WELCOME to the personal home page/blog of Matthew La France. Please enjoy your stay.


It was hot and humid today. :( The first day I wore shorts this summer, and probably only the 3rd or 4th day I ran my air conditioner. It just feels nasty. Ugh.

I'm trying to download the beta for Granado Espada: Sword of the New World. It seems pretty interesting. The first MMO to really catch my attention since Phantasy Star Universe. It's a 3.5GB file so it's going to take a little while. I already tried and failed to download it once. I'm trying again. Hopefully it will be worth it. I don't know how much I really want to get involved in something like this again, so maybe I should be saying "hopefully it will suck" instead. The worst possible thing would be if it was super fun and I started playing it all the time. Nooooo! Bad!

I am now the proud owner of a new, comfortable office chair. It's a nice, cushy, leather-ish, executive style chair with a high back. It has good lumbar and shoulder support, and it reclines or locks in place. I've needed a nice chair for a long time and now that I find myself working in front of my PC at home more, I decided it was time to get one. I looked at a range of chairs from about $100-300 and found of course that the $300 ones were best. As usual it paid to shop around. I found a model that I hadn't seen before on clearance for $44 and figured I'd give it a try, thinking it would be about as uncomfortable as the $99 one I'd tried before it. Instead, it was just as comfortable as the $300 one. Needless to say I bought it immediately. I'm very pleased with it.

In addition to Full Metal Alchemist, I recently borrowed Last Exile from a friend. I left off int he middle of episode 4 and it's getting a little interesting. Episode 3 I think it was, was a highly painful rip-off of the pod race from SW:Episode 1. I was barely able to stomach it, esp. after I'd noticed in the very first episode that the planes looked and sounded so much like pod-racers. I'm able to look past this however and give the series a chance. It's too early to say whether or not it will become entertaining.


I finished playtesting Satomi's story in WtPC. It took me about a week but whatever. It was cool to be able to play the whole thing and read along in the script. Since I'd never played her story before, I got to see new scenes with her character that I'd never seen. Her ending wasn't necessarily anything special, but it was fun to finally finish her story. If I can do that for the rest of the stories, the script should be pretty well edited when I'm done.

I watched the 10 episodes of Ushio and Tora recently. I've been into 90's era anime as sort of nostalgia thing. There is a lot of anime now that's really good, but I miss the stuff that got me into anime to begin with. There was a lot of good stuff back then. I recently added some favorites to my DVD collection including Golden Boy, My Dear Marie, and Birdy the Mighty. I only have the first Birdy DVD, I need the second but it's hard to come by. I'm going to keep my eyes out for a decent copy that's no too expensive. $10-20 is about all I'm willing to pay.


I don't know why but I haven't had much patience recently and I've been rather irritable. I feel like I've become very lost and confused suddenly. It's frustrating, but I'm sure I'll get over it. It's hot an humid out recently. My apartment is fairly intolerable to be in, and I caught a cold from someone at work, so I suppose it's no wonder I'm a little short tempered.

I've been "playtesting" the WtPC script a bit with Satomi's story. I've been able to do a lot of editing. I'm pleased to see that it's mostly wording so far. Only one line I've caught that I mistranslated. I'm sure there are a few more though. I did some organizing of my web site. I moved my projects, curemaid, and ranma pages to subdomains. I'd like to redesign all of my pages but I don't know how much work I want to put into it right now. I have some other things to get done first.

I started watching Full Metal Alchemist again. I'd gotten to around episode 25-26 when I decided that Ed was too much a bitch to keep watching it. One of my co-workers assured me that the last half is worth watching and that Ed gets less annoying, so I borrowed the DVDs from him to check out. So far I have not been disappointed, Ed has yet to really irritate me at this point in the story, so I'm basically enjoying the series now. It also deals with some themes that I like including transformation/combination and playing god.


I'm pleased to announce that after 16 months, the initial script translation for Welcome to Pia Carrot is 100% complete!

