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rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxix

roll, or die trying

Slime (OmokTeacher, Thinks) posted in the Suboptimal Discord™ server about a game jam by the name of GMTK Game Jam 2022 that was about to be held on two weeks or so, asking if anyone wanted to collaborate on an entry into the jam! For those not familiar with the concept of a “game jam”, the basic idea is that a theme is presented, and participants in the game jam are tasked with making a game from scratch, inspired by said theme, over the course of the event (which has a strict time limit). You can read more about game jams on Wikipedia. This particular game jam is all about making videogames that are playable on a PC with nothing more than a typical keyboard and computer mouse. Like MapleStory! But, you know, something that you can actually make over the course of just <50 hours :P This jam was advertised has having a 48-hour duration, but it was extended to 50 hours with the caveat that any late entries (even late by just one second!) could not be retroactively accepted.

Creating an entire videogame from scratch in <50 hours is no mean feat! Of course, what exactly “scratch” means here must be defined by the game jam itself. For example, is it okay to reuse existing software libraries? Surely at least some libraries must be acceptable to reuse, whether it be a game engine (e.g. Godot*, Pygame, Irrlicht†, LÖVE‡, Panda3D, etc.), cross-platform libraries for interfacing with multimedia hardware (e.g. GLFW, SDL, SFML, etc.), the standard library of the language that you’re using (e.g. glibc, musl, the Python standard library, etc.), the language implementation itself (including not just translators, but also runtime libraries, e.g. crt0, an HTML5/CSS3/ECMAScript runtime as provided by a web browser, etc.), the OS itself(!), firmware(!!), or what have you. So, this game jam only requires that your application logic be created from scratch, allowing the reuse of game engines like those listed previously, plus any libraries/software that the game engines depend on. Plus, of course, any assets (images, audio, etc.) would have to be created from scratch as well.

Although I didn’t have any experience making games myself, I thought that this might be an interesting & fun challenge to participate in, so I agreed to join Slime’s team. We were also joined by Tab (Outside) and Monc, putting our team size at four. Although my main speciality is more in the realm of audio (particularly music), it turned out that I was the only one on our team familiar with computer programming, so it was going to be my job to write all of the code!

Due to my lack of experience with making videogames, the first order of business was to prepare for the game jam by familiarising myself with a game engine that I could use for the jam. There are a lot of game engines out there (no, really, I was overwhelmed), and I very seriously considered using a number of them, including Godot (as mentioned above). However, I decided that using a highly robust, mature, and fully-featured (“all batteries included”) game engine with GUI tooling, etc. — like Godot — was going to be too much for me to handle. Because I wasn’t used to this kind of tooling, I instead wanted a development experience similar to what I’m more used to, where the “engine” would merely be a software library that exposes an API in the language that I’m using, just like any other library. Then, the application could just be a few files’ worth of code in my language of choice, paired with the assets provided by my teammates. These days, I’ve been using Rust for a lot of stuff, and it seemed like a fitting language for the task, so I set out to look for a library (“crate”) in Rust that could fulfil the role of “game engine”. I was very close to choosing macroquad, as it takes a very simple & elegant approach to its API and to its underlying cross-platform implementation. However, I ended up choosing Bevy, partly because it looked like it had a larger community and workforce behind it, and partly for stupid reasons like “ECS? What is that?? I need to know!!”. :]

The result of my attempts to learn how to use Bevy can be found here. It’s just a little game demo that you can run in your browser, which is controlled exclusively by moving the mouse (no buttons/keys required). In the course of adding audio to this demo (particularly SFX), I uncovered some… unfortunate performance characteristics of running Bevy applications in the browser, which I could not fix for the life of me. So don’t be surprised if it’s a bit choppy sometimes when you run it >.< You can find the code for this demo here. I used bevy_rapier2d to provide a physics engine (who doesn’t like physics??). In the end, I also tried manually decoding Ogg Vorbis into uncompressed WAVE (in-memory) using lewton (Vorbis decoding) and hound (WAVE encoding), in a failed attempt to alleviate the performance problems. 😭 On the bright side, Slime was kind enough to provide some assets to me in the form of wooden crate & metal crate sprites so that I could get used to incorporating images into the game, as well as a really neat sparks animation for when the metal crate hits stuff!

Because part of the demo was learning how to incorporate audio (including not just SFX, but also music), I wrote a little musical piece for the purpose of this dumb little demo LOL: bevy_test.ogg. This piece features the somewhat unlikely sextet⸸ of a steel-string acoustic guitar, a synthesizer, a celesta, a violoncello, a bass clarinet, and a drumkit.

In any case, even if Bevy had weird performance issues in the browser, I didn’t really have time to reconsider my game engine choice at this point. So when the time came, I buckled down for a two-day-long grind…

The theme was announced at the beginning of the jam: “roll of the dice”. That’s it. The point is that there are a lot of possible ways to interpret the theme: on the more figurative side, dice are commonly associated with gambling and randomness; on the more literal side, literally incorporating dice into the game is a real possibility as well. Slime gave some suggestions along the more literal side, suggesting perhaps something like a platformer or puzzle game in which the player controls a die (or set of dice). I came along a few hours later (I need my beauty sleep SMH don’t @ me) and suggested something along 2D platformer lines, in which the PC is a die, and they can roll away from, or towards, the camera to change the only side of their die that is visible (assuming an orthogonal projection). Then, we can change how the player interacts with the world based on which side is facing the camera.

