Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Videos

Not sure if this counts as a filler video or not, but I made a video of the cool dramatic music in Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister. It really intensifies the whole "a tornado is about to hit!" feeling.

Also, I had some fun at the start of video #13, with a ridiculous recap. I really like ridiculous recaps.

About 15 or so people have requested shoutouts in the past few days, so I've decided that I will do no more shoutouts. About 30 people have asked "When is the next video in the walkthrough being released?" and the answer to that is always "whenever I finish it".

How close am I to finishing the game? I dunno. I'm on Day 4 of 6 (I think), so that must mean I passed the halfway point.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trail of the Twister Review

All right, Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister was released recently, and everyone wants me to write a review for it. Do I think this game is awesome, like all the other games in the series? Or do I think this game is a humongous failure?

Shocking plot twist: I like this game.

As a casual gamer, I do not have super-high standards. There are basically only three things I want to see in a Nancy Drew game:

  1. Nancy Drew
  2. A number of Laytonesque puzzles
  3. Jokes, or something else equally amusing

Simply put, this game delivers on all three accounts, so I like it.

The game takes place in Oklahoma, with a crew of tornado chasters. They’ve been having a series of mysterious accidents, and Nancy has been called in to investigate, which is Standard Nancy Drew Plotline #4. Can she find out who is behind all the sabotage?

Shocking plot twist: Yes, she can.

There are five suspects in this game: Scott, Debbie, Chase, Frosty and Pa. They’re okay as far as characters go, but I don’t really like or dislike any of them. None of them really sticks out in my mind. Maybe I’m just weird, but my two favorite characters in this game aren’t actually characters in the game. I liked P.G. Krolmeister, who you can call but never see, and Brooke Savannah, who you overhear while snooping in a museum. Krolmeister is funny, and Brooke is mysterious, and I like ‘em both.

I want to say more about the characters, but I’m afraid of giving away spoilers like “the culprit ends up being Nancy Drew’s Aunt Eloise”. So I’ll be vague and say that every character is hiding some kind of secret. Nancy learns out about all these secrets, thanks to her awesome detective skills, then she jumps into Sassy Detective Accusation Mode™ for a series of dramatic confrontations that are fun to watch. It’s pretty awesome.


Some critics have complained that the plot is bare-bones, and the characters exist just to give you puzzles to solve, instead of being necessary to the plot. My response? Awesome. I love puzzles. The more puzzles the better. And besides, the characters tend to be minigame/puzzle dispensers in every Nancy Drew game, so it’s not like their penchant for puzzles in this game is something new.

The plot has many abrupt turns, in that one day you’re going along, doing your thing and solving puzzles left and right, and then, BAM! You’re chasing a tornado with no warning whatsoever, and you’ve got to move quickly or else it’ll destroy Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s farm. It’s a very dramatic way to shake things up. Personally, I think of this as grand metaphor for life in general. Life is like a hurricane…here in Duckburg. Race cars, lasers, airplanes: it’s a duck blur! You might solve a mystery, and that’s exactly what Nancy Drew does.

My favorite part of the game is not investigating the mystery or solving puzzles; it’s turning on the broken TV and catching up with Detective Beach. This is officially my new favorite TV show.

Announcer: Previously on Detective Beach
Chief: You’re a loose cannon, McNorton! I want your badge and your surfboard on my desk immediately!
McNorton: Only one man would be crazy enough to use a shark to rob a bank…You’ve got to let me back on the case!


I have a hard time summarizing Nancy Drew games. It’s kind of a point-and-click adventure, and it’s kind of a whodunit, and it’s kind of a puzzle game. This installment of the series focuses more on puzzles, whereas the last installment, Warnings at Waverly Academy, focused on character development and the most shocking plot twist of all time. Both games are fine by me.

I think that’s a good enough summary of this game. It’s fine by me. I’m not going to call it the best Nancy Drew game ever, and I’m not going to call it the worst Nancy Drew game ever. I like it just fine.

