Virtual On: Cybertroopers

Monday, March 31, 2008

Once upon a time, I didn't have any computer games at home. I wasn't allowed to use the family computer and I didn't have an SNES, PC, or PS1. I only had the arcade to play at, and a very large part of my memory of those days involved only two things: associating with shady, rugby-smelling people I wouldn't be caught associating with anywhere else, and playing Virtual On: Cybertroopers.

At some point in my life, included in my list of things I just had to do in this lifetime was to take home a game cabinet of Virtual On (see picture) - and only so I can make sweet love to it and have Virtual On children (if electrocution via junk didn't kill me). I loved this game that much.

The game is basically a one-vs-one third person fighting simulation of one mech called a virtuoid going against another virtuoid across varying locations from forests to space stations.

There were 8 mechs to choose from, each with varying advantages and disadvantages, like the Viper-II that was quick as heck but had paperthin armor that went up in smoke the moment it touched anything more damaging than killer intentions. Others like the Raiden were slow and cumbersome but had thick armor and anti-ship weaponry that basically vaporized Viper-II types so hard, it punched holes on player egos as well.

Controls were pretty novel for its time, hell it's still as novel even now. Virtual On took the then shitty Sega Cyberslide's dual joystick idea and made it actually fun to use. Moving the right joystick up and the left down, made you rotate. Moving joysticks in the same direction made you move forward/backward/strafe. Seperating the sticks made you jump and putting them close together made your mech guard. Boosters are placed on top of each joystick and triggers for different types of weaponry are also provided. Locking on was semiautomatic, so as long as you have yoru enemy on sight, you will always be facing that enemy. Even up until now, this control configuration is still unrivaled in easy of use and flexibility when it comes to robot-simulation games. (FUCK YOU GUNDAM BANDAI).

Gameplay is relatively simple. You use your mech's weapons to destroy your enemy before or until the time runs out. In single player, you will be given 4 enemies and your time will be measured. If you're not fast enough, you will be given a penalty stage facing a midgame boss that took many coins to the underworld. Ranks will be given ranging from C, B, S, SS, SSS, and finally the rank I've only gotten once in my life, A. (one of my life's greatest achievements, sadly) If you get past that, you fight another five enemies and complete the game.

One of the greatest joys in this game is that while it's very intuitive to play, there's a great dose of strategy and skill involved for multiplayer. Since there are very few complex move combinations, you focus more on using the stage to the advantage of what weapons you have. At one point, I remember an ad hoc league being formed in SM Bacoor just for this game. There's no joy greater than demolishing your enemy without a single bullet ever grazing you.

The only letdown of this game is that the joysticks on the machines were very quick to break, and once one of them has broken down, the machines are next to useless. After a while they all just disappeared from arcades everywhere and the game is lost in antiquity.

Lost, to most people anyway. A PC port still exists, capable of network gameplay and with video-card supported graphics so the look of the game is still decent. Some hacking is necessary to make the game work but it's well worth the hassle. The joystick control may be missing, but the experience is still as close to the real thing as it gets.

This game is one classic you shouldn't let slip past you. There are several sites for downloading online, or alternatively i can give you a copy of the game if it's not too much of a hassle for me (it becomes less of a hassle if you give me a good reason to give you a copy).

Virtual On is still the standard by which all mech fighting games are measured. So far, it's irreplaceable - at least until they find a way to give this game's sequel online connectivity.

French Shaider

Friday, March 28, 2008

During the time Shaider was ragingly popular in the Philippines, it was also popular in France. It was basically the same show, except due to localization, there were some things left out in translation. Shaider as I remember it had the most horrible monsters in any japanese children's action show. If it's not a guy who has more exposed red nerves than a throbbing dong, it's a large face that expectorates whole eggs. The fallen angel monster that dances to the Makafushigi song from one episode kinda defined an entire decade of fearing old women for me (note that this monster wasnt even one of the bigger profile monsters.) Long story short, Shaider was anything but a happy show to watch.

And then the French stepped in.

You can always expect from the country that calls its own capital "gay" to make things more festive than usual. I was half expecting Shaider to remove his helmet, wear a beret and start doing cancans with Annie halfway into the clip.

Gotta love France. Great food too.

edit: the original link was lost, and the alternative doesnt allow embedding. Sorry about that.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

There was once a knight sent to a mission to retrieve a holy relic deep in the bowels of an evil castle. At first the knight was very hesitant to go as he had just been married to his childhood sweetheart a few days before he received notice.But sensing that there was no changing his fate, he accepted and did his best to stay alive.

