mew. The games don't even say that Arceus created Mew to create all the other Pokemon or anything, but I guess somebody could make that assumption.

What happened to Leon's jacket after the beginning of RE4? Apparently in the PS2-exclusive missions with Ada you can find a random villager wearing it, but why did he take it?

What happened to those house servants huddled up in that one room in Sweet Home? And how did they survive there for 30 years? Were they ghosts?

When you fight the final boss in Blaster Master...

... at the top-center of the screen, there's what appears to be a door. What's behind it?

Why couldn't Link just go back in time and not touch the Master Sword? Ganon couldn't get the Triforce as long as the Master Sword was in place.