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  • Thoughts on Illusory Revelations #FE (SMTxFE)

      1:21 PM on 04.02.2015

    Okay, so the Illusory Revelations #FE (formerly known as Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem) trailer is a thing and everyone that was expecting a fanservice-y crossover event has been left a bit ... "wut." Don't worry, my initial reaction was  excited, but puzzled. I was at work when the Nintendo Direct happened, so I only got to watch the trailer when I ran out on my break, then ran back. Then I thought about it as I pushed through the rest of my shift,  came home and watched it again.

    The feeling I'm getting overall is the idea of a two multiverses colliding is not happening and instead they had weird baby. HIgh school kids fight brand-new SMT-styled demons while cosplaying Fire Emblem characters or job classes in a Tokyo that's about to get weird. They also apparently go to the high school Flynn and his friends from SMT IV later get ther DLC school uniforms from.

    Atlus and Intelligent Systems are taking the "cross" part of the original title seriously, at least more seriously than Street Fighter X Tekken did. We're multiplying SMT with FE here. This is also not the first time I've seen a crossover approached this way because I read Marvel Vs. DC in the 90s.

    In the third issue, the protagonist of MvDC uses his universe-hopping powers to merge both the DC and Marvel universes into one world until he can find a way to stop those universes from conflicting and destroying each other, resulting in a wotld where Logan is living the life of Bruce Wayne as Dark Claw. Yes, he still has the adamantium skeleton and healing factor, he was still experimented on to make that happen, but his parents were also shot in an alleyway, he inherited their fortune and decided to be a man dressed as a bat to fight crime. With claws, Bub.

    So this is kind of what SMTxFE is doing. Merging the worlds of Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem rather than have them clash with each other. This solves a few differences SMT and FE couldn't reconcile, too. 

    If we were to realistically to have fan-service-y game, we would have ended up with a Fire Emblem game that SMT characters just happen to be in. It is really the only way you could fit in most of the characters people would want to see and even then they'd whine you left a few out. Especially the Persona 3 and 4 kids that have had plenty of games, need to be a nice guest and finally leave. 

    So now we're getting none of the characters beyond references and getting an original cast of characters instead. Bonus: Persona fans can't whine they're not bring served now.

    Also, there's the matter of Kaneko's demon roster. I love Kaneko's work to death, but you're going ot have a hard time allowing penis chariots and razor-toothed vagina angels into a game Nintendo is footing the bill for and including their IP in. Bayonetta just does a huge burlesque act for her ultimate attacks, but Mara is a blatant dick. Mara is the reason I can't share anything from Persona Q or SMT on the NA Miiverse right now.

    Then there's Fire Emblem's permadeath along with SMT's fondness for punching player's in the throat early on - that's before the instant death spells, too. I think its safe to say we're losing the permadeath and just getting the throat punching. As a bonus, we're also trading top-down tactical strategy for dungeon crawling. As much as I like the Devil Survivor games, Atlus does the latter better. 

    Finally, I'm guessing this is also partly the result of Persona 5 being a Sony exclusive. Nintendo scored a lot of love from Persona 3 and 4 fans with Fire Emblem: Awakening. While romancing is nothing new to FE it is something that gets people excited. Nintendo wants more of that stuff, more of that audience and knows Atlus is good at delivering it. This clearly isn't just a crossover, its meant ot be a new IP Nintendo could carry on to future platforms.

    Those are my thoughs and impressions on what we've seen. Its not as dark as i was expecting, but I'm not disappointed, either. Additionally, this choice in direction also makes the game a bit more accessible to newcomers to both IPs - they won't have to know the history of Fire Emblem's nations or the inner-workings of the SMT multiverse to make sense of this game. 

    One of the biggest problems with crossovers is a lack of coherent narrative. Sure. the Avengers movies are doing well now - but you've seen the list of Marvel properties coming to theaters through 2020, right? There's going to be a point where this becomes difficult to track and people aren't going to want ot watch Captain America, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor 3 to understand why some McGuffin stones are important and dangerous in The Avengers: Infinity War. 

    This is the sort of clusterfuck DC and Marvel comics are planning to get away from this year by rebooting their entire universes to focus on the sort of character-driven books Ms. Marvel, Thor, Batgirl, Captain America and Spider-Gwen have found success with. Needing to know all this history is fun for long-time fans and nerds, but makes these franchises unscalable for newcomers when they start colliding. Fire Emblem and SMT are pretty good about giving newcomers their own thing to enjoy, but not everyone is going to want to marathon both franchises to appreciate a new game fully.

    I can understand why some longtime fans are disappointed they aren't getting what they hoped for or were admittedly teasted with two years ago, but this move is probably for the best and I don't think it means an SMT V will suddenly be more like Persona, SMT will always be there for us, under the radar of the mainstream and it will have its influence here, just not in the way we thought.

    The Agenda: Republican generosity

      10:13 PM on 03.25.2015

    The other day I read something that made me drop my glitter and fairy dust - the  governor of Indiana and several other American states are giving away money to the rest of America. They're giving away gaming conventions - living, breathing economic opportunities! Not just that, as I understand it Republicans and conservatives wish to send me somewhere my talents can be put to better use - pretty much any grey spot on this map.

    I might also consider Canada. They seem nice.

    And states are doing this after wanting me to use the bathroom at home more often. Maybe they just wanted to give those hard-working janitors less to deal with. With the growing number of gender-neutral or "family" restrooms out there, this is also great for janitors, as men are forced to pull the toilet seat up now that their wife, husband or daughter or might be following them shortly.

