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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, November 24, 2001

To bring the topic away from tech stuff (hey, even I didn't understand the directx post):

I don't watch TV much anymore. In fact, before today, I don't think I'd watched a full programme for a while.

After a badly-dubbed Doraemon was my favourite show, which is back on TV! After being jettisoned by Central some time last year (?), I can now watch it again, and TWICE a week (Saturday and Sunday). Andrew Gan called me up last Sunday and told me it was on (too bad he didn't call one day earlier, or I'd have caught the previous episode)!. I've missed only 1-2 episodes so far, I think.



Set controls to outer space now
Flying higher than ever before
Rangers (in Space!)

Go, Power Rangers!
Go, Power Rangers!
Go, Power Rangers!
Go, go, go, fly
Go, Power Rangers!
Go, Power Rangers!
Go, Power Rangers, go....in Space!



"the Power Rangers in Space, powered by Sheng Tai toys". Bah, bad line. And Sheng Tai toys is advertising Lost Galaxy toys even *before* the In Space season has ended. I believe there are at least 10 more episodes. The Psycho Rangers have not even made an appearance yet (they're due in 2 episodes' time)!

They attempted a rudimentary science lesson, about an asteroid heading towards Earth which was as large as the one which is theorised to have started the extinction of the Dinosaurs.

I first watched MMPR in... late 1995, if I remember correctly. I didn't catch it when it started, but I later watched the first few episodes at MPH Parkway Parade while I was waiting for someone (probably my sister). My sister loved to sabotage the VCR when I was away and it was taping MMPR or one of its various incarnations, and the physically block the TV set when I was watching it. She disapproves of this sort of shows. "Violence". Bah.

She used to pull the plug on the TV a long while back when I was watching Transformers. Come on, how much violence is there? They never shoot anyone, not even a robot. Combat is mostly firing into thin air, and the resolve the combat, the Autobots shoot a convenient outcrop of rock above the Decepticons' heads, which falls and traps them for a while. At least it's better than GI Joe, in which combat consists of destroying the other side's vehicles, while the drivers jump out of them just before the explode. (GAH).

Barbie in the Nutcracker toys were also advertised. "The Prince" doesn't really look like Ken. Aww. Apparently they are based on the Movie. A Barbie Movie? Go figure.



My parents were pestering me about prom just now. They think I should get a jacket. Right. Life had a feature on it yesterday. It was, interesting.



Andrew on my knowing Joan Tan's sister:
where do you get to know all these rgs girls? don't tell me they publish their icq no.s on those yearbooks (icq msg)
aha! i just spent today fiddling with directx... after download the directx 8.1 SDK (140mb), then installing it *grumbles at the long time*, and looking at the help file, i realised that when they said "we won't develop directdraw anymore" they also meant "we wont even provide you with directdraw tutorials". They claimed to have merged d3d and directdraw to make d3d/d3dx (i cant figure out the difference), but all the tutorials they have talk bout vertices, surfaces, bump mapping etc... and all i wanted was a simple make-a-form, put-pixels-on-the-form code! *grumble*

eventually, i uninstalled the thing and installed the directx 7.0a SDK... at least in 7.0a, directdraw is still inside... come to think of it, i think every1's too crazy bout 3d stuff nowadays... so wat if its supposed to be a 3d-ish cube on the screen? its a two-dimensional screen!!! if i draw enuf 2d sprites, you wouldnt even know they were 2d, and they would probly look nicer as well... so anyway, i started reading their help file... ugh, the first tutorial was "create a screen", their sample code was a couple hundred lines long, and didnt make much sense the first couple times i read through it... eventually, after a couple hours struggling and nearly killing myself... i had a simplified version of their code that painted the entire screen red in 640*480*256.. whee!

my next objective was to create a rectangle that was actually smaller than the whole screen. after trying for ages and ages, it finally worked... some crazy problems that i dont really understand (i never did learn object-oriented programming in school, i picked it up on my own, and windows oop is mad), i finally managed to put a smaller sized red rectangle on screen!

the last objective of the day was to create random pixels on screen. well, i tried to modify my rectangle code to make them 1*1 in size, so they'r actually pixels... guess wat? nothing happened! after quite a while, i found out that microsoft made rectangles (left, top)-(right-1, bottom-1) instead of the usual (left, top)-(right, bottom) so that they could count sizes of windows more easily *grumble* so i managed to get my pixel routine working... julian mentioned that usually pixels r used to make rectangles, but i was using rectangles to make pixels *grin* i guess its a microsoft thing. the only problem now is getting the random function working.. once that works, i can port my terrain generator coded in good, old DOS to unstable, slow and irritating windows.

ah.... good old DOS... i have a nice graphics library i coded (actually the assembly was swiped from someone else, i ported it to c++) and its really good... i guess now its quite useless, but i can say im one of the very very very few ppl left now that know DOS, and i know how graphics work!!! mwahahha. i learnt svga in sec 3 and 4... was quite interesting.. a realyl slow library formed, but it was interesting nevertheless...

oh well, hopefully ill have my terrain generator ported over by tonight, and i can start work on a big 1024*768 terrain instead of my small 100*100 ones =)

ps remove that pic!!! ARGHHHHHHhhhhhhhh......... its utterly disgusting!
A lot of gaming posts recently. I want a comp upgrade.



