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The adventures of Rusa in Toontown (the sixth instalment)

An addendum


In the “It happened.” section of the previous instalment, I gave a critical overview of TTR’s v4.0.0 update, but neglected to mention one aspect of it (one that was also present in the v3.x.y series of updates, to a lesser extent).

In their quest to create newer & more challenging content, & to partially replace classic content, TTR’s game-mechanical changes go further to trivialise what untouched & partially-untouched content still exists. Because those game-mechanical changes are designed with regard only for the new content, their effects on old content are largely ignored. For instance, most Cog Buildings will be disproportionately affected by Trap, Drop, & even Lure (especially considering Lure’s much more easily-exploited new accuracy mechanics) seemingly inexplicably being considerably more powerful than in TTO or pre-v3.0.0 TTR.

Ordinarily, the term for this is power creep. However, in this case, the power creep — in most or all senses — is entirely preventable. TTO’s core mechanics were perfectly good, provided some tweaks here & there (mostly bugfixes & nerfs), and only needed additional game content to challenge those mechanics & thus bring out their best qualities.

There’s something to be said for whatever the opposite of power creep is; after all, we’d worry that nerfing some of the Toon’s game mechanics would make “old” content marginally more difficult, which is potentially a bad thing for accessibility. But the reversal of power creep is either acceptable or even a good thing by TTR’s own lights — as it freshens up & adds interest to the game generally — so speculating about it here is irrelevant.

It’s not worth saying any more on this subject, largely because the category of “old content” that is both genuinely “old” in this sense, & is significantly affected by this kind of power creep, is a regrettably small one at this point.


Moreover, in the “It happened.” section, I focused a lot on critique. Certainly not to the exclusion of other things — e.g. praise — but nevertheless enough to dominate in sheer volume.

In addition to being genuinely unnecessary (it’s not like anyone, much less a Toontown private server developer, is reading this), this could be accused of being overly negative, or of providing critique whilst neglecting to provide concrete solutions.

I’ve thought plenty (trust me) in the past about exactly those kinds of solutions. But it honestly doesn’t help much, other than possibly as a simple demonstration that such solutions are theoretically plausible. The reality — surprisingly, in videogames nearly as much as IRL — is that solutions are made possible by critique. Indeed, we can go even further than that. Really, critique is exactly what reveals the true form of the patient being treated, thus already — in & of its own application — demonstrating the form that any solutions must necessarily take on.

Objecting to critique by insinuating that it provides no preferable alternative is like attempting to defend homeopathy for the treatment of cancer, simply because science-based medicine (viz. oncology) is still striving to develop effective treatments for however many types of cancer. Even if the oncologist has, at present, no alternative to homeopathy — which is obviously not true in most cases, but we make this assumption merely for the sake of argument — they still have the overwhelming advantage over the homeopath in that they possess a critical understanding of human physiology that stands to scrutiny, & that shows the general form that any oncological treatment must necessarily take on. This excludes almost all solutions — homeopathy included — simply on the basis that such solutions rely on magical thinking (or similar).

None of this is to belittle the job of the oncological researcher — far from it. But it does imply that their job is exactly that: research. That research has a scope narrow enough to be practical, only because of the aforementioned critical understanding of physiology. Indeed, their scope is extremely narrow in comparison to the hypothetical mediæval “oncologist”, who has no real choice but to try absolutely any “treatment” at random, in the hopes that it might at least appear to improve the situation — or more likely, to develop superstition that will guide his “research”.

In any case, I would agree that being overly negative is probably unnecessary here, so that’s about as far as I’m going to go — on the critical side of negativity, at least…


In honesty, I’m not entirely sure where the other v4.0.0 “haters” are. I don’t qualify much as a hater myself, even given how much critique I have for TTR’s post-v3.0.0 direction, simply because I also have (arguably less important) praise for various aspects of it, & had immediately decided that I would continue playing TTR anyway — I’m not exactly storming out of the room in a haze of anger here.

What’s ironic about this is that it’s frustrating to see people defend v4.0.0 — something that I’m critical of — at great length, whilst completely talking past the points that I would have against it. As I mentioned in the “Sound” section of the previous instalment: I don’t disagree with any of these people. This would lead me to believe that anything that I may have argued for in the previous instalment would fall on deaf ears, even if anyone actually read any of the things that I write (fanciful thinking, I know).[1]


Is that sad? Pathetic, even? Sure. But although I could write a lot more, I’ve gotten enough of it off my chest that I can — hopefully — relatively peacefully give up.

