The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

Someone Needs to Knock Ocarina of Time Down a Notch

( It’s a better title than what you’ll usually see on Google — like “Ocarina of Time is OVERRATED THERE I SAID IT pls dont kill me”, which might be the optimal way to make oneself look as stupid as possible. )

¿Remember when everyone bitched ’bout that Earthbound ripoff ’bout how we should cuddle-puddle each other fore’er won GameFAQs’s shallow beauty contest? The only reason I cared was ’cause I was glad that it beat a game e’en less interesting, Ocarina of Time. I cannot understand why people like this game so much, not in comparison to some slick new Zelda game, but compared to the 1st. Ocarina of Time is a joke compared to the 1st, & it’s sad how dumbed down the series had become hereafter.

Story

Ocarina of Time is similar to Final Fantasy IV in that people seem to like it for being cinematic — ’cept with shittier writing, shittier visuals, & costs much mo’ than the average movie. Video games will ne’er be as good @ being movies as movies, so maybe they should stop trying to be movies & try to be games.

It annoys me when I see someone pretentiously tell me ’bout how “epic” Ocarina of Time’s story is, ’specially compared to dumb ol’ Mario. The fact that they use the word “epic” as a superlative proves they don’t know what “good” writing is. The fact is, it has the same childish story as Mario: hero saves world from villain. Mario’s just less up-its-ass ’bout it & wastes less o’ my time with it ( though, to be fair, Super Mario 64’s opening is unbearably long & pointless, too ). I can respect Mario’s humble acknowledgment that it’s just a dumb ’scuse plot, & I can respect, say, Franz Kafka or Haruki Murakami as actual brilliant writing; Ocarina of Time is just hokey writing pretending it’s brilliant, & tries to cover that fact by making it go on & on, which only makes it worse. Zelda games should just start with me in the middle o’ a forest with a sword & let me explore; I don’t need hours o’ cutscenes giving me “motivation” to play a game any mo’ than I needed story motivation to play Tetris.

For god’s sake, Ocarina of Time actually gives the fucking tree father figure a ye olde English accent. ¿When was the last time a fantasy story could do that & still be taken seriously? But people truly want to convince me this is better writing than Mario’s ( or the original Zelda’s ) lame “not wasting my time with stupidity”. They have an owl that the developers themselves knew was annoying & wasted your time, & did it on purpose. They purposely made the game less fun as some dumb joke.

Also, I love how the world’s greatest literature is usually bound to the strengths o’ the heroes & ( especially ) villains, but Ocarina of Time has a flat villain who’s just evil for evil’s sake — the most lazy & childish way to write a villain that ( intelligent )1 fantasy has run ’way from since the 50s — & the hero’s a personality-less mime. Mario’s got mo’ character than Link — & he’s just a mentally-disabled obese Italian with some kind o’ Tourette’s syndrome that activates whenever he jumps. Bowser has mo’ personality than Ganondorf. A’least he seems to be having fun, whereas Ganondorf’s only personality is bland anger @ being bested by “a mere kid” & “Look @ how deep a villain I am: I play the piano”.

The funny thing ’bout this game is that, like Earthbound Beginnings, I could better tolerate reading all I could ’bout this game in walkthroughs & wikis than I could playing the actual game. As I will mention near the end o’ this post, there are some interesting bits to this game. This makes sense: story-based games are usually mo’ tolerable in shortened text form ’cause they are mostly just text, just full o’ boring fluff & in terrible UI. Games are just terrible mediums for reading text compared to websites or books; books let me read as quickly as I want, & let me skip ‘head or go back to any place; & all you have to do is move your eyes or flip pages or click links. Games — ‘specially Ocarina of Time, which e’en fans admit has terribly slow text boxes — make you mash to A button or slowly wait for the letters to all appear, ’cause they can’t just put all the text on screen @ once, that wouldn’t be “cinematic”. Yeah, Ocarina of Time lets you make the text scroll faster with the B button ( sometimes, seemingly randomly ) — too fast, so that you can’t possibly read it all in time. There’s no good balance: it’s either too slow or too fast. Books & websites don’t have this problem.

Which is to say: video games will ne’er be as good @ being books as books, so maybe they should stop trying to be books & try to be games.

Influence

Sticking with the comparison to Mario, what truly annoys me ’bout people who hold Ocarina of Time as the greatest game e’er is their condescending claim that you have to “understand” that Zelda was the “1st” to do 3-D “right” & that all modern games owe it.

’Cept, no: anyone who knows anything knows that Super Mario 64 was the 1st 3-D game that did it right & Ocarina of Time owes its ass to Mario 64. Furthermo’, compared to what an advance Super Mario 64 was to the Mario series, Ocarina of Time was such a letdown. I’d go far ’nough to say that Super Mario 64 didn’t just do better for its respective series; it did Zelda better than the actual Zelda game.

The 1 significant difference ’tween Ocarina of Time & earlier Zelda games is that Ocarina of Time wastes mo’ time with boring garbage. Otherwise, it’s heavily derivative o’ A Link to the Past, but worse. Its o’erworld is a thousand times worse than A Link to the Past’s, which is worse than the original Zelda’s; its dungeons are less creative than A Link to the Past; its controls are clunkier. Contrast this with Super Mario 64, which truly was its own game, radically different from Super Mario World, or any other game. Super Mario 64 literally created its own genre — 3-D platformer collectathons — that acted as Rare’s bread & butter for the rest o’ their stay @ Nintendo’s, & people have the gall to say that Ocarina of Time was the “influential” 1.

Ocarina of Time does pad out a lot o’ time with mind-numbing fetch quests & terrible, cliché fantasy writing. I was joking to myself while still on my way to getting the sword ( & people complained ’bout the 1st game making you go into a cave on the 1st screen to get your sword ), “I’d already be in the 1st dungeon in the 1st game”. I ne’er understand why modern games take so long to get to actual gameplay — no, mindless tutorials don’t count; it has to actually be fun, & talking to a bunch o’ dipshit elves & crouching through a tunnel to get a sword isn’t fun. Video games should follow the same rule as literature: if it fails to get good within the 1st 10 minutes, it sucks, try something else. But Ocarina of Time stays this way throughout the entire game: I can only admit that ’bout maybe 5% o’ it is good, smothered in hours & hours o’ banality. For a short while you can have a li’l fun exploring a dungeon, only to have to talk to a bunch o’ idiots or hear some long-winded story ripped off from someone’s D&D campaign.

I guess you could say that Zelda did have some influence on modern gaming, but it’s all bad. Also, I’m not sure if it was truly an “influencer” or just in the middle o’ a pattern that was already emerging. A lot o’ modern games share Ocarina of Time’s love for wasting players’ time with low-quality padding, in contrast to older games ( or Mario games ), which were mo’ concise. Meanwhile, these modern games are more oft hailed as “mature” or “serious” — & when video games are described that way, that usually means they’re tedious, but without the intellectual quality exhibited in actually serious literature.

I came up with a criteria for rating a game’s quality: the mo’ time the game spends running without me actually playing — so long as I didn’t consciously pause it — the worse it is. Games are meant to be played, not watched or read. But that’s what Ocarina of Time is full o’: long cutscenes o’ Link opening a fucking treasure chest for the 10th fucking time as if I’m such a goldfish that I’ll still be impressed. I’m not: I’m bored. Imagine reading a book wherein the narrator repeats 2 paragraphs o’ text every time a character opened a chest. I’d say something ’long the lines for TV, but I guess a lot o’ cheap mainstream anime shows repeat animations o’ characters transforming every episode — & they suck just as much. It’s the very definition o’ “padding”, & padding is fundamentally bad. That the s’posedly greatest game e’er has so many fundamental flaws is bewildering. It makes me scream to the world, “¿Truly? ¿This game out o’ them all?”

When I see people talk ’bout what made Ocarina of Time s’posedly so good, it’s usually vague terms like that ’twas “epic” or “like nothing e’er done then” or “had that magic”, much like Final Fantasy IV. What I think Ocarina of Time had was what many call “style o’er substance”. For instance, many praise Ocarina of Time for its day-&-night system, e’en though it’s only a way to force players to waste time waiting for places to open. ( TV Tropes goes far to say, “It’s still so ubiquitous that new players barely notice it, until they get stuck outside at night”, which is wrong on the 1st point, & the 2nd point happens so oft, you’re going to notice it ).

& then you get this li’l burst o’ 5-year-ol’ excitement from that same TV Tropes page:

You begin to fight them, exchange a few blows, when the entire boat starts to tremble and shake! What is going on? Games don’t do this!

