Saturday, April 16, 2011

404: Day Four

 ---Day Four---

I broke through the wall this morning(?). Sure enough, there was a spider and a fresh water source. The bonus? Gold! I saw three hunks of raw gold ore in the wall! As soon as I light the place up, I'm going to mine that gold so hard that it won't know what hit it! (hint: it's my pick axe)


The craziest thing happened! A zombie was chasing me around outside my home and he fell into a little hole in the ground! I blocked off the top and opened a little window on the side to look at him. These things are so weird. The moan and groan constantly, as would be expected from zombies, but they apparently also bounce at all times. It's like he's stuck on some sort of jumpy-thingie. Like a tambourine you jump on. A jumpourine!

I think I'll name him Pogo.


If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that the monsters are getting more violent and restless. Every time I go up to the gold, there's a new spider or skeleton! I haven't started mining the gold yet, as I want to light up some more of the caverns it branches out into. Wouldn't want a creeper to creep up on my and creep--err - explode and kill me.


I think I may have broken a leg. I was up in the cave-loft (as I'm coming to know it as), lighting up the area when I spotted the creeper moving towards me in the shadows. I immediately spun around to run back the way I came and tripped on a rock and fell into a ditch running just deep enough to prevent my escape. To my left was a six-meter drop down to my base and behind me was the creeper already hissing and ready to blow. I had no choice but to jump.

Now, I'm just waiting for my wheat to finish growing - it's almost done - and then maybe I can mine that damn gold.


I renovated my first cacti trap again. Now it's even more efficient! I'm going to go check up on Pogo and then off to the gold!

---End of Day Four---

 The journal ends there.

The body was discovered not far from the dugout.

The scene was unpleasant.

Ending Score:

Zombie kills: 14 = 7pt
Spider kills: 8 = 8pt
Skeleton kills: 8 = 8pts
Creeper kills: 5 = 10
Pumpkins harvested: 3 =2pts
Jack-o-Lantern get! = 2pts
Bread get!: = 4pts
Iron Block get!: = 2pts
Bow and 64 Arrows get!: = 10pts

Total: 55pts


I found the 404 challenge thanks to Paulsoaresjr. I've been watching his Minecraft videos since I got into them
late last year. They're great vids, especially his tutorial videos (if you want to start up Minecraft for yourself.) Anyway. It was a very challenging adventure. Took me five tries to get down into the cave alive. I admit that I kind of expected things to last a bit longer though. In fact, I almost completely blame my death on a customer issue (I was playing at lunch at work) I had to deal with in the middle of fighting a skeleton. I had paused the game to deal with the issue, and when I returned I had forgotten what was happening. It cost me a few extra hits I didn't need and when I killed him, I'm pretty sure that Pogo somehow escaped from his prison and did me in.

No big deal, that's point of a challenge. If it was easy, it would be boring.

I fully intend on trying again, but I don't know if I'm going to do another journal for it. If you liked this and would like me to make a second in-character journal, leave me a comment either here or on Facebook and I'll very likely do it. If not, no biggie. Thanks for reading! 

404: Day Three

---Day Three--- 

I've taken to transporting the lava around my base and depositing into little dug-outs. The light it sheds is wonderful and soothing. It's like my cave is littered with some sort of lamps made of lava. Using my new technique, I've been able to explore around my base a while. I'm getting more and more brave as time goes on.
What's that sound?



Ok, everything's fine. The creeper's explosion took out my garden, but I had enough seeds stored away in my chest that I was able to re-plant everything. I had to use almost all the bone meal I'd collected to rapidly regrow them so that I could make enough bread to heal myself, so I'm going to need some more bones here soon- WHAT IN THE---


No more! I put a lava lamp in the hallway leading to my cactus trap, so hopefully nothing else will crawl from the darkness and into my humble home again. At least I have plenty of bones now thanks to the amazing skeleton bros. who decided to follow the creeper's example and try to take me out. I'm too wily, you see!


Perhaps I'm getting to gutsy. Perhaps this cave doesn't like my confidence. Perhaps the creepers can smell it.

So I found a tunnel around the back side of my home that lead to a huge pile of gravel. I was humbly shoveling through it, searching for some flint to make arrows, when the whole stack shifted and revealed another section of the cave above.

