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MAME 0.212

MAME 0.212

It’s the moment you’ve surely been waiting for: the release of MAME 0.212! A huge amount of work has gone into this release in a number of different areas. Starting with the software lists, you’ll find hundreds more clean cracks for Apple II, the Rainbow on Disk collection for Tandy Color Computer, all the latest Game Boy Advance dumps, and thousands more ZX Spectrum cassette images. Chess computers now support chess piece simulation using the built-in artwork, support has been added for several more chess computers from Hegener & Glaser, Novag and Saitek, and the Tasc ChessSystem R30 is now working. Three Game & Watch titles, Bomb Sweeper, Gold Cliff and Safe Buster, have been added for this release.
Protection microcontrollers continue to fall, with Rainbow Islands – Extra Version, Choplifter, Wyvern F-0, 1943: The Battle of Midway and Bionic Commando no longer needing simulation, hacks or patches. In some cases, the dumps have confirmed that the protection had been reverse-engineered correctly and the simulation was correct, but it's still important to preserve these programs. It’s also important for people repairing these systems if the original microcontrollers have failed.
There are three important sound-related fixes in this release: FM Towns CD audio playback positions have been fixed, Konami System 573 digital audio synchronisation has been improved, and a special low latency mode has been added for the PortAudio sound module.
For more advanced users and developers, more functionality has been exposed to Lua scripts and plugins. The layout file format has been overhauled to better support systems that make creative use of LEDs and LCDs. Disassembler support has been added for the Fujitsu F2MC-16 and National Semiconductor CompactRISC CR16B architectures. And if you've been following along, you might notice that we’ve waved goodbye to a little more of our C legacy with the removal of the MACHINE_CONFIG_START macro and its associated crud.
We don't have space to list all the Apple II and ZX Spectrum software list additions here, but they’re in the whatsnew.txt file. You get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

How to make Dishonored Shine on PC - Redux

This game came out 7 years ago (wow) and around the time of release there was a great thread on how to make the game looks it's best on PC, sadly that thread is now buried, and two of the main contributors to it have deleted their accounts, posts, screenshots and guides. The steam threads are also dead as at some point steam changed their forum urls. Since I just redownloaded the game for my yearly play through I though I would attempt to remake the post with all the things I have learned.
I have made a small album here of screenshots here, however I am not the greatest screenshotter ever, and I didn't have too much time to make these. These are 5k shots, but I had to save them as PNG and compress them to go online, so they aren't quite as nice as the ones on my HDD. I hope they show just how clean the edges are and nice the SweetFX looks.
So to make Dishonored better we need to cover: I. Config files II. Anti Aliasing / Super sampling III. Anisotropic Filtering IV. Ambient Occlusion V. Sweetfx / shaders VI. Hud modification
I'll also add in some known issues and workarounds I've learned.
I. Config files
This is easy, as approximately a thousand years ago a user called Kakkoi made this modified ini file. It has better LOD, less pop in, and better shadows, etc. Delete everything from your current file and paste this in. Link
I'd recommend making this file read only as mine seemed to change itself back.
NOTE: this file is compatible with KoD and Brigmore Witches, however it does have a small issue. If you start either DLC the new hotbar icons (as in, the ones for powers and gadgets that were not in the base game - Stun Mine, etc.) on your shortcuts and radial wheel will be missing and replaced by a placeholder "img" icon. If you allow the config to be overwritten, this will fix itself however it also seems to undo the graphics improvements. The game is perfectly playable without the icons, and if you use no HUD and no radial menu, like I do, you won't even notice. Your call on whether you want the improvements or the icons.
II. Anti Aliasing
The anti aliasing in Dishonored is trash let's be honest, but there are multiple ways we can improve this. The overall best way is supersampling, which is extremely easy these days.
NOTE: this guide uses Nvidia's DSR, which is on the Nvidia control panel and not available to AMD users. I understand AMD has a feature that provides almost the exact same result, however I've never used it. You will have to look this up yourself however the same rules should apply.
DSR is an user friendly method of supersampling which is when you force the game to render in higher resolutions and then downsampling to your monitor resolution providing much better edges. If you are on 1080p, 4x downsampling will mean you are running the game at 4K. If you are on 1440p and you downsample 4x, you are running the game at 5K, which looks glorious.
To activate DSR, right click on your desktop and hit Nvidia Control Panel, go to "Manage 3D settings" and find the setting for DSR.
Generally people agree that DSR is only worthwhile if you use the 4x factor, with the smoothing bar at zero. This is because 4x gives you perfect pixel scaling, and the smoothness bar applies a horrible FXAA style blur to edges to try and clean them up. If you are worried about performance using 4x you can try a lower setting, however Dishonored is old and not very demanding, I have seen video benchmarks of 100+ FPS at 4k with a 1050ti.
NOTE: if you are running downsampling but also want high refresh rates (over 60hz), see the bottom of the anti aliasing section. The game defaults and locks itself to 60Hz when you use DSR but there is a workaround.
This is not the only Anti Aliasing method that can be used, you can also force AA using your graphics driver, and if you have a decent pc, you can combine both SSAA and AA. It is glorious. Again, this guide covers Nvidia Inspector. There is a AMD alternative, but you'll have to find your own guide to use it. The info in here should mostly apply.
Download Nvidia Inspector
It's a portable application so put it somewhere safe. Run it and hit this button In the top bar search Dishonored.
At the top, where you see Anti Aliasing Compatibility, copy and paste this flag: 0x080100C5 It should look like this.
*NOTE: * If you have used inspector before you may have seen other flags recommended, as there are a few that work with Dishonored. This one seems to be the least known but also the best, and it has the best quality of AA and doesn't do that weird thing some of the other flags do where it leaves a one pixel tall strip of white along the top of the screen.
Now, scroll down to the section called Anti Aliasing. "Under Anti Aliasing - Mode" click the drop down and choose "Override Application setting".
NOTE: Although we have chosen "Override application setting", for this AA flag to work, you must choose the MLAA Option in the Dishonored Graphics options.
Where it says AA Transparency Multisampling make sure it is enabled. The next two options:
Antialiasing mode Transparency AA mode
are up to you based on your required framerate and your specs. For me, I had zero problem running the game at 5k resolution, with 8x Multisampling and 8x SGSSAA. This is a little extreme however. 4x on both will be plenty. If you want to go lighter for more fps 2x on each will do. Test different options out and see what is best for you.
If your card allows the feature, make sure to enable to MFAA option too. I won't go into what it does, but it's a good thing. Once you have done all of this hit apply.
For the lazy, confused or curious this is what my settings look like.
DSR + high refresh rate bug
Now, if you want to use DSR but also want high refresh rates, you will have to use this small workaround. When launching the game and setting up high resolutions (4k+), the game changes its refresh rate to 60, regardless of what your monitor supports. It does not cap the framerate however, meaning if you are getting 130 fps on a 60Hz game you will get severe screen tearing. I don't know if this is a DX9 thing, or if the game just assumes (at the time of the game at least) 4k panels could only manage 60Hz, or some other reason. Anyway, there is a fix. Once your DSR is enabled, before starting the game, open the Nvidia Control Panel (not Inspector) and go to the section Change Desktop Resolution. [If you click the dropdown you should see your DSR resolution along with all the standard resolutions.] If you click this, you will now be downsampling everything your computer runs. It may look a little weird, and the dialog box asking you to confirm your changes may be tiny, but once we are in game it will look fine. If you load the game with your screen already running in 4/5k, for some reason the game is perfectly happy to now run at whatever refresh rate your monitor is, which is good for us G Sync users. It is a little annoying to do this every time you start the game, but for me it is worth it and it only takes a second. Just remember - when you choose your new resolution to hit yes to confirm your changes. Otherwise after 30 seconds it reverts to your native res.
TL;DR: for DSR + high refresh - downsample your desktop and then run the game at "native" res.
III. Anisotropic Filtering Anisotropic Filtering is a little simpler, in Nvidia Inspector, go to the Anisotropic Filtering section, and copy the following settings
*IV. Ambient Occlusion * Ambient Occlusion is much the same. This one impacted my framerate a little, so YMMV. Copy the following settings, and if it impacts your performance, either change "Quality" to a lower setting or turn it off. It doesn't affect the visuals too much.
V. SweetFx and Shader (optional step)
SweetFx is... A problem. At the time of writing their site has been down for a few weeks(?) making choosing a preset difficult. The Reshade site is still up, however most Reshade presets are also hosted on the SweetFx site. There is hope however, as using this archive of the Wayback Machine, to visit the Dishonored page and download presets, however the screenshots and previews aren't working so it's kind of a pot luck download. I personally use K-Putt'e's config, so I can vouch for that one being great, however they are all different and it's down to personal taste. Keep in mind this entire step is optional so if you don't want to be digging through the Wayback machine and downloading random configs you can't see screenshots of I wouldn't blame you. Keep in mind also you should always use the exact SweetFx version the preset was made for, making trying lots of different presets difficult (I don't think this is entirely true, but after a certain version old configs won't work with new SweetFx versions so it's best just to be safe, same with Reshade versions too) however you could always try making your own if you have the time and know how. That's not covered in this guide though.
So, after all that, assuming you do want to use a sweetfx, this is how to do it:
Choose the preset you want. As I said I really like K-putt's preset, it removes the washed out feel and makes certain colours pop while also darkening the tone very slightly. It removes that weird green wash the whole game seems to have and darkens dark areas perfectly but keeps the game very playable, (just grim enough.)
Download the required SweetFx version for your preset. Open the archive and extract the files into Dishonored\Binaries\Win32 (it's the folder that has the actual Dishonored.exe in it.)
DELETE the following files: dxgi.fx, dxgi.dll, SweetFX_settings.txt
Paste in the config you have downloaded, and rename it SweetFX_settings.txt, replacing the one was already in there. Alternatively you can open your config, copy all the text, and paste it into the existing settings.txt. Either way.
When you start the game, if installed correctly you should see a difference immediately when booting up. You can test this by turning it on and off. The default key to turn it on and off is scroll lock, I recommend going through various levels and areas and comparing on and off to see the difference. I can't play without this preset now, it's amazing.
VI. HUD
OK, last bit. As much as I love dishonored I hate the god damn hud, with all its spiky bits and jaggy edges. We can fix a lot of this though. From the User Interface Menu you can turn on or off pretty much anything in the game. Nice. However a few things will remain. The cogs in the bottom right when you save or autosave, the little hand symbol when you are able to pick up an object, and the black bars during cutscenes. We can set up a key to FULLY turn off the HUD, to get fully immersed.
Open:
Documents/My Games/Dishonored/DishonoredGame/Config/DishonoredInput.ini A few lines down you will see dozens of entries that start with "BaseBindings=" make a new line above these, with the following:
m_PCBindings=(Name="F6",Command="ShowHUD true")
We have now set up a hotkey that can completely turn the hud on or off. its set to F6 but you can make it anything you like. This is useful as if you want you can have the entire HUD turned on, and only pull it up when you need it, or like me you can use it to permanently have all aspects of the hud off. Good for screenshots too.
Note: There is one issue with this. Whenever you are going from one area to another, or Samuel is asking you if you are ready to leave a level, if the hud is off the clickable options will not show. You can simply press F6 to bring them back, and then click Leave Level and then switch the HUD off again.
Whew. We're done. I hope you found at least a part of this useful, some of this might be common knowledge but I wanted to get it all into one post. When you combine all of these tweaks I think Dishonored is twice as good looking. It is important to note that your mileage will definetly vary, however I think even with a weaker GPU it is worth trying a combination of all of these, as Dishonored is a very easy game to run so we might as well squeeze as much as we can out of it. With all these tweaks, 8x Multisampling and SGSSAA, downsampling from 5K I get between 80 - 130 fps (130 is the fps cap. I don't reccomend removing this cap as you can run into minor bugs such as leaning and then getting stuck leaning) For the record I have an Overclocked 1080ti, and an i7 8700k @ 5.0Ghz.
If you know of any other graphics tweaks please let me know, maybe I can add them in here.
Credit to Kakoii for the ini file Credit to K Putt'e for the SweetFX I mentioned
Thanks for reading
submitted by pheromonekvlt to dishonored [link] [comments]

