I am on my Couch, yet I feel Lost: Pinkie Watches Labyrinth

Hear Ye Hear Ye, Princess Pinkie is here with a new Movie and Shows Post!

Greetings my Loyal Guests and Subjects! It may not be a surpise to you that I really dig the strange and unique and seek out these movies , games and anime on regular basis. One weird product in the movie industry had eluded me for the longest time.. but today I finally managed to get that film under my belt. In this movie David Bowie plays the Goblin King, a baby stealing , delusion of a man who creates several musical intermezzos in this oddball of a fantasy movie.  Today I shall tell you of that time I watched Labyrinth.

The Wizard of Wonderland…with Puppets

In 1986  Jennifer Connelly starred in her breakout role in the movie Labyrinth, a Jim Henson movie that pits the ,then still a child, star against a pop singer. Which usually isn’t such a great idea. Child actors are known for their hokey acting.. and how poor children are written in movies, and singers…. well… just name a well acted movie starring Justin Timberlake… It is a movie that has the audience and the critics sharply divided on Metacritic , scoring only a 5 out of 10 from critics and an amazing 8.4 out of the audience. So  such a bit difference is already weird… What’s weirder is.. I kinda agree.. with both sides. In their own way each is a very fair way to look at the movie. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, do I like Jim Henson’s work?!  Jim Henson , should you not know the name is the big name behind the Muppets and Sesame Street, he is the master of puppets and his creatures are recognised all across the world, and while these creatures may not be anywhere near as Iconic as some other Jim Henson products, you can tell this movie is his. Which I find a huge boon! 

The plot follows character Sarah who is rehearsing for a play about the Goblin King, however she has fairly recently gotten a stepbrother, her stepmother being over protective over little Toby forces Sarah to take care of this little brother much to her chagrin, she feels like the forgotten child, remembering a rhyme from her play she wishes that Goblins come and take her little half brother away, That they do!  Immediately Sarah regrets her actions and tells the Goblins to give her brother back, the Goblin King , Jareth played by David Bowie floats to her window and tells her he can not undo the wish. She has 13 hours to travel trough an amazing fantasy land that is one giant Labyrinth to go to Jared’s castle and reclaim her little brother before he is turned into a goblin himself and stays with Jareth forever.

The movie clearly targets a young audience, with little consequences and stuff like death or injury being replaced by less harsh, but way more looney consequences.  Like falling into the bog of Eternal Stench.. an event that will cause you to stink for the rest of your life.   Amnesia or turning into a Goblin replace death as well, and the risk of injuries is often being played for jokes, such as creatures who can rip of their own head and toss it , put it on another creature and just have fun with it.  When someone is crushed by a rock they just fly off like a bowling pin, and more like that. It makes the movie quite whimsical and delightfully lighthearted. However the dialogue has been written to appeal to a younger audience as well, which can at times feel a bit unnatural, like you are watching a high school play. Since the movie kind of sets this in a twisted version of a high school play though, I am not sure if it is an actual downside. It just is presented in a rather unnatural way.

The movie has a lot of similarities with the Wizard of Oz, in the sense with that there is a path to follow.. more or less but events constantly throw the journey off, and it even has more in common with Alice in Wonderland, with characters being extremely strange and the riddles and puzzles that have to be overcome are tackled in a manner that Alice oftenly would.  The characters that join the main character however  do really resemble the party format of Oz again.. with an ugly treacherous gnome/dwarf that finds friendship along the way, a ogre like creature that becomes braver as they go, and a dog knight that learns some humility and that fighting is not ALWAYS the answer.  Very cute, and pretty well executed. The biggest trouble is that it kind of falls short when compared to it’s greatest inspirations, but those are pretty much masterpieces so I don’t really hold it to that standard. I can see why a critic would conclude it’s an inferior product though..because it is… however there isn’t that much in the genre anyway and as general entertainment I could not help but be slightly enamoured with this flick.

