The State of the Gamer: 12/1/22

<–The State of the Gamer: 11/17/22           The State of the Gamer: 12/15/22–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

Games Demoed: 0


Games Purchased: 0


Games Finished: 1

Title: The Journey Down: Chapter Three
Series: The Journey Down
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of The Journey Down: Chapter ThreeDate Started: November 13, 2022
Date Finished: November 19, 2022

This game was just delightful.  All three of them were.  I’m always here for a “take down the corrupt power company that’s trying to destroy the world for their own gain” stories so hooray!  Hopefully, I’ll be able to review this soon and quickly.  I’m going to do them separately even though it’s one overarching narrative.


Games On Hold: 0


Games DNF: 0


Currently Playing: 1

Title: Harvestella
System: Nintendo Switch

Harvestella coverDate Started: November 20, 2022

Soooo I’m obsessed with this game lol.  I’ve never gotten into farm sims before, though I’ve been curious about games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley.  I love seeing my friends’ updates and enjoyment of them, but I was always in the midst of something else and wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy them.  I think I mentioned when I demoed this that I was on the fence about it, but was fairly quickly hooked.  I don’t usually like games that give you a time limit, and there are only so many hours in your day so you have to make the most of them, but I’m getting into the swing of things.  I even found a subreddit for it and everyone there is really nice!  Many of them are “chart” gamers like I am and have their spreadsheets shared on Google Docs with invaluable information.

I really hope Squeenix releases some DLCs for this because it’s apparently only five chapters and I’m in Chapter 3 now (which admittedly has three parts), but there’s a lot they could do with this.


Games Played

Uno and Picross S8 of course.


And I’m officially caught up with my State posts lol.  This has been a week.  Tomorrow I need to work on cleaning my closet (still) and packing.  We’re not moving until January but settlement is two weeks from today.


<–The State of the Gamer: 11/17/22           The State of the Gamer: 12/15/22–>

The State of the Writer: 11/27/22

<–The State of the Writer: 11/13/22         The State of the Writer: 12/11/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story/Series
Working Title:
The High Archon (The Truth Seeker Chronicles)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 11,282
Status: Reorganizing & Worldbuilding
Progress:
Working on surname details

Image is just one of the many I have for character ideas.  I love Pinterest as someone who uses artwork for inspiration, but I hate it for the sake of visual artists.  It’s almost entirely made up of stolen art and even if you do find the source, you can’t leave links in the comments.  I have seen more people being called out for it though.  With all visual artists are going through now with this AI generated art bullshit, I don’t blame them for mass exodus from sites like DeviantArt, which forces you to opt out of having your work used for such, and you don’t even know if that makes any difference.

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The State of the Writer: 11/13/22

<–The State of the Writer: 10/30/22         The State of the Writer: 11/27/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story/Series
Working Title:
The High Archon (The Truth Seeker Chronicles)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 11,282
Status: Reorganizing & Worldbuilding
Progress:
Working on surname details

I’m currently transferring the surname stuff I figured out to Scrivener, though there have been some hiccups and the need to use my Word doc scratch pad.  The surnames I’m working on now are mostly jewel or metal based with a type of hierarchy.  I’m almost done with this, especially if I keep myself on track and don’t go off on any wild tangents.  I had to stop myself from falling down a major time suck rabbit hole for something I can figure out later or even during the drafting process.  I have a section for Open Questions, which are for just such things.  They’re not pertinent to know beforehand, and I have to remind myself of that.

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The State of the Gamer: 11/3/22

<–The State of the Gamer: 10/20/22           The State of the Gamer: 11/17/22–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

Games Demoed: 0


Games Purchased: 3

  • Harvestella – $59.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • The Journey Down: Chapter Two – $11.24 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Bear With Me: The Complete Collection – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
Total: $81.22

Games Finished: 0


Games On Hold: 1

Title: Cris Tales
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of Cris TalesDate Started: October 24, 2022

On one hand I should make my own decisions about games and not follow the comments/critiques.  On the other hand I was already meh on this game anyway.  It’s very pretty; cel shading holds up so well (see Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker), but graphics to me are like icing on the cake for other people (I…love icing; it’s better than cake for me lol).  It’s a nice addition (no one has heard me complain about FFVIIR’s aesthetic), but it won’t keep me interesting in a game.

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The State of the Writer: 10/30/22

<–The State of the Writer: 10/16/22         The State of the Writer: 11/13/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story/Series
Working Title:
The High Archon (The Truth Seeker Chronicles)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 11,282
Status: Reorganizing & Worldbuilding
Progress:
Working on language details

One of the many pictures I have saved on Pinterest for potential settings.  I love this as a view from train tracks, though of course you’d have to be walking along them in order to see something like this, not riding in one as my characters would ostensibly be doing.  My initial method of transportation was going to be horse and carriage, but then I started thinking about what technology they might have and I realized a train might absolutely be possible.