Because no other suggestions were forthcoming, and this was the most concrete idea that we had so far, I didn’t have much choice but to start making a demo based on this idea; the clock was already ticking (or rather, had been ticking for five hours or so). Long story short, after over 40 hours of straight-up grinding (basically just eating, sleeping, and writing code — emphasis on the latter lmfao), with artistic input from Slime (images/animations), Tab (SFX), and Monc (music), the result was a game that we called roll, or die trying (this was a working title that I came up with, but I couldn’t get anyone to suggest another title so it just stuck LMAO).

roll, or die trying <a rel="nofollow noreferrer" href="">

You can play the game (in the exact unfinished state that it was submitted to the game jam) here, on The code & assets can be found here. We submitted a bit early because I was pretty much about to pass tf out, and in any case, 50 hours is just not enough to make this kind of game from scratch in a relatively “finished” state. For example, side six (the side of the die with six pips showing) is completely unimplemented, among many other fun bugs and generally poor designs that were forced by the time constraints.

That being said, I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to do, from nothing other than a relatively lightweight game engine, and some ≈41 hours or so in real time. A surprisingly (even — or especially — to me) large amount of the game is implemented, Tab’s sound effects fit the game very nicely (and make side four of the die quite special), Monc’s music gave it the kind of BGM that it needed (Monc asked about possibly adding an intro and/or outro to the music, but I insisted that it would actually be desirable to not have these structural features), and Slime’s visual art is stunning and gives the game much of its appeal. If you’re able to try out the game yourself, I hope you enjoy!!

Footnotes for “roll, or die trying



‡/ˈløːvə/. Also known as “Love2D”.

⸸Think Pierrot ensemble, except completely different.

Sixty nine? More like… uhh… schmixty mine… am I right…?

Anyone in the SuboptimalDream meta-alliance (a.k.a. Subdream, a.k.a. Dreamoptimal) is already aware of this, but just in case any readers of my diary are wondering what happened to FM 6-9 (channel 6, free market room 9), I’m reproducing an announcement that I made in several Discord™ servers here:

The original announcement

hey yawl, i’ve got some important news about THE FATE OF {6-9}!! 😮

some of you may (or may not) have noticed some… interesting shops popping up around 6-9, channel 6 FM room 9, our HQ & the HQ of the Dream–Suboptimal meta-alliance. i’ve certainly seen the shops myself (they’ve been there for a while now), but i wasn’t sure how many were just Dream members, or perhaps innocent maplers destined to set up their personal scroll shops in the haha funny sex number FM. heck, some of their IGNs even have haha funny sex number in them — well, maybe not “haha funny” considering that the IGNs are Wifebeater69 and HitMeDaddy69, but we don’t talk about that 🙄

the point is that this person (persons?) has been aggressively setting up about eight or so shops close to the 6-9 portal, patiently waiting until all of the Dream/Suboptimal folx are asleep or otherwise AFK to reset their shops. some of the Dream folx have been observing this, and have tried multiple times to politely ask our intrepid free-marketeer to ease up a bit, only to get aggressive dismissals.

all of that is a bunch of goofy talking words amounting to the simple announcement that Dream have moved their HQ to FM 4-2 (channel 4, FM room 2). this also coincides with a planned alliance between Dream and a guild by the name of Nimbus (whose HQ is in the same channel, at 4-22), although i cannot speak on this alliance-to-be, as i lack any knowledge of the details.

what does this mean for Suboptimal? well, as sad as it may be, this means that we’ll also have to relinquish our precious 6-9 to the Wifebeater69s and the ligmaballzs of MapleLegends. the meta-alliance remains intact, and Suboptimal’s HQ is now located at 4-2 (channel 4, FM room 2) as well. surprise changes are never fun, but let’s look at the pros & the cons:


  • no more stinky FM sweatlords
  • FM room 2 is Henesys-themed instead of Loodi-themed
  • when Kimmy cuts the number of channels in half, we won’t have to move
  • the Subdream meta-alliance lives on
  • 42 might not be haha funny sex number, but it is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, & everything, or something like that. that’s cool i guess


  • we all have to get used to logging in to channel 4 instead of channel 6 now
  • no more haha funny sex number
  • we let the stinky FM sweatlords win

TL;DR: The Suboptimal–Dream HQ is now located at 4-2 (channel 4, FM room 2).

Þͤ byſhop vvades in-to battel

I’ve been doing some fun Capt. Latanica runs on my pure STR bishop cervid, alongside fellow Ctrl-presser (and my Maple wife), STRginner Taima:

The bishop wades into battle

Taima & cervid vs. Capt. Latanica

As my time permits, I’ve been striving to saturate (i.e. run twice per day) the ability to do Capt. Lat runs, with Taima. However, it hasn’t just been Taima & I. On two of our runs, we were joined by swashbuckler extraordinaire Yoshis (Furbs):

Yoshis, cervid, & Taima vs. Capt. Lat

It’s really cool to see someone playing swashbuckler, a favourite odd job of mine, and Yoshis has been doing a great job of it — already on her way to a T10 ring and level 100 as we speak!!

We also did a pair of runs with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx), who was impressed by our damage :P

Lvl1Crook, cervid, & Taima vs. Captain Latanica

It’s been a long time that I’ve wanted to do Zakum on this character. The main thing that attracted me to STR mages — particularly, STR clerics/priests/bishops — so long ago was a kind of “best of both worlds” scenario. In the past (not on MapleLegends, but on a different server that may or may not still exist…?), I tried playing clerics/priests at least once or twice, convinced that their skillset was one of my favourite, if not my single favourite, in the game. I really wanted to be able to “support” my parties, even if I had only a dim idea of what I would actually be doing, so the cleric/priest/bishop route seemed like the obvious pick. Unfortunately, by observing & emulating the best practices of other players of the same classes, I found myself getting burnt out very quickly, bored to tears by spamming Heal in GS2 or whatever. I wanted to use Heal to support my party, not to roleplay as a undead-grinding bot! Plus, what about my other skills??