Twists and Turns

The moral of the story is where the “problem” of this movie lies. I will explain why I write “problem” in quotation marks a bit later on.  The moral of this story and that the main character has to learn is “Life can be unfair sometimes, we just have to deal with it when that happens” .. or something like that. It is indeed unfair if a parent favours one child over the other, but it happens especially if one child is newborn and the other is in their teens. It is unfair that some pappa’s and mamma’s don’t stay together and you have to allow another person in your life. These are troubles Sarah has to face before the movie even starts.. but throughout the journey this theme is forced in pretty hard. The Labyrinth cheats!  If she is smart enough to mark the route, little creatures will change it.   A worm.. which by the way is the most adorable thing EVER .. tells her that sometimes she can walk through a solid wall!  Sometimes solving a riddle and clearing an obstacle will immediately resolve in a new punishment. For a movie about making progress that can feel a bit lackluster.. and make progress feel more like a Deus Ex Machina than earned.

For example at one time Sarah is solving lots of mysteries in a row, some hubris sets in and she tells him, this is super easy. He then fast forwards time to give her 4 hours left instead of 8.. or something. Why not fast forward it all the way so you win?!  Why  give her a chance?  Why come up with a riddle segment and have Sarah solve it.. if you give her the punishment for failing it anyway.. on a fundamental level it feels wrong.  The movie isn’t satisfactory in that regard. Stuff happens because it happens, and normally I would HATE a movie for that. I hate a lot of anime who do that.. but this one gives clear hints on what is going on, you just have to assume something, something most people really do not like to assume these days. To enjoy this movie you have to watch it .. as an analogy rather than an adventure.. because while the events are fun, the actions taken end up being inconsequential due to the chosen theme. 

I did not end up minding it all that much in retrospect when I saw the big picture but there where times I felt very frustrated.  The character of Sarah is a big offender in this as well.. for the first half of the movie she is extremely whiny. She complains how unfair the maze is and how everything works against her. She vents this to characters who do not deserve it and the whole idea of wishing her brother away because she is studying a play and hates his crying noises already makes her feel quite bratty. An argument can be made that Jareth, the Goblin King is more appreciative of the baby than Sarah is and he’s the better choice. The movie fixes that later on but at several points in the movie I found myself rooting against Sarah! If you close your mind off because of that before the midway point, this movie might indeed suck. I don’t like children and Sarag began to annoy me just as a child would .. and then I realised… she is annoying but most children who would not be crippled by crying would react like this.. I as a child would have probably reacted like this.

The movie makes the odd choice to leave a lot of responsibility at the mature viewer, you have to poke through some things, if you take everything face value and “as seen on screen”  this movie might not satisfy you. Like a fairy tale, we seem to walk across a beaten path with a cookie cutter morality and a clear sign of who will be the victor at the end. However if you poke a little deeper there  a lot there. Do these events really happen? Or is it Sarah’s mind trying to cope with how unfair life is and allowing her to grow enough to learn a lesson. Do we sometimes need to let go of reality and it’s unfair to escape.. so we can later on face that unfairness.. that to me is what this movie is really about. What we see MIGHT have happened… but if she imagined it.. all those silly things that did not make sense before make sense.. after all she is creating the scenario and it also all feels very much like the mindset of a child, every single event even how the story sometimes derails into something so fantastical that it does not make sense… maybe Sarah ‘s true labyrinth is that of the feelings in her own mind. Kids get a cute little adventure, yet there is something for a mature audience as well. You just have to work your grey matter and imagination a bit to find it.

And then there’s Jim

The creatures we encounter on this adventure are so fun! I especially enjoyed Ludo the ogre , stone summoner and the worm! Oh I loved the worm so much!  It had like 3 lines of text but it was great.  It just tells Sarah there are doors that she can sometimes not see and she can move through some wall!  But he also keeps inviting her over for dinner! Inviting her to come inside.. there is no clear indication of what he means inside, nor what’s for dinner. There is just a worm… in blue with a scarf that tells her you can go to a wall or come for dinner. I do not know why I love it so much but I absolutely adored it. Then there is a wise dwarf, with a talking hat who bestows wisdom on passersby. The hat looked a lot like the minish cap from zelda, even speaking in the same sarcastic tone. Two door knockers, gargoyle like by design one with the knocker in his ears the other in his mouth. One can’t hear one can’t speak! Find out which door is correct.  I love this kind of stuff. Sir Didymus being a dog riding on a dog was great as well, especially since one is a puppet and the steed an actual dog! It is also quirky and even all the goblins felt unique! 

