Feature: Cruel Summer Donation Drive

JUNE 10, 2015.

No poem of mine was composed under circumstances more vexing for me to remember than this. I began it upon completing my Prospectus Examination, and concluded it just as I was entering the start of the Summer fundraiser, after a rest of less than a single day, with the site. Not a line of it was altered, and not any part of it written down till I reached the fundraiser launch. It was published almost immediately after on the site of which so much is referenced in these verses.

I am surrounded by idiots!
Sabin, Lusipurr, and Riddles

FOUR years have past; four summers, with the length
Of four long winters! and again I hear
The readers, crawling from their basement-lairs
With a dark vengeful murmur. –Once again
Do I behold these vile and horrid games,
That on a blank unwritten page impress
Thoughts of more dire seclusion; and connect
The gameplay with the mis’ry of review.
The day is come when I again compose
Here, within this small library, and view
The list of worthless crap, these mismade ‘games’,
Which at this season, with their unique quirks,
Are placed in one great list, and ope themselves
To votes and comments. Once again I see
These art-works, hardly art-works, little spots
Of artless thought run wild: these aesthetic piles,
Rank to the very nose; and odour of crap
Sent up, verily, from among the lot!
With some noisome music, as might seem
Of a vagrant Motok roaming through a bin,
Or of yon Sabin’s wife, vociferous,
Rejecting our Zestria.

Summer 2011: Deadly Towers

                                        These unseemly forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of far better games, I have owed to them
In hours of anxiousness, sensations sad,
Felt in the thumbs, and felt along the arms;
And passing even into my purer mind,
Impeding entertainment: –feelings too
Of unremembered ag’ny: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that worst portion of a game website,
The little, scoreless, unremembered, rant
Of hatred and of spite.
Not less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another pain,
Of aspect more hateful; that wrathful mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all the unintelligible games
Are heightened: –that salty and bitchy mood,
In which the enmities harshly shove us on,–
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost a’boiling, we bang on keys
With force, and become a raving fiend:
While with an ear unhinged by the chaotic
Disharmony, and the grating sound effects,
We hear the gutt’ring rasp of death.

Oh, God!
Summer 2011: Fable

                                                                 If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft–
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart–
How oft, in spirit, have I turned from thee,
O Deadly Tow’rs! thou pinnacle of the worst,
How often has my spirit turned from thee!
     And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I sit, not only with the sense
Of dawning unease, but with anxious thoughts
For future years. And so I rightly fear,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came unto this site; when like a child
I bounded from game to game, platformers,
shooters, and Japanese role-playing games,
Wherever fun was had: so unlike a man
Flying from something that he dreads; like one
Who sought the thing he loved. For gai’ty then
(The better pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all. –I cannot tell
What then I was. The eight-bit game soundtracks
Haunted me like a passion: pixel art,
The writing, and the great and heroic plot,
Their cliches and their tropes
, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

Summer 2014: Eternal Sonata

                                                  –That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. And for this
Faint I, now mourn, now murmur; other pains
Have followed
; for such loss, I do believe
Are but scarce recompense. For I have learned
To look on games, not as in the hour
Of gamesome youth; but hearing oftentime
The still, sad music of orchestral scores,
Both harsh and grating, and of ample power
To irritate and annoy. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the pang
Of agitated thoughts; a sense perverse
Of something far more deeply disconnected,
Whose dwelling’s in the light of flaring lenses,
Procedural oceans and the fractal air,
And occluded sky, and in the mind of devs;
A motion and a design, that disturbs
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
In all new games. Therefore am I still
A lover of the pixels and chiptunes,
Simplicity; and the best that we behold
From our great past
; of all the mighty scope
Of eye, and ear, –both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In games and the classics of the past,
The anchor of my good mem’ries, the nurse
The guide, the guardian of my youth, and joy,
Of all my gaming being.


Summer 2015: Ghosts ‘N Goblins (and more!)

                                             Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend;
and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that gaming oft betrays
The heart that loves it; ’tis ‘privilege’
To expect, through years of life, that it will lead
From joy to joy; for now games can so deform
The mind that is within, so depress
With senselessness sanctimony, and so bore
With pontification, that neither good tongues,
Careful judgements, nor the comments of calm men,
Nor critique in which kindness is, nor all
The rational intercourse of reasonable life,
Shall e’er prevail against them, or disturb
Their mis’rable faith, that all which we behold
Is full of curses. Therefore let the classics
Shine on thee in thy solitary gaming;
And let the cartridges work freely
When you blow upon them: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If misogyny, or privilege, or racism, or patriarchy,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance–
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence–wilt thou then forget
That at this shelf of these wonderous games
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Gaming, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love–oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That even after many long complaints, many years
Of moaning, these round discs and dusty carts,
And this great gaming history, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

Information, Instructions, Rules
1. How It Works: Lusipurr will play, complete, and review whatever individual game is determined by total donations received at the close of the four-week-long drive (ending at midnight US EDT on 8 July). Lusipurr will stream his entire playthrough of the selected game on the Lusipurr.com Twitch.tv channel.

