Flight Lt. Colberg's comments on the Threat from Outer Space provoke some interesting thoughts. If there is an Emblematic war in which space-brunettes combat the Forces of Evil (including those which have given rise to the Pit) and maintain the purity of Aristasia - might not we, in playing such games be playing a part? If in our games we are consciously eradicating the forces of Darkness and bringing light to the world, fighting for our beloved homeland Aristasia, would this perhaps be magically effective.
And if so for Space Games might there not be a special magic in many games - going on quests to right wrongs, return treasures, bring about good. Might we not always be fighting, questing, working in our magical worlds for the Holy Empire of Aristasia?
Or am I being fanciful?
I do not think you are being fanciful. Cannot games be part of the magic we work?
Really, Miss Ixititia - you should not call me Captain Colberg - though I confess it sounds quite thrilling on your lips - and I have never seen quite such ethereal blonde hair in all the galaxy - may I possibly touch it?
Ahem. Your questions are indeed very intelligent. Let me try to answer them for you. Wings, as you so cleverly realise, are quite uselss in space. On some craft they retract - though in fact they do neither good nor harm and the retraction is merely to protect them from possible meteorite damage and reduce unecessary target area for hostiles. Their purpose, of course, is for in-atmospheric flight. The A-Wing like most of our craft does not "blast off" from surface to space but flies into the stratosphere and attains escape velocity (it is a bit more technical than that - but that is essentially what happens). The craft are also fully functional for ground operations. I should explain that inService terminology "ground operations" are all those which take place withn the atmosphere of a planet.
As for the multiple lives which craft have in games - curiously enough this is quite realistic. Most modern craft are equipped with a force field which takes the impact of most material and beam weapons without allowing it to pass through to the ship's material armour. However a direct hit will put heavy strain on the field which will take a little time to replenish and can only be replenished a limited number of times - this number depending essentially on how much power can be spared to the field by the reserves from the ship's generator and any energy crystals she is carrying. Remember that the field cannot take all the power as much is required by the ship's life-support, drive, weaponry and other systems. The number of replenishments available is, in fact, represented by a corresponding number of small ship-ideograms in a corner of the main display.
As for the seriouness of the Threat from Outer Space - that is a complex issue. There has been no war within heartland Aristasia at any time. All actual surface wars have been fought at the Northern and Eastern fringes of the Raihir where Outland incursions have taken place - and most of these were over two thousand years ago. However Outer Space holds a curious position - it is beyond Aristasia and is, in many ways, Emblematic. Forces which are rife in other parallel universes (such as Telluria) take symbolic form there and combatting them is part of the process of maintaining purity in Aristasia.
I hope this is not confusing to your ravishing blonde head - but ultimately what is internal and what external is never as clear as unthinking people assume - and this is truer - or more immediately true - in Outer Space than in most places.
But your glass is empty - how could I be so neglectful.
Flight Lt Gloria Colberg
How exciting to have a real Space Warrior in our midst! I am sure Miss Lindie is cutting sandwiches already - I hear she is positively besotted with epaulettes these days.
Oh, but Captain Colberg - you must tell me some things. How great is the Threat from Outer Space? And aren't these game terribly unrealistic - I mean how can one have six lives? In real life surely one has only one life, if you see what I mean. And what about these A-Wing fighters? Do wings really work in Outer Space?
You see blondes can ask very intelligent questions, but it takes a big Military Brunette like you Captain Colberg, to answer them.
If you flutter your eyelashes any more, Miss Ixie, we shall be able to turn off the fan.
There has been some talk of late about Iridion 3D and its suitability for brunettes who are interested in playing at being members of the Royal Novarian Space Command. As a matter of fact, I am a member of the Royal Novarian Space Command, and I can tell you that these games are sometimes quite realistic in a gamey sort of way. Young brunettes interested in the Space Defence Forces could do worse than play the better of them as they hone the reflexes and give one some sort of a feel.
The average game puts you in a craft not unlike our A-Wing solo space fighter, pitted against quite impossible numbers of enemies - however, since repeated target practice is the aim, that is no bad thing. However, having seen film of and read about Iridion, the real absurdity lies in the fact that you are actually much safer dodging the oncoming ships and letting them go by than shooting them. Now I don't deny there are times in space combat when discretion is the better part of valour. However, if one were to let one of a group of ships by in a situation anything like the one depicted in this game, it would make a neat curve and put a couple of rockets up one's tailpipe. This would render one's chances of getting home in time for tiffin rather lower than was entirely comfortable.
Incidentally no one in her right mind would use an A-Wing or any other sort of solo for this kind of combat. At the very least one would want a tail-gunner. With link-up games now available it would be entirely possible for two players to coöperate with one taking the rear defence.
An interesting idea, don't you think?
Flight Lt. Gloria Colburg
Miss Susan's question is really very difficult to answer - it is a bit like asking "What is the best book". However the choice is rather more limited, so it isn't really quite that bad. Of course, it does depend on what you like. Maria Advance is truly excellent, but it is very hard. It is also a "kinetic" game - I mean the gameplay is very physical - jumping and running and throwing turnips. That is great fun, but for a single "best game" I should prefer a more immersing adventure-type experience. Unfortunately that does not exist among the early games. If you don't find Maria Advance too difficult, pinging about with Princess Peach will certainly tide you over for some time.
We have now exhausted my experience as Maria Advance is the only G.B.A. game I have actually played.
However, I can offer some hints - especially if you are not getting the machine for a little while. Of the relatively small number of current games, Kuru Kuru Kururin is said to be excellent - it is a game about a spinning stick which you must guide through colourful mazes. Very prettty and happy, though again both kinetic and rather difficult. "You", in this case, are a blue duck by the way.
Konami Krazy Racing is a good cartoon racing game and F-Zero a Novarian racer with 600-mph anti-gravity cars.