This movie, while an original story feels very much like a fairytale.. but also like a hodgepodge of fairy tale tropes.. like a kid or young girl trying to write her own story, including moments where the story derails… a great example of this is when Sarah loses Ludo as her guardian, he just falls trough the floor for no reason, nor is a reason ever given after reuniting with him.. he just comes out of a tunnel… but while alone Sarah comes across creatures that look a lot like Kowakian Monkey Lizards from Star wars..but bigger.. in pink and yellow and orange fur. They sing a song and toss their heads around to tell Sarah they want her to play as well and will rip of her head. It feels so extreme for this story, very Alice in Wonderland.. and very much like I used to write when I was young.

There is an encounter with Jareth on some MC Escher like stairs, where trough camera choices I got absolutely confused which was the point and it felt great. For a movie about a Labyrinth I truly felt lost, Henson made most of his characters so insanely quirky that they become self aware of their quirk. Like the guardians with one always speaking the truth and one always lying, by all the questions they have been asked in the past and all the mystery they forgot who is who themselves.. and aren’t even sure if they should lie or tell the truth thus if Sarah goes trough the door and falls trough a hole we aren’t sure.. did the creatures accidentally flip roles, is the hole actually progress, you can feel lost if you allow yourself too and if you immerse yourself.. and a lot of it is due to the wonderful cinematography, amazing creatures and fun effects.

Some events have this level of theater effect to them.. like a stone coming in rolling very slow based or a pebble clearly on a wire being moved towards the main character. It feels like one of those old stage plays, like the Muppets is supposed to be I guess.  It feels intentional yet hokey, it takes you out of the movie enough to give it a proper thought.. but also allows you to enjoy the wonderful creatures more. Like the hooded goblins with numbered helmets.. we see them several times but never see why their helmets are numbered.. not until way later where they end up being bowling pins to Ludo’s special attack!  A super simple joke but long before that they were on my mind as to what the secret of thiose numbers could!  It is all some great work and because it’s so hokey and forced at times.. it doesn’t age as poorly some effects feel like they were intended to feel wooden and forced.. so even the puppeteering that aged worse.. can be seen as semi intentional! Great work Mr Henson!

We are all mad here

If you asked me if I enjoyed this movie I would say yes! If you ask me if I had a good time while watching it, I’d be a bit more reluctant to say yes.  The second half of the movie is a great ride so would a rewatch of the first half.. but the first time you watch this… or the first time in a long while … eeeeh…. Sarah is a brat and that ends up being great as we really go on a journey with her towards a better version of herself..but she comes across very abrasive from the start and only when she accepts the maze ins unfair, she becomes a remotely likeable character That is relatively late in the movie to start liking a main character. That’s the whole thing I think.. if you hold it to normal movie standards this is odd! Maybe to odd  It doesn’t fit the normal criticising format. So if you review it as just a movie.. maybe it is bad. Reviewing by your normal, story, music, acting etc standards you can easily rate this a 5/10! Sure there is plenty of things wrong with this movie.. at least in the sense with how one normally reviews movies.

If you see it as a quirky visual fairy tale made by Jim Henson… that is a childs day dream about coming to term with the fact that she has a new family now and has to accept her new little brother as well as him getting more a spotlight than her you are in for a great time! This is NOT a movie that you measure by the normal standards, it can’t… well it can but in doing so you’d already be missing the essence of this flick! It doesn’t fit the standard bill. For once I do not really have a weird analogy for you this time because this thing is really unique! Labyrinth is not just a movie… Labyrinth is Labyrinth. If you can watch it with the goal of understanding or experiencing this wonderful product, rather than “put on a movie” a great time awaits you, that you will remember long into your happily ever after. The Bowie songs though will fade away rather quickly.

Did you see Labyrinth?! What did you think? Who is your favourite character? Let’s get lost in the comments but be sure to bring your Bedroll in case we really get lost! Because remember folks!
Friendship is magic but dreams are even more wonderful!
Oyasumi!

Pinkie’s Quest for Meat… I think : Mario’s Mystery Meat

Hello little lights, I am trying to streamline my content a bit.. focussing on anime , games and even pokémon things that might seem odd or straight up bizarre. The Princess of weird.. after all that always facinates me.. on this hunt to get a bit more focus, due to limited energy.. I encountered something very strange. A Rom-Hack unlike any others.. Join me as I play … Mario’s Mystery Meat!

