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[Below is the journal from the past months that I wrote about the recent arcade convention that happened on April this year. Excuse my writing as usual if any error is found.]

ZapCon 6 was the third ZapCon visit that I had fun going to. While spring was quite a busy semester and that the Months of Endurance won't quit giving me stressful pressures, at least I managed to see about over 200 different arcade cabinets from old-school, mechanical machines (e.g. vintage baseball arcade games) to the returning modern cabinets (e.g. Killer Queen) and, of course, custom arcade machines. [Yes, I saw there existed a Cuphead arcade cab.]

Lots of arcade cabinets from the previous ZapCon events were returned for people to play in addition to machines that were new to the visit. This year, they had the original arcade game Splatterhouse. Attempted to go through the game and ended up losing the last life at the Poltergeist boss on Stage II. Another was the cabinet of Panic Park, which I managed to play through while holding the camcorder with my right hand. The X-Men beat 'em up arcade game was available, though this time around I only saw the more common 4-player version of the game. Surprisingly, Lethal Enforcers and Space Gun cabinet were also at the convention. It's been years since I saw them previously as a kid. No Point Blank from Namco except for an arcade game clone called Rapid Fire, which, for some reasons, I went through all the mini games while having the same... funny struggle similar to playing Panic Park. A hack of Super Cobra, near the vector Breakout game, was seen that had some bizarre custom texts on the screen while the game remained unchanged. No particular shmup or Puyo Puyo cabinets available at ZapCon though possibly due to their rarity, yet hopefully I'd see at least one available in the future visits. [I only saw the same Macross vertical shmup game there. No Raiden Fighters, still...]

Of course, it wouldn't be ZapCon without some pinball tables and a place where old consoles were put for visitors to play the games. People could still play several tables returned in this year's convention like Super Mario Bros., the custom Data East's Star Wars machine with the film audio, and Black Hole. Something that caught my eyes were the pinball table of Baby Pac-Man and Pac-Man (?). It's so rare to find them nowadays, but at least I had time to play a bit of the former machine. Data East's Jurassic Park was available, but I saw that there's been an issue with the number of balls inside the machine that made it not working properly. Oh well... hopefully the old pinball machine will last a bit longer so that we can still have a chance to play them again. Meanwhile, players could also play some modern pinball machines like Stern's Star Wars [different from Data East's], Batman '66, and Aerosmith. In addition was a score contest only for kids where they competed to determine which of all scored the highest in a few attempts toward a Spider-Man pinball machine. Always glad to see my good friends at my favorite retro arcade.

There was also a booth where a Raspberry Pi was seen containing the HyperSpin look-alike emulator with arcade games varying from Puyo Puyo Tsu to 19XX and even arcade games having a hard time to be worked on MAME. On the left of it was a pachinko machine of Lupin the 3rd. Didn't even know how to play it though it had something to do with matching the numbers. Nevertheless, the booth was for announcing the upcoming Game On Expo event which I don't think I'll find time for going there due to school, work, and stuff.

Then came the old mechanical arcade games varying in different genres of gameplay (shooting gallery, pinball, sports, etc.) They were really like decades old, but I still found it fun to play them regardless just like the Chicago Coin's Mini-Baseball I used to see in the past. [Gotta love those old-school noises within those machines. :meow:]

There was a mechanical shooting game machine I played where the player uses the "light-gun" rifle to shoot five balls in making a line of at least three balls horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The more the number of balls in a row, the merrier for scoring more points. A button next to the rifle is used for putting determined points to the player's score based on the balls' position (in case they screw up their next shot) and then resetting the location of the balls by springing them up. The player has a limit of shots for... 20 times (?) with the exception of successful bullseyes onto any ball. Can't remember the name of it, which is the problem I'm trying to recall, since Williams made like at least five versions of the game: Vanguard, Hercules, Crusader, Titan, and Space Glider. The latter was pretty much the latest and most common based on what I searched on Google Images, while there's only a scarce amount of pictures and flyers that can be found there. Could it be "Williams' 'Bouncing Ball' Gun Game" Vanguard that I played? Only videos on my camcorder could tell.

Another mechanical antique I can't remember the name was the one that shaped similar to a pinball table except there's only two buttons: One for pitching the ball... or just spawn the ball(s) out from the bottom center and other for batting... or swinging the bat to ricochet the ball. All I could do was to press those buttons to shoot the ball onto one of the slots, where different things can happen (mostly Single, Double, Triple, and OUT slots) as the still images of baseball players can be seen moving around mechanically depending on the gameplay. Similar to a regular baseball game, a point is given when the baseball player goes through all three bases and into the home plate which is where they start. The game ends when the player gets the ball into the Out slot for the 3rd time. Like the situation with that "bouncing ball target gun" game, there's a particular number of similar machines... except they have different names, which is going to be difficult... well for me to recognize the difference. [On the bright side, it's fun to see kids from the younger generations enjoying those old antique arcade games.] Again, mostly Williams made those games in the past, so... not quite sure if the one at this convention was among them. Again, videos should be the answer I can find out. :dummy:

Outside playing games, people at ZapCon can buy and grab various kinds of merchandise: glasses with different pop images, lanyards, keychains, pins, clothes, accessories, used games, reproduction cartridges [Once again, Kid Dracula / Boku Dracula-kun was seen from the projector again played via a Retron console], toys, pinball parts, limited freebies, magnets, pixel frames, and more. One among my favorites was a set of models of Pac-Man and the ghosts made from a 3D printer that looked quite really nice. [Still, I do wish there's enough cash to afford for buying more interesting stuff there given that it's not really common to see them around and that it costed as much as a copy of the new game that came out in order to get inside the convention and play hundred arcade games for free. But then, experiencing the world of ZapCon overall is the most fun of all for the day.]

For the game room, I was curious of trying out the giant NES controller that was located on the same area that they put on the previous years. My right hand could only fit one button at a time, and due to the size it's difficult to press both the A and B button simultaneously. [Funny that when I think of it right now, I'm just wondering if I can play other games with that huge controller like Super Spy Hunter / Battle Formula or Life Force. The games they had there was pretty much the same: Mostly Super Mario Bros. and Contra.] Speaking of Contra, I believe I attempted to play it at that time and ended up passing through the first few levels. [Yeah yeah... "You need more practice." Due to other stuff needed to be done as soon as possible, I barely have a lot of time for practicing skills in various old-school games. Sigh... so much for dealing with reality...] At least I had fun playing the game in a unique way different from holding a small NES controller. Oh... Forgot to mention this room also contained some cocktail arcade cabinets as well, including Super Pac-Man which I played for a long while with another friendly player. Too bad there wasn't a sufficient time for playing Streets of Rage 2 since at that moment my time was about to be up in a couple of minutes.

There's quite lots of videos I recorded throughout that day, which means it's gonna take a ton of time to work on them. I suppose I should start working on the videos when the upcoming long break begins without having to go through the intense Months of Endurance. :saddummy:

[And that's the end of my ZapCon 6 journal. By the time I watched Retro Core's Battle of the Ports towards Cyber Troopers: Virtual On, somehow I started to have some interest in this game given how the players control the mecha and the soundtrack of the game itself. I used to see it as a kid and when the old modern arcade location existed a few years ago. Maybe on the next ZapCon coming up, I can try playing Oratorio Tangram at the point of time for fun before the championship even starts. I wonder if the original Cyber Troopers: Virtual On will also be included in the future arcade convention.]

That's all for now. More will come soon whenever I find time for more writing. :pencil:

Mood: :reading:
  • Listening to: Random chiptune mix 38 (YT) [Kulor's The Recovery]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Fresh water [as usual]
So, the fall semester seems to be over, which means there will be some spare times to rest and do some fun stuff. Though, somehow my mind hasn't wanted to "cooperate" along lately, given the feeling that I have to find at least a few ways to enjoy the rest of the break while having to hear all the insane... beyond crazy stuff happened around the area I live.

Even though the weather in the winter feels pleasant right now, I still have to get through the Months of Endurance. It can be a restless term throughout the time, and so will I having to persevere continuously.

Anyhow, there's only a few stuff to share. Pardon if things here in the journal seems to be shorter than or might be repeated from the previous one. [Yeah, blame my memory on the brain for that. :brainless:]

:bulletblue: There's been a number of video games where very likely I would see people playing on their Nintendo Switch, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Seems like it's less the chance I will see Puyo Puyo x Tetris or Sonic Mania being played. :(

:bulletblue: Not to mention there are recent trailers for the upcoming games and sequels as well, from Bayonetta 3 to Mega Man 11. Still wondering what Metroid Prime 4 will be like when Retro Studios are not around.

:bulletblue: Speaking of Mario, I've seen some news and a review of Super Mario Cereal lately. The breakfast cereal itself looks a lot similar to Lucky Charms except with the difference in their shapes. I can imagine they may be going to do the same with The Legend of Zelda except with berry flavors. :B

:bulletblue: While most in the modern gaming world have become much ordinary, I've decided to take the curiosity in Genesis / Mega Drive games. From Ranger-X (Ex-Ranza) to Thunder Force IV (Lightening Force) and even Streets of Rage 2 (Bare Knuckle II), those classic and even underrated games do cheer my mood effectively well given to the point that someday in the future I should get a Model 1 of Genesis to try them out. :eager:

[No offense on Model 2 and 3. There's still a chance to get them yet only in case Model 1 will become really expensive to be purchased. Also, I didn't know anything about Genesis CDX before until this [link] came up while I was looking for videos of Genesis / Mega Drive model comparison.]

:bulletblue: Analogue NT is an interesting console used for playing NES or FC games. Unlike those systems such as RetroN, based on the videos I've watched from CGR or GS, it doesn't use emulation in order to play the games. The only downside is how expensive Analogue NT [and even the Mini too] is, even on the online shopping websites. Still, I have to learn more about other systems that can play the NES games asides from those I've known. :reading:

:bulletblue: I've also been watching a few old-school movies related to Christmas just for the sake of relief. Just managed to finish How The Grinch Stole Christmas [Chuck Jones, yay!] and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. [That squirrel scene.] There's still more to go on the list that I should see though in addition to planning to buy copies of certain films for my collection.

[Plus, there are some entertaining activities at school where students can come to watch the movies from the past. This includes the previous course I took in which some of the lectures involved watching films like Aliens, The Princess Bride, and the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead.]

:bulletblue: Come to think of visiting the arcades, there's quite some changes going on when I had time to walk around.

One modern arcade replaced SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos with Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, while on the area where pinball machines are, they included Stern's recent pinball game Star Wars. [I almost got confused with Data East's Star Wars pinball table.] Other things I noticed was when a few of the tables had a price tag, hence the arcade selling those pinball machines. :hmm:

On the other modern arcade where the World's Largest Pac-Man cabinet was, they had the arcade cabinet of Injustice [which is actually the mobile version rather than the actual fighting game itself.] It felt weird playing it even with my brother as if we're like playing rock, paper & scissors rather than the game itself. Meanwhile, I've heard there will be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet from Raw Thrills included in the arcade at some point. With the addition of the redemption setting [...very obvious enough...], I doubt the chance of getting 1CC in that upcoming beat 'em up game will be the same as from the classic beat 'em up arcade games by the old-school Konami.

:bulletblue: I've only heard of Donkey Kong 3 on the arcade and NES. Though, I haven't heard of Donkey Kong 3 on the old PC or Sharp X1. Well, particularly the one where Hudson Soft was also involved along with Mario Bros. Special and Super Mario Bros. Special. [link]

And that's all for this journal. More will come soon whenever I have time. :pencil:

Mood: :saddummy:
  • Listening to: Random retro soundtracks.
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Mineral water on my cup.
ZapCon IV was a really exciting arcade convention last year, so certainly during the time I decided to spend for something fun I'd choose to get to another ZapCon event and this time under the name ZapCon 5.

Around 9AM on Saturday, I arrived to the convention center. Upon entering the building, it was important to wait in line until my turn had come for purchasing a ticket only for that weekend [because tomorrow I had to work on my homework] with a sufficient amount in my wallet. However, at the time I approached toward the vendor table, the assistant told me that I had to wait until 10AM since only people who pre-ordered their ticket to ZapCon 5 could enter at that time. I wasn't sad nor mad even though they didn't have the board saying "All visitors are welcome from 10AM. Please purchase tickets at the vendor." or something like that. So, I walked out of the entrance and sat down in a place where I could feel the silence as a way to kill time while calming my mind down. Minutes later, I stood up and entered the building again and this time waiting until it's absolutely 10 o'clock. All of a sudden, one of the assistants told me that I could buy tickets to the convention as the line was already done. And so, the my time having fun at ZapCon 5 was started.

Earlier after that, I was curious to see if there was anything changed in a small room where consoles were set up for everyone to play, so I took some time to explore the inside in which the room was officially called "Console Lounge" judging by the sign on the left of the doors. It seemed like nothing had changed when I walked around as I could see tables and chairs at the center, while around the edges were several old-school gaming areas being decorated neatly. Each generally contained a comfy couch, a CRT television, and a retro system such as NES, Master System, SNES, Genesis, Atari 2600, or whatever old-school console was available. Other areas included a system to play a Pac-Man fan game that looked like an old-school version of Pac-Man Championship and that Fruity Pebbles game which I saw from the last year. Moreover, the large NES controllers, which my hand could only press a single button, were back when I saw them attached to the system with the original Contra. That made me wonder if there was already a giant version of the Famicom controller. Nevertheless, same ole' same for a console room that brought everyone back to the pleasant past of gaming life. :)

Entering the world of ZapCon 5, I took a look first at mini custom-made arcade cabinets and a mini Monopoly pinball machine that looked pretty much like those small pinball tables I used to play in the past childhood. More and more, I saw a few tables in the row from one where people sold mechanical parts used for keeping retro pinball machines last longer to another where those working at the video game stores displayed used and custom-made cartridges of games old-school fans know and games translated to English, originally as digital hack versions. The latter table also sold Retron consoles as well or systems that were similar.

Then came a pair of Vs. candy cabinets: One near the wall had the PCB of Street Fighter Alpha 3 being used, while another was Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Both were my most favorite Street Fighter games, to be exact, yet I didn't have time to play them since I had to walk around and see what other games available deep inside.

It seemed there were more than the amount of games in ZapCon IV. [About 80% of the arcade cabinets were returned from the previous ZapCon convention... I think.] Despite that there was no 6-player X-Men cabinet around, they had the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons beat 'em up game instead. It was also the first sight in real life seeing an actual upright cabinet of Aliens (US version, of course) in which I actually played the whole game as Corporal Hicks (Player 2). The last 90s Konami arcade game I spotted was the Japanese version of Sunset Riders projected from the screen on an object that resembled a heavy-duty case. [I also took some time talking to the nice guy working on that vendor because of that one video from that past which I saw years ago in addition to mentioning about the PCB of Sunset Riders he had.]

I didn't see Magical Night Dreams: Cotton Boomerang either, nor did I find any Raiden Fighters game, Two Crude, and Heavy Barrel around. Sad... though I saw more than one Macross shmup arcade game this time. :saddummy:

Meanwhile, a cabinet of DemolishFist by Sammy brought me to such curiosity towards an obscure 3D beat 'em up arcade game since my brother mentioned it days before after this year's ZapCon visit. Other interesting cabinets included Capcom vs SNK 2, Ace Combat, The Last Starfighter (The Game), Spider-Man: The Video Game, Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (?), Space Gun, and more... along with the most recent arcade game Skycurser, which I could only watch its attract mode before the game was switched to Mr. Driller.

They had a plenty number of mechanical arcade games at ZapCon 5, additionally, from shooting gallery machines to pinball tables and others such as Data East's Slap Shot. Very glad to find out that they still have been existed up to this year. :dummy:

Back to the subject of vendors inside the event, there were another couple of rows from the middle area to the other edge. One among included a table from my favorite retro arcade location, which was also the place where the Arcade Round Robins took place. One could also visit the row where people sold video game sprites in hama beads, fashion accessories, marquees, merchandises, more used cabinets and systems, homemade plushies, glasses with media characters, pins, and hey, even (fan) arts. Candies were shared to everyone for snacks in a few tables along with free thin, small-sized marquees that look like they could be used as "bookmarks". At the vendor where people purchased ZapCon tickets, there were free Retro magazines, current ZapCon flyers, and priced merchandise related to this convention... Pretty much that's all I could describe. :movingon:

Anyhow, focusing on pinball machines, I saw several returning tables from ZapCon IV like Hyperball, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Star Wars (Data East with the actual original soundtrack from the movies), Super Mario Bros., Tales From The Crypt, Black Hole, etc. The pinball tournament was also back in addition to more sets of pinball tables I didn't see from the previous convention. Among those were Last Action Hero, Secret Service, Lethal Weapon 3, and several machines spotted at one modern arcade I often go: Aerosmith, Metallica, The Addams Family, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ghostbusters, and Batman (TV show). [There were additional machines I can't remember further. Still no Jurassic Park nor Time Machine from Data East, though.]

Were there any other arcade games I played besides Aliens? Can't say "nah" for that. I did play Panic Bomber [... horribly], Mr. Driller [still failed at clearing 1000m Mode], 10 games I will describe in the Arcade Round Robins tournament experience, and a few games I played with an enthusiastic, energetic guy named Rex. Some were my first times playing, while others were what I'm already familiar with.

As for the Arcade Round Robins event, I participated [as someone who was curious, lost, and confused] since I would like to have fun and that anyone at any level could join in and do their best to score as much as possible in 10 chosen arcade games (Sinistar, Marble Madness, QIX, Make Trax, Tournament Arkanoid, Elevator Action, Bump 'n Jump, Jr. Pac-Man, Gyruss, and Tutankham).

Three attempts to score in each specific game summed up the player's overall points for each specific row. I had to bring my score sheet given by Sid, the tournament manager, to the table to verify the scores until everything was done and that I didn't have anymore "credit" to record my scores again. [10 overall points from a player summed up together in a column to make the total points that would be used to compare to the other players'. Only three top players would be chosen to receive the rewards based on the highest amount of points.]

