Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Government Thinks I'm a Bum

It's the last day of March, which means TAX SEASON is coming up. Everyone's trying to come up with ways to save on taxes this year...



The US Census Board actually contacted me about my employment history for the past year. That's where the government gets its statistics about how many people are employeed, you know. I had to answer all sorts of questions about my life, my jobs and my money.

The only "real" job I had last year was taking care of two puppies for a week. That was pretty much the best job I ever had, and I would love it if I could do house/dog-sitting full time. Sadly, that's not possible.

The rest of the year, I've been employed as a full-time student, which is a lot less fun than watching puppies (and pays a lot less, too). The Census Lady told me that doesn't count as a job, and my monthly stipend doesn't count as federal wages, even though the government totally deducts taxes from it.

In the end, the US Census Board officially put me down as "unemployed, not looking for work, and with an annual salary of $200". That makes me sound like a total bum, I know. Oh well. At least my tax advisor (AKA Dad) says the fact that I have no deductible income means I don't have to file a tax return this year. Score! Tax forms are confusing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Young Artists' Fair - Stories

And here are the stories I have written down from the Young Artists' Fair. I really should have taken pictures of the stories, instead of writing them down, because writing takes way too long. Also, you don't get to see any of the pictures!

---

First up is a story a girl wrote about her big sister. It's a nice idea for a story, but you'll notice there are some odd parts that don't get explained.

What You Do, by Gabrielle Davis, 3rd grade.

I dedicate this book to Kristine Davis because she is the best sister in the world.

Once there was a little girl. Her name is Kristine. She loved horses and her dad did too. Her mom didn't like horses. When Kristine got older she got kicked in the face. Then she wanted to be a nurse. So she went to Bryman. So then she got her internship for 6 weeks. Then she started to work. She worked for the whole summer. Then she got hired. Now she comes homes at 5:00 o'clock. But we still love her. The End

---

The Faries, by Nicole, 3rd grade

Once upon a time there was a magical spot that no one knew about.

There lived a land of faries.

In that land of faries were three faries that were best friends. They went everywhere together. They were like sisters.

Then oneday this fair came to talk to them. He told them if they don't stop the mean fairy, fairy world will be in big trouble because the mean fairy will take over fairy world. So the fairy told the three fairies how to get to his secret lare. So they were off to his secret lare. They had to cross the firey volcano and cross the jungle of doom and go through the tunnel of darkness.

[That's all of the story I have written down]

---

The Boy Who Cried Burglar!, by Preston Kilwien

Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in the village. The village was in Ohio. There were people that lived in the village.

In the high mountains of Ohio there lived a mean fierce burglar. The burglar and the villagers got there guns, swords and fire to throw at the burglar. But there was no burglar. The next day, the little boy said "burglar" and the villagers got there fire, guns and swords. But there was no burglar. The villagers got so mad they wouldn't get tricked again. The nexxt day the boy cried burglar but the villagers never came out when there really was a burglar. The boy got chased out of town and up in the mountains of Ohio. The end!

---

There was another story where Ana and Claire wanted to be friends, but Claire's mom hates Ana because she's from Spain. So the two girls write a letter to the President about the situation, and he lets them give a big speech about it, and they all end up living happily ever after. The story is about three pages long, which is why I'm not going to type it out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Young Artist's Fair - Poems

I went a school's Young Artists fair today, and it's a real shame that I could only stay for ten minutes, and that I didn't have a camera, because Young Artists fairs always have books and pictures that are ten times better than the stuff you see in museums or bookstores. I saw The Night Before Christmas: Chuck Norris Style by a fourth grader, and a second-grade poem called "Yankee Doodle".

Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a monkey
He had to take a shower quick
Because he smelled so funky

That's all I have from today's Young Artist's Fair, but here are my notes from St. Clare's Young Artist's Fair in 2005. I actually wrote down several stories/poems word for word. First up, poems from the third graders! All misspellings are theirs, not mine:

Outside by Julia Luna, #25

In the morning I
Hear the birds sing very sweetly
I wish I could fly!

Soccer, by Grace C

Soccer is really fun
When you're playing in the sun
Even when you fall
You get up and kick the ball!

