Archive for June, 2010

Pokémon Emerald Update #13

June 28, 2010

When we last left our (anti-)hero, he had just defeated Maxie and his goons yet again, narrowly averting disaster (for Maxie). He fell in love with the sea, and spent some time on the open sea, battling sea monsters, catching his own fish and barbequeing them under the open night sky. One evening his entire boat burned to the ground, or to the sea as it happens, because that’s what eventually tends to happen when having a fire on a ship. He thus decided to continue with his journey. Plus, the Tentacool and Tentacruel were starting to wear him down.

And there’s these diving spots all around it. I wonder if…



Bingo. A volcanic crater filled with water is as good a place as any for a city, I guess.

Sootopolis City – A place full of Mauvillians.


I think the girl’s parents failed in that regard.


Never say no to berries, no matter the lunacy of the giver.

Not only does Brick Break have 75 power and 100% accuracy, it also breaks Reflect or Light Screen. A freakin’ sweet move, and the strongest readily available Generation III Fighting move with 100% accuracy. (Cross Chop has 100 power, but only 80% accuracy and 5 PP)

Henny: “Then open it.”
Mental Inner Voice: “No can do.”

“‘He’s got appeal with a Double-Edge’? What does that even mean?”

Looks as though Gamefreak were desperate to throw in a Move Tutor.

What lies beneath these palms? Alas, I may never know.

“I don’t see anybody else here.”

“Well, I can’t say no to that.”

And then the only sane man in town told me to leave, as he wasn’t a Mauvillian and thus not generous.

My intution tells me there’s something plot-related around here…


Bingo again.

They just swum up to the surface while the submarine was still in the water? Ignoring the problems that’s going to cause, how are they planning to get it working again?

Seafloor Cavern – A proper Zubat cave.
Zubat – Very Common
Golbat – Uncommon

Nothing is more fun than solving puzzles involving currents.

Well, ‘cept solving a puzzle involving boulders and then making that moot.

And after a brilliant boulder puzzle solving, I am finally ready to enter the very deepest part of the cavern…

Earthquake does 100 power, has 100% accuracy and 10 PP, and a crapton of mons learns it. It has given great power to the Ground type since Generation I.

He says it’s sleeping, but I fear it might spring up and attack at any moment.

No further red arrows probably means a battle with Archie, a rather precarious position to be in should the beast attack. Oh crap…

Nosepass still has two left.

And then Archie’s Red Orb starts to glow, apparently all by itself.

What.

“Oh. That’s a bummer.”

“Maybe. Just maybe.”

*passive-aggressively stares at Maxie, telling him all he needs to know about just how hypocritical he is*

I get the feeling it will invariably be up to me.

“Just where the hell did you come from? O.o”

Dunn-dunn-dunn.

“Would you count getting Briney to build a big-ass ship capable of housing two of every Pokémon as ‘reckless’?”

Back in Sootopolis, the two big beasts are having some sort of fight.

It doesn’t look like they’re hurting each other. Maybe they’re simply hurling expletives at each other? Maybe they’re having a rap battle?


I find Maxie and Archie lined up along the beach, both of them desperately trying to gather the attention of the two combatants/rappers. Needless to say, completely ineffective. I would really like to kill both of these useless, irritating Team leaders right this minute, but I’ve got more pressing business.

Maybe Steven knows what to do.

“I ain’t worried. I’ve got Tentacruel.”

This seems like a good time for a cliffhanger.

Our Aspies Are Different

June 25, 2010

I’m having a lovely vacation in Jämtland. It’s been its own nation and is the second largest province in Sweden, so it’s not too far-fetched to think of it as the Texas of Sweden. Only with only one not particularly large city (compared with the numerous large cities Texas has considering its population). Well, I never said it was a good comparison.

Anyhow, as I was sitting in the car on the way up I got bored and thought about doing a kick-ass blog post about Asperger’s Syndrome. When I finally got to the familiar house of awesome relatives, my second cousin revealed that she, too, had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Well, that seals the deal for me, I’ll try to write this carp.