Score: 7/10

Monday, June 28, 2010

Illinois, Part Two

To repeat what I said in my last blog post, yep, it doesn't get muggy in California. At least, not where I live. We don't need mugginess to make it feel like it's 98 degrees outside, because we actually have 98 degree weather.

Anyway, once Day Two started, Dad, Grandma and I went to the Abraham Lincoln Museum. Mr. Lincoln lived in Springfield for twenty years before moving to some big white house on the east coast, so they have a LOT of Lincoln stuff there. There were mannequin displays of important moments in Lincoln's life, pictures galore, videos and special effects.

The part that most interested me was the collection of anti-Abe material. You know, newspaper articles and comics from the 1800's which talked about how he was basically the worst person ever for plunging the nation into a war that killed about one and a half million people. His critics apparently liked to portray him as the Illinois Ape, a giant monkey with a stupid hat.

It was really interesting and educational. It was definitely worth the five dollar entry fee. The only thing that disappointed me that they didn't have more about John Hay, Lincoln's secretary, but that's only because one of the e-books I edited was written by him.

The Lincoln Museum was great, and I got a cool T-shirt. We spent about three hours there, skipping lunch. Afterwards, I learned that the lunch we skipped was a major event; Bishop Tom was there with Cardinal George. So, basically, I missed out on my chance to meet a cardinal! Oh, man!

We got back in time for the ordination, of course. It was a very big celebration. There were two cardinals, forty bishops and probably 100 priests. Seeing all of them go by was amazing. I even recognized one of them, Fr. Paul, who spent half of his sabbatical at our seminary. It was great to see him again, and very cool to talk to all sorts of priests from Illinois.

It was also good to talk to Bishop Tom for a little bit. He says that people always ask him if there are any other priests in the family, so he mentions me. Well, people always ask me why I want to become a priest, and I tell them about meeting Bishop Tom in November 2008. Tom probably doesn't even remember the conversation we had, but like Dad said, the two of us were like peanut butter and jelly that night, and it really is the major part of my inspiration to join the priesthood.

We were invited to the reception afterwards at the Old State Capitol Building, which has been preserved to look just like it did when Lincoln worked there. In fact, they even had somebody dressed like Lincoln there for taking photos. I am still upset that Mom forgot to put the memory card in our camera, which is basically the same thing as giving us a camera without any film. We could have taken so many good photos!

All in all, it was a grand affair, and I liked it a lot. The plan was to drive back to Chicago the next day and fly home, but the weather had different plans in mind...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Illinois, Part One

My dad's family is Polish, and they come from Illinois. One of our more illustrious family members is Dad's cousin, Tom Paprocki. Tom was made an Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 2003, and this year, he was named Bishop of Springfield. As family members, we were invited to the event, and so Dad and I flew out to Illinois last Sunday.

Ten minutes before I left, Fr. G--- came back from a trip to Hungary that he was required to take. And boy, he was mad at me. See, when he came home, the kitchen was a horrible mess. There were cups and food all of the area, and the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes. So he gave me a lecture on how I need to keep the kitchen clean and not be a total slob.

Now, I did not make a mess in the kitchen the day before, for the simple reason that I wasn't there all day. It wasn't until ten minutes after I left that I figured out who the culprits were, but by then, it was too late to defend myself. For the rest of the day, it bugged me that I got in trouble for something I didn't do, and that I really disappointed Fr. G---.

By now, he's figured out that it wasn't me, though.

Anyway, Dad and I flew to O'Hare Airport in Chicago. It was a four hour flight, and it was very boring, as most flights are. Aunt M--- picked us up at the airport and took us to Grandma's at around 10:00 PM. It was nice to see the two of them again, but I was a little too tired to enjoy talking with them.

The next day was muggy.

We do not have muggy weather in California, so it was something new to me. Apparently, mugginess takes 70 degree weather and somehow makes it feel like 98 degree weather. Needless to say, it is not enjoyable at all, and we had to suffer through it for the three hour car drive down to Springfield. We found the hotel without much trouble and checked in.