The Big Yoink: A Smol Detective Story, Chapter 15

Standard Disclaimer: I do not take credit for the setting, this story is set in the They Are Smol universe, written by our very own u/tinyprancinghorse.
TPH has a Website, a Patreon, and also a Discord if you need more smol shenanigans.
The first Smol Detective story can be read starting Here.
There will be some spoilers/references of the first SD story in this one, so consider yourself duly warned.
___________
First Chapter
Previous Chapter
Next Chapter

In the previous chapter:
There was Preparation.
Bgrarh, James Bgrarh.
The Floofdinos do something Stupid.

In this chapter:
Oscar has a Chat.
Ter'yeik makes a Delivery.
Calvinball.
___________

Maria half expected that she and her compatriots would be put through some tedious security screening. But instead of walking through a scanner or getting frisked, they were met at the huge doorway by Nerlharg. The Dorarizin wasn't wearing power armor this time; he was clad in a knee-length outfit that looked like a Mandarin's robes.
Nerlharg pulled a small flat tablet out of his pocket. "[Welcome! Just before we start, I'll need to scan anything you're carrying.]"
The Jornissians shrugged and presented their holographic prop swords. Nerlharg waved the tablet near them and nodded. "[Fine. And that?]" He pointed at the guitar case slung on Oscar's back.
Oscar slid the case off of his shoulder. "Scan away. Just be careful, this thing's older than me." He set down the case and unzipped it to reveal the instrument within.
Nerlharg chuckled. "[I assure you our security scans aren't that strong.]" He swept the tablet over the guitar. "[And this is also fine. Is that real wood?]"
"You better believe it," replied Oscar.
"[I look forward to hearing what it sounds like. His Excellency bids you all welcome. Unfortunately, we cannot permit the security drones indoors.]" He pointed at the hovering spheres near each human.
"This is a hell of a time to find that out," said Oscar. His jaw set as he glared at Nerlharg.
Rgrarshok looked pretty pissed as well. "[I assure you that these only use nonlethal protection methods. Scan them yourself if you don't believe me.]"
Nerlharg looked very apologetic. "[It is out of my hands. [Sssnnathor] does not want them admitted into such a large party. He's worried about them deploying a net or taser by accident, what with so many bodies moving around.]"
Oscar and Rgrarshok shared a long look. Maria knew that the Captain was asking the human do you want to go through with this? without saying a word. Finally Oscar shrugged in a sure, let's go for it manner.
Maria kind of wished she'd gotten a chance to throw in her two cents as well; she hoped that the big lug wasn't being cavalier about her safety. Or his, for that matter.
"[Very well,]" said Rgrarshok. "[We'll program them to remain here. Will that be acceptable?]"
Nerlharg nodded with a slight smile.
"[Good. What time do we start?]" asked the Captain.
"[In [one hour]. In the meantime, [Sssnnathor] requests the honor of your presence among our guests.]"
Maria groaned inside. The last thing she wanted to do was make small talk with a bunch of fearsome aliens who were, oh by the way, a bunch of criminal assholes as well.

