Sunday, May 31, 2015

Getting Gunnar to Leave

As I said earlier, I can't quite figure out what causes Gunnar to get kicked out of the Missti Skip Pub.

So what I did was play the game like normal, while saving regularly. I saw the scene of Gunnar being kicked out, shortly after the bilge pump scene. I loaded my most recent save point and played around a bit to confirm that, yeah, I need to do the bilge pump puzzle before Gunnar is kicked out. Also, I need to visit one of these places:
  • Soren's cultural center
  • The lighthouse
  • The ice caves
  • Magnus' house

I'm not sure what any of those places has to do with Gunnar. Maybe the game figures that time progressed, since you left town and came back. And...for whatever reason, Soren's cultural center counts as "out of town". I'm not a programmer. I don't know.

After this, I loaded my previous save point! That save point was after looking through Dagny's luggage. From there, I tried the same strategy. That is, I went directly to the bilge pump and solved that puzzle, then I took a trip to the lighthouse. That triggered the scene of Gunnar's ejection.

This begs the question: what triggers the scene at the bilge pump? I did more playing with my save files, and it looks like the bilge pump scene occurs, once you take the photo scraps from Dagny's luggage.

As for making Gunnar reappear after this, I had to solve the puzzle in the crow's nest by Soren and the Venn Diagram puzzle. Not sure why, but it worked for me.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sea of Darkness - Vocabulary

With the vocabulary challenge, you can earn 150 kronur per round. Meaning there is a total of 600 kronur you can get in any four-round challenge.

You need 2050 kronur, to buy things at Soren's. That means, in the fastest possible route, you do the vocabulary challenge four times in a row.

If you miss two answers, you miss out on 90 kronur. So...when you play the challenge four times in a row, you can miss a grand total of seven answers, while still getting more than 2050 kronur. That's quite a tall order.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Caught Death

I want to make a deaths video for Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness. There's one death I don't recognize, though.

The game autosaves as "Second Chance - Caught", when Nancy presses the ship's emergency alarm. How is that a death sequence?

I've tried pressing the alarm and waiting inside the room for five minutes, but nobody comes in and catches Nancy. Whenever I try to leave the wheelhouse, I hear the sound of Elisabet running after the false alarm, and not catching Nancy. So...how do I get a death at this point in the game?

EDIT: This is a death sequence, because the alarm gives you five minutes to snoop in Elisabet's bag, without getting caught. If you go over the time limit, she catches you and kicks you out. Thanks, blog readers!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sea of Darkness - Gears

Is it possible to get all five gears in Sea of Darkness, before opening up the cupboard and realizing that you need the gears?

Let me see...
  • Gunnar gear. One gear is being used as a coaster. Find Dagny's note (inside a bottle in the hold), and you will be able to take the gear. You have to do this when Gunnar isn't there, so that's either when he goes out sailing for the first time, or when he's kicked out of the pub. Or at the very end of the game, I suppose, when all the characters pretty much disappear.
  • Langspil gear. Solve the triangle puzzle in the captain's quarters to learn that the langspil is worth investigating. Look at it and solve its puzzle for a gear.
  • Lion head gear. When you learn that Dagny wasn't kidnapped, she gives you the lion head. You can solve the lion head puzzle on the figurehead for a gear. Do you have to read Soren's email about the lion head before Nancy tries to solve the puzzle?
  • Crow's Nest Gear. Read the book in Magnus' house, and you can solve the puzzle in the crow's nest by Soren's.
  • Not Actually A Gear. The final gear is a crank that you get from Elisabet, after solving the bilge pump puzzle.

I don't really know what triggers the bilge pump puzzle, which gives you the final gear. Both times I've played the game, that happened after I put two or so gears on the gear cupboard.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sea of Darkness - Speedrun