    But Republicans and conservatives wanting me to be their economic ambassador to other states? I'm... honored, to be honest. I'm going to put in request to be sent to to Holy Land of Nintendo, Washington state - British Colombia or Ontario would be nice spots, too.  I'm just waiting for my local senators and House members to send me the funds and I will be on my way. Thanks to them, I might some day shake hands with Reggie Fils-Amie and Bill Gates.

    It pains me to leave, I mean, a couple Hobby Lobby stores just opened here and all they are all about freedom and would never impose their views on me. They're just down the street from a Chik-fil-A where I am always greeted with a smile and waffle fries, but I am more of a Cook-Out gal.

    Still, I could trade that for the occasional trip to California for In-N-Out Burger, provided I land on the west coast to begin with. Yes, that will be fine. It has been ages since I last had a Double-Double.

    Well, I had better get packed. I wouldn't want North Carolina to keep denying other places more economic prosperity.

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    A robot, a snowman and a man in a pink robe said I won a thing.

      9:00 PM on 02.24.2015

    I said this thing:


    And won this thing:

    There were also things in it, like music for my ears, art for my eyes, a case for my future New 3DS XL and a game that says you should draw the maps if you want to remember where to go. Also tarot cards to predict the future, but I think I need a longer nose to do that.

    The best part? It also came with bubble wrap! It is very nice bedding material for fairies.

    Thank you to Atlus and Destructoid for making a pixie's day with the Persona Q collector's edition! You are all honorary fairies now.

    Also thank you for saving me $22 on Majora's Mask 3D. And letting me save my game to the SD card. Now I can get back to that rather festive dungeon I was in.


    The Agenda: The Ring of Pandas

      11:21 PM on 02.21.2015

    Over the years I've heard much about mythical "panda rings." I have been told game developers hand them out to certain groups of people to get them to buy their games. I imagine this is why you hear about about Bioware giving "panda rings to the faes" so much. Everyone at Bioware seems to be keen on fairies, making me a key demographic.

    I had heard, especially from talk radio pundits - who would never say anything to get attention and the support of people - that those that obtain these panda rings get undue attention at the expense of the majority of people and these ring-bearers get all they desire. That made these rings sound really awesome.

    After much searching and many inquiries I was able to obtain one of these coveted panda rings. I was excited to slip on this panda ring onto my finger and abuse such power. The world would be my oyster, everyone would proclaim me their queen and I would be wed to Evangeline Lilly and Zoe Saldana.

    Nothing happened. No throne, no wives - not even any pandas.

    At first, I thought something might be wrong with the ring. I gave it some thought and theorized that maybe since Bioware, Bethesda, Obsidian Games and other select developers handed these rings out I should play their games. Perhaps then the powers of the ring would activate and give me all that I desired.

    So I played the Mass Effect trilogy, experiencing the life and battles of Commander Shepard and her allies. One might assume since I only date women in real life that I might make Shepard a heroic lover of women just like me, but no, I like to roleplay a very opportunistic and tempermental bisexual. A little Paragon here and Renegade choices when people cross me. Kind of like Han Solo except I don't turn dumb later in the trilogy.

    My love life in the first game was... well... there wasn't one, to be honest. It seemed like Kaiden and Liara were my only real options. Kaiden was annoying. Liara was very pretty, but also painfully naive and boring. Aside from that mind-meld thing she did to me, I couldn't stay interested in her. Ashley wasn't interested in me and when her racism wasn't pissing me off, her voice was grating on my last nerve, so when the time came for a noble sacrifice I left her with Saren's bomb.

    Kaiden might be whiney and needy, but at least he's useful and not a racist.

    Anyway, I saved the Citadel and the Council from Saren and the Reapers, then moved on to Mass Effect 2. I died, was resurrected by Cerberus and went off on a journey to track down The Collectors that had previously killed me and wrecked my ship

    Miranda was among the first people I met. She wasn't interested in me. Jacob was with her. He was never interesting. Jack wasn't interested in me unless she was threatening me. Samara, however, was totally my type. She was wise, experienced, gorgeous, honorable and commited to her duties as an Asari Justicar. I brought her on every mission I could. I love a mature woman in uniform and she had more than a few centuries on me!

    We got to know each other really well, so I eventually made my feelings known.

    She turned me down. I was crushed.

    So, out of options, I turned to Thane Kiros. He was like an amphibious Adam Jensen and he was mysterious to boot. It didn't really go anywhere, though, mostly because he had that terminal illness and a life filled with regrets. I comforted him as best I could and I think we just ended up as really good friends. I had to get a private dance from Kelly to get my mind off all his depressing stuff.

    In the end we all survived the suicide mission against The Collectors, but Kelly was turned to goo for Reaper parts. Still nothing from the panda ring, even after all that.

    In Mass Effect 3, I had a chance to get caught up with Thane, at least before he was killed defending a politican from a space ninja. After that I was single again, but I did avenge him by skewering that ninja later on.

    Over the course of the game my replacement for Kelly, Samantha, turned out to be rather interesting, fun and engaging. We talked lots between my missions, played chess and, well, one thing led to another and she became my girlfriend. I liked her quite a bit, plus her interest in taking showers together made up for that robot fetish she had. She also kept me honest by instructing me on good dental hygiene.

    And so it was decided - after I saved the galaxy from the Reapers one last time we would get married, get a house with a white picket fence and have two kids. And then a star kid gave me four choices, I picked one and I died, leaving Samantha a widow.

