Sunday, July 19, 2015

Playing through Dragon Warrior again

Warning, some of the ending to the game is shown in the screenshots down below.

Not that I think many people are concerned about Dragon Warrior spoilers, but if one were I'd had to be the guy that ruined this game for someone else.

When I was five I only had a few NES games: Mario/Duck Hunt, Zelda, Friday the 13th, Karnov, Adventure Island II, and Dragon Warrior. I might like other games more than these, but somewhere deep in my subconsciousness these things are permanently etched into my brain.

So it's always fun to go back and re-explore the kingdom of Alefgard. This time I didn't even stop to take names, just grabbed all the Erdrick equipment at level 14 and then grinded my way to 20. I tried to beat the Dragonlord at 17, 18, and 19. No dice. Although certainly possible to do, it was absolutely impossible to defeat the Dragonlord without relying on at least 2 "coinflips." Essentially I was looking at something of a 25% success rate given my characters stats. I decided I'd rather spend the 30 minutes grinding from 19 to 20. If I had just done that in the first place it would have been much faster, but less fun.

If you want to complete the game quickly, you need to skip about 40% of the purchasable upgrades. As far as weapons go, avoid the bamboo pole; it's too weak and the club is better. Also avoid the Flame Sword, you do not need it; instead buy the Silver Shield as soon as you can, because you will use this for the rest of the game.

You also do not need to buy the Chain Armor or Full Plate. Instead only get Leather, Half, Magic. You could get Full Plate instead of magic armor, but I found that the extra 5000 gold was not too hard to get when fighting Goldmen and Wyverns south of Rimuldar. 

The Axe Knight can be difficult, but I got a crit on him which gave me the armor early. I would suggest several attempts at him using repel water, and reset if you die. Rumors exist that sleep can work, but good luck with that.

Adding more party members to the game just slows down the formula. I wish more RPGs actually felt like you were the character, not some Starcraft Overmind issuing commands to an army of wizards and warriors.

On to Dragon Warrior II.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mandelbrot Set HD Wallpaper Gallery

These are some images of the Mandelbrot set I generated this weekend using Fractal Explorer. Although it's a great program, it relies on double math and so can only achieve precision in zooms of about 10^15, which is really terrible to be quite honest.

If anyone knows of some better software it would really help me out; I'm looking to break the 10^200 zoom barrier in Mandelbrot zooming.

Here is the gallery, hope you like it:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Robot's Red Deck Wins, Magic: the Gathering Deck

UPDATE: 6/29/2015

I'm going to leave this post up for the hell of it, but I no longer endorse this deck. Months of testing have led to some radical changes in how I recommend you play Red. Check back for a more recent version of rrdw soon.

Robot's Red Deck Wins
Magic: the Gathering Deck
Standard, Dragons of Tarkir

This deck takes advantage of super-powered red cards. Satyr Firedancer doubles the value of all 12 of your instants, Stormbreath Dragon puts preasure or outright wins the game on turn 4 with the help of Dragonlord's Servant. Thunderbreak does the same on turn 3. Rabblemaster and tokens will draw removal away from the dragons, or win the game that way. Zurgo is just a badass.

With the sideboard you can focus more on a token strategy if you feel that would either surprise your opponent or deal with his simple threats better. Swap in the Paragons if you use more than about 5 token sorcs.

Burn Spells (12)
4 Lightning Strike
4 Wild Slash
4 Magma Jet

4 Satyr Firedancer
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Dragonlord's Servant
4 Thunderbreak Regent
2 Zurgo Bellstriker

Token Spells (4)
2 Dragon Fodder
2 Hordeling Outburst

22 Mountain

Sideboard (14)
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
2 Dragon Fodder
2 Hordeling Outburst
4 Paragon of Fierce Defiance
4 Shockmaw Dragon

There could always be room for more burn spells or token synergy cards.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Playing Hearthstone Arena

I'm 2-2 on a hopefully epic Paladin arena run. Watch me play at

And then later...

3-3 and I'm done! Stomped a few people in casual mode. Will now listen to punk music and stare at the wall for 10 hours.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ocarina of Time Party of Five

Four party people and myself are taking the day off and playing through Ocarina of Time. Check out the live show of epic proportions. The resolution might be small (320x240!) and the sound quality only half of an illegal mp3 from 1997, but the fun factor is out of control!

Check it out live on

Or you can scroll down a few posts and watch the embedded player on the blog. Either way, it's sure to be wacky with a side of beer. Maybe we find the triforce? Never know. 

Most of the ppl talking are not me, I swear.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Best Ever Mirror's Edge Review

The image says it all.

Tomb Raider LIVE

Lara Craft might have huge boobs and a well-toned ass, but her games are good too! Actually, they are even better than her peppermint creams; like a Zelda game on crack, these puzzles just don't stop. Plenty of games had busty babes on the cover, and most didn't become cultural phenomenons (see: Lester the Unlikely, Wargasm

It's one of the greatest 3-D adventures of all time, and the original 3 games represent some of the bet the '90s had to offer. 

Tomb Raider Gold was the very first CD-ROM game I ever bought with my own money. I played the hell out of that game, for years. It was an amazing game. But it has been about a decade, and what if my memory is contaminated with nostalgia? I am revisiting my past and re-completing this game live on twitch. The current plan is to play through the first three entries and the new (2013) prequel. 

Having seen footage of the new game on twitch, it is certainly different, but still seemed admittedly epic. Nothing, however, can quite capture the sense of space that the early TR games have. You explore gigantic areas, performing life-and-death jumps over deadly falls in every single level. You will get a real sense of exploration and isolation as you adventure through the many ruins and temple.

Finally, you'll some great CGI cutscenes that show Lara kicking ass. It's another thing that people might forget; that the character in the games is a total badass and does all manner of superhuman crazy shit.  

If you want to talk about objectification of women in video games, you'll have no shortage of material; but I don't think Lara really gets as much credit as she deserves. She is feminine without being a stereotypical "girly-girl" (pink guns?). There are (at least in the early games...) no stupid romance plots. She's not a "nice" person; she's tough. In an opening cutscene, her guide dies. She doesn't cry. She barely gives a shit, like an '80s action hero.

Her body has only gotta more realistic with time, and I honestly think that some of the earlier cartoon look was just stylized art to compensate for the technology. Early Lara looks more like the people in Toy Story (or an anime character, i.e. FFVII) than as a realistic representation of a person. The "2013 model" looks freakishly realistic and much better proportioned. Her waist and shoulders finally look the way a person looks, and not like a photoshopped supermodel.

I'll admit to ignoring the franchise for years after seeing all the movies. The movies weren't even bad, just sort of bland in the end. I just assumed that the games wouldn't be any good, but this was an assumption based upon franchises in general. With so many iterations, I'm sure there are some problems, but I'm looking forward to seeing what I've missed so far. The "reboot" sequel is supposed to be incoming next year.

Watch me play the game live on, or watch in the feed below.