Hong Kong, by Preston Kilwien

Happy birthday to me.
I'm 103.
I lived so long
That I moved to Hong Kong

Talking, by Mikayla Tejero

I love to talking
But I don't know when to stop
My friends say
That I talk everyday

The Sparkiling River, by Nicole #4

The river stream falls
and the stream is sparkiling
with blossoms to drink.

Pope, by Jack Hague

Pray evry day with the Pope.
Have some hope.
He will live in rome.
This is how I wrote this poem

Hatred, by Catherine Thorn (4th grade)

Hatred is red.
It sounds like screaming.
It smells like rotten eggs.
It tasts like sour milk.
It looks like blood.
Hatred feels like a kick in the nose.

There were also some good stories like Friends for Never by Paula Farinha and The Robber who Couldn't Stop Robbing, which I'll tell you later if you're interested.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Old and New, Stereotypes

There have been some interesting comments on my comics blog post recently. What's better--old comics or new comics? Old Nancy Drew or new Nancy Drew?

Personally, I know a lot about 1940's-era newspaper strips, and I like to show off sometimes by bringing out really old strips for people to see. For instance, everyone likes the awesome "Superman Talks to Congress at the Start of World War Two" series...

(As usual, you can click on these images for full-sized copies.)











I especially like the Superman series that ran later that year (in which Hitler tries to ruin Christmas by throwing Santa Claus into a concentration camp--no joke), but I don't have a copy of it scanned.

Anyhoo, back to the original topic. Some people are saying that the old Nancy Drew books are good because Nancy does non-stereotypical things like fly airplanes, but not-so-good because she does stereotypical things like make sandwiches and cry a lot. [Note to self: Write a story called Professor Snaglefoompus and the Mystery of the Flying Rhinoceros: In Which Professor Snaglefoompus Flies an Airplane, Makes Sandwiches, and Sits Around and Cries a Lot. It sounds like a winner.]

I think the official response from the people who make the Nancy Drew videogames is: "Whatever". They've made games where Nancy does stereotypical boy stuff (like go on a train in Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon), and they've made games where Nancy does stereotypical girl stuff (like go horseback riding in Nancy Drew: Secret of Shadow Ranch). Both games did well, and why is that? Because they keep the focus on making good games, instead of worrying about whether or not they're living up to certain stereotypes.

At least, I think they said something like that on the topic of being stereotypical in their games. It sounds pretty good, so I give them a thumbs-up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mean Computer, Waverly Academy Help

My computer is being mean, like usual, and now the screen won't display anything. I'm using a public computer in the meantime.

So, don't expect extensive blog entries for a while.

In the meantime, someone commented on my last entry about the a possible error in Warnings at Waverly Academy; namely, if you leave the history classroom without taking a picture of the map, it should be impossible to progress with the game's plot. It's an unintentional problem that occurs because the "breaking into the classroom" subplot happens on the last day of the game.

I haven't had this problem myself, so I don't know what to do, but the game creators did make it so you can get around this difficulty if it happens. They're smart like that. If you're really stuck, reload from a second chance save point! The game automatically saves before any potential game over scenario, so it can instantly reload from that spot if you die. Again, the game developers are smart like that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nancy Drew Comics

So I was reading Romance without Tears (a collection of old comic books) over two years ago, and I came across a heroine who looks exactly like Nancy Drew:



That's Nancy Drew, right? I mean, it looks like it was drawn by the guy who painted the Nancy Drew book covers.

I heard they have an official Nancy Drew comic book series, so naturally, I thought they would hire the guy who drew the above comic to draw the Nancy Drew comics. Boy was I in for a surprise when I picked up a Nancy Drew comic book and saw this:



Nancy Drew, what happened to you? Your fingers scare me, your cheekbone sticks out at the most ridiculous angle, and George has been turned into a scarecrow. No wonder Bess is hiding her head in shame.

Anyhoo, there's no point to this blog entry, except that I wanted to share those pictures with you. Oh, and for fun, I tried drawing my own picture of the two Nancys to see which is easier to draw. Turns out the realistic one is slightly easier to draw, for me, at least.



If I had more free time, I'd write a comic strip where the two Nancys get in a fight over which one of them is the real Nancy Drew.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Professor Snaglefoompus Meets Josie O'Gorman

Here is the second (and last) story I wrote as part of the "Professor Snaglefoompus in Ireland" series. In it, Professor Snaglefoompus meets Josie O'Gorman, a character from a few books I edited three or so years ago.

