Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mountain Halls Duskcraft

I don't know what happened to the last save, but mysteriously vanished from my save folder, so I had to start over. Thus, Tathrigoth (Duskcraft), settled in the dear temperate area near a brook and volcano, came to be. The brook, named by explorers as The Subordinate Artifices, was flowing with fresh water, but appeared to be very far away from the volcano. Indeed, it is 8 z-levels and and the entire opposite side of the map. Between setting up my fortress on the flatlands near the brook, or the obsidian-rich mountains near the volcano, I, naturally, opted for the volcanic land. Perhaps it was due to what the very same explorers named the volcano that influenced my decision: The Fire of Authority.

This volcano spanned over 50 z-levels before disappearing far beyond my dwarven echolocation devices' reach. For 45 of those 50 levels, its shape remains exactly the same. From the peak of the mountain it resides beside to deep inside, its rocky container did not change a centimeter, and so it was difficult for me, at first, to figure out how to tap the delicious magma. If I channeled down, it would spill over, and if I just carelessly ordered a dwarf to puncture the wall, it would consume him, and I did not want to lose a dear miner.

I eventually found a way, doing something so simple, I could curse myself for having trouble with it before, but never you mind. In any case, my figuring out how to access the magma right next to me is what spurned the creation of my magma furnaces.

A bit disorderly, perhaps, but it effectively encompasses most of the area dug out above for furnaces and such. My farms were not only not planted yet, but the area I was going to plant them had not even been dug out! Yes, I had prioritized magma smelters and furnaces before food. The fortress nearly starving to death aside, I think it was a completely dwarvenly thing to do, and so possess neither regret nor guilt for the incident(s).

It was around this time that my stonecrafter was taken by a fey mood, and so designed and made Zimthimshur Leganokab, "Crestpartner the Mirthful Breaker" which, regrettably, is not as interesting as the name.

Nonetheless, it allowed my stonecrafter to pump out hundreds of masterwork obsidian crowns, scepters, and other trinkets, ensuring the fortress would never look at expensive items of traders with envious eyes. Indeed, thanks to Shem Asuvar, we could most likely buy the entire stock of caravans and have trinkets left over! Which is good, as the mountain we took home to, while possessing a volcano and river, lacked much wood. In fact, when we first came, it had but 15 trees. That we deforested immediately.

In any event, after my farms were dug out (but not planted), and two smelters were up and running, with one furnace making rudimentary breastplates for my two hammerdwarves, my armorer had an epiphany, and immediately pushed everyone away from the furnace, yelling profanities and demanding all animals to be put to death. As soon as I had approached him, however, he, quite unceremoniously, threw two copper bars at the furnace, then ran away. But a few minutes later, though, he was running back, giggling madly and clutching tanned leather to his chest. Seemingly absorbed in his own work, everyone, myself included, simply left him alone, pretending that our furnace had mysteriously disappeared, rather than bother the madman.

A few days later (three, in fact), a shout was heard throughout the entirety of our dear home, and Ber Urdimaned held his new work high above his head in utter ecstasy before gently setting it on the ground for others to haul to the appropriate spot, and walking away for a long-deserved drink.

I have to say, I was, and am, quite pleased with it. Nothing is so great as a legendary piece of armor a great warrior can wear, except a legendary piece of armor that details our history. Every foe who this future warrior kills will have his blood sprayed upon the leather of our beginning.

Well, seeing as my dear mountain was filled with obsidian, and seeing as I possessed a legendary armorer and stonecrafter, I decided to set up mandatory basic military training for all my dwarves. I have both an armorer and stonecrafter who were given the gift of the fey not long after my fortress' beginning, so, I reason, it is as if the gods were saying that I should do this.

