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20 games/series that changed me. Part 1

I’m taking this idea from Terry the Traveller, formerly known as The Traveller of Tyria, were he mentioned 20 games that changed him and briefly described how. I decided to do it in blog format because I knew I wouldn’t be able to condense how some of these games changed my life in 140 characters or less. I decided to break it down in 4 parts.  I tried to make the original list in chronological order, but then I started remembering some other games, so in the end, they are not entirely listed in order. Hope you enjoy it!

  1. Super Mario Bros. series

Super Mario Bros. was the first video game I remember playing (My mom had an Atari, but I don’t remember playing it before the NES). Back then, we didn’t have such easy access to information about games. The closest we had in Puerto Rico was the spanish Club Nintendo magazine, but since it was aimed mainly for Latin America it always contained outdated information (Puerto Rico is a US Territory), but I digress.

I clearly remember talking with friends at school about the secret 1 Ups we found, or the amazing Warp Zone someone discovered that allowed us to skip entire worlds. I was completely blown away when my brothers and I found out the princess was in another castle and we were merely beginning our adventure. I remember running like a mad man when all those Cheep Cheeps started flying out of the water in world 2-3.

To this day, I still feel the urge to play Super Mario Bros. every once in a while.

Super Mario Bros 2. Started my fandom for both Peach (Back known as Princess Toadstool) and Toad, and I didn’t put Super Mario World down until I made sure I found ALL the secrets in the game. I’ll always look fondly at Mario for all the years of fun it has provided to many different ways.

2. Mendel Palace

This is pretty obscure game I’m sure very few people will recognize. My grandfather bought it as a gift for my brother (He got 3 cheap NES games, one for each of us)

This game introduced me to the wonderful idea of playing simultaneously with another person and it quickly became a household favorite. It was also the first game we beat from beginning to end (No save points or passwords for this game!)

3. Secret of Mana

You’ll notice a trend in my list about multiplayer games. While Mendel Palace was the first game that allowed me to play simultaneously with one of my siblings, Secret of Mana let me play with both of them. It was the first text heavy game (being an action RPG). This was just the first of many games that made me grab a dictionary to try to understand what was going on or where I had to go. I can’t credit it for making me learn a completely new language, since I used to speak English when I was very little, but I forgot much of it when I moved back to Puerto Rico when I was four years old.

4. Super Bomberman series

Yep, another multipayer game. I spend countless hours playing Bomberman with friends and family. Games like these made me love multiplayer games even more, and have a blast with them? (Get it? Blast? Because Bombermen use.. oh never mind!)

5. Final Fantasy series

When  I was a kid, I didn’t know what an RPG was, even after I played and beat Secret of Mana. It wasn’t until I played Super Mario RPG that I learned what it was, and that there was even turn based RPG. I can’t really remember which FF was my first: VII or Tactics, but both turned me instantly into definite RPG fans. My English was polished enough not have to rely on dictionaries (that didn’t mean I understood most of the plot, tho) but being able to customize my characters felt awesome, and I loved each game for what it allowed me to do. As older games were re-released, I was able to play pre- FFVII games, never finished them, but allowed me to appreciate them enough still want to finish them eventually. To this day, Final Fantasy Tactics is still my favorite Tactical RPG.

 

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How to be an awesome guildie

Aster’s pantless days predates his days in Tyria.

Once upon a time, there was a distant land called Eyrda in a Forsaken World. In this land lived a young elven bard called Asterixion, who upon joining the Lionhearts, ended up also joining a small guild called Aes Sedai.

This was the first time he ever joined a guild, and the main reason he selected that guild over other bigger guilds was that he recognized and liked the name Aes Seda. He never regretted that decision; while Aster no longer lives in the world of Eyrda, he made friends out of some of the guildies he used to play it on an almost daily basis. Being part of a good, close community made the long waits with no updates bearable, and while many people started searching new lands and worlds to explore, we felt that we could squeeze some fun times out of good old Eyrda.

The guild wasn’t perfect, and Aster realized that as the guild grew and developed, it was harder for newer guildies to truly feel part of a group of people that pretty much built the foundation of the guild. It was a shame, but he felt proud of knowing he was a contributing factor to the growth of the community.

Guilds, companies, or clans (or however they are called in whichever MMO you might be playing) are without a doubt the biggest factor in how long I am willing to play an MMO. I might not have a long list of MMOs played under my belt; but if there is something I can think of that made me keep playing, it has to be the group of people I played with.

Phantasy Star Online was my first taste of an MMO, even if it was a lite version. Back then I wasn’t even aware of what an MMO was, and I didn’t care. The game pretty much consisted of several lobbies where you could meet other players, and where people created their game. There were no proper clans or guilds, but my brother and I met a lot of cool people that became our small circle of friends really quick. We used to help each other with weapons and doing low level runs to level up our newer characters. Sometimes we didn’t even need to ask for a game’s password, since we usually agreed on a universal password for our games.

Other times we just joked around in the lobbies, if more than 4 of us were online. That was more than 10 years ago, and I still keep in touch with some of those players.

Phantasy Star Universe was vastly different from PSO, but there weren’t any formal guilds either. I somehow ended up joining a clan, and just like in PSO, we gamed together as much as we spent time on lobbies just chatting.

