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Everyday Drabbles #406: Upgrade

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“What is the meaning of this?” the general asked. The scientist deflated a bit as he showed him the prototype.
“Well, you know how we were using pigeons to send messages, and you said that was too slow? I’ve found a solution to speed up the process.”
“By giving the birds little jetpacks?”
“They picked up on the technology surprisingly quickly, although we did have some problems miniaturizing it. They can deliver messages three times faster now!”
“I meant, we should switch to radios!”
“I mean, we could, but I don’t know how we’d train the pigeons to use them.”

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Podcast – NP59: Generic Zaku Squad

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Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Hugh, Jason, Jurd and Spence consider Gundam the 08th MS Team Epsisode 8: “Duty and Ideals.”

In tonight’s episode, the Nostalgia Pilots meet and say goodbye to our favorite new characters, Shiro struggles with the realities of war while shooting a Zaku in the junk, and Genias goes full Elvis on the TV. Plus, Yuri Kilarney belongs in a different anime, and Sanders is a classy drinker.

Promo: Tales From The Tub

Everyday Drabbles #405: Choose Your Weapon

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The heroes arrived at the Tomb of the Great Blade Wizard and found that the entrance was blocked by an enormous statue holding a sword and a staff.
“YOU MUST CHOOSE.” A voice echoed through the cavern. The party huddled up.
“This is obviously a trap,” the rogue said.
“Or a test,” the wizard suggested. “We must demonstrate wisdom to proceed.
“Or rather combat prowess” the warrior said. In the end, the Priestess decided with a coin toss.
“The Sword!” She cried. Stone rumbled against stone, and the massive sword came loose from the statue’s hand and crushed them all.

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Everyday Drabbles #404: Growth Industry

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When Glory took up gardening, the young mage treated the hobby with her usual level of patience and grace. Which is why she surreptitiously applied a few Growth spells to the planters. Things were going well until a stray cat got into them.
Glory woke to find the street blocked off by the now giant feline sunning itself on the cobblestones. She quickly restored him to normal size, but her plants were already ruined. She glared down at the cat, who seemed neither remorseful, nor harmed.
“I never wanted a familiar, but I suppose I could take in a pet.”

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Everyday Drabbles #403: The Lookout

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The Temple was her favorite spot in the city. The nuns always had a bit of food for her, and the statue in the foyer was the best climbing spot around. From the goddess’s shoulders, she could see for miles.
She was standing atop the stone watching the rain fall on the city when she saw the ships on the horizon, their black sails billowing in the wind. She raised the alarm, and the city was saved, but the statue was destroyed by cannon fire.
When the nuns had it rebuilt, they included a bench for her to sit on.

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Hugh Likes Video Games: Mr. Driller: Drill Land

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Mr.Driller: Drill Land
Published by Bandai Namco Games
Played on Nintendo Switch

The Skinny – Want to feel old? This is what Dig Dug looks like now.

Mr. Driller: Drill Land is an odd little puzzle game originally only released in Japan on the Game Cube in 2002. It received a digital rerelease in North America this year on the Nintendo Swith and PC. A mix of candy-colored puzzle game and old-school arcade style, the Mr. Driller series is a sort of sequel to the arcade hit Dig Dug. Placing the player in control of a little character drilling through colorful rock strata. Blocks of the same color will stick together and disappear once they’ve reached a certain size. The goal of the game is to drill down to a goal depth without getting squashed by destabilized blocks or running out of air, which continually ticks down.
Drill Land introduces further tweaks into the formula, while presenting the five different game modes as different attractions in an underground drilling-themed amusement park. By and large, these different modes are challenging, but clever. One has players attempting to gather treasure and avoid traps in an Indiana Jones pastiche that came out well in advance of Spelunky. Another mode has you fighting ghosts ini a Castlevania-esque Haunted house. There is also a brightly animated story mode that draws heavily on the same Astroboy tropes as Megaman, but doesn’t get too much in the way of the puzzle gameplay.
The game’s visuals are cute with a polished cartoon aesthetic, and being an early 2000’s Namco game, the soundtrack, composed by Go Shiina, is a breezy, jazz-inflected delight. The Switch release features the option to play with the original setting, or a more ‘casual’ difficulty setting. I picked the original, and despite the visuals and story, it is merciless.
Mr. Driller: Drill Land is an overlooked oddity from a venerable game studio. it’s a perfect stress-free puzzle game to chill out to, if you don’t mind a bit of a challenge. It is available for PC via Steam, and for Nintendo Switch via the eshop, where it’s currently on sale.

Everyday Drabbles #402

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First they built a bonfire, as big and as hot as they could make. The cauldron was rolled out of its sacred spot in the temple. It took a team of a dozen men to bring it to the spot. An army of farmwives spent a whole day carrying the water from the spring to fill it.
The work was grueling, but the villagers were jubilant. The fisherman had sent a message back on their fastest boat. The hunt was successful. They had caught a kraken. The famine was over. They just had to figure out how to cook it.

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Everyday Drabbles #401: Correspondence With the Dead

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She receives correspondence from the dead. The letter arrive in bone-white envelopes with no stamp and no return address. She sees them delivered, and her mail carrier is baffled.
The letters arrive in her mailbox every day, and she dutifully opens them. She quickly discoverd that bad things happen when she lets them pile up.
The letters inside are last messages and other unfinished business. She does what she can to resolve them. Sometimes they include strange objects like dried flowers or mysterious coins.
The letters aren’t so bad, but things took a turn when the ghosts found her email.

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Everyday Drabbles #400: Astral Traveler

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The figure came to her at night, a luminous being that hovered above her bed and held out a hand.
“I can teach you to astral travel,” they whispered. “Come fly the etherial spaces between worlds with me.”
Thinking it a dream, she took the offered hand. She felt an unpleasant but not painful pulling sensation, and found herself hovering above her body. Without breath or heartbeat, she was overcome by the sense of her own stillness.
“But how do I get back?”
“Back to what?” The being asked.
“My body.”
“I don’t understand,” they said. “What is a body?”

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Everyday Drabbles #399: The Great Snowy Owl

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It was the morning after the first real snowfall, when it covers the forest in white and turns the world into a silver mirror. The one day of the year She might appear.
We tethered a horse by a still pond and waited. After a long wait, the beast screamed, and there she was, presiding over her kill. Schnee-Eule, a snow-white owl twice the size of a man. I snapped a picture, and she turned and looked right at us.
I hunkered down, and tried not to breathe. My partner made a run for it. He didn’t get three yards.

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