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Diecast #181: Rogue One, Super Mario Runner, VR

By Shamus
on Monday Dec 19, 2016
Filed under:


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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Campster. Episode edited by Josh.

I couldn’t be on the show, since my family Christmas party was on the night we usually record. We’re not going to have a podcast for the next couple of weeks, since nobody wants to record a show on the eve / day of a major holiday.

0:01:00 Meandering conversation

0:06:00 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Here the cast discusses the news Star Wars movie. Not to worry, there’s no spoilers because they get distracted and talk about popcorn for twenty minutes.

0:25:00 Super Mario Runner

Also the cast talks about barcades, Dave & Busters, and the state of modern arcade experiences.

0:43:00 Josh played The Brookhaven Experiment

Mostly this is just a talk about VR.

1:03:00 Rutskarn has been playing bad Mount & Blade Mods

Comments (72)

  1. krellen says:

    You’re welcome, commenters.

  2. MichaelGC says:

    We’ve come to a pretty pass when the magnitude of the meandering is sufficient to require notation as such! The meagnitude. Anyway, nice brisk weather we’re having. I wonder if we’ll ever really know who built the Pyramids?

    • Jordan says:

      I personally like the idea of incredibly advanced alien civilisations travelling thousands of light years to our pale blue dot for the express purpose of building overly-showy crypts for gaudy Egyptian kings.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The egyptians.People only think that its impossible because these days we dont have wave after wave of slaves to throw at a project.

      • Nessus says:

        Worse than that, really, when you consider that A) the Egyptians didn’t use slaves to build the pyramids, and B) we have all kinds of heavy machinery now which would make building such things relatively trivial (albeit still expensive and pointless).

        In other words, those folk’s low view of humanity’s capabilities is even further out of whack.

        • Joe Informatico says:

          Also, the Great Pyramid takes up around half a dozen city blocks in area, and yet the area of its internal chambers are probably equal to my own 1/3 acre-lot suburban townhouse. You’d think if aliens or some other advanced beings had a hand in building it, they would have taught the ancient Egyptians about arches and vaulted ceilings and pillars and other ways to bear the weight of upper floors and roofs while maximizing internal space. The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas’ pyramid is 100 ft shorter than the Great Pyramid, but contains thousands of hotel rooms, a 12-storey atrium, and over 100,000 square feet of casino space.

  3. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    I’m with Josh on the theater experience but I’ll give them credit. They’re trying.

    I think they finally figured out that it isn’t really the novelty of the tech that’s going to get us. They have to compete with the actual environment. Its worth waiting for months to be able to watch movies on my couch for 4 bucks. If I didn’t have a tradition of going to see them with my dad, I’d never go to the theater.

    But AMC now has these really comfortable reclining seats and reserved seating. This is the sort of thing that’s going to keep them in the game.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I’d love to watch movies in cinemas more often but the problem for me is:
      * realizing there’s a move that would probably interest me (that’s an increasingly smaller oart of the total output). Cinema is not a big priority for me, and I only want to go if I’m reasonably convinced that I’ll enjoy the movie. This means I’ll only very occasionally actively search for what’s on. Since most blockbusters which get public advertising aren’t really my thing, I often only hear about a movie a week or more after release, once it generates some talk by people/outlets whose opinions I care about.
      * find/convince others to see it with
      * making time to go and see it — this may take weeks, as well…
      * … at a time when others also can make time to see it…
      * find a place which still shows the movie , at a convenient time, for a reasonable price. Often difficult because I usually can’t make any time during the week, and by the time I’ve set my sights on a movie, the good weekend slots in the cincmeas I’d conveniently get to are filled with other stuff.

      So I often end up buying the DVD or Bluray, and then that ends up on a shelf and not being watched because we can just watch it another day… actually I’ve stopped buying those since we’ve got too many unwatched movies catching dust. Me sad!

      It’d be really nice to have a nice small cinema somewhere which will show last year’s movies, for all the people who like me just failed to watch them the first time round, and possibly the ones who loved them so much they want to see them again. Not sure if that’s a good target audience…

      • Echo Tango says:

        Not sure about the USA, but up here in Canada, we’ve got Magic Lantern, and Rainbow movie theatres, which show movies about 6-ish months behind, for about half-ish to a third-ish the cost of the big guys*. They also do some showings of stuff that’s not half a year behind, still for a cheaper price; It’s usually smaller / indie movies. They also rent out / partner with student groups, to show the super indie stuff, at an even cheaper price, but only specific holidays / days of the week**.

        * Cineplex / Galaxy in this case.
        ** e.g. Halloween, and late at night on…Saturdays? Showings of The Room on random weekends once per year? Stuff like that.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The only movies I think are worthy of the hassle of going to cinema for me are marvel movies.Heck,I even watch them in 3d.Though the price of 3d in my country is cheap(less than 1 €).I only regret not watching the first iron man in the theater,but back then I did not know I would be such a fanboy.

