this character makes the whole game!

Ok but like

I think the main reason people like the Sims (the series as a whole) is because, with enough time and energy and mods, you can turn it into any game you want. You want a relaxing game just to play with tea parties and pretty dresses? Done. You want to run an economy? easy. Want to play an apocalypse, a medieval village, a civil war? Done and done. Those two characters you liked on that tv show never kissed? Well, make them up and get them married, no problem.

Like you can do so many things with the games, it’s like playing a completely different game every time.

6

I really HATE finishing everything and then that’s when I notice I missed something. Happens every single time. 

Anyways, I really missed drawing these dorks so I’m making up for lost time. Have another transformation gif set among the sea of many. I forgot animation could be tedious but it’s still so fun. I also wanted to announce that I’m planning to open a patreon account very soon. I need some extra cash to pay off a few bills. ;_;

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What is your fave hq!! Team??????? (Is it shiratorizawa?????)

Nope, it’s Nekoma!!!

im like confused as fuck why people are saying they dont wanna support Dream Daddy cause the Game Grumps had help in making it…

Dream Daddy had an awesome representation of the LGBT+ community. Its probably one of the best for gay and trans representation too. You have the choice to be a to be bi/pan because you choose whether or not your spouse who dies in the beginning was the mother or father, as well as adoption or giving birth, meaning you can have a trans male as the father who gave birth.  As well as to that, you can be a trans dad. Ive seen countless posts of people saying they were crying at the fact that a game represented them. You dont see enough trans characters, as well as a trans dateable dad in the game as well. And a lot of games that are considered to have gay options make a big deal about the whole gay thing, but this game is accepting and doesnt give it a second thought. There is so much good representation in all of this and despite if you like the game grumps or not, please dont not support the game because of them. 

Support the game because its such a good representation for the LGBT+ community! 

here’s an old end title card thingie i made

i got too carried away with the icons i made.. >:’))

God I was reading Yuri on Ice fanfic the other day and reminiscing, and I still get fucked up thinking about its plotline.

Like, okay, so the big twist that shook the entire fandom was that Victor had been in love with Yuuri from the very start, and Yuuri just didn’t remember what happened because he was blackout drunk. Which, if this had happened with a straight couple (if either of them had been women), would have been a twist, but not as big of a shock as it was with the actual show.

I mean, I started watching when episode 2 came out. The fandom was brand spanking new. There were some people already drawing fanart. There were a few shippy ones going around of Victor and Yuuri, but that wasn’t anything new. There were some gifsets that caused a few raised eyebrows, and some people in the tags were all “omg do the creators know how gay this sounds? Are they trying to make this suggestive??”

But everyone knows how silly the fangirls are, right? Haha, so crazy, no way would they make Victor actually be gay. It’s probably just something lost in translation. At best it’s good old fashioned queerbait with a sly wink at the fans. So crazy, no way they actually have sexual tension!

Knowing full well it would never be canon I still ended up watching, because I like sports anime and deliberately misinterpreting canon so I can read it as queer. Except. Except that Yuri on Ice wasn’t giving me much to misinterpret. Victor was outright flirting with Yuuri from episode 2 onwards. Yuuri definitely had some sort of crush on Victor. As everything ramped up to episode 7, the common mantra among the fans was “HOW MUCH GAYER CAN THIS SHOW GET??”

And then the kiss happened, and the fandom fucking exploded.

We had a canon kiss between two male characters in a sports anime, a really really good sports anime, and the creators were kind! And understanding! And clarified that it was a kiss (though slightly censored) and that their world was free of homophobia so we wouldn’t get wrapped up in the real life ramifications of such a kiss and just enjoy the moment.

And then episode 10 happened. The twist happened, and the show was put in a whole new light. Victor had always loved Yuuri, and the entire show he had been pursuing him romantically. It changed the tone of every single episode, to the point where a rewatch would change the tone of entire scenes for me.

