Horse girl with a knife

Also: mind control gaming, Sonic kindergarten, and Fortnite simps.

Horse girl with a knife

This week, we're talking bodacious skins, gacha horse girl breeders, and true "Sonic mania."

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The animator keeping the Sonic Underground fandom alive

After all these years, Tamers12345 is still going strong. He’s notorious amongst Sonic fans for his obsession with Sonic Underground — an animated show that ran for a single 40-episode season in 1999 — as well as his stubborn disinterest in anything else Sonic-related. He’s spent the past thirteen years uploading surreal animations based on Sonic Underground to his YouTube channel, inserting characters like Sonic’s siblings Manic and Sonia into backgrounds composed of stock images. Tamers’ absurdist narratives and visual gags flow with a dreamlike logic, like Xavier: Renegade Angel sketched in MS Paint.  

Tamers’ work pairs high-concept shitposting with low-effort execution, an approach to animation that’s become a hallmark of the YouTube poop-maker’s creative philosophy. Dialogue is delivered via a text-to-speech program, most assets are made up of static PNGs, and cheesy text animations provide on-screen exposition. Here are some choice cuts from the Tamers vault:

Whether or not you vibe with Tamers’ off-color humor and penchant for callipygian hedgehogs, it’s undeniable that they’re one of the hardest-working Sonic animators in the game.

Fortnite has found its “gooner skin”

HYPEX, a Twitter account that posts Fortnite news to over three million followers, un-officially enshrined Raven Team Leader as Fortnite’s “gooner skin” in a tweet announcing her return to the item shop this past week. Ever since she was originally released last November, players have posted various memes zooming in on her dance emotes and salivating over her “gyatt,” championing her as the most curvaceous skin on the market. You’ll often see “what if raven team leader had a built-in emote…” as a comment under videos about her, which is a reference to a meme that finishes this question in about the way you’d expect. She’s even the subject of a SFW subreddit comprised of “simps” that’s been especially active since her skin came back. Nevertheless, some players are determined to reclaim her from the gooners — though it doesn’t seem like that reputation will fade anytime soon.

Elden Ring streamer defeats DLC boss using real-life “mind control”

Twitch streamer Perri Karyal recently beat Divine Beast Dancing Lion — a boss from Shadow of the Erdtree, Elden Ring’s recently released DLC — by using only a crown of sensors to control her character. Beating the lion boss is no small feat; the DLC’s slate of bosses have catalyzed yet another round of impassioned discourse about FromSoftware’s approach to difficulty. Karyal’s “mind control” playstyle involves EEG, which is a method for measuring the brain’s electrical activity. This would, of course, be even more impressive if she hadn’t already beaten the whole base game using “mind control.” 

Karyal has a postgraduate degree in psychology, which is how she originally discovered the technology. In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, she explains that she trained EEG software on repeatable brainwave patterns that she associated with mental images of physical actions. These signals are primarily responsible for attacks, while she uses eye-tracking software and her headset’s gyroscope to perform movements. Karyal isn’t the only streamer to play Elden Ring using a non-conventional controller — Dr. Doot executed a hitless run using an electric saxophone, while the Spanish streamer Silithur managed to defeat Malenia using only a single button — but her playstyle is by far the most technically impressive, requiring hundreds of hours of patiently training the EEG software.

A different kind of horse girl game

What do you think of when you hear the words “horse girl game”? It’s probably not Umamusume: Pretty Derby, a mobile title where players train a team of anime girls who are also racehorses, which is now getting an English translation. If you’re confused, this music video / trailer won’t help.

Like Genshin Impact, Umamusume is a gacha game — a gambling-adjacent genre where you pay to “roll” to get random characters. In this immensely lucrative sector, it’s not unusual for games to sell purely on sex appeal (Nikke) or run with a bizarre anime concept (Azur Lane, where girls are anthropomorphized battleships). But even within this genre, the oddities of Umamusume stand out:

  • It has an “inheritance” system where a girl “can be her own grandparent” [link, via Something Awful]
  • Fans describe it as a training game, concert engine, roguelike, and pay-to-win nightmare [link]
  • Every character is based on a famous racehorse like Special Week [link], which some fans take extremely seriously [link]
  • One horse girl carries a knife, for reasons known only to gambling historians [link]

Though gacha games are huge, discussion usually stays contained within communities like r/gachagames, which is maybe for the best. The other big news this week was that ass-jiggling shooter Nikke announced a crossover with last year’s casual charmer Dave the Diver.