However, if you are prepared to wait a little while, the Superbaby version of the immortal Maria Karts will certainly be the best racing game this year and (judging by the big version) will hold that title for years to come while other companies struggle vainly to measure up to Nintendo's superhuman brilliance. If you have a friend with a machine, you will be able to link up and race together with only one copy of the game. And yes - you can be Princess Peach.
I suspect this will be the best game for the system out this year and one you will still be returning to when the next system comes along. Maria Karts 64 was the second game I ever played on my 64 and I still play it and consider it one of the best games.
You may want F-zero too if you are a Novarian racing fan, but Konami Krazy Racing (or Wai Wai Racing as it is called in its homeland) will end up looking like a poor maid's (or rather a hasty maid's) Maria Karts. Though if you are a real - and rich - cartoon racer you may want both. It is not a case of good and mediocre, but of very good and utterly ripping.
Others to look out for will be Golden Sun, a glorious-looking adventure which, again one should be able to play with one's friends and the beautiful-looking Lady Sia. Also Klonoa, Empire of Dreams - a very pretty game which won a gold award from the prestigious Nihonese Famitsu magazine - no mean feat (so, incidentally, did Maria Karts, but that is hardly surprising).
Of two other current games - Pinobee and Rayman, the former is very pretty and may well be worth a look. The latter is even prettier, in fact quite breathtaking - but it is very hard. Unfairly hard. I learned this at first hand on the Playstation version, and have heard that this one is no better. The early stages are charming, but the game soon loses itself in complete frustration. I would advise avoiding it unless you are building a large collection.
A quickettie quesch, but perhaps an infuriating one. I am hoping to acquire a Gamebaby Advance in the not-too-distant. If Miss Lindie can stop sororising with the Military long enough, could she possibly tell me which is the best Superbaby game to start with. Is it Maria Advance? Or Not?
I fully agree that there can be a bit of a tendency to pursue the Redhead Question out of a Pit-inspired fear of Archetypes - wrongly labelled "stereotypes" - a fear of fitting into any category, of being anything.
But I also agree with Ariette that in real Life Theatre there is the odd "intermediate" persona that can require expression. I also believe that a player should have solid experience in playing good old-fashioned blondes and/or brunettes before venturing into the fuzzy fields of ambiguity.
I am much of the opinion (one that has been being talked over privately a lot lately) that school groups should be a starting point for many newcomers in real-life, or "blue", Life-Theatre. Beginning as Mädchen in Uniform in an "institutional" setting gives a powerful and very natural beginning to one's Aristasian life and helps one to see the realities of one's new world.
Just my thought.
Incidentally, who is the ravishing redhead used to illustrate Ariette's comments on the subject?
The Ravishing Redhead is none other than Miss Bunny Yeager, the glamour photographer who takes many beautiful photographs of Miss Bettie Page. You may well recognise her, as (not surprisingly) she sometimes acts as a glamour model hersef as well as a photographer. In fact the detail we printed is taken from a larger photograph of her with Miss Page. As you see, we have reproduced it above. Miss Page is in a jungle-girl outfit and miss Yeager, looking decidedly safari-esque, has her camera at the ready to hunt the biggest game of all - the Brunette.
BLUE ENTRIES: The Aristasian Theatre of Life proudly introduces a New Concept - the Blue Entry. Blue Entries are reports of events that have taken place among players in the Theatre of Life - they are actual physical meetings, not fictions or fantasies. The rule is that the actual event described must really have taken place - background events relative to the player's characters may or may not have been enacted on the physical plane, but the main event being described has been.
Well, this being the first ever Blue Entry, I just couldn't resist that title. Anyway, it is a bit of a rhapsody, because I have just met the dreamiest Military Brunette. She is Sub Lieutenant Vivienne Triumph of the - well, I am not sure. It isn't the Imperial Navy because she called it the Royal Navy, so it may be the Trentish or the Quirinelle Navy, I think. I cannot really tell the subtle differences in the uniforms - and it wouldn't have helped if I could as she wasn't in uniform, though she looked quite topping and one could tell by her military bearing that she was a Military Brunette.
And you know, really I have never properly met a Military Brunette before. I mean there is Captain Gudrun Quinbury who is in the Queen's Own Guard (Quirinelle), but really I only knew her sister Bicky, and though I sort-of met Captain Q, she seemed to just regard me as one of the children that were buzzing about Fairlady Quinbury's at the time. Of course, I was miles younger then, so I probably seemed a bit like that.
Anyway Sub Lt. Triumph is just as dreamy. She told me all about the Rigours of Military Training, which are absolutely so rigorous you wouldn't believe it, and how she went with absolutely lots of warships to the East - I mean, not for a war or anything but because there was a big Naval thing there.
She also showed me pictures of her new car, which is a Triumph TR5 (I wonder if she is related to the people who make them). Now that is simply the toppingest car you ever saw and goes like an absolute bomb. I mean 100 miles an hour is a mere bagatelle. In fact we were going to go for a picnic in the car, but there were problems with it (cars never like changing owners). And it took us simply years (well, about three days) what with one thing and another to finally meet - if you'll excuse the split infinitive.
I tried very hard to be suitably sophisticated, and talked about some rather clever things, I think (I come from quite an intellectual family which always stands one in good stead) though I did manage to spill wine on myself and rather foolishly referred to throwing small objects at my sister Annya, which does sound a bit baby. It isn't as if I actually do ever throw small objects at Annya, only the idea seemed a bit funny, because she is so serious and full of Dark Romantic Broodings.
Speaking of Annya, she peeped in secretly during the evening to see the Sub Lietenant partly out of Blonde Curiosity and partly because Vivienne (I call her Vivienne, you know) is related to Mlle. Villeneuve who is going to teach Annya French. So perhaps she wanted to know if Vivienne looked as if she came from a Strict Family.
