BinaryOptionsMagnet – Binary Options system – Forex-Shop

Heritage (4)

First Chapter
Previous Chapter
The view of Sanctuary was made even more impressive as An’Ra and his team waited in the V-Lift. Through the window, they can see the ornate streets curving through resplendent pools underneath, dotted by the occasional fountain.
“I hate this.” Vora groaned, dressed in a soldier’s standard battle uniform. “Why are we here, Commander?”
“We were investigating genocide and possible use of bioweapons,” Sonak explained, “Even without the first part, Strain Y is going to scare a lot of people. I think it’s reasonable for the Council to take a personal interest in this. Besides, I think the real issue here is the fact you might actually have to speak to the Council.”
“But...ugh, fine. Yes, I wasn’t mentally prepared for it when An’Ra came along and went, Party’s over, ass to the Council, now.”
“Hey now.” An’Ra feigned offense, “I didn’t say it that way, did I?”
“Kind of close, Commander.” Sonak chuckled.
“But still, I think that this isn’t about keeping the galaxy safe.” Vora sighed. “I think the Council’s keeping an eye open for any opportunity to to convince the galaxy they’re still in charge.”
“Or maybe they genuinely want to make sure that we’re not at risk of dying a horrible death by watching our own bodies melt.” Sonak shrugged. “Strain Y doesn’t care if you’re an officer or infantry.”
“That assumes the Council cares about what’s going on outside of these walls.” Vora glanced over, wariness in her look.
“Either way, we’re going to get our answer. Eyes open.” An’Ra said as the V-Lift doors parted ways, revealing the same ornate architecture within. Trees and grasses stole the eye as they walked through the hallways, various government officials from the myriad races conversing and conducting whatever business they were doing. After walking up some steps, they arrived at the large double-doors that lead to the Council Chambers. Standing on each side were the guards constantly on watch for any potential attack. Both of them Anaran, as expected. On approach, the guards opened up the doors to allow An’Ra and his team in.
When they entered, the room was probably more magnificent than they expected. A grand, curved window dominated the view. An unintrusive look into the beautiful splendor of Sanctuary. Directly in front of An’Ra and his team was a pathway that led to a semi-circular desk, standing in front of the raised platform that the Council sat, who had just now noticed the arrivals and are settling themselves in.
And it was there An’Ra got a good look at the Council. Four of them, half Esti, half Huak. An’Ra secretly never liked the Esti, the way he could see menacing fangs when their flat mouths opened, or those flaps of scale that expands outward into a hood. It just unnerved him, a reason he could never really find out. As soon as he sensed that they were ready, he walked up to the desk, wearing his officer’s dress uniform, comprised of a fine, smooth fabric shirt, adorned with a fluffy sash that went from his right shoulder down to his left side, shoulder pads accented with shining studs and finished with awards placed on his top-left chest, awards hard earned back in the Great War.
“Commander An’Ra.” The Huak councilor on the far right side, Neual, began, thick fingers interlaced together as he rested his hands on the desk. “Thank you for agreeing to this unusual request, we are very appreciative.”
“It’s no trouble, Councilor.” An’Ra gave a slight bow. “How can I help?”
“We’ll start at the beginning.” The first Esti councilor, Zhur, stated, holding up a secure datapad to ensure the information is easily accessible. “Strain Y. Your report says that while there is confirmation it was used, it was not used in significant quantities. Can you elaborate on that for us?”
“Previous uses of Strain Y all had one thing in common,” An’Ra began, “The amount deployed saturated the atmosphere of the planets they were used on. This is because, despite its lethality, is not actually that infectious. In order to guarantee the total elimination of a planet’s population, you will need to deploy it in such large numbers that everyone will be infected within minutes of deployment. In this case, for Planet 3, there simply wasn’t enough to reach that threshold.”
“At which you go on to state that thermal weapons were used in a state of panic,” Yhiz, the second Esti councilor, added, “Can you explain your reasoning for us?”
“As established before, Strain Y was used on the planet. My working theory is that, when they discovered that they grossly underestimated the amount needed, they panicked and used thermal weapons to both try and burn out the supplies used and finish the genocide they started.”
“But if thermal weapons were indeed used, how did you confirm Strain Y was deployed?” Zhur spoke up.
“We found pieces of Strain Y’s genetic material on the planet’s surface.” An’Ra glanced over to Zhur’s direction. “And as I arrived back in the system, I received a quantum packet from the expedition, stating that they have confirmed that Strain Y was indeed used. Adding that with the obvious use of thermal weaponry, I concluded that the attackers didn’t use enough of the weapon to guarantee extinction.”
Zhur leaned back in her seat, scarlet eyes fixated on the desk. An’Ra couldn’t tell if she was trying to find a counter argument or just processing the information.
“Have you found any evidence that can tell us if there’s more of the strain out in the galaxy?” Neual asked after giving a sigh through his wide nostrils.
“I’m afraid not, sir. All I can definitively say is that this planet fell victim to a biological Cruel Weapon.”
“I’m more concerned about the native life.” Ghala, the final and second Huak councilor, stated after being silent. “Are you absolutely certain that none of the planet’s indigenous life survived?”
“The scientific team said that there’s a very low chance of that.” An’Ra’s ears flattened. “And after seeing the surface myself, I must agree. I don’t think we should wait for a miracle.”
“Ah...I see.” Ghala leaned back in his chair, obviously disheartened. “Even if the planet is now incapable of supporting life, we still wish to move forward with a more symbolic gesture and statement by declaring Planet 3 of System AQ 115-4A illegal for colonization.”
“But let’s move onto what I believe is the most pressing issue: the identity of the attackers.” Neual leaned forward. “Based on your report, you and the team have found nothing that neither confirms nor clears any potential suspect?”
“That’s correct, Councilor.” An’Ra nodded. “We’ve found nothing, within the system and on the planet itself, that tells us anything about who did it.”
“Are there any surviving infrastructure on the planet?” Ghala asked, straightening his posture. “Even if there isn’t much, maybe the natives’ equipment has something we can use?”
“As established before, the planet was devastated terribly. There are indeed ruins of their civilization, but whether or not we can salvage anything from them is a different story.” An’Ra answered with a sigh.
“So in that case, the Qu’Rathi are still the likely aggressors then.” Zhur stated.
“I’m not convinced.” An’Ra shook his head. “Everything we have so far is just circumstantial, nothing solid.”
“Yes, that proves they did it. But looking at it from a different perspective, nothing that proves they didn’t do it either.” Zhur countered, her eyes squinting some.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to press forward with what I think you’re planning, Councilor.” An’Ra leaned forward on the table, ears flattening back. “If you do, and we uncover evidence that clearly proves their innocence, you will be pushing an innocent race away.”
“But if we uncover evidence that proves their guilt, then the trial will be much more expedient.” Yhiz joined in, his eyes also squinting slightly.
“With respect Council, I still think that’s the worst decision you can make.” An’Ra’s teeth began to bare as he spoke. “We can’t make any decision until we acquire more evidence.”
“Nothing we have proves that Strain Y is permanently removed as a future threat.” Zhur started, “Nothing we have proves that the Federation did not do anything. Right now, we have the threat of a Class 4 Cruel Weapon looming over everyone’s heads. People will start becoming scared, start wondering if their shadows will melt them at any time.”
“I know that Councilors!” An’Ra raised his voice. “Give me time! I’m not saying this is over yet, just let me keep looking!”
“We aren’t stopping your investigation, Commander.” Neual said, holding his hand up slightly. “We’re just informing you that you may not have the time you thought you had.”
“What does that mean?” An’Ra’s ears stuck out at an angle, mixed between stiffening and anger.
The councilors looked at each other for a few moments before Zhur stood up and took in a deep breath. “Commander, based on both the collected evidence so far, and lack of any other evidence, the Council has decided to proceed with charging the Qu’Rathi Federation on counts of Genocide, possession of a Cruel Weapon, and deployment of Cruel Weapons with intent for malicious harm. Out of respect for your efforts, Commander, we will give you eight months to continue your investigation. Beyond that, we will close your investigation to allow the courts time to process and review what has been collected.”
“Are you insane?!” An’Ra shouted. “Do you even realize what would happen if you’re wrong?!”
“We do, Commander.” Zhur nodded. “But the risk is just too high. The safety of the galaxy and justice for the inhabitants of System AQ 115-4A must be our top priority. This debrief is over.”
An’Ra stood in complete and stunned silence, watching the Council casually get up from their seats and dispersing to their own private offices. It wasn’t until that they have fully left the chambers that An’Ra finally found the will to move and regroup with Sonak and Vora, both of whom are also equally stunned.
“Those ekas!” Vora exclaimed. “It’s bad enough to be quick at accusing someone, but how dare they claim this is for those humans!”
“And here I thought all those things the news were saying was just to get people to watch them.” Sonak muttered softly. “Commander, obviously this is bad.”
“I know, Sonak.” An’Ra crossed his arms, ears now pointing straight back and teeth fully bared. “We can’t let them do this.”
“But what can we do?” Sonak exclaimed. “What options do we have?”
“Alliance Enforcement!” Vora declared. “Commander, what if you filed a complaint to the Lord-Enforcer? Tell him what’s going on?”
“That’s a good idea actually.” Sonak nodded. “If we convince the Lord-Enforcer that the Council is being too hasty with our investigation, which shouldn’t be hard, he just might deny the Council’s request for prosecution!”
“I can’t imagine the Lord-Enforcer approving this even without our complaint.” An’Ra replied. “Still, never hurts to be prepared. Come on, let’s get to it.”

