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So I watched some of Shadow and Bone on Netflix (might as well watch something as they're charging me $18 a month) and...

...I don't know. Every media outlet that mentioned the show treated it as if it were the second coming of Christ, but I couldn't make heads or tails out of it. Okay, there's magic, there's a girl who people don't like because she looks different, and there's a kind of steampunk thing going on...

...which wouldn't be a bad setup, but I can't understand a goddamn thing coming out of the actors' mouths! A bunch of British actors spewing out their lines as if they're all in a race to reach the end of each scene first, and I hate having to turn on subtitles just to make sense of what's going on. I made the mistake of folding towels for part of it, and was thoroughly lost. "Why is she doing that? What did he say? Why is she...wait, is this a flashback? Why...uh...oh God no."

[SCENE: A man and a woman flirt]

MAN: [insinuating smile] Dyouthinkwhatsitwatermelonfre nchfries?
WOMAN: [wincing smile] Oh, IdunnowhatthetimeisbutIthinki tmightbepatagonia!
MAN: [smooth chuckle] Tacobellcheeseonthursdaywotch erbobmexicovivalamanoflamanch a!
WOMAN: [laughs]


I gave up after 20 minutes of this. Apparently they have all this lore and backstory to establish in the first episode, a lot of exposition, a ton of character establishment and motiviation, and so on. So they gotta get through it and FAST, establishing the world to hook the viewer before their ratings crater and Netflix cancels them. So the actors have to deliver their lines like auctioneers.

It's bad enough with American actors, but the added difficulty of the British accents tend to make me especially patriotic on the 4th of July.  :ss-nono

There is an alternative, though: it involves these things called "books." The series is based on a trilogy, but...I don't know if I care enough to start another series. I already have a backlog of reading material...I mean, I never finished the third Thomas Covenant series, I'm only a third of the way through Adrienne Barbeau's autobiography, and I have yet to make it through the maze on the back of the Cap'n Crunch box. I just don't have the room for more things to read!
The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Cyberpunk 2077
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on May 09, 2021, 12:07:56 PM »
Okay, more endings. There are supposedly at least six, btw. So I tried the Nomad ending(s)...

#1: The Star
- Contacted Panam and the Aldecaldos
- Killed a shitload of people and bots
- Lost a couple of memorable allies
- Drilled our way into Arasaka tower
- Killed more people, including Adam Smasher
- Wow, Saul really met a grisly end...
- Connected to Alt
- Ran towards the same digital ziggurat, this time with a reading from a T.S. Eliot work ("The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock")
- Enh...I prefer Yeats.
- High spirits brought low by the bad news: Alt can't quite make you yourself again...
- So you have a choice: either let Johnny take over your body, effectively killing you (seeing as how it's been altered to house him), or...
- ...stay in your body and live out what you have left (six months, at least)
- First go-round, V stayed in her own skin...
- Met up with Panam, we drove the Basilisk through an old Aldecaldo tunnel under the border wall and ended up in Arizona
- God knows why
- But hope springs eternal, as there may be a cure for your condition out there
- This is considered a good ending
- Roll credits
- Misty's voicemail confirms the "good" nature of the ending by saying that her tarot reading was quite good
- Takemura's call was still somewhat hurtful

Link: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

And then I tried out the alternative way, which they call Temperance:

- Chose instead to let Johnny stay in V's body, opting to follow Alt across the digital bridge and into oblivion
- Johnny isn't happy about it, tries to discourage me
- Ignored him, just wanted a nap
- Woke up in a strange apartment; gathered up a few things, headed out the door
- Got the teenager down the hall to give me a lift to a music store...
- ...after I intimidated his abusive father, of course
- Gave the kid advice on music, being a rebel, and most importantly, to never shave against the grain unless he enjoys ingrown hair
- I may have made that last one up
- Notice that V's voice is double-tracked with Johnny's
- Got to the store, try out a guitar, pay for it, leave
- Go to the Columbarium (cemetery), pay for V's niche, leave the bullet amulet in the niche, say a few words
- Talked to the kid, discouraged him from smoking, cross the street and get on the bus
- Had some trouble getting on the bus...V's gotta lay off the sim-sirloin, or whatever
- Kid ran up to the bus with the guitar, yelling that I'd forgotten it; I tell him I didn't forget a thing
- Bus drives off
- I roll down the window, poke my head out like a dog, get decapitated by a stop sign
- Okay, so that didn't happen
- But it would've made perfect sense if it had
- Roll credits
- Misty's voicemail mentions that the reading she did portends something very, very bad
- Takemura is not happy, still

I'm not exactly sure what "kuso-ama" means, but the more I dug, the more interpretations I found. "Poo poo woman" was the most literal, I believe, with "slut-whore" being one possibility. "Bitch" was one offering. Whatever the true meaning, I get the gist. short, it's whatever YOU prefer for your V's finale. If going Corpo...well, forget a real happy ending there.

