Ep. 259 - Specdracular 2022, with Christa Lee

### Ep. 259 - Specdracular 2022, with Christa Lee

Game music composer and console restoration expert [Christa Lee](https://soundretro.co) joins this year’s monster hunting party, taking on evils like foreshadowing, deceptively powerful industry figures, and ranking the Silent Hill series. Hosted by Alex Jaffe, with Tim Rogers, Brandon Sheffield, and Christa Lee. Edited by Esper Quinn, original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this Specdracular:**

  • 1. What do we think of all the Silent Hill stuff that got announced? (03:35)
  • 2. What games best use technological constraints to their advantage? (09:59)
  • 3. When does a game seem perfect for you, but still doesn’t work? (15:58)
  • 4. What’s the right way to do foreshadowing in a video game? (23:09)
  • 5. The Fightening Return of Questions Deemed Too Stupid for the Dirtbag (29:36)
  • 6. What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in a video game? (39:50)
  • 7. Should video games even have unwinnable scenarios? (46:05)
  • 8. Who are the most surprisingly powerful people in the video game industry? (53:06)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Ranking the Silent Hill series (01:00:39)

    Recommendations and Outro (01:12:32)

    ||1. Shizuoka, Japan||
    ||2. Silent Hill 3||
    ||3. Silent Hill 2||
    ||*3. Siren Series*||
    ||4. Silent Hill||
    ||5. P.T.||
    ||6. Silent Hill 4||
    ||7. Silent Hill f||
    ||8. Silent Hill Play Novel||
    ||9. Silent Hill The Arcade||
    ||10. Silent Hill 2 Remake||
    ||11. Silent Hill Shattered Memories||
    ||12. Silent Hill Pachislot||
    ||13. Silent Hill Origins||
    ||14. Silent Hill Homecoming||
    ||15. Silent Hill Townfall||
    ||16. Silent Hill Downpour||
    ||17. Silent Hill Book of Memories||


