ToraDora! impresses me almost every episode with the depth of its characters and writing. I've always thought Kushieda Minori was a good character, but episode 9 really proved why. In the scene where Ryuuji and Minori are staring at the stars, she gives a surprisingly-candid explanation of her attitude towards love, which is not unlike LaRochefoucauld's maxim about love and ghosts. Ryuuji's wistful response is that perhaps in some cases, a person is able to see a ghost because they wanted to see it. She responds with a seemingly non-sequitur comment pointing out a UFO, which Ryuuji assures her is a satellite. She deosn't really push the issue, but I at least picked up on her meaning: if you want to see something, you might see it in places it doesn't exist, ignoring the obvious explanation. It's such a brilliantly subtle comment that I can't help wanting to blog about it, and it cements my respect for Minori as a character and ToraDora! as a show.
I've always hated how the most frustratingly difficult puzzles in some games (RPGs especially) are not actually meant to be hard. They're the "puzzles" where you simply did not see the place where you were supposed to go next, the button you were supposed to press, or whatever, and you spent hours wandering around looking for it under the misconception that it's actually much harder than it really is. The problem is, this happens to me all the time.
Finally, after everything I've been through, I managed to finish playing CLANNAD. I installed the game on September 1, so that puts it at exactly 3 months to finishing the game, though realistically, I wasn't playing for most of those. And, the last few paths, I played in marathon sessions, roughly one night each. So it's not unrealistic to say that this game has been consuming my life for quite a while now. Yet, now that I'm finished, I don't feel relieved to be over it or anything. I just have this drained, anachronistic feeling: I feel like I lived my entire life last night, and the "after story" is what happens now.
UPDATE 2: I figured out what was causing the game to freeze up in After Story, and fixed the patch. Skip to the bottom for the updated link. I still haven't tested it on the school life section, but I can now confirm that it is possible to finish After Story, including the True Ending. If you've already unlocked After Story using a previous unofficial patch, you can definitely get 100% CGs and music this way.
UPDATE: The patch uploaded here still has some glitches (it freezes up fairly early in After Story) so it's probably best not to use it until further updates.
As I've mentioned before, I've been playing CLANNAD recently. To be more precise, I've been using an incomplete patch that was compiled from the CLANNAD Translation Project. However, after finishing all 10 routes, I discovered that the unofficial patch doesn't include the translation for After Story (the concluding arc of the game). That's pretty important for me, so I created a patch that provides an updated translation of the game, including After Story.
Currently, the team translating Clannad has posted their translations on a wiki, but they have not officially given out anything that can be used to play the game. So, I downloaded their translations, learned how to use RLDev, and created a new SEEN.TXT file that is (for the most part) up-to-date with the project's translation as of November 11, 2008. For those who are curious how I did it, read on. (Otherwise, you can skip ahead.)
As I was packing up to return to school after this break, I spotted my old laptop, lying all by its lonesome against my desk. When I spotted it, I recalled the things left unfinished with it - most importantly, my save from Ever17 - the out of infinity. Now, some time ago (perhaps a year and a half?) the laptop had broken, just stopped turning on. So I thought I might take the hard disk out and bring it to school where ITS has an enclosure they could use to copy my data. But since I don't have a screwdriver with which to take the computer apart, I couldn't simply do that. So instead, for no particularly good reason, I plugged in the computer and turned it on, when lo! and behold... it worked.
More and more each year, I find coming home for Thanksgiving to be a surreal experience. It occupies a strange space in my life: it's too short to get used to being at "home", but it's not like it's a vacation, since I'm spending it at the place I used to live. Instead, I get this strange impression that I've driven some untold hours through a portal into the past, and arrived in the life I lived up to four years ago.