      Occasionally something other will get recommended to me that I may watch in the cinema,like the pacific rim or the lego movie,but thats rare.

    • Nessus says:

      Honestly, home theater tech is good enough these days that even a relatively poor lad like me can get a better “pure” experience of the film at home. When I’m watching a movie to actually watch the movie, my cheap-but-large TV and low-end audiophile headphones provide better picture and sound than even the high-end theaters in my area, and that’s without even getting into the convenience and cost arguments.

      The only reason to go the theater now IMO is if you’re deliberately after the social aspect. As in, you want the experience of watching with a big public crowd, as even watching with friends is better at home, in my experience.

      My last theater experience was trying to see The Force Awakens a year ago. I ended up walking out less than ten minutes in because some jackhole to my left was using his phone as a flashlight the entire time. Prior to that it had already become a running thing where half the movies I tried to see in the theater I’d walk out on early B/C of rude audience, bad sound maintenance, bad projector maintenance, or some other kack that made me think “why am I paying for this rubbish when I could just wait a bit and have a far better experience at home?”.

      • Echo Tango says:

        Man, that sucks. The theatres in my city are all well-maintained – even the low-budget ones. I mean, the low-budget guys put their money into the sound and projector systems, so the carpets, seats and wallpaper/paint are a bit old-looking, but the actual movie itself is up to snuff! Give your theatres bad reviews on…Yelp? I don’t know where else lets you leave reviews for a wide range of stores/businesses. I’d also talk with the manager; Maybe they’ve got some bad staff.

    • Humanoid says:

      The last film I watched at the cinema was the Clooney/Zeta-Jones vehicle Intolerable Cruelty back in 2003. It was terrible, but in my defence the only reason I did so was because I had to pick up my mum at the airport but when we got there we found the flight was delayed by four hours and therefore needed to burn some time at a nearby shopping centre.

      Even with my mediocre home theatre (with a too-small and outdated TV), I don’t even consider going out to watch a movie these days. Meanwhile, my Blu-ray collection (for I’m a sucker for physical media) continues to grow faster than I can consume it.

  4. I’m definitely not being spoiled before seeing Rogue One, which probably won’t be until the new year, however, it already looks darker than previous Star Wars movies. If there aren’t any lightsaber duels though, is it really Star Wars? Wait… are there lightsaber duels? I need this confirmed.

    and at 20:10…

    Holy shit, I live in the Nevada desert too!

    • I’ve also seen the Konami building next to the airport.

    • MichaelGC says:


      No duels. There is one great lightsaber moment.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      Well it’s actually the most Star Wars movie, as in it has more Wars in the Stars than any other single film.

      I personally loved this movie because it focused on regular people. I love the idea that all the destiny stuff from the other films would have come to naught if not for regular people and regular troopers fighting for what they believed in. It really shows how heroic the people of the rebellion were even before Luke showed up to “save the day”.

      • Echo Tango says:

        OK, this right here is making me want to see the movie. My friends were doing a crappy job at promoting it, by saying stuff like, “Yeah, it’s got all the Star Wars stuff, but not really? It’s a weird ‘Star Wars’ movie.”

        • MichaelGC says:


          If you ask me, it also has the best warring amongst the stars of any of them so far. The Prequel space stuff doesn’t get much flak – partly as there are so many other issues, but I think mostly because it’s genuinely good! Rogue One’s is better.

        • ehlijen says:

          It’s a war movie, set in the star wars universe. It is grimmer, grittier and yeah, darker.

          I personally think it’s a good movie overall, but I don’t like what it says about some of the previously established elements in the other movies.

          Namely that the rebellion is now filled with backstabbing assholes. I liked that star wars was about good vs evil, with some ambiguous characters trying to find their place until they settle on one side or the other. No it wasn’t realistic, but that’s fine with me. But now even the good guys are routinely assholes.

          It’s a different kind of star wars movie, for a different kind of audience, I get that. But that is kind of a plot point that can’t simply be ignored without invalidating the movie.

        • Benjamin Hilton says:

          For me MovieBob summed it up really well by saying:

          Most Star Wars movies are about the Generals and the monks, and the leaders of the Star Wars universe. This movie is about the people that don’t get memorials.

    • Nessus says:

      “If there aren't any lightsaber duels though, is it really Star Wars?”

      Even with just the original trilogy in mind, there’s such a huge amount of world building packed in, both explicit and implied, that the idea of something not being Star Wars just because one single arbitrary element isn’t the main focus seems bizarrely narrow.

      There’s so much detail crammed in it’s hard NOT to be aware of how there’s constantly all kinds of interesting stuff happening off-screen, all over the galaxy, to all kinds of people. How can that stuff be “not Star Wars” just because a Jedi/Sith isn’t involved?

