rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
If I were in charge of a remake of Final Fantasy VI, I'd cut the playable cast down substantially. I like the playable characters, but there are just too many of them for the plot to feel focused. The story of Final Fantasy VI would work perfectly well with just Terra, Locke, Celes, Edgar and Sabin in the party. And possibly Setzer, for the airship. And - and General Leo. Look, I'm in charge and General Leo is the best. I'd forgotten how much I liked him.

I can see that you sort of need a huge number of playable characters for the World of Ruin to work, though. If there are too few party members, it'll become tricky for the player to find enough to assemble a viable party.

I'd also make big changes to the feeding-fish-to-Cid bit. It admirably conveys the misery and monotony of being trapped on a tiny post-apocalyptic island, I suppose, but it's horrendous game design on about six different levels. (I saved Cid this time! The first time, I had no idea what I was doing and ended up running back and forth for what felt like a thousand years, catching fish indiscriminately and going 'when is this fishing going to end?' until he eventually died of food poisoning.) And I'd reduce the game's ridiculous encounter rate. I was so happy when I finally got a relic to bring it down.

Okay, that's enough nitpicking, because there's a lot I like about this game as well!

When I started this replay, I thought 'maybe I'll finally establish whether Celes or Sabin is my favourite character!' and instead I've ended up torn between three favourite characters: Celes, Sabin and Leo. Although Sabin definitely earned strong points with his 'Did you think a little thing like the end of the world was gonna do me in?' line; it was a timely reminder that life and hope and humour can be found in the darkest of situations, and it made me smile.

I was so happy that Sabin was the first person I found in the World of Ruin. CELES AND SABIN: THE PERFECT PARTY. It's just as well I love these two, because it's taking me a while to track down anyone else. Inevitably, I now want fanfiction about Celes and Sabin slipping into a strange, sad physical relationship while they cross the ruined world in search of others.

I can't say Celes/Sabin is a pairing that's ever occurred to me before, but maybe the fact it's not an obvious pairing is what makes the concept interesting. It appeals to me in the same way Sam/Mike from Until Dawn does: under normal circumstances, they'd never look at each other in that way, but the circumstances are so far from normal. It's another living, breathing person, and that's suddenly become so precious.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I'm now up to episode ten, and, okay, Yuri!!! on ICE is possibly the cutest thing I've ever watched. If you're on the lookout for something cheerful, endearing and homoerotic, I recommend it enthusiastically. (Unless there's a massive tonal shift in the final two episodes, I suppose, but a) that's unlikely, and b) if that did happen, the first ten episodes would still be magical and beautiful.) It's available on Crunchyroll here!

Bless the tenth episode. I was thinking 'hey, you can't tell us there was a drunken dance-off and not show us!', and then along came the closing credits. I love how incredibly serious Yurio's expressions are during the dance-off. Of course they are. Bless you, Yurio.

Yurio's expressions are also wonderful whenever JJ is anywhere in the vicinity. I love his outraged glare.


Spoilers up to episode ten of Yuri!!! on ICE )


...wow, there are over ten thousand works on AO3 for Yuri!!! on ICE. The last thing I wrote for (Oxenfree) had about sixty, so I'm sort of reeling from this. Ten thousand! How is that even possible? This show only came out four months ago!
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)


I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.


I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I thought I'd finish my reread of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before jumping into the Cursed Child script. I got so tearful about the Weasley family.

The problem with Deathly Hallows is that I never feel like a Harry Potter book has really started until it reaches Hogwarts. In the case of Deathly Hallows, this means that the book doesn't start for four hundred and fifty pages.

And now I've also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! My thoughts, which spoil basically everything, are beneath the cut.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child )


It's so strange to be getting new stories in this universe. And Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out in a few months!
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
THE BOOKENING TITLE #4: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers.

Oh, wow. This was a joy from start to finish. I'm sad that the sequel isn't out yet. Hello, new favourite book?

Here's something I don't think I've mentioned here before: I'm afraid of space. It's so big and so empty and so unknown. I think stars in the night sky are beautiful, but I can't look at them for too long because I start thinking about how far away they are and I get unsettled. The Total Perspective Vortex would destroy me. So I was a bit nervous at the prospect of reading a book all about scary space.

But it wasn't a problem at all. Space is so alive and fascinating in Small Angry Planet. I loved all the information we got about society and history and the differences between assorted sapient species. The whole universe was so much fun.

The structure is interesting; it's very episodic. Rather than focusing on telling one overarching story, this book introduces a cast of characters and then goes 'and now we're going to see a series of their escapades!' It's essentially a series of interconnected short stories. It could be adapted very well to television.

And it's a great cast of characters. I'm fond of everyone. Kizzy might be my favourite (I wasn't sure at first whether she would be irritating or endearing, but she came down firmly on the latter side for me), and I love her relationship with Jenks. Oh, wait, maybe Ashby's my favourite? WHO KNOWS; EVERYONE'S GREAT. Sissix, Dr Chef, Rosemary, everyone. Even Corbin won me over towards the end.