However, that’s not really my primary concern at this point. As I think more about the future of playing Rusa — the future of playing challenging content in TTR’s late-game — I fear the people with whom I will be tasked to coöperate.

Communicable toxins

Toontown is a well-designed game that has, as one of its absolute core goals, the encouragement of teamwork. For reasons utterly beyond my comprehension, this ironically results in a playerbase surprisingly rife with people who treat this teamwork — i.e. the teamwork inherent to the game itself — as a kind of obstacle to them, on a personal level. For such a player, permitting others to game-mechanically “coöperate” with them is something that they deign to do, only insofar as it furthers their personal progression through the game. Likely, there’s prīmā faciē no interplayer communication to be had with — nor even from — this player, until someone does something that they don’t like; a strategic choice that they view as suboptimal, perhaps. Now that someone is being “stupid” in their presence — & worse, personally insulting them by ever-so-slightly hindering them — you can perhaps imagine the colourful variety of things (frequently characterised by passive-aggression) that might happen next.

Although there are undoubtedly many TTR players well-described by the previous paragraph, this is maybe an extreme characterisation. Nevertheless, anywhere of significance on such a spectrum of “toxicity” tends to only breed more of its own ilk; that is, the behaviour is not so much “toxic” as it is a somewhat communicable disease. Indeed, the irony breeds more irony: it can be difficult (& in some cases, impossible) to establish active intra-team communication sometimes, simply because people are so accustomed to everyone silently doing their own thing & reacting to others’ behaviours, only resorting to verbal communication when absolutely necessary (when the point of no return may’ve already been reached).

What do we think about that?

The snares of rhetoric

Worse still, the irony goes even further. The heights of this phenomenon — viz. lack of genuine communication, begrudging coöperation, & high expectations that lead to antipathetic behaviour when not entirely met — can often be seen in an aftermath form on places like Reddit™®. A player encounters toxic & uncalled-for behaviour in-game, & is so shaken by the experience that they feel the need to share it on a social medium. The reactions are uniformly sympathetic, & yet the irony nevertheless looms large:

  • The most common response by far is something along the lines of “These people are so silly. This is Toontown — a game literally made for children!”. None of this is wrong: it is indeed ridiculous behaviour, & Toontown is indeed a videogame, & is thus neither serious nor a big deal. But for all this reassurance & apparent levelheadedness, such commentators consistently miss the point.

    The fact that Toontown was & is designed for players of all ages is ultimately irrelevant in such cases (even though it’s a very important property of the game in general), & indeed, even the mere fact of Toontown being a videogame at all is effectively irrelevant as well. The actual fact is that this kind of behaviour is censurable in persons of any age, in any activity — videogame or otherwise.

  • The people leaving sympathetic comments are frequently the same ones perpetuating toxic behaviour themselves. Yet more garbage behaviour can be witnessed on the exact same media within the same 24-hour period, with the sole difference being that it’s done when they know that they can get away with it. When someone approaches with a relatively straightforward sob story, noöne is stupid enough to suppose that they can get away with being publicly unsympathetic. But as soon as the topic of conversation is more abstract, contains any form of personal opinion, or plays upon people’s prejudices, the gates are opened.

How bad can it be?

If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably already aware — if perhaps only vaguely — that there’s something very (very) wrong with me. Unfortunately, we both know that the ICD-11 or DSM-5 or whatever (pick your poison) is borderline worthless, & also you’re not my therapist (probably?). Suffice it to say that I’m being rather a bit dramatic about this whole “toxicity” thing, because it’s something that I personally have more than a little bit of trouble with.

I’m not someone who could be so generously described as “functional”, nor even as a “nearly-functional human being”, but I do try. Rather than literally never talking to anyone ever again so long as I live, I can make some attempts at interpersonal association by, you know, playing videogames online. Is that healthy? Clearly not, but it’s at least somewhat less likely to bring me to the point of total & absolute mental break than putting myself into comparable IRL situations (which turn out to be more difficult to escape…) would be.

