foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
Well, I killed a vampire. Not sure he was the right one tho; he was some kind of second banana sub-boss to this skeleton dude, which just seems wrong-side-to somehow... ¬_¬

But he gave me a MacGuffin to complete a mini fetch quest so I could... Progress to the next floor of the same exact dungeon! (To go fight the skeleton dude.) Oh, god, scenario design has come so far since FF1. And yet somehow it's still fun, and I feel more like playing it than the smoother sequels.
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
On my replay of FF1, I got my party killed for the first time. Well, kind of; we all got turned to stone. Castlevania isn't the only game with profanity-inducing birds in it... (Cockatrices; hiss!)

Prior to this, the only person I'd ever lost this time was my Fighter. Usually he's the least destructible of the bunch, but a boss cast Rub on him. Thud.

Ah, well. I foresee more liberal use of save states in my future...

ETA: One strange silver lining, though... It was kind of an "it's that music!" moment with the game over tune. So sweet... It would almost be worth it if you didn't then have to re-do large chunks of dungeons.
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
I knew what I wanted to write about but kept not getting around to it, but it's been a few days so I wanted to do it before I go to bed.

Speaking of, I'm getting a new bed. We just needed a mattress set, and it's a nice one. I'm looking forward to it; the futon is wearing pretty thin...

Tomorrow we're going to visit Jessie, and I'll get my braces adjusted (cue up another week of eating gingerly against the soreness), and a haircut, which I'm seriously needing. I think I'm going to cut it back like 6-8"; I'd still have a respectable ponytail even then.

But anyway, blabbering topics from the title!

I did start FF1 over again; figured I'd better do it before I got in too far, and invested an afternoon in more-than-catching up. As I said, I changed out the black mage for a black belt, and it's working very nicely. BM's attacks burned up so fast I tended to be sparing with them, but it meant he was a load the vast majority of the time; now the party is load-free, and it just feels more pleasant. I also have to grind out gold for only two mages instead of three, and the magic prices in that game are utterly insane, so this matters. The embarrassing part... I'm at the Marsh Cave and I still haven't fully decided whether my black belt is a boy or a girl. I named her/him Haru, which could probably go either way (especially in a fantasy world). I think I want a girl, but I'll just have to make a special effort to picture her that way. (White mage has always read as a girl, although none of the sprites are all that gender-specific when you come right to it.)

Randomly FF-related, this is cool.

So the black belt has the nunchucks, and as for the other... It's the Castlevania fanfic again. I'm still just making stuff up and kind of summarizing it in this big text file while I try to figure out what to do about it, but I was thinking about what I have there and... God forgive me, I did it! I stuffed a woman in a refrigerator!!! ^0^;; And I still like the story idea...

It's not like Castlevania didn't hand me enough of them already, either, for me to need to make one up myself. That is one kind of problem I had getting sucked back into this after my stint in comics feminism, is I'm back in a series full of distressed damsels, evil succubi, fridge-women, and just plain woman-free games. I could probably wring a Bechdel test pass out of a few of them (does it count if Mina and Yoko are implied to have talked to each other at some prior point in time...?), but a small minority.

In some cases I kind of feel like it's dragging me down with it, like the mentioned woman in the refrigerator (Alucard's; that "mustn't get close; cursed blood" thing? He didn't make that up by himself.), the trouble with a reincarnation romance being that (since in this case it seems thus directional) the guy becomes literally the reason the girl exists, etc... In other cases though, I daresay I'm finding ways to resist. When I invent a whole new scenario to add, I tend toward heroines. While the women in refrigerators I was handed are still women who died as part of a male character's story, I've tried in various ways to give them some agency, that they made their own choices that brought them to that pass or didn't actually play along with the guy's story so easily (sadly I have not yet really managed this with the one I myself added; the idea really hinges on her being a total innocent victim). And the reincarnation romance thing, I also imagine that as a choice, and it's not like the women are broken up and incomplete in the absence of the respective men. (Since I mentioned in a previous entry having done this with Alucard and Maria, er, him without her is orders of magnitude more pathetic than her without him; when he went back to his eternal sleep, she did always want another chance, but she also got over the loss and got on with her life.)

But being in the grip of one of my story-obsessions, it's really hard for me to say if I'm doing okay; it's so tempting to rationalize, and I don't think the whole "women in refrigerators" meme was ever meant as a "never ever do this or you fail at writing and decency forever" kind of thing, but would I think so much of this if it was someone else doing it...?

Unrelated, but amid all my other crises of confidence, I'm unsure of my ability to pull off a suitable Castlevania mood; I mean, I've always had problems drawing monsters in a way that they aren't, um... cute. Probably manageable, tho...

But in general, it's like I'm stuck in this uncomfortable space of a) being totally obsessed with something while b) not knowing if it's worthwhile to even do. Once when I was young, that doubt would hardly have occurred to me (or it was presented to me consciously but I had the strength not to internalize it)---although I don't know how often I did get beyond summaries and snippets or actually show people anything (I was scared to death of people seeing my fanfic when I was a kid; Jessie can probably tell you how neurotic I was), so maybe it's not really so different... Having come to assume an internet full of assholes as the potential audience doesn't help, but it's full of nice, fun, understanding people, too, as I should well know. Of course, maybe this is all just excuses for being lazy, too, then I could really beat myself up...

Just mucking around with the story, though, finding ways that little game-trivia details or things I didn't think would fit can work in nicely... It's just so much fun.
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
I have actually continued to have those cravings and am still playing FF1. I had forgotten what a bitch that game was. Depending on your luck with enemy encounters, it can throw some crazy shit at you pretty early in. I have yet to get my party killed, so I shouldn't complain too much, but my Black Mage has now bitten it a couple of times.

It probably doesn't help that when I fired it up, I didn't have much of an opinion what kind of party I wanted, so I went with my nostalgia party (the only one I've ever played with because I haven't played it through enough times to experiment): Fighter, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage (eta: the "fighter plus neapolitan mage sundae"; I just liked saying it like that...). But thanks to the weak/fragile magic user trope taken to a bit of an extreme (especially the Black Mage, oy) and the asinine MP system, with hardly-enough points, some of which can only be spent on level-arrays of spells that are pretty much useless and... er... Mages kind of suck, actually. My fighter tends to be the most exciting one. If I had it to do over again, I might replace the Black Mage with a Black Belt, but I don't know that it's worth starting over for.

(I remember my sister once beat the game quite stylishly with three black belts and a black mage...)


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