___________

Much to Oscar's annoyance, one hour became two. On top of that, their presence at the tyrant's party wasn't a simple case of 'walk around, mingle a bit, then go do the show'. No, from the outset Sssnnathor was determined to keep them circulating among the considerable number of well-dressed party-goers. But Oscar didn't let the outward civilized veneer fool him for a second.
He was glad Myyreh wasn't there. The poor girl would have been crawling right out of her fur to see him in the midst of so many untrained xenos. At least they were polite enough to keep their distance when asked.
Right now he was holding a drink of some fruity-tasting cocktail. At least the glass was human-sized. He was chatting with a gray-furred Dorarizin who was wearing what looked like a frock coat with a lacy 'ruff' that accented the alien's mane. Several other huge xenos hovered around them, clearly waiting for their turn to talk to the human. In the meantime, Oscar kept himself facing the Dorarizin so that the nanocams in his suit could get a good look.
"Got a positive ID on him!" said Egrwreh's voice in his ear. "Ghranzor-of-Ahnz, known trafficker in small arms, suspected of Green smuggling as well."
Oscar nodded, both in response to the information as well as to a question from Ghranzor.
"[So you are enjoying your stay thus far?]"
"I sure am, sir. Didn't think I'd get to go this far into space, let alone meet so many people!"
Ghranzor gave a little bow and motioned to the several-foot gap between them. "[I'm pleased to hear that. I feared that you were overly paranoid about us, given how much personal space you requested.]"
Oscar shrugged. "I gotta admit I'm a little worried. Can't be too safe, right?" He caught a nearby Karnakian's eyes and winked. "Remember what happened the first time we tried to shake hands with y'all." He used his free hand to mime pulling his other arm off.
The Karnakian floofed out her neck feathers in anger. "[Really! It was an honest accident!]"
Oscar waved his free hand. "Relax, I'm just kidding ya!"
The Karnakian subsided and let forth a little trilling, forced laugh of her own.
Oscar motioned with his glass overhead, where the party's main source of light floated. The hologram consisted of two bright suns floating in the atrium's center. Around both suns coiled a massive, scaled body that endlessly moved in a figure-eight formation like the living representation of infinity. Another coil emerged from the huge figure to reach out and circle another, smaller blue-white sphere which floated near the larger figure-eight. There was no real head or tail that Oscar could see, just an impression of never-ending sinewy strength.
"What's that?" he asked.
He heard Sssnnathor's smooth hiss-purr behind him. "[That, [human], is Sotek-Who-Circles-The-World.]"
Oscar turned casually to face the tyrant, and noted how everyone around Sssnnathor stood with a slight bow to their head. Not wanting to stand out, he followed suit.
"[Oh, please, you all honor me too much,]" said Sssnnathor. Oscar picked his head back up and saw the Jornissian looking up at the hologram. Oscar was still figuring out Jornissian facial expressions, but judging by the tilt of Sssnnathor's hood he could swear the tyrant had a look of longing.
Sssnnathor pointed at the encircled binary star system. "[Sotek coils the earth and sky in himself. He holds all fire in the sky, and lets out just enough of it to warm the world.]"
"Huh, neat. Sort of a sun god, then?"
"[Not just that. A god who encompasses eternity. He lives forever.]"
"Hey, who wouldn't want that?" replied Oscar as he took a casual sip of his fruity-stuff. It was time to do a little fishing and see if he could draw Sssnnathor out as to his true intentions.
Sssnnathor slithered towards Oscar with a gleam in his eyes. "[That's exactly what I say! Everyone desires eternal life, even if they're too craven to admit to it!]"
The surrounding courtiers moved away, and from their startled body language Oscar got the sense that this passion was not something they were used to.
"[Those fools in the Senate refuse to see the truth,]" continued Sssnnathor. "[The universe is unimaginably old compared to even a few thousand [years] of existence. Why not at least give us the option?]"
There was no Junior to give a warning noise, so Oscar raised a hand. "That's close enough, sir."
The statement snapped the tyrant out of his trance. He chuckled and motioned with his snout at Oscar. "[It's a pity you have to resort to such coddling just to have a chance at a any life, let alone an eternal one.]"
"Times change, sir. Sure we're fragile and endangered now, but we won't be forever. And I dunno, a thousand years or so sounds like a pretty good run to me."
"[Of course you say that now, you're barely out of a clutch! But a thousand [years] from now, I wager you'd be very receptive to living a thousand [years] more.]"
Oscar gave a noncommittal shrug. "[Maybe. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."
"[The [powers that be] won't let you,]" replied Sssnnathor. "[After all, they threw me out for daring to even think of the possibility.]"
The tyrant's hood flattened out in anger, and those around the pair drew back in fear of being the recipient of some of that wrath. Oscar figured he should get the conversation back to light and fluffy.
"That's a shame, sir. Still, looks like you're doing all right for yourself, eh?" Oscar grinned and waved his glass in general at the huge atrium.
Sssnnathor's hood relaxed and he gave a Jornissian shrug. "[I suppose I am.]" He looked at the fearful faces around him and gave a wide, fanged smile. "[Please, everyone, drink! Smile! This is supposed to be a party!]"
Before anyone else could chime in, Captain Rgrarshok moved her way into the circle around Oscar. She kept glancing off into the distance in irritation as she moved.
"[Sorry to stick my paw in, sir, but my performers need to make their way backstage,]" she said.
"[Of course they do,]" said Sssnnathor. "[I look forward to the performance. I'm sure we all do, yes?]"
Amid the hasty assurances and declarations that followed, Rgrarshok gave another irritated glare. Oscar followed her direction of interest and saw...
Bgrarh-of-Arhraz stood a ways away, also ringed in by partiers. He gestured casually with one paw as he chatted with a female Dorarizin. His deep blue eyes twinkled as he talked. The alien wolf-woman looked about ready to bear his pups, judging by the way she stared at him.
She wasn't the only one. Among the circle of people surrounding him were quite a few females (some not even Dorarizin) who looked at him with equal entrancement.
Oscar heard a faint grinding noise and realized it was the Captain's teeth. He decided to draw fire for his friend. "Er, boss, want me to go fetch him?"
Rgrarshok drew in and let out a deep breath. "Yes, please do."
Oscar grinned in general at those around him and gave Sssnnathor a bow. "Sorry folks, sorry sir. The show must go on!"
As he trotted away, Oscar heard Sssnnathor say something to Rgrarshok about an announcement. Fortunately the surrounding crowd parted as he called out "Make way, please!". The sycophants around Bgrarh at first looked annoyed at hearing his call, then they looked a lot more interested as they laid eyes on Oscar.
"'scuse the interruption, Bennie. The boss wants us backstage."
"[Of course!]" replied Bgrarh. He reached over, picked up the paw of the Dorarizin facing him, and gave the back of her paw a gentle kiss. "[It's terribly unfortunate we have to part, my dear. But duty calls.]"
The kissee stared after them like a poleaxed steer as Bgrarh and Oscar walked away.

___________

Rgrarshok-of-Ngraz took another deep breath to calm herself as she strode towards the stage. It was set in the geometric center of the soaring atrium, consisting of knee-high circular platform that was expansive enough for all of the acts. The partygoers were already crowded around the stage perimeter but parted to make way for her. Along the far side of the stage was a temporary domed hut that acted as the backstage area.
Both the stage and hut were supplied by Sssnnathor, which meant the latter was certainly bugged. She'd impressed on the whole team that there was to be absolutely no breaking of their cover until they were all back on safe ground.
Her face remained impassive as she berated herself. Why was she getting so worked up over Bgrarh's antics? The specialist could be a little annoying at times, but he was always a loyal pack member. He was just acting a part, not really flirting.
But the knowledge still didn't calm the little churn of unexpected jealous anger in her gut. She'd been on the cusp of striding into the middle of that circle and showing that hussy of a female who was the real Alpha. Bgrarh was hers.
Rgrashok slowed as she neared the stage. Sssnnathor was already coiled up in the middle of it, and he lifted his upper body to tower over them all. As he held up his arms the crowd quieted.
"[My friends, you gladden my heart by your presence. I have enjoyed my time here during the past [sixty years], and I look forward to many more such celebrations. But that is not the only reason to throw a party. As you may have heard, I've recently come into possession of an artifact which has a long and storied history among our [Karnakian] brethren. I've taken great pains to display it with the reverence due its status. It is my pleasure to present to you all...the Sacred Claw of [Ta'irrl'qc]!]"
Sssnnathor gestured to his right, and the partygoers on that side parted as a smooth polished stone plinth rose up out of the marble-tiled floor. The plinth's top split open and folded back down along itself to reveal the artifact that Rgrarshok and her crew had been chasing this entire time.
The Claw was polished, nut-brown sickle shape which lay on a blue velvet cushion. At its root were embedded emeralds and rubies that sparkled in the light from Sotek's hologram above them.
As the crowd gave the appropriate oohs and aahs, Rgrarshok had a fleeting notion of simply grabbing Sssnnathor and holding him hostage while the team escaped with the Claw. But no, that would put the [humans] in unnecessary danger. Instead she made sure to smile and applaud along with everyone else.
Sssnnathor nodded to her and slithered his way back off of the stage. He coiled himself possessively around the Claw's plinth with a very satisfied expression on his face.

