Weekend 556.0

I just finished maintenance on Playmobil365.com. My tribute project celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Playmobil is 9 years old! Updates included link hygiene, comment culling, platform hardening, etc. The BIGGEST update was retrofitting categories to EVERY post. This was an old ambition and finally used some downtime to tackle. There are a couple of vignettes and now you can easily isolate the posts and photos related to those stories. All of this was done as early preparation for a 10-year anniversary project (details soon).

If you’ve never visited Playmobil365.com there are tons of tributes to classic video games (Pac-Man and Sid Meijer’s Pirates), 80s bands and artists like A-ha, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Paul Simon and Howard Jones, Disney animation, artists, imagineers and theme park attractions, football clubs like Southampton, Morecambe, and Metz, writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Jeff Bridges via TRON and The Big Lebowski, places like London and Bermuda, and Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai, and Haruki Murakami and FINALLY pop culture references like the nod to Garth Marenghi and Stanley Kubrick.

DM me if you can name the movie tribute to Miyazaki and Shinkai and the book title of the tribute to Murakami.

>>> BONUS: Sweet, sweet, sweet tyre pron.

Speaking of…

There have been some significant 20th and 50th Anniversaries the last few years- Naruto, Kingdom Hearts, NY Islanders, and Walt Disney World.

2022: Year-in-review

A couple of paragraphs to close out 2022. This is the year I said goodbye to London and put an exclamation point on Kingdom Hearts. I spent a night in Gettysburg and a couple more in Paris. I crossed the English Channel via the Eurostar. I read the Brothers York and Faith of Our Fathers. I saw the Wilton Diptych at the British Museum and watched the Southampton Saints WIN under the lights against the Norwich Canaries. I tracked down stained-glass in Hereford from a Christmas card given to my mom and dad by our parish priest. I hiked to Towton, outside York, to visit a battlefield that was pivotal in the War of the Roses. I toured all of the northern cathedrals- York, Durham, and Lincoln. I also travelled to the very edge of Empire for a weekend in Penzance and Lands End. There were a couple of more Saints matches, including a memorable one in Cambridge for the Carabao Cup. There were three Championship League matches in Stoke, Norwich, and Sunderland. I hosted my brother in the spring and we went to Southampton, London, and Ramsgate. I also caught Football: Designing the Beautiful Game at the Design Museum before it closed.

My last couple of weekend trips in England were to Coventry, Exeter, and Bath. One of the highlights of the year was mass at the Cathedral Church St John the Baptist in Norwich.

My BIG birthday was at PNC Arena to see my beloved NY Islanders put a hurt on the Hartford Whalers Carolina Hurricanes and I was at the Bridgeport Islanders home opener. I also went to a Bridgeport Islanders game to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NY Islanders.

Thames River Ride (1986) by Harper Goff. Scan is from The Art of Walt Disney World Resort

Kingdom Hearts Unanswered Questions

Sora, listen. The power of waking isn’t to go chase hearts around! Even if you do locate Kairi, you might never come home to us again.

(1) What is the wild card Luxord gave Sora for?

Sora: What’s this?
Luxord: A wild card. You’ve earned it. Hang on to it.
Luxord: Could turn the tables.
Sora: Play ya again someday, when we’re just guys.

(2) Who is Nameless Star in The Final World?

(3) Who is the fifteen-year-old girl that Lea and Saïx were visiting in Radiant Garden?

(4) Will Kairi’s Grandmother have a significant role in future titles?

(5) Why are Terra, Aqua, and Ventus in the Realm of Darkness?

(6) Who killed Strelitzia? (CBR.com)”

(7) What is Kairi dreaming about in the laboratory of Ansem the Wise?

(8) Master or Masters, Yozora, Xigbar, Pete, and Maleficent oh my.

Kingdom Hearts III

Ansem Report Podcast

The hosts have guests sit on the hot seat and answer thirteen KH related questions. Here’s my pass at answering those questions. Questions 12 and 13 aren’t really applicable so I have a couple of substitutes.

(Q1) Favorite KH game?
(A1) Birth By Sleep
(Q2) Favorite non-KH game?
(A2) 2400 AD
(Q3) Favorite KH character?
(A3) Aqua
(Q4) Favorite Disney movie¹?
(A4) Meet the Robinsons
(Q5) Favorite KH villain?
(A5) Luxord
(Q6) Favorite Keyblade?
(A7) Starlight
(Q7) What world do you want to see in KH4?
(A8) Silly Symphonies: Music Land, Lullaby Land, and/or King Neptune²
(Q8) Favorite KH song?
(A8) Heroes and Heroines: Characters’ Medley by Yoko Shimomura
(Q9) What does the KH community mean to you?
(A9) Incredible fan art
(Q10) Favorite song in Melody of Memory?
(A10) I didn’t play this title!
(Q11) Best Nort?
(A11) Master Xehanort
(Q12) What are your goals next year for content creation?
(A12) See Below
(Q13) Shamelessly plug your stuff
(A13) See Below

My alternatives for Q12 and Q13:

(Q12_A) Favorite Mini-Game?
(A12_A) Rumble Racing (Birth By Sleep)
(Q13_A) Favorite World?
(A13_A) Neverland, La Cité des Cloches, and Prankster’s Paradise

¹Unclear whether or not they mean full length feature animation and/or live action film. If it’s live action, it’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Love Bug, The Black Hole, Tron, The Rocketeer, and Tron: Legacy

²This could rival Cuphead stylistically.

Kingdom Heart 3: Risk Taker Trophy (.01%)

There was one trophy left when I finished KH and KH: Re Mind. The Risk Taker Trophy is ultra-rare and according to PS only achieved by .01% of all players. In order to achieve this trophy, you must replay KH, KH: Re Mind, and Limit Cut and defeat each boss with a massive handicap (basically NO cures, etc.) via PRO CODES. The BIGGER the handicap the more points you earn -and- this means you won’t have to defeat ALL of Organization XIII in Limit Cut.

The ‘A Rank’ unlocked for me with 364,375 points after I defeated Dark Riku. I fought Xion (just for fun) with most of the PRO CODES off and earned another 9,375 points to finish with 373,750¹ points.

I’m NOT a good gamer (old man with diminished dexterity) but the ONLY battle I had to cheese was Terra-Xehanort. I went to the DM three-times!

Notes
(1) I owe Pedro from Pedro’s Gaming Corner on YouTube royalties. His ‘how to’ guides for the data battles are amazing.
(2) I don’t ever want to hear Goofy say “they got lotsa of cargo to sort out” again!
(3) There are a couple of great guides on Reddit that are invaluable. This one from u/ZeroSora is top shelf.
(4) The YouTube guide from Tealgamemaster is the best summary I could find.
(5) Played the game for a total of 94:32 (started around October 1st).
(6) Achieved MAX points in the main game at 165,000; Re Mind 175,000 and 25,000 in Limit Cut. See below for the rest of the points.
(7) The toughest battles for me were Sköll, Dark Inferno, Xemnas, and Terra-Xehanort.
(8) Kingdom Hearts 3: The Best Order For The Limit Cut Data Battles (GAMERANT)

Data BattlesPoints
Larxene16,250
Marluxia16,250
Xigbar16,250
Terra-Xehanort16,875
Xemnas15,625
Vanitas16,250
Young Xehanort16,250
Saix16,875
Ansem16,875
Riku Replica16,875
Xion9,375

¹Defeated Master Xehanort on December 31, 2022 for a total of 381,875 points (+8,125).