After getting frustrated by my initial impressions of clerics & priests, I soon realised that I could make use of age-old character builds to combine my love of the priest skillset with my love of playing permabeginners! It would become the best of both worlds, retaining the interesting parts of the cleric/priest/bishop skillset, whilst seamlessly integrating the simple joy of bopping my enemies on the head.

Well, Zakum represents a genuine exercise of the bishop skillset; I have paid close attention to the bishops in the Zakum runs that I’ve done on my darksterity knight rusa and my woodsmaster capreolina, and I have really wanted to try it myself. Unfortunately, Zakum is level 140, so the usual minimum level for Zakum runners tends to be 135, as that is the lowest level that you can be whilst still getting EXP normally (lower level characters will have their EXP leeched from them by their level ≥135 party members). But getting to level 135 is proving difficult for cervid; in honesty, I don’t really feel like grinding 12 straight hours of CDs for every level.

But who cares? I don’t need to be level ≥135!! I can do whatever tf I want!!! I don’t need fkn EXP!!!! Try & fkn stop me!!!!!

So, I did Zak anyways.

cervid’s first Zak!!

This shit is a real workout, let me tell you. Here, you can see me DHing (DH = “dispel head”, i.e. get rid of the buffs on Zak’s body that are cast by the arms):

cervid DHing

Besides being on the lookout for buffs that you can Dispel during arms stage, there’s also the attacking (for which I gotta get nice & cozy right next to Zakum), the keeping HS up during the entire arms stage (more easily said than done, considering its puny area of effect, short duration, and seemingly unending animation time), keeping other buffs up (that’s like five or six more buffs), HShing when appropriate (again, more easily said than done, as it has a cooldown, and is used more efficiently when Zakum is not weapon-cancelled and the stun pillars are just about to land on your party members’ heads), Healing yourself & your party members, Dispelling your party members as soon as they get Seal’d (regardless of whether or not you yourself get Seal’d), trying to dodge stun pillars whenever HSh is inactive, and also not fkn dying?? 😰

Well, I made it through my first run! And got a card for it!!:

Zakum card get!

Here I am, attacking Zak’s body:

cervid attacking Zak body

And here I am, dying on Zak’s body…:

cervid dying on Zak body…

-_- I couldn’t figure out where my character was… 😬 I can tank a hit from Zak’s body (even third body), but I was not expecting to be taking quite so much damage at this point in time 😅

Oh well, still fun! And now that I have taken the road of Zakum, it is time to say goodbye to an old friend…

gubi, old friend…

I use my fancy Scar hat now, so the only economical thing for me to do is to NPC this old zhelm so that I can loot zhelms and NPC them when I do Zakum runs (they sell for 0.5M mesos a pop). Rest in peace, my epic 13 STR (lol) zhelm that I worked so hard for… 🪦

Oh, and it looks like it’s time to give up MR (for now) in favour of HSh. To that end, I used a whole pile of fourth-job SP resets, and passed an HSh20 book (worthless on the market)…

cervid passes HSh20!

…and an HSh30 book (not so worthless, I think I paid like 25M mesos for a single book)…

cervid passes HSh30!!

…Thankfully, I passed the HSh30 on the first try. WHEW (s/o to our ʟᴏʀᴅ & saviour Uwu Jweswus, and uayua, for helping me out on this one).


I’ve been tryna get my grind on, on my daggermit alces. Level 120 won’t achieve itself, you know. I did some CD grindin’ alongside INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx) and STRginner Taima:

Lvl1Crook, Taima, & alces @ CDs

After Lvl1Crook had to leave, Taima & I continued grinding for a while, at least until Taima was almost ready to level! For the actual levelling, we headed to Masteria in search of Headless Horsemen…:

Taima & alces vs. HH

Upon defeating one of which, Taima hit level 124~!!!:

Taima hits level 124~!!

Grats again :3

Hopefully, I can get some more grind in… in the future…! I’m comin’ for that MoN

A marble, statues, & marble statues

Speaking of grind, it’s time to get back on that ToT quest grind with my darksterity knight rusa~

This is the part where I kill 999 (nine hundred & ninety-nine) of each of various Temple of Time species. Are you ready? R— ready? Okay, let’s do it.

First up this time was 999 Oblivion Monk Trainees, which is kinda like killing 999 Oblivion Monks, except that you feel extra bad because you have to kill the little baby ones too:

rusa vs. Oblivion Monk Trainees

Then, 999 Oblivion Guardians, for whose elimination I feel no remorse, because they are just floating metal armour:

rusa vs. Oblivion Guardians

Then, 999 Chief Oblivion Guardians, which are kinda the same thing, except more annoying, because they have more HP, and RtO4 spawns a few Oblivion Guardians (which I don’t need at this point), as well:

rusa vs. Chief Oblivion Guardians

I felt bad for killing these ones because I learned that I, too, am a Chief Oblivion Guardian:

rusa is a Chief Oblivion Guardian…?

I really am a monster.

In any case, this was enough to propel rusa to the big level 170~!!:

rusa hits level 170~!