Jess and Guarionex from PSU.

Forsaken World was my first “real” MMO, and I was introduced to a lot of terms I didn’t know by name, like DPS, CC, and PvP. It was also my first time playing an actual PC game. The game wasn’t too graphically fancy and it had a lot of flaws and bad direction decisions with each update, and at moments, what kept most of us playing was our small community of dorky misfits with the weirdest sense of humor and a willingness to help each other. It took a really bad move from Perfect World Entertainment for me to decide I didn’t want to support that company in any way and therefore stopping playing it.

Before ending in Guild Wars 2, I tried games like Aion. While I didn’t find it too bad, I never found a friendly place or community to call home, so my stay in that game was very short. So, when I say guilds are an important factor to determine if I want to keep playing that game, I really mean it.

Now, this brings me to Guild Wars 2. I joined a pretty cool guild, following and old friend of mine. Guild Wars 2 was a vast improvement over Forsaken World, which was a big plus for me, and having people around, chatting with them and doing missions with them was fun. I didn’t feel as home as I did in our FW guild, but I was one of the newbies in a well-established guild.  I was aware this would happen. Sadly, as the game evolved, many felt dissatisfied, or found other MMO that caught their attention and left. Guild Wars 2 is now facing one of those update hiatus, and while I have been trying different things to keep me interested in the game, the lack of a solid, friendly guild to pull me back in is make me lose interest rapidly. This is a shame, because I truly like this game.

Now, I can’t say I am an authority in guild related things (far from it) and my opinions will surely contrast with a lot of other players, but I have been thinking about what exactly I think a guild need to keep people need. I came up with 8 points. These points, however are not only what I look for in a guild, but also what I think I need to do as a guildie. After all, a guild shouldn’t  revolve around yourself, but around everyone. (Hey! I should make that point #9!)

  1. Help your guild!

Many people join guilds because they have questions, and want guidance, and that’s a fine reason. But you don’t need to be an expert or a veteran be helpful too. If the guild is actively recruiting, there will be someone newer than you with probably the same questions as you. Help them out if you can. Maybe you don’t have the time, but you can answer some of their questions. You can maybe guide them to whichever place they are looking for.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Personally, I prefer playing with guildmates. It makes me feel safer, since usually guild members are more tolerable and forgiving of any mistake you make, and can guide you. It’s also funner to play with people you know.

  1. Asking questions is fine, but don’t overdo it!

I believe guild mates should be ready to answer questions, even the stupid ones, but I also think that one of the joys of MMOs should be exploring a little bit. Try to figure some things playing for a bit, if there’s something that you still don’t understand or decipher, then ask away. Your guild mates will thank you for not flooding guild chat with questions every 2 minutes.

  1. Say Hello!

I understand not everyone is a chatty person, but I think it’s nice to at least acknowledge your fellow guildies. You won’t die by saying “Hello” or Hey” when you log in. Personally, one of my pet peeves is seeing a lot of guild members on, and not get a “Hey” back when I say “Hello”. Don’t make people feel left out!

  1. You can say No too.

Helping people is fine, but I understand you have your own needs and goals. Let’s call it some “me time.” You don’t need to feel obligated to help EVERYONE, but please, if you can’t or don’t want to help someone, just say so. It sucks when you ask if someone wants to run a dungeon with you, and you don’t even get a reply. By saying you can’t, or you’re busy, or that you’d rather not do that, you at least are acknowledging the other player.

  1. Be polite!

You don’t need to agree with everything your guild mates say, but please, be respectful. People can disagree without causing drama in the guild. This of course, encompasses everything that has to do with religion, politics, sexual orientation and the optimal class builds for pvp.

  1. Bring ideas!

Even the best of MMOS can get stale at moments (ok, so I haven’t played that many to say this with such confidence, but let’s assume it’s true), but guilds can survive these dead zones. Suggest events; agree on doing something as a guild: boss hunts, dungeon runs, pvp, whatever!

  1. Don’t ignore the new guildies!

This pretty much ties with #5 and #4’ s point about acknowledging people. From experience, the newer guides are the ones that suffer this the most. People are more likely to say Hi or reply to a person they have playing with for a while now than they would to random newbie #4, but of your guild is willing to recruit nee people, they should be ready to at least make them feel welcome enough.

9. The guild doesn’t revolve around yourself!

Just because I said I should add it and then got confused when making the awesome header. There.

This time, it’s personal (story) Pt. 2

Last week, I mentioned 5 of my favorite Personal Story moments from Guild Wars 2. Those 5 moments covered events that happened before the attack on Claw Island. Up until that point, the story is a bit more easy going since most of the story lines don’t really focus on the growing threat  of Zaithan and his army. Today I will cover 5 favorite moments from the Attack of Claw Island an up. As expected, there are plenty of spoilers, so jump at your own risk!

Continue reading This time, it’s personal (story) Pt. 2

This time, it’s personal (story).