For your viewing pleasure. This is the weirdest of his faces. I wonder if all the pictures are of the same guy.



Added at 6:27PM:
Whoa, everyone's posting instead of studying! :)

and Balderdash has become Comp-oriented for the last few posts.
First, hi to the 2 new posters on this blog. Welcome to the random posting that is Balderdash. Have fun. The topic is probably on games because I've nearly finished with my exams and am trying to make up for almost a year of not playing :P

Fuzzirat beat me to the review, but I'm going to review Battlerealms anyway :)

Battlerealms
Battlerealms is game set in "feudal Japan", although I think the setting is mostly there to make the game have a "cool" asian feel to it - it would have worked even if set in Africa or something (and no, I'm not trying to demean Africa - I'm saying that the game's design is solid.) The story is based around 4 distinct clans - the honourable Dragon, the cunning Serpent, the evil Lotus, and the warlike Wolf. Each side fights for a different goal - although in Campaign mode you only really get to use either the Dragon or Serpent clans. I went with the Dragon clan in Campaign, the softie that I was, simply because I couldn't bear to kill the rather helpless peasants. Anyway, Kenji (the protagonist) goes off on a quest to retrieve the "serpent's orb", which he believes possesses the ability to "break the world". Now, I haven't got the faintest idea what the orb does, because half-way through as a Dragon, Kenji's goal changes to "I must stop the inter-clan war" instead :P The Serpent wish to re-gain control of all the clans (they were once the dominant clan, just before Kenji's father, the leader of the Serpent clan, died), the Wolf wish freedom for their peasants (they were previously a group of miners under control of the Lotus) and the Lotus wish to gain the awesome power of the orb (which apparently only they believe in) for themselves.

The Single Player campaign mode can be rather impressive right at the start. You are thrust right into the clan's power struggles, and can choose (ala Command and Conquer) which path to take, although the game's story progresses quite linearly. Missions can be quite challenging at times, although the earlier missions I found rather easy. There isn't much in the way of "commando-missions", although the 2 I have played thus far were thoroughly enjoyable and well designed, with one requiring Kenji to protect a building, and the other having Kenji run a gauntlet. However, some missions can be frustrating - when I thought I had eliminated every single one of a certain side (the missions usually requires you to eliminate more than 1 AI player), one of their peasants would have survived and had rebuilt slowly, from 0, up to an annoying fully fledged army again. This makes having to hunt every single one of a remaining side's units down necessary, which I found most annoying. However, once I got used to the idea that peasants were attracted to rice and water like moths to a candle flame, things became much easier.

The AI in this game is one of the best I have ever seen. Battlerealms has bested Dark Reign in having the best AI in an RTS I have played. The movement AI is intelligent - it automatically picks the shortest path and can navigate bottlenecks with ease (unlike a certain popular RTS I know of *coughcough*starcraft*coughcough*). Units have a good idea of what they are supposed to do and do it well - the Geisha automatically heal units to full health if they go yellow, and melee units pick the targets they work best against and attack them first. However, in default mode, the units tend to be over-enthusiastic and will chase ANY unit they can see to the ends of the earth, even if they are bleeding, limping, and have had critical body regions chopped-off. This is easily fixed by putting the unit into passive mode, though. I find that once I got the hang of it, controlling my units was a breeze - no formations needed! All-in-all, the unit AI is very well done and unobstrusive.

The enemy AI is extremely fun to play against in skirmish mode. The AI may be set to represent different characters in the game, such as Kenji, Shinja (leader of the Serpent Clan), Zymeth (Lotus), or Grayback (Wolf). There are more, of course, but each of these different AI representatives have a different style of play - some like using unit abilities (called BattleGear), some like summoning heroes, etc. I have had the AI execute several effective unit strategies on me - Grayback is particularly fond of hitting hard and fast, from 2 sides (classic pincer strategy?), with hard-hitting melee units, while Shinja favours using quick units to lure my nicely-assembled army piecemeal to their doom, to a ambush in a thick grove of trees. Again, never have I seen any computer AI do this in any other game, so kudos goes to Liquid Entertainment for programming such a great AI.

Multiplayer is great - Battlerealms does not focus on resource collection, and instead rewards aggresive gameplay and good usage of the units you have available. Of course, every game has it's share of turtlers, but I daresay turtlers won't survive very long in Battlerealms, since they will be at a disadvantage in terms of Yin/Yang points collected (which are used to upgrade your units), as Yin/Yang points are awarded by the number of kills you have based on how far you are from your "base". My clan loyalties lie with the "Serpent" clan, currently - their style of play focuses (I think) on hitting quickly with fast moving units, burning down buildings (always fun), and crippling enemy units with caltrops and landmines. Fuzzirat has had first-hand experience of both first and second points *mischievous grin*.