    Even before I looked to check the ring again, I was pretty sure Bioware was giving me the opposite of what I wanted. I put on the ring once more and nothing happened. No throne, no Evangeline and Zoe.

    I played Fallout: New Vegas, slept with Benny and killed him, then tried to woo Veronica but that didn't go anywhere. I ended up screwing over the NCR, the Legion and Mr. House to take New Vegas and the Hoover Dam for myself. In Skyrim, I joined up with the Stormcloaks, learned to shout like a dragon and eventually met a vampire named Serana who had no interest in a relationship even after biting me, drinking my blood and turning me into a vampire. So I married that girl in Whiterun and tore her away from her dreams of running a tavern there so she could be my captive housewife in Solitude - and then I just adventured with Serana all the time.

    Nothing from the ring.

    So, I've come to the conclusion that this panda ring does not work as advertised. Bioware, Bethesda and Obsidian Games all seem to give me the same nuanced experiences other people get regardless of my interests and differing choices. I did not experience anything different or special because these game developers liked faes. I've heard people make a big fuss about blue, green and red endings, but I'm more cranky about that dying-and-not-being-with-Samantha thing. I could live without Veronica, but Serana would have also been nice.

    I'll never trust a panda again. Screw those guys. I guess I can live with the games, though, even if I don't always get what I want. Still, is sitting on a throne and having Zoe Saldana rest her head on my shoulder too much to want from life?

    The Flame Game

      7:02 AM on 02.18.2015

    The Inferno Goddess moves in mysterious ways. I am only one of Her priestesses but it as recently come to my attention that a TV show depicted alleged Inferno Goddess worshippers in a negative light. I'll be frank, not everyone genuinely loves my Goddess and are really just arsonists. We do not like them or condone their actions and when they pass on from this mortal coil She will immolate their souls rather than have them join with Her to burn forever.

    So when someone portrays arsonists in a negative light on TV, the Goddess doesn't get upset. That TV show is not talking about Her or Her genuinely devoted worshippers. They're talking about arsonists. We burn offerings for our Goddess out of love for Her and only at designated places of worship. Arsonists burn things out of malice toward others. When they run to my Goddess as an excuse for their deeds, we turn them away - though some them now weirdly claim it was about ethics when running to us doesn't work out. 

    Recently the arsonists went to Change.org to demand that water parks apologize for how these TV shows had depicted them. 

    Now, I'll admit Inferno Goddess and the Aqua Goddess are not the best of friends - they really only get along where grease and gasoline fires are concerned. Even though Inferno Goddess dislikes water otherwise She doesn't see the connection between these water parks, their Aqua Goddess, water-worshippers and how TV shows are written, much less why these parks should apologize to arsonist assholes for being depicted as arsonist assholes. 

    We don't think the water parks need to apologize for what NBC writers do. We stand in agreement with Aqua Goddess and her followers on this.

    And really, people use this Change.org thing for all kinds of weird crap it really wasn't intended for. I've seen it used to ask Nintendo to make Super Smash Bros. for PS Vita or to demand studios make games they want. One of my fellow worshippers tried to petition for the creation of a mansion for Inferno Goddess to live in, but given that She is living flame and we lost a few places before this, we told him to take it down. 

    Its not like She has a problem staying warm anyway.

    I'd love to see Her all the time, but She only really appears when She needs to. She has, however, asked us to counter the existence of these water parks by building Her a gasoline park so She, too, can enjoy some spring and summer fun in the sun. She thinks gasoline prices are at a reasonable stage for us to pull this off and its been a while since She's gone for a dip. We are now in the process of converting an oil refinery for this purpose.

    We think She's earned it.

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    The Rise of Majora's Mask

      10:47 PM on 02.14.2015

    If there's one thing you can count on from fans of The Legend of Zelda, its consistency. These people know what they want. Zelda fans today complain that the series is always more of the same, which is why when The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was released it was met with lavish praise and Game of the Year awards for breaking from tradition and literally reusing the same overworld map from A Link to the Past. 

    I tease, of course. Well, I'm teasing the game, at least. Zelda fans are just plain weird at times. ALBW did a damn fine job of revisiting a classic Zelda setting while upending the table elswhere. It was the world of LTTP many hundred years a later and some of the landscape and the alternate dimension of Lorule were actually different. The dungeon structure was also more open-ended thanks to items being rented from a shop rather than found in dungeons.

    Ever since Eiji Aonuma took the director's chair for the Zelda series, he's always found interesting ways to subvert the classic Zelda formula. Time loops, burying kingdoms under the sea, founding new kingdoms with railways and putting cities in the sky - Aonuma enjoys shaking the series up a bit.

    Still, its interesting that amidst the accusations that Zelda is always more of the same that Aonuma's first full Zelda game, Majora's Mask, was anything but and met with derision from fans for being totally different.

    When I originally played Majora's Mask, it had released a few weeks after Shenmue and I was just a few weeks away from graduating college. While I used the internet a lot in college - way more than back home since a T1 connection thrashed 56k - I never used gaming forums. I was still mostly getting my game news from magazines, looking foward to games like Phantasy Star Online or Onimusha, looking up tips on Perfect Dark - that sort of thing. Plus I had tons of student clubs to attend, I wrote for the campus paper, helped plan events, made flyers and worked in games amidst all that and classes. There just wasn't much time to chat about games online.

    Anyway, Majora's Mask and Shenmue were unlike anything I had played before. These games had living, breathing worlds, full of characters that had daily routines and some even had friendships, relationships and working or leisure hours. Majora's Mask even had one of my favorite science-fiction tropes as a feature - a time loop. It also scaled back the number of dungeons to emphasize the world, its characters and the game also had a much richer story than any Zelda before it.

