Eighteen

Today saw a frantic scramble as I desperately attempted to offload 1440 turnips onto an unsuspecting pair of raccoons from overseas, given that my own Timmy and Tommy were offering a mere 27 bells per, a fair bit short of the 107 bells per I paid in the first place! Thankfully, I found, after several hours of using it, a seller on Turnip.exchange! 215 bells per turnip, and “tips not necessary but greatly appreciated!” so I gave them a Nook Miles Ticket, as I saw those are in high demand by other sellers, so I figured this gal could use it!

In other Animal Crossing news, I have villager #10, and he’s a cranky one!

His name is Boyd and I love him already. He’s evidently not a fan of fishing, but that won’t stop him trying! This means Boyd joins Diva, Teddy, Coco, Rodeo, Lopez, Bangle, Sterling, Bettina, and Kitt on the idyllic Halfhill!

Currently I’m at a 2 star island rating, so I’m gonna start sprucing up the joint, maybe move houses around so there’s an actual neighbourhood area of sorts, rather than a disjointed “wherever I can shove them” scheme going on. Could do with some more bridges and ramps too. Throw money at the island and see what sticks!

In other news, I made a PSA:

Catch every wasp the safe and easy way!

POST-EASTER BARGAINS

Yes, it’s that time of year where supermarkets realise they have entirely too many Easter eggs, and so have resorted to slashing their prices by up to 75% (in the case of where I work at least), meaning I am getting 6 small eggs for 96p, large eggs for a £1 each, Lindt bunnies for a mere 50p!

Not only that, but as a valued staff member and very important key worker or whatever the buzzword is, I get a further 15% off! I knew there had to be a perk to going outdoors in this crisis!

Nah, truth be told, I’ve had a fairly easy time. I’ve had to point out to a few customers that we have a one-way system in the store, and I’ve pointedly backed off from people who invade my personal space, but shit I’d do that anyway so this is not a new sensation. It does help that I start at 4am, 4 hours before the store actually opens, so I’m not really facing customers for a long time, and occasionally, you get customer messages like this:

That always warms the heart to see! (it’s a shame that we had sold out of that particular item so I had to subsititute it for a way more expensive one, but thankfully they pay the cheaper price of the two items)

Anyway, it’s time for some Fire Emblem.

XVII

Today, a tier list.

This is not a ranking of the strongest characters in the game, but a ranking of characters based on how I personally feel going up against them (either when the bf plays as them, or online).

There’s a tier at the bottom of characters I don’t really have any personal data on, as I’ve so rarely stumbled upon them online, and the bf doesn’t play as them.

THE ONES I PLAY AS

They have a special tier of their own, because I have such immense joy in a potential mirror match! I’ve always been a fan of grapplers, and these two are absolutely my cup of tea. Mika, she’s one of those characters that is very momentum-heavy; once she gets going, she’s kinda hard to stop, and E Honda is just the chunky muscleman sumo king, with the best stage in the series.

HATE

Balrog and M Bison are here because I find it immensely difficult to find gaps in what they do, and they hit REALLY damn hard. Balrog in particular, one wrong move and he’s taking you to the corner whether you like it or not. Guile is much the same, in that it’s hard to find the gaps, but he’s less of a powerhouse aggressor, and more a defensive wall. FLASH KICK FLASH KICK FLASH KICK. Ugh!

G is a well-known problem character for a lot of people. He’s decent, then when he gets his V Trigger, he’s a fuckin’ juggernaut. The comeback king (or president I guess) of the world for sure. Rounding off the tier are ol’ Chunners, Karin, and Rashid, who all attack at weird angles that I find it hard to react to.

The boyfriend likes to play as Balrog and Bison. I encourage this, because they’re very much my weak point and I NEED to learn how to beat them!

DISLIKE

Yes I don’t like the Brazilian electric duo, sue me. More weird angles and oppressive rushdown, much like Vega. He’s flying about the place, he’s poking at you with the claws, he’s rolling on the ground!