I put together the material from my preceding blog posts, for a tentative speedrun route. This covers all the game, up to the part where you enter Magnus' house.
  • Start game
  • See a snowmobile poster
  • Go to dinghy. Try to start it.
  • Go to pub. Switch to high tide.
  • Earn 2050 Kronur.
  • Get gas and decoration from the employee area.
  • Get ice hook on the way out.
  • Go to Soren. Get pamphlet from him.
  • Buy batteries and guidebook
  • Go onboard
  • Ask Elisabet for the snowmobile key
  • Go to the wheelhouse. Read the captain's log to learn Dangy has a radio key.
  • Go into the hold. Steal the paper about Dagny's cell phone.
  • Go into the captain's quarters. Take the dog toy notes from the desk
  • Take the locator from the desk
  • Solve the triangle puzzle to learn about the langspil
  • Solve the puzzle to open the desk. This gets you the lighthouse key.
  • Solve the word search puzzle for letters.
  • Get pins from the cabinet.
  • Use pins and word search letters on map for Sounding Depth number 1.
  • Solve Dagny's heater puzzle.
  • Get the key from Dagny. Use it to call Alex.
  • Sail to the lighthouse. Open it with the lighthouse key.
  • Solve both puzzles there.
  • You end up getting told how to distract Elisabet. Do so, to get the key to Magnus' cabin
  • Try to start the snowmobile
  • Put gas in the snowmobile
  • The snowmobile now works
  • Go to Magnus' room
I tried out this route earlier today. I need to find a better place for looking at the snowmobile poster, because that's awkward right now. The word search puzzle in Magnus' is a huge momentum-killer, but I guess there's no way around it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sea of Darkness - Soren's Pamphlet

Soren gives you a pamphlet, so you can solve the dinghy puzzle. Per my notes yesterday, you have to do this.
  • Go to the wheelhouse. Read the captain's log to learn Dangy has a radio key.
  • Solve Dagny's heater puzzle.
  • Get the key from Dagny. Use it to call Alex.
  • Get the pamphlet and guidebook from Soren.
  • Fix the dinghy.
  • Sail to the lighthouse. Open it with the lighthouse key.
  • Solve both puzzles there.
  • You end up getting told how to distract Elisabet. Do so, to get the key to Magnus' cabin
I went through this a few times, before I figured out the trick. You need to go onto the dinghy. That triggers the conversation with Soren, about his pamphlet.
You have buy Soren's batteries and book. The batteries are 550, and the book is 1500. Which means Nancy needs 2050 Kronur overall. You can get kronur from the pub, either from making meals or from learning vocabulary. I wonder which one would be faster! I mean, the meals give you more money, but it's harder to solve the meal puzzles.
You also need to visit Soren at the start of the game, to gain access to the ship. I guess if you do things in a certain order, you can combine all those trips to Soren. That is, start the game, then go to the dinghy, then earn lots of kronur. When you visit Soren, you buy the things you need, you get the pamphlet, and you get access to the ship, all at the same time. I wonder if that's a big timesaver.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sea of Darkness

Yeah, I'm going to be posting about the new Nancy Drew game for a week or so. Here are my walkthrough notes on the game. They're not finished.
  • Snowmobile puzzle
    • See a poster
    • Ask Elisabet for the snowmobile key
    • Get gas from the employee area of the pub
    • Try to start the snowmobile
    • Put gas in the snowmobile
    • The snowmobile now works
  • Lighthouse puzzle.
    • Go to the wheelhouse. Read the captain's log to learn Dangy has a radio key.
    • Solve Dagny's heater puzzle.
    • Get the key from Dagny. Use it to call Alex.
    • Get the pamphlet and guidebook from Soren.
    • Fix the dinghy.
    • Sail to the lighthouse. Open it with the lighthouse key.
    • Solve both puzzles there.
    • You end up getting told how to distract Elisabet. Do so, to get the key to Magnus' cabin
  • Go to the Captain's Quarters.
    • Solve triangle puzzle.
    • Get toy puzzle clue and the locator from the main desk.
    • Open desk. Get lighthouse key.
  • Captain's Quarters
    • Take the dog toy notes from the desk
    • Take the locator from the desk
    • Solve the triangle puzzle to learn about the langspil
      • Go to the pub and solve the langspil puzzle for a gear
    • Solve the puzzle to open the desk. This gets you the lighthouse key.
    • Solve the word search puzzle for letters.
    • Get pins from the cabinet.
    • Use pins and word search letters on map for Sounding Depth number 1.
  • Sounding Depth Numbers
    • First number is in the captain's quarters
    • When you solve the dog toy puzzle in Magnus' cabin, you get threatening notes. When you read them, you can scrape off barnacles for the second number.
    • The third number is at the top of the crow's nest. I don't remember what triggers Nancy being able to see it and know it's a number she needs.
    • Locator Piece 1 is in the captain's quarters.
    • To get locator Piece 2, Nancy needs to get all the decorations from Magnus' cabin, and the decoration from the employees area of the pub. She uses them on the ship's wheel for the rest of the locator.
    • When Nancy has a fixed locator and three numbers, use them on the map. Nancy now knows the four numbers. Use them on the cabinet in the captain's quarters, to open up the area in the hold with the gears.
  • Finding all the gears
    • ????
    • ????
    • Gunnar is using one as a coaster. You must read Dagny's notes in the hold, before you can get it.
    • One is in a langspil

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sea of Darkness

I got badly stuck, in my walkthrough for Sea of Darkness. You need to collect five groups of photo scraps, and the final photo scraps come from Gunnar. The problem was I could not trigger the big scene with Gunnar!