Honestly, I was not very good at QIX because of that titular enemy in addition to those sparks and the ignition when the cursor was stopped during the point of dominating an area of the screen. However, I wasn't that bad at playing Sinistar, Jr. Pac-Man (Turbo), and Gyruss. It's also the first of all attempts in Sinistar that I managed to get to the Warrior Zone. As for Jr. Pac-Man, ...somewhere around 150,000 points as my own new record. And I didn't manage to reach to the Earth on Gyruss either. To my surprise, I was told by Sid I WAS among the top 3 players with the most amount of points when I came back to the vendor table to check my backpack and then had a seat to rest my legs. The reward was something I could pour my favorite healthy drinks to enjoy. [Even the other two players received the same thing. We're all fair and squared, overall.] :woohoo:

In my mind I expected I wouldn't reach that far to be included in the record of 3 people with highest total points considering that there were only close to half of the games I'm intermediately skilled at. Still, it was a miracle... actually hard but fun effort I did, that the history of RS' gaming life would describe the expression of being the 3rd winner in a friendly all-ages tournament. [I'm gonna make fun of myself upon saying this...] Most importantly, we all had an amazing time playing those ten old-school arcade games, having conversations together, and in the end wishing each other joy and prosperity for the rest of the days in their life. [I hope Jewel is doing alright up to now...]

But wait a second. What was going on? It was when the 1st winner named Rex took an interest in inviting me to play a few arcade games with him. He didn't mind sharing those he often played around the area from obscure to well-known, while we spent the remaining hours playing Blasteroids, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Robotron 2084, Joust, Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest, Last Action Hero (pinball), Tales From The Crypt (pinball), that one mechanical pinball game I forgot the name of, and might be a few other games I could barely recall. Of course, I also shared several arcade games I heard of before to him, including Mr. Driller, which Rex admitted was fun to play despite that I was about close to getting to the last 100m on the 1000m Mode gameplay.

During that time as well, my friend whom I often see in the school's cafeteria along with her guy looking around the vendor tables saw me sitting inside. After a hug, I didn't mind walking around with both sharing particular games I played. As I knew before, they did have a good time in ZapCon when they came in, mostly for fascinating pinball machines. I also mentioned and introduced Rex as well, and we ended up playing just a pinball game of Tales From The Crypt... almost. Though, the time we all had fun didn't last long; she had to leave and would attend to the convention tomorrow. As for me, I had my homework that had to be done prior to Monday, so no Sunday at ZapCon 5 for RS because of more important stuff to do.

Before 9PM, I was able to have some time to talk to my friends working at my favorite retro arcade. Though, I didn't see anyone around when I had to leave, so I left them a small note on the table giving best wishes to them when I was busy with things during the rest of the days [and being kicked on the rear by reality]. Only on Saturday as usual would ZapCon be closed that late, yet I had to get home before 11PM to watch the new episode of Samurai Jack on Adult Swim. [Managed to watched all ten episodes of Season 5. It's bittersweet at the end, though I was very satisfied about it over the typical "happily ever after" ending because it brought me more... real emotions and such dark yet beautiful moments in which... it was worth to be able to move forward after all the hardship happening in life. I will never forget the samurai who finally got back to the past, and so as the whole cartoon series itself that has brought a lot of positive things to those who have enjoyed for long.]

My thoughts toward ZapCon 5 were pretty much speechless... well, with the feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment I had after hanging out around the convention for over 10 hours. [Yeah, that would likely make my legs very tired if it wasn't for the availability of small areas for people to sit.] Despite that I wasn't able to play certain games like Skycurser, It was like another day/night of awesomeness seeing over a hundred of arcade cabinets "united together once again" except with an additional amount of machines I didn't even see on the previous ZapCon and a few extras. As for the opportunity of going to "ZapCon 6"... I'm unsure whether or not I will be able to because... real life issues I'm having to deal with and schoolwork. Nevertheless, memories of ZapCon to me are worth to be treasured deep in the mind of those who have such pleasant times there.

And that's all for this journal. More will come soon whenever I have time... :pencil:

Mood: :dance:
  • Listening to: Radio.
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Random videos.
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Mineral water on my cup.
Sigh... Why does it have to end so soon? Why does reality have to tear down the Months of Recovery that deserve to last longer? Why do I have to frequently receive another long-term set of Months of Endurance? That's where reality is still giving me another boot to the head. :upset:

Except for the ZapCon 5 event coming up [which I'm sure will be another awesome memorable time in my arcade life that I will write on a separate journal,] I haven't even had a chance to enjoy other things that I personally like to do, especially the time in drawing more arts. Most of the days I have spent are important activities in the weekly routine such as studying [even from between 2-4AM,] working at the college, and going back and forth between home and workplace. [The latter is now less time-consuming since the other past Thursday when the workplace was moved to a nearer area.]  Saturday is pretty much a single break day.

And now, as the time suddenly is set I've been told that the Months of Endurance will return in June. So, only four Months of Recovery I am living since February this year... and in addition to the comeback of having the intense weather in the summer (90°-120°F), not even water can stay on the river long enough. I even had a fever resulted from the heat, predicting the summer coming up soon way before May. For now, I can at least enjoy the breezy weather and interesting events occured before worse days come up.

[For this journal, below this point are stuff that have happened since the last one I wrote.]

:bulletblue: Nightmares will haunt me once again, yet it doesn't mean I won't stop moving on. I have found that going to school and work can be a huge advantage in avoiding the misery and madness from home. In addition, I've seen students using a huge TV monitor like often to hook their gaming console, including the most recent system made by Nintendo, Switch. As usual, I have a grand interest in playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, though I haven't even had a Wii U yet. Hopefully in the future, I will get a chance to playthrough the whole game and find out myself how it feels like playing the 3D action-adventure Legend of Zelda game with some elements of survival. :hmm:

:bulletblue: One of the times at the same spot where people play console games, my friend Belle sent me a pair of gifts given from her Fox... I wasn't expected to receive them since it wasn't even my birthday, yet until I unwrapped them, it was a coincidental, amazing surprise: Two My Arcade mini cabinets, original Retro Machine and Retro Machine X, made by dreamGEAR physically in my hands, especially the Retro Machine X that I was really curious of as a person interested in bootleg stuff. This explained the reason why I sent her the drawing I made around the mid of March. In the future, there's gonna be a long marathon of playing all the games included while spotting out familiar graphics and BGM played in each game.

:bulletblue: I also got a chance to play Puyo Puyo Tetris with a dude and his Switch for a friendly Fusion match. It seems like this game uses SRS, considering why I'm able to make a few T-Spin doubles. It's also one of the few first times I've tried out Puyo Puyo. Much like the arcade game Panic Bomber and Hebereke's Popoon, I'm not that good at the latter (Puyo), specially when it comes to making multiple chains... I could do at most two chains, for the most, yet not many unless with luck. Nevertheless, this is among a few interesting Switch games I would try to play in the future if I have a console of my own.

:bulletblue: I think I will need a CD player of my own because the one I used is broken and can only be used as a radio. Sigh... How annoying when receiving a broken cassette player that other people no longer use anymore. :saddummy:

:bulletblue: Still, such awful times in reality exist as I read an article about YT videos marked for even using the audio from the Nintendo Switch contents. Not a surprise that it's happened since there were past articles mentioning the same crisis just because the SFX from New Super Mario Bros. games were used. With the disappearance of Nintendo fan games like Metroid SR388 and Zelda Maker, it looks like things aren't positively going to be the same.

:bulletblue: Only a few such as the season 5 of Samurai Jack retain their pure awesomeness as much as the when they were popular back in the past. There was a lot of spoilers throughout all the episodes I've watched each Saturday night... [Well, not on April Fool's Day since Rick & Morty was aired instead at the timeline which was supposed to be for Samurai Jack. That caused me doubt toward the channel's schedule on the cable until there was an article mentioning the same thing I experienced that day.] So far, all of the episodes are enjoyable despite things have changed for Jack and supportive characters that appeared in the previous seasons. The magic sword is returned, and what is left is the battle against Aku. Can't wait for another Saturday; can't wait for another episode.

[Now comes stuff related to old Namco arcade games. Pardon my terrible explanation.]

:bulletblue: Somehow seeing Hobblins in Battle City brought me to the curiosity of Libble Rabble, an old arcade game only in Japan made in 1983. It might look like Qix, but it actually is a game where the player control two arrows (red and blue) that have to surround and cover all the hopping mushrooms Mushlins inside to clear a season while avoiding enemies such as Killer and even the Devil. Bonus points included collecting all the gnome-somewhat-alike Topcups important for forming a word to trigger the bonus rounds and finding the treasure chests on the screen. The sad part about this game is that there's not even a port released outside Japan, and only the soundtrack is available as much as retro medley heard in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. If they cared enough to listen to their old-school fans, then the possibility of having an ultimate Namco Museum collection would be possible. Yet, reality.

:bulletblue: Moving on, here's another old arcade game I didn't even know until Ronny played a game of King & Balloon. Judging by the sound effects being used in the game, there's no doubt it used the Galaxian hardware with the exception of adding extra audios such as voice samples [different in both US and JP version.] The gameplay is similar to Galaxian except the player is a cannon controlled by two soldiers. No need to worry about losing a life from getting hit by balloons. However, the king must be protected from those balloon trying to capture him, and a life is lost when the captured king is out of the screen. It's fun, to be honest, and hopefully I can find at least a cabinet of it around here when I have the opportunity.

:bulletblue: Here's another obscure arcade game released in Japan called Finest Hour made in 1989 and ported on Virtual Console in Japan for the Wii. It's one of the early run 'n gun games where the player controls the red mecha Sygnus armed with a gun... or laser cannon, as Wiki mentioned, on one hand. Two loops are required to see the true ending of the game, much like other arcade games such as MX5000 (Flak Attack) and Ghosts 'n Goblins. There's only one life in the game, and the robot's "life bar" is of the bottom meter showing the temperature of its cooling system and being under a blue bar that is for the mecha's jump-jet named Vernier... or Verneir in the game. Clearing each course within the time limit is crucial for keeping the cooling device inside the robot stable in addition to surviving from getting hit by bullets from the enemies and bosses. [I do wish there's at least a video showing the soundtrack of this game.] This [link] shows the playthrough, in case people are curious. Funny and obvious enough as it's an early Japanese arcade game, Engrish texts can be seen from the first course clear to the true ending on the screen... unless it's just me who thinks so. Finest Hour also gives me some serious emotional feelings as well from its soundtrack to the atmosphere and the ending itself along with impressive 3D effects in such an early 2D arcade game. Overall, it's worth to be included in the future Namco Museum games as much as Libble Rabble, other Japan-only, and obscure arcade games from 765... err... Namco.

:bulletblue: Switching to something mechanical arcade games related, still in the range of Namco games is a fun Whack-a-Mole type of various series such as Wani Wani Panic. Outside Japan I've heard, the game was called Gator Panic, while the second Wani Wani Panic game was officially called Funky Gators. I also saw some pictures of the virtual variations of Wani Wani Panic, yet I would prefer the actual mechanical arcade machines more. Oh... Forgot to mention what this series of games was all about. Well... pretty much hitting five wacky cartoon alligators with a latex hammer. Receiving misses or bites is possible that they subtract the player's score for hitting the alligators. The more the player hits them, the quicker (s)he is toward the game, the better the ranking. Here is the video I searched on YT in knowing how the game is like. [link] [The Funky Gator machine at one arcade I went had that similar problem of having one or two alligators automatically gotten hit without being physically hit by the player's hammer. Plus, where was the hammer when people needed for playing Wani Wani Panic 2?] :O

Other mechanical arcade games similar to Wani Wani Panic worth to observe include Same Same Panic (sharks), Tako Ika Panic (octopi and squids), and Kani Kani Panic (crabs).

[And that's mostly all I can share in experiencing Namco games.]

:bulletblue: Sometimes, it's interesting to learn different kinds of instrument used in certain countries. Erhu, a common instrument in China, is among them, and it brought me to curiosity upon hearing its "violin-like" sound more often after reading some random comments on the video. I first heard it while listening to the music from an unknown anime show my brother was familiar with. Then came On the Verge of Madness from Mushihimesama Futari and Asian Impact from Metal Slug 6 (not the bootleg version). At first, I thought it was from a different kind of violin which wasn't a normal violin nor a cello. Now that I've known Erhu, at least I won't get confused in the future. :brainless:

:bulletblue: So, Sledge told me that DM removed the comment section in the video due to safety. I suppose I can live without it for the most. I hope it'll still be a good alternative along with VM when things on YT are getting crazy in the future.

:bulletblue: March 29th was a nightmare when me and certain people I knew experienced a chain of bad and sad moments happened in real life from loss to struggle. Thank goodness it's over.

:bulletblue: It was a surprise to find takoyaki (octopus balls) to eat at a small Japanese restaurant which was about a few small blocks away from my school. To be honest, I felt sorry for them since their food tasted as good as from the other Asian restaurants despite the restaurant lacking air conditioners but fans attached on the ceiling. Other than that, it's the only place I know where people can try takoyaki nearby compared to the other place where they also make takoyaki yet located thousand miles away. :(

[And here are things that I've noticed on :dalogo:.]

:bulletblue: So, since the first day of March, the thumbnails have been remade to be more simplified like a page of a photo album being organized to fit certain types of picture neatly. [Well, just what I can explain at best.] To me, it's hard to get used to this since I'm familiar with the older version of dA. I guess I should move on with it then since it doesn't bother me much asides from this and other features removed in the newer layout.

:bulletblue: Also related to the new thumbnail layout, it seems that I can only :+fav: but unable to move the deviation to the other specific favourite collection. Which means at the worse point I HAVE to refav the deviation so that it will be put onto the collection that is appropriate. Sigh...

:bulletblue: Still has problems pressing the (X) button at the first three blocks on the notification page in grid mode. Sometimes they work though.

:bulletblue: Looks like deviants won't have to input their password to send a free llama to other deviants. [Maybe it's just me who thinks so.]

That's all for this journal. My apology that I've been busy dealing with reality itself, yet I'll still try finding time to look at all the new works. I hope my friends are doing alright, and more will write soon whenever I can. :pencil:

Mood: :tantrum: [Because some good times in life sadly won't last forever.]
  • Listening to: Radio station.
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Random videos.
  • Playing: [stuck with school and work]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Mineral water on my cup.
[Excuse my laziness if this journal is too short...]

2016 is history. I can summarize it was a hectic, cruel year I faced that people including me and my fair friends had to get through in real life... Even living in the internet world like YT and gaming world were painfully restless [although there were good stuff that happened during the time.]

After enduring all the way throughout the months, finally things are getting calmer than previously, and I'm at this time able to have some moment of rest. Can't believe I'm already living in 2017 right now and that my schedule for the current semester includes weekday's part-time work in supporting the school, leaving a little to no space for me to do homework and read the chapters on the book before the lecture during the weekdays. :saddummy:

[Second, sleep deprivation plays along with me when it comes to a life of working and studying even though both are pretty much not full-time. It keeps getting on my nerve constantly, mainly during when it starts making me feel like unable to concentrate while trying to hear interesting stuff heard in the classroom. It has happened more than thrice, and I have begun to get annoyed after I got sleep deprived during the lecture. My teachers are aware and understand the issues I'm going through and... Yes... Even my life over here is not perfect despite having more time of peace. :upset:]

On the bright side, weekends are the only spare times I can get to do anything else besides school and work. [Of course, it's also the time to be spent on homework and reading as well when I don't use the computer at home.] So, hopefully I'll have more time to work on making new stuff, mainly things related to arcade games yet still planning for a few future CotM fan arts... [I should change the profile picture as well someday in the future. Though, there's a lot of things to do when it comes to catching up now to this year's list.]

Another thing is that I'm currently in my new room which is a little larger and wider than before. Though, I also have a separate table when there's not enough space to put the books or notes during homework at home, and there has to be a spot I can put my system as well despite that I rarely play it lately since I only have like one or two games on the shelf.

[And that's it for things in real life. Moving on to the next section...]

:bulletblue: Things that I've noticed on :dalogo: since the beginning of Months of Endurance [Either it was my laptop or something else, yet hopefully those bugs will be fixed soon as possible]:
~ Why is it still hard to press the (X) button on those top three recent deviations on the screen's separate deviation notification? At least I'm able to find another method to move them to folders.
~ So, the login shortcut where one can move the mouse cursor to the login button hasn't appeared since months ago. Sad... That's what I used to do most of the time rather than clicking the Login button to enter a separate webpage. Not even myself was ever noticed that because I relayed on reading articles about the updates, so I suppose it's going to be something I have to spot out myself compared to what things were prior to the unknown updates.
~ I can't click on the journal's title on the top for some reasons on the separate Journal notification. [It could've been the same case as when I can barely press the (X) button on a few first deviations.]

:bulletblue: More stuff will be told when there's time, but for now, I have to say what I've experienced in somewhat one-sentence summary:
~ I should try Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and all those previous Shantae games from WayForward [except for the first game which I already beat long time ago] someday in the future.
~ Wolf Fang: Kuhga 2001 / Rohga: Armor Force is one of those amazing Kuhga games from Data East.
~ Pachinko games from Konami and sub-Konami are true nightmares.
~ Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one interesting action-adventure Zelda game with the addition of survival game element... I think. :)
~ Darius Burst: Chronicle Saviours has many DLC stuff I've seen from fighters in Cave shmup games including Deathsmiles to Battle Garegga and Fantasy Zone asides from ships that are from other older Taito games.
~ Along with the existence of Battle Garegga Rev.2016, probably this is why PS4 is the system I would be willing to buy when it comes to this generation of video game consoles. :P
~ In my opinion, LexiBook, dreamGEAR, and SoundLogic... all of these three companies responsible for making systems and handhelds containing bootleg NES games and clones have a connection to each other though they have those mini arcade cabinets which somehow can be collectible items for decoration.
~ After watching all those reviews about Dingo Pictures movies and games, I begin to wonder whether or not I'll be able to see at least a DVD of one of their cartoons around in one of the thrift shops around which used to have that Chinese bootleg DVD of Final Fantasy X. :XD:
~ Despite that the graphics have changed to 3D, I do wonder if Iga will keep the promise of making Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as awesome as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night from including 2D graphics bonus to containing amazing soundtrack... after showing the E3 demo version of the game months ago.
~ It's a sad story that Mighty No. 9 wasn't supposed to be what people expected the game to be in addition to the upcoming show being cancelled and the game itself being repetitive and less exciting as older Mega Man platform games. :(
~ I was able to play and clear DuckTales Remastered on Normal using my tablet, and man that was an intense but exciting remastered version of the NES game in which I'm hoping to see more Remastered games from WayForward.
~ Super Mario Odyssey is like bring Mario into the modern world of New York where people in the city look literally different than Mario who then has a magic cap thoughout the story.
~ I do wish Puyo Puyo Tetris would be released as an arcade version. :|
~ Mario Kart Arcade GP DX got its final update released which means they were done with the game and moved on to something else.
~ So, Bomberman made a comeback somehow in form of Super Bomberman R for Nintendo Switch, while Bombergirl on the arcade made me feel even much disturbed than since the existence of Otomedius and their slot-machine games.
~ As for the Switch, which no Virtual Console features will be available in the launch, I'm not even sure whether or not it would be the console I would prefer to get if in imagination I had enough to afford for a console of the later generation.