2. The List: The list has been personally chosen by Lusipurr and consists entirely of NES games (excluding the Ø-tier game). Lusipurr himself has ordered the games so that, for him, each tier is worse than the previous tier, with the first game being a bit worse than mediocre and the last game being catastrophically awful. All of the games are well-known (for various reasons), and have been selected so as to be very entertaining both for vewing and reviewing purposes.

3. Stretch Goals: For every $50 beyond the top donation tier ($300), Lusipurr will review one additional game from the list (excluding the Ø-tier game). Any and all additional games will be chosen at random from those available until all six games have been chosen (at $550). Donations beyond $550 will incur no reward except for continuous, red-faced, fist-shaking ire from Lusipurr at being made to review six awful games.

4. Timeframe: A review will follow within a week after the game is completed. If more than one game is selected, Lusipurr will complete and review at least one game per week until all of the games are completed and reviewed. Obviously, medical or other serious extremities may delay reviews.

Donator Honour Roll



The Summer Fundraiser is closed! Stay tuned to TSM 332 for a drawing of stretch review games!


  1. @Bup: Well, strictly speaking, you can’t, because I already reviewed Deadly Towers. So, it’s not eligible.

    However, the game I placed at the top of the list is, in my opinion, the second-worst NES game ever made. It is catastrophically awful and grindingly difficult as well.

    So there’s that, I guess.

  2. @Britzumagus: You did; we have a picture of you in there as well. But you’re not a Zestria-hating booby, so we didn’t use it.

  3. The first game on the list is unlocked as a freebie (to get you started).

  4. I sincerely hope that either Friday the 13th or Barbie are on the list. They’d both do a good job of torturing you, which entertains us!

  5. They are both bad. Indeed, Friday the 13th is notoriously bad!

  6. I hope you get stuck with Zelda 2 despite the lower donation amount for that game. I really like the game, would love to watch you stream it Lusi.

  7. It’s a piece of shit, Savante! But, happily, it is not a particularly difficult piece of shit.
    SiliconNooB agrees with you, however. In TSM 328 he tried to argue that it was better than Simon’s Quest. THE NERVE.

  8. Better than Simon’s Quest isn’t exactly a positive thought for Zelda 2. Simon’s Quest did suck hard though.

    Looking forward to the podcast, as always.

  9. @Savante: That’s a fair point. We set the bar low, and then we go lower.

    That said, the list really does represent my appreciation of the titles in escalating order of distress. I genuinely hope I do not have to play Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins simply because it is violently difficult.

  10. @Mel: It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at the moment!

  11. I put the music in the thermometer so that people wouldn’t get in trouble for clicking this post at work.

    Although, that said, no one seems to be clicking it at all. Final Fantasy VII it is!

  12. Quick heads-up: I am going in for surgery on 30 June and there is an expected two-week recovery period. So, we may have the review/playthrough a week or so later than originally planned.

  13. Surgery? Aw hell, I hope it’s nothing too serious. Keep us updated, and don’t worry about the review, take your time and heal up. We aren’t going anywhere.

  14. @Wolfe: I’m afraid so! I’ve been told to expect two weeks of recuperation under some pretty strong prescription strength narcotics. But doctors always overnurse their patients so I hope it will not be that bad.

  15. I hope so too Lusi. I pray a safe operation and a speedy recovery to you.

  16. Now, it’s ZELDA II.
    Next Stop: Milon’s Secret Castle (if only it had remained a secret).

  17. “I put the music in the thermometer”

    A finer string of words I cannot think of, right now.

  18. @Mel: Where, one must put the music SOMEWHERE. Why not in the thermometer?

  19. We now have a link to Lusipurr’s Bad Game Museum. This link will take you to a special archive page that will always be updated with links to all of my reviews for the site in alphabetical order. You can find the link in the linkbox on the right side of the site.


    I think this may be the first time that I can say with confidence and relief that I won’t have to play the worst game on the list!

  21. Are you going to play these on an emulator with quick save? Or are you going to play them on an NES?

  22. Because I don’t have the techonlogy to stream directly from an NES (I don’t have an El Gato), the selected game (or games) will be played on an emulator and streamed live via Twitch, with my commentary and camera as well.

  23. I look forward to those streams. People! WasteDonate your money today, we must reach our goal!

  24. Honestly, I’m not bothered. The reality is that if we get less money, not only do I *not* have to play Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, it also means we won’t have the money to run contests, so I won’t have to invent those, or write the posts, or run them, or contact the winners, or purchase the prizes, or mail them out! I win!

    Of course we also don’t get the boost to readership that the contests provide, but, eh… as long as I don’t have to play GnG!

  25. With only five days left on our fundraiser (only half-way there!) I have done two major changes to the site direction and policy:

    1) We now cover anime.
    2) We now have review scores.

    So there you go.

  26. It seemed timely given SE’s sudden recollection that they own the DQ franchise!

  27. This is why people don’t donate as much:

    “But, because this is Lusipurr.com, it is not yet ready.”

    There should to be a sound clip of Bup saying “You’re welcome” on that page.