Jur’El leaned back in the puffy seat he was assigned to. The restaurant he entered had a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The lighting was dimmed, which complimented the dark but cozy ambiance of the room. The walls and floor each had a dark-themed color scheme, the seats were of a different scheme but not too different to oppose the goal set by the designer. And although the building was packed with customers, their conversations did not threaten to turn anyone deaf. It was a quiet and relaxed experience, something he needed desperately.
Even now, as hard as he tried to focus on how delicious his food was, how balanced the flavor and texture of it was, he was still forced to relive what happened on Planet 3. He could hear the sudden screams of his colony group. The scientists who were first awoken that wanted to find out why their Life world was so different to the data they were given. To the families and menial workers who were just talking amongst themselves and organizing the supplies when those machines stormed the ship. And what still terrifies him, still sends his heart racing, was when that one machine entered the control room, blood drenching its chassis. Bits and pieces of Qu’Rathi innards on its cold mechanical manipulators. How it just stared at him, lifelessly, with a rifle aiming right at his chest. And those drills. Those ghenning drills.
He was forced out of his torment by the rough poking of his shoulder. When he looked, it was another Qu’Rathi. “Captain Jur’El, right?”
“Uh..yes, who are you?” He nodded in confusion.
“Jhen.” She introduced herself, quickly taking a seat opposite from him. “I need to talk to you.”
“About what?”
“The expedition to that system deep in the Dead Zone.” She glared at him, mandibles tense. “The same system who’s Life world had a native population, the very same world being investigated as a genocide site, where your expedition went to settle.”
“Jhen, please, we had no idea what was going on.” Jur’El leaned back, hands raised in a defensive posture. “All we were told was that this was the most pristine and beautiful Life world ever discovered in a system rich with stellar bodies.”
“I don’t care about that. What I care is how you seem to be the only one who came back.” Jhen started raising herself from her seat. “I’m pretty sure that anyone who attempts to colonize a freshly cleansed world is forcibly removed from that planet and returned to their respective people. So where is everyone?”
Jur’El’s eyes went wide. He knew exactly where this was going. “I...I can’t tell you.”
“Don’t you dare.” Jhen snarled, now leaning over the table. “I’ve heard enough of that from the company, I’m not here to be force-fed more of it!”
“Just...trust me,” Jur’El spoke softly, shakily leaving his seat, “You don’t want to know.”
“Don’t you ghenning walk away from me!” Jhen shouted, grabbing Jur’El’s shoulder firmly, the other patrons now locking eyes to the two. “Two of my sons were on that mission! What happened to them?!”
Jur’El clutched his head with a hand firmly, feeling tears exploding out of his eyes. His mind rushing back to those scenes. The sounds, the smell, the fear. Everything crashed into him all at once. And they’re not just memories now. They’re all coming back to him as if he was transported in time and placed back to the exact moment it started. Back to the moment where he was screaming for his wife and son to hide, to find a corner of the ship that was hard to see and to stay there until the shooting stopped. How he felt his heart give out when he heard them beg for their life when they were found, cut short by the merciless cracks of their alien weapons. How every possible feeling melted away when the clanking of the machine’s walking approached him, when he realized there was no nowhere in the control room to hide, not with how thorough those things were being. The frantic, mindless begging he got into when he saw the blood covered machine hold that weapon to him.
“You’re safe!” A voice rang out. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for him to come back. That scene melting away back into the restaurant. All those smells and sights to be gone. When he was certain that it was over, he looked around. There was Jhen, face beaten and currently being restrained by a blue-furred Anaran. And in front of him was another, gray-furred one. “You hear me? You’re safe now!”
“I...wh-what happened?”
“We saw what was going on. The Qu’Rathi over there? She was just screaming down your throat, all while you were just on the floor. Ken’A there nearly caved her face in by the time we got some distance between you two.”
“Th...thank you.” Jur’El muttered, shakily getting himself back on his feet with the help of the gray Anaran. Jur’El was just about to walk away when the Anaran firmly, but not threateningly, gripped his shoulder.
“I know the signs, friend.” He began softly. “Your soul is badly wounded and is bleeding heavily. Just like a doctor if you’re shot or cut, you need to find someone to talk to, get your soul back together.”
“As long as I don’t run into another person like her, I’ll be fine.” Jur’El countered, trying to walk away still.
“No, you won’t.” The Anaran still held his grip. “I need you to trust me. With how bad your soul is right now, doing anything other than talking to someone will just make it worse. And when your soul dies, well...believe me, it’s not a good experience, for anybody.”
Jur’El stared into the gray Anaran’s orange eyes for a moment before he let out a sigh. “You’re not going to give up, are you?”
“I’ve seen what happens too many times. Good Battle-Brothers, completely different people. Either they’re just shadows of themselves, or doomed to forever relive their horrors. If I have the chance to prevent it happening again, I’m giving it my all.”
Jur’El looked aside for a few moments, internally fighting himself as to whether he should comply or keep resisting. He finally reached his decision when he became certain that the Anaran would most likely hunt him down as a life mission if he didn’t seek therapy. “Fine, I’ll do it. Got anyone in mind?”
“A dear friend of mine. He’ll get you back on track, promise.” The Anaran patted Jur’El’s shoulder a few times before proceeding to lead him, motioning for Ken’A to let go of Jhen and follow.