There are ways of warding off the toxicity. Having an openly sprightly comportment is, in a way, a kind of antitoxin: you can fight me on it, but being kind of a toxic bitch is a little more difficult if I generally refuse to be a bitch back at you. But even this has its limits. For one, it often requires some proaction, i.e. establishing a general aura beforehand, even before anyone gets the chance to say some snappy shit. Such proaction is not always possible, & even when it is, I’m forced to be quite diligent about it. Furthermore, what if it still doesn’t work? Do I have to defend myself?? Stoop to their level??? I shouldn’t have to defend myself!!!! I know damn well what I’m doing!!!!! What is everyone else thinking?????? How could this person be such a belligerent idiot??????? I’m already in tears!!!!!!!! 😭😭😭😭AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA​AAA—


Perhaps you can almost see why I might be worried about “power creep”, or about people (real or imagined) agreeing or disagreeing with me, or about generally toxic behaviours. I mean, if the power creep even further trivialises game content that was already somewhat “easy” in one way or another, then what else is there left for me to do? What, am I gonna go & do more-challenging content? What if I have to deal with Gamers™??

Okay, okay, fine. Maybe if I can STFU long enough to give it a go, we’ll figure it out. And if I have an unrecoverable mental breakdown, then maybe I’ll write here about it. Maybe.

Footnotes for “An addendum”

  1. [↑] The situation is the same for MSPSs, for quite similar reasons.

Jelly jelly bean bean, smelly smelly green green…?

Did you know that it’s possible to level up not just your shovel, but also your watering can?:

Congratulations[,] you’ve earned a new watering can! Medium Watering Can


It’s not nearly as important, but it does help a little by reducing how frequently you have to water things.

Oh, right. Last time, I forgor to actually sell my flowers, which is how they get registered as species that you’ve successfully grown:

Rusa, you have 20 flowers in your basket worth a total of 80 jellybeans. Do you want to sell them all?

Flowers sell for twice the number of jellybeans required to plant them, so it gives a modest amount of extra beanage here or there.

In any case, there you have it! Rusa’s first maxlaff boost from gardening!:

Wow! You collected 10 of 40 flowers. That deserves a trophy and a Laff boost!

Footnotes for “Jelly jelly bean bean, smelly smelly green green…?”

  1. [↑] By the way, what is it with Toontown & commas? We need to normalise using punctuation. It’s okay to use commas to separate clauses! Heck, in this case, Congratulations! could just be its own sentence

Need a hand?

Okay, bacc 2 the MML ToonTaskline. Although the ToonTasks are a smidge more annoying here than in DG, I’m still doing a healthy amount of goofin’ around. That includes, for example, this random 5-storey Cog Building in a Legal Eagle Invasion.

I signed up for this run on the ol’ ToonHQ, & we started out with four Toons. Then it got a little… spicy. To be entirely honest, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to figure out exactly what went down, but the pair of Flippy-shirt-wearing[1] Toons who started the group gave my horse friend here some sass for, naturally, no particular reason. When they threatened to d/c, he spat right back at ’em: “Okay, then! Leave! Fine by me!!”.

So anyway, we did the 5th & final floor as a duo. When a convocation[2] of four Legal Eagles walked up on us, I threw out one of my Big Magnets:

Legal Eagles are immune to magnetism…

Transcription of the chat bubbles in the above image

[Ice Blue horse]: ok

Rusa [SpeedChat]: It’s time for me to turn into a pumpkin.


Thankfully, that didn’t sleigh me. 😅 We actually made it through the Cog Building just fine, apart from this one unfortunate miss!

Accordions: If You Want In, Just Bellow!

Accordions: If You Want In, Just Bellow! on Baritone Boulevard, operated by Steffi Squeezebox. A pun on bellow “roar; shout” and bellows “blowing-bag”, the latter being used to power an accordion (H–S 412.132), which is a free reed aerophone (H–S 412.13). Because the accordion must be squeezed to drive its bellows, it is a type of squeezebox.

In the “Very Important Paperwork” section of the fourth instalment, I mentioned famous basketball player Wilt Chamberlain as an example of a real person with the name Wilt. Well guess what? I found a Toon with a name punning on this famous one!:

Wilt Chambearlain

That’s not ⟨Chamberlain⟩, that’s ⟨Chambearlain⟩. Nice.

I must say, my Lure XP has been absolutely zoomin’. This new update makes it almost too easy to train!

Rusa unlocks the $10 Bill!

A $10 Bill? That’s twice as many smackeroos as the last bill that I got!