It was interesting to meet up with all kinds of relatives I didn't know that I had. Even Dad hadn't seen some of them in decades. They were all very nice, and it's too bad that we live so far away from each other.

That night, we had evening prayer at the Cathedral. Catholic priests and religious have to say morning and evening prayer every day. It's basically a 10-15 minute block of prayers for recitation. However, evening prayer at the Cathedral was a much fancier affair, and it lasted a whole hour.

Part of the ceremony was an ecumenical greeting. That means the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. churches all sent representatives to greet the new bishop. When they came up, there was a little speech made about Christian unity. It was nice of them to show up at our invitation, but I imagine it was probably kind of awkward for them, too. After all, the reason other Christian denominations exist is because their groups decided to splinter off the Catholic Church hundreds of years ago.

There was a minor reception afterwards, but it was really crowded and the mugginess was awful. Dad and I left early to get some food, and the relatives showed up about 45 minutes later. We had a great time talking with each other, and I was so absorbed by the conversation that I took the wrong elevator while we all left for our rooms at 10:00 PM.

I didn't get much sleep that night, because there was a terrible thunderstorm. Have you ever seen a thunderstorm from the eleventh floor of a building? It's pretty wild. I had a hard time getting to sleep among the lightning and thunder, but I managed to do it anyway.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Trail of the Twister Walkthrough

All right, I'm back in town. I have a lot to say about my trip to Illinois, seeing a bishop's ordination, visiting the Lincoln museum, meeting family members I didn't know I had, and going to the National Shrine of St. Therese Lisieux, the Little Flower.

But first, I imagine people want to hear about my walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister.

I beat the game on Junior Mode and took notes about the various puzzles. My notes are basically a list of all the puzzles in the game, separated by day. Here are my notes in their entirity:

Day One

Do the filing
Take the computer quiz
Make a disaster kit by buying the right materials from Pa
Fix the town siren scheme
Fix the sprinkler system
See Chase and fix the dashboard

Day Two

Learn about photography with Frosty.
Fix the sensors in the field.

Day Three

Relocate prarie dogs
--Talk to Chase. He needs a bigger pipe.
--Talk to Pa. He wants you to fix his candy display before he gives you a pipe.
--Fix the candy display and get the pipe.
--Give the pipe to Scott.
--Take the pipe to Chase.
--Use the new prarie dog machine to relocate the prarie dogs.
Talk to Scott and learn that you should get rid of the mice
--Ask Pa about the mousetrap
--Fix the fujita scale display
--Get the mousetrap
--Get some cheese
--Use mousetrap in Scott's office
Examine whatever our late night saboteur did
Chase a Tornado

Day Four

Talk to Chase
See What's Up with The Antenna
Everyone leaves?
Snoop around When They're gone?
Learn about Frosty
Fix the TV

Day Five

Go storm chasing
Fix more equipment
Find Scott
Solve puzzles...

My notes for days four and five are really bad, because I forgot to take notes while I went along, and I had to guess/remember what I did then.

I took pictures of all the puzzle solutions. For example, here's the solution to the tricky Fujita Scale Puzzle, where you have to place 24 different notes on the board in the right locations.

I have ten or so pictures like that. When I replay the game, solving the puzzles should be easy now because I have all the solutions on hand.

The tough part now is getting all the awards, or what is called "unlocking all the achievements" in the world of videogames. There are twelve awards in total, and I only got three the first time around.

I'm pretty sure that you get Candy Dispenser by giving a lot of candy to people, and you get Quiz Wiz by getting a perfect score on the tornado quiz. I'm not sure how to get the easter egg, glass half full, homesteader, or super sleuth. It's going to be hard to unlock those awards when I don't know how to do that; I'll keep an eye out on the Nancy Drew message boards. Unless you guys out there have ideas?

Plus, I'm playing the special edition, so I should have a bonus thirteenth award. Hmmm...I wonder what it could be!

So I think I'm prepared to do my walkthrough on Senior Mode. It's just the awards odds and ends that I need to figure out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Here's the preview of the next Nancy Drew game, as seen at the end of Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister. I think I'll write a long review for it during the long flight back home.

