This chapter was a labour of love, heists are hard. Big thanks to u/eruwenn for helping tidy up this bag of snakes. First / Prev / Next
“Ranjaz K’Lua, you thieving scumbag!” the Kah’Ree in the purple suit exclaimed loudly as he spotted them across the busy room. “As I live and skral, I never thought you would have the Jolos show your face here again!” Two J’Rami in suits detached themselves from the lobby wall, walking towards the Kittran and his friends. “Alfor, my old friend!” Ranjaz smiled broadly. “No need for the welcoming party, I’ve got your credits” —he gestured to Cygna— “and a sweetener, for all the trouble I caused last time.” Alfor paused, lecherous eyes assessing the Fae’Dan. “You know I have a thing for purple.” He chuckled at his own joke and waved the guards back to their posts. “How about we have a drink, and discuss your forgiveness.” He pointed to Thor and Eruwenn. “Brought your own security, or are these Gal. Fed. goons? Everyone knows about your probation.” The Kittran gave a broad grin. “I got a Tulseria-damned pardon, a new ship and a very lucrative opportunity.” The Kah’Ree smiled. “How’d a thieving cat like you get a pardon?” He gave Ranjaz an appraising look up and down. “Oh? Now, let me guess, you need something from me and my brother?” Ranjaz fired his finger guns. “You were always the smart one Alfor, that’s why you run the casino floor.” The Kittran stepped in close. “The item, do you still have it?” Alfor tilted his head back and away from Ranjaz. “Your little guarantee?” He looked back down at Ranjaz. “We have it somewhere safe. Had some unusual people come by after you got caught. Asked a lot of questions. Made a lot of threats.” His face contorted in anger. “We got audited thanks to you.” The Kittran smiled. “If only they knew you better, they could have simply paid you for the information.” “We give nothing for free.” The Kah’Ree gave a sinister smile. “House rule.” Ranjaz walked forward to put his his arm on Alfor’s back. “Let’s go see your brother. Have a few drinks, maybe gamble a little, and discuss our future riches.”
Ripley stood in the shadows of the staff shuttle bay, watching as the numerous employees of assorted races came and went. Loud laughter caught her attention, and a very strangely dressed Niham broke away from a small group and walked towards her. Ripley tried to maintain her low profile as the scantily clad female strutted towards her in long black boots with pointed heels that clacked loudly with every step. Deliberately avoiding eye contact the Awakened tried to will herself into the wall but it was too late and a voice called out to her. “Hey Darling! You must be the one I’m looking for.” Ripley shook her head. The Kittran had said the contact was an Ashi pirate captain, a master gambler and expert in procuring the unusual. “I don’t-” “Listen cutie,” she interrupted, “you’re the one lurking in dark corners drawing attention to yourself. I’ve got your security card. You tell that fluffy little stud he owes me. And more than a bottle of Fae’Dan wine and a good time, if you know what I mean.” She held up the card between her fingers, just a little out of Ripley’s reach. The Awakened considered the phrase ‘fluffy little stud’ and decided that, despite her hopes, this was probably her contact. “You’re Captain Whiplash?” The Ashi laughed genuinely, the jiggling of tightly squeezed breasts bursting at shiny black restraints making Ripley nervous. “Oh, Darling! Only my little pets call me that! You may call me Sho’Na.” Ripley was momentarily confused. “So, you aren’t a pirate captain?” “I’m anything they pay me to be.” She smiled at the silver-haired woman's naivety. “You really are new to this.” Ripley, caught off guard, simply nodded, then replied, “I’m a quick learner.” “Good for you, Darling.” Sho’Na handed over the card. “Just make sure you get paid up front, and don’t use your real name with clients. Ruins the mystique.” Ripley was unsure of what was being said. Turning the card over in her hands she saw that the holo-image on the front was of a male Arkellian. “This isn’t me?” “Honey, I was given half a cycle to get you a level three security card. Just be glad it’s a biped.” Sho’Na looked Ripley up and down. “Our mutual acquaintance told me you were some sort of master of disguise who could even trick Selva Blaster.” Ripley paused, then smiled. Her appearance had become such an integral part of her identity she had forgotten that it was entirely optional. “It won’t be a problem.” She looked at the card again. “Unless the owner comes looking for it.” Sho’Na gave another bosom-trembling laugh that threatened to spill out at any moment. “Oh, don’t worry, he’s tied up at the moment.” The Awakened considered the risk. “Hmmm, but for how long?” The few strips of shiny black material that comprised Sho’Na’s revealing outfit strained under her amusement. “Don’t you worry, Darling. He paid for the whole night.”
Eruwenn had reassessed her opinion of Ranjaz many times since meeting him. The criminal. The loyal friend. The lazy trouble-maker. All were true, but now she was seeing something new. He sat opposite Toran, the brother of Alfor, in a game of dalcho she wished she could have taken part in, but was equally glad she did not. At first she had thought the Kittran was outmatched, a few reckless mistakes costing him dearly as the Kah’Ree deftly selected his tiles. Toran was clearly a seasoned gambler, using a blend of the Remee Le’Bow Gambit and the Kowals’Kee Analysis she hadn’t seen before. It seemed to be dismantling Ranjaz’s tiles before he could even prepare his cards. A few fortunate dice rolls and he had taken a strong lead from the outset. The Kittran appeared desperate, playing any tile available to try and slow the defeat. It had all been a ruse, she saw it; Ranjaz had saved his best tiles and carefully thrown hands to manipulate the cards. In just a few rounds he would be able to dominate the board and raise the stakes, recouping his losses and changing the course of the game entirely. She had encountered few players who could manipulate the game so deftly, using memory and layers of strategy to corner their opponent. It was magnificent. Eruwenn couldn’t tear her eyes from the board as she stood beside Thor. The Awakened had shown no interest in the game, studiously watching the opposite door as Toran’s staff came in and out. When a waiter entered and began preparing drinks at the small private bar in the executive gambling room, Thor coughed. It was a strange thing for an Awakened to do, and Eruwenn finally looked up from the table. “Are you ok?” Thor nodded. By the time he had looked towards her, she had returned her attention completely to the game. “You don’t seem concerned about your friend?” he asked. The Anatidae watched as Ranjaz used a blind double feint, and the sheer audacity of such a move made her swallow hard. She didn’t look back to Thor, but mumbled a response. “I’m very confident in her abilities.” The waiter was methodically placing drinks by each of the players, but when they stood behind Ranjaz the Kittran surged to his feet, shouting, “Hey! No cheating Toran! Getting your waiter to look over my shoulder? That’s a dirty move I’d expect from your brother!” Thor had reacted faster than Eruwenn, pinning the arms of the Arkellian waiter in a vice-like bear hug. Toran slowly stood. He was big, heavily muscled, and the veins on his neck bulged as his anger rose. “Don’t accuse me in my own place.” He cracked his knuckles and glowered down at Ranjaz. “I run a straight game.” Fearlessly the Kittran walked right up to the Kah’Ree and stared up into his face from waist height. “Don’t try and intimidate me, you son of a Vogel.” Ranjaz puffed out his chest and began pushing the burly casino owner. “Nobody cheats me!” The blow caught Ranjaz across the cheek and sent him sprawling across the room. Eruwenn winced at the impact, but maintained her composure. Toran laughed. “Watch your tongue or I’ll add it to my collection.” He walked round the table and kicked Ranjaz in the stomach, glaring at Thor and Eruwenn, daring them to act. “Know your place trash. You’re at this table because you put credits up front. You are a dishonest thief, begging for scraps, and cosying up to me any my brother to get your little trinket back.” He returned to his seat. “Why would I need to cheat against the likes of you?” Ranjaz stood, brushing himself off. “Fine, fine.” He waved a hand and Thor dropped the Arkellian. Ranjaz tapped him on the chest. “My mistake.” He sat down and picked up his cards once more. “You’re right Toran, you run a clean game. I’m just a sore loser.” He shuffled the order of the tiles that were still face down on the table. “To show my sincerity, how about we double the buy for the rest of the game?” Toran snorted. “Double?” He looked at the Kittran, scrutinising his opponent. The game was already over; he had control of the board and his tiles occupied the three prime positions. Was the thief trying to buy his favour, he wondered? How much was the trinket he wanted truly worth? He decided it was worth testing. “Triple, and I’ll forget you dared touch me.” The Kittran swallowed hard, his ears flat to his head. Toran momentarily worried he’d pushed for too much but a decision seemed to be reached. “Fine. Triple.” The look of defeat was delicious to the Kah’Ree.