___________

"[I don't believe it,]" whispered Tk'rii'na.
"[Don't even think it,]" said Resh'skk.
Maria didn't like the way the Karnakian's fore-claws twitched as he peeked out the ajar door. It looked like Tk'rii'na was getting ready to do something really stupid. She walked up beside him and placed a hand on his arm.
"Hey, Tarky? Relax. We'll..." she glanced around the hut and tried to choose words that wouldn't blow their cover to anyone listening in. "I know you're worried about the performance, but you'll do great."
"[But it's right there.]"
Frick chose that moment to try and pull Tk'rii'na away. "[Let me see!]"
Tarky pushed back against the tug, resulting in a brief round of the two raptors squawking and slapping at each other.
"Both of you COOL IT!" hissed Maria. She glared up at Tk'rii'na. "You remember you swore to protect me? That includes not putting us in danger by causing a scene!"
Tk'rii'na hung his head. "[You're right. I'm sorry. I shall cool it.]"
He looked so literally crestfallen that Maria's anger evaporated. She patted his arm. "No harm done."

___________

Rgrarshok strode into the middle of the stage, turned, and bowed deeply to the assembled throng. "{We thank you all humbly for your attention. The Company of the Long Dance of Fghrealh is pleased to bring to you a wide range of entertainment from around the galaxy. Including that of our newest comrades, the tiny-chompers!}"
That last part drew a nice round of applause.
"{We shall begin shortly, starting with an amazing display of [Karnakian] congretory singing!}"
Rgrarshok spun and walked towards the hut. Its door slid open and Rgarshok ducked inside. It was a small windowless space with a few tables along one curved wall and another door at the rear. The hut was made even more claustrophobic by the presence of the performers.
Rgrarshok raised a curious ear at seeing a few feathers on the floor near the entrance door. She glared back up at the four Karnakians. "{Is there a problem?}"
"[No, just nerves before the show,]" replied Maria. "[Right, guys?]"
A big paw touched Rgrarshok's shoulder, and she turned to see Bgrarh giving her a wide smile that she found herself automatically returning. She just couldn't stay mad at him.
"{Are you ready for our performance, darling?}" he asked.
She put her stoic 'Captain in Charge' face back on. "{I am, just don't draw too much attention to yourself.}" That warning should be sufficiently vague to throw off any listeners.
Bgrarh moved close and slipped an arm around her waist. "{And what if I want the attention of somebody in particular?}"
Rgrarshok blinked as a welter of conflicting emotions ran through her. Bgrarh was a pack member; he was also strong, smart, and athletic. In ordinary circumstances his advances would be welcome to any pack's Alpha. But hers wasn't a normal pack and she wasn't just the Alpha, she was the Captain. She had to set herself apart, be a strong leader for them all...but his eyes were so deep and pretty, and he smelled so nice...
She leaned in towards his face. "{Not now, Bgrarh. We have a show to do.}"
Bgrarh didn't lose that infuriating and adorable grin. "{And after the show?}"
"{We'll see.}"
Rgrarshok gently peeled his arm off of her and cleared her throat. "{Singers, you're up.}"
She stood aside as the Karnakain quartet moved towards the entrance. Rgarshok noted with amusement that there was now a lot less glaring between the two pairs of guards than when they'd first come on board her ship. Now they all just looked nervous at the prospect of that most dreaded of things, Screwing Up.

___________

Ter'yeik put on his best disarming smile as he pushed a big wheeled tub towards the service entrance. This was no grand archway, it was instead a smaller square portal guarded by one bored-looking Jornissian in low-profile armor. A rifle leaned against the wall next to the guard, within easy reach.
A voice hissed out from under the tub's cover, a voice just barely audible to him. "|Stop smiling, you idiot! Look bored and put-upon!|"
He did as The Silken Feather instructed and slouched a bit as he continuted pushing. The Jornissian looked just as bored as he held up a hand. "[Hold up. You with the catering crew?]"
"|Yeah, we had a last-minute menu change. [Sssnnathor] wanted some namptha soup added.|"
The guard held his rifle at the ready as he coiled himself up higher, now looking a lot less bored and more ready to dispense some violence. "[We weren't told.]"
Ter'yeik kept his feathers from trembling with a supreme effort and tried his best to sound peeved. "|Really? That's typical. I get a work order, bust my tail making this stuff, and the Diarchy-cursed paperwork gets lost! What am I supposed to do with [two hundred gallons] of namptha soup? I sure as hell can't eat it!|"
Unbidden, the guard reached forward and plucked the cover off of the tub. Ter'yeik froze as the Jornissian gazed on the sight within. It was a sea of red, with white spheres floating here and there within it. "[Hmm. That does look tasty.]" His tongue flicked out and back in. "[Smells good, too.]"
Ter'yeik flattened his crest in mock distress. "|Listen, can you just check again for the work order?|"
The guard nodded and tilted his head as he checked his implant. "[Huh! Whaddya know, there it is. Musta got held up in the system for a bit.]" He stood aside and waved at the entrance. "[You know where to go?]"
Ter'yeik managed to keep his voice from squeaking as he replied. "|Yep! To the right, isn't it?|"
The hallway beyond the entrance was metallic and utilitarian, its walls bearing the scars from many years of heavy equipment moving through it. Ter'yeik waited until he was well out of sight of the door before breathing out a huge sigh of relief. He reached forward and took the cover off of the tub again. This time, instead of being full of soup it was full of Silken Feather, crammed awkwardly around a small pot of red-and-white soup.
"|Now aren't you glad you let me have my hacking and holo toys?|" she asked as she uncoiled herself and stood up out of the tub. She shrugged her shoulders, then flexed her neck. "|Ooof. Not my most comfortable entrance ever, but I've had worse.|"
"|I was wondering why you insisted we stop off to buy that stuff,|" said Ter'yeik. "|I didn't think about the smell.|"
The Silken Feather reached forward and patted the side of his snout like he was a mere hatchling. "|That's why I'm the master thief and you are not.|" She concentrated, and her appearance suddenly shifted into that of a mottled gray Karnakian.
Ter'yeik started back. "|Wait, what's this all about?|"
"|I'm not about to go walking around wearing my own face. [Sssnnathor's] security team knows what I look like.|"
A low, powerful moan drifted down the hallway towards them. The moan rapidly rose in pitch, followed closely by another moan whose harmonies worked in counterpoint with the first.
"|Ah, it sounds like the show has started!|" said The Silken Feather. She stepped out of the tub and held out her arm to Ter'yeik. "|Shall we?|"
He stared in confusion at the proffered limb. "|What?|"
"|In order to steal the Claw we need to see where it is, silly. Therefore you and I need to crash the party.|"
"|We can't go walking in there! I thought we were going to do more sneaking around.|"
"|There's no time for stealth. Besides, there's plenty of people milling around, we'll just blend right in. A confident attitude is the best disguise. Trust me and above all act casual.|"
After another moment of hesitation, Ter'yeik took her arm.

___________

Nerlharg-of-Aergh nodded along with the song as he stalked through the party. Most of the crowd was pushed in around the stage, but there were a few stragglers circulating around the food and drink tables.
The melodic structure was odd but interesting, even if the words were now a jumbled mess to his translator. He made a mental note to look up other examples of Karnakian congretory singing and see how this compared.
Nerlharg's nose twitched as a scent hit his nostrils that he wouldn't expect to encounter at a party. It was the smell of a Karnakian in the grip of mortal fear, a scent he knew well thanks to his experiences in Sssnnathor's employ.
He kept his expression neutral as he turned to scan the nearby partygoers. In the distance, the four Karnakians' crests bobbed in time with their singing. Closer to him was another pair of Karnakians. One of the pair was a mottled gray alien standing arm-in-arm with a cream-colored one. He discreetly sniffed again. The lighter of the pair was definitely the source of the fear.
"[Doesn't it sound marvelous, dear?]" exclaimed the darker Karnakian in a low, throaty voice. Something about that voice sounded familiar to Nerlharg.
"{Yes darling, quite nice,]" said the lighter-colored raptor. His voice had a little squeak in it as he fidgeted his claws together.
Nerlharg sidled up next to them and cleared his throat. Upon making that sound he got another spike of fear-scent up his nose.
"{Pardon me, but I'm not familiar with congretory singing. Is this a good example of it?}"
The darker Karnakian shrugged her crest. "[It's a little unusual compared to the norm, since you have the pairs alternating instead of all singing together. But it's still quite lovely.]"
Nerlharg was sure she was deliberately pitching her voice lower. More to the point, he was pretty sure he'd heard her voice before. He nodded aimiably at the pair and strolled off. As he did so, the fear-scent subsided.
He reached out with his implant to Sssnnathor. "{Pardon the intrusion, Excellency. We have a situation. I believe I've spotted the Claw's thief among the guests.}"
The distant coiled-up figure of the tyrant didn't twitch, and his subvocal response was nothing but amused. "[Trying to steal back her stolen property, eh? I suppose she doesn't lack for bravery. I imagine these entertainers are in on her scheming as well.]"
"{That is also my assessment, Excellency. Shall I arrest them all?}"
"[No, let's let the show finish. Although, I supposed if you get a chance during the performance to grab them, take it. But I want the [humans] unharmed, understand?]"
"{Of course. What about the others?}"
"[Capture them if you can, but don't worry too much about their health. If they resist too much, go ahead and shoot them.]"
Nerlharg cut the connection and sighed. Tiny-chompers were so notoriously fragile that even grabbing them too fast could seriously injure them. Not to mention they were in the midst of their friends. He'd have to get creative on this one.