I used the landscape to my advantage and climbed up the gravel to peek out from beneath the rock. I was able to kill a couple skeletons and a few zombies without an issue.

Then the creepers came.

The first one wasn't a problem. I dispatched him as easily as the other monsters. The second one was on to my tricks, however. He jumped up on top of the stone above my head and detonated himself! I thought I was dead. My vision went white and blue, and I seriously thought I'd gone to Heaven. Eventually, I was able to come to my senses and saw the gaping hole the explosion left.

After I plugged it back up, I took inventory of my limbs. I was surprised to find that the explosion hadn't hit me at all. I was perfectly fine.

I took my new outlook on life and cowered in the corner, sobbing myself to sleep. I woke up some time ago. I'm no longer the blubbering, useless pile of terror I was when I fell asleep, but I'm definitely never, never going back out there.



So I was outside my base, building up my defenses with another cactus trap when I heard some spiders through the wall. I think there's some running water up there, too. Tomorrow, I'm going to break through and get myself a fresh water source!

Score so far:

Zombie kills: 13 = 6.5pt
Spider kills: 6 = 6pt
Skeleton kills: 6 = 6pts
Creeper kills: 5 = 10
Pumpkins harvested: 3 =2pts
Jack-o-Lantern get! = 2pts
Bread get!: = 4pts
Iron Block get!: = 2pts

Total: 40.5pts

404: Day Two

---Day Two---

Just finished expanding my tree hole. I'm near total exhaustion, but I finished, and this time it seemed to work! I grew a tree and was able to cut it down without any of the leaves getting caught in any nearby lava!

 I'm feeling a bit more confident today ('day' being a relative term. It's impossible to tell time down here. The one day I forget my watch, sheesh). Yesterday, I managed to kill a giant spider and got some string from it. I think that if I can collect enough string from these beasts, I may be able to fashion a bow. The stupid skeletons give new meaning to the phrase 'I'll take it to my grave' with those bows of theirs - they seem to fall apart into dust when I kill one!

I have collected some of their arrows, though. They seem to be made from ordinary sticks (easy to make, thanks to my insta-tree formula), flint, and the feathers that the zombies inexplicably seem to be carrying. I've already collected some feathers, and flint should be pretty easy to find in any ordinary gravel pile. Look out, monsters, I'm coming for you!


I don't know what science has wrought, but I had a run-in with what could possibly be the most dangerous creature ever known. These horrid little green guys walk on four legs, but stand as tall as you or me. The move silently, creeping around the dark. I'd seen glimpses of them through the shadows before, but never had the displeasure of meeting one up-close. Until now.

You see, these things have but one method of fighting: they explode. That's right, these phallic monstrosities defend themselves by self-destructing and taking out anything and everything nearby.

I had opened a hole in the ceiling just outside my hidey-hole and saw two giant spiders. The eight-legged freaks are too big to fit into such a small opening, so I took the opportunity to stick my sword out and gut the bastards as they were jumping up and down, trying to get to me.

I had just killed one and collected my string when I saw a flash of green and heard a terrible hiss. I had barely enough time to back off when KABOOM! The little hole I had created expanded to a gaping crater leading up to a massive chamber. I'm lucky to have survived with little more than a bruised ass. I grabbed the string left by the other spider and ran back to safety.

The worst thing is that this cave is filled with those creeps.


I made my bow!


Having shaken off the adrenalin rush from my brush with death, I felt the need to secure the spider-hole. After a bit of work, I closed it back up and blocked off a few of the tunnels leading out into the darkness. I ended up even going so far as crafting a makeshift door out of wood.

But while I was out, exploring and renovating the outside of my cave, I spotted a skeleton inside. The bastard was hopping around next to my workbench, taunting me through the window. "Ha ha! The tables have turned!" it seemed to say, then proceeded to trample my crops! All fear left my body as a flood of rage cascaded in. I ran inside as quickly as I could and slew the beast. Fortunately, none of my wheat had been damaged.

After I calmed down, the fear returned like a dark curtain, clouding everything sane and rational. My home had been infiltrated.

Suddenly, I could hear them again; all the creaking, moaning, and yes, hissing. Monsters splashing around in the water outside, monsters crying out in the lava above and below, unspeakable horrors clawing at the walls. I panicked. I knew that the darkness brought the monsters. I knew that the jack-o-lanterns and the small pools of lava just wasn't enough. I needed more light. Had to have light. And so, a crazy plan hatched in my distraught mind: make a bucket. Move the lava.