  5. I do second your idea to wear a powder gangers shirt.

  6. Christopher says:

    Hang on! I watched that Super Mario Run quick look too. Dan and Jeff made the same claims Chris did about having to restart if you made a mistake because there’s no way to go back. However, a commenter called puppymehard had this to say:

    He showed that the bubbles essentially work as retries, but you can actually manually use them whenever you want to have Mario rewind through the stage. And you can hop out whenever you want. For example, in that first level, he was wondering if the final coin was in the block. However, he wasn’t high enough to hit it. He could’ve just used a bubble to go back 10 seconds, get to a high enough level, and then hit the block. There’s a bit of strategy because, while Mario goes back in the level, the clock stays where it is, so you can run out of time if you use it too much. (As might be expected, you can find additional bubbles and time powerups throughout the level.)

    Finally, you can adjust Mario’s jumps while he’s in the air by swiping to the left. You’ll never be able to start going back through a level this way, but you can more-or-less jump in place or slow yourself down. If you jump too late for something, you can slide your finger to have Mario slow down.

    So did you all miss this or is the commenter wrong?

  7. Peter H Coffin says:

    Okay, popcorn:

    You’ll need a big deep skillet with a lid. Coconut oil is what better movie theaters use. It’s basically the lightest flavor oil you can get. (Josh, what the heck are you thinking using olive oil?) The melting point for the stuff is about 75F so most people’s houses will have it solid most of the year. That’s fine. Scoop about 2-3 tbsp of the stuff into the skillet. Apply heat. If you don’t KNOW that you’ve got some monster burner, just put it all the way up. Run the melting oil around the skillet until you’ve got a nice even layer. Add 1/4 cup corn. Shake to make sure all the corn is flat on the bottom of the pan. Set timer for exactly two minutes. When timer goes off, stir or shake kernels once more, put on lid, set heat to LOW. Usually, corn will start popping within about 20 seconds of this, and as soon as popping slows, remove from heat and uncover. Shake over with ultrafine popcorn salt, and decant into a serving bowl. If you’re living your life right, you’ll melt a half stick of real Wisconsin butter in the still-hot pan and drizzle that over the top. Consume with chopsticks if you don’t want to end up coated in salty butter from nose to neck, fingertips to wrist.

    Edit to add: Ah, the stunt-pretzels. That’s a challenge; since the best state for keeping pretzels is “frozen” but the best prep for pretzels is “400F oven for 10 minutes from frozen”, and the best prep for SELLING pretzels involves hanging them under heat lamps that renders them to totally inedible tooth-chipping sculptures in about 45 minutes.

    • Duoae says:

      I can’t speak to the rest of your post but olive oil is most certainly fluid below 23 C (75 f). I’m fact, I regularly use it when the temperature is down to 5-10 C during winter.

      • Peter H Coffin says:

        Olive is fluid, but coconut oil isn’t. That’s the point. Use coconut oil. Olive oil should only be used for popcorn if you want it to taste like feet.

        • Duoae says:

          Ah, you were referring to Coconut oil? Darned parenthesiseses! When I read the comment I was reading from ‘Josh you used olive oil’ its melting point is 75F.

          I think it’s because I always put the parenthesis with the sentence it’s being used with. i.e. in this case before the period.

          I agree about olive oil – not much good for frying at all. Walnut oil and ground nut oil are also excellent for frying different things.

          • krellen says:

            Properly used, a parenthetical is a side comment and self-contained. You should be able to wholly remove a parenthetical and still make sense of the sentence – which is also the correct way to read a sentence with a parenthetical (the fact that some people use them improperly is irrelevant).

    • Echo Tango says:

      Does the world outside of Canada not sell hot-air poppers? They’re set to produce pretty much ideal temperatures, so you don’t need to mess around with funny oils and fancy pans to not burn your corn. Just turn it off when when you hear the popping slowing down. Count the loss of not-100%-got-popped as something you’d have to do anyways, but since nothing’s burnt in this case, it’s a strict improvement in flavour. Plus, they’re generally faster, and are much less hassle, since all you need to do is check on them every once in a while / listen to it while you do something else. Plus, you’ve got less calories, since there’s no oil, so you can either have it be slightly healthier*, or use those calories to put on tasty butter, instead of less-tasty oil. :)

      * Corn is mostly starch, so if you want “healthy” you’re really better off eating stuff like carrots, that has more than just calories. Like minerals and vitamins. :)

    • Friend of Dragons says:

      I’ve heard avocado oil is a good choice because it handles high temperatures better than most oils. I don’t know if it has a flavor that would impact the popcorn, though.

  8. Merlin says:

    Re: Rutskarn’s crazy deathmatch @ 31:47 – try out Super Time Force Ultra! It’s a single-player sidescroller a la Contra, Metal Slug, etc., but otherwise works pretty similarly.