It turns out that you trigger the big scene with Gunnar, by starting the photo scrap puzzle. You can't finish the puzzle, because you don't have all the photo scraps, but you have to at least start it. So I put down three out of the twenty photo scraps. That triggered the scene with Gunnar being kicked out of the pub.

Then I got stuck, trying to figure out how to get Gunnar back inside. And by "stuck", I mean I did at least twenty minutes of wandering around, trying everything. It turns out that I had to go back to the photo scrap puzzle, and put all my pieces on the board. Remember, I couldn't solve the puzzle to completion. I just did as much as I possibly could. Somehow, this triggered the scene of Gunnar going back inside the pub, which lets Nancy get the final set of photo scraps.

I'm not sure if that's the correct solution. It seems illogical that you have to put sixteen photo scraps in place, before you can get the final four photo scraps from Gunnar. Maybe it's one of those timed challenges, where Gunnar reappears inside the pub after five minutes of gameplay, no matter what you do during those five minutes. (The phone charging puzzle in Ghost of Thornton Hall and the pottery-making challenge in Labyrinth of Lies work like that)

Now I'm wondering if I can take advantage of this gameplay mechanic, for the purposes of a speedrun. Like, instead of having Gunnar's photos be the last ones I get, I make sure they are the first or second ones. Is that possible? I guess I'll have to make a list of where all the photo scraps come from, then try it out.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sea of Darkness

I'm working on my official walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness. The puzzles are a lot more fun when you know what you're doing! Ha ha.

You know the sail puzzle? The one where you identify about twenty different sails, by name? You're supposed to solve that puzzle, based on the clues in the captain's log. It turns out that reading the captain's log isn't necessary. If you already know all about sails, you can solve the puzzle at the very start of the game.

By contrast, there's a numbers puzzle, written in Icelandic. You're supposed to solve the puzzle, by purchasing an Icelandic guidebook and looking up numbers in the "common Icelandic words" section. It doesn't matter if you already know Icelandic numbers, or if you're good at guessing. You can't solve the puzzle without reading the guidebook.

Funny how you can solve one puzzle ahead of time, if you know the answer, but you can't with the other one.

If I try speedrunning the game, the first section will cover everything up to the lighthouse puzzle. Mainly because the lighthouse has that killer 2048 puzzle. Please tell me there's a good strategy for that puzzle, because I always get stuck on it. Senior Mode wants you to make SEVEN white lights, which is almost at the limit of my ability.

Friday, May 22, 2015

McDonald's

Katie is an auditor, and I don't really understand what she's saying, when she talks about business. So I decided to start studying economics. Now I kind of understand what she's talking about.

In the news this week, people were holding a big protest at McDonald's. They want McDonald's to pay all its employees at least fifteen dollars per hour. That's all well and good, but there's no reason for people to protest at my local McDonald's. The one in our town is a franchise McDonald's.

From what I understand, franchises work like this. Let's travel back in time to the 1980's, when my local McDonald's was built.

Dude: Hey, I want to build a restaurant!
McDonald's Agent: Why not build a McDonald's? They're very popular and make lots of money.
Dude: Isn't that illegal? I mean, I don't own McDonald's.
Agent: It's okay. We'll let you call your restaurant McDonalds, and give you permission to use our logo and sell our food.
Dude: Wow, that's really nice of you!
Agent: In exchange, though, you have to follow all of our rules.
Dude: (reads contract) Most of these rules talk about how food is prepared.
Agent: Of course! We want to make sure the food is prepared the same way at every restaurant.

And that's how my local McDonald's was born. McDonald's doesn't directly own that particular restaurant, but they do get a portion of the profits, and they get to decide what's on the menu. (I think they sell some ingredients to that particular store, but I'm not 100% sure.) I guess it's similar to how Her Interactive makes Nancy Drew games, but they don't actually own Nancy Drew. Simon and Schuster owns Nancy Drew, and they're not selling her anytime soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wedding Song

In wedding news, Mom wants this as the son/mother dance.



She had no idea the song is six minutes long, so there's a minor chance she'll pick something else.