---

Explorer Snaglefoompus was very excited about exploring Ireland, and he decided that the first thing he should do was make a map of the country. He drew a circle for the airport, and a little dot for the place he was standing at.

Unfortunately, he took two steps away from the place where he was standing. That meant his location changed, which made his map incorrect. And that, sad to say, meant that he was officially lost.

As soon as Explorer Snaglefoompus realized this, he sat down and started crying for his mother. Most brave explorers don't cry when they get lost, but Mr. Snaglefoompus wasn't a brave exploerer; he was a brand-new explorer, and on the first day of his new job, he had gotten lost in a strange country where nobody knew him. So I really don't know if you can blame him for crying.

Fortunately, a kind girl named Josie O'Gorman saw Explorer Snaglefoompus crying. Josie was a detective-in-training whose father worked for the American Secret Service, and it was partly because of her that Professor Snaglefoompus became a detective. But of course, that's another story.

"Why are you crying?" Josie asked. She wasn't expecting to see other Americans on her trip to Ireland, much less full-grown men who were crying like babies.

"I'm lost!" Explorer Snaglefoompus said. "I was supposed to explore a country called Ireland, and now I don't know where I am!"

Josie was nice and explained to Mr. Snaglefoompus that he was in Ireland.

"I am? Yipee!" Mr. Snaglefoompus cheered. "That means I did discover Ireland! I'm the greatest explorer ever!"

"How did you discover Ireland?" Josie asked. "Everyone already knows about it."

"They do?" Mr. Snaglefoompus asked.

"Of course they do," Josie laughed.

"Darn," Mr. Snaglefoompus said. "I guess that means I'm not the greatest explorer ever, after all."

So Josie O'Gorman and Mr. Snaglefoompus talked with each other for a while, and she ended up inviting him to the hotel where she was staying with her dad. And while Explorer Snaglefoompus may not have found a new country, he did find a new friend, which is just as good, if not better.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Professor Snaglefoompus Discovers Ireland

I almost forgot I wrote this story for St. Patrick's Day a year ago.

---

Before Professor Snaglefoompus became a professor, he was a detective. And before he was a detective, he was an explorer for two years.

Normally, explorers go to far-off places that no one has ever been to before, but not Professor Snaglefoompus. He went to Ireland to try to find a city that no one knew about. Of course, all the cities in Ireland have already been discovered and put on maps, but Explorer Snaglefoompus didn't care.

As soon as his plane landed in Ireland, he got lost in the airport. He tried reading his map, but it didn't help, because it was a map of France.

"I think I must be somewhere close to the Louvre," Explorer Snaglefoompus said to himself. "But if I'm here, then where's...?"

Explorer Snaglefoompus frowned and thought for a moment. He couldn't find the city he was in on the map, which meant...he had discovered a unknown city!

"YES!" Explorer Snaglefoompus said. "I will call this city Snaglefoompia!"

Explorer Snaglefoompus did a little dance, and ended up falling into a woman.

"Watch where you're going!" the woman snapped.

"My dear Snaglefoompian," Explorer Snaglefoompus said. "I have come to explore your city and list its attributes for the future generations of scholars. May I observe you?"

"Leave me alone, weirdo!" the woman said, walking away in a huff.

"The natives here are friendly," Exlorer Snaglefoompus said, writing in his exploration journal. "I have just met with one whom I like to call...um...Snaglefoompina. She doesn't like it when I dance."

Explorer Snaglefoompus continued following the woman, until she got extremely upset.

"Get out of here, you crazy maniac! Leave me alone!" she yelled.

"But I have to document you!" Explorer Snaglefoompus said. "It's what scientists do!"

The woman called airport security, and they threw Explorer Snaglefoompus out of the airport.

"Gosh, the people here are an angry lot," Explorer Snaglefoompus said. "They're full of wrath, anger, fury and ire. Hey, ire! That'd be a great name for this country I discovered! Ire-land!"

And that was how Professor Snaglefoompus discovered Ireland.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Miles Edgeworth

I've got a new video walkthrough! You can see me solve Case One of Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney: Investigations.

The Edgeworth game is a spinoff of the Phoenix Wright series. In it, Edgeworth investigates a series of murders.

