Please Do Not Mix Ketamine and the Hello Neighbor Wiki

Learn this and other helpful tips for life in this week's transcript of Channel F, a video game podcast about video games.

In this week’s episode of Channel F (a Video Game Podcast About Video Games™), our bold new plan to talk about video games on our video game podcast continues to boldly go where no podcast has gone before: discussions about video games.

During our Weekly Cool Gamer Check (tentative title), merritt shares a story about playing Fortnite with rude teens after accidentally leaving voice chat on during a matchmade session. Meanwhile, Fūnk-é was betrayed by a longtime friend in Crab Game, Disney characters invade Lotus’ session of Cookie Run: Kingdom, and Nerium learns more than they ever wanted to know about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 forum culture.

(Also available on Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts!)

Later, the gang checks out what’s poppin’ on Steam’s New and Trending chart. And speaking of, did you know that Digimon Survive is a visual novel? Apparently a lot of people writing Steam reviews didn’t know that, despite “visual novel” being the first tag on the listing. Oh well, 18 hours on record and would not recommend, am I right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We also learn about a new game called WW2 Rebuilder: Germany Prologue, and if you can believe it, it doesn’t seem look a nazi thing as far as we were able to quickly ascertain during the recording.

And as always, in our Get Rec’d segment, we provide some helpful tips for living your life, including the one in this article’s headline.

I also feel like I have a responsibility to you, as your friend and podcast producer, to give you a brief heads up: there is a non-zero amount of Homestuck discussion on this podcast. Look, I’m not happy about it either, and I’ve warned our hosts to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, but it’s there and I can’t erase it because that would be lying to you.

Segments:

  • Weekly Cool Gamer Check
  • Steam Chart Chat
  • Video Game Shout Outs
  • Get Rec’d

Games discussed:

  • Fortnite
  • Crab Game
  • Cookie Run: Kingdom
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Bear and Breakfast
  • Digimon Survive
  • Cartel Tycoon
  • Error 143
  • Dungeon Munchies
  • WW2 Rebuilder: Germany Prologue
  • ADACA
  • Demon Throttle
  • Frogun
  • Rimworld
  • moon: Remix RPG
  • and more!

Transcribed by E. Powers

merritt: Hello, and welcome to Channel F, Fanbyte’s video game podcast, brought to you by Happy Corner Mart, the corner store that rented videos when I was a kid that also had a Street Fighter 2 machine, and I miss it every day. I’m merritt k, and I’m joined as always by my co-hosts Nerium and Fūnk-é Joseph.

Fūnk-é: Hi!

Nerium: Hi. Time.is was giving me an ad for Destiny 2, [“Oh”] and then it kept playing until about halfway through, and then it says, “This ad has been removed. Show details.” [merritt laughs]

Fūnk-é: You should try that game.

Nerium: Destiny 2?

Fūnk-é: You might like it.

merritt: This ad has been vaulted. [laughter] It’s been put in the Destiny content vault. Luke got it. It’s done. You can’t play this ad anymore, even though you paid for it. I hate to get political so early on in a podcast, but here we go. [Fūnk-é laughs]

merritt: Time.is is showing me an ad for a brow serum, which I’m pretty sure like, unless they’re prescription, they don’t do anything, so. And our special guest today is Fanbyte’s Social Media Specialist, Lotus.

Lotus: Hello.

merritt: Hello, and–

Fūnk-é: Welcome!

merritt: Yeah, welcome to the show. Welcome to a Fanbyte podcast. This is your first one, right?

Lotus: Yeah. The Lotus podcast debut has finally happened. I don’t know how it hasn’t, but here we are.

Nerium: When you said that you had not been on a single Fanbyte podcast, I thought you were lying. I thought it was a bit.

Lotus: Nope!

merritt: Uh, yeah, no, that’s–

Lotus: I don’t play any video games, which is a hindrance to that. [Fūnk-é laughs]

Nerium: Mm. That’s not true.

merritt: Well, that doesn’t stop most people in this industry from commenting on them. [laughter]

Lotus: Ooh, very true!

Fūnk-é: Ayo!

merritt: Gottem! Sorry, getting political again. Also, half the people on this podcast have names that are flowers, so that is pretty cool.

Lotus: Yes.

merritt: Fūnk-é, we gotta do something about that.

Fūnk-é: We do.

merritt: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: We actually do.

merritt: We do.

Fūnk-é: We could just make new flowers. People do that.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Yeah, no, that’s true.

Nerium: Crossbreed something.

merritt: Just discover a new flower. There’s probably some left, right?

Nerium: Ooh. What two flowers would you crossbreed to make like a new flower that represents you?

Fūnk-é: Cosmos and daisies.

Nerium: You had that in the chamber!

merritt: That was just– you were ready to go. [laughter]

Lotus: Fūnk-é’s played too much animal crossing is what I think. [Nerium laughs]

merritt: Yeah. Yeah. That’s what it is! That’s what it is.

Fūnk-é: Cosmos are just my favorite flower, and I like the shape of a daisy too.

Nerium: Hell yeah.

merritt: Yeah, no. Cosmos are good. Yeah. I don’t know that I have an answer to that. I clearly haven’t given–

Nerium: merrittgold?

merritt: Wow. Okay, well. [laughter]

Lotus: Hmm?

merritt: Well, we did it. Thank you so much for listening. But we’re here to talk about video games, and not having played them isn’t gonna stop us, because like I said, it doesn’t stop anybody else, so.

Nerium: I play like 17 video games a day.

merritt: You play a lot of games. I play two, but I play them too much. And Fūnk-é plays a bunch. Lotus, you play some games. I’ve seen you. I’ve seen you play ’em, so, you know.

Lotus: [laughs] We’ll average out to be enough to have a podcast, I think.

merritt: I think so, yeah. We’ll build a strong foundation for this podcast.

Nerium: [laughs] Fertilizer, you might say.

merritt: So, this week, I wanted to kick things off with a question, which is: what is a cool interaction that you had with another person in or around a game this week? And it doesn’t have to be a multiplayer game. It could be…maybe you were streaming a game with someone. It could be…could even be maybe you just had like had a conversation on a message board– you know, you know, message boards, how we all post on message boards all the time every day.

Nerium: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

Lotus: Mm-hmm.

merritt: It could be something like that. Just any kind of like, you know, video games can be fun ways to interact with other people and to mediate those interactions, and I can kick things off with a terrible example, which is not– this is an example of what not to do or what not to– [Lotus: “Mm”] the kinds of things I don’t really want to hear about, which is that I was playing Fortnite last week, and I realized that I had voice chat on still, because I had forgotten to turn it off and I’d been playing with people, with Niki and Jordan and some other people on staff, and I was like, I’m gonna play some, you know, I’m gonna play some solo queue in trio mode. And I got matched with two like 16 year old teen girls who immediately started calling each other just the most heinous shit. Just like, “What’s your name?” “Oh, my name’s Alyssa.” Like, “Oh, that’s an ugly name, bitch.” And I was just like, oh my God, they don’t even know each other.

Fūnk-é: They didn’t queue up together?

merritt: They did not know each other. [“Ha!”] They were in– they just happened to get matched in. And I was just like, oh my God, this is brutal. So I was so distracted by that that I ended up landing somewhere else, and they both immediately got killed because they were too distracted tearing into each other. And then they were like, “Where’s that other bitch? I heard her cough earlier.”

Fūnk-é: Mm-mm!

merritt: “She’s gonna come res us.” And I’m like, I am exiting the game because I am afraid. [laughter] So that’s like not a fun interaction.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: But maybe you all–

Fūnk-é: They were too focused on the cheese. They forgot about the trap. [Lotus laughs]

merritt: That is so true.

Nerium: Wow.

merritt: That is so true. I’m often saying this. Fūnk-é, did you play any cool multiplayer games this week? Or do you have any cool interactions with other people in some games?

Fūnk-é: Yeah. I was playing this game called Crab Game, which is a spoof of Squid Game the TV show.

merritt: I’ve heard of it.

Fūnk-é: And it’s made by– in the same engine of Muck, which is created by Daniel Sooman. I think it’s a one person dev team. It’s very rudimentary, but it’s super fun. And I was playing this game– have all of you seen Squid Game, the show?

merritt: I haven’t seen Squid Game. I’ve seen Crab Game, because I think Charborg played it a couple of times.

Fūnk-é: Ah.

merritt: That’s how I saw that.

Fūnk-é: Well, there’s this one challenge in Squid Game and Crab Game where there’s a bunch of glass on the ground.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Fūnk-é: Like two paths of…two columns of glass. And then there’s a platform on the other side of it, and one– there’s like on the left or the right glass, one of them is fake, and you’ll fall through it if you jump on the wrong one. So it’s kind of a social experiment of who’s gonna jump first, like what order you jump in, and just like a lot of chaos ensues from that.

merritt: Mm.

Fūnk-é: But I was playing that game with my friends—people I thought were my friends. [laughter]

Nerium: Whoa!

Fūnk-é: And I jumped on one of the glass pieces first, and I was like, okay, like, I didn’t fall. This is it. And as I was going, like, I kept– I actually got a few, like three in a row correct. And I was like, oh shit. Like, I’m seeing everything. It’s all in my mind. I’ve opened it. I’ve reached the point of–

merritt: You’re seeing the Matrix, yeah.

Fūnk-é: Yes, I’ve– I’m plugged in. And right as I was about to analyze the next jump, my friend Elijah just hit me off. He just jumped on my glass and pushed me off.

merritt: Wow.

Fūnk-é: It was rough. It was quite rough.

merritt: So ex-friend, I assume.

Fūnk-é: Ex-friend, yeah. We’re gonna play games later today, but, eh, but I don’t know how you come back from that.

merritt: But now it’s no mercy now, yeah.

Fūnk-é: It’s rough.

merritt: Damn. Yeah, those games can be really brutal for, uh… [laughs] on friendships and on like…yeah, games where you can sabotage each other can get pretty intense.

Fūnk-é: Yeah. [laughs] It’s all about subterfuge. They’re very simple games. Like there’s a lot of tag-like games as well, where like it’s hot potato with a bomb.

merritt: Mm.

Fūnk-é: And you just, there’s backstabbing all over. Forget Monopoly. It’s Crab Game. [laughter]

merritt: Yeah, that sounds pretty cool. Lotus, did you ever play any of those types of things?

Lotus: The social deception games, not as much.

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: When I was a youth, Town of Salem was real big on YouTube, and it was free at the time.

merritt: Now, what is that?

Lotus: It is– it was a flash browser game that was effectively Mafia with like 16 other roles.

merritt: Oh. Like Werewolf or something, yeah.

Lotus: So Mafia and then also Werewolf, Veteran, yeah, all that stuff.

Nerium: Ohh.

Lotus: I think I got my fill at that point. When Among Us got big, I was like, you guys, I can’t go back.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: [laughs] Yeah.

Lotus: Because I’m going to become a monster. [merritt laughs]

Nerium: Lotus, I had the same thing, ’cause like everybody wanted to get into Among Us, and it was like, no, I played Subterfuge when Subterfuge was huge. [Lotus laughs]

merritt: Yeah, right?.

