Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist


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Nighttime Wanderings of an Animal Crossing Star

I woke too early for schedule Thursday morning and managed to avoid writing anything by picking up my DS. I had intended to relax, but I went for the old game of Animal Crossing: Wild World, from which I had been absent for ten months, according to the animal-character friends of my playable character, Alexa.

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I remember ACWW well from my childhood. If we ignore the various absences I took for my schoolife, I have been playing that game for a good eight years or so – since my last year of Primary School. Because it’s not a ‘platform’ or level game, the gameplay is infinite according to the needs of the user. And I have quite a lot of history with ACWW – before I became a ‘proper’ writer, I had written the tales of my character(s) into an on-going story that charted their life in a sleepy town trying to get rich. ‘Write what you know’ indeed! After that, I swapped its first-person past format for a choose-your-own add-venture of sorts.

So, there I came, playing the game again. It’s amazing how I remember the majority of the controls, except A and Y, which I keep getting mixed up. And, as I probably had done many a time before, I set myself (or more precisely: Alexa) some goals:

screenshot5Alexa1In order to complete the list of bugs: 1. Catch an Oak Silk Moth

2. Catch a scorpion

3. Catch the bug absent from each character’s lists. (edit: I looked it up, and I’m missing a Banded Dragonfly.)

Well, the Oak Silk Moth… Time was almost 11pm on that Thursday night when I finally spotted the broad wings spread across a tree. I shouldn’t have taken so long to come across one large bug, but I did spend the hours trailing. I edged up close to the waterbank, halting at every cautious flutter of the creature’s wings. I’d lost it to haste before; I wasn’t going to spend these nights within the same fate.

Then, ‘snap’ came the net, across the goliath bug. Caught, it flapped helplessly in my hands as it displayed it and my pride.

Proof!

Proof!

As for the scorpion…well, I was about to give up on Friday night at 11.30, having been bitten twice by scorpions and once by a tarantula (the two Arachnids basically play the same role). The sneaky critters are on the attack – my second encounter with a scorpion was a casual trip to the beach, where it was lurking and pounced on me before I even know of its presence in that place. As you can guess, after this time, I was formulating a plan. The scorpions (and tarantulas) like the offensive – therefore, I had two options: attack at senseless speed and hope to be the first, or sneak up and hope the creature doesn’t smell/see me. I’m not afraid of these in real life (okay, maybe tarantulas…), but in the game they bear a pretty menacing shuffle.

As I said, I was about to give up, when I heard some familiar rustling from the bridge near my position. A scorpion, rotating on the point as I walked up to it.

I walked back down the other way. In fact, I ran, happy to see that it didn’t follow. I tested the creature a couple more times, pushing myself as close as I could without it tracking me. Then, one of my neighbours starting walking about the night, causing the beast to shuffle horizontally.

But this could add to my plan… It worked to my advantage. I had little time, and, with a tired mind, I lunged, net waving, in the attack at senseless speed option.

But I threw my net down – and the white flag hit its target!

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 11pm… I don’t think I’ve been out in my town, Joyville, so late before. My audio memory tolled only faint bells about the hourly music, though it reminded me partly of Professor Layton cafe scene motifs. At that time, Nookington’s plays a lullabic version of God Save the King minutes before closing. It’s rather bizarre, to be honest.

It feels as if I have done so much since I re-started/continued playing. I caught two sharks (one great white, one hammerhead), discovered two fish that Alexa hadn’t previously, and saw a shooting star, though I was too slow to wish on it.

And a squirrel friend told me, “You ought to get stoked up about your writing, too.” Indeed!

I should be Alexa more often. Hehe, I love being a gamer. This is oddly fulfilling.

Another character of mine: Maggie.

Another character of mine: Maggie.

I found an awesome full list of the bugs (in order, too), including selling prices and peak catching times.


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Ten Things I Love About Professor Layton

This post was well overdue. I don’t share my love of the Professor Layton DS games as much as I should on this blog. And, now, presenting…

Hershel Layton!

