May 21, 2024

It's All Theater.

Yet they come out of the woodwork every time, as if on cue, to say "Time to get right with GOD" - in all caps of course. (Just trust them; it means more that way.)

Then they go back into hiding, the way they always do, until the next fake horizon. It's like seasonal marketing with a slice of Bible.

Cannot wait to get out of this hellhole.

May 9, 2024

DONATION UPDATE

My Ko-fi page is now functioning again.

NO.
MORE.
PAYPAL.

April 26, 2024

Manall's Diablo II v1.8 Release (+ May 6 Hotfix)

Boom.

completely overhauled a now-nine year-old guide
a new item replaces the Horadric Cube which can be carried in your belt
color-coded health bars & elemental damage
improvements to classes, crafting & balance
added rare finds like the Libram of Travincal & Floater
new items + retired loads of old ones
classic D2 item improvements
bug and crash fixes

There is some light after four years. I believe this is the project's biggest update ever.

April 13, 2024

FYI

I am working on things, it's just a quiet spell for now. As I've mentioned, you can check the modclock on the Rhand column any time for project status. That said, I don't do those pretentious "||||||" blocks to show some unrealistic completion percentage - you'll just have to wait.

By the way, I regret to inform you that PayPal is currently trying to hold my account ransom for low activity levels, which the opportunistic algorithm capitalizes and seizes upon - literally. Nothing like a little legal thievery to add to the mix. PayPal has always been a showcase of the lowest of low for a corporation, but in fairness there's a good chance you already knew that since they destroy fucking everything they touch.

Until I can set up a new payment method please DO NOT USE KO-FI TO DONATE AT THIS TIME. I will post a related update once this is dealt with.

April 7, 2024

Oh, you wonderful little content creators, you.

You are the perfect image of postmodern slavery, telling your spectators to like, comment and subscribe. You don't even think about it when you say those words now.

Why the term "influencer" was accepted by you all so readily remains a mystery to me. And how the term "thought leader" escapes your notice without even a flicker of terror lies further beyond.

They have been telegraphing everything they are going to do to you in advance.

But it's okay. It will all take care of itself. Keep subscribing, keep commenting, and keep believing you care for something of value. Keep thinking you belong to something besides a herding system, created to keep you out of the kitchen where the real minds are busy implementing the end goal.

Is this really what you wanted?

April 1, 2024

The first thing I'm gonna do when I get home is find the imbecile who introduced Humidity into this universe, and have them eliminated.

March 13, 2024

Wow, Priest.

It is difficult to put it simply while conveying all that needs to be conveyed, but Invincible Shield is a winner. Front to back.

Might be their best sounding as well, but this one's absolutely got their best lyrics - and some of the most timely to grace the human ear. Do yourself a favor, please.

I thought it was outrageous they were still performing so well back in 2009. We're now in its fifteenth anniversary...and they sound BETTER, in their 70s!! Or at least, that's what their super pumped production would like us to think (all the old bands are doing this - just be happy they haven't started dropping like flies yet.) I now see exactly why they've pushed this new record so hard. It's certainly for a good cause. Lot of relevant themes and angles, and surprisingly hopeful at times - we could all use an overdose of that! This record had me in shivers, bobbing and grinning all the way. And did I mention it's on youtube for free?

The lead tones have improved a lot, and in general the band have gone a long way toward keeping tracks engaging, "even" when listening all the way through! (That's more and more of a feat as the days go by.) I will simply close this segment by saying "Giants in the Sky" has a lucid and godlike sublimity to its breakdown.

What a fucking awesome cover.


February 20, 2024

This is important

To people freaking out about how AI is going to shove us all into matchbox apartments with nothing but a headset, a shit universal income, a binding subscription fee, and artificial lovers and families, I have something to say.

There's nothing you can do about it.

And yes, people will most definitely demand it. I predicted that a long time ago. I've talked about it right here on this space. I have also stated that we are the result of our circumstances, and that there is a certain degree of will exertion coming from the top which we have been chained to, and that's unlikely to change for a while. Try decades at least.