Being a certified altoholic, I have gone through personal story about a million times, especially at the early levels. While I do try to vary my options whenever I create random human #X, I have ended up having a few favorites. It can be because I simply liked completing the objective of that mission, or I found the story or conversation in that mission amusing.  Trying to sort them out in order of preference proved to be harder too, so I’m just going through order of availability. So let’s begin with my first 5 favorite personal story moments. Oh, and in case you weren’t aware…

SPOILERS ALERT!

1. The clone wars.

Humans who chose the Commoner background will get to do this mission. In a nutshell, Countess Anisse, Logan and the Hero of Shaemoor (that’s the human playable character) set a trap to catch Commander Serentine freeing prisoners. Once the group catches her in the act, the Commander calls reinforcements. Thing look bleak until Anisse summons around 10 illusions that pretty much massacres Serentine and her gang. I just like how easily she dispatches the whole crew, which seems very intimidating if your first character going through Personal Stories was a commoner human (as was my case).

 

 

2. The mysterious stranger.

Personal story is divided into arcs that span around 10 levels, and the first 2 arcs will vary depending not only in the character’s race but the backroung stories options you chose for them. Asuras that choose the infinity ball as their first invention will find themselves looking for ways to upgrade it. Each time the infinity ball is used, monsters from another dimension come of newly formed portals. The last mission of this arcs have you fighting a mysterious stranger who turns out to be your evil self from another dimension. It turns out your other self got tired of being bullied by Zojja, and ended up conquering Tyria and becoming the High Sovereign. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but at the moment I found that so… random, that I loved it.

 

 

3. Blacked Out

Norns second arc, while I haven’t finished this one yet, I have found it to be very amusing. The Slayer (you) blacked out while drinking some time ago, shich seems to be a standard thing to do as a norn. But it is revealed during the begininning of this arc that the Slayer and Mangonel Gearstrip took a char chugger for a ride, never to be seen again. It is your duty now to serve the Gear Warband in order to pay your debt, or until you find the chugger.

 

Some of my favorite conversation bits from part of the first mission

 

Mangonel Gearstrip: Hey, Slayer? Any luck remembering where we took it? I remember driving through snow, trying to spell “JORMAG EATS DUNG!” That was your idea.

<Character name>: I’m still drawing a blank. I vaguely remember doing swan dives off the cannon into the lake…

 

and later…

 

Lionguard: Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult your warband. So, Slayer…didn’t I see you swinging from the cannon of a charr vehicle last time you were here?

Lionguard: You were headed north, toward Crossroads Haven, right? I heard you shouting, “I don’t take insults from a tree! Have at you, leafy!”

Mangonel Gearstrip: I remember that! Stupid tree.

 

 

4. Demmi’s rescue

 

Once you go through a character’s race based arcs and join an order your arcs will stopped being based on character creation choices (although each race will be able to choose from 3 different races to help later). Choosing an Order will have a mentor from that Order join you as you go through the ranks. The Order of Whispers agent assigned as your mentor is a lovable charr with a mechanical arm named Tybalt, and your first mission is to rescue Demmi Beetlestone. Demmi is Lord Cadecus’s daughter and doesn’t exactly share his views on the world. In this mission, you are forced to beat 3 opponents in Belcher’s Bluff, a game that consists of trying to not pass out from drinking before you opponent. Once Tybalt find Demmi’s whereabouts, it’s time for charr and drunken you to get her out. I love this mission mainly because of the dialogue between Demmi, Tybal and you.

 

Demmi Beetlestone: Aren’t you a little sober to be a pirate?

<Character name>: Look, we’re with the Order of Whispers. We’ve been sent to get you out of here.

Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw: We’re here to abscond with you…and with the beer. The beer’s already vanished into thin air, so now it’s your turn.

Demmi Beetlestone: Thank the goddess Lyssa! I was starting to think the order had forgotten me. Do you have a plan to get us out of this place alive?

<Character name>: Sort of. The idea starts with “run for it” and generally goes downhill from there. Come on!

 

And later…

 

Demmi Beetlestone: Tell me there’s more to this rescue than staggering and burping.

Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw: Well, see, when one part of a plan works, I like to stick with it.

Demmi Beetlestone: Some rescue. No wonder you’re called the Order of Whispers-nobody would brag about this.

Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw: Watch it, princess.

 

 

5. Maeva’s house of murderous fun

Maeva is an agent from Durman’s Priory and she has a pretty awesome defense mechanism on her house. If you played during the Attack on Lion’s Arch Living Story and found a hut with a green dome surrounding it, then you found her house. The reason this house was protected was that Priory agents need to go there at some point. When you reach the house, you realize that the defense mechanism has been activated, and you must find what happened to Maeva. What I love of this mission trying to fight is definitely not the many groups of golems trying to kill me in an enclosed area while telling me “Have a nice die”  (camera doesn’t help). What actually makes this mission fun to play for me is hearing Maeva’s welcoming messages. You can’t say she is not a gracious, polite host.

 

Maeva’s Projection: Welcome to the home of Maeva, Extraordinary Knowledge Technician.
Maeva’s Projection: Currently, Maeva’s home is on full-alert lockdown due to perimeter breach.
Maeva’s Projection: Visitors will be politely greeted and summarily destroyed.
Maeva’s Projection: Please remain calm as the hospitality defenses vaporize you.