It’s just amazing how Yuri on Ice changed the entire game, not by doing anything crazy like give their characters a near death experience or some sort of dark past but by just revealing a character’s romantic feelings. And they succeeded in part by having it be a queer relationship.

Lesson for content creators: surprise your audience by making your show actually gay.

Creating Likeable Characters

Sometimes it’s difficult to make your characters likeable as they are tested and are pushed to further and further lengths. Sometimes they have to make hard decisions, and sometimes the pressure gets to them and they mess up, hurt another character or an innocent bystander. How can you keep them likeable throughout the whole plotline?

- Keep their motivations pure.
It almost always comes back to the heart – if their heart is pure, and that’s established early-on, the audience is more likely to root for them.

- Give them flaws – make them human.
Not every character has to have some huge problem, like an addiction or a traumatic past or a disability – if your entire cast does, it’s no problem, but it’s not necessary. But every character has to have some flaw(s), whether it’s cheating at card games because he can’t stand to lose or being too-closed minded or closing off when she gets too emotional. If your character doesn’t have a flaw, they start to come off as too perfect, too angelic, pretentious.

- Give them permission to mess up.
This ties in with flaws – if your character is inclined to make a bad decision at any point in the plot, don’t steer him away from it because “oh no he’s my protagonist and he must be Good and Whole and Pure and All-Knowing”. Let him walk into that ambush despite the sick feeling in his stomach and get half his army killed; let her rush into a confrontation with a bully and get into a fight with another girl who has a switchblade. Let your characters mess up – it shows that they’re human.

- But if your character messes up, let them own up to it eventually.
The general who killed half his army by ignoring the unease in the back of his mind might cry over their makeshift graves long after the rest of the platoon is asleep; the girl sitting in the infirmary might feel remorse for knocking her opponent’s block off. Or your characters might argue and might be stubborn and might not apologize for weeks. But let them apologize eventually. This goes back to the heart, and what the character knows is right.

- Relationships with other characters are vital.
That’s not to say a loner character can’t be likeable – but the audience’s perception of a loner character is determined by the thoughts/words of other characters. Characters all color each other and define parts of each other, just like people do to each other in real life. If your character is a jerk to other characters and other characters don’t like him (especially if the characters who dislike him are likeable), the audience won’t like him either. The character’s image depends not just on himself, but on his supporting cast.

Hope this helps! - @authors-haven

Ok just a break of character here for a bit, I want to just hence the importance of that video in the real world.

You know what this video meant? That Jack actually listens. He listens to our theories, our stories, our “what ifs”, our feelings towards his characters. Our characters!

Schneep mentioning Chase? Anti mentioning “Glitch Bitch” and swearing? Jack actually beung sick in the video? That’s literally all we wanted! Who does that?? Who actually listens to their community so much to the point of continuing the story we built together?

Jack has brought a sense of family and belonging I never had (sadly). Having a house and parents don’t mean having a family and someone who listens to you.

I feel safe here. I love you guys, I love Jack, I love Robin, I love Signe. Thank you all SO MUCH.

I’ll be back into character and making my theories after this, obviously, but I just wanted to take a break and really thank you all and Jack to actually listening and putting up efford to make us excited and happy.

It’s a whole new world of a simple gaming channel. It’s my home.

The Good Place is even better than the praise that it gets, and I’m still worried that so many people are sleeping on it and not recognizing one of the most absolutely game-changing comedies on television today.

It’s hugely risky to make a show that’s so reliant on philosophy and morality and to not only go in hard on that, but to still be funny, and to take risks with its world and characters and change things up in such huge ways so often…

Everyone involved in the making of this show should be showered in Emmys and enshrined in the television hall of fame - they should make a television hall of fame specifically for this show, okay.

anonymous asked:

What do you think about NISAmerica's localization of Ouma's lines in general, especially in chapter 5?