It’s no coincidence my second cousin is an aspie as well. AS has a very strong genetic component and is overrepresentated within certain families. This means that the odds of an aspie meeting another aspie is quite high relative to the actual number of aspies, especially if a population is particularly homogenous. AS is not caused by mercury poisoning or whatever quack theory you can come up with it.

Many people have strange ideas of what an aspie is. I’d like to address some of these conceptions.

Aspies get good grades

Perhaps it’s because of the Freudian notion of someone who doesn’t fare well in social contacts will compensate with better grades, or an aspie is generally bright and has a natural inclination for certain things, which would mean better grades but this doesn’t seem to add up with reality, at least as upper secondary school goes. As I was talking with the principal at my school once, he decided to lay it all out for me. Those who are the most successful as grades go are those who get together with others – there is a quite strong social component involved. If there are a lot of diverse subjects, an aspie will most likely be good in some but not so good in others. I don’t think the social aspect of school is bad as such since it resonates with how life beyond school actually is. I have quite a few reservations about how the education system works, but that’s a topic for another day.

Aspies are male

In the media aspies are almost exclusively portrayed as male, for the simple reason that there are more male aspies than female ones. A notable exception is Lisbeth Salander, the main character of the Millenium Trilogy. I think the number of female aspies is underestimated, partly because females in general have an easier time as social contacts go. I’m not saying that there’s a 50-50 ratio as gender on the spectrum goes, just that there’s a lot more female aspies out there than most think.

Aspies have no sense of humour

To actually claim this, one would need little or none exposure to aspies. Perhaps there’s this notion because aspies aren’t as inclined to laugh at those really lame or nonsensical jokes which people laugh at because it’s a social thing. Have a gander at this.

Aspies can’t lie

It’s totally true. (What are we, George Washington?)

Aspies have to suffer

I don’t think it necessarily has to be so. While I suppose most neurotypicals wouldn’t be very comfortable with the mentality I have (but then again, would they really be the same people if they did?), I’ve had it all my life. AS is so much more noticeable among young people because they are trying to get to terms with the world, and I too have had to struggle. But gradually I suppose you get to terms with who you are, and a supportive environment works wonders towards that, as well as a diagnosis itself. Some people have an easier time than others. I had the good fortune of being raised by wonderful parents and in a social democratic society, so I naturally have had it easier than other aspies.

Aspies are übermensch

For some reason, some people have got the impression that aspies are inherently superior to neurotypicals. Patently absurd. What has made humanity so great is our ability to cooperate with others. There are absurdly large tribes like China, India, the EU and the US which simply can’t hold together by instinct alone. It’s far more complex than any eusocial way of organization. Aspies aren’t all supergeniuses, either. There are some savants, yes, but they are just the tip of the iceberg and not representative of aspies as a whole – though media could give another impression. Anyway, hanging around at the Wrong Planet forums for a while should neatly dispel any illusions as the alleged superiority goes.

Aspies must be diagnosed

As much as I loathe self-diagnosers who’ve just read the Wikipedia article and agreed with a few select parts, there are reasons why a diagnosis has certain restrictions. America, for example, has a crappy health care (unless Obama gets the ball rolling) which means it will most likely cost a certain amount of money just to meet with a psychologist. In developing countries it can be even worse. It’s incredibly difficult to get diagnosed in Egypt, for example. Only a few psychologists make diagnosises and one has to be very ingratiating towards them to even have the chance to get one, and it costs an exorbitant amount of money. In Scandinavia, by contrast, meeting a psychologist and eventually getting a diagnosis is free. This would explain why there as seemingly so many aspies in Sweden – it has nothing to do with genetics or problems accomodating with the culture. (As culture goes, it would rather suggest the opposite; Swedes are more silent than, say, the French.)

The most important thing to remember is that aspies are people. Despite such a small group, which is seemingly so similar in behaviour, it has an extreme diversity in people as ideas and values go. There is a contrieved image of the stereotypical aspie, but each of us have dreams, opinions, a driving force of our own. Though I suppose so it is with everything in life. Every day I can see something new about people on the spectrum, and I am sure there’s still much to learn.

