May 15th, 2022

In pop'n music Lively, some things have happened in May. For Golden Week, skins and BGM were discounted by a ticket. I went ahead and bought the IIDX lanes and background along with the FEVER and Sunny Park BGM. Below is what the IIDX theme looks like.

I think the IIDX theme is fine as a dark theme, but it's pretty bad as a IIDX theme. It's obviously based off the IIDX theme from pop'n music 15 ADVENTURE and portable, but those looked exactly like sprite rips from IIDX. This theme looks way too high-def for my liking. It's still good as a dark theme though, so I'll stick with it.

I also bought Foxy's 2P color and Hot D's 1P color with the leftover tickets. Characters weren't discounted since they were pretty cheap to begin with.

Another addition is, from April 25th to May 9th, quest experience was doubled. This made it require half of the effort to unlock any quest song. I managed to unlock FLOWER, キルト, 君の音とAuftakt, Squeeze, and 月風魔伝.

I also used some tickets to buy the monthly ticket quest song, which was 明鏡止水 by Tomosuke. Normally, ticket songs require half of the points a regular quest song would require, but the golden week bonus made it require even less.

A new song pack based off of Lapistoria was released. I love Harmonia and Amai himitsu. I don't know about the other songs though. As much as I love both of those songs, it's hard having to justify $50 for them... I listened to Lapistoria music the least, so maybe I might find some bangers in there. I wonder if I should take the plunge. I do kinda want a new song pack...

Funnily enough, the song pack was accidentally leaked before announcement. Late in April, an update was made which let you filter songs by level, medal type, clear rank, and rival scores. Behind the filter menu, you could see a Lapistoria song in the song wheel that wasn't in the game at all! I posted about it on Twitter mere hours before the new song pack was announced.

Enough about new additions to the game, I'll go over some scores I got lately. I have been streaming the game on my YouTube channel. Nobody has been watching them, but I don't mind. Atleast I don't have to keep saving a lot of clips that take a lot of space on my hard drive! I certainly don't have high level play, but I hope you can tune in on the chance I am streaming.

Anyways, I got a level 44 clear! I might have passed a 44, but I still have trouble passing most 43s.

I got an A on I REALLY WANT TO HURT YOU from pop'n music 9. I cleared it a long time ago, but only with a B. I want to get atleast an A, and I haven't been having the best of luck with it on this song. I got it though! Some slow growth is happening.

Something cool comes now... I got a perfect! It's 僕の気持ちを描く from pop'n music eclale! My first attempt from last month was so close to a perfect. I got this on my first stream.

I also attempted a stream with the PS2 IIDX games. It lasted for a while before my hands were obliterated by the standard IIDX controller for PS2. The keys on it require so much pressure to press! I also got some poor scores in that stream, very embarrasing... Notably, I kept getting scores that were way lower than I could usually get. Do I blame it on display lag? Maybe.

Rewatching the footage reminds me of how much I hate my capture card. Everything looks so blurry. The ghost score display becomes unreadable when it goes red. There seems to be some pretty bad ghosting too. This is also on component cables too. These issues don't appear when I use my miniDV deck to record to my computer.

I got a new 60-minute type I tape from Goodwill. I recorded some tracker music into it, I like listening to it. I found this demo called State Of The Art by Spaceballs (be careful finding videos of it, it does get flashy and disorientating) and the music was pretty good, so I recorded it to tape. There's also this rendition of the Monkey Island theme I found.

I remember a while ago, I found a bunch of type II tapes in Goodwill but only picked up one. I should picked up all of them. I love the design of opaque tapes, a design that only type II cassettes seem to have. Majority of my type I cassettes are all transparent, it's so boring seeing them. I have a bunch of maxell tapes, which are all transparent and very ugly. I'm the type of person who would keep one tape sealed if it's not too damaged, so I don't want to open the few type II cassettes I have.

A few days ago, I went on the Wayback Machine to look at some modchip shopping sites from the early 2000s. At the time, the most popular system to mod was the PlayStation! With it's use of CDs and how CD burners were getting cheaper then, it's no wonder it would be rather popular. Modchips for the PS1 were also very cheap, usually ~$20 for one chip. There were also stores that did modding services and flat out sell premodded consoles around the time.

Here are screenshots of the few I wanted to mention.

Screenshot of from June 2001.

Screenshot of from October 2000.

Screenshot of from August 2002. Very similar names between all of them.

They have a very cool design you would only see from sites in this period. You can see how eager they are to have the latest modchips for the latest systems. "WE ALWAYS USE THE LATEST CODE!! PLAY BACKUPS AND IMPORT GAMES!!" would be everywhere on the site. Among other sites, you would see amateurish banners advertising an up-and-coming modchip for a new system and whatnot.

Not only the design was cool, but it's cool seeing how modding has progressed from then. These days, the PS1, PS2, Xbox, GameCube and Dreamcast all have software exploits that allow you to overcome region locking and software protection.

The original Xbox could also be a contender for one of the most hacked consoles from around this time. There seems to be no shortage of modchips for the thing, all stemming back to it's 2001 release. One chip sold was the Enigmah-X chip. This was one of the first modchips and it shows! It requires a whole twenty-nine wires to be soldered. Twenty-nine times you had to be careful and you had twenty-nine chances to screw your entire console. This modchip would be sold for a year before being shut down due to the manufacturers wanting to avoid any legal trouble.

Xbox modchips, and modchips as a whole, would later become more sophisticated as time went on to the point where no solder was needed to install them. Xecuter chips were a most common choice I've seen amongst forum peers. Of course, now, all you need is an exploitable game and exploited save data. If you were to buy an Xbox now, you'd have a pretty high chance of finding a modded one, softmodded or chipped.

Here we are, 20 years later. Modchips still exist for fifth generation consoles, but are slowly going to be overtaken by disc emulators once drives start to die out. As for modern systems, software exploits are what people look for. Majority of software exploits lie in a system's internet browser features, as internet browsers are the most unstable software. I'm pretty sure you could vouch for that.

Honestly, talking about modchips makes me want to buy a chip and install one. One of these days, I'll probably gain the confidence and install one. No promises!

I'd also like to talk about cracktros. They were part of the demoscene and pirate groups. They were prominent back in the early days of piracy and have seemingly vaporized now. I like cracktros for their attitude and tracker music. I looked up to see if there were any archives for cracktros. There is a website that preserves a lot of older pirate group history. That same site also contains embedded emulators for DOS cracktros. There's also a YouTube channel that shows PS1 cracktros in action. I recommend taking a look.

The college semester ends tomorrow, it's finals day. I wonder what to do over the summer.