03/30/2003

I made a rather haste update today. It seems that FCE Ultra has updated their emulator. And so, I've updated it on the site, as well. I've got bad news about the emulator, though. It looks like the author of FCE Ultra is going to halt development on his emulator. This is very bad news indeed, especially since his emulator was the best NES emulator out there. That'll probably change after time goes by, though. No matter how good an emulator is (with the exception of ZSNES, maybe), if constant updates don't continue, it instantly becomes bad, since another emulator will probably, eventually, gain the upper hand. Oh well; I don't play many NES games anyway.

I advanced a lot in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I finished my quest filling out the whole map, which earned me many prizes along the way, I might add. After finishing that, I didn't really have anything else left to do, since I don't have the needed tools. So, I decided to move on. I went and placed the final two pearls into the final two statues. Once all three statues had a pearl in their hands, they shattered. Inside of their hard, rocky shells were silver statues of beautiful maidens. Out of each pearl, a laser stretched out. As you probably guessed, these lasers went from one pearl to another, forming a grand triangle (Triforce, anyone?). In the middle of it all, a large tower surfaced from the ocean. Yes, this is why there was no dungeon for pearl #3; because, upon placing all three pearls, you must complete one more dungeon, thus bringing the number to three.

This is one of the more fun dungeons. I must say, I had a lot of fun doing this one. Many new ideas were used in many creative and original ways. It was very fun indeed. The main item for this dungeon was none other than the Hero's Bow. Finally, I can kill those stupid Wizrobes. The dungeon was dubbed "test of the gods." It's official name is "Tower of the Gods," or something like that. Basically, you're being tested before you can acquire the Master Sword. After passing the test with flying colors, a golden light appears near the tower on the water. And so, the boat exchanged several words of wisdom (which seem to escape me now...) about the current situation. Apparently, the Master Sword lies bound under the golden light. After going down the golden light, we were underwater. As you already have guessed, the golden light provides Link and his... boat, air. No worries there, then.

Under the water, I was amazed to find... Hyrule. Yes, the same Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Of course, they changed the design dramatically, because, quite frankly, it'd look horrid in its N64 state. I also noticed that the whole place was in only two colors: black and white. That added a very cool feeling to the place. The boat, once again, spoke a few more silver strings of wisdom. Again, they seem to escape me now. I entered the castle, and found that there were, like, 20-30 enemies frozen in time, who are also black and white to match the scenery. At first, I was puzzled. I tried attacking them and nothing happened. They were... just frozen in midair. I searched the place to see if there was any loot to be had, but there was nothing; just a bunch of pots with a Rupee or two. I then proceeded to a large place with the Triforce on the ground. It seems I had to solve a puzzle. It was a very interesting one, at that. You see, the Triforce on the ground, simply put, is three triangle slots. I had to place three triangle blocks into them. I had to push those, you see. The thing is, since they're triangles, they move oddly.

After finally placing all of them into the correct slots, a statue with the Hero of Time(TM) moved away (the Hero of Time is the Link from Ocarina of Time, by the way). Below it, I found a little basement with the... Master Sword. It was stuck in the same stone from Ocarina of Time. I then removed it from the stone. The entirety of Hyrule gained color in a large scene. The enemies got un-frozen, as well. This was a bad thing, no doubt, as there were a lot of enemies there, and most of them are the strong types, like Iron Knuckles. Somehow, they all fell to my blade. Here's an interesting tidbit: the Master Sword you acquire in this game is the same exact one Link used in Ocarina of Time. It even looks the same, too. The Master Sword was great. It had more power and was longer. That's perfect, if you ask me. Not only that, but I heard you can make it even longer still from an upgrade.

After lots of killing, and many words of wisdom, I was back on the quest to save Link's sister from the scary fortress(TM). It's quite funny, actually, because Ganon lives in that fortress. And, the thing is, that fortress is EASY. None of the enemies really posed any threat towards my life. Not to mention, it was the first mini-dungeon in the game. After going through the same dungeon, this time with a sword, and a MUCH better one at that, I came upon the same room Link's sister is being held. The same place the large bird(TM) blew Link away. This time, however, I killed it. Ha-ha! Ahem, anyway, Link's sister got rescued, the bird(TM) is dead, and everyone's happy. Now Link must go and take care of Ganon, who is on a wooden portion of the tower.