Nerium: And it’s just like, I can’t. People–

Fūnk-é: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: The vitriol from people that I like kind of knew through Twitter—[merritt: “Mm”] which is where a bunch of those Subterfuge players came together when I last played Subterfuge—was like, oh my God. Like, I’m afraid that I’ve said something to this person that is going to like make them angry at me on Twitter for life or something like that.

merritt: Oh my god.

Fūnk-é: Jeez.

Nerium: Like a peer in my field, because they’re so pissed off [Lotus: “No, absolutely”] that I sent all my subs at them. [merritt and Lotus laugh]

Lotus: No, yeah. Specifically games where you get into a voice lobby that are deception games.

merritt: Ooh, yeah.

Lotus: They stress me out too much at this point. What was fun about Town of Salem is it was text only.

Nerium: Mm, mm-hmm.

Lotus: And you…when you died, you left behind a will that you would write in as the game went on.

merritt: Oh, that’s neat.

Lotus: Yeah, so if you played in games where people’s roles weren’t revealed, you could just lie, [laughter] and hope that people would freak out. You know, just straight up say, “I saw so-and-so kill so-and-so.”

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: I saw Goody Proctor with the devil, yeah.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: Literally exactly.

Fūnk-é: Just straight up capping.

Nerium: Yep.

Fūnk-é: I love that. Yeah, like, without voice, there’s another layer of just like…I don’t know, some people can’t hold their composure.

Lotus: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: I remember playing in like high school drama class, we would play Mafia and stuff, and people would just be laughing, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] like while they’re like the one who is the werewolf or whatever. It’s too hard sometimes.

merritt: Yeah, it can be tough. The text-only thing, that’s interesting.

Lotus: Yeah.

merritt: I never really played anything like that. But yeah, no, we played, you know, like…there was a whole like mess of social betrayal card games that came out in like the early 2010s as well.

Nerium: Avalon, Resistance, the Battlestar Galactica game.

merritt: Resistance was one that I played. Battlestar Galactica, I really liked that one. Yeah, no, it was a whole thing. And then Among Us sort of kicked off a more recent wave of digital games of that nature. Wasn’t The Ship kind of like those too?

Lotus: Oh yeah! I loved– yeah, there was The Ship, Trouble in Terrorist Town, which is a GMod game.

merritt: Oh my God, yeah. TTT?

Fūnk-é: Yeah, TTT!

Lotus: And then Town of Salem. Those were the big three. TTT, baby!

merritt: Oh, jeez, yeah.

Nerium: Oh, yeah.

Fūnk-é: Oh my goodness.

merritt: Yeah, these are– it’s funny, ’cause it’s really one of those like game modes that I feel like has its roots in mods.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Kind of like MOBAs in that respect.

Nerium: Almost Prop Hunt or something like that.

merritt: Prop Hunt too, yeah.

Lotus: Yeah.

Nerium: Like these genres of games that develop as like mods for Counter-Strike or for Half Life or whatever, and then sort of take on a life of their own.

Nerium: The game that is sort of in this wheelhouse but I’ve not really…I think it’s been like replicated a couple times in like some indie stuff, but I really loved was…I think it was Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood or Revelations maybe?

Lotus: Oh, yes!

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Where you like, your character would like disguise themselves by looking like an NPC, so there’s like, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] there’s five NPC types on the map, so there’s just like 27 ladies that look exactly the same. [Lotus laughs]

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: And the game was you had to pretend– you had to like make yourself look as much like a video game AI NPC as possible, so you had to like do really stiff, rote movement patterns [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] and like walk back and forth and not look like a human being who’s naturally moving a character around, until the hunter would show up, and then you could stab them in the back.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: That was so cool.

Fūnk-é: Wow.

Lotus: Yes, I was obsessed with watching people play that. The closest thing that we’ve had since is Spy Party, [Nerium: “Spy Party, yeah”] which is also very funny to me.

merritt: Yeah. God, that game.

Nerium: “Banana bread.”

merritt: I remember that game. [laughter] I remember seeing that game at PAX in like 2010, and then it finally came out like five years ago or something, but it was in development for an extremely long time.

Nerium: Forever!

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: Hmm.

merritt: That’s also a fun one to kind of watch people play. But yeah, Lotus, what else have you been playing lately? Did you– I mean, I know you were streaming last week.

Lotus: I was, yeah. I was streaming Cookie Run Kingdom, [merritt: “Yeah!”] which is the game I play the most consistently. [Lotus and Nerium laugh] It’s a gacha game, but instead of having like sexy anime girlies, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] it’s cookies.

merritt: It’s sexy anime cookies, yeah. [Nerium laughs]

Lotus: Uh, yeah. Right now there’s a Disney event going on, [merritt: “oh”] which I didn’t expect to be happening at all. I didn’t think that this would be something.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: I didn’t realize that game had that level of like clout.

Lotus: Yeah. You know, it’s always been gaining clout. It’s a game developed in Korea, so I guess I just never had a concept that like that sort of bridge would come up.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: When they teased something about– they said something that was very clearly referencing Disney on their Twitter.

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: And I remember reading it and going, “There’s no way.” And then next up they teased an image that was very clearly Mulan with a Mulan quote, and I was like, “Oh, so they’re gonna add Mulan to the game.” Couple days later, we’re adding 20 Disney cookies to the video game. [Nerium laughs]

merritt: Wow.

Lotus: Yeah. They have a lot of special exclusions, which I assume is Disney’s, you know, mandate.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: Like they can’t fight, they’re a special class of cookie.

merritt: Oh, wow. [laughs]

Lotus: Yeah, this is a game where the cookies fight.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: They cannot fight at all. They’re just guests.

merritt: Wait, even Mulan can’t fight?

Lotus: Nope. Mulan cannot fight.

Fūnk-é: That doesn’t make sense.

merritt: What? That’s her whole thing!

Lotus: I know. I know, it’s very strange. And then it’s also…I haven’t really seen anyone talk about it. It’s a very specific timeframe where every single Disney character is from a movie prior to 2003, so exactly 20 years.

merritt: Oh, okay.

Lotus: Interesting. But yeah, it’s fun, ’cause there’s a lot of things in the event where you just get points for like giving gifts to enough friends every day.

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: So, Cookie Run Kingdom, it’s pretty low on the social aspect within the game itself, but I like keep getting friend requests from just random people. Like, I’ll see someone whose name is in Thai or Korean or Japanese [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] or just English gibberish who are all friending me, which is always funny.

Fūnk-é: Wow.

Lotus: We’re all just trying to like help each other, kind of. A bunch of people have come out of the woodwork. Like I do stream in my free time, but I haven’t been streaming lately, so my Discord and social channels are very quiet. And then this event happens and everyone’s like, [merritt laughs] “So, how is everyone doing in the cookie event? How are the guild battles? Do you guys have Lilo and Stitch yet? Do you know how to fix this?” And it’s really funny.

merritt: Oh my God, Lilo and Stitch? Who else they have in there?

Lotus: Um, I’d have to get an exact list, but they have…okay, the one I was the most surprised about is Pocahontas.

merritt: Oh, wow.

Lotus: I was never…I did really not expect Pocahontas, but…

merritt: Huh.

Fūnk-é: Really?

Lotus: Yeah, they have Belle and Beast.

merritt: Of course.

Lotus: Lilo and Stitch, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

merritt: Hell yes.

Lotus: Cinderella, Aurora, Jasmine and Aladdin. There is Mulan.

Fūnk-é: Do they have like cookie puns in their name or…?

Lotus: No, they’re just called like blank cookie.

Fūnk-é: Okay, okay.

merritt: Aladdin Cookie.

Lotus: Oh, and then there’s– yeah, he’s just called Aladdin Cookie. There is Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy, as well.

Fūnk-é: This is so bizarre to hear, because [Lotus: “I know”] I played the original Cookie Run in like 2009, which was an endless runner where you played as just a regular gingerbread cookie.

merritt: Wait, what?

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

Lotus: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Like, it was an iPhone game that was just like an endless runner. You collected like candy.

merritt: That’s why it was called Cookie Run.

Fūnk-é: Yeah, and–

Lotus: Yeah, ‘cause the cookies are running.

merritt: Ohh!

Fūnk-é: I loved that shit. It was too… [laughter]

Lotus: There he is! He cute!

Fūnk-é: [laughs] Nerium just sent Aladdin Cookie.

merritt: All right, the Aladdin Cookie is very cute. So, this is– okay, ’cause that was when…this was sort of before gacha games were like a thing, at least in the West.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: I don’t know when they became big in Asian markets, but. And endless runners were like the game. That was like the…

Fūnk-é: Yeah, it was a really good mobile game that like, yeah, used a common genre.

merritt: Jetpack Joyride and Jungle, Temple Run, all that stuff.

Lotus: Mm-hmm. And the run is– that game is still going pretty strong.

Fūnk-é: Doodle Jump.

merritt: Doodle Jump! Jeez.

Fūnk-é: Subway Surfers.

Lotus: Ah, Doodle Jump!

Fūnk-é: I actually downloaded a bunch of those recently to just check them out.

merritt: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: And I was streaming them to my friends in Discord as a joke, but then I was like, these are constantly updated. I’m curious as to [merritt: “That’s wild”] how many people are still playing these, like…

Nerium: Mm.

merritt: Yeah. Huh.

Fūnk-é: It’s a whole community. Oh, also, on that note, like there’s this genre of TikTok videos. I don’t know if any y’all have seen this, but like it’s of people recording Subway Surfers gameplay, and then they’ll show like a video on top or they’ll read out like an Am I the Asshole Reddit post on top.

merritt: What?

Lotus: Yes. Yes.

Fūnk-é: And it’s so bizarre. It’s the hugest– and Minecraft speed runs as well, but it’s one of the biggest genres on TikTok of just–

merritt: I don’t even know what Subway Surfer is. I feel also fucking old. [laughter]

Fūnk-é: It’s like Temple Run. It’s Temple Run, but like–

Lotus: It’s like Temple Run, yeah.

Fūnk-é: On the subway.

merritt: Okay.

Fūnk-é: But they just have like three strands of media playing at the same time for your mind to absorb, and so many people just watch the whole thing. It’s bizarre.

merritt: Why?

Fūnk-é: And I’m watching it too, but I’m like, there’s so many things going on at the screen! Like, it’s too much! Stop! We need to slow down. We literally need to slow down. [Lotus laughs]

merritt: That’s…that’s wild.

Lotus: As far as the cookies go, I missed Alice, as in Alice in Wonderland, [merritt: “Mm”] Snow White, and Ariel are also in the game.

merritt: Ah, that’s too bad. Those are– wow. I always forget about Alice in Wonderland, I feel like.

Lotus: I do too, completely.

merritt: Not one of the more memorable Disney movies. I mean, there’s some stuff, you know.

Lotus: And they’ve made it like four times.

merritt: I know! And it just keeps– I mean, you got the cat. You got like the weird caterpillar. You got the Mad Hatter. Sure, I guess? But I feel like that was one of those ones that I saw as a kid like once, and I don’t think we ever owned it, so it didn’t like take root in my mind as, you know, a big deal. Nere, what about you?

