Multiple maniacs

Also: classic ragers, false fathers, and music that sounds like all of your favorite games.

Multiple maniacs

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This week, we're talking about classic ragers, false fathers, and music that sounds like all of your favorite games.

Somebody get pinkpantheress on a video game OST

This past week, pinkpantheress’ music went viral on Twitter, prompting many iterations of the same thought: “This kinda sounds like old-school video game music.” The 33-second clip showcases pinkpantheress’ affinity for jungle and 2-step, genres that are characterized by unconventional rhythms, jazzy chord changes, and generous helpings of breakbeats. The tweet became a Rorschach test for video game nostalgia, inspiring comparisons to character selection screens in fighting games and mid-2000s Sonic titles

There’s a reason people associate jungle music with video game OSTs today. On YouTube, jungle mixes that string together choice cuts from PSX-era OSTs have become increasingly popular, making breakbeats synonymous with low-poly environments and the vibrant color palette of ‘90s graphic design. Elsewhere, video game imagery frequently graces the artwork for music by up-and-coming jungle and garage artists like gum.mp3, dazegxd, and Swami Sound. Swami, for example, has a track on the OST for Jet Set Radio homage Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

Daggerfall playthroughs to fall asleep to

One version of the perfect YouTube channel is an endless public access show. We’ve mentioned a couple retro guys in this vein before (Sean Seanson, Jeremy Parish) but micah_raygun_ is a powerful new addition. The creator records unedited but very knowledgeable Elder Scrolls rants (or rambles) on a not-great mic over raw footage of Daggerfall Unity gameplay. This not-quite-a-stream, not-yet-a-video-essay format is a soothing second screen experience that’s easy to recommend to anyone doing repetitive computer work, or to the owner of that random bar that showed Jerma playing Elden Ring on the big screen.

Old-school forums hero leaves timeless trail of falsehoods

On Sunday, the Let’s Player slowbeef exposed a long-buried vein of forums lore by posting a 15-minute MP3 on Twitter accusing another old LPer, The Dark Id, of a long series of outrageous lies. Back in the heyday of the format, The Dark Id was well known for stuff like their 2011 LP of Nier, and they maintained a Patreon and Discord for years. But after slowbeef’s narrated exposé dropped, other Something Awful posters compiled an enormous list of The Dark Id’s fabrications, including:

  • Claiming to be a secret agent who met his spy wife in a gunfight
  • Posting stock photos that he said were his children, as well as their crayon scribbles, which he seems to have made himself digitally
  • Asserting that he fought a hippo IRL and blasted it with a shotgun
  • Claiming to have a terminal disease with months to live in 2020, then again in 2024
  • Running alt accounts to reply enthusiastically to himself on the forums and Discord 

The whole saga was a throwback to an earlier age of the internet — in the formats used (an .mp3, forum posts), the cast (old LPers like slowbeef and Deceased Crab, who started in 2007 and is still going strong), the style (criminal overuse of ellipsis), and even the moral (people online are full of shit).

Hot new way to promote your album: Dumping on your last one

Schoolboy Q and Charli XCX both hyped new LPs this week by dumping all over their previous ones. For Schoolboy, this meant, among other things, tweeting out a fairly detailed and insightful ranking all of his albums (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), lambasting 2019’s Crash Talk for “cHasing tHe first week number 🤦🏾‍♂️.” For Charli, this meant talking shit about her well-liked 2022 pop play Crash, calling out hit “Yuck” in particular as a song she would never personally listen to. Cold!

It rules when artists provide critical insight on their own discographies. The late Noisey used to run a great recurring feature in which musicians ranked their own LPs, and it would always provide a good excuse to dig through deep cuts or relisten to classics. Additionally, this method is just a great way for artists to draw a line and hype what’s next. Both artists have already backed this up: Schoolboy ranked his new LP as his best one, and honestly, he may be right. Charli, meanwhile, released the bratty club banger “Von Dutch” to signal her new direction. It’s not necessarily a new technique, but, at least in these two instances, it feels genuine and well-earned.

Shuffler mods switch the game you’re playing every 10 seconds

Back in December, challenge run specialist star0chris attempted to play five different FromSoftware games “at the same time” using a mod that switches the game onscreen after a random interval of 10-30 seconds. This channel-changing setup quickly creates a stack of issues for the player to remember: you need to dodge immediately when it switches back to Dark Souls III, heal when you get back to DS I, you’re about to get hit by an arrow in Sekiro, etc. It’s another way for experienced runners to shake up the flow of the game, like the item/boss randomizer mods already popular in everything from Breath of the Wild to Pokemon. The streamer DougDoug also used the Shuffler concept in a game show, but it was mostly to set up a joke; star0chris seems to have done it for real, as his Twitter explanation and the 9-hour VOD showed.

