Aether’s Best of Aether

So, these are busy times for your main man again, and I haven’t had as much time to sit down and write lately as I’d like. Now, I could just skip making a post for now, or I could phone it in and put together a quick bit of nothing, but I love you all too much for that. What I’m going to do instead is lean on my long blogging history and create new content all about my old content.

I’ve been blogging now for eight years. Eight years. That feels freakin’ impressive. I have seen multiple generations of bloggers rise and fall during that time. Now, I’m a decent writer. Good, maybe I’ll allow you to call me. Even great. Sure, we’ll let that go. If you wanted to say stellar, I wouldn’t argue. Awe-inspiring would be an adjective some could use. “The Best Blogger in all of Human History” if you wanted to go there, I suppose. Incredibly sexy, of course, but that goes without saying. I do well enough at what I do. Enough people seem to like and respond to the things I create to give me the spark to keep doing this thing I enjoy doing. But some posts are better posts than other posts. That’s just the way it goes. Even for absolutely gorgeous geniuses like me. I do go back through my old writings occasionally and I’ve got my favorites. So I thought I’d highlight my favorite posts of my own work, and we can all either run back down memory lane or get introduced to some things I did before you started hanging around these parts that I really like.

This is actually a page I’ve been wanting to add to this site for a while. Something to help draw more attention to what I consider my best work to people just recently finding this place, rather than just relying on my newest posts to be most visible. So don’t be surprised if you see this list reappearing on this site later, in some form. And for that matter, for the more long-term projects, I’m only going to be including the stuff I’m mostly finished with. I’m loving the Project G series I’m doing so far, as well as the ongoing Persona Retrospective, but I’m moving through them slowly so they’re far from their final form yet. Seems unfair to include them when I still can’t be sure I’ll be happy with the final product. Anyways, here we go. Aether’s favorite posts and projects on Lost to the Aether.

  1. The Dark Souls screenshot Let’s Play

If I had to choose a crown jewel for my blog, the bits I think are absolutely the best quality, this would be it. When I was first typing up my runthrough of the early bits of Dark Souls, I was just expecting it to be a one-off post, but I had enough fun with it that I decided to come back to it, still not expecting to take this tack through the whole game. But I did. And it’s a series I go back and read through every once in a while. I really enjoy screenshot LPs, and I feel like I managed to capture everything I wanted and get it in just the style that I love to read. And it’s a series I’m really proud of. Making LPs is tough, and this took me 70 hours of game time and more than two and a half years to do, but I got through it, and I feel I made something glorious in doing so. It’s a long read, but if you’re into anything I do here, I’d highly recommend going through that. First post is linked to in the header here, while the whole series is available in its category in the sidebar. For that matter, I think the Fallout LP was going really well, too, but unfortunately my computer died and took the save with it right when I was getting into the end game, so I can’t recommend it too highly, given it doesn’t reach the end. Well-known perils of LPing.

2. The LeftHanders of Video Games

I’m left-handed. In spite of how I act in those posts, it’s not a big deal, not something I really give a lot of mindspace to. But it is a part of being who I am, and it boggles me that for all the variety and creativity we see in our characters in most forms of media, something that’s present in 10% of the population in the real world has nearly no representation among fictional characters. So I wanted to take some time to highlight the left-handed characters that have gotten some show in my chosen medium. At thirty-five characters between these three posts, I’m pretty sure I have the most comprehensive list of left-handed characters in video games on the internet. And I’ve still got more to do. I’ve been collecting notes on further characters showing up to eventually get together a 4th post in that series. So keep your eyes out.

3. The Right Time to be Sexy in Video Games and the remaster, Good Sexy, Bad Sexy

Sexuality is awesome. There’s long been loud voices absolutely hating any hint of sexiness in media. I know, I grew up with some of them. There’s the moral guardians, there’s the pearl clutchers, there’s the culture warriors, all abhorring the scantily clad characters and the sex scenes and the fan service and the titillation. Moral judgments get placed often. Being as drop dead sexy as I am, I’m pretty enmeshed in sexuality, and you’re never going to convince me that it’s a de facto bad thing. But it is often misapplied to the detriment of the work it’s in. In these two posts, we take a lot at that, working out when sexuality does and does not work in all the various forms of storytelling.