The MML ToonTask for a 100-jellybean jar consists entirely of retrieving lost tickets from Glad Handers & bringing them back to their intended recipients. I’m not sure what Anna of Anna’s Cruises[3] did to mishandle all of these tickets, but I knew what I was in for, so I took another random related ToonTask as well:

Glad Hander ToonTasks

Transcription of the above image
  1. Recover: Lumber Jack’s Ticket from Glad Handers, anywhere.
  2. Wanted: 12 Glad Handers, anywhere. 0 of 12 defeated.
  3. Wanted: 28 Cogs, anywhere. 23 of 28 defeated.

I caught the tail end of a Glad Hander Invasion. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the next Glad Hander Invasion came around, so I was done with this ToonTask after just three or four Cog Buildings!

Footnotes for “Need a hand?”

  1. [↑] Remember back in the “The goofs, the gaffs, the laffs — O my deer, thou shalt have it all!” section of the previous instalment, where I talked a little about Toontown fashion? Yeah. When I saw the high maxlaff, the Flippy shirts, & the glasses, I kinda knew that there was a good chance that they’d get snappy for no reason. But, you know… Don’t judge a book by its cover……
  2. [↑] Yes, this is the actual term of venery for eagles. At least, according to English Wikipedia.
  3. [↑] A pun on anacrusis, also known as a pickup measure.

Minnie’s Hellodyland

Double Reed Bookstore

Double Reed Bookstore on Baritone Boulevard, operated by August Winds. A pun on the homophony between reed and read /⁠ɹiːd⁠/. A double reed is a type of reed used in instruments like e.g. the bassoon (H–S 422.112-71). There’s no H–S designation for double reed instruments; the doubledness of the reed is treated as an incidental property of the reed itself. Nonetheless, many double reed instruments are H–S 422.1 “reedpipes with double (or quadruple) reeds (‘oboes’)”.

The ToonTask for teleport access to MML only involves a single NPC: Dr. Fret, of Dr. Fret’s Dentistry on Alto Avenue. It’s unclear to me whether the name of this Toon Building is intended to be a pun or not. A fret is a ridge on a fingerboard, against which a string is stopped to produce a particular pitch. This isn’t the only fret-related Toon Building name; see, for example, the “Whether tall or small, my gags I’ll haul — I’ll carry them all!” section of the previous instalment. I thought that perhaps the notion of “fret” was being applied to dentition, with the intervals between teeth being like the gaps between frets, or perhaps with dental braces being analogous to frets — both are, after all, made of metal wire with bumps at regular intervals. But I’m not sure…

In any case, Dr. Fret is rather fretful due to the presence of Number Crunchers around MML:

Dr. Fret: I think they are teaching our residents bad oral hygiene.

It’s an understandable concern. Number Crunchers aren’t called that for no reason, & numbers are very crunchy indeed! It’s easy to chip a tooth. Then again, surely bad oral hygiene would mean more business for Dr. Fret…? Anyway, that means that my ToonTasks are starting to get even more painful:

The MML ToonTasks are getting more painful…

Transcription of the above image
  1. Wanted: 30 Cashbots, anywhere. 0 of 30 defeated.
  2. Wanted: 18 Cogs, Minnie’s Melodyland. 8 of 18 defeated.
  3. Wanted: 10 Number Crunchers, Minnie’s Melodyland. 0 of 10 defeated.

A big part of the problem is that random ToonTasks start to almost always require you to do things specifically in MML, as you get deeper into the MML ToonTaskline. But if I’m just ToonHQ surfing for Cog Building groups, they’re unlikely to be in MML unless I start one myself.

Speaking of ToonHQ surfing, I randomly met a duck Toon by the name of Soundless Ness. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of putting my character build into my character name — & that applies to MapleStory, as well. But at least in Toontown, they tend to be puns, like this one.[1] In any event, she just so happened to have the same exact build that I’m going for with Rusa!:

Soundless Ness

Yes yes yes… Soundless with organic Drop! Delicious.

For better or worse, however, not everyone has the taste to appreciate such deliciousness:

[yellow mouse]: why soundless fr

Am I making fun of this mouse for asking a stupid question? Yes.

So anyway, I wound up with my first-ever spinning bronze star!:

Rusa gets her first spinning bronze star!

✨Whoa~ Cool~✨

Timbre! Equipment For The Singing Lumberjack

Timbre! Equipment For The Singing Lumberjack on Baritone Boulevard, operated by Lumber Jack. A pun on timbre as timber, although the first vowel in the former is more usually /⁠æ⁠/ (not */⁠ɪ⁠/), as an adaptation of French /⁠ɛ̃⁠/.