Maeva’s Projection: I regretfully inform you that our defenses have escalated.
Maeva’s Projection: Dimensional stasis fields initiated, and secondary golemic enforcers are now active.
Maeva’s Projection: Please remain quiescent during complete eradication, and enjoy the soothing music.

 

 

This is all for the first part of my favorite Guild Wars 2’s Personal Story moments. What are some of yours?

My Top 5 favorite video game toys

Despite being what people like to call, a grown up, I still have some fondness towards toys like action figures. Not that I have many of them, tho.  (just 3 or 4) Video games also have many of this kind of toys, and sometimes, they tend to be more interesting than the real ones. Here is my Top 5 video game toys.

 

Number… 6? Kendama

Used by: Genis (Tales of Symphonia)

Fan art by yuikino

Yeah, this is supposed to be a simple Top 5 list, and the list consist mainly of dolls and action figure type of toys, but I wanted to mention this particular toy before going to the actual list.

We are used to see magic users with the typical rod or staff in video games. These weapons usually have magical properties that its user draws out to attack. However, young Genis uses a totally different type of weapon. His weapon is actually a toy called Kendama.

It is a wooden, hammer like toy with a ball attached to a string, as you can see. The point of this toy is to try to swing the ball into the pointy part of the hammer. Or something like that. You can look it up on Wikipedia if you’re curious about it. Anyway, Genis use this toy to be able to concentrate in his spell casting. Who would have thought that such an innocent looking toy would bring so much death and destruction in the worlds of ToS?

Number 5:Final Fantasy Dolls assortment

Used by: Lulu (Final Fantasy XIII)


fan art by capsicum

Sadly, I haven’t played Final Fantasy X, but I do know, that Lulu is not your typical Black Mage. In battle, she uses plush dolls to attack. Dolls! She just puts whatever dolls she’s “equipping” (based on FF creatures) on the floor and watches them attack the target. Why put your dolls on display, when you can display how powerful they can be through the power of Black Magic? And being beaten to death by a doll has a kind of… nice touch to it.

Number 4: Cornelia the Puppet

Used by: Gepetto (Shadow Hearts: Covenant)

Gepetto is a puppeteer that built a lovely puppet resembling his dead daughter. Cornelia the pupper, like the other toys mentioned so far is not an ordinary toy. She can attack enemies at the command of his master, and can even use different elemental attacks based on the dress she is using. Instead of changing the doll for a stronger one, Gepetto can find better strings to improve the attack power of Cornelia. He can also trade Stud Cards with a certain person who will give him a new dress in exchange.

This is a stud card.

You would think that having a living puppet is creepy (and thoughts of Chucky might come to mind) but she’s actually a cute little thing. Now, if you think her owner is creepy… well… I can’t argue that.

Number 3: Geno

Used by: A star with an unpronounceable name. (♥♪!?)

When Smithy came to the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario RPG, a brave star with an unpronounceable name came from the sky to restore get the star pieces so wishes could be granted again. This star being decided to borrow one particular toy: a wooden doll with a blue cape named Geno. What did he do with this toy? He used it as a body to fight evil of course. Be it shooting stars, beams or rocket fists, Geno earned a rabid fandom all across the globe. Unfortunately, this doll was a limited edition, and we haven’t seen anything more of him.

Number 2: Super Smash Bros cast.

fan art by ChetRippo

There was a time where a battle between Mario, Link, Samus and Pikachu could only happen in our imagination. And curiously enough, the intro scene of Super Smash Bros shows us just that:

2 plush toys among some arrange blocks. Then a mysterious Master Hand begins the countdown: 3,2,1 GO!

And the dolls come to life and the blocks become a battle ground.

Everything that happens is the product of a child’s vivid imagination that wanted to have his favorite toys duke out. Now, this is just a theory of mine, and a crazy one at that, but I firmly believe that the Nintendo toys became actually alive by this kid imagination and when he tried to put them back in his Toy Chest, they beat the living crap out of him. (or at least his hand) Riiiight… forget the last sentence…

Number 1: Mendel Palace cast.

I have talked about this game before somewhere and it’s totally my favorite NES game EVER! What do the dolls on this game do? Well, once some wizard kidnaps the hero’s girlfriend, he sets up 8 doll houses that you must bring down to get to his castle. Each doll house has an unique set of doll that you must defeat, by pushing them against the wall or another doll and BREAK THEM. There’s:

Takko is the bald dancing doll that just spins in a straight line, changing directions only when she bumps into a wall.

Mira, the copycat doll that mimics every move you make. You could trick them into pushing the other dolls too.

Moko Moko, the horned doll that once pushed, it spilts into smaller versions, doubling the amount of dolls to defeat

Dragon is the crazy doll with a Mohawk that skips like a maniac. He just skips and skips and skips…

Wasser is the swimming doll that pushes you away with his feet as he swims across the FLOOR. Trying to chase them is nearly impossible, so you needed to catch them by the side or front.

Toby, who jumps anytime you try to push him. Their jumping height could vary.

Sumo, the sumo doll, he pushes with a stomp a whole row of panels if you push him. If they pushed a fellow sumo, they would start going on a stomping war against each other.