Battlerealms is a fully 3D RTS. The unit models looks great from the default view, although they get horribly blocky during in-game cinematics, which zoom right up to the units, very "close and personal"-like. Colours are rich and vibrant, and spell or unit ability effects suitably magnificent. The way the game is presented is very, very slick, with a distinctive art-style I find appealing. Unit animations are done well, and very varied. My jaw dropped when I first saw Kenji dodge quickly to his right to avoid a sword thrust, leap towards his opponent with a quick forward slash, and then leap back again to safety. The units have pseudo-oriental voices, which sound MOST melodramatic, although they never take themselves too seriously :) One of Dragon's heroes Tau, a monk, spouts phrases of wisdom like "The path is the way" - which is quickly followed up by "Forwards is not backwards", and then "Left, is right. Right, is wrong". The Serpent "Raider" unit sounds very fruity - according to the Liquid Entertainment guys, the guy who voice acted him and the Dragon Archer (another rather "funny"-sounding unit) is teased daily in the office. Most memorable and amusing.

If there was something I disliked - it would be that hotkeys to unit abilities are not easily found. I still haven't figured it out yet, and have to click the button manually. While this isn't all that bad, it's slightly distracting.

I won't give Battlerealms a score - play and judge for youself, but play it you must.

p/s: I want a PS2, damnit. I want one I want one I want one I want one. Devil may cry must be the singular coolest looking game I've ever seen. Rez is funky, and there's no need to even mention MGS2, I just HAVE got to get it. ICO, too. ARGH, I want a PS2. Then again, I want an Xbox as well. The fundamental problem of Economics rears it's ugly head though - I wonder how much I can exactly buy with my NS salary.

p/sp/s: Civ 3 is suitably fun too, but I was beaten down by the Germans and am still smarting from my in-ability to even try to play and win through peaceful means.

Well, this was a long post. Sadly, I haven't played much of Hundred Swords yet (guess why- no prizes for getting the right answer though), so I can't say much about it. Controls are a bit clunky, although the gameplay itself seems quite good.

Agagooga, please get rid of that picture of Asian Prince. URGH. Please.
i'm back after two days of seclusion with a PS2.

since the topic has been on games lately, let me confirm from first hand experience what everyone has been saying - METAL GEAR SOLID 2 IS GODLIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it is as close to console gaming perfection as you're likely to see in this lifetime - from the intro movie which everyone i think has seen(it's on the Zone of the Enders demo disc and is downloadable all over the web) - i can tell you that watching it on a 29" HDTV is the only way to do it justice... the soundtrack is composed and arranged by the same guy who did The Rock(Nicholas Cage/Sean Connery, not the "can 'o whoopass"-opener) - it starts with a pre-rendered CGI scene of a rain-swept bridge and segues SEAMLESSLY into an in-game rendered scene that is almost completely indistinguishable!

the gameplay is basically what you expect from MGS, but MORE MORE MORE MORE. new moves, new tactics, new pecadilloes - little realistic touches like shooting the radios of enemies, hiding in lockers, using your enemies as human shields - fantastic! the levels are done in the same neo-industrial manner as the previous, but with more graphical touches, much more environmental interaction(rain washing off bloodstains on a ship deck, icecubes melting, plants wilting, hair dripping wet as you step out of water) - and of course, the superlative storyline. We are talking a game you watch as much as you play. I have NEVER seen a game with this many 30-minute-long cutscenes/convos. It even starts with a 200-page in-game text document that "summarises" the events of the first Metal Gear Solid:).

Boss fights were just as immensely fun and generally harder - although i didn't find any that matched the zhainess of Vulcan Raven in the first game. The graphics are really where the game shines - textures of faces are seamlessly alpha-blended, the environmental and fogging effects are superb, and there are so many little touches, in-jokes, details, that a loving gamer who spends time doing anything and everything with the environment(hint - there are LOTS of thigns to do with the girlie pictures in the locker:) will be immensely rewarded.

and the story - once again - FANTASTIC. plot twists, densely layered, a little hackneyed in some hero points, but it's clear that Hideo Kojima has a thing for psycho-death-loving killer chicks(Viola in Zone Of the Enders, Sniper Wolf in MGS1 and now Fortune in MGS2). about the most surprising thing in the gameplasy is that you DON'T PLAY SNAKE all the way through the game. but to tell more would be to spoil the fantastic story - let's just say that there's a plot twist in almost every cutscene.... and you can pan the camera around in cutscenes just to prove to yourself that it ISN'T pre-rendered!

anyway, i can't think of enough good thigns to say about it - perfectly immersive environment, densely layered storyline, superb character animation and model design -
and above all, DETAILS. this is a game that positively glistens with details. the perfectionist gamer will get so much more out of this, even though the casual gamer is not short-changed by just romping through the game for the storyline.

bottom-line is this - GET THE GAME. GET A PS2 TO PLAY IT. KILL, LIE, CHEAT AND STEAL TO GET A PS2 TO PLAY IT ON. SELL YOUR IRRITATING SIBLINGS INTO SLAVERY TO OWN ONE. THIS IS A GAME THAT DEFIES MORAL CONSIDERATION. IF YOU WANT MORALITY, TRY TO COMPLETE THE GAME WITHOUT KILLING ANYONE TO ATONE FOR THE SINS COMMIITTED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A PS2.

(ootnote: also played Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto 3, and Zone of the Enders. brief mini reviews follow

Devil May Cry - superb graphics, simple linear mission-based structure, and a tres-cool gun/sword-wielding half-demon mercenary. the camera angles are a bit jarring at times, but the storyline is good for a typical "get vengeance on the demonic forces who killed your family and save the world" kind of archetype. The attacks are good, and the level designs are finely textured and superbly laid out.