I can't stop picturing Ohan as Randall, the chameleon guy from Monsters Inc. This is not even slightly right (Randall doesn't have fur, for one thing), but for some reason my mind refuses to let go of it.

When I was almost finished with this book, I went, 'Hey, I should see how much fanfiction is waiting for me once this is over.' The answer: literally none. Nobody has written Small Angry Planet fanfiction.

Maybe I should fix that.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I want the entire crew of the Wayfarer to have a big Aandrisk-esque cuddlepile-stroke-orgy. Sissix said that almost all feather families have group sex at least once! I can understand why the Wayfarer crew is the exception, but I'm also sad that it's the exception. (Corbin elects not to engage in the orgy; he just sits off to the side and complains throughout.) This is probably not something I'm going to write.

I might write something about Lovelace, actually. I've made a small start, but it's tricky; the book is in past tense, and I want to try to match its style, but I haven't written in the past tense in so long. (This is perhaps why I so rarely write fanfiction for books; my instinct is always to replicate the writing style, and it's tricky!)

I'd really like to see some flashbacks to characters' early days on the Wayfarer in the sequel. But, honestly, I'll be happy so long as we get more of the ridiculous adventures of this pack of space misfits.

OKAY, I'VE JUST CHECKED THE BLURB FOR THE SEQUEL AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS NOT, IN FACT, ABOUT THIS PACK OF SPACE MISFITS. Noooooooo! The lack of fanfiction is now even more tragic than it was before.

Anyway, this is a thoroughly delightful book. I'm so happy to have read it.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
I said in my previous entry that an inability to grasp voices and a lack of historical context were the only things standing between me and writing terrible Alexander Hamilton/Aaron Burr fanfiction. Just after posting the entry, I found myself thinking that my inability to write smut is also an issue. This pairing (whether Hamilton-based or RPF) cries out for weird, fierce sex in which Hamilton is constantly goading Burr, and Burr intends to prevent him from speaking in whatever way he can.

It seemed like a pretty hot scenario. But then I remembered The Amorous Intrigues and Adventures of Aaron Burr, a pornographic novel written in the 1860s. Specifically, I remembered this line:

"Hush, my dear!" cried Burr. "You now perceive that your reputation is safe. Yon fainting girl, who discovered us by sheer accident, would have made the whole country ring with the news, if I had not stopped her mouth by stopping her – other end."

Thanks, anonymous Victorian real-person smut writer; 'I'm weirdly attracted to you but mostly I just really want to make you stop talking' sex scenes are ruined forever. Particularly when they involve Aaron Burr. Did you somehow see into the future and write this to spite me specifically? I'm half-convinced you did, because I can't imagine any other reason a pornographic Victorian novel about a former vice-president exists.

I realise I'm not exactly in a position to judge anyone for writing Aaron Burr RPF, given the opening of this entry. Maybe I should talk about other fic ideas and see whether Victorian versions of them spring into existence. I look forward to reading the Victorian Pokémon AU. Hamilton has a Swanna that's plucked almost bare because he keeps making its feathers into quills. Burr has a Growlithe that he ill-advisedly uses to light candles. This also means that Burr's Pokémon is weak against Hamilton's and Burr is very, very angry about it.

(I challenged [livejournal.com profile] reipan to reproduce 'I stopped her mouth by stopping her other end' in the restricted language of fridge poetry. She ended up with 'I stop her tongue stream by using south rumpus'. It's a masterpiece, but a regrettable one.)
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
(This entry contains historical details that could also be considered Hamilton spoilers. Although the main one is in fact given away in the first song.)


It's probably for the best that I don't feel confident enough either on the characters' voices or on the surrounding history to write Hamilton fanfiction, because I'd end up writing Hamilton/Burr and it would be terrible. Burr is too reserved and cautious to enter into a relationship with Hamilton! Hamilton gets increasingly frustrated! What do you stall for, Burr? If you don't want this, you don't want this; that's fine. But make a decision, one way or the other!

(It's odd to describe Burr as 'cautious' now that I know the real-life Burr tried to light a candle with a gun.)

Reading the letters between the historical Hamilton and Burr that led up to their duel is so frustrating. (The letters in question, if you're curious: 1, 2, 3, 4, and a 'screw you, we're duelling' letter that wasn't actually delivered but, given that the duel occurred, probably still accurately represents Burr's feelings.) Swallow your pride, guys! Hamilton, don't respond to 'SOMEONE TOLD ME YOU EXPRESSED A DESPICABLE OPINION ABOUT ME; IS THIS TRUE' with 'lol, you're going to have to specify whether you mean one of the slightly despicable opinions or one of the really despicable opinions'. Burr, don't respond to obnoxious evasion with 'WELL, LOOKS LIKE WE'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO SHOOT EACH OTHER IN THE FACE'. In many ways, I'm not great at being an adult, but at least I know there are better ways of resolving a disagreement than shooting at it. (And indeed better ways of lighting a candle.)

(Another discovery in investigating the history around the Hamilton musical: Burr took to referring to Hamilton as 'my friend Hamilton, whom I shot'.)


