TBC 034: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

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Klonoa returns once more thanks to the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series collection for Nintendo Switch. Despite its acclaim, the game has remained relatively obscure. Join Glen and Nathan as they discuss examine the gameplay, design, and story of Namco’s beloved cult classic.

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“Two Button Crew Theme” by Katie Straughn

Expedition Into the Halno Woods

Introducing Expedition Into the Halno Woods, an entry-level adventure module for 1d4chan’s The Legend of Zelda role-playing game. Now you too can embark on the adventure first featured in our TBC Table-Top podcast. How will your own party of heroes fair on their quest to save the river? Will you triumph, or find yourselves up the creek without a paddle?

Download the PDF here!

In addition to the adventure itself, you can click here to download a supplement pack containing high-resolution maps, battle maps, and useful cheat sheets.

This module is compatible with the 1d4chan The Legend of Zelda R.P.G., the rules for which can be found here.

About This Module

This module aims to introduce players and Sages (i.e. game masters) to The Legend of Zelda R.P.G. It features a small, sandbox-styled adventure in which players can explore, fight monsters, and solve puzzles. It provides many scenarios to help sages learn and demonstrate many of the game’s rules and even includes examples of some of the game’s more abstract concepts, such as minigames. Moreover, the adventure is written to capture the feeling of playing a chapter of a Zelda game, following the recognizable formula of a town that’s in trouble, a task to reach the source of the problem, and finally a dungeon to test the players’ mettle. As such, this module focuses more on gameplay, allowing for sages to fill in the details of the story as they see fit.

The Story

The humble logging town of Addalet is in trouble. The river on which the village’s livelihood depends is drying up. Now the players must travel through the mysterious Halno Woods to the river’s source to uncover the cause of the town’s troubles.

Features

  • Two dungeons
  • A town full of lively characters
  • Ten side quests
  • A sprawling countryside with 17 unique locations
  • Stats for 18 different types of enemies
  • New survival rules for roughing it in the wild
  • New alternate navigation rules
  • Alternate potion brewing rules
  • Five pre-made characters

Advice for Running This Campaign

As a bonus, here are some tips for running this campaign and The Legend of Zelda R.P.G. in general:

  • This is a Zelda game: If you’ve played pen-and-paper R.P.G.s before, you probably know The Legend of Zelda has a very different tone and internal logic from games like Dungeons & Dragons. For instance, enemies drop items when defeated, and players can find money by cutting grass. While I encourage players and sages to take advantage of the additional freedom afforded by pen-and-paper R.P.G.s, players and sages should remember that this module was written using “Zelda logic” and that keeping that in mind will enhance your group’s enjoyment of the campaign.
  • Keep the monster stats on standby: For the sake of brevity, I put many of the monster stats in the appendices in the back of the module. I recommend printing these out and keeping them off to the side while running the game so you can quickly reference them.
  • Use battle maps and miniatures for combat: Combat in The Legend of Zelda R.P.G. is very heavily based on positioning and movement. As such, it’s critical that everyone can easily track what’s going on. I’ve tried running this game’s combat using “theater of the mind” and seen others attempt it, and it simply does not work.
  • Be open minded: Part of the fun of running an R.P.G. is seeing what wild and creative solutions the players come up with. If the players come up with an inventive solution to a puzzle that logically should work but isn’t mentioned in the module, then go ahead and let the party do it.

If you have any questions, comments, or corrections (rules, spelling, grammar, etc.) contact me at glen@twobuttoncrew.com.

Shantae Review

Product provided for review. Thanks, WayForward!

The end of a system’s lifespan is often an interesting time. By then, developers are intimately familiar with the platform’s capabilities and know exactly what it takes to push it to its limits. Unfortunately, these efforts are often overlooked by the general public, who are too anxious to get their hands on the next generation of hardware and games. As a result, the twilight years of a game system are a perfect breeding ground for cult classics. Such is the story of WayForward’s Shantae for the GameBoy Color. Shantae was originally released for the GameBoy Color on June 2, 2002, almost an entire year after the GameBoy Advance’s North American debut. Now the half-genie’s original outing makes its way to Nintendo Switch, thanks to Limited Run Games. Read more Shantae Review

Tadpole Treble Encore Review

Product provided for review. Thanks, Bitfinity!

Developed and published by Bitfinity, Tadpole Treble was originally released in 2016 for Steam and Wii U. The title is notable for being designed by Matthew Taranto ofBrawl in the Family fame, who also composed the soundtrack and drew much of the game’s art. The game now comes to Nintendo Switch as Tadpole Treble Encore, featuring new bonus content and even an entire new stage!