Grand Theft Auto 3 - proof that graphical excellence in any one area isn't as important as many factors contributing to overall FUN-NESS of a game. GTA3 runs on ambience, style, attitude, and environment - from the radio station you can tune in to that contains almost 2 hours of DAMN FUNNY chat show stuff, to the fact that your car door doesn't shut if you jack a vehicle and speed off too fast - the various cheesy accents of the Yakuza, Triads, and Mafia.. you'll be willing to forgive the fact that the graphics engine isn't the best out in the world, and in terms of driving realism it isn't Gran Turismo 3, but picking up whores and listening to them bitch about their work while running over helpless pedestrians in a very large and well-mapped city is worth it all.

Zone of Enders - what can i say? Irritating protagonist, but good fighting action(albeit a little repetitive). Think of Virtua On with more 3d movement. However, the horribly short gameplay and unsatisfying ending are major irritations(i was "what the !$@#!$" when it ended - ABRUPTLY) - although the robot designs in close up really showcase the power of the PS2's graphical engine, albeit lacking the finer texture work of top-end PC titles like Alice.

Okay, back to exams......

Goddamned reality.

Friday, November 23, 2001

Ah... civ3... i read reviews on gamespot.. apparently its split into 2 groups... those that say its excellent, or those that say its pathetic.. =)

i think overall, its not bad, definitely an improvement over civ 1 and 2...
i think the biggest change is in the art... the stuff look nice and theres actually animation as they move around and fight..
quite fun to see the first couple of times...

then of course there'r the new features, like resources and culture...

resources r a new thing (which i havent seen in civ-like turn-based games much) where to build a say, swordsman, u need iron..
so u need to find iron on the map and then build a road from it to a town.. then _that_ town can build swordsmen...
one funny thing is that if u link all ur towns together with roads, one source of iron allows every town to build swordsmen...
perhaps thats y resources can run out after some time... but i think its quite random...
then of course there'r luxuries too... if u link silk to ur town(s), they'll have more happy ppl...
the same weird thing happens.. one source of silk can make all ur towns get 1 extra happy person...
and luxuries dont run out...
the thing bout strategic resources like iron and oil is that they dont show u where u can find them until u actually research it..
like if u research iron working, then iron appears on the map...
some ppl complained that they cant plan their cities' locations becos of it, but i think its actually quite good...
cos it creates a need to build cities in weird positions like deserts just in case saltpeter (for gunpowder) is there, since saltpeter forms on deserts and some other terrain piece...


diplomacy is quite weird... u have an advisor whos _very_ accurate..
he'll say "they'll be insulted by our proposal" and stuff if they wont accept, to "we're getting closer to a deal" until finally "i think this proposal is acceptable"..
so u can keep experimenting with deals (w/o actually offering to the comp player yet) and reduce the amount of gold u offer until its just nice...
supposedly, the comp remembers stuff u did and will not trust u if u betrayed them in the past..
but i havent really noticed much difference from alpha centauri, other than the fact that comps dont go around boasting "we've just developed so-and-so tech, and have begun production on a X-X-X, so we're practically invulnerable"
when u actually have a X^2/X^2/X^2 unit for example =) they dont boast at all anymore =)

culture is another new thing they added... as u build "cultural" stuff like temples, colloseums and stuff, u generate culture each turn, and when u reach cultures of 10, 100, 1000 etc, ur country borders increase...
and if ur town is close to an enemy's, and ur culture is very high, the enemy town may convert... when i played my first few games, i kept converting computing towns...
so fun... but when i played at the 3rd or 4th difficulty (avg difficulty), it was irritating, cos after i conquered a town, there would be resistance..
then if during resistance u have civil unrest (when # unhappy ppl > # happy ppl) there's a _very_ high chance they'll convert...
and the worst part is all the soldiers in the town will just disappear! i had to load many autosaves just cos of that...
and also the weird fact that if i removed all my soldiers from the town that was gonna convert the next turn, it wouldnt convert... weird!

another very weird thing is that combat is unbalanced... a 1/1/1 warrior can kill a 5/3/1 knight if hes lucky enuf...
of a 5/3/1 knight with 5 hp can win a 1/2/1 unit with 3 hp, with only 1 hp left at the end... if its a 5/3/1 with 5 hp against a 1/2/1 with 4 hp, u can lose! its weird...
[Ed: It's called probability. It's possible I can get D for Economics S without studying, but very improbable.]

besides all the negative points, i think overall its still very fun... all the need to do is tweak corruption rate (its _really_ bad now)
and make combat a little more balanced perhaps... julian sez combat probly wont be tweaked cos civ has always been like that... but i dunno...

another thing bout civ3 is the requirements! they say a 300mhz is enuf, but on my 550mhz, it crawls quite a bit (scrolling takes ages)
and i check my task manager, my processor was running at 90+%!!!
i never had a game take up so much cpu b4... and theres no big gfx, not much apparent thinking done either... i really wonder wat civ3 is doing with my processor...
moving a unit (during my turn) from one square to another takes 3-5s sometimes... but instant at other times, so its really weird...

on julian's 900mhz, it runs _very_ well.. so again its quite funny... everything else bout our comps is more or less the same...
besides the slow speed, i think overall its not bad =)

Fuzzy rating: 3.5 Rats out of 5...
Response to my new ICQ picture has been unanimous. Excerpts:

"oh yuck :P"

"urgh. urgh. make it go away."