    Still, the game was a bit overwhelming and no magazine was recent enough to help me figure out some of the quests, so I decided to use a gaming forum for the first time.

    Rather than answer my questions, though, users there thought it better to insult what I was enjoying and instruct me to play Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past instead. When I told them I had already played those games and was looking for help with Majora's Mask, they just offered of checklist of reasons why Majora's Mask "sucked." I was wrong, dammit, and they were going to make me see the light.

    Because Majora's Mask didn't have eight dungeons. Ganon wasn't in it. Link didn't grow up. There was no Triforce or Seven Sages to find. It seemed, for them, that a Zelda game could only be a real Zelda game if it had these things. That and time limits were bad, mmmkay?

    Apparently they also hadn't played Link's Awakening, which also broke away from that formula somewhat. Of course, in the West, handheld games magically don't count as real to some folks, but that's another subject to itself.

    Anyway, these Zelda fans did want more of the same. You could tell that some of them were just dorks that had been around since the NES days and had nothing better to do but wage war with the rising Ocarina of TIme fanboys. Majora's Mask was only bad to some of them because it was a sequel to OOT. The younger ones being babysat by the internet liked OOT because it was their first Zelda and you grew up in it, so when that didn't happen in Majora's Mask they hated it. That and they pretended Zelda II was good because Link was "grown up" in that, too.

    Simply put, Majora's Mask rocked their precious boats.

    That was my impression at the time, at least. When I later browsed the forums for Shenmue and The Sims, people were more friendly and cordial about discussing those newer games, likely because those franchises didn't have a history yet. I'd like to believe I learned that lesson from that, but I'd go on to visit Final Fantasy, Fallout and Persona forums later anyway.

    There are people that still aren't over Final Fantasy VII and also some Persona 2 fans that really get bent out of shape each time someone mentions Persona 4. 

    That said, over the years Majora's Mask has had three additional re-releases - once in the form of a pre-order bonus disc that came with Wind Waker, another time on Virtual Console and now as a 3DS remake. What's interesting is in that time the game gained a tremendous amount of appreciation for being the darker, more surreal, unique and risky Zelda game. Now Majora's Mask is more commonly loved because there isn't another game out there like it. 

    There are other factors at play that explain Majora's Mask's appreciation now. For one, some of those people on the forums grew up and realized they had nothing to gain by rationalizing their purchases to strangers on the internet. I also think some people found the maturity of the game's message preferable to Link physically maturing. The time loop aspect continues to make the game stand out. That it was a ten dollar purchase on Wii Virtual Console and it gained a lot of visibility through "Let's Plays" and speedruns also plays a role here.

    Because elements of the game were stigmatized fifteen years ago, a lot of people didn't allow themselves to try it back then. When those stigmas faded, the game got a real chance. To be fair, though, it wasn't only the stigmas holding it back, in 2000 there was also the hype of the PS2's arrival and Xbox and Gamecube were peeking over the horizon as well. Majora's Mask came out at time when the Nintendo 64's newness had long since faded. 

    Final Fantasy IX shared a very similar fate on Playstation, come to think of it,. Now many people love that game, too.

    There are those that will lament digital rereleases, remakes and remasters - and I'll admit the level of remasters of games not even two years old is a bit of a farce right now - but I'll never complain about a great game from further in the past getting another lease on life and finding new fans. Some things just get better with age and Majora's Mask is certainly one of them.

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    50 Shades of Fae: The Zelda Interview

      7:25 PM on 02.13.2015

    As a proper Hyrule Historian, I have spent many years pouring over various documents, studies regarding the Triforce, various incarnations of our Legendary Hero, the Royal Family, the Seven Sages and the various evils that always plague our lands. That the cycle begins once more is something that concerns me deeply and, allegedly Her Royal Highness, Princess Zelda, as well, which is why I've asked her to speak with us here at The Deku Times. 

    Tatl: Welcome, Your Highness.

    Zelda: Thank you for inviting me.

    Tatl: As you very well know, evil has once again emerged in our lands and while we're waiting for the Legendary Hero to emerge, our towns and villages are under assault by Ganondorf's minions. 

    Zelda: Yes, it is an occurance that deeply concerns me. Rest assured, the Royal Family is doing all they can to aid our people as we seek out the Legendary Hero and pray the Sages awaken as well. 

    Tatl: Right. Tell me, why are you such an evil bitch?

    Zelda: What?

    Tatl: Are you in collusion with Ganondorf and his army?

    Zelda: NO! Why would you say such dreadful things?

    Tatl: Well, it just seems to me that every hundred years or so, whatever seal that was holding Ganondorf back breaks and once again Hyrule is under seige by the Prince of Darkness and his armies. Is that not true?

    Zelda: But the Royal Family and I have nothing to do with the attacks!

    Tatl: Hmph, well, I can't help but notice each time evil arises that six people are either kidnapped, go missing or die and by every Hero's account their spirits go on to a realm where they combine their powers with a member of the royal-family - always named Zelda - to seal away Ganondorf after the Hero lands the killing blow with the Blade of Evil's Bane, the Master Sword. Am I right so far?

    Zelda: Well, yes, that is correct.

    Tatl: And is it also correct that your ancestors never really have to go to that realm to be part of this seal - they just initiate the spell?

    Zelda: Kind of, I guess. 

    Tatl: Seems like a pretty sweet deal. 