“¡Holy shit! ¡shaking boats? ¡How’d they get the technology for such a thing in 1998?” It makes me wonder ’gain & ’gain: ¿Did all these people who talk ’bout all these amazing things Ocarina of Time did that “no game did before” ne’er play all the games I grew up with, before 1998? ¿Had they ne’er played Super Mario 64 or any SNES game? ¿Have they ne’er played any PlayStation game?

They accuse me o’ having not “been there @ the time” like I’m some hip young cat with his Undertales & Night in the Woodses. But I think they were the ones who weren’t there @ the time, or don’t remember well. I was there. I remember how awed I was when I 1st heard my older brother describe to me the inside o’ Peach’s castle in Super Mario 64 while playing Mario Kart 64 & my awe when I finally got to see it myself & all the secrets it held. I was ne’er impressed by Ocarina of Time; I wasn’t e’en interested in it. I rented Mario Party dozens o’ times, but ne’er Ocarina of Time, ’cause a’least those games had an interesting gameplay mechanic ( well, till they pulverized the dead horse into atoms & then incenerated the atoms after mo’ than 8 games ). I don’t e’en remember if I e’er watched my older brother play it. I know he had it — ’twas the 1st game he had when we got an N64 ( which is why I always thought it came out much earlier than 1998 ). But if I did watch him, I don’t remember anything, just as how I don’t remember anything now after having tried to get past the 1st few dungeons & giving up in boredom or watching online playthroughs or reading maps. ¿You want to know how boring Ocarina of Time is? E’en its speedruns are boring. E’en they feel slow, & the player skips almost everything. The movement still looks slow, e’en when the player pulls off glitches to make Link fast-glide ‘cross the field. It’s anemic in its tediousness — you can’t cure it.

This is funny, too, since I read so many fans admit that the graphics are the 1 thing that hasn’t aged well. So the 1 thing that s’posedly made this game stand out was the 1 thing that isn’t good “anymo’”? ( In truth, ’twas ne’er good, as I’ll get into later ). Contrast that with Super Mario 64, whose controls still influence modern games & whose controls are still amazing — in fact, better than many modern games. That’s the game whose only flawed element due to age is its graphics ( & maybe its camera ).

¿So why does Super Mario 64 not deserve the title o’ greatest game? ( Or perhaps 1 o’ its earlier 2-D games; for some reason, people who defend Ocarina’s status take as pure-faith assumption that transitioning a series to 3-D is the best thing a game can do ’bove all else ). Probably the same reason Mario in general is taken less seriously than Zelda: it’s not up its ass ’bout itself. It focuses on actual gameplay, which sane people would view as the most important element o’ a video game; but in the inane world o’ artiste reviewers, that’s much less important than story or how blandly “serious” a game can be, no matter how bad they’re done. As I mentioned way back in my Super Paper Mario, bad drama trumps quality silliness in the minds o’ the pretentious — those looking to look the most intelligent & “serious” with the simplest o’ criteria.

Indeed, we could question the criteria used to defend Ocarina of Time as “the greatest game o’ all time”. Many praise it for being 1 o’ the few series to transition to 3-D well. Let’s ignore how wrong that is & question why that’s o’ vital importance. ¿What’s so special ’bout 3-D? It’s not as if great 2-D games aren’t still made. People also claim that Ocarina of Time was great for its time; ¿but what makes its time so special? ¿What ’bout 1998 makes it superior to any other year? Doom was the most influential & most advanced game o’ its time, the early 90s; ¿why isn’t it the best game e’er? ¿’Cause 1993 isn’t as important as 1998?

If we were to base the “greatest game o’ all time” on influence, the winner would definitely have to be Super Mario Bros. That’s the game that saved the NES, & thus single-handedly saved the whole gaming industry in the US. That was the 1st widely popular video game with mo’ than just a few screens o’ gameplay — the 1st video game “novel” in an environment o’ just arcade-style short stories.

O’erworld

¿What made the 1st Zelda game so great? The memorable o’erworld that was so fun to explore. 1 cool thing ’bout the 1st game that newer games inexplicably don’t have is that you could explore virtually the whole o’erworld @ the start & you had a lot o’ control o’er the sequence o’ dungeons you completed without having to rely on glitches.

Super Mario 64, meanwhile, has the incredibly memorable castle full o’ secrets — the secret slide, the rabbits, the desert level that disguised its level portrait as a plain wall, the courtyard that was eerily empty till you got ’nough stars for it to swarm with ghosts, the largest o’ which held a level entrance in a cage.

¿So what does Ocarina of Time have? Large plots o’ plain grass. It’s so pitiful the game gives you a horse just so you can skip most o’ it.

EXCITING GAMEPLAY

O, sorry, you also get JPEG backgrounds for towns with fixed cameras. So you get the same limits as the ol’ 2-D games, but, bewilderingly, shittier graphics. Super Mario 64 deserves props for not resorting to that schlock, unlike Ocarina of Time & Final Fantasy VII.

Controls

This is ’nother place where Super Mario 64 beats Ocarina of Time down. A lot o’ people claim that Ocarina of Time was the 1st to get 3-D controls right. ’Gain, Super Mario 64 was. In fact, Ocarina of Time used the same engine as Super Mario 64. Ocarina of Time owes its ass to Super Mario 64. ¿& what does it do while hoist on these high shoulders? It, amazingly, throws ’way a lot o’ Super Mario 64’s lessons, despite coming out 2 years afterward, as if the developers contracted amnesia.

Super Mario 64 had amazing controls: Mario could do all kinds o’ gymnastics that made him just so fun to control. The 3D Zelda games, meanwhile, have the dumbest fucking method for jumping e’er: run off a cliff & hope Link decides to jump — or hope he doesn’t stupidly jump if you’re trying to fall into a hole. This actually becomes a huge nuisance when moving on small platforms as dipshit Link will oft jump clear off if I so much as go near the edge. Having the game do something so context-heavy automatically is a dumb idea; just give me a button to choose when to do it so I’m playing an actual game & not arguing with it. The 2-D Zelda games, which are much better, also don’t do something so stupid: they give you a Roc’s feather that allows you to jump as any sane game would let you, by pressing a button when you want to jump. & this was since Link’s Awakening, which came out 5 years earlier.

In general, Ocarina of Time feels clunkier & slower, which is worsened by the lame world design with large plots o’ empty space. This is a problem a lot o’ modern games with mo’ memory than creativity have: they have huge open spaces, but nothing compelling in them, so I spend copious time just holding up on the control stick & mashing B with my head tilted in boredom. I love how so many games have me just mashing buttons impatiently waiting for them to actually become interesting; it’d be nice to have a game that was only the interesting parts — that had some semblance o’ quality control. ¿But who needs “kill your darlings” or “cut the fat” when you can have “mo’ than 60 hours o’ gameplay?

E’en Ocarina of Time’s camera is worse than Super Mario 64’s, which is amazing, since Super Mario 64 had a terrible camera itself. ’Gain, Nintendo so early realized how great the C buttons were for controlling the camera; Ocarina of Time saves 3 o’ them for just item slots. Meanwhile, all I can do is press C-up to go into 1st-person view or press Z to make the camera face where Link’s facing — so long as there are no enemies for that stupid Z-targeting to cling to.

After all, it’s vitally important that you be able to press C-down to present a chicken to whoever that pointless NPC sleeping @ Hyrule Castle was Mario, since there’s no way for the game to know that I obviously want to do that, e’en though that’s the only reason the chicken’s there & that’s the only thing to do with bootleg Mario. As I said before, it’s lots o’ mindless button pressing.

I see a lot o’ people praise “Z-targeting” as “revolutionary”, which is silly, since most games don’t have it & don’t need it. Z-targeting is simply a way to avoid having to actually aim so you don’t get bogged down in actual battles & thus have mo’ time for tedious sidequests. The Z-targeting is wonky, too, since it oft aims @ what you don’t want it to aim @ & requires you to slash your sword or something else odd to get rid o’ it, rather than cycling off with ’nother press o’ the Z button.

E’en with Z-targeting, the clumsy camera screws you o’er. ’Twas common for me to struggle with the Z button, unable to see beyond right next to Link & unable to reach the bats too high up, only for a bat to swoop down from ’hind me, & this could’ve been solved if there had just been a way to scroll the camera back.

I know this sounds nitpicky for an ol’ game; — &, to be fair, it’s a minor problem — but my point is that Super Mario 64 had much fewer camera problems & people specifically praise this game as the “greatest game o’ all time” ’cause it s’posedly revolutionized camera-work in 3-D games by having 1 inferior to an earlier game that was wisely ignored by most later 3-D games.