Like other speedrun-adjacent content, challenge runs recapture a social gaming experience that a lot of viewers have aged out of IRL. It’s the dorm-room scenario where you’re sitting on a crowded couch and finding odd new ways to play a game — ways that probably aren’t even fun without an audience. Now that the online viewership for this content is well-established (as long as you’ve got a good hook, like “10x bosses” or "deathless first-person"), channels are collaborating and commissioning weirder mods, and runners are going down a rabbit hole of increasingly mind-warping challenges.

Github screenshot via reddit.

On Monday, a lawsuit from Nintendo shut down the popular Switch emulator Yuzu and sister project Citra, a Nintendo 3DS emulator. Gaming communities across the internet scrambled to get the final versions of both, which were hosted on Internet Archive and Github mirrors (ironically, one of these mirrors was run by a rival group that had been leaking Yuzu’s Patreon-only builds). But as virtual parlors filled with users asking “Who killed Yuzu,” many eyes settled on a single suspect: a wild-eyed, greasy-haired Windows 7 user still clutching an Aero taskbar dripping with blood.

The image above is a Github screenshot of an issue submitted by “phukyuzu,” whose message reads more like a personal issue than a software one. They’re mad that Yuzu, like Steam and Microsoft itself, no longer supports the ancient operating system Windows 7, equating this to "spitting on" Win7 users, treating them “like rabble or dirt,” and "abandoning me." They write that this betrayal led them to bombard Nintendo with emails urging them to destroy Yuzu.

Though it doesn’t seem likely that a lone maniac influenced Nintendo’s decision to sue, it became a joke in emulation threads to repost phukyuzu's screed with a caption like “he won.” This introduced a much broader audience to the previously niche stereotype of the Windows 7 holdout, a variety of “psycho” mostly known to IT guys. Windows 7 stopped getting security updates four years ago, making Win7 systems unsafe to even connect to the internet; all reasonable PC users either moved on to a current version of Windows or switched to Linux. The only people left using Win7 are immovably stubborn and aggrieved. God help you if you encounter one.

Chum Box

  • A Difficult Game About Climbing is a new “Foddian type” creation made in tribute to the classic rager Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy; it’s already caught on with streamers. Developer Pontypants, who’s been recording video devlogs for years, detailed the year he spent making it. (For more on Getting Over It, see Clay's interview with Foddy here.)
  • Dying Light 2 added guns. This appeal to the universal gamer gun-stinct is part of a years-long campaign of updates to fix the game; the patches were generally appreciated, but never led to a full No Man’s Sky-style reappraisal of the game by the public.
  • Phil Elverum’s known for a densely connected mythos created across many albums, which weave autobiography, folk, and noise into something singular and haunted. An interviewer apparently entirely unfamiliar with this oeuvre contacted the artist and got back a relentless string of total-bullshit answers that reveal the artist’s seldom-seen funny side.
  • The 1999 survival horror game Nocturne (not SMT: Nocturne) got a shoutout on Twitter for its ahead-of-their-time graphics. The game has been popping up around the internet lately, maybe because it resembles modern PS1-aesthetic micro-horror titles, but with more impressive shadows, models, and cloth physics.
  • Memers have been going nuts with Geometry Dash ever since its December update (2.2) expanded the 2D platformer’s level design toolkit. Now someone’s made a fully 3D level that plays like Minecraft parkour.  
  • If you missed Cerveza Cristal — one of the 100 Memes You Must Watch Before You Die — here it is. If you’ve already reached a BrodyQuest point of exhaustion with reposts of it, here’s a picture of Solid Snake yelling at memes that use a non-canonical label
  • Deck-building action-roguelite One Step From Eden just got a multiplayer sequel, Duelists of Eden, that turns it into a fast-paced fighting game. 
  • Someone on Twitter discovered that the Oracle Envoys from Elden Ring’s Leyndell — the bulbous brass musicians with trumpets pointed to the sky — serve as the perfect accompaniment to Faye Webster’s “Lifetime,” a track from her recent LP Underdressed at the Symphony. 
  • This Oblivion-centric account was the best thing we saw on TikTok last week.
  • Shrek and elven anime It girl Freiren meet Fallen Angels in this animated GIF.

That's it for this week. We'll be spending next week playing the CD-i Zelda homage Arzette.