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The State of the Writer: 10/16/22

<–The State of the Writer: 10/2/22         The State of the Writer: 10/30/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story/Series
Working Title:
The High Archon (The Truth Seeker Chronicles)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 11,282
Status: Reorganizing & Worldbuilding
Progress:
Working on language details

The last few weeks have been spent figuring out surname naming conventions for different groups with regards to marriage.  Since I work better when I have examples to use, I had to make up last names for said groups, and those last names had to make sense in terms of the groups’ cultures/background.  I do like that in working on one worldbuilding aspect, I can solidify others.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 4 Music and Conclusion

Start Here

<–Part 3


Music

Final Fantasy VI has one of the best soundtracks of not only any Final Fantasy, but it  also easily tops the video game music charts.  It’s what got me into VG music and had me making separate save files before certain scenes so I could listen to Nobuo-san’s masterpieces over and over again.  This was decades before game music was readily available (I’m dating myself…and why wouldn’t I?  I’m awesome!), and even when they started publishing it on CDs, they were still hard to come by as imports and also very expensive.

FFVI was my introduction to the concept of the leitmotif, which is a  short, recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.  It’s usually credited to Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, but he’s not its originator nor did he himself use those terms (also Wagner was a proto-Nazi i.e. would’ve been a Nazi if Nazis had existed, so I kind of put him in the same wheelhouse as H. P. Lovecraft in terms of shitty but sadly relevant, but I digress), and Nobuo-san (who is delightful) used such a concept masterfully to not only give each character in the game a theme, but also tied certain themes, like Locke’s and Celes’, together.

Let’s start with the beginning “Omen,” though, which is the piece that plays as the game loads.  It serves as a nice bookend to “Dancing Mad,” the final boss music, and both songs are reminiscent of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” (and I’m talking about more than just the famous opening) with that Gothic church music motif.

Lots of YouTube links incoming:

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 3 Story Analysis

Start Here

<–Part 2                                                                                                                                                         Part 4–>


Story Analysis

Final Fantasy VI is a tale of two sides, a common theme in the series, those sides being Celes and Terra; ice and fire; general and slave.  But deconstructing the dichotomy shows how even the former was in bondage long before she was imprisoned in South Figaro.

Final Fantasy VI has long been lauded for numerous things, but a major facet of this praise centered around it being one of the few games of that era to have a female MC, and VI boasted two.  While it can be argued there is no main character, since VI allows the player to pick and choose who to include (within reason), rewarding them with extra scenes if certain people are brought along, the World of Balance and World of Ruin beginning with Terra and Celes respectively is not mere happenstance.

Both parts of the game begin with protagonists whose names mean “earth” and “heaven” with the first focusing on the mundane realm of war and political machinations until it culminates in the heroes literally miles above the ground on a floating continent.  The second half then features with a character whose moniker refers to the celestial realm gathering everyone together in order to cast down a false god and restore the balance of earth and heaven.

As above, so below.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 2 Story Synopsis

Start Here

Part 3–>


Author’s Note: I was going to include the Story Analysis here, too, but that would’ve made this section way too long, defeating the purpose of breaking up the review anyway.


Story Synopsis

World of Balance
After the War of the Magi reduced the world to a scorched wasteland, magic (the equivalent of WMDs in our world) ceased to be.  People forgot it ever existed ,eventually rebuilding with technology, which is why Terra, born with the gift of magic, is a major catalyst for the narrative and the reason her existence is such a game changer for the resistance.

Terra Brandford by Amano on black background

Terra Branford by Amano

The story opens with the fore-named without one (it’s literally ???????) and two imperial soldiers, Biggs and Wedge (eternal Star Wars reference) looking down on the mining city of Narshe.  Narshe is significant not only for narrative purposes, but also for being the one town found in a mountain crevice.  The only other such places are caves or dungeons.  The soldiers and the unnamed girl are riding what’s revealed to be Magitek Armor, granting them untold military prowess, which quickly explains how the Empire conquered so much of the world.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 1 Introduction and Gameplay

Final Fantasy Reviews

<–Final Fantasy V                                                                                                           Final Fantasy VII–>

This is the part of a long-term project to play and review/analyze all the Final Fantasy games.  Whenever possible, I will play the original version, but in cases where it’s not available and/or there are time constraints, I’ll use a port and/or watch a Let’s Play, both of which contingencies will be indicated in the review.  Ideally, I will attempt to play a portion so that I can remark more accurately on the gameplay experience.  These will be long-form reviews with detailed plot analyses, so please be wary if you do not want spoilers.

Author’s Note: This took me over two years to write and edit, and it’s over 25k words, which I think is way too long for one post.  I love longform reviews, but I find them difficult to read in one sitting, so I’ve broken this up into parts with links to each.


Final Fantasy VI was my first Final Fantasy, and like the game narratives themselves, one could say I began them in media res.  When I first saw the ending at age fourteen, it was so joyful and full of promise the excess (at least for a time) rubbed off on me.  While I hold up Final Fantasy VII as my pinnacle narrative, that’s (partially) because I revel in grief.  Before that and other tragedies, FFVI represents what could have been.  Trauma muddles your memory, especially when what comes to pass happens around the time your age changes, and Final Fantasy VI makes a sharp, almost mocking, delineation dividing childhood and forced maturity, a line between hope and despair.

Final Fantasy VI Banner

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