At the end of the quest, he found the relic. The relic housed an evil djinn and whoever touches the relic will have the ability to change into anybody except himself - in exchange for the bearer's current life.

The knight was extremely saddened when he realized this, as he had already touched the relic. When the Djinn told him of his fate and asked him who he wanted to become, the knight smiled and most gently replied, "If being myself is out of the option, I'd like to be my wife's second husband."


Sometimes we are put in situations that are far from what we had in mind. From these situations we are deprived of options that will allow us to get what we want. Because of this we are confronted with the frustration of having to settle with something that we did not have as first choice. Life is often like that. Sometimes the quickest way to go about something is to not have a plan at all, but to have the goal taken to heart and adapt to the changes around us. There are always more than one path to something if you want it badly enough, and the only way to see those paths is to have an open mind and a heart that stays connected to your dream.

Looking for something to hang? Hang yourself instead.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Now here's one fad I don't think I'll ever get. Why do people insist hanging large stuff like mobile phones on their necks? What kind of idiot would think it's fashionable to have something the size of a grown man's fist dangling on their collarbone?

One common reason people give me whenever I decide to hurt my brain more by asking ask is that they want their phones to be accessible. What the fuck? Is pulling your phone out of your pocket/bag that much of a delay? That can't take more than five seconds to do now can it? I can understand if these people are some part of an emergency response team who need to answer calls ASAP. We can't all be firemen now, can we? Trust me, your best friend Macky complaining about how his callcenter work sucks ass wont mind if you answer 3 seconds slower than usual.

I don't know about your standards for aesthetics but dangling a cellphone on your neck looks hideous - at par with having it attached to your belt, batman style (yes, people still do this, and more often than you'd think). I won't even begin to discuss how much of a hassle it is to other people when an exposed phone rings compared to when it's somewhere tucked in - gist of it is that it sucks major ass.

Then there's that small issue of us living here in the PHILIPPINES, where phones are hot items to steal. Wearing one around your neck turns you into a criminal's version of the party "pabitin", minus the beautiful colorful trimmings.

Now, getting mugged is nobody's fault. Shit happens to the best of us. But wearing something to steal around your neck is basically asking for it, which I have to say, is ridiculously dumb.

And if it ended with cellphones I'd probably not even write this article, but lately people have been attaching more than just cellphones. Just the other day I saw a PSP hanging on some douchebag's neck. A PSP. In case you aren't familiar with the PSP's most distinct feature, it's LARGE. Hanging it around your neck will most likely cause you to get some sort of sore neck syndrome or some obscure neck disorder they haven't had a name for yet.

To the guys, listen. A PSP hanging around your neck is tantamount to a pussy deflector, a wooden sign that says "I'm a retard, ignore any conversations I might try to strike up." and a biohazard warning rolled into one.

I don't even see the point of hanging a game device around the neck. If taking calls cant be that much of a priority, even more so for casual gaming. Shit just doesn't make sense anymore.

You know what? Screw it. Hang those things around your neck. At least I'll easily be able to tell if somebody's one the people who I shouldn't be associating with.

And that's something for the better.

On Cory and The Country

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This blog has 560 posts since a little over a year and a half ago. Less than five of them have been about politics. This one I just have to let out of my system. *hinga*


She's not all that you think she is. More than half of the people who will be reading this probably learned of her first through school text books. The very same books that told you you were either Indones, Malay, or Ita and nothing else, not considering the influx of the Chinese, and every race with three cannons and 20 guns that decided to invade us. The same book that said democracy was the only thing the Americans had in mind during their occupation. Yeah, those books.

Think about it now. If you really think hard, Cory could've easy been any other Filipino. Just so happens that she was THE Ninoy Aquino's spouse. Stock economy would've taken off after the Marcos regime no matter who sat down as president. The enacted 1986 constitution was something mandatory and it would've happened no matter who sat down as president.

She looks larger than life because she became a symbol of our emergence from the dictatorship of Marcos. That was well over 20 years ago, I think we can stop kissing her toes now. Symbolizing freedom, she did well. We should've let her stop there.

Her administration was hellbent on taking another direction. If you were born around my time, you'd remember brownouts. Can you recall when those brownouts happened most often? Yeah, her administration. At least during Marcos's time they were using blackouts for a reason. I won't even go to that bit about rice shortage. That'll just make me rage even more. Where was she during all this? She was standing in the middle, wearing yellow.