Cygna had done her part and lured Alfor to a private room away from his security. She had danced, skipped and side-stepped his groping hands so far, maintaining a playfulness that ensured he complied. This sort of thing was not new to her; she had spent time undercover in the past. Fortunately, there had been little call for it since she had joined forces with Eruwenn. Alfor’s eyes scanned her body once more. “The Kittran has very good taste.” He licked his lips, a small amount of drool escaping and running down his chin. He wiped it on his sleeve. “Now, I brought you somewhere quiet. How about you show me how sweet you can be?” The Fae’Dan smiled coyly and continued her dancing just out of reach, glancing to the doorway where Alfor’s two guards stood watching her. “With an audience?” She raised her eyebrows expectantly. With a sly grin he waved the guards out of the room. “Now come here and let me satisfy you like only a Kah’Ree can.” His eyes wandered over her body once more. Cygna smiled, her own eyes moving from the Kah’Ree’s hands to his shoulders, then up towards his neck. An interesting fact about the Kah’Ree was the thick blood vessels on the side of their neck. They often bulged when a Kah’Ree was angry or excited, like Alfor’s were as he leered at her. She danced closer. Another interesting fact was that their brains were not as efficient as those of other species, hence the requirement for additional blood flow; more oxygen per limited thought. He leaned forward, his eyes locked to her swaying hips. Cygna turned slowly, and his head tilted to appreciate her assets. The third, lesser known, fact about the Kah’Ree was that an interruption to the blood flow while they were in this excited state caused them to lose consciousness rapidly as their brain burned through the available oxygen. “My eyes are up here.” She smiled as he looked up at her with his head still tilted. He sneered. “Who ca-” The Fae’Dan struck the side of his neck with the edge of her hand, targeting the throbbing blood vessel with a powerful blow. The interruption to his brain's oxygen supply worked perfectly and he fell face forward onto the ground at her feet. She let out a sigh of relief and looked down at his unconscious body. “Thank you, that was particularly satisfying.” She walked over to the door and peeked out, finding the guards standing either side. “He said to order us some drinks.” One of the guards nodded and immediately put his hand to his lapel communicator. Back inside the room, Cygna used her foot to roll Alfor to his back and began searching his pockets. She came up empty. Her eyes caught a glimmer from his collar and she found a heavy gold chain, at the end of which was his security key. She removed it just as a knock came at the door. A deep voice from the other side called out. “Your drinks, boss.” The Fae’Dan quickly messed up her hair. Using the back of her hand she smeared her lipstick sideways, and then pulled the strap of her dress down off her shoulder. She opened the door and, to her surprise, was faced with an Arkellian waiter. The bodyguards noted her dishevelled appearance and shared a smirk, and she said, “Oh, I wasn’t expec-” The waiter pushed the trolley into the room. “Don’t keep the boss waiting, lady.” Before Cygna could reply they were inside and the door closed. “Relax, it’s me.” Ripley’s voice sounded bizarre coming from the male Arkellian form, and Cygna’s eyes went wide in shock. Her sharp mind quickly adjusted to this new information. Of course the Awakened could change their physical appearance; she had just never seen it. They all seemed quite attached to their chosen human forms. “Neat trick.” She held out Alfor’s key. “Did you get the other one?” Ripley nodded. “The Kittran played his part well. I didn’t see him take it, and didn’t feel it when he placed it in my pocket. Now that was a neat trick.” The Fae’Dan smiled. “I think I’ll pass on that dalcho game.” The Arkellian Ripley smiled. “Probably wise.” Turning, she slipped the key into her pocket and headed back out of the door.
Ripley entered the elevator to the owner's private offices on the top floor. Thanks to the distractions downstairs, the two large desks in the centre of the room were empty. She walked straight past them to the large leokas painting on the wall and swung it forward. Behind it was a Fae’Dan safe; she took out the two keys and a small homemade device the Kittran had given her. Attaching the device to the bio-lock and standing before the safe, she elongated her arms to reach both key positions at once. There was more than one reason she was the one chosen for this task. The device beeped twice and small lights above each lock lit up. She simultaneously turned both keys, and there was a satisfying clunk. She raised an eyebrow. The device had worked. The heavy safe door swung open and she began her search. Ranjaz had been very specific: while there was one item she had to get, she was to grab as much as possible to obscure their true target. Quickly grabbing as much as she could she retrieved the keys and ran back across the room towards the elevator.
Cygna hauled Alfor back onto the seat, putting him in a more natural position and messing up his hair. She looked away as she began unbuttoning his clothes, pulling his trousers around his ankles and opening his shirt up to bare his chest. From a secret pocket inside her dress she pulled out a lace thong, setting it on his head like a bandana. She also had a small box which she opened, inside of which was a replica mouth with lipstick that matched her own. Cygna carefully applied kiss marks all over his exposed skin before popping the fake lips back into the secret pocket. She took the Fae’Dan wine and partially filled two glasses, making sure to take a long drink from one and leave more lipstick marks. The rest of the wine was poured into the ice bucket. She heard the sound of voices outside the door. The guards were arguing with someone, refusing them entry, but when the name Toran was mentioned it was Ripley who entered, still in uniform but now looking much like her usual self. She smirked at the Kah’Ree in his derobed state. “I can see you had fun.” The Fae’Dan chuckled. “That’s the idea.” She looked at the Awakened in her true form. “You look… better.” Ripley cocked her head. “It would be strange if the waiter came back to deliver a message.” She tossed the necklace key to Cygna, who replaced it on Alfor’s neck. Reclining on the sofa and picking up her glass, Cygna took another long drink. “Get the other one back to Ranjaz quickly. This one won’t be napping much longer.” The Awakened gave an almost Ranjaz-like grin. “You could always hit him again.” Before the Fae’Dan could reply she had ducked back out of the door. She caught the eye of one of the bodyguards and gave a head tilt back towards the room. “The boss is really enjoying himself!” As the suited pair chuckled, the larger of the two got a message in his ear piece. “Hey, silver hair.” He grunted. “Boss has an important guest. Meet them in the foyer and bring them to the dalcho room.” Ripley was relieved – she needed a reason to get into that room. “On my way.”
Toran was seething as he watched as the Kittran flipped his final tile. Why would he have waited so long to play the Wings of Tulseria tile? His stomach sank, and he couldn’t hold back his anger any longer. “Damn you!” Ranjaz gave a full-fanged grin. “Looks like my luck turned at just the right moment.” “Luck!” Toran’s tile snapped between his fingers. Why had he let the damned cat goad him into constantly increasing their bet? The cycle had started with him owing the brothers a million credits plus interest, and now the infuritating Kittran had won nearly forty times that. “Nobody is that lucky.” “Woah!” Ranjaz held up his hands. “I would never cheat, well... certainly not a second time. After you caught me, I’d be a fool to try.” “Hmm.” Toran looked at the two behind the Kittran. The big one would be a problem, but the Anatidae looked to be nothing special. “How about I give you back your little trinket and we call it even?” “My trinket?” Ranjaz shook his head. “I had to convince you it was worth the million I owed. Why would you think I’d trade it for thirty eight million credits? I’ll pay what I owe, take my trinket and my winnings and leave.” Toran folded his arms and looked across the dalcho board at Ranjaz. “And why would I let you do that?” The atmosphere in the room changed as the two security guards changed their stance. “Transfer the credits back to the house.” Ranjaz dropped the grin, replacing it with a defiant glare. “What happened to you running a straight game?” “The game was straight. You won, didn’t you?” He leaned forward, his eyes cold and hard. “You’re just in no position to collect.” The Kittran was about to argue when the door behind Toran opened. He looked up as Ripley entered, and his eyes widened in shock. She wasn’t alone. “Toran, you bastard! You sold me out!” “For ten million credits.” Toran stared hard at Ranjaz. “Care to make a better offer?” Eruwenn’s eyes blazed with anger as the grey-suited Niham pulled up a seat and sat down beside Toran. “Now, now, you lied to me about having the item before. Don’t double cross me.” Sentinel Krast placed his hands together on the table, interlacing his fingers. “I’m not somebody who forgives easily.” He looked directly at Eruwenn. “Isn’t that right, former Councillor? A little far from your new Ambassador position, aren’t you?” Ripley stood back against the wall. She had no idea who the newcomer was, but this most definitely was not the plan. The golden green Anatidae walked forward to stand behind Ranjaz. “Oh, I had a little vacation time saved up, and decided to spend it with my good friend here.” She placed a hand on the Kittrans shoulder. “And what brings a Sentinel here?” Krast’s lips curled in what might approximate a smile. “I’m also acquainted with Mr K’Lua. In fact, we go back a very long way.” He turned to look directly at Ranjaz. “Now, return what is mine.” Toran looked from Ranjaz to Krast. “Yours? You don’t look like the tiara wearing type.” The Sentinel didn’t turn his head. “Ah, so you hid the data chip inside some shiny bauble. As inventive as ever, Mr K’Lua.” The Niham finally acknowledged Toran by looking at him. “Bring. It. Here.” The Kah’Ree sucked air through his teeth. “Well, seems like we have something mighty important, and two very interested parties.” He stood and walked to his two security officers, who drew their weapons in unison. “Now then, I believe you” —he nodded to Krast— “offered ten million. How about it Ranjaz, old friend? What’s your counter offer?” The Kittran had been sitting, silently seething at his double cross being double crossed. He looked at Krast. “Were you the one?” Toran was surprised at being ignored, but before he could reply Krast answered, “The one?” Ranjaz’s eyes narrowed, his ears alert, his tail swishing aggressively. “The one who took my friend!” he snarled as he felt Eruwenn’s hand holding him back gently. Krast’s eyes glittered as he saw the impotent rage in his opponent’s eyes. “Ah, the poor deceased human?” He smiled his mannequin-esque smile. “And if I was?” Toran snatched a pistol from one of his men and fired a blast at the ceiling. “Your quarrel can wait. Let’s settle our business first and you can kill each other after I’m paid.” He paused, then added, “but, not in my casino. Body disposal costs extra.” Eruwenn’s hand gripped Ranjaz’s shoulder harder, and he braced himself. In one smooth move she both threw him backwards and to the right, and kicked the dalcho table up and forward into Krast's face. The Sentinel fell backwards as a blast from Toran struck the table, but Eruwenn was already on the move, sidestepping left and ducking forward into a cartwheel. Toran's gun had been following Ranjaz, but as her leg swept down it knocked the weapon from his grip. Once she stabilized, her fist, already primed with momentum from the cartwheel, struck Toran below the ribs and knocked the wind from him. The guard, whose gun the Kah'Ree had been holding, lunged forward to grab Eruwenn but she simply deflected his hand, pairing his forward momentum with her rising elbow to swiftly render him unconscious. The second guard had just begun to raise his weapon when a huge fist struck him in his chest, sending him careening backwards into the wall. Thor loomed over him, shaking his head as he retrieved the energy pistol. “Too slow.” Ripley helped Ranjaz to his feet as Krast pushed the table off his chest. Toran was coughing and struggling to breathe as Ranjaz pressed the retrieved energy pistol to his forehead. “Double cross me?” He dragged the Kah’Ree forward. “I want to see the item, then I’ll pay what I owe.” The two of them awkwardly made their way back towards Krast, so Ranjaz could point the gun in his face. “Then we can talk about your body disposal fee.” Krast stood, and his phony smile was gone. “You can’t kill me. The Sentinels will tear this place apart, hunt you down and kill you. You think I came alone? My ship is in orbit and waiting for my orders!” Ranjaz grabbed him by the jacket, pulling him down to his level, and struck him in the face with the butt of the pistol. Thor cooly kept his stolen pistol pointed at Toran and the one conscious guard. By the third blow Krast’s face was bloody, his nose broken and he began to struggle against Ranjaz’s assault. A muted boom caused everyone present to stop in their tracks. Alarms began to sound and Toran swore loudly. He pulled out his communicator, ignoring Thor’s pistol. “What the hell was that!” He held the device close as he listened. “My office?” He patted his pocket. Finding his key in place, he looked to Ranjaz and then Krast. “Seal the casino! And where is my brother?” Ripley suddenly understood why the Kittran had told her to leave his device on the safe door. After a brief further moment of shock, which she kept from showing on her face, she realized that she had been carrying an explosive without being told. If they survived, Ranjaz was going to need to explain himself. Thoroughly. Eruwenn, Thor and Ranjaz had backed away to the opposite side of the room, standing by the door. Krast stood alone, holding his profusely bleeding nose. The opposite door soon opened to reveal scrambling casino security, with Toran and his guard standing nearby. The unconscious guard was carried out without comment, and the Kah’Ree turned to Ripley. “Why are you still here?” She nodded and slipped out of the door, leaving one less concern for the remaining three. “Alright, which one of your skrolg-licking bastards broke into my private safe?” Krast spat blood onto the floor, pointing at Ranjaz. “He’s the thief. You and I had a deal.” The Kittran smirked. “I’m a better thief than blowing up a Tulseria-damned safe. If I wanted to steal it, I would have done just that. I would not have announced my arrival and sat down to a game of dalcho.” Toran looked between the two of them. “He’s got a point.” One of his men handed him a pistol, and he continued to talk a little distractedly into his communicator. “Well, check everywhere!” Ranjaz stirred the pot. “He’s the bastard who double crossed me, why would he honour your deal?” Eruwenn nodded. “A government agent can’t be seen working with criminals.” Krast's face contorted in rage. “Don’t be a damned fool, Toran!” He pointed at Ranjaz. “This is clearly some convoluted distraction.” Toran shook his head. “They had the upper hand. You were the one getting your face ruined.”
