Friday, December 23, 2011

The Huh? Files: Megaman 3.

When I first got Megaman 3 I was very disappointed in the game. It wasn't as good as Megaman 2. The graphics were darker. They weren't as bright and cartoony as the second game. The sound effects were bland. The same sound was used over and over for several weapons. Music was just blah. Why couldn't at least the battle music from 2 have been used in the Doc Robot stages? Was that his name? Fighting Doc Robot was harder than the castle bosses. Castle bosses didn't have an invulnerable period after being hit. So if your controller had a turbo button on it... Or you can just use Top Spin. Works really well on the first, third, and final bosses.

No prologue. In Megaman 2 that really helped set up the game. Megaman 3 needed one. To explain that Dr. Wily had turned good. Or what's going on with the excruciatingly long stages with some junk heap robot using the powers from Megaman 2. Just what was the deal behind Breakman/Protoman anyway?

Long term views: It's not a bad game. I still enjoy it to this day. The music has grown on me. Looking back with experience in other games I now see many innovations started in this game. The 8-4-4 game layout got its start here. 8 regular stages, 4 Doc Robot/sub castle, and 4 Wily stages. (I know that there are technically 6 Wily stages, but can you really count those last two?) Introducing Rush and the slide really opened up possibilities in stage design not possible before.

Overall I rate this game as the third best of all the NES Megaman games.

So what have I possibly found out in this game that hasn't already sniffed out in over 20 years? What could all the big Megaman fan sites and some video game oddities sites missed? Plus a couple dedicated to totally ripping apart the code of not only Megaman 3, but Rockman 3, and even the prototypes. (Yes I did my fact checking on this. I have no doubt that somewhere locked up in a forum or blog post is an article detailing this, but has long since been pushed way back to beyond obscurity in a Google search. 
Just a couple clicks above me.)

This is what all of us in North America saw at the end of the first Wily Stage. There's nothing suspicious about this what so ever.

Years later I would finally get my hands on a copy of Megaman: The Wily Wars. This was back in the days before widespread use of the internet. In those days you had to call up every game reseller in a video game magazine to beg and plead for them to order in a game from Japan or Europe. You paid out the nose for it too. Made worse because after cutting the slot edges in my Sega Nomad to get the game to slide in, It wouldn't work! It was a PAL game. I had to wait another week for for a PAL adapter to come in.

The Wily Wars is defiantly worth going out and getting. The overall experience is great and leaves you wondering why Megaman 4, 5, and 6 have yet to get even this treatment. Though I had a feeling throughout that this wasn't the best that could have been done with the Genesis's graphics and sound. It felt like the new graphics and sound were just overlaid onto the original game program. There are many instances of a badguy's weapon passing through the very top of Megaman's head. Right about where the top of the original Megaman graphic would have been. Megaman's weapon shots would do the same.

Playing all the way through Megaman. (No pause function that allows you cheat.) Playing all the way through Megaman 2. (The original NES sound effects were cooler.) Then playing all the way through Megaman 3 I found this:

I thought: "Odd. Why did Capcom change that? They didn't change any this else in any of the other stages." I finished up the game and got distracted playing the bonus Wily Tower stages. (Boy is that Metal Blade useful.) Then I got out of my room and went to a strip club. Got a really invigorating lapdance from a raven haired beauty.

(If you are detecting that I'm about to rabbit trail off into some unrelated topic, you're right.)

Buddy of mine, Heath, was always bragging about how "in" he was at De Ja Vu. That he was always talking the ladies up to his room. John called bullshit, along with the rest of us, and bet a $100 that Heath couldn't get even one of the strippers before he ETSed. A couple of weeks later Heath grabbed up a bunch of us perverts and and showed us this video of a De Ja Vu girl in his room. I said "Hey I know her! She gave me a lapdance." You should have seen the sour look on his face.

Later he admitted that he never did never anything with her (to her he wouldn't say, thank God.) He never collected on the wager. He was a nice guy. Too nice as I would find out a couple of years later in Kentucky.

When you get a group of soldier bullshitting, two topics will always come up: What units were you in and did you know so-and-so. I was talking about all the fun times up in Seattle when Billy asked if I knew a guy named Heath. "Let's see, Specialist type, one each? Loves bragging about going to strip clubs and bagging the ladies?" Yep we knew the same person. Billy had spent a couple of years in Hawaii and it turned out Heath went to Hawaii after I went to Korea. I then told Billy about the whole De Ja Vu thing and Billy told me that Heath had paid through the nose to get that stripper over to Hawaii with him. Just to get dumped. That's Heath.

