The Chulip Experiment: Part 1

There are rare instances in life where you find something so insane, so against the reasoning that man has fought thousands of years to build a civilization around that it simply must be observed and documented.  It is like watching a turkey, which is on fire, fly on wings made of music to fight the forces of Communism’s mothers.  If that could take the form of a game it would be Chulip, and it would be about a young boy who has to travel through a town filled with Japanese nightmares kissing them as he goes.

I have decided that I must make every effort possible to chronicle this unreason, and play it till completion or until I simply go insane and start writing on my wall in feces.

Chulip starts with a nice little scene where a boy manages to name himself in front of a faced/talking tree.  A girl suddenly shows up and he is forced to name her as well.  Their master and possibly divine ruler commands them to kiss, and as two that fear for their lives and anything that has the face of a human and a body of a large oak tree, they do.

Now this ends up all being a dream, oddly not the tree thing because that is real, but the young boy –who I named after myself– and his dream girl kissing were not.  It seems that he and his father are so poor that they had to move to the country so the old man could do nothing besides command his son around to catch as many strains of STDs passed through kissing as possible. I guess the only logical choice that faced this poor child is to slowly work his way up the social ladder and kiss everything that he comes into contact with.

Kissing everything is a rather tall order too, because it can seemingly range from people of the town to literal monsters.  The first thing that this poor, tortured boy is even allowed to kiss is some kind of human/onion hybrid that is so despised by the other mutants in the area–that already live in the sewers– that she is forced to live in the ground below their homes in some kind of Upper Mantle riddled shame.  Either these sewer people are making fun of this small child and his poverty or they are testing him for what comes next.

Normally I would comment about how this entire experience is like a fever dream riddle with the world’s strongest and most dangerous hallucinogens, but I think that it may be more important to worry about the sanity of the people who made this game instead.  At the start of the game, for a long enough time that several hours into it I am still in this section, the only people that the human child is allowed to kiss are the many abominations that walk the streets–which clearly doesn’t come from a healthy mind– and the only person that the is able to hand out love advise, instead of a parent, is the human head on two legs with a paintbrush on top.

So either this is social commentary on how the poor are treated when they move into a new area, the child’s only source of income is digging through trashcans to find what others have thrown away (and this town oddly throws a lot of poop and frying pans away), or it is about how a young adolescent mind can snap when he is transported to a new area–possibly because a girl who he has fallen in love with rejects him– and how he must climb his way back to sanity.  I would defend this, although I am sure that the game is just insane instead of trying to mean something, by saying something along the lines that the boy and his father are the only normal looking ones and that the boy has to make contact with the most odd looking outcasts that he can find to work his way up the social ladder to prove his worth and once again regain his sanity.

Also there is a man in gimp clothing tied to the roof in the hospital that gives yoga lessons in the evening.

Trying to give this game a meaning is pretty pointless, unless the lesson is that earning the right to make out with a train conductor allows you to ride the rails for free.  If children in America go through the phases in High School where they draw dicks on things to make them funny the Japanese go through that same thing, but instead they try to use their drawings to make grown men cry in fear. The gameplay itself is some odd experiment in punishment as the core mechanics aren’t every really explained and need to be learned from dying repeatedly.

Every creature that is kissed in the game is some kind of messed up and deformed Rubix cube, and while some of them only really require knowing where to find them and the loops that need to be jumped through to kiss monsters others only appear at a very certain time of day under specific conditions.  Even though it sounds like something a rapist would mutter under his breath, all of the targets normally end up being angry and must be approached slowly and wait for them to become calm before one can kiss them.

I guess it turns out that most of these underworld mutants are the local teachers, only most of them have all left their jobs or stopped going because they weren’t getting paid due to lack of students.  From what I gather the head with a paintbrush on it is the President or Principal or something, and the telephone pole with a face is possibly one of the teachers that hasn’t been paid in a while.  This lack of funds causes him to steal a letter writing set that was promised to our hero, although only if his heart could become strong enough to use it– which I think is supposed to only happen at the end of the game so it doesn’t really affect him for a while.

Oh, turns out that no one in the town and solve their own issues.  Guess this poor, mistreated, malnourished boy is going to go taking train rides with strangers with garbage pail heads to help out.  What is it with Japan and endangering their youth?

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You Missed it for Good Reason: Mister Mosquito

What should come as no surprise to anyone that reads this site, or listens to the podcast, is that I go out of my way to find and purchase the worst video games that I can possibly acquire at any given time.  Most people don’t actively do this, as they are either not insane or are actively looking for was to stave off insanities’ effects.  Mister Mosquito is probably the only game ever that places the user in control of a blood sucking insect and repeated tries to find a way to have it work its way into our hearts, even though I think that bugs in your heart is a rare disease found in third world countries. So yeah, my kind of game.

The game starts off with possibly the slowest and least emotional narration not done by William Shatner.  Over the course of several minutes it explains that you need to go into this house and suck as much blood as possible to live through the winter. Ignoring the fact that Mosquitoes only live for about two weeks at a time, and that the women are the ones that suck the blood, it took me all of 30 seconds to write that explanation of the plot—the narrator finds an amazing way to make it last and last and last in the drollest way possible.  The best part is that the near robotic lady-narrator does intros to every single level in the game, which means that the total amount of time played on this game can range from under two hours if all dialogs are skipped to over ten if there is something wrong with you and you need to listen to it.

Well, it would seem that Mister Mosquito got into the worst possible as everyone here is both immune to the effects of eating bug poison and are practicing ninja.  I wouldn’t call them any good at the entire “ninja” thing, as I recall that Mr. Miyagi had Daniel-san catching flies with chopsticks like 20 minutes into that movie, and no one in this house seems to be able to do anything besides mild damage to it.  Although they do excel at that entire “eating DDT” thing.