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Elden Ring GB by

Elden Ring: Starter Edition

You guys heard about Elden Ring? No, not the new one — the really old one that came out like two years ago. I’ve been playing through the whole thing again, out of respect: I couldn’t move on to the next chapter of FromSoft’s mushroom-gathering epic with some old purple-faced character off the dusty shelf of save games. And re-beating everything has reminded me that, while Elden Ring may be the most distended, rambly episode in the Dark Souls series, it’s also the most relaxing. If you’re a veteran who knows what area to do when, your progress can be absolutely smooth, at least until Malenia’s rot-tree. After Bloodborne and Sekiro, it feels like a vacation. Even the cast of doomed NPCs has a little more spring in their step as they march to their inevitable deaths. As I finished the fight against Mogh, Lord of Blood, I wondered: is this FromSoft’s “cozy game”? Now to take a big sip of water as I boot up the DLC for the first time. [Chris]

Elden Ring: GB Edition

You guys heard about Elden Ring? No, not the new one — and no, not even the really old one that came out like two years ago. I'm talking about the one that came out in 1993, for the Nintendo Game Boy. In the age of gratuitous remakes, I find that it’s important to go back to the basics. I prefer to play Elden Ring in the way the developers originally intended: on a Game Boy modded with a 3.2” backlit IPS screen, free of distractions like PvP and stamina bars. The modest scope of the original — which ends at Stormveil Castle — makes the 2022 remake look bloated and overwrought in comparison. Ashes of War? Rune arcs? Stat distribution? What are you, high? You’re just gacha- and games-as-a-service-pilled, fiending for more precious numbers to give you a dopamine rush. All I need is two buttons and an ample supply of AA batteries to enjoy everything the original Elden Ring has to offer. Instead of wasting hours minning and maxing, you’ll catch me lounging with my Game Boy, winning and relaxing. [Pao]

Chum Box

via Agent X on YouTube


  • Super Mario 64 Co-op Deluxe — a multi-featured mod that includes a day/night cycle and a mod that turns the game into an FPS — just got a Breaking Bad death scene (obvious spoiler warning). [link]
  • The War Thunder devs recently apologized for accidentally using an image of the Challenger shuttle disaster for promotional art. [link]
  • The Beyond Good and Evil Twitter account recently claimed that a sequel is still in the works. It’s brazen stuff from a game that overtook Duke Nukem Forever as the Guinness World Record-holder for longest time spent in development hell. [link]
  • The final boss of obscure FromSoft games is almost certainly Thousand Land, a Japan-exclusive RTS game for the Xbox. (It doesn’t look very good.) [link]
  • Zelda fans are surprisingly enthusiastic about the ability to stack furniture in the upcoming installment Echoes of Wisdom. [link]
  • A disgruntled Worker and Resources: Soviet Union player takes to Steam Workshop to wonder aloud: “Can we not have a ‘Politics free’ [sic] workshop here?” [link]
  • This promotional music video for 1993’s Lemmings 2: The Tribes has it all: sloppy green screen antics, saturated hues, and a duet between a puppet Lemming and a human man. [link]
  • An earnest, hour-long ranking of every single elevator in Myst. [link]
  • An oral history of interactive fiction from Ars Technica. [link]


  • John Carpenter takes a full victory lap on Twitter after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [link]
  • An investigation into the infamously awkward “wipe” transition in s5e10 of The Sopranos, courtesy of Indiewire. [link
  • An upcoming, off-the-wall shonen anime series called Dandadan might be the next big thing for anime fans when it releases this October. [link]
  • The CGI truthers have come for Furiosa. [link]


  • The label Transgressive is set to release a posthumous self-titled SOPHIE album, published as a request from SOPHIE’s family. [link]
  • It appears that A$AP Rocky’s “Testing era” will finally come to an end on August 30, which is when the rapper is set to release follow-up LP Don’t Be Dumb. [link]
  • Sexxy Red on the rumors about her being a CIA plant whose goal is to promote “degeneracy”: “Fawk u btch.” [link]


  • 404 Media hired a Fiverr freelancer to build a ChatGPT-powered competitor site. [link]
  • Toys ‘R’ Us officially wedged themselves in the uncanny valley with a recent advertisement created with OpenAI’s Sora. [link]
  • A data scientist reaches a new frontier in AI scorn. [link]

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One Last Thing

who gors there ,