Eric's Blog

National Puppy Day

Nearly every day of the year has a holiday attached to it. Whether it be lovers embracing one another on Valentine's Day, or mathematicians becoming giddy on Pi Day, each one boasts something unique.

Well, today is National Puppy Day—a day when dog lovers from all around can proudly show off their pups. Being a big fan of dogs myself, I just couldn't pass up the chance to share my four dogs with you. The picture quality isn't great, but please enjoy.

Leelee wrapped in a blanket.
Leelee wrapped in a blanket.
Koda enjoying the sun and keeping guard outside.
Koda enjoying the sun and keeping guard outside.
Sadie on the trail of something in a pond.
Sadie on the trail of something in a pond.
Buddy lazily soaking up the sun while lying on the grass.
Buddy lazily soaking up the sun while lying on the grass.
Everyone having fun outside.
Everyone having fun outside.
While my dogs are all too old to be called puppies, they'll always be puppies to me.

How are you celebrating National Puppy Day? Do you have dogs? How about cats? Does your pet have a holiday? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Free Steam Game Giveaway

Humble Bundle is a great place for PC gamers to get some fun games for cheap while supporting charity. I recently bought a few bundles, but some of the games just don't interest me, so I'm giving them away for free.

Subnautica (already claimed)

Explore the depths of an eerie alien ocean in this underwater adventure.
Explore the depths of an eerie alien ocean in this underwater adventure.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (already claimed)

Experience life as an octopus pretending to be a human in this silly adventure.
Experience life as an octopus pretending to be a human in this silly adventure.

Guacamelee! Gold Edition (already claimed)

Fight your way through a Mexican folklore-inspired world in this action-platformer.
Fight your way through a Mexican folklore-inspired world in this action-platformer.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered (already claimed)

Save the world from a tentacle monster in this classic point-and-click adventure.
Save the world from a tentacle monster in this classic point-and-click adventure.
If any of these games sparked your interest, let me know in the comments, and feel free to claim them for yourself. Happy gaming!

Adventure of Link's Cryptic English Translation

When I was sixteen, I received Zelda II: The Adventure of Link from Nintendo as a part of their Ambassador Program on the Nintendo 3DS. I thought the game was fantastic.

The visuals, while certainly looking dated, boast that familiar charm found in most classic games of the era, and the game-play and music are equally as timeless. The game is still great fun even to this day, despite its bizarre shift to a side-scroller.

Unlike its predecessor, Zelda II is mostly played as a side-scroller.
Unlike its predecessor, Zelda II is mostly played as a side-scroller.
I fondly recall passing through Ruto Town, a settlement nestled in the mountainous region of the map, in my first play-through when I met a cryptic character who had only one thing to say: "I AM ERROR"—a statement which left me puzzled.

At the time, I was not sure whether this was a bug in the software, or if the character's name truly was "Error". Either way, I brushed it off and continued with the game.

"I AM ERROR"
"I AM ERROR."
Several years passed and I forgot all about Error and his vague, cryptic ways. It was only after watching a YouTube video on the subject that it all came back to me. I recommend watching the video for yourself, but the gist of it is that the English translation was a mistake, and that his name really is "Error".

Curious to confirm this for myself, I decided to play the Japanese version of Zelda II, and I was not disappointed.

The Japanese text reads, "My name is Error..."
The Japanese text reads, "My name is Error..."
Somewhat to my surprise, the video was correct—his name really is "Error"! Also, the Japanese is quite clear here, which makes me wonder why the translation was so vague in the English version. Some questions, I suppose, may never be answered.

Interestingly, the majority of in-game text is written in katakana. This is likely due to katakana's angular nature, which aids in its readability when a limited pixel count is concerned. It is also for this reason that few retro games prominently feature kanji.

Hungry for more information on this topic, I turned to Google, which is when I came across Legends of Localization, a site dedicated to cataloging changes in video game translations. The site even has a page about Error himself! Check it out!

What do you think about Zelda II's cryptic English translation? Do you know of any other poorly translated video games? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Help This Cat Find Her Lost Kittens

Making a game over the course of a weekend was a blast back in May. When I saw that the guys over at the Allegro community were throwing together another game-making event, I just knew I had to participate. So I did.

The event was "KrampusHack"—a loosely organized game jam based on the popular Christmas game called "Secret Santa". Each participant submitted a wishlist of game ideas, and then made a game for another participant based on their wishlist.

I was assigned to a guy named Mark who likes cats. The end result was Kitten Kerfuffle, a game about helping Nini, a mother cat, find her lost kittens in the woods.

Nini and two of her kittens.
Nini and two of her kittens.
In Kitten Kerfuffle, you assume the role of Nini, a mother cat who has lost her kittens. You have until nightfall to find all ten of your kittens, lest they will succumb to below freezing temperatures overnight. Will you find them all in time?

Just like with my last game, Kitten Kerfuffle's source code is freely available on GitHub. Likewise, pre-compiled versions are available for both Windows and Linux.

Feel free to give the game a gander and leave me your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section! I look forward to hearing from you!