    Zelda: Oh, it is...

    Tatl: So you admit it then?

    Zelda: YES! Long has the Goddess Hylia stirred within me and, over the centuries in her conflicts with the various agents of Demise, she's grown fond of this game of cat-and-mouse with Ganondorf in particular. She longs to feel the touch of Demise and his vessels, to caress his trembling skin and pull on his firey red mane!

    Tatl: Sounds steamy. Can you tell use more about Ganondorf?

    Zelda: I've been to see him, you know, five or six times already these last few weeks. Our desires are... unconventional. He's such a powerful man, but with such great responsibility there are days he just wants to kneel before a goddess and who am I to refuse when I am one?

    I have a some special binds I created, forged from light - which weakens him, but not enough to kill him - not without the Master Sword in play. Then, I'll shoot light arrows into him. He begs me for more each time.

    Tatl: So you and your ancestors were never really kidnapped?

    Zelda: Oh, no, not once. All accounts of our kidnappings are false. Other way around, really, I own Ganondorf. He's my subbie. We just let him play the mastermind because that's part of my kink. I've let him use the Royal Castle as his fortress more times than I can count. It's our little love nest.

    Tatl: So how does the Legendary Hero play into all of this?

    Zelda: Tease and denial.

    Tatl: I beg your pardon?

    Zelda: Ganondorf wants the entire Triforce so badly. Courage, Wisdom, Power... but as his mistress I know what ruin comes to the world when I let him have the whole thing, so we have our safeword in the form of the Legendary Hero. When I whisper "Courage," my little Dorfy knows its time to be sealed away again.

    Plus there's the battles and struggles leading up to that. Ganondorf fights for me out of love and devotion, but having a handsome, effeminte boy become my unwitting pawn and eventual pet is also a big turn on.

    When he deals the decisive blow to Ganondorf, I use the lifeforce of the sages to bind and seal Ganondorf for a hundred years or so, away from my touch, suffering for me until I decide to let him out to play again through one of my descendants.

    As for the Hero, hmmmmm... he's always so pretty. Your historial accounts always tell of him vanishing into obscurity, but I always manage to convince his various incarnations to stick around because they look so much nicer as one of my maids. There's not really much else for him to do after he returns the Master Sword to its rightful place, so they live out the rest of their lives waiting on me hand and foot - though I also have fun with them in the dungeon. Fire and Ice arrows. 

    Tatl: This is all so hot. Um, I'm very, very sorry for what I said earlier. It was very unprofessional of me, er, Goddess? A-are you into fairy girls?

    Zelda: I am very much into fairy girls so long as they submit to me. In fact, I could use someone like you. Someone has to bring our Legendary Hero back from the brink after I stick several arrows in him,. You would heal his wounds and restore that soft, fair skin. I may also have other ... uses for a fairy. 

    Tatl: I draw the line at butts, unless its your heavenly hindquarters. I'll heal guys, but I'm not into them.

    Zelda: I can respect that, what do you want your safeword to be?

    Tatl: HEY LISTEN!

    Zelda: Uh, yeah, that'll work. Well, shall we?

    Tatl: Yes, Goddess!

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    The Agenda: Male Gays

      10:51 PM on 02.07.2015

    Whenever I listen to feminists like that Anna Snarkeesia, I find most of their points agreeable - but then they start talking about how female characters are designed for the male gays. They seem really insistant that characters like Bayonetta are made with the male gays in mind. 

    Now, I'm sure gay men think Bayonetta is sexy and fabulous. I can even see fashion designers looking at her and going, "Yes," but I think this view is very limiting. I mean, what about the female gays? Or bisexuals? Or even heterosexual males? I think feminists that fixate on the male gays are kind of throwing everyone else under the bus here. Even if heterosexual women don't want to sleep with Bayonetta they might like her style, personality or that she kicks serious amounts of ass.

    I'm a lesbian superheroine and I have to say that the dominatrix-librarian-with-a-pixie-cut look that Bayonetta currently has appeals to me. British accents and long legs also do it for me. It's like Bayonetta was designed with all my weaknesses in mind - she might be my kryptonite and I'd want to give in to her.

    I would love to sleep with Bayonetta. If she can kick an F-16 into the air and fight angels and demons on them, then I want her legs around me, her hands all over me and her lips on mine. Or we could just go out for coffee. Or lounge on a couch and chat about Umbra witch stuff, I guess. Whatever she wants, really. I guess I shouldn't impose because she's clearly a top.

    I would also love to have stiletto heels that double as guns. That means I could quadruple-wield guns, which is cool as hell and what girl wouldn't want such things? Guys would think twice, perhaps even two more times before pestering a woman wth gun heels on the street - especially in US states with open-carry laws.

    Anyway, I think this whole "male gays" thing is barking up the wrong tree. I don't know why some feminists are so hung up on this. It doesn't seem very intersectional. Alina Sarcophogas can shut it on this issue. Bayonetta is awesome and if she was designed for the male gays, that's fine, but It seems like plenty of other people like her, too.


    The Agenda: Apparently, I have super powers!

      6:26 PM on 02.03.2015

    Today, I was informed that I have super powers. I did not know this but, if true, I'm eager to find out what they are. According to this very inclusive eSports group for women, being bisexual, lesbian or transgender make you exceptional at League of Legends.

    So exceptional that there can only be one of us LGBT types per team or the whole team gets banned for a year. I'm not bisexual, but I am those other two things, so I must be really OP - like that time they gave Batman a Green Lantern ring. 