But when ya live on an overcrowded prison planet with billions of inmates...when the institutions deteriorate the discernment of the masses...when the systems break your bank, break your sanity, make you feel like shit all day, bombard you with excess materialism, excess media, indiscernible disinformation, and tempt you to become a bad actor and do something that lands your ugly mug on the news as a further point of negative reinforcement to the rest of slavekind, well; one develops a certain distaste for the distortion layer we constitute as "reality".

And who the flying fuck would blame them.

No, it's not the beginning of the "real life Matrix". Not by a fucking parsec. It's the coming installment of the next layer. And this time, not even the most conservative-minded individual will be able to deny it. Their strengths will no longer serve them, and the growing global infertility situation will only cement the shift further. You and anyone you know who wishes to live will have to suck it up.

Speaking of the Matrix though, the prison grid makes anything and everything you do here pretty pointless. You don't get to contribute to a galactic conglomerate of civilizations banded together for a greater mutual cause. You're running around in circles; that's all you're allowed to do, sadly. And deep down, no matter how much contempt you may hold for Cypher and the choice he made, you might be surprised when it comes your turn.

On another given world, sure, it's easy to see him as the generic example of what to avoid. When your options amount to shit and shittier, you start inching toward to his mindset. Someone is going to be your master in the end, so would you rather have a few things that provide you some relief, or none at all?

You know on some level it's wrong - that fantasy is only one aspect of our existence, no matter the level of a species' advancement. But not everyone is built to tolerate a masochistic level of constant disorientation and misery. So don't judge your family members too harshly if they unexpectedly "part ways" from how everyone has done things for so long.

Just tell them you love them.

February 18, 2024

Manall's FF1 3.1a

Quick single bug fix after receiving a report from a player.

February 7, 2024

IT'S HAPPENING

A few of you might have been around since a thousand years ago (that was 2017, to be exact) and if so, you probably remember all the times I've mentioned working on some songs here and there.

WELL AFTER ALL THIS TIME, SOME PAYOFF IS COMING - VERY FINALLY SOON FINALLY!

A Mirror Darkly is the title of my latest project, which comprises four very different songs. Though their origins lie in a practically earlier era of humanity by this point, time has been kind to them. I am brimming with excitement as I had simply forgotten what it felt like to have songs coming. Hey - do ya wanna learn a bit more on 'em...?


LAB RAT ~~ 4:10
GATEWAY ~~ 5:02
MANTRA OF THE DREAMER ~~ 8:51
GRAND DELTA ~~ 8:18

February 5, 2024

A corporation is to the law as a prison planet is to karma.

Both were created to circumvent and remove something from its station of power. And no thanks to everyone who has ever said, "If the matrix goes bad - yOu LeT iT hApPeN!" This is the sentiment I will destroy today.

Think about how stupid it really sounds. Example time! For everyone you've ever seen talking about spreading happy vibes to others...yeah, so obviously nobody would do that if it had no effect, right? They intend to accomplish something, to change something with their actions; to encourage one thing thereby preventing another.

So do the prison keepers! Imagine the opposite, but orchestrated by far more intelligent beings, whose goal extends beyond aspiring to be a talking rectangle in the corner of a stream, parroting the benefits of staying hydrated. The keepers' entire reason to exist is to prevent jailbreak, and they are so good at it that karma has NEVER come knocking with any success. Think about the variety of outcomes we have witnessed on the surface of just one planet! They have not let their guard down one single time.

If only that kind of devotion were not so gravely misplaced.

And these are the same guys (or their designated descendants by now, in various cases) who once upon a time devised - or merely corrupted into being - the Earth's broken concepts of a promised land. You've got to see the levity in that. In a textbook, positively clinic demonstration of hiding in plain sight, they managed to turn the idea of breaking free from their eternally looping horror film into a children's book theme, then propagated it for thousands of years!

It's almost like they planned it out in advance.