If you think there are any other misconceptions one should adress, post a comment.

EDIT: Adding some suggestions:

Aspies are violent

Perhaps one of the most infuriating stereotypes is that of the violent aspie. We apparently murder someone at the drop of a hat, we are cold and unemotional, kicks and punches are the only language we understand. Well, somewhat needless to say, it has no basis in reality. It’s another one of those things the media does in their quest of profit.

Populous Update #12

June 15, 2010

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I decided not to crop the images this time around to see whether it’s better or not. If you prefered it as it used to be, drop a comment.


“An Easy Prey”. America is trying to take the first, struggling steps in the world, but the premier powers of Britain, France and Spain watch it jealously when they’re not busy fighting each other.


We’re apparently the easy prey, though the Spanish seem more at the center of the map. Note the many buildings and followers the enemies already have.

The space in our settlement is not very large, and the terrain is not the most desireable. Try not to build Huts on trees.



The soft Spanish fall for the old “Preacher Rush” trick yet again.

And now we get our dirty hands on the last and smallest building in the game; the Spy Hut.

The fall of a civilization pleases the Shaman as usual.

To keep the Frenchies on their toes, an invisible Preacher is sent out (it’s like the Flying Dutchman, only smaller and more spiritual).

His days as a missionary has a less than brilliant start.

The British, the biggest foes, make a bridge to the former Spanish base, where we’ve started to build stuff.

The Spy has a bad rap for being useless, which is frankly undeserved. When used correctly they sure can cause some havoc within enemy ranks.

Not my small Hut! Darn you Brits! 😥

They have no pity for my poor hard-working Braves.

These Outposts are major annoyments. The crack Firewarriors perched on the hill means it’s a bother trying to conquer it, and their Braves are obsessed about rebuilding them.

The Spy knows what to do with problematic Outposts, though.

And when I mean obsessed Braves, I mean it.

The Spy continues his lovely little game.

These Outposts really are a pest.

Oops. So end the days of the master Spy.

Angered, I send the army in.

I’m not entirely sure how the Shaman died. She just sort of died.

This leaves my army at the mercy of the enemy Shaman.

Darn those flippin’ Outposts. Some Marsh could perhaps inconvenience them a bit.

That looks a bit worrying. I wonder where they’re heading.

Well, that wasn’t very troubling.

Curses! Another Hut bites the dust.

Not even the house of God is given a respite.

My Preachers have engaged in some sort of theological discussion with the British Preachers. My Firewarriors are called in to act as quite partial moderators.

I decide to launch a half-baked attack, just to spite them.

Looks like the French are ready to sign the surrender documents.

The British are late for the party.

My Shaman, who really is a one-woman army, invest in a different direction of advancement.

This is surely the best raid ever.

I am most diabolical.

Finally, it’s time for the big push.

It’s a shame having all those Boats going to waste. Precious wood.

The British Shaman is showing off her Kung-Fu, but my Warriors are not impressed.

Just a few foes remain. Will they be able to turn the tables in their favour?

Nope.

Populous Update #11

June 8, 2010

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America’s mighty military is poised to destroy the Iraqi one, but there are dissents at home to take care of.



The Iraqi are seperated by sea, with an island inbetween. Two lanbridges are needed. The hippies are on the same continent, but far away. The geography is quite uneven and unsuitable for building.


We’ve persevered with only knowing six spells so far, but now we can get our hands on two new spells which are quite useful. Swamp covers a tile of land. If an an enemy unit walks in it, he’s dead, with up to a total of 15 kills. Good for fortification. Hypnosis converts enemy followers for a temporary amount of time. Can easily halt a large enemy advance. Notice that there are ways to go around the temporary nature; sending a hypnotized follower into a hut to train will make him your own when he emerges again. You can also place hypnotized Warriors close to a Preacher.

I start construction of a Temple and a couple of Huts, the plan is to do a delayed Preacher rush on the Iraqi.

That’s one landbridge finished…

Meanwhile, a Preacher in an Outpost near the hippie encampment should slow ’em down a bit.

They’re constructing stuff. *looks at mana bar* Load already!