Cygna watched nervously as Alfor began to stir. Things were taking a lot longer than expected. Finally, her signal came; it was not as subtle as she had been led to believe. As soon as the explosion went off the two bodyguards quickly came into the room, glancing from Alfor’s sleeping body to her. She staggered forward, wine bottle in hand. “We need more drinkshh!” The guard ignored her as he saw the condition of his boss. “Not again,” he groaned. “Toran will kill us for letting him get like this.” The second guard stepped out into the corridor. “I’m not dressing him! Last time he tried to kiss me!” Cygna paused, not having expected it to go this way. The first bodyguard walked out as well. “He pissed on my new shoes the time before that. I’m not moving him.” Their communicators went off and their faces became more serious. Bodyguard two spoke first. “Damn it. Toran wants him.” The first turned to look at the increasingly bewildered Cygna. “You!” He smiled. “You got him undressed. You can dress him.” Cygna spotted Ripley running down the corridor towards them, causing her confusion to grow further. The Awakened shouted one word. “Sentinels!” The Fae’Dan’s mind raced. The plan was clearly blown, and they had to get out. Fast. As the guards were now facing Ripley, she took the opportunity to kick one in the back of the knee. He fell forward, and as the second turned he was met with the upward swing of a wine bottle. The first guard discovered first-hand the shocking truth of how hard the knee of an Awakened could be, and both were unconscious by the time they hit the ground. Cygna smiled at Ripley. "Thanks." The Awakened gave a swift nod of acknowledgement. “A Sentinel turned up, so Ranjaz set off the diversion he promised. The other brother is busy trying to figure out whether it’s us or the Sentinels robbing him.” Cygna took on board the new information quickly, knowing she needed to help the others. “I have an idea. Lie over there and look dead.” She ran back into the room, where Alfor was groaning and starting to move. She slipped the chain from his neck and dropped it into the ice bucket, where it sank out of sight below the dark Fae’Dan wine. She began to slowly shake him. “Huh,” he grumbled, and slowly opened his eyes. “Wha.. what happened?” Cygna clung to him tightly. “Oh thank goodness! I thought they killed you!” “Killed?” Alfor’s head was pounding, his memory blurry. “Who-” He caught sight of his downed guards in the open doorway. “What the hell happened?” He began pulling at his clothes, and swiftly checked that his trousers were dry. “While we were.. You know…” He nodded; he was buttoning up his clothes. He didn’t remember, but he knew. “Some scary men burst into the room and shot you! I was so scared.” She hugged him tight, pressing herself against him. He put his arm around her. “What men? Be brave, and tell me what happened.” She looked up at him, trying to make her eyes as big as possible, adding a lip tremble to really sell it. “I don’t know! They wore grey suits. And one of them took your necklace!” “My necklace.” He clutched at his chest where it should have been. “Damn Sentinels! I told Toran we couldn't trust them!” He stepped into the corridor, where Ripley lay on the ground with a terrible energy weapon burn on the side of her face. He pulled out his communicator. “Toran.” He instantly got hold of his brother. “I didn’t answer because I was knocked out. Damn Sentinels took my key, killed some of our guys.” He looked around. “Nobody important, just some waiter.” He finally pulled the underwear from his head. “I’ll go to the security room and look at the video.” He ended the call and turned back to Cygna. “You stay here.” She smiled. “Sorry, we can’t let you check the security footage.” “Wha-” Ripley struck him from behind and he crumpled to the ground, her fake burn melting from her face. The Awakened looked around, rechecking that all was clear. “I think that’s all we can do; we should get out of here. Come with me, my shuttle is in the staff bay.”
Toran closed his communicator and motioned to a guard. “Search him.” Eruwenn wished she had some way to capture the look on Krast’s face when the remote detonator was pulled from his pocket. She'd have to hug the light-fingered Kittran later. The Sentinel grit his teeth. “That’s not mine.” “Sure, sure,” Toran agreed, while simultaneously shaking his head at the Sentinel. “Looks like you really didn’t come alone.” Krast was furious, yelling, “I’m telling you-” He broke off when Ranjaz shot him in the leg, falling to the floor. The Kah’Ree pointed his pistol at the Kittran. “Can’t let you kill a Sentinel in my casino, even if they did just rob me.” Ranjaz was surprised the Kah’Ree had believed them so easily. “What about us?” Toran sighed, lowering his weapon. “Take your winnings and get out. If you stole the thing once, I’m sure you can steal it again.” Eruwenn and Thor both made to leave. Ranjaz paused, knowing he might not get another chance. “And him?” The Kah’Ree looked at the Sentinel holding his wounded leg. “We’ll send him back to his ship. As much as I hate it, the Sentinels are untouchable.” Ranjaz raised his pistol. “He took my friend.” “And we’ll get him back,” Eruwenn said softly. “Then we’ll all deal with him, and the rest of the Sentinels.” Krast sneered and spat blood once more. “Your human is dead.” Ranjaz fired. Krast screamed and grabbed his other leg. “You bastard!” Toran and his men raised their weapons as the Kah’Ree yelled, “Get the hell out of here!” Ranjaz turned and followed the others out of the door, but just as it was about to close he poked his head back in. “Oh, one last thing.” Toran could be seen looking up just as the Kittran fired again, but he ducked out of sight before the true outcome of his shot could be seen. The shrieks of agony, however, followed the trio down the corridor as they broke into a run. Eruwenn spared a glance down at Ranjaz during their retreat. “What did you do?” The full-fanged grin had never been larger. “Made sure we’ll see him again.” On the floor of the dalcho room Krast was screaming in agony. He turned over to stare at the closed door. “I’ll kill you! I will hunt you down and kill every last one of you!” Toran spoke into his communicator. “Tell the Sentinel ship to come get their man. And, bring a doctor. A really good doctor.” He nudged one of his guards and finally let out a chuckle. After all, the Sentinels had just robbed him. “You double-crossing scum always get what you deserve.” The J’Rami guard raised an eyebrow. “Not sure anyone deserves getting shot in the balls.”