Nerium: [sighs] You know what, merritt I, you know, you made, I think, I don’t think I gave you shit for it, but you gave yourself shit for mentioning message boards at the beginning of this.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: I did, in fact, have a message board experience this weekend. I didn’t partake in the message board myself.

merritt: [laughs] Go on.

Fūnk-é: You were holding it for a friend?

Nerium: I never thought it would happen to me! [laughter]

merritt: Mm-hmm. Dear Penthouse.

Nerium: [laughs] Dear Penthouse. I was playing– so, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the big new Nintendo releases of this year.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: That came out last Friday. I have not picked it up yet.

merritt: I like your attitude.

Nerium: [imitating] “Now, it’s Reyn time.”

merritt: Does he say, “Now it’s Reyn time”?

Nerium: That’s in the first game. “I’m really feeling it. I’m really feeling it!”

merritt: “I’m really feeling it.” I like how you could be him without his clothes on, in Smash. That was always fun.

Nerium: Yeah, uh huh. You can do that in the game too.

The power of the Monado!” [merritt laughs]

Nerium: What was, uh…God, there’s so many. They say so many things. Like, I could just keep going forever.

merritt: They never fucking shut up. That’s all I know about that game.

Nerium: They never shut up.

merritt: All I know about Xeno…okay, wait.

Nerium: “Let’s not lose our heads, though!”

merritt: Xenoblade Chronicles, here’s what I know about those games.

Nerium: Yeah, hit me.

merritt: Uh, they never stop talking.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: They never stop giving you tutorials.

Nerium: True.

merritt: There’s a horny Pokémon who makes a robot girl?

Nerium: Robot sex maid, yeah, in the second game.

Fūnk-é: Huh?

merritt: Robot sex maid.

Fūnk-é: Huh?

merritt: And then, they–

Lotus: You know, Fūnk-é, the robot sex maid.

merritt: And then they–

Fūnk-é: What do y’all be playing? [laughter]

merritt: I haven’t played any of these. I’ve just, I’ve seen them through YouTube videos. And then also they put the character with like the like ridiculous design in Smash.

Nerium: Yeah, Pyra. She’s also from 2. 2 is…I think it was Rebekah Valentine, friend of the site Rebekah Valentine, who said this the other day, which was like, “Plays Xenoblade Chronicles 3, if you want great combat. Play Xenoblade Chronicles 1, if you want great story. Play Xenoblade Chronicles 2, if you want huge anime booba.” [laughter]

merritt: And then the actually cool, good one was never taken off the Wii U. Is that right?

Nerium: Right.

Fūnk-é: Oh my gosh.

Nerium: Xenoblade Chronicles X is the one that is like a spiritual successor to Xenogears.

merritt: And there’s big robots and stuff.

Nerium: Yeah, where you can like…like 40 hours into that game, they’re like, “By the way, now you can get into mechs,” and there’s a whole system of like getting in and out of your mech mid-combat and fueling your mechs and customizing them.

merritt: Damn.

Nerium: And the battle system is completely different, but you can be in the over world and hop out of your mech and go climb up a mountain and then summon your mech to you. It’s really cool and good, and they’ve never brought that off of the Wii U to the Switch. It’s fucked up.

merritt: [sarcastic] Well, that’s okay, ’cause everyone owns a Wii U, so.

Nerium: That’s true.

Lotus: Mm-hmm.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: God. So, I’m bummed about it too, because like– this is off topic, but I love that game, but I never beat it.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: And I want to go back and beat it, but like at some point my gamepad got busted.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: And you cannot find a new gamepad or a used gamepad for like less than a thousand dollars or some crazy thing.

merritt: Jeez.

Fūnk-é: But think about the plus side: free coaster! [merritt laughs]

Nerium: That’s true. [laughs]

merritt: But tell me about your Xenoblade Chronicle– Xenoblade Chronicles 3?

Nerium: Yeah, Xenoblade Chronicles. This all part of a weird little niche.

merritt: Tell me about your forum experience.

Nerium: All my forum experience was really was I– so I went back to– so, 3 came out. All of these games are sort of—with the exception of X, which is the mech one—all three of the numbered ones are like loosely connected in terms of plot and story, but they’re like set a thousand years apart from each other, so none of the [merritt: “Mm”] main characters show up, but there are callbacks and weird stuff. So I’m like, okay, I never beat Xenoblade Chronicles 1. I’ve started this game on three different platforms now. I played it on the Wii, I played it on the 3DS, and then I started it again on Switch. I’m gonna go back and beat it on Switch, ’cause I’m about halfway through on that save.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: So I went through, and it was just like, this game keeps [laughs] going and going and going and going! But there’s no like percentage marker complete of like how long do I have left to go into this game.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: So I like went hunting through GameFAQs message boards to find eventually, like, what people– that apparently people have like created their own like Xenoblade Chronicles community fan language for trying to tell people how long this game is and where they are in it, because it is so long and people keep asking, “How long is this game? How far do I have left to go?” [merritt laughs] So, it was– I like discovered this whole like secondary language of people saying like, okay, you’re at 60% done when you get to the field that starts with M, wink, [merritt: “Uh huh”] and you’re at 70% done when the battle music changes, wink, and then like 75% when Seven joins. Seven is the name of the…it is what the Xenoblade Chronicles community refers to the seventh party member that joins your squad as, ’cause they don’t want to say the name of the party member, because it’s a spoiler.

merritt: Ah.

Fūnk-é: Okay.

Lotus: Fascinating.

Nerium: So everybody’s just talking about Seven, and I’m like, what the fuck does seven mean? What are you talking about? And I had to like go track that down. So it was a lot of like going back and forth between various different GameFAQs message boards, trying to figure out where I’m at in the game, and I think I’m about 80% in.

merritt: Okay, I’m trying to look this up now and see who is this character.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: And it’s just, oh, this is a term used to hide who this character is. And I’m like, can you tell me who this character is, please? [laughter]

Fūnk-é: Doesn’t say the name?

merritt: I don’t fucking care. I would like to know.

Nerium: Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to spoil it, I guess?

merritt: Yeah, no, we won’t do it, but I just…

Nerium: I’ll share a picture for us in here, but yeah.

merritt: Oh. Okay, no, I don’t…

Fūnk-é: Is that…?

merritt: Okay, that could be anyone.

Nerium: That could be anyone.

Lotus: This is a Genshin, no?

merritt: That’s a Genshin. That’s a Honkai Impact or whatever, the space one?

Nerium: Yeah, that’s the sci-fi one. Yeah.

merritt: Space Genshin? Genshin 40,000?

Nerium: Mm-hmm. [laughs] In the grim darkness of the anime future, [merritt: “Uh huh”] it’s only JPEGs.

merritt: There is only animoo.

Nerium: So I think I’m about 80% done.

merritt: Seriously, no, I’m like looking up now, and they’re just like, “Oh, it’s the seventh character, oh.” It’s like…

Lotus: I hate spoiler culture. I’m sure it’s a serious character, but I can’t stand it.

merritt: Just tell me, who is it?

Fūnk-é: Ohhh. Wait, that character was in…never mind.

merritt: Oh, I see.

Nerium: Ah, you see? [laughter]

merritt: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nerium: You see?

merritt: That character is from…

Nerium: Oh, you mean. Seven was in there. Hmm.

merritt: From the thing, from house. Oh, wait, no, that was 13.

Fūnk-é: Can I share a story about that character? I don’t want to spoil it. Can we bleep it out? [laughter]

merritt: Well, if you’re gonna tell a whole story that you’re gonna bleep out, then–

Nerium: Spoiler warning, spoiler warning, spoiler warning. Fast forward two minutes or something like that, if you really care about [Fūnk-é: “Okay, okay”] Xenoblade Chronicles 1.

merritt: Spoilers for a game that came out–

Nerium: A game that came out on the Wii.

merritt: Yeah. Like 20 years ago.

Fūnk-é: On Tumblr, I was really into canon URLs, like the name of a character from a piece of media and just getting like that name, like if a character’s name was Dave, just getting dave.tumblr.com.

merritt: Uh huh? [laughter]

Lotus: Yeah!

Fūnk-é: So, my main in League of Legends at the time was Fiora, and I wanted to get fiora, and then this girl got it like one second before me, and I was like, “Oh no!” And I was like, who is this character? And their whole blog was just full of this person, and I was pretty cheesed about it for a while.

Nerium: Damn. And you don’t even care. You don’t even like– oh, but you were after the– for the League reasons.

Fūnk-é: Yeah, for the same… [Nerium: “Damn”] name.

Nerium: The culture war really went too far on that one, you know?

Fūnk-é: It did. It’s fucked up. [Lotus laughs]

Nerium: So yeah, Xenoblade Chronicles is fun. I like those games. I remember the first game coming out like on the Wii being very maligned by people being like, “This is just MMO combat!” and like, “It’s not fun at all! You don’t do anything!” And it’s like, A) it’s not very MMO-like at all.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: But like, I remember that being very much like the conversation point about the combat in that game.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: And it’s very funny now to see, years later, like Xenoblade get positioned as like one of the marquee Nintendo releases of the year. [laughs]

merritt: Yeah. I totally forgot that that game was coming out.

Nerium: Yeah. I think, yeah, maybe a lot of people did. I don’t know. It’s been a weird year. 2022 has been a weird year for– ’cause so many things got delayed to 2023. Still things are getting delayed constantly, even now. Dark Tide was supposed to come out next month, but now that’s pushed to November?

merritt: Yeah, that got pushed back.

Nerium: Something like that.

Lotus: Yeah. Also, I don’t know if this is just me, but it feels like Nintendo isn’t advertising the way that they used to.

Nerium: Mm.

Lotus: Like, I’m missing a lot of– I’m not a huge Nintendo person, but it would always be saturated everywhere, of course, but now I feel like I’m not seeing a lot. It feels like it’s all on Twitter.

Nerium: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: It’s very strange to me.

Nerium: Yeah, I guess it is different.

Fūnk-é: I think you’re right, ’cause I feel like Nintendo made it very clear, ’cause they don’t make too many like first party games each year. I feel like I would know, but I didn’t know that this game came out like last week. [laughs]

Nerium: There’s like this and Bayonetta and Pokémon, which is not necessarily a– it’s a Nintendo published game, but it’s not like, they don’t make it internally.

Fūnk-é: Mm.

Lotus: Right.

Nerium: Like, those are the big releases for the year. So yeah, you would think that they would push this a little bit harder, ’cause they don’t have like a ton else coming out.

merritt: Mm. Yeah. Weird.

Nerium: Dread was last year, right?

Lotus: Yes.

merritt: Dread was last year, yeah.

Fūnk-é: Yes. What a great game.

merritt: Ah, yeah.

Nerium: What a great game.

merritt: Good, good-ass game. I want to take a quick little look at the Steam New and Trending charts.

Lotus: Mm.

Nerium: Ooh.

merritt: Just take a little trip, take a little peek. And this is, you know, as of this recording, so it will almost certainly have changed by the time you are all listening to this.

Fūnk-é: I’m scared.

merritt: No, we’re not gonna talk about the horny ones.

Fūnk-é: Phew!