Vinci, whose drawings either come to life or render pushing panels useless. If they drew on every single panel, they will all die out of pure SADNESS at their inability to keep drawing.

Conclusion

This one ended up shorter than I wanted, but I couldn’t think of other options that I found memorable. I still hope it was fun enough to read.

My Top 10 surprising video game experiences

WARNING: the following blog contains SPOILERS from several games: FINAL FANTASY VII, DISGAEA, SAGA FRONTIER and ARC THE LAD 4 You have been warned.

This is the first part of my Top 10 video game surprises. This is very personal, based on my experiences in particular. I found some of these funny, shocking, pleasant or simply weird. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

Number Ten: The princess is where!?

A clever T shirt design

Super Mario Bros was the very first video game I played… or that I remember playing, since my parents owned an Atari (Gamer blood IS in my veins!) Me and my brothers were pretty bad players, but we were also discovering a whole new world on the process; travelling through the mushroom kingdom, going underground, and then the heights, to reach for the first time to King Koopa’s castle. It was exciting enough for us having to avoid the flames and find a way to get to the axe, but the most exciting part for me was when we realized that the game was far from over, since the princess was on another castle.

Number Nine: Camelia’s outer beauty

Meet Camellia, a 200 years old sneaky and deceptive deimos that was trapped an experimente don for a while. When she joins the party, and probably before that, she keeps mentioning how beautiful she was before she was drained during the experiments.

At best, I could imagine her as a cute little plant thing with a giant head without the wrinkles, at worst, I imagined her as a delusional little wrinkly liar.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Anyway, at one point, pretty late on the game, she is finally powered up by the Earth Stone and she recovers her “beauty.” It turns out, she wasn’t lying.

Camellia’s true form

Number Eight: Return of the dead

Rewind a couple of year: Mortal Kombat Deception was released, and the intro of the game showed Liu Kang getting killed. Honestly, I didn’t care much for him anyway, but seeing Him get killed was surprising enough. When the game came out, I was too busy playing Konquest Mode and finding krypt keys and stuff, while checking GameFAQs message boards frequently for new discoveries.
Then something unexpected happened. A user whose name I don’t remember claimed he unlocked Liu Kang.

He was zombie like and rotting and had chains on his wrists.

No, really. To unlock him, you need to be at a specific place and waitfor a specific day of the week (in game) and a chest with the key will appear for around 1 or 2 in game hours. You had to be quick.

This guy was flamed, called troll, and humiliated by the overall GF population for making up so much garbage and insisting it was true. Of course, that only lasted until they realized…

It was true.

To me the best part of it all was imagining the faces of the collective community. XD

Number Seven: Speed is his game!

Fast Forward from MK: Deception to Super Smash Bros Brawl. A new trailer was shown. Holy smokes! Solid Snake will be in Brawl!? His inclusion to the game opened the doors to speculate which other non Nintendo characters would appear on the game. Sonic the hedgehog was one of the most popular ones. Long discussions and flame wars were caused by however that gave reasons why he will or won’t be in it. It was just not possible, many people claimed. It will never happen.

But it did happen

I was neutral over the inclusion of Sonic. I mean, I was probably on the “He won’t make it” side, but I didn’t care enough about it to actually argue. Still, seeing his inclusion and explosion on the boards was priceless.

Number Six: Breaking the transformation rules

Disgaia is a pretty fun game, with its wacky characters. One of my favorite parts was also one of my most surprising ones. Laharl decides that anybody who manages to take the Deed off his hands as he travels to the Heart of Evil shall become the new Overlord. That way he would know who his enemies are. Or something like that. He can’t have that many enemies, can he?

Er… this chapter is pretty awesome so far, but the part I want to get is this.

The Prism Rangers came to challenge the Overlord! They feel lonely, and figured that if they become the Overlords, they’ll have enough friends to have a ranger of ever color. And they’re so serious, that they will transform right away.

Until Etna shoots two of them. Red ranger can’t transform by himself. When questioned why didn’t he transformed before coming into battle, Flonne, gave a very logical explanation

A true defender of justice transforms in front of the enemy!

But seriously, do you know how different some series like Dragon Ball would be if people were like Etna? That was definitely one of my favorite Disgaea moments.

Number Five: There’s something about Tuta

Meet Tuta

The Suikoden series is a game where you can recruit a lot of characters, and some are way more useful than others. Tuta is a pretty weakcharacter that fights by throwing pebbles, but also used medicines automatically to heal the wounded party members. To be honest, I put her a few times on my party for the sake of variety. And she was such a cute little girl! (can be upgraded to rocks)

The world of Suikoden is full with betrayals and surprises, but my biggest surprise for me finding out that Tuta was a boy. It’s not like he was pretending to be a girl or something, but going by his looks, and considering his name ended with a (and Tuta is a girl name in Spanish, boys would be called Tuto instead.) Taking him to the bath tubs would confirm his gender since he got in with the boys. And if that wasn’t proof enough for the unbelievers, Suikoden 3 happened.

And Tuta became a fine young doctor who no longer looked like a girl or threw rocks at monsters.