Now, my task was to fight the final area boss of le temple du Temps: Lyka! If the name sounds Slavic to you, you might be thinking of ЛайкаLajka⟩†, the Soviet space dog who became the first animal to fly into orbit around the Earth, aboard Спутник-2Sputnik-2⟩ on 1957-11-03. But ⟨Lykawould be Лыка (or, in Ukrainian, Лика), not Лайка. (917) Лика, or (917) Lyka, is the name of an asteroid in the Asteroid belt, named after a woman named Лика. More interpretations mostly get you words related to bast, like Polish, Upper Sorbian, & Lower Sorbian łyka “bast”, Slovak lykaphloem; bast”, Russian лы́ка ⟨lýka⟩ “bast; rope made of bast”, Czech lýka “phloem; bast”, all ultimately from Proto-Slavic *lỳko “bast”. There’s also Polish łyka, which, apart from meaning “bast”, can also be the third-person singular present tense of łykać “to swallow; to eat/drink quickly; to easily absorb [information]”, apparently from Proto-Slavic *lykati, and ultimately PIE *(s)leug- or *(s)lug-, which is also the source of Dutch slokken “to swallow/gulp gluttonously” and thus slok “a gulp”, and probably also dialectal English slock “a gulp”. Nothing that looks particularly related to our bullish friend enemy here…

In any case, it was tough even finding a Lyka. I scanned the channels… AFK’d some… scanned the channels again… and so on, until I did finally find one. The fight took roughly 17 minutes and 40 seconds from start to finish, which I’m just going to consider impressive (just let me have this one) because I had never fought Lyka before and I didn’t even know it left-jump seds you? I didn’t die tho! Pretty good, right‽

rusa vs. Lyka

(Apologies for the poor quality of the image above; it’s actually cropped out of a frame from video that I took of the fight.)

After I declared victory and ran off with Lyka’s horn, Temple Keeper once again patted me on the back and told me to do something else. So I tried. Now that I had made my way through nearly the entire temple, I found myself (mistakenly, it seems) in the Broken Corridor:

Broken Corridor

What I really needed to do was talk with the Record Keeper, who is, naturally enough, an old man with a prehensile beard:

Record Keeper

And now for one final quest, to collect ten Smiley Masks, ten Neutral Masks, ten Frowny Masks, a Whale’s Helmet (from Dodo), a Knight’s Mask (from Lilynouch), and a Guardian’s Horn (which I had just got from Lyka), for “Barrier”. I went and collected the masks, and hunted down another Lilynouch (as the one that I killed for the corresponding quest didn’t drop any items whatsoever…), and lo & behold, the Marble of Chaos!:

Marble of Chaos

Time for this marble to sit in my inventory, gathering dust forever 😊

Footnotes for “A marble, statues, & marble statues”

†More commonly romanised as ⟨Laika⟩, transliterations here instead use Scientific transliteration.

Πρός τὸν Ἴκαρον

Speaking of rusa, I have set out to create a set of AVOID gear for her so that she can make good use of the AVOID that she naturally gets from being pure DEX. Amongst other things, I hope that this can be useful for playing the role of sed target during Horntail runs.

In particular, the equipment items that I need to get my hands on are some Yellow Strap Shoes scrolled for AVOID, a Sauna Robe scrolled for LUK, and an Icarus Cape (1) scrolled for LUK (plus a helmet, but we’re not gonna get into that). Anything else, I can provide from the equipment that I have already at my disposal.

As for the YSS, I managed to find a good (21 AVOID) pre-scrolled pair for sale at a good price:

For Icarus


As for the Sauna Robe, I did the Sauna Robe questline nine (9) times over, and started scrolling the results. I had a pretty spectacularly bad time trying to get 30%s to pass, booming and just generally ruining almost every single one. I even bought one or two more Sauna Robes on the FM to try to continue my Sauna-Robe-ruining addiction. I need another (+0) Sauna Robe with 9 slots for my collection!! But, okay, I kept scrolling and did manage to turn one of my own Sauna Robes into a pretty decent 21 LUK (32.5 tAVOID) one :P

32.5 tAVOID Sauna Robe

That just leaves the Icarus Cape (1). Unfortunately for me, Icarus Capes (1) don’t exist. At least, not on the market. So I was going to have to make my own. Icarus Capes are awarded by Icarus and the Flying Pill, which is the final quest in a questline that starts with I’m Bored (and I Need Help On My Homework!). None of the quests in this line are repeatable, so for each completion, I would need to do it on a new character that hadn’t already completed the questline. Furthermore, the requirements for each completion of the questline are as follows:

The items marked with a “✨” are quest-only, i.e. I cannot collect them beforehand and cannot trade them, and thus must collect them on each character as that character completes the questline.

This is a pretty tall order, especially considering that I only have a ⅓ chance of getting the item that I want upon completing the questline! Or do I?? You’d think that it would be ⅓, considering that there are exactly three possibilities: Icarus Cape (1), Icarus Cape (2), and Icarus Cape (3). But, as Icarus would have it, my actual chances were considerably slimmer than ⅓.

In any case, I was going to need a lot of ETCs. Including those Medicines With Weird Vibes. So I hopped on to my vicloc clericlet d33r to farm some of those (and some Tablecloths as well):

d33r hits level 66~!

Oh, nice!! Once step closer to the big 70, I guess LOL

I was able to accumulate most of the ETCs from my various characters, and from farming the (Jr.) Wraith ETCs on d33r. But I still needed more Stirge Wings and Stiff Feathers in particular. In the end, I was actually able to get away with just using the Stirge Wings that I could find by owling. I owled for Stiff Feathers as well, and used some of those (the rest were egregiously expensive), but I was mostly doing this to offset the number of stiffies that I drained from my vicloc storage mule’s inventory (which were farmed by my islander, ozotoceros).

Of course, then I had to farm the Alligator Skin Pouches and Witchgrass Leaves…

rusa doing Icarus quests

Alligator Skin Pouch get!