I was always amazed how it was that on posts of tens of thousands that a couple of guys from differnt sides of the county could meet up and know a third guy.

Heath should have gone to Korea with me. Would have been much more fun. Those Korean and Philippina chicks were sooooo hot. On top of that you could go downtown and buy your very own bootlegged copy of the Rockman 6 in 1 Famicom game cart.

(Wondering how I was going to get back on topic? Hello? Hello? Anybody there?)

About 99.9999% of the game I saw were all bootlegged. Almost all the Famicom, all the PSX, Saturn, Genesis, etc, etc all forgeries. (That .0001% and "almost all?" Super Mario Bros. Ironically all those cartridges were originals.)

Playing all six Rockman games at once you notice a few things. Like, there really is no difference from game to game. Aside from the Japanese script there really is no graphical difference between Rockman and Megaman.

Except here:

So as it turns out the Wily Wars wasn't changed at all, it was the American version. Why?

The Huh? Files: Megaman 6.
Ever play Megaman 6 and Rockman 6 and not warp through the prologue?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 50.


I've lamented about this in the past, I will do so in the future, and I will do so right now. Comics based on current events get to be irrelevant rather than irreverent.

I got to read an issue of Mad Magazine from the early Seventies. (A long time ago I lamented about having to say the 1920's instead of the Twenties. I'm sure that I can still say the Seventies and most people will get that I mean the 1970's. Just so happens I caught that episode of House in which he went to an 80's Party. He dressed up like the 1780's.) In this particular issue was a bit with photos of a Nixon press conference with thought balloons added. It was about if Little Big Horn happen during the Nixon Administration.

I didn't get one bit of it at all. It was all because I'm too far removed from the events of the 70's. All I know about Nixon is what I read in history books and what comedians impersonating his voice say. Though I have to say a joke like this can be recycled for any president.

That's why I've tried to avoid making much hey over current events. They make a comic even more irrelevant than it already is. Years ago I did a number of comics involving gays in the military and people may stumble across them and go “Doesn't he know that Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been repealed? Becky can just go and hug and kiss her girlfriend coming back from Afghanistan.”

The problem is made worse (by me) because I paste together my comics months and years in advance. With the comic on this Monday is one of those that will have people wondering what it is I'm thinking, more than usual. This comic was done six months ago. I did a similar joke a year earlier, which got posted six months later. (You still with me? God I hope so 'cause I'm not.)

This story got all kinds of play in the Massachusetts New York press, and I found blurbs in the Politico and Huffington Post. Why did I jump on this? Because I am so sick of that stereotype of southerners being nothing more than a bunch of inbred hicks. Finally one of those overpriced universities filled with faculty that look down their nose at all of us got hit upside the head with this stupidity. (By the way, I know the old saying, “you don't get to be a stereotype for no reason.”)

By the time I got around to making the first comic about this news story it had long since run its course and I had to type in some pretty descriptive terminology into Google to even find any articles about it. That told me it was time to kill that joke. Dan Quayle's “potatoe,” Al Gore's excessive sighing, and now Massachusetts New York in a “family way” are all jokes that I have officially declared dead.

Behind Wily's back? Full throttle on that one.


Emergency update: Comes to my attention that I screwed up. I'll explain later. Which Will ppear above this article.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Way Back Machine: The almost way too coolest net tool ever.

I found out about his a few weeks ago. What it is and archive of websites going back ten and fifteen years ago. It is mind blowing.

Note the title has the word almost in it. It's kind of buggy.

Right in the eye catching middle of the page is a search box. You type into it and are taken to the current site. Not an archived site, the one that is there right now, not the archive. The actual archive search is in teeny-tiny box in the no so eye catching upper left corner of the page.

You need to know the exact URL. No guesses allowed. You would think that Web Site #9 would be or something. Nope. Fortunately The MSTing Mine still has a dead link right on the front page.

Sites are not fully archived. You get bits and pieces on one date, and different bits and pieces at a different date. Some sites don't get archived at the right time. Web Site Number 9 only got archived after in was taken down. I did manage to save a couple of fanfics that are not available elsewhere. Video Night at Mako-chan's and the Misery Senshi Neo-Zero Double Blitzkrieg Debacle. However I didn't save La Bleu Sammy. I only regret having read it.

When sites are saved by the Way Back Machine, sometimes the original coding is messed up a bit. Like CSS documents aren't saved and such. Things like frames and scroll bars are scrolled way off where you can't see them.

Bookmarking is a bitch. I can't seem to bookmark individual pages like a normal site. Sometimes it won't work, other times it will take me back to the Way Back Machine's homepage. Once in a while I'm lucky enough to at least be able to bookmark the home page of the site I found.

