Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clock Tower: A Road to Dejapanesification [Part 2: Alone in the Dark]

All alone. Wandering down dark hallways in a dark world, amassed with document after lengthy document full to overflowing of technical jargon and tables and numbers.

Where does one start to comprehend?

There is, contrary to common misconception, a vast difference between a n00b and a newb. n00bs are simply those dreamers with delusional aspirations, who are unwilling to put the effort into sticking at something until they 'get it'. So often you find them milling around on countless forums whining 'wot do I dooo? wea do I goooo??? HEEELLLLP', often followed up by someone giving them step by step instructions on how to use Google.
Newbs, on the other hand, are much smarter. They already know how to use Google, and best of all, they get started. They start actually doing things.

Starting is therefore the hardest step in almost any difficult task. But its also the most important step, because if you haven't started, its not likely that you're going to get much else done either, except the dreaming. But by starting, sooner or later you're going to amass enough knowledge of the fact that you're steering down the wrong path, and after a couple more false starts you should, with enough luck, converge on the right one.

So here is how I started.

Having a little knowledge of game programming as well as computers and their inner workings, I knew that first off I needed to know a little bit of how the PS1 worked. The storage media for the game data in this case is a cd-rom. I had little idea of how data on CDs were read or arranged. After obtaining a cue/bin image of the Clock Tower cd, I mounted it using Daemon Tools, and had a look at the contents.

Figure 1. directory layout of Clock Tower cd.

Boom. Right off the bat we have a little assortment of folders all with relatively descriptive names. That's nice, obviously not something you'd get if you were hacking a GBA rom, for example, which is just one big hunk of data referenced by offset (address number).
From just looking at the directory names, we can make a couple of assumptions about what sort of files or data they hold. For example, the BG# folders probably have some sort of background graphics in them, and probably not background music since there is already a folder called "SOUND".
Figure 2. The Ritual Room
Figure 3. Director? Producer? ihavenoclue XP
Opening up one of the BG folders I found a heap of .TIM files, not a file extension I'd come across before. A quick search in Google revealed that they were the common extension name for a type of image format widely used in PS1 games. I also found a link to a nifty little program called PSX MC that could view these image files, as well as play the .SEQ music files in the 'SOUND' folder. A quick flick through the image files revealed that most of the levels were comprised of single images, which while didn't really have anything to do with the purposes of a translation hack, was comforting to know that I wouldn't have to be rummaging around in some complex level format for pointers to text or something.
I also found out a couple of other interesting things, for example (hazarding a guess based on my rudimentary knowledge of Chinese characters) the credits appear to be images of text so translating them would simply require replacing the text in those images.
On a side note, in the folder called DA1, I found a suspicious music file called LIKE55.WAV and throughout the time I was listening to it I had plastered on my face an expression something like == so sincerely hoping its not the credits song or something like that.

Anyway, we now have a basic idea of how some of the in-game media is stored. How about the dialogue? Perhaps the first thing most people would do is start opening up files in a hex editor and start looking for text from the dialog. However I faced a bit of a dilemma, that is I didn't know how to read, and therefore write, Japanese in order to search for it. If a standard text encoding had been used, it either have to be some variant or subset of Unicode, which wouldn't be very likely since the encoding consisted of more than 100000 characters and I was quite sure it wasn't a widely used standard in Japan for encoding Japanese. The other option was Shift JIS which is a more commonly used encoding in Japan, if I have got my facts right.
Anyhow, there wasn't much point in trying to do any searches just yet. I needed to find out where they got their font from so that I could know how to change it to use English letters. There was little chance that the developers would have spent the time making an entire Japanese font for their game, what with all the Kanji they'd need, though there was a possibility they could have made a font for the subset of characters that they would use exclusively for the game. For the moment I was potentially ruling out that possibility because of the inconvenience that would have posed for the developers.