Well, of course you can't tell with families but if the Sub Lietenant is anything to go by - though she is frightfully jolly - I think Annya would be well advised to be well-behaved. Not that she isn't well-behaved really - but she is Annya. Which, of course doesn't mean much if you don't know Annya.
So we had a most wonderful evening with topping music and snacks and Vivienne's sister Scarlet baked a Lime Tart which was simply gorgeous. Quite late my guardian came in and - you know it is funny: the way brunettes talk to brunettes is quite different from the way blondes and brunettes talk together - have you ever noticed that?
Only a dark thought came to me that perhaps it was more like the way grown-ups talk together. But it couldn't be that, could it? I mean I am grown up to absolutely all intents and purposes.
I put my dark thoughts completely aside.
I have been quite scholarly recently and have been reading many books. This evening I have been reading a short novel by Frau Hesse and came across this passage:
"And yet we lived in no way cut off from the outside world; in our thoughts and conversations we often lived in the midst of it, only in an entirely different plane. We were not separated by the majority of maids by a boundary but simply by another mode of vision"
It occured to me that this could be applied to Aristasians who live in Telluria . I don't know if any other pettes would agree with this sentiment, I would be curious to know.
I note that you pettes have knocked the redhead question on the - um - head pretty firmly, and I can see why. I mean give some bongos two alternatives and they automatically say "Oh, but what if..." and look for a third. I mean it is a question of built-in perversity.
I mention this because I want you to know I am not like that. However, since Life Theatre is a focus of this site and inended to be a growing one, I do think the question is worth raising again. The reason is that while in Aristasia Pura, people are definitely either blonde or brunette, I do find that whe one is playing an Ariostasian role there is sometimes some ambiguity - one of my personae is certainly a bit ambiguous, and I know that is true of others.
Now I fully agree that Life Theatre can't be full of amiguous redheads, and I also agree that redheads must still be one thing or the other. I only suggest that there needs to be room for a little ambiguity at times in our Theatres.
I do think everyone should have at least one or two solid blonde or brunette personae before they start messing about with blonde-ish brunettes or brunette-ish blondes, but nonetheless, I also think some experimentation is needed.
Also don't some of our younger personae sometimes go through "that funny phase"?
Do others agree with me, or am I alone in this?
How very astute of Miss Karen. She is quite right, of course. I did not quite answer her question.
Each game I mentioned I did enjoy very greatly, though none of them up to the point of completion. Croc is terribly sweet and Tomb Raider ingenious and truly captivating. A friend of mine, while in hospital for a minor operation, whiled away the time playing Tomb Raider and became hopelessly stuck. However, a brunette nurse who was also playing the game and further advanced played her through the difficult part. This isperfectly true and demonstrates the wide appeal of the game.
So, are there any games I really didn't like? Speaking of Croc, the version of this for the Gamebaby really is quite bad. It has none of the appeal of its 3D original. It also has password saves rather than real on-cartridge saves, which I find make a game almost unplayable. I am simply not organised enough to keep track of passwords - particularly on a portable system. I am told Croc 2 on the Gamebaby is better, but I haven't risked it. Other than that, we have found a few very cheap games second-hand which weren't up to much. One is Gamebaby Gallery which features four ultra-simple games from the ancient Game and Watch system (Nintendo's precursor to the Gamebaby - small units each containing only one black-and-white game with very limited animation). This at one time sold for under ten shillings new - and dear at the price. However, I must say I played this second-hand copy quite a bit and my brunette friend played it for ages. So one can hardly complain really. The true test of a game is whether it makes you play it. Incidentally, this should not be confused with the Game and Watch Gallery series which features not only the best of the original games, but re-vamped versions as well, starring the Maria family and lots of added features. These I am told are very good.
And speaking of second-hand games - I also bought a black-and-white Casper the Friendly Ghost game sans box or instruction booklet. It contained four games of the simplicity of Gamebaby Gallery, but without the charm. I never even worked out how to play them, not having the manual, but it really didn't seem worth trying. This one went straight back to the second-hand shop. There is a later, colour, Casper Gamebaby game which I hear is much better.
However, also ultra-cheap at second-hand was Maria's Picross. A truly splendid black-and-white puzzle game which (as the name suggests) is a picture-crossword. I won't explain how it works, as it would be duill in words; and sadly, I lost my copy. But believe me, it is excellent. If you see one buy it (Even if you haven't a Gamebaby - I'll buy it from you!)
On the whole, however I do avoid duff games, firstly by only buying the type of game I like (give me cute and colourful characters and it is hard to disappoint me entirely) and secondly by keeping an ear to the ground. For example, do you remember Iridion, the glorious-looking 3D space game for the 'Baby? The Courier suggested it might appeal to brunettes who fancied themselves as members of the Royal Novarian Space Command. Well, my latest information is that the game is too fiddly-hard and lacking in power-ups or other variety during the game. So, unless we hear something to the contrary, this, despite its truly ravishing looks, is probably one to avoid.
Speaking of beautiful looks but poor gameplay, before Infogrames made the splendid Martian Alert they produced Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny in Operation Carrot Patch. For the time (early in the Colour Gamebaby's life) the graphics were topping. However the game was uninspired and there were those awful password-saves again. I may try it again (it was early in my gaming life too), but I really think this one was a bit of a flop.
So there are some games I really didn't like. One way of avoiding them is to buy Nintendo's own games which are always excellent of their kind. This is not necessarily true of so-called "second parties" including the in-my-view-overrated Rare - but is true of what I shall call first-and-a-half parties (usually Japanese) which work very closely with Nintendo - like Camelot, and, judging by the excellence of the Zelda Oracles games, Capcom when they work in harness with Nintendo. watch out for the forthcoming Nintendo-Capcom Mickey Mouse game on the Cubie.