  28. Also, Billy–that is a FANTASTIC idea.

    And thank you for reminding me about the donator page.

    Because this is Lusipurr.com, and the only person who knows how the edit the site is me, a lot of things don’t get done–not because they are hard, but because I forget/am busy.

    I will try to remedy that Tomorrow…!(?)

  29. The Ghosts ‘N Goblins target is met. So I will now have to play through and review that. Yay.

    We have also now exceeded the donation target by $125. So, I will have to play through at least another two games from the list, which will be drawn randomly during TSM 332. If further donations come in before Wednesday, the number of additional games may rise.

  30. Also: Lane missed making it The Lane Literature Corner by $11. Close!

  31. Are you going to get the “good” ending to Ghost n’ Goblins by playing through it twice in 1 sitting. That ought to be a joyous occasion. Remember, GET THE KNIFE.

  32. @RabidKitten HAHAHAHfuckno. I will finish it and be done and move on to the other two games I have to review, whatever they are.

    Somewhere in the world, a man in a ten-gallon hat is smiling. I hate the man in the ten-gallon hat.

  33. This was not done in the spirit of vengeance but hatchet-burying.

  34. It’s buried right in my back!
    But fair enough. All is resolved. :)

  35. I am further laid low by the beast that is autocorrect.

    The fact that you now have to play Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins is but a happy accident of the pre-established harmony.

    Pray, Arthur, take up thy lance.

  36. Arthur take up thy lance indeed (as I write a chapter on the history of medieval chivalry, its definitional connexion to hastiludes, and what this means for mid-fifteenth and mid-nineteenth century Arthurian matter).

  37. Then maybe you can explain to my why Arthur and his knights are commonly depicted in fiction as wearing plate armor more appropriate to the 14th Century (and thus at least seven to eight centuries after any probable historical basis for the Matter of Britain) instead of the more period-appropriate segmented chain and leather (with the notable exception, perhaps, of Messrs. Monty & Python’s Flying Circus Act and their Nobyll Queste for the San-Graal”)?

  38. @Lane: The answer is actually pretty straightforward: until relatively recently, artistic depictions of the past tended to both romanticise and anachronise their matter to a rough approximation of the present.

    Arthur is a special case because of his legendary status (as an object of ‘actual history’, there’s only the vaguest support for that, and it isn’t even a matter of interest for actual academics anymore).

    Arthur’s legendary status meant that his location in history tended to be somewhat fuzzy in the minds of storytellers. Consequently, his actions and speech were often updated to the present (in literary texts). So, when we read Malory’s Morte, we find an Arthur (and his knights) who speak in mid-15th century English and who behave according to mid-15th century definitions of chivalric conduct–even although Malory knows, and admits full well, that the events of the story took place hundreds of years ago, if indeed they took place at all. Consider, in especial, the political comments which Malory makes about the English in the final book of the Morte–these are 15th century political concerns. There was no ‘parliament’ whatsoever around the historical Arthur’s time, whenever in Roman Britain that was–and certain no ‘England’, either.

    So, what has happened with Arthuriana is that it has been generally updated, employed, and romanticised to coincide more with contemporary understandings of the broadly medieval setting in which it is located. Academically, this is part of something called ‘medievalism’, and it has been going on for a long time. For example, consider World of Warcraft as a salient object of medivalism: its ‘sword and sorcery’ setting and aesthetic is directly derived from broader cultural understandings about what the medieval period was like. —even although most people who play it probably know that it is not accurate, and could even tell you in what ways.

    Now for the short answer: until relatively recently, people cared a lot less about historical accuracy. And romantic notions of medieval settings (especially Arthuriana) were largely consolidated during the 19th Century Arthurian Revival. They remain roughly similar today.

  39. You mean a slavish devotion to historical accuracy is an invention of recent vintage, much like our strict division between high and low art, genre and literary, and any other number of academic conceits meant to enfranchise a scholarly class more concerned with producing a marketable product for their profit-oriented overlords than genuine scholarship which adds to and develops the human intellectual tradition but might bear less direct financial fruit? Quelle surprise!

  40. @Lane; Well, *sort of*. Not quite! For example, a ‘slavish devotion to historical accuracy’ was the reason that Arthuriana fell out of literary fashion for hundreds of years until the 19th Century Arthurian Revival! So that’s not entirely a new thing. But certain aspects of attending to historical accuracy (which could mean accuracy in dress, or in ‘fact’, or in language, or in attitude…) have affected the transmission and impression of Arthuriana to the present.

  41. @Billy: I haven’t forgotten about updating our donation page. Bup’s had a personal matter which has made it difficult for us to set aside a recording time. Coming soon (for real)!

  42. I’m glad that you hit the donation goal. I kept meaning to donate, but forgot.

  43. D’oh! Well, we made it and with a bit to spare thanks to the largesse of two 11th hour donators!

  44. Wait, why is it already closed? It should be open for another 4 hours!

  45. Midnight on Wednesday, 8 July was 20.5 hours ago

    Midnight is when a day begins, not when it ends.

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