Nomad...obviously, the real happy ending there is taking control and starting a new life in Arizona, of all places. (Could be worse...could be Oklahoma.)

Aside: In the Nomad endings, upon listening to the radio, it's implied that Arasaka is in shambles and hints that they're probably heading for a war with Militech; Hanako was apparently killed at some point, and Yorinobu is in charge.

Personally, I prefer The Sun ending. Second favorite? The Star. And Temperance wasn't too bad either. But The Devil...woo, GRIM.
The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Cyberpunk 2077
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on May 09, 2021, 08:02:16 AM »
Exploring the endings as I wreck them:

First playthrough (corpo), I got The Sun ending, which involved:

- Letting Johnny take over
- "He" and Rogue storming Arasaka tower
- Rogue being killed by Adam Smasher; "me" killing Smasher
- Listening to someone (Alt?) read from Yeats' "Sailing To Byzantium" as "I" ran forever towards a ziggurat in the Matrix
- A confab between V and Johnny
- Returning as V
- Waking up with Judy
- Suffering through a drawn-out breakup with Judy, which is supposed to be "sad"; I laughed and laughed
- Realizing that I'm now the best darn Fixer this town has ever seen, by golly!
- Recoiling in mortification as I discover that my wardrobe was designed by Liberace
- Oh, no! Only a few months left to live!
- Might as well rob the orbiting casino in the Crystal Palace, right?
- Space-walking my way to riches and infamy...
- Roll credits; various people I've met leave visual voicemail
- Highlight: Takemura hoping that I rot in hell

Link: "Sailing To Byzantium"

Aside: When I first heard that the Crystal Palace had a casino, I thought "wouldn't a space casino heist be an interesting thing to do..."

And I could have gone through the other endings with my first character, but since I spent so much time grinding through the thing with my most recent build (nomad), I went with that one for this next bit.

Next ending: The Devil

- Agreed to Hanako's plan (testify before the Arasaka board in exchange for removing the chip safely)
- Stormed the Arasaka estate with Takemura
- Stormed Arasaka tower
- Said "hmmmm...." as Hanako conversed with the engram of Saburo Arasaka and got her marching orders
- Attended a lovely meeting of the Board; chuckled as Yorinobu's goons wiped out most of the Board members
- Stormed the upper floors to nab Yorinobu
- Informed by Hanako that if I harmed "one hair" on Yorinobu's head, our deal would be off...things were becoming ominously clear at this point...
- Killed Adam Smasher
- Talked a bit with an extremely depressed Yorinobu
- Took an elevator to somewhere with Hellman
- space!
- A series of scenes...many, many scenes...of V's struggles with post-surgery testing by the doctor, interspersed with dreams, etc.
- Repeatedly attempting (and failing) to solve a dumbed-down Rubik's Cube featured heavily
- Realizing through news reports that Hanako's plan was...
- ...wait for it...
- ...a plot to replace Yorinobu's mind with Saburo's engram; the Emperor reborn!
- Sick, sick, sick. Whole family's a sick buncha monkeys.
- Was told I could call people back on earth...only had a few, and most of them were a little too busy to talk anyway
- Finally solved the Cube
- Wondered if I could, at some point, drive my thumbs into the doctor's eyes, much like that one scene from Blade Runner
- THAT would have been a good ending
- Visited by Takemura, who dropped by to chat; was told that I'd probably be spending Christmas dead.
- I was given the option to either grab my shit and go back home to earth to die, or sign up for the Engram Program, which would put me in a library of souls until such a time as they could find a suitable body for my engram
- In short: let them make a digital copy of my mind and then kill me...
- ...but it's for Science, so it must be okay!
- I took the engram option because, hey, it was the most depressing
- The trembling, hopeful smile on V's face as she prepared for the procedure was...well, heart-breaking
- Roll credits

Reflection: Johnny was 100% correct in calling Hanako a porcelain [lady part].

Even though this ending is likely considered canon, I don't really like it. But it is appropriate. Corpo-sponsored Science rolls on, grinding the little guy (and gal) into hamburger, and there's no way to stop it. At this point you realize that Johnny's actions against Arasaka were completely justified...but ultimately futile.