While farming Witchgrass Leaves in The Swamp of Despair I, I found that this map has one or two rather… unusual spawnpoints:

Strangely-placed spawnpoint in The Swamp of Despair I

The above image shows me spawning into the map. Yes, there is actually a spawn point just deadass in the middle of the air. Somewhat comically, there are no footholds anywhere near its direct underside, so if you just so happen to spawn there (the spawn points are chosen at random), you fall down almost the entire height of the map(!) before finally (and painfully) hitting the floor.

Hunting for Witchgrass Leaves is definitely the worst part. Obviously, it’s not very difficult, but they are annoying to find and break (there are often a bunch of gators in the way, and for some reason, Witchgrass can only be struck from the right-hand side), and the droprate for the grass is annoyingly low.

Having finished the questline on rusa, I moved on to my I/L archmagelet cervine

cervine doing Icarus quests…

cervine vs. Witchgrass

…And my pugilist tarandus

tara doing Icarus quests……

tara vs. Witchgrass…

…And my permarogue panolia

panolia doing Icarus quests………

…And my besinner hashishi

hashishi doing the Icarus quests…………

…And in the end, I did this questline a few times. Not one time, not two times, not three times, but thirteen (13) times. That is 5 720 ETC items, including 130 Alligator Skin Pouches and 260 (please kill me) Witchgrass Leaves.

You’ll be delighted to know that I got zero Icarus Capes (1) within the first ten completions. 0⧸10. I really was about to cry — how could Kimmy do this to me? For reference, the probability of failing all trials out of a series of ten trials, with a success probability of ⅓, is one in 310 = one in 59 049. One in fifty-nine thousand. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

It’s okay, though; my luck picked up. Within those last three attempts, I had two successes, and walked away with two Icarus Capes (1) of my very own. That’s an overall success rate of 2 ÷ 13 = one in 6.5 ≈ 15.38%. That’s worse than half of the expected success rate >.< In the end, I got:

Icarus Cape (1)2
Icarus Cape (2)8
Icarus Cape (3)3

I boomed one of ’em (lol), and with the other one, I made this fairly nice specimen:

Icarus Cape (1) with 8 LUK

I’ll take it! Full-AVOID rusa is shaping up nicely!!


Although I didn’t do very much Zakking or Krexing on my woodsmaster capreolina of late, I did still do a lil bossin’, including some Female Bosses (姉御) with shadower extraordinaire Harlez (VigiI):

Harlez & capreolina vs. Female Boss

And, Purple Ladles with marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx) and nightlord (they grow up so fast 🥲) trishaa (MatchaLattes):

R.I.P. Level1Crook

O…… R.I.P. Level1Crook, level 1 marksman 2021–2022. 🪦😔

Luckily, I had my pure STR bishop cervid tagging along, so I was able to spare a Resurrection.

Here’s a second body screenshot, chaotic as ever, with Level1Crook ducking for dear life (no more Resurrections to save ya now!!):

trishaa, capreolina, & Level1Crook vs. Papu’s 2nd body

After those two Pumpkin Let Us runs, we tried our hands at some Rāvaṇa runs. This time, we were going to need HB, so I came along as my darksterity knight rusa, instead:

rusa, Level1Crook, & trishaa vs. Rav

And, finally, another Female Boss kill or two was enough to get capre to level 141~!:

Female Boss card get!

capreolina hits level 141~!

The saga of the Red Sign

Red Sign?? You know what that means: it’s time for some LPQ!!

sorts vs. Sangatsu

I hopped onto my DEX brawler LPQ mule sorts to join fellow LPQ mule, I/L magician Sangatsu (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx), in ridding the 101st floor of the Eos Tower of its freakish whale clock infestation.

We assembled a party, and I unsuccessfully attempted to murder all of them offer them some delicious candy:

come get the candy

As usual, stage 8 was a hoot:

LPQ, stage 8

Why are LPQers so horny? Beside what you see in the image above, I feel like I’ve been hit on far more often in LPQ than anywhere else in the Maple world, and I have yet to figure out why…

In any case, it wasn’t long before our ragtag band of LPQers suffered the obligatory Alishar death:

R.I.P. Buccaro

On another occasion, I responded to a smega from PERC10 looking for someone who could do the thief portal:

sort u dexless?

We didn’t have very many Alishar deaths, but we did have LiLBenzene, who claimed to be a rapper who only raps about organic chemistry:

sorts in PERC10’s party, vs. Alishar

Good times.


And now, for our regularly scheduled Questing With tara™! As always, with your host, tarandus the pugilist.

The first order of business is just finishing what I started with the damn (Dark) Nependeaths in the Disposed Flower Garden:


game sux

Yeah, unfortunately I couldn’t really get this strategy to work, so I caved and started fighting normally again. After like 500 carnivorous plant kills or something, I went to Aqua Road to meet up with Richard the Sailor again, because I found out the hard way that his letter expires! After just 24 hours!! What the hecc?? And furthermore, he won’t give me a replacement??? Rood AF:

Richard’s Letter

🙄 Oh well, maybe I can figure out a way to still do this quest…

In any case, I realised that I was now level 49 and still had yet to do even a single quest in all of the Nihal* Desert (including both Ariant and Magatia), so I took the ship from Orbis to Ariant and started punching some round bunnies in the hot desert sun:

Killing round bunnies in the hot desert sun

I had to hunt some Bellamoas, so I made my way to the super secret Bellamoa-only map…

This portal isn’t hidden anymore…

Oh. Well, that’s not so secret anymore, is it? The overhaul to the Nihal Desert maps is not exactly “new” anymore, but I am still so used to the original pre-Big-Bang version that I continue to be confused, and to wonder why all of the maps are inexplicably outsized…

In any case, the Bellamoa map is as effective as ever:

tara vs. Bellamoas

And then, time to punch some Cacti (owie, my hands :[ ):

tara vs. Cacti

My hands now thoroughly riddled with cactus spines, I still had baby cacti to kill…

tara vs. Baby Cactus

Who knew that cacti wore diapers?

