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kismet[] Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux 2.2.16 i686; en-US; rv:
Review: Nocturne on Wednesday 13th of June 2:27 AM, 2001 (

- The world is a dark place.
Who will protect the world from darkness? -
- There's a light switch over there...
Jake and Delia watch the moon go down
Delia: Will you ever forgive me Jake?
Jake: You broke my heart Delia

When I first installed this game I had high hopes. During installation my hopes remained lofty. After installation I was humming. When I ran Nocturne for the first time I became dilerious with joy, for I had previously installed KISS Psycho Circus, which wouldn't run at all. Other exciting activities I indulged in that day included sleeping and justifying my existance.

Enter the intro movie, the bastard child of the blair witch project and a carcas music video, which introduced little.

Cut to an office setting. Our hero "The Stranger" (Dick Tracey with goggles) checks in for a job at monster hunting headquarters. There he hooks up with a half-vampire half-accent chick named Svetlana, and they learn that some other, typically evil vampire is looking for some magical vampire stone. So off they go to some eastern european village to do some hunting.

By this time you have already discovered how annoying it is to control your character. Your viewpoint is third person, and restricted to fixed camera positions. The game helpfully changes your viewpoint when your character moves from one area to another (you cannot change the camera position to something useful). These angles include top down, ground level, eye level, and other odd angles. The whole experience is like driving a remote-control robot while on a merry-go-round.
Surely it will get better when the action starts, you think to yourself. My friend, you are mistaken. Like a monkey with a hand-grenade, things can only get worse.

To make life more difficult, the developers have made your character's side-stepping and back-stepping painfully slow. Most likely this is to make it impossible to dodge things, and to raise your anxiety level (read "urge to kill") when you're being attacked by 12 foot tall winged beasts whose deadly attack is to pick you up and shake you around a bit.

To tip the scales back in your favour, you are equiped with two auto-aiming pistols with laser sights. You will notice the auto-aiming when you are walking along with your guns out and suddenly one of your arms sticks out to the side, tracking some poor beastie like there's a god-damn gun-magnet on his face. Note at this point the camera angle is positioned so you can't see what you're shooting at. But that's okay just keep shooting and praying. Oh you can turn off auto-aim if you dare.

Apparently, the odd camera angles are designed to build suspense, like that found in your average big-noises, peek-a-boo I-eat-you horror film. A small note to the developers; That suspense is when you don't know what's around the corner, or what's behind you. In Nocturne, you can't even see what's in front of you.

The evidence is pretty damning so far. Add to that the Psycho Suspense Violins (tm), weird model animations, and lack of facial animations, and you have definite cause to be disappointed. I have to hand it to the developers though, the method of control is at least "innovative". And the scenery is nice. Ooh and the weather graphects (graphical effects) are nice too. If this game was slightly more playable I'd play it.

I had been taken in by the nice title, packaging and screenshots. I paid $60 for this game. What happened to the simple games, where playability mattered?

Disillusioned, I turned to Teresa House Guest for the answer.

Teresa House Guest: I believe that as the number of options grow for game developers with advances in technology, focus must remain on the key elements of successful computer games. Please take me now, big boy
Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
Where's Wally

Catch22[] Mozilla/4.6 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.2.5-22 i586)
The Tower Of Babble on Saturday 8th of April 6:21 PM, 2000 (

By distilling the wisdom we have gained from drinking ourselves into an alcoholic stupor while staring blankly at the walls One Short Of A Llama has managed to increase the size of the cookie file to above 500 entries. Listed below is a small selection of the new babbles and their respective authors.