---

In other wedding info, Katie and I are going to be married, according to the Second Edition of the Catholic Rite of Marriage. The Vatican released this rite, in Latin, in 1991. The United States Bishops approved of an English translation in November, 2013. The English-only version of this hasn't been printed yet, although the Latin-English copy can be found somewhere on ICEL's website. (I found it the first time, no problem. The next time I looked, I couldn't find it anywhere.)

This is one of those few times that knowing Latin comes in handy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bailey School Kids #7: Aliens Don't Wear Braces

Bailey School Kids #7 is Aliens Don't Wear Braces. The school gets a substitute art teacher named Mrs. Zork, and she acts strangely. She's obsessed with colors, and the kids begin to suspect she's an alien, sent to steal all the colors from Earth.

This book was pretty good, especially the showdown scene between Mrs. Zork and the vampire teacher.

The kids break into Mrs. Zork's house, and they discover a spaceship. She claims it is a pottery kiln. In the dramatic showdown, Eddie starts pushing all the buttons on the machine to get Earth's colors back. Not long after, there is a huge explosion in the sky. Everyone assumes it was unplanned fireworks, but our heroes know it was the alien spaceship exploding.

The next day, Mrs. Zork has disappeared, and I really hope she was an alien, because if not, the kids just blew up her house for no reason. How unexpectedly violent of those third-graders! There is a full, two-page illustration for the explosion, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BSC Reviews

I've been doing my Baby-Sitters Club reviews with my cousin's old collection. She had books 1-18, and about 40 other books, scattered throughout the series. I figured I would review the first eighteen books and decide where to go from there.

Little did I know that Books 1-18 really comprise 20 books! Super Special #1 was published after #14, and Karen's Spinoff #1 was published after #15. I bought them both on Amazon for $10.99, which is a tad expensive, in my opinion. Yes, it's convenient to have the eBooks, but when they're priced at $5.99 each, it is always cheaper to buy the used paperbacks.

So my plan is to review all the books, up to #18. I hope I can make my 11 bucks back. After that, I'll decide whether or not to continue. I'd like to review the books in order, but not if it's going to cost too much. Maybe I'll just read the 40-odd books I have, forgetting about the official order.

Of course, this is all just worrying about the vague future. I have several hundred Nancy Drew books to review first, right? Speaking of which, the newest Nancy Drew book just arrived in the mail for me! It was released this month, and it's all about organic farming.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Puzzles, Upcoming Reviews

To follow up on yesterday's blog post, I'm definitely planning on solving the puzzles legitimately, in my official video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness. No matter how long it takes. Even if it takes me 30 minutes to solve one puzzle, like in Shadow at the Water's Edge, Secret of the Old Clock and Shadow at the Water's Edge (again).

But for my first playthrough? I'm kind of a cheater. You viewers don't usually get to see my cheat-tastic first playthrough of games. I try to play a game twice, before recording it.

None of the puzzles were like the final puzzle in The Shattered Medallion. I just flat-out don't understand how you're supposed to solve that puzzle legitimately. Maybe if I ever play the game for the sixth time, things will finally click, and I'll figure it out.

Anyway! New topic. I'm doing reviews for the 2007 Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys Supermysteries. I reviewed Books 1 and 3-6. Book 2 took an extra month to get to me, because someone doesn't return library books on time.

In my review for Book 3, I made a joke about Frank Hardy having a crush on Nancy Drew, and a joke about Joe Hardy using the word "suck". Those things didn't happen in Book 1. It turns out that they both happen in Book 2! Now I'm wondering if I should mention them in my review for Book 2, or not. It'd be kind of silly to make the same jokes for Books 2 and 3, but it'd also be kind of silly to ignore something in Book 2, just because I mention it in Book 3.

I suppose I could always redo my review for book 3...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Puzzles

Some people have complained that I was a little too quick to use hints, in my first playthrough of the latest Nancy Drew game.

In general, if I haven't solved a puzzle within five minutes, I think it's perfectly legitimate to hint-spam for the solution. I don't think anyone wants to see a video that's over five minutes of just one puzzle. YouTube's audience retention feature shows that, yeah, viewers skip over the long puzzles.

I kind of felt like the puzzles in this game were not well-explained. For example, the crystal puzzle, which didn't specify that white crystals are NOT part of the solution. Or that word search puzzle, which didn't specify that all the letters in a word are NOT adjacent. You know, like the word search puzzle in Nancy Drew 30, and all the word search puzzles I've ever seen in my entire life. Or the knot puzzle, which didn't specify if you're working left to right or right to left. It looks like you're working right to left, because the final knot pictures are left of the board.

With those puzzles, I had to look at the solution in order to understand how the puzzle works. I don't feel bad for hint-spamming the solution to those puzzles, because I can blame the poorly-done instructions. Although I admit that it's possible the instructions are good, and I'm just bad at understanding them.

