1732: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Nineteen, Part One

Title: Heroes and Villains
Author: Horrible’s Igor
Media: Television / Movies
Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer / Kitchen Sink
Genre: Supernatural/Drama
URL: Heroes and Villains (Now Defunct)
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Eliza

“Hi everyone!”

Urrrrnnnnnnng.

“Taco stayed up too late playing Breath of the Wild last night.  Again.”

Look, I can’t help it.  I say ‘five more minutes and I’ll stop’ and then the temporal anomaly in my living room acts up and it’s two hours later.

“And you’re certain that temporal flux is the most reasonable explanation as to why you keep getting to bed late?”

I can think of no other plausible explanation.

“‘Kay!  Recap!  Last week Salix Tech announced their new robot line in a plot arc that is in no way a complete ripoff of I, Robot!  And then we got to read Team Buffy react to this announcement by stating the obvious for about ten minutes.  That was pretty much it.”

Somehow it felt like there was even less.

“Chapter title!”

Final Equipment Check

I have my doubts, as this would imply something actually got done.

“Or that something was about to happen!”

Either way, very unlikely in this fic.

Imagine The Temptations’ Get Ready.

Not really hard to do.  It’s a friggen’ classic.

I can fault Igor on a lot of things, but his musical taste isn’t all that bad.  Sure, it’d be nice if he didn’t stop to rub his playlist in our faces every thirty seconds, but it’s a nice refreshing change to the authors who only utilize teen-pop, angst-rock, and dubsteb covers.

No, not that one.

Nevermind.  Dubstep cover incoming.  *Sigh*

Okay, Igor, what kind of tone-deaf, electronica-heavy cover are we-

The Chase Holfelder cover.

*Taco Squints*  Well played, sir.  Well played.

“Okay, I’ll bite, who is-?”

Glad you asked! Chase Holfelder does covers of a lot of music as part of his “Major to Minor” series, wherein he covers upbeat songs in a minor key.  His stuff is really good and I honestly have no problem posting it up here as something that’s actually worth listening to.

Chase’s rendition of “All I want for Christmas is You” is still the only version of the song that I actually like.

Though, keep in mind, Chase does these mostly as parodies because he realized that the implied meaning of a lot of songs change when you shift the key into the minor scale.  Primarily that a lot of upbeat love songs turn into stalker ballads.

I have a feeling that the humor in that was lost on our author, who instead is going to use it as edgelord angst fuel.

Yeah. Imagine that Get Ready.

“Don’t you just love fics that come with imaginary soundtracks!”

Yes.  *Twitch*  So good.  *Twitch twitch*

“Hopefully we’ll get some lyrics too!”

Stahp.

The lab was progressing nicely.

*The phone rings*

“Hello?”

Is your lab progressing?

“Yeah!”

Then you had better go and catch it!

“It’s okay, I can still see it.  It’s not progressing all that fast. It’ll take like twenty minutes for the lab to make it to the end of the hall!”

Curses!

*Eliza hangs up* “Still, it was nice of Crunchy to be concerned about our lab.”

Everything was set up and in full swing, and 3.0 was once again in construction.

“Lab!  Get off that swing!  I told you no swings at the park unless there’s an adult!”

I wouldn’t be too hard on him.  Labs will be labs, after all.

Soon enough testing could begin, and any flaws would make themselves known.

So what happened?

“Testing indicated that the machine exploded violently.”

Was it supposed to do that?

“I’m not all that sure.”

I’ll mark it down as a potential flaw, but leave it uncertain just in case we were designing a grenade.

But for now, there were still some small things to work out: discharge time, efficiency, et cetera, et cetera.

“You know, some vague things that sound technical, and a bunch of other stuff!”

Doc didn’t mind that so much, but slow progress gets on anybody’s nerves if it doesn’t speed up at some point.

*Taco and Eliza look pointedly at the fic*

One thing that helped was that he had the company of his music.

“We know.”

Igor can’t shut up about the music.

He’d found out that the lab had some pretty awesome speakers set up, so he could play tunes nice and loud and feel like he and his work were immersed in the atmosphere that was set by the songs.

What do you mean, ‘He found out!?’  It’s his freaking lab.  Willow made a big point of mentioning that all three of the bads would have their own space to design as they see fit.  How the crap did Dr. Horrible surprise himself with a lab-wide speaker system!?

He was just packing up shop for the day when Elsa opened the door and strided in, a thick paperback in her hand.

