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  1. You have mentioned Diablo several times as a prime example of a great RPG, aside from the fact that you like real-time combat as opposed to turn based combat, what are the several other reasons you like it so much? Can we expect to see a game dungeon on Diablo that sets your standards clear for future hack and slashes you review? I happen to like Diablo as well, but I like Diablo II more, maybe you can turn me around with stuff I never noticed. What are the reasons why Diablo is better than the other Diablo games in your eyes? Also have you heard about the game "Tubes" by Impulse software also known as Software creations? As far as gaming archaeology goes I've been looking EVERYWHERE for the full version of the game but like Bip bop III it seems to me every time I find the game I can only get a hold of the shareware version.
  2. Ross, out of sheer respect and admiration for you I shall recommend the graphic adventure game called "Beyond Atlantis" (also known as Atlantis II) as an "enlightenment game" with amazing graphics for 1999, nice puzzles, decent story, no HUD at ALL besides the pointer and a JAWDROPING and relaxing soundtrack. I believe it is abandonware now since Cryo interactive went out of business many years ago and it is impossible to run it on modern systems without tweaks. I would go as far as to say that for a person like YOU if you haven't payed this game you are missing out, maybe I'm biased but I try not to be; but I say if you liked Rama you are going to love Beyond Atlantis.
  3. Maybe, these both seem like things that sound easy in concept, but seem like they could get suspiciously longer. I tend to be more cautious the easier something to do is also, since I don't like the videos to dip below a certain quality level. Hmm, I'm beggining to see how these ideas could get longer. Some of your Game Dungeon episodes came very shortly after one another, but some like for instance you video on the Bip Bop games took longer because you added an enormous amout of neat touches like dubbing the entire game or the entire deal with actualy getting Bip Bop III which of course seems like something that takes a good deal of time. Add to that any delays in editing anything and yeah this can take an enormous amount of work and time. Going back to my original example using "God of Thunder" sounds very easy, but it depens on the amount of quality any wild idea of yours could add to a situation in the game, for instance wanting to dub the other characters or editing the sound so that the text sound or the music don't interfere or maybe even have Thor's mouth move or adding other characters or effects, then yeah it could get longer despite being a 2D game. It realy sounds like the kind of compromises you would have to make in order to balance quality and time, yet there could be easier games than this one (which along with the rest of software creations games would be much better suited for a Game Dungeon than anything) as well as harder and it would come down to picking your fights with regards to the games that could fit this idea better. As for Lost Coast well that is self explanatory, given how fast is your pace it could take you between 1 to 3 videos to go through the entire thing, so yeah I would recommend avoiding this particular idea since it WILL get longer. But hey I'm sure you can make something easier and better than this with FM to fill in the blanks between both games for the time being, I would suggest doing some sort of internal pilot (like a prize for those who donate) and see how confortable you are with the ideas. As for me I'm HAPPY to donate my thoughts and suggestions to you at the very least, since I feel bad not giving you any money (which unfortunately I don't have), you have given to me YEARS of great entertainment, it's the least I could do for you.
  4. For a fundraiser video that was VERY fun to whatch, always maintaining excelence with your videos. I've seen in the youtube comments that you promised to do something for FM at one point. May I have the audacity to suggest something? You created Freeman's Mind originally to do something that took less time to do than CP at the time, eventualy it turned into a chore anyway, however keeping with that philosophy, why don't you take advantage of the current situation freeman is in? Some sort of Freeman's Dreams or something in the lines that is a SUPER SHORT (no more than 2 or 3 min of footage, maybe even less) of freeman having a fever dream that translates into him being in a particular situation in a rare videogame. For isntance let's look at a random rare videogame like "God of Thunder" for DOS made by software creations and have freeman confront a situation like this one right here: (go to min 4:00-4:30). I was originaly hoping to suggest this videogame along with other Software creations games for DOS for a Game Dungeon episode, although I don't know if the material would be enough for an episode of those, but it would certainly go well with an idea like the one I'm presenting to you. Maybe taking advantage of things like this with the Freeman character could do well for breaching the gap between HL and the moment you finaly decide to go with HL2 for the series and it would make sense within the context of his current situation. Another possibility could be to just do HL2 Lost coast, but that has the dissadvantage of probably taking the same time as your traditional FM videos, my other suggestion has the possibility of being easier, shorter and it could take less time. I hope I'm not being too daring with this suggestion, but it came to my mind that at least it had to be said. Can't wait for the next Game Dungeon and good luck with your movie!