I just hope the long-awaited-in-Aristasia Lady Sia, from T.D.K. (not usually a games company) is not another case of beautiful looks and mediocre game. But if it is, I shall warn you in advance.
We have our sources.
Geniae are indeed beyond sex, but it is true that they tend to manifest in a particular way, which includes sex. Of the seven Great Geniae, three are blonde and four brunette. The three blonde ones are Sai Raya (the Sun), Sai Thamë (Jupiter) and Sai Sucri (Venus), therefore the brunette ones are Sai Rhavë (Saturn), Sai Vihke (Mars), Sai Candre (the Moon) and Sai Mati (Mercury).
Of these Sai Mati is the most ambiguous, and may appear in either sex (as blonde she is sometimes called Nimwe), while Sai Sucri and Sai Vikhe I have never seen depicted other than as blonde and brunette respectively.
As to muses: I am not sure that these beings are "assigned" to individuals like Guardian Angels. Tradition, as I understand it, has it that one must court a muse, praying for her aid. Many older poems, including those of the great Ulalua, begin with invocations to the Muse to aid the poet in her work.
Perhaps this is an indication of how Miss Annya may begin. I should be delighted to see some of her work. So many Artists in these times neglect the aid of the Muses and I am pleased to hear from a young writer with such a proper approach.
Dear friends, I wonder if anyone can help me. Are there such things as Muses. Has everyone a Muse somewhere or other or does one have to acquire one - or are they only given to Aritists, and if the latter, how can one know if one is one and therefore has one (Artist and Muse respectively, I mean)
I do not ask from mere idle curiosity, but because I want to write a story about Aristasia; and I do not want to express merely my individual self as they do in Telluria these days, but to convey the Beautiful Things of Aristasia as they Truly are. I want to make a beauty that is linked fast to the Universal Beauty itself, and for this I think I must have a Muse.
Am I right about that? And if so, can any one answer my other questions.
In hope and in longing,
I realise that the seven Great Geniae are really beyond sex, but I also know that symbolically they have sex, because Sucri is a Blonde Angel, as someone said here.
Can anyone tell us what are the sexes of the other Geniae?
I don't mean to sound nit-picking, but I don't think dear Miss Lindie has quite answered my question. I asked if she has played any games she didn't like, and while she has voiced her criticisms of several games, get the impression that she still liked them - even if they didn't stand the test of long-term playing.
Lindie, my sweet - are you capable of disliking a game?
Miss Karen asks about my "rave reviews". Yes, Miss K, it is entirely possible for me to dislike a game, though these days I play mostly games that I do like. There are several reasons for this. For one thing a very high proportion of the games I play are not only for Nintendo machines, but made by Nintendo itself. It is almost unknown for a Nintendo-made game not to be of the very finest quality. And, of course, I do know what kind of games I am likely to enjoy - there are countless grey-and-grown-up-style games that I never even look at - and I also keep an ear to the ground about which games are good.
Before my relatively recent conversion to Nintendo, I did try some Sony games. My findings on these are that not one of them is as good as a Nintendo game. I obviously chose girly- and cutesy-games and my impression is that while many are excellent in concept, graphics and execution, they either keep getting harder until the ordinary-to-silly gameplayer like myself becomes frustrated with increasingly fiddly challenges (Croc and Rayman are examples) or (and the first class also shares this fault) simply continue as they began - an excellent formula but too repetitive to maintain interest till the end. Spyro the Dragon is a good example of this.
One of the crowning excellencies of the Nintendo games is that (as well as being better to start with than any of the above-cited examples - which are in my view the best of their kind), the fecundity of imagination is astonishing. Just when the game starts to become a little samey, Nintendo throws up something new and unexpected. In most Nintendo games there are several really clever game-ideas, any one of which would have been the basis for the entire game if it had been made by another company.
Not that I get on with all Nintendo games. As I mentioned on another occasion, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - widely and probably correctly hailed as The Best Game Ever - did not hold me. There are some glorious moments - truly glorious - and I played it for many hours - and, considering it was second-hand, that is no bad value. Nonetheless, after Link grew up and seemed more like a teenage bee-oh-why than an epicene elf, I rapidly lost interest. Whether this was entirely cause and effect I am not sure, though it certainly didn't help. The sequel The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, although the biggest Nintendo release of last year, consequently did not interest me at all, despite the fact that I love Zelda on the Gamebaby.
There is a risk, with better technics, of games becoming too "mature", by which I mean, in this case, not juvenile vulgarity but just grey grown-uppery. The term "realistic" when applied to a game (or a film, come to that) is always a warning sign for me. If you want realism, go and stand in a 'bus queue. I play games for the opposite of "realism".
I must confess, I am a bit frightened by Nintendo's talk of making Maria more mature.
Tomb Raider is a game which I have played - and enjoyed very much at first. Though if you want an example of the dreadful Yeekay accent at it's very worst, take a look at the introductory section in which Miss Croft shows you round her house. Yeeks! And Miss Croft is supposed to represent a member of the Yeekish upper class. More horrifyingly, she almost does. Thankfully there is very little sampled speech in the game itself.
As I say, I enjoyed the game greatly at first. After a time though I found it dull, partly because I do like my games more colourful and less "realistic", and also because T.R., like so many non-Nintendo and especially non-Nihonese games, suffers from that more-of-the-same problem. What is a good game formula at first wearies after a time from simply carrying on throughout the game without much further innovation or imagination being applied.
There are exceptions, though. Loony Toons: Martian Alert is an absolutely wonderful game featuring all our friends from the Bugs Bunny family. It is for the Gamebaby (the old colour one) - is attractive and very inventive, with excellent gameplay and strong storylines that make one feel one is actually in a series of Looney Toons shorts. The game is also very strong on variety and imagination and never droops into repetitiveness. While it is of near-Nintendo quality, it is not even Nihonese, but comes from the French company Infogrames. I would recommend this game, though I should warn that while I enjoyed it immensely and got nearly to the end, I was prevented from finishing it by a bug.