Then there was the declaration of full governmental bankruptcy and the consequential acceptance of ALL known debt from the previous government, dooming our nation to a life of financial slavery for the next N years. Unknown to many, a new administration can actually deny debts from the previous one on good grounds. Remember Bataan nuclear power plant? Yeah, we just took a big one up our ass back then and didn't even wonder where all the overpricing profits went. We just said "Sure, we'll pay for those too!"

She couldn't even send a single Marcos crony to jail for pete's sake. She did jail a journalist or two. Corruption was in fact rife even then. The only difference between her and PGMA is that back then, we were too ecstatic that we were no longer being outrightly oppressed by a regime and completely forgot about other problems like corruption. Just looking at how Hacienda Luisita remains as one of the largest and most politically protected lands owned by families in Central Luzon tells you something about the Aquinos.

I won't be a sunovabitch seer and say everything could've been helped. We were really out of money and yeah we had issues. But clearly we could have done better. Money was in fact pouring in from investors despite all those problems but with a weak president in the lead, we were too busy getting raped by our own hands to do something with the cash.

I feel bad for her that she has cancer, but she's no saint. Stop treating her like one! And quit saying it's Kris Aquino's fault. Kris never tried to cover up farmers being shot for trying to protest for what is clearly theirs.

Stop acting like stupid sheep and read beyond the text books.

End political-related rant. Don't expect another one anytime soon, as shit like this leaves a very bad aftertaste after everything's been written down. Really bad.


Monday, March 24, 2008

So when I was in HK last week, I got to work with the Thais again. Now, they're a bunch of nice diligent people, but they're not exactly the best people to talk with in English. By "not exactly the best" I mean 30 minutes with these guys and you know it's going to be a bitch living in their country without knowing Thaispeak.

Anyway, there's this guy named Boy (who I insist is Filipino, because only Filipinos usually use that name/nickame) who works for a project related to mine. One day, he walked up to me and handed out paper that has written on it something like this:

Hello, I am Boy from the team.

Please to meet you.

Are you from the team?

It seems the framework server in UAT is not connecting. Can you please restart it?

Thank you for your kindly assistance.

I thought, wow, it's the first time I've received snail mail at work delivered personally. And then something magical happened.

Boy started saying everything that was written on the paper, word per word.

I held up the paper in front of him and read along with him and I thought, holy shit. This is a major breakthrough.

Subtitles for real life! (complete with mistranslations)

Now if only we can make these subtitles hang below people's heads instead of being printed on paper....

Shortest update ever.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friend: why are hentai game opening songs cooler than anime opening songs?
Redkinoko: thats just your right hand talking

You're Not Unique. Stay Out Of My Face

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why do girls think it's still the revelation of the century when they say to guys they've had a relationship with another girl? The other day I was talking to this girl and for some reason she was able to bring up the topic of her "ex". And for some reason, she just had to mention her ex was a girl. "Oh and by the way, my ex was a girl," she said. I didn't say anything and waited what she has to say next. And waited. And then she finally said, "Well? Surprised?" Surprised what? That you wasted my time by not saying anything because you thought I'd gasp and start running around because I've never heard of girls getting it on with other girls? I think I lost a friend that day.

Listen. This is no lie. Every other girl I come in contact with has already claimed she's gone into some sort of a dry-run relationship with another girl. One out of five have already been in a serious relationship . One in ten probably claims to be in one. And five out of five Redkinokos you'll ever meet won't give a shit. I'm encountering girls proclaiming they're liberal more than I encounter solid Catholics. I don't even care if those are just lies to display liberalism or something. If it's not me getting any, it's none of my business.

It's a changing world and as far as I'm concerned, the whole lesbian thing has gotten people too jaded already. You're not special by being in a deviant relationship like girl-girl. Maybe 23 years ago I'd have been surprised, but good luck explaining that to me when at that age my biggest problems involve learning not to shit my self every time I have to do the doodoo.

Twenty years ago you wouldn't have said it anyway because along with surprised faces, they would have hosed you down as well since society wasn't as accepting back then.

And while we're at it, why do girls have to pretend they're lesbo in pictures? Do they think that'd turn guys on more? Listen, that doesn't make you any hotter than you are. If you look like shit, you'll just look like shit who likes girls. STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELF.