Obviously, Link does not yet have enough power to off the baddie and gets defeated. Something about the Master Sword not being able to "repel evil." Not only that, but the sword lost its power over time. AND, when pulling out the sword, Ganon's real powers are returned. Something about the sword sealing his magic away or something. And so... Link now must go 'round the Earth, searching for upgrades to his newfound blade. That's pretty much all that happened.

03/29/2003

In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, I got the final pearl. For some odd reason, there is no dungeon for the final pearl, just an extended over world quest. So now, the ship wants me to place the three pearls in three statues, which all talk, mind you. I actually placed one of the pearls before getting the final one. It was very strange at first, since I was just exploring, going into places the plot had nothing to do with, and all of a sudden, a statue's eyes started glowing. It freaked me out. Anyway, it told me to insert the pearl into some slot on its body... (umm... yeah). I did so. This was way before I got the third and final pearl. It was rather obvious, really. Those pearls have got to go somewhere, you know. I'm guessing that I will acquire the Master Sword after placing the last two pearls. Maybe there will even be a dungeon, too.

The reason why I'm advancing so slowly is, there's a whole world to explore out there. This game probably has the most exploration of all the Zeldas. I spend hours sailing around the ocean for unexplored lands and side quests. Not to mention, filling up my map. The way you fill up your map here is rather interesting. The world map, mind you. You must buy bait, sail to an unexplored part of the map, and then look for a fish. Yes, that's what you must do. Once you find a fish leaping in and out of the water, you throw in the bait. It'll eat your bait and pop out of the water to have a little chat with you. He then gets a paint brush in his mouth and draws more of the map for you. After proceeding to fill a tad bit more of your map, he even tells you secrets/hints/tips about the game. It's rather questionable how a fish can paint you a perfect map, but it's a fun way of filling it out nonetheless. I really hope I acquire that warp song soon. It's getting to be such a drag to sail from one side of the world to the other. It takes around 20-30 minutes, too. 10, if you don't go goofing around, which I always tend to do.

Once I fill out my map and take care of a few side quest things that I am able to take care of, I'll start on that "placing of the pearls" quest. I wonder what awaits up ahead...

03/28/2003

I'm currently playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I beat about two dungeons, mini-dungeons aside. The first is a fire themed mountain/cave, and the second is some sort of forest themed dungeon. So far, it seems that I'm questing for pearls. These things will probably, no doubt, earn me access to the Master Sword, which will then probably be "powered up." Even though I've played the game for a while and beat two dungeons, I still feel as if I'm in absolutely no position to review the game. It's as if I'm still just in the beginning...

Right then, I'll talk about some features in the game. So far, I've seen two new tools; the Grappling Hook (NOT to be confused with the Hook Shot, which still is in this game, mind you) and the Deku Leaf. If you're wondering what the Grappling Hook does, simply put, it's a rope. You use it to swing from one place to another. For example, you throw it above you, making sure it attaches to something, and then you swing around like Spiderman and/or Batman. It's quite fun, really. The Grappling Hook can also steal items from enemies. Sometimes, some enemies drop something called a "spoil," which is usually used for some sort of side quest, or to make things like red, green, and blue potions. Well, when using the Grappling Hook on them, you instantly get the "spoil" if that type of enemy drops any. If you just kill them normally, they have a chance of dropping it, but they won't always drop one. This is especially useful for enemies that almost never drop their spoil. The third use the Grapple Hook has is that you can use it as a crane for your ship. Yeah, did I mention you have a talking ship, which you sail on? This crane is used to get treasure chests that are sunken underwater. To get them, you need Treasure Charts, which can be gotten in many different ways.

Moving onto the second item, the Deku Leaf; so far, from what I've seen, it has two uses. One is to sort of "hover" down when jumping from a high place. This uses your magic meter, for some inane reason. And two, you can use it to blow wind at enemies, items, and switches, which is always helpful in a Zelda game.