Nerium: Yes, we are!

merritt: No, we super aren’t, [laughter] ’cause I really– I will say there is one game on here that does look like Elite Beat Agents, but you’re massaging anime girls, so.

Nerium: Mm-hmm. They gotcha.

merritt: [sighs] That’s…

Lotus: So, I was promised no horny a few seconds ago. [laughter]

merritt: Well, that’s– I didn’t name it, so. [laughter]

Fūnk-é: No free clout.

merritt: But yeah, Bear and Breakfast is finally out. That was a…that came out a few days ago, and that I think has been a pretty anticipated kind of management sim adventure game.

Nerium: Yeah, this looks cute.

merritt: Do y’all know about that one?

Fūnk-é: Yes.

merritt: Bear and Breakfast?

Nerium: A little bit.

merritt: Yeah, anyone intending to check that one out, or…? I’m not a really a big management game person. I don’t like crafting. It’s overwhelming to me. But this looks neat.

Fūnk-é: Yeah. It’s hard for me to manage my own life, so I can’t…like, management sims are hard for me. [laughter]

merritt: See, Fūnk-é, I think what you– I think the sort of supposition you’ve made here is that these games are for people who are good at that. I think they’re supposed to give you a sense of control when you don’t have that. [laughs]

Nerium: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Ah.

merritt: So. Bu I get kind of a…the vibes from this game, it looks like…I cannot believe I can’t remember the name of this game. Danielle’s, uh…Danielle’s favorite game.

Fūnk-é: Cozy Grove?

Nerium: Cozy Grove.

merritt: It’s giving me Cozy Grove vibes.

Nerium: Yeah. Little bit more irreverent than Cozy Grove, I feel like.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: Cozy Grove is a little bit more…

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Not necessarily like grim or anything like that, but like Cozy Grove often, like, you know, has a self-awareness of like, [merritt: “Mm, mm-hmm”] you know, this is what the world is like in reality, and we’re kind of pushing against that. Bear and Breakfast is like goofball?

merritt: Look, we admit it. There’s no such thing as a talking bear. We made it up for the video game. [laughter]

Nerium: Yeah. Sorry, guys.

merritt: Bears don’t wear hats in real life. We’re sorry. We made that one up.

Nerium: It’s illegal for bears to wear pants. It’s bad.

merritt: Ah shit. We also got Digimon Survive, which is a game that was announced like before the pandemic.

Nerium: A million years ago?

merritt: Because I remember commissioning a piece on this game, pre-pandemic, about how Digimon games need more angsty teens and less monster battling, and I think this game does strike somewhat of a balance with that. It has– it’s currently sitting at a mostly positive on Steam with 833 reviews. And there was that weird thing last week where Bandai Namco Asia was like, “Hey guys, please don’t post about [“Right”] anything after chapter five, unless you use spoiler tech.”

Nerium: For one month or whatever.

Lotus: For two months!

Nerium: Two months.

merritt: Three, I believe. Was it two or three? Okay.

Nerium: Three? Oh.

Lotus: I believe it was two.

merritt: It was over a month. Yeah, it was two months. And, uh…

Fūnk-é: Do y’all know what happens?

merritt: We do– I don’t know, because they didn’t send out review copies, and they’re like, “Please don’t talk about the twist,” so my theory is that you’re in a coma and that it takes place in a world where Digimon don’t actually exist, where they’re like a fictional franchise. [Nerium laughs] Your character is just like in a coma and just imagining all of this, but…

Nerium: Tai, there is no Digimon. You did everything you could to save me. You have to wake up now. [laughter] You have to let go.

merritt: Yeah, there’s no Digimon. It’s sort of a Fight Club situation where you’re Agumon and also Tai. But are any of you gonna pick that one up or check that one out? Are you Digimon people?

Nerium: I already did.

merritt: You picked it up? Have you tried it yet?

Nerium: I have not, actually.

merritt: Okay.

Nerium: I did pick it up. I got very distracted trying to beat Xenoblade Chronicles, ’cause that took…

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: Trying to get ready for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 took precedence.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: But I have followed a little bit of the discourse around the game [merritt: “Mm-hmm?”] in the days since.

Lotus: Hmm.

Nerium: Which I don’t know if any of you have picked up on.

merritt: No. What’s up with it?

Lotus: No, me neither.

Nerium: It is a– if you look at the Steam reviews even, you can see a lot of this stuff. It’s a lot of people like…not review bombing the game necessarily, but a lot of negative reviews of people, who very clearly didn’t realize that this game was going to be a visual novel, saying like, [merritt: “Ah”] “Wait a minute, this is a visual novel!”

merritt: Yeah. I mean, it says it’s a visual novel.

Nerium: Literally the first tag on the Steam page is Visual Novel. [laughs]

merritt: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Where they expecting like a Pokémon Arceus run around catch Digimon type of game?

Nerium: I think so.

merritt: Well, there is a tactical RPG element to it as well.

Nerium: There is. There’s a little bit of that, yeah.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: So, here’s actually one of the– I won’t read a name, ’cause I don’t want to put anybody on blast, but this is one of the reviews that I actually saw on Twitter getting shared around a little bit, so I’ll just read like the first chunk of it here, which is like “Before you buy, read this!” Not Recommended, after 18.8 hours on record in the game. “One, this is basically 80% story, 20% playing. You really have to read a lot. Get ready to press enter a lot! It’s too much story, in my opinion, [merritt laughs] and not enough actual battling. You can use the free battle feature, but it’s kind of dull, as I’d rather have cool battles versus bosses slash cool Digimon.”

merritt: Well.

Fūnk-é: 18 hours?

Nerium: 18.8 hours.

Fūnk-é: They were reading the shit out of that, just fuming, like clicking enter and mad.

merritt: The whole time, “I’m so fucking mad.” [laughter] I mean, I could see that, you know, if you go into something wanting– ’cause Digimon…I mean, it’s kind of a weird series, right? Where like, it is…unlike Pokémon, like historically it has, I feel like, had more of a story element to it, [Nerium: “Totally”] where it’s not just about battling and stuff. But then, you know, like a lot of the games I think have been pretty straight RPGs.

Nerium: Yeah, yeah.

merritt: Where you’re just–

Nerium: Cyber Sleuth is fairly…

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: You know, it’s Pokémon-y but with like some story stuff wrapped around it.

merritt: So, that’s interesting. I was kind of looking at it, ’cause I was like, I might be into this, ‘cause I can mess with a VN that has like a little bit of tactical stuff.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: I was just listening to the 99 Potions Fire Emblem: Three Hopes spoilercast, and I was like, yeah, yeah, maybe I like a tactical thing with some story.

Nerium: Totally.

Fūnk-é: I just copped Three Houses today. Downloaded it.

merritt: Oh, nice. Finally, yeah. We’ll have to hear back from you about that soon.

Lotus: Yeah, I’m curious about Digimon Survive, ’cause I was never a Digimon kid.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: Like never watched any of it. I don’t know anything about like 90% of the Digimon, so I’m like…

Nerium: [sighs] It changes too.

merritt: Yeah. They’re all weird fucks.

Nerium: So, my understanding is Survive is like a little bit, like, not like, again, grim necessarily, but it like handles some like, slightly more mature stuff than like some of the original Digimon stuff.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Which Digimon got there eventually, too. Like Digimon always had, like, you know, the movie has a– we talked about it, I think, literally last episode, about how like the movie has a whole subplot about a Digimon trying to start World War III by nuking the planet.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: Hmm.

merritt: Yeah, it’s certainly less whimsical than Pokémon.

Nerium: Yeah. I would say it’s dark.

Fūnk-é: It’s a GOATed movie, though. I was also a Pokémon child, but recently I watched that Digimon movie.

merritt: Yeah, no, it’s good.

Fūnk-é: Which is three movies stitched together.

merritt: Also, it’s a very– one of the earlier…well, I guess they existed before this, but one of the first really big isekai that was [Lotus: “Oh, yeah”] released in the US.

Nerium: Mm-hmm. Totally.

merritt: And I think one of the first ones that really popped off the genre, but…

Nerium: Totally.

merritt: I’m probably wrong about that, ’cause I’m not an anime historian.

Nerium: I mean, there was like .hack was, I remember being pretty big.

merritt: Right. That was around the same time, yeah.

Nerium: That was, yeah. That was like even a little bit later.

merritt: Um, what else? We’ve got Cartel Tycoon, so, uh…

Fūnk-é: Hmm.

Lotus: There’s always one of these, huh?

merritt: There’s always one of these. There’s always a tycoon. There’s always a cartel. There was…

Fūnk-é: So…

merritt: Yeah, I’m not…

Fūnk-é: How did they do research for this one? [laughter]

merritt: They just watched, uh, [Fūnk-é: “Narcos?”] that show about El Chapo, yeah. Yeah, it’s weird too, ’cause like the aesthetic is very like…it’s almost anime? Like if you look at some of the screenshots. It’s not anime, but it’s like, it has kind of this cartoony sort of aesthetic to the characters. Again, another kind of like management thing. I’m not like super crazy about these, but this has quite a lot of reviews. I think this was in early access and it’s just in– it’s 1.0 now.

Nerium: Yeah. Totally. That’s a tinyBuild joint?

merritt: That is a tinyBuild joint.

Lotus: Mm.

merritt: So.

Nerium: Makers of Hello Neighbor, everybody’s favorite fucking video game.

merritt: Makers of Hello Neighbor and Asterigos: Curse of the Stars, that game that was announced a couple months ago that they had that whole video for where they were explaining combat, and it was like, we’ve all played Dark Souls. We know how a dodge roll works, guys, but thank you. But no, they have a ton of stuff, and a lot of it does pretty well Graveyard Keeper.

Nerium: Oh, yeah. Graveyard Keeper sounded like it was maybe kind of cool.

merritt: Not for Broadcast was pretty well received.

Lotus: Oh, yeah.

merritt: Happy’s Humble Burger Farm, kind of a Five Nights at Freddy’s sort of thing.

Nerium: Can I read something that makes me kind of feel sort of a heartburn?

merritt: Yeah, please.

Nerium: tinyBuild list.

Fūnk-é: [laughs] Do you want to?

Nerium: Mm-hmm. Hello Neighbor franchise. Secret Neighbor, paranormal update. Hello Neighbor. Hello Neighbor 2, pre-order and play the beta. Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek. Hello Neighbor: Neighbor’s Favorite Songs DLC pack. Hello Neighbor alpha one. Hello Neighbor alpha three.

merritt: Okay.

Nerium: Hello Neighbor alpha two. Hello Neighbor alpha four.

merritt: Okay.

Fūnk-é: This is a list of what?

Nerium: Hello Neighbor pre alpha.

merritt: You have to stop. One time, like two years ago, I did a bunch of ketamine and somehow ended up on the Wikipedia page for Hello Neighbor, and I just felt like this sense of dread come over me.

Nerium: Good! [Fūnk-é laughs]

merritt: And then I– and that was one of the reasons why I stopped doing drugs for a while, because I was just like, man, the universe doesn’t make any fucking sense to me. Everything is so fucked up. And it was Hello Neighbor that kind of catalyzed that realization.