Level Design

Everyone praises Ocarina of Time’s dungeons, but I couldn’t e’en remember the 1s I played or saw, other than that the tree dungeon involved burning some webs & going back through some web @ the beginning. I guess that’s kinda cool, but has nothing on the original Zelda’s o’erworld or hardly any dungeon in A Link to the Past. Dodongo’s Cavern just had a bunch o’ lame puzzles like putting a bomb in the middle o’ a bunch o’ others, bombing a skull’s eyes ( which is such an arbitrary, pointless “puzzle” that the game just outright tells you to do it ), & pushing blocks into holes or places. I also love the rising & falling platforms right @ the start that do nothing but waste your time. That’s why they call it “Ocarina of Time” — it’s main theme is wasting time. & nobody likes Jabu-Jabu.

What I’ve listed are the 1st 3 dungeons, & should include all the other tedious bullshit, like getting the sword, sneaking into Hyrule Castle, wandering empty fields, talking to dumbass Gorons, talking to some fairy, wandering lakesides, talking to fish monsters, all up till after the long cutscenes o’ Link pulling the Master Sword & being expositioned @ by the sages pointlessly telling him to collect the next 5 McGuffins. I think on average that’s a’least… ¿10 hours? & none o’ it’s good. The game takes o’er 10 hours on average to get halfway interesting. This is the same problem A Link to the Past has, which also doesn’t get good till you reach the Dark World, but to a greater extent, ’cause Ocarina of Time is much slower & wastes your time with mo’ exposition. Ocarina of Time takes it to a ridiculous level.

Compare to our other games. The 1st Legend of Zelda starts in the best level: the o’erworld. It should take a half hour @ most to find the 1st dungeon. Hell, it takes on average 9 hours to beat the entire game. In the time it takes you to trudge through the obnoxiously boring kid Link part o’ Ocarina of Time you can get the entire experience o’ The Legend of Zelda, packed full o’ interesting gameplay. But in the world o’ modern gaming, quantity o’er quality ( ¿How else can we put that sticker on the box that says “¡60 hours o’ gameplay!”? ).

¿What else? Super Mario 64’s best levels are also in the final 3rd, but it doesn’t start nearly as weak ( though, I will admit that while the castle is fun to explore, the front lawn is empty space that could’ve been cut out — though it’s not as much a waste o’ time as Hyrule Fields ). & it takes li’l time to open up Super Mario 64’s world. ¿Don’t like “Bob-omb Battlefield”? Just get 1 star. 2 mo’ stars & you have 4 levels open. After a mere 8 & beating the 1st boss level & fight, you open up 3 mo’ levels, & so on… I’ve ne’er heard anyone get impatient with Super Mario 64 ’cause it does what a good game should: fills it mostly with interesting gameplay ( read: not wandering empty fields & talking to people ) & opens up your options soon. But Ocarina of Time is the greatest o’ all time…

¿So what does the game offer after 10 hours o’ tedium? Not anything remarkable. I read quite a few people claim the Forest Temple was the best, but that seemed to be mostly due to “atmosphere” & probably a li’l story ’bout Saria — a character you know almost nothing ’bout & I didn’t care anything ’bout. ( Though this game has plenty o’ dialogue, hardly any o’ it is used to develop any characters, making the writing e’en mo’ infuriatingly bad. For 1, a lot o’ it is spent on useless characters, like cocky dipshit fairy boy or that guard you give Zelda’s letter to. Many video games get this strange idea that many underdeveloped characters are mo’ interesting than a few fully fleshed out characters ). So it’s style without substance. All I saw were slow hookshot, arrow, & block puzzles ( the latter 2 had been done ’nough already ). The weird turning hallway would’ve been interesting if ’twere used for mo’ than a second’s straight walk ( so it’s useless padding ) & the block smashing puzzle… was interesting for this game, but would be average for the average SNES RPG, leading me to believe further that people who say Ocarina of Time was the best game o’ its time had ne’er played an SNES game or any other N64 game or any other game ’cept for maybe Pong.

The Fire Temple is amazingly e’en mo’ bland than “Dodongo’s Cavern”, with key puzzles, mo’ hookshot puzzles, timed switches, generic Indiana Jones traps, & lots & lots o’ slow climbing. The only mildly interesting part was this 1 door that tries to attack you & tiles that rise & spin @ you — the latter o’ which was taken straight out o’ A Link to the Past, but are made trivial here since you can just hold your shield up to block them all.

The Water Temple… ¿Do I need to talk ’bout this 1? Everyone already admits this 1’s tedious. It’s somehow both amazing & fitting that a game as slow & time-wasting as this ups the hand on slowness for its water level — it just had to. People defended this level as “mind-bending”. The only thing that bends your mind in this temple is boredom from watching Link slowly ascend or slowly descend in water after slowly going into the menu & changing boots, ’gain & ’gain & ’gain & ’gain. ’Twas so bad, they had to fix the last part in the 3DS remake. Too bad the rest is just as slow.

Most o’ the puzzles in the Shadow Temple involve simply having the right items, 1 o’ which you get in this temple itself. The only interesting puzzles I saw were the 1s where you had to collect all the rupees while avoiding the blades to open the next door. This 1 was also a fan favorite, mainly for, ’gain, the atmosphere. Also, this temple has bullshit air floor, ’cause that kind o’ obscure bullshit is what we truly needed to keep from the original game. If you’re wondering, no, Ocarina of Time wasn’t e’en close to the 1st game to have rising & falling guillotines; but I’m sure there are some defenders who’ll insinuate something such. “¡O my god! ¡Games aren’t s’posed to do this ’cept many o’ them already have!”

The Spirit Temple… fuck… It’s, ¿what? ¿A bunch o’ ocarina puzzles ( yet ‘nother puzzle that requires no intelligence or skill ) & some “reflect light to hit certain other things” puzzles. I guess that was the 1st time this was done in 3-D.

¡O! ¿Didn’t this have a puzzle where you had to shoot an arrow through a torch to hit some unlit torches ‘cross the room? That was authentically clever & cool.

I have no idea what people are talking ’bout when they claim that Ocarina of Time has brilliant dungeon design. ¿Compared to what? ¿The 1st Zelda? A Link to the Past had far cleverer puzzles, & had far greater variety. It’d take fore’er to count the # o’ games that had been out by then that had better level design in general — I’d count Super Mario 64, for sure. It didn’t make you slowly push blocks or shoot eyes a hundred times.

Honestly, this is a problem that always plagues Zelda games. E’en A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening, & the Oracle games didn’t have amazing puzzles. I’ve seen better puzzles than in all those games in a bunch o’ RPGs, like, say, Lufia II, or adventure games, like the Monkey Island games. As I’ve already mentioned a bunch o’ times, most o’ the “puzzles” in Ocarina of Time require no intellgience or skill, & are just a bunch o’ mindless grunt work: remember some song to play in some spot, hit an eye with an arrow, push some blocks. This is why I always prefered the 1st game: a’least its o’erworld gave it something it excelled @. I ne’er understood how people could talk ’bout Zelda games as if they were mind-bending, as opposed to dumb ol’ Mario, which a’least was brilliant @ action-based level design. Zelda games feel mo’ like “baby’s 1st adventure game’, which is all right — Kirby games are “baby’s 1st platformer”, & I still find them a blast. But imagine how ludicrous most people would find it if someone claimed that Kirby’s Adventure was the height o’ brilliant game design. You might as well call Freddi Fish the greatest game e’er.

In fact, I’d go far ‘nough to say that Super Mario World, a’least, which came out, like, 7 years before had smarter puzzles than Ocarina of Time came close to having. Noticing the edge o’ the rising crusher could be used as a platform @ the end o’ “Valley of Bowser 2” ( which is otherwise a slog o’ an autoscroller ) or realizing you could Yoshi jump under the goal o’ “Cheese Bridge Area” is certainly cleverer than reflecting sunlight off shields & shooting an arrow through fire @ bombs.

A key problem with Ocarina’s dungeon design is that there’s no coherency ’mong them. They’re mostly just assortments o’ bland block-pushing, eye-shooting, or hookshot-shooting puzzles. I could hardly remember the dungeons before, & after my recent refresher, I’m sure I’ll forget them ’gain.

It’s not that Ocarina of Time‘s dungeon design is atrocious. But, ‘gain, this is s’posed to be the greatest game o’ all time. Think ’bout how competitive that competition is & how underwhelimg Ocarina of Time was @ the time. & we’re talking ’bout the dungeon design, which is s’posed to be 1 o’ Ocarina of Time‘s high points. It doesn’t help that, as I mentioned, you have to get through 10 hours o’ slog to get to these dungeons that could best be describes as “OK”. That’s 10 hours o’ dire boredom for mo’ puzzles o’ shooting arrows @ eyeballs & playing songs on your Ocarina.