What I needed to do then was to somehow trace the code that was used to access the needed characters, and hopefully that would lead me to the place where it was stored. For this I would need some sort of debugger in order to log the machine instructions executed by the PSX (unofficial abbreviation for the PS1 console) at various times. Unsurprisingly I found a couple of debuggers built on top of the PCSX emulator. These would allow me to check for reads and writes to various places in memory. One of these, called Agemo, turned out to be an extremely nifty thing. Its main functionality includes the setting of breakpoints in the code when a certain area in memory (only 2MB of RAM!) is read or overwritten. For those that don't know, a breakpoint is something used when debugging a program, it pauses execution of the program when a specific place in the code is reached or a specific event happens. When the execution is paused, we can then dump the state of memory at that particular point in time, or we can 'step' through the following instructions of the process. The emulator is able to do this since it emulates a PSX processor, and can directly control its execution.
This was very cool and all, but it wasn't as I could just start dumping logs of assembly code and start rifling through them. Assembly code is a sort of extremely watered down version of your general programming language. Its probably the lowest level language you'd come across before you get into the realms of binary code, which the average human wouldn't sensibly try to comprehend. By low level, I mean that the assembly 'instructions' or operations almost directly reflect the actions taken by the processor itself. I don't quite mean on an electronic level, but more a conceptual level. There are instructions for adding, subtracting, loading and storing data, and different ways of manipulating bit-patterns, which are sequences of binary digits. There are also instructions for 'jumping' or 'branching' to different locations in the code, and since we don't truly have this high level concept of functions, we need to be able to jump to specific addresses in memory in order to repeat tasks or as the result of making decisions.
To give you a taster of the assembly language used by the processor in the PSX:

800158c4 : BEQ     00000082 (v0), 00000000 (r0), 80015a14
800158c8 : ADDU    00000154 (s3), 00000000 (r0), 00000000 (r0)
800158cc : ANDI    00000000 (s5), 00000001 (a3), ffff (65535)
800158d0 : ADDIU   00000000 (s7), 801ffe48 (sp), 0010 (16)
800158d4 : LUI     00000000 (s6), 8004 (32772)

Yes I was also utterly confuzzled when I first came across this. This is a sample of the logged output of the agemo debugger. It nicely provides the address of the instruction on the left, followed by the name of the instruction, and its parameters and their values.
The values are all in hex which is simply a base-16 counting system using the digits 0-9 and the letters A-F. To express a single hexadecimal digit would require 4 binary digits therefore its a very compact and nice way to express bit patterns and data values.
Reading these instruction sequentially from the top, we have:
BEQ    v0    r0    80015a14
This is called a 'pseudo-instruction' which is basically a substitute for a commonly used sequence of basic instructions, in this case for carrying out the task of checking whether the value in the register v0 is equal to to that in r0, and jumping to the address 80015a14 in memory if it is. A register is simply a piece of memory in the processor that holds a bit pattern, and in the case of this processor, a 32-bit one. The jumping effect is actually delayed a single machine cycle (so even if the equality is true, the next instruction down is executed, and only then the jump made), but I won't go any more into that.
In the log sample above, the values of each of the registers at the time of the execution of each instruction are also logged, which makes it possible to trace where specific values came from.
The next instruction adds the value in register r0 to that in r0, i.e. it doubles the value of r0 and stores the result in s3. The next instruction performs a bitwise AND operation on the value in a3 with the value FFFF. A bitwise operation compares the same order bits of each value and places a 1 in the same position of the result if both bits are 1s. For example, the value in a3 is a 1, which in 32-bit binary is essentially 00000000000000000000000000000001, and FFFF is 1111111111111111. So the result will have a 1 in the low order bit, and all the other bits 0, just like the value in a3 at the moment. The result is stored in s5.
The next instruction adds the hex value 0x16 (I'll use the 0x prefix from now on to denote a hex value) to the value in the register sp. The result is stored in s7.
Finally the instruction LUI stores the 2-byte constant 0x8004 in the high order bytes of s6, and replaces the low order bytes with 0x0000. The resulting value passed to s6 is 0x80040000. For those who aren't familiar with it, a byte is an 8-bit binary sequence, which can be expressed using 2 digits in hex, e.g. the largest value able to be expressed by a single byte is the value 255 in the decimal system, which is 0xFF in hex and 11111111 in binary.

Anyway, I won't go too indepth about this because its a topic complex enough to write a textbook about.
But suffice to say that I found out somewhere that the processor in the PSX was extremely similar to a MIPS processor, so that meant that if I learned how MIPS assembly language worked, I would be able to understand the output of the debugger. Consequently I spent about a week reading through half of the MIPS assembly language tutorial on this site:
This tutorial is superb, and was actually all I needed in order to be able to read through the logged output of the debugger actually knowing what each line meant.
However, one does not simply 'read' through a log of assembly instructions from cover to cover. There are a lot of lines of code there, and as I found out, between the mere drawing of two frames, over 500000 instructions were executed.
I had to be a little more clever.