Quixker Update

All righty, time for another quixk update. The plan was for me to take my flight back home tonight, so I could get back to my computer, watch the "Days of Our Lives" episodes that I missed, play Nancy Drew, etc., etc..

Let me explain what happened in the good news/bad news style.

Good News: Michael is preparing for playing Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister, with all its adventures and midwest storms.

Bad News: He's doing it by being the victim of a midwest storm himself.

Yes, my flight was cancelled due to thunderstorms or something like that, so now I won't be able to get back home to my computer until the weekend or so. Unless something else weird happens, like O'Hare Airport cancelling more flights.

And now I return to the land of Cool Hats, But No Internet. AKA Grandma's House.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quixk Update

So, I've had the new Nancy Drew game for a day so far.

I haven't had any time to play it yet.

And I leave for vacation tomorrow.

See you guys on Thursday!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Full House

Mom called me today to let me know that she and my sister were watching Full House while I was busy working. It was a good episode, too. It was about my favorite character, Stephanie, who's my favorite because she usually gets ignored by the studio audience. They never go, "Awww..." for her when bad things happen, but they start crying their eyes out when Michelle drops her cookie or something like that. Stop playing favorites, studio audience, and start treating Stephanie better!

I always wonder what would have happened if Full House wasn't cancelled, because in the last season, the storyline was that DJ, Kimmy and Steve all got accepted to college. Would that mean they wouldn't have appeared on the next season? Or would they just have appeared every now and then, instead of every episode? I would have voted for them appearing only every now and then. With three less characters, they'd have more time to focus on the other eight main characters. Lots of characters, not enough time to show them all!

I have the sneaking suspicion that there are some Full House episodes I haven't seen yet. I really hope that's true, because it'd mean BRAND NEW FULL HOUSE EPISODES! I would be so happy to see that.

No, wait, Mom didn't call to start up a Full House discussion. Instead, she called to say that the Nancy Drew game came in! Great! So I'll have to stop by after work to come pick it up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nancy Drew Death Pie Chart

Someone was friendly enough to watch all my various death videos for the Nancy Drew games, and made a pie chart which tracks all the different "game over" possibilities. Apparently, even though she's a world-class detective, Nancy gets arrested a lot.

Thanks to Little Otaku for the picture!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trail of the Twister Pre-Orders Ship Today - Michael's Timeline

The pre-orders for Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister are shipping today! At least, I hear some of them are. So here's a timeline of my plans:

1. Wednesday: Michael's game ships to him.

2. Thursday through Saturday: Michael receives his copy of the game. He plays it and takes notes.

3. Sunday through Wednesday: Michael has to go to Springfield, Illinois for a semi-vacation.

4. Sometime: Michael hopefully manages to win the game. In celebration, he will record the preview at the end of the game and post it to his channel.

5. Then: Michael begins his video walkthrough.

6. All the While: Michael gets fifty messages a day, asking why he hasn't finished a video walkthrough yet. He has already received at least three of these, even though the game hasn't been officially released yet.

7. Also, During This Timeline: Michael uses his time-management superpowers to find time to do his Super Mario Galaxy 2 walkthrough, because that's the one he was actually hired to do.

8. June 22nd is a Tuesday.

Whew! I'm going to be busy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

So, Book Editing

In my last entry, I mentioned online books. I actually do work for Project Gutenberg, a non-profit organization that makes online books. I've done 38 so far, and it's sort of a lot of work.

Google has a program called Google Books, which basically means they ran a bunch of books through their super-powered scanner and uploaded it to the web. So now you can read those books online whenever you want.

The problem is that Google has the computer do all the work, instead of having an actual human look at the book. For example, one book I'm editing now is called Mary, Help of Christians. Here is one of the last pages of the book, as told by Google:

a: s


SIS .ffijg

""■ i s

a s



Each, ■



Yes, for some reason, most of the page is missing in their version. But now that problem is never going to be fixed, because the book has already been processed.