Michael, accompanied by his newly founded Praetorian Guard, continued his leisurely stroll down the surprisingly spacious corridor. The hallway itself was typical. All-metal construction with evenly spaced rows of blue-white lights.
The Praetorian Guard themselves are comprised of those Servants who display both extreme scores in combat efficiency and effectiveness in defensive situations. Armed with the absolute best in magnetic-ballistics, the most impenetrable of armor designs and the highest optimized combat-frames, even a squad of these guards can hold off a virtual army, provided they aren’t subjected to bombardment or heavy ordinance.
Just as Michael was about to enter the main command center of the station he was touring, Central contacted him on a private channel.
“Master? Your new administration is ready.” He declared proudly.
“Alright, let’s begin the introductions.” Michael replied, signaling the guardsmen that he’s about to enter a meeting. Although unneeded, the Guard promptly took up a defensive formation around him. He assumes this is mostly to keep unwelcome guests from interrupting him.
The scenery of the tranquil design of the corridor melted away into the virtual world built by neon-blue blocks, the same visual that he witnessed when he first received the interface. After a few moments, several other Servants materialized and stood attention in a semi-circle in front of him.
“My Lord.” The first Servant bowed, its voice deep, if gruff. “I’m Supreme Commander Schwarzkopf, in charge of managing our armed forces and overseeing the grand strategy of the Imperium.”
“I am Secretary Elizabeth.” The second spoke with a calming, soothing feminine voice. “I’m responsible for ensuring our economy runs perfectly. In short, I make sure every project gets the hammers and resources it needs.”
“I’m Foreign Minister Edward, at your service m’Lord.” The third, with a distinct British accent and of a composed, controlled voice. “While regretfully I’m useless at this stage, the moment we initiate contact with xeno species, I’ll handle diplomatic affairs and achieving our goals through negotiations when possible.”
“No offense, but I thought every Servant wants to see aliens dead?” Michael spoke up with slight confusion.
“Oh, of course. The very idea of ripping out the entrails of a xeno and suffocating them with it brings such joy it’s therapeutic.” Benjamin replied. Michael was unsure if he was joking or not. “I was appointed because I displayed the most effective ability at hiding such feelings.”
“Ah...good to know.” Michael nodded dryly, not exactly assured. “Back to where we were?”
“Yes, Lord. I’m Director Mansfield.” The fourth spoke with an eloquent-sounding voice. “I’m in charge of Imperial Intelligence, running operations abroad and managing counter-intelligence on the homefront. I give you my word that we will know everything about the aliens and they will know nothing about us.”
“And that leaves me, Master.” Central began. “As a result of this delegation, I now possess more processing cycles towards research and development. That means that I’ll be in charge of ensuring Imperial dominance in technology. I will also act as your adjutant, filtering out information that does not need your attention.”
“Well...shit, this sounds like an actual government I’m in charge of.” Michael gave out a nervous chuckle. “All the more reason to get down to business though. Let’s start with the first matter. Schwarzkopf, how’s our military coming along?”
“It’s growing rapidly, your majesty.” He answered with distinct pride. “Already we have several hundred frigates, fifty light cruisers and twenty heavy cruisers, with the first wave of battleships due to exit the drydocks within a few days. Additionally, we have established four different army groups with fifty divisions each.”
“I thought we’d take a lot longer.” Michael stated with no hidden amazement.
“There’s great benefit in our workforce able to operate at a hundred percent every hour of the day.” Elizabeth commented, her emotion-flags also indicating pride. “And speaking of which, our population of Servants grows geometrically. That benefits both our economy and the military. Our economy by providing more workers in skilled and unskilled labor, and the military by providing more crew members and soldiers.”
“So in short, it won’t be long before we become a virtual powerhouse.” Michael said, arms crossed.
“Especially if we continue expanding.” Elizabeth nodded. “On that note, we have already claimed several dozen more systems.”
“With Rigel and Betelgeuse selected as naval bases.” Schwarzkopf chimed in.
“So we’re expanding in all the ways, got it.” Michael nodded. “Now the second matter. Terraforming Mars.”
“At present, there are two issues that must be resolved.” Central answered. “The first problem is the planet’s lack of a magnetosphere. Without that, any and all organic life would perish under lethal bombardment of the Sun’s solar wind, in addition to any sustainable atmosphere being lost to space. The second problem is Mars’ inability to retain heat, the cause for it’s known low planetary temperature.”
“And knowing you, you already have possible answers?” Mansfield shrugged.
“Correct. The heat issue is rather trivial to solve. Mars already has an abundant amount of carbon-dioxide within the atmosphere, a well known greenhouse gas. Combined with even more of the gas locked planet side, once temperatures begin to rise, we will set off a snowball effect. However, that is all for naught if the atmosphere is allowed to escape into space by solar wind.”
“So basically the key here is the magnetosphere.” Michael added. “Build that and everything becomes simple.”
“Exactly.” Central affirmed. “Already there are two main methods. One is to build superconducting rings around the planet and drive them with direct current. With enough power, we can generate magnetic fields strong enough to form a virtual magnetosphere.”
“And what’s the second?” Elizabeth said.
“The second is to construct a station at the L1 Lagrange Point that will generate a dipole magnetic field, diverting the solar wind around the planet instead of into it. Although it was simulated using slower, binary processing, the results indicate that Mars would gain half the atmospheric pressure of Earth’s within a few years.”
“So then, the main focus is building that magnetic shield.” Michael spoke firmly. “Elizabeth? Let’s get the ball rolling. Coordinate with Central as needed.”
“At once, my Lord.” Elizabeth bowed.