The problem with falling into canons based on actual historical figures: I end up sobbing over events that happened centuries ago. 'Dear Theodosia' is absolutely unbearable now that I know both Hamilton and Burr outlived their children. The story of Theodosia in particular makes me cry, because she didn't just die; she disappeared. Her father never knew what had happened to her; he never had any real closure. For all of Burr's faults, nobody deserves that.

(And she was his only child! And he so clearly adored her! He wrote his ridiculous diaries of shooting candles and shagging his way across Europe specifically so he could give them to her!

I can't believe I'm crying about something that happened in 1813.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is still, I can confirm, a great film! Norrington breaks my heart a little more every time I watch it, though. I do have a fondness for Will/Elizabeth, but the moment Norrington realises his fiancée is in love with someone else is still really sad. Bless him for valuing Elizabeth's happiness above his own.

The film is set in an ill-defined time period, probably the early eighteenth century, which really makes me want fanfiction in which Norrington arrests Edward Kenway of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Norrington actually sort of reminds me of Haytham Kenway in both looks and manner, although Norrington is a little less unyielding. (And I'm really bad with faces, so it's possible the 'looks' similarity is based entirely on their hats.)

Like Norrington, Elizabeth is a character I appreciate more on every rewatch. (By 'like Norrington' I mean that Norrington is also a character I appreciate more on every rewatch, rather than that Norrington appreciates Elizabeth more on every rewatch, although the latter would probably also be true.) I love how she tests how valuable the medallion is to the undead pirates, and how she's able to get herself rescued from the island. A lot of characters in this film are very clever and resourceful, actually, and it's oddly satisfying to watch. (Will blunders through the middle of it all making endless terrible decisions, but I'm fond of him anyway.)

Argh, I love everyone in this film and I wish that the sequels were better. But we'll always have Curse of the Black Pearl. It's not a perfect film - it could have been, if the battles in the second half had been cut down a bit - but it's still one of my all-time favourites. It's just so much fun.


I've also been rewatching the first series of Merlin! It's really frustrating, because I can't stop thinking about all the future plot developments I hated. Morgana is so great in the first series! I can't believe how badly they'll end up destroying her character! I can't believe they'll completely forget about the lovely Morgana-and-Gwen relationship! I can't believe the ridiculous mockery of a Lancelot/Gwen storyline we'll end up with! I CAN'T BELIEVE WE WON'T GET THE MAGIC REVEAL UNTIL THE VERY LAST EPISODE.

But the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is still perfect, so I alternate between getting oddly emotional over these ridiculous boys and shouting 'WHY ARE YOU GOING TO BETRAY ME LIKE THIS?' at the screen.

My relationship with Merlin is a complicated one.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
At one point in Bravely Second, you fight an evil baker. Most of his moves involve quickly whipping up a poisoned cake and throwing it into your face.

Prior to the fight, Tiz ate a tart that Evil Baker had made. Tiz rhapsodised about how delicious the tart was and then turned into a ghost. He didn't die, note. He just turned into a ghost. We cured him of his ghosthood by throwing a bucket of hot water over him.

VIDEOGAMES.


Last night, I dreamt that the Frye twins of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate were the protagonists of Supernatural, rather than the Winchester brothers. I sort of feel this crossover needs to exist. One night, Evie hears someone moving around in the home she shares with Henry. She goes to accost the intruder; it's Jacob; she goes 'what on Earth are you doing in India?'; he goes 'EVIE COME AND FIGHT GHOSTS WITH ME :D'.

Frederick Abberline plays the role of the well-meaning police officer who’s pursuing the Frye twins, having concluded, entirely reasonably, that they’re responsible for the mysterious killings that crop up wherever they go. (Possibly having concluded entirely correctly. I'm not sure whether the Fryes are still assassins in this universe.) Jacob likes to tease him by leaving little notes and clues behind. Possibly the notes end up becoming oddly flirty.

Poor Abberline. He’s anxious enough as it is without a serial killer developing a weird fondness for him.


On an entirely different note, here is an extraordinary WikiHow article: How to Pretend to Have Ice Powers. Some of my favourite lines:

This article will help you convince others that you have ice powers.

Have some winter jewelry like snowflake charms or other wintry patterns. You can wear necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, bows, or anything else that strikes your fancy - but take it easy; don't wear all these things at the same time or you'll look like you're trying too hard and people will be suspicious.

If you don't have blue eyes, get blue eye contacts. Every person with ice powers has blue eyes. They should be bright blue or ice blue, and if possible, they should have a snowflake pattern in the iris to be even more believable.

Wear summer clothes in the winter. If you do, it'll look like the snow or cold doesn't affect you, which is true of people with ice powers. Just make sure you're not shivering all the time - then, people will notice.

Pay attention to wintry topics in others' conversations. Act aware whenever you hear someone say "winter" or "snow" or something like that.

Whenever you watch a movie where someone has ice powers, take a small glance at your hands for a second.


So now you know! Use your new ice powers responsibly, guys.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
It's Christmas Eve, and that means it's STUPID SEASONAL MANIP DAY.




'Shay, you look ridiculous and I refuse to accept this present.'


