Ep. 177 - Yakuza the Musical, with Heather Alexandra

### Ep. 177 - Yakuza the Musical, with Heather Alexandra

Double Fine’s [Heather Alexandra](https://twitter.com/transgamerthink) joins the panel to cover Jerry Lewis, beating coins out of people, and The Ultimate MacGuffin. Original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. Previously on Insert Credit 20: You encounter someone who, quote, “plays video games for the story.” What games can you assume they own? (7:12)
  • 2. What does it mean to be a community manager for a game studio that mostly makes single player games? (12:35)
  • 3. What are the most video gamey things you’ve seen in real life? (18:04)
  • 4. It’s been one year since we all went into a global quarantine. How would video games be different right now if that never happened? (23:06)
  • 5. The Adaptation Game: Yakuza movie (27:49)
  • 6. Dirtbag Kory asks: What is the most underappreciated button on a controller? (32:20)
  • 7. What is the best MacGuffin in a video game? (37:25)
  • 8. Frank’s question: How would you design a video game museum? (40:48)
  • 9. What tea blends would you match with games? (48:37)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Blue Rogue’s Code (52:59)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Skies of Arcadia](https://www.mobygames.com/game/dreamcast/skies-of-arcadia)
  • - [Danganronpa](https://www.mobygames.com/game/danganronpa-kib-no-gakuen-to-zetsub-no-kksei)
  • - [Firewatch](https://www.mobygames.com/game/firewatch)
  • - [Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5595168/)
  • - [Jerry Lewis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Lewis)
  • - [Gallagher](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallagher_(comedian))
  • - [Gallagher's Gallery](https://fmvworld.com/gallaghersgallery.html)
  • - [Double Fine's Discord](https://discord.com/invite/doublefine)
  • - [Insert Credit Forums](https://forums.insertcredit.com/)
  • - [Everwild](https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/14/20965203/rare-everwild-xbox-windows-10-new-game-watch-trailer)
  • - [Fig](https://www.fig.co/)
  • - [Supergiant](https://www.supergiantgames.com/)
  • - [Grim Fandango](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/grim-fandango)
  • - [Austin Walker](https://twitter.com/austin_walker)
  • - [Brent Porter](https://twitter.com/touchdownporter)
  • - [They Live](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096256/)
  • - [Intellivision Amico](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellivision_Amico)
  • - [Gunsport By Necrosoft Games Available Now On Google Play Pass](https://gunsport.tv/)
  • - [Yakuza 0](https://www.mobygames.com/game/yakuza-0)
  • - [Baka Mitai](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3jCAyPai2Y)
  • - [Turbografx controller](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NEC-TurboGrafx-16-Controller-FL.jpg)
  • - [VMU buttons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMU#/media/File:Sega-Dreamcast-VMU.jpg)
  • - [Dreamcast controller](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dreamcast_controller_(lit_from_left).jpg)
  • - [Jaguar controller](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atari-Jaguar-Controller-Flat.jpg)
  • - [GameCube controller](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GameCube_controller)
  • - [The Duke](https://xbox.fandom.com/wiki/The_Duke)
  • - [MacGuffin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin)
  • - [Chaos Emeralds](https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Chaos_Emerald)
  • - [Big Whoop](https://monkeyisland.fandom.com/wiki/Big_Whoop)
  • - [The Empty Lot](https://yakuza.fandom.com/wiki/Empty_Lot)
  • - [Ankaran Sarcophagus](https://vtmb.fandom.com/wiki/Ankaran_Sarcophagus)
  • - [Amulet of Kings](https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Amulet_of_Kings)
  • - [Piece of Eden](https://assassinscreed.fandom.com/wiki/Piece_of_Eden)
  • - [Rain Room](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_Room)
  • - [David Crane](https://www.dcrane.com/Home.html)
  • - [Cyber Doll](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-saturn/cyber-doll)
  • - [Blue Rogues](https://skiesofarcadia.fandom.com/wiki/Blue_Rogues_(faction))
  • - [Sakura Taisen](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sakura-taisen)
  • - [Bryce Boltzmann](https://neverdead.fandom.com/wiki/Bryce_Boltzmann)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Heather**: [To The Horizon](https://archiveofourown.org/works/26912239/chapters/65672878), [Psychonauts 2](http://psychonauts.com/psychonauts2/), [Lapsang tea](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapsang_souchong), [Kukicha tea](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukicha)
    **Frank**: [DG Voodoo 2](http://dege.freeweb.hu/dgVoodoo2/)
    **Brandon:** [Ploho](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ploho), [Morwan](https://morwan.bandcamp.com/), [D'LaVance](https://www.dlavance.com/), [Moondog](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondog), [Peppermint Bark tea](https://www.bigelowtea.com/Teas/Tea-Type/Seasonal-Tea/Peppermint-Bark-Herbal-Tea-Case-of-6-boxes-tota), [Turmeric Three Root tea](https://shop.numitea.com/Three-Roots/p/NUMIS-10550&c=NumiTeaStore@ByType@Turmeric), Unicorn Grass tea