  5. That alternate ending left me speechless... An amazing episode Ross, it didn't disapoint.
  6. This had me crying of laughter, a total masterpiece and one of your best Ross. From Gordon's reaction to the Nihilanth, to the falling body at 8:53, the dizzy effect with 60 fps, the cheeseburger voice and the big heavy metal stage, everything was perfect and it contained everything you could see in a Freeman's mind episode, this episode is mostly the series in a nutshell, except it doesn't have black mesa nor many science references, but the jokes nailed it Great and made up for an amazing build up. Just one more episode to go!
  7. That was an amazing episode. The whole thing about the manufacturing facility and Gordon's reactions to the working vorts was hilarious as was his screaming after he was attacked.
  8. Wow that was amazing and at good pace too! I suppose this was the last chance we had at ever explaining this place in a sensible way XD Though the non-violent vorts in the next one will be fun.
  9. An average episode, but very nice as always, Ross. I heard the Nihilanth this time, maybe Gordon will mention the crystals or the mantarays next time. The fear of heights moment was GREAT, however I believe Gordon is begining to get more accustomed to Xen, maybe that will make him think about the posible science behind the place and see what crazy theories arise the environment in the place attracted his attention maybe a less hellish situation will sufice in the next area.
  10. Amazing job, more Xen shenanigans are GREAT Xen shenanigans.
  11. Maybe that could be a valid and convincing point if we assume the material those are made out of allows for that via electromagnetism, however it is the bigger island what is causing debate along with the breathable atmosphere and gravity. I still think that if most of the molecules of that island are made out of equal mass and anti-mass this whole thing can be solved as a lighter object floating thanks to that anti-mass and the clearly audible winds in the atmosphere. As I stated before, the gravity problem can be solved by assuming the space has weird geometrical patterns. Who knows if that vortigaunt Gordon killed continues falling "down" and doesn't change direction? The physical values must remain the same, otherwise gordon would not be alive. So under those circumstances, preserving all physical variables, the spacial geometry and anti-mass prescence should solve most of the problems. The remaining problem is the atmosphere, but I think that maybe Xen isn't as big as it might appear to be. Judging by the various different backgrounds shown through the games (from the nebular background and the symmetrical two sunsets separated by the horizon to the microscopic shot of polen in the end of Half-life and even no background and just pitch black like in the gearbox games) I believe it is safe to assume that Xen might be made out of small "pockets" of space-time, theoretically such structures are geometrically possible if several wormholes intersect each other creating "volumes" of space-time, wormholes need anti-mass to be stable, so this explanation compliments the other one by filling the blanks. The vortigaunts can breathe in earth's atmosphere, so they might have chosen the pockets of Xen that are habitable for them and, coincidentially, for us as well to colonize. Xen can be considered (as its name "borderworld" suggests) to be a world between worlds, sort of spaces between membranes like Breen probably suggests in HL2. To get a bit of knowledge about that little concept a tiny trip to wikipedia would not hurt for generalizations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brane_cosmology Finally I'd like to add that one of Marc Laidlaw's various influences (although this particular influence is less known than others with regards to Laidlaw's writing) is Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges, whose writings are HEAVILY inspired in many cases by space-time geometry in his attempts to describe the concept of infinity, I think this has to be considered as aiding us in getting closer to the perspective Laidlaw had while concieving the nature of Xen in his writings and how that might have probably influenced the game developers.
  12. I knew there was something else bugging me about this explanation. Okay, fine, let's say the Xen islands are orbiting a black hole. That still does nothing to explain the gravity. Because look at it, satellites and space junk orbit the Earth, the moon orbits the Earth, the Earth orbits the sun. The moon and Earth only have GRAVITY because of their density. All the space junk has no measurable gravity because it's not dense enough. That's the situation the Xen island cloud is in. The islands are so comparatively small, they would have no measurable gravity. While I still think that the problems with the gravitational pull at least when Freeman and other organisms and objects independent from the whole structure are concerned can be solved by considering that the whole geometry of the space-time in the area might be twisted in a visually imperceptible way enough to cause a gravitational pull through that possible weird curvature (who's to say that if you go far in the direction of those clouds the whole visuals of the place might be changed because the space might be twisted and so could the light?), those floating structures still pose a legitimate problem. However it has been stated by valve somewhere and actualy it is considered to be part of Freeman's canon theory regarding the crystal sample he had to put in that beam that caused the resonance cascade, that the xen crystals have some sort of anti-mass (which means mass of opposite charge than regular mass), even though Freeman might have been lied to with regards to where these crystals came from (although exactly how did those have come to Freeman's knowledge if he didn't know about Xen in the first place is technicaly a plot hole, since it affects our understanding of future events), he at least knows about the anti-mass part and about its possible role in quantum displacement; so who knows wether those structures in Xen are made of a simmilar material with anti-mass along with regular mass or not. He will find crystals and he should recognise those, so theorizing a way through that would be quite natural and obvious with regards to Half-Life's cannonical environment and Freeman's background.