Disclaimer

I am aware that the journey I was about to take would take me deep into VineSauce Lore… and I have no idea about what that entails. I assume I will move trough some very specific memes that I might not get.. but I don’t even know what VineSauce is.. all I know is they apparently have a lot of custom Mario lore. A very skillful rom hacker named Enimus decided to turn this all into a game that is more or less cohesive. Do keep in mind though that I have no idea who these characters are, I am here for the rollercoaster of weirdness that awaits me and that will be my perspective.  So please don’t yell at me for describing a character as that “duck thing” ….because let me tell you there are a LOT of “things”  in this game! It all starts with what Mario brother you play. Care to take a guess? It’s not Mario.. so the title is a bit deceptive.. Of course you are not Luigi either, you play the orange brother…. Sponge.
(Pronounced Spongée)

Mario and Luigi love spaghetti but what is spaghetti without a lot of meat. Unfortunately Mario and Luigi are always too busy to save the world to get the meat for their spaghetti so they delegated this to their third brother.. the outcast one.  Sponge is a chronically depressed man who never really goes on adventures but just on trips to the butcher shop.  However on a normal meat run.. suddenly a giant worm thing shows up , to the sound of a PlayStation One starting up. Sponge jumps in his mouth and gets transported to a strange new world.. where has to save Princess Bleach for himself.. from the evil Will Smith and get meat for Mario and Luigi by killing the giant worm. Unlike classical Mario adventures this all happens in a seemingly seamless 2d world. Though  the word world would imply this is a cohesive mesh.. but I am not full sure about that!  Let’s dive into this adventure. 

Virtual Boy… for Real Men (and Women)

Mario’s Mystery Meat, is a Rom Hack for Super Mario World, which means it can be played on an emulator or put on a fan cartridge if you find the right guy!   But it is a very special romhack, that features many different forms of Gameplay!  We are introduced to Sponge in a very classical Super Mario World level.. but very much in hte style of how a stage randomiser rom hack works.  Elongated sections of blocks and sped up enemies immediately will show you, this Rom Hack won’t be easy.  Clearing the stage will send you to a twisted Dimension and the Playstation theme boots up.. the worm thing shows upand you jump in it’s mouth. The map we got promised from the beginning is gone.. there is just one stage.. called Meat!

I am filled with confidence that I can handle whatever this game will throw at me.. and it begins with the drop in a pit! Bart Simpson pig shows up.. Peter Griffin with a mushroom cap hat.. a guy cosplayed like Simon Belmont.. and a Luigi shouting NUT! Then I fall even deeper and land back to the 2d stages… a Duck man tells me he hates me.. a duck tells me his dad is mean and so are his brothers. To the right a series of Piranha plants block my path.. so I have to go left where a Chozo statue gives me my first power up! Crying!

Crying is Sponge’s variant of the fire flower, but instead of throwing fire from his hands he throws water from his eyes if he hits something that can be hurt by his tears it turns into coins… like Piranha flowers!  I move on and get faced with an onslaught of ducks and I mean an onslaught! So much that there has been a variant of this rom where the number of enemies was turned down to a more reasonable amount…but I played the regular difficulty version, although later admittedly with save states to save me from some checkpoint tedium.  It is a stage that is somewhere of a 6th to 8th world difficulty in Super Mario Standards.  It is tricky for sure but very doable! I find the letter B and take it with me.. it has to be here for some reason right? I die a few time and can not activate the letter B no matter how hard I try.. so I take it with me across the entire stage.. until I encounter a bird tomb! Which of course is missing a letter B! I place the letter and get access to a new location!

There is some lore to be found in this next room but also a duck that is made out of five duck heads.. all of them a character from Animal Crossing, they , he, it,  gives me a quiz mostly about ducks!  I struggle with this quiz because I am not aware of VineSauce lore but luckily there is no penalty for failure other than starting the quiz over, as a bonus question I have to answer who is fatter Ringo Star.. or Mr Dink.. I chose Ringo .. because why not!  Eventually I pass the quiz and the duck lets me pass a sarcophagus.

I now am in a tomb.. filled with ducks! But everything is shown in Virtual Boy graphic style, black and red with huge scanlines and pieces of picture missing.   I have to jump on huge pigeons who are reskinned Montey moles.. dodge evil   glowey eyed pigeons and skeletal ducks! .. I wonder of this will be all ducks and immediately after. While the screen is still kind of red.. it’s not a virtual boy anymore… a strange eerie clown melody  is playing.. cheerful, almost circuslike.  So of course I get chased by Smiley faces! … This stage is HARD!  Those smiles can be quite unforgiving! By spinjumping on their heads I can avoid harm.. but they chase me hard! Think .. sun in Mario 3.. but now there is like 7 of them!  In batches of 3 and they mad! 