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    {“sticky”:true}

    I think my favorite MacGuffin in games is the PAL Key in Metal Gear Solid? I like that for most of the game you just have it in your inventory and you know you‘re gonna have to use it at some point but you don’t know when or how. You‘re also told there’s supposed to be three of them, so you‘re like “when am I gonna find the other two?” Then you get near the end and it’s like “oh, it's actually all three keys in one, and it changes shape based on the temperature” which isn't really that fun but it was a cool twist on the first playthrough.

    To a lesser extent, I also like the disc containing Metal Gear Rex's Testing Data, which you only have in your inventory for about half the game and you never get to do anything with. Ocelot takes it when you get captured and then you just never see it again. There's a cool moment at the very end where the Secretary of Defense asks you for it and Snake is like "uh, I don't have it anymore." And the fact that you lost it even comes up in the sequel, because Ocelot selling the data is why there's so many Metal Gears all over the place.

    I guess I just like when the MacGuffin is an item you can actually see in your inventory, even when it's not something you can actually interact with. So many cinematic, story-heavy games have this kind of division between the game space and the story space, the part that's playable and the part that isn't, and stuff like that somehow makes the two feel more interlinked.

    The ever prolific Takashi Miike made a Yakuza movie fifteen years ago, more or less an adaptation of the first game. Not his best (come to think of it, none of them are) but enough style and action to stand out among the for-hire junk that litters the back half of his career.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9hwuJ4nAcM

    Last year I made a thread about my visit to the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, TX.

    https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/298-field-trip-national-videogame-museum-in-frisco-tx

    How I would personally design such a museum is a interesting question I pondered while I was there.

    Yakuzical the Musical

    I thought I remembered miike did a yakuza movie!! I should've looked it up.

    Does the Unicorn Grass tea that you mention @exodus#23091 have another name? Really struggling to find info about it!

    Another great guest. Heather almost makes me want to play Skies of Arcadia myself…!

    Great episode, hope Heather comes back in the future!

    Thanks for fielding my question re: controller buttons. Glad to hear Heather and Frank bring up the two specific things I had on my mind when I asked it (the Select button and that big honkin' GCN A button, respectively). I feel like the evolution of the Select button would make an interesting deep dive article, or at the very least a pretty intricate flow-chart! Re the GCN controller, I'm sad that the idea of more specialized button shapes and placement was something of an evolutionary dead end. Nintendo kept the dream alive with the Wii remote, but it was back to the symmetrical diamond face button layout for the Wii U and Switch. I guess its a good thing that the reanimated corpse of the GCN controller is being dragged from generation to generation by the Smash community.

    Re: the museum discussion, I am really interested in learning more about the Atari 2600 exhibit Frank mentioned and the Sega Genesis technical writeup @exodus mentioned. Is there a link to that article you were discussing? I'm a big fan of technical breakdowns of console technology and programmed aimed at the layman and would love to read it! I mean, I just watched a [20 min video ](https://youtu.be/p8u_k2LIZyo) about an obscure C++ trick Quake III used to calculate an inverse square root, which was way more interesting than it sounds.

    I appreciate all the recs, as always! I wanted to echo what Frank said about DG Voodoo 2--I discovered it not too long ago trying to play Gabriel Knight 3 on my Windows 10 PC and I managed to get it up and running pretty much flawlessly.

