Hi there! I'm MeanderBot. I enjoy video games. My video game playing history begins like many others: someone across the street got an NES, then I stumbled across a used stack of Nintendo Power at a swap meet, and soon enough I was spending more time with a controller in my hand then lying in my bed.
As mentioned above, I'm a bit of a Nintendo fanboy. Though I'd like to think I'm open minded enough to not get needlessly insulted whenever someone slights Ninty, while being able to acknowledge its shortcomings. But if it's got a big red N on it, chances are it will fall within my sphere of desire. I have every other current gen system, and thanks to the rediscovery of a local swapmart, I've pulled my SNES and NES out of storage so I can agonize over trying to get the damned things to work. I also try to do some gaming on my crappy PC, which usually ends up being either six+ old games, or indie games. Which is pretty much all I could ask for.
Outside of zeroes and ones, I'm also interested in skateboarding, drawing, photography and drinking a metric asston of soda. But that stuff's boring.
The Mushroom Kingdom is a strange place, least of which is its name. There are so many inexplicable occurrences. Sentient plants living in pipes? Ambulatory cacti? Fucking DINOSUARS?! SHIT'S CRAZY! And that's just the tip of the iceberg (did I mention there are sapient snowmen?). While I could do a whole series on the idea of revealing the insanity of the Mushroom Kingdom (patent pending!), for now I'll have to settle with The Bullet Bills. Who are they? Where do they come from? Do they have regrets? Dreams? Fears? Maybe they're just content flying endlessly through the air. I sure as hell would be. So before I ramble off into discussing the supernatural physics behind Bill's perplexing perpetual flight, I'll start with something easy: their place of origin. Before becoming the fantastic flyers they are best known as, they start as humble, inert lumps of metal. And what better to understand this lonely creature then the enigmatic Shy Guy? Or maybe Bowser is just a prick and enjoys giving Shy Guys menial, soul crushing jobs. Regardless, the true nature of this intrepid being shall never be truly understood, but it's a pleasing mental exercise. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go work on my dissertation on the migration patterns of Parakoopas.
(Ugh, didn't have the time to finish this proper [THANKS E3], but I'll throw it up anyways, and hopefully I'll be able to finish it up before the recap post)
Behind video game's closed doors. Such a wide topic. If you're an amazing artist. Being mediocre at best, I ran through varied ideas, all the best ones being shot down by my lacking artistic ability. I cruised through my vast video game knowledge seeking something within my ability, and eventually ended up at Super Mario Bros. There are so many weird elements in Mario games that require explanation, and for some reason I ended up with Bullet Bills. Where do these strange anthropomorphic projectiles come from? Maybe Shy Guys are lined up in a line passing munitions forward? Ahh, why the hell not. That makes as much sense as anything in those crazy games.
Stories are often found in great numbers among a civilization. Tales of the beginning of life, of triumph, of prosperity, of surmounting anything that stands in ones path no matter the obstacle. Stories such as these can be found where ever one turns, as people are more then happy to share them. However, it seems that these stories are often overshadowed by other tales, those of great tragedy and anguish. Stories of such pain that to forget them would require a superhuman effort. This is such a story, one of a single man who enslaved an entire species for his own evil gain.
Long ago, it is said that a single man descended from the stars on a strange and alien ship. Where he landed is cause of debate; some say it was on a barren circle where nothing ever grows, some say it was the nexus of what is now a barbarous tribe. But what is agreed on is that when he landed, he was greeted by a group of friendly, simple minded plant-like creatures. Soon, he discovered that they meant him no harm. Soon, he discovered that they happily obeyed his orders without a second thought. Soon, he discovered that they were formidable in combat. Soon, he discovered that they were easily reproduced. Soon, wicked thoughts trickled into his mind...