Number Four: Killed by curiosity

Back when I got Final Fantasy 7, I played it with pretty much no guides or anything. But that didn’t stopped me from checking them whenever I went to a store. I just browsed the pages out of curiosity, and guess what I found. Yep. THAT

SPOILED/10

And I wasn’t even that far into the first CD. And I happened to like her on my team. That was the first time I was spoiled of a major event by a guide, but not the last. It took me a while to be wary even of reading character bios in FAQs.

I’m not dragging her corpse all the way out! Down you go to the drain!

Number Three: Shoplifting is bad

Legen of Zelda: Link’s Awekaning was my very first Zelda game. Me and my brother got a copy along with a Game Boy each, so we were playing it pretty much at the same time. At one time, one of us lent the game to a neighbor. This is a conversation we had a few days later

Neighbor: Dude, I was playing Link’s Awekaning and we stole from the Tool Shop!

Neighbor: Really! And when I came back, the shop keeper killed me with a beam!

Neighbor: And when I came back, everybody called me THIEF!

If it’s still not obvious, we didn’t believe him. At all. But my sister was intrigued by it, and she was willing to try anything if it meant not having to cut grass like crazy to buy the bow. And for the first time ever…

Our friend was telling the truth. Who would have known?

Die!

Number Two: Did I miss something?

SaGa Frontier is game that I believe receive a lot of criticism, but I happened to like, a lot! You had 7 different main characters, each with their own stories. Some of them were very story oriented, other were my open ended (Lute’s story allowed you to go right to the final dungeon at the very start.) One of these character was named Blue: a mage mage that had to master every type of magic available and battle his rival twin brother. Or something like that. Anyway, of all the seven characters, Blue’s was the one that left you startled. Seriously. Let’s go through an epic pic journey to see the ending.

Blue just delivered the killing blow on the Final Boss.
Suddenly, the screen turns sepia!? Let’s get ready for the final scene!
Err…

Maybe I didn’t beat it fast enough? Let’s try it again.

WHAT THE HELL! HOW DARE THEY! WERE THEY TO BUSY MAKINGEIGHT OTHER ENDINGS TO REMEMBER THERE WAS A SEVENTH CHARACTER!? And why is that Asellus has 3 DIFFERENT ENDINGS! That ending whore should given a slot for Blue! I traveled all the way through HELL, literally, because the last dungeon was in hell, even if it looked like what we typically associate with paradise, but I digress

I TRAVELED ALL THE WAY THROUGH HELL and this is what I get?THIS!? This is the only ending in an RPG that really has pissed me off because.. it doesn’t even have an ending! Seriously Squaresoft, WHAT WAS UP WITH THAT!?

Sorry, I’ve been bottling that up for maybe a decade. Moving on.

Number One: The death of a legend

It was pretty exciting and nostalgic to get to the first boss in the New Super Mario Bros; The classic fight of Bowser against Mario on a bridge over a lava pool. Getting to that axe at the end of the bridge felt as good as the first time, all those years ago.

But then something, unexpected happened. Bowser sunk slowly, he popped out briefly before sinking again.

I watched horrified as Bowser suffered slowly and horribly and his skin burned away.

I’ll be honest, this is the most surprising thing I’ve seen ever. I mean: How many times have Bowser fall into lava pits, knocked out of fortress? Sure, he came back as Dry Bowser, and later revived by his youngest son, but the damage have already been done, since for the first time, Mario managed to kill his long time rival, the King of Koopas.

Conclusion

So these are my Top 10 surprising video game experiences, starting and ending with Mario, how odd. I hope you didn’t mind the image heavy blog, but I felt like I couldn’t do it any other way. Hope you enjoyed it!

The family… expanded!

I hope you enjoyed my last blog: The perfect family.
Now, you might have thought: What about your other set of grandparents? What about the wife?

Well, I will tell you this. I was too lazy. Mostly. It wasn’t easy picking up Speed Buster and Heihachi Mishima as my crazy homicidal grandparantes, and I didn’t even want to think about who bloodier my family would get if I go through another set of grandparents.

And the wife? Well, I don’t see myself getting a wife. ANd then there’s HER family. But then I remember why I made the blog: Purely for fun. So, I decided to go ahead and complete my family. I must admit, it was easier than I thought, and now, my family grow weirder but got balanced in the psychotic department.

The other grandmother: Raja

Looking retrospectively, Raja would be my favorite grandma. She is not a deaf assassin, like my other one. Instead, she is a retired Commander of a Royal Navy, and is known as Hurricane Raja for raising ranks so quickly from the daughter of a fisherman. Thanks to her service to the Queen, her hometown Raftfleet was granted autonomy too. She is truly an role model to follow.

The other grandfather: Geppetto

Geppetto would by my favorite grandpa too. He’s a kind old man that always carries a marionette. The marionette resembles her late daughter) and even has her name. Creepy? I have a feeling that my sister Lulu would get along well with him too. Specially since uses Cornelia to attack and cast magic (elemental attack varies according to the dress she is wearing.)

