Monthly Archives: September 2012

An Emoted Uglacy Chapter 2: Clone

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Okay, I got nothing. Read the chapter if that’s what you want!

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Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 15

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Chapter 116

Fang felt a cold jolt, then dismissed it. Max wasn’t dead. He would know, somehow. He would have felt it. (pg 353)

…Right.

“We are here to kill you,” the Flyboys intoned all together.

“Then you’re out of luck,” Fang snarled, and opened fire again. Another ten Flyboys dropped, hitting the ground with somewhat sickening crunching and splatting sounds.

So the Eraser robots say they’re going to kill them, but they don’t, instead letting Fang shoot them. That’s… not very smart.

Then Fang says that it seems as if the Eraser robots are trying to capture them, which makes about zero sense. The Eraser robots say that they will torture him publicly and then make him take back everything he’s said, which also makes about zero sense and Fang points this out.

Apparently JPatterson thinks that making his heroes point out how horribly he’s written his villains makes his heroes look good and not him look bad.

Fang continues shooting, and…

“Hey!” shouted the Gasman from above. “Watch that thing!” Fang looked up to see the Gasman pointing to two holes in his jeans–Fang had shot him right through his pants, but amazingly hadn’t hit him. (pg 355)

NO.

Meanwhile, the Eraser robots continue to say how they’re going to do bad stuff to Fang and his group while literally doing nothing to accomplish this. Fang thinks that he needs a way to take out all the Eraser robots at once; apparently Iggy’s magical bombmaking skills have not been used recently.

Fang sees the ocean and begins flying that way, telling the Eraser robot that he’s one of many. Why did he say this? No idea.

Chapter 117

We’re back with Max, as Marian Janssen has her stop fighting with the superhuman (referred to as Omega by the book; I’ll start that now). Apparently it is now time for a race.

“Begin where you are,” intoned the Director [Marian Janssen]. “Run to the opposite castle wall and back, four times. May the better man win.”

I gritted my teeth. The Director was a sexist pig on top of all her other faults. (pg 357)

Okay, I don’t have anything to say about this, but remember it. Okay?

The race itself is written in the most dull, lifeless way possible, and then at the last moment Max begins flying. She flies low to avoid the electrified net in the air, which is just now being mentioned and apparently is not visible, for Max only knows about it via her clone.

She wins the race, of course.

Chapter 118

Marian Janssen is mad and disqualifies Max for flying, and now it is time for a test of strength.

I am weirdly, wickedly strong, and not just for a girl, not just for my age. (pg 360)

So a couple of pages ago, Max points out sexism, then says how she’s more than strong “for a girl.”

Does not compute.

Max continues on about how strong she is and how she’s stronger than about any adult. Why she’s this strong, I don’t know, and how she’s this strong when she has hollow bones, well.

Max is outmatched by Omega, though.

I couldn’t believe I was going to lose a strength contest to a boy. (pg 360)

…Why?

Also, I just want to take a moment to point out how silly this situation is. Apparently the best way to demonstrate a superhuman is to have them do basic tasks against another experiment of yours whose virtues you’ve never extolled. Heck, the race wasn’t even timed!

When he was pronounced the winner, he looked at me with those weird, expressionless eyes. I didn’t think he was a robot, like the Flyboys, but I did wonder if his emotions had been designed out of him. Of course, with a guy, how could I tell? Ha ha! (pg 361)

I just… I can’t understand what Max’s ideologies are when it comes to feminism. That’s not to say that she’s sexist, or that anything she says against guys is as harmful as prejudice against girls (I think I may have implied/said that in the past, though)–I just don’t understand.

Not to mention the disconnect between how she’s theoretically a feminist and yet is frequently racist, or even kind of ableist in relation to Iggy. Did she only take the time to learn feminism via her magical education?

Then it’s the test of intelligence! Max tells us how she’s really bright, but not booksmart, and how she’s only educated via TV and Jeb. Evidently Jeb is a feminist or something, because last I checked TV’s still got quite a bit of sexism ingrained in it.

Hmm.

Max is angry that the questions are mathematical (calculating the weight of the place’s walls) and supposedly not useful, because when she’s captured by the bad guys and facing her doom this is what she cares about.

Also, pointing out again how silly this is. Want to show how smart your superhuman is? Put him against some random experiment! Don’t bother to time him or anything.

Chapter 119

Angel uses her mind control to make the mutants start fighting each other, and this is apparently enough of a distraction for Max’s group to escape.

I mean, I don’t know how big this area is, or how many mutants there are, but they’re not even fighting the bad guys–they’re just fighting each other. That doesn’t seem like it would turn everything to chaos or anything.

Chapter 120

As the Eraser robots begin trying to stop the mutants, Angel directs the mutants to attack the Eraser robots. Why she came up with the idea of mind controlling the mutants but not having them attack, you know, the bad guys, I’m not sure.