Less seasonally appropriate but equally essential: Edward Kenway with a Vaporeon.




I've been trying to work out which Eevee evolutions the pre-PS4 Assassin's Creed protagonists would own if they lived in the Pokémon world (and all owned Pokémon in the Eevee family), but I can't find a good Eeveelution for Aveline. This is a disaster.

Altaïr: Espeon (a Psychic type seems to fit Altaïr’s character arc, which is essentially about gaining wisdom.)
Ezio: Flareon (Fire type; passion! vigour!)
Edward: Vaporeon (Water type; they can swim around together!)
Haytham: Umbreon (Dark type; one of its Pokédex entries reads, 'When darkness falls, the rings on the body begin to glow, striking fear in the hearts of anyone nearby,' and Haytham certainly strikes fear into hearts, but Eevee will only evolve into Umbreon if it really loves its trainer, hinting towards the fact that Haytham has a heart of his own really. Very deep down. When he's not busy murdering informants and alienating his son.)
Shay: Glaceon (Ice type; Shay spends a lot of time in cold places, and a Glaceon would fit the terrain.)
Connor: Leafeon (Grass type; Connor spends a lot of time in forests and wilderness.)
Desmond: Eevee (Normal type; unevolved; untapped potential; could become one of the Pokémon owned by his ancestors.)

But that leaves Aveline with Jolteon (Electric type) or Sylveon (Fairy type), and neither seems to fit. I'm actually inclined to give Jolteon to one of the Frye twins; it makes sense to have an Electric type in the Industrial Revolution.

Well, no, I haven't played Syndicate, but it's never too early to think about what Pokémon a character might train.

Sylveon does have the ability 'Cute Charm', which means there's a chance the opposing Pokémon, if it's of the opposite gender, will fall in love with Sylveon and be unable to make itself attack it. I suppose that can sort of be related to the way Aveline will charm enemies into letting their guard down. I also like the idea of Haytham's Pokémon being weak against Aveline's, given the weird unrequited (semi-requited?) Haytham/Aveline plotline that's developed in the Visitorverse.

Connor almost certainly has a Braviary in addition to his Leafeon. It's an eagle (symbol of the Assassins); its design is inspired by Native American culture; it's in the colours of the American flag. I don't think I've ever found a Pokémon that fits a specific character on so many different levels before.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC AND I HAVE SPENT AN ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF TIME THINKING ABOUT IT.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
I didn't do any of the optional hacking in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag until after the end of the game. I wasn't expecting all this great worldbuilding!

I think my favourite hacking reward is this audio interview with a man who's been reliving the memories of a female ancestor (Aveline de Grandpré, specifically). He's surprised by the ways she does and doesn't match his idea of femininity, and by the ways her gender and race shape her experiences. I get the impression that he's feeling some attraction himself to the men she finds attractive, and that he's a little uncomfortable with it. There's a strange sad intimacy to it; he's coming to know her so well, but they'll never meet. She died long before he was born.

(Listening to it again, I notice you can hear little creaking noises, like the subject is fidgeting in his seat. That's a pretty cool little detail.)

I've also been playing Assassin's Creed: Rogue. It recycles a lot from Black Flag, so I thought at first that perhaps it was a game that not much effort had been put into. I was surprised to realise it actually has some of the best level design of the series. Freerunning is fun again! The plot and characters aren't grabbing me in the way III and Black Flag's did, but the actual experience of playing it is great.

Also pretty great: there was a point where an Assassin yelled 'SURPRISE' and then fell on my head and stabbed me. The Stalker mechanics can occasionally be frustrating (and unsettling - the creepy whispering!), but it is quite cool to have your own techniques turned against you. The 'sneak up quietly until you're directly above the enemy and then LEAP WILDLY OFF THE BUILDING AND KNIFE EVERYONE IN THE FACE' technique is one of my personal favourites. I only have the patience to be stealthy up to a point.

I've been thinking recently about the Ender's Game scene in which Ender, offered a choice of two drinks by a giant in a videogame, instead kicks over both glasses and then climbs up the giant's face and hacks at his eye. When I first read Ender's Game as a child, I could not conceive of that level of freedom in a videogame. I just couldn't imagine it. The consoles I knew were the Game Boy and the Master System. VIDEOGAMES ONLY HAVE TWO BUTTONS. ONE OF THEM IS THE JUMP BUTTON AND THE OTHER ONE IS THE EVERYTHING ELSE BUTTON. OR ONE IS CONFIRM AND ONE IS CANCEL. YOU CAN'T JUST DO THINGS LIKE THAT.

I love that I've been able to watch this medium evolve.


Speaking of strange, sad, one-sided intimacy (although I'll admit that was a few paragraphs ago), I saw Pixar's Inside Out over the weekend! I found it a little tragic that the emotions love Riley so much and yet she doesn't know they exist. There's a part of me that wants to write fanfiction in which they meet or at least communicate directly somehow (perhaps through her dreams?). I don't imagine I will write it, but, well, that's something I've said many times before.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
My birthday card from my brother and his girlfriend this year contained the finest bit of one-upmanship I've ever seen:

Dear Harriet,
Have a lovely birthday!
Love
Eleanor xx


Dear Harriet,
Have two lovely birthdays!
Lots of love
Joe xxX



Finished Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag! It took me a little while to get into it (my initial attitude was 'why does this pirate game have so much bloody sailing in it?'), but I got very into it when it eventually clicked for me. Which seems to be a bit of a trend with Assassin's Creed games, actually.