And, that was enough to propel tarandus to the big level 50~!!:

tara hits level 50~!

As previously discussed, tarandus is a bit of a germophobe, so she has to wash constantly. And, as is well known, washing just isn’t as effective if you don’t have your smort pj’s on nice & cozy. And the cosiest pj of them all is the giant full-head helmet made of rock that is the Zakum Helmet. Now that I’ve hit level 50, ’tis time to acquire such a stony skull prison:

tara on the way to The Door to Zakum

Part I of the Zakum prequests is easily done. Solo’d it in like… two minutes (don’t ask me for proof, just trust):

tara finishes part I of the Zakum prequests

Part II? Also easily done. Did the JQ in like… two minutes (again, don’t ask me for proof, just trust — I promise that I didn’t take any crying breaks in the process):

tara finishes part II of the Zakum prequests

Part III?? Child’s play. I can just buy the gold teefs on the Free Mar— a quarter million mesos each??

Just gotta get these Miner Zombies to cough up their gold teefs…

tara hunting for gold teefs

Gold toof get!

Ok, so, in the end, I decided to buy like 8 of the 30 that I needed on the Free Market, because tara was about to level up and I didn’t want to waste my EXP, alright? Sue me.

Anyhow, now I just gotta find someone who will sell me a non-AFK zhelm run…

no helm…?

Oh dear. Well, no use surviving the Zakum run if it doesn’t drop any helmets!! That being said, I did notice that, with Melting Cheese bound to my autoHP and my autoHP threshold set to 95%, I never had any autopot failures… Maybe I can dual-client! Time to host Zak!!

I don’t really like hosting, but I’m tryna get tara that helm, so I asked my party nicely if I could loot the zhelms on my “noob character”:

Getting tara a damn helm

I’m controlling my darksterity knight rusa here on the right-hand side, but you can see tara peeking out from the left-hand extreme of the map.

Well, I did succeed in getting tara a helmet. A helmet…

tara’s zhelm…

This is… well, honestly it’s pretty spectacularly bad. The 17 STR (the maximum possible STR) makes it look almost worth something, but the DEX and INT being their minimum values (13), the WDEF and MDEF being their minimum values (140), and the WACC being its minimum value (18; as I’m sure you’ll remember, pugilists are more WACC-starved than their non-odd counterparts), kinda ruins it. Do I just accept my fate?

Apparently, no, I am too greedy for that…

Getting tara another damn helm

This pair of runs went a bit south (although of course we still cleared both) when we had some deaths…

no ress

Oh boy. I mean, I get that a leech dispenser has no use for Resurrection, but… not even 1 SP? One?? It’s fine, I guess. Just don’t die?

R.I.P. aJuju

Oh dear. Well, now we’re missing our bowmaster and our nightlord…

In any case, I did end up with a… decent (basically just completely average overall, which was still lightyears better than the other ten or so helms that I had looted previously) helm, so I decided to suck it up and just scroll the damn thing so that I could get the full benefit right away:

tara’s final zhelm…

😭 FML 😭

Well, water ya gonna dew? It’s time to move on. To the Ellin Forest! Nihal Desert can wait, I’ve got a ring to acquire!!

tara vs. Mossy Snails

Just these first few quests (nothing more than fighting a couple of Mossy Snails and talking to some NPCs) were enough to get tara to 51:

tara hits level 51~!

Then it was time to kill some Tree Rods in Western Region of Mossy Tree Forest 2 for Shadrion (& for Tess):

tara vs. Tree Rods

Wait a sec… Shadrion? What is going on? I think I’m seeing double…

O, Shadrion…‽

Fata Shadriona aside, I had some more Ellin Forest critters to exterminate. Including Mossy Mushrooms (whose leftovers are used for the questline IIRC, but you end up with a bunch of them anyways, so I never pay attention):

tara vs. Mossy Mushrooms

Stone Bugs (and their Rubble)…

tara vs. Stone Bugs

Primitive Boars (not to be confused with Violent Primitive Boars! Yike!)…

tara vs. Primitive Boars

And now tara was level 52~!:

tara hits level 52~!

Oh, right. And then the part where you gotta collect a bunch of ETCs from all over the Maple world. Well, I already had like half of them, so it’s tara’s duty to farm up the rest, including some Firebomb Flames in everyone’s favourite hellish spa:

tara farming Firebomb Flames

…Going back to the Nihal Desert again anyways, for the Hardened Pieces of Steel:

tara farming Hardened Pieces of Steel

On my way back to Lūdus Lake from Nihal, I passed through Victoria Island, so I figured that I may as well wrap this one up and get my Chief Stan Hat:

Chief Stan Hat get!

Aaaand there it is! The Ellin Savior’s Ring!!:

Ellin Savior’s Ring get!

Since I was already in Lūdus Lake anyways, I took the time to do a quest that I had been putting off, in anticipation of getting a zhelm — which I now had:

tara vs. Blin

As anyone familiar with KFT already knows, there are three repeatable quests available from three different NPCs in KFT:

Each one of these quests takes a trivial number of leftover ETCs (from Hodoris, Moon Bunnies, and Samihoes, respectively) in exchange for special potions (Buckwheat paste, Roasted pork, and Rice Wine, respectively) that can be used to appease and/or summon King Goblins (Green, Yellow, and Blue, respectively) — or, you can eat them to heal HP and/or MP, but… don’t do that.