Both of these questions deal with pretty much the same issue, so I’ll be answering them both together. Also, Ouma’s localization in particular is something I’ve been wanting to discuss ever since I got to about midway through Chapter 4 in particular, so now that I’m finally finished playing the localization in general, I’m glad to have a chance to talk about it specifically. I’ll be saving my thoughts on the rest of the localization for other posts, but for this one in particular, I really do want to talk about what happened to Ouma’s characterization in particular.

First and foremost, I want to say: these are my personal thoughts on the matter. I’m not here to bash on other people’s translation work, moreso with the amount of effort and detail that’s required for translation. Some of the errors that occurred throughout the course of the localization were not, in fact, due to any one translator but were instead the natural result of what happens when you have four translators working on different characters—that is to say, a simple lack of context and communication. Several lines were drastically mistranslated simply because the translators didn’t know what the character immediately beforehand had said, and this caused some confusion in the process.

However, it is a fact that much of Ouma’s characterization, particularly in Chapter 5, suffered as a result of this localization and the translation choices that were taken. In fact, some of the most important, plot-relevant scenes concerning Ouma were translated in a way that I believe makes it much more difficult for people who have only played the localization (and therefore had no access to the original lines) to understand his motivations, his thought process, or his character in general.

This entire post is going to be very, very long, namely because I tried to go in-depth and double-check all the original Japanese text before writing. I’ve bolded some of the points I felt were most pivotal to what the localization messed up. Huge spoilers for the whole game are under the read more, so be careful if you’re trying to stay spoiler-free!

Keep reading

Pokemon and Child Abuse

That Guzma theory really got me thinking, cuz I looked into it and it really does seem to imply that Guzma’s dad beat him with the golf clubs as a kid

and I can believe it because Sun and Moon’s underlying theme throughout the games was Family

Lusamine’s relationship with Gladion and Lillie, Lillie standing up to her mother at the end saying things like children aren’t objects who belong to their parents, Mohn disappearing and not being able to be a father to them also affected them.

But your rival Hau and his grandpa Hala have a great relationship, as well as Player and their mother. Even professor Kukui has a wife this time and semi adopted daughter in Lillie and calls you “cousin”

Every important character has their family relationships highlighted as important influences on them in this game, that really floods the whole “Family is important and will affect you” theme

So it makes sense to have the villains showcase where that theme can go wrong. When “Family” goes wrong and how THAT affects you, because really Guzma has all the telltale behaviors and thoughts of a heavily abused person

Heck Team Skull even is a family created for people with no family

*further thoughts edit*

and I kinda like how both Lusamine and Guzma as villains, showcase both sides of an unhealthy family and the influences it can have. Lusamine is an abusive Parent, Guzma was abused as a Kid. But at the end of the day, I do like that no matter how “bad” Guzma seemed to be and act like, he was still able to be redeemed and show a slight remorse for his actions as an adult, like he knew his violent tempers stemmed from his father’s violent tempers and didn’t really want to continue to the cycle, but “beating people down is all he knew”

He was like that cuz he didn’t know any other way to be, and I like that the post game stuff showed him reconnecting to his old master Hala and interacting with Kukui and building a better support network for himself, little by little, they at least showed that change was happening for him

then further with the protags they showcase three different healthier ways of having family dynamics. Player character and Mom have a great relationship with no conflict. Hau and Hala have healthy conflict where they respect eachother and can resolve issues and support eachother. Lillie and Gladion, while their mother soured their family, the way they responded back was intended to showcase the “healthy” way to respond. Lillie calling out her mother’s actions as wrong and building her own independance were the best and their sibling bonds remained each others supports (the only thing that ruined that for me was Lillie going back to her mother, which I guess I can get, if she’s her only parent. But Still. Really feel like you shouldn’t have to crawl back to abusive parents, that’s not always the best solution. Kukui is there for you Lillie let him adopt you!)