There are also puzzles like the ship's steering wheel puzzle or the bilge puzzle, where I knew how to solve the puzzle, and I wanted to give it an honest try. But I also wanted to have the hint button loading, just in case I screwed up and needed a solution. If I do end up getting stuck and needing the solution, I feel disappointed in myself for not being able to do it on my own. If I was playing the game by myself, I would probably take the extra ten minutes and figure out the solution. But I was recording, I didn't want to stop and have the game come to a screeching halt.

And then there are puzzles which I skip because I'm super lazy, and they look super long and complicated. Like the triangle math puzzle, oh man, that puzzle. I don't feel bad about skipping those puzzles, because I can admit I'm lazy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Twilight Princess

Okay, I played through the opening part of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It took 50 minutes. We were talking about how to split up the videos. As far as I can tell...2008 Michael was crazy when he tried to split up the game into sections.

Here are the sections in the 2008 guide, now with times added.

004a. The Opening Triduum
004aa. Dawn of the First Day – 72 Hours Remain (3 minutes)
004ab. Dawn of the Second Day – 48 Hours Remain (7 minutes)
004ac. Dawn of the Third Day – 24 Hours Remain (25 minutes)
004b. Forest Temple – Getting the First Fused Shadow
004ba. Wild and Wolfy (15 minutes)

With the last one, I played for fifteen minutes. That took me all the way to the scene where Link becomes a werewolf. The game gives you a "would you like to save?" screen at this point. (The other save screen was after 004ab.) Why didn't I split up my guide, at that part of the game? That is a natural stopping point.

So I have no idea how to split up the videos.

I also am not sure when to start posting these videos. My subscribers probably need some time to absorb the new Nancy Drew game first.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wedding Songs

Okay, I tried filling out the wedding DJ form. A number of our songs are not on their song list. Those would be...
  • The Fratellis: Chelsea Dagger
  • The Police: Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
  • The Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: Can't Hold Us
  • Van Morrison: Wild Night
  • The Human League: Don't You Want Me
  • Mark Ronson: Uptown Funk
  • Nick Jonas: Jealous
  • Calloway: I Wanna Be Rich
  • Run-DMC: It's Tricky
  • Billy Preston: Outta-Space
  • Tears for Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  • REO Speedwagon: Take It On the Run
  • Bananarama: Venus
  • Van Halen: Jump
  • Nena: 99 Luft Balloons
  • Men Without Hats: Safety Dance
  • Survivor: Eye of the Tiger
  • Simple Minds: Don't You Forget About Me
  • Fleetwood Mac: Don't Stop
  • Fine Young Cannibals: She Drives Me Crazy
  • Naked Eyes: Always Something There to Remind Me
  • Queen: We Will Rock You (Fast)
  • The Police Don't Stand So Close to Me
  • Tom Cochrane: Life Is A Highway
  • Sister Hazel: All For You
  • They Might Be Giants: Man, It's So Loud In Here
They have fourteen spots for "list any extra songs you want". Which means we have to cut this list down in half. So help us out! Which of these songs do you enjoy?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nancy Drew Ghostwriters

I used the Internet to look up some Nancy Drew ghostwriters from the Supermystery series.

There is no information on Jack Hagee (author of Supermystery 36). Good, now I don't have to update my review for that book.

Larry Mike Garmond co-wrote Supermystery 7. Information on him is scarce, besides for the fact that he wrote a monster series in 2001-2. He let his website's domain expire. I updated my review for this book to mention him and Peter Lerangis.

Peter Lerangis wrote Supermysteries 2, 3 and co-authored #7. His biggest project right now is the 39 Clues series, which is totally amazing. I'm tempted to go to a book signing if he does one near me. He's the most famous of all the authors on this list, and he received honors from First Lady Laura Bush, but probably not for his Baby-Sitters Club books.

Susan and Bill Albert seem to be a married couple. Susan wrote Nancy Drew Files 6 and 11. Susan and Bill wrote Nancy Drew Files 15, 22 and 29. I'm rather surprised that all those books have the same author, considering how different they are. Susan is still writing today; her newest book came out in March. I'm not sure if I want to redo my reviews for those books, just to mention who the ghostwriter is.

Tracey West wrote Supermystery 13. That was her first book ever. She's still writing, and she mostly does books for TV shows like Adventure Time and SpongeBob Squarepants.

Kekla Magoon wrote Nancy Drew Diaries 2. She has a new book called Shadows of Sherwood coming out in August. Her books mainly focus on the civil rights movement.