Stranger Things

The weirdness hardly ends there,  I go back to pigeon riding for just a bit .. but when a pigeon takes me into the darkness, I suddenly end up on Howard the ducks head.. it absorbs me… and I fall into a deep pit with no way out! A chime from game Earthbound can be heard after which Sponge hears the voice of god! He will help Sponge.. by pissing all over him. This game can be quite infantile at times, with an AWFUL lot of piss jokes! I am not sure if it is is god’s piss but the next series of stages or sections are swimming levels that get increasingly weird. The one that is the least weird has pink blocks with cute little piggies depicted on them launch pigs with lady legs swimming real fast and torpedoes like you. It is a very pink stage.. despite potentially being set in god’s urine so I did really like it. This stage feels by far the fairest in term of difficulty. Just be careful and you will get by just fine. For the second bout of swimming we now are in a very spacy environment.. besides the pigs, there are UFOs and aliens as well. It is super colourful and cute.. so once again I like it… obviously by taking a warp pipe… we would end up in a restaurant.. because that makes sense.

I am then quickly attacked by Ringo Starr.  Had I told the five headed duck from earlier I thought Mr Dink was the fattest, he would have been in the restaurant instead. So from moments like these it is really shown that this game pushes rom-hacking to the limit. The fight is completely in Earthbound RPG style as well, so not only does the game now have branching paths based on choices you made.. it also features elements from other games! Something you don’t often see in Rom Hacks which is incredibly ingenious and only further contributes to the fever dream that is this game. Ringo is defeated by crying in front of him and then giving him 1 cent.. he got what he came for and he wishes me love and peace.. as he fades into thing air. In Earthbound style Sponge Levels up and learns Crying B.. a power that now makes sure he can cry with whatever power up he is using..even when tiny! Cool! But leveling up made Sponge hungry and on the table is a plate of spaghetti that Ringo left untouched…. of course that plate of spaghetti is the next stage……

The Spaghetti stage is where things start to become a bit tedious, as it combines elements of Donkey Kong Country , with classic mario elements.. but also elements from later mario games that weren’t even used yet.. So we got Dk’s spinning barrels, now rebranded as shoes, typical mario moving platforms , now shaped like Pizza’s and the bouncy donuts from later mario games, in a almost sonic style maze, with multiple paths to take.  Not all jumps are doable it seems but across the stage you find several pools, that offer certain upgrades. Liquid Bread bloats you up like a balloon, while CBT oil makes you jump higher but more slippery, Tears make the world seem darker and Pee.. makes you curl up into a ball and shortens your jumping range.  I avoided reading what was in the white pool.. and i did not jump in it either.. I did not trust them! 

Regardless, in this stage I used save states a few times, as we get a lot of “jump chaining”  where you have to do 12 incredibly hard and specifically timed jumps in sequence and a fail on  any one will reset you to the beginning. When a lot of enemies are on screen the game can slow down a bit.. which makes precision jumping that much harder. The enemies you encounter here are pirate knives, ..which is a kitchen knife with a pirate costume, a teletubby throwing meatballs and a frog spitting bath toys at you. Oh and weaponised pizza’s!   The stage ands in a fight against an evil sausage.

Go to Hell Will Smith!

After Sponge finishes the sausage he finds the meat he was looking for and it seems my quest is over.. but the game glitches and I now have play a kids games.. Pick the Triangle.. says a kids voice.. so I pick a triangle.  Select the sun.. the kid voices tells me while I can select either a sun or a moon!  Then a Mario yelling piss, shows up and a picture of Jay Leno.. with the assignment to pick the opposite of funny! Since I assume this game thinks piss is funny… I pick Jay Leno and it is the right answer. Next random letters show up.. when I click on one the kid begins to count how many letters there are… there are 6! Six!, SIX! The kid tells me he will send me to hell and soon Sponge finds himself trapped in Hell.. I get consumed by hellfire on a auto running stage and just as I get ready to repeat this ad infinium, I find myself in an alien village that worships Hatsune Miku, the worm and Will Smith. The aliens seem rather violent minded but also to lazy to act on it.  In a bit of an adventure style, I can talk to all sorts of villagers to find out what item to use to get to the right place.  To advance the story.