"YUCK
YUCK. change it...! ughhh
eeeeeeeeeeee
its really gross
i have no idea y u put it in ur icq pic.... at least the apple lady was not disgusting..."

"EEEEEKKKK! Not _that_ picture!

Ugh. Yes, nearly [died]."

"sick ass"

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHA

looks like shit"

"GOSHHHHHHH
WHAT IS THAT?!!!!!

aiyeeee"

"errr
nice pic?"

"wah kow!! u'll freak everyone out... and wohen nankan nearly killed me too"

"hahaha... it's a really gross pic i agree... at least u should have put something with more taste"

"Oh dear god."

The Associate:
"i think the asianprince has a disturbing effect on the psyche of all who view it. like a car crash"
Whee...
Here's my review for Battle Realms:
its interesting cos its 3d-ish... its sorta 3d but they dont let u rotate ur screen left and right, only up and down (i wonder why)...
peasants raise their arms and hammer into air for buildings to appear =) heheh...
i think the fun part of the game is the ability to "cross-breed" units to make others.. like u send a peasant into one building, u get one kinda soldier. then u send that soldier into another building, u get a different one.. quite interesting...
interesting points is the endless supply of resources... there's only 2: water and rice.. and u can water rice patches to make more rice grow... and ponds and rivers dont dry up... so basically if no one touches u, u eventually have max resources..
i think one problem is the messiness of the whole thing.. played a 3 vs 3 comp game earlier with Julian and his fren Skylight (interesting character), and battles got so messy i couldnt control the stuff properly... i found the animation of archers climbing on top of the watchtower interesting, but julian said it was weird.. *shrug*...
just played a 1v1 with julian.. died hehehhe. he rushed me so fast! but my peasants proved to be lethal as i chopped his soldiers with small peasants... =P
its interesting cos the speed that peasants pop from peasant huts depends on the number of units u have, so as he killed my peasants, more popped out.. (they come free.. hehehe)
The funniest part was the peasants saying "Kill? With these? Er... ok...!" when i asked them to attack his base =)
overall, i guess the game is interesting... some of the terrain r really dark and cant see anything... but besides that its quite ok... should be fun once i actually get the hang of the game...
Fuzzy rating: 3.5 Rats out of 5...

(I'll post on Civ3 after I finish watching Survivor!)
This is a routine test.
This is a routine test.
Testing... 1, 2, 3, 4
Testing... 1, 2, 3, 4
Sorry for the interruption.
My sister always starts the washing machine before she goes out, so *I'll* have to hang the clothes. Gah.

Was out with Screwed Up Girl yesterday. Saw... SCENTED GLUE. Goodness. Now screwed up girls will sniff it and die!

Mysteries of life:
Why does Cream Cheese water?
Usual ad-hoc snippets of commentary:

Little Prince is the most meretricious piece of garbage I have ever read in my life. Good for use in hooking "sensitive" new-age chicks who want to appear like there are things more important than emotional instability, shopping, and raving over guys' new car body-kits/credit cards/heaps of flowers, etc....

a damning indictment of translations is Asiapac's bastardization of jin yong's condor heroes series. i mean, "The Mighty Snap"?

Loom's theme is a fairly good rearrangement of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

i did some checking - the weirdzo planets you got are from the Solarian mythos, i think. some freaky european cult that was related to the solar temple people(who killed Grace Kelly)

you know, during hari raya, what happens if you're a muslim posted in antarctica right now? if you must fast from sunrise to sunset, what the hell do you do if the sun is in the sky for *6 months*(!). and before you ask, the pattern depends on where you are, not some standardised clock. muslims in northern hemispheres now enjoy a much longer night as it is winter. although if you're in the arctic, you have it set - can gorge for that six-month long night on walrus fat....

asian prince has taken on a hideous life of its own - there's something so awful and terrible about that site that you can't tear your eyes away from it. sort of like
Para Para. a friend of mine said, and i quote: "the first time i saw para para machines at the arcade in bugis, it wasn't just the gyrating hand and foot movements of the gaudily dressed lian or her gaudily dressed beng opponent.. it was the six or seven other gaudily dressed(for clubbing, almost) onlookers behind them imitating their every move in perfect rhythm that caused me to stare in horrified fascination. eventually, i managed to tear my gaze away before my bones liquefied entirely... I can gouge out my eyes, but I can never gouge out the memory."

you know, i wonder how many freaks are using the online rgs yearbook now to hunt down the lian of their choice?