    You start each level with 30 lives, and each time you die (or choose to stop a life), you can rewind to any point in your run and start the next life. But each time you do, the ghost of the previous run sticks around, performing the exact same actions at the exact same time. And as a bonus, if you prevent the ghost’s death (e.g. you kill an enemy before it fires the bullet that killed your previous life), you can get a power-up that further allows you to run around spamming bullets all over the place.

    The whole thing culminates in a dozen copies of you cavorting through a level simultaneously, flinging bullets and rockets in every direction. It’s tons of fun.

    • John says:

      I have Super Time Force Ultra–I got it as part of a bundle–but I’ve never played it. I have to admit that the central mechanic sounds interesting. How long and how difficult would you say that it is? I don’t think that I’ve played a Contra-like since the original Contra and at my best I was only ever middling-ish good at that game.

      • Merlin says:

        Just beating the game is pretty easy; 30 lives per level is a lot. 100%ing it, on the other hand, is fairly tricky. There are two types of collectables hidden on every level; one activates bullet time, and the other gives you an extra life on top of your initial 30. Scrounging up all of those and locating/saving the various unlockable characters is pretty straightforward legwork, giving you a bit of a bonus for just a bit of extra effort.

        The truly hard part is in hitting each level’s speedrun marks, which unlocks the final character if you get them all. Aside from needing to learn each level’s layout, there’s a lot of cleverness involved in dodging enemies, using special powers like shields and rocket-jumps, and timing your bullet-time pickups – if you pick up one 10 seconds into a level and run it to completion as you blast away, you can then rewind back to 9.9 seconds, pick it up again, and bullet-time your way away with your also-bullet-time’d ghost, and so on and so forth. The downside is that you can blow runs this way as well by dying or hitting delays during bullet-time, if you aren’t able to figure out a way to get to them faster than your ghost did. Bottom line, it’ll keep you occupied for a bit.

        There’s also a separate mode with 50 rooms that are variously character-specific tutorials or dedicated puzzle modes, which makes for a nice palate cleanser.

        Steam says that I 100%ed it (aside from the unlockable Hard Mode) in about 13.5 hours, so maybe half that if you don’t care about the speedrun shenanigans or collectathons?

  9. John says:

    Hooray! Mount & Blade talk! This is extremely relevant to my interests.

    Let the record show that I, for one, do not want more complicated dynastic/political dynamics in Bannerlords. There’s more than enough of that already. You see, I have started my own kingdom in Warband and managing kingdoms in Warband is hard. Seriously. It blows. Your lords are unpleasable bastards. If a lord hasn’t got a fief, he will get increasingly pissed off at you. If you give a fief to one lord, all the other lords will get pissed off at you. You can in theory reduce the general level of pissed-off-ness by throwing a feast, but throwing feasts is awkward as hell. Among other inconveniences, you have to spend a whole bunch of time shopping for a sufficient quantity and variety of foods, drinks, and other necessities. You also need to be married, which is not a big deal if you joined a faction, got hitched, and then rebelled against your rightful lord but damned tricky if you’re a bachelor trying to set yourself up as some kind of bandit king.

    I do not regret the time I established the Grand Principality of John by seizing Nelag castle from the Khergit Khanate. I managed to hang on for a surprisingly long time. I repelled some utterly epic sieges and even managed to take (and then lose) the city of Khudan a few times. At its height, the Grand Principality consisted of three whole castles and their associated villages. I even had two vassal lords who stopped hating me quite so much for a while when I gave them their own castles. In a way, it’s a lot like the time in my 20s when I moved cross country in a station wagon that broke down at least once a day for the first five days. It makes for a good story now, but I absolutely don’t ever want to do it again.

    My advice is that if you really want to play a king go play Crusader Kings II. That’s what it’s there for.

    • Groboclown says:

      I was able to start my own kingdom in Mount & Blade Warband. One game I started my own, and another I was supporting the claimant and rebelled. I eventually had to switch over to easy mode in order to take over the entire map.

      My method was, unfortunately, to avoid politics. I didn’t recruit any lords, and owned all the keeps. That way, I never had to worry about them. I would leave my maxed-level troops in the captured keeps, and I just slowly took each keep one by one. In each battle, rather than using cheat codes, I just parked my troops on one side of the map and soloed most of the enemy. Any lord I did capture I kept as prisoner.

      My favorite tactic was to play as a female character, and attack as many bandits that had peasant women as their captives. I built up many sizable groups of top level women knights.

  10. Peter H Coffin says:

    On the VR front, there’s a conflict in that the extent VR devices all use HDMI interfaces, which have a pretty hard limit at about 75Hz for 1080p, 60Hz for 1440p, and 16:9 aspect only. You can’t go higher res, you can’t go 21:9. That’s it. In order to get refresh rates that make gamers happy at higher res inside the headset, you have to switch to video cards with multiple DisplayPorts instead of multiple HDMIs (which were specially sold as “VR-enabled” precisely because they DO have multiple HDMIs instead of multiple DPs — I’m looking at you, Gigabit and ASUS…), which is gonna piss off the people that already have the headsets that run on HDMI. Because they’re already at their limit and dead-ended. So not only do they need a new headset, they need a new $500 video card too.