And that's it for Part 2. In the next part I'll apologize profusely for this cliffhanger ending, and I'll also go over how I ended up finding where the font was stored, and how that affected my sanity.

Stay tyoond ;)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clock Tower: A Road to Dejapanesification [Part 1: A Presentiment]

Before I commence the insurmountable task of recording this epic novel, I would just like to point out that the Sunlight shining through the gap in my curtains is simply otherworldly. Its golden ethereality illuminates a drifting trail of dust, transmuting it into a lazily floating cloud of celestial glitter. Accompanied by the serene tones of music iconic to Balamb Garden in a world so far away, and behind that the busy and muffled vroom of the vacuum cleaner, this enchanting scene evokes a strikingly nostalgic moment transporting me somewhere far back in the unimaginable folds of time.

I only need to draw back the curtains a fraction more to utterly destroy this little magical setting and remind me that it is indeed 5 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon, and most disappointingly my dusty windows are actually the main cause of the lighting setup, artificially enhancing the colourizing effect of the weak pre-summer twilight on the general haze of dust particles pervading my room. All this and I have four assignments I'm meant to be working on. Great.

Ah, procrastination. Why art thou so enticing?

Casting a world-wearied glance outside, I then yank the curtains shut. It goes dark, and behind me, the music changes.
A low, uniform electronic tone.
My heart skips a beat. Then nothing.

It plays again, higher this time. Chilling me to the bone.

And again. Pertinent. Unforgiving.

And again.

Clock Tower.
I know it even before the piece suddenly splits into a series of steady shrieking tones evoking an image of being chased down dark hallways by an invisible psycho killer. At the end of each hallway, lies either your doom, or a hair's breadth escape, for the present.

I absolutely love this game. I discovered it a while back, while reading some obscure forum post discussing scary games. I'd played games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, and was looking for something more. Something tastefully creepy. As such I was very interested on coming across a comment about an obscure 2D point-and-click horror game by a company called Human Entertainment for the SNES long ago that was considered by many to be the platform's scariest. On further research I learned that the game had never been localized for release in the West, however the SNES version had received an English fan-translation.
For those who haven't heard of this under-discovered gem, the version I'm talking about is the very first one in the series, originally released for the SNES console way back in the dark ages of 1995.
And one dark game it is. The story follows the tribulations of a young orphan, Jennifer after she is adopted into the Barrows family. On arriving at the Barrow's mansion, she and her adoptee sisters discover a very unexpected fate waiting for them. For me, the icon of the game is the main antagonist, Bobby, a deranged and deformed killer child who stalks his prey throughout the mansion wielding a giant pair of shears. The scary scenes in the game are mainly comprised of 'chase scenes' in which Bobby chases Jennifer while making snipping noises with his shears as she frantically tries to find a suitable place to hide. Although a very short game with a playthrough time averaging under an hour, this is actually one of its strengths. This is because of the multiple endings that are obtainable by taking different actions throughout the story. Playing the game through at least nine times in order to get all nine endings isn't as tedious as it sounds. Because the story is so short, the actions that you take differ quite a lot between different endings.
The game was apparently pretty popular in Japan because it got a port to the PlayStation 1 in 1997, and two more after that, for the Wonderswan and PC in 1999. More recently, a company called Artimatica, under the direction of a guy named Chris Darril, have taken it upon themselves to develop a tributary re-imagining of the original game, which they titled Remothered. I was initially very excited to hear this, but after a while I heard something that made me a little skeptical, since it seems like they're ditching the original point-and-click mechanic for a free-style 3D control system like that of Clock Tower 3 and Haunting Ground, both 3D horror games for the PS2 related to the series. They share vaguely similar gameplay mechanics to the original game. Its not that I'm old fashioned but its just that I truly believe that the old system really works. Some people may think that point and click is something of the past, but for me it really made the game. Frantically clicking on things during a chase scene to find something to use in order to save your skin created tension in a unique way. Sure, it wasn't immersive in the sense that you could feel a direct connection with the player, but this slight break in the connection really helped keep you on edge in a cinematic sense. You are forced to watch helplessly as the main character pays for her mistakes that you somehow influenced her to make. And on the other hand, what really destroys the realism in 3D games is that it sometimes feels as if you have too much control. You can make the character do funny things. Like face-planting in walls. Spooky.