Ocarina of Time also has the blandest level themes o’ any game. Adult Link gets forest, fire, water, darkness, & “spirit”, which is sorta like darkness. Kid Link gets… forest, fire, & the 1 slightly interesting theme, inside a monster’s stomach. Not only does it have the most generic o’ level themes, it repeats them. E’en the 1st Zelda game was mo’ creative with its map-sign motifs. Super Mario 64 could a’least sometimes venture out into weirder themes, like “Wet Dry World” or “Tick Tock Clock”. That’s not to say that Super Mario 64 didn’t dwell too much on stock themes ( though, I’ve just noticed, Super Mario 64 shockingly didn’t have a forest level @ all ). The fact that most o’ them are dungeons with brick walls hurts, too — though that’s a common problem with Zelda games that’s existed since the 1st game.

The true blasphemy comes when I admit that the Spyro games had much mo’ interesting level designs than either o’ those games. Banjo-Tooie did, too; but then you had to tolerate its actual gameplay & all its fetch-quest bullshit.

Graphics

’Gain, I’m not saying, “Duh, Ocarina of Time looks uglier than Twilight Princess”. ( That’s be wrong, too, since Twilight Princess took Ocarina of Time’s ugliness to its extreme. )

Ocarina of Time isn’t just ugly ’cause it has fewer polygons than the newest game, but ’cause it’s art style aims for ugliness — drabness, boringness. Quite the opposite: Ocarina of Time was ugly ’cause it tried to look realistic, e’en though it’s a fantasy story where you play as someone who looks like an elf.

’Gain, compare its graphics to those o’ the 1st Zelda: while the 1st Zelda was bright & colorful, Ocarina of Time is full o’ hideous grays, browns, & dull yellow-greens.

A lot o’ people pretentious ’nough to call themselves “gamers” would call this “mature”, which only shows they don’t know what that word means. “Maturity” in an electronic toy is the stupidest thing in the world. If you want to be mature, get a job & actually produce something; ’less you’re some expert speedrunner playing for charity, which is the tiny minority o’ the population, playing games is inherently a form o’ consumption, not production. It’s a toy for frivolous play. ’Cept other toys a’least acknowledge that & try to do a good job being fun. But in the idiotic world o’ video games, where a console gets made fun o’ for being a color other than gray, black, or that putrid fucking iPod white, that’s impossible.

Here’s where we see that Ocarina of Time did, indeed, have an influence on the gaming world, much as Final Fantasy IV — a terrible 1. I think Nintendo now so vociferously makes fun o’ “real is brown” ’cause they know they influenced it through their Ocarina of Time-like Zelda games ( modern Zelda games not including Wind-Waker-likes, which a’least look colorful, e’en if their gameplay is still linear & boring ).

Ganondorf is fucking terrible. ’Stead o’ a giant pig monster we get some dweeb who looks like he’s in cosplay. You have no idea how let down I’ve always felt that they have this doofus in Smash Bros. & not the real Ganon.

The areas are e’en uglier. Like I said, lots o’ browns & grays, with the blandest green e’er. Compare this map o’ the graveyard in Ocarina of Time, which looks like any other field, but with a few graves in it, to the graveyard in the 1st game, which had a ghostly wintry palette all o’er it:

It’s amazing that they were able to give so much mo’ style & creativity in the limited palette o’ the 1st game than a game with full 24-bit color. & this wasn’t ’cause they weren’t able to in this new 3-D world: While Super Mario 64 also looked kinda crappy, Mario Kart 64 had much mo’ color ( well, ’cept “Choco Mountain” ), & that game came out earlier than Ocarina of Time. The 1st Spyro game had already been out, & its levels were brimming with color.

Pictured: a better fantasy game.

Its Fanbase

The only thing worse than Ocarina of Time is its fanbase. These fuckers are so crazy they tell people to kill themselves if they criticize this game. If you’re that obsessed with a fucking electric toy that you tell people to kill themselves ’cause they have different opinions, you’re a fucking worthless nutcase & should ne’er be allowed to touch video games e’er ’gain till you develop a’least a modicum o’ sane social skills.

Also, apparently anyone who criticizes the game is a “troll” — & I’m not talking ’bout people who go on Zelda fan sites, who are, indeed, just looking for attention, but people who give their own opinion on general gaming sites or their own blogs ( going onto other people’s blogs & calling them trolls requires bottom-levels o’ self-awareness ). If “I think some popular video game isn’t good” is your idea o’ aberrant ideas, you haven’t talked to many people.

Then you get weird cultish shit, like this thread on a Zelda forum wherein this guy imagines everyone else — all fervent Zelda fans — bashing Ocarina of Time like McCarthy, to which everyone responds assuring him that they couldn’t imagine someone bashing the greatest game o’ all time & not responding as a sane person with, “¿Are you on drugs? ¿What’s your problem?”

Which makes you wonder: ¿if Ocarina of Time is such an obviously great game, why is its fanbase so touchy ’bout criticism? The general “narrative” on the Ocarina of Time vs. Undertale debacle was that you had a game s’posedly loved by the “silent majority” vs. some hipster new game with an obsessed fanbase that schemed to take its title on some unimportant website. But it seems to me that Ocarina of Time is no different: its fanbase is just as mindlessly obsessed.

1 o’ the reasons I can’t comprehend why this game’s so beloved is that nobody’s e’er given a halfway decent rationale. It’s either “perfect” ( well, ’cept for the graphics — which is the weakest o’ this game’s problems; the 3DS remake is no better ) or “epic” or “just has that magic”, just like Final Fantasy IV. It’s like living in a world where everyone insists that 2 + 2 = 5 & I’m desperately asking everyone, “¿How? This makes no sense. Give me the insight I lack — please, I must know”, & they just reply with, “The answer is ‘zebra’”. ’Cept the question here is the subjective quality o’ some dumb game, not questions o’ fundamental math, so I just type up some dumb post & get on with my life.

Still, the epiphany comes: they’re wrong — all wrong. There is no rational reason to think Ocarina of Time is good. ¡’Cause it isn’t! ¡It’s all been a lie! It’s like discovering a deep political conspiracy. I want to shout onto the mountains like a prophet, “¡Guys! ¡You’ve all been lied to this entire time! ¡Ocarina of Time is a terrible game!

I also love what bitter assholes they are ’bout it. If someone were to ask me why, say, Super Mario 64, to take a popular example, is so good, or e’en — ¡gasp! — admit that they thought it chewed assholes, I’d want to fervently tell them ’bout all the happiness its fun levels & controls fill me with, not suddenly turn sour like milk, give them a bitter eye, & say in a grizzled voice, “¿What? ¿You don’t like this game? ¿What are you, some commie Jew?”

But, no, ’course that wouldn’t be the case for Ocarina of Time fans ’cause they play Ocarina of Time, & that game doesn’t fill anyone with happiness but soul-sucking drudgery. ¿So how bitter must you be if you’ve gone through all that & some jagoff comes up to you & says, “’Scape. ’Scape the tedium”? It’s like bitter parents who employ the same irrational punishments their own parents gave to them, e’en though they acknowledge it’s unjust: “I had to suffer through Ocarina of Time; you have to, too”. & here’s this radical anarchist trying to tell people they don’t have to — that they can smash the capitalism o’ Ocarina of Time. It’s… it’s sinful, to be honest.

But progress has ne’er come without a li’l sin.

Hilariously ’nough, a lot o’ them will admit that Ocarina of Time hasn’t aged well. Whenever someone admits that, they’re essentially admitting that their love for a game is based purely on nostalgia, nothing mo’. Good games are always good, & games that are no longer good were ne’er good, simply o’erhyped @ the time. Games like Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., the original The Legend of Zelda are still good, & will always be good.

The Good Parts

Like with JavaScript, this is a short list.

The final battle was kind o’ cool, I guess — not a rehash o’ the Forest Temple fight gainst Ganondork, but the fight gainst the real Ganon. E’en better than the final Bowser fight in Super Mario 64, which was just Rainbow Bowser with 2 extra hit points & organ music.

It’s too bad you have to sift through hours o’ tedium to get to it.

I also actually liked the Skulltulas, as they actually reward you from exploring areas outside o’ the path toward the next dungeon or fetch quest location. I always thought Zelda games would work better if they had mo’ collectathon elements; too oft Zelda games have big tracts o’ area with no purpose ( the Light World in A Link to the Past is a prime offender ).

Also, I give Majora’s Mask points for a’least having a creative gimmick & much mo’ interesting atmosphere. It’s what Ocarina of Time should’ve been: an actual new Zelda game, rather than a cheap knock-off o’ A Link to the Past in 3-D.