  • Kismet
    • A dozen a day keeps the memories away.
      Life's a beach; it's full of obese women, broken bottles and vicious crabs.
      Don't listen to me, I just pick a random line out of a text file and print it.
      We're heading for a gold-plated era in human society where everything seems great on the outside but deep down things are just as bad as they always were.
  • DeadBeef
    • One Short Of A Llama - Copyright 19100
      Instead of trying to eliminate deadly diseases, encourage more benign ones.
      People just dont take the time to cackle uncontrollably anymore..
      I'm too lame to read babble.txt
  • Catch22
    • You are the weak link in the food chain.
      The truth will set you free; unfortunately the conditions of you release required that you be sedated at all times.
      I'm on a mission from God. The opinions expressed herein are not those of my employer.
      Time heals all wounds, but it leaves ugly, ugly scars.
    You can receive enlightenment from the babble engine by compulsively reloading, alternatively you can read the raw source file babble.txt.

    One Short Of A Llama's web server was not h4xX0r3d last weekend by script kiddies pleading for an end to their suffering. It was in fact, our lame attempt at an April Fools Prank and there was a message (as well as other things) in the HTML source explaining something to that effect. For those of you who missed it the page has been archived in the History section.

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.6 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.2.5-22 i586)
    State Of The Llama on Monday 10th of January 2:40 AM, 2000 (

    Well its that time again boys and girls. I have suffered through prolonged bouts of consciousness so that I could re-write all the PERL scripts to utilise mod_perl (PERL scripts are only compiled once per httpd process) and MySQL (an SQL database). To handle the increased load, DeadBeef has has constructed a new web server (; Dual processor celeron 450s with 256MB of RAM and three 4.3GB Seagate Hawks handled by an Adaptec 3940 SCSI controller doing hardware RAID. The machine is located at LinuxNet and shares a 2MB connection to the Internet, so everything will be much faster now.

  • User Accounts

  • User accounts allow you to customize how certain parts of the OSOAL site look and act, you can go create yours via the Login page. Authentication is performed using cookies. The cookie exists for as long as you keep the browser open, once you close that session the browser deletes the cookie and you will have to log in again. Removal of the cookie can be forced by selecting Logout.

    Currently accounts allow you to configure:
      The voting form / comment last posts etc. panels that exist on the main page can be configured not to appear.

      No one can post comments using your nickname. The nickname and email address text boxes are automatically filled in. Default number of comments to display and the threading mode.

      If you so desire you may allow us to send email to inform you that the page has been updated, scheduled down-time and how to make money really slowly...

  • Comments

  • To combat the decline in comments being posted, One Short Of A Llama's Lies, Damn Lies and Propaganda Division(tm) has created the Five Lies You Can Believe At Home To Make You Post More.
    1. Posting will help you lose weight.
      When you tap on those keys you burn calories - at least a few hundred of them die every minute. In fact, if you close your eyes and listen hard enough you can hear their little screams...

    2. The post is in the mail.
      There are many more posts destined to arrive very soon, if you don't go and post RIGHT NOW there many not be any room for your outstanding literary contribution.

    3. Posting will help you get a job.
      A quick read through of all the posts will give you a working knowledge of Linux far beyond that of anyone in the Government, Public Service or Military. So to prepare you for your new career we have provided you with a selection of buzzwords and their definitions - which, when chanted in the correct order will assure you a position in management.

        Paradigm; a nonsensical word created by the marketing department.
        Technologies; anything newer than a 2meg 286.
        Multimedia; capable of make annoying sounds.
        Innovate; to steal or buy Technologies.
        E-commerce; a way of giving script-kiddies your credit card number.
        Tech Support; stupidity tax.

    4. Posting will help you attract a mate.
      Write a post detailing every excruciating pointless minute of your life to impress females (this method has worked so well for me...) or alternatively you could just post "bHAhahAHhah fuCk IM BeNt!!", the results will be the same.

    5. No honey, I promise I won't post in you mouth.
      Ugh, right. I think thats enough of this.

  • Request For Comments Archive

  • The Request for Comments (RFCs) are a collection of documents discussing various aspects of computer networking on the Internet (originally called DARPA-NET). One Short Of A Llama has created an searchable listing of all the currently available RFCs (approximately 2300 at the time of this article), located at

  • Support One Short Of A Llama

  • If you are one of the many people who run your own web server just for the purpose of serving up pictures of last-weeks party at your friends house and photos of females you met on IRC then you may wish to consider donating the document root index file to One Short Of A Llama.