Another item I've got, which is very useful, is the boomerang. Basically, they went back to the old tradition of the SNES and NES games. The boomerang stuns most medium to large enemies, and kills the small enemies. This is, as always, very useful. Now, they actually expanded on this concept with something really cool. You can target more than one thing at a time. Five things, to be exact. Sadly, this isn't used that much on enemies, mostly on puzzles. You CAN use it on enemies, but chances are, you won't have enough time to go into first-person, target each enemy, and then throw. Most likely, you'll target one enemy, and just throw. Another good thing is that the boomerang is darn fast. When you lock-on an enemy, and throw it, the thing leaves your hand in less than a split second; very useful in the raging heat of battle.

Sailing is getting a tad scary. Almost every time I set out on a voyage, a storm occurs. At night, I might add. It just feels spooky to be sailing on a vast ocean of nothingness, at night, when a storm is about. I got the Song of Passing, though, which changes night into day, and day into night. I got it from some disco dude, who is quite amusing.

The way you play the Wind Waker is very odd. At first, you'll be confused as heck, and as such, you'll probably take a solid five minutes figuring it out. Sure, they explain how to do it in the game, but when you're actually doing it, it's a totally different story. Here's how it works (hopefully I can explain it well enough): you use the yellow analog stick to move the Wind Waker. There's a little meter at the top, which goes back and forth, and when the dot reaches the middle, you play a tune. Depending on which direction you held the Wind Waker when the little red dot reached the middle, you play a different tune. That's pretty much all there is to it. Of course, you'll still have problems at first.

Right now, I'm going to get the last pearl. The boat told me (sounds like I'm drunk...) to go somewhere... which I've forgotten. What surprises me is, I got two pearls already, and the darn boat still didn't explain why I'm collecting them. He just sort of hints that you need them to defeat Ganon. Link wants to defeat Ganon so he can rescue his sister.

I'm going to go play it right now, in fact. Zelda, that is.

03/26/2003

I've got an update in the works. I've postponed it, though. It's for a very good reason. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is here. I've got my copy, and have been playing it for a little bit. So far, I've only gotten through the first official dungeon. Like Majora's Mask, more things take place outside of the dungeon than inside. As such, there's a smaller amount of dungeons. Mini-dungeons aside, I think there are 3 + 4 dungeons. The traditional first three dungeons, which usually earn you access to the Master Sword, and the other "real" dungeons, which do something else. As for the game, it's quite good. I mean, what do you expect? Of course, this means that I left Dark Cloud 2 for dead, and probably won't play it anymore. I might return to it later, but not anytime soon. Back to Zelda, then. I know that you probably have seen this in countless reviews already, but the game is very polished and smooth. From the menu system to the battle system, things look and feel a lot better.

In most Zelda games, there's always something that happens at the beginning to drag Link into the adventure. Apparently, they do this to try and surprise you, but it fails every time. You know that you will end up collecting something for the Master Sword, and then collecting something else to fight Ganon. For example, in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Deku Tree becomes sick, and calls/asks for Link's help. After this, and RIGHT after this, it then becomes clear that Link is the hero, and he must do what all heroes do... save the world. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link searches for his fairy friend, Navi, and falls into some funky looking place where everyone is on drugs. Anyway, some idiot wearing a mask then proceeds to turn Link into a Living Wooden Doll, and obviously, Link doesn't appreciate that very much. Thus, he goes on a mini-quest to un-wood himself and return back to normal. Somehow, this turns into another "you are the hero and you will save the entire world" kind of thing. And so he does. Back to Wind Waker once again; the same thing pretty much happens here. Instead of the first two events, Link's sister gets stolen by a giant bird(TM), and he must go off to some scary fortress to save her. Obviously, this somehow turns into an orb collecting quest of sorts. Blah, blah, blah, Ganon must die, blah, blah, blah, get Master Sword(TM), blah, blah, blah, kill Ganon with strong Master Sword, blah, blah. And, with that, I've basically summed up the plot. The game has at least one or two plot twists, though. There's one that you don't really see coming.

