The Sine Wave
Stories, Computer Games, Travel, and Movies


The Sine Wave Archives







The Sine Wave
Games and Stories

Games and Other Junk - A collection of various programs I made a long time ago.
Cannon River Canoe Trip - The story of a field trip for the School of Environmental Studies. 
Madison Photo Log 2001 - A limited photographic record of my first year at college. 

Computer Game Link Pages

Drakan: Order of the Flame

My Quake mods
My Doom levels (389 K)

Sites I Visit Sometimes

Game Rankings
Evil Avatar
Rotten Tomatoes
Ars Technica Open Forum
Straight Dope Message Board
Surreal-News Boards

latest news


- 24 -
More housecleaning
The two Sky Island variations I did as a joke for April Fool's Day take up more than a megabyte, and they're not really worth much, so I'm getting rid of them.  It's funny how a megabyte used to be no big deal but now it seems like a lot of space with these new restrictions.  The original Sky Island can stay because it doesn't have any huge pictures of Jennifer Lopez or William Hung, and it's only 34K.  I might also get rid of Auropolis, but only if I know someone else will host it.  I made it for the Golden Guardians clan, which I was in for a while, but I don't know if I'm still in it or even if it's still around.  On the plus side, I uploaded the game and program collection, and you can download it here.  I also added more links to sites I visit sometimes.  It's not a complete list, but it's more comprehensive than what I had.

- 23 -
A rude awakening
Well, I don't know when this happened, but it seems my ISP just lowered the amount of space I'm allowed to use on my personal web page from 100 MB down to 20 MB all of a sudden, so I'm going to have to be a good little customer (or customer's offspring, as the case may be) and clear up some space on here.  The first thing to go will be the field study pages, because although they don't take up the most space, they do require thousands of files to be placed in the same directory because my ISP doesn't allow subfolders last time I checked, so my FTP program has to load a huge page table every time I do something.  I haven't had feedback on it in ages and it's just a big bloat on the system, so into the trash bin it goes.  If there are any people out there who have been silently admiring my tales of travel and would be just devastated by their deletion, don't worry because I'm going to make .zip archives of all the trip stuff and if you send me an e-mail, I'll send you all the files.  I'm also getting rid of some big Drakan levels, and all the ones not made by me, and some failures like Spellcaster.  You can still find them on Planet Drakan or somewhere, so they're not lost forever.  The latest Azenera version is still on there, but I haven't been working on that for so long.  I'm sorry I have to say this, but don't count on Azenera being done at all.  It's just too much trouble for so little in return, and there are really some little things about the gameplay that I wish I could change but I just can't due to fundamental limitations in the game design.  I've changed the front page and the Drakan links page so that the deleted content is no longer listed, but you may encounter some broken links in the archives.

- 12 -
Puzzles?  What puzzles?
Today I was saving and reloading my way through one of Darkened Skye's many jumping sequences when I started to wonder: why do so many people call them jumping puzzles?  I mean, there's really nothing like a puzzle about most of these jumping segments.  It's really more of a timing and spatial challenge.  A true jumping puzzle would involve some kind of strategy or trick.  For example, in Jak 2, when you're in the temple and there are platforms with a grid of floating colored blocks between them, and you have to jump on only one block of each color to get across, that's a jumping puzzle.  However, in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, when you have to jump across a group of evenly spaced floating platforms hovering above a yellow abyss, and the only challenge is getting all the jumps right, that's not a jumping puzzle at all.  There's a better word for this kind of challenge, and that word is torture.

- 11 -
Taste the painbow
I said I had enough games, but today I did a naughty thing.  I went out and picked up two games for a low price.  One of the games is Wheel of Time, which I haven't started yet, and the other is Darkened Skye.  That's right, I went and bought the Skittles game.  Seriously, Darkened Skye is a third-person fantasy action game where you have to travel through strange lands, jump across platforms (more on that later), and find Skittles.  These aren't just any Skittles, though; they're magical Skittles that let you cast spells such as one that lets you see through illusions and one that shoots out a colored blast of energy.  It's actually not a bad game, considering how it's part of an ad campaign for a candy company, but it's not great, and there are a lot of shortcomings.  First of all, there are way too many places in the game where you have to jump across a sequence of platforms and you die if you miss a jump.  To make matters worse, the jumping controls aren't so great.  You can't jump very high, and sometimes you fail to jump if you're running downhill as you press the jump key.  There are also clipping issues that are annoying but sometimes work in your favor, warping you on top of a platform even if you miss the jump.  One good thing about Darkened Skye that keeps it from being unbearable is the script.  It's pretty silly, and it doesn't take itself seriously at all.  They even make fun of the fact that it's a video game that's part of an ad campaign.  I guess that's the only way to make the script any good, because it would just look stupid if you had a serious epic storyline like Lord of the Rings, but then you had the heroes looking for some magic candy to stop the Ultimate Evil.

- 10 -
Constant moral guidance
One of the things I noticed about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is that everything you do is judged right then and there as a light side action or a dark side action.  Also, it becomes clear that the ends never justify the means when you're a Jedi.  Generally, whenever you give away more credits than you need or refuse a reward, that gives you light side points, and when you persuade or bully people into giving you more, it gives you dark side points.  If you're a total light side character, then even if you're trying to get enough credits to buy a really good suit of armor so you can face a tough enemy, and that armor is your only hope for survival, you can't ask for more money for the various tasks you do around the galaxy because that'll give you dark side points.  Also, I don't want to spoil too much here, but it seems like you can totally ruin the public opinion of the Republic on the planet of Manaan and risk losing it to the Sith in the long run without gaining a single dark side point.  Granted, if you're on the light side path then you'll be going to defeat the Sith right at the source, but it still doesn't look right seeing the Republic lose face like that.  I'm guessing these kinds of moral ambiguities won't be much of an issue when I take the dark side path.  I'll just go with the dialogue choices and actions that look the most evil, and I'll only look out for myself and maybe HK-47 as well.

- 9 -
I'm still around
For a while it looked like you wouldn't have old Salix to kick around anymore, but now here I am back on the scene and ready for action!  It's midway through the summer and I've gotten so many games already, and I haven't yet finished most of them.  I finished Halo and the light side path of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but I still need to finish Tron 2.0, Eternal Darkness, Beyond Good & Evil, Sonic Advance 3, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, the single player mode of Unreal Tournament 2004, and the dark side path of KotOR.  Wow, that's a lot of games.  I guess I'll just be staying inside this summer and disappointing my parents yet again.  This is my first update since May, but I made a quick music-themed June page for the sake of continuity and consistency.

Created and maintained by Salix