Las Vegas Craps stories (forgot to post from my Dec trip)
Story one - This story happens at South Point Casino, just a few miles south of Mandalay Bay. Locals place. $5 tables (almost always). They had 4 tables open, 3 were 5 and 1 was 10. I was on the 5 dollar tables, left of stick. The dice were straight out on the other side of the table. Old guy, 70s or later was in the middle of a decent roll. An older Asian guy walks up beside him, drops 5 $100 bills before they could send the dice to the shooter. Guy says "All of it on the field". The table kinda glares at the guy. The dealer across from me says "Just look straight forward, don't look around. Everything will be fine". They put 5 black chips in the field. Shooter rolls a 3. Nobody gets hurt since a point is established (I feel likt the point was 9, but I don't remember). Field guy picks up $500 and leaves $500. Says to the shooter "Do it again". Shooter rolls a 4. Asian guy throws a black in, asks for change. Dealer gives the guy 4 green chips. The field guy tosses the shooter a green chip and leaves with $1475 and doesn't tip the dealers. Dealers grumble, we all look around and continue with the point. That's a lot of action for a $5 table. I just shrugged. Story two - Bally's. $10 table. Their tables has the repeater bets. There are 3 of us on the table, mostly playing 3 numbers or a few come bets. Guy buys in for 2K, just wants green. Puts $50 on the line, $25 on the 6 repeater and $5 on the 6 repeater for the dealers. He also put $25 on the 3 and 11 repeater. I get the dice. I'm having a pretty decent roll. I hit 5 6's, so I need one more 6 to hit that repeater bet. All of the sudden everyone is betting the hard six, pressing their six etc. Money is all over the place. I had my 6 at $60 if I remember correctly. I hit the 6 on the next roll. The dude jumped up and down, came down to me and I thought he was going to hug me during the pandemic. Instead I get an elbow dab. He makes (if I did the math right 25*90) $2250 and the dealers got $450 (to which they thanks the shooter and myself). I think I hit a few more numbers and 7ed out. I was down pretty low on my $200 buyin before the roll and left with $350 or so. That was fun, crazy and scary all at the same time. Story three - Jerry's Nugget (N. Las Vegas, just a few miles north of El Cortez). $3 table. It's full. At the far end is a dude (with face tattoos) and his friend. Things were going smoothly. Table was luke warm. Shooter would hit 1 point and 7 out. No really good rolls. Guy beside me is shooting and hits a point. The face tattoo guy quickly makes a passline bet with odds (which he didn't have) as the dealer is paying people. The dealer notices and starts yelling at the guy "We don't pull that shit here. You do that again and you will be on your ass outside. Don't cheat at our casino". Box guy comes over, warns the guy. EVERYONE decides it's time to color up. The face guy's friend tells him to knock it off. Don't be an asshole. I got to Jerry's a few times each trip and haven't seen this before. Story four (and final story). - Binions, downtown. $5 table. Nothing too special to talk about. The girls aren't in their cowboy outfits, instead have referee jerseys on. Still they look pretty good. Guy walks in and starts chatting with the stick girl. Decides to buy in beside her for 4K. $4000 on a $5 table. Playing all greens, being a big tough guy and flirting with the stick girl. I'm always nervous seeing that much money out on a $5 table, glad I wasn't rolling. A few bad rolls wipes him out and he leaves. He was power pressing and trying to make a big score. No dice!
[OG+REMAKE SPOILERS] I'm Gonna Do It, I'm Gonna Talk About The Cat. Part 2 Theory.
Cait. Sith. Is. Valid. Also, buckle up, this is a long one. For those who dont remember, Cait Sith is a playable character in FFVII who appears as an anthropomorphic black and white cat wearing a small red cape and a gold crown. In later installments, he has a Scottish accent and no longer rides on that huge moogle robot thing. Cait Sith is a character that is tied directly to Reeve Tuesti, his creator and the man who is able to assume control over him from time to time. In so many videos and articles and such, Cait is often pinned as the "worst thing about FFVII" or "the most useless Final Fantasy character". As for me, personally, I actually like Cait, but I have come up with a few ways to get more on the fence people to warm up to him. Behold, my FFVII Remake Cait Sith Theory/Speculation. First things first, all of those people who think Square will entirely cut Cait out of the game are wrong. No, seriously, he's already in the Remake. He made a short cameo when the Sector 7 Plate fell. So many people were confused as to why he seemed so upset. One person, I don't remember who, wondered "Why would Reeve make Cait be all dramatic like that???" So, firstly, I thought it was common knowledge that Cait wasn't entirely remote-controlled, but oh well for the sake of this theory I'll have you know that I'm looking at it as though Reeve is not puppeteering Cait 100% of the time. He has an AI, at the very least, but for now, AI does not mean sentience, by the way. But Cait has a programmed personality, voice (the reason that Cait has a Scottish accent and Reeve doesn't), and movements. He may or may not become sentient but that's a story for another time. Also the reason Cait would have a personality and programmed "emotions" is so 1, he can calm people who are distressed during a crisis so they can get to safety, 2, he can further convince people of things using emotion in his voice to appeal to their sympathy, and 3, I dunno Reeve wants him to be more than just a robot. Now, this programming is the reason he spies on the group. I doubt Reeve has the time to sit and watch everything that happens, so maybe Cait sends a sort of report to him about any important info he gets in the day, if any. The thing is, maybe you can have a few scenes where Cait is showing uncharacteristic reluctance or regret over being a spy. Making him more sympathetic. The reason Reeve would even use Cait as a spy? Well, Avalanche is still the cause for the plate falling. If Avalanche hadn't bombed the reactor, Shinra wouldn't have viewed them as a threat, the plate wouldn't have been dropped. Reeve most likely doesn't know about the reactor being Shinra's fault moreso than Avalanche. You can see that Heidegger and President Shinra are the only ones in the room during that scene. Now, Reeve was in the room for the plate falling, he knows Shinra caused that, and he attempted to stop the President (to no avail). By the way, it is my theory that during that conversation or immediately following it, Reeve dispatched Cait to go to the pillar to stop the Turks, or maybe to issue an evacuation. Reeve was not controlling Cait at this time, so Cait's despair was his own, he was upset that he failed his mission and failed to save Sector 7. Another reason why he has programmed emotions, so he can have determination and investment in his mission, and the regret experienced when failing will make him figure out a different way to solve similar problems. So, while Reeve knows Shinra caused the plate falling, he probably does not know that Shinra caused the reactor 1 bombing to be much more deadly that it would have been. So, in Reeve's and subsequently in Cait's eyes, Avalanche is a threat just as much as Shinra is (and you could say that's kinda true, looking at being a threat to people, not the planet btw). Both hurt innocents. So Reeve could be trying to help the Turks get Avalanche out of the way so he could focus again on trying to mitigate the damage Shinra causes on it's own. Also, maybe it just isn't up to Reeve. If he refuses to do what Shinra wants him to, he will lose his job. You would think that losing your job could be survivable, but with Shinra and Reeve's position in the company, actually it isn't. Reeve knows company secrets, so he would be a very major threat. The Turks would probably have to either assassinate him or imprison him somewhere where he can't spread the truth. So, with that being said, there's your motives for Cait being a spy. Now, onto making Cait himself more likable and more useful. Firstly he can have a manipulate ability. In OG, he joins the party with a manipulate materia, though that materia never really became useful. I think, in Remake, manipulation can be simular to that thing Aloy can do in Horizon Zero Dawn. Basically, Cait can make monsters fight for us for a period of time. So using one monster to kill the others for you or distract them while you are healing or running away. That could have some use, especially in the Remake. Now, Cait fights by using a giant moogle as a sort of... mech. He rides on top of it and shouts commands... using a megaphone... This concept is pretty goofy and kinda cute, but I don't really think they should keep it in the Remake. So, remove the moogle mount. Now, what to do with his weapon? Sure, you can still kinda make him fight with a megaphone but why would you do that? So, inspired by an original concept (so it's not that far fetched), Cait can fight using whips and/or cards. The way this can work is when you purchase weapons for him, the name will be something like "Iron Whip" and the card deck that comes with it will be grey cards. Basically, the cards will be a color, the whips will be of different materials. But when purchasing, it'll just name the whip, the cards aren't named. That is thinking that the cards will even change. Maybe Cait can equip different whips. And the cards part of it will be abilities/movesets. Like, an ability can be named after a card game and he can fling a bunch of cards at the enemies simular in style to 1,000 needles. His abilities can be themed after casino based things and slot machines and all that, but they aren't actually slot machines. Example, his limit break, Slots, isn't randomized. It does the same attack every time, like Cloud's Cross-Slash. But the animation involves a slot machine. A slot machine appears with a bunch of fancy lights and Cait hops onto the switch, the slots roll, all three land on Cait's face, then I dunno, it explodes onto the enemies or sends projectiles at them or something. Another idea I had for his "Dice" attack could be him rolling a bunch of dice, and flinging them at the enemies, the dice exploding on impact kinda like grenades or something. Another thing to make him better in the eyes of those who dislike him, he can have some minigame uses. When at an inn or resting place, and all of the characters are just chillin, doin their own thing, you can walk up to Cait, and when you talk to him, after his dialog, there's an option to play a game. When you click it, Cait hops up all happy and more options pop up. You can unlock mini games as you progress, so there can be things like darts. They can do a card game as a reference to Tetra Master and Triple Triad (from FFIX and FFXIII, respectively), a memory game, anything really. So, there you go, another use for Cait Sith. In regards to level design, Cait can actually come in really handy. He is a robot created by someone in Shinra, so he would be able to hack into some Shinra tech to open doors and proceed through dungeons. This could come into play in part 3, or whenever the party gets arrested by Shinra and are brought to Junon. So, he's a hacker. Nice. Aslo, Cait is a lot smaller than the rest of the party, so he could squeeze into spaces that the others couldn't. Just a thought, and also another reason why he shouldn't have the giant moogle. Okay, now, this is a lot, but I have one last thing to talk about. His intro. So many people don't like Cait that I really don't think anyone would mind if his intro would change. Unlike the points people made in my post about Vincent, where some people pointed out that a lot of fans feel an attachment to his OG introduction, there's not much thats really... iconic about Cait's. Yes, I know, the way he joins the party is supposed to be sudden and weird because he's a spy and your supposed to be all like "oh that is... that's suspicious". But hey, I just wanna see who else thinks a new intro could be nice. This is purely for funzies and I don't actually think they're gonna introduce him like this. It's too specific for a theory so this is more of a "hey wouldn't it be cool if" kinda thing. Alright, for the sake of this, I'm assuming Remake part 2 goes up to at least Gold Saucer. Long story short(er), we find Cait in a casino. Maybe he runs the casino, maybe he's a prominent member. Anyway, he claims that you can win a better amount of GP (special points that work as currency in Gold Saucer) by playing his card game then with any other game. So, Cloud sits down to play. After you play the game, or maybe it's interrupted, there's some commotion at the entrance of the casino. Cloud looks over and almost everyone has stopped playing to look as well. None other than Elena of the Turks walks in, spotting Cloud. She is obviously looking for Avalanche, and has found them. (Also you can assume that Cait pretty much set up this whole thing.) They get ready to fight, when Cait springs up and says "Wait, you can't fight here, there's not enough room! You'll break things or hurt people! If you have to fight, do it in the Battle Square!" So, you go to the battle square and beat up Elena (also yay! She gets a solo boss fight! Next is Tseng getting a boss encounter and we'll be able to fight all of the Turks solo). When your about to defeat her, reinforcements arrive and... yeah, there is just way too many of them. Then suddenly, a smoke bomb goes off, and Cait rescues Cloud. They regroup at that Haunted Hotel, and Cloud explains everything. Everyone decides that it would be a good idea to leave, but then they hesitate. Where's Barret? Tifa says that he could be at the battle square, where else would he go? So, reluctantly, the group moves back to the battle square, avoiding the Shinra troops that are now crawling everywhere. The park has a completely different vibe to it, the music is no longer blaring, and instead someone from Shinra is on the speakers telling everyone to keep a lookout and report any strange individuals. Once we get into the Battle Square, we see that all of the Shinra infantrymen that were in there are all dead. Shot to death, each one. Then Barret runs in. So it wasn't Barret? Anyway, Dio, the owner of Gold Saucer, emerges, blames you for the deaths of not only the soldiers but a few staff members as well, and throws you into the desert prison, also notifying Shinra of your presence. This leads into Dyne's story and eventually Cait will convince Dio to let us go, or maybe we highjack a Shinra vehicle and escape the prison that way. *long exhale So, to wrap this all up, Cait has a good reason to be a spy, he can make enemies fight for him, he fights with whips and cards, when talking to him at an Inn or resting place you can play minigames like a card game similar to Tetra Master from FFIX or darts or maybe a memory game, and lastly he has a more interesting and memorable intro at Gold Saucer. ALL RIGHT! I'M DONE WOOOO I'M TAKING A BREAK!