  • - [Silent Hill series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/silent-hill-series)
  • - [Clock Tower series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/clock-tower-series)
  • - [Septentrion: Out of the Blue](https://www.mobygames.com/game/septentrion-out-of-the-blue)
  • - [Mizzurna Falls](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/mizzurna-falls)
  • - [Ihatovo Monogatari](https://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/ihatovo-monogatari)
  • - [Ep. 207 - Specdracular 2021, with Ian Ferguson](https://insertcredit.com/show/207/)
  • - [Konami announces Silent Hill F and a Silent Hill 2 remake](https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/19/23412671/silent-hill-2-remake-f-townfall-konami-bloober-team)
  • - [Resident Evil series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/biohazard-resident-evil-series)
  • - [Super Mario series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/super-mario-series)
  • - [Silent Hill 2: Enhanced Edition](https://enhanced.townofsilenthill.com/SH2/)
  • - [Higurashi: When They Cry series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni-higurashi-when-they-cry-series)
  • - [Siren series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/forbidden-siren-series)
  • - [Vectorman series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/vectorman-series)
  • - [Eternal Champions](https://www.mobygames.com/game/eternal-champions)
  • - [Metal Gear series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/metal-gear-series)
  • - [Panzer Dragoon series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/panzer-dragoon-series)
  • - [Paradise Killer](https://www.mobygames.com/game/paradise-killer)
  • - [Star Ocean series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/star-ocean-series)
  • - [Ninja Gaiden series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/ninja-gaiden-series)
  • - [Dark Souls series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/dark-souls-series)
  • - [Devil May Cry series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/devil-may-cry-series)
  • - [Bayonetta series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/bayonetta-series)
  • - [Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance](https://www.mobygames.com/game/metal-gear-rising-revengeance)
  • - [Astral Chain](https://www.mobygames.com/game/switch/astral-chain)
  • - [Sol Cresta](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sol-cresta)
  • - [DoDonPachi](https://www.mobygames.com/game/dodonpachi)
  • - [Final Fantasy Tactics](https://www.mobygames.com/game/final-fantasy-tactics)
  • - [TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga - Lazberia Chronicle Chapter 174](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ps2/tearring-saga-berwick-saga-lazberia-chronicle-chapter-174)
  • - [Fire Emblem series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/fire-emblem-series)
  • - [Shining Force](https://www.mobygames.com/game/shining-force)
  • - [Ogre Battle series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/ogre-battle-series)
  • - [Dorohedoro](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorohedoro)
  • - [Dragon Quest VII](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/dragon-warrior-vii)
  • - [Jill Sandwich](https://residentevil.fandom.com/wiki/Jill_Sandwich)
  • - [Super Smash Brothers series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/super-smash-brothers-series)
  • - [Xenoblade series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/xenoblade-series)
  • - [Iron Man 3 (2013)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Man_3)
  • - [The Dark Knight (2008)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Knight)
  • - [Angel's Egg (1985)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel%27s_Egg)
  • - [Mad Max 2 (1981)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Max_2)
  • - [The Madness of King George (1994)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madness_of_King_George)
  • - [Dawn of the Dead (1978)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_of_the_Dead_(1978_film))
  • - [Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highlander_II:_The_Quickening)
  • - [Zombi 2 (1979)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombi_2)
  • - [Splinter Cell series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/splinter-cell-series)
  • - [Titanic (1997)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_(1997_film))
  • - [Blade Runner (1982)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner)
  • - [Catwoman (2004)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catwoman_(film))
  • - [Catwoman](https://www.mobygames.com/game/gameboy-advance/catwoman-)
  • - [P.T.](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation-4/pt)
  • - [Alien: Isolation](https://www.mobygames.com/game/alien-isolation)
  • - [The Silver Case](https://www.mobygames.com/game/silver-case)
  • - [Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV](https://www.mobygames.com/game/platinum-demo-final-fantasy-xv)
  • - [Final Fantasy XV](https://www.mobygames.com/game/final-fantasy-xv)
  • - [Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone](https://www.mobygames.com/game/yggdra-union-well-never-fight-alone)
  • - [Baroque universe](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/baroque-universe)
  • - [Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sekiro-shadows-die-twice)
  • - [Elden Ring](https://www.mobygames.com/game/elden-ring)
  • - [Quake series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/quake-series)
  • - [Duke Nukem series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/duke-nukem-series)
  • - [Turok: Dinosaur Hunter](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turok-dinosaur-hunter)
  • - [The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time](https://www.mobygames.com/game/legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time)
  • - [Shenmue series](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/shenmue-series)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Tim**: Have already put a “Skip Intro” on Star Trek: The Next Generation if you’re someone who has the ability to make that happen inside Paramount+ by the time this episode airs
    **Brandon:** Virtuosic Hair Metal Band [T-Ride](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Ride), buy from [CastleMania](https://castlemaniagames.com/) if you’re gonna buy any of these rereleases coming up
    **Christa**: [Insmouse no Yakata](https://www.mobygames.com/game/virtual-boy/insmouse-no-yakata), get your VirtualBoy ribbons fixed at [SoundRetro.co](https://soundretro.co/), [Furuhata Ninzaburō](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furuhata_Ninzabur%C5%8D), [Mikey and Nicky (1976)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikey_and_Nicky)
    **Jaffe**: Consider phone banking for the [Environmental Voter Project](https://www.environmentalvoter.org/), Wishlist [Demonschool](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1900250/Demonschool/) and [Hyper Gunsport](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1663250/Hyper_Gunsport/) on Steam, [Welcome to the Fantasy Zone](https://ohpoorpup.bandcamp.com/album/welcome-to-the-fantasy-zone)

    Support on [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/insertcredit)

    Subscribe: [RSS](https://insertcredit.com/show/rss), [Apple Podcasts](https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-insert-credit-show/id1651429066), [Google Podcasts](https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9pbnNlcnRjcmVkaXQuY29tL3Nob3cvcnNzLw), [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/6CwWZE5p7vazIV1jrV9hln), and more!


    Hey all, minor technical note here. We‘re hammering out a few final issues with the new back end software, so this episode may not show up in your podcast app feed until a little later than usual. If you see someone wondering aloud why the show hasn’t hit their podcatcher just yet, let them know they can listen to it here in the forums! thaaaaaanks

    Re: Paradise Killer jumps: I do know that they need to be better for the next game (actually, they don‘t because there is no jumping (instead we have opened up a different can of traversal nightmare worms for ourselves)) but here’s why the jumping shipped the way it did: I put on my (as Tim calls it) Good Time Hat too much during development and ended up forgiving/liking how weird and slightly idiosyncratic the jumping turned out to be.

    When we focus tested the game, no one mentioned the jumping. I think this was because we focus tested it with younger people that haven't played older games that have good jumping. So since we didn't get any feedback on it and I was unprofessionally wearing my Good Time Hat, we shipped with less than great jumping.

    So there's two lessons; be more self critical and focus test on a wider audience.

    Actually, surprisingly few reviews criticised the jumping which I also thinks points to people generally accepting the extremely poor traversal in modern games and becoming acclimated to it.

    Thanks for the shout out again!

    Here are some codes for the OST for anyone that wants them!

