a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

Garbage Digest: Wilhelm's Wordle Makes My Heart Go Tokimeki 😱

Welcome to #GarbageDigest, our new all-purpose publication for small thoughts insufficient for a dedicated article. Our previous publication, flotsam, has entered its end-of-life phase. This post is suitable for kindling, compost, or nesting material for birds. For best results when using blog as toilet paper, crumple into a ball and smooth out repeatedly to make soft and pliable

tokimeki update

I'm in the final year of my first play of Tokimeki Memorial. I know I said I appreciated the fan translator localizing the title, but I realized I've been hearing it as Tokimeki Memorial for so long and calling it that in my head that it feels weird to call it anything else. It might help new people get into it though

The UI is pretty bad. I didn't realize the SNES version had a literal mouse cursor you move around the screen with the D-pad. I get that they're trying to evoke the feel of dating sims on computers at the time, but it's really unnecessary. With the exception of the occasional action minigame, the entire game is a menu with around 10 items, and dialogue boxes with a maximum of three. Well, when you ask a girl on a date, you have to pick a day from two month's worth of calendar pages, so in theory a mouse cursor would be easier than a jump cursor, but in practice I always just pick the next sunday anyway. I could be emulating the SNES mouse instead of using a controller, but I play video games to kick back and relax, not sit in front of my desk with the same posture I do at work

Anyway it's fine. So much of the game is hands-off that it doesn't get in the way. The text crawl is pretty slow, but I've learned to tolerate it. The writing is very efficient, which is the opposite of my usual experience with visual novels, and I never find myself needing to button through page after page of slow overwritten dialogue and getting frustrated. You never have to wait too long before making another choice

On a concert date in the game Tokimeki Memorial. Ayako says "I feel a little worn-out today. As they say in English... 'I'm kinda tired.'"This has always been my favorite English expression

I like it! I decided from the beginning I wasn't even going to try to date Shiori, the protagonist's canonical crush, the girl on the front of the box whose route offers the "best" ending. If you've watched Tim Rogers' review, you understand why, but if you don't want to watch all 6 hours, the best way I can summarize it if you're familiar with video games is that it's sort of like the "genocide route" in Undertale

I know it's possible, and I know you get a different ending, but it's too much work and I know I'm not going to feel good about doing it. I love Undertale but I've never played that way, and I don't intend to. Likewise, I never intend to pursue Shiori. I've seen Tim do it, heard him talk about it, that's good enough for me

It looks like I'm going to confess my love to Mio, the studious bookworm whose idea of a perfect date is reading a book and ignoring you while you sit silently together in the library. This is the funny trope way of describing her, but there's more to her personality than that, and getting to know her is a charming experience. That's where the game's real depth is: with the exception of Shiori, every datable girl can be summed up in a 1-sentence anime trope, but the more you get to know them, the more you find out how much more there is to them

It wasn't a huge shock that I'm going to end up with Mio on my first play, because you meet her once your studiousness stat reaches a certain threshold, and if I had to go back and do high school again in real life, I would play to my strengths, try my hardest to get good grades and get more scholarship opportunities. My tokimeki test scores are the second-highest in the school, and it looks like I'm on track to get into a first-rate school ğŸ˜¤ğŸ‘¨â€ğŸŽ“

I'll talk more about the game after I finish my first play, but I can easily see myself starting a new game right after I'm done and changing how I play. When you ignore the path the game tries to force you down, it's a charming, relaxing experience. Nowhere near the frustration level of Long Live the Queen. After re-watching Tim's review I'm pretty sure there's no fail state, even if you pick "sleep" as your action every week of the game and do nothing else, you get to the end, you just get the sad ending. So I feel free to experiment and see what different choices get me without worrying I'll be slain in a duel or anything

One of the funniest moments so far has been on the school trip to Australia. I was visiting Ayers' Rock with Mio and we were suddenly attacked by a crocodile. My options were "run!" or "tell Mio to run while I fight the croc". I chose the second, because of course my priority was making sure Mio was safe, and at that point I was pretty sure "eaten by a crocodile" isn't the kind of ending they'd put in the game, so I was happy to run interference. It transitioned to a Final Fantasy-style battle screen, and I won't spoil what happens, but that alone was worth the time I spent with the game. And that's just one of the two school trip paths! I need to play at least another time and see what happens when we go to China!


I can post my wordle score for the day here, right? Hang on, I need to check with the commissioner of blogs. (immediately) Yeah it's legal

Wordle 311 3/6*


I'm positive we've had this word before, because I always use the same opener and I got it on the third try last time with the same sequence. Oh well, I'll take it

Also I resent the NYT giving me an ad for Spelling Bee, which I'm sure I'd love but can't play without giving them money

Luckily Shifty Sam on the Apple II is basically the same concept, so I'll fire up the emulator when I get home

I'm a bad scream noticer

I saw a poll about the wilhelm scream asking people which of 3 categories they're in: like it, hate it, don't know what it is

I felt weird because I know what it is, I'm sure I could pick it out of a lineup if you played several scream sound effects in isolation, but I never notice it in situ. It's always used in big battle scenes where there are lots of other screams and sound effects, and it's always too much for my brain to pick one particular scream out of the noise, especially if there's dialogue happening at the same time. If people are talking during a loud chaotic fight scene, I have to concentrate as hard as I can to be able to understand what they're saying. Which is why I have subtitles on whenever possible. It's not a hearing impairment, it's just an audio processing thing. I think it's related to my inability to understand 99% of song lyrics. I primarily listen for the sound of the music, so I usually tune the words out in those cases. I'm often surprised when I find out what a song I've listened to dozens of times is actually about

If I ever do notice a Wilhelm scream or Howie scream in situ, I'll probably be excited at having finally caught one. Movies and video games are lousy with the door-open noise and baron of hell fireball whoosh from Doom, and it's always a treat when I notice them. This probably isn't that hard for anyone who's played Doom, but it's nice to be an expert in this little domain 🦝