So maybe if you read this, the next time you think you're escapades in lesbianism/bisexuality/pseudo-lesbianism, keep it to yourself. Unless you're hot and you have videos to give me. Yes, I'm talking to you Anne Curtis and Toni Gonzaga. (hear me out)

Nintendo: The Lost Years

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

During the Famicom heyday, in an effort to capture the elusive and largely anti-Japanese Chinese market, Nintendo decided to re-release Super Mario Bros 2 with some slight modifications. In the Chinese version Mario is a Chinese plumber, the mushroom became custard cake, and the goombas became Taiwanese lawmakers.

It was a stupid idea, but by the time Nintendo realized it, they were already too late. Porcelain statues had already been made. Another lost entry, in Nintendo's history.

The Binibining Pilipinas 08 Retort

Monday, March 10, 2008

[semi-serious rant post]

For the uninformed, educate yourselves:

Long story short: somebody who had a bad accent and bad English won.

Okay, so the judges were most definitely smoking something that night. Either that or it's all part of another conspiracy abrew (plus points if you can tie this to the Arroyo administration). What I don't really get is why people are actually mad at her winning. And the longer the issue is running it seem, the less people's reactions feel like a steamed protest and the more it sounds like the roll of an angry hivemind mob.

Now I don't mind people getting pissed about things. What I'm pretty jizzed about is how people are going about expressing their raaaage. Let me first ask you this question: How many Filipinos who possess impeccable English do you come across daily ? I don't consider myself as a perfect English speaker but I can tell when somebody gigasucks in speaking English. I'll tell you my answer to that question. NOT A LOT, Id Est, BARELY EVEN THERE. Even those esteemed callcenter agents who might have good accents fuck their English up a lot as well orally. I won't even go so far as written English.

Point is, a vast majority of Filipinos have massive suckage written all over their aptitude reports as far as English is concerned. So where am I getting here? Check the difference between the two:

- I didn't think she should have won. The judges might have been busy fondling each other's cocks during the competition. Maybe we should stop choosing douchy overpaid assholes to choose our representatives for once.

- That gurl sux!! Her grammars is bad! AHAHAHA! ... She didnt deserves to win! (actual youtube comment)

See my point? If somebody approaches me and uses the first statement in a conversation I'd casually reply my honest opinion. If that same person uses the second statement, I'd openly answer with the back of my hand addressed to his/her right cheek in a dignity-saving bitchslap. Unless you can speak better than whoever you're condescending, you best be hiding the fact you're just as retarded by staying quiet.

Actually scratch that. The fact that you know better than her should at least give you enough knowledge that English is a hard language to master, and that most people will spend their lives using it and never really get any better than that repor'tard who keeps on misusing your/you're on Shame shame.

I spent time on the stage too. I have stagefright. While other speakers imagine the crowd as seminaked, no matter how hard I try, I always see them as rabid chipmunks from hell. It's scary up there. I doubt many people will ever understand what I'm talking about, but if I were talking to her as a judge, I wouldn't be as surprised to see her fuck her answer up in such an ungodly manner the way she did. It's perfectly excusable in her position and NOBODY who hasn't tried standing in front of such a huge audience in impromptu act can speak righteously.

And to the guys who say she shouldn't have won, be honest. Fuck you. Be honest. You know damn right that when nobody's asking about her eligibility in winning anymore you wont even think twice about considering whether or not you'd agree she's tappable (unless you are a nerd and your standards have been unusually upped by a constant stream of porn)

If ever there's anything this pageant has proven, it's not that the pageant itself sucks. It's that the crowd its supposed to represent is well represented. Enjoy your fucked up mentalities.

Now let me go watch my streaming porn.

Red on Metaphysics

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I just got back from mainland China today and I'm happy to say that their skills in making pirated copies of things have reached a point where you can think of almost any product and find a cheaper bootleg version of that in the Shenzhen mall. In the future, if ever we find a way to open a wormhole and discover a parallel alternate universe, it's not too farfetched to think China had something to do with its existence. And if ever that's the case, I'm halfguessing the spelling of your counterpart's name is f'ed up but just by a bit, kinda like the way Sony becomes Sany. I can't wait to meet Rod Kinako. He'd probably be just like me, but he breaks down twice as fast under pressure.

Anyway, I still don't have a cardreader so I won't be able to upload any pictures from the trip yet. Expect are more detailed account of my funfilled trip to "that city just outside hongkong and just across the seventh circle of hell".

Just kidding. It's an awesome place, unless you're Edu. Edu Manzano would probably go nuts if he goes there. Should it be safe to say that when the illegal becomes legal, catching all the illegal stuff becomes illegal? If so we should be seeing a Videogram "Wanted" poster somewhere there soon.


