Sep. 21st, 2010

sarasvati: A quill pen in an inkwell, sepia-toned. (writing)
It may be decently warm outside according to the Weather Network, but the sky is that particular kind of clear bright blue that only comes with the colder weather. The sky always looks different in the summer from in the winter. I'm not sure if it's the shade of blue that changes, but to me (and to Rei, too, so I know I'm not completely insane), a clear sky in summer and a clear sky in winter, even when they're both a bright beautiful blue, look different enough for me to even be able to tell when things are unseasonably warm or cold.

Regardless of why this happens, it's certainly happening today. The sky looks cold, and I'm glad to be inside where I can stay toasty and nurse myself back to health.

Speaking of, I'm feeling better today than I did yesterday. Not great, mind you, and I think I'm sitting up straight only because of medication, but yesterday I had to take double doses and still had to suffer through symptoms. Vast improvement! But that's the way I tend to get sick. I feel like crap for a long time, sometimes as long as a couple of months, and then the illness just explodes and makes me feel like death warmed over. But the worst of it usually lasts for a day, maybe two if it's a very bad cold, and from there I'm on the mend. It may take me a week or more to feel decent again, but it gets better every day.

Until the next found of infections. But I'm still not getting sick as much or as badly as I used to, which I'm taking as a good sign. It's just that when I am sick, I feel like I've been sick forever. Probably because I get so used to the general blah feeling that I associate that with good health, and then when it becomes really obvious that no, it's yet another cold or bout of the flu, I get to look back and realize that in hindsight I've been under the weather for ages.

But this past summer was one of my healthiest in memory, and I'm going to try to stay on top of things this winter, too, to make it a good one. Winter's always bad for me because my lungs have more chances to go haywire, but I'm getting better at taking care of myself and eating better and all that, so fingers crossed that I get through as easily this winter as last winter. Maybe even better!

Since Rei's going to be done until around sunset, I plan to spend today doing a fair bit of writing. I'm was to get at least 3000 words done on Fractured, which I've finally found the feeling for again. I'll probably update my writing journal with more details later, if my fingers haven't fallen off.

Might also work on some of the cross-stitch holiday cards that I had in mind the other day, too, when I need a bit of a break from writing.
sarasvati: Greyscale picture of Kido Jou, studying at his desk (study)
Wow, does this ever take me back!

Old Pokemon rumours, from the days before even the original incarnations of Gold and Silver came out in Japan. I'm having a bit of a nostalgia trip here, remembering all of these things!

Before GS came out in Japan (so that would have been before late 1999), I actually had a site of my own, on which I kept track of the latest GS news, or at least as much as I could. Most of what I had was just a rehashed version of what was appearing on every other rumour and news site, complete with the same old screenshots. I remember eagerly typing up a paragraph about the news that most, if not all, Pokemon would have male and female genders, and the rumours said that some would have different sprites and movesets according to gender. I speculated that perhaps the new Pokedex would have the ability to track Pokemon by gender, considering they'd be so different.

I also remember hearing that some pokemon would be nocturnal or diurnal only. No news other than that at the time, and so I didn't think so much that it referred only to the times they could be caught, but speculated that perhaps at night, diurnal Pokemon would have the Sleep status ailment, and vice versa, making players have to either wake them up for each battle or form different parties depending on the time of the day in which they were playing.

Considering that half the stuff that was reported at the time turned out to be inaccurate in the final version of the game (rumours of the Skateboard item come to mind), I turned out to be wrong on a lot of counts. But that didn't stop the fun of keeping up to date with the news, and making my speculations when and where I could.

One of my more interesting assumptions was that Ho-oh (known at the time only by its Japanese name of Houou) would be an evolution of Hoothoot (known then as Hoohoo). I based this on the fact that Pokemon of the same evolutionary line tended to have similarities in their naming structure, and that it would be interesting for such a powerful Pokemon to evolve from something that looked comically useless. Much like Gyarados evolving from Magikarp. Dead wrong, of course, but at least my theories were based on evidence rather than the sheer amount of people who believed all the Pikablu rumours.

That's what really made me remember all this stuff. Pikablu was the fan-name for what later came to be known as Marril, and seemed to be based on little other than a general colour scheme and the fact that the initial artwork looked vaguely mouse-like. People assumed, therefore, that it must be related to Pikachu, and named it accordingly.

That name always bugged the hell out of me. I'm the kind of person who loves game rumours, and loves to try them out (I can't count the number of hours spent playing Final Fantasy VII to uncover the truth behind every rumour I could find, including one about a wooden Chocobo and Yuffie's father's underwear -- I really wish I was joking), but I wouldn't instantly believe every rumour that came my way. I'd try to look at it as objectively as I could, and objectively, aside from the fact that the early Marril art looked mouse-like, I could see no other relation to Pikachu.

I can remember excitedly telling a Pokemon-obsessed friend about the official announcement of Marril's name. He looked baffled and asked, "Why didn't they just call it Pikablu?" I tried calmly and patiently to explain to him for the umpteenth time that it had nothing to do with Pikachu, so why would they name it so?

It should be remembered, of course, that this person was not the brightest. He insisted that he knew more about the games than I did because he'd played them longer, but often made statements about them that were incorrect. (Type matchups, for example, or natural versus TM-based moves.)

Of course, Pikachu was famous thanks to the anime, and everything Pokemon was everything Pikachu. When Honooguma's artwork was released (what most believe to be early concept art for Cyndaquil), people saw small round black eyes and went, "Gasp! Another Pikachu form!" And I facepalmed.

It may be snobbish of me, but I really disliked how people would grasp at straws like that instead of trying to actually find out things. I recall seeing fanart in one of the Pokemon-related Nintendo magazines of, among others, Marril and Snubbull. Their English names hadn't been released at the time, so of course Marril was listed not a Mariru but Pikablu. And rather than be listed as Buru, Snubbull was... Dogasu. Which, if I recall, was actually the Japanese name of Koffing. But the artist had seen a Pokemon that looked like a dog, heard a a Japanese Pokemon name that had the letters d-o-g in it, and put the two together.

It took all of 30 seconds to find out online that Buru's name was not, in fact, Dogasu, but why let research get in the way of assumptions?

But I suppose that's how a lot of rumours get started. One person makes an assumption, then other people take it seriously without doing research of their own. Me, I liked doing the research. I liked to know that what I knew was true, or at least as close to being true as people could figure out at the time.

I don't stay on top of gaming news as much as I used to. And in some ways, the widespread use of the Internet and increased availability of information has kind of taken the fun out of it for me. I used to love waiting for news sites to update with teaser info, sometimes involving stuff that wouldn't make it to the release version, and listening to all the rumours that I can put to the test later. But rumour mills involving video games seem to have died down a lot these days, and often the news sites have so much information that it's not so much of a teaser anymore. Leaked versions get out and the first thing people do now is hack the code to find out all the items, all the Pokemon, telling you exactly what's there and what to expect and when. Good in some ways, but it takes the thrill out of it for me.


sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)

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