Monday, 26 May 2014

What's Your Story? - xyzzysqrl

I can't even remember the last time we had a What's Your Story post. They ran dry after an initial burst of entries. There are a whole bunch of newer readers though, and one of them sent their answers through a few days ago. It's xyzzysqrl that has decided to share his story (and gain 20 CAPs in the process), so without further ado, it's over to our resident squirrel...


Ooooohhhh, isn't he cute!!!!

My home country is… The United States of America.

My age is… Oh lord, can I skip... no? Okay. I am 32 years old and aging a little more rapidly every time I answer that question. (Tricky: Given that I turn 37 today, your reluctance to reveal your age makes me feel very old indeed!)

The first adventure game I played was… Unknowable to me. When my father brought home a TRS-80 Color Computer from Radio Shack I was still in my delicate formative years. I learned to read sitting in my father's lap playing strange text adventures with simple names like HAUNT and BEDLAM and PYRAMID 2000. Eventually we upgraded to a Tandy 1000 and I started in on the Sierra line of adventure games, and soon had Black Cauldron, King's Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry under my belt. (Yes, at that age. No, I snuck that in when no one was home. No, I didn't know what MOST of that meant. Yes, I was smart enough not to ask.)


"Dad? Excuse me dad! Um...if you were in a brothel...and a pimp wouldn't let you go upstairs to see a hooker...what would you do?"

My favourite adventure game is… Difficult to say. The moment I discovered Infocom I fell completely in love with them, and I still think A Mind Forever Voyaging may be their best work. However I also adore the Gabriel Knight games, particularly the second: Beast Within. And Zork: Grand Inquisitor gets replayed once a year or so. I really have to go with... Sam and Max Hit The Road. Warner Brothers antics distilled into an insane road trip across a warped but familiar America. I've played it so many times the CD needed replacing.

When I’m not playing games I like to… I'm fond of Japanese children's programming. Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Sailor Moon. As well as cartoons in general, my favorite of all time being Mysterious Cities of Gold with runners-up in Animaniacs and Freakazoid. I also read a lot, mostly science-fiction (although lately I'm re-reading Dumas' Three Musketeers). I spend time with the boyfriend in our comfortable apartment. I also hang around online chatting to whoever will talk to me, reading blogs (yo!) and playing dumb flash games... yes, when I'm not playing games I play games.


Mysterious Cities of Gold: This show was amazing! I'm so glad that it is so fondly remembered by so many people these days.

The thing I miss about old games is… The sense of mystery and the unknown. There was always that feeling like Daventry was supposed to be bigger than the simple grid of boxes it turned out to be. Text parsers let you throw ANYthing at the game in the hopes it would know what you meant. Metroid had weird glitch-rooms outside the game space you could accidentally stumble into. Now it feels like there's guides and youtube videos showing all the secrets just hours after a game comes out. You're less likely to get a sense of "Oh man, I stumbled on something and I'm not sure I was meant to".

The best thing about modern games is… There's room for so many of them. In the last few hours I've dabbled in Nintendo's goofy life sim Animal Crossing, slain a few thousand ancient chinese warriors in Dynasty Warriors 8, enthusiastically campaigned for futuristic-city-skating game Hover: Revolt of Gamers, checked out how La Mulana 2 is progressing, and installed Divinity: Original Sin for later. All of these are different genres of game, from weird bobble-headed life sim to retro platformer to gorgeous RPG to big-budget beat-em-up. There are SO MANY games out there now you can nestle into a niche and never come out, or you can take in a little of everything and leave the buffet stuffed. It's fantastic.

My favourite movie is… The absolutely ridiculous Bruce Willis crime caper comedy Hudson Hawk.


I do recall enjoying this as a teenager. It's probably one of those films that I shouldn't try to revisit now though.

I like my games in (a box, digital format)… Any way I can get them. I hoard digitally because they're cheap, but I'm not above buying boxed games, particularly for consoles or handhelds. I admit to being a steam junkie though.

If I could see any band live it would be… They Might Be Giants. ... Okay, if I could bring a band back and make them reform for one last show, it would be Moxy Fruvous.

The one TV show I never miss is… I never can remember to actually watch TV at the proper times. But the BF and I have been loyal followers of Bones, Castle, Phineas & Ferb, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, and I never need an excuse to dig out the DVDs of Due South.


Once Upon a Time: I'm mildly interested in this. Opinions?

One interesting thing about me is… I keep a game blog as well, mixed in with other posts about my RL and various things. I draw random game titles from my collection out of a hat and play them, often with commentary.

If there's anyone else out there that would like to share, or get their hands on 20 sweet CAPs, please send your responses to theadventuregamer@gmail.com.

30 comments:

  1. For some reason that art reminds me of Vampires in Havana, a crazy Spanish animated film I found on youtube. Has anyone else seen it or anything similar (OR who can recommend me music similar to its opening?)

    More on topic: One way to get that mystery back is to play obscure FOSS games, early access games on Steam or not-very good games. I've asked questions about Cursed Crusade on stack exchange and waited months for an answer, and then the one I got didn't have any sources.
    I was playing The Last Story and there isn't a full gear list online, anywhere. At least not in English, and that is a pretty good game, just on the Wii so no one cares about it.

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    1. The realm of "mediocre obscure game nobody cares about" is one I dive into pretty energetically, yes. Cursed Crusade and Last Story are both on my "I must pick this up" list.

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    2. @Canageek here you go:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY5NwZ0PHqs

      And happy birthday, Trickster!

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    3. xyzzysqrl: Other games I've had trouble lacking a good reference for: Majesty II, Sleeping Dogs (There isn't even a guide to the cars or the guns, just a walkthrough!).