Nerium: That was what got me out of freelancing about video games, [merritt: “Yeah”] was I was like, “Well, I can’t do this anymore.”

merritt: Yep.

Nerium: “I really need to find a new job.”

merritt: It’s too bad. We’ve also got Error143, which is another visual novel. It’s a bickering and bantering rivals-to-lovers visual novel where you fall in love after first hack. So kind of a hackers…I thought maybe this was sort of a vampire thing, but I think it’s just one of the characters just has big fangies, kind of anime fangies.

Lotus: Mm.

Nerium: Yeah. Big anime fangy boy?

merritt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, this is a, yeah, an LGBTQ+ visual novel, and it’s free to play, and it looks like it has very positive reviews right now. Don’t know how long. It says about one to three hours, depending on how you’re vibing. [quiet laughter] So, that’s okay.

Nerium: The “More Like This” tab at the bottom of this page for me, the first result is House Party.

merritt: [laughs] Yeah.

Nerium: Which–

merritt: And then Blush Blush.

Nerium: [laughs] I don’t get that one.

merritt: Do you remember when I tried to play Blush Blush?

Nerium: [laughs] I don’t.

merritt: Oh, god.

Nerium: When did you play Blush Blush?

merritt: This was in like early 2020, I feel like, when I was like, I’m gonna start streaming, I’m gonna do an experiment where I stream like every week.

Nerium: Oh, yes!

merritt: And one of the games I streamed was Blush Blush, and it is kind of the bare minimum of what you would call like– I mean, it’s an idle game.

Nerium: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

merritt: Where you just make…it’s an idle game where you make…I’m pretty sure what it is is you have catboys, but you turn them into people, and it’s like, what the fuck is the point?

Nerium: Right, yeah. They become less catboy-like.

merritt: They become more human and less catlike.

Nerium: Right. Yes, I do remember that now. That was fucked up.

merritt: And it’s like, what is this?

Nerium: Who’s this for?

merritt: This is the weirdest concept. But it was a spinoff, I think, of a game called Crush Crush, [Nerium: “Ohh”] which is the girls version. But yeah, no, it does say House Party is, uh, so. But I will say, [Nerium laughs] one thing about this game is, under warnings– you know, Steam games have warnings.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

merritt: It says Warnings: “Wamring deex nuts on your face! Aha!” [laughter]

Fūnk-é: What?

Nerium: For House Party or for the visual novel?

merritt: No, for Error143.

Nerium: Wow.

Fūnk-é: No way.

merritt: And then it says “Cussing! Bad language,” frowny face, “fuck. [laughter] Having feelings, maybe?”

Lotus: You can’t say the fuck word on Steam!

merritt: “Fallin’ in love? lol simp.” And, uh…

Nerium: I wonder if this is how the character in that game talks, like if they’re kind of a…

merritt: Probably.

Nerium: Kind of a fuckboy.

merritt: I think it’s an online kind of very online thing. Most of the reviews seem positive. There is one negative review that just says “Gay,” so.

Nerium: Wow.

merritt: Gay, pejorative, I guess.

Fūnk-é: Oh no! [Lotus laughs]

Nerium: At least I know, you know?

merritt: Yeah. We’ve also got Dungeon Munchies, which is kind of blowing up on Steam right now,

Nerium: This was on the New and Trending last week too.

merritt: It was.

Nerium: When I looked at this, yeah.

merritt: It has almost 4,000 reviews right now, and it’s overwhelmingly positive. This is a game where you are hunting monsters to cook them.

Fūnk-é: Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Lotus: Mm.

Nerium: Oh, like that– like a, oh.

Fūnk-é: Battle Chef Brigade.

Nerium: Someone should like make a manga of that or something, you know?

merritt: Yeah. And I feel like this maybe was in early access a while ago, because I think I saw it some time ago, but it seems to be, uh, 1.0. Yep, it launched out of early access last Thursday, and Rock Paper Shotgun says it’s a funny and well written 2D platformer in the vein of cult classic Cave Story.

Nerium: Oh, interesting.

Fūnk-é: Oh?

Nerium: That’s not what I expected.

merritt: No, me neither. I thought this was gonna be kind of a horny sort of experience, but no, it’s…yeah, you–

Nerium: The screenshots don’t look horny. They look anime, but they don’t look horny.

merritt: I guess I just see anime girl, and I sort of assume.

Lotus: Anime girl on Steam mean horny? That’s fair.

Nerium: Typically.

merritt: Is that problematic of me?

Lotus: Statistically?

merritt: But statistically, most of the time I’m correct, so, you know.

Nerium: Statistically, yeah.

merritt: There is a banana here that says, “I want to be eaten.” So…

Fūnk-é: Hmm.

merritt: Uh, yeah. I don’t know.

Nerium: All right.

Fūnk-é: I guess we gotta eat it.

merritt: This looks like a 2D kinda action game.

Nerium: I guess you gotta eat the banana. I guess we’ll take one for the team.

merritt: And then a couple more things. We’ve got Everdell, which is a strategy board game. Harvest resources to build a village of woodland critters in this adaptation of the award winning tabletop board game.

Nerium: Oh.

merritt: So, kind of another one in that trend of adapting board games that do really well as digital games, and as someone who played Seven Wonders for the first time yesterday, I see the appeal [Nerium: “Yeah”] of a board game that keeps the rules for you, because…

Nerium: Keeps the rules and the cleanup of cards and putting them back.

merritt: It does all the cleanup cards and everything, because as much fun as playing a board game or card game can be, not having to deal with that stuff is really nice. [laughs] So, this looks like kind of a cute little like…it looks like a Redwall kind of thing.

Nerium: Sure. I was gonna say it looks like the opening card game of Inscription, but what if instead of being fucked up, it was just normal.

merritt: Yeah. And I don’t think you’re fighting, you’re like building stuff, so.

Nerium: Oh, really?

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Okay.

merritt: I mean, I think it is multiplayer, like you’re competing, but it’s like a Eurogame where you’re competing…

Nerium: Oh.

merritt: It’s like semi-solitaire kind of thing.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Instead of like, “I attack you,” you’re like, “I’m building my grainery, and so I’m gonna get three victory points at the end of the game.” [laughs]

Nerium: Catanlike.

merritt: Yeah, like a Catan. This looks kind of cool, actually. I might pick this up. And other than that, we also have some VR-looking thing. World War II Rebuilder: Germany Prologue.

Lotus: Mm…

Fūnk-é: Uh…

Nerium: So, I saw that headline and was immediately like, uh oh.

merritt: Uh huh.

Nerium: I have read the Steam description. It is not as bad as you think it is. [laughs softly]

merritt: No, no, no. It’s–

Fūnk-é: Rebuilder?

merritt: Yeah, no, it’s…you’re rebuilding, um…

Nerium: It’s House Flipper, but in the ruins of Europe after World War II.

merritt: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, this is a prologue to like a full release, and it’s basically just part of Hamburg in Germany, and you’re like rebuilding. You’re doing House Flipper but after World War II.

Nerium: So you’re like knocking down destroyed buildings, and yeah.

merritt: So you’re cleaning up rebuilding a part of a city, which is a pretty cool idea for a game actually. And it looks kind of neat. There’s a thing where you’re like slamming a wrecking ball through a bunch of rubble and then just smashing stuff and just basically, yeah, like destroying all these ruins so you can build up new houses and stuff.

Nerium: Kind of a cool idea.

merritt: That’s kinda neat.

Nerium: I wish it was called something different. [laughs]

merritt: Germany Re– not– wait, but then what? World War II Rebuilder?

Nerium: World War II Rebuilder. Maybe they could have done like a France prologue to kind of like put their best foot forward or something. [laughter]

Fūnk-é: This whole title’s not…I’m not fucking with it. I’m sorry. [Fūnk-é and Nerium laugh]

merritt: I mean, look, it seems a little– but yeah, I mean, you know. It seems sus, but like, there were people living in Germany [Nerium: “Yes, yes, totally”] whose houses had to be rebuilt after the war. Like…

Nerium: Totally, totally.

merritt: Maybe they just had that location down or something, like they had the assets ready or they just–

Fūnk-é: Mm-hmm.

merritt: It was like a good slice of real estate to focus on.

Nerium: Yeah, it’s like a vertical slice, yeah.

merritt: Yeah. I don’t know. Who knows? Or maybe the developers are just from Germany and just wanted to do their…

Fūnk-é: Mm-hmm.

merritt: I will say that the publisher also has a called UBOAT, so that, um…it’s fine.

Nerium: They also worked on MythBusters: The Game?

merritt: Oh yeah! That came out earlier this year, I think, didn’t it?

Nerium: Huh. Oh, it says coming soon. It’s not out yet.

merritt: Oh, it’s not out yet. Right. Okay. And one last one. What is ADACA? A sci-fi FPS set on the mysterious planet ADACA. Use your gravity-manipulating arm to hurl objects at your foes or rip weapons directly from their hands. That sounds like a gravity gun.

Nerium: Oh, yeah. That’s like, yeah.

Fūnk-é: ADACA? How’s that spelled?

merritt: A-D-A-C-A. So this is sort of like, it’s kind of– it’s an old school FPS. Okay, so yeah, this is a Half-Life…sort of a lower-fi Half-Life, it looks like?

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: That’s kind of interesting.

Nerium: It kind of feels like somebody was like, you know, they haven’t made a new Half-Life in a long time. What if we took some of those ideas and just like made an indie version of it that distills it down to just we like the gravity gun in Ravenholm?

merritt: Yeah. Yeah, it looks like it’s been in development for a while, and it’s a solo dev project, which is kind of neat.

Nerium: Huh.

Fūnk-é: Ooh.

merritt: And also it takes influences from STALKER and Halo, so.

Nerium: What doesn’t take influences from STALKER?

merritt: [laughs] Yeah.

Nerium: I’m sorry.

merritt: But it seems to have some pretty good decent reviews. So this might be one to keep an eye on. There’s a demo available for anyone who would like to try it. It’s kind of– the visual aesthetic is kind of, I don’t know how I would describe that. Like that kind of flat texture.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Flat, glossy texture.

Fūnk-é: It looks similar to Teardown and…

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Sure. It’s voxely.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: It’s voxely. It’s not voxels, but it is like sort of low poly, but not low poly in like the PS1 kind of aesthetic, [Nerium: “No”] but in like this smooth, high res kind of aesthetic.

Nerium: Yeah. Sort of flat shaded polygons.

Fūnk-é: The sniper in this game looks just like the Halo 3 sniper, like in the scope and everything.

Nerium: Oh.

merritt: Oh, wow, yeah. So definitely some influence there.

Nerium: Some of these character designs look really neat though.

merritt: Yeah. This kind of looks cool. Actually, yeah, no, it kind of looks like Deep Rock Galactic.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Which is a game I haven’t played in a minute, but yeah. I kind of want to do a lightning round of just shoutouts to some games that we’ve been playing that maybe we haven’t had a chance to talk about yet. One that I finally received last week after waiting over a year is Demon Throttle, which was a…

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: It’s by Doinksoft who did Gato Roboto, which I really liked, is a really quick Metroidvania.