Yay, for fan-art! The best of my drawing skills :P

Yay, for fan-art! The best of my drawing skills :P

10. Enigmatic. One word. Should be my word of the week. Also: awesome. It’s Layton’s clothes to which I’m actually referring. Whilst the man himself has a lot of secrets, it’s his attire that is most enigmatic. He somehow manages to pull of the top hat (I love it!) and jumper/jacket combination. There used to be a teacher at my school who dressed with collar up-turned like so.

9. Action. Professor Layton may drink tea and stay up all night researching archaeology, but that doesn’t mean he is physically lazy. A competent fencer, Layton shows his skills off at the end of game when it comes to fighting the antagonist. And, of course, Layton always wins!

8. Sensible. Some geniuses can be wacky and unpredictable (*cough* Don Paolo *cough*) – it comes with the impractical quantity of the intelligence. Hershel Layton is not so. He manages to keep a calm demeanour a good proportion of the time, a cheerful temperament whilst concocting answers in his powerful mind.

7. Kindness. Not simply because he’s a gentleman, but because he also has cares for the people he meets on his adventures, whether they are grandly affected by the evil or only slightly.

6. Mysteries. It’s more than just a puzzle game, and I love how a story of actual mysteries is weaved through the games, both for us to solve and for Layton himself to.

5. Music. This is more about the game itself than the character, but I love the music composed for Layton, especially his leitmotif, something which captures my interest and imagination every time I hear it. There’s a story in each well-selected piece.

4. Voice. Frankly, he has a dreamy voice. This is probably less to do with the voice-actor (Christopher Robin Miller) and more to do with the combination of image, mannerisms and voice.

3. Romantic. He may be tough at times, but Hershel once had a woman with which he was besotted. I am a sucker for reading/watching fictional characters fall in love and I really enjoyed the dynamics between Claire and Hershel in his flashbacks in The Lost/Unwound Future.  I may be the only person in the world to romantically ‘ship’ Flora-Layton (ie. Florton) (and I got a much older sense of her from the first game, like, my age) but Claire changed my mental pairing. Claire_(Professor_Layton)_full_623946

2. Gentleman. Who wouldn’t love someone who gives free advice on how to be a gentleman/lady?

1. Intelligent. Without intelligence, there would probably not be a reason/solution for each game, but that’s to why I praise him. Instead, it’s because of his clear, methodical attitude to each mystery. Although, in the end, it’s the user who completes each puzzle, the story would not exist without Layton’s inimitable knowledge of the way the world works.

 

Oh, and Happy Easter for tomorrow. My scheduled post isn’t about Easter, but it is about brains…and they’re kinda shaped like eggs… xD

Alex away! “Success!”


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Life Goes On

DonLotharioMoney AlexSims

The reason I blog about Sims so much is because, well, I go on the game so much. It’s such a great, relaxing pastime for me. Because of my many hours playing, I have developed a prescience of what is going to happen. I can predict (mostly) when a Sim will die of old age or for how long I need to stay on their house to fulfil the rota for game-play (yes I have a rota! Call me a nerd and I will nod).

As such I am able to play Sims with my headphones in so that my ears are working with the game – and I am able to pop in to control it if necessary – whilst my hands, eyes and, for the most part, mind are working on a piece of writing; some of my best editing has been done when playing the Sims…as strange as that sounds!

 

Kaylynn Lothario, nee Langerak, meets the Grim Reaper on her way to Platinum paradise

Kaylynn Lothario, nee Langerak, meets the Grim Reaper on her way to Platinum paradise

It may be an odd thing to say, but the Sims are just as much a part of me as writing is – as such, I treat them equally. As such, I pull a sad face when it’s time for someone I have ‘known’ for so long to die. All those memories, all those aspiration points and various many achievements (even the little things that make up personal achievements) – gone.One line of codex gone, and yet, each loss is poignant to me. When I find interpersonal interaction hard, I can retreat to the community on Sims.