I see now how crazy of an idea that is, but you know what's even crazier? It worked. I made myself a bucket (I don't remember entirely where I got the iron, but now there's a suspicious hole near my cactus trap...) and started toting around the lava like it was water from a well. I dug little holes here and there and filled them with the hot magma.

I'm not sure how or why it worked. The very idea of moving hot lava in a metal pail sounds ludicrous, but it worked, and now I feel safe.

---End of Day Two---

Score so far:

Zombie kills: 8 = 4pt
Spider kills: 3 = 3pt
Skeleton kills: 4 = 4pts
Pumpkins harvested: 3 =2pts
Jack-o-Lantern get! = 2pts
Bread get!: = 4pts

Total: 19pts

Friday, April 15, 2011

404: Day One

---Day One---

There are noises everywhere. I can hear them in the walls, in the ceiling, even under the floor. Groaning, creaking, hissing... constantly, echoing everywhere. I know they're there, in the darkness. Moving, shuffling, swimming... I've walled myself in. There's very little light, and it's very hot, but I think I'll be safe... for now. I was lucky enough to survive the fall... barely, and I can't sit here forever, though. I only have limited supplies. All that I had with me from the surface is already dwindling... I've made a crude farm with the seeds I picked, and fortune smiled on me that some water is flowing just on the other side of my wall - my saving grace - to keep the soil moist. Hopefully the wheat will grow, and then I can have bread.

It was one hell of a drop. I was having a pretty good day too. I had even stumbled upon a small group of pumpkins! I carved them up and put some candles in them to make some quick jack-o-lanterns. That's proving to be one of the best things I could have done, because without them, I would only have the faint light of the nearby lava to see by. Not that there's a lack of that of course, but the lava scares me almost as much as the clanking of bones that even now won't cease! Argh! It's driving me crazy! And those monster's even carry bows and arrows! I had to remove a few from my backside upon walling myself in! Too bad the arrows were to badly damaged to used again, they would have come in handy.

If I ever get out of here alive, the first thing I'm going to do is wall up that cursed sink-hole that brought me into this hell! Fill it in with rock and dirt! Never again will it take someone to these cursed depths! Not that that's very likely, though. I was pretty well removed from anything resembling civilization when I fell. Of course, all that means now is... oh god...  no chance of rescue... Heaven help me.


I used some cacti and sand that I had gathered to set a trap! I realized that some of the monsters were getting caught in the current of water and ending up pushing right against my wall. I dug a little around to direct the current, planted my cacti on either side, then blocked off all but a small bit at the bottom so that they can't get in! They still try, of course. These creatures aren't smart. They get caught in the water and then die on my cacti! Best yet, when they die, things they were holding - or sometimes parts of them - get sucked under the rock and right to me!

I was able to make some bonemeal out of bones the skeletons drop. I also happen to know that bonemeal makes for great fertilizer. Long-story-short, I now have plenty of bread! I have some saplings with me too. I don't know if it'll work, but if I can hollow out enough space, I may even be able to grow a tree. If so, then my supplies may not be as limited as I thought!


Score! I was expanding my cactus-trap a bit and I found some iron, then some diamond! Using some coal I found a bit ago, I was able to smelt the iron in my stone furnace and then fashion an iron sword and an iron pick axe. With said pick, I mined away at that diamond and recovered enough for some new boots. They're a bit too flashy and uncomfortable for my tastes, but they're a hell of a lot better than my old beat-up leather boots. Every bit of protection helps!


Ran into a snag. A big one. But then, aren't they all? While digging out a big enough space to plant my tree in, I discovered that my hidey-hole takes residence directly below a lake of lava (that explains this damned heat...). Fortunately, due to my quick wits and handy cobble, I was able to block off the lava flow without getting burned up. When I tried to mine down, I broke into not one, but two more lava lakes on either side! Argh! Why do the gods of fate despise me so!


OK. Ok. I'm done. It was a lot of work, risky as all get out, and I even singed my shirt a bit, but I'm done. I blocked off all of the lava flow (walled 'em up good!) and finished my pit. Now, for my first attempt at a tree...


Ok. The fire is out. *sigh* back to the drawing board.