    More edits, because I’m listening live. There ARE actual stereographers, and there are real experts out there. But there’s not a lot of them and the presence of someone that knows how to do this stuff RIGHT, and how to use things like interaxials to create scale can make or break a project. HIRE A GOOD STEREOGRAPHER.

  11. Hal says:

    We had our company Christmas party at Dave & Buster’s. I’m not a huge fan.

    Much as I reminisce for the arcades I remember when I was a kid, most modern arcades have to compete with home entertainment video games, so they’ve compensated by including lots of carnival-style games (e.g. skee ball) and complicated setups that you can’t replicate at home easily, so lots of big driving/flying simulations and rail shooters with the gun peripherals.

    Those sorts of video games aren’t a bad way to go, but in general, they’re all very samey; you’ve played one, you’ve played them all. (Doesn’t help when the one we went to had Time Crisis 3, 4, and 5 all in a row.)

    The real kicker is the cost. Most of these games are in the $1-3 range per play. That’s insane, especially when the games can be pretty difficult. I can’t imagine spending $2 for roughly 30 seconds of entertainment (the company provided game cards with unlimited game time for the video games.)

    • Joe Informatico says:

      At least there used to be some fun gimmicks for the big sit-down cabinets. You couldn’t really experience giant mecha duels outside of a Virtual On or BattleTech Center machine. Or the Starsky & Hutch-esque driving-and-shooting antics of Lucky & Wild. But all light-gun rail shooters feel the same now. I got really good (i.e. “memorized when the bad guys pop out”) at Time Crisis 2 when it was in my university’s campus lounge, but that was the last time I really gave a crap about an arcade game.

  12. Dragmire says:

    I have a Gear VR as a test to see if VR was something I was remotely interested in. I pretty much only use it for Youtube rollercoaster videos but it’s alright at doing that. For me, the cost of the high end VR headsets plus the computer upgrade to run it isn’t worth it currently.

  13. Andy_Panthro says:

    I found supporting a claimant far easier than starting a new kingdom in M&B: Warband.

    The key to supporting a claimant is to have worked as a mercenary for the kingdom in question for a long enough time to get on the good side of all their lords. That way, you have a better chance of convincing them to join you.

    Starting your own kingdom leads to endless sieges of whichever poor outpost you managed to capture. Best case scenario, you manage to capture a city that’s under-defended because it’s just been sieged, but then you have to pour tons of your own men and resources into it. Even on easy I found this unbearably hard.

    Can’t wait for Bannerlord though, they’ve shown features with siege weapons, custom weapons, and a bit more detail and interesting things in the world. I have high hopes! Especially since it looks so similar to M&B, that it will surely be just as mod-friendly.

    As for Rutskarn’s next diary series, why not try Prophesy of Pendor? or back to TES with Redguard? or a different direction entirely, and try… Dark Souls? (actually perhaps Ruts would prefer the Victorian/Eldritch horror nature of Bloodborne? I’ve just started BB today, but it’s totally kicking my arse).

    • Falcon02 says:

      Ages ago (it’s been awhile since I’ve truly played Mount and Blade) I was able to claim my own kingdom. Kept going around doing random quests and got bored… figured “hey there’s this create new kingdom option let’s give it a try…”

      I think there was a hard fight at first, but once I fended off the initial backlash and started taking the fight to them and recruiting others It started to come together.

      I think I ended up conquering 2 countries, once established it was just a gradual expansion outward. Though I then found myself running back and forth defending from various threats… never had a ton of luck directing the Generals below me to take care of themselves and their corners of the kingdom… It started to become more of a chore as the main goal I had left was world conquest, and my kingdom became more unwieldy to maintain and defend as it got larger.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Clash royale is a mobile game where you battle actual people in real time.So it can be done.And it can be done well.Its a pretty good game.Though its a freemium mobile game,so its ecnomy kind of sucks.But even if you dont spend money on it,you can still get pretty far in it,it will just take you much time to grind some stuff.Still,there are plenty of matches in it that you can play for fun.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    10 moneys is not much for a mobile game where you dont have stuff like energy and whale baiting mechanics like that.But for a game that prevents you from playing it however you want by forcing you to spend more money or wait,anything over 0 moneys IS shit price.

  16. Benjamin Hilton says:

    If I finish the Shogun let’s play do I achieve enlightenment or something?

    No, but a certain rogue cell of the twenty sided forum will cancel the kickstarter to hire a Russian Mafia goon to “convince” you to finish it.