And that's all for this journal. My apology that I was inactive for too long because... Months of Endurance and that I have been busy dealing with things in real life. I'm sure people are doing alright and have enjoyed some fun events during the months. Therefore, keep creating awesome stuff as usual, my fair friends. :pencil:

[Also, I've heard ZapCon 5.0 is coming up too. However, I am unsure about the possibility I'll be able to get there at least on Saturday. Only time will tell, I guess.]

Mood: :brainless:
  • Listening to: G-Darius OST
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Random videos.
  • Playing: [stuck with school and work]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Mineral water on my cup.
Only few days left and there will be an "un" at the first word being added first onto the "pleasant life" I'm living. Why does the cycle have to be about similar to the business cycle's wave? The good news is that it only lasts until somewhere in the first two months of the new year, but for now the only thing left is to focus on schoolwork and the rest of things I have to do in Turtle as much as possible, which means I'll have to borrow some spare time at school to work on them. [Even my brother wants to do the same as well because he's tired of living miserably.] :saddummy:

[Therefore, my apology if I haven't been active or made any new deviations on dA throughout these days.]

Not to forget, the intense heat (when the temperature outside is over 90°F) is back. Thus, bringing a couple of bottles of water is a reasonable thing along with wearing long-sleeved shirts. [Fever often happens whenever I stay out in the sunlight for too long and that I can't even sleep without having the air conditioner on. Again, sunlight is good when the temperature is about cool to cold. Contributing to the heat on this summer is too much.]

And that's very much it. Nothing else to say but trying to enjoy a few more peaceful days till the pain from those months of endurance starts to bring nightmares alive right at my home. :raincloud:

[And when the months of endurance are over, I will be able to finally go back to my favorite video arcade to play again and hang out with my friends there. I will have to survive the best as I can.]

Back to work as usual, here are stuff happened since the other last journal:

:bulletblue: PhotoFunia... It's been a long time ever since I first found the free "instant-photoshop" website via a video where Captain Falcon or Kirby's pictures are inserted to make it look like he's popular all over the world from in the museum to being converted into jigsaw puzzle. Nowadays, there are some latest additions to make newer and sillier pictures. Plus, several certain effects only require you to insert texts, and you will get a picture of a sign that says "1m to Castlevania" or a picture of Albert Einstein who wrote the texts you added onto the effect. To be honest, I have fun playing with this web, and so as my friend Socks who loves it a lot. Therefore, I'm looking forward to seeing new effects in the future from PhotoFunia.

:bulletblue: Slap Fight, a 1986 arcade game with a bizarre title name (except for the other name Alcon,) is a vertical shoot 'em up made by Taito [Edit on May 17: Who Sledge said actually was published by while it was developed by Toaplan. Well, similar to Hellfire, a horizontal shmup arcade game back then.] featuring a mixture of Xevious and the power-up system from Gradius series. It was my first time seeing the game via Battle of the Ports video from Retro Core, and I found the Genesis / Mega Drive version (Slap Fight MD) very much the best port so far having the original and arrange mode included, which the latter is a new, arranged game compared to the original version. It's one of the old-school arcade games I haven't known before until now even though I did look at it on System 16 website from the past. [I wonder how many more non-Konami games around the arcade list that borrow the Gradius system for the gameplay.]

:bulletblue: Now there is a video from YT called Sinmara Saga. [link] It is a tribute to classic Japanese role-playing games except with a twist involving pressing specific buttons as quick as possible, hence quick-time events. The rest of the video shows an outstanding battle between the main character Skarr and the possibly optional boss Sinmara. Lesson learned: Never challenge to fight the optional boss in RPG unless the character's level is high and strong enough. The video somehow reminds me a lot of battling Culex in Super Mario RPG, and I actually like the title screen music of that fictional game. Overall, very cool video that I found upon reading the article on the gaming news website some time ago. :wow:

:bulletblue: I'm not much into Ratchet & Clank games, but I heard there was a movie of it based on the plot of one of the games. I saw the trailer of the movie, and I felt it was like "playing the same game once again" except retelling what was going on. No doubt there was a mixed reception about the movie on one website I read. [Still, I haven't had a chance to watch Zootopia.]

:bulletblue: Okay... What's going on at the Group Deviation section in the Notification page on :dalogo:? I can't seem to press the (X) button on the right of the group deviation tile easily, or maybe it's just my laptop acting funny again. And this keeps happening sometimes even up to now. I hope it will get fixed soon for good before others may experience difficulty trying to press the (X) button the same like I have. [The Group Deviation section is set to grid, and the stacks are on. There's only a teeny tiny little "box" of where the "mouse" cursor will change to the "fingertip" cursor about below the center of the (X) button. Does anyone have similar problems like this?] :tantrum:

:bulletblue: I didn't know 3D World Runner wasn't the only NES game that played similar to the well-known Space Harrier from Sega. First, my childhood was the NES version of Space Harrier. Second, I noticed 3D World Runner made by Square Enix with impressive 3D effects. Now, from Ronny's video there's Attack Animal Academy (Attack Animal Gakuen) made by Pony Canyon for Famicom. It played similar to Space Harrier from losing a life by colliding onto the obstacles to flying around shooting enemies trying to attack the main character who is a Japanese student trying to rescue her best (?) friend from the evil... animals. Her ability to fly is a mystery, yet her outfit actually changes throughout certain stages. The music in the game is fair without using the noise channel since old NES games back then didn't use noise or triangle for composing drum instruments. [Or maybe I didn't remember.] To conclude, it's among the obscure NES games that haven't been known for long. The 3D effects in the game (from enemy sprites to bullets) are somewhat better and less choppy than the Famicom version of Space Harrier. For every 50,000 points the player will gain an extra life throughout the game, so it's easier than having no extra life bonuses in the game. Definitely worth a try for those who wish to explore more Space Harrier-like games on the NES.

:bulletblue: On the TV from my brother's room we watched a movie called Silent Movie. [Seeing those two characters playing Pong on the heartbeat monitor is priceless. Oh, and not to forget that Coca-Cola machine. xD] As the film was over, I decided to look at it on Wiki and found out that it was from Mel Brooks who was also responsible for the Star Wars parody movie called Spaceballs. Unlike the latter, in my opinion Silent Movie has some pure sense of humor going on till the end of the film. Well, at least there's something to watch besides other classic horror films that are rarely shown even on the channel where classic movies still get aired including the psychological horror Rosemary's Baby. [Darn. We missed the first half of it already.]

:bulletblue: I recently had a strange dream going to a large arcade called Color Dream. Weird, isn't it; I dreamed of going to a large fictional arcade area inside an unknown [or maybe abandoned] shopping place where there's many games to play including the first Espgaluda from CAVE.

I reminisced of another dream weeks ago where I came to a small and different arcade searching for paranormal clues about the alternate-yet-demonic dimension of the place. I ran onto the area tunnel where only employees were allowed to enter. And then nasty things happened as the whole area's dimension was shifted. So, I started running far as enough as I could to explore further. However, it was too late; I was then stuck in the other dimension of the area, reddish and bloody. The tunnel then led to the center of an abandoned shopping mall where I could see aggressive zombies and evil ninjas in front before they were trying to chase me. Then I was saved by a middle-aged man who also got stuck in that world after I climbed up the ladder. Too bad that's when I woke up prior to my final exams on the spring semester this year. Guess that's what happened if there's too much Silent Hill stuff in my head, specially the very first SH game on PS1.

Strange dreams, aren't they.

[And now onto my recent visit to my favorite arcade.]

:bulletblue: I already mentioned the 6-player X-Men cabinet appeared on ZapCon IV. But I was surprised that the same cabinet is now available at the lovable arcade place. So, why not playing it along with my brother? Specially we were on for a ten-lives challenge in the game to see if we're able to finish it. My brother chose Colossus while I played as Dazzler [because I have a taste on playing characters experts can master... or maybe not.] Yes, Aces as 2UP and RS as 6UP. We all passed the first and second stage, and due to my hasty gameplay I ended up losing all ten lives on the fourth stage. Only Aces was the only one in the game while it decreased its difficulty. [Yes, dynamic difficulty where all six players lead to the game and the bosses enduring even more before their defeat.] He managed to survive until somewhere near the last stage where he lost his last life. Since my brother has more experience in beat 'em up games, I noticed him using strategies to defeat all enemies without taking much damage, which is why he was better than me. But hey, we all had fun playing the actual 6-player X-Men arcade game.

:bulletblue: Going deeper to where Phoenix and Pleiads (Pleiades) were, I saw a Cabal cabinet that was off for needing to be fixed. For the first time, I saw the control table having two trackballs: one for each player. Two buttons I believe were Shoot and Grenade. [Boy, I thought players would play this game with a joystick similar to Pirates and Blood Bros, didn't I.] Let's hope the cabinet will be repaired soon and nothing is gonna happen to the PCB of the game.

:bulletblue: Invisible Pole Position II... I haven't known they literally put that for the challenge at the arcade via a sitdown Pole Position cabinet. I mean, the background was still okay, but the main sprites in the game were missing. Really, the only thing I could play PP2 was to attempt Fuji and then permanently Test course. Only on the easiest course were I end up passing the qualifying race. The rest in all Pole Position games, I'm still finding the missing part in beating Fuji Speedway in the first PP, especially on the very sharp left turn full of other racing cars. [Sniff... Why me?]

[And that's it for the visit. Lunar Rescue is still in fixing, so there's none to say. Tempest was off, and so as the new cabinet QIX. New pinball machines were available from The Who's Tommy from Data East to The Walking Dead. There was also ThunderJaws from Atari as well along with a DDR Extreme machine inside the game room which makes it a little narrow to play some console games on the TV which is now replaced with a massive screen. It's embarrassing to see the Heavy Barrel cabinet put on the same place where the vending machine used to be: in between the restrooms. So, where to find some drinks? Inside the room where the Megatouch machine and the upright Pole Position cabinet are. Basically, some of the cabinets were recently moved for saving more space except for the racing area. And of course, there's even more videos to work on right now.]

:bulletblue: It's sad to hear that Disney Infinity was ended tragically right when the game was going on very well. Gz... Along with Project Spark cancelled, things aren't the same anymore. Why does modern gaming life have to be like this? [At least indie games are good things.]

That's all for this journal. Sorry if there are thing I have written wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:

MOOD: :upset: [Life isn't fair...]
  • Listening to: Puffy AmiYumi music [again.]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [videos about... learning a new language]
  • Playing: [Too many to do...]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Cold water. [Summer is too hot.]
[I wish my fair friends were able to come to the convention to play the 6-player X-Men cabinet.]

[This is just a whole story in the journal, so "stuff since the last journal" will be for the next journal I will write in the future.]

Last Saturday was a tiring trip. In actuality, I wasn't tired at all because I couldn't even say more than observing the whole area inside during ZapCon event, thinking how amazingly epic there was having hundreds of pinball machines and old-school game cabinets in one single place. :omg:

To be honest, it was my first time attending to the event on the early hours of preparation and showcase. The first thing was that I had to pay the ticket to come, so what I could do was to look at the entrance of the arcade while waiting in line. ZapCon IV T-Shirts were put on the table including the 3.0 design based on the "TRON" title design. Other people walking around had those ZapCon card on their neck featuring the sprites from the arcade version of Contra. Fortunately, one of my arcade friends, who is also the owner of the retro arcade location I often went, came to greet me, enough to make life happier. I was supposed to pay the ticket by myself, yet he was kind enough to give me a free ticket to enter. [If I have enough time, I should draw something to support the retro arcade as well in return.] Though, I could not bring beverage inside but my camcorder and tripod to record the very unforgettable adventure at ZapCon.

10AM, and the fun began when I finally entered the main event inside. All I saw were heaven... old-school heaven... with some indie arcade game cabinets included such as Killer Queen and ZapCon: The Game. Just as I expected, my thought came to my mind, saying "I wish my friends would be able to come to ZapCon. They're gonna love the whole place around." So, I started by capturing the scenery with the camcorder I was holding. I walked very much randomly from left to right area or vice versa. Walking around, I recognized arcade games I knew such as X-Men [Yes, they had the 6-player machine being put there.] and Super Mario Bros. pinball. I didn't know that they had Two Crude, Rhythm Tengoku arcade, Carnival [an old-school shooting game], Cotton, Raiden Fighters, Maximum Force, Super Puzzle Fighter II, Jungle Hunt, etc. Plenty of games from my favorite retro arcade were located deep inside the event including Heavy Barrel, Polybius, TRON, the sitdown cabinet of Pole Position, and more. Over a hundred pinball games from Gottieb, Williams, Data East, Bally Midway, and other companies were available for people to play. :meow:

An hour later, my friend at school came as well because she wanted to have at least a decent trip to cheer her spirit up. She was fascinated with some of the arcade games and mostly pinball games. Not to forget they had Bram Stoker's Dracula and some cool-looking infinite mirror pinball machines and the very old traditional pinball machines where there's no dot-matrix display back then. [Too bad, they didn't have the Time Machine, Jurassic Park, and Lethal Weapon 3. Maybe they were very rare to find?] My friend actually liked Pole Position and Rhythm Heaven, and she played them a lot as much as playing other games like X-Men. We also tried the Mr. Driller 500m (250ft) score challenge although I didn't know that I had to play 500m in order to enter the contest, not 1000m (500ft.) Well, it ended up as always when there was a guy who did get over two hundred thousands points and got himself a reward, which was a cup that had a design from a movie. My friend also liked when we played Super Street Fighter IV game on a homemade cabinet. I felt sorry for her that somehow I knew some of the moves on certain characters although I rarely played fighting games. But still, we all focused on playing some random arcade games around the ZapCon.

At the same time while she was hanging around the arcade, I was also trying to work on my own as well, recording plus playing some other games during the event from Contra, Super Contra, APB, Bosconian to  Hyperball, modern pinball games, Slap Shot (not from Taito but a hockey mini game from Data East), and a small skill game which was baseball-themed. [I'm sure she understood the other things I had to do at the event, so she didn't mind about it until we're both looking for each other for another round of gameplay.]

Meanwhile, my arcade friends were sitting on the table, and near where they were was a Donkey Kong arcade cabinet, which there was one person who managed to get to the kill screen of the game that I didn't pay attention to since I was busy recording stuff. A cartoon booth for kids were also put there for... everyone to enjoy some short obscure traditional cartoons. A female friend cosplayed as Elvira was also supporting the arcade location until evening. Moving on, there were other tables and booths around. One area was where they sold arcade game marquees along with a small PlayChoice-10 cabinet with NES games that a person managed to change the main chip to a different game [such as Super Mario Bros. 2 on the list which was MagMax after loading the chosen game.] Another area was a place for supporting the Comic Con event in the future. Others were video game merchandise stores along with televisions for playing Atari 2600 and for playing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In addition, some tables had certain mini homemade cabinets including the R-Type II they made that were smaller and lighter than the regular machine. Last but not least, there were those who sold lights and parts for repairing and restoring pinball machines that were over two-decade-old, which was why old pinball games were still alive.

But wait, that wasn't enough. Before the entrance to the main area, there was a room on the left. After several hours of having fun inside, we went to that room and saw a set of dining tables and chairs. Not only those, there were also comfy place of old-school memories where people around brought their old-school consoles like NES, SNES, Genesis, Master System, Atari 2600, and other I couldn't remember if they had. Yet I actually saw a giant NES controller on the left before the Fruity Pebbles game plugged onto the TV on the right. Too bad somebody else played Contra with that large controller, so I could only capture how big it was compared to my little hand. [It was enough for pressing a red button. Now I knew how I felt when I shrunk too much and tried to play some NES games with a massive controller.] We only sat on the available spot playing Atari 2600 games. My friend knew Yars Revenge, Haunted House, and Air Sea Battle while I knew only the common games, Golf, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and E.T. [and maybe more I didn't remember.] To be honest, it was my very first time playing Golf on 2600 and my first time seeing Yars Revenge and Air Sea Battle she introduced. :D

An hour and a half later, somewhere at 6PM, my friend had to leave. She expressed that she enjoyed ZapCon IV very much that it's one of the few times we could hang out to go to the convention that was as interesting as playing arcade games at the video arcades. :huggle:

After that, only I and my arcade friends were staying there longer. I had enough time to capture the rest of the arcade games with 16GB Micro SD card inside the camcorder... Well, almost... because there were too many to record, and I must choose about some out of many to be for the videos. [Unfortunately, not Cyberball games and Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara.] Furthermore, the battery ran out about quickly after an hour, and it took one and a half for the battery to be fully recharged. I also saw the Mr. Driller world champion sitting adjacent to the man who scored over a million points in Galaga on the cocktail iCade cabinet that had Gaplus. Observing the place a few more times, still the Computer Space cabinet wasn't turned on due to graphic problems. [Sad...]

Somewhere at 8:30PM, this was where my adventure ended. ZapCon IV still happened on the next day, last Sunday, the last day of the convention, yet that was the day I had to finish a bunch of homework at school. At least a day was exciting enough for me, and I hope my arcade friends will enjoy the event as well.

[I know I'm going to miss ZapCon IV very much not only because of a ton of arcade games brought from different arcade locations but also meeting good friends once again and recording precious memories which will be kept within the soul of a retro gamer.]