Dhalsim, much like Guile, is one of those pokey zoners, and it’s a very valid playstyle and I support it. Don’t have to like it though! Unless I’m the one zoning of course.

Cammy, Ed and Akuma just seem to have very good ways of keeping me off them, whether I’m Mika OR Honda, also Akuma’s hair is silly and off-putting. He looks like Mufasa.

LIKE/LOVE

These are characters that I don’t necessarily see as a free win (apart from you Ryu, you suck!), but I just personally enjoy playing against. Maybe they make me work for the victory in such a way that’s affirming and great when I win, but not frustrating to lose to (Zangief, Abigail, Gill, Cody), maybe I just rarely see them so it’s nice to see them blowing out the cobwebs (Kolin, Ibuki, Birdie, Sagat), maybe I just love their theme tune (Kage, Sakura, Ken)! Okay, Ryu’s theme is alright too I guess, and we all love that Hot Ryu costume.

I also kinda feel, matchup-wise, that I personally fight better vs Zangief, Sakura, and Ibuki, though when they get me, they get me GOOD. Not uncommon to see me take three SPD’s in a row.

He is the spinning Russian man
No-one can defeat his plan

SEIZE

What I love about the French language is how their numbers work. Ninety four is “quatre-vingt-quatorze,” or “four twenties plus fourteen.”

I did GCSE French at school back in the day, did better in it than I did in English (lit AND lang), then when I went to college, promptly forgot literally everything bar the basics (hello, bye, where are the toilets), and here I am now. A while back, I started learning German in Duolingo, but I keep forgetting to go back to it, to the point where I got that pass-agg message from the accursed owl.

Still, learning a language, however slowly I do it, is fun and I really should pick it back up.

CALCABRINA

I said I’d do it and I did! I ended up swapping out Qin for Locke, and in the end I went with Nagi over Gilgamesh, as she can do AoE physical attacks, which trigger a load of counters that Warrior of Light can cover and evade! The sheer amount of magical counters Cecil was taking on previous attempts that all chained together were killing him every turn, and I needed Folka to be able to do more than just plonk Reraise on him constantly.

Bye bye creepy dolls. What’s next?

OTHER STUFF

  • I have work tomorrow.
  • They wanted me to start at 2am, and frankly, no.
  • 4am is my limit!

 

Fifteen

Five… teen!

CALCABRINA

Remember this fight from Final Fantasy IV?

Creepy doll made up of six smaller, also creepy dolls? There was a version of her in Final Fantasy XIV too, as an homage!

Of course the upgrade to HD graphics makes her even MORE the stuff of nightmares. Anyway, the reason I mention this is because the mobile game I play, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, has a new trial coming up, Scorn of the Mad Doll!

IT’S CALCABRINA, BITCHES. So naturally, I’ve set my team up to tackle this trial tomorrow.

  • Paladin Cecil: Functions as magic tank for the fight. Pretty apt to use him too, as he and Calcabrina are from the same game! His side focus is buffing defensive stats.
  • Awakened Warrior of Light: Physical tank with passive provoke, might go full evade. Here to take damage and throw out some helpful supportive stuff. He’s from Final Fantasy I!
  • Folka: One of the story characters of Brave Exvius, Folka is a fantastic healer, and will throw up barriers and the like. More HP never hurts.
  • Gilgamesh (WOTV): Not to be confused with the Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V, this guy is my damager for the fight, built for the MAG stat with spirit/demon killer to boost his damage output. He’s the newest unit in the game, hailing from War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a collaboration character! He’s also unique in that he can be built for ATK or MAG, or even both, unlike most units that specialise in one stat.
  • Qin: The one on the end who is actually a guy (he’s a theatre buff, and in ancient China, men used to play the roles of both genders, and he used this expertise to disguise himself as a wandering musician to investigate the deaths of his parents), Qin will focus on buffs and debuffs!

Qin’s win pose!

I may record myself doing this trial and post it on youtube, and link it here!

FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES

Manuela is such a thirsty lady. My gosh. I aspire to be like her!