I had my armorer pump out iron shields, and he did that extremely quickly, making 50 shields in but a few days. My stonecrafter.... He makes obsidian swords very well, and very fast, but, as I have said, my site lacks very many trees.  Thankfully, the humans and elves bring us wood in great supply, but I always run out, even though I do nothing with it but make beds and swords. Bins and barrels are made out of lead (Hoho, who needs safety precautions?), by the by, and yet my sword production is still behind my shield supply. Though all my dwarves, and newly immigrated dwarves, have a shield almost immediately upon drafted, many must wait for seasons before a sword can be fashioned. This puts a damper on my basic training plan, and it is terribly difficult, bureaucratically, to tell dwarves to not go inside the danger room unless in possession of both a sword and shield. Some dwarves even lie, saying they have a sword, when they clearly do not upon inspection. I'm really uncertain as to why, but perhaps they are desirous of extra training. Those who lie about a sword often end up with being quite an expert with a shield, while all their comrades are dismissed when they become merely competent or slightly skilled with their sword and board.

Human merchants have just arrived, so this seems a good place to stop. I am having our miners search out iron veins, and have just enlisted recent migrants to a newly created "Melter" class. As the name says, their job is to do absolutely nothing but smelt the 100 or so mined iron ores into bars, while my armorer and (sadly not legendary) weaponsmith equip our army.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rune Factory 3

I did go through and marry Sakuya after all. She's a really sweet girl, kind, strict, ruthless when it comes to money, and willing to swindle her own husband out of 800g whenever the opportunity arises. She's a bit impatient, thus ruining her abilities to cook, and I wish her favorite food was something other than sashimi, so I'd get a wider variety of things to cook for her, but that's fine. And her mother is so amazing~ Pia is nothing but annoying, though.

One thing I was curious about: Even though I did marry Sakuya, it seems Karina is slowly falling in love with me. I just did a few quests for her because it was interesting, and now she's all cute and blushy when I talk to her. It's refreshing, but also makes me feel sad, since I have no interest in her whatsoever. Her mother, on the other hand...

In any event, I ended up feeling really bad for Daria since, throughout my gameplay, I practically ignored her. When I had to introduce Kuruna to the village, it took me hours (in-game) to figure out why it wouldn't let me go forward with the quest before I remembered Daria was even in the game. I'd never talk to her, put off by her...eccentricities, and come my wedding day to Sakuya, while doing that quest, I, by chance, saw her waiting in front of my house and talked to her. Something about how she told me it was a long time since we last talked made me remember that I hadn't spoken a word to her in three seasons, and never realized.

So, I was planning on starting a new game, this time going after Carmen, and, more importantly, learning magic. My first character used a spear, as spears are as obsessive and awe-inspiring to me as what swords were to Shirou. God, I loved how they implemented them in this game. Can't tell you why, exactly. Just the movements, the attacks, how fluidly dashes worked with thrusts, and how absolutely beautiful the charge attack was... So wonderful.

Anyway, magic for this new character. Maybe dual-swords, if magic is too difficult/useless. I am put off by dual-swords since they seem to have x2Offence and x0Defense (multipliers completely made up, by the by), and, despite using a spear, I still got hit quite a bit by ranged guys in my first play through. I'll see, though.

Oh, and Carmen. I'm not fond of the beat-up-the-guy trope, as I was introduced to her with, but her genki attitude is refreshing, especially after having spent tons of time doing quests for Raven. I always liked Raven in a sort of familial way. Kind of like a sister, you know? But after being around that much silence, it's a bit taxing, hypocritical though it is for me to say. Anyway, my first play through saw me tempted to go for Carmen, but her brother was such a great guy, it made me feel really bad to take the sister away from such an obvious siscon. But I shall cast that guilt aside this new play through!

I really want to keep playing my first game until I get a kid with Sakuya, but it's gotten very boring, and taxing even. I keep my farm in use, planting 9 of each seasonal vegetable and flower, just because it would feel bad to abandon the farm entirely, but it's just gotten to be less fun and more work to keep everything watered, to cut the plants when they fruit, and to replant the seeds to get up to higher levels... If nothing else, I'll keep at playing for a while, but let my farm grow decrepit. I still have emery flowers that have yet to bloom, though, so I'll tend to them. Why can't the real world have flowers of solid gold? They'd be so pretty. I wonder what it would take to make them, even if they were just golden carnations.