Besides having some of the worst controls in a flight ever, the game also expects players to both anger the family to the point that they actively try to kill the bug, as well as hit –what I am assumer are– pressure points used to relax people.  It sort of creeps me out that all of the women, even the older mother, have a point in their no-no place –a place that my 5th grade gym teacher would be very disappointed in me repeatedly hitting.  This game is sending me all kinds of mixed messages, and is useless as sexual instructions.

Although even after watching some videos online on how to beat sections it sort of became clear that people who posted videos of how awesome they were at this game still managed to screw up constantly due to the controls.  There are several times that a point that is needed, either for sucking blood or making the women feel all fuzzy inside, is in an impossible to see angle unless the player is in exactly the right spot inside of the room.  Add into this that there are times that it is simply faster to have the bug smash into a person at full force and bounce off to land in the correct “attack position” then it is to line it up in a conventional way. It kind of feels like even the programmers where getting so annoyed with the trash they were making they decided to skip all stages after, “it no longer crashes” and went directly to, “screw it. Ship it!”

Between stages the family gathers in what I believe to be the living room, although the Mosquito probably thinks of it more as their evil layer, and starts to discuss how they are going to take the SINGLE BUG out.  I might not know everything about Japanese culture, and I am sure that years of anime and video games have probably made me less aware of normal Japanese people than anything, but I think that it is a little odd that when the entire family talks at once they all lean their heads in for a circle formation. I am sure that there is an easy programming work around that is the reasoning behind this, but it looks more like they are all mentally challenged when it happens– probably from the insane amounts of bug spray that they constantly use as salad dressing and air conditioning.  There is probably a hole in the ozone directly above their house.

I am guessing that the people of Japan suffer from the same disease that I do, where I need to experience terrible entertainment on a fairly regular basis, as there is also a sequel to this game that came out over there– meaning this game sold well enough to warrant a second experience.  It also seems that they know exactly when to stop encouraging people as the internet tells me the second game sold roughly 8 total units, and most of them where probably to stores that thought I was going to buy it.

Worthless Villains: Meet Beggar from Atelier Iris

Most JRPGs are lousy with villains who are simply terrible at their job of being evil.  Final Fantasy VII’s organization The Turks alone held enough of them to populate a small village; so the only real surprise of this article should be in the fact that I found a villain that was bad enough at his job that I felt that I needed to share it with the world.

Beggar starts of his career of being annoying to the main character the way that most evil doers feel accustomed to, by asking him to be a pawn in the massive army that he is quietly building.  While the reaction of ordering his troops to kill him on sight seems a little overboard, even when taking into consideration the standard reasoning of villains, it manages to set the mood for the rest of the game that Beggar irrationally hates the heroes and blames them for everything that is going wrong with the nation that they live in– even if he actively sees them fighting for the forces of good.

The main problem with Beggar’s plans isn’t that he is terrible at following them through, although people with chronic Alzheimer’s manage to complete more projects than he does, it’s that he is incapable of finding the heroes base of operations in a town with less than 100 people in it—a town populated mainly with his soldiers.  This is kind of understandable though because they only hide out in a house roughly the size of half of the town and every single person who lives there knows where it is.  The place is so big it is the second thing most astronauts in this world from space, right after Beggar’s failing.

Even after all of this, when Beggar does manage to leave the safety of the starting town where everyone feels that he is some kind of clown that threatens death as a form of a joke, he still manages to run into his nemesis literally every time he feels the urge to wander more than five feet outside of town.

All of these encounters, of course, result in a battle with Beggar.  It should also be pointed out that he never manages to get stronger during any of these fights.  During the first encounter he is something along the lines of a standard RPG boss strength, sadly he never gets strong.  At one point after the third encounter his minions, which start appearing during the second encounter to attempt some form of challenge, who are just as strong as him start appearing as random enemies– they also stop appearing because the party gets uncontrollably stronger than they are.  This mean that by the end of the game a handful of well placed hits is all that is required to beat the snot out of him after every long and annoying monolog.

Beggar also stands apart from most other worthless villains because the game feels fit to give him an entire family from the start of the game.  Oddly they are only ever used as random spots of character development and then promptly never brought up again, and the development of his character always ends up being something along the lines of “Yeah, I have a wife,” and nothing more. Although the way that his character comes off it seems like he is more in line with the guy from Office Space and is just doing all of this stuff to actively get fired, and then go home to complain about how much work sucked to an uninterested family.

He also tries to kill his sister in cold blood because of a minor disagreement.  Yeah, so the any argument that the game throws out later about how he is misunderstood and was simply believing in the real bad guy because he thought it would be a better world, all of that is given is kind of invalidated by the fact that he attempts to kill a defenseless woman in the middle of a city street in front of children.  It doesn’t matter how many stupid plot related devices are thrown in that he helps the heroes out of, when it comes down to it he is mainly just an ineffective killer.

So the end of the game is Klein leaving the entire area in the hands of Beggar, the man who attempted to take it over under the guidance of a guy trying to kill everyone.  This basically leaves an open power vacuum, one that the rest of the party (aside from the two leaving the area forever) don’t care enough to fill, that will mean that he is free to march what remaining troops he has over the rest of the land.

I guess the real lesson from all of this is that while Beggar might be a lazy, terrible bad guy but the heroes of Atelier Iris are pretty much just as worthless at their respective jobs.  That and I think the entire thing was sort of meant for kids.