Anyway, the ones saying "we let it happen" are part of the problem. It's time to zoom out and see how things got to where they are. As a species, no - we didn't merely "let" it. "It" was taken away piece by piece, at a rate which no reasonable person could prevent, at a rate most would not notice. That was by design. It starts with one seemingly minor overruling between a few individuals of varying rank, one that billions never hear about, and one that could easily be handwaved and/or justified with endless plausible deniability and fluff if need be. This avoidance strategy is the fertilizer for the sickness. It grows until it has spread to the layman, until it becomes part of everyday life...until the prisoners find themselves begging for more.

Which is a nice segue, really. Generally people begin to see a macro issue once it has festered out of control. "Out of control" is the only bit which grabs their notice. But those who've seen it coming five, ten, fifty plus years ahead are "delusional" and "crazy". So would you rather be an idiot who calls out the smart ones, or a smart one who calls out the idiots? You're doing the same shit, and the "other side" will never listen to you.

It doesn't matter if someone disagrees with my assertion that the opening comment is a falsehood - others will always be able to exert their will over you. That is how the play is written. It sure as hell doesn't mean you're a failed Neo who mysteriously didn't live up to loftier expectations.

Maybe as we get closer to the climax of this act I will do a huge post detailing the prison mechanics from front to back in one place. For years I have avoided doing this for reasons, and thus the crumbs are, somewhat to my own annoyance, spread out on purpose. But there will come a time. I'd probably need to pin it somewhere, too. Perhaps I'll cobble together a system for that in the sidebar eventually.

Until then, I'm just a dumb jungle girl.

January 29, 2024

Ripple Effect

The coming exponential growth could very well see this world make respectable strides toward a life like the one I came from. In which case, it’ll be funny seeing everyone wake up and realize “the aliens” aren’t quite so mythological anymore.

A revolution is in the cards; everyone knows that. On one side are those who desire it, while the other comprises a group busy trying to rewind Earth back to a barbaric hellscape. They are feeling the pressure, and are very angry that the prisoners have a chance to make lasting progress.

Do your part by focusing your thought energy around the former. Do not be distracted by the conflicts, and do not let yourself be roused to fight among your relatives and loved ones. The ones in control want you fighting. They want you divided, distracted and detached from one of the most important eras in Earth’s history. They know you can hinder their efforts when you are awake and aware. Ask yourself, “Why would they want me focusing on this thing right now?”

It is imperative we think for the long term. Please keep an open mind, and be slow to speak. If there was ever a time to turn your back on temptation, I’d wager it’s this one.

January 23, 2024

Manall's FF1 v3.1

Well well, it's here much sooner than expected... by the way, that makes an insane THREE new releases within a WEEK.

Lots to talk about! Starting off we have some bug fixes, sprite updates (the Green Wizard is even hotter now) along with recalculations for hit, crit and evade on the guide. Evasion, like critical rate, now also displays as a 0-100 percent in-game! Yay!

The old Tent has been replaced with a new item, Tonics! I originally planned this feature for 3.0, but it wasn't quite ready in time and I was too fatigued to test it for bugs. Anyway, I think we all know Tents were never very good or cost efficient, yet Cabins and Houses remain invaluable all the way to the end of the game. So Cabin/House are now renamed backward by one, to just Tent/Cabin. Much simpler. And besides... how exactly, the FUCK did you buy and plop down an entire house just anywhere?!

Maybe the Light Warriors paid a visit to Capsule Corp at some point in their time travels.

Back to Tonics - they are found only in dungeons, and provide a powerful source of group healing out of battle, indoors or out. Several treasures previously containing Heal potions have also been converted to Tonics in order to make those chests more rewarding to reach. Overall, Tonics are a big change that will go a long ways for all parties, especially those forging ahead without much magic.

A simple, but notable highlight: the P-Ring was originally only accessible to the player far after it is first needed, which is during the Ice Cave/Castle of Ordeal. As well, the only treasure chest containing one was in the Floating Castle, found much later. This was also unhelpful, since the player does eventually gain access to the item before reaching the castle. In 3.1 that treasure has simply been moved to the Ice Cave, remedying the issue.

Your Catlash can now learn up to five L1-4 magic charges! Unlike Knight/Ninja, she must be at Catlash rank in order to receive them; it is a little bonus challenge to try and net her as many as you can. They are received on even level-ups from L16-24, and she will be able to learn a small but diverse mix of sleep, invis and heal spells.