Hey all, J_Alexander back again to talk about how card generation mechanics are some of the least interactive ones in the game, as they currently exist. I'm sure many of you are thinking that mechanics like "charge" or "stealth" are less interactive, right? Allow me to convince you otherwise by thinking about what it means to interact with something meaningfully. It's an all-to-common scenario to be playing a game of Hearthstone, feel like you have everything wrapped up, and then having the rug pulled out from under you by some cards carrying the words, "created by" under them. It can feel truly awful to deal with and leave you feeling like there wasn't much you could do about, or learn from, the experience. We've all been there before. To be clear upfront, I am not not saying that playing with card generation isn't (or can't be) skill-testing. Sometimes it can be, sometimes it might not be, like many other cards and effects in Hearthstone. Navigating your way through a bunch of random resources successfully can involve a lot of decision making. What I am saying, however, is that, to the extent lots of random card generation is skill-testing, it's mostly skill-testing for the player generating the cards. When you generate cards, you have all the knowledge. You can pick them when discovery is an option; you can plan for how you're going to use them in future turns; on the most basic level, you know what the cards you made are and what your new range is. The person doing the card generating is very much in the driver seat of utilizing their skills. But what about the opponent? That player is much more in the role of a passive recipient. Knowing the range of an opponent's deck has always been a skill-testing aspect of the game, but when that range begins to include some number of new random things - from almost none to approximately a full additional deck's worth - that skill set can be correspondingly constrained. If you know what decks you're likely to face on ladder, you can build a deck to counter the meta. This is possible for mechanics like Stealth (non-target damage effects) or Charge (Taunts/Heals). On the other hand, it's not particularly possible to build a deck that counters lots of random card generation because, well, it's random. You don't know what you'll have to counter. While you can try and counter a deck's main game plan, you cannot counter the random elements of it nearly as well. Similarly, if you know what you're likely to face on ladder, you can play around opposing tools and properly utilize your resources. However, it's also not particularly possible to play around lots of options that could be created over the course of a game, as playing around one option often means playing into another. When options for creating even 1-cost spells can be as wide as, "Deal three random damage" to "Add 10 random spells to your hand," that doesn't leave nearly as much room for utilizing your understanding of matches on a game-to-game basis. If you're creating a lot of stuff, then, this leaves the opponent very much in the position of, "Guess I'll just ignore the fact that random cards exist, make my best play with the knowledge I do have about their deck, and hope it works out" because that's about all they can do. It's usually the win-rate maximizing play, anyway. Just play around the standard range of the opponent's deck, and hope you don't randomly get punished by an AoE or some burst damage they don't start the game with access to. After all, playing around a potential random AoE effect when their deck naturally contains none can play into random single-target removal instead. Since there's often no good reason to assume a random spell might be an AoE, or burst, or single-target removal, the correct play can be to play around nothing. This is the core of what makes the "created by" mechanic non-interactive: it's something that one player does and gets to think about, while it's something that happens to the other player. Skills in deck building and meta knowledge get circumvented. The more things get created, the larger the range of created by things, the less interactive the mechanics become. It doesn't have to be this way, of course. Not that discover needs to be changed, but here are four possible ways discover effects could work:
The opponent sees neither the options nor the choice (like now)
The opponent see the discovered card
The opponent see the options offered
Opponent see both the options and choice
All these options have different implications for how games play out, how interactive the mechanic is, how skill testing it is, its power, and how exciting/frustrating/satisfying it can be. They're definitely things to think about. Now in recent interviews, Iksar has suggested that the "created by" meta is at the peak of what we could expect to see, and we should expect it to be confined to certain classes more moving forward, in an effort to make it feel like more of a class identity. Regardless of whether we want to consider "random" an identity or not, simply confining the mechanics predominantly to one or a handful of classes (like Mage, Rogue, and/or Priest), doesn't fundamentally do anything about how non-interactive it can be. It just might mean those classes gain reputations for being frustratingly random at times when they make opponents feel like they couldn't reasonably plan for what happened during the games. With that in mind, I also wanted to look at some common points made in favor of the created by mechanic, and why players feel it is good for the game.
"Created by" card generation makes games feel different
For me, this is not particularly true. When a game is decided because of a Lackey making a spell for lethal, I don't feel like the game was lost to that spell; I feel like the game was lost to the Lackey/Miscreant (or whatever made the lackey). When a game is lost to a flurry of mage generated cards, I don't feel like I lost to a Flamestrike; I feel like I lost to a Mana Cyclone (or whatever made the Flamestrike). As the generator cards are always in these decks, games against them don't end up feeling very different. It more feels like the same game as usual against the archetype (as the broad game plans are generally similar from match to match), but now I'm taking that typical match and also rolling the dice to see if something I shouldn't have been playing around or anticipating in the first place ended up punishing me. While the created by cards might make games feel different for the pilot of the deck, it's not clear that feeling translates as well to the opponent.
"Created by" card generation is good for Free-to-Players
The idea here is that many players don't have full collections and can't play with the cards they want. These cards that make random cards are good for that type of player because it lets them play with cards they otherwise wouldn't have. While that much is true, that's more a criticism of how expensive Hearthstone is for some players. Saying random generation is good for players without many cards is more using the mechanic as a justification for the current pricing model of the game. If players had access to better collections for less time/money, they would actually be able to play with more cards they wanted, rather than random ones.
"Created by" is simply fun to play with
And that's totally fine if you like it. There's no doubt that a certain group of players really does enjoy just logging into a card-based casino and rolling the dice a few times to see what wacky things happen. Those players should absolutely be catered to and supported. For that purpose, there is the entire game mode of Tavern Brawl, for instance. Just some casual fun. That said, if ranked ladder is more your thing but you still want tons of randomness in your games, the odds are likely good that winning games isn't as high a priority. In that respect, cards that make random cards could be made at power levels that simply leave them not particularly competitive. That way, players can use lots of cards that make random things happen if that's their jam, but it does less to take away from the players looking to have more interactive, competitive experiences.
"Heeere's Broccoli...." = he wrote the theme song for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (every episode started with Ed McMahon introducing Johnny Carson with a long "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!"
BrikBrok = his song "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" went viral on TikTok / he does 'TikTok Tuesdays.'
Soup can / "A contest greased the wheels for my career...." = as a teen, he won a Campbell's soup contest that sparked his career.
Puppies = he has a song titles "Puppy Love" / the dog on Gilmore Girls was named Paul Anka.
Treehouse = he appeared as himself in 1995 The Simpsons episode titled "Treehouse of Horror VI."
Three mariachi singers = he has a Spanish-language album called Amigos / he wrote "A Mi Manera" in 1969, which is still being played by mariachi bands today.
"It ain't easy being a kid rolling with the OGs...." = he was dubbed 'the kid' in the Rat Pack by Frank Sinatra, who he had a close relationship with / his album Rock Swings was played in Olive Garden restrooms for a time.
'LD1ESMN' license plate = he wrote "She's a Lady," which has the lyrics 'the lady is mine,' for Tom Jones / he had heartthrob status back in the day / he's written about his many affairs in his autobiography.
Swing = he performs/records swing music / he has an album titled Swings For Young Lovers, and one titled Rock Swings.
Foodfellas = the Sid Vicious's cover of "My Way" (which Paul wrote the English lyrics for) appears in 1990 film Goodfellas.
900 = he has written over 900 songs.