“As an engineer, what does ‘packing up shop’ look like?”

Locking the computer, and pushing the pile of crap a little further away from the edge of the workbench.

He was just packing up shop for the day when Elsa opened the door and strided in, a thick paperback in her hand. “Ist das echt?!” she said, thumping the book down on his desk and opening it up, slamming her finger down on a thick paragraph and looking at him in disbelief.

Did Igor mention he knows the very basics of language and knows how to use Google!?   DID HE!?  Cause he totally does, and totally can!

“Shame about not knowing English well enough, though.”

Yeah.  If only he strode to greater lengths to learn it.

“What?” he asked, a bit surprised by her entrance, and her language shift. He looked at the paragraph and muttered out loud, “German?… Okay, um… ‘In Auschwitz-Birkenau, das zugleich auch Konzentrationslager war, wurden die Vergasungen mit Hilfe von Blausäuregas (Zyklon B) vorgenommen.  Es wurden auch erschießungen durchgeführt. Im Nürnberger Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbercher wurde 1946 erstmals die ungefähre Zahl von sechs Millionen ermordeter Juden genannt’… Ah. Ich verstehe.”

“Es ist eine Lüge!” Elsa said, eyes wide. “Ja?”

Doc cleared his throat. “Uh– no. It isn’t a lie.”

I suppose Igor already capitalized on the drama value of 9/11, he might as well toss in the holocaust for good measure.  Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t roll it out sooner.  If you’re going to trivialize one atrocity for cheap drama, you may as well go all the way to Germany.

In any event, the rest of the chapter is just them talking about the holocaust.  It’s one of those scenes that might actually have had a place in this fic given that Elsa skipped over the better part of two centuries, but, as with all cheap grabs for emotional impact, the reference and discussion of the holocaust comes right the fuck out of nowhere, stays for only a few paragraphs, is never mentioned again, and has no discernible impact on Elsa’s character.  The only saving grace is that they talk about it in a way that doesn’t directly disrespect the lives lost in the holocaust or make it all about the two of them (ala Buster).  But it’s one of those things that didn’t need to be brought up, and if it was, it needed a lot more thought, effort, and time put into the presentation.

Since it’s so pointless and a transparent grab for some kind of emotional investment from the audience, I’m skipping the rest of the scene entirely and we’ll just swing directly into the next one.

I’ve never met a girl who makes me feel the way that you do… (y00oou’r3 4aal-r1gh7…)

“What is that!?”

It appears to be lyrics from Get Ready, with some random l337 speak tossed in at the end for some reason.  Probably a reason having to do with being young and stupid if I were to guess.

“I feel nauseous for some reason.”

Song lyrics in fiction have that effect, it’ll pass.

“SCENE BREAK!”

“Look, I’ve told you, I can’t do much with you, your old man of a professor, Xander-boy, and a snowman.

A shame Igor didn’t realize that before including them in this fic.

You wanna fight Wicca-bitch and her new cronies, you’re gonna get yourself killed.”

“Just like Willow killed you all the first time when she had the chance!”

Or the second time when she had the chance!

“I really love how believable the stakes are!”

Seriously, I’m a horrible influence on you.

“Which is why I’m calling you, Spike! You can give us an edge over them!”

Uh, how?  Spike is a good fighter, but he’s not really what I would call a scale tipper against a witch and a sorcerers.  Especially not when your other assets are a contractor, a cheerful snowman, and an eighty-year-old professor of California literature.

“No no. I’m not gonna stick my neck out into that. I know a lost cause when I see one.”

Is he talking about the fight against Willow, or Willow’s organization as a whole?

“It can be both!”

“It’s not a lost cause, Spike! If everything works out, we won’t have to fight them!”

And since Spike’s only real use in the fight against evil is his combat ability, I have no idea why you’re calling him.

“Because he might not have to fight!”

Ooooooh.

“And everything always works out with your plans.”

“He’s got her there.  Buffy’s plans almost never go according to plan.”

“–I’m just asking you to help out at the house, that’s it. Nothing else.”

“I hope he brings his maid outfit!”

I’m not Googling that.

“Look, love, I know when it’s impossible, and this is as impossible as they get. You’re better off watching Sherlock on Netflix and getting on with life.”

How I wish Spike would have given me that advice before I started this fic.

“But she’s weaker this time. She lost a fight with an ordinary vamp and lost an eye. She’s wearing an eyepatch.”

“Buffy probably shouldn’t mention that she was hospitalized after a fight with a random, mundane human.”

“…That so?”

“Yeah. Saw myself.”

“…Huh. Still, though, you have NSA-Breaker and a literal Ice Queen to back up Decaf-Witch, so it’s still going to be bloody difficult.”

We get it, Igor.  You think crashing an NSA server is impressive.  Just let it go, dude.  Bringing it up constantly is making it even less impressive.

“But not impossible.”

“…Maybe not. Maybe.”

“And if everything works out, we don’t need to go through the usual routine of the big apocalypse-y final battle. Media will do our job and all we need to do is play along if they want us.”

So, we established Team Willow’s plan already, so let’s take a look at Team Buffy’s plan!

  1. The Media
  2. ???
  3. No more Willow

“Maybe the media is supposed to come up with the plan, too?”

Why bother?  There’s a perfectly good plan right there!

“…That’s a Reichenbach Fall plot if ever I’ve heard one.”

We get it, you like Sherlock.  All the constant references do is remind everyone of things way better than your fic!

“And give the audience clues to where you stole all your ideas from.”

“Does that mean you’ll help?”

“…Alright. A little help. I’m not going out in another blaze of glory.”

“He’ll do the dishes, the vacuuming, and cook dinner, but not the laundry.”

I can relate.  I really hate folding clothes.  I’d rather clean out the cat box.

“I just need you at the house, that’s all. Help me whip these guys into shape.”

“”These guys?'”

Code word for eggs.

“Okay. I’ll be there tomorrow night.”

“Thanks. Goodbye.”

“See you tomorrow, Slayer.”

Huh, Spike agrees despite Buffy having no plan or anything tangible for how they’ll get the media on their side.

“Was that Spike?”

“You figured that out!  Amazing! Was it the part where she said Spike’s name while talking on the phone?  That’s what tipped me off!”

Seriously, you need to stop hanging out with me.

“Yeah. He’s coming to stay a few weeks and help us out.”

“But no laundry!”

No problem, we have a contingency plan.

“Never thought I’d be happy to hear that creep was coming back.”

Who’s talking?

“Times change.”

“Yeah. At this point I just try to follow the flow of traffic.”

“Buffy and at least one of the other people from her team!  Probably!”

Thank you.

“Not something we usually do. I always feel like we’re fighting the tide.”

“Nah. We’re fighting the weirdos.”

What a penetrating juxtaposition.  They way the tide and weirdos are put in opposition, just like they are in nature.

“Crunchy spends a lot of his time at the beach shouting at the coral.”

The coral knows what it did.

“SCENE BREAK!”

And I’m gonna try to make you love me too, so get ready… G3t r3a4-dy-yYyyy… Cause here I come…

“How old do monkeys get before they realize that replacing letters with numbers isn’t actually all that clever?”

Dunno.  Some come into it early, others never seem to grow out of the misconception.  I think it’s an intelligence thing.

“Have you read Dante?” Willow asked as she entered the laboratory, flicking on the lights.

Greeeeeeat, more ham-handed literary analysis.

Heroes and Villain’s working title was Book Club: the Novel.'”

Doctor Horrible looked up from his blueprints, out the window. “I’m more of a Machiavelli reader, myself.”

I would have pegged him more as an IEEE or ASME reader or something.  You know, literature that actually fits his characterization as a brilliant inventor who has an overly simplified and twisted view of what lasting social change requires.

“In the Eighth Circle of Hell, in the first of ten ditches, panderers and seducers are forced to march around in the ditch in opposite directions, all the while being whipped by demons.” She began to slink a little as she approached his desk.

I never thought I’d envy the people in the eighth circle.  At least they don’t have to read this fic.

‘In its depths the sinners were naked: on our inner side of its central round they came towards us, on the outer side, with us, but with larger steps. So the people of Rome, in that year, at the Jubilee…’ because Italy had recently instituted a new law regarding traffic: Keep right.”

Oooookay?  Is that supposed to be a metaphor for this fic or something?

“Maybe Igor is comparing his fic to a fifty-year-old camper van that does thirty-five on the freeway?”

Doctor Horrible slowly tilted his head towards the raven-haired woman, his goggles reflecting the low light. “Machiavelli’s passage about fear versus love is usually condensed.  There’s actually more: ‘Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?

I find that, at times like this, I like to quote Thomas J. Glover:  ‘Standard cable, as used in home and general construction, is classified by the wire size, number of wires, insulation type, and dampness condition of the wire environment.’

“I prefer a passage of Summer for this kind of setting: ‘Love to love you, baby.'”

Pithy.

Anyway, at this point Horrible regurgitates the entire passage from Machiavelli’s The Prince.  If you want to check it out, Igor basically just tears the quote right out of chapter seventeen.

Willow raised her eyebrows slightly. “Impressive. The whole passage?”

Huh?  ‘The whole passage’ what?  You’re missing more than a little of that sentence.

“The whole treatise,” he replied, looking down again.

That’s still not a sentence!  Hell, it’s not even a thought!  What about the treatise?  That it was condensed down?  That the quote was the whole thing?  What!?

“Fairly short, actually. 32,000 words or so.”

“I have no idea what they’re trying to talk about.”

Pretty sure that they don’t know either.

“Hmm.”

Horrible smoothed out his blueprints. “Of course, princes and princesses such as we have one advantage that Machiavelli didn’t consider

A death ray?

“Tesla cars?”

unparalleled technological innovation.

“Why would Machiavelli care about technology?  He was writing a commentary on current politics.”

Shhh, Igor needed to mention Machiavelli and Dante so that he could look smart.  It doesn’t matter if it’s actually pertinent to anything going on.

Nobody saw the world of today coming, not like this.”

And yet Machiavelli still remains pertinent reading for political study.  Probably because technology really hasn’t affected the core of politics all that much.

“No, they didn’t.”

“The future turned out far more vague and undefined than anyone could have anticipated!”

“And of course, we’re not gonna be seen coming either.”

They have an invisibility cloak made out of pure boredom!  It doesn’t actually make you invisible, just too boring for anyone’s brain to remember.

“Does this mean they are wearing the cloak right now?”

“Nope.”

“…What?”

“Nope.  It means no, negative, nay, or nah.  Do I add it to the list?”

Sure.

“Yay!”

She was looking at his blueprints, an odd expression on her face. “Nothing. Already seen.”

After a while one misty cloud of scene starts to look like any other.  Nothing to be worried about.

He frowned– and then the joke clicked. “Déjà vu. I see.”

I don’t get it.

“That’s the point.  It was a joke too good to be funny!”

Ah, well done, then.

Willow laughed once, but she looked almost… afraid. “This is for the nanobots, correct?”

“Is it a piece of paper with ‘magic’ and ‘technology’ written on it with lots of arrows, happy faces, and squiggly lines?”

Uh, yes, actually.

“Yep!  Those are the blueprints all right!”

Her voice was steady, even nonchalant. But her face was afraid. Why?

She suddenly realized that if he actually finishes the project, she might have to do something.

“The horror!”

“Yes…” he said slowly. “You look– uneasy. What’s up?”

“Do I?” she said, her face clearing. “I didn’t realise. Nothing’s up.”

“Smooth as a glass of extra chunky milk.”

This is why we don’t let you in the kitchen.

“O-kay…” he said.

“These look good,” she said, then pointed to a blank label. “What’s this label for?”

It’s a label for all the blankness.  Not writing anything on it felt apropos.

“This is for the stuff we haven’t worked out yet,” he said, indicating the empty center of the image.

“Oh!  So that’s why it’s the same size as the blueprint!”

“That’s gonna be where the magic happens, but I don’t know how. We should work on that.”

So I’m just gonna toss magic in this gadget-y sorta thing and hope they fuse together in exactly the way we want them to.

“And then nanobots!”

Naturally.  I hate to say it, but this plan is bordering on being as bad as any of Sorin’s.

“Yes, we definitely should,” Willow agreed.

In general, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you’re doing before you try to do it.  Otherwise…

 “I’m not busy this evening before dinner– maybe we confab then?”

Great, they’re already planning to talk more.  As if there isn’t already enough of that.

“Sounds good,” Horrible confirmed, giving a thumbs-up.

“Wunderbar,” Willow smiled, exiting.

And with that, the scene ends.  We’re going to hit one more little thing before we cut you all loose, mostly because I don’t want to start next week with it.

G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r–

*Eliza scans the fic with her sharp-detecting nanobotastic thingamajigger*

“Let’s see here.  ‘Edginess level: Cloud Strife.'”

Damn, those number substitutions are really bringing in the edgelord points!

“Any more, and we’ll have to quarantine it to prevent the patrons from breaking out in spontaneous brooding.  I’ll get the Darkwraiths on standby just in case.  They’re pretty much immune so can handle things when it gets too bad.”

And with that, I’m going to let you all go.  In the meantime, I’m going to go pass out.

“Remember, I don’t tell you where I hid your controller until after you get a good night’s sleep.”

Yes’m.

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50 Comments on “1732: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Nineteen, Part One”

  1. BatJamags says:

    Imagine The Temptations’ Get Ready.

    What is it with badfic authors and the Temptations? Leave them out of this!

    Also, I’ve been watching a lot of Dragon Age Let’s Plays recently, and I keep reading that as “The Templars’ Get Ready.”

  2. BatJamags says:

    Soon enough testing could begin, and any flaws would make themselves known.

    Yes, the setup was in full swing and it was in construction so you could conduct tests for any flaws.

    Author, for the love of all things holy, FUCKING DESCRIBE SOMETHING!

  3. BatJamags says:

    He’d found out that the lab had some pretty awesome speakers set up, so he could play tunes nice and loud and feel like he and his work were immersed in the atmosphere that was set by the songs.

    By the way, I’ve refused to indulge Igor’s bullshit, so I’m imagining the major key version playing.

  4. BatJamags says:

    Locking the computer, and pushing the pile of crap a little further away from the edge of the workbench.

    Pft. Engineers. At least my desk isn’t covered in a pile of crap. *Points* See? You can still see part of the desk. Not covered.

    • GhostCat says:

      My computer desk at home is surprisingly clear, but that’s mostly because my fluffy little bastards like to knock stuff onto the floor when they feel I’m not paying enough attention to them. Most of the usual desk debris – note pads, empty cups, pens, spare headphones, etc. – have gotten tucked behind the monitor where the cats can’t get to them as easily.

      • TacoMagic says:

        My desk is more clear. Just, you know, a minefield of batteries, spare computer parts, installation disks, SOP manuals, Schleich toys, pens, sticky notes, cooking magazines, and several video game themed amigurumi. Ever since I stopped using a mousepad, I’ve been able to see a large chunk of the desk!

      • SC says:

        One half of my desk is covered in old paintings my great-grandmother painted that we have yet to do anything with. The other half has a TV sitting on it. Shoved in the few open spots are my XBox and several loose coins.

      • BatJamags says:

        Mine is covered in paper. So much paper.

        Books? Paper. Essays? Paper. Tests? Paper. That brown paper bag from CVS Pharmacy that I should’ve thrown out months ago? Paper. This Ethernet extension cord which I have no reason to use and don’t remember putting here? Pa- wait, what?

  5. BatJamags says:

    In any event, the rest of the chapter is just them talking about the holocaust. It’s one of those scenes that might actually have had a place in this fic given that Elsa skipped over the better part of two centuries, but, as with all cheap grabs for emotional impact, the reference and discussion of the holocaust comes right the fuck out of nowhere, stays for only a few paragraphs, is never mentioned again, and has no discernible impact on Elsa’s character. The only saving grace is that they talk about it in a way that doesn’t directly disrespect the lives lost in the holocaust or make it all about the two of them (ala Buster). But it’s one of those things that didn’t need to be brought up, and if it was, it needed a lot more thought, effort, and time put into the presentation.

    Oh, FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK, IGOR!

    Alright, that’s it, I’m ranting.

    Let’s start with what this is. This is cheap. This is meaningless. This is a way for Igor to feel better about himself because he’s making some kind of social commentary. It’s not related to the story he thinks he’s trying to tell, and it only serves one purpose. It’s there to make us sympathize with the main characters because they don’t like the holocaust.

    NO FUCKING SHIT! IT’S THE HOLOCAUST! OF COURSE THEY DON’T LIKE IT! THAT KIND OF COMES ALONG WITH BEING A FUCKING HUMAN BEING!

    Just last week, I went to talk by a holocaust survivor who’d been through the ghettos, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and a death march. She talked about her experiences, and the best word I can come up with to describe it is “devastating.” It was the only story I’ve ever heard, true or fictional, which had an actual emotional impact on me.

    And Igor is taking that and using it because he wants his characters to look nice.

    Fuck you, Igor.

    • SC says:

      I shit you not, in one of my history classes, we actually had the honor of having Miep Gies visit our class, before she passed away, and talk about the real-life Anne Frank. It was fucking haunting.

  6. BatJamags says:

    Dunno. Some come into it early, others never seem to grow out of the misconception. I think it’s an intelligence thing.

    D0N’7 B3 1N5UL71NG MY 7YP1NG QU1RK.

  7. BatJamags says:

    “Have you read Dante?” Willow asked as she entered the laboratory, flicking on the lights.

    No, Igor, that doesn’t make you look smart, if you’re wondering.

    Even if you’re not wondering, it still doesn’t.

  8. BatJamags says:

    G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

    G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

    G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r /

    G3t r34dy, ‘caUs3 h3r3 1 C0m3, y0u b3t73r–

    Alright, alright, calm down, Terezi.

  9. GhostCat says:

    Look, I can’t help it. I say ‘five more minutes and I’ll stop’ and then the temporal anomaly in my living room acts up and it’s two hours later.

    “And you’re certain that temporal flux is the most reasonable explanation as to why you keep getting to bed late?”

    I can think of no other plausible explanation.

    Sounds totally reasonable to me.

  10. GhostCat says:

    You wanna fight Wicca-bitch and her new cronies, you’re gonna get yourself killed.”

    :eye-twitch:

    • TacoMagic says:

      To be fair to Igor, Spike really is that abrasive in the show. It’s part of his tough-guy leather-jacket bad-boy image thing that he uses to cover his insecurity complex. Later on when he’s no longer a villain he mellows a little bit, but he does insult pretty much everyone regularly.

      • GhostCat says:

        Spike is one of my favorite characters; he just tries so hard to be a badass but every so often the mask slips.

        • TacoMagic says:

          Yeah, I think that’s what makes Spike more compelling. It’s made obvious that “Spike” is a persona that he puts on to keep people at a distance. It’s very… human.

        • GhostCat says:

          One of my most favorite scenes in the series, and favorite scenes in general, happens right after Spike has been whammied so that he can no longer hurt humans – he’s been bitching and moaning and generally being a whiny pain-in-the-ass (because he was no longer seen as a badass and so much of who he thought he was had been tied to that persona) until he almost accidentally defends himself against a demon; you can see him brace himself, like he expects it to hurt, but when it doesn’t and the realization of what that means washes over him he just suddenly turns into a kid who has been set loose in a candy store. He really undergoes a big personality change after that.

  11. SC says:

    Look, I can’t help it. I say ‘five more minutes and I’ll stop’ and then the temporal anomaly in my living room acts up and it’s two hours later.

    “And you’re certain that temporal flux is the most reasonable explanation as to why you keep getting to bed late?”

    I can think of no other plausible explanation.

    I think we’re afflicted by the same anomaly. According to my internal clock, I’ve been playing Mass Effect for about two hours, but according to my computer, it’s suddenly almost 7:00, when I could’ve sworn it was only 11:30.

    • SC says:

      By the way, seeings as I’ll probably not be able to afford a Nintendo Switch until long after it stops being popular, how is Breath of the Wild? I hear you can apparently skip straight to Ganon right as soon as the game starts. (And get shitstomped, but that’s beside the point.)

      • TacoMagic says:

        Breath of the Wild is probably my new favorite Zelda game. I don’t say that lightly as it unseats a favorite I’ve had for 25 years, Link to the Past.

        It really is a long-needed evolution of the franchise taken to a much bigger scale that changes up a lot of the mechanics. It’s like an Elder Scrolls game, but more accessible, with better combat, and more rewarding/compelling exploration.

        The only real complaint I have about it is the same as most people: it could use more music. I understand why they went more minimalistic with the score, but I don’t think I agree with it.

        And a fishing rod. Definitely could use a fishing rod.

      • SC says:

        Yeah, I heard that complaint a bunch, too. I dunno, maybe not quite Wind Waker (peppy as hell though that soundtrack is and I love it), but, like, Twilight Princess had some nice ambient music here and there, maybe something like that.

        • TacoMagic says:

          It’s like it was trying to do the Bethesda thing. More natural ambiance and less JRPG-style “MUSIC FOR EVERYTHING!!!”

          However, the awesome soundtrack has long been a staple of Zelda games. It was sad to see that go out the window in this one.

          I do understand why they went minimalistic. With as long and engaging as the game is, a lot of the music would get repeated constantly. I think they were worried that it would get annoying to hear the same music a few hundred times as you run around exploring.

          And, to be fair, it IS a legitimate worry that the music would get repetitive.

      • SC says:

        Thereby proving that they have no idea how earworms work, I guess. Part of the reason their soundtrack has been so damn memorable is BECAUSE it got repeated so many damn times.

        That, and like I said with Wind Waker, it helps if it’s peppy as hell. I could listen to that soundtrack all day.

        EDIT: Although I see where they might be concerned, with soundtracks like THAT.

        • TacoMagic says:

          The NES era was a different time. You have 16 kbytes to dedicate to music, so you did a 32 note ditty and put that shit on repeat.

          I hear that dungeon theme in my dreams.

        • GhostCat says:

          Part of what turned me off early games was the repetitive music; I just couldn’t stand to hear the same thing over and over again until I wanted to stick an icepick in my ear (I get the twitches whenever I hear the Mario theme) so when I started playing these newer games that have a full orchestral score and changing ambient music it was kind of trippy.

        • TacoMagic says:

          It really is a legitimate complaint. Most of the NES games music was really atrocious, and the hardware limitations, especially in the first few years, made it so that song loops could only be 15-20 seconds. While a lot of the tunes and themes I love came out of the NES era, music didn’t start becoming something that added to the games until the SNES era, and the music didn’t start getting really good until around 15 years ago when it was no longer generated directly from hardware.

          Now, there are games where the music score is not only amazing, but central to the game (Journey, ABZU, Tale of Two Brothers, and Eternal Sonata). It really boggles the mind.

        • GhostCat says:

          I just got ABZU, it was on sale weekend before last in Steam. I even sprang for the deluxe edition so I could get the downloadable soundtrack.

        • TacoMagic says:

          I got ABZU as part of a humble monthly pack (think Loot Crate, but with video games). Played it through once and had my credit card out to buy the soundtrack before the credits were done rolling.

        • GhostCat says:

          I known Humble; I almost got their last big bundle because it had Subnautica in it and I really wanted that game, but they had sold out of keys for it so I just bought the game regularly instead. Kind of wish I had gone ahead and gotten the bundle anyway, because it had The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide which I’ve since heard are really good.

      • SC says:

        The one that grates on my nerves is the dungeon theme from A Link Between Worlds, personally.

        By contrast, Lorule’s overworld theme is awesome and I love it.

        (I guess that means I would feel the same way about A Link to the Past’s very, very similar soundtracks?)

        • TacoMagic says:

          Yeah, Link Between Worlds basically just remastered the Link to the Past soundtrack. Like, track for track. I think there was maybe one or two new tracks in LBW.

          LoRule’s overworld is indeed one of the best. Back in the day (Tuesday, November 28th 1991) It was the Sacred Realm (Dark World) Theme.

          You’d obviously prefer the LBW version just because it’s a more modern instrumentation and also the first version you heard.

      • SC says:

        I admit, I like being able to make out the individual instruments. That doesn’t mean I don’t find some of the “8-bit” style computer-generated music catchy as well, but even the guys who try and emulate that style of music put quite a bit more pizzazz in the song than would have actually been possible back then.

        PS, Lorule’s overworld theme is probably one of my favorites on account of the guitars it employs. I’m a sucker for that.

        • TacoMagic says:

          The progress that’s been made with electronically generated music in my lifetime has been amazing.

          We went from 8-bit music with a total range of 256 notes, to music that takes a trained ear to know that it’s been synthesized.

      • SC says:

        You’re not kidding. I’ve been listening to electronically-generated swing music, and you almost can’t tell that the instruments are fake if you don’t notice the obvious beat-dropping. (Okay, well, less that, than the fact that if you listen long enough, you can actually hear the synthetic tinge behind each “instrument.”)

        For example:

    • TacoMagic says:

      We need a scientific study of this. The anomaly could be endangering the Earth!

      I’ll start the science after I finish this shrine. Five minutes, tops.

    • GhostCat says:

      Some books appear to contain the same temporal anomalies, too.

  12. SC says:

    They have an invisibility cloak made out of pure boredom! It doesn’t actually make you invisible, just too boring for anyone’s brain to remember.

    I have a different invisibility cloak that I mostly employ during stealth games.

    It’s the one that doesn’t really work until you get caught, at which point it causes you to freak out and start wildly shooting, and then everybody mysteriously dies and that’s when it turns you invisible.


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