The goal was to find Yoshi.. but he refuses Sponge because he is just a depressed crybaby, the only way Sponge can prove himself to Yoshi is in Gladiatorial combat against the aliens,  which unfortunatly doesn’t use any different gameplay and just uses classic Mario gameplay, with a lot of hammer brothers to fight! Overall this is all fairly doable but after this the game becomes obnoxiously hard. After getting the approval of Yoshi we have to move through another glitched style setting, trying to raise the creature up to his big form and reach the end of the stage with him. Rough edges are shown here because it is SOOOOO easy to lose Yoshi and there are puzzles to solve that can cause Yoshi to just fall through the floor and you have to start all over again. And all over this time means.. track back a stage or two to get Yoshi back. It’s more annoying than it is hard…. but we are still at Megaman 2 difficulties herre.. not the boss stages yet.. but the trickier regular stages.  If we make it through this stage we get an air combat stage that really is just the level of another game.. but the final boss has been replaced by two will smith stone heads.. with an enlarged forehead.

That stage I would say is the last one that is truly fun to play! After this the difficulty ramps up so hard that it becomes quite frustrating.  The whole sense of being on an adventure also comes to a bit of a halt as things feel even more random.. before   the weirdness had a bit of story to it and this to me is where the game derails. In the last stage that features Yoshi , I am dodging Verizon logo’s giant sorcerers and have to use the cape  and liquid platforms into enemy jumps to progress. It’s a very specific jumping style that feels so horrible.. like a nail on the chalkboard sensation of platforming. Yoshi gets lasered to death by the Will Smith castle as I answer what I assumed was the last stage. 

The first step of the castle however is quite fun!  It feels like a great final stage for a Mario game. It is challenging  by riding floating blocks.. doding will Smith shaped Twomps.. and  Will Smith shaped Lava fish and features an enemy that eats the stage! It offers some interesting jump puzzles… the second part of the castle however… made me almost rage quit. In a vertical autoscroll, race to the top against lava, filled with one block wide precision jumps, fake out twomps and trial of error segments we get a stage that is so blood boiling it almost made me quit! Savestates made this manageable.. but this is on the level of those insanely difficult Mario Maker stages.

A Mysterious Rom Hack

Through the power of artificial checkpoints I do pass this stage, but it has broken me!  I notice I do not enjoy the game as much as I did before.  With still two more stages to go the game has become a bit of a slog, yet the weirdness continues to drive me! At the end of the Will Smith Stage you find a button to rewind time.. and suddenly we are back in ancient times.. We get a stage that is entirely upside down.. as in.. you stick to the ceiling.  This is a very long stage that is filled with random shapes like roman arches etc… I honestly considered flipping my lapttop upside down because I feel like this stage could be really cool, but I could not appreciate it as much because everything is upside down for a very long stage.  It is really compelling gameplay wise but there are some rough edges.  You have to grab onto vines  and only on vines controls are inverted meaning up is down and down is up. It made things a lot harder for me to wrap my mind around.. but that could be just being a bit feeble!  What really ruins this stage is the fish! 

In this stage , if you wait too long for a jump a fish comes and eats you up, rather than outright killing you it transports you to an alternate dimension of worm things, who sing the Hong Kong 97 loop of I love Beijing Tiananmen. While I love the reference these things are a spawn from hell!  While they can be used to skip through parts of the stage they also can catch you in a loop!  So besides dying.. you can “soft die” .. the game deciding.. you went to slow.. . you have one chance to not start over at the checkpoint but somewhere in between.
I do really love how weird it is.. but it just feels to punishing again. You can’t be fast, you can’t be slow, you gotta move at just the right pace while dodging unicorn Anime girls heads and Donkey Kong heads.. Mr Dink Blueberry inflations and green things! I have no idea what they were. Why is gravity so weird, why is Sponge Naked.. and how did he get his clothes back at the end of the stage.

The build up to the final boss fight is hidden behind an interesting puzzle!  With multiple bad endings and a screen that is so filled with Mario love it makes up for a lot of frustration.  I just have accepted that I think this game was made with emulation’s potential in mind.. you have to cheat because I honestly see now way to do it without it!  The final Boss battle has a very cool first stage similar to Bowser final Clown Car fight.. I really enjoyed it .. especially since we return to a very black and red stage like how our journey started…. the second stage of this fight though is completely impossible to do in a very legit way!  It is just soooo hard.  I could barely even cope with safe states. Most other players I have seen this play used rewind functions and they used that to get through!  Did I miss a rewind power or was it emulation! I am not sure!  For 80% of the game we got an amazing and fascinating adventure but the final 20% is just difficult porn. That isn’t for me.. but it is a very common romhacking thing so I can see a few people get to the end with a very big smile on their face.