Nerium: Cool game.

merritt: And published by Devolver, and it’s a physical only Switch game.

Fūnk-é: Oh, wow.

merritt: So it’s not going to be released digitally ever. There was an initial print run of 10,000 copies. I think they’re doing a second one that will be in stores. But it’s basically a vertical shooter, like a scrolling vertical shooter that is pretty tough, four levels, and you have one life and no continues to get through all four in one run.

Fūnk-é: [laughs] So you really gotta ace the game and know what you’re up against to win.

merritt: Yeah. I haven’t even seen the last level yet. You have two characters, but it also is two player co-op, so if you do single player, you can switch between the two. You play as a gunslinger and an ancient vampire, and the gunslinger wants revenge on a demon who kissed his wife, “or something,” according to the game, and the vampire is trying to get back the four chalices that the demon stole, which will let her become a human again. And it has a really great manual. I wrote about it for the site, a full color manual with like just full of cool little stuff. And yeah, just like a really tough kind of old school, NES-style kind of game, but yeah. You know, it could have really easily just been like a gimmick of like, oh, we’re never gonna release this digitally, so you gotta buy it. But it’s actually like a pretty cool little game, so if you’re able to find a copy, I would say check it out. Any games that y’all want to shout out real quick?

Fūnk-é: Yeah. Uh, this…does this go up after tomorrow? Or is it like early tomorrow?

merritt: This goes up on Wednesday.

Fūnk-é: Wednesday? Okay. I want to shout out Frogun which…

merritt: Mmmmmm. [Fūnk-é laughs] Yes?

Fūnk-é: merritt’s eyes turn red. It’s a game where you play as a girl with a frog gun, and you just, you explore a bunch of ruins. It’s a platformer collectathon. I think aesthetically it’s really cool. You can check my piece and merritt’s piece on fanbyte.com about our thoughts. I think I liked it more than merritt, but it does get annoying at points. Just, it doesn’t– it contradicts what a collectathon is for, like you want to collect everything, or at least a lot of people who play those games want to collect everything and like complete it, but there’s some levels where you have to race a guy who has a snake gun, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] and you literally cannot collect everything in those.

merritt: Sorry, what’s the name of the snake?

Fūnk-é: Pfft, I forget. Snakun?

merritt: No, it’s Snatch.

Fūnk-é: Oh. [pause] Well, uh, yeah, I think the game is very– [laughter] It’s cute. It’s a cute game, and I think if you like that sort of PS1, Nintendo 64 throwback like low poly design, I think it’s really cute, and I recommend it just for that, honestly.

merritt: Yeah. Nere, how about you?

Nerium: I’ve been playing a ton of stuff. I already talked about No Man’s Sky last week, but I played a bunch of that, beat that new expedition over the weekend. That was great. Had a good time. The other thing I’ve been messing with that’s actually new is Rimworld has come to console.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: Or is coming soon to console, which just, you know, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer, like the guy who makes that game seems like he’s really annoying [laughs] and like, just like not super, super cool, but the game itself is pretty good on console. I want to shout out like the devs who did the work for the console port. It is not the full experience, because you cannot play the newest expansion that came out like two or three years ago, which is weird to me.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: Stellaris is the same way, where it’s like behind on content really, really badly. So there is that to worry about, but yeah, it’s out now, and it plays really, really well with the controller, and I was just like really impressed by how well that they did to make a game that is like so menus-driven.

merritt: Yes.

Nerium: And we were talking about, you know, simulation games and like management games and stuff like that. To make that stuff like from the ground up work with a controller is like really difficult, and it seems like they’ve done a really good job of it here, and it seems really impressive. So I was having a– that was dangerous for me is what I discovered.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: Like being able to play a game like that on a couch with a controller, [merritt: “Mm”] where I can just lay down and spend like weeks sitting there and not move. [Nerium and merritt laugh] Even though…I will say this about Rimworld as I’m like trying Rimworld for the first time. I know those games are like super– that game is like super popular to people and games like it. Oxygen Not Included was very popular.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Nerium: I expected it to be cooler, if that makes sense? Like, because these games get talked about like so…in such like hushed tones of like, oh, I can’t believe I did this and this and this, and then these, you know, I got attacked by like alien space hamsters, [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] because, you know, the Dwarf Fortress engine like put those adjectives together, and then I had to create like a robot cyborg army to fight them back or whatever, and then I harvested the organs of the dead hamster and gave my best colonist a hamster heart, and now they move really fast, weird stuff like that. And I’ve just not encountered most of that stuff.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: And part of that I think has been the realization that, especially playing on console, so much of that stuff is just like people in the mod community making these games better and more interesting.

merritt: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Lotus: Mm.

Nerium: Over time. You know, and massaging out some of like the worst tendencies of the people whose political beliefs and stuff like that go into these games maybe, a little bit, to a certain degree? And changing some of those numbers around, ’cause I think this was also the guy who was like, bisexual men don’t exist as much in– it’s like, they have like a 1% chance of existing in Rimworld versus like a 50% chance with women or something like that, ’cause he was like, “I’ve met more bisexual women in my life, and so that means that they’re more common in real life than bisexual men.”

Fūnk-é: What?

Nerium: Yeah. This guy’s like, he just seems like really annoying. I don’t know. But a lot of mods out there, Steam workshop support on the Steam version and stuff like that will will oftentimes fix some of that stuff and while adding more interesting things and like things that feel very obviously like good improvements, like the ability to– you can, in Rimworld, for instance, you can build like a refrigerated room, but you can’t build a fridge. You can’t just like…

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: Hmm.

Nerium: You want to store food and keep it cold.

merritt: [laughs] Yeah.

Nerium: You can’t. You have to have like an entire building for it, and people were like, well that seems kind of lame. And so people just made a new mod for it and stuff like that.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: There’s some like weird terminology in this game that gets used sometimes that, you know, would be nice if I could like switch some wording around on certain stuff, but yeah. Anyway, I will say again, just having a management game like that with a controller: very, very, very, very smooth experience. It’s been fun, and I had to stop myself from playing, because otherwise I would just sit there and grow corn for hours. [merritt laughs]

Fūnk-é: Vibes, though.

merritt: Yeah, Rimworld is one of those games that I probably will never play but I do really love watching other people play.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Because yeah, like you say, there’s just like these kind of emergent things that happen. A lot of those are driven by mods. There’s a mod now where it’ll integrate your Twitch chat and name…basically like assign characters in the world names based on your Twitch viewers.

Nerium: Yes! Right.

merritt: And then will pull chat into the game, and like, so it’ll come up as a little speech bubble above their head when they say something, which is like such a great idea.

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

merritt: And watching people play around with that is a lot of fun. Lotus, how about you? Anything you want to– any games you want to shout out real quick?

Lotus: Yeah, the only real thing I’ve been playing recently, other than cookie game is Moon: Remix RPG.

merritt: Oh, yeah.

Lotus: A brand new game that definitely didn’t come out in 1997.

Nerium: Oh! [Lotus laughs]

merritt: But it only came out here like two years ago.

Lotus: Yeah, not even. It came out at the end of 2021, in like December, at least on Steam. I think it was on Switch before that, but I don’t have one, so.

merritt: Yeah, yeah.

Lotus: And yeah, I mean, it was Japan exclusive for a long time, so I think a lot of people in the states and in Canada—or the West, I guess, whatever—haven’t really heard of it. I’d say it’s like most famous for being, I guess, one of Toby Fox’s primary inspirations on Undertale.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: And you see it pretty much immediately. You’re like a little kid who gets sucked into a game, and at first you play as the hero and you just go around and you are, you just obliterate like everything, basically. These monsters come up to you, you just slash ’em, whatever, they die. You go up to the boss. You’re just completely running through everything. And then after you get sucked into the game, you’re like this kind of crummy little invisible guy [merritt: “Mm-hmm”] who will pass out after walking around for 12 hours. [laughs] Like, you can’t stay out for any amount of time. And your goal ends up being to collect all the love in the world, which is written as LV, just like it is an Undertale. And yeah, I really like it. It’s really sweet. It’s just like you run errands for people, and you make them happy.

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: And you see a bunch of the monsters that the hero has killed, and you find that they’re totally fine or they’re just really strange and idiosyncratic monsters where you hunt them down with their weird habits and you put their souls back in their bodies and they say thank you and give you money.

merritt: [laughs] Yeah. I started Moon when it was released on Switch and played it for like an hour and then just died, and I was like, what the fuck just happened?

Lotus: Yep.

merritt: And it’s because it’s from the era of like manuals being a thing, and in the manual, [Nerium: “Mm”] it explains like, oh, you only have so much energy, so when it gets low, you have to like go to bed, otherwise you will just pass out and die. And because it’s like a port and a translation, it’s not like they added tutorials or anything.

Nerium: Right.

merritt: So I was like, ohh. But because it was a digital game, you have to like find the manual online, so I was like, “Oh shit. All right. Well,” and I never really went back to it, but I really should, ’cause…

Lotus: I think you should, yeah.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: This might be– when I was a kid, all the games that I played were point and click adventures, so I feel like I’m used to [merritt: “Mm”] video games being particularly heinous and obtuse for no fucking reason.

merritt: [laughs] Yeah.

Lotus: So I really warmed up to it like very quickly, and I felt like I was really getting it. I don’t think I even looked at how to do things or how to use a guide until like getting close to halfway through.

merritt: Oh, wow.

Lotus: ‘Cause I felt like I was running out of stuff. I’m at the point now where I can stay out for like almost three in-game days without having to go to sleep.

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: So I’m walking wherever I want. I’m fishing, selling fish, buying bread, doing whatever I feel like.

merritt: Nice.

Fūnk-é: Wow.

Lotus: But I’m not super sure what to do at the moment.

merritt: [laughs] That’s cool. Yeah, I should go back to it. I will say, I’ve never played Undertale.

Nerium: Oh.

merritt: Yeah. I sort of missed that one. I think it was one of those cases of like, oh, everyone I know is into this, and I’m sort of like allergic to hype sometimes. I’ve gotten better about that, [Lotus: “Mm”] but in the past it was much more like, “Uhh, what if I don’t like it? Then, ugh…”

Fūnk-é: I think it’s worth to check out. I only checked it out a couple years ago, after all the hype as well, and it’s still a really sweet story. I think it does a lot of cool things.

merritt: Yeah, no, I mean, yeah, I’m sure it’s great.

Lotus: I’m really bad at it.

merritt: It’s funny, ’cause I still think of Toby Fox as like the…

Nerium: The fucking, yeah.

merritt: The Homestuck

Nerium: Homestuck.

merritt: The guy who made like Homestuck soundtracks, like unofficial Homestuck soundtrack albums.

Fūnk-é: Mm.

merritt: Which I listened to a lot in college. [laughs]

Lotus: Yeah.

merritt: But yeah, I should check it out one day, and Moon as well, I think I still have Moon installed on my Switch. I should really just boot it up.

Lotus: Nice. Yeah, I was one of the Homestuck tweens, [merritt: “Mm”] so when I heard “Megalovania” getting popular, I was like, you guys don’t know anything!

merritt: Uh huh.