I was probably very unlucky, but I still have to say: if you want to be sure of quality in all areas, there is only one place to go.
I have a gamey question to ask - Miss Lindie always seems to adore her games and give them all rave reviews. Has she played any games she didn't like Is it possible for her not to like a game? Also, since we are admirers of girly-games, is Miss L. familiar with the most famous girly-game of all - Tomb Raider starring voluptuous, pistol-packing brunette Lara Croft?
That's three questions, but we won't charge you extra. Over to you, Lindiepops.
Our blonde management is quite right (but then she usually is) about Rug Cutters and Solid Senders.
I wonder if any of you pettes have ever heard of a band called Red Peters and her Solid Senders. They actually are not Kadorie but Quirrie (very easterly Quirrie, though).
I have never heard any of their music, though if any of you shop for beautiful up-to-date clothes at Radio Days in London you will see posters of them in the dressing room there.
And just in case you don't, here is a picture of Miss P sending.
Like solid, maid.
Dear me - and I always thought Solid Sending had something to do with posting heavy parcels. How out of date I must be!
Like our delightful Blonde Management I too have been travelling and thought I would relate something that I saw in my trip to a Southern Art Neo city. Amongst all the beautiful buildings and wonderful sites was a delightful household shop. Now what was delightful about this was the window display. At first I thought "what a charming handbag and matching gloves" but as I got closer to the window I discovered that everything in the window was made from sugar! Just imagine, a hat with feather trimmings, a dining service, shoes, all made from icing sugar and yet everything looked so realistic. And I do believe that this display had almost nothing to do with the goods the shop was selling. I wish I had taken some pictures so that I could show everypette here. And I must say, although the shop itself didn't get any trade from me because of the window display, the bakery next door certainly did!
I was delighted to hear about Miss Lindie's singing Gamebaby. The only thing that troubles me is her explaining how the musicians are all decompressed from the tiny cartridge and cut their rugs (or is it only dancers who cut rugs?) - well, play their music anyway - sitting in the Gamebaby among all the scenery and off-stage players.
The problem is, while I very much appreciate Miss Lindie's technical knowledge, this is all a bit "behind the scenes" for me. I really had rather not know how the magic is created. After all, Miss Lindie herself rejected the idea of a transparent Baby so as not to see all the inner workings.
Games, like theatre, depend upon illusion - so please, Miss Lindie, not too many technical secrets.
We shall try to curb her for you. I suppose the trouble is that when a blonde finds herself almost as technically expert as a brunette, it is hard for her to refrain from showing off her learning.
You are right, by the way, to suggest that only dancers are Rug Cutters - musicians, according to the same dialect of Kadorian, are Solid Senders.
Thank you, Miss Jean, for your kind words about our Gamey bits. Thus encouraged I present my latest reflections on the Burning Issues of the Day.
I don't know what you Gamebaby pettes think about the headphone question. I have a small pair of ear-phones which I carry with my Baby. Sometimes I use them and sometimes I don't. It goes in phases. Without them, of course, you cannot have Quirrie-cinematic Stereophonic Sound - just the jinky twittering of the little built-in speaker. However, I very often prefer this latter, though occasionally I like to surround myself with the full sound. And of course, the 'phones are very useful for noisy places.
I have heard about the Advance Baby that you really cannot appreciate the vast improvement in sound without a good pair of stereophonic headphones. Well, I doubt if mine are terribly good - they cost two shillings in what I believe our Culverian cousins call a five-and-ten-cent store (those of you familiar with the Trentish Repertoire will recall that that was where the Million-Dollar Baby was found)
It was a lucky April shower
It was the most convenient door
I found my million-dollar baby
In a five-and-ten-cent store.
Well, if you don't know it you still have a delightful treat in store. Try to find a record of the Boswell Sisters singing it.
I digress - but not as far as you might think, for I too was missing a delightful treat. Until today I had not tried my two-bob ear-phones with the Advance or Super Maria, and what I did not know was that I too was missing a musical delight of near-Boswell-Sisters proportions.
I told you, I fancy, that Super Maria sings Trentish, with a lovely sugar-smooth theme tune (now please don't interrupt to say that sugar is not smooth but crunchy - you know exactly what I mean - I mean that lilting Trentish pure-delight-in-sound that other provinces can only envy). I told you about the perfect voices. So today I popped in my two-shilling ear-phones - a bobsworth in each ear - and expected to hear it all in a bit more detail.
And what did I hear? Oh joy! Oh bliss! Oh heav-EN (only Daffy Duck could really do justice to that exclamation). You just won't believe this, but they have packed a Trentish jazz-band into that two-in-a-matchbox-with-room-to-spare-for-some-matches-sized cartridge. Now, I realise the players are probably decompressed and sit about inside the Gamebaby Advance itself, but that is small enough in all conscience (even forgetting that all that scenery and numerous off-stage characters must also be there somewhere). There is a tuba carrying the baseline - or it may be a sousaphone. You can hear it oompah-ing away like a good'un. There are snare drums. Goodness me, you can hear every instrument as clearly as if it were in the room with you. The quality of that Trentish jazz band is something you can't even guess at until you try the ear-phones.
So, the Lindie Show Tip for Today:
If you have a G.B.A.
Try some ear-phones right away.
The only drawback is that you may be so carried away listening to the Trentish delights that you will make the Princess fall off a cloud, or get her blopped by some mask-wearing menace. Still, she is used to that. She is very good-natured. And we do get her there in the end, don't we?
Thank you for giving us the gamey conversation. I do hope these will become a regular feature. Actually I know almost nothing about games and it has never been an area that much interested me. I am not converted yet, though my curiosity grows!