It’s not about the control – though control is an important factor of the rest of my life; it’s about the life, the application and passing of time that leads to young figures growing old and bringing up their own children, the new generation of persons who live, work, love and fall.

In a way, despite its differences, Sims is very much like real life.

Kaylynn’s daughter, Charlotte, was recently blessed with her own baby, Clarissa

Kaylynn’s daughter, Charlotte, was recently blessed with her own baby, Clarissa

So, that’s why I like Sims. True, it’s not life, but there are living things, and these things are people enough in my own mind.

Her husband, Don Lothario, mourns

Her husband, Don Lothario, mourns

Nevertheless, life goes on for the Sims. As does my own life, away from them. Still, it saddens me to think that, when I depart for university, I will be saying goodbye to the families and their stories forever.


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Dreams and Sims’ Genetics

I know I’m a games addict when I start dreaming about being one of my Sims!

The lady in question runs a shop as part of the Open For Business expansion pack, and there I found myself, watching as the customers lazed about on the beds (it’s a furniture shop), not buying anything. Customers in that shop are pretty lazy.

I guess it’s infuriating for the Sims…I’ve never thought of it like that. Anyway, although my dreams are weird, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced…well the Sims in that fashion…!

I’d like to bring to notice my fascination with the genetics of Sims. I’d never believed it to be that great before, but when I went on the game earlier this week (the day after the dream, knowing that I needed to), I was observing the family tree of relatives of a lady who had recently died. Her daughter happened to have two girls and a boy. I observed, in passing the two current thumbnails of the girls, both adults with their own children, and although their hairstyles were completely different- a black ponytail and a blonde pixie cut- their facial features were exactly the same. The computer had set the same pose for them and everything. Just to prove I’m not imagining things:

 

Not the best of pictures to prove my point, but you might see what I mean. These two below, however, could almost be the same person, with just dyed hair…

A mother and her baby: the same Sim as above left, but with her hair down. Aunt…

…and niece, a Young Adult dancer and actress.

Startling green eyes, pointed chin with a smoothed face and plump lips, everything.


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Sims!

I just wanted to post this picture here because I love it. I took it myself on my Sims2 Bon Voyage game, when an adult was celebrating her birthday in the island destination with her mother, daughter, friend and fiancé. I feel that the picture really sums up what Sims’ vacations are all about!

Livs on vacation

Libby and Abbie Livs are first-gen Sims created by me. Both hair types are downloads, but I can’t remember the link since I downloaded them ages ago. The pink clothing set is also a custom download.


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Now For Something Completely Different…

…such as Sims.
Yes, I am an avid gamer, though not of the platformed sort, but rather those open-ended, ‘free-play’ games. As a child, I was exposed to, first, the Sims1 and then the Sims2, the latter of which I have had and used for many years now.

I could blog about absolutely anything that is going on in my Sim-‘universe’, but today I’ll focus on the ‘odd’ sims, those who transform into supernatural beings; this I have chosen because of my previous post about stars; it happened to remind me of this set of pictures. Regretfully, some of these pictures are old, and so do not show the better of my ‘sim-phootgraphy’!

Stella Goth with her baby (also named Stella)- both aliens

 

Being turned into a vampire

 

Laurie Burb becoming a werewolf

 

Genesis Dreamer turning into a Witch

 

Meadow Brant, as a ghost, scares her daughter, Beth. In my game, of course, there are the typical ghosts, though this one died (of food poisoning) whilst she was pregnant with her third child. Beth was later adopted, and Meadow often scares her for the fun of it!

It’s so much fun to play an ‘odd’ Sim, because of their little quirks and lifestyle habits. Of course, vampires are the most different, since they cannot go out into the daytime at all, whereas Plantsims, Witches, and Werewolves are rather more ‘normal’, except for the added actions they can do and their appearances.

Would you believe (actually you probably will) that I once created a Powerpoint presentation on the main characters and storylines from my ‘soap-opera’ of the town Pleasantview!

I will perhaps later blog about other apects of this side of my life. So, yeah, see what you read into that. :P
Keeping gaming,
Alexandrina :)

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