Lotus: What do you know about “Megalovania”?

merritt: You don’t know about trolls. You don’t know about, uh…

Lotus: You don’t know about clown murder. You don’t know shit.

Fūnk-é: Wow.

Nerium: I’ve never been happier in my life. [Lotus laughs]

Fūnk-é: Did we all read Homestuck?

merritt: What’s it called, ??? something…

Nerium: No!

Fūnk-é: [as if lying out of embarrassment] Yeah, me neither.

Nerium: Fūnk-é! [laughs]

merritt: You know, the different kinds of love, the black and red kinds.

Lotus: Oh, it is auspistice or something?

merritt: Aus– yeah.

Fūnk-é: Oh, the…

merritt: The suits, ‘cause everything is based on–

Nerium: I have no idea what any of you are talking about. [Lotus laughs]

merritt: Everything’s based on card suits. There’s those other guys who are there for some reason.

Fūnk-é: Yeah. You can have like a relationship that’s like a different kind…

merritt: And he turns into a dog man, and then he becomes a god.

Nerium: [extended groan of confusion and pain]

Lotus: And don’t forget about the cringlefucker.

merritt: Don’t– you can never forget. Never forget. I will say I fell off Homestuck when eventually it just became pages of text, ’cause Toby Fox is like, I’m just gonna lore– not Toby Fox, sorry. Andrew Hussy was like, I’m just gonna lure dump at y’all for a while.

Lotus: Yeah.

merritt: And I was like, nah, I’m good.

Fūnk-é: It gets a lot– especially in the last few chapters, it’s…

merritt: I was like, I’m good. Problem Sleuth is really good, though, if y’all never read Problem Sleuth.

Lotus: Oh, yeah. I’ve never read that.

merritt: That’s good. And you can finish it in [Lotus laughs] less than a calendar year, so.

Nerium: What about the hoosledinker? I love that guy. [laughter] He’s just like one of my favorite characters in the whole kind of like lore.

merritt: Ah, you can’t forget the hoosledinker.

Fūnk-é: Yep.

Lotus: I hate how not far off it is. [Nerium laughs]

merritt: No, that is possible. That’s a fan character.

Lotus: There is a weapon called the Zillyhoo [merritt: “Yeah”] so it’s really not…

Fūnk-é: I love talking to the Crimbler on my Pesterchum. [laughter]

merritt: Oh, hey, don’t bring up the Crimbler, ’cause the Crimbler is not gonna be pleased with that.

Nerium: Was the Grink there?

merritt: Yeah. No, he was definitely in Homestuck like 100%. I mean, Con Air is in Homestuck, so probably the Grinch is.

Nerium: What? What? Like, the movie?

merritt: Oh, the movie Con Air is like a pretty big part of early Homestuck, yeah.

Nerium: Shut the fuck up! You’re lying! [laughter] This is fake.

merritt: I’m not lying. This is a hundred percent real.

Fūnk-é: And Hook. The movie Hook as well.

merritt: Why’d you have to–

Lotus: Hook is very important.

merritt: Why couldn’t you just put that body in the box? [laughter] Wait, Hook too?

Lotus: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: Ohh.

Fūnk-é: That’s like Rufio.

Lotus: There’s a character named Rufio.

merritt: Oh, yeah. Was that a troll?

Lotus: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Yes.

merritt: I think that was after I stopped…

Nerium: Yeah, y’all are trolling me.

merritt: Yeah. Hey, did you–

Lotus: Ayyy!

merritt: The Super Nintendo Hook game is, uh, okay. I mean, it’s not great, but I loved it as a kid. You get to fly around and stuff. It was pretty cool. All right, let’s do our last segment before we go, and this one is–

Nerium: The Homestuck Minute, everybody. Get ready. [laughter]

merritt: The Homestuck Minute, where we summarize Homestuck in one minute. It can’t be done. It’s impossible. Even that guy who talks really fast from the eighties, he couldn’t do it, but…everyone knows what I’m talking about. It’s fine.

Fūnk-é: Yep.

merritt: No, it’s Get Recced. It’s where we recommend something real quick. It doesn’t have to be about games, can be about anything. I think I recommended towels last week.

Nerium: Mm, yeah.

Fūnk-é: I’m still getting South Park towels recommended to me, like…

merritt: ‘Cause you looked at South– [Nerium laughs] ’cause you’re like, I need the Towelie towel, that’s what I need.

Fūnk-é: No, you said– what was the term of towel you–?

merritt: Monogrammed?

Fūnk-é: Monogrammed towel.

Nerium: Monogrammed towel, yeah.

merritt: Monogrammed towel, yeah. It’s great.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: It’s just something with your initials on it. That’s great.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: Makes you feel like really important. So, does anyone want to start?

Nerium: I can, but I want to wait. You know, I don’t want to just, you know, step in.

merritt: All right.

Fūnk-é: I could go. I’ve been watching The Rehearsal with Nathan Fielder, and it’s an incredible show. It’s a social experiment about reality and reality TV, and he’s a twisted gremlin man, and I will continue to watch his works. I think it’s really fascinating, ’cause the show, if you haven’t seen it before, it’s about him getting someone who needs help with something in their life, and he will recreate the environment in which they will practice and rehearse and rehearse and rehearse trying to do that thing.

Nerium: Huh.

Fūnk-é: In the first episode, it was someone who was lying to their trivia group of friends about having a master’s degree, so he rebuilt the entire bar that this guy goes to and like got an actor to play his friend and they just practice it like 50 times, [merritt: “Wow”] him coming clean, and it’s so bizarre, because it’s like funny but then it’s also really sad and emotional. And I think, if you have anxiety, you might have thought of, “Oh, what if I could just like try this thing out and see how it went?” That’s a tantalizing idea until you see it in action, [merritt: “Mm”] and then you’re like, this is hell. This is terrifying.

merritt: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Fūnk-é: But yeah, really cool show. I think it is twisted at points, and I don’t think he’s kindhearted [laughs quietly] as a creator, but I think it is great to see, ’cause nothing like that is out right now.

merritt: Cool. Who wanna go next?

Nerium: I can step in.

merritt: Yeah, please.

Nerium: I recommend, if you are somebody who owns car—which I know is not everybody necessarily on this podcast, but I do—I recommend having a good length of like chain or like a really, really sturdy like nylon rope in your trunk.

merritt: Yeah, some zip ties.

Nerium: Yeah, some zip ties.

Fūnk-é: Mm…

merritt: You gotta have your tools. You gotta have your tools, you know?

Lotus: Mm…

Nerium: Yeah, right, like a hacksaw.

Fūnk-é: Now, Nere, why?

Nerium: So, it rained over the weekend here, pretty heavily. It thunderstormed. And I was out seeing somebody on Saturday whose house I had ever been to before, so I got– and they kind of lived in a dead end, where like–

Fūnk-é: Uh oh. Getting some Get Out vibes here. [laughter]

Nerium: Not that kind of dead end, like their apartment complex was just like at a– was like a little self contained cul-de-sac thing. It was like a big circle, and there was only one entrance in or out, but you could like drive around all the different apartment buildings in that area in a big circle, but unless you knew specifically which way to turn, when to turn left, you wouldn’t necessarily know how to get back out of that sort of like big loop. And I got lost, ’cause I left very, very late at night, early in the morning in the middle of this thunderstorm, and I made the wrong turn and turned towards what was just like a little row of garages and stuff. And I was like, oh, okay, I’m gonna flip around, do a U-turn or do like a T turn or whatever, and I pulled forward, and my car is front wheel drive with no– doesn’t have four wheel drive, and the two front wheels went off the pavement a little bit and onto the mud, [“Oh no”] but that was enough for it to just get stuck as hell in that mud!

merritt: Ugh.

Lotus: Oh.

Fūnk-é: Rough.

Nerium: In the middle of the rain and the thunder, so it was 5:30 in the morning, and I had to call somebody to…call my brother actually to come and help pull me out, but we didn’t have any chain or rope or anything to do any towing with to get the two front tires out, so we had to call a third party or fourth party, whatever at this point, to come over and help, and the nylon rope broke!

Fūnk-é: Mm-mm.

Nerium: It was not sturdy enough. It came loose.

merritt: Wait, were you tying this rope to another car, or were you all just sort of like hauling it?

Nerium: Tying it to another car.

merritt: Okay.

Nerium: Yeah. So we were tying– they came with a big, thick, sturdy nylon rope, but it wasn’t sturdy enough, and it just popped loose from the hook. Like, nothing broke or anything like that, except for the rope itself. It just popped loose. We did eventually get it out by like just literally tying the rope instead of relying on the hooks that were in there, because the place where the hooks were connected were a little cheap.

merritt: Mm. Mm-hmm.

Nerium: But if we had just had a chain or like a much better rope or something like that that was a little bit more sturdy and ready for a thing like this, we could have gotten out of there so much sooner. And you know, always be prepared, kind of stuff like that.

Lotus: Huh.

merritt: Yeah. Well, yeah. Get some rope or some chain.

Lotus: Get some chains to keep in your car.

merritt: Get some chains.

Nerium: Yeah. I was very nervous that the person…I think they went to bed, but I was very nervous that the person I was seeing was gonna look out their window and see me [laughing] trying to tow truck my fucking car out of their like garage complex, so hopefully they don’t listen to this podcast.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: ‘Cause that was embarrassing for me.

merritt: I don’t think there’s anything to be embarrassed about. Your car got stuck. That happens.

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

Nerium: Yeah, but it’s not…but I got it stuck.

merritt: It’s like a cool Jurassic Park situation. It’s raining, and…

Nerium: I mean, it worked for Wayne Knight. You’re right. Things went great [merritt: “Yeah”] for him when that happened. [Lotus laughs]

Fūnk-é: You should invest in a Flintstones car.

merritt: Oh, yeah!

Nerium: That’s a Flintstones car.

merritt: Run with your feet.

Nerium: Yeah. Like a Tonka truck, yeah.

merritt: Under– yeah, with Fred’s two feet, he run.

Nerium: I did try to push the car out, and…

merritt: Did you– but here, but did you say “Yabba dabba doo,” before you tried?

Fūnk-é: Mm.

Nerium: Shit! You’re right! I didn’t try that.

merritt: Well, there’s your problem. [laughter] I am going to recommend something called the two-minute rule, and this isn’t about eating food that fell on the ground. [laughter]

Fūnk-é: Hmm?

Nerium: Sorry?

merritt: In case you thought maybe–

Lotus: That would be such a long time!

merritt: In case you thought maybe that’s what it was. It’s not the– two minutes is a long time for that. No, it’s a productivity thing from David Allen who wrote Getting Things Done, which is a book I’ve read like three times, ’cause I’m a fucking sicko. Basically, the two-minute rule is: if you have something that will take two minutes or less to do, you should just do it immediately, because it will take [Nerium: “Mm”] more time to like plan it out or to like write it down and schedule it and stuff than it will to just do it. So you have to– if you have to make a phone call that will take less than two minutes, you just do it. If you have to return an email, if you have to like put something away, you just pay do it.