I've heard my friend Paul say the game was run through a "blah" machine, which I kinda agree with, but I kinda disagree with. Edgeworth is British, so he has a rather dry sense of humor. As a result, the dialogue in the game comes off as kind of...bland. Or at least, blander than other games in the series. It might be better for the game overall if they had made Edgeworth's jokes a lot more direct. They did take a year to translate the game into English, after all, so they had plenty of time to go over the script.

Then again, if I was writing the script for the game, I'd throw in all sorts of crazy stuff just for fun. Like Edgeworth's dialogue with Franziska? I'd put in a few odd lines that seem to hint that he's got a crush on her. Just because. It'd give fans of the series a lot to debate about.

Little things bugged me about this game. It took me twenty minutes to realize the weird noise Calisto Yew makes ("phhhhfew!") is supposed to be supressed laughter. Edgeworth's animations feel a bit too long. Ernest Amano's character design seriously scares me with those sacks of skin near his ears.

Pros:

) It's better than the last Ace Attorney game, which we shall never speak of again.
) Child Franziska is super adorable.
) The final boss' "Objection!" shout is awesome, as was the entire Larry Butz sequence.
) The overarching storyline and its progression are, of course, top notch.

Cons:

) No Phoenix Wright, except for the world's easiest-to-miss cameo
) Ema Skye's scene was really badly-done, considering how popular of a character she is
) Manfred von Karma's scenes are also utterly forgettable

I think that, overall, my main problem with the game is that it's missing an emotional core. In the Phoenix Wright games, I solve the mysteries because I care about the characters. But in this Edgeworth game, I solve the mysteries more because I like mystery-solving. And that's just not as much fun.

March Newsletter

The people at Her Interactive released the March newsletter today. It shows off some of the cool Nancy Drew stuff that was made in the past 80 years.

Also, it talks about the art contest. Did you see the results of the art contest? There were some totally rocking pictures. They certainly make some of my silly little pictures look bad.

So because the art contest was so awesome, they're running another art contest! And pictures, too. Sounds like they'll put the pictures into an upcoming game, where Nancy can flip through a yearbook. Cool!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saint Patrick's Day Vlog

Here's something special for my 200th blog post.



Things that couldn't make it into the video...

  • 90% of the original Space DNA movie
  • The question about my favorite band
  • Someone asked if I think Twilight is overrated. Interestingly enough, I apparently wrote it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vlog Recorded

I recorded the vlog today. There were some exciting things, like me getting a phone call halfway through from Mom, who wanted to talk about Days of our Lives, and me trying to show how to do a jig. The jig footage is probably going to be cut, because the camera angle was super bad (because my room is small). Settle for watching the video of me dancing five years ago:



So thanks to everyone for their questions, and here are some questions I didn't answer in the video.

Q: Do you still have Mr. Monkey?
A: No. He got moved back to my parents' house.

Q: Are you a good speller?
A: Yes. I read a lot, and reading books is the best way to learn how things are spelled.

Q: What color are your eyes?
A: Brownish.

Hopefully, the vlog will be up on St. Patrick's Day (i.e. Wednesday).

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Vlog

I think I'm going to make another one of those vlog videos where I sit and talk to the camera again. Either that, or I'm finally going to redo the Space DNA video.

Are there any questions or discussion topics you guys want me to cover?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Samantha Swift Done, a Mysterious Game Request

I finished my video walkthrough for Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena. It turns out that it's more fun to play the game by yourself than it is to make a video walkthrough for it.


Expect more of me doing voice acting in this video.

In any case, the video walkthrough is finished, and unless I get lazy, a text walkthrough will soon follow! I wonder what my next gaming adventure will be.

---

Actually, I got an email from someone today, who is looking for an old, early 1990's game. Here's what the person said about the game:
It was really fun but for the life of me I can't remember the name of it and was wondering if you could help me. I remember elements of it and basically the plot of the game was this beautiful princess is sitting by this lake at the opening of the game and she peers into it and all of a sudden is pulled into the water and down into ths fantasy world where she is turned into an orge type creature whilst her mother searches frantically for her. I remember that you could play as both the mother and the princess character. Her name is Rowena. I think. I know this is a farfetched out there on a longshot question, but any help is much appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

My response was basically, "I don't know what game you're talking about, but if you figure it out, let me know! I wouldn't mind playing it!"