    You can choose from either the static HTML version, or the PERL version which prints a random line from a fortune cookie file (the same one our main page uses). We even promise to link back to you in the home pages section (for all the good that will do).

  • Feng Shui

  • Feng Shui (translation: stupid people) is the ancient art of finding something for housewives to do while their husbands are out working and is often performed as a token rejection of western society. The core practice of Feng Shui involves moving furniture around until you feel spiritually forfilled, this meets the three basic needs of the housewife:
      1. Small books impress friends.
      2. An excuse to needlessly re-arrange the furniture.
      3. Annoys Husband.
    Because everything is much more enjoyable with the addition of alcohol, One Short Of A Llama Presents...

    Feng Shui in the style of Drinking In The Shed

    Situated in the NORTH, this is the traditional site of the TWENTY FOUR BEERS. Keep this area well stocked with alcohol to ensure the good drunk energies do not become depleted. Arrange bottles of wine or pre-mixed drinks to direct these energies into helping with relationships (unless she doesn't drink). Remember to drink early and drink often.

    Located in the EAST. The place of rest, relaxation. Regularly remove bottles that accumulate atop the speakers to prevent the flow of energy stagnating and the bottles from rattling when the speakers are turned on.

    Found in the WEST. This is a strong position allowing not only access to the CD player but also the IRC session. Place CD's containing good drinking tunes to assist in the broadcasting of good drunk energies while making sure there is a clear path between the couch and the stereo to allow bad hangover energy (and anyone rushing to the bathroom) to pass freely through.

    This area lurks in the SOUTH. This is a place where the drunk energies leave the body. Oh who am I kidding, you are about to vomit and no amount of wind chimes and pot plants is going to help that.

    I am such an idiot.

    Catch22 llama.osoal.lan[] Mozilla/4.6 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.2.5-22 i586)
    OSOAL Christmas Message II on Saturday 25th of December 11:37 PM, 1999 (

    Why anyone with even a glimmer of intelligence still bothers to celebrate Christmas quite is beyond me. From the vacuous morons preaching family togetherness and the nerve grating CD of Christmas carols put on endless loop to the giving and receiving of meaningless trinkets through mindless consumerisim. Instead of being known as the silly season is should be renamed to the unbelievably fucking stupid season.

    After faking a passing interest in the dull existence of your relatives in the blind hope of actually being given something of value, then forcing out a smile as you discover the gift to be of the same caliber as all the other rubbish they insist on foisting on you, one is left wondering if they seriously believe that you would need yet another beach towel. I doubt it.

  • Presents You Get For Christmas And What They Really Mean

  • Socks: You are though of as boring, most likely because you are. If you were more interesting you might ask if you got socks only because the department store wouldn't gift wrap lumps of coal. But alas, you are not.

    T-Shirts: You apparently have no taste in clothes and will wear anything. Your parents went somewhere interesting and all you got was this lousy T-shirt. Of course, all they got was socks.

    Chocolates: Well I think you are already mostly over-weight, and I hoping you would not mind putting on a few more pounds just because I could not think of a better present for less than $20.

    Ornaments: You are amused by stupid things. Sno-Globes, Pot-Plants, small stuffed animals etc, the natural habitat for such items is at the bottom of draws camouflaged under a thick layer of dust.

    Novelty Mugs: I was not exactly thinking of you when I purchased this, it is as much a personal gift to you as it is to anyone with arms and who needs to drink.

    Calendars: You have few interests. Appearing in three main forms; pictures of babies, pictures of places and cartoons. Regarding the first two, having a new nausea inducing 30cm x 50cm picture to look at month hardly rates as a worthwhile gift. As for the latter; Cartoons do not become any funnier the longer you look at them.

    Deodorant/Shower Gel: I am vaguely aware of your existence. One of the few cleaning products it is acceptable to give, bath pearls and brightly coloured soaps are possible, but toothpaste is not.

