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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Persona 2 in pSX

I'm a huge fan of the megami tensei (女神転生) series by ATLUS (and formerly Namco), not only because of its exceptionally eerie atmosphere but also because of the great soundtrack and unmatched NPC interaction. With interaction I don't mean a simple four-way dialogs as you find it in the Elder Scroll based on a like-dislike-meter. In Persona, for example, you'll have to find out the personality which can be one of cheerful, timid, gloomy, bluff, temperant, arrogant, wise and fool or a combination of up to three. Depending on the (mix of) personalities, the demons react differently to interaction with either fear, anger, happiness or interest or a logical mix of two. To make things more complicated there are countless (well, in fact only 57) ways to interact with a demon which depends on which character or combination of characters of your party you use. Interactions thus range from reading horoscopes and giving advices to interrogations and passionate gazes. I didn't yet mention that talking is not always an option, especially if a previous action made the demon hate or fear you. Anyway, successfully negotiating with demons is important because they might present you items or join your cause.

Unfortunately, the current shin megami tensei titles such as Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga don't feature such complex interactions, but therefore other great ideas.

Well, as I lost my saves of Persona and bought an import copy of Persona 2 I decided to give it a spin. My PS2 is quite loud though and I'm obviously too lazy to clean its fans so I decided to make ePSXe run my gentoo system. Portage told me that epsxe was masked so I looked around a bit more and finally found pSX, though not in portage. After manually adding some missing ia32 libraries it was all set up - no need to download and configure plugins for each and every vital part of a PSX emulator as in ePSXe. It just workd out of the box, even with real optical drives. OK, I prefer using an image after all:

# cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile persona2.bin --device 3,0,0 --driver generic-mmc-raw persona2.toc

Using a normal (read cheap, without support for dual-shock) PS2-controller to USB adapter works fine after:

# modprobe joydev

See for yourself:



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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fah top 1000

I never thought it was possible to reach the top 1000 Folding@home teams with our little dorm group - but here we are: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/teamstats/team70659.html
This proves that buying a PS3 isn't necessary for now - a quadcore CPU and a G80 GPU should satisfy my needs until I need a bluray player.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Blogger engine

Woot! Now I can use blogger.com's engine on my site without the need to modify XSM internals until they suit my needs.
Let's see whether I'll find some time to post something useful.