Memories of the Family Computer

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If you lived your childhood around the same time as me, and if you didn't live under a goddamn rock or some oppressed dictator-run country, you probably would have come across one of these on either your living room, your friend's living room, or an "arkilahan" which is basically just a house with lots of famicoms you can rent:

The Family Computer. Winner of the Parent's Choice Award for
Tool of Satan of The Year from 1990-1994.

Here are a few things that I remember about the good ol' famicom:

1. Everybody insists you can actually jump over the goddamn flagpole in Super Mario 2, yet nobody ever does. There's always that "friend of a friend who used to date (granted he's old enough) this guy who works at Nintendo Philippines who said it can be done." No one ever did.

2. The FamiCom adapter is almost as fragile as the XBox360, burning out after extended usage. I was told it had to be let to cool every now and then. Being the nerd that I am, I didn't wait for the natural air convection to cool the adapter for me. I put it in the fucking freezer. Up until now the adapter still smells like longanisa.

3. Cartridges can only be cleaned by blowing air into it - from your mouth. I'm not sure why or who thought of the idea that saliva coming in contact with sensitive chips might fix things, but whatever works, works.

4. Other catridges need more special handling, like inserting coins or bits of paper into the cartridge slot so the cartridge can get a snug fit. My mom said those tex the young me used to gamble with were useless. Well, it helped me play my favorite NES games when I used them as padding, so yeah.

5. Nobody ever really knew why Popeye had to grab all those hearts or letters from Olive. We thought being a sailor entailed kicking serious ass (i.e. Bluto's) but it was quite disappointing to find ourselves running away from the enemy 90% of the time and actually enjoy it.

6. Any cartridge that claims it has more than 100 games in it, (1000 in 1, 500 in 1, 300 in sparta) is lying. It's just the same game given five different entries depending on what kind of hack was applied to it. If you're lucky you get to play with Mario in Street Fighter. If you're unlucky, you just get extra lives in Excite Bike (tip: nobody gives a shit about lives in Excite Bike).

7. The FamiCom was the 90's official reason that parents used when they see their kids failing at life. Every single problem was blamed on the existence of this "Satan's Entertainment System". If the government could get away with it, they would've blamed the Baguio Earthquake on the existence of too many NES units in that city. Or something.

8. Rockman passwords are the only reason why red pens are important to kids. I also had to learn the hard way up up down down left right A B select start didn't work in real life. A friend I used to cut classes to go to a computer rental house before got run over by a truck on his way back. The kid didn't respawn. Bad thing the 30 lives cheat didn't work. Good thing we didn't share lives like in Contra.

9. The Duck Hunt dog was an asshole.

Gundam Condoms

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Going back to the idea of product marketing being a somewhat good industry to use common sense, there's still one place in this world that serves an exception to this rule, where normal marketing can be assumed as a shunned upon practice. I'm talking about Japan.

I got good reason to think that they don't make products there to cater to a certain demographic (i.e. children, housewives, programmers, yakuza). In Japan, demographics actually form around the product instead (pokemon, anime in general etc). I mean why else would anybody want to buy a Pikachu figurine costing thousands of dollars that does jackshit?

Still, I'd like to think there are some shitty decisions you can make in a place where unconventional is encouraged. Take for example these:

Gundam condoms. Not taking into consideration hardcore collectors (who, safe to say, will buy anything nowadays), who else would find use for these? I'm no expert at statistics but I'm guessing Gundam is the only show on the planet where percentage of virgins watching the show is higher than that of Barney and Teletubbies.

Okay, let's consider that one gundam watcher is actually able to get a girl. And convince the girl that he's man enough to get into the sack with her. At this point we're already talking about astronomical odds but let's just think hypothetically.

So the anime geek and the girl hook up. They begin making out. Let's not elaborate on that, since I'm not into imagining people making out when I'm not the guy involved.

Then, at the last moment, the guy whips out a packet from his Naruto ninja bag. It's a "love cannon" condom complete with print-ons of his favorite mecha on the latex. Here's the question: Now, what kind of self-respecting girl would want to get slampieced by something that could quite possibly be infectious enough to turn her into a nerd in a matter of seconds? You might as well take out a damn carrot plucked out of fresh soil and point it at her genitalia.

You know what would've been a better idea? Gundam Kleenex, with hentai printed on ever tissue. That would really sell. I should've gotten into marketing instead.

Some days I just wonder if I'm at the right occupation.

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