The problem with Assassin's Creed games is that they make me really sad about things that happened hundreds of years ago. Don't get me attached to actual historical figures and then show me their tragic historical fates! I broke into sobs during 'The Parting Glass', when we saw the table full of Edward's lost friends.

These games also inspire some really weird historical RPF. Fanfiction that needs to be written right this second: Mary Read bangs Edward Kenway purely to impregnate herself so she won't be hanged if she's caught. (Or is that really the only reason? If you try to ask her, she'll just laugh at you.)

There are two possible ways this could go down. The first: Mary seduces Edward and he only later realises 'fuck, she only wanted me for my sperm'. The second: Mary openly goes 'hey, might need to save my skin soon enough, get me pregnant' and Edward goes 'well, o... okay?' (and then tries very hard not to get emotionally involved and fails miserably).

I am wholly in favour of either scenario, incidentally. Unfortunately I can't write sex scenes, and this doesn't really seem like the sort of concept where it's possible to skirt around the actual sex. Thwarted! Please write this, somebody.

[livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus watched a late-game mission with me and was initially outraged by Mary's made-up state.

RD: Where did she get lipstick in prison?
Riona: Earlier, we saw her cut her finger and dye her lips with her blood.
RD: ...
RD: Yes. I accept this.

I'm rather taken with Mary, I have to say. Perhaps inevitably, though, my favourite part of the entire game was Edward's drunken hallucinatory breakdown. I had no idea what was going on, but it was great.
rionaleonhart: twewy: joshua kiryu is being fabulously obnoxious and he knows it. (is that so?)
The entire 'The Prince's Banquet' mission in Assassin's Creed: Revelations is incredible. You beat up some minstrels (much to Ezio's delight, because he hates minstrels, and so do you, because they've been getting in your way for the past two games). You disguise yourself in their clothes. And then you distract people from all the murder taking place behind them by singing terribly.

Here is my favourite of Ezio's songs:

I am a tactless minstrel.
I sing off-key for coins.
If you spot me in the street,
Please kick me in the loins.


That alone would be enough to establish it firmly as the greatest mission in the history of Assassin's Creed, but then it ended with interaction between Ezio and Prince Suleiman, which I'd been craving since their first scene on the boat. I don't have enough hands to give this mission all the thumbs up it deserves.

I'm loving the weirdly flirty relationship between Ezio and Prince Suleiman. I thought their very first scene had an interesting sense of attraction running beneath it, and I was hoping for further conversations between them, but I really wasn't expecting Suleiman, on recognising Ezio in his minstrel disguise, to greet him with, 'It is a relief to see you again, my handsome minstrel.'

And yet, as far as I can establish, there is absolutely no Ezio/Suleiman fanfiction in existence. 'My handsome minstrel'! Vast fanbases have been built on less! And the game's been out for over three years! And it's not as if this is a small fandom! I feel genuinely betrayed.

I'm also sort of 'shipping Ezio with Sofia. And with my favourite of my Assassin recruits, an acrobatic young lady named Levi. (I've criticised some of the alterations to gameplay in Revelations, but the opportunity to go on missions with your recruits is a fantastic addition. I can get emotionally attached to my recruits and then work together with them and have conversations!) There definitely won't be any fanfiction pairing him up with the randomly-generated Assassin recruit unique to my game, tragically. BUT AT LEAST THERE'S AN EXCUSE FOR THAT. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS LACK OF EZIO/SULEIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT.

(Whilst I'm talking about ill-advised Assassin's Creed 'ships: is anyone else half-convinced that Shaun, Lucy and Rebecca ended up in some sort of weird three-way romance while Desmond was in the Animus during Brotherhood? I - I need to know I'm not alone in this.)
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
Oh, no, the latest Homestuck update is really, really cute. I keep forgetting I love this ridiculously convoluted nightmare of a webcomic and then getting dragged back in. I don't imagine things will remain cute for long, because Homestuck hates happiness (I haven't forgotten the brutal way it cut short any celebration of its return after a year-long hiatus), but for now I'm going to enjoy these kids feeding robotic horses and falling asleep on each other and playing extremely unexpected games of hopscotch.

I'm sort of amazed that Homestuck has such a huge following when it makes itself so aggressively difficult to follow. You may occasionally encounter people who claim to understand the plot of Homestuck. Do not trust these people.


It took me a while to get into Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, due probably to a combination of constantly going 'but when are we going to learn more about the Bleeding Effect?' and being a bit Assassin's Creeded out, but I ended up thoroughly addicted to Assassin's Guild Management Simulator 1799. The trouble was that I became really invested in two of my recruits, so I couldn't ever call them into battle because I was so afraid they'll be killed.