It took a while before a Number Cruncher Invasion showed up, & I wasn’t really feeling like trawling Baritone Boulevard in an uninvaded district, so… I ended up doing some other Cog Buildings. Like maybe some in a district invaded by Robber Barons…?:

Robber Baron: I hope you can grin and baron.

A pun on grin & bear it.

Robber Barons are the tier-8 (the highest tier) Cog species of the Cashbot department, so they’re pretty tough. They also wear really dark shades, & have giant moustaches that cover like 60% of their faces. Strikes fear into my heart.

It’s crunch time

Oh, finally. A NoCo Invasion!

Number Cruncher: This will certainly not end smoothly.

What, you’ve never heard them called NoCos before? Okay, I admit I’ve only heard this term one (1) time, but for some reason, it stuck with me. The numero sign ⟨№⟩ is a common way of abbreviating “number (in certain senses)” in various languages — e.g. English — from Latin numerō. And the -Co part… well… I think it’s mostly chosen as a playfully-rhyming alteration, given that cruncher has no ⟨o⟩s in its spelling.

Still, it could be from a childish-sounding rhotic pronunciation of cruncher as */⁠ˈkwʌn.t͡ʃəw⁠/. The distinction between English /⁠ɹ⁠/ (which is usually more like [ɹ̠ʷɻʷɹ̈ʷ]) and /⁠w⁠/ [w] is so subtle & cross-linguistically bizarre that one wonders how it’s even maintained. It’s thus no surprise that children learning to speak English often try *[w] for /⁠ɹ⁠/ until chastised a sufficient number of times. The result here is that /⁠-əw⁠/ is virtually /⁠-əʊ̯⁠/[2], the same vowel used in no.

But mostly it’s just fun to say. NoCo.

Dr. Fret: You know[,] maybe it wasn’t the Number Crunchers after all.

Oh… It wasn’t the NoCo. Whaddayaknow…

Fast Freddie’s Fretless Fingerboards (Fabricated From Figured Fir!)

Fast Freddie’s Fretless Fingerboards (Fabricated From Figured Fir!) on Tenor Terrace, operated by Fast Freddie. Fir (Abies) seems like an unusual wood to make a fingerboard from, but hey. It’s a fantastic alliteration.

Footnotes for “Minnie’s Hellodyland”

  1. [↑] Ness is an ungendered given name of unclear etymology. It’s presumably from Scottish Gaelic Nis /⁠niʃ⁠/ (pronounced similarly to English niche), but further etymology is unclear, as it otherwise survives only in toponyms (e.g. River Ness). One theory traces it back to PIE **ned “water” via Pictish *᚛ᚅᚓᚄᚄᚐ᚜ *⟨Nessa⟩ “[proper name of] a river goddess”.

    However, the surname is traced back (by Etymonline) to OE næss (also ness) /⁠næsː, nesː⁠/, from PGmc *nasją /⁠ˈnɑs.jɑ̃⁠/ “headland, promontory; foothill” (> e.g. Icelandic nes /⁠nɛːs⁠/ “headland, promontory”), further from PIE *néh₂s “nose”, presumably from the notion of a promontory being a “nose of the Earth”.

    Either way, the name is apparently toponymic.

  2. [↑] The GOAT vowel. The correspondence is equivalent to that of writing e.g. /⁠aɪ̯⁠/ (the PRICE vowel) as /⁠aj⁠/. But see footnote #1 of the “O, Oscar…!” section of the second instalment.

Silly Billy meter

Gadzooks! The Silly Meter has reached the top!

Transcription of the above image

Silly Meter

Meter Maxed! Reward: [Double Jellybeans icon]

Active Reward: Double Jellybeans. Double your fun (and money) with double jellybeans for all activities!


Loony Labs: Gadzooks! The Silly Meter has reached the top!
ALL Toons will receive Double Jellybeans while the Silly Meter is maxed!

Whoa! It’s the first time that Rusa gets to see a maxed Silly Meter! I don’t have a Silly Reader yet, but maybe we should get one next time.