The Way Back Machine's archive is not searchable by Google. A real major draw back.

One major bug is that sometimes there is confusion of an old snapshot with a current one. Once in awhile the hacked version of The People's Sprites will show up in 2006.

Speaking of which, y'all might find this interesting. I don't put a lot of weight behind that declaration. Remember that the Deccus Wily Sprite had been removed. I imagine for a reason. Too bad the sheet itself isn't there. None of the other snapshots have it. Like I said, it's buggy.

I did look up mine. Interesting, I had forgotten a lot of tings. Like when I was posting a bunch of comics. I was truly mystified as to when certain ones went up. Now I know. I have been wanting to change from calling them seasons and go with the year of publication.

(Yikes! As I write all this out, I am looking at many different pages at once, one of them is mine, (of course.) I just noticed a mistake in the comic posted and promptly fixed it.)

I did go through earlier snapshots and have to constantly wonder why this was saved and not that. I'm not going to comment on the construction; because unlike other comics that annoy me when the cartoonist digs up old comics to (A) apologize for his work, (B) make us feel sorry for him, or (C) brag about how great he is now and we all should bow before his greatness. I try not to be that annoying. I'm mildly satisfied by annoying people by pointing the boney finger of indignation at what annoys me about them.

Weren't we talking Deccus a few paragraphs ago? Here is Those Beyond Time dot com. Yes it really did exist. Unfortunately 2003 wasn't archived. So the actual comic is lost except to those of us that manged to find it originally. You can at least read Warped Reality the way Deccus had intended.

(By the way, if you Google Those Beyond Time you will find a blog about an elf chick who likes to draw elf chicks. Interesting.)

Now I am not at all pissed, ticked, annoyed, or anything negative emotionally at all the bugs the Way Back Machine has. These are people spending what little spare time they have and what little money they have in a labor of love. The archivers are having to deal with over 15 years of thousands of different styles and evolutions in web coding. Trying to make it all work in current browsers that are constantly being changed.

I am happy enough to have finally found Shadey Theatre.

I am currently going through and doing what I should have done 8 years ago. Too bad there's only a handful of comics saved.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 49.

Click Here.

I have a choice of subjects. I can talk about how I got shit on by AVG, or I can go positive and talk about the latest issue of Rosario Vampire. We all know what I usually do.

Got a warning message that my AVG subscription was about to expire. How could that be? It's brand new. Model number 2011. I installed it in a fresh install of Windows 7 just a couple of months ago. I retyped the license key many times. No effect. I registered, nothing happened. I did get a hold of a technician on the phone. He gave me a new license, but it only extended the deadline by a few more days. Then he went and told me the original license had been activated in 2009 and made it sound like that I was trying to cheat them. I knew then and there that they had fucked me. You see, how do you activate a license in 2009 for a product that didn't get released until late 2010? Then wasn't purchased until late 2011 and installed.

This tricked had been employed before. Remember CompUSA? When they went out of business, I bought a bunch of anti-virus software for everybody I knew. A few days later I started getting multiple ears full of complaints that the software had expired. I learned later that some software manufacturers put an expiration date, or even deactivate unsold previous version licenses when new software comes out. AVG did it too. That brand new copy of AVG 2011 I paid $60 for a two year license was already set to expire at the end of 2011.

I wasn't going to yell at a phone jockey over this, he was just reading and doing what was written down for him by the guys that did the fucking in the first place. I kept my voice low and language clean and said simply that this was inexcusable and that I am no longer a customer of AVG and switched to a competitor.

In other news: I found an old webcomic. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cheap Flash.

Being in the right place at the right time has allowed me to purchase three copies of Flash for the price of one.

Way back when in 2004 I was perusing my favoritest computer store when I saw a used copy of Flash MX on the shelf for about $200. A lesson I learned a long time is you don't wait for next time to buy something like that. You buy it now. Many a time is that I decide I don't want that right now, I want it next week. Next week it is no longer on the shelf.

Not much later I noted that everybody had switched to Flash 8. I figure I should look into it as well. Discovered I could use Flash MX to upgrade for only $200. So I did. Flash 8 worked fine on XP and was a little hectic on Vista. So I saw no real reason to change. Until Win 7. It was just that Flash Eight was old tech. Not to sure if it would even work with Win 7. Didn't even try. Checked in with Adobe and found that my copy of Flash MX was still valid for the upgrade to Flash CS5.

I know that Flash's days are numbered. Adobe is moving in the direction of HTML5. I have a feeling that someday that Flash MX will be scrubbed as an upgrade tool so that Adobe can force people to buy the $700 full version that is no different than the upgrade.