Do any of you blog readers know what this game is called, by any chance? I led the requester to a semi-exhaustive list of pre-1994 games. Hopefully, this game will be found, I will be able to play it, and it will be awesome. If not, there are other games on my "to play" list, including the Pajama Sam series.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Samantha Swift

Today, I made two more Samantha Swift videos, covering her adventures in Buckingham Palace.





My commentary for these videos is not too exciting, because this game has an auto-save feature. Say I make a mistake, like I do at 2:14, where I say "and hides the rose", but it sounds like "and hikes the rose". The only way to fix the error is to restart the game from the beginning, replay to that section and re-record it.

So that's why my commentary is more subdued than it usually is in these videos.

I tried to make up for it by putting in a lot of work on what I could control: the voice-acting for the first video. I recorded the video footage separately from me doing the voices, so hopefully, the voice acting turned out somewhat good.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister

People have been asking me lately if I know when the next Nancy Drew game is being released.

Answer: No.

Nobody knows, not even the ever-reliable Amazon.com. It's a mystery, naturally!

In all seriousness, it's probably going to be released sometime this summer, and we probably won't hear any specific date until a few months from now. Whenever I hear anything, I'll let people know.

The Ten Reasons for High School Musical 2 Songs

As I probably mentioned earlier in this blog, the CDs in my car were taken, and all I have left are the three High School Musical CDs. So if you've noticed that I think about HSM way more often than the average 24-year-old, that's why.

There are ten songs in HSM 2, and I sometimes write a column called "The Ten Reasons", where I list ten things I like and dislike about something. Let me show you what I mean!


High School Musical 2 Songs I Like


1. What Time Is It?

This is the first, and probably best, song in the entire movie. Everyone starts singing and dancing about how summer is awesome because there's no school. It was the segment of the movie they filmed last, and you can kind of tell that everyone was super-psyched to revisit the set of the original movie.

The song is also a particularly well-balanced intro to the film, because each of the characters gets their own little moment to shine. Everyone gets a solo! In my mind, this is the true opening to the movie; I try my best to forget the poorly-written intro scenes that are wedged between this song and its reprise:

Martha: So, Kelsey, what are you going to do this summer?
Kelsey: Grow. Play piano. Grow.
Martha and Kelsey: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Me: HA HA HA HA HA!! IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE SHE'S SHORT! ...Wait, who are these characters again?

Plus, Chad kisses the teacher at 0:23. I don't see what else you could want!

2. Fabulous

Interesting choreography for this song. I'm not a big fan, but it was pretty well-done.


3. Work This Out

This is not a super good song. The lyrics start out as being relevant to the plot of the movie, but about halfway through, they degenerate into a bunch of random nonsense and everyone starts hitting pots and pans together to make music.

But after listening to the song several times without seeing the ridiculous dance moves, it grew on me. Specifically, I like the lines Troy sings at 1:13. I have no idea why, and now that I see how he dances to that part of the song, I think I might have to re-evaluate its position as "my favorite part of the song".


4. You Are the Music in Me

Ah, the big love song. It's a sweet duet with nice lyrics, and one of the few songs in the film that isn't hip-hop based. I approve.

It's particularly funny how they do the song in the movie for a few reasons.

1. Gabriella rudely cuts off the piano girl in mid-verse, because only the leads should be singing in the duet.
2. The song takes place near a piano because it's a duet, and it's funny to watch them try to dance to the song, only they can't, because there's a piano in the way. My favorite part is where Troy tries to hide behind the piano like he's playing peek-a-boo (2:32).
3. Everyone just randomly bursts in for no reason, and they all know the lyrics.
4. Troy finishes the scene by quoting the titles of High School Musical songs. It's super corny.


5. You are the Music in Me (Sharpay Version)

Big, showy musical numbers are always fun, but my favorite part is the joke that opens this song.

Troy: Hey, I'm kind of new to the whole performing thing. Could you take it easy on me?
Sharpay: Sure!
(The song the immediately erupts with a series of $500 special effects. Troy remains scared/confused for the duration of the song)


6. Bet On It

I love how ridiculous this song is. The dance moves, if you can call them dance moves, look like they were made up on the spot. There is a lot of twirling.