And that's all for this journal. More will come soon as usual. :pencil:

Mood: :saddummy:
  • Listening to: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike OST
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Sledge's videos. :3
  • Playing: [Too many to do...]
  • Eating: California Roll
  • Drinking: Water
Yeah, there were a bad amount of leaks on the ceiling going on in my bedroom for a couple of weeks since it started before I went to sleep. What actually happened was because of the pipe problems at the neighbor's bathroom above mine. [The water was brown, and to be certain it smelled like rusty metal or molten liquid from rusty batteries.] Though, none of my clothes were wet and so as important electronics. Just the carpet and not-so-important stuff gotten wet by the water leaks and that's it.

The thing is that I've been sleeping in the living room since the start of those leaks dropping down. In my opinion, it's not that bad as I can watch the TV while using Turtle (laptop) at the same time despite I have a hard time entering the first stage of sleep. [The new Powerpuff Girls show is bizarre, and so as Teen Titans Go! show and specific others on CN that Boomerang is the only channel left for me to watch old Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, The Flintstones, What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Courage the Cowardly Dog. When will the cable get Tooncast? It'd be nice.] Now, they finally fixed the pipes and repaint the walls that leaks drop, and very soon I can move all the things back to where they originally were plus a little arrangement whenever spare time is present. [And as of tonight, I'm finally back in my own room again. Actually, I took a look at some of my recent deviations made with MS Paint when I was unable to access to the monitor due to the leaks. Emote - Dressed as a Shamrock... They look a little brighter and a little too colorful when I'm staring at it right now rather than on the screen from my laptop. Still, I had no problem making them, yet it was more difficult to draw using a touchpad and two click buttons. Otherwise, things get back to normal as usual.]

Meanwhile, here are things that happened since the last journal:

[The retro arcade during my previous visits had about few new cabinets arrived, making the room quite tighter than before. The game room had a nice drawer where NES and PS2 games were inside while both two consoles themselves were on the table. For your curiosity, the other room where Colecovision Flashback system was was changed and replaced with two Pole Position (Namco... and Atari for US release) upright cabinets and a room for the friendly owners to use for sharing the nights to all in this arcade. Outside was the game's sitdown cabinet, making it total of 3 Pole Position machines. Playing the game took many tries for me to be able to beat the Grand Prix race. And the chance of getting into the Pole Position upon finishing the qualifying race is near-average. Okay, back to general change, Polybius cabinet was moved to the section where classic Namco games such as Galaga and Galaxian were. Then, Vs. Duck Hunt was put onto the deepest section along with the other PlayChoice-10. Few new pinball machines such as Space Invaders were on the center. Silver Strike Bowling was removed and a sit-down vector arcade game based on the franchise Star Trek was a replacement. Few Data East games like Heavy Barrel and Karate Champ were moved onto the same area near Xybots and Gyruss. And that's about most for the overall change compared to the other previous visits.]

:bulletblue: First thing is Hyper Dyne Side Arms, made in 1986 by Capcom (and RomStar for US production). No kidding as the owner said the game was hard to beat since you can lose a life upon getting hit even once (or a few if your mecha was merged with another mecha in Alpha or Beta form). I wouldn't be able to finish the first level if I didn't have high experience in side-scrolling shmup games. On this game, the player has three buttons: Left shot, change weapon, and right shot because enemies can appear from behind as well. Like previous Capcom shmup games, POW icons appear to increase the mecha's speed upon collecting. When you shoot the POW, it flips to a different type of weapon. Another flip reveals POW, and another comes the other type of weapon, and POW, and so on until it turns into reverse POW (reducing speed.) Sometimes shooting the reverse POW makes it flip to a bonus item or so... [I can't remember much... It's been a long time, but I'm sure that Yashichi is in Side Arms as well.] The soundtrack and graphics remind me of other Capcom arcade games: Strider (Hiryu) and Forgotten Worlds (or Lost Worlds.) Not well known except for the little guy that often appeared in other games such as Varth. In conclusion, Hyper Dyne Side Arms is both underrated and challenging. I wonder if someone around this retro arcade is able to beat the whole game with one credit.

:bulletblue: Next is the good 'ole Rally-X from 1980 by Namco (and Midway for US distribution,) a simple "collect the flags" game starring the player's blue mini F1 car and the enemies as red F1 cars. Bosconian shares a similar screen where 2/3 of the screen on the left is for the main game while the rest is for HUDs and a map screen. It was put next to Gyruss (Konami) upright cabinet and Xybots (Atari), but hopefully the owners will be able to get Bosconian as well. Anyway, the car has the ability to produce smoke in exchange of a little amount of fuel. S-flag is the most valuable of all flags yet only appear when the player clears the round with no miss. It's best to not lose a life if one wishes to continue getting higher scores. In short, it's a fun game, and it's often available on most Namco Museum collections along with the plug 'n play system. [Maybe I should play it again as much as Pole Position.]

:bulletblue: Another vector game I didn't know until the first time spotting inside the arcade is Star Trek, made by Sega in 1982. [Sega also made another vector game called Space Fury.] The full title of the game is called Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator based on the popular franchise, and there are... three kinds of cabinet of this: upright, sitdown, and cocktail (to me a.k.a. deluxe). You as the pilot of the U.S.S. Enterprise utilize four buttons on the right and a spinner on the left to move, shoot with plasma laser and torpedoes, and destroy the red enemy ships while protecting the green starbase from the enemy attack. Eliminating all the enemies result in warping to the next sector, and you have a shield bar to survive. When the player's ship is shot, a text that says "SIMULATION COMPLETE" appears on par to the regular "GAME OVER" text on the screen. In conclusion, Star Trek from Sega is a rare vector game here and I actually like the feeling of sitting inside the cockpit of the Enterprise. :meow:

:bulletblue: Wizard of Wor is an arcade game made in 1980 by Midway. It shares the same system board as GORF and has electronic voices included except this game is in a horizontal screen. Wizard of Wor's graphics in my opinion show a mix-up of fantasy and sci-fi because your character, a Worrier [seriously it's what they call the player character... Warrior?], carries a two-handed ray gun to destroy the monsters in the dungeon resembling mythical creatures. Generally, it's pretty much a "destroy them all" game where the more dungeons the player has survived, the harder the challenge, and the Worrier may face the titular wizard himself after Worluk (Warlock?) was destroyed earlier. It is possible to earn an extra Worrier after passing certain amount of dungeons completed. "Friendly Fire" feature exists toward playing with the CPU ally or another player. It's best to not zap your partner because it's not worth anything but annoyance. The music itself is what I really like in this game: dramatic "Donkey kong-like" fanfare and in-game intense pulsing BGM. In summary, another under-appreciated but awesome arcade game on par with GORF. I really love it for the game's ambience and theme.

:bulletblue: It's been a long time since I watched the gameplay video of a Taito arcade game from 1982 called Jungle King starring the titular hero (Tarzan?) with his memorable warcry. You only have one joystick and a button to control him traversing four different stages per loop to rescue his princess. I managed to get to the third stage at best before I got a Game Over. The first stage is probably the easiest of the bunch since you only have to wait until the vine comes toward Tarz... Jungle King and JUMP until he dives onto the river. On the second level, he carries a knife to defend himself from the alligators while trying to avoid bubbles below and having to get more air above the water in order to proceed to the third stage where he goes all the way up while avoiding the boulders going down. The last stage is where the princess is in the village full of nightmarish people trying to attack Tarzan... Jungle King! Finishing the final stage will let him rescue the princess out of the pot, and after that the player enters the next and harder loop begins with the first stage as usual. There was another version called Jungle Hunt which is the same except the player is a jungle explorer. Because of the character likeliness and infringement problems, Jungle Hunt was distributed instead. The Jungle King cabinet is now rare to find up to this year, but somehow the owners at the retro arcade managed to get that early version of the game. Overall, Jungle King and Jungle Hunt are interesting arcade games from Taito. Hopefully, I will be able to get to the last stage in the first loop. [link]

:bulletblue: Later on the owners managed to get Cinematronics' Space Wars made in 1987. The cabinet is big, very big that passing in and out of the racing area is a little difficult when people play that machine. Well, it's Asteroids (Atari) except it's a one-on-one battle a.k.a. Vs. Mode with another player within a limited amount of minutes depending on how many coins players inserted. Actually, you can't battle with a CPU but with another player, and therefore no option for a Single Play on this game. The control for each player has five buttons serving the same function as the original Asteroids, and in addition there is a RESET button and almost a dozen of modes to choose before the first match. The buttons look similar to the old-school keyboard used for typing on the computer, so I often think that the table looks a lot like a keyboard for the PC. During the game, the player controls the ship that looks similar to the arrow from Asteroids while the other controls the starship resembling the mini Enterprise from Star Trek. Each has a limited amount of bullets to shoot at the opponent. Sometimes there is an asteroid going around and there might have a vortex on the center. Getting both ships destroyed at the same time is possible, and it counts as a point for each side. Space Wars is rare yet a big vector arcade cabinet that is worth to keep at the retro arcade.

:bulletblue: Space Ace, created by Leland, is another new cabinet there inside the arcade. The Cinematronics cabinet of the game is the only one that has three buttons for skill selecting while the others sadly don't have. The player controls the main character Dexter throughout the game who is able to energize into the muscular, titular character for a limited time during the event. On the cabinet I played, losing a life didn't mean the game would reset to the last checkpoint or being put onto another scenery, but rather the game continued ahead. The theme itself would be onto my head very soon upon playing too many times. Not to say much, but still it plays similar to Dragon's Lair except no random levels and more flashing sections to make Space Ace easier for players to know which direction to go or when to use the action button. It's also ported to Dragon's Lair Trilogy collection for Wii which was when I play Space Ace for the first time. As for the cabinet in the retro arcade, maybe someday it should be put near Dragon's Lair cabinet, for it sits in the Sega arcade games area.

:bulletblue: One of my friends worked at the arcade brought me a system called Vectrex. This console contains mainly vector graphics similar to the older arcade games from Atari such as Asteroids or Gravitar. You have a controller resembling a small arcade stick: A kind of analog + Atari 2600 stick and four buttons. Each game box has a cartridge smaller than the Atari Jaguar cartridge and contains an instruction manual just like games for other consoles back then, and along with it is a screen overlay to put onto the screen to produce colors. After I played Pole Position arcade cabinet, I was curious that I saw a Vectrex on the table. He also brought a cartridge of Pole Position along with Berzerk (Stern). The gameplay of Pole Position was quite easier than on the arcade though I still ran out of time during the Grand Prix race. The feeling of moving the stick was as if I was controlling with a sensitive analog stick and an Atari 2600 stick simultaneously... Alright, enough of this. The next game my friend put was Berzerk, based on the same arcade game. Too bad it didn't have a voice synthesizer so when the game was over, it said "GOT THE HUMANOID." One more thing was when I managed to get about few points more by destroying all the robots on the first maze, on the next area the limited amount of bullets they fired was two this time rather than one on the screen. Guess on the Vectrex the game seemed harder in difficulty than on the arcade... or maybe it's just me. But well, that's the first time I played a real Vectrex brought to the arcade along with several months ago when he brought Virtual Boy and almost all of the games including one Japanese VB game. :)

:bulletblue: In 1981, Midway released an arcade game called Solar Fox using the same system board as their other games such as Tron and Satan's Hollow. The upright cabinet was arrived to the retro arcade sitting near Blasteroids (Atari) and Arkanoid (Taito). The game was played similar to Pac-Man, yet in this game you're able to shoot at the enemies surrounding the screen. Collect all the Fuzors to proceed to the next rack, and after 10 racks the player becomes the member of the number of ten racks completed before proceeding to the next rack. Your shot can collect the Fuzors as well besides shooting / stunning enemies, and you're capable of controlling your ship's speed depending on which mode you take. In novice, holding the speed button makes the ship go faster, while on expert the ship runs slower upon holding the button. Furthermore, skipping a rack can be a beneficial thing for heading to the harder levels quickly from the start as long as you can collect all the Fuzors as fast as possible before the "SKIP-A-RACK-TIMER" bar runs out. There's a kind of useful enemy that can stop all the foes from moving when it's hit. This gives more time for the player to collect all the Fuzors before they start moving again. The BGM is usual as always for an old-school arcade game. In short, Solar Fox is much obscure than Midway's Tron, and it's an interesting game that gives the player an advanced way to collect all the pellets.

[And that's it for my visit at the retro arcade.]

:bulletblue: I forgot that months ago my brother was curious about FamicomBox on MAME, so he took a look at it. One of the list included Popeye no Eigo Asobi (Popeye's English Game in translation from Wikipedia.) The graphics are similar to the well-known Popeye on the NES, and instead of getting all the hearts, notes, or letters, you have to guess out the English word with Japanese translation. Thus, it's one of the few NES educational games that were made by Nintendo. [The other one was Donkey Kong Jr. Math.] Thanks, Sledge, for mentioning the titular character "Popeye." ;P

:bulletblue: And I forgot again. I was curious to see other Tom & Jerry videos that were only on TV from the past years, which was the Chuck Jones' 1960s openings. There were several segments shown on the channel from few different opening segments to the "End of Part 1" and Part 2 segment. Judging by the artstyle, the unique animation on the last part of the opening and others (excluding the Hanna-Barbera's scenes) was exclusive from the Chuck Jones' era. Here's one of them. [link]

Furthermore, instead of showing the credits on the episode's opening, the title of the episode was shown along with a blank red-pink background. [Mystery is solved. I've finally known why in the other Cartoon Network channel elsewhere it had a different title screen of the episode "The Two Mouseketeers."]

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if some I wrote are wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:

[Plus, I'm very excited for the ZapCon IV event this year. The owners at the retro arcade want me to come along as well, so I would very much feel disappointed for not being able to come at least for a minute of looking at the scenery going on during the event.] :happybounce:

MOOD: :hmm:
  • Listening to: Puffy AmiYumi music [because why not?]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: The good old Teen Titans and Tom & Jerry
  • Playing: [Too many to do...]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Ice water
Schoolwork, drawing, video-editing, and trying to not let myself being lazy except for few-minute naps. Even if the school is closed for spring break, I doubt I want to rest and do nothing during those days. :saddummy:

Sigh... Forgot to mentions that two of the nearby arcades I and my brother could come were closed because of... "depression." One was where they had the good ole' Jurassic Park from 1994 by Sega, while the other had ton of favorable arcade games including Beatmania IIDX 14: Gold, Dance Dance Revolution games, Pop'n Music 15 Adventure, Drummania, Guitar Freaks, Mr. Driller, OutRun 2 SP, Tetris, L.A. Machineguns, Tekken 5 & 6, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Both places in addition had After Burner Climax and Star Wars Trilogy Arcade. With these good games gone, looks like modern arcades will take over the whole popularity of arcade games because now most I can see are new games, reboot of old-school games, and ticket redemption games. [I don't hate them, to be exact. Some are good like Mario Kart Arcade GP DX that has Don-chan from Taiko no Tatsujin and decent to play such as Time Crisis 5 even though there's no Banapassport feature for modern Namco games.] Yet that doesn't stop me from discovering more arcade locations and seeing if things changed at the already-visited places compared to previous times. Let's hope the old-school arcade is still alive as long as classic arcade games are still existed around.

The good news is my favorite retro arcade a couple of miles away from home keeps growing up to have more old-school arcade games while some cabinets that have issues are moved to the storage room and so as the other "not-so-important" cabinets except the latter ones are relocated at the other arcade area which is not around here. I wonder what happened to the vector-inspired game GravitreX as I haven't seen it around since its mysterious disappearance.

I'll talk more about this previous visit at that awesome arcade place after these stuff happened since the last journal:

[Sorry if I don't know much about it... A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at certain interesting laserdisc game from the obscure system called LaserActive, made by Pioneer. The good thing about this system is region-free, and furthermore there are several add-on modules making the LaserActive capable of playing Genesis/Mega Drive, TG-16/PC Engine games, and CD-ROM. All games are encoded as LD-ROM (Laserdisc read-only memory... to my own understanding... also, they are even bigger than the regular CDs) in order for the LaserActive to read and let the player play laserdisc-based games. Similar to Famicom Disk System or floppy disks back then, there are two sides for each disc. The difference is Side-A for the main game and Side-B for observation, guides, and/or extras depending on what the game is. Unlike usual laserdisc games such as Dragon's Lair or M.A.C.H. 3, LaserActive games advance beyond laserdisc's popular genres, and players can experience how LD games are like when role-playing, point 'n click, and first-person shooting elements are involved. Well, the latter is pretty much similar to the third-person LD games. It's not well-known even during these days, but it's worth to curiously look at older systems and their games that are forgotten and only few people are interested.] [link]

:bulletblue: I Will, the Story of London is a 1993 adventure plus point 'n click game starring the player as Sherlock who must help Catherine, the player's assistant, to solve the mystery within 3 days (or a week if one decides for a 7-day gameplay.) Based on the video playthrough, Sherlock has to talk to certain people such as a man holding two umbrellas and a photographer, and he has to find the flag that has red, blue, and white color (UK flag) for further clues. Sometimes, extra points are added for moving the magnifying len cursor onto specific parts of the scene such as a red double-decker bus. Player also has a certain amount of money in-hand, and Game Over can occur whenever Sherlock has no more money left or when Sherlock has taken too long to solve the main mystery. Having a car is important for the "chase" scene where he and Catherine have to find the black car's whereabout. Strange things also appear in the game such as a Loch Ness monster in the ocean and a UFO at Stonehenge... [EarthBound...] [Somehow, they don't appear on Side-B since it's generally for tourists and players seeking clues in the game.] Beneficially, the UFO becomes the best transportation in the game after the car and once Catherine demonstrated how the UFO device worked. Knowing who is behind the case the whole time, the game is ended with its full 90s main theme of the game playing. [Man, the music is so beautifully nostalgic that I spread tears inside.] The game is pretty much scarce to find. Thus, it's best to see the video walkthrough even if it's abridged, if you're interested in seeing the game. It's a good thing that somebody owns the system made a playthrough of it.