What really interests me about these interviews is hearing how Aristasians talk about things. In a way it hardly matters what (sorry, Miss Lindie!) - it is just such a refreshingly different outlook on everything. Also, the pictures are so cute!
One thing I must ask though - what is type-3. Miss Lindie says: "the advertising industry - like all the public communications industries - is staffed by a particularly nasty strain of type-3". Well I agree that the advertising industry, judging by its outpourings, is staffed by a particularly nasty strain of something. But type-3? Have I missed something?
No, you haven't missed anything. As far as I can see we have never explained type-3s (or the other types) on this site. I had an idea it was in the glossary, but it doesn't seem to be. So - never ones to leave our readers in the dark - we reproduce an extract from Children of the Void in which the three types are defined.
Interview time again as we print another gamey conversation between Miss Gillian and Miss Lindie
Miss Gillian: So how are you managing with Princess Peach on the Gamebaby Advance?
Miss Lindie: Very nicely, thank you. I use the Princess all the time because her floating is just wonderful. I might need to use one of the others for special purposes later, but it hasn't happened yet.
Miss Gillian: I love Toadie Kinopio in Maria Karts and Maria Tennis but I have to admit I found her voice a bit raucous when I tried Maria Advance.
Miss Lindie: Yes it is, but it's sort of jolly. I think I'm in love with the Princess, though.
Miss Gillian: Everyone is in love with the Princess. Did you hear about the advertising for the Baby in Telluria? Some of it was very distasteful - including one set in an em-ee-en's urinal. Did that disappoint you?
Miss Lindie: No wonder em-ee-en have such a bad name! In the Pit they seem preoccupied with their own ugliness. It is sad, but it doesn't really disappoint me. I have written off the Pit's mass-media as a lost cause long, long ago. I never imbibe them. Perhaps that is why games are important to me.
Miss Gillian: But the fact that Nintendo allowed it - that is disappointing.
Miss Lindie: Yes, I suppose so. I imagine the Nihonese asking "Why do you need this sort of thing?" and the Pit-americans saying "Oh the advertising people explained it all to us. You just can't sell without vulgarity in the West. It is what the public demands. Vulgarity sells well; obscenity sells better." Dea protect us, it is even possible that they are right. Nothing would surprise me about the degenerate state of Western Telluria. But my suspicion is that the advertising industry - like all the public communications industries - is staffed by a particularly nasty strain of type-3 whose main business is not so much selling commodities as putrefying the social fabric still further.
What it does make me feel is even more suspicious of any games that derive from English-speaking countries. But that is hardly a revolution in my thinking.
Miss Gillian: East is best and West is wust and never the twain shall meet?
Miss Lindie: Sadly it seems so. One imagines that the Nihonese, seeing the advertising bought by their Pit-american colleagues, shrug their shoulders and say that here is a very sick people. Possibly some of them rub their hands in anticipation of the day when the West will drop apart from its own inner decay and the East shall inherit the earth. But I am an Aristasian. It is no affair of mine.
Miss Gillian: To happier matters: are you still playing Zelda?
Miss Lindie: Not just at the mome. I am a bit busy and my limited game-time is at present devoted to the Princess (I mean Princess Peach, not Princess Zelda - how fickle their Highnesses must think me). But Zelda will draw me back. For me there is a very great difference in the appeal of the two games and in the way that one plays them. I know some people play platform games like Super Maria for hours on end, but I find that the frustration level is high - it is a happy frustration that keeps drawing one back and leads to an enormous sense of satisfaction when the level is completed (all the best platform games are like this). I find that I play in shortish bursts, even if the bursts come quite close together.
Adventure games like Zelda are different - one can get lost in them and play for ages. The game that has that effect most on me is Pocket Monsters which is really like a time-trap. It is so much like a story; there are so many objectives to attain. I think whern one can play such games together I might go on forever. The main drawback of games for me is that they can be a bit solitary - I am a very social person.
Reverting to platform games - the earliest ones had no save: the truly great ones that launched the genre. Saving games just wasn't possible then. That would make them impossible for me. The only way to complete them was to keep coming back and playing from the beginning. One would have to be at the screen for hours at a sitting finally to finish it. Those games were only for serious, dedicated game-players. The save opens them up to more casual players.
Miss Gillian: So you don't consider yourself a serious, dedicated game-player?
Miss Lindie: I fear not. I hope I don't disappoint anyone! I love games. I regard them as a charming pastime in a world where we have no weekly magazines or wireless serials. I spend perhaps as much time on games as I might on those things if they existed - certainly no more.
I regard games as a source of light and colour and gaiety - and most of all of novelty. But I am afraid this dogged play-for-hours dedication is something I lack except on a few rare occasions. I mean when people say of a game, it is pretty and good, but too easy, I never regard that as a criticism. Games are light relief. They should be challenging, but not gruellingly hard.
On a related note, someone said that Nihonese games tend to be easier than Western ones because the Nihonese like to finish their games. Well, I very much like to finish games. It is like completing an adventure, reading a book to the end. This Western idea that a game is better value if it goes on forever because it is too hard to complete seems very odd to me.
Miss Gillian: Me too. So how are you getting on with Maria Advance.
Miss Lindie: Quite well. I have completed two worlds of three levels each, which is well over a quarter of a game. Each level is very challenging, so that feels like good going to me. I spent quite a lot of time in the desert among the pyramids. That is what I like about games - one visits so many places one might otherwise never have managed to get to. Outer Space, the Wild West, Fairyland the Fourth Dimension - oh, so many places.
Miss Gillian: May we be visiting them for many years to come!
Miss Lindie: Amen to that.
In answer to Karen's question about rationalism - rationalism and rationality are by no means the same thing. People may mean different things by the term, but I am using it broadly to mean the doctrine which began gaining force in Telluria in the 17th century that there is no source of knowledge other than the data supplied by our five physical senses and the analysis of that data by the reason.