So far, I like how you acquire your sword in this Zelda the most. From dusty old men who hand you rusty old swords, to finding your sword inside a hole that no one living around it cared to check, this seems the best. After the giant bird(TM) thing, Link wants to go and stop the nonsense that plagued his peaceful and obscure village. And so, you visit the local "old man who can kick anyone's butt, and yet he doesn't make a single attempt at saving the very world he lives in" to pick up your "Hero's Sword." Funny how an Old Man(TM) who can kick butt doesn't use this sword himself to stop evil. Instead, he sends off a 12 year old child who can barely contain himself to slay evil. The shield you get is a wooden shield that your grandmother(not TM) got from some people in your family line. It's not explained in the game; Link's parents just aren't there. Dead? Gone? Don't exist? No one knows.

The sailing aspect of the game is quite boring and long. It's not bad enough to stop playing the game, or to hurt it in any way, but it's one of those "annoying things" every game has. The sailing wouldn't be annoying if it weren't so long. The over world/world map in Wind Waker is HUGE. Anyone complaining about the size of the world map/over world in most Zeldas will be pleased to see this. On the other hand, there are too many "wide open areas" of nothing but water. It takes almost 5/10 minutes to get from one island to another. This is more annoying than useful. Thankfully, they made sure to at least put many islands, so there's a good amount of land as well.

They added a little bit to the combat system. There are some new combos and animations. One new move that's worth mentioning: the parry attack. Everyone has probably heard of it already, but I'll say it, just in case you haven't. It's simple as fish. Just stand around like an idiot while the enemy stands like an idle statue, facing you, ready to attack. After some good amount of standing, with your sword out, I hope, you will notice that Link's sword glows green, and the "A" button at the top right will resemble a star. This means that you must press "A." When doing so, Link will roll behind the enemy and do a strong sword blow. It's the best move I've ever seen. Sadly, I've only used it once. It's not that I don't want to use it, or that I don't need to; it's that I don't know what triggers it. I'm not sure if it only works on well-armored foes or something.

So far, the game's been good fun. I highly recommend that you pick this little gem up. Oh, and before I forget, there's one bit that I quite liked: the battle music. There are several different battle music themes in the game; a normal one in dungeons and a normal one out of dungeons. Now, when actually attacking the enemy (slashing him with combos), the music changes into something more dramatic. As soon as you stop attacking, it switches back. I thought this was a rather nice touch.

One annoying thing: the way Link walks is a tad too close to "real life." Instead of just going whichever direction you press, he must get there. In most games, if your character is facing up, and you press down, he just switches, in a split second, to facing down. Here, Link walks around, switching the way he faces. This is rather hard to get used to, and can cost you your life in certain places.

The facial expressions Link has is really well done, too. Well, I'm off. Hopefully, I'll be able to have better things to say about this fine game later.

03/25/2003

My copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was shipped completely yesterday. It should be at my door soon. As for Dark Cloud 2, I might have one more go at it before moving onto Zelda, but I might not.

I'm trying to update that JavaScript thing I talked about earlier, but I ran into a problem. I'll have to see if I can fix it and continue. I fear, though, that I won't be able to make this update, just because of that one problem. Thus, the site will load slower (I think). I have a few ROMs to add, but I want to see if I can fix that problem first, and make the update to my JavaScript code. If not, I'll take a tad longer to put up the ROMs. Why? Laziness.

03/24/2003

I'm still on chapter 4 (yes, they call them "chapters;" you could also say "dungeon 4" or "town 4"). I was rather busy yesterday, doing non-gaming stuff, and didn't have much of a chance to play Dark Cloud 2. On top of that, I recently got stuck. No, I know where I'm supposed to go, but... the floor of the dungeon I'm in requires that I beat it with Monica rather than Max. Now, I've gotten through floors like this before by throwing every item in my pants at the enemy (as Monica, of course), but now, this won't work. The enemies are just too strong. They can withstand a dozen items thrown from my pants. And so, I set out on a quest to dramatically strengthen Monica's weapon. This quest has been successful so far. I've built up her weapon about 3 or 4 times in a single sitting. And that was after everything else I usually do in the game, including building, messing up at Spheda, passing floor after floor in dungeons... so I'm doing pretty good with that. Sadly, if I keep going at this pace, I might not finish the game, and leave it for dead like I did with the first Dark Cloud. Why, you ask? Because the new Zelda is very near. It's very near, indeed.