    I just have to wonder, though - is that all? Are there more powers at my command beyond excelling at League of Legends? How do I access them? Must I play League of Legends to make these incredible powers emerge and mature? I've never played LoL before, but if that's the case I'll start buying my characters right now!

    Will I become one with the Speed Force? Do I have heat vision? Spider-senses? Was I exposed to gamma radiation so can I turn big, sexy and green like She-Hulk? Oooh, can I have Green Lantern powers like Jade? She's also green. I wouldn't mind being green if I had amazing powers. I'd sleep with Gamora.

    Will I grow wings? Please tell me I'll grow wings! I'd love to become a real fairy - lIke that level 80 one in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne! That pixie had the ultimate healing, lightning and almighty spells, allowing her to lay waste to a lot of things and restore the health of her allies. She even resurrected the dead!

    Healing seems ot be a common power among fairies and one I wouldn't mind having - at least so long as I didn't become small enough to be bottled and saved for later to help some jerk in his hour of need. I hope I'm a Great Fairy, though, and that I get my own fountain and perhaps give adventures powers of their own if they've earned it. 

    That or a weird mask.

    Health restoration I'd have to charge for and I'd make a business of it. I wouldn't complain if it was just Tinkerbell's powers, though, because she can help make people fly for limited periods of time. I could charge for that, too!

    I'll have to come up with a superheroine name, for criminals are a superstitious and cowerdly lot. I'd also need to design a costume. I guess I could go with a lavender one-piece bathing suit, teal knee-high boots and matching fingerless gloves. Hopefully I won't need a cape if I grow wings. I'd need other outifts, too, since I have to think about merchandising, comic books. movie deals and competing with Wonder Woman. She has a lot of different outfits. Different outfits mean more action figure and doll sales. 

    I knew being bitten by a radioactive lesbian was going to pay off one day!

    Majora's Mask is the Groundhog Day of video games!

      10:43 PM on 01.31.2015

    For years and years, weird people on the internet have been trying to find the Citizen Kane of video games, likely in some desperate plea for acceptance from older generations busy being frightened by Fox News or CNN. You will get no argument from me that Metroid Prime is one of the finest games ever made, but let's be real here - if Metroid ever had a film equivalent, it was the Alien franchise. Comparing it to Citzen Kane is a stretch and I'm saying that as someone that doesn't know much of it beyond "Rosebud" and the slowclapping .gif.

    I'm a child of the 80s and 90s. The greatest films of my generation star Bill Murray. Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Quick Change, Space Jam and Zombieland are just some of the legendary films he has appeared in, at least before women ruined childhoods forever by pushing for an all-female Space Jam film to be made. 

    Many game developers have valiantly tried to adapt Bill Murray's films into video game form, resulting in Outlaw Golf, Luigi's Mansion, Grand Theft Auto V, NBA Street and Dead Rising. Many of these were hit-or-miss adaptations and no developer really hit paydirt until Eiji Aonuma watched Groundhog Day and thought, "I can totally make a Zelda game about this, but I'm going to have to get Miyomoto really drunk." Thus, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was born after a lot of his paychecks were spent on saki. 

    Seriously, though. Majora's Mask is the Groundhog Day of video games.

    In Groundhog Day, we find a TV meteorologist named Phil living the same day over and over again. What started as an out-of-town assignment to report on the Groundhog Day events in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania turns into a time loop and Phil is the only person aware of this strange occurance. 

    I'm going to avoid spoiling too much, but if you want to stop now and watch it before proceeding, you can find it on Netflix or rent it online off of Amazon, iTunes, Youtube or Google Play. It is well worth the three bucks for a rent. 

    To keep this brief, Phil is a jerk and the movie is kind of a twist on A Christmas Carol - or in Bill Murray's case, Scrooged. Rather than deal with ghosts of past, present and future, though, Phil is going to learn to become a better person through a lot of trial and error within a seemingly infinite time loop. The dude learns French, how to play piano, ice-sculpting and gets to know everyone in town. He clearly makes good use of his time trapped in Punxsutawney. He could have been in there for decades given the skills he picks up.

    He does develop a god complex for a short while after a rather self-destructive phase, but he later uses this strange situation to become a better person, to develop a sense of empathy, help others and successfully woo his producer, Rita, into a genuine loving relationship and this breaks the loop.

    So live the same day over and over, become a better person, help others and become a god - at least for one constantly-recurring day. That's Groundhog Day

    Now, in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask you're Link, so you can't be a big jerk. Fortunately, we have an antagonist for that - the Skull Kid - who now possessses Majora's Mask and is out causing all kinds of mischief and trouble. The game starts with him stealing Link's horse and the Ocarina of Time, then luring Link into one of Hyrule's many alternate dimensions - this one is known as Termina - and then promptly turns Link into Deku Scrub. 

    That and he's also calling the moon to fall down on Termina. 

    Big. Jerk. Even Phil wasn't that much of an ass.

    Upon Link's arrival into Termina proper, Link runs into that creepy Happy Mask Salesman, who happened to be robbed of Majora's Mask by the Skull Kid. He sees they have a common enemy and goals, so he tasks Link with reclaiming Majora's Mask in addition to the ocarina. If Link can do this he'll help Link solve that whole turned-into-a-Deku-Scrub problem he's having. 

    It takes three days of tracking Skull Kid down, but Link gets the ocarina back. Unfortunately, the moon is about to fall on Termina, so he plays the Song of Time to get the hell out of there and finds himself back at the start of the three days. Seeing the ocarina in hand, the Salesman teaches Link the "Song of Healing,' which restores his human form, but when Link doesn't produce Majora's Mask the Salesman is kinda ticked off and insists that Link finish the job.