Anyway, I could go on forever singing Clock Tower's praises but that isn't quite what we're here for. For all my superfanboyism I admit I have only got around to playing the SNES version. The reason for this is simply because it has an English translation available. Only the SNES and PC versions got fan-translations, and while the PC version is rare, the SNES version is the most widely played. Upon hearing that the PS1 version (officially subtitled The First Fear) had some additional content, I was disappointed upon discovering that it had yet to have a translation hack made of it.

And so I've decided to take up the challenge of making a translation hack of it myself.

Ah, romhacking. Ever since I made a bet with my older sister when I was little that I would be able to find some way to change various stuff in games, I have been fascinated by the skills of people who have managed to hack games and even make whole new games out of existing ones. Way back I did get into some modding for a PC game called Age of Mythology, but absolutely nothing requiring too much brain power. So I think that perhaps this is a better time to start than never! So while I absolutely can't read a word of Japanese, I know someone who can, and that someone amazingly agreed to help with the hack, so bingo, that's the first step sorted.
Get help, Check.

Anyway, I think this will do nicely for an introduction, so basically what I'm going to do in each of these posts is describe the process of my learning how to make a translation hack of a PS1 game step by step of the way, using Clock Tower: The First Fear as a kind of case study. I'll write exactly what my thoughts were at key points in the process and point out various helpful resources for those who might be interested in getting into the same thing. This will not, however, be a lesson in basic computer science, so just a word of warning for those not particularly interested in such things: this will get pretty technical pretty fast.

And for those of you in for the ride, hold on tight 8)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hugger Mugger [Chug a drugger]

Whooo! Hey people! Just felt like sharing something from my childhood!
Once upon a time ago, way back in my primary school days I had an obsession with all manner of clandestine activities: building secret bases, communication systems, concealable weapons (!), and in particular--codes! I used to revel in the idea that no one but myself could decipher the mysterious messages I left lying around.
One of my first recollections of discovering this pastime was when on one of my well-earned term breaks, I went with my family to visit my grandmother. Whenever we stayed there, I made sure to bring along tons of paper! I liked to draw random pictures, especially of fearsome monsters and rather bizarre-looking medieval warriors with well-trimmed panaches. I remember taking a great deal of interest in designing mansions full of complex and utterly impractical traps. I would also write stories and make up my own mythologies.
One time though, I apparently exhausted all the usual possibilities preventing me from boredom, and as a result I decided to do something entirely new, make up a code! This ended up being a simple substitution code which had a dual purpose of sounding rather cool when I tried to enunciate the coded words. The awesome thing was the fact that after making up this code, I never forgot it, and I remember it to this day.
There was a time during my primary and intermediate schooling when my friends also caught on to this mysterious code I was using, and us being extraterrestrial beings of a diplomatic sort, we adopted it as our common language.
I was of course rather delighted when my friends all started trying to speak in code too (I imagine we sounded like a bunch of dorks) and I found it very interesting that similar to me, they also found it very easy to memorise. Later, I figured that this was because I had designed it so that each letter of the alphabet was substituted for another one that sounded slightly similar or kind of reminded me of the original letter. This made the coded words sort of easy to pronounce.
Anyway, you'll see what I mean if you take a look at the substitution table:

H ' (apostrophe)

As you can see its very simplistic. There is one extra rule that if there is a repeated letter, such as the 't' in letter, the repeated letter is replaced by an 'H'.
The vowels are substituted by the next vowel in the alphabet.
Originally both these rules were not the case. The vowels were exempt from substitution, but in my latter years I decided to add this to slightly improve the undecipherability.
Consonants are generally replaced with a 'similar' sounding consonant e.g. D -> T. This doesn't include the letter 'H', which is substituted by an apostrophe, obviously intended by my younger self to imitate a similar feature in French or something.
Anyway, to finish up, here's a small script which encodes a sentence using my cipher.

Enter any sentence:

And that's all! Enjoy =)

Erh d'i okiklien om d'i amofilzi oz nomi! nye'e'e'e'e!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Art are Games [Or crawl back underground]

I've always had a fondness for video games.
I grew up to such classics as Lemmings and the Pokemon series, and the effects these had on my understanding of creativity were profound to the point that they have most definitely left their mark on my psyche. Call me cracked, but to this day I stand a firm believer in the idea that a video game can with all justification be considered a work of art.