  17. Grimwear says:

    Uh oh Josh didn’t like Rogue One as much as Force Awakens. Not looking good for me because I’ll be honest I did not like Force Awakens much at all. Hmm maybe I’ll save Rogue One for a Tuesday cheap day rather than full price. Curses, hopefully the next standalone is better though I don’t even know if it’s been announced yet.

    • Pax says:

      Next stand alone is Han Solo directed by the LEGO movie guys, though next year is Episode 8. 8? Yeah, 8. Getting hard to keep up.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I liked it vastly more than TFA, for whatever that’s worth. Enjoyed TFA well enough, but RO blew my socks off.

    • ehlijen says:

      What did you not like about TFA?
      I ask because Rogue One is a very different movie. If you don’t like one, you might like the other. Comparing them directly on anything other than an abstract technical basis isn’t going to produce meaningful results.
      TFA was a space fairy tale, like the original, Rogue One is a war movie in space. To me it felt a bit like Cpt America: Winter Soldier mashed up with Saving Private Ryan.

      That said, it has its flaw, and some of those it shares with TFA (though not too many). The Galaxy feels really small in both movies, for example, because people are hopping planets at breakneck pace and distance never seems to matter/travel seems to not take time.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So what Josh is saying is that he is going to start his shogun lets play from scratch?

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Guys,do shadow tactics:blades of the shogun next.It has ninjas,and daikatanas,and shoguns,and all the cool japanese things like that.It also has one guy committing sudoku.

  20. Steve C says:

    With Mount & Blade: Warband I’ve got a great method for my own kingdom that works– Persuasion & Betrayal. This is how:

    1. I never join a faction. Not even as a mercenary. I focus my troops on being fast.

    2. First month I run around doing a meet & greet, getting money, gathering my hero NPCs, winning tournaments and rescuing prisoners. Rescuing prisoners is the important part. It is a great source of honor and makes people very happy without making anyone unhappy.

    3. Second month I look out for a weak castle somewhere that I can take easily. It doesn’t matter where. (Preferably not one in a kingdom I have a bunch of businesses in.) Bonus is a castle that has just changed hands and is still unassigned. I take it and leave the village unassigned.

    4. I make peace as fast as I can. I’m a peaceful king who hopefully will never have to fight another battle again. (That won’t be true, but I can hope.)

    5. Next I recruit every despicable, calculating, quarrelsome lord that also has a castle or town. I promise him lands. I give him those lands as soon as he joins. My promise is fulfilled. 1 minute later I call him a traitor, seize his castle, and throw him out of my kingdom. He leaves behind a brand new free fully equipped castle! There are no lords in my kingdom so this makes nobody angry. Well except for the guy who is a traitor to his old faction. He is miffed. He has to find a new faction without any friends or family in it and has only his winning personality to help him.

    5. I have tons of fiefs and zero lords. I recruit every good, upstanding lord I can. I’ve always promised them justice for peasants. They already love how honorable I am. They love all this land I have. I’m the perfect king for them. Soon as one joins I ask all my existing lords who should get village X. They pick the new guy who doesn’t have anything. I give it to him. All my lords are even more happy because I asked their advice and followed it. It’s a self-sustaining cycle of happiness!

    6. I now have a peaceful nation that is crazy spread out across the entire map and filled with good guys who love me. I set up my slowest competent lord as marshal. I want everyone to be able to catch up to him. He fights the battles for important locations I cannot convince to join me.

    7. I run around glad-handing and pouring honey into the ears of everyone left in Calradia. These are generally the martial lords. Every lord that refuses to join me at this point, regrettably must be taken by force. I let my vassals take care of the messy violence. It goes well because those other factions are filled up with all the unpleasant lords I threw out of my kingdom- pissed off landless lords that like to fight with each other.

    8. The other factions are full of landless cancerous grumpy lords. Any time they gain new territory they become even more unhappy. My lords are still pretty happy.

    The Kingdom of Honey rules the world.

    • Rutskarn says:

      This is brilliant, and you are my hero of depraved virtue.

      • Steve C says:

        If you like it, here are some specific tips with this strategy:

        A low charisma is fine to start. Put points in persuasion late. It does no good early when everyone is indifferent. First is building relations. Being a professional jail breaker is just the best way I’ve found to do that, but not the only way. A great random find is if there are two castles at war next to each other and full of lords. Lords love to send letters to lords they are at war with. The receiving lord has to be in a castle and the player friendly to both factions. In these cases run back and forth 10 times between the two castles delivering messages to the same two small groups. I always imagine they are sending illicit homo-erotic letters to each other because they always call each other ‘her’ for some reason. (For never was a story of more woe than this of Tybalt and her Romeo.)

        Lords with single digit rep with their king are ones to watch. Butter them up first. Lords with double digit negative rep are probably going to get thrown out and lose their lands before they are of any use.