      Charles: Damn fine music, what is that style called so I can find more myself? Also, did you know of the movie or did you look it up?

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    4. I looked it up on youtube to see what kind of music you were referring to. At its root, this would be popular Cuban "son" music refined into modern salsa and what is known as Latin Jazz. I'm not a fan or a connoisseur of the genre by a long shot, but you should probably check out Arturo Sandoval himself, Buena Vista Social Club, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz or Marc Anthony (in jazz-to-salsa order).

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  2. Grand Inquisitor is just pure gold! It has the most Zorkian feeling of all the graphic Zork games and just full of fun details: "I am the boss of you", the grue-water-fire -game, the clever death messages imitating a text adventure, Brog and his direct method for solving a chess puzzle...

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    1. I always found I enjoyed Zork: Nemesis more than Grand Inquisitor. I don't know why, as I usually like a bit of humor in my games, but Nemesis was just so...gripping.

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    2. Nemesis is also a good game, but because of its dark atmosphere, it does not have the Zorkian feel – it would have been much better without any Zork references.

      Less said of Return to Zork, the better…

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    3. Yeah, I never got that into Zork as a setting, so I didn't have the preconceptions of what a Zork-game should be. I might have thought otherwise if I did though.

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    4. Zork itself never seemed to get into Zork as a setting. The first three games have little bits taken from all over the place, then you get into the question of whether the Enchanter trilogy is part of the Zork series (arguably yes, arguably no), Beyond Zork is a weird psudeoRPG, Zork Zero is... special...
      I think all three modern Zork games are -valid-, I just don't LIKE Return to Zork and think that if you call the game "Nemesis" instead of "Zork: Nemesis" you're left with a dark fantasy adventure refreshingly free of prior expectations.

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    5. I remember trying Grand Inquisitor as a kid, and I couldn't get out of the starting temple area. Never bothered to pick it up again, but hopefully I can by the time Trickster gets to it.

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    6. Xyzzysqrl: Yea, Zork never had any consistent world, and especially the earlier ones were just a bunch of puzzles. But they all did have general quirkiness and all sorts of goofy details hidden and in plain sight. None of that in Nemesis, which is surprisingly adult for a Zork game.

      Zenic: Are you sure you are not speaking of Zork Nemesis? That begins in a temple, while Grand Inquisitor begins in a town with a curfew.

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    7. You're probably right. We had all the graphical Zorks. I more clearly remember the box art from Grand Inquisitor (I remembered it as the one with the chess piece). I guess I don't remember anything from the game. The only one I recall playing through to the end was Return to Zork (and I needed a walkthrough at some points... pretty sure there are a few walking dead scenarios in that one).

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    8. Is grue-water-fire like rock-paper-scissors? Fire burns grue, grue drinks water, water puts out fire?

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    9. Basically yes, although it's not so much about fire burning grue, but grue not liking any sort of light.

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  3. Happy Birthday, incidentally.

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  4. Happy Birthday Trick!!

    Regarding Once Upon a Time, don't fall into its trap. I keep watching it but the writing is quite bad and all the Disneyfication of the series stinks a little (not to mention the awful green screen). If you are interested in the topic you should read Fables instead, which is the same concept but much more interesting and with better plots.

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    1. There's "Disneyfication" because it is literally Disney. It's basically officially-licensed fanfic, and if you go into it thinking that way it's a lot more watchable. The writing is pretty bad at times, but it's mostly entertaining to see what insane twist happens THIS week.
      "Fables" is a bit too bleak and gratingly noir for my tastes, but it's not terrible.

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    2. That's actually very true and the only reason I watch it. It is surprisingly funny just to see what they are going to do now (I was in awe with the season finale :p)

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    3. We've not seen that yet here, but I'm intrigued.
      I have to agree with you on the matter of... It's not a well-written show, but it's a well-plotted show. The dialogue flies like a brick but it's great in a "what are they pulling THIS time? Really? SERIOUSLY? Oh, WOW." sort of way which I find highly entertaining.
      (And to be fair, I'm playing through the Fable-based Telltale point-and-click series "A Wolf Among Us" and rather enjoying it. New episode probably tomorrow, yay!)

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    4. My parents and my sister love OUAT, and they get excited every time new characters are introduced. I don't watch it, and I've given up trying to follow the increasingly convoluted plot arcs.

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  5. Happy Birthday Trickster!

    http://pbfcomics.com/archive_b/PBF032-Todays_My_Birthday.gif

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  6. A little additional adventure game related reading for anyone interested, I spent the weekend thinking about how Alone in the Dark could be considered an adventure game (and therefore should go on Tricksters list):

    http://playedbypanthro.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/alone-in-dark-1992-adventure-game.html

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  7. Happy Belated Birthday Sweet... 37?! Holy shit, just how ancient are you, ye olde fart?! Oh wait... I'm the same age as you! XD

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    1. You 30-something whippersnappers are messing up my blood sugar levels with your constant nagging and whining. Get off my comments feed!

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    2. A 100 days later, we'd be in our 40s, man. =P

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  8. Speaking of which...

    Hudson Hawk versus Maltese Falcon! Which would you watch?

    Strangely, both movies have titles with the name of a place and a bird... both are based on Templar legends... and both are heist-themed... Coincidence? Dun dun DUN!

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    1. Given that I haven't yet seen Maltese Falcon, I tend to opt for the film I haven't watched yet. So I'd probably watch that.

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    2. I highly recommend it. It's not funny like Hudson Hawk, but hey, Bogart's pretty dashing and this is most probably the first film showing Mary Astor's cleavage.

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