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Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by LotBlind

Castle's Short

'AntonioPeremin' seems to be a fan of short runs more so than most... Case in point being this 0:00:01 he thought would make a nice addition to our collection. It represents an extreme type of RNG manipulation of the level 1 AI in Chess Titans, a brainy specimen from the Windows 7 games suite. I think someone should add some annotations to it...

   1. e3

As a quick sidestep off the beaten path, white champions Van't Krujis opening. That's one of those special slightly uncanny kinds of names the Dutch have always had a knack for. A move that states white feels more at home with early passivity and self-effacement, though leading on with moves like d4 and c4 wouldn't come as a surprise either.

   1. ...f5?

Having made few preparations for such a contingency, black takes a firm grip on white's bag of opening tricks and shakes it into a motley heap on the floor. Having effectively disarmed each other of any theory, both players now rely solely on general principles and presence of mind.

   2. Qf3?

White, claiming a branch of his own in your chess opening database, puts the immediate question on black's loose center pawn, all the while parrying thoughts of developing the queen's bishop with b6, and inviting a return to something sound and sane with 2. ...d6.

   2. ...g5??

With his second move, black is revealed to be as interested in sanity as The Riddler at the end of Batman Forever, obviously on tilt from a stalemate trap in the previous match. The smiley that best encapsulates this move would probably be this one: ~°·_·°~

   3. Qh5#GoodMoveButYouCanDoBetter

Also known as the Fool's Mate Reversed.

If you need a more serious distillation of what this strategy's merits might be, you'll want to glance at the verification thread. You'll find out getting even the level 1 opponent to be this complying takes some effort.

The second game in the update is one where fighting wears the robe of mincey bubble-blowing and umbrella appearances are highly instrumental but to be be timed with prudence. Would you believe it's not Bubble Bobble? Milon's Secret Castle is tinted Legacy of the Wizard -ish by somewhat open-ended exploration replete with those titular secrets (we've got Milon's Secret Shops, Milon's Secret Doors, Milon's Secret Boss Fights...). I think it's a "secret castle" more in the sense a treasure chest is a chest with treasure in. Though developer Hudson Soft had already launched some fireworks in Bomberman, Milon's wick must have gotten wet since the majority of reviewers thought it arcane and patently unfair.

Matthew Havoc, too, reminisces "constant consultations" of the walkthrough on his first playthrough. I assume what happened next is a textbook case of Stockholm syndrome. Through the past five years, Havoc has trodden a ditch into the castle's flooring and managed to incorporate virtually every minute (mi-NUTE) time-saver, with even purely cosmetic stunts thrown in. The outcome: a very satisfying 0:08:25 – as much as 38 seconds off the previous SDA run – that makes the game look enjoyable in the ignorance of the layman. To remedy said ignorance, you'll want to get to reading in the Deluxe Edition run comments about the unfathomable boss patterns, frugal health pickups, and the I-frames that Weren't. This could really be the last improvement to the run you're going to be seeing in a very long time. Perhaps even... ze fainaru rebishion!

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