All traditional societies have believed that there are also other ways of knowing and things that may be known that are not prehensible to the physical senses - from fairies to the truths of metaphysics which are known by the human Intellect (as opposed to mere reason) by its capacity to grasp Universal Truth.
This is attested to by the fact that the Universal Truths of the Intellect are (notwithstanding certain differences of spiritual "language") essentially the same in all known societies.
Rationalism is a denial of these truths based not on reason, but on a dogmatic assertion of the supremacy of reason over Intellect, which reason itself is by no means entitled to make. We may deny the existence of the prehensive Intellect and assert that no truth exists beyond the material, but if we do so, we are merely asserting our adherence to a creed, not following the dictates of reason.
An Aristasian should heve every respect for reason, which is a wonderful faculty - but she should not elevate reason to a position beyond its natural competence, because - among other things - to do so is not rational.
Miss Alice Trent
Miss Lindie Miralene thanks the Blonde Management for its kind offer of a spanking and accepts. She is sure an Elektraspatial spanking would not hurt her.
I was wondering what Miss Trent meant when she says that she is not sure that the Aristasian ideal is enrirely prehensible to Americans - well, I mean she explains it - but does that mean there cannot be American Aristasians - what about Culverians?
I am quite sure Miss Trent does not mean that. She has good Culverian friends herself. Probably it does not help that we took bits of a conversation out of context. She was, I believe talking about a particular Aristasian sensibility that developed in Oxford, and about the differences between British and American "root-cultures". It may be that Americans in general have not taken to the Aristasian ideal as easily as the English, but some certainly have, and I am quite sure more will do so.
Miss Trent says that rationalism is not philosophically correct. I am sorry to sound silly but what does this mean? Surely not that Aristasians should not be rational?
Things being a touch on the quiet side after the Big Sleep - well really the Small Sleep - I thought you pettes might like to read some remarks made by Miss Trent to an Academic Person from Telluria who is considering including Aristasia in a book about Traditionalist groups. Thes come somewhat from the middle of a correspondence, so you will just have to take them as they come, but Miss Trent was kind enough to say we might reprint them. Perhaps some pettes may wish to discuss these points:
A.T: I am not sure whether we are a traditionalist group or not. I suppose it would depend upon one's precise definition of the term.
A.T: Certainly Guenon is a major intellectual influence, though Aristasia is not solely an intellectual movement and might have taken a similar form in many respects without Guenon. I have had no contact with any other traditionalist groups and know no other Aristasians who have.
A.T: On the other hand we do not entirely reject certain forms of "modernism". I think The Feminine Universe will make this clearer.
Q: Fine, I'll read the book, then, and perhaps come back for clarification if I need it. The idea of "healthy modernism" is I think unique amongst Traditionalists (my definition), and so is especially interesting.
A.T: Hmm. The trouble with my using shorthand phrases like "healthy modernism" is that they are easily open to misintepretation. We are not, for example, suggesting that rationalism could be regarded as philosophically correct. We are saying that, granted that the entire historical cycle is a narrative of decline, and that manifestation itself entails a measure of imperfection which must increase from the first moment of any time-cycle with a progresive burgeoning on the quantitative side and corresponding diminution on the qualitative, the question arises as to the particular point at which the ramification of manifestation becomes aberrant. We postulate a three-stage process. The best approach, as you say, will be to read Universe and then ask any supplementary questions.
A.T I am not sure that the Aristasian ideal is entirely prehensible to the American sensibility. Europeans tend to be more attuned to it.
Q: Do I perhaps recognize in Aristasia (or should I say Aristasianism) that peculiar blend of humor and seriousness that is distinctively Oxonian [and bemuses most Americans]?
A.T: I am sure you do. Though that is not the whole reason for my statement. The American sensibility is deeply democratic, whereas the staunchest European republican, with all her Liberty Equality and Whatnot, has, in my experience, scarcely a genuinely democratic bone in her body. I am not speaking here of the political fiction of "democratic government", but of an aesthetic, social and cultural sensibility that actually does exist; but scarcely outside north America.
Universe was a project discuissed for years. "One day we must write a book summarising the underlying philosophy". At times it seemed it would never really be written. Ultimately I had the privilege of writing it, and I think it was written just when it should have been.
Yes, once again it is that time when the bottom is amputated from Girls' Town and thrown into an archive - and we find ourselves in our eighth volume.
A somewhat chequered time this volume has seen, with Girls' Town asleep for a while, and then being quite gone for a day and a bit while the server or whatever it is was graded up or otherwise twiddled (if you'll excuse the Blonde Technical Talk). Not to mention Miss Lindie's not-too-successful handling of our keep-in-touching.
Girls' Town still seems to be doing a bit of yawning and stretching after her period in abeyance. So do drop us a line or two and help to keep things moving. The show must go on, you know.
The Blonde Management
The day has come, the moment has arrived, even if your Lindie is unusually slow in reporting it, having been soujourning with her sisters, guardian and sundry other blondes and brunettes on the sunny shore of St. Topaz. Now we return to give you the real, serious news of the moment; the Current Affiars that Really Matter.
No doubt it was reported in depth by the Courier - but since Girls' Town was asleep at the time it will have been the Dreamland Edition, which, unfortunately is not available in the land of the waking. Therefore it falls to Lindie to tell you about the most important event in recent history.
But what is it you ask. Do you ask? You should not ask, because we Game Girls have been previewing, anticipating and generally jumping up and down about it since the inception of these learned pages. It is an event, you might say, foretold since the dawn of Girls' Town history and awaited by the wise with patient (or at any rate fairly patient) foreknowledge.
I speak of course (for those who have still not guessed - or cheated by looking at the picture) of the Gamebaby Advance. It is finally here. Really, really, really.