Music

Finally, I ne’er talked ’bout the music, ’cause, while it can sometimes get into “here’s my bland but super serious orchestra masterpiece” ( the Shadow temple theme, for example ), many o’ the songs are catchy & fun. I think I’d consider Majora’s Mask‘s to be better, though. The Fire Temple theme I want to particularly emphasize, since its actual speech in the background ( some Islamic chants in Arabic from some open source music library ) sounds legitimately impressive for its time & is legitimately unsettling. I oft read people puff up some song as being incredibly creepy or scary ( ‘specially on TV Tropes, where there’s no standards & people will call the most banal things scary with the most contrived logic ), only to listen & hear generic “Ooooo” music ( I’d like to reference the Shadow Temple theme ‘gain ). But the Fire Temple’s song truly unsettled me — to the point that I had to turn if off while writing this ’cause it kept distracting me. When a song makes me turn it off so I can focus on writing these music praises ’cause I want to focus on it too much, it must be good.

It’s too bad Nintendo fucked it up & ruined the song in all versions after the very 1st. I understand getting rid o’ the Islamic element, since that was clearly accidental ( they clearly just used what they thought was random chants without any idea o’ what the content was — otherwise they should’ve put it in the Spirit Temple with the Gerudos ); ¿but would it have been that hard to find a different chant or to make 1 up themselves?

I also found the Forest Temple theme to sound nice, e’en if it does, in the words o’ 1 YouTube comment, consist o’ noises o’ Lanky Kong getting beaten up.

I don’t think I need to talk ’bout Saria’s song or the “Song of Storms”, since everyone already knows ’bout them. It’d be like telling you all ’bout how great “Stickerbrush Symphony” is.

Some Story Elements

I know I bashed the story for being cliché fantasy tripe with bland characterization told through searingly boring textboxes. I still stand by that; but there were subtle touches where Ocarina of Time managed to actually become somewhat interesting in the huge slog.

I do like how the world changes after Link coma-warps to Dr. Robotnik’s bad future, such as how Zora Lake, or whatever it’s called, is frozen o’er, or how you’re almost immediately greeted in the market with an infestation o’ Redeads. This is great storytelling: you don’t need long-ass cutscenes telling me in detail all the evil Ganondorf’s evilness caused on the whole world; just show dark skies & decaying, hollow towns infested with zombies. That tells the story all by itself.

Granted, I still think the fact that Ganondorf makes everything bad simple ’cause he’s “evil” is stupid & makes no sense.

Also, the way you actually end up fucking things up worse by grabbing the coma-inducing Master Sword as per Zelda’s bad advice is interesting, ‘specially on replays ( if one could tolerate playing ‘nother time ). Some might complain that it’s stupid that they do it or that Link just leaves the Temple of Time wide open like Kramer Jerry’s door; but it makes sense that they wouldn’t think ’bout this. One may also complain ’bout how dumb it is that the player can’t stop it, like forcing Link to close the door or something, but I think it’s an interesting bit o’ dramatic irony that only video games could do that the player has to fulfill what they know will only cause disaster. It’s like the cringe you feel when reading a tragedy & want to yell @ Macbeth to not trust the witches’ “prophesy”, but, ‘course, can’t. Granted, this surely wasn’t the 1st time some game has done something like this. After all, “hero stupidly brings McGuffins for ultimate power to villain just to save his girlfriend” is an RPG cliché.

End It All

See, everyone likes to claim that Ocarina of Time made Zelda 1 o’ the few games to transition to 3D well back in the mid 90s; they’re wrong: The Legend of Zelda ne’er has.

Bonus

Ha, ha: e’en Ocarina of Time’s main creator, Eiji Aonuma, thought it sucked.

Then ’gain, I remember when Mario fans got in a huge hissy fit when Miyamoto said he was embarassed by Super Mario Bros. 3. If that’s true, I wondered why he didn’t do anything to tone down the people ’hind the New Super Mario Bros. games shamelessly xeroxing it — in all smudging grayscale 5th-hand-copy glory.

O, wait, I do know: money. Ne’er mind.

Bonus II

Having yet to have a chance to play it, I’ve yet to develop an educated opinion on Breath of the Wild, which I’ve read on quite a few pumpkin vines is s’posed to be mo’ like the 1st game, but without the bad dusty NES parts. ( Admit it: the NES had a lot o’ bad dusty parts, like lack o’ saving or making things ridiculously difficult to hide the fact that the game only has 5 levels ). It’s doing something different for once. My only problem is that from what I’ve seen, the o’erworld looks like mostly empty terrain, which is the very problem Ocarina of Time had. It seems people praise it for having a “huge” o’erworld, merely in size, not in detail. This is a particular problem I have with games like Ocarina of Time & Banjo-Tooie: huge doesn’t mean detailed. In fact, if it’s empty, it’s worse, since it’s padding, & padding is as close to unquestionably bad as you can get. I’d rather have lots o’ content rather than lots o’ filler: you actually have to fill the large area with stuff.

But ‘gain, I haven’t actually played the game, so I may be wrong.

Bonus III

To prove that I’m not some curmudgeony ol’ gamer, this is 1 newer Zelda game ( other than maybe Breath of the Wild ) that I think is authentically clever & fun & truly lives up to the gameplay o’ the original Zelda — & truly has clever dungeon & game design.

The only problem is, it wasn’t a true Zelda game; it was The Binding of Isaac. ( Sort o’ like how Super Meat Boy was a much better modern 2-D platformer than the New Super Mario Bros. games ).

You also have to admit, it had a better story, too. You have to admit: “li’l kid suffocating himself in a chest from the guilt he feels after having killed his sister & drove his o’erly religious mother crazy” is much mo’ original than “hero saves princess from villain”

Posted in Video Games

Let’s Code a Crappy 2D Platformer Like Millions o’ Other People on the Internet & Lose Interest & Give Up Only a Few Months In, Part XXI

The O’erworld

As you can see, we already have:

  • Character movement, camera adjustment, & tile collision
  • Level tiles wherein if you’re colliding with them you can press A to enter the level & hold B to see the challenge scores.
  • Not only are you taken back to the map after leaving a level, you are taken back to the level tile.
  • Palette changes by entering certain areas.
  • Tile changes that happen ’pon beating levels, opening up access to other levels.

It may seem as if it’d be smart to reuse most o’ the code I already had, but what I already have for the levels is a mess, & I didn’t want to make it any messier, so most o’ the code is redone for the o’erworld, but with all the unnecessary stuff cut out. This has the advantage o’ making the code mo’ efficient, which is useful, ’cause the whole maps’ tiles ( 25,600 ) are all loaded @ once.

What I want to do in the future

  • Finish the map ’nough so that you can access all the levels, duh.
  • Show a visual o’ the map changing after beating a level, ’stead o’ justing having it already have happened ’pon returning to the map.
  • Add a shop somewhere where you can buy health & oxygen upgrades.
  • Add a bonus level, which can also be bought.
  • Possibly add the aforementioned warp zones.
  • O yeah: add a menu screen that allows one to quit the game. Also, possibly add an option to switch to a list o’ levels, but only list the levels opened so far.

Download sloppy source code

Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming

Let’s Code a Crappy 2D Platformer Like Millions o’ Other People on the Internet & Lose Interest & Give Up Only a Few Months In, Part XX

Dry, Drought Desert

& this time I show off 100% o’ the level.

Not much to say ’bout this level that isn’t already shown in the video. I already showed off this “Adventure Island / Land o’ Capitalism” gimmick in a much earlier post.

Actually, the hardest part ’bout this level, designwise, was balancing the # o’ gems it gives you so that varying rankings o’ success — merely beating the level, being able to reach the diamond, getting the gem score — have a certain ’mount o’ difficulty. I tinkered with adding a gem here & taking ’way a gem there as I practiced this level & found it too hard or too easy to do certain things. This is s’posed to be a 1st-cycle level, so I want it to be easy to beat, but mo’ challenging to get the gem & time challenges. Since you’re able to make it to the goal with barely mo’ than the 1,000 needed to get the gem challenge — but much mo’ than needed to beat the level normally — hopefully I succeeded.

As I show in the video, you don’t need the secret 1,000 gems in that alcove on the wall to beeat the gem challenge. In fact, it’s probably better to not go for it, since if you don’t you’ll probably beat the time challenge in the process, whereas going to get the secret gems takes extra time. You also don’t need it to get the diamond, since that’s easier than getting the gem challenge; I just wanted to use that run as a ’scuse to show off the secret gems. That’s meant simply as a way to reward those who take the risk to explore & make beating the level e’en easier, since it is s’posed to be a 1st-cycle level.

O’erworld

Since I don’t have much to say ’bout the level, maybe I could talk ’bout this, ’stead.

I haven’t programmed anything yet, but I have done some design:

As shown, the map cycles toward the center, cycling through the level themes: city, forest, mines … factory; city, forest mines … factory. I plan so far is that when you beat a level some event happens that allow you to proceed to the next — the most common being some solid tiles turning nonsolid.