Furthermore, you can think of Team Skull and Plumeria, one of the few major characters who we DON’T know who her family, as the showcase for the effects of how not having any family at all can affect a person and how you have to try to build your own from scratch. Plumeria really does take the whole “big sister” thing seriously, she’s all they got, but also they are all that she has too.

things that have happened in super paper mario
  • apparently mario is the hero of prophecy said to save all worlds from a universe-ending chaos heart brought about by princess peach and bowser getting married
  • if you keep saying no to the guy who wants to give you the pure heart so you can save the world you will eventually get a game over
  • “ok yeah. cool. great. got it, k?”
  • “GRAH-BOOGLY”
  • just o’chunks in general, really
  • “and so i arrive, like a sudden windstorm at a kindergarten picnic”
  • shut up dimentio
  • c:// error c:// running insult generator c:// result : go away yeti-lip
  • BLECK says count bleck
  • theres a part in chapter two where everything is rhyming. everything. is. rhyming. merlee won’t stop rhyming and mimi does it herself on accident
  • “and here i thought mimi’s ideal world was a gem-filled pool with hunky lifeguards”
  • “ENJOY LABOR”
  • press left on the d-pad for six minutes to get at least 10,000 rubees to get a really unnecessarily long code from a guy to get 1,000,000 rubees, essentially stealing them, to pay off your debt
  • mimi breaks her own neck and spins her head around before giant-ass spider legs come out of her head and she chases you around merlee’s unnecessarily large basement
  • CHERBILS
  • peach is actually a solid character in this game and she owns up to her own actions and helps you (and is a really good and balanced character) in the game
  • “my friends on the digibutter.nerr forums are gonna FREAK when i show them this”
  • apparently the bitlands has an affinity for red
  • “listen, pal, nobody likes having their butterfly kidnapped by a nerd, but you have to listen to me”
  • “but im BOWSER! im prime cut 100% final boss!”
  • this guy just shows up and starts hollering about bowser’s girth
  • I WOULD GLADLY STRANGLE AN AMAZEE DAYZEE IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY
  • “SHAKE THAT THORAX”
  • “do not think i did it out of the kindness of my robot heart”
  • right before you fight the boss of chapter three you have to answer a bunch of questions as peach (”my first love was an anime character!”) and then you have to go IN as peach and the boss (a chameleon nerd) gets so nervous that he opens up a program that turns the whole world into a dating sim
  • “so… how much do you make”
  • shut up dimentio
  • if you say no enough times to using the helmet you’ll get a game over
  • squirps
  • just
  • squirps
  • “AMORE AMORE AMORE”
  • theres an outhouse in space for some reason
  • you take this guy’s precious treasure map and give it to some alien fairy in said space outhouse for him to use as toilet paper
  • LUIGI GETS BRAINWASHED????
  • mr. l just kicks squirps away. just kicks him away.
  • “CRAGGA-WAGGA-WOOOOOOO”
  • a very old caveman says “hook us up, brahs”
  • you can make a pixl shout various phrases, all of which i opted to make the guy say curse words
  • “YEH CRAZED LOON”
  • S  H U T  U P  D I M E N T I O
  • “OOOOOWEEEEEEEOOOOOOOO”
  • a world literally ends right before your tender eyes. there is nothing left when you return to its remains.
  • DIMENTIO KILLS LUIGI
  • HE ACTUALLY KILLS HIM
  • LIKE
  • LUIGI ENDS UP IN THE PAPER MARIO EQUIVALENT OF HELL FOR SOME REASON
  • HE ACTUALLY DIES
  • AND THEN DIMENTIO GOES AND KILLS MARIO, PEACH, AND BOWSER TOO
  • WOULDN’T IT BE FUN IF WE COULD GO TO HELL
  • wELL SURPRISE, THE ONLY ONE THAT WENT TO HEAVEN WAS PEACH
  • “some people call it world -1″
  • the nimbis just talk in ye olde english
  • “gameovergameovergameovergameover CONTINUE”
  • borguy the 64th
  • shUt up dimentio
  • the weird emotional underlying story you’re getting after each chapter with some wahoos named blumiere and timpani with some mahjong-ass music playing in the bg
  • “THOU ART TOAST”
  • there is a character that is literally the paper mario equivalent of lucifer
  • SHUTUPDIMENTIO
  • IT TURNS OUT THE MAIN VILLAIN OF THE ENTIRE GAME IS A VERY EMOTIONALLY TORTURED PERSON AND IS TRYING TO COMMIT MASS OMNICIDE BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HIS DAD KILLED HIS LOVER
  • “What Ended My Last Relationship” “DADDY ISSUES”
  • one by one each of your party members and each of count bleck’s main minions get ‘killed off’ before returning in the final fight
  • I AM GOING TO STRANGLE YOU DIMENTIO
  • DISRESPECTING LUIGI
  • DISRESPECTING LUIGI
  • DISRESPECTING LUIGI
  • DISRESPECTING LUIGI
  • DISRESPECTING LUIGI
  • that ending is going to rip out your heart and stomp on it so you’d best bring some tissues
  • NASTASIA DON’T CRY
  • DFJHKFLHFLDJKSHDFKHGJKLDHFGLKHGFDJKLHFGIOGJ
  • a good game overall