--- End of Day One ---

Score so far:

Zombie kills: 2 (at half a point each) = 1pt
Spider kills: 1 = 1pt
Pumpkins harvested: 3 =2pts
Jack-o-Lantern get!: 2pts
Bread get!: 4pts

Total: 10pts

Minecraft 404 Challenge

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Thoughts: Pokemon Black and White

If you know me, you know that I'm positively obsessed with the core Pokemon games (core meaning the RPG-style color-named games, I've never gotten into any of the spin-off games such as the Mystery Dungeon or the Ranger games). I've put more hours into Pokemon Diamond than Fallout 3. I've got more fan art saved on my computer than any other anime/video game source combined.

For those of you who didn't know that (you're reading this, seriously?) you may scoff at the fact that Pokemon is so big to me. To you I say; grow up.

Not only do the Pokemon games appeal to a collector's nature using colorful, creative, and a seemingly ever-expanding list of creatures to capture, but it also appeals to a strategist's nature. I'm not comparing Pokemon to chess or Civilization Revolution or anything, but anybody who play's Pokemon competitively will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Pokemon Black and White versions (as of this time, I've beaten them both) are exactly what we've come to expect: pick a starter (grass, water, fire) and set off on an adventure to capture hundreds of dangerous animals and stuff them in little balls and then stuff those into a computer, never to see the light of day again until you need to breed the little bastards over and over again until you get that perfect addition to your team.


They changed some things up in this generation, for better or worse.

First, let's talk about some of the Poke's that appear. All 150 Pokemon that appear in the games are brand new. No more geodude or zubat to drive you nuts in this iteration, oh no! Now, we get such charming annoyances such as woobat:

and patrat (AKA: hypnosquirrel)
So, expect to be tired of these guys really quickly.

Like the rest of the games, this one features the good:
the bad:

and the ugly:

This generation however, seemed to be more pronounced in those categories than we're used to. Normally, I can look at a bad-looking Pokemon and think "Okay, maybe it would be neat to train up if done correctly", or "maybe if you squint...". This time though, we get some wonderful gems like Derpfish up there. I hate that thing. Bad.

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, we get some sweet Mon's like Heydreigon (the King Ghidorah thing up there) or Haxorus:

Yes. That's an axe for a FACE.

At this point, I've trained up two teams to level 80 and I'm already piecing together a third team in my head.

I won't even get into the huge Smugleaf vs. Wotter debacle the internet exploded into after the starters were revealed last year. Here's a hint, though:
Imagine that the pig is a greater-than sign.

Now to start nit-picking! I have some minor complaints/compliments for the game.

PRO! HM moves are NOT required to get through the game! The HMs still exist, but they're mostly used as a method to get to special items and areas, and sometimes to create a shortcut. Strength boulders stay where they were moved, cutable trees are kept to a minimum, dive is used to get to a secret area, and there isn't a smashable rock anywhere in sight!

CON! The world map is boring. Don't get me wrong, sometimes simpler is better. Generation IV had a huge complex maze-like mess of routs and cities that was split in half by pain-in-the-ass mountain. But it was interesting. Generation V has a circle. Whoooo. I found myself caring a lot less for the world in B&W than I did any other generation. Kanto was classic. Johto was scenic. Hoenn was tropical. Sinnoh was mountainous and complex. Unova is... full of bridges? I don't miss the HM obstacles from past games, but they at least added some puzzel-ey complexity and character to the routs. In Unova, I found most in-betweens to be pretty dull.

PRO! TMs are reusable. Gone are the days where I save every TM like a paranoid pack-rat for fear that I would eventually train up a team and need that one move to make it perfect.

CON! FAR too much NPC involvement. What happened to the "You're 10 now! Off you go into the world to fend for yourself and do the professor's job!" mentality of the old? Now, you can't take ten steps without an NPC running up to you to tell you about how strength isn't the most important thing or that Team Plasma is bad.

PRO! The story was... interesting? I hesitate to call it good because, let's face it. It's Pokemon. But still, the storyline was a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter style of the previous games, and it actually had somewhat of a twist!

In all, I enjoyed the games (and will continue to enjoy them) for the most part, but I will miss the older regions I spent most of my DS's life in. Besides, what other game has the fighting/steel legendary I dubbed 'Pony Stark':

It's funny because he's ridiculous!