I also like the bridge, where Zac Efron stops singing, and the computer takes over for him while he plays golf for no reason, then sings to his reflection in the water which has perfect hair.


High School Musical 2 Songs I Don't Like


7. I Don't Dance

This song had two strong concepts. First, they wanted to do a sports song, just like the basketball song from the first movie. Second, it's funny to have people dance to a song about not dancing. But this song is just really, really bad as a song in general, and the choreography is likewise horrible.

8. Gotta Go My Own Way

This is the break-up song that Gabriella sings about fifteen minutes before she gets back together with Troy. This is a halfway-decent song, but I don't like it as much as the breakup song in the first movie. The two songs are pretty much the same, and this one stands out less so.


9. Every Day

This is the love song that Troy and Gabriella sing when they get back together for no particular reason. It's...not a very good song, and the first fifteen or so notes are the same as "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from The Lion King, which confuses me to this day.

10. All For One

This movie had a perfect ending. Our heroes win the big prize, we learn lessons about being nice to other people, and all the characters are BFFs again. Troy and Gabriella kiss for the first time, there is a reprise of the main love song, and the stars twinkle in the skies above. Fade to black.

Then...they fade back into THIS monstrosity of a song. The lyrics are such bad cobbled-together nonsense that I have a hard time listening to them without wincing ("Hey guys! Show 'em we can make some moves! / Hey girls! Show 'em we know how to groove!") There does not seem to be a legitimate reason for this song to be in the movie, besides for a Miley Cyrus cameo. Needless to say, I always stop watching the movie before this song shows up.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Videos!

Two different video walkthroughs for you people to enjoy!

First, on my Nancy Drew channel, is Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, a casual hidden object game with some puzzle elements. It's pretty simple, but I really like this game.



(You might want to watch it on Youtube/bigger screen)



Only two videos for now, but I'll make more as time goes on.

---

And next, we've got more Phoenix Wright! Phoenix Wright: Justice for All Case #3 has been recently released. That's the case which takes place at the circus. Case Description:

Trying to defend Max Galactica, the fabulous flying magician, our heroes Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey meet up with a host of crazy characters, like Moe the unfunny clown, the ventriloquist act of Ben and Trilo, and Regina, the animal tamer. Can they prove Max's innocence? Will Franziska von Karma finally get her revenge in court? And what happened to Miles Edgeworth?

I'm not a big fan of the case, but there are two good moments. First, Phoenix tells the best joke ever, starting at 6:37:



Second, the only part of the case that's directly relevant to the game as a whole is the part where they explain what happened to Edgeworth.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Brief Break, and a Dance Competition

I'm officially on midterm break, which means I get two days to do stuff! Here are some of the various thing I'll be working on.

1. Reading Marathon. I ordered ten books from the library, so I can plow through them. One of them is an Oz book by Ruth Plumly Thompson, who was a pun MASTER, so it'll be fun. Other books I got just because they have cool pictures I can try to draw.

2. Comics. I just received a package of 305 Boots and Her Buddies strips from 1945. That's the year Boots got married. I'm looking forward to reading them.

3. Videos. I'm going to do some work on videos, hopefully. I still haven't heard from my prospective co-commentator for Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, so I don't know when/if that'll ever be done. There are other games that are up there on my to-play list, though, like Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, Emerald City Confidential, Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting to Danger and Oregon Trail (again).

---

People seem interested in my nerdy rap that was included in my last blog entry. There's actually a semi-story behind it!

First of all, wiki-wiki-wiki-woot is supposed to be the sound of someone scratching a record, like the one you hear at 3:18 of Mmmbop! by Hanson.



I reused the "wiki-wiki-wiki woot woo" sound effect in one of my DragonBall Z fanfics. In the story, the Great Saiyaman has a dance-off against World Champion Hercule.

Here's an excerpt from the story, where Hercule beats Saiyaman in the breakdancing challenge. The joke behind this scene is that Hercule is cool, and Saiyaman is a Super Nerd (and the worst dancer ever).

---

Heavy drum music started plaything through the speakers, and Hercule started showing off some of his killer moves.

"Wikky wikky wikky woot woo!" Hercule chanted along with the beat, as he did a sideways moonwalk to the left, spun on his back four times, flipped upside down and bounced on the ground with one hand, then pushed himself into the air, did a complete spin and landed with a perfect split just as the music stopped.