Not to mention all the other problems that appear, like when the computer thinks the book has the word "vvho" instead of "who", or any number of common scannos. You need humans to proofread the work to make sure none of those computer errors get through. But Google doesn't have any humans proofread, so their book program is full of errors.

I think the point I'm getting to is that online books aren't good enough right now, so give me real books instead. And my summer location is right next door to a library, which is really cool.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Digital Devices

I may not be psychic, but I can tell that in the future, most companies are going to use digital distribution. For example, bookstores aren't going to sell physical books; they'll only sell the ability to download a book.

Actually, will there be bookstores then? Maybe it'll just be a bookstore website. In any case, they've been trying to make this all-digital transition for quite some time now, with the Kindles and the iPads and the cell phones that replace computers.

I prefer to have a physical copy of a book or game or anything I could download. If my computer crashes, and all I have is a downloaded copy of Mega Man 9, I have to pay for the game all over again. But if I have the Mega Man 9 CD, I'm good, even if my computer messes up.

I've had computers crash and lose EVERYTHING I HAVE more than once, you know.

My friend Shawn got one of those super-cool phones, and he was bragging about it in class. "My phone does everything; it can check my email, play music; I love this thing." And I was jealous.

Two days later, he was saying, "Stupid piece of crap! My phone doesn't work!" And I was not jealous anymore.

I would like to get one of those fancy internet phones or minicomputers or whatever you call them, but there are three main reasons why I don't:

1. They cost a lot of money. Like, $600? And I bet dollars to donuts you still have to pay monthly fees for them, so that's even more money.

2. I would never use it, except to watch videos on Youtube and read funny stories on There's no way I'm going to use a phone for, say, typing up these blog entries. Texting is good enough at what it does, but writing on phones does not work so well.

So it's not worth it for me to get an internet phone thingy, even if I kind of want one. What I am thinking about is getting a Nintendo DSi, which is the new Nintendo handheld gaming device. Rumor has it that the DSi has internet access. I'm guessing it's not super-fancy internet access, but if it can access Youtube and, that's good enough for me! Plus, there are no monthly fees, AND it costs about $150. It's not a phone, but I don't care; I don't want a phone; I just want a handheld internet device.

Now, I just need to find some way to check if the DSi really will do what I want it to do. Because I hear the iPad has super-great Internet...but it doesn't have flash. And without flash, you can't see Youtube videos. So that means no iPad for me!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Nancy Drew Newsletter

To clarify my last blog post a bit, my job isn't to work with the elderly. I have a list of 200 people I need to meet with; it's just a coincidence they were all elderly women this week. Also, it's cool that Ms. Valentine knows more about the new iPhone than I do.

In other news, the new Nancy Drew newsletter is out! This newsletter is basically a dossier of suspects. There are pictures and summaries of all five characters.

What's extra-cool is that there's a special pre-order version of the game, which has more outtakes, awards, and Pa Pennies. Her Interactive actually described the Special Edition version in more detail for all who are interested.

If memory serves, in the demo, you can go out into the field and lift up a grate to find five Pa Pennies. It looks like that's what the special edition means by "extra Pa pennies". The pennies in the grate won't be there in the normal version of the game, but only the special one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Visits With the Elderly

My visits to elderly people this week have been interesting so far.

On Monday, I visited Ms. Valentine, who must be over ninety years old. She still remembers the Great Depression and World War Two, so we talked about that for a while. Her older brother was killed in the war, leaving his nine month-old baby fatherless. A baby which he probably never got to see. That was tragic, and it's amazing how, even over sixty years later, the pain is still there.

I think murder is evil in all its forms, but war is particularly evil because it kills people on a grand scale. But I guess humankind hasn't learned its lesson yet, because we still have wars being waged today. What is it, at least three wars going on right now? You'd think people would want to stop killing themselves and each other.