    After he stopped angrily shaking Link and puts him down, anyway.

    And so the quest begins. Link will relive these three days over and over until he reclaims Epona and Majora's Mask. In the meantime, he gets to learn all the ins-and-outs of Termina and its people. 

    What really stood out to me about this game was how each event in the game was connected to the larger story and every NPC had a very deliberate day-to-day routine. While a game like Persona 4 has characters living on schedules, you don't see them lived out in real time or get the immediate sense of purpose that brings. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has characters living out set schedules in real time but "I light the torches at night" or "I do blacksmithing" tends to be the entire depth of many of its characters.

    Majora's Mask occupies the middle ground, giving the NPCs the charm and spark they need to carry their daily routine convincingly while not loading the player down with too much talk.

    So you will meet and interact with every character on this bit of Majora's Mask art and they will go about their routines as each of the three days progress. It is pretty amazing how detailed the game gets and it reflects the level of detail put into the events of Groundhog Day. Once you get to know these characters and the reasons behind their routines, their presence over those three days feels less repetitive and more meaningful.

    Each of the characters In Majora's Mask also have their own problems, from the childish mischief of The Bombers to the anxiety and urgency the Postman feels despite his dutiful image to everyone in town. What's more is that as that dreaded, leering moon looms in closer and closer over the three days, many of these characters' dispositions will change as well. Some will despair, lose hope or drink themselves stupid as that moon inches closer and closer to bring them oblivion.

    And where most Zeldas make the people of Hyrule secondary to poking around dungeons, Majora's Mask does the direct opposite with Termnia and its people. They reduced the number of traditional dungeons to four in favor of making the world of Termina and its people the bigger puzzle to solve. That said, those four dungeons are possibly the most mind-bending of all Zelda games out there.

    That's its own subject, though. More than beating any dungeon your mission is to bring these people hope again - and to stop the moon from killing everyone.

    So, yes, like Phil, Link will get to know Termina intimately and gain numerous new skills, though in this case its transforming into a Deku Scrub, Zora or Goron and collecting masks to solve various problems. Link gets to to learn play horns, electric guitar and drums, too. 

    Oh, and he also becomes fierce diety as a result of doing all of this.

    Live the same three days over and over, help others and become a god. Sounds familiar.

    A certain someone also becomes better person and is redeemed. Link was already a good guy, but here he proves once again why he's the Hero of Time and, personally, I think he's a bigger person here than he ever was in Ocarina of Time. I'm not saying that because he gets the Giant's Mask and goes Godzilla on a boss.

    Majora's Mask is the Groundhog Day of video games. I rest my case.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a creepy mapmaker to go punch. He gets a little too excited about meeting little boys dressed in green.


    Photo Photo Photo

    The Agenda: 2015!

      11:43 AM on 01.09.2015

    As I've posted in the past, I am totally a fire marshal. I am also known to have uncovered the vast, far-reaching YJW catspiracy and lead the charge on dumping chocolate syrup and marshmellows on those that disagree with what I like to eat. All of this has been done in the name of advancing ethics in games journalism!

    But as you all know, by drawing breath each day, I also have an agenda. Actually, they send it out to me at the start of every year on rainbow-themed paper, complete with clouds and unicorns on the pages. It is really an itinerary of sorts, telling me how I must collude and conspire with others to get various things to come to pass - things like converting Ellen Page to our ways, getting Laverne Cox on the cover of Time and ruining marriage and Dragon Age for heterosexuals. Not everyone can have Sera, but we did make sure everyone could have Iron Bull and I think that was a good choice.

    This is not just our doing, however, we also have the Reptillian Empress Sark, DARPA and our Inferno Goddess to thank for making this all possible. By getting a bunch of kids to rage and flame on about women with opinions rather than actually talk about ethics, Intel has saw fit to fund us and our partners to the tune of 300 million dollars! Now certain poor souls at Intel must attend seminars in which they must learn how to not be assholes to other people. Or, for polite people, three hours they don't have to work, can poke at thier smartphones and drink coffee. 

    So 2014's edition of "The Gay Agenda" went off without a hitch for the most part and, okay, I was totally in on the YJW thing more than I "uncovered" it. I figure it was just time to disclose in full so I can move forward with a clean conscience. 

    But what will come in 2015's Gay Agenda? What does the future hold? Well, many things. Marriage is not fully ruined for hetreosexuals in America and Europe yet, so there's that. We're working on that Hobby Lobby problem, seeing if we can get a glitter embargo going against them - because that's our stuff. It's how we converted Ellen Page and Zachary Quinto, after all.

    We're also looking at Persona 5 and seeing what we can do with that because while Kanji and Naoto were cool, we think we can do better. We also have Ellen Page courting Bioware to see if we can just make Shadow Realms an all-lesbian affair.

    We're in talks with Sony about having Nathan Drake come out as gay. Its just time they admitted it. Kratos, too. He's just been so frustrated and angry for so long and, really, he cleaned out the entire Greek pantheon because he's not felt fulfilled. Putting him in Shovel Knight just isn't going to be enough and the Roman and Norse pantheons would like to live. Loki just took out Odin for Kratos, so yeah, let's just make them an item and call it a day. We made Thor a woman, so why not? 

    We took 8chan down the other day by pouring chocolate syrup in thier servers, just for a bit and for giggles. The real hit is coming later, but not from us at all because hey, kiddie porn is apparently 8chan's thing. We only have a gay agenda and it includes nothing like that so we'll just step aside and let the law do its thing. We have radio pundits to give aneurysims anyway.