Next I get to it.
Half-Life 2 / Re: Black Mesa: AZURE SHEEP ExTeNdEd!!! PART 1
« Last post by Doc_Brown on May 08, 2021, 10:46:14 AM »
Hey, Sly, long time!  :ok:
The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Cyberpunk 2077
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on May 08, 2021, 09:47:16 AM »
Thinking about it -- what is that delightful aroma? oh, wait: it's just burning synapses -- the most obvious way to avoid a romance (so to speak) with Judy is to play as a male.

Playing As A Male V: Cons
- Missing out on a "romance" with tattooed fishmonger Judy
- Wearing tight leather pants isn't as visually appealing
- Terrible hair options (man-bun or whooshy queer pompadour? You decide!)
- The near-paralyzing dread that at any moment you could be hit square in the nuts

Playing As A Male V: Pros
- Judy is not an option
- Clothing options in general are horrible, so it doesn't matter what you wear
- If you're playing him as gay, you have a ton of options
- Panam.
- Being able to pee standing up AND write your name in the snow with accuracy

A moment of self-realization: maybe Judy bugs me so much because she sounds a bit like Marcy Long from Fallout 4 at times.

All that aside, the one real trouble I had with playing female V is that I never could make the connection between her voice and the appearance I chose; the two things never really seemed to work together. V's personality to me, as based on the voice-acting, is that of a brash, reactionary youngster; she ventures into bouts of naivete, and would be likely to drop an f-bomb or two in a eulogy. However...

My customized V doesn't exactly convey that impression. I consistently had to fight with my dialog options, which were usually antagonistic, and V's outbursts, which were usually whiny, or obscene, or too verbose, or all of those at the same time. In short: for me, there's a kind of disconnect between the voice and the avatar.

If pains had been taken to show V in third person while interacting, it would likely help; it's a far cry from Commander Shepard, who features heavily in every sense of the gameplay experience that you believe, without a doubt, that the voice matches the face no matter how your femshep turned out after twiddling those sliders in chargen (usually in vain).

Instead, you're never taken out of first person; even when speaking to Pepe (in the Streetkid origin opener) and you can see your reflection in the mirror briefly as you converse. Indeed, you'll notice that your lips aren't moving as you're talking.

EDIT: That should have been divided into separate points, expanded, and clarified. I'll give it another try:

Instead, you're rarely (if third person vehicle cameras count) taken out of first person; as such, whenever I see her in the inventory screen, I can't quite reconcile the voice with the face. Most of what we see of V involves flailing hands or weapons...

What I thought strange was when V spoke to Pepe in the Streetkid origin opener and we saw her reflection briefly in the nearby mirror as the conversation began: her lips weren't moving as she was talking. Then the mirror blanked out and we found ourselves far too close to Pepe himself. (Aside: Car interiors, in the same sense, are a chilling violation of the concept of "personal space.")

End of EDIT. Happy trails, pilgrim.

EDIT #2: Let Me Try To Confuse What I Mean

I completely forgot that the corpo and nomad intros featured V speaking while looking into a mirror...and her lips moved fine. Maybe the streetkid thing is just one of those weird things.

So I have no idea what I mean by even bringing it up. Really. Not a friggin' clue.


END of EDIT #2. Here lies EDIT #2.

Now, someone with a lot more patience (than I can muster) could put together all kinds of philosophical and psychological theories and the like concerning such things (you're in the Matrix! sorta!), but I just spent the morning muscling a goddamn heavy Inversion Table into a dusty, grimy garage already filled with similarly worthless shit, so I'm giving that nonsense a hard pass.

(FYI, there's a character preset on Nexus -- V's Character Preset by Jade -- that attempts to make femme V look like her voice actress, Cherami Leigh.)

As for the male V, I don't know...I haven't played him long enough to form an impression yet. But we got a few days until ME:Legendary comes out, so I'm giving it a whirl.

...or I might just sit here with my face on the desk as I listen to the original Tron theme on an endless loop. That seems more likely.
Half-Life 2 / Re: Black Mesa: AZURE SHEEP ExTeNdEd!!! PART 1
« Last post by SlyBoots on May 07, 2021, 04:44:51 PM »
Quite the coincidence I just finished watching a long play of Azure Sheep on youtube and was watching the credits. One of the beta testers, Joe "Darkwolf" Kapler seemed awful familiar and it didn't take long before my 76 yr old memory came up with Hangar 16. Quick search of the archives got me to google Starfox Foxhole....loved reading the mod reviews you guys did and played many, many of them.