Also, Monica won my heart yet again by calling me "Dear" in casual conversation. I felt my heart skip a beat and a goofy grin crawl on my face when she did. I replayed that conversation at least 10 times before going on with my jobs for the day. Even now, I can hear her saying it in her sweet little voice. She's so damn adorable. Why does the world hate lolicons? To tease me with such a treasure, and forbid me from holding it is too cruel. Inhumanly cruel!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

To be the dog

Thinking of it some more, I realized that I still felt some inner conflict over my own nature and desires. Not brought about by a conflict with the world views of another, but by my own perception of the future. I cannot, though I say this with some trepidation, see for myself a 'future'. That is, if I were asked to imagine myself in the future, say, 20 years from now, I could not. Now, not knowing what will happen in the future is quite natural, I'm sure, but I cannot just see myself in any situation, student, worker, married, single, dog, or human, at all.

Now, my issue comes from this in accordance with my desire, as I have stated before, to be a 'dog', as was termed previously. Now, to divulge into fantasy, imagining that I was able to live such a life with such a person to support me in just the way I enjoy the most, in just the way to satisfy any and every desire and Ideal I have attached to the fantasy. This fantasy being imagined, then, to its fullest Ideal, I have trouble imagining a future to it.

To put it more succinctly, supposing I had everything go my way to the utmost perfection, how could it last? How would it last? For example, the average life is to go to a university, get a girlfriend, get a degree, get a job, get a house, get a wife, get a kid or two, get old, get retired, get grandkids, get a funeral for your wife, die.

Following that pattern, the fantasy I desire lacks any sort of goal.

Yes, that's it: It lacks any goal. It is, so to speak, a slice of life novel, with no climax, no rising action. What I fear, then, is, if there is no climax, will there be, then, a falling action?

That 'fear' is likely just a result of lack of life experience, though, and isn't so pressing. I just need to study some more slice-of-life pieces of literature and other media to see how they work.

More than that, is it even possible for a human to live day after day with 'respect' without possessing a goal whatsoever? Not that I, or, I suspect, those others who read this, NEETs and leeches the majority of you may be; not that I care for the respect or even opinion of society as a whole, mind, but, in regards to the fantasy (which I have not, nor will, define exactly, as it possesses many faces), if the one person whose opinion I do care for drops, it will be of my own fault.

Perhaps I am struggling with the image of the working person that I have grown up with, having it, for lack of a better term, forced down my throat and into my heart by, literally, every human being I'd come into contact with as a child, so that, now, some part of my brain has flags and red lights shooting up at the very thought of wanting anything other than hard worker, earning your meal and so on. I lack passion for such a life, yet feel as though I'm doing something wrong, a feeling that reverberates in the deepest parts of my being, for wanting anything other than that life.

Truly, having written and reread this, I see that my issue is that I, quite simply, cannot fathom an individual who would support this 'dog'; someone who lives day to day with no outreaching goal, no desire to own a bakery, or to become a doctor, or to become a better painter, or to learn how to swim. Indeed, if I had to imagine the future, the very most I could do is say that a goal of the dog's would simply be to help its owner achieve their goals. A leech, in other words. It is, to my mind, completely unthinkable, in the literal sense of the word, that an individual exists who would willingly allow such a leech on their flesh. No goal, no desire, no future prospects other than to live one day after the other.

Indeed, the first thing that comes to my mind imagining such a leech is the unshaven, unkempt hobo, living each day searching for food and resting. If I were to imagine the life and future of a stray dog, so to speak, then perhaps I can get answers to my own feelings. What is it that hobos do when not foraging and dumpster diving? Beside standing at street corners begging for money. Oh, and beside socializing, assuming this would be an asocial hobo.Thinking about where he failed in his life? But that feeling of failure would likely be more rooted in that he has to search for food in the trash of other, more well-to-do of his kind than that he had no future. I imagine, at least. Or is it? Could it be that his feeling of failure results in that he has no power to escape his situation? Regardless of whether he would want to or not, is it that he has no choice in the matter that causes him his feelings of self-pity and self-revulsion?