Anyway, I’m the professor of the Golden Deer house, mainly because I thought Lorenz, Ignatz and Lysithea were the coolest. Also because it was described as the house that has more bow-users than the others, and we all know bows are the best.

I picked Bloke Byleth (as opposed to Gal Byleth of course), he’s hit level 10, so I made him a thief. Gotta steal all the things! Also I saw that he had a dancer outfit unlocked at the start of the game so of COURSE!

OTHER STUFF

  • Still gotta fill that 10th plot on Halfhill! I’m secretly hoping I find Pietro on an island, he looks adorable!

  • The only worthy clown. THE ONLY.

Fourteen

A LIST: THE RIVALS IN POKEMON GAMES, FROM THE LEAST TO THE MOST AWFUL

Caveat: I did not play Sun/Moon or Black 2/White 2, so I will miss off Hugh, Hau and Gladion. This means the list will consist of Blue, Silver, Brendan/May, Wally, Barry, Cheren, Bianca, Calem/Serena, Hop, Bede, and Marnie.

BEST RIVAL: WALLY (GEN 3)

Ah, the ill boy. He’s actually a decent rival because he’s not an insufferable dick, but a quiet, sensitive kid who finds his inner strength and eventually becomes the toughest non-champion/you trainer in the entire game!

HIS GALLADE IS LEVEL EIGHTY ONE. Honestly, the only thing stopping him from being the Hoenn champion is you, and he’s going to make you WORK for it.

BEDE (GEN 8)

A controversial choice perhaps, especially as when you first meet him, he’s an intensely dislikable person, but as you progress through the game, he comes crashing back down to Galar, and becomes all the better for it. Especially when Opal takes him under her wing (or boa) and trains him in becoming the fairy-type gym leader!

His smile there is a lot different from the smug, self-satisfied smile he wears in the early game. It’s one that shows he’s grown as a person!

Also he wears a lot of pink.

CHEREN (GEN 5)

Stoic, studious, dapper in shirt and tie, Cheren, much like Bede and Blue, is a rival that ends up becoming a gym leader! He does have ego issues that you eventually beat out of him, and you can tell that as a gym leader, he’s missing being able to use his Haxorus or Gigalith.

Professor Juniper, it’s been a long time. I’m glad you’re doing so well. The Gym Leader position is very tough… If I had my usual partners…

This is probably the first hint in the series that each gym follows a progression of power by design, rather than by accident based on where your journey started! He wants to stomp you into the ground with his Liepard, but league rules state that he cannot!

MARNIE (GEN 8)

Another rival-turned-gym-leader, Marnie doesn’t get the screentime in Sword/Shield of Hop, or the development of Bede, and is kinda static and boring. She’s not aggressively awful though, and she has her own cheerleaders in the form of Team Yell, so she’s not all bad I guess.

BIANCA (GEN 5)

A fun, ditzy girl who just wants to travel with her pokemon, with an arsehole father who’s like “UH NO STAY AT HOME,” and who, again, ends up being an amazingly powerful trainer who weirdly has a better balanced team than Cheren, despite her being a bit of a hobbyist, versus Cheren being laser-focused on becoming the champion! She’s lower down than he is though because her Mienshao and Chandelure both used to absolutely tear through my team, so personal bias wins the day.

THE OTHER PROTAGONIST (GENS 3 AND 6)

Brendan. May. Calem. Serena.

Basically, you play as one and the other becomes your rival, and they’re quite dull. I refer to them as “the interchangables,” in that they have almost no impact on the story, or on you.

BARRY (GEN 4)

Slow. The fuck. Down.

Irritating to the point of, well, irritation, he’s not further down because he does eventually slow the fuck down, and at one point was the strongest trainer in any pokemon game (right until HG/SS gave Red a bit of a power boost), with his starter eventually hitting level EIGHTY FIVE!

I just always remember feeling annoyed when he came on screen.

SILVER (GEN 2)

Go to prison, thief.