    Alcohol: We realise you work hard, so you deserve to piss the rest of your life away submerged in an alcoholic haze. Enjoy.

  • Year 2000

  • Its time to jump on the band-wagon and declare One Short Of A Llama to be Y2K compliant. In the unlikely event any goes wrong, we have a hand picked group of scape-goats we can lay blame on.

    It really wasn't worth it.

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.06 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.36 i586)
    Easter Update on Sunday 4th of April 9:21 PM, 1999 (

    The gradual redefinition of holidays to maximise the enjoyment of those fortunate enough not to be poor or religious makes them even more stupid and meaningless now serving only as self-promotion platforms; Buy my product. Believe in my God. Thus continuing in the tradition of providing more realistic premises, One Short Of A Llama's Easter Bunny has died from the rabbit calicivirus disease.

    This is issue #7 of the largely unpopular One Short Of A Llama News Page and in an attempt to offset the cost, we are now offering you the chance to adopt an OSOAL member. To purchase your very own small and unshaved part of One Short Of A Llama, send an email to ( with information about your location, where the spare key is hidden, if you have any pets that are more vicious than a furby connected to mains power and the secret pass-phrase "This is the secret pass-phrase".

  • Comments

  • The comments page now supports a small selection of HTML tags, a list of allowed tags and a small tutorial for those who do not know HTML is included below.

    Uncle Catch22's HTML Tutorial
    The Hypertext Markup Language was created to allow the retrieval of formatted documents from a remote machine, now with the explosive growth of idiocy on the web, now it used to serve up banner ads, blink tags and insecure java applets reaching a signal to noise ratio that would make military-grade radar jamming equipment jealous. HTML works using a series of tags, a tag is defined as anthing inbetween a < > pair. All supported tags have a corresponding end tag (that tag prefixed with a /) to delimit their area of influence. ie text...

    <b> Bold - this is mainly used to annoy
    <i> Italic - this also used mainly to annoy
    <u> Underline - and so is this
    <strike> StrikeThrough - unreadable, ugh. very annoying.
    <small> Small - small text, annoying.
    <ul> or <ol> Create indented lists of annoying things, indents anything enclosed within the tags.
    <li> list item - bulleting/numbers.
    <a href=>Link</a> Link to the One Short Of A Llama main page

    When posting, try to remember that this is a comments page, not an impress girls with your HTML skills page, there is no point creating something that is going to end up unreadable, I'll stop preaching now...

  • Searching

  • The search engine now does case insensitive matching. Searching for "Beer" It will now match "Beer", "beer" and the silly caps version "bEeR". Searching for "Pictures of DeadBeef, TCL and Catch22 naked" will return a link to this page, try and contain your disappointment.

  • History

  • The page voted mostly likely to be vapourware in a recent web-poll allows access to all the text-files that we otherwise can not find a place to dump, literature such as the self-test for gruel addiction, a SailorMoon episode and the Thyble a story about the creation of the Lentil-verse. If the coax is working again, you should also be able to grab the uptime from the fridge.

  • GNUoodles

  • Todays guest rant is by DeadBeef (

    Gnudles(tm) were developed as a component of the complete Free-Lunch project. Gnudles(tm) are the perfect compliment for co-developed Koffee(tm).

    Industry pundits have responded to Gnudles(tm) by and large negatively, "I really dont think any cooperativly developed noodle is going to be ready for the resturant anytime soon." Although the experts may be sceptical, it does seem that there is alot of grass roots support. Enthusiastic supporters can be found at bake-off's and cooking demonstrations foaming at the mouth for no good reason.

    The leaders of the project hope that a whole range of OpenFood(tm) will be available to freedom concious eaters everywhere.

    Gnudles(tm) are based loosely on the commercially available "Maggi 2 minutes noodles", with an emphasis on ease of preparation and use. Many in the know have reported the free noodle is in fact superior to the commercial product, making its adoption seem likely in small to medium sized resturants.