"I feel sorry for myself, because no one else is(sorry for me)" is from an old movie. one of those Golden Age hollywood bridging between technicolor and b&w movies.

i heard that invigilators need the scripts back, in case someone tries to falsify answers and slip them into the stack before marking - although they're marked abroad, so i have no idea how it's feasible

other nostalgic childhood games - the throwing little sack thingies you catch on your palm and back of hand, aeroplane/tank cards where you compare stats(someone always got the SR-71 *grumbles*), animal chess(elephant kills anything except mouse), "surround"(there wasn't a name for it, but you used "X"s and "O"s to draw cages around the other person's position - remarkably related to weiqi), those pencil sliding games where you drew tanks/guns/planes and slid the pencil along the paper to trace the path of the bullet or the movement of the vehicle(2B staedtler pencils being the weapons of choice), pencilboxes with six or seven buttons that had multiple pop-ups(i never got one - that's why i'm so fucked up, i think)... the list goes on, as i was just reading a nostalgia fight at: http://www.electricferret.com/fights/issue_153.htm

the malaysian king was at Mount E. Hospital a week before he died. singaporean treatment, followed by total renal failure. MUST I SPELL IT OUT, FOLKS?

you forgot to mention that i think you could've been a dominican inqiuisitor in another life, burning witches at the stake, what with your distaste for women.
[Ed: Damning 'Hot Shorts' and 'Hot Socks' does not mean misogny :) 'Hot Socks' in men suck too, and screwed up stuff *can* be fun {notice caveat}]

battlerealms iz goot. civ 3 is also goot. the christmas season is coming up with a plethora of good games. after i finish this blog, i'm heading over to a friend's place
for an extended playing of metal gear solid 2. screw my CFA exams!

during my tenure in singapore, i shopped for games at two places - microtrend at katong shopping center, and Tiny(which lasted from 1995-1999). i remember carting home about 24 discs to install wing commander 2, the add-on packs, AND the sound-packs. those were the days. *nostalgically*. and back then, the pirates would include full manuals as well - these days they can't be bothered for the most part. damn shoddy quality control. (although my friend tells me that the Penang pirates not only still consistently produce good quality cd-label stamps that don't look like someone photocopied the box image and pasted it on the CD, but they still include booklet manuals in the jewel cases or, as is more the case, the cd sleeves. these days, some shops even sell BURNED cds as opposed to stamps. cheap bastards.). anyway, microtrend was brilliant - it had a catalogue of games dating back to the original king quest, which they kept ON FILE, they had the most comprehensive catalogue of pirated manuals ever for pre-CD games(back when i still collected them) - and the aunty was very nice about lettnig us know when raids were forthcoming so we could help her clear stock at discount prices. damned Berne convention. not like I signed the WTO agreement on intellectual property.

why am i ranting so long? because it's better than studying, and i'm waiting for my friend to get his car so i can go to his house and cart-off some anime, games, and watch Grand Theft Auto 3 and MGS2.

come to think of it, where the hell *is* Rainier...

Thursday, November 22, 2001

The Bad joke award goes to Patch (P**** Andrew Tan C*** H****) for this:
Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?

FSOH!

And he also says, about Jade:
well it was still open about 2 days back.

Wah.

I'm thinking of shelling out (or getting my father to shell out) $800-$1200 for an upgrade to my 400Mhz thingies. It will apparently buy me nice stuff, like a 1.6Ghz Processor, 256MB SD-133 RAM, a SB Live! Value and a GeForce 2.

Problem is, I'll be enslaved at most 15 days after the upgrade, and assuming I don't get detention, I'll only be back during weekends.

The previously named one also recommended that I "wait 1 month after you go in, then. unless you plan to play like there's no tomorrow in the 15 days." because "i suggest you wait another month or so until the MPC of your abstinence is equal to the MPB of the geforce2. prices are falling for it."
The "clapping hand" game isn't a male thing. Similar proportions of girls do it, albeit with loud squeals and shrieks

FBT shorts are actually pretty comfortable and wick away sweat.

I played Loom- quite interesting and novel- was a little scared by it though because of the scary pictures of the bad guys swooping down with scythes
If you played it at expert level you were supposed to be treated to a special animation in the middle. After completing it once on beginner's level i tried it at expert level but didn't get the easter egg!
Also, I never got to learn the spell/song thing to summon a fairy (although it was mentioned in the manual). Hmm.

Will trust xephyris' recommendation and try out battlerealms after A's

On self-pity (though i'm not in a position to hold a prolonged theological argument):
"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."- Matthew 8:20

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

The Tea Tree - Group Blog V 1 --- Where deprived schoolgirls, sucked into the world of Anime, Yaoi, Tentacles and what not engage in search engine baiting with such terms as:

*censored*

And which comes up on searches like "longest penis on net ", "tallest man penis" and "blog penis" (penis envy?), "cockroach tatto pictures" (wth) and "Explicit Yaoi pictures " (Ooo).

Eugh. And I thought Yaoi Girl was bad enough. :)



21 pages of 2000 scanned today! Wow.



I've heard, from various sources, that Jade House Computer has closed down. The horror! In operation since 1995 (at least), this business has always been the haunt of Bishan schoolboys. Twas the day late in 1996, when Melvin Tay brought me there. He later claimed that he got discounts by giving the man... favours. Right. At that time, CDs cost $15. Apparently the year before they had been $20. Prices went steadily down every few times I went there (buying a whole lot of stuff I never used, or never used much). $12... $10... $8... $6. The cheapest CSs in Singapore! And they used to have floppy games too, with such gems as Dark Sun II : Wake of the Ravager (Never got down to playing it - I loved Dark Sun : Shattered Lands actually, but somehow the sequel didn't seem so good, or maybe I was lazy to play it). Then they started selling off the original floppies instead of copying them for customers. Well, now we have the Internet, though many abandonware sites are being shut down (and the original companies don't even sell the games anymore, for Pete's sake!). The old compilations also were sold there. King of Games [where Tim The Great's primary title comes from!] 1/2 (The ultimate collection of old games!), Best Game II (sic), with more fun stuff, Best Games III (also released under the title King of Games V). And then the Best Games series deteriorated. Best Games IV looked terrible, so I never bought it. King of Games stayed good for a while... VI and VII. Then it deteriorated too. Or maybe games became too big, and so most of the games there became CD-rips [eugh] and the number of games on each CD decreased too! Their compilations became few and far between towards the end of my patronage. How convenient - you could then buy the full-CD versions from them.