Unmitigated dickhead, who only becomes even slightly bearable when Lance beats the shit out of him in a pokemon battle. TAKE THAT!

He probably gets it from Giovanni, who is the leader of Team Rocket, a dick, and his dad.

BLUE (GEN 1)

Just fucking look at him.

Gary. Motherfucking. Oak.

WORST RIVAL: HOP (GEN 8)

THIS IS A REVELATION TO YOU IN EVERY BATTLE WE HAVE. HOW IS THIS?! HOW CAN THIS BE?! YOU PICKED THE STARTER THAT IS WEAK TO MINE! YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING! NO WONDER BEDE BEAT YOU.

Also slow. The fuck. Down.

Thirteen

Unlucky for some. The fear of the number 13 and all it entails is called triskaidekaphobia, and there are 2 main possible reasons for the association of ill fortune. The first comes from Norse myth, where 12 gods had a party in Valhalla, but didn’t invite Loki. He crashed the party anyway, effectively becoming the 13th guest, and shenanigans happened, Balder died, the world went dark, and “it was a bad, unlucky day.”

The second stems from Christianity, where at the Last Supper, Judas was the 13th disciple to sit at the table. There’s other myths and legends too, including Hammurabi’s Code having no 13th law, October the 13th 1307 being when the Knights Templar were arrested in France, tortured and killed, and some monks being annoyed that some years had 13 full moons, which messed up their festival plannings.

Italians, who obviously relish the idea of contrarianism, consider the number 13 to be a lucky number, and 17 to be the unlucky one. Also, my favourite couple of sentences from the page for 13 on Wikipedia:

In Petanque, standard games are won when a team reaches the score of 13 points. A 13-0 score is called Fanny.

~Wikipedia

Fanny. Supposedly, the 0 scorer in that 13-0 washout must “kiss the bottom of a girl named Fanny,” and you find woodcarvings at most places petanque is played of a rear-exposing lady. Nowadays, the fanny just buys the winners a drink, which is a lot more wholesome.

There’s even old-timey art of this occurring! I’m not making it up!

FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES

Finally I have this game. It was meant to arrive on my birthday, and was apparently delivered at 12:29pm, except it was not, and we had major ordeals attempting to get in touch with the local sorting office due to the coronavirus. They were shut on days they don’t shut, they closed early on days they close late, Google was misleading about the times/days they were open, and eventually we learned they now only open for two hours a day, between 7am and 9am! What!

So the boyfriend got in touch with Amazon themselves, who were initially like “contact the post office,” spent like 2 minutes on the automated help service, and a new one was dispatched the next day and arrived on Easter Sunday! If only we had known we could do that.

ANYWAY, I’ve got Fire Emblem now, huzzah, it was always one of the 3 games I’d buy a Switch Lite for (the others being Pokemon and Animal Crossing, and I was waiting for all 3 to be released), and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

I chose the Leicester Alliance, because who doesn’t like Leicester? Lovely city, famous for crisps and winning the Premier League that one time. This was literally my justification.

OTHER STUFF

  • I finally beat the Scorn of the Demon Wall in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and I did it with Beatrix (from FFIX!) as my main damage unit!
  • *plays Rose of May*
  • Still not beaten the Scorn of the Venomous Vines though, the second round batters me to death!
  • I also got the new Gilgamesh (WOTV) unit. Lucky me!

T W E L V E

So according to rumours, Resident Evil 4 Remake has been given the go ahead.

See?

Now, here’s a list of Capcom games that should have remakes or continuations before Resident Evil 4 in my opinion, especially given it still holds up as a very good game even now:

  • Dino Crisis
  • Dino Crisis
  • Dino fuckin’ Crisis
  • maybe Onimusha I dunno
  • Did I mention Dino Crisis?

Some people may say Code Veronica, but why give attention to that waste of time of a game?

TURNIP DAY

So I purchased a small amount of turnips, for 107 Bells per, as this is the first time I’ve been able to participate in the Stalk Market! Also, you can see me holding the Bunny Wand, which can only mean one thing: I’ve “completed” Bunny Day!