What is it like? Well, it looks just like the picture. It is about the same size as the old Gamebaby (a tiny bit bigger, but thinner) and sits sideways, allowing a much larger screen - it is like moving from television to cinema.
I have been playing the very first of the new generation of games. Actually several were released at once, but this one is the true first for a number of reasons. It is Super Maria Advance. Every Nintendo machine, since the beginning has always launched with a Maria game, and as this game opens one can see it is the True First Advance Game from the way it begins with a screen exactly the size of the old Gamebaby screen, with everything "offscreen" in deep shadow, and then suddenly opens into full VistaVision.
The game itself is wonderful - far better than any hand-held game before. As you will know, you can play as Princess peach. I do so all the time, partly because she is prettiest, and partly because she can float in the air with her full skirt when she jumps, making jumping much easier for sillies like the self. One can aso play the darling little mushroom Kinopio (Toad).
The graphics are a vast leap forward - quite apart from being larger - with delicate shading and parallax scrolling (giving the impression of depth in the background - the charming, muted background shown in the picture here scrolls independently of the foreground objects at a slower pace, making the effect of distance perfect). The cartoony graphics and happy things - such as the various kinds of fruit one can find - are utterly heart-warming and the little tufts of grass one pulls up to obtain vegetables (one's sole ammunition in the fight against the Forces of Naughtiness) wave gently in a breeze one can almost feel.
The sound is simply wonderful. You can hear the characters talk throughout the game. The Princess gives a delightful grunt of effort as she pulls up a big vegetable and says "Thank you" to the benevolent world in general when she picks up a beautiful floating life-heart. She says lots of other things too, as do all the characters. Kirby managed a little speech in the last days of the old Gamebaby, but this is something entirely different - not synthesised robotic voices, but delightful real ones, full of character.
The music is wonderful, and terribly up-to-date. The game, as my sister Wendy put it in delight, "sings Trentish". It really does.
The game itself is a dream to play. It is quite hard, but always encourages one to keep going and battle one's way to the next level. And as a bonus there is included the original Maria Sisters - a game which predates the earliest Nintendo console and was the darling of primitive arcade cabinets. It is simple (although the graphics and sound have been somewhat spruced up) yet the primaeval addiction is still there. There is even a multi-player mode in which up to four players can join using only one game cartridge - yet another wonderful innovation of this splendid system.
Moving to the Gamebaby advance is like entering a new universe with an extra dimension. Move there as soon as you can - and make the first planet you visit Super Maria Advance.
Oh dear! This one volunteered to help us all Keep in Touch, but it didn't work awfy well, did it?
Our esteemed Blonde Management we knew would be far from Elektraspatial Portals, but I rather thought that on my own travels I should be able to find them. Alas, such was not the case. Only at the very end did I find any tiny opening into Elektraspace and then the technicals were nearly beyond me. I think some of you did recieve my one communication - I hope so, anyway.
It was really rather a poor showing, I know. Ah me!
Poor Miss Lindie. Would it make you feel better if we spanked you?
A bird awakens on its branch and begins to sing. Another joins her song. A guard at the Town gate shakes her head and wonders how she managed to fall asleep on duty. A girl in school rubs her eyes and wonders what was the question the mistress asked her. She is relieved to see that the schoolmistress, blinking her blue eyes, does not seem to remember either.
Someone, somewhere, has clearly kissed someone else, but the awakening townsmaidens do not know who or where. In a story the readers always know - but this is not a story, and you arot mere readers. This is real life of an Elektraspatial sort, and all we know is that Girls' Town is reawakening; and if far away a valkyrie voice can alm cost be heard hailing the sun, we can only guess at its meaning.
Anyway >yawn< it is nice to see that some of us are awake.
The Blonde Management
Girls' Town is going to sleep. The smart brunette guards at the gates are sleeping. The schoolchildren lie down in mid-play. The shopkeeper sleeps with her change in her hand, the girls in the Cocktail bar settle into the deep armchairs. The roses begin to grow, scenting the somnolent air with their blossoms and guarding the slumbering town with their thorns.
But do not worry - it will not be a hundred years. Expect awakening on the 25th or 26th of June, and in the meantime, why not join the Keep-in-Touch Club. Technicals permitting, we will try to Keep you In Touch.
New visitors, please feel free to browse our Girls' Town Archives and see what the town was like when it was awake - and will be when it reawakens shortly.
Please not that messages sent to our usual letterboxes will not reach Aristasia Friends until Girls' Town Awakens, so please send any communications to Miss Lindie Miralene, the Keep-in-Touch hostess.
With a kiss, but not yet a kiss of awakening,
The Blonde Management
I am in complete agreement with Miss Suraline. Most figures can benefit from a certain amount of moulding and the idea that to wear a girdle is a confession of inadequacy or a travesty of Virgin Nature seems to me to be dangerously close to the dreadful sophistries of that villainous Tellurian sect which opposes the removal of bodily hair.
Where I come from, in Kadoria, some form of girdle is normal for most girls of sixteen and over. It is not necessary that it should be in any way severe.
Girdles take many shapes and forms and are often delightful garments in themselves.I should even put forward the view - though I know not what others may think of this - that the girdle has something in common with the veil, lending something of the glamour of intrigue and mystery to a girl's body that a veil lends to her soul.
In support of my view, may I suggest that the enclosed picture suggests how a charming, but very everyday and engagingly innocent garment such as the soft woollen jumper and white skirt modelled by the brunette can be given an overlay - or rather an underlay of romance, mystery and fascinating suggestion by a foundation garment such as that modelled by the blonde - without in any way compromising the innocence of its charm.
An unduly romantic or mystical view? I honestly do not think so. It accords very much with my own inner experience, so I suppose one must say it is true for me if for no-one else.
But am I the only one?