    Missing letter is the last letter of Metal Gear Solid V

    Redeem here https://kaizengameworks.bandcamp.com/yum


    With Paradise Killer I think what happened to me is that the investigate murder premise made me expect something so completely different to a collect-a-thon platformer that when I discovered that in this game I got to solve murders AND having fun jumping around I was so delighted I didn't look past that.

    That's an important aspect right there, it's not a platformer, it's a game with platforming! It's easier to look past any possible mistakes when a certain mechanic is percieved as a complement or adjacent to the core of the game.

    Wow! The way Jaffe's able to contextualize the questions this time is really impressive. I feel like his ability to find a unique angle on whatever happens to be relevant tends to be taken for granted a lot of the time, so I just wanted to shout out that this is some damn good hosting.

    Hey. Signed up to the forum to suggest that the answer to the Doki Doki Panic question could be that the Power Rangers series are made from edited together Japanese Super Sentai shows.

    note to self: remember that “too stupid for the dirtbag” does NOT mean “too stupid for the show, where everyone can hear the extent of your stupidity”

    Christa Lee was such a natural in the podcast format, what an awesome guest. This was a really fun episode.


    @“esper”#p90588 Should video games even have unwinnable scenarios? (46:05)

    I generally don't like these, but I agree that when it's perfect it's an effective trick. Aren't there a few of these in Skies of Arcadia? Even if done well, that feels like too many.


    @“esper”#p90588 Should video games even have unwinnable scenarios? (46:05)

    I haven't listened to the episode yet so forgive me if this is what's gone over in the discussion, but I think videogames should have more scenarios that appear unwinnable at first glance but are actually winnable if you are a weirdo freak who is playing the game for the Nth time, and also offer obscure bonuses and/or funny plot contrivances to explain the player being able to win it.

    Hiding under a cut just in case this is just repeating everything the panel said lol

    EDIT: I mostly repeated what Tim said! I'll promote my own unique thoughts by removing it from the cut


  • -

    Demons's Souls has its iconic ||double fake out.|| If you can manage to beat the initially seemingly designed-to-kill-you boss very hard tutorial boss, your reward is ||a few scraps of normal items, then getting cutscene incinerated by one of the game's bosses.|| Guess you could call that one of those funny plot contrivances, though.

  • >!

  • -

    Dark Souls does it better, and with more of that wonderful Souls series humour. Dark Souls does expect you to beat its tutorial boss, but ||only on the second round, after you‘ve ran away the first time and then retrieved your real starting equipment.|| Dunno why I’m spoiler tagging Dark Souls at this point, but hey, you never know. Anyway, ||it‘s possible to beat the tutorial boss without first running away, with a Starting Gift of Black Firebombs, or on NG+, or with true grit using the Broken Sword. For that, your reward is… a huge Demon’s Greataxe with a huge stat requirement that even the strongest starting class won‘t be able to even hold with 2 hands until they’ve invested at least 21 Levels dumping directly into Strength.|| Impossible to not love these stupid games.

  • >!

  • -

    I have a feeling that Sekiro might be in the show notes as being mentioned because of its ||hilarious plot contrivance|| if you can manage to beat the tutorial boss ||Ashina Genichiro|| this time around… ||all you get is a baffling change to the following cutscene where, instead of Genichiro cutting off John Sekiro's arm which will soon be replaced by the Shinobi Prosthetic, a crazy bladed throwing weapon appearing out of nowhere will cut it off instead and the cutscene proceeds as it did before.||

  • - Final Fantasy X… I don‘t care what anyone says… the Aurochs winning Wakka’s last game in his last tournament before he retires is canon, and winning the “tutorial” Blitzball matches are mandatory. Also fuck the Luca Goers
  • Daylight Savings time is gonna be permanent next year! We only do this time and then in the spring and then never again

    I‘m listening right now and my controversial opinion about Daylight Savings Time is that there’s enough digital timekeeping devices out there now that it should just be ten minutes once a month rather than an hour twice a year.

    @“CrushingPride”#p90627 That's a good one!!

    @"Chopemon"#p90596 So with the jumps I have a few things:
    1) they're not unusable, which is I'm sure how you got used to them and etc. and while the quality of the jump (that is to say whether the jump is "good" or "bad") isn't great, you can understand how to use it, which is fine. But the unforgiveable sin is carrying inertio from accidental movement into jump direction, so if you're sliding down a hill and then jump, you jump the direction of the slide rather than the direction you're pointing.
    2) in a game with very few "verbs" (which is great btw) all of those need to be as good as you can get them. neither the run nor the jump felt precise enough to carry the main non-conversational/switch-hitting oriented actions.
    3) the rest of the game was so carefully constructed and put together that the jumps really stuck out.
    4) most importantly, I don't feel like lady love dies when I'm double jumping and air dashing, ha ha. For me that was some real disbelief suspension.