:bulletblue: Data West (or Datawest)... The moment I read the company's name made me think if they're related to the more known Data East. Of course not. Data West is a different company who made Rayxanber, a series of shmup games which feel like R-Type except without a Force. They also made laserdisc games for LaserActive system... Um... only a few. Notable laserdisc games from the company include two Vajra games. Now the odd thing about both Vajra and Vajra Ni is how they differ from each other by its gameplay. The first Vajra is a 1-on-1 first-person shooting battle with different mecha robot opponents within the time limit, while the second Vajra is a general first-person shoot 'em up style game where a stage is cleared after each boss. The player in the second game is the super robot in red-and-white colors who has to stop the aliens in black phantom faces from the invading the world of Vajra. [Also, some parts of the soundtrack in Vajra 2 has a "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood - Bloodlines" feel to it.] Both games have no extra life feature except for recovery items used for regaining the player's life bar. In addition, each recovery item is extended for every unknown hundred thousand points from your score. Unfortunately, they give no actual storylines to be told, letting the player puzzle the game's story based on gameplay and laserdisc footage. [Oh and don't forget, that in Vajra 2 there is a false credits scene occured before the true final boss battle.] The soundtrack in Vajra and Vajra 2 are fairly underrated. [The credits and the first opponent theme from the first Vajra are some of my favorites.] No actual OST of them released outside the game, and one can listen only when playing the disc on Side-B while watching the LD footage. The difficulty of the first game is harder than on the second game because only Vajra 2 gives the player to play either on Normal or Hard mode. However, both during the gameplay have the feature to change the player's crosshair into multiple smaller ones where each shot is 1/4 times stronger than the single-crosshair shot. Overall, Vajra games are interesting, specially when it comes to Vajra 2 in gameplay and music. Too bad that there will be no future games made by Data West after 2002. [link]

:bulletblue: Ghost Rush! is another LaserActive game made in 1993. This is a first-person action-adventure game with RPG elements where the player's objective is to enter the mansion (which is also a labyrinth full of dozen floors) and capture the big bad ghost manipulating the place. Outside the mansion is the shop in which the player can buy items and equipment and sell magic bottles with ghosts inside for money. Ghosts in the mansion can be defeated by the player's bullets, and much like Pokemon the player has to weaken the ghost before capturing it to the magic bottle. They may drop golds, keys (important to unlock doors), diamonds, and other items on the ground after the battle. The deeper the process, the more stronger enemies appear, the more expensive the magic bottle with ghosts are upon selling. Not much to say about the music and how kinda repetitive (to me) the game is, but that's Ghost Rush for you. The other LA game I can recommend at least is Don Quixote.

[And that's the end of things related to LaserActive and some of its games.]

:bulletblue: I didn't see the latest update about Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night until there's a video from the official YT channel where Iga is testing the game and movement on the screen. Judging by the background, it looks like the area is the entrance to the castle where Miriam, the main character, can be seen walking around and swinging her sword plus mid-air. It's simply a video of a process in making the game, so it's well-exciting to see how it looks like even if it's in beta version. Not gonna miss another latest video from them. :)

:bulletblue: Coleco Chameleon, a new Coleco system in the future that used to be Retro VGS, is in a serious trouble ever since certain people found out the board that is used in the system along with the controller that is modified from the original Wii Pro Controller. Recently, the funding for this project was halted, and a number of independent engineers are currently working on investigating the prototype of the system. If things get worse, then the Coleco Chameleon's project will be cancelled. Only time will tell what is going to be happened after that. I hope they'll find a way to maintain the project. :(

:bulletblue: Surfing on the net, I saw pictures of figures of Bill Rizer and Lance Bean from Contra made by NECA on exhibition. Despite the color palette swapped to avoid copyright issues (as someone commented it on one of the articles), they looked really actually good-looking there from spread shots to the design of the face and trousers. Besides those figures was a picture of a Simon Belmont figure in 8-bit colors from the original Castlevania. Someone noticed the figure was based on the older NECA's Castlevania figures. You know, with Simon, Alucard, Dracula, and Succubus figure to collect. That reasonably reminded me that they should bring those old CV figures back since it's really rare to find now except on Amazon or eBay. Still, I wonder if they continue to made more figures based on the NES games after the obvious NES Jason from Friday the 13th.

:bulletblue: How does it feel when you play Super Mario Kart on the SNES and has 100 more racers to compete? It is obviously crowded and an absolute chaos, and there's a video of it on YT to watch. Somehow, I want to repeat the video because there are two half-screen in the game that are interesting to look: One half-screen is how Mario Kart is like to have 101 racers participated, and the other half-screen is recognizing different video game characters on the map. At least I had fun watching it over and over again. [link]

:bulletblue: [I would love to find a place somewhere around home to eat takoyaki. They're so good to not ignore unless I'm not that hungry. Also, I have to figure out how to make a giant flowery cotton candy with a regular CC machine. Those cotton candies in China are so attractive... :hungry:]

[Alright, I'm gonna continue sharing my recent visit at the old-school arcade location.]

:bulletblue: Well, it's about time there's a cabinet that has rotary joysticks. First, they have the NES' Heavy Barrel in the game room. Now, they have the upright cabinet of Heavy Barrel made by Data East. Upon playing the game, it feels so easy in my opinion when the player character can turn around and shoot while walking on a certain direction to avoid the enemies and their grenade explosions. The soundtrack is a second thing to boost the game's enjoyment despite there are only few BGMs in it. Third, you can invite another player to play along for double the action. Flamethrower, spread shot, laser, 8-way grenade, there's so many to pick as one's favorite weapon in the game. And of course, collect all the parts to form the secret titular weapon shooting everything on the screen for limited seconds and hoping not to lose a life upon getting hit. Even though it's harder than on the NES, I still find the game easier to beat the first and second stage upon having the special weapon and even regular grenades. Wonder if I can achieve 1CC in this game or maybe try a weak weapon playthrough next time.

:bulletblue: Before I played Heavy Barrel, I tried Star Castle at the vector games area. It was made in 1980 by Cinematronics. You control a ship with four buttons serving the same function as Asteroids games except it doesn't have the Hyperspace/Shield button. On the center of the screen is the titular boss ship surrounded by three protective rings that has sparking mines homing at the player ship. The goal is very simple: destroy the Star Castle ship and score as many points as possible before the player runs out of lives. For several first times, it's pretty hard to figure out how to destroy the boss ship when the rings are circling around. The problem is if the whole part of the ring is destroyed, another ring is spawned from the boss ship inside. Therefore, leave at least a few visible lines of the ring for an opening attack to the boss. Another problem is whether the parts of the inner ring are destroyed, the boss will try to shoot at the player with a fast sparkling plasma shot. The sides or edges of the screen are good advantages to avoid its nasty attack, and the boss ship will turn slowly-and-averagely prior to aiming directly at the player's ship before shooting. There's no music in Star Castle except for the awesome ambient sounds. In conclusion, it's difficult to beat even on the first round, but the game is as much entertaining as other vector games back then. I'm glad the cabinet is still there at the arcade.

:bulletblue: Lastly, there's Pole Position, made in 1982 by Namco. Actually, I'm terrible at typical racing game that are too fast to react (including F-Zero games as well,) so I'm at least able to finish the qualifying race at the lowest position before the main race that has about a few laps total. [Also, if you're not qualified onto one of the eight positions during the trial, it loops back until the timer runs out.] The more laps the player gets, the harder the gameplay is such as more aggressive racing cars and water on the road until he/she reaches to the goal line for sure. Overall, Pole Position is one of the early games from Namco that are very impressive in terms of graphics and pseudo-3d effects. The commercial of the game on Atari 5200 is one of the old-school video game commercials I have remembered since the first time watching. Ah, memories...

[And that's it for my visit at the arcade. Now moving on to stuff announced from Nintendo Direct. Sigh... This will be short. Things aren't the same without Satoru Iwata around.]

:bulletblue: Nintendo is going to make a Paper Mario game for Wii U called Paper Mario: Color Splash where colors are magic for repainting the background, resurrecting Paper Toads, and using special attacks to the paper enemies. No release date is given at this moment.

:bulletblue: Then, there's another trailer of Metroid Prime: Federation Force which will be released somewhere on this spring. And still, the awesome protagonist Samus Aran... is M.I.A.

:bulletblue: Finally, Kirby: Planet Robobot features the similar modern Kirby gameplay with the addition of using the robobot in the game. Something tells me that there's a "Mega Man X" feeling around here upon looking at Kirby controlling a mecha robot. Along with the announcement are four additional Kirby amiibo figures: Kirby with Warp Star, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee. [Waddle Dee is new.] The game itself will be available on June 10 this year. [And I'm still working on getting a new 3DS for my own.]

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if things I've written seem wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:

[Wait a second... Something doesn't look the same here. Some stuff don't appear when there's nothing on the box... Where the heck is "Mood" on the bottom of the journal!? I demand~ Zap! Guess I'll put my mood in here. MOOD: :noes: ]
  • Listening to: Sanxion (Commodore 64) - Loader Tune
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [Too many to do...]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Water.
[Skip this section if you don't want to read this personal stuff.]

Well, looks like my second class started already at school. Although I'm joyful I can go back to studying again, things in real life are starting to become more troublesome than previously, leading myself succumb to a time of stormy moods [not because of the class, homework, and my classmates.] Certainly, despite its repetition this feeling I have isn't going to be forever. It takes time, either a few or long, to rise my self-esteem back up. :saddummy:

[Hopefully, I can keep continuing to work on what I like so that my own sanity will not be lost. And not to worry. More Famitracker music will be made, yet spare time and at least a good optimism are needed. May plan to make some fan music from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and let's see if I can make. I assume I might use the VRC7 instruments for "Dance of Pales" in the future.]

Moving on, the weather these days feels really nice to go out though in the morning it's kinda a little cold to walk. And when the temperature is getting hotter again in the summer, it'll be the time I have to endure the heat again. Also, no hails just like on the last year.

[You may read from this section below.]

In the mean time, here are things that happened since the last journal:

:bulletblue: I see that Sega announced they will release a set of arcade collection for the 3DS called Sega 3D Classics Collection with stereoscopic 3D. Two of my favorite arcade games from Sega, Galaxy Force II and Thunder Blade, are included on the collection along with Fantasy Zone games, Power Drift (a racing game), and a Puyo Puyo puzzle game. The collection was already released in Japan last year, and for the US it will be available on April 26 this year.

[I wish M2 and Sega would plan for reviving Strike Fighter (1991) and OutRunners.]

:bulletblue: A hotel for gamers? That's a unique kind of hotel I'd spend for a night. I believe it's fairly expensive as they have gaming consoles from retro to modern available for guests to play, and the hotel is located somewhere in Amsterdam. There should be more hotels full of video games like this, but only time will tell. Thus, that's a very clever and awesome way to make the hotel much exciting, specially for video game fanatics. [link]

:bulletblue: Upon watching the video of an arcade shmup game called Skycurser, I heard that they're also working on making the JAMMA coin-op boards of the game... [Unless I forgot again...] It's been a long time since the past years when I didn't see new arcade games that still used PCBs, and instead they ran in systems that required a CD or a computer to run the game. Meanwhile, Skycurser is inspired by a lot of classic arcade games from Splatterhouse to Metal Slug. What I saw on the YT video was the single player gameplay of the game. The player ship had three types of weapons to attack: a regular vulcan, a short-radius charged shot which I slightly noticed familiarity from Mars Matrix (another shmup game), and a laser katana to swing nearby enemies. Instead of scores, the points counted for the number of monsters that the player killed. That's all I can explain. Overall, it's nice to know that people still care about making the PCB for arcade games. Hope they will have Skycurser in this area I live as well. Right now it's still in progress, so it's gonna take some time until they finally release some of the cabinets. [link]

:bulletblue: Then, there comes Slipstream by Noctet Studio, a third-person driving game in which it's inspired very much from the 80s and 90s arcade racing games, notably the early OutRun games from Sega. Besides its great soundtrack, the gameplay and graphics are pretty impressive as if I feel like I'm being sent back to the time playing OutRun or OutRunners again. The demo version is available for players to enjoy experiencing prior to the full version of Slipstream that will be out some time later. So, not much to say more. :)

:bulletblue: Back to looking at retro games haven't yet to be known before, I watched the Let's Compare video of a Namco game called Motos (released in 1985 for the arcade) in different platforms from original to its port for ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and so on. Motos is not about riding a motorcycle on the street but an overhead bumper game in space. The player controls the anonymous bumper car whose main goal is to bump all the enemies out of the playfield in each round. There are only two types of power-up in this game that are the power part (looks like the P-tank) and the jump part (wings attached to the top of the car,) certainly important for surviving and knocking down even more difficult enemies such as large balls and annoying bugs on the later stages in order to proceed. The game itself is finite since there are 62 rounds total to complete. If the player takes too long to clear a round, then a bullet or few are shot onto a square of the playfield, making the gameplay more difficult for either the player or the enemies to bump its opponent. I like the BGMs of this game in which one of my favorites is played on the ranking screen. However, the arcade itself was only in Japan until the ports of Motos were released and the original arcade was on most Namco Museum collections for later consoles / handhelds. To conclude, Motos is a simple yet enjoyable arcade game from Namco I would like to play rather than those bumper games on bootleg / knockoff consoles.

:bulletblue: Next, I took some time watching the longplay video of a Konami beat 'em up game Metamorphic Force captured from the actual board instead of MAME. It resembles to me an upgrade version of Crime Fighters that players also have to insert credits to add more health points to the main characters. Well, except the Japanese version of MF where it displays the lifebar and a number of lives instead. [From Wiki, that version also skips the boss rush in the penultimate stage, and some sprites are altered.] If I'm not wrong, it was released in the same year as Gaiapolis, hence the decent-yet-epic soundtrack heard during the game. There are four heroes in the game who are called by the goddess Athena to defeat the force of evil once again using their guardian soul to transform into their beast form [Ban - Minotaur, Claude - Werewolf, Max - Werepanther, Ivan - Werebear] via collecting the goddess statue either from the treasures or a friendly rodent wandering around the screen. [I'm curious why the little guy with the bag manages to find his friends during the last phases of the final boss battle.] If one collects the statue again while in beast form, the character performs a special move to clear all the enemies on the screen and critically hit the bosses more than usual. Depending on the dip switch settings, two to four players can cooperate together to beat the game while the difficulty is spiked up to more amount of enemies on the screen and bosses with high health, similar to most Konami 4-players beat 'em up and run 'n gun arcade games. To be honest, Metamorphic Force from Konami is as underrated as Gaiapolis and Mystic Warriors, and it is also as fun as X-Men (plus 6-player machines), The Simpsons, and TMNT games. Give it a try whenever you have time for exploring another decent arcade games.

:bulletblue: Another one is an obscure game for Super Famicom... Yup, only in Japan. And that game is ... uh... Gekitotsu Dangan Jidōsha Kessen: Battle Mobile or Battle Mobile for short. It's a vertical action game with shoot 'em up elements similar to Spy Hunter and Super Spy Hunter with two-player cooperation. Instead of shooting the enemies, the players mostly must ram on the enemy vehicles including the bosses as well. In some situations, the players have to shoot missiles to destroy the helicopters. Power-ups and 1up (sometimes) can be picked upon waving down slowly from the top of the screen. Temporary "smart electric shields" protect the car from damage. Generally, the Battle Mobile gameplay is pretty much like "on the arcade mode" as extra lives can be extended by scoring a certain amount of thousand points besides the 1up icon. [In addition, in order to get to the last boss, the difficulty must be set to at least Normal.] The soundtrack is fair, kinda forgetful to me since there's only about few memorable tracks such as the boss theme, and that you focus on the gameplay at most. In summary, Battle Mobile is, in my opinion, either a mix up of Road Fighter (Konami) and Super Spy Hunter (Sunsoft) or the SNES version of Super Spy Hunter except for ramming rather than shooting. :(

I'm not gonna tell pretty much about the storyline, but try guessing if the opening sequence is familiar to you. I'm not kidding because I've known that one Laserdisc game before. No wonder why Battle Mobile came out in 1993 and made by System Sacom.

:bulletblue: Now that reminds me, I didn't know that the laserdiscs can also be used for making role-playing games and actual racing games along with most quick-time games. Take Don Quixote: A Dream in Seven Crystals on LaserActive, for example... Not the Super Don Quixote that plays similarly to Dragon's Lair... The game stars the titular character who is called in his dreams by the princess to get all the seven crystals in order to prevent the evil lord from taking over the castle. Although some scenes are repetitive during the adventure, the RPG is at least enjoyable, and players can save the game in three different slots anytime except during the battles. Rocket Coaster from Taito is an example for a racing game on the Laserdisc system. While racing, for me it feels as if the player has full control of forwarding the frames of the video footage. Unlike the other racing games that have the timer on the top, qualifying is as much as beating each event on Track & Field. Other interesting games include Hyperion from Taito, a third-person space shooting game, and Pyramid Patrol. [Will take some time to watch the latter later.] LaserActive system, therefore, is among the consoles that have been obscure or forgotten in the retro era. I wonder if there will be anymore indie game that are inspired from those laserdisc arcade games someday.

[And now for something different.]

:bulletblue: Previously, Sony tried to trademark the word "Let's Play." And I'm really happy that it was over. Yet few weeks ago, somebody was trying to trademark the word "react" on YT? Again... abusing the verbs people frequently use in life in order to earn money for themselves? Yes, but this time around they actually apologized and were well aware that fans and others including the lawyer were reasonably angry about it. Well, at least everything is better after this madness was ended. Being greedy is a bad thing in my life, after all. [link]

:bulletblue: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, along with Super Metroid are where the term "Metroidvania" was born. After watching the 5-hour video of SotN playthrough for deeper understanding, I'm very much appreciate the game more than before because of the soundtrack, gameplay, graphics, and so on. Too bad that for those who like the original voice acting, the Dracula X Chronicles version of SotN had the English voice redubbed, making the conversation less "hammy" than from the original one. "But enough talk," SotN is among one of my favorite Castlevania games. So, if it's impossible for myself to get a PS1, then gotta get the PSP and DXC instead despite the redub. [Still the only 2D Metroidvania game that I haven't played up to now...]

[Some of the graphics in Harmony of Dissonance resembled a lot from SotN. However, I miss the save room with that pulsing polyhedron floating on the center of the screen from SotN.]

:bulletblue: [Currently, I feel that watching a dual longplay of a specific video game in two or three different systems at the same time is much fascinating to notice specific details than watching a single video captured on one console and then the next one from another platform.]