The problem is that all of these three repeatable quests have prequests (Brotherly Love, Brotherly Love, and Kong Ji’s Request, respectively), which are all level 37 quests. One of the two — Brotherly Love — is completely trivial, requiring nothing from the player other than walking back and forth across the KFT map a few times and talking to some NPCs. Kong Ji’s Request, however, is much more substantial, having not only a prequest of its own (Tae Gong’s Love for His Wife), but also requiring the player to hunt Blins! Blins are level 60 (keep in mind that the quest is level 37) and have 38 AVOID, meaning that a PC at the level of the quest would need 2 ⋅ ((1.84 + 0.07 ⋅ (60 − 37)) ⋅ 38) = 262.2 WACC (or more) to hit Blins 100% of the time!! Yikers!!!

You can see in the image above that even now, at level 52 & with a zhelm, tara still sometimes misses the damn things. But finding a Steel Hoe wasn’t too difficult.

I then headed to Victoria Island to tie up some loose ends there, without really doing many of the Victoria-Island-exclusive quests. For The Chaos Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice, I talked to Estelle and asked how to make Sweet Syrup, and she said that I needed 60 Lupin’s Bananas, ten Pig’s Heads, and, naturally, 30 Saps of Ancient Tree. Needing that many Saps is… unfortunate, so I decided to just buy like 21 of them on the FM (more expensive than you might think…) and hunt the bananas myself:

tara vs. Lupins

I also hunted Sakura Cellions…

tara vs. Sakura Cellions

…for their Cherry Blossom Seeds:

Cherry Blossom Seed get!

…for The Sakura Garden. This led me to The Sakura Garden 2, which would require going to Ludibrium to fight Pink Teddies.

As I had already gotten my Chief Stan Hat earlier, it was time to do Jay’s Curiosity (a.k.a. “the Bob quest”). If you’ve never done this quest before, you should know that Bob is a level 2 monster with 777(!) HP that spawns exclusively in a Deep Sleepywood map called Drake’s Meal Table, on a half-hour respawn timer. Bob looks completely identical to a Snail (a.k.a. “Green Snail”; basically the weakest monster in the game), except that he can jump! Quite impressively high, too! Bob is — according to the Maple History Books, at least — the first creature ever to inhabit the Maple World, from back before Maple Island, Victoria Island, and Ossyria were separate continents. Jay wants to know who this “Bob Snale” person is, unaware that he is actually a green snail (rather than a human or humanoid). So I set out to the dungeons of Sleepywood, where Jay said that Bob was most recently spotted:

lord 4give me 4 what i am abt 2 do…

If you’re wondering why I’m crying, it’s because I already know what I must do: slay Bob.


😖 I’M SORrY, OKAY?? But h—he’s not really dead, right? I just scared him into his shell. Yeah, that’s it. Take a good look at Bob’s Snail Shell!!

The Rememberer is really gonna want to see this, too. He remembers everything, and collects every monster in the Maple world!…

The Rememberer is a bully!!

What the fuck?!? He stole Bob from me! And stole five of my fame!! F55555

Luckily for me, it seems that Bob really did just hide in his shell, because at some point, he took leave of The Rememberer (I would too — clearly The Rememberer is a bully!!) and headed back to his usual stomping ground of Drake’s Meal Table. So I set out to find Bob agai—

tara hits level 53~!

JOGHALIURHBGESRAGAOWRIHJWRJIHadwsgf how did I level. I wasn’t paying attention! I forgot to put on my cozy smort pj’s!! -_- Game sux.

Well, at least I found Bob. Lord 4give me 4 what I am about 2 do… again…

lord 4give me 4 what i am abt 2 do… again…

Oh. He didn’t drop his shell. I guess I will find another Bob…?

lord 4give me 4 what i am abt 2 do… again again…

Still no shell. I am just a Bob murderer. I really am a monster…

lord 4give me 4 what i am abt 2 do… again again again…

Ok, ok, that one did drop a shell. We’re all g. Time to complete this godforsaken questline…

I noticed when completing this quest (I guess I never noticed this before) that the quest abruptly ends, indicating that there are further quests in the questline, but as far as I know, there are not:

PC: I wish I could but he’s not coming out from his shell. At least not when I am around…

Jay: I think it’s because he is still frightened and scared that you might try to kill him. Hmm… I might be able to help you with that. I’ve seen a place around here that looked just like Snail Hunting Ground I of Maple Island. He’s known to be born from that place and he might feel safer to come out if he’s there.

Jay: Just talk to me one more time. Let me look for the directions.

…And that’s it. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Mysterious. I wish this questline had been finished! It would (probably) be cool!!

Anyways, now with my eye again towards The Chaos Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice, I needed 20 Coconuts. So I headed to Florina Beach:

tara farming Coconuts

I’m not really a fan of the Special Taste of Florina Beach questline, but since I was going to Florina Beach anyways, you know, I may as well get it over with…

tara vs. Lorangs

I still have yet to finish the questline, because boy, that is a lot of Coconuts to whacc, and a lot of crabby bois to smacc…

Footnotes for “Τάρανδος”

*Possibly from Persian ⁧نِهَال⁩ (⟨nehāl⟩; Western Persian [neˈhɒːl]), meaning “seedling, sapling, shoot”. Nihal — which may be one of a variety of different Romanisations e.g. Nehal, Nehaal, Nihaal, Nahal, Nahaal, etc. — appears to be a (relatively) common given name in parts of India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Egypt. Several internet sources claim that, apart from the Persian origin meaning “seedling”, there is a separate (but very similarly pronounced & written) Arabic origin meaning “joyous; exalted”, which might(?) be ⁧نِيهال⁩ (⟨nīhāl⟩; MSA [niːˈhaːl]), but I can’t seem to find any good evidence that this even means anything in Arabic (other than being a given name). Some sources claim that the Hindu usage of the name is from Hindi निहाल् (⟨nihāl⟩; Modern Standard Hindi [nɪˈɦaːl]), but this appears(?) to be borrowed from the (distantly) related Persian.