I also want to point out the fact that the mutants are unhappy because they’re not being treated like people, and that Angel is literally controlling them. The book does not address how creepy and unsettling this is.

As Max begins fighting an Eraser robot (which gets her in the head with the butt of its gun, which would make me assume its gun is loaded with lethal ammunition, which makes me wonder why they don’t have rubber bullets for crowd control), Jeb appears and tells her to hit the base of their spines. Max does so, and this causes the Eraser robot to short out.

Whee!

An Emoted Uglacy Introduction

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As promised last week, here is my first foray into writing a legacy for the Sims 2!

For the uninitiated, the Sims 2 is quite similar to the Sims 3. There are all the same basic concepts—you have your sims and their moods and their jobs and so on. A few key differences is that rather than the Sims 3’s wishes system, the Sims 2 has wants and fears. At any given time your sims have four wants and four fears, which are randomly rolled based on their situation and personality. Fulfilling wants will make your sim’s aspiration go up, whereas fulfilling fears will make it go down. The higher the sim’s aspiration (ranging from red, which is negative, green, gold, and platinum), the more happy they are, and the better they’ll perform certain activities such as learning skills, working at their job, and even growing up.

Sims also have specific aspirations: Pleasure (added in the Nightlife expansion pack, which focuses on going out and partying and having fun), Romance (which isn’t “true love” romance but “have as many significant others as possible” romance), Family (which is self-explanatory), Knowledge (Knowledge sims will want to learn skills, do well at their job, and interact with supernatural creatures), Fortune (which means they want money and expensive objects), Popularity (again, self-explanatory), and Grilled Cheese, which is caused by the fail-state of an aspiration award and causes sims to have a singular need for grilled cheese sandwiches.

There are also aspiration rewards, which are bought with aspiration points (obtained from fulfilling wants), and are all objects that help with a sim’s life. There are also career rewards, unlocked by reaching certain levels of different jobs. Unrelated to aspiration rewards is the fact that the Sims 2 isn’t open world like the Sims 3, which mostly means that I can’t visit other sims’ houses and that time freezes on community lots. There is also a chemistry system in the Sims 2, which is calculated based on sims’ turn ons and turn offs (such as blond hair or handiness), their aspirations, their personalities (which are determined by a point system in different categories rather than traits), and so on. Chemistry is marked by lightning bolts, ranging from negative one to three, which is rare and the best possible.

You may have noticed that this is called an uglacy, not a legacy. That basically means that I’m aiming to create ugly sims, with the goal of getting the ugliest sim possible in ten generations (though I’m just playing to five). I decided to do this since all my sims were turning out attractive in the Sims 3, and ugly sims are way more fun.

I’m doing all this in a custom neighborhood (which is a simple matter in the Sims 2, as games are separated by neighborhoods and not save files) named AdjectiveNounVille, which is filled with custom sims, custom townies (townies are homeless sims with certain traits randomized), some game-generated townies, some simselves (sims meant to look like the people who created them), and a whole bunch of community lots made by yours truly.

With that out of the way, let’s jump in and meet our founder!

Read the rest of this entry

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 14

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Chapter 111

Max decides not to tell us the worst horrors the scientists cooked up, which is awfully convenient but whatever. Though Angel does mention a “magic suit,” which is not described in the prose itself so I’m just confused.

Marian Janssen then displays detachable arm replacements, with Max whispering inane snark to nobody. Then is a woman with the fangs and agility of a panther, and then the chapter ends.

Chapter 112

Max tells us once again about how most of the other experiments from their time had died pretty quickly. Why the flock and only the flock have turned out completely fine, I don’t know, but that’s JPatterson for you.

Then we get treated to more descriptions of experiments, including a woman who can scream at super-high pitches. This causes Total pain, leaving him “biting his lip to keep from shrieking swear words.” I haven’t the foggiest of whether or not that’s possible, nor do I have any idea how to find out something like that, so I can’t really comment on that even though I think it sounds ridiculous.

Then Marian Janssen displays “nano-bullets, with their own internal guidance systems” which tear through some butterflies. Me, I’m just wondering how small bullets could possibly control themselves in the air.

Chapter 113

“What do they have against butterflies?” Nudge demanded, outraged. (pg 343)

Today in unnecessary speech description, well, just take a look at that quote.

Then a boy comes out who, according to Marian Janssen, is basically a superhuman, both stronger and smarter than anyone else. And, of course, he’s going to be fighting Max.

Chapter 114

Have I mentioned how much I can’t stand despotic psychopaths? Why, yes, Max, you have. Like, a couple hundred times.

Well, it’s for reasons like this. (pg 345)

Why is this passage in the book? It serves absolutely no purpose. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, it’s too short to go anywhere–it just… exists, for no discernible reason.