    Initial development efforts centered around reverse engineering, but as the volunteers found out there are only so many ways you can hack at a bowl of noodles before it gets boring, and you start looking silly. "We still have some usability issues to sort out, but many of our people are using Gnudles(tm) right now as a drop in replacement for their meals. There hasnt been many reports of serious problems."

    The Free-Lunch project is always looking for new volunteers to help with implementation and debugging (finding a bug in your meal is very bad), many of the volunteers have found the project to be very rewarding, in the words of some old guy: "Who the hell are you? ooh, gnudles."

    Well, thats it. you can go back to sleep now

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.06 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.36 i586)
    Valentines Day Message on Sunday 14th of February 9:21 PM, 1999 (

    Valentines Day was created to allow people the chance to discover that no one feels any unannounced affection towards them along with the rejection that the person they are affectionate towards is either ignorant of thier existance or in contempt of it. One Short Of A Llama suggests a more modern interpretation of Cupid in which he swaps his bow for a high powered rifle and shoots at "lovers" from the safety of a clock tower.

    Self Mutilation of the Day(tm)

    'Tastes like Human'

  • A Sharp Knife

  • Vinegar

  • 1 Lemon

  • Salt

  • Take the knife (Purchase a new knife specially for this because *You're worth it*) and make a series of cuts along the length of your arm, watch the blood slowly trickle away from the wounds, trying to escape. Splash some Vinegar onto the wound, leave it to soak in, meanwhile slice the lemon into wedges and squeeze the juice into the mix. Cover the arm in a layer of salt then sit back and stare at the walls. Serves 1.

    The search engine peforms case sensitive matches, match qualifiers are supplied in the form:

    (+) Require Operator: Only qualify this match if it contains all the strings that are prefixed with this.
    (-) Exclude Operator: A match will not qualify if it contains any strings that are prefixed with this.
    (") or (') Grouping Operators: By default the search parameters are parsed as space delimeted strings, to define a search qualifier that contains spaces surround the words with quotes.
    (\) Ignore Operator: Ignore any special value of a character prefixed with this.

    Unfortunatley the One Short Of A Llama site lacks any warez or porn -- the usual things people search for -- but we do have the medical records of our memebers, and in the great tradition of misconfigured search engines they are now searchable.

    OSOAL Medical File; Confidential, For Your Tentacles Only

    Name: DeadBeef
    Condition: Imaginary
    Symptoms: Lurking on IRC
    Treatment: none, this condition is terminal. Make patient comfortable with time-unlimited internet connection and a static IP address

    Name: TCL
    Condition: Severe exposure to Mad Jacks 62% Finest Distilled Spirit
    Sypmtoms: Hungover
    Treatment: An IV drip and one bottle of Midori Mellon STAT!

    Name: Catch22
    Condition: Knife weilding idiot
    Symptoms: Valentines Day Message
    Treatment: Shotgun blast, apply orally

    Name: maharG
    Condition: Secondary Insanity caused by girlfriend
    Symptoms: Successfully identified all three major constellations in the adhesive plastic glow-in-the-dark stars on his ceiling (Jellyfish, Triangle and Headless-guy-with-stick)
    Treatment: 6 weeks of Beer and IRC

    The "Thought for the Day" has returned to the main page for those who requested it, either they had not realised that the code can be downloaded from our files section or they do not consider it authentic unless the wisdom is served up by a One Short Of A Llama machine. With regards to the latter, this page has been set up.

    Its time for me to shut up and crawl back under my rock now

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.06 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.36 i586)
    OSOAL Christmas Message on Friday 25th of December 6:18 PM, 1998 (

    Christmas is a time when families come together and fight while those without loved ones drink cheap whiskey and contemplate suicide. So after the initial crushing disappointment of finding a pair of socks or a bottle of shower gel in your stocking AGAIN instead of something worthwhile (like beer. divorce papers, naked female...) remember that happiness doesnt come from the recieving of gifts, rather it can be obtained from drinking too much wine and telling your family what a bunch of losers they really are.