03/23/2003

The release date of the new Zelda for the GameCube is nearing. Once I have it, I'll stop playing Dark Cloud 2 for quite some time, or possibly forever.

More Dark Cloud 2, then. Let's see... a new thing has been introduced in the game. It's a mini-game of sorts. I'll cut to the chase; it's golf. Yes, golf. They already went too far with the Ridepod, weapons, SimCity bit, fishing, and many other things. I can barely manage the weapon building alone. Now, they have to go off and add golf to the entire mix, as if this game really needs more replay value, which I can assure you, it doesn't.

The name of the "golf" type game here is "Spheda." Pronounced similar to sphere, which is where the word came from. Basically, ever since the evil badguy, whom you haven't seen yet, has been going into the past and changing the future, something called "time distortions" start appearing. These things look like little portal/warp/black hole thingies. And so, to "close" these distortions in time, you must find a "time distortion sphere." For some reason or other, unexplained in the game, you cannot touch the sphere with your bare hands, and must use a stick-like thing to hit it.

Bearing that in mind, they made "golf clubs," which are named "Spheda clubs." You use the "Spheda club" to obviously hit the "Spheda sphere." You must try to hit it into the "time distortion," which strongly resembles a hole made using the very fabric of space and time. After proceeding to knock the Spheda sphere into the "time distortion," it then closes, thus removing it and the sphere from sight, and placing a chest to reward your hard work. And this is darn hard work, too. You also seem to get a medal for each Spheda sphere thing you clear in each floor of a dungeon. Of course, like many things, you're penalized for not doing it correctly. There's a number over the sphere, which shows how many times you can hit it before it "vanishes." Obviously, if it vanishes before closing the "time distortion," you lose. Yes, you simply lose.

There also seems to be some nonsense about color. If it weren't hard enough to get the darn sphere into the hole, you need to worry about something else, too. You see, the sphere and time distortion are colored from red to blue (it is unknown to me if more colors are added later in the game). The thing is, you must manage to knock the sphere into the distortion of the right color. For example, you need a red sphere to take out a blue distortion, and a blue sphere to take out a red distortion. To change the color of the sphere (you can't change the color of the distortion), you must "bounce" it against something. Pretty simple to do, since it bounces all over the darn place. If the sphere and distortion are both the same color, then they will repel each other, like a magnet. Surprisingly, it seems easier than most golf games. Where the sphere goes after you hit it, though, is a complete surprise. It almost never goes the way you planned it to.

I have a feeling this new Zelda will be very fun.

03/21/2003

I made it to the third dungeon, which is a mountain/valley area. It's not too different from the jungle/forest, really.

I found out what those medals do. One of those "important NPC characters" that joins your party is the mayor of the main town. His name is Need. Heh, good name. Mayor Need, what do you need? Anyway, most of the characters who are NPCs and join your party have things to sell. He also did, but it was slightly different. Instead of money, or the EXP from the Ridepod, you use the medals to buy some special stuff he sells. I've only got 12 medals, though; not nearly enough to purchase his "fine goods." I've gotta earn enough for the bikini outfit, though. Hehe.

So far, the game hasn't been too bad. It's basically one of those "build 'em up" games, where you mainly build your stats up and such. The actual story, and other aspects of the game, are worthless. If it weren't for the "building up" thing, this game would suck. And I do mean suck. This is no Zelda, where going through dungeons is fun in itself. Dungeon floors are all randomly generated. That means that, each time you go into the same floor, it's different. It'll never be the same. This is good and bad at the same time. It's good because the chests aren't the same, either. Going into a single floor multiple times, for instance, will net you a lot of items, as the chests are randomly generated, as well. Enemies, passages, doors, items; everything is random. This, of course, means that every time you enter a dungeon, it's not the same. That's bad, as you will never know exactly which path to take. It'll always all be new to you. This might have been good, but the dungeons are so boring, tedious, and annoying, that it sucks. The only thing that saves that part of the game is how nearly everything can be "built up" in many ways. Not to mention the SimCity bit, which can be considered as another way of "building up." Frankly speaking, you definitely won't be playing this game for its dungeons.