___________

Maria Vargas strode out into the center of the stage with Coleridge's words fixed firmly in her brain. She told herself that this was just a simple recitation, nothing at all to worry about. By this point she could do the damn poem in her sleep.
She reached the center, took a deep breath, raised her eyes...
And froze.
A sea of gleaming eyes stared back at her, eyes that were every color of the rainbow. Those eyes were attached to huge forms sporting far too many claws and fangs. Her hind-brain shrieked at her to flee, that she was a mouse under the gaze of far too many predators.
She glanced to her left, and saw Sssnnathor staring at her intently with a silvery gaze. Next to his head was the Claw, the thing that had brought her to this moment of danger. Neither sight helped her nerves, and she could feel her heart hammer faster.
Maria faced back to the crowd and tried to swallow, but it felt like she had a golf ball lodged in her throat. She wetted her lips and closed her eyes, which helped a little.
"It is..." she began with a raspy, choked voice. She paused and told herself that even with no drone Reshy was watching over her. That knowledge helped slow her heart even more.
Maria opened her eyes and this time deliberately kept her eyes unfocused on the crowd in front of her. As far as she was concerned, the assembled crowd was nothing but a blur of color. She cleared her throat, and when she spoke again the rasp was gone.
"It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three..."
Once Maria started speaking, instinct kicked in and the words flowed easily. As the poem wound on and the ship in the tale went through first storms and then ice, she began to half-notice the crowd instead of treating them like a backdrop. Their rapt expressions emboldened her, and by the time she hit the part where the Mariner's becalmed ship ran into the ghostly hulk captained by Death himself she knew she had them.
"...A sadder and a wiser man, He rose the morrow morn."
After Maria finished, there was a moment of silence.
"[Amazing!]" Sssnnathor called out. His exclamation seemed to break the logjam, and the crowd followed suit with a chorus of various whoops and trills. Maria ignored the pounding of her heart as she smiled, bowed, and left the stage. She did her best to keep the wobble out of her knees.
Hrathra'sstah gripped Maria's shoulder after she re-entered the hut. Hrathra's face was still set in its ususal intense glare, but from the set of her hood Maria knew that her boss was ecstatic. "[Excellent job!]"
"Thanks, boss." Maria stared at the floor and all but panted.
"[Are you all right?]"
"I'm good, I got a bit of stage fright there. Just need a while to calm myself down."
Hrathra gave her shoulder a squeeze and moved off. The crew was busy getting the Captain and Bgrarh ready, so for the moment all eyes were off her.
Not getting stared at anymore helped, but Maria really needed some alone time. While everyone was looking the other way she ducked out of the hut's rear door.
There was nothing behind the hut but a short 'alleyway' between the temporary structure and the sloping wall of Sssnnathor's pyramid. Maria leaned forward, placed her forehead on the wall's smooth cement-like surface, and let out another shaky breath. After a little moment of doing nothing but paying attention to her breathing, she stood up again.
She was feeling a lot calmer now, an emotion that lasted for all of ten seconds before she felt the faintest whisper of air and realized she was no longer alone.
Maria spun around towards the hut and drew in a breath to yell just as an invisible paw clamped tight over her mouth.

___________

Oscar peered out through the half-open door to the stage. Bgrarh and the Captain whirled in a complicated dance that he could barely follow. It looked a little like a waltz but with a lot more airborne bits to it. To his uneducated eye it looked amazing, and the Captain actually looked happy, something that Oscar had never seen before.
He turned away and picked up the guitar. It was about as well-tuned as he could get it, but fiddling with it gave him something to take his mind off of his nerves. He'd done a few open-mic nights back on Earth, but this was something much more serious.
Plus there was the whole threat of being found out and getting involved in a huge firefight.
Oscar peeked back out again, this time scanning the crowd instead of paying attention to the dance. It looked like they were digging it, just like they'd dug Maria's recitation.
Speaking of which, where was she? He turned away from the stage door and looked around the hut. He did a circuit of the place, dodging around the Jornissian and Karnakian forms. He didn't ask anyone if they'd seen Maria; that might trigger a freak-out, especially in Resh'ssk. There was no need to worry anyone just yet.
As he walked by the rear entrance, he heard Maria's quiet voice. "Oscar? Can you come out here, please?"
The others were busy prepping, and didn't notice as Oscar set his guitar down and cracked open the door to poke his head out.
Maria leaned casually against the sloping wall across from the door, staring off into the distance.
"What's up?" he asked.
She didn't answer. Oscar glanced to each side and saw nothing. His brow wrinkled as he moved himself all the way out of the door and approached her. "Maria? Are you okay?"
She ignored him and continued to stare off, unmoving and silent. It wasn't until Oscar got within a few feet of her that he realized just how unmoving she was.
As unmoving as if she was a hologram.
On pure instinct Oscar threw his arm up to ward off anyone trying to get him in a choke-hold from behind. He managed to get his sleeve up in front of his face before his world went dark and he found himself unable to move.

___________

"[I'm getting a strange reading from the drones onboard the Claw,]" said Egwreh's voice in Tk'rii'na's ear. "[Plus the telemetry from the [humans] is looking oddly muted.]"
He and Irr''kttz turned from watching the dance onstage. The Karnakians known as 'Tarky' and 'Frick' to their [human] friends both scanned the hut in increasing panic.
"|I don't see [Oscar] or [Maria].|" said Tk'rii'na.
Both saw at the same time that the rear door was now open. After one quick glance at each other, they sprinted as one for the back door.
In true Karnakian fashion neither bothered to open it. The temporary structure shook as the entire rear of the hut all but evaporated, sending chunks of composite ricocheting off of the rear wall and onto the surprised guests.
Irr''kttz pointed. "|THERE! I see them!|"
Tk'rii'na followed the claw with his eyes and saw two faint whirls of familiar sparkly light floating in the middle of the air. There was nothing visible around the pair of sparkly souls as they rapidly approached a side exit.