Kate Angelella claims she's an editor, not an author. She edited Girl Detective #30. A co-worker named Jessica Burkhart says that Kate wrote Nancy Drew Detective #42. (She even includes instructions on how to get your book signed by Kate, but that was five years ago at this point, so I wouldn't recommend it.)

George Edward Stanley is now deceased, but he taught at a university in Lawton, Oklahoma.

There are a number of authors for the original series who are probably still alive, but I did not look them up. Maybe I'll do that later!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness

Here's my video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness!!!









I'm doing pretty well for someone who is playing the game for the first time. I haven't gotten stuck on puzzles or anything! Maybe my first playthrough will be so good that I won't have to do an "official" walkthrough. That'd be a big timesaver for me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness is being released today! I'll play it as soon as I can!

In the meantime, someone has already beaten the game and recorded the preview for the next game. Is...is that the new voice of Nancy Drew at 0:33?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Baby-Sitters Club Reviews

I did a slew of Baby-Sitters Club reviews this weekend! Basically, I'm clearing out my backlog to make room for NEW NANCY DREW GAME TOMORROW!!!!







Here's a playlist of all my BSC reviews. I own books 1-18, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 38, 39, 42, 45-7, 49, 52, 54, 57, 59, 60, 64, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 98, 100, 101, 111, 112, 114, and 120. So, um...I guess when I do another set of BSC reviews, I'll stop at number 18 and decide if it's worth it to buy more books. Most of them are available as eBooks now, so I can save with shipping and handling.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Schrodinger's Cat

I watched a thing about Schrodinger's cat yesterday. I've heard this story a few times, and I don't understand it at all.
Here's how the thought experiment works. Schrodinger puts a cat in a box with a murder machine. The machine emits particles randomly, and there is a 50% chance that the cat will be killed by radiation. Schrodinger waits an hour, then goes back to the box.

Question: Is the cat alive or dead?

My Answer: Those are the only two options.

Official Answer: WRONG! The cat is both alive and dead at the same time! Because you don't know which one it is, until you open the box and observe the system.

And I'm sorry, but that's wrong. A cat cannot be dead and alive at the same time. That breaks the law of non-contradiction, one of the basic rules of logic. The cat is either alive or dead, and this is true, independent of you observing it. Yes, from your perspective, both outcomes are possible, but only one outcome can be true.

Now, Wikipedia says that Schrodinger agrees with me. He came up with this thought experiment, to disprove the Copenhagen Theory of Quantum Mechanics. Something like "Hey, Copenhagen people, if your theories are correct, cats are both dead and alive!". But instead of seeing this as a fundamental flaw in their system, the quantum physicists agreed that the cat is dead and alive, just like how light is a wave and a particle. And later on, someone used this to "prove" multiple universes exist. I didn't understand the multiple universe thing, because I got hung up on the fact that "a dead and alive cat" is impossible.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Twilight Princess

I wrote a walkthrough for GameFAQs, for Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It's at the bottom of the list, under all the more popular guides. Here is the outline for the game, not including other sections like "where all the heart pieces are" and "how to fight all the bosses".

004. Walkthrough
*004a. The Opening Triduum
004aa. Dawn of the First Day – 72 Hours Remain
004ab. Dawn of the Second Day – 48 Hours Remain
004ac. Dawn of the Third Day – 24 Hours Remain
*004b. Forest Temple – Getting the First Fused Shadow
004ba. Wild and Wolfy
004bb. Dispelling the Twilight
004bc. Forest Temple – More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys
004bd. Forest Temple – Boomerang Adventures
*004c. Goron Mines – Getting the Second Fused Shadow
004ca. Dispelling the Twilight
004cb. Getting to the Gorons
004cd. The Mines – The First Big Key Third
004ce. The Mines – The Second Big Key Third
004ce. The Mines – The Third Big Key Third
*004d. Lakebed Temple – Getting the Third Fused Shadow
004da. Dispelling the Twilight
004db. Getting the Zora Armor
004dc. Lakebed Temple – East Side
004dd. Lakebed Temple – West Side
*004e. Arbiter's Grounds - Getting to the Mirror of Twilight
004ea. Finding the Master Sword
004eb. Reaching Arbiter's Grounds
004ec. Arbiter's Grounds – Poe Hunt
004ed. Arbiter's Grounds – Spinner Time
*004f. Snowpeak Ruins - Getting the Second Mirror Shard
004fa. What's that Smell?
004fb. Snowpeak Ruins, Part One – Finding the Pumpkin
004fc. Snowpeak Ruins, Part Two – Finding the Cheese
004fd. Snowpeak Ruins, Part Three – Finding the Key
*004g. Temple of Time – Getting the Third Mirror Shard
004ga. Not the Sacred Grove Again!
004gb. Flashbacks to Ocarina of Time
004gc. Temple of Time, Part One - Bop to the Top
004gd. Temple of Time, Part Two – Getting Down and Funky
*004h. Island in the Sky - Getting the Fourth Mirror Shard
004ha. Some Rather Boring Adventures
004hb. Dungeon and Dragon – East Tower
004hc. Dungeon and Dragon – West Tower
004hd. Dungeon and Dragon – North Tower
*004i. Palace of Twilight – Time to Kill Zant
004ia. Midna Gets Some Backstory
004ib. The Western Sol
004ic. The Eastern Sol
004id. The Northern Tower
*004j. Hyrule Castle – Time to Kill Ganondorf