Basically, the Silly Meter was invented by Loony Labs (headquartered in Toon Hall in TTC) to harness the power of the silliness naturally produced by Toons in their day-to-day activities. A lot of silliness is generated by defeating Cogs — on the street, but especially in Cog Buildings, Cog Facilities, & Bosses. Other activities also generate silliness. However, some of it is taken away by Toons going sad, which is why I like playing Übers, so that I can grief everyone else’s Silly Point generation. Then, once the Silly Meter maxes out, there’s a global reward that lasts for 48 hours.

I actually remember being there for the original first-ever maxing, back in 2019. TTR went to the trouble of implementing a very special event just for this (i.e. it hasn’t happened since those two or three times back in 2019), where the buildings in every playground would float up into the air, & Toons would also lose gravity so that you could fly way, way up! There was a lot of custom logic, physics, & animation necessary for this, so it was pretty impressive to see for a very limited-time thing!

Anyway, the 48-hour reward isn’t totally random. Part of the point of having a Silly Reader is to be able to vote on the next one, from a pool of three randomly-chosen possible rewards. All Silly Points that you generate go towards the team that you’ve chosen, so it’s not a one-Toon-one-vote system, & is instead roughly proportional to effort expended. Nonetheless, it’s otherwise a FPTP system, which is unfortunate given that the UI is just as suitable for approval voting.[1]

This time, the reward doubles jellybeans from all sources, so I fricken… sold my flowers…?

Congratulations[,] you’ve earned a Bronze Shovel! You’ve mastered the 2 bean flower! To progress[,] you should pick 3 bean flowers.

Nice!! Here’s what my 3-bean flower setup looks like:

3-bean flowers


Even better, I attended my first beanfest!

Rusa’s first beanfest

Beanfests are pretty much always in the middle of DDL in the most populated district. This is because the jellybean unites used to power the gift of giving lots of jellybeans are themselves given — at random — by successfully-defeated CFOs. Here’s part of what it looks like when you receive a jellybean unite:

Receiving a jellybean unite

As you can see, these jellybeans are doubled by the current Silly Meter. The reason why it shows a measly “+4” is because this is mid-animation, when the jellybeans are still counting up from zero. In reality, a single unite gives 100 to 600 (200 to 1 200 with Double Jellybeans) beans, per affected Toon.

So, needless to say, I bought some stuff. I also got stucc in midair somehow, as a result of fiddling about with those inexplicable beachballs (see the “A hand’s width from the finish line” section of the previous instalment):

Rusa is stuck in midair…?

I really was stuck like this for a while, floating around willy-nilly, soakin’ up beanz…

But I think that’s enough bean-soaking for now. Unfortunately, my ToonTasks are bad. Like… pretty bad. I’ve been trying to shop for good Tasks by going to all the various playgrounds, but to no avail. MML will only give me crappy Tasks like “defeat 24 Micromanagers in MML”! Come on!! The best I can do is more like “defeat 30 Lawbots in MML”, so I’ll have to just take those for now.

I encountered a yellow dog by the name of Silly Billy in a random street fight. So we did some more street fights, & even some Cog Buildings, in the pursuit of great ToonTasking:

Rusa & Silly Billy finish a street battle

Silly Billy was chatless (that is, SpeedChat-only), so I got a bit of a SpeedChat workout. Hopefully I see him online again!

The Ternary Exotic Birds

The Ternary Exotic Birds on Tenor Terrace, operated by Dana Dander. Ternary form is a tripartite musical form that is, broadly, ⟨ABA⟩. I assume that the shop name is intended to be a pun on aviary, but perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch.

Thankfully, the other parts of Dr. Fret’s ToonTask are not quite so overly specific as “only NoCos, & only in MML”. With some more Cashbots (& their Buildings) defeated, Dr. Fret’s dentistry business was still not improving:

Dr. Fret: Still not a SINGLE customer.

Then again, come to think of it…

Dr. Fret: I didn’t have any customers before the Cogs invaded[,] either!

Oh, Dr. Fret……

B-Sharp Fine Menswear

B-Sharp Fine Menswear on Baritone Boulevard, operated by Handsome Anton. A pun on B♯ (the musical note) as be sharp “be stylish”. In 12 EDO, B♯ is enharmonically equivalent to C (amongst other things), but in general, B♯ may be used to denote a separate pitch-class in some tuning paradigms. Moreover, alternative spellings of the same pitch-class (i.e. enharmonic spellings) indicate particular relationships to other pitches, so that B♯ may be a more correct/accurate spelling than C in some contexts (e.g. the fifth factor of an E augmented triad).