There seems to be some sort of "monster transformation" system in here. I haven't really played around with it yet, though. Apparently, this can also be "built up."

03/20/2003

I finally found out what I'm supposed to do to advance the game. See, the main objective seems to be in the SimCity bit, with those "requirements." You have to fulfill most of them. The story really didn't hint at that. All they said was: "keep building." I did. I kept building until I couldn't build anymore. I literally ran out of space. I tried doing the only "requirement" that I could do, and I had one problem. It spoke of someone I must move from the main town to the one I'm building. See, it simply said the person's name, but I have no idea who goes by that name. So, basically, I was running around town looking for this person, who I have absolutely no info on, except for the name. Anyway, I got stumped. I actually went to nearly every inch of the town, and still didn't find this person. I went to an FAQ at GameFAQs, and thankfully, it told me where this person was in town. It was the one place that I didn't know existed; upstairs in the kitchen.

Blah, so I'm going to do that now.

03/19/2003

I obtained a better understanding of the SimCity bit of Dark Cloud 2. Basically, it works like this: some stupid git is running around destroying towns from the past, so that they don't exist in the future, thus earning him a hefty profit of nothingness. Really, how can he rule a world of nothing? Anyway, you must build these towns once more, so that they get restored in the future, and, thus, the main bad guy earns a hefty profit of a town that is a slight threat to him. Basically, you have to go around building towns in an empty world. In the first Dark Cloud, they made it so that you're the only man on Earth, and you must restore all the other towns. It felt quite lonely, to be honest. In this game, you start off with at least ONE town. It's a big one, at that; an overly large one, actually. It's so big that it will be the main source of your population for the entire Earth. No, I'm not kidding. You recruit NPC party members, similar to that of the ones in Skies of Arcadia, which I've already explained, and you can move them into a town's house, thus populating the town by one.

Yep, a single town populates the whole world. Now, at the part I'm at in the game, I must fulfill a few "requirements." You see, to restore the future for that town, there's a set of "things you must do." An example would be: "you must make and place 10 trees" or "someguy must reside in sometown." It's a bunch of stuff like that. Every time you fulfill a certain "requirement," something gets restored in the future. For example, if you manage to build a house and recruit the girl who runs the bakery in the main town, and move her into that house you built, you'll fulfill the "requirement" of restoring the eatery in the future. You can actually go to the future and view this, as well. It involves some nonsense about the magical stone given to the main character from his father, and another stone that some girl has, who joins your party for some reason. Yeah, it's something like that.

I'm still in the forest/jungle bit. I can't seem to find a bundle of hay; rather pitiful, really. You'd think finding wood and hay in a forest/jungle would be an easy task.

03/18/2003

Today, I shall talk a little about the "Ridepod" system in Dark Cloud 2. The Ridepod is, simply put, a robot that you ride. What's the point of this? Well, there are a few enemies that you just can't handle; they do too much damage and can kill you in several quick strikes, not to mention that you probably only do one damage each time you hit 'em. When something like this happens, it's time to call in the heavy artillery. Selecting the Ridepod works like selecting any other character that's in your party. You're probably wondering, "if the Ridepod does more damage and has more defense, then what's the use of the characters?" As always, there's a catch to this. The Ridepod has a different HP system. So, when it gets hit, it loses "fuel." It also loses "fuel" over time. Topple this with how slow it is, and you won't be using that thing for joy rides. So, really, the game intends on you using it only when you need to.

Now, the way to build this thing up is different, as well. When collecting an amount of "EXP" for it, you can go to a shop, and use that "EXP" as money to buy parts. These parts range from weapons to defense upgrades. I actually am quite fond of this system, as there are a few annoying enemies that go down in a second with the Ridepod.

Well, back to Dark Cloud 2 for me.

03/17/2003

I have to say, I'm very happy that everything's back to normal now. It was really difficult working on the site every single day, with nothing to come back to.