Having being exposed to and experienced for myself many different art forms, it is clear to me that the concept of a video game bears all the hallmarks of creativity and ingenuity that gives it the right to stand next to other widely accepted genres of human artistry. Indeed, games can and do have the same qualities and attributes as other art forms! Like any visual art such as theatre or film, a video game combines a series of basic arts into a cohesive whole, each component complementing the other to create an overall effect. The basic setup most commonly consists of a visual representation of the game 'environment', complete with background music, and in many cases, a story. What sets the genre apart from any other is its unique but essential attribute of requiring direct human interaction. Whereas a movie is something you watch, and therefore enjoy or appreciate by being affected in some way by what you see and hear, the video game also demonstrates these attributes but goes one step further: in addition to being a 'show', it gives you a certain degree of freedom to be part of that show. In other words, what happens in the game is directly affected by the player's interaction. Many games strive to use this quality to great effect. In this way we have an experience that draws the audience in like no other form of art can.

I think what makes it difficult for some people to accept is the fact that a game is, after all, a game. The older generation especially, in their unforgivingly stiff and grown-up ways, having been brought up in a world where there lies a strong distinction between what is considered 'mature' or 'sensible' and otherwise, find it particularly difficult to accept that something akin to a 'game', played for 'fun', can really be an exhibition of awesome beauty or the product of ingenious creativity.
I always feel rather grieved whenever I chance upon proponents of the opposition screaming out obscenities like 'its just a stupid game! (grahrahrahg)'. Once upon a time during one of my rather frequent bored episodes, I chanced upon a youtube clip depicting an aspiring and talented young pianist playing his own arrangement of a theme from a rather well-known title (among circles) of the Final Fantasy series of role playing games. Scrolling down to read the comments I was traumatically incensed on finding a comment from a nameless viewer (may they never be named) that said something along the lines of: "To think such a beautiful piece of music came from a stupid video game!"
Needless to say, assassins were dispatched the moment the comment was uttered.
Of course, like anything else video games are only stupid when they want to be. Compare them to songs sung by the tragically tone-deaf; the singing of the song is still an expression of art in the most trivial sense of the word, it's only not very artistic! 'Stupid' games have a parallel in music and film in that they are intended solely for hilarity or satirical purposes, as parodies and the like.

For some of us games have formed an important part of our childhood, giving us an appreciation for certain things we experience within them, and then when we 'grow up', so to speak, we move on to games with more 'mature' themes, or sometimes we even learn to appreciate new things about the games we used to play.
Of course that isn't to say there doesn't exist, like in any other genre, a certain very subjective standard that decides whether the specimen in question can really come under the banner of 'art'. In most cases a crudely drawn picture by a child in vibrant pastel of their dear but disproportionate mama and papa, in a 'mature' sense, is not. But the child is likely unaware of this, and with good reason feels immensely proud of the horrific doodle, all the while under the innocent impression that they could give Picasso a run for his money.

I also suspect there is a certain old-fashioned attitude that if something is 'fun' in the childish sense of the word, it is therefore too immature to be considered a cultivated art-form, too simple to be the product of painstaking thought and technique. Do these 'grownups' who go to concerts and gallery exhibitions, go expressly in order to evaluate the technical prowess of the artistry on exhibition? Of course not. They also go on the basis that they want to enjoy themselves, and though they might not admit it--they're really just having fun.

But in the end, games are actually games, and some people play them only as such: to kill time or for a bit of fun and hilarity. Its the same as anything else: to break the monotony of laying brick and mortar, builders have music blaring away while they work. Taggers roam the city at night waiting to give some old lady's fence a new coat of paint. Root up that fence in the morning and dump it in an a gallery somewhere, and there is bound to be someone who doesn't see why it shouldn't belong. In the same way, just as there is every reason why a game wouldn't be called art, there is also every reason why it can, if it wants to be. Everything is relative.