A Strange Conclusion

Except for the final stages this really is a great game to give a try, it’s weird, it shows a lot of style, Sponge is quite compelling and the wonderful weirdness does give this game it’s own right to exist.  This is a very good meme game, and it really feels like such a trip! I enjoyed the journey.. I just did not enjoy the car trouble I had on the final stretch and the horrible road at whatever strange place I have landed now. If you like challenging Mario games, this might be a bit too weird though and a bit too easy in the beginning. If you like weird games you will probably experience the same as me. You will love the first part and really hate the late game. The game managed difficulty quite well up untill the very end. Even the verizon stage is still kinda fair.. just with an annoying jump! Just the penalty for losing Yoshi is a bit too harsh. It seems this Rom Hack was made for a too specific audience.

Now I do not know the Mario skill of the VineSauce followers or people who made it for someone to stream or something.. I don’t know how VineSauce works or how it works.. I barely know what it is. So perhaps I am missing something and this difficulty serves the purposes I am not aware of. So honestly, this is a weird one..  in all sense of the words. Do I recommend you playing it? I’d say yes… maybe up until you defeat the sausage?! You get the meat  and you can see that as the game ending.  Up until that point it a super fun game, after that there is still some fun to be had.. but see that more as your “lost levels” Bonus content you can play!  The Princess Bleach plot line gets abandoned and the story doesn’t really resolve in any way in the end, so  there is no real ending.  So just play the game until it stops being fun for you! That is the best way to play this!

Now normally I would end with a nice picture.. but this time I wil lend with the I love Beijing Tiananmen Loop for you to enjoy! Shine on little lights. Oyasumi!

Animini: Flip Flappers – Episode 12 – Pure Howling

Hello my Island Guests!  Sometimes you want to address a show as if it was a person, and if I could I would say “Flip Flappers  Dai-Dai-Daisuki”  My Arceus this episode yet again is so amazing… if the last episode can stick the landing at least a bit this will become one of my favourite shows ever, alongside Tengen Toppa Gurren more recently Kyousougiga. Sometimes a show resonates super strong with you and the message of Flip Flappers is basically the way i want to live my life. Dai-Dai-Daisuki!

The Summary

Jeesz.. this one is a bit trickier to describe without sounding like a raving lunatic!  I will do my best though! In this episode Yayaka and Papika chase Cocona and Mimi into Pure Illusion while the real world is still invaded by the snow monsters. While they are chasing their dear friend , Mimi is brainwashing Cocona to only listen to her mother.. she is one Disney song removed from Rapunzel’s mother.  Salt meanwhile has his mind set on finding the Elpis.. held by the evil organisation which seems to me like it is the original Flip Flappers now. He takes Nyunyu, Buu-Chan .. and the tracksuit Flip Flap girl whose name I forgot along on a perilous journey!  His leads him eventually into descending into the enemy base where Buu-Chan finally transforms into a muscle mode mecha.. and that gets defeated right away.. but Salt manages to get into Elpis. The Amorphous twins meanwhile can peer into deep Illusion as they try to recover their injuries and they actually see Yayaka made the right calls.

Inside pure Illusion we essentially get a boss-rush!  Evil Mimi makes Yayaka and Papika fight through the original stages of Papika and Cocona’s adventure.. but when facing that desert lady that brainwashed Cocona in episode 3.. Yayaka and Papika really struggle.. that is until an Amorphous shard lands into Yayaka’s possession. Papika tells her to think of her treasure and draw power from that. Yayaka realises her treasure is not the Amorphous but here dear friend Cocona.  Determined to take her back, Yayaka manages to Flip-flap into a magical girl much like her two friends. The Boshrush now gets pretty easily cleared until they end up in the cyberpunk world of episode 7.  Here Mimi alters Papika’s memory to break her resistance and make her believe she is right. This prompts the good Mimi to show in front of Cocona and tell her she should fight to make her own choices in life.. she might lack the courage but mother will give her that.  Mimi steals the magical girl powers of the girls.. but when Papika and Cocona confess what they mean for each other .. they transform into a new form of magical girls!  Together they easily punch the boss of the cyberpunk world away.. paving the path to the final episode and the fight against evil Mimi. Who wanted to use her power of Pure Illusion to create the perfect safe space for Cocona.

