Lizard

Like NES/Famicom games? Good! So check out Brad Smith’s upcoming NES/FC game called Lizard:

There are fully-playable demos available for NES/FC (specifically a ROM file which you can use on your favourite emulator), PC (Windows), and Mac (OS X). Linux is a possibility if folks donate enough.

So stop reading this and go donate + help out. Every little bit counts! :-)

Personal NES/Famicom and SNES/Super Famicom nostalgia

I’ve kept a lot of memoires from my childhood, though not as many as I’d have liked. But the one subject matter I tried very hard to hold on to was anything relating to the NES/Famicom or SNES/Super Famicom.

Given my previous blog post, I decided I’d make a short itemised list — with photos, if available — of just some (hardly all!) of the things I’ve done or kept over the years:

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Diggin’ In The Carts

Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote a short blog piece titled The influences of female NES/Famicom music composers.

Since I follow lots of Japanese NES/Famicom music-oriented folks on Twitter, it came as somewhat of a surprise that as of last week, Red Bull Music Academy released the start of a series called Diggin’ In The Carts, which delves into the history of Japanese video game music through interviews with classic video game historians, as well as actual composers:

Due to lack of energy in the evenings (work has been keeping me pretty busy), I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the series — until this morning. Needless to say, I have what is probably the biggest smile on my face in many years. This is something I have dreamt of since probably 10 years old.

The influences of female NES/Famicom music composers

I was born in 1977. My first video game console was the Atari 2600, followed by the Atari 7800, then the NES/Nintendo (a.k.a. Famicom/FC (ファミリーコンピュータ)), and later the SNES/Super Nintendo (a.k.a. Super Famicom/SFC (スーパーファミコン)).

Every system for me was influential in some way, but the NES will always remain the most significant because of what age I was at the time (roughly 11). I have a staggering number of positive memories from that time period, many of which in some way or another involved the NES either directly or indirectly. In general the late 80s/early 90s was a good time to be alive when it came to anything relating to electronics, gaming, or technology. It was an inaugural time of sorts; there was so much originality and ingenuity happening on multiple levels, especially in the United States and Japan. Technology was advancing rapidly but was still “simple” enough for someone technically-inclined at age 16 or 17 to understand, all the way down to the hardware. Today that often isn’t the case.

So it should come as no surprised that NES/Famicom music was an illustrious thus significant part of my life both then and now; I still to this day hum and whistle key melodies from popular games (and I don’t just mean Super Mario Brothers). The list is almost endless.

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Borderlands 2 performance tweaking

I’ve had a couple people online ask me what all I’ve done to my Borderlands 2 .ini files to solve some annoyances and framerate-related issues within the game, as well as decrease the amount of pressure on the GPU. I thought I’d take the time to list off all the changes I use for my GTX 560 Ti + Core i7 2600K-based system running on Windows XP SP3, under 1920×1200.

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Asus Xonar DG driver bugs on Windows XP

EDIT: Interestingly enough — and I did report this to Asus — this issue went away after a system reboot. The nature of the problem still implies a driver-level bug, but why a reboot would fix it is still unknown. I’m still looking to figure out if there’s a way to reproduce it consistently/reliably so that Asus can track down the source of the problem and fix it permanently.

EDIT: I should also point out that CCP of EVE Online fame confirms a bug with the “GX” feature of these cards (and it affects all OSes, not just XP). I ran into this as well since I was an EVE player at the time. The workaround for that bug is to disable the GX feature in the Asus control panel — but for the bug discussed below, there does not appear to be a workaround aside from rebooting.

About a week ago I replaced use of my crappy Realtek ALC889 (Azalia) on-board audio with an actual sound card — more specifically, the Asus Xonar DG. This card is deemed “one of the best” by the general Internet community for gaming and general audio use, plus it’s inexpensive (US$25).

It didn’t take me long to start finding bugs in its drivers.

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Diablo 3 crashing due to fake item hotlinking

EDIT: Blizzard has addressed this with Diablo 3 patch 1.0.2c (build 9991). Under “Bug Fixes”, the ChangeLog states: “Fixed several crashes which occurred when clicking on player-generated item links in the game client”.

It appears that some nefarious Diablo 3 players have found a way to crash another player’s client by sending a malformed “item hotlink”. Apparently individuals have found a way to exploit the hotlinking feature, allowing for non-existent items to appear (such as potions that have sockets on them, etc.). However, in some cases these fake items result in the client itself crashing when clicked upon.

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