“Maximum Ride and Omega will fight to the death,” said the Director merrily, as if announcing the next croquet competition. (pg 345)

I am thoroughly baffled by this simile. It just sounds so silly and it only tenuously makes any sense and it’s completely illogical from Max’s pop culture mindset, because last I checked croquet is specifically not a feature of pop culture.

Max asks Angel to use her mind control on the superhuman, and Angel says okay but apparently does not sound hopeful.

This reminds me about how terribly JPatterson plotted out this whole story. He gives Angel mind-reading, then never does anything interesting with it aside from letting her control minds of the bad guys in the context of fight scenes. Then he reaches his Big Epic Climax and just magically makes her power useless. Given that the bad guys have never shown any signs of knowing about the mind reading as evidenced by how easily she obtained information from them when she was captured, there is no reason for them to have special mind-reading protection all of a sudden.

Then there’s the matter of Nudge’s touch-based memory, which manifested itself at just the right time to help the flock and has since been mentioned maybe three times and used about once.

The superhuman does elaborate acrobatics to reach Max for absolutely no reason and stops in front of her, giving her time to punch him.

Basically, he has no idea how to effectively take out his target.

Brilliant.

Now, let’s analyze a fight scene!

He staggered back but used the energy from my punch to fuel a spinning snap kick that would have caught me right in the neck if I weren’t a great fighter and the fastest bird kid around.

Instead, I was ready, and I grabbed the heel of his boot and whipped it to the left, yanking him off balance so that he landed hard on his back in the dirt. Hoo-yah. (pg 346)

So: Max punches superhuman, superhuman somehow uses this for a “snap kick,” Max anticipates this because she’s somehow better than him (he’s designed specifically to be a great fighter; she’s got a bit of training and experience against the inept Erasers that never fought her in this manner, so huh?), and grabs the foot headed for her neck and somehow yanks it to the side without it hitting her neck. Superhuman falls on the ground.

This… does not make a lot of sense.

In a split second he sprang up again. I blocked his hard elbow jab to my head, but his other hand knifed into my side, right over my kidney. The pain was immediate and stunning; it hurt so much that I wanted to sink to my knees and throw up.

But I hadn’t been raised that way.

It’s just pain, I told myself. Pain is merely a message, and you can ignore the message. (pg 347)

…Riiiiight.

Anyway, I can’t bring myself to go through the rest of the fight like this, partially because I don’t know much about fighting (which sort of invalidates the previous bit but whatever), but suffice to say that Max ignores all pain and decides that it’s okay to kill the superhuman because… basically, because she’s being forced to.

Which, if you might recall, is essentially the same situation she was in with her clone, and yet there she didn’t kill her. I’m not sure why this is different, and I fail to see what has changed in Max for her to come to a different conclusion.

And then this happens:

I did a spinning kick where I literally looked like a propeller, both feet off the ground, scissoring at Omega with my powerful legs. (pg 348)

BAHAHAHA.

Anyway, Max temporarily bests the superhuman and makes some jokes based on the Greek alphabet which she of course knows, and then the superhuman throws her off how dramatic only not!

Chapter 115

We’re back with Fang, and somehow a bunch of Eraser robots located him and are now attacking.

I’m extremely confused by this turn of events.

Fang flies “straight through the crowd of Flyboys.” These “Flyboys” (if you remember, that’s what the book calls the Eraser robots) all have guns, and yet the worst Fang gets is a grazed shoulder.

RIIIIGHT.

Oh, and then the Eraser robots hit the plane with their gun’s bullets and it blows up.

Google search time! Namely,  “can you blow up a plane by shooting its gas tank?”

Results: A Mythbusters episode summary that involves them busting the myth of being able to blow up a tank of gasoline by shooting it. A quick look at Wikipedia later, and it would seem that aviation fuel may even have additives to reduce the chance of ignition at high temperatures.

Conclusion: This situation is bogus.

AND THEN Fang grabs one of the Eraser robot’s gun, has to turn off the safety for some reason (why the heck would the safety be on?), and then shoots a bunch of the Eraser robots.

This makes no sense whatsoever. There is no way that Fang would be able to get so far without being hit by the Eraser robots, let alone take one of the guns (keep in mind that since Max’s “no guns” rule is mentioned, it can be assumed that he’s never even used a gun) and shoot ten of them.

What the hell, JPatterson?

…Yeah. I think I’ll stop here.

ISBI Update

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I had previously decided to stop the Kirkovitch ISBI for a legacy in the Sims 2, as the Sims 3 was really laggy and I simply didn’t feel like playing it anymore. I was originally going to get another chapter up of the Kirk0vitch ISBI, but WordPress just messed up and I lost my (albeit small) progress on the chapter. Thus, I’m putting the ISBI on indefinite to permanent hold. I’ll have the first chapter of my Sims 2 project up next week, and we’ll go from there.

Sorry for stopping it so soon after restarting!