    One other thing, with all of this Skies of Arcadia talk, what would be the ideal way to experience this game in the year 2021?

    edit: also, keep the music recs coming! Currently jamming out in D'LaVance Zone Act 1

    May or not be what Brandon was referring to, but I found Copetti's articles very digestible. They did technical breakdowns of the 3rd gen (master system, nes) all the way through to the 6th gen (dc, xbox, ps2, gc) and has started 7th gen stuff.

    https://www.copetti.org/writings/consoles/

    The genesis article specifically:
    https://www.copetti.org/writings/consoles/mega-drive-genesis/

    Hello everyone, this was again a fantastic episode with an absolutely amazing guest! But, for the love of everything unholy, can you please use some of this sweet, sweet Patreon money to buy Jaffe a new microphone? It always sounds like Frank, Brandon and their guest sit cosy in a room together, while Jaffe has to wait outside in the rain and use a tin can telephone to communicate with them. Sometimes it‘s even quite hard to understand what he’s saying, which, you know, is not that kind.

    All the love from Switzerland and have the loveliest morning / afternoon / evening!

    @vlct#23114 it’s definitely a Known Issue we usually sidestep, and had to deal with this week because of an issue with our recording software. trust me: i did a lot of mixing to make him sound even this good!!

    i am going to buy him a new mic actually (the same as mine, because i know how to properly tune this one) so we never have to put somethin like that out again!

    Real quick, haven’t finished the ep yet, but I think about museum curations of video games a lot too, and, simply put, I‘d like a museum that’s a replica of a typical Japanese room of the time, with a single console. Think like, the main characters room in High Score Girl, or Retro Game Challenge, many commercials. Sit on the floor.

    One of the weirder things is that jaffe does have a decent mic! There's some other stuff going on too, somehow.

    This is the mega drive workings thing I was talking about: https://rasterscroll.com/mdgraphics/

    Also, wow, unicorn grass tea has become hard to come by! And hard to find info on at all! I definitely bought it twice and have some still, but I threw out the package so I can't get the chinese reading.

    Apparently it's also called "foot of crab" or "crab leg" tea, but yeah, I can't find it anywhere now. From what I'm seeing it only grows in yunnan province and might be a sort of orchid?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8n-ARZqjvc

    dang, I need to find out more about this, I'll keep looking.

    Okay, I found some... no idea if these sources are any good though, I can't vouch for the shops!
    https://www.blacktealeaves.com/product/crabs-claw-parasitic-vine-of-jing-mai-mountain-viscum-liquidambaricola-hayata-1915/

    https://www.livingtea.net/products/pangxie-jiao-crabs-feet-tea-vine-2-oz

    Through this I also found the botanical name: Visum liquidambaricolum Hayata, or Viscum articulatum Burm.

    Maybe I'll try buying some myself and report back.

    @GigaSlime#23067 Also the corpse / DNA of Big Boss, which is somehow still a MacGuffin in the games where the dude is walking around being all alive and stuff.

    Also maybe have one of those creepy wax caveman statues in the high score girl pc engine bedroom exhibit just to confuse children 100 years from now

    Re: Unicorn grass I also found it bundled in Pang Xie Jiao tea, which is unicorn grass/crab‘s leg plus pu-erh tea - I guess it’s usually an additive, so I'm not sure what the chinese name is for it by itself. need some chinese speakers in here!

    (actually pang xie jiao may be the chinese name of just the orchid/grass thing, it's just most commonly sold alongside green tea)

    Update: I found the chinese name by messaging a place that used to carry it: 螃蟹脚
    that is indeed pang xie jiao, though it is hard to find by itself. Heck!!

    Anyone who can order from taobao can get it here: https://world.taobao.com/product/%E8%9E%83%E8%9F%B9%E8%85%B3%E8%8C%B6_3.htm

    (it's the segmenty-looking one)

    @billy#23132 lol, is Big Boss supposed to have been revived by that point? God, I‘m dangerously close to replaying Metal Gear Solid 4. In any case, if Big Boss’s rotting corpse was an item in your inventory in that game it'd definitely be top of my list

    @GigaSlime#23145 It very nearly technically is…