I probably shouldn't love the bit where Ezio kisses his now-engaged old girlfriend and then gives his blessing to her marriage and runs off, leaving her incredibly confused, but I sort of do. Whoops.

My favourite NPC quote in Brotherhood: I threw some money on the ground. A man ran to gather up the coins, exclaiming in delight, 'I had a dream about this!'


So far (I've just found the first key), I have mixed feelings on Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The hookblade is a good addition, but most of the alterations to gameplay just seem to make things slightly less convenient. The map is a bit harder to read. Reducing notoriety is a bit more of a pain. Tracking down den leaders is a lot more of a pain. And I'm really sad that there aren't any creepy glyph puzzles, because I loved those.

Plus I sort of resent the Desmond's Story bits so far. I was excited that we were getting more about Desmond, and then the Desmond's Story sections turned out to be terrible. It's just boring backstory delivered in awkwardly-written monologues, wrapped up in frustrating first-person platforming segments! I don't want to know more about Desmond growing up on an isolated farm; I want to know more about Desmond's mind collapsing!

The interactions with Sixteen are far more interesting. I'm hoping for more of those.

I sort of hope that there's fanfiction in which Desmond actually agrees to Sixteen's 'hey, is it okay if I just, you know, live in your body?' proposition. AS IF DESMOND WEREN'T ENOUGH PEOPLE ALREADY. (Maybe I misinterpreted Sixteen's request, but I hope not.)

Also on the plus side, I'm actually finding Ezio sort of attractive now that he's much too old for me. This was probably inevitable.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
My new favourite thing in Assassin's Creed: I impaled a guard who'd been harassing a civilian, and a passer-by exclaimed, scandalised, 'You can't just kill someone!'

(I love that there's a 'social unacceptability' button in this game. Press the R1 button to do things that will make passers-by tut at you!)

My stealth skills continue to be unparalleled. So far, I've completed four major assassination missions, and I have blown my cover on every single one of them.

Fortunately, when I do inevitably find myself exposed, my target will usually come right after me with sword drawn rather than, say, retreating to a safe place and letting the guards deal with me. I fled up onto a roof in Damascus, and Tamir actually followed me up there, where we were alone and I could finish him off without worrying about any guards or civilians getting in the way. None of these guys know how to delegate.


I've talked about this before with regard to Ghost Trick, but I love it when games give an explanation for why you can try again after failing. When I get murdered by guards, it's not Altaïr actually getting murdered by guards; it's Desmond trying to re-enact the things Altaïr did and failing so miserably he can't maintain his connection with Altaïr's memory.

But I don't lose any synchronisation when I accidentally fling myself through some poor roadside seller's ceramic display, so presumably Altaïr was just as clumsy as I am.

(Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, a game I never got that far in, dealt with player failure in a way that absolutely cracked me up. The game is presented as a story the prince is telling. When you die, the prince goes, 'Wait, no, that's not what happened,' and you get to try again. I love the idea of him going, 'And then I fell to my death! Wait, did I say "fell to my death"? I meant...')

It took me a while to realise the concept of the Animus also explains why you never miss an opportunity to carry out a 'Save Citizen' mission. The guards harass the citizen, threatening to drag them away, but they never actually do because that's not what happened in Altaïr's memory. Altaïr's already saved all the citizens. It's just that you haven't re-enacted his memory of saving them yet.

Unfortunately, the 'you're not actually time-travelling; you're just reliving someone else's memories' concept of Assassin's Creed means it's probably impossible for Altaïr to become aware of Desmond's presence and go 'okay, who the hell are you and why are you in my head?', but I can dream. I want them to have an incredibly uncomfortable conversation in the glitchy blue Animus space.

"We're talking maybe a thousand years in the future."
"A thousand years." Altaïr falls silent for a moment. "And have things changed?"
Desmond shrugs. "Well, there's a guy here who won't shut up about how they haven't."
rionaleonhart: twewy: joshua kiryu is being fabulously obnoxious and he knows it. (is that so?)
Here, because I feel like it, is my favourite town theme from Bravely Default: Land of Immortality. I went into Eternia at every opportunity just to hear this background music.

I want so much ridiculous domestic fanfiction where Edea, Tiz, Agnès and Ringabel all move in together and drive each other mad. Ringabel spends two hours preening in the bathroom every morning; Edea hammers furiously on the door for an hour and a half of it.

'I don't lock the door,' Ringabel points out, when she confronts him one morning over breakfast.

'I know,' Edea growls. This is a discovery that she made in their first week of living together and that she is not likely to forget any time soon.

'Well, you're free to enter for whatever purpose you desire.'

The following morning, Edea knocks on the bathroom door. 'I'm coming in! Close your eyes!'

'No promises!' Ringabel calls back.

Edea rests her forehead against the door for a moment and grits her teeth, then kicks the door open and, because your characters can't learn a plain 'Blind' spell in Bravely Default, casts Sandstorm. The air of the bathroom is instantly thick with flying sand. She doesn't have to see Ringabel, he can't see her, and... Ringabel is yelling in pain, and... this wasn't actually such a great idea, was it?