4. Visual Novel Theatre: Doki Doki Literature Club

This is my favorite review I’ve ever written. Was fun to write, it’s still fun for me to read, I really dig it.

5. The Saints Row Retrospective Series

I really enjoy doing these deep analyses and retrospectives, but trying to make a summation of whole games like this is really time consuming and intensive to create. Still, although I probably won’t be getting back to it until after I’ve hit a good stopping point with the Persona Retrospectives, I still made a really good take on a bunch of games in one of my favorite series, and this was one of the biggest things bringing people here early in the blog’s life.

6. Your Primer to NJPW’s G1 Climax 28

This post is one that’s way outdated now, but I got to talk at length and put together an introduction to one of my big passions. I feel I put a lot of spirit into that one about a subject I was really excited about, and although it’s probably not going to interest most who visit the same way it does me, that’s one of the posts I’m most proud of, personally.

7. All up in Nintendo’s Business

People have a lot of opinions about company’s actions, and Nintendo’s choices have often seemed very unusual. I don’t work as a business consultant anymore, but it’s still fun for me to step back into those shoes an analyze the internal cultural and organizational factors that might make a business move the way they move. I’m probably super wrong on a lot of it, but the mental exercise is still fun to go through, and I hope, to follow along with.

8. Lagging Behind on the Leading Ladies

I get tired of having to play as characters that look basically the same all the time. As I kid, I got frustrated with being a mascot, as a teen, got bored with being a random anime dude in most every game, and at the time I wrote this, I was just plain done with being a brown-haired 30-something schmuck in most every game. I’d like to see more female protagonists in the games I play, to give it more variety. But I also hate people pushing for simple solutions to complex problems. And as I thought about it, the choice of a protagonist’s gender is quite complex. I go into detail on just what those complexities are here, as I see them. Things that can be overcome, certainly, but I’m not going to go pushing for more gender diversity in my protagonists without acknowledging that they’re there.

9. Visual Novel Theatre: Yandere-Chan and Yandere Simulator: The Destined Battle

According to my site stats, I’ve had hundreds of people move from the first post to actually checking out the game’s site. I’m not really big-time enough to swing audience numbers for most things, but given the magnitude I’ve had with that post and Yandere-Chan being an independent, amateur project, that feels like I’ve made a difference there. Of course, that started up a strange thing with the searches that drew people here, with hundreds of people now finding my blog while looking for either the similarly named Yandere Simulator or porn of the similarly named Yandere Simulator. So I feel by that point, the Yandere Simulator post is obligatory. I had a lot of fun with it, though.

10. The Fantasy Prejudice Problem and Constructed Worlds vs Civil Rights Metaphors

This is a huge pet peeve of mine, when creators will have their aliens or mutants or monsters or what have you face discrimination and try to relate it to real-world discrimination when they’re really cheapening the discrimination people face in real life by having their beings be actually different or actually dangerous, and introducing a whole lot of unintended counterarguments as well. I talk more about it in these two posts, and it’s something I wish more creators were aware of.

11. Inspiration for the Legend of Zelda Currency?

This is a little nothing of a post. Just an idle thought I had, put down, and never went back to. I found a Japanese Rupee, which they used when they occupied Burma during World War II, and related it to the Legend of Zelda Rupee. Obviously, there’s no actual relation there, it was just a thing I through out into the world based on the vaguest of connections. I don’t know that the post is even all that interesting or entertaining. But it is my most popular. This post gets more views than anything else I’ve done on this blog. So, for that alone, it merits a place on this list. I guess that’s something people really wonder about.

12. Freytag’s Pyramid vs. Non-endings in Storytelling

I am darn proud of this post. Get to explain foundational plot structure to you way better than your English teacher ever did, and bag on that punk Frank R. Stockton while I’m doing it. I feel really good about the things I discussed there. Think I talked about a smart but dry thing in a really entertaining way. There’s also been a fairly prolific writing vlogger who’s referenced the post and used the multi-climax pyramid I created for the post in a few of her videos, and it is incredibly fulfilling to me to have created something for other people to use and build off of. That was one of the things I had in mind when I was starting this blog, wanting to be a creator of content, not just consumer, and it’s really nice to see something I made contribute to something else. The left-handed posts did as well, but I can’t find the posters folks made off of them now.