Copacabana = he has performed at the Copacabana, and even released a live LP titled Anka at the Copa / the Copa Room at the Sands was considered the “home” of the Rat Pack, who he often hung around.
Nightclub setting = he opened Jubilation in 1978, a restaurant and club considered one of the first modern-era nightclubs in Las Vegas.
"[Cheese] need[s] your help on one final project before [Cheese] grow[s] moldy, capiche?" "...after pulling an all-nighter, I cooked up a beauty...." "...I made something special, but even I couldn't have imagined the classic I created...." = he wrote the lyrics to "My Way," in one night, for Frank Sinatra, who was planing on retiring from the music industry.
'3-7-2-6-5' = 'Frank' [Sinatra] on a telephone keypad.
Canadian bacon on pizza = he is Canadian.
Hawaiian pizza = he is Canadian (Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada).
"In my line of work, I am no stranger to women fawning over me." = he had heartthrob status back in the day.
Jason mask = his song-in-law is Jason Bateman,
Moose = he is from Canada.
Beetles = he played a role in The Beatles doing their first US tour.
Dice / Las Vegas theme = he was one of the first pop stars to perform at the Las Vegas casinos / he regularly performed in Las Vegas throughout his career / he's made several appearances on the TV show Las Vegas / he opened Jubilation in 1978, a restaurant and club considered one of the first modern-era nightclubs in Las Vegas.
Magician theme = he appeared in 1993 film Ordinary Magic.
Super sneak peek "...it's how I got my six-pack." = his 2011 EP is titled Six Pack / he has six children / he was a 'junior member' of the Rat Pack.
"I love broccoli. I eat it all the time because I believe in eating healthy." = he is passionate about health and fitness.
Magic lamp clue Roulette wheel on black 26 = he has a Greatest Hits album called 26 Grandes Exitos / he was one of the first pop stars to perform at the Las Vegas casinos / he regularly performed in Las Vegas throughout his career / he's made several appearances on the TV show Las Vegas / he opened Jubilation in 1978, a restaurant and club considered one of the first modern-era nightclubs in Las Vegas.
Podcast clue “Masked singer fans know that unfortunately the Night Angel beat [Bow Wow] in finale. But they may not know her group Xscape was featured on one of [Bow Wow’s] songs. Well Broccoli was part of one of Xscape’s songs.” = he co-wrote "Love Never Felt So Good," which was the first single released from Michael Jackson's second posthumous album, Xscape.
Trio performance clue "Toes and Knees" = his song "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."
Game-changing clue "Do not put your Broccoli in the microwave, which was invented after I was born." = he was born in 1941, the first microwave was sold in 1946.
Allow me to explain. So, I'm now playing Kotor (expect a full breakdown in a few weeks). And as many of you know there are few minigames: combat station, swoop races and Pazaak. The first two are barebones shooter and racing games respectively which, should the game be remade, they would be organically inbuilt in the rest of the game. I mean, it was 2003. Then having such different mechanics in the same game was groundbreaking, but now it's very easy to mix different genres in the same melting pot, looking at you, Ubi. But I want to focus in Pazaak, which is basically blackjack IN SPAAAAACE. The player that with higher points without surpassing 20 wins the round. Thing is, each player also has a private deck they can customize and improve. Long story short, Pazaak is it's own thing within the game. But personally, I don't like it. The reason is obvious: luck. I know it sounds like I'm whining, but after quite a few matches with Niklos and Mission I'm pretty sure the game chances are rigged against me, so I stopped playing, which is kinda sad, because it's an interesting part of worldbuilding. So, I started thinking and I realize it's not at all the only game with this "game inside a game" thing. For instance, Witcher 1 and 2 have a dice-poker minigame which is a side quest on its own, although it's again more luck based and apart of the satisfaction of beating everyone, unless you savescum, you're gonna end up losing money. Also Fallout: New Vegas made use of its setting by offering us three casinos where to spend all our caps. Funny thing is, I have yet to test it, but if we create our character with high luck attribute, I think we can balance the odds in our favor, and be expelled from the three casinos after being "too lucky". Tl, dr: what games you know that have such good minigames that you play specially for them. They can be card games, races... idk, Pokemon like battles about improving fighters? There's only one rule: the first one to say "Gwent" gets his motherfcking dck chopped off
I want to play Sabacc, but can't print or afford a real deck. So I made some rules for a standard deck of cards. I wanted to make it simple to start, but add the ability to add rules as people get familiar with playing. I used other people's variants for inspiration and I take no ownership for these rules and want no credit for them. I just wanted to share them so someone else might enjoy them. Sabacc (Simple Variant) Items needed: Standard Deck of Cards (with Jokers) Six Sided Die (2 Die for Interference Shield variant) 23 Counters per Player Card Values: Black Suits are Positive Red Suits are Negative Ace is worth 1 2-10 is worth their number Jack is worth 11 Queen is worth 12 King is worth 13 Joker is worth 0 Start of the Game: Each player gets 23 counters. Start of a Hand: If there is no dealer then a dealer is chosen. The dealer stays the dealer for the whole hand. The dealer deals two cards to each player and places the rest of the deck in the middle of table. Ante: Each player places one counter in a pot to the side of the cards. This is the Sabacc pot. The first round starts after everyone adds the pot. Length of Hand: A hand is played at least three rounds. (Use an indicator of some sort to show round number) Round of Play Betting Phase: The person to the dealers left starts the bet. The bet is a minimum of one counter and a maximum number of counters equal to the total number of players. After each bet the person to the bettor's left either matchs the bet, may raises the bet if it has not yet reached the maximum limit, or discards their cards, leaves the hand and forfiets any counters bet. All players must match the current bet or forfeit the hand. Shift Phase: Dealer rolls a six sided die. If a 4, 5 or 6 is rolled then nothing happens. If a 1, 2 or 3 rolled then the player to picks a card in the hand of the player to their left. The selected cards are discarded and the dealer deals a new card to each player. Call Phase: At the end of the third round and at the call phase of every round for the rest of the hand any player may call and the hand ends. Deal Phase: Dealer deals one card to each player. Each player can discard any card in their hand. A player must have a minimum of two cards, but has no limit to the maximum number of cards. Winning Hand Winning: After a hand is called, each player adds their black suit cards and subtracts their red suit cards. The winner is the player closest to positive 23 or negative 23 wins without going over. The winner wins the bets of all players. Sabacc: If a player gets exactly 23, either positive or negative, they have a Sabacc. A Sabacc wins the bets of all players and the Sabacc pot. Sudden Demise: If there is a tie either positive or negative then the person with the most cards wins. If there is still a tie then the dealer gives each player who has tied a card. The scoring for all players is recounted, and a new winner is declared. If there is another tie, resolve as above. Reverse Sabacc: If all players are over 23 then all bets go to the Sabacc pot. Dealer Shift: After each hand the Dealer's role is taken by the player to the former dealer's left. End of the Game: The end of the game happens when a player loses all their counters and the latest hand is over. The player with the highest total of counters wins. If the Sabacc pot is higher then all players, no one wins. Advanced Variants Advanced variants are decided on by players before the game starts. The variants below are only examples. Different players and casinos have their own variants. Interference Shield: Before the Shift phase of a round a player may place any cards from their hand face up. That card is now considered locked. During the Shift phase, instead of one die, two dice are rolled. A shift only occurs if the numbers on the dice match. If a shift occurs any cards not locked are discarded and replacement cards are dealt to each player equal to the cards the player discarded. A locked card can still be discarded by player after cards are drawn. Jawa's Choice: During Draw phase, a player can take the top card from the discard pile instead being delt a card from the top of the deck. The player may still discard a card from thier hand. Bombing: If a player ends the hand with more the 23 or less then -23 then they bomb. If a player bombs they add to the Sabacc pot a number of counters equal to the number they bet in that hand. Should tied players have hands that bomb after an extra card, then the player must pay to the Sabacc pot a number of counters equal to the number they bet in that hand. Pure Sabacc: In addition to 23 being a Sabacc, a player can get zero. A player who gets a total of zero has a Pure Sabacc. A Pure Sabacc beats a normal Sabacc. Idiot's Array: If a player has a hand of only a joker (0), a two of any suit and a three of any suit then they have an Idiot's Array. In the event two players get an Idiot's Array each player draws a card. Card closest to zero wins. Alternate Arrays: Specific combinations of cards specified before play begins beat any hand of equal value and may make the player eligible to claim the Sabacc Pot if they win. Some examples: The Queen of Air and Darkness: Any hand containing a Queen an Ace. Endurance: A hand of all black or red suits except for a king card of the opposite suit. Balance: Hand has equal number of red and black cards. Demise: The value of hand is points over 23 (positive or negative). If bombing variant is used then player must follow those rules after the winner is decided and winnings collected. Moderation: A hand with a red 10 and black ten. The Evil One: A hand containing the Ace of Spades and the Ace of Clubs. All cards count as negative. The Star: Any hand containing an Ace and any numbered Diamonds. Corellian Spike: Before the first draw phase, the dealer deals one card and places it face up in front of each player. In draw phase, players may buy new cards for two counters. If the player buys a card, they could either discard the new card, swap it with one of the two cards in their hand, or swap it with the spike card. In shift phase, if a one is rolled (double ones if using Interference Shield) the card placed in front of player is discarded and replaced by one dealt by dealer instead of a change to the player's hand. The winner is the player closest to zero instead of 23. A regular Sabacc is now 0. Variations can beat a regular Sabacc. Fleet is a four of a kind equaling zero. Yee-Haw is a pair with red and black if same number and a joker that equals zero. Rylet is black three of any kind and red pair, or vice versa. Gee-Whiz is black suit from 1 to 4 and red 10, or vice versa. Straight Khryon is run of four cards (eg. 4, 5, 6, 7) with red and black suit that equal zero. Bantha's Wild is three cards of a kind and other cards that equal zero. Rule of Two is two pairs of two card of a kind that equal zero. Ties are resolved by the player with the lowest card in their hand winning the hand. If both players have lowest card then player with most cards wins. If there is still a tie then players draw a card. Lowest card wins. Real Betting When money instead of counters is used, the following changes are made to the rules. Ante: A big and small blind are added. The player to the dealers left puts in an agreed upon big blind to the Sabacc pot and player to the left after the big blind player puts in a small blind that is half the big blind to the Sabacc pot. Intial bet and raises should also be decided. Bidding: Minimum and Maximum bids are agreed upon before the hand starts. End of Game: Game ends once no Sabacc Pot remains and players who can still ante and make a minimum bet decide to end game. Null Sabacc: If only one player can play then that player receives the remaining Sabacc pot. Bombing: Bombing is treated the same, except the amount added to Sabacc pot. Bombing requires the player to add the total of all bets forgot the hand to the Sabacc Pot. Corellian Spike: Cards are bought for twice intial bid. Idiot's Array: When determining the winning hand an Idiot's Array does not end the game and is considered better then a Pure Sabacc and wins player bets and the Sabacc pot.