        Go anywhere and everywhere but kingdoms that are winning are best. Winners have more prisoners. Winners will eventually have more in-fighting over spoils. Picking up rescue quests are great but not necessary. Grab quests from guys that are in convenient locations or from family members that own towns/castles. Wives and mothers are generally bad choices to pick up quests from. What helps is that the ladies don’t move around. The quicker turn in can make up for it since it’s easier to plan routes.

        To siege castle it is necessary to have a negative faction relationship in order to get an option to attack. So high reputation with the factions can become a problem when finally deciding to form your kingdom. Demanding tolls from caravans is a good way to manage it from getting too high. It’s perfectly honorable to charge protection money (apparently) and your companions don’t mind either. Just don’t talk to the king of that faction very often (he tells you it was naughty) and it should be fine. High personal rep with the various kings helps your kingdom stay at peace later.

        Send out your companion NPCs as frequently as possible (every 4 days) to tell the world what a great king you’d be. Send the others out gathering intelligence. This way your buddies won’t learn what the others have been saying about you. It keeps them from getting pissed off and refusing when it’s their turn to tell the world of your greatness. It’s fine for them to be disappointed in you after they’ve come back from spreading the word.

        A bug that will happen is that trying to convince people to join your kingdom when you don’t actually have one yet. It generates a ton of script errors and strange dialogue. Nothing bad comes from those errors. Convincing them ahead of time is worth it. It’s much better to give them time to think rather than forcing a decision on the spot. A bug that does matter is that Ironman just isn’t possible. Too often the guy you are rescuing from prison goes psycho and puts an axe in the back of your skull for no reason. Which is just a general bug but it comes up a lot from all the jailbreaks.

        Note that plenty of lords are surprisingly easy to convince to turn traitor and join up. Like ‘never spoken to this guy nor anyone in his faction before’ kind of easy. All the building up of honor, relation and renown is for the harder lords.

  21. Nessus says:

    On a total side note: once you start hearing “Mountain Blade” instead of “Mount and Blade”, you kinda keep hearing it, whether you want to or not.


  22. Christopher says:

    Aw Rutskarn, why would you want the villains in One Piece to die? All they do is either come back as allies, have a minor run-in with Luffy again(Buggy, for like two chapters) or have a weird adventure on the cover pages where they join the navy or start a toy factory or something. It’s not some superhero comic book situation where the Punisher can never die and every villain worth a damn will always come back and be a villain once more. They might not die, but the characters sure affect a permanent change. There isn’t an island where Luffy beat up a villain and left that then had that villain go right back to being the boss of the place.

    The way most of the villains show up again either on cover pages or later makes me worry about the ones that don’t, but I guess it’s never too late. Don Krieg could show up in chapter 1300 as the owner of a cafe. There were a couple of minor villains that got blown up early on that I was sure were dead, but then showed up on cover pages with a kid like ten years later. I like that sort of stuff. I don’t want the bad guys to die, I just want them to behave.

    • Rutskarn says:


      I really, really do know I’m missing the point. I think it’s an anxiety thing; I want these guys to not be a problem anymore, so when they exit through the revolving door my teeth grind.

      Plus, in a very real sense, I lose interest in the efforts of pulp heroes when I feel like their villains are functionally invincible. Yes, this is sometimes how life works; no, that doesn’t affect my choice in escapist material.

      To answer the obvious question: in theory I don’t have this problem with, say, comic books, because I don’t really engage with the continuity of comics–I don’t think of them as living worlds, more like specific stock characters for people to tell unrelated stories in. When I DO engage these worlds as continuities, however, I get itchy when villains recur.

      • Christopher says:

        Those are perfectly valid reasons(and thanks for answering the obvious question). I accept those villains living because hardly anyone in One Piece dies at all except flashbacks, and the story tells me it’s gonna be fine if the villains survive because their dreams(Of selfishly destroying a country or whatever) were destroyed when they lost. But it’s definitely a trope that doesn’t make that much sense.

        I watched Hajime no Ippo much later than I discovered One Piece, and I think a lot of shonen tropes make more sense in the context of that kinda sports manga. When your villains is just your opponents in a boxing match, and it’s not a matter of life or death, it makes sense to be friendly with them after the fact as long as they aren’t complete jerks. When your opponent has destroyed lives, murders at will and rules as a despot the world has to be bent to make that work.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      While I haven’t read (or is ti watched?) One Piece, I also can get pissed off at shows if they start reusing a antagonsit, ESPECIALLY if he is a REAL piece of work. I basically quit Gundam 00 half way through second season once a certain psycho escaped his just deserts (a quick and brutal death) one too many times and this time for an even more frivolous reason.

      I’m sort of fine if they justify normal antagonists (person of different opinion but human) escaping defeat but once psychos are able to escape karma with impunity simply because “they are fun” my rage against them starts to turn into a rage against the writers and the show.

  23. 4th Dimension says:

    Corn alergy? Huh. Wait how do allergies work again? Are they genetic or maybe the culture in the stomach changes or something? Because if it’s the former we should have culled such genes long ago.