And so... I got slightly farther in Dark Cloud 2. There are a few things I didn't mention about it in the past, which I will do so now. There's some sort of "medal" system. To get these medals, you must do certain tasks in each floor. Most of the tasks are listed when selecting a floor. The tasks are stuff like, "you must kill all enemies only using Max's gun," or "kill all enemies under two minutes;" stuff like that. When finishing a task, you are awarded with a medal, which goes into your medal box. As to what these medals do, I have no idea. They might have some use later, but I'm putting my money on them not having a use. They're probably just there to make you feel good.

There's also an invention system. You're given a camera and you must take pictures of various objects. Then, the "idea" of these pictures are then combined in threes to create "inventions." Now, once you have the "idea" of the "invention," you must collect items to actually "make" the invention.

I finally got to the "SimCity" bit of the game, and I must say, it's very different. You actually have a machine to build things (although, it doesn't change anything; it's just to add more realism to the game). There's also some nonsense about going back and forth in time. After building enough stuff, the future looks better or something.

Breaks are nice, yes?

03/16/2003

Thing's seem to be going quite fine, lately. I'm taking a mass break from updating the site, seeing as how I worked nearly a whole month with no breaks.

I played a little more of Dark Cloud 2, and it seems to have quite a few interesting points. I got that girl character who uses a big sword, which, surprisingly, is weaker than the big wrench. She's also quite a bit faster, too. I still haven't gotten to one of them SimCity parts yet. Also, I got to the second dungeon, which is a forest/jungle. This wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that the second dungeon in the first Dark Cloud is also a jungle/forest. Even worse still, that's where I stopped playing in the first Dark Cloud. The jungle/forest in Dark Cloud 2 looks long. I only got through the first floor, and it took ages longer than any one of the floors from the sewer dungeon, which is the first dungeon in Dark Cloud 2.

Some new features added to the game include getting some important NPC characters in your party. No, not to help you kill enemies, but to have little effects and skills. For example, having Cedric (the mechanic guy who seems to be taking care of Maximillion) in your party gives you three commands, which waste his skill points, and an "effect," which is always on unless he leaves your party. The effects are things like "you'll gain twice the EXP" and such. This sort of reminds me of Skies of Arcadia's crew member system. It's very similar, except that you can get a lot more people. The game still hasn't been bad enough for me to leave it, so I'll stick around.

03/15/2003

I finished the original Zelda for NES yesterday. I killed Ganon (for some odd reason, he's called Gannon in the first Zelda). I got all the heart pieces, too. With the help of my friend, Mike, that is. After proceeding to save Princess Zelda, the game just started on a new game with a Master/Magic/White Sword picture next to my file to confirm that I beat the game. The new game seems no different than a normal one, so I won't be playing it again. Maybe someday 30 years from now, I'll play it again.

Anyway, I finally started playing Dark Cloud 2 today, and so far, it doesn't seem so bad. The problem with its predecessor is that it's way too boring. It just presents itself like some boring dungeon crawler. Each dungeon is plain, ugly, and annoying. It had some great aspects, though; the ability to forge new weapons into older ones, forge gems into weapons, etc. It was basically weapon forging. That was a great system; good enough to play the game for. It also had a SimCity-like system where you build towns using things you find in those boring dungeons. This, too, was a great system. But, for some reason, I stopped playing it. It was too boring, I suspect. And so, Dark Cloud 2 sort of improves on this with a cleaner interface, easier to use system, and basically improvements all around. The battles are a tad flawed, though. Almost every weapon strike misses the enemy. The lock-on doesn't help much, either. It's a bit too early for me to say the game is good, but it seems pretty decent so far.

I'll do that update later.

03/14/2003

Like I said, the site will be returning to normal today. Yep, normal; meaning no updates. Well, that'd be a lie, as I updated the code slightly, but it's nothing that you'd notice. I just found out that the way I've been going about some of the JavaScript is entirely wrong, and I must change it. Of course, this won't affect the site one bit, just how my code looks. This will take a lot of work, and it'll probably be my next goal.

