3/26/2017- more books, more problems

It has been so long since I last had the urge to post something, and yet here I am, typing away on a blank page.

I have been hard at work writing a new book called A Shatter Down The Hall– a sort of yelling at myself for past mistakes, to force myself to stop the constant cycle of wanderlust between simplification and decentralization. Do I want to automate everything so that I’ll spend more time actually working on what I enjoy and less time making the connections between all the facets of my online life work with each other? Or do I want to take the extra steps of spreading out my work among several different sites so that no one entity has control of my data at the cost of more time down the gutter in maintaining the flow of work?

The main problem I have while writing this book is the main character- she’s a little… flat. Vey doesn’t have very many defining characteristics, which fits the book’s theme- she’s dazed and gets her identity from losing herself inside of Virtuality, a hybrid of an ocular implant giving one a nonintrusive HUD and a Matrix-esque virtual reality video gaming platform which puts one in a simulated sleep and then manipulates dreams. She longs to reunite with her brother Velaire, who supposedly committed suicide several years prior but turns out is actually still alive and in hiding. And she loves to write, although she hits writer’s block quite often as a result of her addiction to Virtuality. But her indecision when it comes to fighting to return to the world she’s always known or submitting to the fate forced upon her mucks up the book and makes her a quite unlikable character.

In contrast, we’ve got Vio- a quite insolent man who enjoys reminding Vey that her only viable choice is to go with him to the village. Because Vey was present during the “terrorist” attack, Vey has connections to Vio, which makes her a potential target to the police. Vio barely restrains himself from forcing himself onto Vey, as she reminds him multiple times that she resents him, especially since following him through a convoluted journey is the only way she has a chance to see Velaire again. But halfway through the book, his role becomes quite diminished as the book focuses more on Vey’s development, and he doesn’t return in a major capacity until the climax.

Normally, if I were writing, this would be perfectly normal- the story writes itself, and I can’t force a character to be more than they design themselves to be. But there’s the issue of retaining the reader’s interest, and if they decide early on that the book is boring, then… there’s no recovering from being shelved, ignored, and forgotten.

As I write this, I’ve got twenty-two chapters written and am working on the twenty-third. But, as usual, there’s a thousand other projects calling for my undivided attention as well, voluntary or foisted upon me by the high school. And there are only so many hours in a day to sleep…

3/17/2017

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My room has been darkening for some hours and I’ve only noticed it now. But nothing can quite capture the feeling of dying sunlight on somebody else’s windowsill, hitting the half-dead fish surrounded by waters just as murky as your own intentions. Not to mention those of the strangers around you- constantly fiddling with a small purse, trying to find the best place to safeguard it from pickpockets without disturbing the gracious hosts or yourself.

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It had been eight months since I had last slept in that bed, unless my memory is playing tricks upon me again. And in that eight months, the obsessions had neither ceased nor waned- just changed their subjects, looking for another cheap thrill that would not have any result on the world.

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But corrupted alphabets have to end somewhere, unfounded fears put to rest and resurrected anew in other languages- tongues doing double duty, triple, tea bubbles and hasty words dissolving, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter. A hit or miss event; mostly miss, something always amiss.

THE BOYZ ARE BACK IN TOWN

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So I guess I’m not at the verge of a complete mental shutdown anymore.

Actually, that’s a lie. My health teacher’s got a vendetta against me and my Spanish teacher thinks it’s funny to spread out homework assignments across as many sites as possible. But hey, my meme game’s gotten stronger, so there’s that.

I don’t think I’m going to be posting every single day anymore. In the beginning, I posted when I damn well felt like it, and I got far more views due to the erratic posting nature- there was no longer a set time at which people could check to get all that day’s posts in one go. Gotta squeeze those views out somehow.

It’s a simple matter of quality over quantity. Either one can rush posts in an effort to have something new every day, putting unnecessary strain on themselves to publish something even when they have no thoughts to put down, or one can stay behind and craft a masterpiece to publish every once in a while- but then again, apparently people ditch their place in the following list if you don’t make your presence known in their feed often enough. No, I’m not dead. at least, not physically

In addition, I’m going to try to find a way to bypass the stats page that automatically loads when I try to go from the Reader to the post edit page without defaulting back to the old-style editor. A post’s success should be determined by its quality and the worth it imparts to its readers and to me in the process of making it, not by how many likes it gathers or views it receives. Besides, being an advocate for online privacy, I’ve noticed how the Ghostery plugin lists the necessary scripts WordPress runs on every page to gather stats as a tracker, which it then blocks. In addition, RSS readers and email followers don’t get these scripts regardless, so there are more uncounted views. This could be one of the post popular blogs on the internet and I wouldn’t even know.