So. Life Is Strange. huh.

Like on one hand it’s immediately obvious that this is written by a completely different team with completely different priorities. The original game dealt with sexuality, vaguely and at arm’s length. Beyond The Storm is actually about it. Chloe is unambiguously gay this time. She has gay thoughts and gay feelings and does gay things for gay reasons. 

Deck Nine’s approach and execution here is just fundamentally better than Dontnod’s. It’s a better written game – more charming and more honest. And with the rewind mechanic gone, the narrative design gets to branch out into new interesting places. The backtalk system is fun, the conversations are more intricate and organic, there’s even a whole D&D game-within-a-game. It’s inventive and it shows a lot of craft.

BUT. I feel like the whole thing just can’t escape from the shadow of the first game. We know these characters will end up. Rachel Amber will die. She will be brutally butchered and left to rot in a dump. Chloe will die too, at least according to the clearly signalled “real ending” of the original. The romance, however well Deck Nine executes it, will inexorably lead to a shitty pointless bury-your-gays tragedy.

The sadness of Chloe being abandoned by Max pervades this game: the painfully one-sided text message chain, the journal entries, the way Chloe checks her mailbox every day for letters that we know will never come. If the events of Life Is Strange had “really happened” then all this would eventually be resolved by Max returning and rebuilding the relationship. But we know Chloe’s true fate: it’s to be shot to death in a bathroom, to die alone and unloved, to never know Max was sorry, to never be able to express her feelings and have them reciprocated, to never know what happened to Rachel, to never even believe that she deserved to be alive. It’s a fucking terrible and bleak end for that character, and every honest human moment in the prequel just makes it feel cheaper and emptier and more cruel.

There was a sucking empathy void at the heart of the original Life Is Strange, one that ultimately consumed everything good about that story. I hope it doesn’t consume this one as well.

sours4lt  asked:

i just saw that picture of tavros pointing at himself and i realised you draw really beautiful hands!! i love the general structure idk got any tips for drawing hands??? thank you!!!!!!

oh jeez thank you!

uh when i draw hands, i keep them kinda blocky like a ps2 game so i can remember the shapes that go into hands

the only tips i really got is add the creases in the palms that are below the thumb and pinky, it adds some spice to that hand meatball

i don’t have a Whole lot to offer because this is one of those Practice and Use 500 Reference deals since hands are 5 fingered terrors

once you got the shapes kinda understood, you can play with the shapes a bit and make unique hands for characters if it suits your style

10

character design 
kingsglaive vs final fantasy xv

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

Player Vs Player [m]

smut /// Knowning how much you love to play games, Minseok challenges to probably the competition of a lifetime. His mouth versus your will. Who will win?