    Also, we've decided we really need Natalie Portman and that black guy in the stormtrooper costume. We've made the glitter bombs needed, armed our minions with them and the deed should be done shortly. They will become one of us.

    That said, we also made sure that Bioware and Pixie Productions were getting on those Mass Effect HD remasters and optimizing them for a first-person bedroom mode with Project Morpheus. It is our gift to you since while we know you're so tired of remasters, the first person thing went so well for GTA5. A secret rendevous with a random cast member will be added because, really, we know some of you were just hoping Garrus would come in and take you hard unannounced.

    I think I've said enough. Maybe too much. If I say any more I might get kicked out of the agenda-planning for 2016 and I really want to make sure we get Lupita Nyong'o by then. She is severely adorable and I forgot to add her because the idea of Natalie Portman and Mass Effect HD remasters were already overwhelming me. My head was in the clouds as I sealed the envelope and mailed my agenda submissions away on Christmas Eve.

    Now, all there is left to do for me is to hop in that huge bin of sweet, sweet Intel money. 2015 is looking great!

    Your Sub-Personas, show them to me!

      9:47 PM on 12.20.2014

    This a place between mind and matter, between dreams and reality. A place where various sides of one's self, the various masks they harbor, emerge from the sea of the soul. The self suffused in divine love, the self capable of demonic cruelty and other fun things and stuff.

    Welcome to the Velvet Room. My Velvet Room. Or maybe it could be our Velvet Room. The Destructoid Community Blog Velvet Room! That's kind of a mouthful, which is why I didn't make it the headline.

    Anyway, I am currently on the third floor of the the third labyrinth in Persona Q and happily fusing new Sub-Personas. I've shared a few here and there, but I've not gotten many from Streetpasses and the ones I have gotten there are kinda crap. Thankfully, there's another way to get Sub-Personas from other players - QR codes!

    But I don't want just any QR codes - I want Persona Q QR codes from Destructoid users so we can share them, help each other and I can build the Destructoid Sub-Persona Compendium!

    If you're unfamiliar with the process of sharing QR codes from the 3DS. I can explain. First you need to arrive at a point in the game where Marie resumes her duty of communicating with other worlds, then enter the Velvet Room. From there choose the "Streetpass Book"  and "Edit Own Book" options, then the option to attach a Sub-Persona.

    You can pick any Sub-Persona you want from what you currently have available to you. Do not worry, you will not lose what is chosen and what is chosen for the book will stay in place until you edit the book - even if you fuse that Sub-Persona away.

    After that, back up to the previous menu page and select "QR Code" and the option to create one.

    Now that you've made the code you have two ways to access the image to share. You can either use 3DS Image Share (instructions are found in the 3DS browser) and first post it to social media or pull the file from your SD card directly (which is faster, to be honest). The file can be found in the "102NIN03" folder found within the DCIM folder, which is where 3DS camera images reside. The QR Code will be the final image in the folder.

    Now, you Sub-Personas - show me them! If I can collect enough, I'll sort out the best to make as complete a compendium as possible and post it at a later date. Share as many as you like!

    Here are some of my own creations!

    I made this Fortuna for my Map Navigator, who I chose to be Fuuka. This Sub-Persona will let you gather more enemy material drops, harvest more rare materials from P-Spots, allow you to see hints of treasure, secret passages and FOEs ahead as well as prevent pre-emptive strikes against the party and replenish HP as you explore dungeons.

    Good fortune indeed awaits you with this Sub-Persona!

    My next Sub-Persona was a happy Fusion accident, Rangda, the topless torso lady in dire need of a manicure.

    This one still has skills to learn, but this version is geared toward very physical characters who aren't afraid to dish out as much as they can take. This Rangda is a good companion for Kanji, Akihiko or Shinjiro in particular since their high HP can capitalize on potent skills like Aeon Rain and Zanshinken or allow them to tank hits with Pain Eater (when she learns it) and Immunity Buffer. Party attack buffs and enemy debuffs also help them contribute with thier low magic pools without losing too much SP in a fight.

    Next up is everyone's favorite bringer of pestilence and conquest, White Rider!

    This a Persona I crafted for Mitsuru a while back. Death magic, Guillotine and Demon's Stab add variety to her skill set and boost her frontline role, though at the cost of no protection against fire. The addition of Megido mixes well when Mitsuru learns Power Charge. A splendid choice for executioners not afraid of a little flame.

    For backline fighters I present Pavarti to you, a balanced Sub-Persona for magical offense and party healing.

    She boasts powerful lighting magic, in fact, she eats lightning! Loves the stuff! And when she's not about lightning, she has potent healing magic and can cure status ailments placed on the group. Her magic also cannot be silenced! I found her a great pairing for Yukiko and Aigis in particular, though she's a fitting companion for Yukari and Naoto as well.

    Finally, three high ranking fairies to fortify frontlines from fierce magic! Alliteration!

    This is no midsummer night's dream - Titania, Oberon and Queen Mab are here! All come with the passive skill Runic Shield, which provides a good chance to null magic damage on a party line. Oberon is designed to protect further from wind and lightning while I made Titania give up lightning for potent fire and wind magic. Queen Mab can do supreme single-target lighting damage! As with Pavarti, Titania and Queen Mab cannot have their magic bound!

    Take good care of my Sub-Personas, they have served me well! Now show me what emerges from the sea of your soul!

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