Nerium: Pay your credit card.

merritt: Yes. All those things. The one thing I will say is if you start doing this, you may get into a pattern where you are doing little things constantly because you’re like, “Ah, I can do something and it’ll take less than two minutes. I’ll get it done.” And then you’re maybe losing sight of the bigger things which will take more than two minutes, so just watch out for that. But in general, I think it’s a pretty good thing to do. I think it’s…it’s helped me get a lot more stuff done, and it just helps you, you know, be a little more together and organized, so.

Nerium: I love that.

merritt: Obviously, you know, it’s…you know, sometimes it’s easier said than done and like, you know, making a phone call [Fūnk-é: “That’s helpful”] or whatever can sometimes, you know, psychologically be difficult, but insofar as it’s possible, yeah, if you’re just like, [clicks tongue] oh, dish? Wash it. Done. Two minutes.

Nerium: Yeah. Throw that, you know, coffee cup away or whatever the fuck.

merritt: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Mm.

merritt: And if it takes more than two minutes, then schedule it.

Fūnk-é: On some real shit, your tips from this book? I have implemented them in my life.

merritt: Oh yeah, really?

Fūnk-é: And also eat the frog or whatever?

merritt: Oh, you gotta eat that fucking frog, baby! [negative sound effect]

Fūnk-é: I’ve been eating the frog every single day, and my life is better.

merritt: You must. God, I’m not good at that lately. There’s like all these longer term things where I’m like, “Ugh, I don’t really want to work on this. I’m just gonna write an article about the Demon Throttle manual and stuff,” but. [laughter] Do y’all know about eating the frog?

Nerium: [horrified] No!

Lotus: No! [merritt laughs]

Nerium: What are you saying?

Fūnk-é: Just go to a swamp.

merritt: Go to a swamp.

Lotus: You can only say this ’cause Jordo isn’t here.

Fūnk-é: [laughs] Pick one up.

merritt: Yeah, no, Jordo would be like, “Don’t eat the frog.” [positive sound effect] I forget who said this, but basically someone who’s like a productivity guy was like, if you have to eat a frog, then do it immediately first thing in the morning, and by eating the frog, he means like an unpleasant or difficult thing.

Nerium: Mm.

merritt: And it’s like, do the hardest thing you have to do in the day like immediately, because you have the most energy typically earlier in the morning, [Nerium: “Yeah”] and also like starting off getting something hard done makes everything else feel that much easier.

Fūnk-é: Yeah. The thing for me was that like having it linger in my mind [merritt: “Yeah!”] is so…it’s a weight.

merritt: You’re gonna be thinking about “Ah shit, I have to eat that frog later.”

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: And then if you have to eat two frogs, you eat the bigger frog first.

Fūnk-é: Mm-hmm.

merritt: So.

Fūnk-é: That was Mark Twain, by the way, I think.

merritt: Okay, yeah.

Fūnk-é: I remember you saying that.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: Huh. That’s also good advice. I love this.

merritt: Yeah. Just a little, you know.

Nerium: See, I have very little patience for like reading nonfiction books a lot of the time, [merritt: “Mm”] but I do love seeing your tweets about this stuff, just like Fūnk-é. Like I genuinely think you post some really interesting excerpts and stuff like that, and it’s nice to– it’s genuine– [laughs] it almost sounds like I’m joking, but like it genuinely…

merritt: No, no, no. I’m glad.

Nerium: Yeah. It’s nice to have like a, you know, a content aggregator out there for some of this stuff. [merritt laughs]

Fūnk-é: Yeah, we’re siphoning that shit off of you! Thank you. [Lotus laughs]

Nerium: We are.

merritt: I’m glad to be of service, ’cause sometimes it feels like I’m just reading this stuff and I’m like, “Oh, cool, I feel productive because I’ve read this,” but it’s like, I haven’t actually done anything. But like, you know, if other people are getting something out of it, and I think I do too, but it’s just, yeah. That’s cool. Lotus, do you have something you want to recommend?

Lotus: I’ve done a lot of thinking in the past few minutes.

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: I think everybody should own a long measuring tape.

Nerium: Ooh!

Fūnk-é: Ooh!

Lotus: I didn’t realize that most people don’t have this, because…

merritt: Yeah.

Lotus: I don’t know why, just particularly lately…well, I’m like a fashion girly, but particularly lately I’ve seen so many people saying like, “Oh, I got this thing, and it didn’t fit me.” And I’m like, how? [merritt laughs] Why didn’t you just measure yourself? [Nerium laughs]

merritt: Yeah, yeah.

Lotus: Like, I don’t get it. Like, I have my measurements memorized, and then if I see something that’s kind of weird or something that doesn’t have a lot of measurements listed, I’ll just measure myself again?

merritt: Mm-hmm.

Lotus: And it helps if I’m…I often buy things and then ship them to my friends, [merritt: “Mm”] so I measure those for boxes, and I just think it’s very helpful. I didn’t know that [merritt: “Yeah”] that was not the most common thing in the world. Everyone should have a super duper long measuring tape, especially if you can get the kind that will retract but can connect.

merritt: Mm.

Nerium: Ooh.

Lotus: So if you have to measure something like your shoulders or your biceps, you connect it, and then you press the button to retract, and it will snap like directly onto your arm, so you get the perfect measurement [merritt: “Oh, huh”] without having to like fiddle around with it.

Nerium: I love that.

merritt: Yeah, I just have a loose, like a soft one, like a tailor’s measuring tape thing.

Nerium: Mm.

Lotus: Right, right. Yeah, those are tough for like the thighs and the shoulders.

merritt: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Lotus.

Nerium: Mm. There are so many things that I need to buy that I just like don’t own, like I’ve been thinking recently about like how I’ve been using the same pillow for way too long. I should just go buy a new pillow.

Lotus: Yeah. Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Do it.

merritt: Oh, I got pillow recs for you.

Nerium: Ooh, please!

Lotus: I do too, actually.

merritt: I’m not gonna say them on this show, because I don’t want to like give free advertising.

Nerium: Yeah.

Fūnk-é: Actually, send those too, please.

merritt: But, I–

Nerium: Yes.

merritt: Yeah. Yeah, I’m…I just, yeah.

Fūnk-é: Lotus, with measuring, that gives me like the most amount of stress in my life, because what if you’re slightly wrong?

Lotus: Really?

Fūnk-é: Like, what if…it’s over!

merritt: Well, then you die, obviously. [laughter]

Fūnk-é: Yeah, then you die. Everyone explodes, and Earth is done. Like, I don’t want to be the cause of that shit.

Lotus: Well, I mean, I will just say, the measuring will help a lot.

Fūnk-é: Uh huh.

Lotus: But yeah, most measurements are slightly wrong. I think– my girlfriend was buying like jean shorts or something the other week.

merritt: Mm.

Lotus: And I remember she said to me, like, “I don’t know if I can fit a 28, ’cause I got one and it didn’t fit.” And I was like, well, you know a 28 isn’t 28 inches, right? Your waist is 28 inches, but those pants aren’t.

merritt: It’s meaningless.

Nerium: Yeah.

Lotus: Yeah. It’s this whole thing.

merritt: That’s the thing about sizing that I think a lot of people maybe don’t realize right now, [Nerium: “Yep”] is that it’s completely arbitrary and also has changed over time.

Nerium: Yep.

merritt: Like, I bought jeans for the first time, or like jeans shorts a couple months ago, and I was like, oh yeah.

Fūnk-é: Jorts!

merritt: Yeah. And I was like, yeah, I’m like a 28, I think. And they were gigantic, [laughs] and I was like, I don’t think I’ve changed size that much. It’s just that sizing has changed, because it had been so long since I’d bought jorts.

Nerium: Yeah.

merritt: And it’s like, can we please– like, I would way rather just have a standardized system than like this weird American thing of like, we have to flatter people about their size or something, ’cause it just ends up being more trouble than it’s worth, and like yeah. So yeah, measuring yourself I think is like super great, especially because like, [Lotus: “Yeah”] you know, if you’re buying clothes online, you really….

Nerium: Mm-hmm.

merritt: Yeah.

Nerium: You have no options. And to your point, Fūnk-é, about like the stress of like– I get that there’s like a stress of “If I take an active step towards something, I might screw it up,” but like the alternative is you just eyeball it or don’t do anything with it at all, which means that you’re just going to– it’s just gonna be worse than if you got, you know, tried and got close, you know?

Fūnk-é: Yeah.

merritt: Mm.

Fūnk-é: You know what the issue is? I’ve been watching too much of the new Looney Tunes show from like 2011.

merritt: Uh huh?

Nerium: Uh huh?

Fūnk-é: And Daffy Duck says: why try new things when you could be bad at them? [laughs]

merritt: That’s so true.

Fūnk-é: And it’s better to just not do anything instead.

merritt: That’s so true, though.

Nerium: Daffy Duck is obviously like, yeah.

merritt: ‘Cause you could look foolish or like you could feel bad.

Fūnk-é: You could look dumb, yeah.

merritt: There’s, yeah. I mean, yeah. No, I mean, that’s so true.

Nerium: No! No, not yeah! [laughter]

merritt: No, yeah, obviously it’s like, that’s a huge problem that a lot of people struggle with and it’s, yeah, dealing with a discomfort of trying something new or trying is hard.

Nerium: Here’s like a genuine piece of advice, like just for people generally out in the world too. Like, I was on the Giant– plug for my guest appearance on the Giant Bombcast last week, I guess, but near the end of that, like Jan was like saying that he wanted to write a review, but he’s always been like a video guy and doesn’t want to write stuff. And I was just like, no, you should just write stuff, because like, all the people who are reading the stuff that you are writing? 99.9% of them are people who have never written anything, so they’re not gonna know the difference between what is, quote, unquote, “good” versus what is not good anyway. It’s the same with art. Like, I used to draw all the time when I was young, and I think I sucked, but everybody around me always told me what a great artist I was constantly, because nobody else had ever even gotten to the point of like trying it. Just doing the thing [Lotus: “Mm-hmm”] is going to already put you ahead of the curve of like 900% of people out there. That’s not a real number that you can be ahead of people, but you know what I mean.

Fūnk-é: Hmm.

merritt: Yeah, I mean, getting in trouble is a fake idea. So.

Nerium: Getting in trouble is a fake idea! [Lotus laughs]

merritt: Try more things, because one day you’ll realize—if you haven’t already—that getting in trouble is a fake idea. Also, when I searched “getting in trouble is a fake idea,” the first image search result that shows up is my like, just, [Nerium laughs, claps] you know, screencap of that post.

Lotus: Backstory.

merritt: So, uh, cool. Cool, cool, cool. Well, hey, thanks, y’all. This was a great ep.

Nerium: It was.

Lotus: This was fun!

merritt: We didn’t do a midroll ad, so let’s just, we’ll do socials right now. If you want to follow us on Twitter, it’s @fanbytemedia. Fūnk-é is @funkefly, Nerium is @neriumstrom, Lotus is @lotusloveslotus, and I am @merrittk. Our producer Jordan is @jordan_mallory. And until next time, uh, stay concupiscent or conciliatory, as your, you know, preference may be. And keep that dial tuned to Channel F.

[music]

Fūnk-é: I know some of those words. [merritt laughs]

Nerium: Or cromulent.