“How long are you going to play that game?” You had your eyes glued to the screen but you could tell Minseok was at the doorway, watching you with a subtle glare.

“Uh…I’m ending soon.”

The uncertainty in your voice caused him to sigh. “You need to eat dinner.”

“I’ve eaten,” you said.

Keep reading

Retrospective on UNDERTALE’s Popularity

Though it was released almost a year ago, I have the same opinion of it.

It’s about an 8/10, niche RPG game.

If you like the characters and the humor, you’ll probably like it, and forgive it for its flaws.

If you don’t, you’ll probably hate it.

Surprisingly, there are many people who like this type of game. Though I did work hard, there’s definitely a lot of luck involved in having a game become this popular. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if I never made a game as successful again. That’s fine with me though.

Not only did I not expect this level of popularity, but initially, I was afraid of it. I didn’t want UNDERTALE to become tiring for people, or become spoiled before anyone even got a chance to play it. Early on (this was probably excessive) I even tried to contact certain Let’s Players to tell them not to make any content about it.

But, the game became very popular. Unavoidable, even. At the height of its popularity, “not liking the game” felt like a cardinal sin to many fans online. In reaction to these circumstances, others began actively hate the game, creating an endless whirlwind of discourse…

Like a thunderclap to a small dog, all of this attention stressed me out. And every time it seemed to die down, something revived it, such as the GameFAQs contest, the award shows, bizarre theory videos, and so on. At times, I wished I had a way to quell the attention. I felt a strange powerlessness. (And guilt, for feeling stressed when the success of the game SHOULD be something I’m nothing but ecstatic about.)

At the same time, countless wonderful things were happening. People told me the game helped them through a difficult part of their life. Others told me that the game had made them laugh, or cry, or say “I want to be kinder.” Many young kids told me they wanted to create games or music because of it. And, on a personal level, because of its popularity, I have been able to help myself and many people in my life. (And, hopefully, in the future, I can help many other people because of it, too.)

So, ultimately, it’s a good thing that the game reached so many people, and I’m very, very, very, very, very, very, thankful to everyone that supported it, and everyone that helped me make it.

Thank you.

And thank you to anyone who has created fanworks for this game over the past year. I’ve been in fandoms my whole life. I drew Cave Story characters in the margins of my 7th grade history class notes. So it’s amazing to see something I created incite a similar passion in other people.

Someday, UNDERTALE will fade from people’s minds. But, I’m sure in 10 years, some kid who played UNDERTALE will create a game that surpasses it…

I look forward to playing that.

Tomorrow, on UNDERTALE’s anniversary, let’s have a fun time. I am thinking I will open the askbox, and…

Bark.

Thinks about all the little make-the-wolf-statues’-eyes-glow puzzles Solas set up for the Inquisitor to solve in Trespasser - (that one where you light the Veilfire torches in front of the god statues in the order a riddle says, the one where you light the torch that Fen'Harel is looking at to reveal a secret passage, the one where the Fen'Harel statue turns when you aren’t looking, the one where you light the torches under a time limit, etc etc)

Some of them even give you special, excellent weapons for solving them - Solas created these little puzzles, and put those weapons in the boxes as rewards in case you put in the effort to engage with them and solve them. (I got emotional when my Lavellan equipped the Arrowwood Bow he gave her)

It’s like the Inquisitor is always rewarded for the most negligible efforts of engaging with or humoring Solas. Talking and listening to him like an equal, doing his little puzzles… just do these minimum things, and he’ll give you information and good weapons to fight him with. He’s genuinely arming you, while rewarding you the more you humor him.

So in conclusion 1) Solas gives moderately engaged Inquisitors weapons 2) Solas likes to communicate through little puzzles 3) Solas would probably make a great Dungeon Master