Ah, finally. This’ll be fun.

Successfully pulling off a Preacher rush on a map with two enemies should get me enough Braves to finish off the second enemy as well.

They are slow but persistent builders. We should see enemy units coming out soon.

Hypnosis is so goddarn cool, I go for it first.

And so the Iraqi got a much better life under their new American masters.

Delicious Braves. Manpower for my army.

Our Outpost sees some ruckus, and a smelly Preacher slipping past our defences.

I hear bells ringing. The hippies launch a proper attack on our noble American values.

My Shaman carefully blasting out their Preachers leave them splittered and prone to propaganda, though.

And now we’re about to give them a striking argument.

The enemy Shaman does her patented Fireball-everything-which-moves trick.

Well, she’s a one trick pony.

^_^

Populous Update #10

June 6, 2010

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Also, click here for music theme.


We enter the darkest chapter in human history: The Holocaust

Our synagogue was destroyed! And lots more is killed or ruined. Who is behind this?

I do believe it’s Hitler himself sitting there in his Outpost casting Erosion spells. (How does he recharge them so fast, anyway?)

Luckily we have a Boat we can use. Four Preachers and the Shaman head for it.

This is horrible. Hitler…! <_<

We can hardly charge the enemy head on, so we strike at their Outpost on this island. They’re guarding a Chicken Itza for some reason.

I hope it’s not a selfdestruct button or something. What the hell, we have no other choice.

Awesomeness! ^_^

Don’t ask me how the Natives survived.

We have no need for anything else but our four Preachers, but we could use some mana to hurry the process.

The always so cool Invisibility spell sees some use.

The beach is full of German snipers and fortifications. It’s no joke landing here.

Two Preachers get the Firewarriors, one Preachers get the Warriors and the last Preacher sails back to pick up the Shaman who couldn’t come due to her lack of Invisibility.

Hitler appears to have escaped…

The Führer is most definitely dead.

And so is Nazi Germany. What a deliciously ironic level.

He is really dedicated.

But now he’s dead.

Populous Update #9

June 6, 2010

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I don’t remember the original English name, but “Fire in the Fog” is a fairly cool name.

The Pacific 1941. American opinion regarding war with Japanese have started to turn, but the country is still not at war with them.



The Americans and Japanese are shown as being on two continents, but they will be linked together soon. Inbetween the two camps there is also an island with a very lucrative spell, we’ll need boats to get there, though. Note that this is the first level with fog of war.

The standard setup with building Huts and converting Natives. Space is fairly limited, though.

The Japanese begging Chicken Itza for favours? I am not pleased. -_-

Our Shaman takes on the role as an explorer, and explores the ridge to our south. Here’s where all the Natives are hiding.

A few newly converted Braves get going on worshipping the Stone Head. Also, notice the quantity of wood, it’s a lot more than in your starting position.

Tornado. Always fun to use.

The enemy builds Outposts all over the place. I’m now also north of my base.



The pass northwest of my base is the only direct land route to my or their base. I don’t wish to be boxed in, so a few Braves gets going on trying to push them out with Outposts of their own.

Unfortunately, it fails.

Trying to get some more room to roam, the Shaman landbridges some more space. I’m also now trying to get some military production up and going as a response to the failure in the pass.

A common side-effect when doing this.

A rag-tag army sets out to trying to conquer the darn pass.

*facepalms* He trapped himself somehow. Now he’ll stand like that ’til he gets dizzy and dies.

The Japanese launches a surprise attack! This can’t be good…

“PATATAMPKA!” That’s a new spell. And suddenly the ground is shaking.

This isn’t good. D:


Those tootin’ Japanese! >.<

/>

The Shaman gets to join my dead Braves temporarily. Let’s make her join them permanently.

On a brighter note, we’ve established control over the pass. And I spot a Boat there…

A Firewarrior does some scouting of the Japanese coastline. Once explored, the fog of war is gone. Also, notice that cool building, a Boat House, in which Boats can be constructed.

At the right edges of the map, you can see the Boat loading up.