We had always thought that the police had an agreement of sorts with the proprietor ('Peter'). "Even the police commissioner's son goes there". It even expanded to 2 units in late 1999 or early 2000, business was that good. Once, I was there and this guy asked, "What are you doing here?", evidently asking me what I was doing in a place with porn on some of the games compilations. Tim said I should've asked back, "What are *you* doing here?". Well, it survived a good 4-5 years, a rather long time for this sort of establishment. Wonder if I'll ever see Peter, Jasmine (his wife) or the pimply guy again.

Jade House Computer - Bishan St 11, Blk 505, #01-426, Phone No: 258 8603 (Courtesy, SEPOMs Singapore).

Maybe I'll call them :).



More weird Ma-laysia stories:
KOTA BARU (Kelantan) - The lack of entertainment outlets and too many heavy political talks may be the reason behind the rising incidence of incest in opposition Parti Islam-led Kelantan, says the Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister's Department. Datuk Noh Omar said although night entertainment spots such as discos were banned, social ills such as incest were still on the rise. 'Perhaps the ceramahs are too heavy and the men become highly intense,' he told reporters yesterday. However, he added, 'the important issue here is awareness. This is a
social problem and we need to be more pro-active'. Earlier, in response to a question in Parliament, he said the number of incest cases in Kelantan had increased from three in 1999 to four in 2000 and nine in 2001, malaysiakini.com reported.

The late king of Ma-laysia married his 4th wife when she was a 19 year-old college student, and he over 60. Ahem.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

This sucks. That sucks. Sh*t happens.
This angst was brought to you by the letter A, N, G, and the phrase STfu.

There. Enough angst to last our webboard for a few millenia. Now, back to rambling, random posts, and boliao stuff.

Fwah, proxomitron "disables" the post and publish button. It's still a great proggie though. Ads on the Internet are evil. I can't stress that enough. [Deep voice]EVVVVVIIILLLL.[End Deep Voice, coughcoughcough]. Here it is, for all of you who still suffer daily from the injustice of seeing popups, blinking ads, annoying javascript scrollers, etc.
The Proxomitron

Forgot what I was going to blog. Fweh. Going to recommend a nice song - Loom's main theme. Loom was this old musical game by Lucasarts. Recently, my friend sent me the main theme, and it's pretty nice. Instrumental, and strings, though, so it's not for everybody. Ok, I'm off now. My brain's half dead...
Ah, now I remember. This was going to be a game recommedation - the game I'm currently engrossed with right now is BattleRealms. It's a real time strategy game set in feudal Japan (well... sort of.) With 4 uniquely different clans to play, an engrossing single playing campaign, and brilliant multiplayer, it's too good to pass up. Have a look see, and hopefully, I'll have more opponents to conquest when I go onto gamespy.
Battlerealms

Next post I'll do a more detailed review as well as something on Hundred Swords, another RTS, this time by Smilebit, a division of SEGA.
For some reason, I'm talking to people about the A03 look again. Maybe it is true (God forbid) that I have a "widely known fondness... for the female Geographers." Gah. Not that I know many of them anyway. Ugh, Screwed Up Girl's going to A03 next year. I'm ruined!

Michael is quite A03-ish, and I think he'd take that as a compliment. Anyway he's just an A03 person who doesn't take lit.

What is it with Geog that makes people morph into A03-ers? And no, it's not an Arts thing. I've seen A01C-E (lecture), and they can't compare to A03.

This must make me sound really voyeuristic. Houdini and Red Jacket don't get so much attention. Ah well.

Just so I don't have to retype it everytime I make A03 look references to people, some criteria for the "A03 look" (A03A-ers don't count):

- Female (though some males qualify too. Then again, outside A03A, there are like 5 A03 males and I know 3 of them)

- Long, dyed hair. Shoulder length or below preferably. Hair must be highlighted or worse, with a brownish or worse colour (BSB has purplish tinted hair, I suspect)

- Flesh Parade. It helps if you're a Flesh Parader.

- Hot Socks / Hot Shorts (the latter is for out of school wear, so it's just a speculation)

- Doing what gives BSB the name BSB. (Ask Jianwen)

- The look in the eyes and the stance and mien. Ditto.

Probably a few more, but this is the general idea. Tis hard to quantify. "The A03 Manifesto".

Someone says that in her time (1988-1989) A03 had a lot of sluttish girls.