In other news, I played the original Zelda (for NES) while I was redesigning and overhauling the site, and it wasn't so bad. Basically, the real reason I played it is: my friend, Mike (the same one who made the wallpaper) is absolutely obsessed with the original Zelda. He kept telling me how great of a game it was, and that I should play it 'til the end. He even offered his obsessiveness to help me by making maps and taking screen shots of where to go. So since this was the case, I went along for the ride. At first, I was annoyed as heck. The whole thing was just plain annoying. From the music that loops every 5 seconds in dungeons, to the way Link has a heart attack every time you hold two directions at once, it just annoyed me out of my mind. They increased the difficulty in all the wrong ways. Link stabs his sword instead of slashing it. What does this mean for you, the player? It means you must be extremely precise with all of your sword strikes. Not only that, but the enemies are small, too. Thus, this greatly increases the chance of you missing. Those darn wizards can kill you in seconds, too. In the end, the game wasn't that bad, especially when you consider that it's an NES game. Still, I'd only recommend it to extreme Zelda fans, or to people who are bored out of their minds (which is my case). Either way, it's semi-playable.

I've got some work ahead of me with that code I need to edit. I'll take a break now, though. I'm too worn out from that site redesign. I also purchased a copy of Dark Cloud 2 last month, which I haven't played yet. Yep, you guessed it; I couldn't play it yet because of the site.

03/13/2003

For many, this site is completely new and has never been seen before, but for a select few, most of whom I know personally, this has been an extremely large change. I'm sure most will see that it's for the better. By the way, no, the original webmaster of this site did not die a horrible death; he's still here. Yep, I'm the webmaster; the same as before, and the same now. Anyway, the people who have been going to my site for the past month probably already noticed that I didn't update nor post on the news for an extremely long time. Just by looking at the new and improved site, they can, hopefully, see why. I've made about 2 or 3 overhauls to the site in this large period of time. Each one had a few problems here and there, which I solved. No, no; not all of this was done by myself. A friend of mine, who goes by the name of RandyGophr, helped greatly in this change to my site. Whenever I encountered a problem, he helped me solve it. Not only that, but between me and him, this became possible. Without him, this change, nor even this site, would be possible. Thanks, buddy; you helped me tremendously. Also note, he made some of the graphics for my site, like the various wood images and such. I made all the sprite images, though.

Ok, now on to the update. This is a rather large update. So large, that I can't tell you everything I have done. One thing I CAN tell you though, is that, along with adding graphics to the site, I repaired a lot of the code and corrected a bunch of errors I made. Also... the image section has been completely fixed and completed. Yep; it's no longer a gap of nothingness, just sitting there. It now has all the images I intended. Many thanks go to Mike for making the Rinoa wallpaper from FFVIII.

Now, on to the name. As you may have already noticed, the name has been changed. This is what started all this madness. I once upon a time looked at the older name and thought "gosh, this name sucks." So I then changed the name, which in itself, took a large period of time. Now, how did I think of the new name? Well, my site was plainly for gamers. Gamers are people who play games as their main hobby and lifestyle. So then I thought... "what would be a good place for gamers to gather and do what they do best...?" It then hit me like an arrogant fish, "a tavern" I said. "A Gamers' Tavern!" Thus, the name change took place. Then, after proceeding to change the name, many other ideas came flowing right into my head. I knew one day, eventually, I had to add proper graphics and design to the site. So... if it's a tavern... why not add a tavern theme? That's where I got the idea for the graphics. It looks a throw stone better than the garbage I had before, and it follows the name. It all fits together so well.

Of course, what I wanted to do (mass overhaul, correcting errors along the way; no, correcting ALL errors, complete sections I've stopped working on...) was a lot of work. So much that I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. Again, with the help of my friend, RandyGophr, it was done. And done well it was. During this time, I also learned a fair amount of JavaScript and more Photoshop, so I put those newfound skills to work. I then decided that this would all take massive amounts of time, and I wanted it all to be done in one large update. Rather than reporting everything I did on the news section, I wanted this to be a surprise. So then, I set a deadline for March 13, which is today. I tried working as hard as I could, and the deadline finally got met...

Oh, and I'm sure you noticed that when typing my old URL, you get a "this site has moved" thingie, which I made personally. That's because I wanted to register my URL with a name that resembles my site's name somewhat. This took a whole 2 or 3 days, as I had to re-upload everything all over again. I took advantage of this by correcting any upload errors I caused in the past. Hmm... everything's been done. Expect the news to be back to normal by tomorrow.

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