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[icon] Kjorteo Plays: NES Barbie - A Kjorteo draws near!
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Subject:Kjorteo Plays: NES Barbie
Time:08:23 pm


I’ve been away from my Dagger of Amon Ra LP for ages, now—not for any one major reason that’s been keeping away this whole time, but for millions of small ones. Every weekend seems to go toward one thing or another....

Anyway, I felt bad about how long that’s been taking, so I did a video LP of NES Barbie. The idea was that would be quicker, a single-session thing, so I could just get it out there real quick to make up for the lack of progress in the more long-term Dagger LP. Instead, even this thing ended up taking an extra weekend or two to edit together, mostly due to having to learn how to stumble my way around Lightworks.

Anyway, here.
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lupineangel
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-10 11:18 pm (UTC)
"Most animals respond well to diamonds"

You might almost say that...
*sunglasses*
...diamonds are a girl's best friend.
YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!


I was about to say it's really quite well animated for a NES game, quite smooth and natural-looking; but on second thoughts, I think it's just that Barbie's range of motion is so limited that I think the four animation frames (or whatever) just look smoother because there's so little distance moved in each frame.

The water level, with its 4-bit Jaws theme when the jellyfish finds you, scared me more than everything in Ecco the Dolphin put together. On the other hand, it lets me do the THERE'LL BE NO ACCUSATIONS, JUST FRIENDLY CRUSTACEANS UNDER THE SEA joke, which I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. Let's call it a mixed blessing.

I swear, if watching this puts a bunch of Barbie videos in my "recommended for you" listing, I'm going to... have to find an appropriate way to take revenge, since I apparently can't think of one at 11pm, when I'm writing this. :P

D.F.
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kjorteo
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-11 12:50 am (UTC)
It honestly hadn't occurred to me that you or David or anyone else might find the water level scary! You'd think it would have, given the Ecco thing, but I just somehow failed to make that connection (mostly because I actually find it kind of relaxing, if somewhat cumbersome control-wise.)
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davidn
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-12 05:41 pm (UTC)
It's more the idea of being constantly pursued, rather than just for being underwater a la Ecco... that, and the way that you know it's always right behind you and you can't run away from it. Underwater doesn't exactly help, though, given memories of the Sonic water warning music and everything.
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xviith_et_seq
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-13 02:01 am (UTC)

*flaps once, behind you*

*flaps closer*

*flapflapwhoosh*

*flapflapflapflapflap*

*flapflapflapFLAPFLAPFLAP* *CAWWWWW!*

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kjorteo
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-13 03:35 am (UTC)
I think this video might have made that jellyfish out to appear more menacing than it really is, then. Well, obviously, since I never let it catch me; you have no way of knowing whether the consequences could be a traumatic horrible instant kill complete with pixelated gore, or at least a game over, because you didn't see the fact that it touching you just does one hit's worth of damage and then sends it back offscreen again. Tag, you're it, lost a Z, okay, five second break and then I'm coming at you again. Remember that part in the video where I was swimming along the bottom of the screen and a plume of bubbles randomly rose up and hit me for one Z of damage? No one is freaking out over those bubbles, even though they proved themselves to be far more deadly by virtue of being fast enough to surprise and hit me.

Which is the other thing that even this video did convey (another reason I wasn't expecting this reaction): did you see how slow that jellyfish is?? Even Barbie and her clunky controls can outmaneuver it with relative ease! Hell, there was that one part where I bribed a seahorse to go grab a pearl for me, with the jellyfish right there, and I just sat there and waited for the seahorse to get back (and those things aren't exactly lightning fast, either) just because I knew I had time. The only way the jellyfish is ever a threat is because it rubber bands, so it can sometimes surprise you if you turn around and swim backwards (like you missed a pearl or something) and there it is. You do hear me being a bit startled to see it (and quickly giving up on my plan to go back and get that particular pearl) that one time, but even then, even still....
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davidn
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-11 12:27 am (UTC)
It's nice to see this memory :) I'm not sure I could dredge up a list of this game's merits, exactly - it lacks any pace (speaking of which, did those slowdowns happen in the original game as well?), the health bar is a very accurate representation of the player's state while playing it, and it has a... strange and awkward look to it - I don't think I've ever seen any other game where the player takes up that much of the screen! (Or had as annoying a jump sound.) But having memories associated with games like that is a fantastic thing - just playing through them again can reawaken so much :)

That's a very potent powerup you get a couple of times near the start of the game - invulnerability, a weapon, activating the animals automatically... you might as well not bother playing for the duration of that!

Let me be clear that I'm not saying I'm scared of a Barbie game here, but I think that the idea of being constantly pursued by that jellyfish would have been very unsettling if I'd played this when I was young - the constant threat of hearing the Jaws theme slide into the background music... especially as it's always just behind you when you turn around!

In the diner level, has Barbie been shrunk or something? Though I appreciate the obstacle it presents of having to turn off a giant nozzle before getting through. (Why would soda hurt her anyway, does she have an intolerance to high fructose curn syrup?) I will say, though, that using the different items to get things to do things is a sort of nice idea, a bit like A Boy and His Blob (which I only played on the Gameboy and got nowhere in) - I'm thinking of the floating car bit in particular, which was a lot of effort for not much of a reward. However, it beats being confounded by a spoon.

That jukebox stage looks appalling! Was there someone who just realized the game had been too easy up until then and just cooked up an absolute bastard of a level to weed the player base out to the people who just didn't have anything better to do? The same goes for the giant monster jukebox at the very end - you just have to keep on trying until miraculously the timing works out and you get to build that stairway out of the records (presumably by Led Zeppelin). Well done on your endurance.

Also, your static screen looks better than mine :) Where did you find that?
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kjorteo
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-03-11 12:46 am (UTC)
The game certainly has ... quite a lot of flaws! But nostalgia does funny things to you, sometimes. The system of having different types of things to feed to things seems like a neat idea, if completely wasted on 99% of the things in the game just taking diamonds.

The jukebox stage is ... actually, the main sticking point there, not just on this run but every time I ever played it growing up, was always that one single note. It's just such a small platform to land on, and the collision detection is awful! (I didn't even realize this as I was playing and didn't see it until going back and watching the video again, but I think the ice cream boss should have hit me twice but just ... didn't, either time.) Note how, once I achieve the impossible and actually land on that note, I do the entire rest of the stage (including the conveyor-belt-like-pushing and the falling platforms) in one try, with little trouble except getting hit a few times (there is no way I am standing still on a falling platform while waiting for the opening--it's going to fall!) and missing the optional jump at the very very end that would have just led to an extra record. The jukebox boss ... aeeergh. At least the notes were fairly easy to dodge, even without the slowdown (which, no, that never happened before I went to record this run, I think it might have been a Fraps thing.)

My static screen is a merged combination of "Looping Static #1" (cropped down to its first second or so) from this compilation, and an mp3 of a TV static sound effect I just found somewhere from Googling for mp3s of a TV static sound effect; they're all pretty much identical.

Edited at 2014-03-11 12:47 am (UTC)
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[icon] Kjorteo Plays: NES Barbie - A Kjorteo draws near!
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