___________

Onstage, the pair of whirling Doaraizin spun to a sudden halt as the resounding crunch of the Karnakian's dynamic exit sounded through the atrium. Rgrarshok ignored the bits of former hut bouncing off of her skull.
"{REPORT!}" she barked. She saw guards here and there among the party starting to stand up straight, but she ignored them for now. She glanced around in rising panic, and realized she saw no sign of Sssnnathor.
The plinth that had once held the Claw was now empty.
Irr''kttz's voice yelled in her ear. "[THERE! I see them!]"
Tk'rii'na sounded a lot calmer. "[I see them too, they've been wrapped in optical camo. Heading for the exit to your right, Captain.}"
"[Got it,]" said Rgrarshok. She and Bgrarh exchanged one look, to which he gave a Dorarizin nod.
"{[Calvinball],}" they said simultaneously.
Bgrarh sprinted for the hut just as Rgrarshok charged towards the edge of the stage nearest the indicated exit. The confused murmuring of the crowd now became earnest screaming at the sight of the rampaging Captain.
The trigger-word also reactivated the drones hovering near the far-off main entrance. Each immediately locked onto the telemetry readings from their respective [human]; rather than waste time maneuvering through the doorway they both 'decided' that the quickest route between them and their charges was a straight line. Two loud bangs sounded from the main entrance as each drone smashed its way into the atrium.
In the middle of her icy rage, Rgrarshok noted the trajectory of the two drones. Following that line, she caught the merest hint of a pair of heat-shimmers in the air; several panicked partygoers bounced off of the cloaked figures as they sprinted for the side-exit.
Rgarshok leapt off of the stage as the crowd beneath her parted with great alacrity to get the hell out of her way. As she landed in a crouch, a lone Dorarizin guard pushed out of the mob to block her way. He thrust a shock-baton at her chest which she didn't even try to block. The armor did its job, hardening with the impact and allowing the baton to skate off to the side.
Rgrarshok shoved herself upright as she grabbed the guard's weapon-arm. He was wearing low-profile armor as well, so instead of wasting time punching at him she settled for a overhand throw that flung the guard away with a wet crunch that signaled a ruined shoulder.
The Captain continued to push forward, but couldn't go fast enough through the panicked mob. Rgarshok decided that now was not the time to play nice and began throwing people out of her way. Even a Jornissian or two found themselves the target of her flinging. The only good news was that the drones had reached the doorway and now hovered in the path of the cloaked goons carrying the tiny-chompers. They each projected a targeting grid, trying to lock onto the cloaked goon without hurting the tiny-chompers...
Both two drones sparked and fell to the floor with smoking holes drilled neatly in each of them. Two more Dorarizin in full armor and wielding rifles stepped over the wrecked machines.
The guards parted to let the heat-shimmers pass between them, then stepped back together and came running towards Rgrarshok. Her attackers didn't use their guns for their intended purpose, instead they used the long weapons as clubs to smack aside the partygoers as they moved towards her.
Rgarshok roared in rage and charged.
submitted by Frank_Leroux to HFY [link] [comments]

Monaca Towa

Monaca Towa
I am using Rankdown2’s first ever Justice Hammer how cool is that?
Surprise, I’m cutting Monaca. Who could have guessed? I’m bad at intros. Let’s just go.

Big Sis

Monaca is not Junko. Bold statement, I know, but stick with me.
The dumbed down version of Monaca’s plan is that the point is to create a successor to Junko Enoshima. We’re lead to believe that Monaca will be the successor, but the fact of the matter is that Monaca’s character is nothing like Junko’s and she never could be Junko.
Monaca doesn’t love despair the way Junko does. Junko loves not just inflicting despair but experiencing it for herself. She sincerely cares about her classmates, and she only enjoys watching them suffer because it pains her to watch. She purposefully puts flaws in her grand schemes to leave open the possibility that she will be defeated to watch all her hard work go down the drain. That’s what makes Junko Junko. She wants more than to just watch other people feel despair, she wants to feel despair as well. And Monaca doesn’t seem to get that. Monaca only spreads despair because that’s what Junko does and so it must be cool, right? Yet at the end of the game once her plan has gone to shit she blubbers and cries and seems to be going “what the fuck feeling despair isn’t fun?” She begs Haiji to help her and insists Junko would be disappointed in Monaca for how things have turned out, and she’s right, but not in the way she thinks. Junko wouldn’t be disappointed in Monaca because her plan failed, she’d be disappointed in Monaca because she failed to relish in the despair of her plan failing (and then Junko would drool over the despair of how disappointing her protege is).
As an aside, I think Kotoko would make a much better successor to Junko than Komaru or Monaca. Kotoko’s final words to Monaca are that despite everything she still loves Monaca lots yet she still wants to see Monaca suffer an “adorbs death”. That’s the kind of attitude I expect from the new Junko Enoshima. Kotoko even has a similar hairstyle ready to go and is proficient in putting on fake personalities. Lots of Junko potential right there.
Monaca has no Junko potential, yet for the duration of UDG it’s not like Monaca wanted to become the next Junko. That was an honour she bestowed upon the Ultimate Average Girl. We don’t see what Junko and Monaca’s relationship was like first hand, but I can speculate that it was, y’know, sisterly. Monaca’s obsessed with the one person who’s ever “cared” about her, so she dedicates her efforts into creating another Junko to replace the old one. At least, that’s how I take her actions, and I think it makes sense considering how Monaca is obsessed with Junko yet not obsessed with Junko’s ideology.

”I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.”

~quote from a dumb tv show about climate change, but I’m using it because I think it’s relevant to what defines Monaca. She preys on people’s empathy for the poor, motherless, wheelchair bound little girl who can’t do anything for herself. What’s more pitiful than an unwanted child who can’t stand up on her own? And Monaca turns that pity into power. People feel sorry for her and do whatever Monaca asks of them. According to Monaca, that’s how she got her talent as Ultimate Homeroom: she was able to unite her class by making everyone work as a team for the sake of helping her. Monaca pretends to be physically impaired for the sake of inviting people to throw her a pity party so she can manipulate the empathetic souls who dare to care about her. Monaca’s weakness isn’t a weakness, it’s her biggest strength. Very unlike her brother.
Haiji is also handicapped. But he states (rather sensibly imo) that he wouldn’t be any good in a fight against the Monokumas without the use of his good arm. Haiji’s weakness is just that: a weakness. He doesn’t feel empowered by it the same way Monaca does but rather takes a very defeatist attitude (which Toko very loudly disapproves of). Haiji and Monaca’s attitudes towards their disabilities are opposites of each other, with the former using it as an excuse to keel over and refuse to fight, while the latter embellishes her disability for the purpose of giving herself an advantage.
And by embellishes her disability I mean she completely made the whole thing up. Luckily, the karmic gods see to it that Monaca is appropriately dealt an ironic punishment to tie a bow on her character as UDG comes to a close. Some collapsing rubble falls on top of her and crushes her legs, and from then on, including in DR3, we never see Monaca stand again, presumably because she’s lost the use of her legs for real this time. (Although her official DR3 artwork shows her standing up just fine for some reason so they really cocked that up.)
If you want to really flex your political discourse muscles, then you might be able to spin Monaca’s character as some sort of statement on ableism and how people who treat disabled people with condescension are fools for doing so. In the same vein, people who take advantage of the assistance meant for disabled people will inevitably be punished in turn. I very, very highly doubt that’s what UDG was getting at but I figured it warranted mentioning since I’m talking about a villain who fakes being paraplegic for sympathy points.

The Warriors of Hope

Enough about the broad strokes of Monaca’s character, what does she actually do before the final chapter? As far as the first two chapters are concerned, not a whole lot. And if you ask me, that’s a good thing. I was not a huge fan of the Warriors of Hope the first time I played UDG for the simple fact that I found their presence terribly grating most of the time.
But looking past my superficial distaste for the group there’s something to be said about how Monaca interacts with them. Namely how she abuses Kotoko/Nagisa. She knowingly exploits Kotoko’s trigger word and sets her into a ptsd meltdown in an effort to fuel her hatred for the adults so she’d do as Monaca bid. She also exploits Nagisa’s need for approval while giving him a very uncomfortable smooch. I don’t know what there is to analyse about these scenes because I think they each speak for themselves if you just watch them. They display exactly what makes Nagisa and Kotoko tick whilst being creepy and rousing up lots of discomfort.
So that’s where we’re at with Monaca. Nothing to write home about for the first two chapters, but the next two chapters start to pull back the curtain and give us a better glimpse at her true character. She’s an unfeeling manipulator that abuses her closest allies’ deepest traumas without an ounce of remorse. I may have thought of her as nothing more than an annoyance in the first two chapters, but in chapters 3 and 4 Monaca throws us a bone and shows us that she’s someone to pay attention to. Monaca, I may not have cared for you for the first half of the game, but after your two (count ‘em: two!) decent scenes you have a chance to reel me in.
Now lose me.