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if some I've written are wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:
  • Listening to: Dance of Pales (from Symphony of the Night)
  • Reading: A book for doing homework.
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Water and tea.
Well, at least I'm happy to go back to school again for studying a couple of courses in higher levels. [Due to its higher difficulty, I have to take a little less amount of classes this time unlike on the previous semester and spend the rest for homework.] Hopefully, there will have some interesting events school students can look around. :)

Meanwhile, here are things that I've known since the last journal [not counting the "Happy New Year" one]:

:bulletblue: Since Flash doesn't want to work on Firefox for certain reasons [and in addition to Chrome being slow to my laptop unless I'm mainly a Firefox user,] it's kinda suck to me when it comes to making annotations on YT. That feels like I have only a dozen of seconds to make / edit some annotations until the browser goes completely unresponsive that resetting the computer is a better choice for trying to rerun Firefox. Months ago, I began to notice that the YT player on the Edit/Add Annotation page was still on its older version in which it required Flash plugin to be able to watch the video rather than the current HTML5 version. Obvious. The same problem happens when I watch most videos on Dailymotion. Guess way in the future I should get a new and stronger laptop for myself when I have enough to afford. For now at least I can edit the videos normally before uploading to YT or DM. :shrug:

:bulletblue: Forgot to tell this... The channel layout on YT is changed again this year. Right now the description is put in front of the main channel page rather than on the "About" section. The video lists are simplified in horizontal thumbnails, and I didn't see any Related Channels widget either. In addition, all the sections below the profile picture are gone except for the Videos list, and there is a "Customize the layout of your channel" switch that is new to me upon pressing the Edit button, a gear-shaped icon. Upon enabling the switch mentioned, the channel layout is returned back to its previous look: Video list can be changed to vertical set [with a little description at the beginning.] Related Channels and Customized Channel List are back. And the "tab" section [as what I can call] that has "Videos", "Playlists", "Discussion", and "About" appears once again. Phew... I thought some widgets that I like were gone forever. :phew:

Well, although I set the channel profile back to how it formerly looks, I'm not sure how I will feel about this sudden change. I mean, each has its pros and cons. The simplified layout (by disabling "Customize the layout of your channel") shows only the profile description on the main channel page, videos, and playlists. However, one has to accept the video lists in permanently horizontal thumbnails, and no "tab" section or "searching the video in this channel" feature will be on the page. [Unless I'm wrong.] The advanced layout (by enabling "Customize the layout of your channel") lets the user edit how the video lists are set either in thumbnails or vertical list and add "Related Channels" widgets to the page. Discussions are available, and visitors are able to search specific videos within the channel. Furthermore, extra icons (another channel or accounts from other websites) are shown in the profile picture if one likes to share. [And not to worry, the channel trailer is optional.] The downside is that the description for the channel will be put onto the "About" section rather than on the front channel page. Well... That's about all I know.

To conclude, it is strange that the channel page is changed without telling the users that they can edit their page (back) by enabling that switch. Depending on how one likes for his/her channel, the simplified layout might be of a good thing. As for me, I prefer the advanced, or should I say, former YT channel layout.

:bulletblue: My brother found another laserdisc game to look on YT. It's called Goal to Go made in 1983 by Stern. At first I thought it was a soccer game or football in other countries and it felt weird when it came to specific sport-themed games except driving. Turned out that it's a tactic American football game in which the player had to manage to get to the first downs until the team got a touchdown. We saw the video of an actual cabinet itself some time later. It actually showed where the player team was before the footage on the laserdisc started playing. The game is over after failing to reach to the first down four times. Yup, sort of similar to 10-yard Fight from Irem. Overall, Goal to Go is an obscure laserdisc game from Stern, at least what I can say. I wonder if new arcade games in the future have those literally paying tributes to laserdisc games such as Dragon's Lair.

[Also, not to mention that Taito made a few laserdisc games for the arcade as well. One of them includes an F1 racing game.]

:bulletblue: I didn't know that the origin of Captain Neo, one of the tracks from the first Darius arcade, was from the attract mode of an earlier arcade game called Metal Soldier Isaac II, made in 1985 by Taito. The game is pretty much an overhead shoot 'em up with the addition of controlling the robot if the small ship manages to get to the base placed around the level. Not much to say for the rest. :(

:bulletblue: I see that they added the search bar to the Notes page on :dalogo:. Very convenient, specially for those who keep lots of notes in their inbox. :hmm:

:bulletblue: Looks like me and my brother found out the secret behind the Solar Assault video from World of Longplay's channel in the past months. The game was actually played on MAME, and the gameplay video ran at good speed. His laptop wasn't that strong enough to play Solar Assault, and as a result the emulator ran too slow... about 12% of the game speed until he tried to record the full attract video of the game and recompress it to an AVI file. The game didn't run at 100% speed, yet [with patience] the captured video was a big surprise. I'm curious if those who use MAME are aware of it. :?

[And now for some weird things happened when I surf around on my favorite gaming news website.]

:bulletblue: First, I read an article several months ago about King, the company behind Candy Crush games, used to try on trademarking the word "candy." Now, there's another similar thing when Sony attempted to trademark "Let's Play" on YT for unknown reasons!? This is insane! I believe that the word "Let's Play" is a general term mainly on YT for everyone whose videos include commentary to entertain the viewers while watching the playthrough of the game. Worse things will happen if the word "Let's Play" is trademarked, I may predict. :fear:

:bulletblue: Another story was about stages in Mario Maker that weren't popular. Without any reason, unpopular stages will be automatically deleted from the list and prevent the players from uploading them again. Although I didn't have Super Mario Maker or Wii U at home, this may be one of the factors why I prefer playing old-school more. [link]

[End of weird stories happened recently.]

:bulletblue: We came back to the retro arcade again this year, and I'm surprised that they got a S.T.U.N. Runner machine being put across the Final Fight cabinet. Other new cabinets in the arcade include Shinobi, Karate Champ, Superman, and Silver Strike Bowling (made by Incredible Technologies.) Dragon's Lair is back and now playable; it is being put at the zone where Williams' and Gottieb's games are. They have an extra vinyl box put near the Colecovision Flashback console in another room and some extra stereo boxes. Things are getting better, I can see, and currently S.T.U.N. Runner and Dragon's Lair are my favorite to play in that arcade. Hope we can come back there again on the next few weekends even if we have stuff to study at school. :meow:

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if some I wrote on are wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:
  • Listening to: Jazzy NYC music (from Street Fighter III games)
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: My brother watching horror indies people play.
  • Playing: [drawing]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Water.
It seems so quick that I feel like 2015 was already over quickly and now I'm being in the first day of the first month of 2016. I'm glad that certain miserable things I went through in the previous year were over, and now I should plan on working with something new in life as well. [And hopefully things will get better from this year as well.]

As usual, RS wishes everyone full of happiness, prosperity, and positive outcomes during the year. May all live healthy and have a successful future in life. Enjoy celebrating! :la:

[Below here is a drawing to celebrate 2016. When I think of fireworks, I imagine lots of glowing bullets in shoot 'em up games, especially from CAVE, and a ship that has to dodge all the bullets and not to let it hit.]

Happy New Year MMXVI from Rage Sigma by Rage-DSSViper-Sigma

And that's all for this journal. The next one will be the same as previously: Sharing my usual experience in life with obscure arcade games, interesting stuff, and so on. Therefore, more will come soon. :pencil:
  • Listening to: [none]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Ashens' videos from my brother's laptop.
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Apple cider.
That's basically how I feel right now after this Fall semester at school. Concentrating on studying in the library for hours before the final day or final exam of the course at those times... delayed most of the things I have to do prior to the end of this year which is 2015, from things to draw for Christmas and stuff to working on stuff outside the computer. Sigh... At least there's time for break, but hopefully I'm not going to procrastinate this time even if I'm at home celebrating Christmas.

Moving on, here are stuff that I've known since the last journal:

:bulletblue: Yun Sung is a Korean company that I haven't heard of before until my brother Aces played some of their games and when I watched a Puzzle Bobble arcade clone called Magic Bubble. One of the games made by Yun Sung that is fascinating for me to experience humorously is Castle of Dracula which was made in 1994. The game itself is a clone of Plotting / Flipull (from Taito) except that instead of clearing the blocks the player character Sonnie has to get the key out of those blocks in order to proceed to the next level. The story was simple enough for a dark fantasy themed game: "In 17**, there came a Dracula in the city of Goidel, and kidnapped the daughter of an elder. The elder asked the valiant knight, Sonnie, to save his daughter." ... which the knight responds "I will, at the risk of my life." The music itself will stick to the player's head upon listening to the usual three BGM playing throughout the game. What I find the game funny is how they draw on the attract mode, when starting the game, during the intermissions, and at the end of the game. One of the cutscenes show Sonnie himself who looks feminine with lipstick and cute eyes. Also, I don't even know who those guys at the intermission scenes are except for Dracula himself. One guy looks like a hunchback, and another guy who looks like a rival of Sonnie and unknowingly join Dracula's force. In addition, if you play a 2-player game starring the red Sonnie and the blue Sonnie, each player will take turn to play the level, and only one Sonnie will rescue the princess while the other will not ever have a chance to beat all rounds after that. Overall, I recommend Taito's Flipull unless you want to have some laugh at this silly game Castle of Dracula.

:bulletblue: When it comes to the arcade game Vs. Baseball from Nintendo, the player has a point "timer" that is present during the gameplay. Getting your players get into the home base earn extra time points while getting "BEANED" (where the player's pitcher throws the ball directly to the CPU's battler) and letting the CPU's players into home decreases the points. The game goes cliffhanger when the there are no points left. In addition, there is an extra top view in which the player is the pitcher, and it has the voices included unlike the NES version of Baseball. Furthermore, the game links two screen together so two players can play together. And I guess there's still more to say about the difference between both versions, but that's all for now.

:bulletblue: The first thing that rose my curiosity and interest about the game show called Weakest Link was the only YTP video. After watching that many times I started looking at one actual episode of it starring wrestling superstars and the videos of the video game version on PS1 and PS2. Several things I noticed about the difference between the US and the EU version of Weakest Link on PS1 are the contestant's voice and how the host Anne Robinson said to the contestants. [This leads to my verdict that I prefer the EU version of the WL video game more.] So sad that there will be no more new episodes of the show in the future since I like the show even though the host can be mean to the contestants. Weakest Link... [I kinda want to make a drawing about what if the Links from various Zelda games participate in the show.]

:bulletblue: Cobra Command... Is it just me or there are two different Cobra Command arcade games which were made by Data East? One is a laserdisc game, while the other is a shooting game. I wonder if there are other multiple games of the same name made by the same company. :confused:

:bulletblue: A month ago when I visit my favorite retro arcade, I saw an Intellivision Flashback console that had Bomb Squad available but without the guide card to attach to the keypad of the controller. As a result, both me and my brother failed miserably at the first level with first digit needed to be solved to not let the bomb destroy the town. This month, people at the arcade had the Turbografx-16 console in the game room along with a box of dozen different games to play including Splatterhouse, Super Star Soldier, Space Harrier, and Keith Courage. I only tried Splatterhouse at this recent visit. I don't know if my brother came to the room and tried the TG-16 console. Otherwise, it's fun experiencing the games on a real console. Meanwhile, there's a Colecovision flashback in the other room which I haven't tried since I don't have any favorite game of that console to play. Nevertheless, almost nothing has changed since the last month's visit. :)

:bulletblue: Perfect Billiard (Perfect Billiards in the US) was made in 1987 by Nihon System and published by United Artists for the US release. For those who are familiar with Lunar Pool (or Lunar Ball) on NES / Famicom, the game is very much similar with the exception of moving holes and soothing billiard-themed BGM playing in Perfect Billiard. Plus, Engrish is included in the game such as "BEGINER" and "SERECT GAME" in which the latter appears when you play a 2-player game. Overall, Perfect Billiard to me looks more of an arcade version of Lunar Pool, so it's at least fun to play and has a single good music to listen.

:bulletblue: First, there's a new Powerpuff Girls show coming up next year. Now, there's another Samurai Jack show that is in development and will be premiered at that year as well. The good thing about the new SJ is that the same creator is involved in working with it, yet because I favor the old cartoons more I don't even know if the new Samurai Jack TV series will have the same enjoyable action-packed theme compared to the older one. :iconthinkingplz:

:bulletblue: Finally that Hideo Kojima is now able to make some projects for newer video games of his own. :phew:

:bulletblue: So, Nintendo finally revealed that Bayonetta and Corrin (of Fire Emblem Fates), which has both male and female version, will join the Smash battle in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U this year after Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. [The cool thing about Corrin is that he / she can turn into a dragon to fight... even though I don't know anything about Fire Emblem series at all. Also Corrin's "saw blade"...] The amiibo figures of these three characters will be available as well in the future.

:bulletblue: Today, there's something different on :dalogo: here. The toolbar now is also on the message page, and it has no "Daily Deviations" button for me to look at as DDs page is something I like to view on dA everyday. So, guess I'll have to input more on the web address as a shortcut to dA's Daily Deviations. On the other hand, that is the only thing which is different than what it looked like previous days ago. :saddummy:

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if there are errors in this journal, but more will come soon. Also, wish everybody a Merry Christmas on this year as well. :pencil:
  • Listening to: [none]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Microsoft Sam plays Millionaire (my brother's CPU)
  • Playing: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (on my DS)
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Mineral water
December already? ... Wow... Sure that with all the joyful moments since the beginning of this year, life has gone too fast for the ole' me - RS. [On the other hand, as what my other self thinks, 2015 is kinda the saddest year that I've ever experienced not just because of famous people who passed away but also some struggling happening ever since the past few years.] :saddummy:

Anyhow, did not do much during the Thanksgiving Day due to important stuff outside the computer that I needed to work on, so no special meals for me except for the decent fried rice dish that was made days ago.

As for video games this month, there are two that I'm currently playing: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (100% challenge on Normal playthrough) and WarioWare D.I.Y. My brother is now playing Tales of the Abyss which is his first 3DS game on hand. Thus, that's another thing to do on the daily routine since the semester will be finished in a couple of weeks from now and the school will be closed after the final exam week.

So, here are things that have happened since the last journal:

:bulletblue: My brother's interest in X68000 games called Genocide, made by ZOOM, brought me into looking deeper at the second Genocide game, in which I've remembered the Stage Clear fanfare from the SNES version for years. I've seen at least a giant robot that carries a sword in various media such as Power Rangers, but I haven't seen a giant mecha that yields a Lightsaber-like sword and a Betty as its "option". Unlike the first game criticized by its poor controls, Genocide 2 (G2) was like an upgrade version of the first game with the addition of Betty and the display on the top of the screen where the player has to destroy a specific number of enemies until the "GO" arrow appears. The graphics are great. The music is awesome (specially the ZOOM company music.) It reminds me of the After Burner arcade games. And the gameplay seems of course better than the previous. I saw on the video that the game was also available on DOS besides the SNES port although G2 for X68000 is considered the best. Up to now, it's hard to find a full playthrough of the game... maybe due to its challenging difficulty that I could only see a video playthrough that ended at the lava level. [And I still don't know what the ending of this game is like until I play it myself or a complete longplay video is uploaded.] There are six stages in this game. Each stage has three areas to complete, and often at the end of the third area lies the boss waiting for the player to battle. Overall, Genocide 2 is one of the truly underrated 2D action-platform game that not many people have heard of before.

:bulletblue: Hmm... The popular video website team have finally decided to deal with the copyright problems that most people have suffered for years and then, for some, end up moving to another website to continue posting videos. Still, the disaster prolongs its existence as recently there are latest videos blocked in specific countries just because of the specific contents of a kawaii video game franchise that is adored by a lot of fans. Sigh... Well, time to seek for more alternatives in case things on the video website will happen even worse in the future. :iconsighingplz:

:bulletblue: During the trip to my favorite retro arcade on the middle of November, there were some new cabinets being put from in the front room to the deepest zones in the arcade. I didn't know that Atari had a vector arcade game where the player controls two joysticks just like in Robotron 2084 or Smash TV. The game was released in 1982 which was the same year Robotron 2084 was released. The main objective in Black Widow was simple enough: Survive or lose all lives. The player controls the titular spider in the web which has the ability to shoot the bullets to other insects. Some bugs on the later waves can be of a pain such as those that explode like a grenade or those that shoot the rockets at the spider. Simply, the higher the wave, the more difficult bugs that will appear during the game. To summarize, Black Widow is a decent vector arcade game from Atari that I can enjoy as much as playing Robotron 2084. [I hope they will get either Smash T.V. or Total Carnage arcade machine in the future.]

:bulletblue: Replacing the first House of the Dead cabinet which I haven't seen it for a long time, there was a cabinet of Atari's light gun game Area 51. Similar to HotD, two players can play together to shoot a horde of enemies (mostly the enemy soldiers) while trying to not shoot the STAAR allies showing on the screen or else a life point will be lost. We didn't beat the game yet, so we played about six credits playthrough for a while and passed through the factory level. Also, there are power-ups laying on specific areas which my favorite is where it changes the player's default gun (8 bullets per reload) into the shotgun type (4 bullets per reload,) and it's infinite unless the player gets hit or shoots a STAAR teammate accidentally. [Since the cabinet focuses on the gameplay, I'm not able to know how the soundtrack in the game is like. Therefore, some time listening to the videos of the game's soundtrack is needed.] In short, Area 51 is one of the early lightgun arcade games we can enjoy for long. There was a sequel called Area 51: Site 4 and had the game re-released into a 2-in-1 light gun arcade cabinet which had Maximum Force. A first-person shooter game was released under the same name featuring a different-yet-related storyline.

:bulletblue: And then, there came another new cabinet in the arcade called Turbo Out Run, made by Sega in 1989. Unlike the previous Out Run, the first thing the player sees after inserting the coin is the map itself which shows the set route around USA instead of splitting into different paths. Second, he / she can choose to either use the gear shift (Manual) or not to use it (Automatic,) and along with that came a Turbo button that boosts the car to run extremely at high speed, hence the word "Turbo." [The upright cabinet in the arcade I go has only the Start button before the steering wheel that is also used as a Turbo button.] Keep in mind that there is a gauge on the bottom of the screen where letting the turbo engine overheated can be much of a problem in getting through the checkpoint before the timer runs out. Third, the player can't have the chance at the start to choose his / her favorite song to listen to the memorable songs such as Magical Sound Shower. And all of the tracks in the game are new to listen except for one track that were also on the first Fantasy Zone, made by Sega as well. After reaching the sub-goal in the game, the player can choose one of three upgrades for the red Ferrari. Furthermore, depending on how well the player beat the CPU opponent who is also involved in the race, the driver's girlfriend will either keep sitting with him or move to sit with the driver's rival instead. If the player reaches the sub-goal first before the CPU (with the girl), bonus points are awarded and the girl will return to sit with the player character. [Too serious for me.] Therefore, having the driver's girlfriend with him will eventually affect the ending of the game... And that's the arcade racing game Turbo Out Run from Sega. [I hope that people at the arcade will have a chance to get one of the OutRunners cabinets, at least the upright one.]