Those Japanese Boats look like they’re up to no good…

Hohoho. I emptied four Boats in total with my Swarm spells. A note on using Boats: Using them for mass invasions is not a particularly good idea. If you have, say, and army of 80 you would need 16 Boats. A Boat Hut costs only three wood to build, but each Boat costs six wood. That’s 99 wood you have to gather. Loading and unloading all those followers is quite tricky as well. Also, as you can see here, it is a vulnerable position they’re in.

Experiments on atolls in the Pacific has yielded a new frightening weapon.

“Guys! Where you going?”

I sacrifice a Warrior to try to see the most advantageous site to strike…

PARATAMPKA!



The Preacher survives somehow.

I misplaced the last few screenshots somehow. I shouldn’t do this at 1 AM. O.o What I can remember is that I hit the Preacher with a Thunderbolt and I finally completed the level in 31 minutes.

Populous Update #8

June 5, 2010

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The Epic and Fun Way To Beat This Level


I think I’ve just about outdone myself. 46 images!

We have gathered here for the Battle of Little Bighorn. We shall forcefully have to coerce the Native Americans back to their reservations.




This is a quite big map. We start out in a valley of sorts. We’re flanked by ridges and water. The small pass north of our reincarnation circle is a hot spot, were the enemy will stage their attacks. Due to the nature of the map there are many directions from which you can attack, and be attacked from. Keep in mind that the Native Americans start out with Warriors.

We start with building Huts in a nice semi-circle.

Our building spree prescribes several spots of expansion.

Go for the juiciest Native spots first.

A strategically important Outpost is built here.

As you can see, I prefer lots of Huts who are not fully occupied, along with a few full ones. Once those few mature, they’ll be able to churn out Braves, and the crapton of Huts means there is a population limit to match.



Landbridges ain’t just for making bridges across water, but across land as well. The new ridge functions as a wall.

Meanwhile, the Native Americans have started to build Firewarriors/Throwing Axemen. The Firewarrior hurls miniature Fireballs at’cha. Shamans, Braves, Spies and other Firewarriors will “jump” a bit at impact, Warriors and Preachers keep it cool, though. Quite deadly when enoying large numbers and/or being able to fire from above.

She seems to be launching an attack.

There is no doubt that it is so. (My wall!)

One of the disadvantages of attacking someone who is favoured by altitude.

Further oddity to our little ridge~

At one point during the battle, Custer used a special way in the mountains to infiltrate the Native American encampment.

The plan was to steal war plans. A small skirmish broke out, however.

Finally we can build those supremely awesome units as well.

Just as my Shaman’s leaving, however, the enemy sets out to strike. And we have no military units yet. This could mean problem.

Not my precious ridge again! Look at the minimap in the upper left corner to see how far away my Shaman is.

Just ignore me trying to get my military off my feet. Good AI.

I tried to offer surrender to the stray Firewarrior, but my patriotic American citizens are just that concerned with taking matters of intruders into their own hands.

The Shaman got away somehow, though.

No peace for the wicked.

Another attack? Though incompetent, the enemy has some spine.

But they’re mostly incompetent.

Firewarriors are quite potent with a population as large as mine.

A LOT of Landbridge spells later (remember what I mentioned about using them en masse?), we have an elevated path into their defense frontier. Once that is breached, we have an elevated position above their main settlement.

Time for showing off the Invisibility spell, just to show off and give the enemy some idea how irritating raids are.

It doesn’t work out all too well.

Whenever her Braves fail, the poor Shaman has to help them out. Just like Italy and Germany.

Spurred by current events, Americans enlist in great numbers to aid in our campaign.

A stray enemy unit is nice enough to let us demonstrate how deadly Firewarriors can be.

He flew out of the screen. And it took some before he came down again.

61-61-44. This is going to be fun.

CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

It’s quite hard to direct large amounts of units, and rather easy to disperse them. A single Thunderbolt can ruin your army’s day with quite some ease.

-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

-AAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!

The newly constructed bridge led to an economical boom.

The Quick and Lame Way To Beat This Level

1. Build Preachers.

2. ????

3. PROFIT!