    Here are a few examples to get you started:

    Father; Pathetic, bald and wrinkled. Cheats on mother any chance he can get, which, due to his age isnt very often. Will probably die of a heart-attack in a few years. (ideal present: Viagra)

    Mother; Slowly expanding to the size of a blimp. Is aware of fathers infidelity but is to stupid and insecure to leave him, still believes that family has no knowledge of her drinking problem. (ideal present: stomach pump)

    Brother; 24 and still living at home. In love with girl he met on IRC, steals money from parents in an attempt to raise enough money to go meet her. (ideal present: pornography)

    Sister; Braindead born-again christian flower child. Hates technology yet is unable to survive away from a telephone. Suppliments gorilla population by continually falling pregnant to ape-like boyfriends. (ideal present: maternity clothes)

    You'll be drinking cheap whiskey this time next year.

    We are working on a replacement holiday called THmas; Celebrating the birth of TH, son of TH. (yes we realise that no-one actually celebrates the birth of geeks) This involves "Jolly Old Saint TH" riding in a fridge pulled by flying llamas, He knows who has been good and who has been secretly using Windows®. Chilled beverages are distributed to those deemed worthy and frozen blocks of stale mince are given to those who are not.


    There are spelling mistakes and I dont care.

    DeadBeef[] Mozilla/4.5 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.1.125 i686)
    Web Server on Thursday 19th of November 2:44 AM, 1998 (

    The little web server that could, yak aka aka aka that *#*(@! piece of crap in the next room, has had a major revamp. Its probably quite broken at the moment, chances are, we're trying to fix it too. If anyone notices it doing weird things send mail to ( with a subject line of "Sad yak :("

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.06 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.35 i586)
    I went through the desert on a llama with no name. on Saturday 10th of October 4:10 PM, 1998 (

    Hello, my name is Gareth* and Im a not-update-the-news-page-aholic, I guess it all started when I was given my first .plan file by my friends. We all experimented a bit, writing a few things. But then I didnt update it for three months, it felt good. From then on I got steadly worse, I wrote three different comments pages and posted to none of them, I copied parts of the dictionary into my .plan so no-one would notice that I wasnt updating it... I guess the final straw came when I realised that I had re-written the news page code three times yet only posted twice there.
    (Posting here was cheaper than checking in to the Geek wing of Betty Ford Clinic)

    You will have noticed by now that the One Short Of A Llama website has been updated with a new colour scheme etc. In addition to that; the Links page has been updated to contain more than two links. Also the Voting page now lets you view past polls giving you access to infomation like:
    • The 8th Dwarfs name is Adolf
    • Mirabilis new slogan should be: ICQ, Progammed by 1000 monkeys on typewriters
    • Fridges are for severed heads.
    If you have any good suggestions for polls mail them to ( The new files section will also be online sometime today depending on how long I can stay awake/sober. On next weeks mind-numbing dull installment of NewsTrek...
    • Something gets recalibrated.
    • A re-write of the history of One Short Of A Llama.
    • The Captain uses a tribble as a toupe'
    • Sing a little song, do a little dance, drink alot and then pass out.
    * Names have not been changed to humiliate the innocent.

    Catch22[] Mozilla/4.05 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.34 i586)
    Website Errata Updates on Monday 10th of August 10:12 PM, 1998 (

    After I crawled home and sobered up, (drinking; kids dont try this at home, do it as someone elses house so they have to clean up the mess) I fixed a few of the bugs concerning the CGI scripts. In general this is what broke/fixed...
    • Lastposts file now puts time posted on a seperate line (like the comments page does) instead of taking the first space delimited token in a name/time pair
    • Re-wrote the vote.cgi to use only one source file, added sanity checking to the vote parameter, fixed the table layout so it centers properly
    • Updated main page to understand new format of lastposts and voting booth
    • Fixed command names for news page so I could actually post this
    -- Catch22