I find such an answer doubtful. Though the caged bird may look at the sky, it still sings with the other birds regardless. And if the cage is spacious enough for the bird to enjoy stretching its wings while still remaining inside it, and if the cage is more cozy than outside of it, is it not rational to want to stay encaged? To say that lack of freedom causes the hobo's sadness and regret just feels as a wrong answer to me, especially since many of my day-dreams of being a dog involve the loss of privacy of my very thoughts, in one way or another.

Going on a completely different route, then, what if the regret the hobo feels is due to an issue of responsibility and reward? That is, the hobo, pitiful as his lot is in life, is responsible for a multitude of things that require an excessive amount of work to accomplish, things that are taken for granted by more well-to-do members of society. It'd be pointless to go into details, but what if this stray dog's regret comes from having to do this excessive work just to survive, while receiving for it no praise or reward? That is, a doctor has the responsibility of a hobo (survival, getting food, etc), as well as the responsibility of a tax payer, and the responsibility of a doctor, and the responsibility, perhaps, of a father, etc. And for fulfilling some of those responsibilities, the doctor is praised, paid, rewarded, or what have you. Of course, no one would praise a doctor for having made money enough to afford a meal at a fast food place, and though such a task may be daunting for a hobo, no one would praise him either. Nor should they, really, but that's neither here nor there.

In this regard, is, then, the regret toward life that the hobo feels a result of the realization that he struggles with what the rest of society does as easily as breathing? The prideful belief that, "I should be able to do this easily. I shouldn't be struggling with so simple a task as this"?

Ah, whatever. I've not read very varied philosophy doctrines or pieces of literature, but I'm beginning to harbor a hatred toward it. Every question spawns a new question, and, now, I've rambled so far away from my original intention, I've no idea where I am. If nothing else, this can be an archive, of sorts, that I can look back to in case my thinking every pulls me back to this path of reasoning. Now, though, food and Rune Factory 3 call me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Damn Rune Factory

I've always been a Harvest Moon fan, and, though it is no Harvest Moon 64, Rune Factory 3 really soothed that itch of not having played a Harvest Moon game in so long. I've only been playing it for the past three days, mind, but I've been spending every free minute I have on the game. I'm in the middle of my first winter right now, and I'm finally getting the hang of farming well enough to, for lack of a better term, min-max my produce levels.

Buying out of season flowers, planting them, then tilling the withered leaves the next day, and doing it over and over again with scythed seeds of various in-season crops gets me to level 7, 8, and 9 within a week! Working on getting to level 10.

Not that that matters, though. It took me to early Fall to get four buffalmoos, or however they're called, and milk them for level 5 and 6 small milks daily. Now that that's turned into four level 10 medium milks, each worth, I believe, a little under 5000g, farming is just a hobby. With 20,000g daily, who needs other money makers?

In any event, I've heard many exclaim surprise about how many girls there are to marry in this game, and not being able to choose due to too large a selection, but I have to disagree. Yes, there are quite a few, but none of the girls really appeal to me. Or, rather, the few that do are unavailable. Namely Hazel and Monica. Hardworking, reliable Hazel, and sweet, moe-moe Monica~ After doing a few request, Monica went from that annoying anti-social brat who bites a lot to calling me dear! My heart~ It swoons! Hearing her voice is enough to make me smile. Her shy attempts at flirting will kill me! So cute. So adorable. Why can my character not wake up to that every morning? It's unfair, I say. Age discrimination is no laughing matter! Why, any who disagrees has simply not heard her call you onii-san. Truly, just hearing her greet you would turn any man to my side. I want to marry Monica, dammit!

That aside, namely as a result of my experience with Monica, I had been working on marrying Shana, solely because it would, naturally, let me be with Monica, but then a few lines of dialogue from Sakuya caught me. Namely the ones regarding her (and her mother's, apparently) desire to get the MC to crossdress. Oh, and the hints of Sakuya's fiery Capitalist ventures and ruthless drive toward her desires are rather attractive as well. So Sakuya it is. Plus, she really saved me once by supplying me with 68 pieces of iron just the day I needed it, and 72 pieces of silver a few weeks after. Overpriced? Sure, but what's the value of money when you have more of it than you'll ever need?