    THAT SAID, I wish I had finished playing the game in 2020 because it would've been on my top 20 list for sure. I finally actually started it and then blasted through it in a week, having most of the conversations and finishing all the side quest things and etc. I didn't get the platinum trophy but I might go back and do that at some point just to hang out in the world some more. Definitely a bigtime favorite, and I love how the story unfolds, and how, by the end, I knew everyone's complicated name and what they'd done and how they'd done it, without even needing the trial, and could choose who I wanted to prosecute accordingly. And that's aside from the environment, music, and conversations, all of which I enjoyed immensely.

    No pressure for the next game!!! Ha ha

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p90659 My controversial take is we should stay on Standard time all year

    Ranking the Silent Hill series

    If PT is in play, PT first. It's a "demo," but saying it's something that's incomplete is a little unfair. I think it perfectly wraps up what it wants to do with a ghost story. Perfectly fine as-is. Yes there's a teaser trailer about Silent Hills at the end of it, but take that out, and you have a completely independent story about a strange and menacing haunted house experience. I felt satisfied just playing that alone. The experience when it first came out was fantastic and helped add to its mystery, but as a horror game on its own, it works. I still like messing with it and poking around. Seeing the shadow for the first time is absolutely silly and good.

    SH4 - I like the apartment getting progressively messed up and having to occasionally exorcize a stain on the wall. I like the funky floating ghosts. I like thinking about 2001's Pulse with Silent Hill 4. It also has the best trailer in the series.
    SH3 - Heather is the best protagonist. The set pieces are spectacular, and the effects and music are are superb. I'd put it before 4, but I think 4 is cooler with how it shifted the series.
    SH2 - Great game, my first experience with the series, feels the coziest? I really enjoyed the Restless Dreams side story. Great little story.
    SH1 - Still feels unique and cool. Great looking for a PSX game, very ambitious.


    Nothing else matters, but I am excited for Silent Hill f. Pleasantly surprised by that in the announcement. SH2 remake is probably going to be unintentionally funny, and I'll still check it out. Playing that Blair Witch game right now and let me tell you, they don't understand subtlety at all in that! It's not good! Still gotta finish Layers of Fear. Looking at The Medium gameplay immediately made me not care about playing The Medium.

    @“JJSignal”#p90666 FULL DISCLOSURE: When I was talking about the medium on the podcast I was talking about the wrong game. I confused it with Observer! I haven't played the medium. oops!!!

    @“exodus”#p90668 I might have missed that. I'm pretty sure I have Observer in my library and still need to play it. Looked interesting to me at first. This Blair Witch game is lowering my expectations considerably.

    Additionally, horror recommendations for Halloween:

    Cabinet of Curiosities is fantastic. Not really scary, but still a lot of fun and perfect for Halloween viewing. I can't not think about Deadman when Del Toro introduces each story. What an adorable man.
    The Night House was really good, I want more of what it was giving me. Unnerving and dreadful ghost story.
    Don't Look Now (1973) was recommended to me a week or two ago. Amazing movie, less a horror and more of a semi-supernatural suspense. Feels cozy, like the original Wicker Man, with an undercurrent of dread that builds up over time.
    Pulse (2001), watched it again for the first time in forever and it's still wickedly solid. I love how the ghosts are handled in this. Very simple ideas for how they're presented, but incredibly effective and haunting. Watched the 2006 US remake for kicks and that was a big mistake. We predicted that there would be a jump scare with an insane clown posse looking ghost in the first 5 minutes, and it delivered and I was mad.

    @“JJSignal”#p90670 well, the observer sucks lol. it's like a 3D unreal engine hidden object game, with clunky/too much UI, and all the problems that a 3D hidden object game would entail. I do not like it.

    Also just a PSA to anyone thinking of watching Don't Look Now, it's a misophonia nightmare and anyone who has it literally cannot watch this movie (except maybe on mute with subs, but I reckon that is Not The Point). JJ I suspect the sound design is where the cozy feeling comes from for you - you must be on the ASMR-enjoying end of the spectrum vs the opposite where I sit!

    @“exodus”#p90676 Ah ASMR maybe with the sound of fabrics and shoes clacking on stone ground, but the coziness comes primarily from the set pieces and pacing. Wickerman (edit: AND PULSE!) is the same way. Love the setting, the rooms, the way strange things occur isn‘t a spooky skeleton popping out, but more of a thing that might be normal in passing, but if you’re actually observing it is very Off and hangs with you. That's cozy to me.

    I should also add with the misophonia to also not watch Don't Look Now in a family setting perhaps.