The wife: Peach

The stereotypical damsel in distress Why? Why, of all the hot, sexy ladies out there, I chose HER? I’ve been a Peach fan ever since she was known as Princess Toadstool and I could play as her in Super Mario Bros 2. She was my character of choice on Super Mario Kart. I was excited at having her as a playable character in Super Mario RPG. And while my memory is not so good, I’m pretty sure I jumped like a rabid, gleeful kangaroo when she was announced for Super Smash Bros Melee. There might be better choices out there, but to me, Peach is the only heart of my life. Well… almost.
Also, I would get to rule a kingdom. 😀 And let’s face it: Some changes are needed in the Mushroom Kingdom if we want to reduce the royalty kidnapping percentage!

Summary

Grandfather 1: Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)
Grandmother 1: Speed Buster (No More Heroes)
Grandfather 2: Geppetto (Shadow Hearts: Covenant)
Grandmother 2: Raja (Suikoden 5)
Father: King of All Cosmos (Katamari Damacy)
Mother: Mom (Animal Crossing)
Brother: Luigi (Super Mario Bros.)
Sister: Lulu (Final Fantasy X)
Wife: Peach (Super Mario Bros.)
Pet: Amaterasu (Okami)

So there it is. Now it’s complete. I hope you are looking forward to see the family Christmas card!

The perfect family

While I love my family, I decided that I would get a new one! I searched high and low for video game characters so I could assemble the perfect family. Grandparents, parents, siblings and pets. I will have them all!

Let’s start now with the eldery:

Grandmother:  Alice McHarthy

Alice is a nice 76 years old lady who despite her age, is very recognize in the field she workd at. You see, she is ranked third in the UAA (United Assassins Asociation) and is the oldest one too. Her shopping cart actually has the pieces of her Buster Launcher, a giant cannon capable of obliterating anything in from of it. While she seems to hate men, and might be a bit of hearing problems, I would rest easy knowing that grandma is capable of defending herself, and destroying anything that gets directly in her way too.

Grandfather: Heihachi Mishima

This is what I call one tough old man, not only we is (was) the head of the Mishima Corporation, he also founded and commanded the Tekken Force Unit. He also likes to throw relatives at cliffs or volcanoes. I certainly wouldn’t have to agree about the well being of dear old gramps, considering he survived big explosions in the past. He will teach me about, ambition, power, and survival of the fittest. Also, if he gets in a fight with grannie, I think he’d survive her Buster Launcher too. He also should have a lot of money.

Mother: Mom (Animal Crossing.)

Of all the nice mothers out there I had to choose the mysterious mom from Animal Crossing. Why? Because if I wanted to leave home and live on an animal filled town run by a greedy raccoon, she wouldn’t even think about it twice. If I ever get homesick, she’ll help me stay focused on my goal by reminding me how insane she is through her lovely letters.. ahem…

Dear Guarionex,
I thought I saw you
coming toward me through
the fog. Then I realized
was just a rock.
No offense, sweetie. [heart] Mom

Dear Guarionex,
I found your shirt while I
was getting some winter
stuff out. I tried it on,
but couldn’t breathe.
Hac hack! [heart] Mom

Dear Guarionex,

Are you coming home for
the holidays? Don’t worry,
we found the hamster and
gave it a proper burial.
Your dad cried. [heart] Mom

Father:  King of All Cosmos

First, considering my grandfather would be a man who has thrown his son over cliffs and volcanoes, I think that having the King of All Cosmos as a father would stop that problem. Just look at him. He is HUGE. And she shoots laser beams out of his eyes, which he’ll probably used against me if I disappoint him. He might occasionally get drunk and knock down whole constellations, but it’s not like he’ll make me replace them, right. RIGHT!?

Brother: Luigi

Everybody knows Luigi, right? He’s Mario’s brother! If I had Mario as a brother, I would be horribly overshadowed by his fame, and I don’t want that, so I figured Luigi would help boost my own self esteem by being his coward, awkward self. Heck, we would probably get along pretty well in the awkward department! Still, he’d be a good brother who would not mind playing board games and any random sport I could think of

Sister :  Lulu

My family is far from typical, so I decided I wanted a sister that liked playing with stuff dolls, and enjoyed accessorizing her outfits even more. And Lulu fits those requisites! So what if the freak factor raised even more? She is a black mage! These mages can cast fire and stuff! Total Destruction! That’s one sister I wouldn’t have to worry about defending either. Now that I think about it, maybe I’m the one in danger of these crazy people.

Pet: Amaterasu

Every fun, loving family needs a pet. And mine would be none other than the origin of all that is good and mother to us all.  Luckily (and hopefully) she is not literally my mother.  Ammy is… well, she’s a freaking goddess! She can control the elements, sunsets, sunrises and can regenerate broken things. Considering my father tends to misplace constellations, my new pet can easily replace them with new ones with a few brush strokes. And keeping grandpa from throwing Luigi or me out of a random cliff… and block grannie’s giant cannon if she goes wild and crazy on all of us.

So there it is. I realize that my new family might not be that perfect, but I can imagine the fun we’ll have when we invite the extended family for a get together/BBQ.


Tell me who you follow…

I’m not sure if ther is an English equivalent to a saying we have here in Puerto Rico
“Dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres” which means “Tell me who you hang with, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Well, I’m not telling you who I hang with, but I’m willing to share who I follow on youtube. Why? Not only you will notice how odd my sense of humor is, but hopefully, you’ll get to discover a few interesting channels (ahem, Wendy Malcolm, check her videos out) Also, if I don’t post it now, I’ll forget about it for another couple of months. So… yeah.. here we go.