The crowd went wild.

"Very impressive dancing there, Champ," the announcer said. "Now, let's see the dance moves of the Great Saiyaman!"

Heavy drum music started playing, although it was a different beat than the one given to Hercule. The Great Saiyaman stood still for a second, then grabbed the announcer's microphone. "Hip hop?" he asked. "Looks like it's time for my best dancing move...THE BUNNY RABBIT!"

Saiyaman put both hands behind his head and pretended they were bunny ears as he hopped across the stage.

"Little Bunny Foo-Foo,
Hoppin' through the forest,
Pickin' up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head!"
Saiyaman sang.

The crowd booed.

"They don't like it?" Saiyaman wondered. "I guess that means it's time for...the ultimate rap!"

"I'm the Great Saiyaman!
Make sure to check your calendar!
You wouldn't want to accidentally miss a doctor's appointment!
Wikky, wikky, wikky, Wikipedia!"


Saiyaman ended by doing by doing a Statue of Liberty pose.

"Was that supposed to be a rap?" Hercule asked. "It didn't even rhyme!"

"Er...very original, Great Saiyaman!" the announcer said. "Let's see who our judges pick as the winner!"

---

Fortunately for our hero Saiyaman, he manages to win the next round of the competition, which is the slow dance. The third and final round of music is...you guessed it...MARCHING BAND MUSIC! Finally, the High School Marching Band gets their chance to shine!

Saiyaman ends up winning the grand prize, a date with Videl (the character in the series who eventually becomes his girlfriend). It was a fun story to write, but I think it came in last place in the competition I wrote it for.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Walkthrough

Nancy Drew has only solved one murder mystery in her 20+ game series, and that’s the murder of Jake Rogers, a student at Paseo Del Mar High who was violently pushed down a flight of stairs. Nancy’s first game, Secrets Can Kill, begins with Nancy going undercover at the school to find out the truth behind what happened.


The plot of the game is pretty intense for an E-rated game, actually. It turns out that the victim was blackmailing pretty much everyone in school. He was blackmailing the school quarterback for taking steroids, the class valedictorian for plagiarism, and (of course), he was blackmailing a girl into dating him. Eventually, it is revealed that Jake took his blackmailing scheme too far, by trying to blackmail a local drug dealer named Mitch, who promptly killed him.


The game ends with Nancy and her contact, Daryl Gray, confronting Mitch the drug dealer. A fight ensues, and the final puzzle of the game is solved by grabbing Mitch’s gun and using it on him. Technically, all Nancy does is train the gun on Mitch until the police arrive, but it’s a first-person point-and-click adventure game, so you don’t really see this. Instead, it kind of looks like the solution of the puzzle is shooting Mitch.


Stopping Mitch


The series took a major change after this game. First of all, the characters were changed to 3D. The overall puzzle system was revamped, and of course, the plots became more tame, focusing on things like attempted murder, not actual death. Best of all, the other games come on one CD, so you don’t have to switch CDs every five minutes.


It’s not my favorite Nancy Drew game, but it is very interesting to see where the series started off, considering that it’s so different from the later games. Those of you who are interested in seeing this game can watch my entire playthrough for it. Those of you who are pressed for time might just want to watch the last video of the playthrough (below), which contains a good deal of plot, including the above-described confrontation with the drug dealer. Not to mention my mad rapping skills at the start of the ending credits.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pug's Adventures

So here are the "Pug's Adventures" strips I made from December 4 - 11, 2007. Don't forget, you can click on each strip to see the full-sized version!

I rearranged the order of the strips so the Stacey/Loreen ones are all together.



The idea for this strip came from this strip about a dancing robot. The joke about a robot dancing the Charleston, not "The Robot" is probably better than my joke about a man who sleep-dances, not sleep-walks.







---

Puns are nice and easy to make comics out of, but there's another type of comic, which I like to call "The Depressing Comic". I realized this when reading a Peanuts anthology. Instead of having your characters tell jokes, you can get away with having them say something super-cynical or depressing. People enjoy these, somehow.

It is also super-easy to make a strip based off a cynical idea like "Disney is only making High School Musical 3 because they're super-greedy", so I decided to try writing a few of them with Loreen and Stacey. They turned out okay, but I went back to puns because they're more interesting.