Neat Junk Archive

A Cup of Dissidia

Hey, it’s been quiet around here lately! That’s because I was on vacation last week and I completely cut myself off from anything work-related. It was a great experience and I encourage everyone who’s able to take vacations to leave your work at work and enjoy your time off! Also, delete the Slack app on your phone and keep it off your phone forever.

Anyway, while I was away in a completely different state (and a different state of mind), I came across some interesting noodles:

I’d heard about these noodles before, but I never expected to find them at a gas station in the middle of nowhere! Like any good video game fan, instead of eating these noodles, I’m gonna display them on a shelf until the heat death of the universe.

Visual and Sound Novel Ports on Mobile

While searching for more visual novels in Apple’s app store, I came across a port of 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.

This version is different from the DS version in that you don’t need to solve any puzzles and you also have access to a flow chart so you can go back and pick different paths. The game also flat-out tells you which paths to take to get the good ending if you die enough times (which I did).

I love this game – I even preordered the DS version and got a replica watch of the Nonary Bracelet as a bonus. But I died a lot. So much that I couldn’t handle running through the game again to figure out the right path for the good ending. So I’m thankful for this mobile version that tells me what to do if I die too much, but I do miss the fun puzzles.

This 999 port was published by Aksys Games, and they have one other game in the app store – Banshee’s Last Cry. You might have heard of a game called Kamaitachi no Yoru, or Night of the Sickle Weasel before. It’s the first “sound novel” that got really popular and shaped the sound/visual novel genre as we know it today. And Banshee’s Last Cry is the first official English localization of that historic game! Definitely give it a play.

Visual novels are perfect for mobile and I hope more quality games like these two published by Aksys will be released in the future. With Spike Chunsoft opening a US branch soon, perhaps we won’t have to wait long!

Dragon Quest VIII Localization Dev Logs

While doing research yesterday, I found the localization development logs for Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on The Cutting Room Floor. The logs are fascinating because you can see the back-and-forth between the people working on the project. Here’s an example of the devs trying to come up with a good description for a weapon while keeping it within the 18 character limit:

//敵を眠らせる武器
// ALTJ, jul12: I don’t like this wording, but “A weapon that puts enemies to sleep” is way over the limit.
// ALTJ, jul20: This appears to refer to the dream blade.
// WILL, jul22: How about the more ambiguous, “a sleepy weapon”? Or is that too obscure? Or even “a boring weapon”!!!??? It might make people think!
// MORGAN, jul25: I really don’t like “sleeper”. I would prefer “a sedative sword”, “a tiring weapon”.
// ALTJ, jul27: Changed.
a tiring weapon

You can find the whole log over here! It’s pretty long, so I recommend reading it during some lunch breaks or something~

Sumo Where’s Waldo

Mato & I have been watching the New Year Basho (Sumo Tournament) for the past few weeks. It’s our first time really paying attention to the sport, and we’ve learned so much. I’m officially a sumo fan, heck yeah, I wanna see some matches in person!

Sumo is considered a dying sport, so the audience at the Basho was mostly elderly Japanese people. Every once in a while, Mato & I would spot an anomaly in the crowd, and we ended up making at Where’s Waldo game of sorts. Next time you watch a sumo match, keep an eye on the audience as give yourself points if you see:

  • A foreigner
  • A millennial
  • Geisha (we really saw this)
  • Someone holding up a sign
  • A hamburger (still haven’t seen this one)
  • An old person with an old flip phone
  • An excited kid
  • Someone wearing a shirt with English on it
  • Someone knitting

The New Year Basho ended yesterday and the Spring Basho starts on March 11. If you have access to Japanese TV get yourself ready! Maybe if we see more anomalies we can turn it into a bingo game.

A Neo Geo Distraction

Mato & I were at the Fangamer office having an LoL meeting with Tony today in one of the conference rooms. We got distracted by some complete copies of Japanese Neo Geo games in there, and holy cow these carts are huge!

There was a comic in the instruction manual, too. I saw a CUSS! (But seriously, Mato wanted me to snap this pic for the the “DON” sound effect used for knocking in Japan)

Nightmare Mario

In my work improving the main LoL site, I needed to get a better scan of that weird, creepy cover of that Mario comic for this page. The scanner software had defaulted to “Text” when I opened it up, and I was greeted by the most horrific image of Mario I’ve ever seen:

Not that the color version is nicer to look at, but holy crap.

A Neat Find in the Desert

Mato and I had a nice time visiting a little Japanese garden in the middle of the Arizona desert recently. In the gift shop, we found a neat book:


Just a few days previous, we’d seen this book on the anthropomorphism episode of Japanology Plus. And then here it was near where we live!

It’s a goal of mine to utilize the many photos I’ve taken over the past decade by making my own photography book(s). This book is good inspiration and motivation for me!

Japanese Ads for Foreign Consumers – Winter 1958

Mato & I found a set of 4 magazines from between 1958-1960 at an antique store recently. It’s called “Japan Magazine” and it appears to be targeted toward Americans and Europeans living in Japan. The whole magazine is in English and the articles are written by both Japanese and foreigners, and everything is edited by a Japanese staff. That’s probably why there are some silly-sounding phrases here and there.

I picked out some interesting advertisements to share from Volume 1, Issue 3:

Click on the thumbnails for a closer look:

Looks like the focus is on industry and production, with a few sprinkles of creature comforts. That Ajinomoto ad in the style of American 1950s ads is my favorite of the bunch. And given that there’s been a sort of anti-MSG movement in recent years, it’s doubly amusing.

Shorts and Guides and Manga, Oh My!

We got a cool package in the mail yesterday:

Talk about your opposites attracting! The Yoshi stuff is more examples of “Yossy” being used as an alternate romanization of Yoshi’s name. And the Yakuza 0 stuff we got because that game is just damn amazing and I need to absorb everything about it.

More Goofs from the Google Translate App

One of the best things about receiving packages from Japan is using the Google Translate phone app on the newspapers stuffed inside the boxes for padding. We got a game recently (which I still need to post about), and the app churned out some funny phrases on the newspapers:

We will never be free of eagles here at LoL.