Footnotes for “Silly Billy meter”

  1. [↑] Although approval is certainly a big step up from FPTP (especially in this case), it is possible to do better. Then again, voting systems that actually work are known to be mathematically impossible (see also: Gibbard’s theorem), so it’s kinda hairsplit-y anyway.

    GMJ in particular is very good, but is really cardinal (approval is technically cardinal, but each score is just binary anyway). This can be hashed out by treating a Toon T who produces s Silly Points as equivalent to s voters, each of whom submits a filled ballot exactly identical to that of T.

Cleaning cloudy castanets

And finally, MML’s ToonTaskline is to be topped off with final gag training. Leo of Leo’s Fenders Auto Body Shop (presumably a pun on fender “part of a motor vehicle’s body that encloses a wheel” as Fender® “American guitar manufacturer”) has a gig coming up soon, but his castanets are all cloudy! That won’t do, so I headed to Casa de Castanets to meet with Carlos:

Carlos: But I need soma de blue ink from de squid.

I wonder if the squids are aware that they’re natural producers of castanet polish.

You might’ve noticed that Carlos’s speech is spelt a bit funky. Maybe his shop should be called Casa de Castañuelas instead. Although it most certainly has its quirks, Spanish is a bit less of a mind-bending phonological ride than English, so the alterations made to Carlos’s speech are fairly easily explained. In the above screenshot, we have ⟨the⟩ ↦ ⟨de⟩, to reflect the fact that Spanish [ð] is just an intervocalic allophone of /⁠d⁠/, so Carlos de-fricativises it to [].

It seems like the nearby pond on Alto Avenue has some squids in it:

You caught: Blue Squid Ink

Well… that was easy.

Carlos: Now I need a leetle time to polish dees.

⟨i⟩ ↦ ⟨ee⟩ to represent English /⁠ɪ⁠/ (the KIT vowel) being identified with the closest Spanish vowel: /⁠i⁠/. This is equivalent to the FLEECE vowel, & although this merger is rare in English itself, it’s sometimes known as the mittmeet merger. Whoever wrote this neglected to rewrite ⟨polish⟩ as ⟨poleesh⟩, in addition to various other inconsistencies…

Carlos just wants me to take down a Cog Building or two, which is great. That’s my #1 activity. I am absolutely on that shiRt.

Carlos: Bery good!

⟨V⟩ ↦ ⟨B⟩, to reflect the fact that Spanish lacks English’s /⁠b, v⁠/ distinction, instead having a single phoneme /⁠β̞⁠/, which in this case appears as its word-initial allophone [b].

But this wasn’t the only thing that Leo needed to get done before his concert gig. He also misplaced his sheet music, so I had to get it from Hedy of Lousy Lyrics: Discount Sheet Music. Unfortunately, Hedy didn’t have it either, so she had to transcribe it from memory. Continuing the theme of defeating Cog Buildings to pass the time whilst waiting for various NPCs to do their things, I did exactly that. And unlocked my first mfing level 6 gag?!?:

Rusa unlocks the Storm Cloud!!

Yayayay! The Storm Cloud is a great gag, & I’m now well on my way to maxing out the Squirt track! Being a level 6 gag, its damage scales up a lot with XP, so right now it only does 36 base damage, but that will become 80 hopefully soon!

Speaking of gags, let’s take a peek at Rusa’s gag progress so far:

An update on Rusa’s current gags

Transcription of the above image
track XP level organic
Toon-Up 1644 ⧸  2000 4
Trap 0 ⧸    20 1
Lure 3417 ⧸  6000 5 level 3
Throw 4869 ⧸  6000 5
Squirt 6000 ⧸ 10000 6

Oh, yes! I have Trap now. 😄 I shall begin training that little Banana Peel soon…

As you can see, the v4.0.0 update really got my Lure zoomin’ right on past my Toon-Up, in spite of me getting my Lure significantly later. It’s simply much more difficult to train Toon-Up by my current methods, as it’s unlikely that I get many opportunities to use it at all, & even when I do, there’s still a good chance that someone else will take the opportunity instead. Oh, & it loves to miss!! What Toon-Up really needs is some good ol’-fashioned “stalling on the 5th floor of a Cog Building & repeatedly spamming Toon-Up” XP farming. So please… Help me… With that… 🥺

Anyway, that’s enough Goofin’ Wif Rusa™ for now! Ta-ta!! 🧡