Oh, and as a matter of transparency, I do feel it necessary to mention that I did throw money at the game’s initial Kickstarter campaign. Not only did I get this cute little plush of the protagonist, my name’s in the credits! Yeah, I can’t promise this review will be 100% unbiased.

The game stars Baton, a recently hatched tadpole who is carried away from her home by a hungry pelican. She just barely manages to escape and lands upstream, far from home. And so begins Baton’s perilous journey to reunite with her family. Read more Tadpole Treble Encore Review

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Review

While it may be hard to believe now, there was a time when Shantae was relatively obscure. Released in the Gameboy Color’s twilight years, Shantae’s first game failed to get a foothold in a market that had already advanced on to Nintendo’s next iteration of the Gameboy line. That said, WayForward was confident in the I.P.—partly thanks to the cult following that had formed around the half-genie’s debut title—and were eager to develop a sequel. Eight arduous years and a few false starts later, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was released as a download title for the Nintendo DSi. In the years that followed, the game would see updated ports on several systems, including: iOS, Steam, Wii U, and now—of course—the Nintendo Switch. Read more Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Review

TBC Table-Top R.P.G. Podcast 11 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.  With the boss key in hand, Trouse, Oscar, and Sigil prepare to face off with the Spring Shrine’s final challenge.

Cast

Sigil: Scott

Trouse: Nathan Blake

Oscar: Simeon

Sage: Glen

Music Credits

“Divinity”
Nostalvania
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

“Boss Battle”
Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Original Soundtrack
Nintendo

“Boss Clear”
Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Original Soundtrack
Nintendo

“Link’s Epic”
Joshua Morse
25 Year Legend: A Legend of Zelda Indie Game Composer Tribute
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

TBC Table-Top Podcast 10 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.  Our heroes have overcome their toughest opponent yet!  What could the Diara have been guarding?  And how will it help the team as they continue to explore the ancient ruins?

Cast

Sigil: Scott

Trouse: Nathan Blake

Oscar: Simeon

Sage: Glen

Music Credits

Divinity
Nostalvania
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

“This Cave Is Creepy”
Obtuse
Legend of Zelda: Threshold of a Dream
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

“Inception”
Mustin
Legend of Zelda: Threshold of a Dream
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

“Monkey King”
Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Original Soundtrack
Nintendo

“The Guru”
The OC Jazz Collective
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

TBC Table-Top Podcast 09 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.  Our heroes now have a taste of the dangers that await them in the Spring Shrine.  Our heroes have bested many foes and are now ready to delve into the depths of the dark, dank, and dangerous dungeon.

Cast

Sigil: Scott

Trouse: Nathan Blake

Oscar: Simeon

Sage: Glen

Music Credits

Divinity
Nostalvania
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

Full Moon Cello
Theophany
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: Threshold of a Dream
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

Middle Boss
Koji Kondo
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Nintendo

The Guru
The OC Jazz Collective
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

Emulation vs. Porting

As some of you may recall, A few months ago, there was a lot of hoopla about an unofficial P.C. port of Super Mario 64. Fans had managed to decompile and reverse engineer the source code of Mario 64 and made the necessary changes to compile and run the game on Windows. So why is this such a big deal when we can already play N64 games using emulators? Conversely, what’s it matter that the games in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars Collection are emulated and not ported? What’s the difference between porting and emulating? And why would developers choose one over the other? Read more Emulation vs. Porting

TBC Table-Top: Episode 08 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Now available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.  Our heroes now have a taste of the dangers that await them in the Spring Shrine.  They’ve defeated the chuchus, but how will they fair against the lizalfos awaiting them in the next chamber?

Cast

Sigil: Scott

Trouse: Nathan Blake

Oscar: Simeon

Sage: Glen

Music Credits

Divinity
Nostalvania
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

Thelonius Temple
MC
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

The Guru
The OC Jazz Collective
OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org)

TBC Table-Top: Episode 07 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Now available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.  After being led to the headwaters by a pair of friendly fairies, the party now delves into the mysterious Spring Shrine.  What dangers lurk in the dark, dank depths of these forgotten ruins? Read more TBC Table-Top: Episode 07 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

TBC Table-Top: Episode 06 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Now available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.

After camping for the night, our heroes make their way to the headwaters of the river.

Read more TBC Table-Top: Episode 06 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

TBC Table-Top: Episode 05 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Now available in high quality Vorbis audio!

Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.