:bulletblue: Next stop is the Ultracade. Yes, they have that "Hyperspin" type of arcade machine there which includes two joysticks, six buttons on each side, and a trackball on the middle. Asides from several available games that were also on the real arcade machines there, I'm glad that the Ultracade has few obscure games inside: Golden Tee Golf (the classic one, Joystick version) and Gimme a Break (the billiard game that uses the trackball.) The classic Golden Tee Golf arcade game, made in 1989 by Incredible Technologies (or Strata) is one of my all-time favorite arcade golf games because of not just the beautiful graphics and natural atmosphere in the game but also the spectacular expressions that the announcer shares to the player. For example, when the golfer loses a chance of getting Eagle during putting, the narrator (or maybe the golfer) screams or the narrator simply expresses with both disappointment and sympathy for the golfer. Gimme a Break, made by Bally / Sente in 1985, is another one that is as obscure as Perfect Billiard (Nihon System, 1987, gameplay similar to Lunar Pool) since the player takes control of the player ball (which is the white ball) to clear out the whole eight-ball rack in the game (four different pool tables per loop) using the trackball. After clearing each table, players can have a chance to challenge the bonus round, where tricks are needed to clear all two or three balls. Other games in the Ultracade include Darkstalkers and Legendary Wings as what I know. Otherwise, nothing else to say more about the Ultracade at the arcade.

:bulletblue: One last thing during the visit at the retro arcade was that in the game room they had an Intellivision Flashback console plugged onto the TV. And they had Bomb Squad which I could try and ended up not beating the first level and first digit in the game after that due to lacking the instruction guide and the card for hinting how each button worked. Well, at least that's my first time trying to defuse the bomb in Bomb Squad. :facepalm:

[And that's the end of the story of my last visit at the retro arcade.]

:bulletblue: If anyone is familiar with the Famicom version of Mahjong for a long time besides the gameplay and so on... Can anyone tell me what just happened in that one situation where the player receives the tiles which the faces on the front are orange-colored instead of being normally white? I saw it years ago on the NES version, and then recently in Vs. Mahjong it occurred. :iconcuriosityplz:

:bulletblue: Recently, I've heard from an arcade news website that they have Point Blank X, Galaga Assault (video / redemption game,) and World's Largest Pac-Man being tested at several modern arcades far away from my place. It's about time that Namco has brought a new Point Blank game. Galaga Assault is just like the old Galaga except with upgrade features in which the player can have 12 fighters at the same time by inserting more coins / swiping the card few more times. World's Largest Pac-Man is mostly the same as the original Pac-Man with enhanced features plus including the original Galaga in it. Meanwhile, the first-person shooter game Luigi's Mansion Arcade (or Luigi Mansion Arcade) tested at the specific modern arcade location as well.

It's kinda sad that the retro arcade I often go is my only favorite arcade that I believe is growing better.

[Last few months, in the other modern arcade where Beatmania IIDX 14 was, I didn't see the Raiden IV cabinet for a long time. The PCB was still running well, and there was no bugs or glitches affecting the game. I just hope that they aren't going to throw this awesome vertical shmup game away because it is still me and my brother's favorite game at that arcade, even though it's hard as bullet hell to beat.]

:bulletblue: After Dark from UNIS is a rail shooter arcade game that shares the same gameplay from Deadstorm Pirates, made by Bandai Namco. Finally, somebody has videos of gameplay of this interesting game although the viewers didn't have a chance to see the ending there. By looking at the game's atmosphere, I immediately sum up the whole game in a silly way that After Dark is like Castlev... I mean Van Helsing blended with Deadstorm Pirates... because three main characters do resemble Van Helsing, Anna, and Carl from the movie except with different hair colors and light-hearted personalities. I thought Dracula was the main antagonist in the game, but turned out that he's one of the stage bosses in After Dark while others include a giant golem and a werewolf. So far, I could only see the separated videos, but I would expect for a full playthrough video since the modern arcades I go don't have the After Dark cabinet. :(

:bulletblue: My brother shared the video of a game called Magical Truck Adventure... Hmm... I remember this. I saw the whole arcade machine over a decade ago at the location where it used to have an arcade zone. The machine was big, and each side had a lever control for moving and a pedal for jumping or lifting the... magical truck. Playable characters are Roy (left player) and Alma (right player) who have to keep Alma's unknown precious stone from the hand of those two villains. Simple as that. At the same time, both have to traverse through different levels with various themes, and at the end of the stage the player characters should either catch up with the villains if the stone is stolen or try to survive and avoid the villain's malicious attack when the main characters still possess the stone. There are three stages per gameplay, and whoever side has the stone in hand will affect the next path that will be taken next until one of the three endings shows. After getting the game over or the ending, the game calculates the percentage in companionship. Yes, this is way before they did the similar thing on Let's Go Jungle arcade games. Also, you can play this on single player where the other character acts as a CPU ally. Overall, Magical Truck Adventure is one of the rare arcade games from Sega where the characters remind me much of Studio Ghibli's animated movies.

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if there are errors in here, but more will come soon. :pencil:
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  • Watching: Rooster vs Reporter (video on YT)
  • Playing: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (on my DS)
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  • Drinking: Mineral water
Basically, that's how the weather is during this season in my area. For some reasons, a pack of emotions flow when the sky is rainy during the hours. The temperature is getting a little colder, and the sky is getting darker. Even though I like the weather to be this way, somehow it feels like the weather predicts the struggling which is about to come in the future.

Maybe it's just me having this oddly anxious mood, but I hope that things will get better from now. :(

Moving on, here is what happened since the last journal:

[These are things I've heard from the recent Nintendo Direct video clips.]

:bulletblue: So, they announced that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will be released on Wii U in March 4th of next year. Along with that, an amiibo figure of Link in his wolf form will be available as well. The thing is that I finished Twilight Princess on my original Wii years ago along with Skyward Sword. Therefore, I may not plan to play again unless being really interested in comparing the HD with the original game on the Wii.

[Edited on Nov 17th, 2015. Thanks, Joseph, for providing additional info.] Another feature for Wolf Link amiibo is that players can manage to transfer their save data from Twilight Princess HD which the figure can read to the new Wii U Zelda game. Along with other Zelda-related amiibos, the figure will also be usable in Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U.

:bulletblue: The schedule for the next Zelda game for Wii U will still be on 2016. I wonder what that new Link will be like compared to the Link from Skyward Sword. His appearance looks similar to Link with regular clothes from Wind Waker.

:bulletblue: Meanwhile, there is a new character introduced in Hyrule Warriors Legends for 3DS. And I assume that because of the fans' demands, Linkle, a female version of Link armed with dual crossbows, has finally come to join the battle. I'm really happy that the wish to make her playable finally came true! Hyrule Warriors Legends will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on March 25th, 2016. Well, hopefully I'll be able to get a 3DS for my own in the future.

:bulletblue: In Japan, Nintendo announced that Mother 3, the third game in the Earthbound saga, will be on Virtual Console for Wii U on December 17th this year. Also, there will be an amiibo version of Lucas soon at the same time. And still no Mother 3 for the US release except for the English translation of the game...

:bulletblue: Star Fox Zero for Wii U is scheduled on April 22nd, 2016 for its release date. I wonder if there will be at least a remix soundtrack of the older Star Fox games.

:bulletblue: Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, a game for Nintendo 3DS featuring Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario, will be released on January 22nd next year. Again, another Mario & Luigi game that I can't have a chance to play without the 3DS and a copy of the game.

:bulletblue: Mega Man Legacy Collection for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled to be released on February 23rd, 2016. The collection contains six Mega Man games, which again I still prefer the Mega Man Anniversary Collection because of 7, 8, and two Mega Man arcade games included. Yet still, I hope the collection is not as expensive as buying six separate Mega Man NES games on 3DS Virtual Console.

:bulletblue: And not to forget, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII has joined the Smash in the latest Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, making Square Enix another company to participate Smash along with Sega, Capcom, and Namco. There's no release date at this moment.

[And that ends things from the recent Nintendo Direct. Below here are the random gaming stuff that happened since previously.]

:bulletblue: During when me and my brother watched some random gameplay videos, there was a Game Boy game called Action Man: Search for Base X, which was made in 2001 for the Game Boy Color by Natsume and Published by THQ. The soundtrack is awesome as usual as the music was composed by people of Natsume. However, as for the gameplay, most reviewers said it is difficult to beat even on Easy difficulty. I think that is why there is only the TAS video on YT which shows the whole process of the game even though I can barely read the rest of the texts in the game. Overall, Action Man: Search for Base X is literally hard, but it looks colorful enough to see, contains some good visual effects for a Game Boy Color game, and has its BGMs really decent to listen much to the other GB and NES music of other Natsume games like Shadow of the Ninja or Dragon Fighter.

:bulletblue: Lately, I'm up to looking back at NES games on the Nintendo Vs. system. There are lots of differences compared to the NES games such as graphic improvements and extra stuff including the different theme playing during the game or exclusive bonus round. Some of the titles were remade and animated, and some of the Vs. games have no music in the title screen.

- Vs. Mach Rider remains the same BGM and gameplay except that the game is now entirely in Endurance Course mode.
- Vs. Super Mario Bros. has most of the stages modified to make the game more difficult than the original NES' SMB. In addition, some courses from Super Mario Bros. 2 (JP)/ The Lost Levels were borrowed.
- Vs. Mahjong is harder than on the Famicom since the player CAN lose the game if choosing "agari" (あがり) without having four sets of three same or run-on tiles and a pair of similar tiles. Another feature for this game is to link to another screen (with Vs. Mahjong also) to play with another player together. Too bad, no "TEA TIME" for players this time.
- Vs. Duck Hunt has detailed animations and includes the bonus round where the player can accidentally shoot the dog jumping around. There are 12 ducks / targets instead of 10, and three ducks can appear at the same time. Even on the Shooting Clay section, the dog appears and laughs at the player when a clay or two are missed. In this Vs. game, player has a limited number of lives. When the player misses one duck / target, a life is lost. On the bright side, two players can play this game simultaneously.
- Vs. Hogan's Alley, similar to Vs. Duck Hunt, is a light gun with all modes in one gameplay. The player, again with a limited amount of lives, begins with the scenery from Game A mode and then on Game B mode. Game C, which is Trick Shot, is set as a bonus round where, unlike the NES version, the player has a limited amount of bullets to shoot the cans to let them land on the ledges. After that, everything restarts back to Game A except with a higher difficulty. The BGM is mostly different from the NES'.
- Vs. Ice Climber features a strong wind in some courses, a bee enemy, and a butterfly appeared in later courses. Plus, there are 48 mountains total. Players can select any out of 24 to play. Once the first 24 stages are completed, another set of 24 appears until the courses are reset. Some BGMs are extended since I hear some new notes in the game even on the bonus round.
- Vs. Wrecking Crew shows the similar HUD from the arcade version of the original Mario Bros. Same gameplay except with a different stage layout, and there is no BGM playing in-game unless in the bonus round. A different fanfare played before the round begins.
- Vs. Balloon Fight maintains the same soundtrack. The only difference is the stage layout which is extended to vertical fields, double the size of the normal screen. [Sorry that I can't explain clearly...] Somehow, this arcade game was released about a year before Balloon Fight on the NES.
- Vs. Slalom... Not very much to say about since the gameplay remains the same. The only difference is that the player is allowed to continue the game on the current skiing course he or she lost previously. Additionally, bonus points are lease than on the NES. The only thing that I feel strange is they removed the Continue feature when it was ported to the NES console since the arcade version was released in 1986 while the NES version was in 1987.
- Vs. Pinball, made in 1984, has the music playing during the game resembling a running engine sound made with the Triangle instrument along with different sound effects. Player 2 actually has a different Triangle BGM playing in their green table than in Player 1 gameplay that has a blue pinball table. Bonus stage includes the BGM, also. Finally, when the ball is lost, some bonus points are awarded before the next ball starts or the game ends depend on how well the player is in Vs. Pinball.
- Vs. Stroke and Match Golf, which is Golf on NES, has Men's and Lady's versions. Music plays throughout the game until the golfer swings. Also, I like when the game is trying to say "OB" or "WATER HAZARD" or "BUNKER" using the Pulse channel. Different stage orders, I believe, and I find it fun to play as much as the NES version of the game.
[P/S: There was a strange bootleg version of Golf in the multicart / famiclone where the N and T letters were swapped.]
- My brother Aces managed to beat Vs. T.K.O. Boxing, which is Family Boxing (JP) or Ring King on NES. The thing is that he uses the turbo button to regain most stamina while resting. Otherwise, nothing is different between the Vs. and the NES version. Yeah...
- Vs. Clu Clu Land, also available on Famicom Disk System and as a port on Animal Crossing for Gamecube called Clu Clu Land D, maintains the same gameplay and the same backgrounds (although there is no hole where the sea urchins appear in the first land.) However, the sets of gold bars or rupees are different, and there is a big sea urchin that does not appear in the original CCL. The stage theme is different yet remains enjoyable, and there are two stage themes in the game. I feel that the second stage theme is much of an arranged version of the main theme on the NES version. Still, this Vs. game is fun too.

Overall, there are some of the Vs. games that I like more than the NES versions, and of course I still prefer the NES version of certain games over the Vs. version for some reasons. Nintendo Vs. system is kind of a mystery, yet it's worth to look more about it. [Specially that Vs. Mahjong. :O]

At my favorite retro arcade, they have Vs. Goonies, Vs. Castlevania, Vs. Super Mario Bros, and Vs. Excitebike. I wonder... If they plan to get another Vs. game, which one they will have next... Vs. Battle City would be nice, I guess.

:bulletblue: I saw a video of a guy making music and sounds using mainly the piano and other stuff. Actually, three small videos in the video show his piano performance on Pulse 1, Pulse 2, and Triangle while the other two are videos of him using stuff for Noise and DPCM separately. Five clips are combined together to create one video. What is unique about this is he included the sound effects as if it's Super Mario Bros. 3 on piano. It's amazing in my opinion that they should have more videos like this around. It feels as much as he's using Famitracker with a real piano.

:bulletblue: Raw Thrills is making a Q*Bert redemption game called Q*Bert Returns, according to the arcade news site I read. Recently, I heard that the redemption of Galaga a.k.a. Galaga Assault is in development. Pac-Man Ticket Mania is already available at most modern video arcades. Meanwhile, there's a Ghostbusters redemption game where destroying Stay Puft to get jackpot is a pain even if my brother is good at any light gun / rail gun arcade games. Hmm... Redemption games are popular around here. :O_o:

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if what I'm saying is wrong, but more will come soon. Plus, my condolence to people at Paris as I heard what happened on TV, on the radio, and on dA few days ago. Emote - RS with White Flower 
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  • Drinking: Mineral water
Well, that's the good news. After suffering for months from the intense heat, at last there will have an increasing chance to rain likely during the night, and we will be able to go out for a walk in the morning without feeling sick because of the temperature. :iconweekenddanceplz:

[Yet sometimes, when the sky looks dark and cloudy, I somehow feel the magnitude of depression coming up... But I'm okay. I understand why.]

Also, to celebrate Halloween this year, there will be about at least eight deviations I'm going to submit on :dalogo: on this last day of October. Again, still no costume to wear but at least I can spend this Saturday going to my favorite arcade, enjoy some old-school arcade and pinball games again, and chat with my favorite arcade owners.

Meanwhile, here are stuff that happened since the last journal:

:bulletblue: Sometimes, when the internet is acting weird even if the connection is good, I can't seem to access anything except being able to surf on Wikipedia in my common browser. This kinda happened twice not just to my laptop but my brother's too. Right now the connection is stable, so nothing has happened up to now. :shrug:

:bulletblue: Happy late birthday to my brother Aces High! Nothing much to do at that time since my brother prefered his birthday to be regular just like everyday routine. But I hope he will be successful in the future and have a good and healthy career in his life. :meow:

:bulletblue: There was an arcade game from Konami that I didn't hear before until I watched the longplay video of the game. Hyper Crash to me looks like a 3D version of Road Fighter except that the player has to crash the other cars in order to gain more fuel. The game is short, and there are six stages to survive total. Only few tracks play in the game, so there's not much to say. Overall, Hyper Crash from Konami is a simple survival driving game that is fairly okay to play. Though, I would still pick the arcade driving game Hot Chase from Konami over this game.

:bulletblue: Going to my favorite awesome video arcade is the only way I can play some old consoles including the NES. When I played Super Spy Hunter made by Sunsoft on the console during the previous visit, everything else I experience was different although the game always remain the same. Just by playing the game for the first time, I started to quickly have a really deep interest in the epicness of Super Spy Hunter more than only when I watched the Chief from Game Center CX playing Battle Formula. The game manual is the only thing I read that shows the name of the stages and the name of the bosses in the game. I also look on TCRF for other hidden codes and a minigame and took some time watching people playing this game. I didn't know that the pond with coconut trees was the spot that you could get your player car healed to full life. As for the game, everything is awesome despite the intense difficulty which the player can only survive by collecting a lot of powerups and extra lives for the sake of trying again. The soundtrack is seriously awesome with the addition of Sunsoft Bass. The visual gameplay is really nice, especially during on the roads at the first and third stage and the aerial landing at the fourth stage. The control is pretty smooth for controlling the car, the boat, and the plane. In conclusion, Super Spy Hunter is chosen to be my favorite game of this October. I'm sad that it's not on the Virtual Console list, but I wonder if Sunsoft will plan to do that in the future along with other great games such as Gimmick and Journey to Silius.