  13. I believe that alternatievely to just being another universe it has been implied in HL and in HL2 in very subtle ways that Xen is not a full universe on its own, hence why it is called "the borderworld", plus Breen spoke in HL2 about "worlds streched thin across the membranes where the dimensions intersect" which makes me believe that if this is Xen then this might be a weird space created out of space-time distortions from intersecting wormholes between two or maybe many more universes, this DOES invoke brane cosmology and string theory (Gordon will become mad again if he figures this out). Under those circunstances I think gravity could behave in that way if space-time curvatures are so weird that it affects not only the gravitational pull towards any particular direction that curvature might be in but also the entire view of the place. The rest is outworld physics beyond the reach of gravity. However I think Gordon needs to cool down from his initial reactions before sorting any of this out. This episode has been FANTASTIC, although no Nihilanth is sort of a let down, the freaking out bit compensates very well that aspect. Next episode is going to be awesome!
  14. Great episode. I belive this episode stands pretty much as the antithesis of episode 10.5, without being too dissimilar. I think the whole alternate universe joke works much better for the viewer when such episodes are considered cannon, given a "many worlds interpretation" of quantumm mechanics; the whole thing in episode 11 where Freeman just percieves like a deja vu is a good callback to that, because he might have percieved the moment where both universes went separate ways and felt a sinister danger on the horizon, who knows? This episode on the other hand is an even greater testament to that, it realy pays off, for it becomes more of a frustration for freeman whithout him ever knowing about it. I put it in the list near 10.5, almost as good, however, having Freeman die and the extra joke callback in episode 11 is actually one of the highlights of this series, so it has that advantage going for it against 61.5, although this one drives its own point through almost perfectly. Let's hope we see moments of similar nature in the near future, I'm totally hyped for Xen now, screams are going to be the thing!
  15. Although the no-cloning theorem applies to teleportation in local space and local hidden variables, bear in mind that no-go theorems in general pertain to local hidden variables and can be generalized in Bell's theorem as "No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics." This pertains mainly to a problem of interpretation, since all proof of the no-go theorems is mathematical and not experimental and cannot be applied to any possible theory that involves nonlocal hidden variables like the DeBroglie-Bohm interpretation and others. In reality many interpretations of quantum mechanics are nonlocal either explicitly or implicitly and have severe problems when you try to hold them up to scrutiny in that you just can't, because the experiments generaly gives us answers that are simultaneously in favor and agaisnt them. The most important of them being Popper's experiment. The reaction to its results was: "Indeed, it is astonishing to see that the experimental results agree with Popper’s prediction. Through quantum entanglement one may learn the precise knowledge of a photon’s position and would therefore expect a greater uncertainty in its momentum under the usual Copenhagen interpretation of the uncertainty relations. However, the measurement shows that the momentum does not experience a corresponding increase of uncertainty. Is this a violation of the uncertainty principle?" Use of quantum correlations for faster-than-light communication is thought to be flawed because of the no-communication theorem in quantum mechanics. However the theorem is not applicable to this experiment. In this experiment, the "sender" tries to signal 0 and 1 by narrowing a slit, or widening it, thus changing the probability distribution among the "receiver's" detectors. If the no-communication theorem were applicable, then no matter if the sender widens the slit or narrows it, the receiver should see the same probability distribution among his detectors. This is true, regardless of whether the device was used for communication (i.e. sans coincidence circuit), or not (i.e. in coincidence). So we have a case where both locality and nonlocality are simultaneously untrue when applied to quantum mechanics, the results of Popper's experiment seem to be the result of magic. The loopholes in Bell's experiments on his theorem further reinforce that. It just means we still don't fully grasp the nature of quantum mechanics regardless of whatever interpretation we choose to accept, our math just isn't holding up to scutiny when it comes to testing the central formalisms of quantum mechanics. We just simply can't rule out a quantum teleportation explanation for Half-Life teleporters, hell Xen itself looks like a very convincing nonlocal and nonbound explanation for the propper effects of quantum mechanics that even appears to be involving brane cosmology and thus an expanded version of M theory. I belive it would be too hasty to just simply rule them out and call it a day given all these current unsolved problems in physics. Thats the problem with determinism in science, you can't call it a "myth busted".
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