So there. Go check out those posts. I like them, and I’ve got phenomenal tastes. You should too.

7 responses to “Aether’s Best of Aether

  1. Oof, I didn’t realize your Fallout playthrough was kiboshed by a malfunctioning computer. I was wondering what happened there. Funnily enough, that happened with my first attempt at playing Planescape: Torment back in 2010, which forced me to start over. These Black Isle games must be cursed or something. For that matter, it’s also like last year when my computer died, and almost took my Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom review with it (thankfully, I was able to get it to cooperate for just long enough for me to extract all of my important files from the hard drive).

    I think there was a source that canonizes the possible actions you can take in the original Fallout, and what I found interesting is that it declares the Vault Dweller actually defeated The Master before destroying the army base. For some reason, I think defeating The Master is a more logical conclusion to the game than blowing up the base, so it would be interesting to find out what pushed the author in that direction. Granted, I say that, but in my own first playthrough, I just ended up using the Lieutenant’s key to bypass him entirely. I barely knew of The Master’s existence until I watched a Let’s Play after the fact. I believe the same source also declares that most (all?) of the Vault Dweller’s companions die in the course of the campaign, which, considering how difficult it is to keep them all alive in the final scenarios (Dogmeat, especially), sounds about right.

    The Master is an interesting villain who I think puts more of a sophisticated spin on the whole “we need to assimilate” plot than most. Most of the time, you get these fascistic Hobbes wannabes who think free will is capital-E Evil, but they all come across as the same exact shallow, unrelatable villain (fittingly enough?), just in different set pieces. The Master actually takes time to explain why he thinks his plans are necessary for the survival of the human race, and there is evidence to back up his viewpoints. His problem is that his plan is completely and utterly doomed from the word go, so things get very interesting if you point that out.

    • Yep. Very traditional for LPs, I’m pretty sure those are all curse somehow. Although apparently that applies to all of Black Isle’s games, given your experiences. That’s some luck that you were able to keep and post your Monster Boy review. And some dedication, too. I imagine that took some steps.

      And yep! Fallout 2’s instruction manual had the Vault Dweller’s Memoirs, which details his journeys a bit. Has Ian dying to the flamethrower mutant in the Necropolis, Dogmeat dying to the energy walls in Lou Tenant’s base, which I remember because those were exactly the way those two died in my very first run of the game. And has him take out the Master before Lou Tenant. And yeah, except for on low intelligence playthroughs, because the Master’s cathedral has an armor that makes those runs specifically a lot easier, I almost always take out Lou Tenant’s base first, because the Master makes a much better endpoint.

      Yeah, I really like the Master as a villain. He’s more tragic than anything else, pushing a plan that’s been doomed since the moment he conceived it, and the way he didn’t notice the obvious flaws in it in spite of being such an intelligent being really goes a long way to illuminating just how much the mutations he’s been through have affected his mind. He only shows up once, but there’s a lot of subtlety to him, and he really exemplifies Fallouts multi-method gameplay.

  2. Late congratulations on eight years with your blog! It’s a real effort to keep these things up so long. And thanks for your compilation of posts here. I didn’t know you’d done a screenshot LP; I’ll have to check it out. I tried to do one of SimCity 2000 a few years back and got 14 parts in before my VM screwed up and I lost the city file like an idiot. I still feel bad about that. Certainly takes a lot of work though.

    I’m also surprised that anyone’s looking for porn of Yandere Simulator characters considering the state of that project. I see Wikipedia still lists the game as “upcoming”, which is pretty funny.

    • Well, thank you! Wasn’t really an anniversary post here, but it’s nice to celebrate. And yeah, I think LPs are just cursed like that. Machines will play your games just fine, but if you try to show them to people, the Game Spirits will come to destroy you.

      I’m pretty sure Yandere Simulator will never be done. Yanderedev seems like the kind of person that will always be adding and tinkering no matter what state its in, so it’ll constantly be in a state of flux.

  3. Pingback: 500 follower special!/Sunshine Blogger Award Part 5 | Everything is bad for you

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