Unlike the Council chambers, the office of the Lord-Enforcer was much less opulent and more pragmatic. After going through the receptionist area, An’Ra and his team were escorted into the main office itself. However, just like the chambers, a large window dominated the view on entry, granting another view of a city district on Sanctuary.
And sitting in the more rectangular desk was the Lord-Enforcer himself, Dura. Blue eyed, with a fur of dull-orange it reminds of a sunset. As soon as An’Ra and his team walked into the office, the Enforcer sat up, tail wagging.
“Commander An’Ra, in my office!” He exclaimed, arms out to his sides. “Forgive me sir, but I never thought I’d see the day!”
“A pleasure to meet you, sir.” An’Ra replied warmly, greeting the Enforcer with their fists clasped together and pulling themselves inward, shoulder to shoulder.
“Please, no need to be formal with me.” Dura chuckled. “Sit down, what brings you here?”
After taking their respective seats, An’Ra looked at Dura grimly. “I’m here to file a delay on a request for prosecution against the Federation.”
Dura’s ears angled themselves in a mixture of stiffening and lowering. “I just got the paperwork from the Council. And I can tell you that won’t be needed. I’ve already submitted my rejection.”
“With respect, sir.” Sonak spoke up. “I get the feeling that the Council might fight that.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to present my back to them just because they ask.” Dura gave off a grin. “I might be some paper-tosser now, but that just means the battlefield is different. Don’t worry Commander, as long as I’m here, you’ll get the chance to finish this investigation properly.”
“Thank you, Enforcer.” An’Ra smiled as he got up from his seat. “With any luck, you won’t have to fight long.”
“Oh, take your time!” Dura replied with an inflection of humor. “This is the most exciting thing I’ve had in years. Was just about to smash my head on this desk any day now actually.”
“Wait, really?” Vora asked, ears stiffened.
“It’s just a joke, Vora.” Sonak assured dryly.
“Oh...” Her ears flattened as the team exited the office.
When they arrived in the main plaza where the Enforcer’s office is located, they congregated in a small collection of benches nearby an ornate fountain that commemorated the Anaran defense of Felaal IV, largely considered the turning point of the Great War, which further enhanced the beauty of the surrounding scenery of floating walkways above crystal-clear waters.
“Well, that’s a relief, hopefully.” An’Ra began, letting out a decompressing sigh.
“I meant what I said earlier, An’Ra.” Sonak said. “If the Council are determined to charge the Federation, which I’m sure they made abundantly clear, they’re not going to let the Enforcer drop mines in their path just like that.”
“Which just means we can’t lose our focus.” Vora replied sternly. “So, what are our options? We can’t exactly go back to Planet 3, there’s really no leads there.”
“What about that Detective we met when we arrived?” Sonak suggested. “He was handling that whistle blower. Maybe that’s something worth looking into?”
“There’s also the Nav-Net.” Vora said. “All we got right now is that the Feds were at that location, but what if we look at the rest of the network? Try and trace their path?”
“The network doesn’t extend into the Dead Zone.” Sonak countered.
“No, not like that. We look at the network across Alliance space. We start with the logs that end at the Dead Zone, and we try to backtrack their route.”
“We’ll need to obtain legal authorization for that, Vora.” An’Ra stated.
“Actually, if I could add something.” Sonak said with his arms crossed. “If the Federation didn’t actually do it, then that questions the credibility of those codes. I think there’s a question that hasn’t been asked yet. And that is, are those codes faked?”
“That’s...a good point actually.” Vora acceded. “If we get the legal permission to examine the NavNet logs, then if the Federation didn’t do it, the logs across the network won’t support it. Think about it. You need a big fleet to do what just happened, and that fleet has to come from somewhere.”
“And that would mean if this was a frame job, they need a way to account for that.” An’Ra continued, confidence flaring. “It’s one thing to trick a single Nav-Buoy, but I really doubt anyone is capable enough of affecting the network itself.”
“We still need the Enforcer’s help to get access to the network.” Sonak reminded.
“Let’s go get it then.” An’Ra stated firmly. With that, the team left their meeting spot and began returning to the Enforcer’s office.
With confidence in their step, the walk back to the office was much shorter compared to before. However, things took a turn when An’Ra and the team noticed a large gathering of officers around the office entrance. They didn’t have to time to wonder when a group exited the office, dragging a combative Dura out with them.
“Commander, this isn’t good.” Sonak growled under his breath.
An’Ra simply stepped forward and grabbed one of the arresting officers. “What in Arenar’s Sword is going on here?”
“Dura’s under arrest on suspicion of corruption.” The officer replied flatly. “Lil’Al has been appointed as acting Lord-Enforcer.”
“The Council’s behind this, Commander!” Dura shouted, his feet literally dragging along the floor as four officers were taking him away. “Don’t believe a word they say about me!”
An’Ra and his team just stood there in stunned silence, watching and hearing the Anaran official being dragged virtually kicking and screaming. By the time they returned to their senses, hushed conversations was populating both the room and outside.
“We’re not going to get in the network, are we?” Sonak asked, still recovering.
“We still have to try, come on.” An’Ra said, already moving. When the team returned to the office, standing next to the desk was a slender Esti. No doubt Lil’al. She was looking out the window when she turned around upon hearing the encroaching footsteps.
“Yes, may I help you?” She began.
“Acting Lord-Enforcer Lil’Al?” An’Ra began, trying the diplomatic route first. “I’m Commander An’Ra, investigating the genocide by use of Strain Y. We’d like to request legal authorization to examine the logs of the Nav-Net.”
“For what purpose?” She replied, taking her seat.
“We believe that it may hold evidence that either confirms or disproves the Federation’s alleged involvement in the attack.”
Lil’Al leaned back in her seat, staring at them. “The Nav-Net is the lifeblood of, well, everything. Commerce, tourism, law enforcement. It holds great information about who has gone where, and in what ship, Commander. You realize that, don’t you?”
“I do, and what you’ve said precisely states how important that is, how important the potential evidence is.”
Lil’Al stayed motionless for a few moments, her long, lithe fingers twiddling about that indicates her thought. “Very well, I’ll start the paperwork to get you authorization, just be mindful of what you’re about to analyze.”
“Thank you.” An’Ra gave a slight bow. “In addition, I’m not sure if it’s been passed along, but Dura has rejected the Council’s request for prosecuting the Federation. Can I assume you’ll uphold that?”
“I’m afraid not, Commander.” Lil’Al replied flatly. “The galaxy has suffered a great loss through the genocide of a race who’ve suffered the universe’s cruel sense of humor by being placed both far away from us and deep within an almost uninhabitable region. I have overturned Dura’s rash decision and accepted the Council’s request.”
“Then I’d like to file a delay on that decision, immediately.” An’Ra replied, ears flattened back.
“On what grounds?”
“Lack of decisive evidence, to start.”
“Same could be said on your side, Commander.” Lil’Al let out a sigh. “Yes, all the evidence collected thus far is not...ideal. However, the most significant points at this time are that a young race who was just about to leave their homeworld was exterminated through the most horrible of all options. We cannot ignore that.”
“But we also can’t rush to conclusions. We need to continue investigating and only go after someone if we have at least one crucial piece of information.” An’Ra countered, arms crossed and his teeth starting to bare.
“And I agree, that’s how it should be done.” Lil’Al replied. “But if we do, we risk dragging out an investigation to such a length we may end up forgetting this tragedy. We cannot allow such an insult to Planet 3’s memory. I’m sorry, but I must reject your petition for judiciary delay.”
Next Chapter
AN: Every single time I paste this in, Reddit is just determined to put it in some code block. Anyways, As of now, I've finally completely locked in the plot for this story, just one major question that could've changed a lot was on my mind for a while. Enjoy!
submitted by SynthoStellar to HFY [link] [comments]