There are still a few questions & problems I need to puzzle out. For 1, there’s the need to balance space: as the cycle goes farther in, the amount o’ space shrinks. That requires me to balance the inner cycle so it’s not too crowded gainst the outer cycle so it’s not too open. Already I think I’m having trouble with this since e’en with all the padding space used in the outermost cycle, I don’t think the city, forest, & mines sections go far ’nough. ( Remember, in all the levels in the 1st cycle must encompass the whole o’ the outer ring, since that’s where it transitions to the 2nd cycle. )

I’m still not sure if I want the level layout to be linear level-to-level. It seems ol’ fashioned & o’erly limited; but @ the same time, I do want to have some progression. 1 idea I had was to have “warp zones” in the form o’ secret exits in some levels that create paths farther down into the cycle.

Download sloppy source code

Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming

¿Are there Writers who e’en Pretend to Be Artists Anymo’?

I’ve been becoming increasingly mo’ jaded with literature in the past few months years, & the philosophy that infests the apparent mainstream views o’ writers — as well as the slew o’ schlock that seems to be published — only worsens this.

It seems that such concepts such as creativity & emotional connection have been replaced by the advice that you should puke out as many words as you can. ¿How many blog posts have I seen wherein writers brag ’bout how many words they write per day? ¡Look, they’ve already beaten those slouches Harper Lee & Bashō!

I read this article from Pretentious Title1 & shivered. I’m sorry, but if you write 10,000 words a day, I’m certain that mo’ than 90% o’ that is garbage. That’s almost as long as an entire Shakespeare play — longer than some. I’m quite certain Shakespeare didn’t write his plays in a day — probably ’cause he wasn’t a fucking hack. (To be fair, “The Spirit War” sounds like it’ll be an immensely innovative novel that’ll revolutionize literature. It’ll truly be genre-bending.)

I’d go as far to say that this insinuation that all words can be measured equally shows in itself an utter ignorance o’ literature. ¿What if one’s writing is in verse or iambic pentameter? ¿What if one needs to do research for some parts?

What annoys me the most are these inane metrics applied to writing, as if it’s a science one can apply consistently for excellent results. ¡Just do so & so every hour & instant Tolkien! See, these are “professional” writers, as opposed to actually good writers who may write any # o’ books, stories, poetry ( yeah, try applying this rule to poetry, by the way ), & such. ’Cause they care mo’ ’bout looking like good writers than actually creating good writing in itself, they reach for the quickest method they can find — any way to avoid doubt or having to think critically ’bout what makes good literature in the 1st place or having to think ’bout the million complexities involved in storytelling; so long as one writes [ insert # ] o’ words, e’en if those words are just “really” repeated, one is a “professional” writer as opposed to those lazy people who waste time thinking ’bout the words they write.

Not only are these people who brag ’bout how much garbage they spew pretentious, they’re not e’en competent pretentious people. They’re the equivalent o’ someone bragging to their literary professor that they can read Clifford the Big Red Dog. I can respect brilliant pretentious writers like James Joyce or humble writers who admit they’re just bullshitting for fun, like your average fanfic writer; but idiots who brag ’bout how smart they are are the target most deserving o’ being mocked & ignored.

Posted in Literature Commentary

I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Onion, Volume II

I Must Know the Identity of This Woman Who Brought an iMac on a Train

Actually, I’m not sure if this is satirical, so it very well may be a kind o’ The Onion. The 1 comment seems to make fun o’ the “controversy”. That’s The Onion problem, after all: news is so ridiculous, it’s impossible to tell genuine from parody.

What I do know is that looking @ the tweet page itself I saw numerous news agency asking the guy for permission to use the photo in their paper. & then I just thought o’ all the much mo’ important stories they could be talking ’bout ‘stead… Hmm…

Posted in What the Fuck Is this Shit?, Yuppy Tripe

Let’s Code a Crappy 2D Platformer Like Millions o’ Other People on the Internet & Lose Interest & Give Up Only a Few Months In, Part XIX

Cotton Candy Clouds

Based on the simple gimmick o’ appearing & disappearing cloud platforms, blatantly ripped off from Wario Land 3’s “Above the Clouds”. Oddly ’nough: I came up with this idea while working on ’nother level with a different gimmick, but decided to introduce it here. That other level should hopefully be done soon.

If anything, the bramble blocks took longer to make. Most o’ the graphics in this game were simply drawn pixel-by-pixel or simply used a photograph I fiddled with in GIMP. These are, I think, the 1st graphics I drew in high-resolution like actual illustrations & then fiddled with in GIMP so that it tiled correctly. They’re still wonky: there’s still some wonkiness with the tiling, & the block interaction’s still weird ( ne’er got round to making parts o’ them act like slopes ). It shouldn’t matter too much, since you won’t see most o’ the brambles for long as you’ll quickly die if you stay near them too long. ’Twas hard for me to look @ them for long e’en while trying.

This was also a case wherein metaprogramming helped, since manually creating all the json files for each o’ the dozens o’ blocks would’ve been tedious. Since the graphics & blocks match up, I could just make a simple Ruby script that generates & spits out JSON files. It also made it easier to make changes to many o’ the blocks quickly.

Originally, I wanted this level to end with 1 last quick burst o’ cloud platform hops, but with platforms that moved mo’ quickly; however, I couldn’t get a speed that was much quicker, but not so quick as to be ridiculous with how long Autumn’s jump too, & ’sides, I thought the level was going on a bit long ( I aim for half a minute, ’specially for an early level like this; this 1 takes a’least 40 seconds if speeding through ), so I snipped it.

Gem & Time Challenges

Something else I hastily ( & sloppily ) programmed in were gem & time challenges. As shown in the “Cotton Candy Clouds” video, holding X while on the level select screen shows the gem & time score challenges. If you beat the level with mo’ gems than the challenge or with a shorter time than the listed time, you get a checkmark next to the gem or time, respectively, & the respective score turns green. If you beat the level, get its diamond, & beat its 2 challenges, the whole level line becomes green, indicating that you’ve 100% it. I’ve already made scores for all the completed levels.

You’d be surprised by how difficult ’twas to get the time score on the 1st level, & how proud I am to have beaten it by 1 second. If only I had been recording or hadn’t turned off saving…

Speaking o’ %, as the bottom-right shows, there’s now a game %, divided by each level. For each level percent, beating it nets 50%, getting the diamond 30%, & beating each challenge nets 10%. Since the % use floating points & rounding, I don’t know if getting everything adds up to 100% precisely, nor could I check, since there’s a bunch o’ unfinished levels that are impossible to beat or get the diamond on. There’s also “Soupy Sewers”, which is impossible to 100%, since it requires an oxygen upgrade I still haven’t programmed in yet.

As a bonus, I made a video showing how to beat the time score in “Cotton Candy Clouds”:

I haven’t done so for the gem score, ’cause it’s too hard for me to bother ( you have to collect every gem in the level without dying ).

Download sloppy source code

Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming

An Apple a Day Makes the Buzzwords Spread like Plague

¿You know what I love when looking up info on how to use SSH? Some artsy douche trying to defend their liberal-guilt love for o’erpriced brand computers made by monopolistic corporations by spewing pseudoscientific sociology. E’en better when they depict themselves as a Powerpuff Girl with Jimmy Neutron hair.

This writer starts by talking ’bout screaming @ open source software being a part o’ “the partriarchy”, which is the kind o’ o’erpretentious word for something as simple as “sexism” that builds the butter for ad hominem arguments by sexists to mock me for actually being able to read statistics. See, this is why I can’t stand dumb leftists: with rightwingers, I get to be the 1 laughing; but now this idiot’s making me look bad in association.

I mean, they actually end their bio with, “I keep myself sane through African dance and wandering around NYC documenting daily life”. That’s a parody, ¿right? That’s the kind o’ leftist that leftists make fun o’, ’cause they usually only read ’bout them in Mallard Fillmore. “I keep myself from wallowing in self pity by appropriating the culture o’ people far worse off than me & wandering expensive cities creepily spying on people who do actual work”.

That’s right, fucker: I have Social Justice Magic, too — & my spells are stronger. I got the rat’s tail.

Anyway, this person strangely singles out open source software for being part o’ the patriarchy sexist not ’cause o’ Eric S. Raymond’s involvement, but ’cause you have to spend a lot o’ time to figure it out — which is probably ’cause the people who made them aren’t privileged ’nough, not being paid & all, to add all those usability touches. So, basically, they’re unemployed losers. That’s true — but not the ultimate in privilege. I would also add that it’s ironic that this person complains ’bout other people having too much time on their hands when this working-class hero mentioned in their bio, as we read earlier, wasting copious ’mounts o’ time wandering expensive cities screwing round. While I agree that most open-source-software creators are probably quite rich & well-off, I’d say they’re probably less privileged than this rich, urbanite idiot who gets paid to complain ’bout how they’re too dumb & lazy to do actual work.