Horntail et plūs ultra

Horntail and beyond

I did a handful of Hornytail runs on my darksterity knight rusa, including this pair of runs hosted by marksman xBowtjuhNL and also joined by bowmaster OliverQueen, nightlord illadeIph, shadower Soblet, et al.:

rusa, xBowtjuhNL, OliverQueen, illadeIph, Soblet, et al. vs. HT

Here’s one where I had MW30(!) courtesy of corsair Celo, plus The Breath of Nine Spirit (a.k.a. “HT buff”; +25 WATK, +200 WDEF, +200 MDEF), Echo of Hero, and a Victoria’s Amorian Basket!:

rusa w/ HT Buff, Echo, & MW30

That kinda range with 373 AVOID… Whew~

I was joined, in another pair of xBowtjuhNL’s HT runs, by MainSan, an I/L archmage who was not quite high level enough for HT yet (level ≈145 at the time), but was just a bit bored and in search of something — anything — to do. Unfortunately, changing keyboards & computers from his usual setup proved fatal:

R.I.P. MainSan

…A number of times…:

buyers are dead

(We only had one buyer, a non-AFK HTP buyer, hence the joke.)

But it worked out. We had a ton of Res anyways, and the run was perfectly successful.

Over in Neo Tokyo, I did a pair of Berga runs with buccaneer Yescando*, nightlord illadeIph, buccaneer morningkaren, and bowmaster Aruna (who also graciously brought HS, and without even using Mano shells!):

rusa, Yescando, illadeIph, morningkaren, & Aruna vs. Bergamot

Notice that everyone here (except for Yescando & I) is in Solar, the alliance that is home to both the Caffeine and Ours guilds. I would later be invited to my first HT run with this alliance, after being recruited by host morningkaren:

R.I.P. Tomoonz & Bubblies…

Oups! It happens. Sometimes the call of the tail is too strong. We only lost our sed target and one of our bishops… but we’ve got another bishop!!

Later, the call of… something was too strong, and Horntail’s right head peaced tf out for good:

“I must go. My people need me.”

“??”, indeed. At least we got the chance to kill it before it mysteriously vanished.

Oh, and mayhaps some moar Berga…? This time, with some of the folx from the krew that I had just HT’d with, xBowtjuhNL, bishop Pebbytan, OliverQueen, and hero LunaS2:

xBowtjuhNL, Pebbytan, OliverQueen, LunaS2, rusa, & Apparition vs. Bergamot

Drops plz!!!

Berga’s drop…

Oh. Well, sometimes you just get poverty. It happens.

Later, I was invited by xBowtjuhNL to CWKPQ:

Intimidated by CWKPQ

After some time recruiting, we were able to pull together a ragtag band of adventurers capable of defeating… whatever the hell is going on in this image:

Beginning of the final CWKPQ stage

I decided to try my hand at some @dpm 10 tests. First, with an Onyx Apple (ooo… spicy†…):

rusa, CWKPQ, Onyx Apple @dpm 10

6.37M DPM! Not bad!!

And again, with just some Rage (grrr… 😡 raaarrr…):

rusa, CWKPQ, Rage @dpm 10

3.3M, I’ll take it! I think that’s a personal best.

Oh, and in one of the runs, I got to try fighting the mage boss (Margana) for the first time:

Fighting the mage in CWKPQ

I didn’t really get to see much of what was going on, but hey — beats being glued to the far bottom-right corner of the map for the entire time.

Footnotes for “Horntail et plūs ultra”

*This is rendered as /jɛs kʰæn duː/ (ENG yes can do), not */jesˈkando/ (SPA *yescando).

†I know what you’re thinking: “An Onyx Apple? ‘Spicy’? Ah, you must mean in the figurative sense of ‘vigorous; stimulating’”. Wrong. Onyx Apples are actually quite spicy, measuring in at about ≈100 kSHU. Eating an Onyx Apple is like biting into a brittle, glassy chile that tastes like aluminium foil and sets your mouth on fire. They are truly awful, but I’ll be damned if they don’t make me do twice as much damage.

Níkē Island

I did some KPQing, on my DEX page KPQ/SPQ mule kinds, alongside allies Eleftheria, an I/L magician of Victoria; and Dargos, a dagger fighter of Oddjobs:

Eleftheria, Dargos, & kinds vs. King Slime

Although they are of course well beyond KPQ level now, it’s still a ton of fun to be able to do alliance PQs!

And, also on Vic Island, I hopped onto my vicloc clericlet d33r to help out vicloc STRginner illadvised with their card-hunting journey on the way to the big T2 ring — the biggest and most powerful ring of them all! So I went to RTIII, where we were farming Mummydog cards alongside F/P archgish LawdHeComin:

Helping illadvised farm Mummydog cards

With that set polished off, we moved to Camp 2 to farm Skeleton cards — both Soldier and Officer:

d33r & LawdHeComin helping illadvised farm skeletons

Being able to do this made me quite happy that I’ve been able to essentially fulfil my dream that I had when I made d33r — to at least be able to roam the island of Victoria and Heal to death its various undeads — even though, as readers of this diary may remember, it looked for a while like this dream was impractical to achieve. Plus, I really like the “Excavation Site” region of Perion, even if its apparent main purpose is to house SPQ. In the future, I plan on revisiting the Excavation Site for fun and profit.



“Soft ⟨c⟩”

alces head sketch ✜


Shotgun wedding w/ Pelvis Bebop

Ill-advised crimes

That’s why all beginner skills cap out at level 3