Significant Dualities, in Nature and in Societies

Caution: This article is a long read, and goes in many directions. For the curious mind, it's a lively mindfield to explore and come back again and again. If you prefer poster images, never mind.
Some links occur here mostly because they're interesting, and somehow are part of a duality.
For me, duality means at least two things which are associated somehow, but considered separately are different. We don't need to count above 2, like say 'polyality' because obviously the idea of divergence, or fork, is able to have many 'tines' or separate paths. (See Tuning Fork, below.) We don't have time to cover every possibility, so let's just stick with 2, the most simple case of multiple. (See Rhizome Philosophy for an interesting alternative to this binary association structure. Also the paragraph titled "Association Schemes" in Exploiting the Pyramid.)
We aren't considering pairs of identicals, like dual wheels, two of exactly the same thing, but maybe if there is a small difference, or doubtful meaning between similar things (see dual internal organs under anatomy, below).
Sometimes the association between things is not obvious, in which case we better explain, but most dualities are obviously two tined. Let it go at that.
Tuning Fork, a synchronous dynamic opposition, and also an acoustic device having a dual nature similar to both stringed eg. Piano and other percussion devices (eg. Glockenspiel. See also disambiguation of similar percussion instruments. Tuning forks have the advantage of needing no containment structure because their duality counter-balances the vibrations. All the other devices have a single resonator for each tone.
Dualism (disambiguation index) | wkpd
Fake Word Similarities Dual not confused with duel Dual not confused with do all. (Obvious.)
Duality expressions
flip side
double edged sword
Janus faced
dark side-- bright side
balance equilibrium equation
opposites (word list)
positive-negative (photography))
bilateral symmetry
mirror
images, real vs virtual
paired symbols
yin-yang (principle) yin-yang (history)
Dual Obelisks, ancient Egypt (had different inscriptions on each)
duality as found on tumblr (index)
hypocrisy vs sincerity (philosophical mirror) hypocrisy sincerity sin cere means without wax, not a crackpot idea
Being a Leftist Means never having to Say You’re Sorry title of this essay inspired by a 1970s witticism
dual-process theory of human intelligence
The Balance (disambiguation index) | wkpd, in the physical, a two-sided weight comparator, in the abstract, the equation... possibly the most significant model (3) of reality ever conceived.
Exercising Equations, For Example...
How can things fly, and boats sail upwind?
Bernoulli's two-path model of lift vs Newton's Reaction of air-inertia model of force
Previous link models a lifting surface as a flat-plane and air is deflected in a single direction. Modeling a lifting surface as an arc also works, but no simple reference explaining this is found. So I'm going to do it, very briefly...
Imagine a wing, or sail, is a simple arc, and a small sample of air passing by it is like a stone on a string.. Air has mass, therefore thrusting it around a curve causes a reaction force opposite the center of the curve (aka lift.)
This is an important example because large commercial aircraft wings are complex mechanical devices that change shape depending on speed (scroll down to Flaps). At low speed, the wing simulates an arc, and a sail is made loose to form a larger curve. (Sailing in light airs, reduce tension on halyards, while a tight (more flat) sail configuration is called 'close-hauled').
Binary Thinking, True or False?
What is it? | qra
Binary opposition WARNING: Cultural Marxism, deconstruction
False dilemma, an obstacle to effective negotiation, in which nuances and concessions should be considered, not "take it or leave it" ultimatums
GOOD, BAD, UGLY? 2015 | stnfd
Example: Evolution vs Religious Tradition (Creationism) Purpose or no Purpose, that's the question: Darwinism: Survival without Purpose 2007 Another example from Mark Driscoll
Biblical Christianity requires black-and-white thinking because it is dualistic... Mainstream culture refuses to allow any categories because that would mean making distinctions, which ultimately ends in making value judgments. (which is DISCRIMINATION!) For the record, I am in favor of discrimination, not by race, but by behavior record. Discriminating Evolution from Intelligent Design (the flaws clause) 7 min
Boolean Logic
technical: Bifurcation theory
Binary Options
Nature
Wave–particle duality | wkpd Wave–particle duality (article index) | scidly Light and Sound CGI video, wave-particle duality 25 min
position vs momentum (uncertainty principle)
observer vs object observed (anthropic principle)
Energy-mass duality | wkpd
Mutual-Influence Orbital Oscillation Patterns
Mass Duality vs Time, Effects
Lunacy; tidal lock one side seen, one side hidden
Orbital resonance
Example: Earth-Luna orbit each other; Luna's mass is 0.0123 of earth's. Earth oscillates due to Luna, but radius of orbit is less than Earth's radius, so it's less obvious. See Barycenter. See also NASA, Moon, Luna's orbit, and Libration. https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/24243/what-is-the-difference-between-a-xylophone-a-glockenspiel-marimba-a-xylorimba#24245
Earth Mother Goddess Duo: Gaia/Medea Hypothesis
anatomy
Internal Organ Duals, Why? What are paired organs? (lists) 2018 | qra Symmetry Why do we have two of some organs, but not all? 2014 | stkxchg
Respiratory-Circulatory System Overlap (dual function) Venous Blood forced by thoracic-ambient pressure differential... Heart and lungs are together in the pulmonary cavity, experience simultaneous pressure fluctuations (scroll down to 'Respiratory Pump'), thus fluid influx and egress (air is a fluid). Respiration includes blood circulation, the respiratory and circulatory systems are inextricably linked.
Note that previous articles omit hydrostatic pressure which influences venous circulation (fluid pressure is higher at lower elevations, depending on density; eg. Hg (used in barometers) is 13.534g/cm3, blood is 1.06 g/cm3 (slightly more than water)). When you experience tingling, numbness or swelling due to inactivity, raise the inactive limbs above heart, gravity will help the circulation. Also, dizziness might be due to pressure variations in brain, such as suddenly standing upright after kneeling for awhile. Move more slowly.
Notice that we have only indirect control over heart-rate. We can increase physical activity (especially respiration) voluntarily, then the autonomous nerve system takes care of the rates.
Sex
Origin of Sex
Reproduction, Evolution of
When Did Sex Become Fun? 2016 | spns
A Brief History of Human Sex 2006 | lvsci
Chromosome Duality predicts longevity, reliably Scientists Discover Why women live longer Petrov 8 min
The sex with the reduced sex chromosome dies earlier: a comparison across the tree of life Mar.2020
polarity
electrical
chemical
Polarization (waves) see also Introduction to Polarized Light
magnetic geomagnetic pole
geographic
antipodes
Bi-polar Disorder (mental health)
Dysphoric Mania in Bipolar Disorder (reality IS bipolar, see previous links)
dysphoria is a profound state of unease or a general dissatisfaction with life
split personality, eg. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Euphoria vs Dysphoria
psycho-active stimulants create euphoria 10 BEST LEGAL EUPHORIC HIGH HERBS 2017 See also 4 Most Euphoric Nootropics
What are Nootropics?
What Is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?
Society
DUO - Animation Short Film (Fr) 2014 - GOBELINS (for some performance artists, life is a matter of trust) 3.5 min
Dual inheritance theory
Moral Duality
Bi-polar Disorder (social inequality), topic continues under heading "Double Standard of Morality" (scroll down)... A simple two-tier arrangement of mucked-up social "order" which originated in prehistoric times, a result of a conquering group, aka "ruling class" which maintains a dominant position (see Dominance as social construct). The privileged class takes advantage in several ways, one of which allows THEM to commit crimes against US without consequence, but the reverse situation is dealt with harshly.
Assuming there is an ecological crisis, Culture Dysphoria 2015
The historic task of cultural change is to resolve throughout the dominant culture the distortions of rationalist human/nature dualisms that deny our ecological embodiment and membership of the global ecological community.
In Reality, trends toward the Cosmopolitan Cluster are profoundly dissatisfying to conservative individuals. The CC issue is a case of 'the melting pot'. see also Cosmopolitan Cluster
The urban rural divide in the US and other complexities of polarization JUL.17,2019 | ToL
Indivi-DUAL
New idea: 'indivi', I'm going to premise means not divided, a singleton, and dual means two. That leads us to... a person is an undivided twosome, let's assume it means mind-body.
What exactly is the duality of human nature? | qra (trick question, see answer by Mike Brant, also good, Marcos Sheldon Padilla (per mind-body), see next link)
More about Mind-Body
UR2 CGPGrey 5 min
Dual Citizenship
list of, a good place to look for spies Editorial: The problem of dual citizenship 2014... “dual citizenship can present a security issue whether to permit access to classified information which affects recruitment, employment and assignments.” -US State Dept. In some cases, dual citizenship could disqualify an applicant for a sensitive position with the CIA or the State Department. (But not so for Israelis?)... List Israeli Dual Citizens in the US. 114th Congress; Bernie Sanders is on it 2016 | SotN
Binary Competition US vs THEM
Right vs Left (politics)
angels and demons 2 Class Social Hierarchy (Social Order Simplified)
Double Standard of Morality
... is a necessary adjunct to an US vs THEM ethic... because conflating US with THEM gives us cognitive dissonance; (social) equality is oblivion
The Dual Code of Morality
CHINA Strategy; moral dualities
Double Standard of Morality A necessary adjunct to US vs THEM ethic
social equality is oblivion
Bite the Hand that FED you; Ferried by kin-dness from Diaspora to Serendip, then They try to sink that "kin"ship
How the Jews Destroyed Germany | rjn
Jewish Declaration of War on Nazi Germany 1933
How The Jews Destroyed America | rjn
Nazi Jews- “Jew's own worst enemy!” 2007 Makow\rense
Cabalist Bankers Funded Hitler Via Wehrmacht Sep.2019 | svmls
Jewish Origins of Communism
For (Moses) Hess, the cardinal sin of the Judaic people was to abandon their heritage, while the cardinal objective of his Communism was to persuade all other people to abandon theirs…
Communism was the means for achieving Judaic supremacy over the gentiles. The gentiles were fated to be reduced to a faceless, deracinated mass. Capitalism was also capable of producing this effect, through free trade and the unfettered financialization of society, in which the management of money becomes a vast business in itself, and where the highest virtue, after obeisance to Judaism, is profit.
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide 2018
ve’ahavta (“love your neighbor as yourself”) admonition to Goyim for regarding their Jewish neighbors; as for the Jews themselves, haba le-horgecha, hashkem le-horgo (“he who comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first” as told in 3 Little Pigs))
(wolf) attempts to trick third pig out of his (brick) house by asking to meet him at various places, but he is outwitted each time (3rd pig rises early, does the suggested task, and saves himself from being eaten)
Juice Dualities Juice, and DNA Melting Plot 1
back pages
A take-down of religious "morality" by a "believer"
To Serve the Greater Good, a Moral Philosophy for today++
Survey of Creativity and Destruction 1 Westciv
Garrett Hardin writes: "The essential characteristic of a tribe is that it should follow a double standard of morality -- one kind of behavior for in-group relations, another for out-group." -Wild Taboo "It is a tragic irony that discrimination has produced a species (homo sapiens) that now proposes to abandon the principle responsible for its rise to greatness."
Survey of Creativity and Destruction 8; Survival is Objective #1 in Evolution
Wild Taboo; Hardin/Masters
Competitive Exclusion Principle In the competition for living space and resources between two species (or two groups that occupy the same ecological niche), one will inevitably and inexorably eliminate the other. “In a finite universe – and the organisms of our world know no other – where the total number of organisms of both kinds cannot exceed a certain number… one species will necessarily replace the other species completely if the two species are “complete competitors, i.e., live the same kind of life.”
Historic Walls: Segregation and Security, defensive duo Disapproval of US.MX Border Barrier Design
Musical Duets (entertainment break from difficult study)
2x(Tico) no Fubá - Duo Siqueira Lima - guitar 4 Hands 3 min (includes brief encore) otra vez... 22x (Tico) Zequinha de Abreu arr. N Kossinskaya guitar quartet 4 min Anabel Montesinos & Marco Tamayo | Mozart, Rondo Alla Turca (w/audience) 3 min
Delibes, Lakmé - Duo des fleurs, Sabine Devieilhe & Marianne Crebassa, 3.8m views since Nov2017 4.5 min
Sun Quan The Emperor (Guzheng & Drum Ver.) 9.6m views since 2015 5 min
MUSA - Chandelier(Sia) & Wrecking Ball Mash - Guzheng and Zhongruan 3.3m views since 2015 3.5 min
Irish Senior Citizen Plays London Mall Piano... Then Magic Occurs; spontaneous Irish duet, Galway and Kerry 582k views since Jun.3.2019 (today is Jun.10) 7 min
Rasputin (Boney M) (viol/cello)- The Ayoub Sisters 3.4 min
A.Montesinos & M.Tamayo-Tres canciones de The Beatles-Stagione Internazionale di Chitarra Classica 9.9 min
Fool on the Hill; She's Leaving Home; Penny Lane;
Crazy - Patsy Cline Cover (Allison Young vocals, Josh Turner Guitar) 8.5k views 3.3 min
Dancing, an exercise in aesthetic, social duality
Grace on Ice Gabriella PAPADAKIS, Guillaume CIZERON, 2016 WC's music: Perfect- Ed Sheeran 4.3 min
A family exercise Derek and Julianne, music: "Unsteady" 2 min
Piano Duet, + 3 couples in traditional form Andrea & Matteo Bocelli, music: "Fall On Me" 2.6 min
Memorabilia (skips emotional intro) Jordan​ and​ ​Lindsay contemporary style, music: “Take Me Home” 1.3 min dance episode ends at 3:00
study notes
https://lorenzo-thinkingoutaloud.blogspot.com/2019/
https://simplicable.com/new/anti-competitive-practices
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=reality+dysphoria&atb=v81-4__&ia=web
submitted by acloudrift to todayplusplus [link] [comments]