All according to keikaku

No more shitty foreplay, this is the part you’re all here for.
I do not like Monaca’s plan. I think it’s silly and I was only half joking in my Kurokuma cut when I said I believe Monaca came up with it due to Kurokuma shitposting into her ear.
I’ve already winged about this someplace else and since I’m lazy I'm just going to repeat what I said back then because I don’t think I’ll be able to word it any better than this:
Komaru didn't break the controller because she gullibly thought that would be the best outcome for the adults, she did it out of some weird blinded by revenge thing when Monaca showed her her dead parents. Monaca is standing there saying "Don't you hate me more than anything else in the world? Don't you want to get your revenge on me?" And there Komaru is standing face to face with her parents' killer as she gloats about the act to her face, and Komaru says "Yes, yes I do want to take revenge" and then... ignores Monaca and opts to destroy the controller. Am I missing something? How did we jump from "I want to avenge my parents" to "I will destroy the controller." What should have happened was when Komaru became 'blinded by revenge' or whatever she starts choking Monaca out Maki-style for killing her parents, and as the light fades from the pickle's cold, soulless eyes her final thought would be "clearly I did not think this plan through to its only logical conclusion." Maybe what happened would have made a lick of sense if destroying the controller also killed Monaca, but it didn't, and the fact that Monaca's conniving master plan was to bank on Komaru doing what she asks her to after boasting about murdering her family is the worst.
I believe that chapter 5 would’ve been so much better if The Warriors of Hopes’ heads were rigged to explode after breaking the controller along with the rest of the nameless kids. It’d justify Komaru’s actions and make Monaca come off as a more chilling villain if she’s willing to let herself get killed for the sake of reaching her goal.
Actual ingame screenshot of Komaru wrestling with the hardest decision of her life. I feel like something’s going over my head here. What was Monaca’s thought process when she thought this would be a good idea?
Now, to be clear, I get that Komaru isn’t supposed to be making this terrible choice due to careful consideration of what would be best for her. She’s just so overwhelmed by the three people yelling at her that she just wants the controller gone so the pressure’s off. Setting aside my opinion on the delivery of Komaru’s ’breakdown, let’s just imagine an alternate universe where Nagisa is on the same page as Monaca and they’re both scheming to create the next Junko because I feel like he’d be the voice of reason that would help Monaca understand how insane her plan is:
Monaca: Monaca is going to explain to Miss Komaru Naegi that destroying the remote will cause the world to double end.
Nagisa: Okay.
Monaca: And then Monaca will tell her she’ll murder a bunch of innocent children.
Nagisa: I see.
Monaca: And then Monaca will kill her parents.
Nagisa: Filthy demons.
Monaca: Then Monaca will tell Komaru I did it and beg her to take revenge.
Nagisa: Okay?
Monaca: And that’s when she destroys the controller.
Nagisa: Why would Komaru choose to kill children that had nothing to do with her parents’ murder? Especially since you’re going to explain that the tragedy will worsen as a direct result of that action. This whole thing hinges on Komaru being the one to destroy the controller, but what if her escort were to take it instead? Then what? Aside from attempting reverse psychology to get Komaru to destroy the controller in the first instance how exactly will you convince her to break it? How can your backup plan be to list reasons she shouldn’t break it? If the goal is to overwhelm her with the pressure then that shouldn’t work either because why would you expect interference from Kotoko and Haiji to break Komaru psychologically? What if they choose to aid her rather than push their own agendas, we can’t possibly know for certain how they’ll act. Besides, we think Kotoko is dead, remember? What if Haiji just doesn’t show? How can you possibly know he’ll show up at the exact right time to stir the pot in the exact way you want? More importantly, if you whip Komaru into a frenzy to make her want to take her anger out on her parents’ killer won’t she kill you? Plus, destroying the controller has many benefits to aid the spread of despair but why does it need to be Komaru who pulls the trigger? Couldn’t doing that ourselves insight the war we want? And if Komaru did by some miracle actually fall for this how do we know that she’ll want to continue spreading despair as the new Ultimate Despair? Wouldn’t she just fall into despair herself and give up? Is our primary objective to spread despair or to create Junko’s successor? I don’t understand how our plan could result in either of those things. I’m scared for your safety and I think we need to think of a plan B that could possibly result in the outcome we’re going for.
Monaca: …
Nagisa: …
Monica: …
Nagisa: …
Monica: …
Nagisa: ...
Monica: Contradict Monaca like that again and Monaca will stop spanking you with those big expectations.
Nagisa: harder mummy <3
Now that I’ve crunched the numbers I realise that Nagisa would have been no help preventing this.
I’m with Haiji on this one, why the fuck didn’t Monaca just destroy it herself? “Oh, because she wants Komaru to become the suc-” And how in the flying fuck is Komaru destroying the contoller going to turn her into the next Junko? Nothing about her character would make me believe Komaru would ever turn into that kind of person. She has one goddamn line in chapter 2 about how she thinks Jataro deserves to be killed, which is fair because Jataro’s a sadistic murderer so I don’t believe it’s unhealthy for her to think his ‘death’ was justified. But I’m sure the writers of UDG would see this as adequate enough groundwork to move onto the part where Komaru decides to burn down King’s Landing because clearly she has the potential to be the next LOLDESPAIR.
At the most she could be tricked into destroying the controller herself and then deeply regret it and just give up on life. And then what? Great, you got your war, you got Komaru to start the war, but Komaru’s not going to fight for despair so what’s the point in any of this? And even if I thought all of this actually did make sense the way Monaca goes about convincing Komaru to break the controller is too hamfisted for me to buy. I! Don’t! Understand! What! The! Hell! Monaca! Was! Thinking!
I’m rambling. My Nagisa roleplay was cringe, so allow me to organise my thoughts by walking through everything Monaca does to clearly lay out all my questions:
Monaca makes me feel so exasperated. This fandom looks at Tengan’s plan to groom Ryota as the new Ultimate Hope and goes “lol just steal his phone, dumbass” then looks at Monaca’s plan to groom Komaru as the new Ultimate Despair and doesn’t proceed to meme it into the ground for how equally moronic it is.
UDG is the only game I went into with some kind of expectation. DR1, DR2, and V3 I played completely blind with zero prior knowledge of what the characters were like or how they were received. But I only played UDG because I kept hearing how it’s just as good as the main games and Komaru is the best protagonist and Monaca is the only universally loved mastermind. I knew people liked Monaca, and I spent that entire gruelling hour long controller scene waiting for that moment where everything would suddenly make sense. When everything would click together I’d go ‘wow, Monaca is such a genius, what an incredible mastermind.’ I waited, and I waited, and I waited, and suddenly the game was over and I had one big question: “What in the actual fuck did I just play?” I kept anticipating the part where the nonsense would turn into yessense but that part never came.
Look, maybe I just don’t get it, and I look forward to the comments explaining how this all actually makes total sense because trying to piece together Monaca’s actions on my own is driving me insane.

”You’re going to replay this moment over and over…”

I’m going to take this opportunity to indulge in some light bitching about UDG-5. I don’t like this chapter. I think it’s unfair for me to dump all of my grievances onto any one single character, but to be frank, I like blaming Monaca.
People complain about how DR games are tiring due to how they keep recycling tropes from previous games, but the final chapter of Another Episode is the most flagrantly lazy copy and paste the series is guilty of. Here are some lines from 2-6 matched up with UDG-5 lines for comparison's sake:
Hajime: Shut up! Leave me alone! Why do I… why do I have to be a part of this?
Komaru: Shut up! Who cares anymore?
 
Hajime: Hope… Despair… Do whatever you want. It’s not my problem!
Komaru: No matter what happens to adults, no matter what happens to children… I don’t give a damn anymore! I don’t give a damn!
 
Hajime: It’s impossible! For someone like me, it’s impossible. I can’t choose the future.
Komaru: Toko… I’m sorry, I… It’s impossible… I can’t become like Makoto.
 
Junko: Once again this went exactly as I expected. Since I have everyone’s data, I kinda figured things would turn out like this.
Monaca: This was all determined from the very start. I knew from the beginning that you would fall into despair.
 