:bulletblue: Also, at the video arcade they have a cabinet of Crazy Climber made by Nihon Bussan / Nichibutsu. [And that's the only Nichibutsu game in the arcade...] It was my first time seeing the cabinet which the gameplay consists of using only two arcade sticks. As I try the game, it's really hard to control and move the character, yet it's easy to climb up the building. [If you don't do anything, someone will say "Go for it!" repeatedly as an encouragement.] The goal in this game is to climb up to the top and clear the stage by catching the helicopter. Not only the player has to get used to the control and climb to the top, the player has to avoid the obstacles falling from the building, "happy" people throwing things to the player character, the bird producing eggs and poo, gorilla on the building, flashing Nichibutsu signs with sparking wires, and Crazy Climber signs falling at random location from the top of the screen. An interesting part is if the player can recognize some of the songs playing while climbing. From the Replay Burners video (which the game is the Japanese version), I noticed the theme from Pink Panther, some sort of the beginning part of the Canon D song, and a theme song from the anime series Doraemon unless I don't remember them well. Still terrible at beating the first building in the game due to the control, yet next time I will manage to clear at least one stage in the game. In summary, Crazy Climber is indeed crazy yet a fun game from Nichibutsu that challenges the players into mastering at using two sticks to climb up to the highest point. Even the Famicom port requires the player to use two controllers, especially two D-pads to play.

:bulletblue: So, lately something kinda big happens on YT as for certain reasons they created some sort of a "premium" subscription called YouTube Red. Still, it's not a big deal for me because I'm absolutely fine of having a normal life on YT. Nevertheless, I still have to be careful of the videos in the future except for stuff that is considered original. Fishy feelings continue to exist in my mind. :hmm:

:bulletblue: During the time watching the short arcade longplay videos, I found a weird arcade game called Buccaneers (Pirates in Spanish) which was literally the hack of Irem's Vigilante. The player character walks too slow, but at least hopping or flipping makes him go faster. Punching some minor enemies are somehow stronger than kicking. And the worst and best part is the third stage where the player can grab a revolver to shoot the enemies. Just one single bullet and even the boss can't stand a chance on defending themselves. However, it will happen the same to the player if the bullets from any enemy hit the character. [My brother found a weird "score-farming" glitch in the third stage. When the player character got hit by the bullets while crouching, he's STILL alive and able to continue attacking the enemies. Until he stopped holding down on the joystick, the character performed his death animation, and a life was lost. Strange, isn't it.] Any chance the player continues the game after losing all the lives, (s)he will have to start from the beginning of the current stage, which make the Castle stage a cruelsome nightmare. In short, the difficulty is hard but not intense when tricks and strategies are used. Besides, there are only four stages in this game, so it's reasonably a short game to play. Onto the soundtrack, it's not very much interesting to notice out which track is the best one even though I find the ranking screen music amusingly decent to listen as much as to a billiard arcade game music. In summary, Buccaneers, made by people from Germany, is an obscure, pirate-themed hack of Vigilante that is kinda intense but at least not a dozen-minutes arcade game to play. There already are videos of beating this game in 1CC on YT, so you can look at their gameplay if you don't want to spend your time getting frustrated at beating the third stage in this game.

:bulletblue: Recently getting addicted to listening to and watching people playing Tetris: The Grand Master arcade games, which are now my favorite kind of Tetris game of all-time. It's not just a simple Tetris game. It's a Tetris game almost for everyone but mainly for experts who can handle the heavy gravity of the Tetromino drop such as 20G. The first game is easy to obtain the rank above S1, but from the second game... Good bye, my dream of getting an S1 ranking. And in order to get the GM ranking, you'll need to survive during the credits roll... up to the case where you don't see your Tetrominos on the screen. I recommend Tetris: The Grand Master series from Arika if you want to try a harder Tetris game. Hopefully, they will have at least an arcade cabinet of any TGM game near my place. [I really want to play that on the real cabinet so much...]

And that's all for this journal. Have a happy Halloween this year and always stay safe in this spooky night. :pencil:
  • Listening to: Tetris the Absolute: The Grand Master 2 soundtrack
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  • Drinking: Mineral water
It seems that of some sites I know that use the Adobe Flash plugin, about half a minute later every crash interrupts what I'm doing on my laptop Turtle, even though its latest version is being used on my newest version of Firefox or Chrome.

...Great... :iconsadnessplz:

If all the computers (both Mac and Windows) at school suffer the same as my laptop's Flash, then there's a little to no way that I can do my homework in the library since some of the courses still use this plugin to provide materials for students to study.

However, my brother's laptop doesn't suffer from it when I asked him to check the Flash on his laptop by playing the first stage gameplay of a game on a website that applies the plugin. That somehow gives a mystery in which those CPUs at school likely won't have such problem like this at all.

...Maybe it's my laptop that has this problem until the future versions fix the crash... :worry:

But as for now, when there's a homework on some of the courses that I have to do it on the computer which requires Adobe Flash plugin to proceed, it is best for me to stay at school finishing them all before worse things happen.

[Quite recently, I'm having an unresting, disturbing feeling about life and things in the future... Hopefully, all will be well again unless my friend's prediction about the dark future is true after all.] :pencil:
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  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: [none]
...And so as the other things that I have to do at school because of the course requirements and for the sake of my own mentality in life. Therefore, I apologize if I have only less deviations or drawings or pictures to share to you guys. But again, I appreciate very much for :llama:, :+fav:, and :+devwatch:. Whenever I have time to draw, I will keep making new stuff from my ideas likely on my drawing list even though most of the digital art drawings in the future will be pixel arts. :meow:

Meanwhile, the last Sunday of September this year was the day that I saw a lunar eclipse for the first time in my life. Despite that none of the cameras I had didn't capture the blood moon around several thousand miles away from the ground, it was fun to watch how the eclipse was created. The only thing left for me is to experience the solar eclipse asides from the TV someday in the future whenever it's possible. For the next lunar eclipse, ... it will appear again after thirty years from the previous one.

Anyhow, here are stuff that happened since the last journal. Some of them are kinda shorts, so there's not much to say:

:bulletblue: I've heard that Taito is going to release Darius Burst: Chronicle Saviours (or CS for short) for Playstation 4 and Vita this winter. Hopefully they will have a plan to release the game internationally since for now they have a bunch of awesome Darius Burst games only in Japan. I miss Darius series and the fish...

:bulletblue: [I miss the modem dial-up sounds... Wonder if they still use these kinds of sound in the present.]

:bulletblue: Watching the Chief playing Densha de GO! on Game Center CX brought me back to my interest in this series. Made by Taito and mostly released only in Japan, this franchise is basically a Japanese train simulation game where the player has to drive the train to the destination on time. Yes, on time or earlier than the target timetable. To make it easier, there is a time bank which serves as some sort of a "life bar" for the player. If the player's current time is overly exceeded, every second flows will decrease a point in the bank until it reaches zero which, of course, you know what it means. The player's performance also can affect the amount of time bank in the game. Even pressing the horn too many times can cause the bank to deplete. Some say that Densha de Go is hard, yet maybe it will be better when the player is getting used to its unique control table? From the first game, the train controller normally includes the acceleration lever, the horn button, and the brake lever, kinda of a feeling that the player is literally controlling the train in the game. There are more than three different courses to choose from Beginner to Expert. Often, the player controls the specific kind of train in each course in which one takes place in an actual area in Japan [or it is just me who think so]. The graphics in the game are beautiful even on the first Densha de Go. The game is often shown on the first-person view of the user who controls the train. Additionally, if the player plays well in the game about more than few stages, the weather may change from clear skies to getting rainy (making the train more difficult to decrease its speed) or very cloudy (where UFOs or Space Invaders[?] appear during the stage). The soundtrack has an exciting feeling in my opinion, yet there is no music playing during the game except for the sounds of the train and the surroundings resembling real life scenery [and that's fine for me]. Overall, it takes luck to find a Densha de GO! cabinet outside Japan, yet it's considered my favorite train simulation game that I should try when there is an available cabinet nearby. Now Square Enix completely owns the franchise, yet who knows that there will be a Densha de Go game that will be released outside Japan. Only time will tell.

:bulletblue: From the moment after watching the second part of the two-episode game on Game Center CX, I didn't know that there was a place where the owner sold actual arcade PCBs in Japan. I was surprised that the Gradius PCB was really expensive... as much as buying a lot of decent arcade boards. The good thing is that they sell lots of shoot 'em up boards, mostly from CAVE. But still, playing on an actual board of the arcade games is as much fun as playing them on MAME for me... if only I have enough to afford on buying the SuperGun from Jamma Nation X, which is one of my future plans. [Well, the SuperGun is a box that, with some specific harnesses, can let you play the arcade games at home with your custom controller or a Sega Saturn controller. Now I know how some people can manage to record and share the actual footage of the games to YT with the word "Not MAME" on the title, which is nice to compare between from the emulation and from the actual PCB.]

:bulletblue: And speaking of PCB, it's pretty rare to find the actual arcade board of Gaiapolis. There was only one video showing the first stage of the game which was not from MAME but the real PCB. If only whoever owned it had time to record the full playthrough of the game captured from its board. The same thing to my other favorite arcade games as well. :saddummy:

:bulletblue: DailyMotion... Hmm... :hmm:

:bulletblue: When I saw a gameplay video showing the Vic Viper from Gradius or TwinBee participating on an anti-gravity racing game Speed King / Road Rage from Konami, an arcade game made in the 90s and ported to PS1, it made me feel quite puzzled. The reason is this: Before I knew that racing game Speed King, there was a cancelled racing arcade game me and my brother knew for years called Vic Viper. [As for me, I knew the game after seeing a page of one magazine on a fan Gradius website.] Its whole soundtrack was completed and available via the Konami Shooting Collection soundtrack box, yet the game remained a mystery since it's unreleased. When I first watched the player riding the Vic Viper from Gradius on Speed King, several hours later I began developing a question sorta like "Is that how the gameplay will be like on the Vic Viper arcade game?" Up to the point, I imagined what if that unknown racing game was available in public and I began to play on the cabinet. Maybe it's just my mind that makes this kind of theory. I just have a serious feeling that Speed King has some connections to the cancelled racing game that has full OST available. :iconcuriosityplz:

And that's all for this journal. Sorry if I'm saying it wrong, but more will come soon. :pencil:
  • Listening to: Show Time Under Leaden Skies
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [none]
  • Drinking: Ice water
And that's the outcome from my brother which I started to get aware of my own limit: My balance between studying and resting. We thought that he enrolled only just four courses to study at school, yet unexpectedly there was one course that split into two different sessions, hence five hours for that course ONLY on Saturday. That counted as five courses in one semester! Well, at least my brother knew how heavy those five classes in a period was like, so he could decrease back to few amounts for the next season. As for myself, because of how averagely difficult they are, right now three courses are considered at maximum I can handle in a semester... [even though I begin to have a feeling in one class that my maximum chance to pass that is decreased to 80%.] There is a lot of reading to do on weekdays, and I'm still trying to follow up in the class while having enough hours to rest for a day. The good thing in one of the courses is that there are some extra homework which require students to watch a two-and-a-half-hour movie each week in order to answer and submit to the class. [Sometimes, there's a day of moment that I'm the only one on the "theater room" watching the movie from average to good.] But overall, this season will be the hardest semester yet that we're enduring at school. :hmm:

[The good news is the temperature in where I'm living now is no longer above 110°F, and thunderstorms will likely occur more than the last time.]

[...And I will miss the black goldfish in the tank as well...]

Meanwhile, my brother Aces bought himself a new regular Nintendo 3DS XL except that the SD card that was already in the system wouldn't read. He tried various kinds of SD cards we got before, but it's a pain that even now the system doesn't seem to detect the SD card that is already inserted. Could it be the latest update that caused the problem, or was the SD slot being jerky to Aces right after unboxing the 3DS? Either way, he couldn't be able to download Galaxy Force II from eShop if the system isn't trying to read the card already inserted. Currently, he's planning to buy a 64GB SD card as the last chance. And if that chance is failed, he will move on to buying 3DS games instead.

Anyway, it's been a long time that I haven't shared some of the recent stuff I knew since the previous few journals. So, here comes nothing:

:bulletblue: So, I've seen the biggest Minesweeper game from CineMassive consisted of over ten giant screens to make the players endure by not pressing one of over ten thousand mines hidden in over a hundred thousand blocks. One mistake, one big loss in the game.

:bulletblue: SNK... What are you doing with the Beast Busters franchise? :noes:

:bulletblue: Some weeks ago, I didn't know that there was a Japanese TV show about a man whom his staff wanted to challenge him to beat various old-school games such as Adventure Island, Nosferatu, Gimmick, and more. Game Center CX was the name of the show that I first saw on the gaming news site I usually read. Instantly, just watching some random episodes of GCCX including the very first episode made me and my brother begin to enjoy more often as we didn't know that there were some other interesting games from the past that were released only in Japan. Each episode in the show includes some useful tips and guides from the narrator and staffs while the viewers can enjoy the chief trying to beat every stage until the end of the game. There are small segments during the break such as the chief going to different places around Japan or in other countries, mostly finding arcade games and prize games to play. [They still have Solar Assault cabinet existed there~] Other segments show some old-school games for the NES, Gameboy, etc. or finding which game that the quote on the flyer advertising the game was used or even seeing how the Famicom Box works. At the end of the episode in the show, many things can happen. Likely, either the chief (sometimes with the help of his staff) beats the game (with good or bad ending) in many hours or the challenge will be failed (as he has to finish it before midnight.) In conclusion, Game Center CX is worth seeing, and hopefully the show will keep producing more awesome episodes. [Is it the time I can plan for getting Retro Game Challenge on DS?]

:bulletblue: Watching Nosferatu episode on GCCX was like myself looking back to the SNES game Nosferatu. This is like Castlevania blended with classic Prince of Persia except that the player character Kyle has to rescue his lover Erin from Dracu... I mean Nosferatu in the castle JUST WITH HIS BARE FISTS! How awesome is that!? I didn't know that the Japanese version has limited continues and bad ending until I watched the chief playing the game. Still, it's a hard game that requires both strategy and good timing. The soundtrack is fairly decent, specially the continue screen and the second stage music as my favorite. In summary, it's sad that no Virtual Console version of Nosferatu will be included on the list, but it's worth a try for those who want to challenge to beat this difficult game in one shot.

:bulletblue: Before Silent Hill, there was Clock Tower made by Human Entertainment on the Super Famicom. Besides WonderSwan and Windows 95, it was released later again only in Japan under the name "Clock Tower: The First Fear" for the first PlayStation. [Not to be mistaken with Clock Tower for PS which is actually Clock Tower 2 in Japan.] Clock Tower is a horror point-and-click game which the player has to direct Jennifer, the player character, to avoid the deformed monster holding a pair of giant scissors to kill her while investigating some of the mystery lurking inside the clock tower, including her father. There are eight ending in total, ranking from S to H. One or few endings are counted as canon leading to the next CT on PS1. The music suits the theme of horror in the clock tower, and the scream from the SNES version is disturbing too. I'm surprised that they made this game onto the Wii U Virtual Console list in Japan. [And I wonder how...] Therefore, this is the only Clock Tower game that I like the most in the franchise, so nothing else to say except that strange things come from watching the second Clock Tower game starring Jennifer and Helen.

[The following ones below are small, short things I want to say about certain subjects.]

:bulletblue: My head was confused after watching the movie Inception few weeks ago. A dream inside a dream inside a dream. :confused:

:bulletblue: I've heard that they are making an arcade version of Mario & Sonic games. Already seen how the cabinet looks like, but if the arcade game is already done, then will there have anymore spaces to put at the modern arcades I go? That looks kinda big like the new Alpine Racer arcade game from Namco.

:bulletblue: I saw Samus in Super Mario Maker. Do you? :)

:bulletblue: The timeline from Time Crisis 5 connected the second Time Crisis game together, but with the True Mastermind edition, it turns out the twist has finally revealed just as how Namco planned to the players. [Spoilers censored. Recommended to watch the whole playthrough of the game which, with the update, there are SIX stages to play in the game. I wonder how people who love the second player characters from Time Crisis II will react to that.]

:bulletblue: Strange, the Channel section on dA is gone and so as some "Hidden by Owner / Commenter" stuff from people's comment section. I guess the reason why the Channel was disappeared is because of the new Tag features going on here. The latter one would be for not having too many "Hidden by Owner" appeared in the comment below as it's kinda annoying to see. But still, it's dA after all. I still miss their classic layouts... :shrug:

:bulletblue: Jamie from Thunder Zone has been detected at the ending of the game. I saw a video of the 1CC playthrough of the Japanese version of Desert Assault, which is the alternate name of the Data East arcade game Thunder Zone. Finally, I can experience how the second stage is like in the JP of Desert Assault which in that version is blue and icy (with penguins in the post-cutscene of the second stage) rather than orange and sandy in most other versions. :iconfinallyplz:

And that's all for this journal. More will write soon whenever I have time. :pencil:
  • Listening to: Nosferatu OST - March 8, 1990
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: [none]
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: Rice and Japanese curry
  • Drinking: Mineral water
From this Monday, August 24th, things will get busy around here in my life. :sleepy:

It's fun that I'm going back to school to study more courses. However, two things to endure are the intense heat outside and online homework. Despite its benefits, online homework for me is a nightmare since I absolutely like doing homework traditionally [on paper.] If all of my P2P courses in this semester require online studying in most of the hours after the first day in the classroom, then my eyes are certainly at risk of not having enough time to rest until going to sleep at night. Hybrid / blended classes are becoming more common at school right now, and I'm aware of it ever since. :noes:

Anyhow, because of the semester in this fall, things are getting delayed. Hopefully I will have my spare time to deal with the rest of the work on the list besides schoolwork, including my drawing list. This means I may not be able to draw and post new drawings on Saturday often [except those that I made before this Monday.] The same to sounds and stuff I still am and will be working on. [Sorry if it's taking too long, my friends.]

Therefore, still wandering around :dalogo: yet will not have much of my free time here. For those who have started going to school for their classes, I wish you success and good luck passing the courses. :)

~ RS ~ :pencil:
  • Listening to: [none]
  • Reading: [none]
  • Watching: Game Center CX on YT
  • Playing: [none]
  • Eating: [Can't eat. Too full.]
  • Drinking: Mineral water