I like "Temple of Time, Part One - Bop to the Top". High School Musical references still amuse me.

It looks like I split up the game into 10 large segments, and 37 different segments. Perhaps the video walkthrough for the game should be 37 videos long? I dunno. 37 hour-long videos could be a pain. I don't remember how long any particular segment is...

Friday, May 8, 2015

New eBook

For the first time since April 2014, I edited an eBook! It's called The Month of Mary. It's a collection of 31 reflections, one for each day of the month. Each reflection contains a bit from the writings of Saint Francis of Sales, and a bit from whoever compiled these things.

I can finally move that folder off of my desktop now. Hooray!

I plan to someday, maybe, publish my own eBook. One that isn't an old, public domain book that I transferred into a digital format.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fuller House

I'm told they're making a sequel series to Full House. It's going to be called Fuller House, and it's basically a gender-swapper version of the original show. Instead of three MEN taking care of three kids, it'll be three WOMEN taking care of three kids.

Katie isn't sure this premise will work. When the original show aired, "men taking care of children" was still a humorous premise. You saw it in shows like Three Men and a Baby, and Mr. Mom. I'm told if you watch those shows today, it's kind of painful, because they're really outdated and sexist.

Anyway, the original premise was funny at the time. The new premise, three women taking care of three kids, is not particularly funny. Which means the show is going to fail. I disagree. That doesn't sound like an outdated, unfunny premise; that sounds like a house waiting to appear on Modern Family.

Me, I'm interested in the show, because I know the women in question. By that, I mean Stephanie constantly insulted Kimmy when they were kids, and it was hilarious. I'm sure it will still be funny. I don't know how DJ fits into the dynamic, though. Since she's the one with kids, she'll probably be the responsible, mature one. Kimmy will be the goofy one, which means if we're trying to copy the original show, Stephanie has to be the good-looking one with great hair and an Elvis obsession.

I'm told all the original cast members are excited about the new show, except the Olson twins, who were the most successful out of them all. As in, so successful that they never need to act or work again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book Reviews

Here are my newest book reviews!





Book 29 is the last regular book in the Girl Detective series. After this, they have the Girl Detective trilogies. This is a natural stopping point, so I'm taking a break from the Girl Detective books now.

My next review project is the 2007 Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Supermystery series. That's the shorter, six-book series. Sadly, my local library system only has one copy of Supermystery 2. Someone checked it out, but they didn't return it by the due date.

*angry cat picture*

So I have reviews for books 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all done. But it seems silly to start off the review series with Books 1 and 3. Guess I'll wait for when/if Book 2 gets returned. In the meantime, the next review project is Baby-Sitters Club books 6-10. Um...yay?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Zelda Games

Which Zelda game should I play this summer? Here are the options...


  • Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
  • Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC)
  • Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
  • Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN)
  • Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

I can also record other Wii and GCN games, so recommend a favorite if you want.

Monday, May 4, 2015

More on Eucharist

Here's a comment that was left on my blog yesterday.

I thought everyone, no matter what religion or whatever, could take communion?

Not in Catholic churches, as Arglefumph describes. Meanwhile, in my experience as a Methodist, the pastors make a point to say before Communion that anyone, whether they are or aren't members of the church or even the denomination, can participate. Protestants don't believe in the literal transformation of bread and wine into body and blood. We use just regular bread and grape juice (not wafers and wine), because the symbolism is what counts. So that is the (quite fundamental) difference.

As a non-Catholic, I don't understand how confession influences Communion. We don't practice confession. I'm not trying to be snarky, I really just don't know?

