Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, everybody. New Year's Eve has been kind of boring around here, because everyone left except Mr. Monkey. So I'm just going to be reading and finishing up with the Water Temple part of my Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time run. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Letter from Professor Hotchkiss

I was going to write all of you a Nancy Drew story as a Christmas present, but I never finished it on time. You can still enjoy reading the story, though, right?

I was inspired by the Nancy Drew Facebook page, which had a prompt like "write a Christmas letter from one of the various Nancy Drew characters".

---

"Come on, Nancy," George said. "I thought we were going to go shopping!"

"Yeah," Bess said. "Didn't you say you still have to buy a gift for Ned?"

"Just a second, you two," Nancy told her best friends. "I have to finish some of these Christmas cards, and then we'll go."

Bess eyed the large pile of Christmas cards on Nancy's desk. "Since when do you know so many people?" she asked.

"Oh, you know me," Nancy said. "I travel around a lot."

Bess picked up a letter and read it aloud.

Dear Candy,

Thank you very much for all your help with my book on Marie Antoinette. As I told that newspaper reporter, I couldn't have done it without my faithful apprentice, Sandy! I'm busy working on my next book right now. It'll be a fascinating expose of life inside a manhole cover factory. You'll let me know if you uncover any juicy tidbits, won't you? Best holiday wishes!

Rock and roll, dear,
Beatrice Hotchkiss


"That's the nutty professor you were telling us about, right?" George asked. "The one from Wisconsin?"

"She's nice. She gave me a free signed copy of her book for Christmas last year," Nancy said.

"Yeah, but it was signed to Franny Crew," Bess said.

---

And that's all I wrote! I wanted to make it a longer story with more letters from different characters, but the only other letter I could think of was this one:

---

"Dear Nancy,
I was going to buy you a present, but I can't, because I'm in prison. All because of you.

Have a rotten Christmas,
Dwayne Powers."

"He sounds bitter," George said.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Wrap Up

Well, Christmas is over now, and boy, was there a lot of Christmas stuff to do! Seriously, I didn't go to sleep until 2:00 AM last night!

Okay, I couldn't sleep because I have insomnia, but still! It was busy.

I got a game called God of War 2 because I'm a big fan of Greek mythology and that sort of thing. I didn't know, however, that the game is rated "M" for pretty much everything that can get you an "M" rating. I'm scared to play it, now.

I got a load of Nancy Drew games, including Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor, which I want to speedrun (more on that later). I also got some books, a t-shirt for Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks which is cooler than the actual game is, and some movies I don't think I'll watch.

Next Sunday, they're sending me off to Los Gatos Jesuit Retreat House, so I don't know if I'll be able to update my blog. Hopefully, they'll let me use my computer there. I have a lot of book work I can do without Internet Access.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wrapping Presents and Such

Today, Mom made Dad and me wrap gifts for an hour or so.



So now, we kinda know what everybody's getting, but the good news is that we'll probably forget between now and then. Our memories aren't that good--we lost the pen for writing the "to and from" stickers about five times during Wrap Fest '09.

Actually, there were three pens, but we still lost them five times. My excuse is that I was watching the Muppets Christmas Carol. That's a good movie. I wouldn't mind seeing the Muppets Christmas Special, but I don't think they show that on TV anymore. That's a real shame, because about four of the songs in that movie are exclusive for the TV version—they were cut out of the VHS release.

Hey, I think Days of Our Lives is going to be on tomorrow. How about that? They pretty much always cancel my soap opera on holidays. Sure, Granny gets to watch her soap (All My Children) because they never cancel that for any reason whatsoever, but if there's a golf tournament or breaking news about Tom Cruise losing his rubber chicken, Days immediately gets the boot. But not tomorrow!

...Maybe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Barnes and Noble

I had to stop by Barnes and Noble today to ask a question. I ended up waiting in line for fifteen minutes.

Why is the line so long? Is it that the economy is doing better, and people are buying books?

No, it's that the economy is still doing badly, so Barnes and Noble fired all the employees they could. And with only two employees covering a store that's over twice as large as my house, that's going to cause a lot of long lines.

I saw two people decide they didn't want to wait in line for fifteen minutes, so they left without buying anything. That probably happens a lot, and the irony tickles me. Barnes and Noble just lost money (because customers didn't buy anything), because they tried to save money (by firing employees). I wonder how many other cost-cutting techniques companies use actually hurt the company in the long run.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Tree

Dad and I and Snickers went to get the Christmas tree this weekend. We drove to the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains, where they have a few tree places.

Helpful suggestion: Do not take your dog to go tree searching for you.

Snickers likes Dad better than me, and he's scared that Dad will run away and never come back. So when Dad and I split up to search for trees, Snickers kept pulling me backwards to chase after Dad.

Plus, he's smaller than I am, so he can slip through the bottoms of trees, whereas I get smacked in the face with the branches. It wasn't all that bad, though. We got a nice tree, and we even helped out someone who was stuck in the mud get his car working again.

Here's a Phoenix Wright Christmas video I made for everyone:



Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

I went to see The Princess and the Frog yesterday. I figured I could write a review here by talking about the high point of the movie, and the low point.

Well, the low point of every movie-going experience is at the start of the movie when they run the ad that goes like this:

Don't ruin the movie by adding your own soundtrack.
Let us ruin the movie with an hour of commercials.

Commercials are the reason I stopped watching television (except for Days of Our Lives) six months ago. I really don't like those things. They kind of assault the senses, especially when they're on a humongous movie screen. I wanted to put on blinders and an Ipod, just to block out the garbage that was being spewed at me.

Besides, aren't previews kind of unnecessary nowdays? If there is a movie I want to see, like the Percy Jackson movie, I'll have watched the preview on Youtube long before I set foot in a theater.

I miss the days when they only had one or two previews for a movie. I still have the VHS tapes to prove those days existed!

Okay, so the low point was the commercials/previews before the movie. The high point, therefore, must have been the movie itself.

It was pretty good. The animation with the bad guy was awesome. But of course, even if the animation was bad, it'd still be awesome because it's actual animation instead of that weird 3D stuff they're doing nowdays. So the fact that the animation is top notch makes it double awesome.

The plot was good. Actually, my only complaint is that, at a few parts of the movie, things felt forced. That is, I got the feeling that certain parts of the movie were only there because the creators felt they "had" to put them in there. Like they thought, "Oh, this is a Disney movie. That means we have to put in a goofy character here" or "This a new character. Therefore, he or she has to sing in order to introduce him/herself". I got that feeling a couple of times, and I didn't really like that. But I suppose that's more of a problem with me than the movie itself.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Food

I'm glad to be home, where I can get real food. The food at school is great, but it's all donated by Costco and Safeway. As you can guess, they don't donate their fresh food; they donate everything that is dangerous close to the expiration date or malformed.

It's not that big of deal. Sandwiches on malformed pieces of bread taste just as good as sandwiches on normal pieces of bread.

What I like best are the Costco wedding cakes. Those things are delicious, and we had three during finals week. It makes me wonder, though; if Costco donated three wedding cakes, does that mean three weddings were cancelled? I mean, it's not like Costco is going to make three cakes just to donate them.

---

To Alice, who commented on my last post, I'm sorry, but I don't have Secret of the Old Clock on my computer any more. The sewing part is really tough, though; I sympathize.

To Pixie-girl, who also commented on my last post, you need to get all the pieces of the puzzle in the proper places. Some of the pictures look near-identical, so it's trick. I'd recommend looking at my video walkthrough where I put the pieces into place.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Videos

Whoo-eh, folks! I have nine, count them, NINE new videos today! Four of them for Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses! and four for the classic N64 game Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I'll make posts about them later, as I'm going to keep making videos for them until I finish, but for today, let me bring your attention to the ninth video.

The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes: The Zouch Emerald


My library got a Sherlock Holmes game, so I checked it out. Sadly, it is not one of the cool Sherlock Holmes mystery games. It is, in fact, one of the bad Sherlock Holmes games that has almost no mystery solving whatsoever. I played through the first mystery to show what the game is like, then I decided not to play the game ever again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Break

All right, Christmas Break has officially started for me! For some reason, I have been specifically ordered by both of my superiors to not do anything over the break.

I guess that means I'll have a lot of free time to do projects I've been putting off, like book uploads, comic scans, and, of course, videogame walkthroughs. Why, just this weekend I finished work on my walkthroughs for Deja Vu II (for the GBC) and Metroid Fusion (for the GBA).

I haven't decided which games to play yet. I was going to play Oregon Trail or Chaos, but untimely computer errors have put an end to those plans. So...wait and see! I'll come back with decisions on what games I'll be playing sometime soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Walkthroughs

Today, there are two news items about my videogame walkthroughs.

1. My text walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion for the GBA has now been finished. This was very easy guide to write because the game is so short; in particular, Chapters 4 through 6 (which take about a minute to play) were all finished in a few paragraphs.

2. I probably should have mentioned this sooner, but it slipped my mind. My video walkthrough for Final Fantasy VI Advance has finally made it all the way to the end of the game. Currently, there are 111 videos in total. Needless to say, this game is super, super long.

FFVI Advance is widely considered by fans to be the best videogame ever made, which makes me seriously wonder if these people have actually played other games, because it's pretty bad. Nothing but wandering around and fighting random battles, just like every other Final Fantasy game. I gave the game a 1.5 in my official review.

To be fair, and to my utter surprise, the game actually did end up having an interesting plotline for a while. The problem is that doesn't happen until around video 40. So that's...what, seven hours into the game? Yeah. It takes seven hours of boring gameplay to get to the interesting stuff. Mean old Final Fantasy VI.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Three Things

1) I've been listening to High School Musical 2 music while studying for finals this week for some reason. I always liked "Bet on It" because Zac Efron does the most ridiculous dance moves during that song. It's like he made up the dance moves on the spot: twirls, flinging hands randomly, genuflecting, and walking normally. Not to mention the pointless bridge to the song, where he plays golf, then looks longingly at his reflection in the water. It's pretty hilarious.



But after listening to the song without seeing the ridiculous dance moves, and getting a chance to absorb the lyrics...I have come to the conclusion that it is still the most ridiculous song in the entire movie.

2) I find it odd that most of the Full House fanfiction I found on fanfiction.net is based off the books, not the TV show.

3) I went as a bum for Halloween. Part of my costume was a really ugly hat that somebody threw out. In fact, I'm sure it was thrown out because it's really ugly. No sane person would willingly wear this hat.

Needless to say, I have been wearing the bum hat every now and then. I don't know why. I know it's an ugly hat, it has a hole in it, and it doesn't fit so well, but I wear it anyway. My dad and grandpa both wore ridiculously ugly hats everyone else hated, too. Maybe it's genetic.

Monday, December 7, 2009

DJs

I went to a wedding last November, and I was surprised at how DJ apparently means "person who does nothing" nowdays.

Taking care of music at events used to be a full job in itself, but all the DJ did was plug his iPod into the speaker. It automatically plays the next song, so all he had to do was pick out three hours of music and then leave.

He couldn't take any requests because he had no other music besides what was on the iPod. And poor Granny Ro, who specifically brought in her Polka CD because the bride said not to, was cruelly rejected, because a CD is a type of disc, and no Disc Jockey can actually play discs. I mean, seriously.

The weird part is that the DJ didn't pick out the music--the bridal party picked it all out ahead of time. So...what was the point of hiring a DJ? They could have saved a couple hundred bucks by simply plugging one of their iPods into the speaker instead of paying somebody else to do it.

...Now I want to write a Pug's Adventures storyline where Loreen gets a job as a DJ, but I can't, because it's Finals Week, and I should be studying instead of drawing comics (or updating blogs). Guess you guys will have to settle for the one comic I drew that mentions a DJ.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dreams

Some people think dreams are messages from the unconscious, but I personally think dreams are just random things that your brain picks out and spins together into some sort of narrative. Whenever I try to analyze a dream, I can usually look back on the day before and see what things triggered the various parts of my dream. I don't analyze my dreams that often, however. Usually, I just immediately forget them because they're weird, and I don't see the point in remembering them.

This morning, I woke up before my dream ended, which was really annoying, because I was dreaming I was one of the detectives in a Scooby Doo episode, and we were just about to figure out who set the T Rex loose in the auditorium. So I had to go back to sleep immediately to find out who the culprit was.

It turned out Johnny did it to try to cover up the fact that he had been stealing food for months, and he didn't want his boss to find out.

Of course, now I don't remember who Johnny is or what a T Rex has to do with anything, but at the time I woke up this morning, I thought it was really important to finish the dream.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA

Okay, here's my video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion for the GBA. It's 40 minutes long, and it's not as exciting as the PC version, but at least I didn't shout during this playthrough, like I did about 30 times in the PC walkthrough.

Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA (Part 1): Seance



Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA (Part 2): The Attic



Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA (Part 3): Snooping



Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA (Part 4): Gum Bo Fu



Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion GBA (Part 5): The End

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Haunted Mansion Update

Okay, I did my recording of Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion for the GBA today. It's not as good as the PC version because they had to cut out most of the animation and sound work, but I suppose it's not all bad. You'll have to wait a few days before you can see it, because the Internet here is pretty slow.

I think it's interesting that they have a floppy disk in this game, because it came out in 2001, and floppy disks were out of style back then. Nowdays, nobody uses floppies anymore.

Interestingly enough, what's the "save game" icon they use in Nancy Drew games nowdays? The one in the lower/right part of the screen?



A floppy disk. Fun!