Later, Tiz sweeps up all the sand and adds 'Lock the bathroom door' to the increasingly lengthy list of house rules.

(Eventually, when it becomes too unwieldy, Edea will sit down and rewrite the rule list, dividing it into categories. A good two thirds of the rules end up under the subheading 'This Means You, Ringabel'.)


Here, while I'm on the theme, is a stupid snippet I scribbled down after thinking too hard about the job outfits:


"Ringabel," Edea says, "I know we learnt these techniques from that pirate. That doesn't mean you literally have to wear a pirate outfit to use them."

"I need to be in the right mindset," Ringabel says, adjusting his cuffs. "A screwdriver would be discouraged from its task if you dressed it up as a hammer, would it not?"

"Er," Tiz says. "Would it?"

"At least lose the eyepatch," Edea says. "Doesn't that mess with your depth perception?"



What a silly game. I adore it.
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
Absolute Despair Girls: Danganronpa Another Episode is a spin-off game set in the universe of Dangan Ronpa, a series of videogames best known for rendering me completely incapable of shutting up. Another Episode breaks away from the murder-mystery visual novel style of the main games; it's a shooting game,* although it's still pretty story-heavy. You play as Komaru Naegi, the younger sister of the first game's protagonist Makoto Naegi, as she tries to escape a city in which a war has broken out between children and adults.

I have mixed feelings about Another Episode.


Thoughts on 'Danganronpa Another Episode'. Cut for vague spoilers and talk of (fictional) sexual abuse. )


The tragic thing is that the Dangan Ronpa series, in many ways, is so good with its female characters. The male:female ratio amongst its characters is almost exactly 1:1, which is shockingly rare for something with such a sizeable cast; I can name twenty female Dangan Ronpa characters without much thought. The girls in these games have distinct personalities and relationships with each other and roles in the plot! It's great! But the games have followed a trajectory of 'almost no creepy fanservice!' to 'quite a lot of creepy fanservice' to 'Creepy Fanservice: The Game', and it's starting to make me a little uncomfortable.

My other problem with this game is perhaps best expressed by the distressed e-mails I sent to [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus immediately after finishing it:


More 'Another Episode' spoilers! I'M PRETTY SURE NOBODY ON MY FLIST HAS EXPERIENCED THIS GAME AND THEREFORE NOBODY CAN ACTUALLY READ THIS ENTRY, BUT I'M WRITING IT ANYWAY. )


What I am trying to say is that I've spent an embarrassing amount of time hunting through the Internet for fanart or fanfiction in which Makoto and Komaru Naegi have a really good hug. The Internet has thus far failed to provide. I have an unsettling feeling that this may end up like my involvement with Waterloo Road, in which two characters so frustrated me with their failure to hug that I wrote no fewer than four stories centred on thinly-veiled excuses to go 'and then they hugged'. Brace yourself.


* Er, 'a literal shooting game', I should perhaps say. There's a fair bit of shooting in the main Dangan Ronpa games, but it's metaphorical; you use your evidence to 'shoot down' other characters' misconceptions and lies in the murder trials. The title Dangan Ronpa, if you were wondering, means something like 'winning an argument with a bullet'.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Videos I didn't realise were essential to my life until I discovered they existed: Jensen Ackles holding a tiny pig. I love that you can see him steadily becoming more and more fond of it.


I'd forgotten how much I 'shipped Dean Winchester with both of his parents in 'In the Beginning'. That's, er, that's unfortunate. (To my mild surprise, the only Supernatural fic idea that's really struck me since I started this rewatch is one about Dean teaming up with his mother to hunt in 1973. JUST TEAMING UP, I PROMISE; IT'S NOT ANYTHING CREEPY. I was expecting something about the brothers, but I'll take whatever inspiration I can get. I'm also half-tempted to write something about Dean and Bela meeting again in the space between the third and fourth seasons; they infuriate each other, but in a weird way they also help each other cope.)

Dean twitching on the hotel bed during his nightmare in 'Wishful Thinking' really got to me. He looked so young and vulnerable and I really, really wanted to give him a hug. To be honest, I want to hug Dean fairly frequently whilst watching Supernatural.

'Heaven and Hell' is an interesting episode; it contains a fair few things that don't quite work for me (lengthy awkward sex scene with very little chemistry, too much focus on Hell as a place of physical rather than psychological torture, Dean's awestruck and improbable 'It's beautiful' upon seeing a tree), but it also contains a lot of things I adore. In particular, I love that Sam, Dean and Ruby spend the entire episode working together. They make an amazing, amazing trio and I wish we could have so many more episodes of them working as a team. And Dean comes to respect and trust Ruby!

'Heaven and Hell' is also the episode that convinced me Castiel had a great big crush on Dean, incidentally, and the episode in which I wholly embraced Genevieve Cortese as Ruby. And, if I recall correctly, it's the first episode in which Sam refers to the Impala as 'she', which makes me smile so much. It's an imperfect episode, but in many ways it's a good one.