That's pretty much accurate. Catholics believe the bread and wine becomes the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ. Because they take the Eucharist so seriously, they don't allow non-Catholics to receive it. Non-Catholics are encouraged to come up and receive a special blessing from the priest during communion time, though, so it's not like they're being totally excluded.

As for confession and communion, the rule is "if you commit a mortal sin, you must go to confession before your next communion". The rule does not apply to non-mortal (or "venial") sins. The idea is that, if you commit a mortal sin, your first priority should be going to confession and getting forgiven. Go directly to confession. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not go to mass and receive communion first.

For whatever reason, most Catholic churches stopped offering the sacrament of confessions during mass. I remember going to the Cathedral in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Their confessionals were so out of use that they converted them into janitor booths. Sad.

It should be noted that the Catholic Church is currently having a big debate over its "people in mortal sin are excluded from communion" rule and how it should be applied. Expect to see it be brought up, during the big Catholic Synod in October.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Eucharist

There has been some minor consternation, about the website for my upcoming wedding. In the section about the mass, I wrote that "All Catholics who are not in mortal sin are invited to come forward to share in the Eucharist."

That's not very inclusive, but I'm not the one who came up with that rule. It's actually church law. I'm pretty sure the idea comes from the Bible, which says that whoever “eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27). The church takes the Eucharist really, really seriously, so it tries to avoid any sacrilege or scandal with the Eucharist, wherever possible.

I checked what the US Bishops have to say on the matter. To summarize, why can't people in mortal sin participate in the Eucharist? Because they need to go to confession first. Why can't non-Catholics participate in the Eucharist? Because most of them don't believe in it, for one. For another, they're separated from "unity with the church", which the Eucharist embodies.

Now, "only Catholics not in mortal sin can participate in the Eucharist" is the church law. In practice, most churches let anyone and everyone come up for communion. It's not like the priest is going to stop you and ask to see your baptismal certificate, or question when you last went to confession. Unless he has reason to believe that you're breaking the law, he won't hassle you.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Vampire Diaries (Update)

Recently, I tried to play Vampire Diaries. It looks like the game doesn't work on Vista, or maybe the rewritable CDs don't work on Vista. The CDs work on other computers, so that's a good sign.

Here's my decision. I have a Windows 2000 laptop, in storage at my parents' house. I'll be there, during the week before the wedding. At that time, I'll try doing Vampire Diaries again, with that computer. I used it to record the Moop and Dreadly walkthrough, so I know for sure that it works. Let's just hope it works, with the Vampire Diaries game!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Summer Marathon

Here's an update on the copyright strike drama! Yes, there was a mistake with the expiration date. They meant the final day of April, not April 25th.

So, Strike #1 is gone! Hooray! Strike #2 should expire on the final day of October.

I guess that means the summer marathon is a go! Here's my idea. I'm going to play a new game, from start to finish, every single day. It'll be a great way for me to clear out my backlog. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up that pace, though. I'll probably have to switch to doing a new game, every other day.

I like to play through a game fully, before recording a walkthrough for it. I don't think it's very entertaining for other people to watch me stumble my way through a game. Some of the games on the list should work fine, without me playing through them ahead of time. Here's my unofficial list of older games I own, that I want to walkthrough. (Feel free to comment on your favorites, and I'll move them up, in the release schedule. When I make a release schedule.)

Age of Engima: Secret of the 6th Ghost
Azada 3
Blackwell Unbound
Book of Legends
Bravely Default Demo
Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death
Dark Dimensions: Wax Beauty
Dark Tales: Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of Red Death
Dracula: Love Kills
Fire Emblem Gaiden
Fire Emblem GCN
Fire Emblem DS
Grim Facade: Artist and the Pretender
Grim Facade: Sinister Obsession
Grim Facade: Wealth of Betrayal
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
Grim Tales: The Vengeance
Haunted Legends 1
Haunted Legends 2
Love and Death: Bitten
Love Chronicles
Love Chronicles 3
McKids
Midnight Mysteries 3: Mark Twain
Mystery of the Ancients 1
Mystery of the Ancients 2
Nevertales: The Beauty Within
Nick Chase 2
Ominous Objects: Family Portrait
Otherworld 1
Otherworld 2
Pepper's Adventures in Time
Redemption Cemetery
Reveries: Soul Collector
Royal Trouble
Sable Maze
Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden
Samantha Swift 3
Samantha Swift 4
Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch
Spirit Soup: The Queensbury Curse
Spirit Walkers
Spirits of Mystery: The Dark Minotaur
Tales of Terror
Tiger Eye 1
Tiger Eye 2
Unfinished Tales
Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty