Archive for February, 2010

Coffeepot for Masochists

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Purifying Fire manga has begun!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The Dengeki adaptation of Laura Resnick’s novel The Purifying Fire has begun its serialization in Dengeki Maoh, under the title 燃え尽きぬ炎 (Moetsukinu Honou, I think).

Samukun, who is studying in Japan at this time, has acquired a copy of the latest Dengeki Maoh, and it comes with a foil Cunning Sparkmage, which is not only a card that has proven its worth in Luis Scott Vargas’s deck in the recent Pro Tour San Diego, but is extremely appropriate for a magazine named 電撃魔王 (Dengeki Maoh, Electric Shock Overlord (literally, devil king)).

By Yoshino Himori

Once there was a flame-wielding red mage, a planeswalker who could travel across the multiverse. Her name was Chandra Nalaar.

“Shall I show you the fire in my heart?”

Check out the online preview today!

If this does well and we get a J.C.Staff Magic the Gathering anime my existence in this world will be validated.

The most fitting grade

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

So they were handing out the midterm grades last Wednesday, and the professor showed a bell curve of the scores with a low of 143 and a high of 190 (out of 200). I got my paper back and guess what, my group’s the 143. And we were docked points for the most stupid reason too: we had uploaded the files for submission, but forgot to include some of them in the final report. The group leader tried to appeal, but the professor was trying to teach us a lesson about negligence and the disasters it causes in real life engineering.

My groupmates are upset, but somehow it’s AWESOME that a project named Refrigerator Fairy has such a stupid grade for such a stupid reason. I was going to ask for the grade to be lowered to a more aesthetically pleasing 99, but then we wouldn’t have a passing grade and that would be trouble.


Flandre’s lecture on QED

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Hey, I don’t think I’ve seen you before. I’m Remilia’s little sister, Flandre Scarlet. It’s been a while since Remi sent anyone down to the basement for me to play with.

You look scared. Remi must have told you that I’ve been sealed here for over 400 years because I’m unstable and destructive. That’s not true at all, trust me. Do I look like an unstable and destructive person to you? I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to play with you.

By “play” I mean “discuss concurrent programming concepts”. Yeah, being stuck down here in the basement with nothing but books and computers to play with has kind of made me an expert programmer.

Today I’ll tell you about this special system I developed called QED. It’s used to verify that concurrent programs work the way they should. In the outside world, a team of Turkish programmers developed this in a couple of years. My version of QED isn’t as robust as theirs, and it’s taken me over 10 years to develop. I blame hardware failure. The computers Sakuya sends down here for me to work with never last for very long before they break. It’s really annoying.


Magic Comics News

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Remember when I learned about the Dengeki Maoh Magic manga? Well, now there’s more!


Mountain of Faith Stage 5, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

During my no-damage clear of the first four stages of Mountain of Faith, I quickly realized something: the fact that bombs draw from your attack power, and therefore your attack power goes down whenever you bomb, is not meant to discourage you from bombing. In fact, it encourages you to bomb because you can refill easily from the power-up items dropped by enemies. It’s as if most enemies drop pieces of bomb for you to use.

If you want to capture all the spellcards, Mountain of Faith is harder than Imperishable Night. But if you want to just get through the stages without taking damage, Mountain of Faith is not that hard. Just learn the patterns enough to where you only need one bomb for each card, and bomb everything. You’ll get all your power back from enemy drops.

Mountain of Faith also makes it easier to collect those power items. When you’re focused, nearby power items will gravitate toward you. And when you’re not focused, you can collect all items on screen by flying above the “Item Get Border Line”, helpfully indicated for you at the start of the game. (You don’t even need to be at full power to use the Item Get Border Line, unlike in Imperishable Night.) Additionally, there is no difference in your attack between having 4 power and 5 (max) power, meaning when you bomb at 5 power, you don’t really sacrifice any power and just clear some space in your inventory to collect power items.

If you’re at 5 power, power items aren’t pieces of bombs, they just add to your score and (I’m assuming) count toward a new point of life. If you’re not playing for score, you should bomb to keep safe. Every time you take damage, a little more than three bombs worth of power are spawned near your character, so even if you depleted your power to nothing thanks to overbombing, you’re close to full again as soon as you get hit. The fact that there is no deathbomb window no longer matters, because you learn to bomb early and often.

I’ve managed no-damage clears of Mountain of Faith’s stage 4 and 5 in fewer than 50 tries, far less than the several hundred I’ve spent on the corresponding stages of Imperishable Night. Also, check out this survey, taken from the Toho fansite It counts people, from a set of 13,000 Toho players, and how hard of a difficulty at which they were able to complete various games in the series without using a continue.

Imperishable Night, which I cleared not too long ago, is the game that the most people have cleared on Normal or harder, but although it seems Mountain of Faith’s difficulty rises greatly at Hard and Lunatic, many people still manage to clear it on Normal. So to Sage, who says Imperishable Night is the only game he was able to clear without continuing, I say try Mountain of Faith, and bomb more.

Also, it seems that the high randomness of Phantasmagoria of Flower View (my first Toho game, and which I have to this day been unable to one-credit-clear on any level harder than Easy) is not a barrier for people who don’t rely on memory as much as I do, and that Subterranean Animism really is hell on earth.

Aya’s lecture on privacy

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

You should already know who I am. In case you don’t, I am Aya Shameimaru, reporter, writer, editor, and publisher of Bunbunmaru, Gensokyo’s leading newspaper.

Today’s lecture is about privacy issues, which I run into on a daily basis as a journalist.


Overthrow Crow (or not)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

So, curious as to what made the other Toho games harder than Imperishable Night, I started on Mountain of Faith.

Stage 1: Shizuha and Minoriko? Perfect clear on the second try.

Stage 2: Hina? Fifth try.

Stage 3: Nitori? Tenth try. I struggled a lot more with Teacher Keine.

Stage 4: Momiji and Aya?

Yeah, that’s where it gets absurd.

Many of the non-boss enemy attacks are unmemorizable.

Momiji shows up at the worst possible moment (although Reimu’s homing shot goes a long way toward eliminating this problem).

Most of Aya’s spellcards are also unmemorizable. You can’t write a script, you can only react.

There is essentially no deathbomb window.

Whenever you bomb, your attack power goes down.

Although I was able to get to Stage 5 and the legendary good girl in under 50 tries, Stage 4 is pretty much impossible for me to perfect. Just like Daiyousei, I can’t overthrow the crow.

P.S. My capture rate for Milky Way (Marisa’s first spellcard in Normal in Imperishable Night) has gone up to 70% after practicing this stage.

Presentation slides complete

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

See the whole presentation here (2.5 MB Powerpoint)

Kitchen Alliance: Graphic Design

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Now that our group has to do a Powerpoint presentation for our Kitchen Alliance project, I’m trying to design a logo and a presentation slide layout.

The idea was to make the presentation look like it was on a refrigerator door, complete with magnets sticking important pieces of paper to the door.

Click for larger image.