As the newly-crowned Bunny King, my first decree is that there will be no more eggs until next year!

Wait, that was gonna happen anyway? Oh.

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF AMESBURY FOOTBALL CLUB

Yes, I’m playing Football Manager 2019 more, and I’m using my Create A Club team, Amesbury, named after my old hometown! Our form is positive yet inconsistent, and it’s proving difficult to keep up with Lincoln; every time they drop points, so do we!

I can only assume the Checkatrade Trophy is the same as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, albeit under new sponsorship. The board’s aim was to get into the group stage, you START in that stage though so job done, but my personal aim? I wanna win the fuckin’ thing, getting an early trophy would be good for my fledgling career, and would help boost the club’s finances a tad.

We’re listed as “okay” which is shaky ground to be on, but there are ways to boost income! Just have to hope they fall into my lap. I’ve not save scummed at all this time, so whatever results I get, I get, and I have to hope the dice roll in my favour!

The board fucking love me though. Look at those orange bars! And somehow they are SATISFIED with the finances?! Crazy!

Recent results have been strong, and the “almost certain relegation candidates” are taking League 2 by storm! We even beat Lincoln 2-1 when we met them! Lost to Stevenage though, of all teams…

OTHER STUFF

  • HAPPY EASTER! May all your easter eggs be calorie-free and delicious! And if you don’t celebrate Easter, then have a lovely Sunday I guess.

Eleven

Easter Sunday tomorrow. Is Easter Saturday a thing? Is this some sort of significant thing? Does it have another name? Is there some sort of ritual attached to it, like are there Easter Saturday Candles in the Easter Saturday Prayer Ritual for the Easter Saturday Service in The Holy Church of the Divine Maiden in Glorious Service to His Golden Eminence?

QUESTIONS QUESTIONS ALWAYS QUESTIONS

  • When is the prescribed time to have Easter eggs? Good Friday? Easters Sunday or Monday? I don’t know, but I tell you what, being an adult means you can have them whenever you want (so long as they are in the shops, time limited thing and all).
  • On the 4th attempt, will I slay the Malboro King and Queen?

  • Apparently not, instead I will let my party’s general mitigation drop and take a crapload of damage as I pushed the Malboro Queen past not only her 75% threshold, but also her 50% one too. Yay me.
  • Demon Plant With Awful Breath just did what nobody could in Final Fantasy IX, and managed to actually defeat Beatrix! If only she locked at 1% and was like “lol no” and Stock Breaked the queen to death.
  • Honestly it was just a moment of mismanaging from me, and if I had handled buffs/debuffs properly, I wouldn’t have had that happen!
  • Also, save the middle mini malboro for last, kill off the top and bottom, then kill Queenie!

HALF OF THOSE WEREN’T QUESTIONS BUT STATEMENTS

You are absolutely correct about that

~Panda Steve

“Mini Malboro’s get more dangerous if the Queen dies before them”

Huh.

Anyway! It’s nearly Easter, and I know what I’m going to be doing!

I’m going to get me Riolu and Ditto! Ditto is useful because, as is well known to Pokemon aficionados, it is immensely horny and will breed with anything! Except, curiously, other Dittos.

Also, Ditto is an absolute cutie, despite being a mound of pink shapeshifting goo. I remember when I first encountered a Ditto back in Pokemon Red. That game didn’t have breeding (that came in gen 2), so its main niche had not yet been carved, but I remember my 12-year-old brain seeing this unassuming pink mound transform into my Charizard (my then-strongest pokemon, by virtue of it being literally all I ever used) and being absolutely AWED! I accidentally KO’d it, and could never find another!

Back before I learnt about having a rounded team with moveset coverage and balanced types and more than one strong pokemon, my Charizard’s moveset looked a little like this:

Ember
Fire Spin
Fire Blast
Flamethrower

Big dragon make fire go burn and all that. Ignorance is bliss!