So, in no specific order, here are my subscriptions…

Nigahiga
Ryan Higa is probably one of the first people I subscribed to. While he is very popular in youtube, I found him by chance. You could say his current video style differs greatly from the days he used to film at his house with his friend Sean, and while I miss his “How to be” videos, I still enjoy his more professional(ish?) videos.

Swiftkaratechop
Another youtuber I found by chance, mainly looking for random silly videos, he was still in his hair flicking days. I find it surprising how serious and normal he can be when he decides to. On the other hand that rarely happens on that channel (he has another one) and I must admit, that the constant sexual jokes don’t really appeal to me. His randomness does, however.

Neil Cicieregea
I consider this guy to be a genius. I first discovered him looking for the creator of [url=Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny[/url] song, and I decided to subscribe when I found some of his other videos. Some of them are short, and seemingly senseless, but still funny in my eyes, likeThe Prognosis

Potter Puppet Pals
Definitely one of the main reasons I enjoyed Neil’s channel was his Harry Potter Puppets. The puppets recently got their own channel, but the most memorable ones are still on his main channel, like The Mysterious Ticking Noise.

The Guild
I discovered the Guild first on youtube when they were probably on the third or fourth episode of the first season. Then they struck a deal with Microsoft, and have been uploading their videos elsewhere before posting them on youtube. Still, I’m sure I favorite their music videos when they do upload them on youtube. Have I mentioned that I adore Felicia Day? Because I do.

Jeff Lewis’ five minute comedy show
One of The Guild members recently got his own 5 minute show on youtube. It’s… interesting to see the usually composed Volk in an angrier mood and swearing like a maniac in some of those videos, but I find the first episode particularly funny. Oh, Guild cast members have made special guest appearances as well.

Know Your Meme
What the heck is a lolcat, and where the hek it origined? RocketBoom’s institute of meme takes care of just that: explaining, most of the time in a humorous manner, the origins and effects of numerous memes. They used to be part of the RocketBoom channel, and you can see a list of their episodes and seasons in that channel.

Equals Three
Ray William Johnson’s channel is yet another one I found by chance, but liked it enough to subscribe. He basically reviews 2 or 3 viral videos, picks a question and then shows the best answers of the last questions. You can also learn a few words and phrases you use to confuse or offend your friends, like Squaids, Two camels in a tiny car, Fake and gay, Fayul, and of course, I’m doing your mom.

The Gregory Brothers
I will admit, I hate auto tune, and the rock I live under is big enough for me to not know or care what’s happening in USA (or my own country most of the time), but I do enjoy Auto Tune your news. They have also been the responsible of auto tuning several other videos, like The Bed Intruder Song. Their auto tuning abilities have also been featured in other channels, like equals three, whatthe guild, and the really annoying orange.
And speaking of which…

Really Annoying Orange
You’re an apple. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
While I never clicked on them, I did noticed RAO being featured a lot. And I figured it would be too annoying, if was called… really annoying orange. Fruits with faces? Ridiculous. Then I clicked. Now I find it brilliant. Many internet/youtube celebrities have guest starred as some random fruit who eventually get sliced by Knife (There’s LOTS of fruity gore on these videos! Not for the faint of stomach!)

Electric Spoofalo
It all started when I saw one of their spoofs: Dora the Explorer in Incepcion. Shortly after that, I was browsing their video list, and grew fond of Devon and the gang. They like to make fun of Twilight and Bella’s inability to say a full clear sentence, which is nice too. XD
They mostly focus on certain segments, like Lady Gaga Vlog, where she answers questions, Celebrity Yell fights, and now Dude without phones.

Oh, and they have a a second channel where they show behind the scenes bits, which sometimes can be funnier than their actual videos.

Wendy Malcolm, If you have seen electric spofaloo’s second channel, you probably know who Wendy is and either hate her for being so awkward and annoying or love her for that very awkwardness. I happen to be on the love her side. She has some surpsisingly good, funny and random videos on her own channel, and I think I fell for her too. In fact, she began appearing on Electric Spoofalo’s main channel, as Taylor Swift, and it turns out she can sing! I definitely love her. (I’m beginning to think I have a weak spot for red heads with an awkward sense of humor)

Toboscus
Toby Turner is my most recent discovery. I realized I have seen and even favorite some of his videos without knowing who he was. Just like with Wendy Malcom, I officially discovered him thanks to his appearances in Electric Spoofaloo videos “Dudes without phones” (with Brett the Intern)
Seeing his literal songs for movies and video game trailers, and noticing he’s the responsible for certain Farmville video (which I used to “play” back them) where 2 of the three reasons I had to subscribe him.

VideoWuff
He is my most recent addition. I have to say, that while I have enjoyed his 5 year old reviews on GameTrailers, I didn’t really watch many of them, because for some reason, I don’t watch that many videos there. (Crazy, I know! But when I “friended” people, I just click on blog updates) but now that Mazer is beginning to upload his videos there, there are better chances of me not missing them.