sarasvati: A white lotus flower floating on water. (Default)
It's a stormy day today. The sky was a dark grey until only about an hour ago, and it's still raining fairly hard and is very windy. Rei called from work and said that there were times he could hear the rain on the roof of the store, and considering he works in a department store where music plays and customers are loud, that really says something! I can hear the wind howling outside; it makes me glad I'm indoors!

We were planning to meet later to pick up some medication and food, but we called it off. Rei's already sick, I'm slowly getting sick, and walking for an hour in the cold wind and rain will do nothing for us. Rei will still have to walk home, sadly, but he said there's no point in both of us getting drenched.

So I'm sitting here in the living room, working more on the Living Laura project. The first book went slowly, but I've got more drive behind me now, and I think if I work at it I can get at least half of the second book done today. Even if it's nothing spectacular, doing this still allows me to feel somewhat productive, even if there are better things I could be doing. (Wasing the dishes? Whatever do you mean?)

Another ARC was delivered this morning, and the first physical copy of a book I've received in a long time. I usually get a lot of my books to review via .pdf files sent by authors or publishers right to my email, or from NetGalley, so it was a nice treat to get something I can hold in my hands again.

Speaking of, NetGalley seems to have gotten a load of SF/F/P titles recently. Must go on a requesting spree! I sometimes wonder if and when they're going to refuse to give me books because I'm not churning out reviews quickly enough. It doesn't help that I'm doing a theme month on my bookblog, and there isn't a lot of historical fiction that NG offers that I'm interested in. Still, once November hits, I can get back to tearing through my backlog.

(If anyone reading my journal does book reviews, I recommend signing up for an account on NetGalley, so long as you don't mind reading e-books. Free access to a variety of titles, in exchange for a review? I have yet to find a down side to this deal!)

If anyone out there plays Pokemon games still, and if you have HeartGold or SoulSilver, don't forget to grab your free Mew from the WiFi Nystery Gift today! The event's active for a little while, but it's still limited, so grab it while you can!
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)

August 2011

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