Rub, now renamed Coil, no longer causes instant death, but inflicts damage equal to that of Nuke...two levels earlier! This gives it more multi-purpose, and lets it take greater advantage of death-weak targets with the highest damage ceiling of any spell in the game. Note for Green Mages that it is no longer considered an effect spell.

The annoying, ambush-laden Grey Imp / Werewolf formation has been axed, replaced with a Green Ogre/Crawl formation that boasts a huge opportunity for CA$H! Check the changelog for more info on that. And lastly, Fiends have been given an enormous experience boost - double or more in all cases - to make sure there is plenty of incentive to go after them as soon as possible.

Okay seriously, it's time - WALUIGI RPG, I AM COMING FOR YOU!
All others are going to have a nice sleep.

January 20, 2024

Manall's HoMM3 v1.5b

I forgot to add this one to the modclock display, but it's been sitting for a while and I realize now it's ready to go - no more changes needed! That's two releases in the same week. ^.^

There are some hero bonus improvements and a few other changes like simplifying a few spell names, and making Faerie/Crystal/Rust/Azure Dragons actually be level 8/10, how the map editor always stated they were - this will greatly improve the first aid health bonus they receive!

January 17, 2024

Crystalis (Female) v1.0a

Hey look, the simplest update to anything ever is finally out! This removes the jittery dialogue box effect when speaking to others, and automatically sets your equipped orb to match the sword you are using, regardless of what orb is shown to be equipped on the menu.

With RHDN getting its ducks back in a row, 3.1 looming for FF1 and WALUIGI RPG's long-stalled 1.3 next over the horizon, this could be a good year for mods!!

January 16, 2024

I don't give a flying meta.

Everywhere you go now, anything you say - utter the name of any subject, art or media, and you will quickly notice as the responses converge onto a similar thought train. "Oh well, all you have to do is ...", "Psh, everyone just does ...", "Yeah, you should really only do __ now." It always comes back to bypassing, exploiting, oversimplification, and the pointless quest for efficiency. It's like everyone has funneled into the thinking used by those "USING ONE WEIRD TRICK" ads that I always thought no one paid attention to.

Nothing is simply what it is anymore. It's, "ignore 99% of that topic you just mentioned, and do this one thing". A thing is nothing more now than a mental launch pad to a how-to for the fastest or best way to do that thing, determined by...someone. Someone who probably lives in that very same echo chamber. And you can't even shit on that mindset anymore, because giving it ANY attention is somehow reverse-inspiring to people alive today. There is literally no way to discourage stupid shit anymore - people will only run toward it faster. A lot faster.

Fine by me. Seriously, let them all smash into the same slab of concrete. Maybe between the lot of them they will resolve that there was a mistake somewhere along the way.

When it comes to existing at your own pace, luckily the best person to figure that out is always going to be you! I'm just saying, be wary of this trend. There is more to life than, "what's the best class", "what's the fastest way to X". If all you want is to skip straight to the end, then don't fucking wonder why you're depressed and have nothing to do. You know exactly why, and you got what you wanted - that is unless you're prepared to admit that maybe, just maybe you didn't think it through, that you never stopped to wonder where this never-ending race would lead. Well there's the old saying, the brightest flame burns quickest. The unspoken part should be obvious, but...ya know what happens after the flame finishes burning?

It dies.

January 10, 2024

Aliens and the Miami Mall

If you've read for a while and still don't believe anything beyond this tiny, pathetic prison sphere, it's time to drop the fiction. I don't intend to do a lengthy commentary of this event because frankly, everyone should go find out more for themselves. But I'll say I'm glad, relieved this kind of thing is FINALLY happening.

You don't need to send a hundred cop cars to deal with any run-of-the-mill incident, blocking almost an entire highway. You don't create an airtight perimeter around the mall to stop witnesses from escaping without first asking for their phones, unless an attempted cover up is in progress. You don't show up to interrogate witnesses at their doorsteps, telling them not to talk about what they've seen, unless they are waking up ahead of schedule. You do not shut down the airport unless something "serious" has happened. Miami PD would not deploy and tie up that many police assets if a hundred tons of cocaine suddenly appeared in that mall, let alone the excuse of rioting teens. The sheer numbers, overwhelming response and ordered silence speaks volumes.

