The Arcane Art of Steeling Oneself for the Tentacles

Okay, this is it! No more fun and games! Welcome, ladies and gentleladies to 2017’s Big PushTM where dreams become reality. Very select ones at least. Watch the updates getting actually regular for this short, beautiful time.

One of the great Internet personalities and auteurs of our time, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw is responsible, among other things, for a moderately colorful suite of adventure- and action-oriented games. His most famous recurring character, and perhaps the closest semblance of an alter ego, might be found in Trilby, Gentleman Thief, tracing the untraceable footsteps of such memorables as Simon Templar (“The Saint”), Sir Charles Litton (from the Pink Panther movies I brought up earlier), and – inevitably – Dennis Moore (riding through the night!). These kinds of characters tend to either respond, in earnest, to stimuli from the temporo-parietal junctions or maintain lofty self-imposed standards in their lawless pursuits. Keeps life satisfying, and, in the less sociable types, bolsters an allaying sense of superiority.

Keeping vicariously in line with this ‘leet larcenist’s reputation, ‘Soulless’ tonight makes me the proud inductor of Trilby: The Art of Theft into the underhandedly amassed trove with his masterfully planned and executed 0:20:21 that starts from a completely fresh file and leaves no [precious] stone unturned [into hard liquid cash], ending up with a 100% all Trilby-ranks completion, all in one long bated exhalation. This is probably the most harrowingly difficult category, because even one alarm or alert poisons the hat man’s finicky ego, and with every near miss you can just feel the air getting more and more saturated with perspiration and stress hormones… your own, that is.

From one story-verse to another – there’s wicked, cool things afoot AT the foot of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s fictitious but, at the time, uncontradictable concoctions: The Antarctic Mountains of Madness. If you don’t let the opening sequence, wanly suggestive of a B-grade military comedy flick, divert your mind from the utter [thitherto undebunked] horror of those austere final frontiers of mankind’s earthly promulgation, you might just fall for Prisoner of Ice – a 1995 point’n’click “flick” and sequel to Shadow of the Comet from two years earlier. It was credited for graphics and story if nothing else. I’m not sure if it’s part of the artistic vision, but these characters do look like Thunderbirds dolls and might just have been rotoscoped for that smooth-ass smooth feel.

So they’re on a sub and they’ve just picked up a couple deep-frozen crates and a semi-living man from God knows where. The crates obviously have tentacle monsters in them and the crew are NOT to let them thaw. Well guess what thaws and snatches helmsman Roberts before fifteen clicks in… What clicks those were though! According to the Yours Truly from verification, the 0:23:58 has execution on the universally vaunted “blitzkrieg-level”, by the saying of which I’ve inadvertently added to this whole warry scenery. We’re talking maxed-out exemplary action by this young rating! If you’re intrigued but don’t like gaming on the PC like Wilson Luiz ‘Chaser’ Oliveira does, there WERE ports for the PS1 and Sega Saturn but sounds like those were in Japanese, though retaining the English voice acting, and had loading times greater than a thousand of those infernal crates… Imagine all those asinine tentacles grasping at all kinds of struts and rails and bolts and things as you’re trying to shove them into the massively, unbelievably Faustian cargo hold!

From the icy sea to ‘igh fantasy. ‘Daegon’ today jolts the magicko-mechanical world of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura into fleeting but lively animation, like casting a coin into the open trunk of a mime doing the statue act. “Jolt” is also one of the spells, but apparently it’s even better to go with “Agility of Fire” which I like to picture as lighting two unsnuffable flames under you soles to bring out the cheetah in all of us. “Cheetah” is what is sometimes cried when one does the Sisyphean start-rewind shuffle, i.e. splits it up (into sixteen, say) to streamline it (by 1:04 into a 0:05:50, say), but not here on SDA it ain’t! If you’re not sure what to think of segmented runs, dear Reader, just consider Glenn Gould, one of the most singular classical musicians of modern times, whose celebrated joy and pride was to mix takes after a whole day of recording into one flawless routine to demonstrate what was meant, not what was mustered.

Look at the HQ encode of the run from a medium distance, at 00:07 when the runner shows his settings: it kinda looks like the difficulty is set to “Low” not “Easy”. This gave me palpitations because it would have meant that the run’s stat screen was WRONG.

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Source: Speed Demos Archive

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