Ten

What the frig, Sterling?! What what what?

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Okay, so we’re meant to be making only essential journeys, and where I work is meant to be restricting the amount of people in the shop at any one time, so tell me, please, why on Earth it was busier than Christmas instore today? Why, despite announcements literally every five minutes over the tannoy about how “we’ve implemented social distancing protocols for your safety, security, and peace of mind” people still see fit to congregate in groups of four plus people, nattering about how “they’ve not seen you for WEEKS! We simply must stop in the most inconvenient place and talk for hours!”

I’ve seen people wearing protective face masks, which is great! But they wear them around their neck, which is doing nobody any good at all! Especially when they get nose-to-nose with me (which I would not appreciate at the best of times!) to ask me where chopped tomatoes are located.

It’s aisle 29, by the way. Herbs, spices, tomatoes, tinned kidney beans and the like. Also bacon, sausages and fish.

On a normal Friday, my department (internet shopping!) would have about 400+ picks to do. Today, on Good Friday, my first day back after nine days off, we had SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY, which one the one hand is good, because more people are able to order online, which is invaluable for vulnerable people, BUT! I am absolutely crocked right now. I sit down for ten plus minutes, and the next time I try and move, I’m walking like a sodding Disney witch.

Basically, do better, people. Do better!

SHADOWLANDS

The! Most! Important! Thing!

I can have BLUE PANDAREN?! Why yes, this is everything I wanted and I didn’t even know it beforehand.

DIFFERENT EYE COLOURS!

Already the best expansion. Just give me Pandaren heritage armour too and we’re all set, Blizzywizzy.

Currently, I am conflicted on what to level first as my main next expansion.

  • Demo Warlock (human): Warlock has been the class I level first for years now, and tradition dictates I do it again.
  • Elemental Shaman (pandaren): THEY GOT RID OF MAELSTROM! It’s going back to a cooldown-based gameplay, rather than builder/spender, with the spender being drastically underwhelming!
  • Beast Mastery Hunter (pandaren): My current main, of course. I like constant movement, I like being able to tame things, and Kill Shot returns!
  • Balance Druid (kul tiran): The controversial outlier, I really enjoy the playstyle at the moment, but I suspect it’s going to be completely different in Shadowlands? It’s very much a wild card.

I’ve spent YEARS hating Druid as a class, I don’t know how this happened.

OTHER STUFF

  • oh god my legs
  • my legs!
  • Might play some Football Manager later on, before I retire to the boudoir at 20:30 because I start work at 4am.
  • Much caffeine.
  • I moan a lot about 4am starts, but weirdly I’m more alert when I start work then than I am if I start work at 5 or 6am. I genuinely am confused as to why this is. Plus, I get 2 hours of night premium, so BONUS MONEY HONEY.

Nine

Tomorrow I go back to work.

Tomorrow I start at 4am.

Tomorrow is Good (?) Friday!

Tomorrow is only a day away.

ANIMAL CROSSING

Last night was a clear night, and apparently clear nights mean this:

This morning, I scoured my beach, and star fragments were found! I also got to see Celeste, and given that she’s the little sister of Blathers, meant I was VERY happy to see her! Any of his family are welcome on my island! I only wish I could build her an observatory so she could stay here!

So most of my evening was spent hammering A while I did other stuff, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything!

Today marks the day of villager #8 to Halfhill, the frankly AMAZING Sterling! While his house is mainly boxes at the moment, the general aesthetic of his wallpaper makes me think he lives in a prison? As a guard? Anyway, he’s a jock, meaning I have 2 missing personality types still (Cranky, Snooty) and 2 spaces for new villagers!

I’ll see if anyone pops up at my campsite tomorrow.

HOW DO YOU IMPROVE ON THE PERFECT POKEMON?

You make that pokemon fucking gigantic.

Hail Mothra! Butterflyra? Butterfreera?

OTHER STUFF

  • The Royal Mail sorting office being open for 2 hours a day, between the hours of 7am and 9am, is ridiculous.