I mentioned above that games from my childhood left a strong impression on me, and I don't see myself as all the more demented because of them. I haven't been corrupted or violated by playing video games. I'm not a serial killer and I didn't escape from an asylum. I did reasonably well at school, I still retain a healthy interest in other pursuits such as sport and music, and I can truthfully say that exposure to games has heightened my interest in other art forms such as drawing and writing just because of the fact that games have so much in common with these. One of the best stories I have ever come across was from a game. Some of the greatest music I have ever heard also came from games. Visual designs are among other things that have impressed me from within games.
Games don't have to be a trivial case of casting a die and winning. There are cases where losing would be far more--spectacular. There are stories to be told, characters to get to know and love, emotions to be experienced, and worlds to be saved. And magic pills to be munched (i.e. Pacman)--if you're into that sort of thing.

And if i haven't convinced you yet, the figures will.
In case you've been living under a rock (a very large rock), the video game is actually an industry. Yes. You read that right, an Industry. In this epoch there exist huge teams of artists and programmers working on single games, a feat easily comparable to the movie development process. Award winning composers are hired to score the music, stunt actors are hired to do motion capture, well-known voice actors are hired to impersonate the characters. Developers even go on paid holidays to scenic locations so that they can study foliage in order to create accurate representations in-game.
And you think films are big. In both 2005 and 2007, total revenue from games topped that of both the movie and music industries in the US. In 2008, the estimate of global revenue for games was somewhere between 30 to 40 billion USD, about the same as that raked in for music, and noticeably greater than the $27 billion global estimate for movies.
Don't believe me? Go on, look it up.
And there you have it, games are slowly taking over the world, whether you like it or not.

I for one, Love it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What to Blog? [Trips into Space]

I've had this blog for over half a year.

During that uneventful time there have been numerous instances where I have resolved to sit myself down once and for all and actually write something down.

Nothing, absolutely nothing comes to mind.

Oh the exasperation, full of curled knuckles and gritted dentition, Here sits I, pondering the existence of my wretched accursed 'blog' and its gallingly fragile connexion to my real life. In doing so I inadvertently begin probing into the fundamental forces which make up the universe.

Questions, Questions, Questions.
Questions like, 'What is a blog? What do I write in it? Who on earth or off of it am I writing to and Why? Wherefore, says I, should They be given the opportunity to encroach upon the ultimate secrets of nothingness that border My aggravated mind? Such Secrets wherewith I have the very fabric of space and time within my grasp. Never mind the incomparable secrets of what I had for Lunch, and how that will inexplicably aid me in my archetypal quest for Global Domination.

'Why', I defiantly challenge the Blank Wall with the all-encompassing question.
I receive as a reply the vast flatness of its expressionless plane, an unparalleled retort of utter contempt and disregard that induces within me an indescribable sinking of spirit.
I accept the inevitable, my Defeat.

Insanity, Insanity, Insanity.
Unanswered questions unable to find their resolutions swirl maddeningly around within my tormented brain like water and soap bubbles with each and every molecule fighting their demented way down towards the sink hole, an intense psychotic free-for-all.

Silence. Only the incessant whirr of time breaks the otherwise even stillness.

'All of these questions", my rational mind calmly points out, "are completely subjective.'
'Please go on.' I reply, the irrationalities of my former train of thought, being in the state of utter defeat, are now completely subdued. Sense and Reasoning are in complete control.
Acquiescing, They go on to tell me that a blog is in fact a rather reasonable pursuit. Not entirely as a medium through which I share my discoveries of the universe with others of my kind, but a sanctum, a personal sanctuary where I can lay bare the ramblings of a tortured mind, and piece them together, fragment by fragment, until at last they can find their worthy place among the ramblings of greater minds, forever admired, forever esteemed.
'Ha! But this seems altogether too good to be the honest truth!' I cry, 'If it were so simple a task, I would have already filled this place with so much word that literal saturation would have long since appeared in the realms of possibility!'
'Your literative outflow has been stymied thus far,' They reply, 'Forget heredity, the blockages within your mind are uncommonly thick to the point that they were undoubtedly caused by rocks sewn into your brain at birth as the result of some cruel doctor's prank. However, henceforth it shall not be so. Set forth, young mind, you have much to accomplish. Break out of the fetters constraining your consciousness, dig deeper into the expansive ocean of meaninglessness and seek for the answers to your endless plethora of questions. You must write.'

So write I shall, of my Life, of my Deductions, of my Newfound Self-proclaimed Wisdom, of my lunch, of my dinner, and of Icecream, bananas and cake.
And slowly, ever so slowly, the fickle path of destiny will be revealed.

Global Domination.
You are within my Grasp.