Before long, the area in which he first arrived was decorated with items of great wealth and the bones of his enemies. Stacks of ill-gotten treasures lined his camp, more then any city, let alone one man, could ever ask for. But it was not enough. By now, the one known as Olimar had succumbed completely to the corruption that often comes with power, and he lusted after more. He led his army, numbering in the thousands, and swept like a plague through the land, capturing anything that held value to his poisoned mind and destroying anything that resisted. After a terribly long time, he stood at the top of his vile empire, consisting of nothing but himself and his army, and smiled. What was once a small landing pad, then stretched out into thousands of square feet, where all was dark and miserable, where life was rare and fleeting, and where nothing was free.
Nobody can say for sure how his miserable time of reign came to an end, and is also an area of much dispute. Some say that eventually his army realized the hurt they were causing and turned on their evil master, then worked tirelessly to reverse the harm they caused. Some say that eventually he and his army found nothing but water surrounding his empire. Still not satisfied, he returned to his spacecraft to find another realm to destroy. Some versions say that one day, as he became grey with age, his loneliness and knowledge of the great crimes he committed weighed down on him mercilessly. Able to stand it no more, he took his own life. All that matters is that he is no more, and that this wonderful land has thankfully recovered to its once untarnished beauty. But despite every sign of his dark empire being erased by merciful time, every now and then, one can still hear mournful whispers recounting the destructive epoch of Olimar The Terrible.
So that was something, right? For some reason I had it in my mind that I had to write a narrative to go with it, but it ended up just having to do with the process. Which I am oddly at a loss for words for. I was thinking of the post that inspired the idea, which put me in a bit of a negative mood. And for some reason, Pikmin came to mind. Put two and two together, and you get a megalomaniacal Olimar. Somehow. I drew this on my tablet, mostly to justify my needlessly expensive stylus purchase. Hopefully next time I won't procrastinate so much and I'll be able to put more polish into it, and/or do more pictures, and/or come up with a better idea. We shall see! Please enjoy. Thank you.
If you look up expedient in the dictionary, you probably wouldn't find my picture next to the definition. But better late then never, and Destructoid has already tolerated a few hundred pictures from me, so what's another dozen? Just in time for the end of PAX East 12, here are some pictures from the Destructoid meeting at Rock Bottom after the final night of PAX Prime 2011. If you were there, you might have seen me. I was the awkward guy wandering around, taking pictures with a strange camera, which produced the pictures below. I usually wimp out and leave early at these community meetups, but for some reason the last event at Rock Bottom is always awesome. Thanks for the good times!
Now I didn't meet too many people, because I'm pretty shy. And I'm terrible with names, because, well my memory is shitty. And I was drunk. What I'm trying to say is that I know who this is, but I don't know who this is. Starkey, I think? Maybe? Regardless, he was pretty cool. I mean, he must've been because I gave him my hat.
Also, I think he likes hats.
Dexter345 and Ali D (I think?). Fun Fact: The colors of the eyes and the green on the Destructoid shirt both of them are wearing are exactly reversed on the negative. Whoever made those shirts knows their color theory.
Here's another one of them, but I think I like this one better.
(No offense, Dexter)
Some hooligan rocking the Mr. Destructoid helmet, and also my finger.
A quiet conversation between people I don't know.
I was just drinking beer, but I kinda wish I had gotten one of those.
I didn't have the pleasure of meeting this gentleman, but one thing is certain: he is one dapper motherfucker.
El Jeffe and The Shark. Niero approached and complimented my camera. He then asked to take my picture and I happily obliged. I wasn't sure what to do, so I took his picture while he was taking mine. Hamza jumped in with a photobomb, which I didn't even notice until I looked at the negative. It was a few minutes before I stopped laughing.
That's Juan Carlos (maybe?) in the center there. I spent several hours around him over the weekend, but said barely anything to him, because I am socially retarded.
Powerglove in the center of some people I didn't meet/can't remember their name. I ended up sharing a room with him, and then felt bad because I forgot to tell him that I was staying at a shitty hotel. Sorry dude :( Thanks for dealing with my lame attempts at socializing all weekend.
I'll end with a scattering group shot, since I already used the last picture of the night at the top of the post. Thanks for everyone that took the time to talk to me. It was a blast, and I can't wait to be nervous around you guys again in August!