I'd like to quote one of my favorite subchapter headlines from the Halo series - "Sorry, were you in the middle of something?"

People have grown to hate the establishment so much that they'd rather take their chances with something they know nothing about - that's beautiful. I'm happy for them. I hope the witnesses take care, and learn something from the experience. Fortunately, there are too many of them for the powers that be to go on a disappearing spree.

Didn't I say recently this year would be one for the books?

January 4, 2024

It's how everyone works.

I read a comment today which interested me, and I'd like to share. It was made in reply to another person who had expressed how differently he'd do things if he was rich, instead of a specific billionaire he had become weary of. I made minor edits for grammar/clarity.

"If you ever became a billionaire, you would do the exact same. Weird how that works...there are many different perspectives on the world, and what makes sense to a consumer doesn't necessarily make sense to a corporation/investor.

All humans are rational actors. Whenever you don't understand someone - a business, political party, what have you - there are surprisingly simple factors informing their decision-making which you can only see when you're actually there.

It applies to everyone. Same with junkies! For example, people often think, "If I were a police officer, I would do so and so..." But turns out, if you were a police officer, you would end up doing the exact same as current police officers. Their behavior is logical within their environment. Same for royal family members, prostitutes etc. It's how humans work."

I really wish more of the world would think like this.

Interactions are a result of their circumstances. Each time you see someone as hero, villain, or anything in between, your ego is applying its circumstance as a judgment of theirs. If you think about this for a moment, you will understand this is not actually possible to do completely, only partially. That's one distortion right there, and every action taken afterwards is another. We are incapable of responding based on something which we have not imagined.

If you ever take a look at the goings-on beyond Earth, you'll find that...there are still wars. People still die. Species still go extinct over resources and worlds. Those more advanced species also have something in common which I find fascinating - they speak of these things much more matter-of-factly than humans do. They've reached a state of acceptance with the law of conflict in our universe that humans have not.

If you take even a sniff in the direction of the concept of "densities", which I'm probably wasting my time mentioning on this blog, it won't take long for you to discover that choice does not actually exist. It never has. "Free will" is more like a propagated slogan; it sounds good, and it may even feel good. But you don't really take away that Coca-Cola is "good for life", do you? Right. Well anyway, the idea can help people along for a while (speaking relatively on the scale of hundreds of thousands of years) but in function it is merely another distortion. That is to say, it isn't quite as-advertised. But ask yourself, really - how many experiences in your life actually are as-advertised?

I know that the beings who watch over my home world are not really "gods" in the way we imagine a god. They are people; people who have reached a stage in their existence where purpose is defined by their ability to guide others who are in need. And as much as I know that, they're still gods to me. That's the beautiful thing about seeing both the myth and the reality together. It doesn't diminish their influence or their love in any way.

Before coming here, I only truly cared about a few things - sex, creativity, and discovery. I knew full well I was a simple being in this matter. I didn't have the patience or desire to be someone massively important (like Cypher!) and furthermore I still haven't nearly tired of those things I do care about. That's okay, and I'm okay with that. And no one back home would be surprised that I am running a blog to continue to grumble and skepticize my way through philosophy and existence, either. Everybody knew what I was, and what I wasn't.

The funny thing about caring though - it changes over time. Over many lives, mind you, but we will always outgrow ourselves when that time is right, and we will know when we are ready.

That person's reply was beautiful, and I think where each of us are headed lies based on only one thing - that which we presently find most joyful, and most painful. That isn't to say we'll end up with both or even one of those - only that they light our path.

January 1, 2024

Well well, we made it. Are we here? Here we are. 2024 will be sure to be remembered.

All of 2023's posts now live in the Archive section I started recently on the left pane. And for those who care, I posted a (very late) full review of 72 Seasons a few days ago. Yes, that review section is still alive...kinda.