On Tuesday, I visited Mrs. Zane. Her husband died two weeks ago. I was there at the annointing and the burial, so she remembered me. She says it's been tough, but she hasn't cried, because it was her husband's time to go, and in the end, it was what he wanted. I think she was very touched and happy that someone came by to check up and her and offer help. I just wish there was more that I could do for her besides visiting once and praying.

And yesterday, I visited Mrs. Teresi, who is ninety-eight. She's near-blind and homebound. A woman named Emily takes care of her and her disabled daughter. It was nice talking to her, but also kind of strange. I don't know if you've ever talked to a near-blind person before, but when they look at you, they sort of don't look at you. That is, her eyes were on me the whole time, but they slipped back and forth between being focused and unfocused. I've never seen that before in my work with disabled people, so it unnerved me for a bit.

Today is my day off, so there weren't any visits to make. I mean, sure, I went as an acolyte to a mass in the assisted care area of the local retirement center, but that doesn't count as an official one-on-one visit.

Tomorrow, I'm doing another round of phone calls to schedule another round of visits. You see, I have to call people ahead of time to set up a time for me to visit them. Unfortunately, half the people I've called never pick up their phones, so I haven't been able to reach them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Storm Chaser Pete

As part of the promotion for Trail of the Twister, the Nancy Drew people have started a blog for Pete, one of the stormchasers. Nancy is going to take over Pete's position as intern.

The blog is pretty funny, and I'm liking it so far.

Also, today is the day to vote in the primaries (for my state, at least), so make sure to get out there and vote! They're voting on whether or not to move the San Francisco 49ers out of San Francisco and into Santa Clara today, but I wasn't allowed to cast a ballot for that issue, because I'm not living in Santa Clara right now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Three Things

1. Wowsers, Twitter seems to be unpopular here. In its defense, I could see Twitter as being useful for video updates. If I had a Twitter, it'd look something like this:

Tweet #1) Mario Video #21 is done!
Tweet #2) Mario Video #22 is done!
Tweet #3) Mario Video #23 is done!

But there are easier ways to keep up-to-date with someone's videos than by using Twitter, so I won't bother.

2. My schedule this week is not well worked out. The only thing I have written on my calendar is this:

"June 8th is a Tuesday."

Which is helpful, I guess, but I really need to keep better notes about all the assignments I have to do.

3. In editing news, I edited another short work, this one being A Declaration of Faith by Saint Athanasius. It's only ten pages long, and it's got the original Greek text, along with a Latin translation!

Naturally, I'm helping myself to NOT forget Latin and Greek by translating this work, but it's kind of hard, because it deals with a lot of philosophical ideas from the 300's that we don't worry about anymore. For example, Plotinus' ideas about emanance.

Plotinus talks about emanence, which is when something comes out from another source. For example, light emanates from a light bulb. The philosophers were all up in arms about the question of emanance in regards to water. Does water emanate by spurting out, like water that comes out of a fountain, or does it emanate by flowing, like down a river?

I know it kinds of sounds like a dumb thing to have a debate over, but that's what some philosophers argued about back then. It was important to them because emanation is part of the Greek creation story, which is one of the ninety or so ancient Greek myths I can tell you if you're interested.

Anyway, yes, translating this work has been semi-difficult, because I've run into a few old ideas like that, but it's still interesting to read, nonetheless.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Woah, so, okay, people have unanimously requested I write longer blog posts. That's interesting. See, I thought the "cool" thing to do nowdays was to make your blog posts short. Like, really short. 140 characters long, I hear.

Did I mention I think Twitter is a dumb idea? It's like...a website that just keeps track of your Facebook statuses. I don't update my Facebook status that often, actually, because I feel compelled to write joke statuses like "black is the new black", and I can't always think of one-liners off the top of my head.

Okay, maybe I don't like Twitter because it's a dumb-sounding name. Whatever.

I have no problem with writing longer blog entries. I like to write. That's actually one of the reasons I wanted to become a priest: the idea of writing a homily every day is exciting. It's kind of a nerdy reason to want to become a priest, I'll admit, but it's true. I've written ten or so different homilies all in my free time.