A few nights ago, I dreamt that I was Annie Edison of Community, and I teamed up with Dean Winchester and Jeremy Clarkson to fight our evil doppelgangers. Dean ended up kissing my double, for some reason. Much affronted, I demanded that he kiss me as well. He did. I woke confused but intrigued.
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
There are points on this rewatch where Supernatural has really surprised me. I wasn't particularly looking forward to 'Dream a Little Dream of Me', so I was startled and delighted to realise that it's actually an extremely strong episode. The scene in which Dean beats his dream-self up while screaming about his father is so powerful that I barely hissed 'make out' at all.

I couldn't stop smiling at Sam's awkwardness around Bela after his dream about her. Bless him. (Bela! She's such a fun character. I love that she doesn't actually bear the Winchesters any ill will; she's just ridiculously self-serving at all times.)

I'm quite sad that I can't find any fanfiction in which Sam actually has sex with Bela and Dean finds out about it, because Dean's reaction would be hilarious. I'd assumed that Supernatural was one of those fandoms in which every possible story had already been written, but perhaps not?

That's actually sort of reassuring; when I write fanfiction, I generally try to write things that haven't been done before. It's good to know that that may not be impossible in this fandom. (This is part of the reason I've never really written anything for Harry Potter. There are well over half a million works of Harry Potter fanfiction out there; how do you write something new?) Still finding it hard to get the boys' voices re-established in my head, though. Maybe it's general writer's block.

Rewatching 'Malleus Maleficarum' (which is unnecessarily revolting), I found myself oddly fascinated by the idea of Dean/Ruby. It's really interesting to see Dean torn between his hatred of demons and a sort of wary respect for this particular demon who saved their lives. Hmm.

(Of course the most popular Bela and Ruby pairings are Dean/Bela and Sam/Ruby. So of course Sam/Bela and Dean/Ruby would catch my interest instead. It was inevitable, really.

I can't 'ship Sam or Dean with anyone as a long-term thing, though; they're too attached to each other to pursue healthy romantic relationships. Not that Bela and Ruby are great 'healthy romantic relationship' candidates themselves.)


A few days ago, I came across some Supernatural discussion online and immediately backed out in horror. I'd forgotten how terrifying this fandom could be. I'm fairly certain the network's PR department didn't force the actors to father children in order to cover up their torrid affair with each other!

I have to admire Jared and Jensen for still going to conventions and engaging with their fans. I know the vast majority of Supernatural fans are perfectly nice, but the scary sections are really scary. If I were Jensen Ackles, I'd lock myself in a cupboard and never come out.
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
A few days ago, I glanced out of the window and saw a man on the roof of the building opposite and for an instant was genuinely terrified because I thought he was a sniper.

It's possible I've been playing too much Uncharted.


Rewatching Tangled in the middle of an Uncharted replay is a slightly bizarre experience, because Flynn Rider is basically Nathan Drake (although Flynn has the somewhat contradictory qualities of being slightly less moral and slightly less murderous).

Flynn's relationship with Rapunzel is even cuter than I remembered it. That's another thing he has in common with Nate, come to think of it: they're each one half of a pairing I 'ship, even though those pairings contradict my usual tastes by being both canon and surprisingly functional.

Works of fanfiction I almost certainly shouldn't write: Nathan Drake is the one to escort Rapunzel from her tower. Possibly the reason I shouldn't write this is 'it'd just be Tangled'.


Having finished my replay of the Uncharted series, I began replaying The Last of Us and immediately discovered that going straight from one to the other is a terrible idea. In Uncharted, the 'stealth kill' button and the 'punch' button are the same button; Nate will go for stealth if the enemy hasn't noticed him yet. In The Last of Us, you have to grab someone with a different button before you can perform a stealth kill. This, as you can probably imagine, has resulted more than once in Joel very very carefully sneaking up on someone and then PUNCHING HIM LOUDLY IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD.

(The other problem with going straight from Uncharted to The Last of Us: I'm very aware of my moral obligation to write fanfiction in which forty-year-old Sully and fifteen-year-old Nate team up with Joel and Ellie, but I'm not sure I'd be able to do the concept justice.)

I played The Last of Us on Easy on my first run-through, but this time I thought I'd be daring and edge it up to Normal. It's interesting that Normal forces you to play in a completely different way, particularly around Clickers. On Easy, you can push Clickers off you if you have a shiv, so being spotted by one isn't the end of the world; if there's only one Clicker around, you can usually get away with brute-forcing your way through. On Normal, getting grabbed by a Clicker is an instant kill (unless you take a million drugs), so stealth becomes really important.

(Bill's footsteps when you're sneaking through the graveyard full of Clickers are the most hilarious thing, incidentally. You're sneaking through as quietly as possible because you're dead if your clothes so much as rustle, and Bill's running around you in circles going THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD.)

I also didn't use the bow at all on my first playthrough. THE BOW IS INCREDIBLE. IT'S THE BEST WEAPON BY FAR.

The thing that has not changed on this playthrough is how wonderful Ellie is. She brings so much charm to the bleak world of the game. 'Left Behind', the prequel DLC in which I believe you get to play as her, is coming out in about a fortnight. I'm simultaneously excited and terrified.