My new house is coming together quite nicely, although my new room has substantially less space to move around than my old room did. My dogs, given every single opportunity, immediately run down to my room and jump onto my bed, where they stay for hours in an attempt to hinder any tries to do homework. The sink above the downstairs bathroom feels the need to remind everyone to wash their hands and use soap. Life is getting better, I guess.

SICK RADICAL WWIII TRICKS: PINEAPPLE PIZZA AND OTHER DASTARDLY PLOTS

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You know, if this were ten or so years ago and I were publishing this on geocities, this post would have probably been prefaced with at least twenty dabbing GIFs that unintentionally crash every computer looking for free DLC. (Which you can’t get with this as it would violate copyright, unless you use freeshop, which I’ll be covering in a later post.)

This particular story takes place in my new house, exhausted and ready to fall asleep at any moment and suffering through the worst writer’s block I’ve had in a while. I mean, seriously- how am I supposed to spice up a lightrail train ride without filling the whole thing with self-reflection that I can imply later anyways? I hate feeling ham-fisted.

Of course, there are those who would beg to differ.

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SWIGGITY SWOOTY HE COMIN FOR DAT BOOTY

What a beautiful gift to humanity HANS is- allowing one to take screenshots in games they’re normally not allowed to, apply patches to allow everyone to be gay, changing all the voice actors to the supremely more pleasing-to-the-ear Japanese versions… But I digress. Good old Sm4sh already allows screenshots, plus all the “hacks” available are just texture and sound replacements that I can’t do anyways because they require a custom firmware. So, instead, we’ll just have to pull out ol’ reliable…

These were taken long before I got HANS. Please don’t judge 😦

The first hack displayed here is Playable Bosses, which are basically repurposed bosses from other parts of the game (and other game paths I can’t play because I’m broke) and some other characters from the previous FE game, Awakening. As you can see, when an event is triggered that normally would elicit a response from another character, most of these units don’t have any lines due to normally not being available in castle mode. However, most of the Awakening characters bundled in have lines, with only Severa that I know of to have any actual support options.

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For a few of the characters, such as Anankos, Blight Dragon Garon (middle), and Empty Vessel Garon (far right), they have no idle animation data for the castle viewing function and thus just stay static models. Which can get a bit creepy when randomly spawning in right next to fully animated units…

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Next up is the character swap patch, allowing characters from Birthright to join in Conquest. Unlike the save editing method demonstrated last time, this does not require constantly shuffling data between a computer and the 3DS’s microSD card; although, since the new units join via the same chapter events that normally spawn each retainer, if there’s a specific unit that you wanted that otherwise would be replaced, you will have to play that specific chapter via the Home Menu (and thus giving up screenshot support and any other patches) or disable ROMFS patching in HANS (which will still boot without any other patches). The Hoshidan unit spawning tries to match up with their Nohrian counterparts- for example, in chapter 7, when Elise the healer normally joins, Sakura the healer will join instead and be accompanied by her retainers Subaki and Hana instead of Arthur and Elise.

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Of course, one should exercise caution when using this patch- Birthright characters tend to be weaker than their Conquest counterparts and have weaker growths, which is normally remedied in their original path via the Scouting and Challenge functions- but since Conquest has a limited amount of experience points to go around and thus doesn’t have these options, you have to be more careful than usual when choosing how to level characters. of course, if you have the Boo Camp DLC, this is far less of a problem as long as you’re strong enough to farm

Although, to be honest, I’m still holding out for when Hinoka joins and can tank everything- maybe then she’ll fix the bug not letting the S support button not showing up even with the gay patch.

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remember that name; you’re gonna be screaming it tonight

hiatus

Posts always sound more spectacular in my head, but when it’s actually time to write them down, I always forget the minor details that made it a masterpiece and just repeat the half-constructed skeleton. Of course, there’s always the problem of not wanting to spill so many details that I sound like a self-important jerk fishing for attention and pity.

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I’ve been in an unhealthy place mentally in the past few months- or over the past year; I’m not really sure exactly when the downturn in my self-esteem began. Blogging has become more and more of a chore than a hobby, often forgetting to post something until a mere hour until bed, at which point I’ve become so exhausted that all I can do is a few photo editing tricks. That explains the recent decline in post quality. Of course, it really doesn’t help that I almost suffered a mental breakdown at school today and just really need a break from as many responsibilities as I can so I can get my life back on track.

I don’t want this place to turn into another Twitter where I was obsessively checking my follower count and worrying about long hiatuses in which people decided that I wasn’t worth their time and unfollowed me. Blogging is and always should be about the fun of sharing thoughts instantly all over the world first and everything else second. The magic of it all has left me. I need to get it back.

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from posting on this blog for two weeks and devote all my writing time to writing my next book, A Shatter Down The Hall, and editing Me Before You. Please don’t unfollow me- I promise I’ll be back with the best content this blog has ever seen. I just need some time to think.

SICK RADICAL WWIII TRICKS: CHINESE BOOTLEG EDITION

In the previous post in this series, several laws of nature and Congress were bypassed and shattered, I got sued by Intelligent Systems for creating abominations of nature, and the internet deleted itself.

Actually, only one of those things happened, but you gotta clickbait people somehow.

The story starts with a cloudy day, part raining and part just all out crappy part of winter with slush everywhere. Procrastinating from my homework, as usual, I decided to boot up my abused copy of Fates and see how far I could go with support farming and only playing with weak characters.

Then came along a bootleg Marth, a sad copy of a character from a previous FE game that I only played in short snippets in a poorly-coded emulator. He had no chances of living up to his predecessors, bootleg or otherwise. There simply wasn’t enough gold in the bank to hire either Vane or Estella, Einherjars of previous main characters whose save files had been completed long ago, so his pitiful existence continued as he dragged his sorry party through the game.

Until save editing arrived, and he was finally able to transition into the hero-king he identified as, but it came at the cost of no longer being able to wield a dragonstone or the special sword his genocidal adoptive father made for him.

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Totally not a Chinese bootleg.

True, thanks to a copied global stats file from the internet, he could have just recruited the real Marth into his party, but no- that would require work and copious amounts of gold.

Fortunately- or otherwise, depending on the viewpoint- the game started to glitch out at this point, sometimes functioning as a copy of Revelation, the third path of the game only purchasable as DLC, which I hadn’t gotten as I am broke and only have $6 remaining in my Nintendo account. This caused some… questionable effects- but hey, I’m not complaining. Free stuff, amirite?

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Remember the Einherjar from last post I didn’t get a picture of who I turned into a nonfunctioning kitsune? Well, this time, they mutated into a silent dragon. I’m not sure if that’s a fin or a gigantic part of some other model waving in the foreground, but it certainly wasn’t there when checking other character models.

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Thanks to hex editing, which I finally figured out how to do via a menu option inside of the save file twiddler, and a list of character IDs, I edited several low-level units that I wasn’t planning on using ever again in that particular save file to gain characters exclusive to the Birthright and Revelation game paths. One of those, Izana, was somehow able to form an S support to a female main character in a different save file and the game even played the Live2D animation that occurs when the main character gets married, further confirming my suspicions that the game contains data for all character regardless of if they appear in that particular path or not- but what for? Normally, on a non-hacked save file, the party never comes across Izana in battle since he is kidnapped and temporarily replaced by Zola, a boss in the only Conquest chapter Izana appears in.

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Another character I added in, Ryoma, appeared in my castle just like a normal unit once I added him in, acting as if his appearance in Nohr, the country he wholeheartedly hates as its king killed his mother, was a completely normal thing. Nothing is amiss here.

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“Marth, I swear to Anankos, I will toss your weak ass across the castle if you don’t stop parading around and flirting and help me harvest this damn wheat”

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In addition, the addition of these characters tricking the game into unlocking non-Conquest-specific content also enabled me to access the other three castle styles, unusable in Conquest- they don’t even show up in the menu.

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Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper sick radical World War 3 trick without more weird reclassings, so here’s a male main character Einherjar made into a shrine maiden, a fancy healer normally only found in the Birthright and Revelation paths.

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“How many bootleg levels are you on? Only three? You are like a little child- watch this”

Setsuna did nothing to deserve this.

summit

mountain

I now stand near the peak of a mountain I have spent a good three months climbing, hoping to an unnamed power that my walking stick doesn’t give out when I can see the prize at the top of the hill- a golden respite, a break from the stress and a smooth ride into the next major phase of my life.

I can’t tell if it terrifies me or soothes me that in twenty-four hours, this will all be over, that I will have four days to rediscover myself and be the person I hoped of being when I first entered this school. Maybe the time for first impressions is over, and I didn’t disappoint myself, but I certainly didn’t woo anybody over.

Maybe the sun will finally come out, and my fingers can thaw and renew a creation melded in the depths of winter.