    • Shamus says:

      I get sick when I eat corn. I call it a corn “allergy”, but that’s just because “allergy” is a handy word for “something harmless that makes you sick anyway”. It’s not necessarily a problem with an immune response.

      I didn’t used to have a problem with corn. I’m not sure exactly when it started or what triggered it. But at some point I noticed that I was getting sick from certain foods, and eventually I isolated corn. It’s actually gotten gradually worse over the last few years. It went from “ugh I feel yucky when I eat this” to “seriously I can’t touch this stuff if I don’t want to become painfully ill”.

      When talking about causes, it’s all guesswork.

      * Some people blame GMO foods. That’s a whole complicated topic.
      * Perhaps it’s an immune system malfunction that mis-identifies the food (or whatever the food turns into once it enters the bloodstream) as a threat, possibly in response to an illness.
      * We use tons of different bacteria to digest food. If some bacteria dies off (illness, or maybe it’s killed off by a drug) then you could have trouble digesting whatever it is that bacteria was used to break down.
      * Maybe the “allergy” isn’t to corn, but to some new industrial pesticide or fertilizer used in growing the corn. Trace amounts of this stuff remain in the food, and maybe it makes some people sick. In which case the “allergy” is a result of farmers gradually embracing a new substance.

      Maybe it’s a combination of these things. Maybe it’s something else entirely. Go to ten doctors and you’ll get ten answers. Nobody is really studying this yet. I never HEARD of such a thing as “corn allergy” for the first 3 decades of my life, and now it’s becoming as common as pet allergies. Sooner or later people will zero in on this and try to figure it out, but in the meantime I get to try to hunt for foods that don’t use corn. (Which is hard. We put that shit in EVERYTHING here in the US.)

      • Falcon02 says:

        This doesn’t really apply to sudden Corn Allergies, but I listened to a Radiolab podcast recently about something called Alpha-Gal.

        Basically people develop a sudden allergy to red meat due as a result of a tick bite. The tick bite causes the immune system to start identifying this “Alpha Gal” molecule (found in all mammals except old-world monkeys and apes, including humans) as an invader. And thus develop a sudden allergy to red meats (Fish and Chicken can still be consumed).

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Chemo patients often develop “allergies” to whatever food they eat during the weeks of treatment. Their body comes to associate the food with chemo-induced nausea, and it basically produces the same reaction as the “One time I got really drunk on tequila and threw up, now I can’t touch the stuff” story. It’s theorized that this is the brain trying to protect you from yourself: it observes the correlation between the food and nausea, assumes causation, and fires off unpleasant feelings to prevent the person from eating what it has concluded is poison.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Allergies arent really something tied to just one specific gene which can be bred out.They are a mix of genetics and environment.First,you have the predisposition to being allergic to something,but then that allergy can be activated by being exposed to said thing,or it can be lessened by said exposure.

      For example,I inherited a sun allergy from my mother(she gets a terrible rash when exposed to intense summer sun),but it went away one day and never returned.No idea why or how,just one year I got a rash when we were at sea,the next year I did not.For her,it persisted her whole life,until she started using injections that helped her not be allergic to the sun anymore.And then,one day,for no apparent reason,she became allergic to these shots.

      So yeah,allergies are weird.

  24. Syal says:

    …I’m with Rutskarn on long hours in Mount and Blade without knowing about the speedup.

    Since Josh apparently already knew it I’m blaming him.

  25. Merlin says:

    Regarding Mario Run: I found the demo itself surprisingly slick. My sole problem with it is that I don’t know what to do with my hands.

    Obviously, 1-button tap-anywhere controls are not terribly complicated to actually operate. But decades of video games have trained me that action buttons are operated with my right hand, and there just isn’t anywhere to put it. Holding the tablet low is comfortable, but it means your right thumb obscures a bunch of the incoming level AND you need to move your left hand quite a bit to reach the bubble button. Holding the tablet high is a little weird, but it gives you access to the bubble button with your left hand and means your right thumb is hanging out up in the air, away from Mario’s path. However, they also like to hide those specialty coins high in the level, making you that much more likely to miss them.

    Clearly this isn’t Star Fox or Other M levels of awkward, but it’s kind of striking since Nintendo otherwise has a pretty fantastic history of controller design and game-feel. A sort of designated “controller” area along the bottom would go a long way, I think.

  26. Ninety-Three says:

    So Rutskarn mentioned that he was bummed out that his strategy of being an asshole bandit was so effective in Mount and Blade and I’m curious, why did that disappoint you? Were you hoping the game had a stronger moral compass? That it was well-balanced enough to still challenge a bandit player? That it could create an interesting narrative of a bandit player eventually undone by their hubris?

    I can imagine more than a few reasons why it might have disappointed you, basically I’m asking you to elaborate because the M&B talk was interesting.

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