Regardless, I'm curious as to if there is anything special in pointedly refusing to marry, remaining the bachelor for as long as your lifespan allows. Or if it's just normal gameplay as the elder characters repeatedly make shameless remarks about how cute their daughter and you look together. Oh, and I also hope there's a crossdressing scene, but if there is, it will no doubt be 'off-screen' with no real sprites (3D or 2D) of the MC in drag... C'est la vie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I wish I were cute

I can probably blame this desire on the *chans, which, coupled with my own submissive being, caused to manifest in me this nearly pervasive longing for something that is beyond me, currently at least. Indeed, likely due to social rules on gender, it is extremely embarrassing for me to even say this, unlike on various *chans, due to having less anonymity here than there, even though the only difference is that I possess a (fake) name.

Regardless, I want to be cute. And I do not say this with as little regard as I would say, "I want to eat cookies," but with the gravity of a professor taken over by revelation on what he wishes to commit his life studying. Odd though the analogy may be.

I don't care what my sex or gender is, only that my body, stature, and face look, to my own subjective tastes, cute. I want to be cute, to wear cute clothes, to be treated, by those few who do deal with me, less by their conceptions of my gender as a man, and more by if they were dealing with a girl.

 The reason I decided to type this up today is likely due to a dream I had just last night. It was of me being married to some faceless woman who I really didn't have any knowledge of other than she was a business lady and I was her househusband, and that she was a shotacon and yaoifangirl, despite her...age. In any event, in the dream, I was cute, and did all the housework in a cute maid uniform like the one below.

Feeling the air brush between my legs, the skirt sway with each step as I went about my daily routines, it was all very enjoyable...and enviable when I eventually woke up. Oh, that I could look like a cute girl, or at least be androgynous enough to pass quite well as either sex depending on my attire,  it would likely give me a goal to work toward: to nourish the new-found narcissism.

I did imagine that this desire of mine was simply a succumbing to 2D 'perfection' and trying to apply said 2D Ideals onto an imperfect 3D world, but even with 3D girls, I find myself envious of their soft looks and feminine being.

Granted, when it comes to 3D, I'd much rather remain...noticeably young. Even if it would lose me a sex drive, I'd rather not go through puberty (as either sex, really, but never mind that) and remain the child. Makes me a bit envious of the immortals of fiction.

Now, thinking of it psychologically, I imagine that this is, perhaps, a way through which my ego is allowing my own submissive personality and tendencies to surface while coping with the gender roles I grew up with. Not to be an armchair psychologist, but simply as a way of trying to understand my own mind and desires, I believe that I am manifesting my desires to be, for lack of a better term, a submissive partner by superimposing them onto my beliefs of female gender roles. My enjoyment of feminine attire is simply my mind rationalizing by essentially saying, "If you want to be submissive, you must look the role, and, as Romans go to Gladiator fights for entertainment, if you wish to be Roman, you must enjoy a little gore." Or something like that. In any event, I don't want to rid myself of the desire, oddly enough, despite how depressed it may make me that I will never fulfill it. Indeed, even if it is 100% impossible to satisfy, I still believe I want to hold onto the vain hope that I might wake one day in a more ideal body. Not to say my own is detestable, but it is not ideal to me, you understand. Indeed, if I had some curves, was perhaps an inch or two shorter, and underwent a complete bone structure pubertal-reversal, removing my testosterone-made chin, broad shoulders, large hands, etc, then I would not be so displeased. Oh, my trachea is a bit large, too, so that would need to go as well.

In any event, this self-inquiry does nothing to help my desire to be the little girl, and, indeed, I can think of no way of fulfilling my desires satisfactorily. There's surgery, hallucinogenic drugs, and waiting for virtual reality to support a lifetime subscription/hook-in, all of which cost much beyond I could ever afford, and, even then, would give me less than acceptable results, for various reasons. I'd much rather call upon some omnipotent Goddess or Demon to grant my tiny wish, since they, at least, might have the ability to change my very bone structure, which is the greatest detriment to my desire. I wonder just what the extent of the power a certain gap demon possesses...and how painful it would be to employ her.