Jake

Idle Thumbs 302: The Stupidity and the Grandeur

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Idle Thumbs 302:

Idle Thumbs 302


The Stupidity and the Grandeur
You peek over the edge of the hill to confirm — good, they're still there. One of them gets up and walks away from their friends. You inch forward to get a better look and, yep, that one saw you. Their weapons come out, they call for help. You ready a grenade, turn to throw it, run into a rock you didn't see, and drop the grenade at your feet. It rolls down the hill. The hill is on fire, the tree is on fire, you're on fire, you accomplished nothing, and it was wonderful.

Discussed: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Far Cry 2

 

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This is one of the all time great Idle Thumbs episode titles.

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Probably a good wizard jam title given a strong artist

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Is there some sort of corollary or theory for the experience when just as you have the concrete thought about how much you're liking hearing one person talk or the length and depth of the discussion, a podcast host will become self conscious about how long they've been talking?

 

I really enjoyed hearing you get way into your thoughts and expound on Zelda, Jake.

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I also get a metal gear vibe from Zelda, for me it's a feeling of potential divergence at any given moment.. It reminds me of what I thought every video game was when I was a kid.

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10 hours ago, tabacco said:

Probably a good wizard jam title given a strong artist

Episode subtitle:

 

Boppin' the Big Guy

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19 hours ago, Cleinhun said:

This is one of the all time great Idle Thumbs episode titles.

 

Honestly this is one of my top episodes in general, I think.

 

Ever since Idle Thumbs stopped, Idle Thumbs has been excellent!

 

Thanks Nick!

(fuck Chris)

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The intro to the podcast was a depressing reminder that I too used to pronounce 'chaos' in a strange and very wrong way (probably something like 'cha-ooos'). For some reason that error is forever associated in my brain with the Chaos Emeralds from the Sonic games, which I played pretty obsessively on the Game Gear when I was a small idiot. 

 

Very much enjoyed the Breath of the Wild chat otherwise, especially the comparisons with Metal Gear. I think MGS V does a much smaller range of things extremely well - particularly if you like sneaking around complex enemy bases and the ensuing outrage when you get noticed, which often makes it feel like a more refined version of the Far Cry 2 outpost system. And also like Far Cry 2, the game is so dedicated to that experience that everything else in the open world feels a little thin. But the scope of systems at play in BOTW is so much broader; it doesn't do stealth quite so well, but it also does a dozen other weird and interesting things that most games don't even attempt. 

 

If Nick ever finishes with the From Software oeuvre I'd love to hear what he (or any of the other Thumbs) makes of Dragon's Dogma, which was clearly another big influence on Breath of the Wild. It's a third-person open world action RPG with some of the oddest emergent systems and weirdest semi-hidden stuff I've ever seen in a video game.

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It will come as a surprise to nobody that the crazy Choose Your Own Adventure book that Jake imagined exists exactly as he described it.

 

This beautiful and incredible website featuring animated visualizations of the structure of classic CYOA books describes the book Inside UFO 54-40 which is about the search for the mythical paradise planet called Ultima.  The ending where you find Ultima is disconnected from the rest of the book; no pages lead to it.  Quoting the website:
 

Quote

The planet’s location is cloaked in mystery and you are only told that it’s a place that cannot be reached ‘by making a choice or following directions’. However this is all foreshadowing for when the reader finally becomes frustrated in the apparently impossible quest and begins flipping through the book hunting for that ending.

 

This ending was not just an easter egg for the obsessive reader who didn’t mind skimming every page looking for telltale words. Instead it’s hard to miss in even a casual riffling. A two-page illustration showing what could only be paradise (or perhaps a theme park) leaps out as the only spread in the book without any text. Flipping to the page before brings you to 101, where you discover that your curiosity has been rewarded. You have found the planet, not by following the constraints of the system, but by going outside of them – a fitting moral to the story and an encouraging reminder that any game should be a starting point for the imagination, not the end.

 

ufo-ultima1.jpg

ufo-ultima2.jpg

ufo-ultima3.jpg

 

 

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On 2017-03-13 at 3:59 AM, marginalgloss said:

If Nick ever finishes with the From Software oeuvre I'd love to hear what he (or any of the other Thumbs) makes of Dragon's Dogma, which was clearly another big influence on Breath of the Wild. It's a third-person open world action RPG with some of the oddest emergent systems and weirdest semi-hidden stuff I've ever seen in a video game.

 

I haven't played a ton of it, but one thing I liked about Dragon's Dogma is that the day night cycle is not kidding around. I mean yeah, sure, some deadlier monsters only come out at night, but more than that it can get dark as heck. It's not like other games where light from the moon and stars is basically enough to get by...if your lantern actually runs out of oil in the middle of night it can be really hard to make out stuff at even moderate distance.

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The discussion about how Breath of the Wild evokes similar feelings of wonder and of the unknown as the first Zelda game makes me want to play the game even more.

 

I did not play the first Zelda, so I got the experience with A Link to the Past. I was at the hospital* at the time that my parents purchased it, either based on my sister's research or the recommendation of a store clerk. I was getting out in a couple of days, and my parents tried to cheer me up by describing the game, although they had obviously not seen it being played. Therefore, their description was incredibly vague, and probably all based on the the box art and maybe some screenshots they had seen in a magazine, stuff like "Oh, it has bombs and swords and boomerangs and all kinds of things." I had no idea how the game actually played, so in my mind, I basically reskinned Super Mario World, the only SNES game we owned up until that point, with the elements listed by my parents, literally swapping Bullet Bills with flying swords, and so on.

 

When I got home and started playing the game with my sister, who had refrained from trying the game until then, I didn't know at first what I was looking at. The atmosphere of the opening was unlike anything I had experienced before in a video game, and the gameplay was new to me as well. As neither of us were any good in English, we did not know where to go at first. When we finally discovered the secret entrance to the castle, we were so excited. Likewise when we finished the first dungeon and got to roam around in the open world. And again when we discovered the dark world. We spend hours and hours searching for the heart pieces and other secrets, but had to finish the game with one piece of heart missing. I played through the game multiple times with my friend but never got close to the end score of the first run, 200 and something. Only years later did we realize that the number was actually the completion time in hours.

 

Interestingly, I have never actually played A Link to the Past for more than a couple of minutes. I always either watched my sister, her friend, or my friend play the game instead. I'm still not entirely sure why I preferred watching to playing so much in this case, since I played other games a lot. 


* It was okay. I had a pretty bad asthma as a kid, so I occasionally had bronchitis and stuff like that.

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Ryan North's To be or not to be also has some unreachable pages. They contain pretty good jokes. Heck, the choose your own adventure thread I once made together with some friends on a long-defunct forum also had an unreachable node. As I recall, it involved you making out with Spiderman.

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4 hours ago, osmosisch said:

Ryan North's To be or not to be also has some unreachable pages. They contain pretty good jokes. Heck, the choose your own adventure thread I once made together with some friends on a long-defunct forum also had an unreachable node. As I recall, it involved you making out with Spiderman.

 

That reminds me that Analogue: A Hate Story has a separate storyline built around the player knowing the name and address of a single file that they normally don't know until late in the game and accessing it early and out of sequence. It leads to a dumb, tropey ending, but the idea there (that often there exists the potential to bring peace between two enemies, only no one realizes exactly when or how) is cool.

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