’Course, it might be that software in general is sexist — & ’specially bigoted gainst poor people. That should be obvious: as it turns out, it is harder for poor people to work with expensive electronics that they can’t get access to ’cause they’re, well, poor, e’en if the software the exists on that hardware they can’t get is free — provided they can get internet access to download it. This writer e’en could’ve pointed out that, technically, Linux is no cheaper than Windows ’cause hardware that comes packed with Windows is cheaper than any hardware you can get without an operating system or with Linux preinstalled, thanks to the economic magic o’ monopolies. Linux fans, not being bitter ol’ bearded men @ all, lovingly call this the “Microsoft Tax”. I approve o’ this term not ’cause I care that much ’bout OS politics, but for plain politics: it’s a rarely-acknowledged existence o’ a tax that exists without government intervention @ all — well, ’cept for that huge government intervention known as “private property”.

But we’re digressing. Anyway, if this writer were to acknowledge this, they would have to acknowledge Windows as the winner, not shiny ol’ Apple — &, indeed, Windows is still the most popular OS &, as someone who actually doesn’t live in fancy cities & who actually has met working class people once in his life, I happen to know that that is the go-to OS for working class people. So far the only people I’ve met who use Macs are upper-class people — though oft the kind, like this writer, who likes to pretend they’re lower-class without having to bear the actual negative consequences o’ that class.

If this writer had any self-awareness, they’d realize that they are immensely privileged themselves simply for the fact that they get to work with computers @ all & not, say, have to worry ’bout getting their arm cut off from the sewing machine they have to use 16 hours a day. I might e’en, as admittedly presumptuous as it may be o’ me, try to argue that I, as a 1st-worlder in a comfy home, having recently had the fun o’ dicking round with great open-source program designs as SSH & command lines in general a few months after leaving a job where I worked 16 hours a day in drudge work, can say that fiddling with computers is still a blast in comparison. I might, as rash as it may be, go far ’nough to inquire this person as to how positive they’d find the proposition that they trade in their burdenous job o’ asking other people to tell them how to do things for the exciting job o’ cleaning & filling dirty trays & running back & forth carrying equipment on high shelves for 13 – 16 hours. I can imagine their response would be a hearty, “¡Yes! ¡Please!”

&, the reason why I feel bad ’bout bringing up this subject myself, is that that’s not e’en that bad in comparison to most people. Actually, most o’ my coworkers @ said place had it much worse &, bizarrely, didn’t whine nearly as much.

See, if this were a complaint ’bout software in general, I would agree wholeheartedly — though I’d note that “software sucks” or “Linus Torvald sucks ’cause he doesn’t program a way to delete the massive inequality o’ upbringing to leads to massive inequality o’ skill potential” aren’t useful conclusions. Somehow I doubt the kind o’ person who enjoys wandering fancy cities would prefer we go back to living in the countryside & churning our own milk; I know e’en as much as I utterly despise shit like Heroku or Docker or whatever the fuck bullshit, I’d much rather do that than fingering some cow’s tits — as sexy as that is.

If I wanted to put on my Marxist hat — & I do like Marxist hats, ’cause they’re swanky & let me use my own fancy meaningless terms like “dialectics”, proletariat”, & “horse-piss” — I could say that this represents the “bourgeois” decay — all decay these days be bourgeois — wherein we naturally turn to individual solutions to economic problems, like badgering random programmers to not make random people have to ask them how to do things, ’stead o’ government solutions ’cause Cap’n Capitalism & his Scurvy Crew hardwired our minds to not think o’ such things like how our grassy English makes us forget most o’ our words for snow.

My problem is that this person is trying to then argue that Macs are somehow better for lower-class people, ’cause they’re s’posedly easier to use, e’en though all o’ the working class people I know find Windows just as easy, & much cheaper. But then Windows is dirty & gross. Then ’gain, so are real working class people, as opposed to the ones that exist in this writer’s imagination.

Actually, to be fair, I have to remember this writer used the word “patriarchy”, not poor, which seems strange. ’Gain, if the complaint were what a sausagefest software in general was, I would agree — & that is, indeed, what the actual points this writer makes are. But then it devolves into a driveling piece o’ self-pity that’s basically, “I don’t know this stuff, but I do know Mac stuff, so the former’s obviously privileged & the latter isn’t, ’cause obviously I’m not privileged”, e’en though there are plenty o’ actually unprivileged people who would find Macs just as incomprehensible. I might e’en admit that if I, programming prodigy that I am who can’t figure out basic SSH, were to have to use a Mac, I’d probably get frustrated & bitch ’bout what idiots the developers were. I wouldn’t post a pretentious article online ’bout what a capitalist conspiracy Macs are to subjugate the proletariat or how unfair it is that I have to learn them — ¡You can’t make me, mommy! I would write an article making fun o’ idiots who waste my time trying to research info by putting their inane claptrap online, which is why I’m here now; but I wouldn’t pretend I’m noble for doing so, any mo’ than I should find myself noble for making fun o’ someone for thinking themselves noble for doing so, rather than helping lower-class people in useless, idiotic ways, like giving to charity or doing actual social work. Phhh. ¿What use is that compared to a bunch o’ middle class college brats pontificating ’bout the sociology o’ command line?

See, I’d be less annoyed if this wasn’t obviously a narcissist trying to appropriate serious social issues for their own ego trip. What’s e’en mo’ annoying is that this person then goes on to try deflecting the inevitable criticism o’ what they themselves clearly see is a stupid argument with what is essentially self-pity:

And now, I’m going to put this down and go do something else. Lately I’ve been wondering how I got here. I never intended to become an amanuensis for technologists. There were other things I meant to write about, and do.

You know someone’s truly @ the bottom o’ the hierarchy when their main stress is, ¡they just don’t feel like they’re doing what they’re meant to do, man!

You know — I shouldn’t pick on these frivilous details too much in this serious treatise o’ mine ( so serious I had to e’en look up how to spell “treatise” ), but I’m half anal, half asshole — but I love when blog writers feel the need to tell readers what they’re going to do after finishing the post. “& that’s it. Now I’m going to go smoke pot & listen to Pink Floyd albums.” That’s a perfectly good hobby to have; but if you’re going to bother me ’bout it, you better be a good comrade & share both the Pink & the Floyd, if you catch my carrions.

Also, I can think o’ 1 good reason to not want to be an “amanuensis for technologists”: that’s a stupid term for “scribble slave for programmer douche bags”. You know which 1 makes a better slugline on the ol’ resume.

Maybe I shouldn’t focus entirely on this mere individual, who, after all, is the veritable emperor o’ feminism & technology & not just some random nobody who wrote a blog post that happened to unfortunately hit my headlights in that wonderful repository o’ scholarship known as Google. To be fair, I’m sure I thought these kinds o’ things when I was, like, 16. But that doesn’t mean this pattern isn’t itself something silly that should be mocked in the hopes that people don’t get the idea that it’s somehow logical to construct convoluted theories for why preferring PlayStation 4 o’er the Switch is the prime method for smashing capitalism — ’cause I know plenty o’ smart people look to random blogs full o’ insane poetry & pretentious analyses o’ their own shitty rom hacks for life lessons.

If you read this writer’s article where they pontificate on the social importance o’ Mac’s shininess — I’m not fucking kidding — you’ll see some o’ the mo’ pathetic pseudointellectual bullshit that seems to contradict itself. “Attacking Mac’s shininess is truly an attack gainst women, ’cause society forces them into the role o’ shininess… which is wrong, ’cause it’s sexist… but we have to accept this social fact, ’cause it just is…” You know, I remember a time when people who called themselves “leftists” actually attacked social norms — attacked the idea that women had to be “girly”; now it’s sexist to attack the social norms themselves, ’cause “leftists” themselves have apparently internalized them. Note that the expense o’ Macs isn’t brought up @ all — presumably ’cause that’s a weaker class that this writer isn’t a part o’, & therefore unimportant.

The silliest thing is a simple question: ¿Who’s putting a gun to your head & demanding you to use Linux shit? I mean, that might make me look hypocritical for making fun o’ Lispers; but I ne’er accused them o’ white supremacy ’cause they nagged me to use their shit. Granted, there was that Lisper who made up some story ’bout beating the shit out o’ some Jew stereotype out o’ a Nazi cartoon for the unrepentable behavior o’ not apologizing for trying to open his car, & then leaving without causing any damage @ all… ( Laughs ). God damn — ¿why are all you programmers such shitty people? ¿Do these fucking things leak chemicals?

But as Crazy Racist Jones says, “It is all a matter of choosing your words correctly!”