Like many long time gamers, I have a long list of wonderful memories that stem from the wide world of gaming. I could drown in the amount of warm, loving times spent sitting in front of a screen lost in a virtual world. However, embedded amongst these cheerful spheres are dark and dusty remnants of shameful events that I would more than anything like to forget. I suppose it is healthy to remember such things, and as an act of penance I have decided to share with those who care to listen to my sordid tale of the day I struck down my most faithful companion in blind, seething anger.
Flashback to my much younger years, circa '98, and my family had made the rare journey that didn't involve an endless sand dune sea to the illustrious land of California. It was as much of an excuse to visit family as it was to visit Disneyland. Aside from dodging sketchy mascot automatons and engaging in an epic playthrough of Sunset Riders with my cousin, I spent most of my time faithfully playing my Gameboy. Staring into that green LCD and beating Super Mario Land for the umpteenth time was somehow more compelling then bonding with relatives I had seen once or twice before. I think I made the right choice. Moving on...
On that infamous day, I was sitting outside alone on my grandmother's porch, trudging my way through Kirby's Block Ball. For those unfamiliar with the game, it is basically a Kirby take on the Breakout genre. If that doesn't sound like much fun, I assure you that is indeed a fantastic game, with great level design, challenging bosses and Kirby's power absorbing mechanic worked well into the game. It is also a fiendishly difficult game, especially if you are 11. Due to the low resolution of the Gameboy, levels were compact, often started out with very little space to move around in. Usually, this wasn't much of a problem, but later in the game, all four sides of the level were lined with spikes, giving you two linked sets of paddles to worry about. Throw in some wandering enemies to unpredictably throw Kirby around and you've got a reliable source of frustration. You might start seeing where this is going.
Again, I was playing Kirby's Block Ball on my Gameboy, and I was enjoying the game to a point. I cannot remember the strict details; all I can assume is that I was playing a level, and I was playing it over and over again. What started as innocent entertainment became mild irritation, growing into seething anger and pretty soon my hands were shaking and I was seeing red. Being the undisciplined fool that I was, I could only think of venting my anger, and the closest thing was my dear Gameboy. I left all rational sense behind me as I balled up my fist and struck my dear friend's screen again and again. And as I raised my fist to deliver yet another bone shattering blow, I had noticed something particular. My Gameboy had begun to weep black tear down its celadon face. This strange curiosity overcame my hostility to bring me back to reality and realized what I had done.
I had just murdered my brother.
At least, that is what it felt like. My anger was instantly forgotten as it was replaced with absolute grief. Tears started streaming down my face and a terrible wail escaped from my mouth. I can't remember if I called attention outside with my painful cries, or if I had run inside seeking comfort, but soon I was surrounded by others trying to silence me. I had a reputation for having a hair trigger temper, so I hid my shame by claiming that I had dropped my Gameboy. But thanks to my heedless fury, I spent the rest of my vacation mourning, instead of playing with, my faithful companion.
When we returned home, I slowly learned to live with my grief and got back into my normal life. My friend sold me his old Gameboy. It was ketchup red, an ironic memorial to the blood that I had spilled. It served its purpose, allowing me to dive back into portable gaming, but it just wasn't the same. Months later I got a Gameboy Pocket, then a Color and further on down the line. Other devices took the limelight, and eventually my first electronic friend was nothing more than a nearly forgotten disgraceful memory.
Recently, after being introduced to Chiptune music, I decided I wanted to get an OG Gameboy to mess around with some music software. I did some searching around on eBay and I found a suitable specimen in remarkable condition. Once I recieved it, held it up in my hands and basked in its glory, I was flooded with childhood memories, including this sordid tale I have just told. I then swore to never treat my new Gameboy with so much as a fraction of disrespect I did to my previous one. All of my half-hearted desire to arranging blips faded away as I scoured eBay for Gameboy games I never had a chance to play. I think me and my new friend have a long future ahead of us.
Virtual console be damned; monochrome green or GTFO.