This all happened completely by chance, but I wish I could say I planned it. My party got their hands on 3 war machines and planned to sell two of them. I was worried about them having too many soul coins, but I allowed them to sell it anyway hoping it would work out, and boy did it! Just as I was fretting over them having a ton of money one of them asks me "Is there a casino here?" and I felt my problems melt away. The casino is run by an imp at a dice table while Succubi and Incubi in skimpy outfits hand out terrible tasting drinks. The imp starts by offering them 3d8 and a free soul coin for betting with to draw them in. When rolling if they get a pair, their bet is doubled, with three of a kind, their bet is tripled. Once they lose a round or two, the imp offers them a better deal. The same, but 3d6, but there's a catch; on three sixes the imp takes your soul. My players lost more than half of what they made selling the war machines.
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I want to play Sabacc, but can't print or afford a real deck. So made some rules for a standard deck of cards. I wanted to make it simple to start, but add the ability to add rules as people get familiar with playing. used other people's variants for inspiration and take no ownership for these rules and want no credit for them. just wanted to share them so someone else might enjoy them. Sabacc (Simple Variant) Items needed: Standard Deck of Cards (with Jokers) Six Sided Die (2 Die for Interference Shield variant) 23 Counters per Player Card Values: Black Suits are Positive Red Suits are Negative Ace is worth 1 2-10 is worth their number Jack is worth 11 Queen is worth 12 King is worth 13 Joker is worth 0 Start of the Game: Each player gets 23 counters. Start of a Hand: If there is no dealer then a dealer is chosen. The dealer stays the dealer for the whole hand. The dealer deals two cards to each player and places the rest of the deck in the middle of table. Ante: Each player places one counter in a pot to the side of the cards. This is the Sabacc pot. The first round starts after everyone adds the pot. Length of Hand: A hand is played at least three rounds. (Use an indicator of some sort to show round number) Round of Play Betting Phase: The person to the dealers left starts the bet. The bet is a minimum of one counter and a maximum number of counters equal to the total number of players. After each bet the person to the bettor's left either matchs the bet, may raises the bet if it has not yet reached the maximum limit, or discards their cards, leaves the hand and forfiets any counters bet. All players must match the current bet or forfeit the hand. Shift Phase: Dealer rolls a six sided die. If a 4, 5 or 6 is rolled then nothing happens. If a 1, 2 or 3 rolled then the player to picks a card in the hand of the player to their left. The selected cards are discarded and the dealer deals a new card to each player. Call Phase: At the end of the third round and at the call phase of every round for the rest of the hand any player may call and the hand ends. Deal Phase: Dealer deals one card to each player. Each player can discard any card in their hand. A player must have a minimum of two cards, but has no limit to the maximum number of cards. Winning Hand Winning: After a hand is called, each player adds their black suit cards and subtracts their red suit cards. The winner is the player closest to positive 23 or negative 23 wins without going over. The winner wins the bets of all players. Sabacc: If a player gets exactly 23, either positive or negative, they have a Sabacc. A Sabacc wins the bets of all players and the Sabacc pot. Sudden Demise: If there is a tie either positive or negative then the person with the most cards wins. If there is still a tie then the dealer gives each player who has tied a card. The scoring for all players is recounted, and a new winner is declared. If there is another tie, resolve as above. Reverse Sabacc: If all players are over 23 then all bets go to the Sabacc pot. Dealer Shift: After each hand the Dealer's role is taken by the player to the former dealer's left. End of the Game: The end of the game happens when a player loses all their counters and the latest hand is over. The player with the highest total of counters wins. If the Sabacc pot is higher then all players, no one wins. Advanced Variants Advanced variants are decided on by players before the game starts. The variants below are only examples. Different players and casinos have their own variants. Interference Shield: Before the Shift phase of a round a player may place any cards from their hand face up. That card is now considered locked. During the Shift phase, instead of one die, two dice are rolled. A shift only occurs if the numbers on the dice match. If a shift occurs any cards not locked are discarded and replacement cards are dealt to each player equal to the cards the player discarded. A locked card can still be discarded by player after cards are drawn. Jawa's Choice: During Draw phase, a player can take the top card from the discard pile instead being delt a card from the top of the deck. The player may still discard a card from thier hand. Bombing: If a player ends the hand with more the 23 or less then -23 then they bomb. If a player bombs they add to the Sabacc pot a number of counters equal to the number they bet in that hand. Should tied players have hands that bomb after an extra card, then the player must pay to the Sabacc pot a number of counters equal to the number they bet in that hand. Pure Sabacc: In addition to 23 being a Sabacc, a player can get zero. A player who gets a total of zero has a Pure Sabacc. A Pure Sabacc beats a normal Sabacc. Idiot's Array: If a player has a hand of only a joker (0), a two of any suit and a three of any suit then they have an Idiot's Array. In the event two players get an Idiot's Array each player draws a card. Card closest to zero wins. Alternate Arrays: Specific combinations of cards specified before play begins beat any hand of equal value and may make the player eligible to claim the Sabacc Pot if they win. Some examples: The Queen of Air and Darkness: Any hand containing a Queen an Ace. Endurance: A hand of all black or red suits except for a king card of the opposite suit. Balance: Hand has equal number of red and black cards. Demise: The value of hand is points over 23 (positive or negative). If bombing variant is used then player must follow those rules after the winner is decided and winnings collected. Moderation: A hand with a red 10 and black ten. The Evil One: A hand containing the Ace of Spades and the Ace of Clubs. All cards count as negative. The Star: Any hand containing an Ace and any numbered Diamonds. Corellian Spike: Before the first draw phase, the dealer deals one card and places it face up in front of each player. In draw phase, players may buy new cards for two counters. If the player buys a card, they could either discard the new card, swap it with one of the two cards in their hand, or swap it with the spike card. In shift phase, if a one is rolled (double ones if using Interference Shield) the card placed in front of player is discarded and replaced by one dealt by dealer instead of a change to the player's hand. The winner is the player closest to zero instead of 23. A regular Sabacc is now 0. Variations can beat a regular Sabacc. Fleet is a four of a kind equaling zero. Yee-Haw is a pair with red and black if same number and a joker that equals zero. Rylet is black three of any kind and red pair, or vice versa. Gee-Whiz is black suit from 1 to 4 and red 10, or vice versa. Straight Khryon is run of four cards (eg. 4, 5, 6, 7) with red and black suit that equal zero. Bantha's Wild is three cards of a kind and other cards that equal zero. Rule of Two is two pairs of two card of a kind that equal zero. Ties are resolved by the player with the lowest card in their hand winning the hand. If both players have lowest card then player with most cards wins. If there is still a tie then players draw a card. Lowest card wins. Real Betting When money instead of counters is used, the following changes are made to the rules. Ante: A big and small blind are added. The player to the dealers left puts in an agreed upon big blind to the Sabacc pot and player to the left after the big blind player puts in a small blind that is half the big blind to the Sabacc pot. Intial bet and raises should also be decided. Bidding: Minimum and Maximum bids are agreed upon before the hand starts. End of Game: Game ends once no Sabacc Pot remains and players who can still ante and make a minimum bet decide to end game. Null Sabacc: If only one player can play then that player receives the remaining Sabacc pot. Bombing: Bombing is treated the same, except the amount added to Sabacc pot. Bombing requires the player to add the total of all bets forgot the hand to the Sabacc Pot. Corellian Spike: Cards are bought for twice intial bid. Idiot's Array: When determining the winning hand an Idiot's Array does not end the game and is considered better then a Pure Sabacc and wins player bets and the Sabacc pot.