I first played Welcome to Pia Carrot back when it was new around 1997. I'd wanted to play a dating-sim style game since I'd first found out about them, but it was not until one of my friends imported the then state-of-the-art, disk-based, FMV capable PC-FX system that I was able to try my very first of these games. I'd been studying Japanese for a year or so, so I was able to practice my comprehension with this game that was rich in dialog and fully voiced.

I became very familiar with hauling boxes in the back room, walking in on girls while they were changing, being fooled around with by Reika, and ultimately ending my summer vacation by purchasing a Sega Saturn (of all things) for Rumi. WtPC was something I was able to come back to over-and-over, to see how much more I could understand and if I could ever figure out how to get a good ending. It was something I played at a time before GameFAQs, a time when I actually played games, not just looked up the solutions and "beat" them.

I'm pleased to have been able to come back to it one more time to further my Japanese skills, this time translating all of the dialog, not just for myself, but(hopefully) others as well. I doubt that I'll ever be able to have that same feeling of wonder when playing this game that I used to, but I hope that at the very least, some other folks who remember this game fondly will be able to relive that experience a little. And for anyone whose ever played, or tried to play, this game and not known what the hell was going on, this is for you.

The hacking/insertion is out of my hands, and passed on to the highly capable hands of David Michel who I trust can make this project a reality. That aside, I've enjoyed translating the script very much for myself, just being able to find out what happens, all the charming moments, and small disappointments (oh, that's what was going on there!), I've gotten to translate them all. In the end, it cannot really live up to my expectations as something that was so full of wonder and mystery at one time, but even now I'm still impressed with stories and moments I recall from the script. I'm truly grateful to have had the opportunity to translate this game after all these years. I hope that others will be able to experience even just a portion of the joy that this game has brought me once this project is finished.


Some of you may have noticed an addition to the page recently, an RSS feed from my companion page, PSX Anime List. I thought this was pretty cool, but since the free service I was using to display it, feedroll, seemed to periodically die and cause my page to not load, I've decided to remove it for now. Regardless, the RSS/Atom feed for PSX Anime List is working correctly, so if any of you out there use an RSS reader and want to keep up to date on the latest anime based game releases for Sony systems, please add it to your favorite feed viewer.

What have I been up to recently? Well, I saw the 3rd pirates movie. I don't want to waste much time typing about it. Suffice to say, though it glittered blindingly at times, it was ultimately hollow and substanceless. Less than the sum of it's parts, I think it failed the most painfully at exploiting the drama of Davey Jones' love story, which was brilliantly introduced in the second movie. This is what the movie should have been about. Instead it was about basically nothing. I guess people that liked the first movie tended to like this one. I didn't care much for the first movie. One of my friends said, you "pretty much have to leave behind parts of your brain" in order to enjoy this one.

I did finish reading (most) of Danse Macabre by Stephen King, A dated and wordy but also very instructive and largely non-arrogant look at the gamut of horror before 1980. I'm not an avid reader/watcher of horror, but I have more than a passing interest in it, and it's something I feel an identification with. I've been trying to be more serious about writing/drawing again, and I think my genre tendencies are distinctly fantasy/horror/sci-fi. This book helped me to gain a better perspective on some of my own insecurities about the genre, and firm up some ideas that had been only half-formed.

I finished up 4 blocks of WtPC recently. I'm told there are only 7 more left! Haven't done much with MI since I got stuck after completing most of the "enter the manager's room" portion of game play. I'm having money troubles in the part of the game I'm in right now. I think I need to start over from the beginning and find a way to have more money at that point in the game. I've been too lazy/busy to do this recently. I did get to check out the work on Coca-Cola Kid. It looked good from what I saw, with some small positive changes. The only thing that caught me a little off was the intro. It's a fun platformer that even I could beat (and I suck at platformers) so I think the English patch release will give a lot of folks an excuse to play a fun game. The ending is funny too.

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