The Positives

I loved practically everything about the episode! Basically everything I had wished for in previous reviews of this show have been handed to me. It is confirmed that Cocona has a father, the Amorphous Twins got their head out of their ass, we got to see more magical girl stuff and best of all Yayaka got her magical girl powers.  Her power relaying around speed is a perfect accompaniment to the girls who respectively form the sword and shield together.  Now we have Strength, Bulk and Speed… amazing!  I really really liked her design as well. Her switching to a green hair colour was a bit odd..  but since Cocona swaps colours with Papika.. it kinda is fun to see how Yayaka combines colours with Cocona and giving her a green hair colour. Seeing Buu-chan transform but easily be defeated I like because this kind of reminds me of the powerscaling in Dragon Ball Z.. or Super.. how people suddenly become relevant again.. Flip Flappers basically just says… NAH! Just kidding this character still kinda sucks in terms of battle prowess.   

I still really like the choice of having Mimi who was captured and experimented on all her life as someone that is quite broken and it does work wonders in this episode. Clearly deep down she never was able to make her own choices so it makes sense that a part of her really wants to see Cocona do that. Yet she was als tremendously hurt, betrayed several times and she had a pretty horrible life. It makes sense that she would not want that life for Cocona either. Those choices are preventing each other.. those who make their choices freely will eventually end up getting hurt. And those who try to avoid being hurt at all cost never have a real choice in life. So it does make sense that these sides conflict with one another. I also like that these conflicts have been in Cocona from the start. She wants to have fun with Papika.. but she is also afraid to do the wrong thing. The new magical girl form looking more like their regular selves is also pretty empowering.. just be yourself and trust in who you are!   I haven’t even begun to talk about the awesome battles in this episode!   There is just too much goodness here!

The Negatives

I would love to say there are non.. but unfortunately one thing kinda missed the mark. Nyunyu tags along with Salt on her adventure and the way she does it is cute.. but also kind of annoying. It results in a few visual gags that while I did not mind in particular I did not really care for either. It’s there and I realise I rather would see something else than her sitting on a drone or using Buu chan as a helicopter swing thing…. which is weird because Nyunyu is my type of character. So the only conclusion I can make here is.. that I don’t really dislike her.. I just like the rest so much more that those scenes seemed annoying by comparison.  We are talking about her being like an 8.2  of entertainment while the rest of the show constantly is around 9.5 or higher. It’s not bad at all but it kinda feels like a big dip?!

That really is it though so since I have another paragraph I am gonna just rave about how awesome this episode was. The callback to old locations can be called cheap but I am the type of person that likes Boss Rushes.. because it can show how much you have grown and that is exactly what chain of events meant for me.  The ease with which Papika transforms, the way how they strategise now. That is delightful and I kinda disliked how Cocona constantly flipped between hating and loving Papika I get it now.. that is once more Cocona lacking the courage to make a choice.. following what society would say about their relation or having a friend that is so odd.. or doing something  not normal. It fixed my biggest issue with this show!  The ending might be a bit sudden.. but  it is quirky enough to work and it leaves expectations wide open.

The Score

I would like to give this a score beyond Star Fruit.. this episode while not my favourite in the long run did so much for the show for me.  It is more than just an episode.This episode for me is my favourite moment off all those Ocean Eleven movies.. you know when the jazzy funk music begins playing and they explain how they did it and we see some awesome shots of them sitting in a vault when we thought they failed the heist.. That is this episode for me.. I love that kind of thing and this is it’s own unique spin on that kind of thing so I love it even more!

I mean I could just rave about Yayaka finally being a magical girl and yelling Flip Flapping for the second time and I would be right to do so but….. aww .. who cares I am going to do it! SQUEEEEEE  YAYAKA FINALLY BECAME A MAGICAL GIRL! THATS MA GIRL! WEEE! This to me is one of those episodes where you scream and your screen  hoping to “send some energy” to transform along with them… I did not transform yet.. but I know one thing.. if the last episode is even half as good as this one I might very well choose Flip Flappers as my treasure to transform with!