( Laughs. ) Sorry: fuck this stupid subject; we have to talk mo’ ’bout this Google Group. This comes right after those delightful examples o’ storytelling:

> > > I really foresee the collapse of civilization.
> > Yep, me too.
>
> I’m trying to prevent that, by building a new kind of economic
> system based on labor rather than national $currency$ as the unit
> of exchange, but I’ve been unable to find anyone to help me with my
> project.

You may want to try resurrecting a man named Karl Marx — I hear he influenced some wonderful economic systems beloved by all.

Everybody who foresees the collapse of civilization, also notices that
the problem is our economic system. I discuss this in “Ramon.” I would
be happy to discuss your plan, which I looked over. If you give me
your email address, I will respond that way. I don’t think this is a
appropriate topic for comp.lang.lisp though. Lets resolve the lack-of-
laptop problem first.

“( Boyish laugh. ) We can trade conspiracy theories ’bout the Obamapocalypse after we help Scottie fix his laptop. ( Waves hand forward ). ¡C’mon, buddy!”

My favorite part is that, a few messages down, someone else says:

Either I have lived a very sheltered
life so far, or c.l.l has a disproportionate share of people I would
describe as odd. People who brag about how they beat up others
certainly qualify.”

Well, maybe if you weren’t so sheltered you’d know that beating up strangers who don’t apologize for touching your car is the epitome o’ social intelligence.

You know, this is the 1 time when I might berate this writer — the narcissistic blackface ( seriously, I can’t get o’er that “African dance” bullshit ) Mac nut, not Crazy Racist Jones — for not employing ad hominem. ¿How the hell are you complaining ’bout Linux “patriarchy” & not mentioning this shit? It’d certainly be mo’ entertaining than that bullshit ’bout concert posters or some tacky picture o’ that dumbass Linux penguin in a Harry Potter outfit. Harry Potter is the best example o’ patriarchy ’cause… ¿it’s written by a woman?

It annoys me, ’cause it makes me look dumb, thanks to simplistic association. I used to defend leftists as being smarter than right-wingers & used to make fun o’ idiots like Sir Keynes the 3rd for his strawmen gainst the true enemies — women who want equal pay. He’s still wrong: these leftists aren’t dumb ’cause they believe the obvious fact that there’s plenty o’ sexism & racism & that it isn’t mostly based on some huge inherent biological difference; it’s just that their arguments are stupid. This person’s right that technology’s sexist; they’re wrong that it’s ’cause people aren’t all buying expensive Macs ’cause o’ some wall o’ text ’bout concert posters & Photoshop bling, which this author apparently had time to write ’bout, but didn’t have time to learn how to install Ubuntu. ( I call bullshit on that last part, by the way: anyone who has actually used Ubuntu knows that it’s just a few GUI prompts, with such arcane questions as “¿What’s your time zone?” It’s literally no different from setting up Windows or Mac. Either this writer is a complete moron or an utter liar; & considering the long pontifications they spewed, I’m going to assume the latter. )

This kind o’ idiocy is mo’ dangerous, ’cause it feeds idiotic ad hominem reasoning — in both ways. Criticizing dumbass sexism gets labeled as sexist ( only by complete idiots, thankfully ) — ’cause if the conclusion’s right, then every argument that supports it must be right. So if someone claims that Hitler was bad ’cause he stuck his dick in Hostess™ Cakes all day ’stead o’ being a true leader, I can’t say, “No, that’s stupid”, without being a Nazi. Meanwhile, some idiot points to this tripe to argue that it magically makes independent gender statistics invalid.

This is the curse o’ the western world now — Hairpiece politics. It’s just a race to the bottom o’ stupidity. Leftists don’t help their cause by defending leftist idiocy by just going, “Yes, but their heart’s in the right place” ( which, considering the cynicism o’ these posts, isn’t e’en correct ). I would actually argue that anyone who considers themselves trying to be intelligent — & I must admit, I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to — should attack not only idiotic conclusions, but also idiotic arguments for correct conclusions.

¡& now I’m pissed ’cause I now have to go out & buy a Mac after going out & trading my Windows computer for a Linux @ the advice o’ that Ruby nut! ¡Damn it! ¡This is genocide, I’m telling you! #WhitePeopleWhoPretendToCareBoutSeriousSocialIssuesAsAScuseToFlakeLearningNewThingsArePeopleToo.

Posted in Politics, Programming, Yuppy Tripe

Let’s Code a Crappy 2D Platformer Like Millions o’ Other People on the Internet & Lose Interest & Give Up Only a Few Months In, Part XVIII

Minty Mines

There’s not much to say ’bout this level, since most o’ the effort when into drawing the graphics. In truth, I was just messing round & happened to finally get mine tiles & liked, & then was finally able to make a halfway decent background ( though I still wish I could figure out how to make good-looking wood or metal cross-bars, like you usually see in mine backgrounds ), so I finished this level idea I’d been fiddling with.

I still find the level feels awkward to play. The main problem is that Autumn’s momentum is strange when she bonks her head on the ceiling, which happens all the time here due to the cramped space & rarely anywhere else, since most other levels are wide open with no ceiling. I feel like Autumn’s horizontal momentum plummets when she bonks her head, & it just doesn’t feel right & causes me to have trouble avoiding enemies that otherwise are laughably easy to avoid. ¿Did Mario games control like that?

So let’s talk ’bout the rest o’ the game ’stead.

Much nothing

Unbelievably, I have had actually still been working on this project here & there since my last update — though not as oft as my manic episodes in December. It’s just that most o’ what I did turned out useless. Most o’ it was just experimenting with refactoring code so that ’twas less messy & janky. Mainly I tried redesigning the sprite code so that it wasn’t an unheavenly mess, ’specially the sprite states ( floating, on-ground, falling, jumping, & such ), since as o’ now most o’ that’s just a bunch o’ flags sitting in the sprite code, which isn’t e’en always consistent ( whether or not code checks for “is_jumping” or “prev_is_jumping” varies ). Due to the way the block components use polymorphism to interact with all sprites, the Sprite class used by all sprites also has many variables used by only a few sprites, which is wasteful. ’Course, there are many sprites that don’t jump @ all; but worse, there are many variables only used by the player, such as climbing code; but ’cause they’re manipulated by block component code that is run by all sprites ( & all have the same interface, due to polymorphism ), it can only manipulate things that the Sprite class has, since as far as it’s concerned, that’s what it gets a reference to, not any particular subclass. I found a much easier, though less elegant solution: simply have player-specific code in some singleton class, like Inventory or EventSystem. ( Though, now that I think ’bout it, that’d cause trouble if I e’er needed Dagny to be able to climb ).

I doubt any o’ this matters much, since wasted memory is probably the least o’ my efficiency problems, & it’s not as if I’ve had any slowdown. For instance, the fact that Sprites use polymorphism @ all, & thus must be held as pointers in the sprite vector rather than as contiguous full objects means that the sprite code probably has plenty o’ cache misses & such, which is probably far worse than the unlikely scenario o’ using too much memory.

Anyway, I was able to create some rather elegant code @ 1 point wherein, for example, the code for jumping was all divided into a separate class where it didn’t get in the way & only existed for a sprite if it actually used it. The problem is, in every alternate version I’ve made, the physics are off — ’specially the collision. & in the battle ’tween code that’s elegant & code that’s right, the code that’s right wins.

Thus, the current project still has the messy, inefficient sprite code.

An e’en worse problem than this not-serious programming issue was simply a designer’s block in terms o’ level design. Ironically, a task I thought would be easy is probably e’en harder than other ideas I had. This game is a simple platformer — so simple that the protagonist doesn’t e’en have an attack other than jumping on enemies. Making a simple platformer that has some creativity, does something new, is immensely difficult ’cause platformers are a well-worn genre. For instance, I try to think o’ interesting enemies to make, only to realize Mario has already done everything. Every idea I come up with, I hear Dougie chime in my head with his nasally voice, “¡Mario did it! ¡Mario did it!”

I’m also still trying to figure out what to do with the o’erworld map. My main idea is to have a Zelda-like game wherein passages lead to the platformer levels ’stead o’ Zelda dungeons, but I feel that may be too much. Mo’ importantly, the variety would be hard to get right. Zelda games usually have a rather limited set o’ themes for o’erworlds; the 1st Zelda game had, what, ¿rocky terrain, forests, a graveyard, rivers, & mountains? This o’erworld needs to have cities, forests, mines, snowy areas, icy areas, factories, deserts, a store, a Pac-Man maze, sewers… Also, the levels are designed like my spiral idea o’ cycling through themes rather than having themes for each “world”, which would only mesh weirdly for a Zeldalike o’erworld. ¿Would the player just go all round the whole o’erworld multiple times, somehow unlocking ’nother part o’ each area on each cycle?

Posted in Boskeopolis Land, Programming