MAME 0.201

MAME 0.201

It’s the end of another month, and time for your scheduled MAME release, with more of everything we know you love. In a last-minute update, we slipped in a major performance optimisation for bgfx video output. It’s particularly noticeable when using cropped artwork, and there’s no longer a big performance penalty for bringing up the menu over the emulation on macOS. Another core improvement is support for TAP/TUN networking on Windows, providing a big performance improvement when connecting an emulated system to a network on the host machine.
From the department of things considered lost to time, MAME 0.201 allows you to play as Chuby the octopus, in the incredibly elusive Spanish game Night Mare. Unfortunately the sound ROMs were missing, so you won’t be able to hear Chuby speak, and we still need to be on the lookout for the export version known as Clean Octopus. And speaking of rare games from Spain, two more Magnet System titles have been dumped: A Day in Space and The Burning Cavern.
Newly dumped versions of supported arcade games include prototypes of Halley’s Comet (Taito) and Dog Fight (Orca), a newer version of the original Master Boy (Gaelco), and the Korean release of Raiden II (Seibu Kaihatsu). A redumped ROM allowed Psychic Force EX to run correctly. The vgmplay logged music player has had a big update in this release, with support for several more sound chips and a comprehensive software list.
And this brings us to audio improvements, which seem to have all crowded their way into this release. We have fixes for long-standing sound bugs in Twin Eagle, Targ and Spectar. Sound in Amazing Maze is no longer cut off after thirty seconds or so. There are some big changes for QSound and Taito Zoom ZSG-2 that should make things sound nicer. There’s also preliminary support for the NEC PC-FX’s HuC6230 SoundBox, but be aware it has a DC offset so you’ll hear a big thud when you start or stop it.
Recent improvements in NEC PC-98 emulation have seen dozens of titles promoted to working status, and we’ve added another batch of dumps from Neo Kobe Collection. There are a number of fixes that improve TI-99 floppy and cassette support in this release. InterPro systems can now be used via a serial terminal in configurations without a video card or keyboard. At long last, the Apple //c Plus can boot from its internal floppy drive. Other improvements to computer emulation include better keyboard support for Amiga systems, and improved GPU emulation for the HP Integral PC.
Of course, you can get source and Windows binaries from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