My associate's comment: "you seem to have a distinct mortification for sexuality - a quality shared by quite a few serial killers... i was reading through your blog - and a recurrent theme in our conversations and in your epistlery - there's a not-so-subtle misogyny and resentment of female sexuality - the abhorrence of "flesh parades" and "hot pants", the general veneer of distaste for anything that heightens adolescent sexual attractivenes... the proliferation of calling people by these little soubriquets
it's vaguely schizo - you're disssociating yourself from these people, giving them conceptual labels.

might i add how psychopathic it is to pick up scrunchies and hairbands..."

How worrying :)

Friend, "as a matter of fact.. everyone seems to be intriguing to you.. why dun you focus on some j1 class instead.."

Another, "i wonder how u manage to come up with so much stuff like this.. i mean u haf list after list of weird ppl, and what not"

There's an S01 look also, but everyone knows about that :)

Oops, RJ teachers are reading this. Err. Falalala. Gobbledy-gock. Lorum ipsum. How does that one go. Heck.
Ooo, apparently people have been reading this blog. I was asked to bring the paper that I took home last week back, because they need it. Thus are the perils of writing on the web. Maybe that's where all the hits are coming from - RJ teachers monitoring my site to see if I write anything bad!

The Indian invigilator, the one who goes on stage [and reminds me and other people of Ms Santha, though not in the temperament], is really quite grumpy. I wonder how those who are in the Hall all the time stand it. She got upset when she let us go to the toilet in between Economics 1 and 2, and we made some noise. Isn't it supposed to be a break? Maybe she's sullen because she had something planned this holiday. Oh well.

Xiaoshi - "She's a woman". That didn't really make sense. Anyway apparently the invigilators come from SAJC. Ooo. One of them has dyed hair. Tut tut.

Hrm, I want to come back in 9 years time, then we'll see XXX T-Shirts on the student leadership. And the cheer will go up to "Thirty!"

And I found a J1 councillor who looks like a Horse! Horse'd be proud. "I think so too" - Deqi

For probably one of the few times in RJC, Foreign Blood tied her hair today. In all the RGS yearbook pictures, she looks really weird with tied up hair, probably because she was forced to then.

Reactions to my haircut - most people were amused or intrigued. Ah well.

I don't understand these stupid male games. The one where you try to slap the other's hands. You both put palm to palm and then take turns to slap the other's hands or to feint, and the loser (withdrawing on a feint) gets his hands slapped. Or something. Zhongyong and Daniel were playing it in a vain attempt to prepare for Maths S (Not that those a table away were doing better. They were playing the Primary School card game which has cards with Cartoon Mines, Miners, Generals, Marshals and Corporals on them, in vibrant colour). Then again, I don't understand these stupid female games too.

And I saw a blue tinsel handphone cover, on Puppy's handphone. And I thought I'd seen it all.

Today is the last day I wear this particular set of Uniform. 3 days more of examinations, and 3 more uniforms. I doubt any present J0s or J1s will want to buy them, since they're so thin (I blame the faulty washing machine which rinses clothes 4 (?) times) and anyway I wonder who is the same size. And they're changing uniforms next year anyway.

Monday, November 19, 2001

"If you don't feel sorry for yourself, who will?"
I wonder if that has been thought of by anyone yet. It's quite a good motto, actually :) A search on Google doesn't register any hits.

I am very tempted to post an angsty post right now.

*Part of angsty post snipped. Muahahahaha.*

The last time my parents saw my homepage (sometime in 1999), they were shocked because I was allegedly defaming my teachers by "highlighting their English mistakes" and "showing their bad sides", and they forced me to take down Quotes (though it eventually returned in the present form of Improve Your English).

*More of angsty post snipped. Teeheeheeheehee.*

At the start of this year, I got a survey form from the FAT club, and it had questions like "do you eat when you're depressed". I suppose they might want us to engage in more healthful destressing activities, like sex, booze and drugs, slashing/cutting ourselves (as many girls do), anorexia/bulimia or even better yet, shouting at others or making people's lives more miserable, thereby dispersing our stress.

Crys' guide to angsty posts:
you must er. change your theme to black bg with dark grey/maroon words in verdana with convenient bloodspatters here and there and angst a bit.

and a tiny font size please... people would actually take time to read it if it was big enough, and we wouldn't want that would we.

it's common-angst, which i'm fine with. it's cap-angst that ppisses me off :)... but yours is plain angst, like " this sucks that sucks"

not stuff like "i feel like they are vacuum cleaners sucking up my soul and leaving a black hole, make me feel like a mole, hungry and col(e)d." oh fine i can't common-angst very well.

and where did you find this asian princes thing from? it's even grosser than the porn i've been tricked into visiting
Too bad Sanje didn't get through to the finals of Talentime with his Russian-Bollywood number. Very shiny outfit though. And I got to see who Anil is!

Fanmail about RGS Yearbook project:
"I LOVE U....I'VE BEEN TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE SINCE JUNE!!!!!!

u n0e....ure a life-saver! :-P"

Tay Weeyang:
"why dun you create a pdf version of the book and upload it..."
!@#$%^&*(). I'm boliao, but not that boliao. Anyway, my time will be better spent scanning 2000. And negotiating with my source for an exclusive on 2001 :0

Work on 2001 has begun!

Sunday, November 18, 2001

I want an Asian Prince T-Shirt!

Desktop Theme available too.

Tuan Anh!
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