Nice to see some of you are still at it.  :onethumb:  :onethumb:
I don't blame 'em for leaving...I mean, imagine receiving death threats for not tailoring your mod to suit the psychoses of some random dipshit. :ss-nuts

Speaking of insanity, I've been somewhat distracted of late, as last week a hailstorm busted out a few of my back windows, swiss-cheesed my siding, and pummeled my roof and gutters. It also gave my car dimples (dimples may be adorable, but not on my car). There's also water damage, which the cherry on top of this shit sundae. While others in the area had a lot more damage, it's cold comfort. On the bright side, my dad's brothers deal with this type of thing beautifully. I am basically useless.

I am going through the Tums like crazy. But at least it's motivated me to seriously consider moving underground.
The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Cyberpunk 2077
« Last post by Silver Sorrow on May 06, 2021, 10:36:31 PM »
CDPR has done a good enough job of shooting themselves in the foot without hacker idiots making it worse. ::)

We're getting too old dude.

I've come to accept that, I guess. It's not that the music of today sucks, it's...okay, yes, it sucks. But I'm too old to deny that it sucks and just pretend that it's awesome. I guess the blessing could be "may you never live long enough to develop a sense of musical taste." (Ted Nugent put it a bit more bluntly: "if it's too loud you're too old!")

I wonder...when they were shedding nonessential features just to make their deadline, if they also chucked the named store icons from our map. Where's this store? Where's that store? Who knows? I never can remember where anything is, so I spend most of the time poring over the map, trying to guess where certain stores might be.

Nerfed the Delamain quest, eh? Well. I guess that makes sense, as their whole approach to gameplay is a bit schizophrenic. Sure, make the ultimate test of your hacking skill easier! Meanwhile, let's keep the very first real quest, where you're expected to power through a bunch of Scavs -- one armed with a heavy machine gun that will turn you into 165 pounds of ground chuck in seconds -- whilst armed with a pistol and a single clip. No, you need to sneak and take 'em down quietly! Of course, the bad guys are a bit unpredictable and tend to find you through sheer bad luck on your part...


But I mean, yeah: I'll find a door that obviously has goodies behind it; it requires, say, 8 Body to open. I only have 5 because I've been putting points into Reflexes and Intelligence. That's my own fault, I admit. It's an RPG. I only have myself to blame for my build.

The next idiot who gripes that this game should be more like GTA oughtta be shot like a rabid dog.

Btw, I'd like to complain. Yes, again. OK, this is about the side job "Sweet Dreams." This job is for the dodos out there. Some sketchy guy idling on the street offers you a BD...

...reaction: no, no, no, and again: NO.

...for the low, low price of 16,000 eddies... this point, every instinct I have is screaming...

...and it won't play on your wreath, so you need to rent his for an additional 4,000...

...MAYDAY MAYDAY RUN STUPID... you just nip into his little crash pad and slip the wreath on and... moron... wake up naked in a filthy bathroom with Johnny correctly identifying you as the damn dumbest asshole to ever walk the face of the earth.

Seriously, why does this job even exist? Even someone with the most rudimentary of street smarts (hi!) would avoid this one like the plague. I made a hard save before even talking to the guy, expecting the worst. I refused to even entertain the notion of going through with it, but I wondered: it couldn't be as blatantly obvious as that, could it? Spoiler alert: it could. In most cases, if your first thought is "this is not a good idea," then you may very well be right. And in this case...well.

I suppose the only reason to do the job is if you're going for a 100% completion thing, but jeez...some things should not even be considered. So I skipped it.

Similarly, I skipped out on going to dinner with River and his sister. This is what I get for making a character that's too nice. One minute you're trying not to aggravate the terrorist devouring your brain, the next you're dodging some one-eyed cop's dick.

If that isn't a metaphor for life, I don't know what is.

And my first playthrough saw my femme V and Judy engage in what I could only describe (with horror) as "lesbian smoking fetish play." I cracked open a second bottle of Tums for that one. I didn't give a crap about Judy's side quest in the first place (I cared even less about Evelyn Parker's fate), and I sure as hell didn't...oh, forget it. In summary: I ghosted Judy in my second playthrough.

I really need to play something else. :P
Half-Life 2 / Re: Black Mesa: AZURE SHEEP ExTeNdEd!!! PART 1
« Last post by Doc_Brown on May 02, 2021, 12:35:55 PM »
Hmm... DAV made the original Azure Sheep.  Does he have any involvement in this remake?
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