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MAME 0.223 has finally arrived, and what a release it is – there’s definitely something for everyone! Starting with some of the more esoteric additions, Linus Åkesson’s AVR-based hardware chiptune project and Power Ninja Action Challenge demos are now supported. These demos use minimal hardware to generate sound and/or video, relying on precise CPU timings to work. With this release, every hand-held LCD game from Nintendo’s Game & Watch and related lines is supported in MAME, with Donkey Kong Hockey bringing up the rear. Also of note is the Bassmate Computer fishing aid, made by Nintendo and marketed by Telko and other companies, which is clearly based on the dual-screen Game & Watch design. The steady stream of TV games hasn’t stopped, with a number of French releases from Conny/VideoJet among this month’s batch. For the first time ever, games running on the Barcrest MPU4 video system are emulated well enough to be playable. Titles that are now working include several games based on the popular British TV game show The Crystal Maze, Adders and Ladders, The Mating Game, and Prize Tetris. In a clear win for MAME’s modular architecture, the breakthrough came through the discovery of a significant flaw in our Motorola MC6840 Programmable Timer Module emulation that was causing issues for the Fairlight CMI IIx synthesiser. In the same manner, the Busicom 141-PF desk calculator is now working, thanks to improvements made to Intel 4004 CPU emulation that came out of emulating the INTELLEC 4 development system and the prototype 4004-based controller board for Flicker pinball. The Busicom 141-PF is historically significant, being the first application of Intel’s first microprocessor. Fans of classic vector arcade games are in for a treat this month. Former project coordinator Aaron Giles has contributed netlist-based sound emulation for thirteen Cinematronics vector games: Space War, Barrier, Star Hawk, Speed Freak, Star Castle, War of the Worlds, Sundance, Tail Gunner, Rip Off, Armor Attack, Warrior, Solar Quest and Boxing Bugs. This resolves long-standing issues with the previous simulation based on playing recorded samples. Colin Howell has also refined the sound emulation for Midway’s 280-ZZZAP and Gun Fight. V.Smile joystick inputs are now working for all dumped cartridges, and with fixes for ROM bank selection the V.Smile Motion software is also usable. The accelerometer-based V.Smile Motion controller is not emulated, but the software can all be used with the standard V.Smile joystick controller. Another pair of systems with inputs that now work is the original Macintosh (128K/512K/512Ke) and Macintosh Plus. These systems’ keyboards are now fully emulated, including the separate numeric keypad available for the original Macintosh, the Macintosh Plus keyboard with integrated numeric keypad, and a few European ISO layout keyboards for the original Macintosh. There are still some emulation issues, but you can play Beyond Dark Castle with MAME’s Macintosh Plus emulation again. In other home computer emulation news, MAME’s SAM Coupé driver now supports a number of peripherals that connect to the rear expansion port, a software list containing IRIX hard disk installations for SGI MIPS workstations has been added, and tape loading now works for the Specialist system (a DIY computer designed in the USSR). Of course, there’s far more to enjoy, and you can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page. (For brevity, promoted V.Smile software list entries and new Barcrest MPU4 clones made up from existing dumps have been omitted here.)
MAME Testers Bugs Fixed
02603: [Sound] (cinemat.cpp) tailg: Phasor sample plays incorrectly. (Aaron Giles)
Toy Story 3 (Lexibook) [Sean Riddle, Kamaal Brown, David Haywood]
unknown 'TE06' [TeamEurope, Roberto Fresca]
Unknown Compumatic ProSPDP based darts machine [jordigahan, ClawGrip]
VideoJet Kiu Games [Sean Riddle, David Haywood]
Virtual TV Ping Pong [TeamEurope, David Haywood]
Yataimura Kingyosukui (4-player, China, Ver 1.000) [Darksoft]
New clones marked as NOT_WORKING
Funhouse (L-2) [PinMAME]
Funhouse (L-2, prototype PA-1 System 11 sound) [PinMAME]
Laser Ball (L-2, PROM sound) [PinMAME]
Last Action Hero (1.04 France) [PinMAME]
Last Action Hero (1.07) [José Renato Castro Milanez, Sergio Munemori]
Magic Card - Wien (Sicherheitsversion 1.2) [TeamEurope, Roberto Fresca]
Nove Diamante (bootleg) [Ioannis Bampoulas]
New working software list additions
fmtowns_cd: Akiko - Premium Version, Cal III - Kanketsu-hen, Chiemi & Naomi, Curse, Eikan wa Kimi ni 2 - Koukou Yakyuu Zenkoku Taikai, FM Towns Application Catalog CD-ROM - Original Soft-hen, G5 (HMA-206), Gambler - Queen's Cup, Gokuraku Mandala, Hyper Fetishism, Illust Hyakka - Yamashita Hideki no Ikiiki Cut-shuu, Iris-tei Serenade, Jouhou Club - Card Processor Ver. 1.1, Mahjong Musashi, Manami no Doko made Iku no? 2 - Return of the Kuro Pack, The Manhole (1990-08-01), Marionette Mind, Mirage 2 - Torry, Neat & Roan Fairladies in MagicLand, Noushuku Angel 120%, Shamhat - The Holy Circlet (FM Towns Marty version), Tenshin Ranma, Two Shot Diary, Viper-V12 RS, Viper-V8 Turbo RS, YES! HG - Erotic Voice Version [redump.org, r09]
Rayman IV (Rayman - Sunshine of Trip) (unlicensed) (protection hacked) [RibShark]
Crash Advance IV (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Digimon - Ruby and Sapphire (unlicensed) (protection hacked), The Lord of the Rings IV - The Fellowship of the Ring (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Pokemon - Sapphire Version (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Rayman IV (Rayman - Puteshestviye Solnechnogo Sveta) (unlicensed) (Russian) (protection hacked), Sonic 3 - Fighter Sonic (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Super Mario DX (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (unlicensed) (protection hacked), Ultraman - Confrontation Between Justice And Evil (Ul'traman - Konfrontatsiya mezhdu spravedlivost'yu i zlom) (unlicensed) (Russian) (protection hacked), X-Man - Armour of Might (X-men) (unlicensed) (Russian) (protection hacked) [taizou]
Bloodwych (Quest & Glory Compilation) (Euro), Bloodwych (USA), Budokan - The Martial Spirit (5.25"), The Colonel's Bequest (3.5"), The Colonel's Bequest (5.25"), Dragon's Lair (5.25"), F29 Retaliator, Lakers vs Celtics and the NBA Playoffs (3.5"), Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) (5.25"), Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Mario Andretti's Racing Challenge, Speedball 2 - Brutal Deluxe (Euro, 3.5"), TV Sports Basketball (3.5", USA, EGA/TANDY version), TV Sports Basketball (3.5", USA, VGA version), TV Sports Basketball (5.25", UK, EGA/TANDY version), TV Sports Basketball (5.25", UK, VGA version), Xenon 2: Megablast [ArcadeShadow]
SCO XENIX System V Development System version 2.1.3 [archive.org, Davide Cavalca]
IBM Personal Computer Interactive Executive (PC/IX) 1.00 [WinWorld, Davide Cavalca]
ibm5170: B-17 Flying Fortress (5.25"), Corridor 7: Alien Invasion (demo), Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle (France), Out of this World (USA, 3.5" DD), Out of this World (USA, 5.25" HD), Sam & Max Hit the Road (Germany) [ArcadeShadow]
pc98_cd: F15 Strike Eagle III, if 2 - Invitations from Fantastic Stories, Manami no Doko made Iku no? 2 - Return of the Kuro Pack, Phobos, Pro Student G (ALS-0010), YES! HG - Erotic Voice Version, Yuurou - Transient Sands [redump.org, r09]
Desktop Special Edition 1.0, European Language Module 1.1, European Language Module 1.3.1, Hot Mix 5, Hot Mix 7, IndiZone 1.0, IRIX 5.2 for Indy R4600PC and Challenge SX, IRIX Patch 126.96.36.199, ONC3/NFS for IRIX 6.2 Version 1, ONC3/NFS for IRIX 6.2 with Indigo2 IMPACT 10000 Version 1, Support Advantage 10/94, Support Advantage 6/95, SupportFolio 2/97, SupportFolio 4/97 [darkstar]
Disney/Pixar Wall-E (China) [tenyuhuang, Ryan Holtz]
Les Bisounours - Le monde merveilleux des Bisounours (France), Nickelodeon Bob L'éponge - Une journée dans la vie d'une éponge (France) [DisizDream]
Disney/Pixar Cars 2 (France), Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 (France), DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda - La mission de Po (France), Football Challenge (France), Martin Le Dauphin (France), Nickelodeon Dora L'Exploratrice - Les adventures de Dora Apprentie Mécano (France), Sporti'Folies (France) [DisizDream, Ryan Holtz]
Action Mania (USA), Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 (USA), Marvel Spider-Man & Friends - Secret Missions (USA), Soccer Challenge (USA) [Sean Riddle, TeamEurope, Ryan Holtz]
mobigo_cart: Disney Jake and the Neverland Pirates (USA, alt), Disney Princess (USA, alt), Disney/Pixar Brave (USA), Dreamworks Shrek - Forever After (US), NAND User Cartridge (unknown data, set 1), NAND User Cartridge (unknown data, set 2), Sesame Street - Elmo and Abby - Nature Explorers (USA) [TeamEurope]
novag_ssensor4: Quartz Chess Clock [Berger]
pc98_cd: DOR Special Edition '93, DOR Special Edition '93 (alt), Kanji Land 3-nen, Kyrandia II - The Hand of Fate, Lemon Cocktail Collection, Lip 3 - Lipstick Adventure 3, Mirage 2 - Torry, Neat & Roan Fairladies in MagicLand [redump.org, r09]
pi_storyreader_cart: Disney Blanca Nieves y los siete enanos (Spain), Disney El Rey León (Spain), Walt Disney Peter Pan (Spain) [TeamEurope, ClawGrip]
Basketball (EU) [ClawGrip, TeamEurope]
Basketball (US) [Sean Riddle, David Haywood]
vsmileb_cart: Teletubbies (France) [DisizDream]
Merged pull requests
6825: docs: Improved analog joystick mapping documentation, and added health warnings. [Firehawke]
6837: debugger: Added loadr and saver commands for loading or saving data to/from a memory region. [bombzj]
6838: fmtowns_cd.xml: Added 28 new entries, and replaced 22 entries with improved dumps. [redump.org, r09]
6844: gigatron: Hooked up CPU output callback, fixed program counter wrapping, and added CPU input callback. [Sterophonick]
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