After dispatching their bokoblin assailants, our heroes continue delving even deeper into the woods.  Will they find the river’s headwaters or more trouble? Read more TBC Table-Top: Episode 05 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

Hideaway Island An Animal Crossing: New Horizons Narrative Let's Play

Day 1

I arrived at the airport around 9 A.M. Upon entering, I was greeted by two young raccoons who immediately got to work arranging my trip. We boarded the plane not long after that. Once finished suffering a long, boring flight during which there was nothing to do except watch an informational video and avoid eye contact with the other passengers, we arrived on the island. The two young raccoons informed the other residents and me that there was an orientation meeting nearby and that our presence was requested. Needing to retrieve my tent and other supplies, I begrudgingly followed the others to what appeared to be a construction site. There a middle-aged raccoon delivered a droll and poorly-rehearsed corporate monolog. Read more Hideaway Island An Animal Crossing: New Horizons Narrative Let’s Play

Virtua Quest That Was a Thing

I’ve mentioned it a few times on the podcast, but I love the Virtua Fighter series. Unfortunately, as a Nintendo fan, that puts me in a difficult position. See, the Virtua Fighter series has been absent from Nintendo consoles. There is, however, one noteworthy exception to this history of Nintendo exclusion: the action-R.P.G. spin-off game, Virtua Quest.

Virtua Quest was developed jointly by Tose co. and Sega AM2 and published by Sega. It was released in Japan under the name Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Ambition of Judgement Six on August 26, 2004 for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. It was later released in North America on January 18, 2005. As mentioned before, it was a departure from the standard Virtua Fighter series in that the game is a beat-em-up with R.P.G. elements.

My history with this game is a little different than previous installments of That Was a Thing, as I’ve never actually played this game before. Well, not the full version at least. I knew about it way back when it first came out, due it being playable at the GameCube demo kiosk at my local Target. At the time, I thought the idea of a martial-arts-based action-adventure game was intriguing, but after seeing the middling review scores it received in the now-defunct Nintendo Power magazine, I ultimately decided to pass on it.

It wouldn’t be until a few years ago once I got into the Virtua Fighter series that I developed a renewed interest in this title. After over a year of searching, I finally stumbled across it while revisiting the GameXChange in my old, grad-school stomping grounds. Read more Virtua Quest That Was a Thing

TBC Table-Top: Episode 04 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.

After losing their way in the woods, our heroes run afoul of a band of bokoblin bandits.  Will the might of their arms be enough to fend off their assailants?

Read more TBC Table-Top: Episode 04 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

Mario’s Express Ticket to Subcon An Examination of Mario's Sleep Habits

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor an expert on sleep disorders. This article is for entertainment purposes and should not be consulted for medical advice. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, please consult a specialist.

It’s January again, a time of year when many people resolve to improve themselves and their lives. Long-time Nintendo fans are no strangers to the subject of self improvement. From the Brain Age games to the recent Ring Fit Adventure, Nintendo has a history spanning over a decade of releasing products to improve the health and cognitive well-being of their fan base. There was even a time not too long ago that the Big N toyed with the idea of building a third pillar to their business around the idea of quality-of-life consumer electronics. The only product in this line that we fans ever even heard about, however, was a device that was supposed to improve the user’s quality of sleep. As someone who has trouble maintaining a healthy sleep cycle, I was disappointed when they announced that the project had been canceled.

Now that I think about it, though, I’m not the only one with an odd circadian rhythm. One of Nintendo’s most iconic characters has exhibited strange and potentially worrisome sleep behaviors on multiple occasions: Mario. Ever since his landmark 3D debut, Super Mario 64, Mario has often been depicted as nodding off in a matter of minutes if left inactive. This leads to me wonder: how does he do it, and is it cause for concern? Read more Mario’s Express Ticket to Subcon An Examination of Mario’s Sleep Habits

TBC Table-Top: Episode 03 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

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Join Scott, Simeon, Glen, and Nathan Blake of Nathan Blake Games on an adventure through the backwoods of Hyrule as the crew plays a table-top R.P.G. inspired by The Legend of Zelda.

After making their preparations, our heroes relax with a little arm-wrestling before venture into the woods.  Who or what will they encounter in the forest? Read more TBC Table-Top: Episode 03 A Zelda Table-Top R.P.G. Adventure

Super Mario Odyssey Spit Shine

Back in August, I finally managed to complete Super Mario Odyssey. While I found much to love about it—the gorgeous and eclectic visuals, the fast-paced story, the fact that Mario is weird again, the myriad of accessibility features, etc., etc.—there was a reason it took me nearly two years to complete. While I definitely intend to replay the game’s story someday, I can say with confidence that completing it is a task I will never undertake again.

As the number of remaining moons dwindled, so too did my enthusiasm. In fact, by the end of my run, I was having more fun grinding for coins in Luigi’s Balloon World so that I could afford the last few moons needed to max out the counter than I did hunting for the ones populating the game’s various worlds. Why was that, and what could Nintendo have done differently to avoid the slog? That’s exactly what I intend to answer in this edition of Spit Shine. Read more Super Mario Odyssey Spit Shine