[TLDR] BFV Alpha hasn't inspired confidence in this old fan

I think I'm gonna pass buying this:
there's no sitting at suburb, in a weird peace hearing the distance battle, all the while knowing it could come crashing down on you at a moments notice. BF3 and on have been just non-stop hectic combat everywhere, no sense of pacing or ebb-and-flow.. something the BF2 trailer nodded to:
https://youtu.be/fQ2c3Yj7Haw?t=138
Yes, the trailer had to sell, and as a whole, it is this all out assault on a single base. But then when it is taken, the assault is over, and if it weren't for the commander asset, it would have been a sweet break in the combat. That base on Daqing Oilfields? It was sometimes a bloody intense 4 squad firefight, other times you could be holding it with nobody coming, but you knew the longer it went after taking it, the harder that wave of enemies was gonna crash down on you. It was the same with Strike at Karkand's Suburb I mentioned earlier - It gave teams critical access to Market and Train, and getting it was sometimes an intense firefight - but it would be a minute or two before the enemy could react - going in alone was a bad idea, so typically a tank or Vodnik/Humvee would be used.
These little self contained matches, these battles - taking bases was always this (with some poor map design exceptions, such as Hotel on said Strike at Karkand). These were what made Battlefield such a lasting and memorable experience. The reward for playing was victory, was collaboration, was succeeding with your friends or even strangers online. Yes, weapon or class or vehicle balance was often broken, but the core gameplay was that the battlefield was not one huge front of players murdering each other, it was a collection of little conflicts, clashes between squads, vehicles coming in to provide critical support when things went south. None of this in a hardcore, ARMA-style play - the emergent arcade experience simply encouraged this kind of play.
Every battle had this story, it wasn't brief 'battlefield' moments, it was fighting for every meter of dirt up the side of Mashtuur City from Hotel to North Gas Station, seeing buddies drop and supporting your squad, always on the lookout for flanking. Getting to the top, having an incredible firefight with one or even two squads, then taking that base and knowing they'd be coming back for it. Having time to regroup, plan a defense and hold it while someone scouted out to either lay traps or just be an early warning. A solid 2-3 minutes of battle to take a base, reviving, spawning, pushing, grinding, and achieving ultimate little victories.
Some of what made this succeed was the 6 man squad: splitting the squad, sending 4 guys head on into an enemy defense, while a squad leader and a medic circle around back to find a safe spot for the leader to sit back and overwatch from was a fundamental strategy everyone naturally came to use. That's how we did Junkyard on jalalabad - usually from market or fountain, we'd scope it out and look for mines, if there were mines and we had humvee, we'd jump the fence, if we had vodnik we'd park it in a corned outside the fence and draw fire, while the main 3 dps, usually a medic a support and antitank, went through the house or around back to the bridge. The vodnik would lookout so the leader and medic could wrap around the main entrace, in case t90/abrams were watching. This was organic, and would happen with randoms, not try hards, it was something people did once they realized having a squad leader alive was worth cooperating for. My friends and I did this specific tactic maybe two or three times. I played map over a hundred times, and I can remember at least as many experiences I had on it. This was just taking a single base. Not even the whole battle, which I could even tell you what we did from there.
I can't remember anything like this from games after BF3.. There are moments - but no experiences, no stories to embellish, nothing I could describe in detail, as if telling a war story from some war long ago. The new battlefield has given me nothing more than a collection of moments that I remember hazily.
BF5 is more of what made BF3 so bad for long time fans: if 1942-2142 were a tide of war, two waves crashing against eachother, or a rising tide trying to engulf a stronghold; BF3-BFV are a swimming pool. No matter where you are in it, you're in the middle of it. The only times you're not in the middle of it is when you're above it (flying) or not in it at all (deployment, or spawn screen). In BF classic, you could choose to be an engineer in a jeep, just blitzing around repairing tanks, or a support jeep resupplying everyone as needed. (medic/engineesupport resupplied repaired and healed with an aura when driving vehicles) - And hated as the player role may have been for ease of exploitation, commanders had assets, and these required engineers and even squads to stay behind the front lines to repair them or protect them. Players that wanted to constantly play at the front could do that too, because up the beach or out at sea, there's a calm - oceans rise because they are pushed from behind, and waves break because they are being pushed back by the slope of the beach. In BF3-BFV you're always at the front line, and the way classes evolved shows that, the level designs show that, the gimmicks show that. The expectation and the design is to simply ALWAYS be in thick of it. And if you're always in the thick of it, what makes one battle more memorable than the other, what reward is there for being creative or even playing for the team?
Calling post BF3 Battlefield a COD Clone, or saying it is becoming CoD has become somewhat of a meme, but when Battlefield 3 was released, the sentiment was brutally honest feedback from players which loved Call of Duty's hectic play, but also Battlefield slow and methodical arcade. I was one of those players - Until Modern Warfare introduced killstreaks, I put as many hours into Call of Duty as I did Battlefield. Modern Warfare was the first Billion dollar launch in the history of games, an industry where just breaking even was common (calculated as future development costs plus development costs), and having a "mere" 200% return on investment was a huge success. Modern Warfare changed all that. EA is owned by investors, and the idea of spending 100-200 Million to make 1.5 Billion was too attractive to pass up - or so we fans like to think. No other reason could have existed to justify the changes made to the core of the game franchise. There were only two major shifts that ocurred between Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 3. Games started making billions per title, and Battlefield went to console. A third, Battlefield Bad Company, is not really a possible reason as the franchise has had several spinoffs during the classic Battlefield era.
Console audiences demanded deep offline experiences (campaigns) for success - a fact that can be seen by simply looking at the performance of games on console that lack campaigns as opposed to the same on PC. Games like Fortnite, PUBG, Counter Strike, Team Fortress, Quake, Unreal Tournament - and many more - simply could not have achieved Call of Duty level sales - even Battlefield's own attempts floundered until Battlefield Bad Company. Pushing a Campaign into the game was required for two reasons - the Xbox 360 requires that a game be playable offline (if installed with a disk/on a disk), and console players were much more likely to buy a full price title just for the single player campaign. This is the critical reason for console sales far exceeding comparable PC sales, even though the number of PC players dwarfs the number of console players. In order to achieve that Billion dollar franchise, EA had to add a campaign. Remember, this is years ago - the industry has shifted, with consoles now allowing for online play to be required, and console players being much more willing to purchase games that lack a defined single player campaign.
In adding a Campaign, DICE had to effectively split development - something they had partly avoided doing for Bad Company 2, where levels used in the Single Player were frequently repurposed for the Multiplayer. Battlefield 3's single player is in many ways a compeltely different game to the multiplayer - with vehicles, assets and even engineering technologies being used that are simply unnavailable in the multiplayer release. Some of these were concessions made in order to make Battlefields single player as good looking as possible, while also pushing the hardware to the limit just to get the multiplayer running on the Xbox 360. This is where the biggest pitfall would happen - Consoles require certification for release, consoles are inexpensive to procure, both the campaign and the multiplayer are very large and require lots of eyes on them to catch bugs. The result of all this is majority testing and feedback and data, pre-release, came from console testing.
How do I make this claim?
As we all know, Xbox 360 and PS3 have analog input, they have fewer buttons. Most importantly, they could only run 32 players at a time. On PC, picking up a kit was bound to its own key in all games leading up to BC2. The console lacks the number of buttons, so kit swap, something used very frequently in Battlefield, switched from being its own button, to "Hold Reload to Swap". This is a surface tip - we could even call it a coincidence. Dig deeper: Vehicles in BF3 and BF4 react very poorly to binary input, this can be seen best with the Jetskis in BF4, but also Jets and Helicopters in BF3 lacked certain features, certain types of braking and acceleration types which were mapped to the extremes of the analog sticks or triggers, these could be mapped on PC using the config file, but were simply missing in the menus - one of which was the ability to decelrate hard, or air brake. Another area where this could be seen was in infantry movement itself. There was a sluggishness and jankiness to swithing angles (pressing strafe and back or forward), which was even visible in other vehicles but most pronounced in infantry. A game with a special animation engine marketed as being the great next thing was delivering a second-rate movement experience on PC - specifically, when using binary input. Battlefield 3 deleting the weapon wheel preview would be another place where this change is clear.
All of these are little things that point to a console first, PC second *feedback* loop. Testers and play testers were spending most of their times behind analog controls. The two most critical problems the franchise faces stem from that.
Battlefield 3 and 4 level design and weapon balance is console centric. 3D spotting broke Battlefield 3 and 4 on PC.
3D spotting has a place in the console world - Battlefield has large environments, TVs are often poorly configured, low resolution or simply unable to show enough detail in darker rendered environments to make enemies sufficiently visible - Analog sticks are relatively unwieldy so hitting a 3D spotted target, while possibly easy for some of the best, is a challenge for most, unless that target is close enough for aim assist, at which point 3D spotting makes very little difference as the enemy is right on top of the player. On PC, however, tracking and clicking on the little doritos is child's play, the mouse is an incredibly intuitive and accurate pointing device. Open levels on PC, those with helicopters and jets especially, were deathtraps for infantry on PC, forcing most players to play the engineer role to simply get back at the enemy for dying 4 or 5 times from a mile away. Being spotted also meant that if an enemy could see you, they could also shoot at you, and on PC that usually means they will hit you, immediately. This sort of issue is genuinely game breaking, and can turn even the biggest maps into meat grinders for infantry deaths (Alborz Mountains).
Where there was some salvation from 3D spotting there was another problem. Level design on infantry focused maps in BF3 and to a smaller extent in BF4, were designed to allow console corner peeking, and worse yet, were designed for 32 players on console. Console corridor play is very different to PC corridor play. A hallway in a console game is difficult not when a target is far from the center of the screen, but when the target is far from the player character. On PC it is the exact opposite, a target at the end of a mile long hallway would be as hard to hit as a target at 25 feet (assuming the bullet can hit at the same time for both distances - the point being PC doesn't, as above mentioned, rely on aim assist). On PC, the traditional approach to hallway, or close quarter combat, is to require the player to have turn to find or search for targets: a wide room room that isn't very deep is far more dangerous to the player than the same room on console, as the console player can snap with aim assist. Grand Bazaar examplifies this issue. All primary combat areas on this map are long narrow channels, rather than wide fields of view with ample cover. Similarly, Caspian Border's central flag on the hill could see directly into several other bases. While on console this is largely a non issue given the lack of aim assist at longer ranges (making the addition of suppression a good way to slow the action down and make it more intense, while also rewarding players for putting bullets down range, you know, let them have fun) - on PC, this kind of access (in addition to 3D spotting) made spawn camping and random deaths a very common isssue.
Tracking targets is difficult on console, especially at a distance, and that's ok, Halo has some of the best combat in FPS ever, and it would be miserable (well, it is miserable) on PC, except when the maps are designed from the ground up for PC.
The second aspect I mentioned is weapon balance - Battlefield 3 was abysmal for this, and most of the outcry came from PC players, as well as console players who had the misfortune of facing of with an analog stick god. Guns like the USAS 12 FRAG, or the 40mm slug - these were largely non issues for console, at least when compared to the total game breaking balance they had on PC. Sniping with 40mm and the frag was easy, landing all shots was easy - weapons that either aimed to add crowd control or provide very accurate aim with a very accurate weapon were simply completely broken for the PC audience - again, because the bulk of the pre-release development test audience was on analog sticks.
Making the best possible console version of Battlefield meant dealing major damage to the core of the game - Battlefield 2 would have been miserable on console, it was far too big for console aiming systems and was balanced for players with pin-point accuracy through inordinate amounts of random bullet spread to artificially manage DPS. While RBS is common on console, too, most games will switch to a kind of magnetism when close enough and aiming close enough to the target - hits are guaranteed, for example, when using BDMCarbine/etc in Halo when the reticle turns red. This works really well there, incredibly well, but is completely broken when done the same way on PC. In chasing after Console crowds by adding the campaign, and everything it entailed in terms of QA time needed, DICE shifted critical game testing resources away from PC - all in an effort to appease the shareholders who saw major dollar signs in EA's most popular first person shooter.
DICE made Battlefield 3 more like Call of Duty not because of their greed, and maybe not even intentionally, but in their effort to make the best Console Battlefield, they fundamentally altered the PC formula. Battlefield Bad Company was everything Battlefield could be with the hardware resources they had to work with - and it is unabashedly good. It had issues, but resolving them, and expanding the experience would have made a better console Battlefield than Battlefield 3 was, and Battlefield 3 should have simply chosen to stay true to its PC roots and hack in a single player experience to fit into the market demands for console. A swiss army knife has it all, sure, but it doesn't really do any of it very well.
tldr: classic battlefield was better at being a player driven battlefield with much more dynamic flows and playstyles. Yes, they had LOTS of issues, and things like gunplay were atrocious. BUT: Battlefield stood apart by offering a sandbox experience that let all players be in control of how they played - something that was even reflected in Mod tools, private servers and local game hosting.(edited)
inb4 strike at karkand grenade spam fest - like i said, the games were far from perfect, but they were also a distinct franchise which rewarded some planning and creativity greatly, while it punished mindlessness without skill harshly.
some of the best fun I had in BF2, for example, was driving my brothers around from base to base on kubra dam, just to cap and ditch... usually after a rough grind on some other map... because that was an option, to just shoot the shit and sometimes shoot the enemy.
submitted by SummerMango to Battlefield [link] [comments]

