Stuff! 2023 Week 17


  • Bartosz Ciechanowski - Bicycles - This is an amazing website. What a cool way to explain the physics of bicycling. I’m not going to lie, I did not read the whole thing, but I played with the animations and read some spots and learned things. This whole page is ~3MB, which is pretty amazing given how much animation and interactivity there is. I randomly looked at CNN’s website (well not randomly, I knew it would be bloated) and it was 25MB.


  • Like a Hurricane: An Unofficial Oral History of Street Fighter II - Read this in 2 days. Easy and fun read that covers a lot of ground, not just Street Fighter II as it also covers SFI, the Alpha series, Darkstalkers, SFEX, and SFIII. Growing up, I played a LOT of SFII at my local 7-11 and liquor store, but I lost interest after Champion Edition. They talk about “Rainbow Edition” a bit, which is kind of a blanket term for weirdo illegal romhacks that allowed crazy things like Ryu throwing fireballs in the air and made the game a lot faster. My 7-11 had one of these at one point. A guy from Capcom went and played one and dismissed it as totally broken from a balance perspective and that the novelty would wear off. However, once they went back to playing Champion Edition after playing the sped up hack and the Champion Edition felt super slow and boring. So they took that concept from those romhacks of faster speed but rebalanced the game and some of the moves which led to Hyper Fighting and Super Turbo. I loved how they went from “there’s nothing here, it’s junk” to “wait… the speed it awesome” and it influenced the legit versions of the game.


  • Touching Sound: The Technika Documentary - I never played Technika but some folks I knew from the shmup scene were into it. This did a good job of capturing the fun of meetups and how people build communities around arcade games. Here in Seattle we used to have shmupmeets at people’s houses or weekly meetups at Full Tilt Ice Cream where we knew the arcade operator and could bring PCBs. It was always a good time, but sadly it slowed down and we stopped doing them. This made me miss those.


  • Special Demonstrations #17: Muchi Muchi Pork! ver1.01 (Harahara Mode - Aquas, 248.7mil ALL, Momo) - High level Muchi Muchi Pork play. Aquas is one of the best MMP players out there, so it’s great to see one of his runs get the Special Demonstrations treatment. Special Demonstrations is a series of shmup “superplays” by IcarusFW that have great production values and commentary on how different patterns and sections are approached. Lots of interesting tradeoffs discussed in the commentary, like when to take intentional deaths to get back resources, when to bomb, etc. This is one of the reasons why I love MMP as a shmup: to do well you don’t have to target perfection. Other shmups like Dodonpachi and Ikaruga demand that you play the game perfectly to score well, which is why those games have never really resonated with me. Muchi Muchi Pork leaves a lot of room for the player to make mistakes and form strategies on the fly given the resources they have.