Of course, the only time I had to write a homily, it was almost impossible to write anything because I had no ideas. My ideas flew away, like a butterfly trying to escape a net. In the end, I just repeated ideas I've heard from other people--our local bishop, Saint Paul, Saint John and Saint Catherine of Genoa. Everyone really liked the sermon, but I was disappointed because I know I can write better that. I kinda only wrote two sentences; everything else came from another source.

But other than that, I'm pretty good at writing, so I shouldn't have a problem writing longer blog entries, if that's what people want me to do.

Friday, June 4, 2010


How long should my blog posts be? Do you guys prefer it when I adhere to the three paragraph length, or do you like it when I write long entries like those fairy tales from yesterday?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Princess Who Could Not Laugh/Cry

A few entries ago, I mentioned the story of The Princess Who Couldn't Laugh. And it bothers me a bit, because I can't remember how the story ends.

I remember the beginning of the story just fine. It goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a king and queen who were very concerned about their daughter. She was a good princess as far as princesses go, but the problem was that she never, ever laughed.

The king and queen were worried, because everyone should laugh at least once in a while, but the princess had never laughed once in her life. Even when they brought in the funniest court jesters and told her the latest knock-knock jokes, not a chuckle could be heard leaving her lips.

So one day, the king offered a reward throughout the kingdom: three hundred gold pieces to the person who could make the princess laugh. Many people came, but all of them failed. And so the years went on, and the princess got older, and she became sadder and sadder, because a life without laughter is an unhappy life indeed.

But one day, the hero of the story, whose name is Jack, appears. He does something to make the princess laugh, but I don't remember what he does! Maybe he shows her one of my videos or something. Anyway, I completely forget the end of the story, and it's been bugging me for a while.


I do remember the end to The Princess Who Couldn't Cry, which is a rather similiar story. It goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a far away land (but not the same land as the first story), there was a king and queen with an eleven-year-old daughter. She was a very nice little girl, and she was popular with everyone in the kingdom, but there was a problem: she never cried.

Now, I'm not saying that the king and queen wanted their daughter to be unhappy, but they knew that it's abnormal for someone to totally tearless in their life. Even as a baby, she never cried, and babies cry all the time. It was rather unsettling.

So the king and queen asked the three wise men of the court if they could make the princess cry. The first wise man said he could do it easily, and he marched right up to her room and broke all of her dolls. But she didn't cry; instead, she laughed, because those dolls were ugly and she wanted new ones anyway.

The second wise man tried to make her cry by making scary faces at her, but again, the princess laughed, because she thought they looked funny. And the third wise man said he could make her cry by giving her a really hard spanking, but the king and queen refused to let him try because it was a cruel idea.

And so, no one could make the princess cry, and that would have been the end of the story if it wasn't for a peasant girl named Danielle. Danielle was eleven years old, just like the princess, and when she was out buying food in the market with her mother, she heard about the princess' plight.

Danielle knew what to do, so she ran to the palace, which apparently had bad security, because she was able to meet the king and queen without any trouble whatsoever. She told them she could make the princess cry, because they were both the same age. The king and queen figured it couldn't hurt to let her try, so they sent Danielle to the princess' room.

About a half hour later, Danielle's mother came looking for her daughter. The king and queen said she was with the princess, and together, all three of them went to the princess' room. As they went down the hall, they could hear big sobs and sniffles. The crying became louder and louder as they got closer to the door, until they entered the room itself, where lo and behold! The princess was with Danielle, and they were both crying their eyes out.

They all asked Danielle how she made the princess cry, when no one else could. Danielle just smiled and pointed to the bag of food she had brought from the marketplace. Inside was a bunch of freshly-cut onions.

Everyone praised Danielle for her cleverness, and she and the princess became fast friends. They all lived happily ever after that, even if they were crying. The End.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trail of the Twister--Lots of Stuff!

Pre-orders for Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister are being taken today!

There's a new trailer for the game, too!

And if that isn't enough, there's a minigame for it that you can play online.

And someone might finish a video walkthrough for the demo later today...hint, hint...