MAME 0.201

MAME 0.201

It’s the end of another month, and time for your scheduled MAME release, with more of everything we know you love. In a last-minute update, we slipped in a major performance optimisation for bgfx video output. It’s particularly noticeable when using cropped artwork, and there’s no longer a big performance penalty for bringing up the menu over the emulation on macOS. Another core improvement is support for TAP/TUN networking on Windows, providing a big performance improvement when connecting an emulated system to a network on the host machine.
From the department of things considered lost to time, MAME 0.201 allows you to play as Chuby the octopus, in the incredibly elusive Spanish game Night Mare. Unfortunately the sound ROMs were missing, so you won’t be able to hear Chuby speak, and we still need to be on the lookout for the export version known as Clean Octopus. And speaking of rare games from Spain, two more Magnet System titles have been dumped: A Day in Space and The Burning Cavern.
Newly dumped versions of supported arcade games include prototypes of Halley’s Comet (Taito) and Dog Fight (Orca), a newer version of the original Master Boy (Gaelco), and the Korean release of Raiden II (Seibu Kaihatsu). A redumped ROM allowed Psychic Force EX to run correctly. The vgmplay logged music player has had a big update in this release, with support for several more sound chips and a comprehensive software list.
And this brings us to audio improvements, which seem to have all crowded their way into this release. We have fixes for long-standing sound bugs in Twin Eagle, Targ and Spectar. Sound in Amazing Maze is no longer cut off after thirty seconds or so. There are some big changes for QSound and Taito Zoom ZSG-2 that should make things sound nicer. There’s also preliminary support for the NEC PC-FX’s HuC6230 SoundBox, but be aware it has a DC offset so you’ll hear a big thud when you start or stop it.
Recent improvements in NEC PC-98 emulation have seen dozens of titles promoted to working status, and we’ve added another batch of dumps from Neo Kobe Collection. There are a number of fixes that improve TI-99 floppy and cassette support in this release. InterPro systems can now be used via a serial terminal in configurations without a video card or keyboard. At long last, the Apple //c Plus can boot from its internal floppy drive. Other improvements to computer emulation include better keyboard support for Amiga systems, and improved GPU emulation for the HP Integral PC.
Of course, you can get source and Windows binaries from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to MAME [link] [comments]

[Steam] Winter Sale- Hidden Gems II; The Eleventh Hour

Personal Note: If you found any other hidden gems, or just have something to say, say it in the comments! It's the eleventh hour and people can actually hear you now!

Inspired somewhat by the recent post of Hidden Gems, I found that it's largely become completely congested. As such, I'll coalesce a lot of the deals posted by the guys there here, instead. I'll add others in case I find any of them in the original thread.
Personal Favorites
Puzzle Games found by crabbit
Random picks by ND1Razor
Unusual Games found by thelazyreader2015
RPGs loved by thelazyreader2015
Games Thrice Reposted by ParanoidAndroid1309
strikan33 posts the base list
With some other titles, Art4dinner recommends:
Gramis Silently slides:
A small list by thinkforaminute
Story rich, atmospheric game dragged into the light by BabyMustache
Less than a quid by Dux0r
A list of openish world RPGS from thelazyreader2015
Wishlist and personal favorites from gpt999
Misc Recommendations
With the large quantity of the old deals posted, I'd love to see any other hidden gems there might be out there. I'll post the two major things from the previous thread (The massive posts on Coop games and the massive post on games less than three dollars) below, and I'll post any other collections or mild reccomendations I find above.
submitted by Ullyses_R_Martinez to GameDeals [link] [comments]

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