Hajime: There's never only one choice to make... There's no way I'll allow things to end this way!
Toko: You want me to make a choice? There's no way I could ever make that choice! There's no way I could choose one and leave the other behind!
You guys see it too, right? The two chapters are littered with suspiciously similar dialogue but I think 5 lines is enough to get the point across.
Our protagonist is a painfully average highschool student with no ultimate talent. Protagonist thinks that because they don’t have a talent that means they can’t be as great a person as Makoto, saying that it’s impossible for them to measure up to him. After being presented with a difficult binary choice, Protagonist starts having a breakdown about how much they suck and are about to do something pretty stupid. The mastermind cackles about how they predicted that Protagonist would do exactly what they did. But don’t worry! The protagonist’s buddy has their back. She reminds us that when facing a difficult choice between two options, sometimes it’s best to look for a completely different third option. All the while the mastermind refuses to stop being meta and going “This is a video game!” wink wink.
It’s all the exact same thing again except without any point to it. If you wanna borrow from past entries then at least try do something clever. Like, if they’d forced Komaru into a scenario extremely similar to DR1’s ending that would at least make sense since the point is she doesn’t think she can make hard decisions like her brother can, but what the hell is the point in ripping off DR2? Why do I have to sit through the misadventures of Miss Vanilla McAverage and her yandere girlfriend for 4 chapters if all we’re building up to is a shoddy 2-6 clone in the finale? I hate it. Our characters in UDG aren’t reaching their endpoints organically, they’re being forced into the same roles the characters from last game had without a care for if that’s actually a good idea (it was not a good idea).
You can tell what they wanted to do with Komaru/Toko in the final act. They want to put Komaru in an emotionally compromised state so Toko can dramatically swoop in and protect her to show that they are BFFs now. Sure, on paper that ending is fine, but the sequence of events that leads up to Komaru snapping makes me groan. It is so completely unearned. And who is responsible for this terrible sequence of events? The stupid talking pickle.
As far as Monaca is concerned I feel like she’s cheated me out of a decent ending. Komaru and Toko were fine enough up to our thrilling finale, only for Monaca to wheel into their path and shove her nonsense onto their laps. My gripes with how Komaru/Toko were handled at the end of the game I (mostly) don’t even blame on them, I point the finger at Monaca for throwing them off course with whatever the fuck her plan was supposed to be. I blame Monaca for making me like the two of them less. She’s the reason their characters’ endings make me give a resounding “eh”. And Monaca has way too little going for her own character to make me consider forgiving her for that.
I hope that gets across why I dislike Monaca. I look at her as this agent of contrived points of conflict that damages the other characters’ stories. And hell, I’m sure some of you love Toko and Komaru’s characters and think the plot, including Monaca, was just peachy, but I’m sorry, I just can’t stand it. (haha get it can't stand please laugh i am very funny)

She’s in DR3 too I guess

...and she really isn’t that bad.
The UDG episode of DR3 really tried to make you feel like you’re playing UDG again. You’ve got familiar set pieces and sound effects, Toko’s zany Byakuya fantasies, shamelessly unnecessary Komaru panty shots, etc. They really go the whole nine yards for that authentic Another Episode aesthetic. However, one big departure from UDG is the divisive way Monaca’s character is treated as the episode wraps up.
Komaru and Toko find her in a ranky van only to discover that she’s suddenly run out of shits to give. It’s like she’s going through her rebellious pre-teen phase and is acting out for the sake of it. “Oh, you wanted me to do evil bad guy things? Well in that case I don’t wanna.” She met Makoto thanks to the Miaya-Bot and she was less than impressed. Just goes to show that you should never meet your heroes. Or the person who killed your hero, I guess. Monaca then proceeds to fuck off to outer space because thinking about hope and despair is boring and who cares?
Look, I just find her attitude amusing. Much like UDG, her story this episode ends in another spectacular anticlimax, but since the anticlimax this time is played up as a gag rather than some deep message about hope and despair I’m not left with this empty feeling of disappointment. (It also helps that this is a 20 minute episode of an anime rather than the conclusion to a 20 hour long game.)
That’s all I really have to say about Monaca’s anime appearance. Her small role doesn’t make up for what I don’t like about her, but I still find her mildly amusing.

Other positives

She told Kurokuma to stfu that one time.

Other negatives

She's supposed to be a child genius and yet she can't spell Monica right what an idiot.

This is the bit where I explain why I cut no one else

This section is redundant. The other characters get away with not getting cut by my by virtue of not being Monaca. That said, if I weren’t cutting Monaca I guess I’d go for Juzo, Ibuki, Makoto, Hifumi, Hiyoko, Kirumi, or Jataro in that order. If the remaining seven cuts this round went perfectly for me, those are the seven that would be cut.
submitted by donuter454 to DRRankdown2 [link] [comments]

MAME 0.208

MAME 0.208

Today we’re proud to bring you MAME 0.208. There are some big improvements to SunPlus SPG240/SPG280 audio emulation. Not only does this greatly improve the enjoyability of the JAKKS Pacific TV games, it’s also timed perfectly for the addition of the Fisher-Price I Can Play Piano music teaching system. That’s not the only newly supported music system this month: we’ve added Jumping Popira, and Popira 2 has been promoted to working. Continuing with the audio theme, moralrecordings fixed BSMT 2000 4-bit ADPCM sample playback, cam900 added support for the VRC7 as a separate device with its unique instrument patches, and schnitzeltony improved Atari POKEY performance substantially. Newly supported TV games include Disney, Disney and Friends, Justice League and SpongeBob SquarePants – The Fry Cook Games from JAKKS Pacific, and XaviX titles Geigeki Go Go Shooting, Gururin World and MX Dirt Rebel. You’ll be able to enjoy the XaviX-based games even more now with improvements to the colour palette.
The Nintendo Game & Watch progress has continued with the addition of Balloon Fight (new wide screen), Fire Attack, Octopus, Parachute and Turtle Bridge. You’ll notice some big software list updates this month. The TOSEC Spectrum Plus 3 disk images have been imported, Spectrum Opus support has been added with software from World of Spectrum, and SDX floppy controller support has been added to the Memotech MTX along with a corresponding software list. The PlayStation, PC-98 and Saturn software lists have been updated with testing results and new dumps, original Apple II disk images have been added as they’ve been made available, another batch of Japanese e-kara cartridges has landed, and coverage of Spanish V.Smile releases has been improved. Speaking of software, AmatCoder has fixed a number of issues affecting Amstrad CPC software. The long-neglected Bally Astrocade home system has had tape and lightpen support added in this release.
On the arcade side, we’ve added Atari’s TTL-based Rebound, early English releases of Karate Champ, an earlier version of Nihon System’s Omega, and world releases of DJ Boy and Gemini Wing. In changes you probably won’t notice, we’ve switched the toolchain used for building official Windows binary releases from GCC 7 to GCC 8, and a new tools package has been made available.
As always, you can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

MAME 0.212

MAME 0.212

It’s the moment you’ve surely been waiting for: the release of MAME 0.212! A huge amount of work has gone into this release in a number of different areas. Starting with the software lists, you’ll find hundreds more clean cracks for Apple II, the Rainbow on Disk collection for Tandy Color Computer, all the latest Game Boy Advance dumps, and thousands more ZX Spectrum cassette images. Chess computers now support chess piece simulation using the built-in artwork, support has been added for several more chess computers from Hegener & Glaser, Novag and Saitek, and the Tasc ChessSystem R30 is now working. Three Game & Watch titles, Bomb Sweeper, Gold Cliff and Safe Buster, have been added for this release.
Protection microcontrollers continue to fall, with Rainbow Islands – Extra Version, Choplifter, Wyvern F-0, 1943: The Battle of Midway and Bionic Commando no longer needing simulation, hacks or patches. In some cases, the dumps have confirmed that the protection had been reverse-engineered correctly and the simulation was correct, but it's still important to preserve these programs. It’s also important for people repairing these systems if the original microcontrollers have failed.
There are three important sound-related fixes in this release: FM Towns CD audio playback positions have been fixed, Konami System 573 digital audio synchronisation has been improved, and a special low latency mode has been added for the PortAudio sound module.
For more advanced users and developers, more functionality has been exposed to Lua scripts and plugins. The layout file format has been overhauled to better support systems that make creative use of LEDs and LCDs. Disassembler support has been added for the Fujitsu F2MC-16 and National Semiconductor CompactRISC CR16B architectures. And if you've been following along, you might notice that we’ve waved goodbye to a little more of our C legacy with the removal of the MACHINE_CONFIG_START macro and its associated crud.
We don't have space to list all the Apple II and ZX Spectrum software list additions here, but they’re in the whatsnew.txt file. You get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to MAME [link] [comments]

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