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30 for 50: Celebrating Five Years of Listings

Issun

Could be a fren
#23: It’s the Finite Countdown: Presenting Talking Time’s Top 50 Numbers!
Ran from January 9th, 2019 to February 15th, 2019
Host: Bulgakov
Numero Uno: 0

Selected Entry:

3.


Special thanks to Jbear and Jonny Unusual for braving a cold Canadian night in service of my lame joke idea!

3.1415926535...
(aka “pi”)


Points: 375
Mentions: 13

First Round Rank: 4
First Round Points: 344
Movement between rounds: +1



Actually Super Impressed With Jbear’s Dedication:
Falselogic Ranked at #3


Binary Representation: N/A
Roman Numeral Representation: N/A
ASCII Symbol: N/A
Divisors: N/A
Other Notables: Transcendental.

And here we are. If not the single most important constant outright, pi is probably the single most recognizable constant that’s not a natural number. Even most elementary school kids have been introduced to the concept of pi before they’re 10, they’ve learned that it’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (which is not actually the only definition of pi, but it’s the original one), and probably eaten a slice of a delicious baked dessert while doing it.

Pi is a number that was incredibly important throughout civilization. It’s all over geometric, and therefore architectural, equations, and shows up pretty much whenever you need to measure a circular or elliptical curve. It’s also a major feature in trigonometry, and therefore calculus when applied to trigonometric functions. After that we get into Fourier transformations and even more high-end math things that I don’t understand myself, but pi is useful for determining surface areas and much much more when you get to that point.

The earliest known approximations for pi originate around 250 BCE in Greece and in the 400s in China. Today, we can calculate pi to trillions of digits, but realistically we only need about a few hundred for even the most delicate of scientific equations. The only reason people keep going is to see how far we can push it (although maybe if we need to make a planet from scratch someday or something it’ll matter a bit more). So while Jbear’s memorization may come in handy if he gets into high-end surface area calculations, it’s probably not much better than 3.14159 if you need to get quick and dirty about a circle.

Notably, at slightly more than 3.1, pi is the closest number we’ve had so far to ranking the same as its actual value!


Of course there are no songs featuring...oh wait...



And here’s a couple about circles for good measure:



Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 60570.21434
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.22222E+29
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)
11 was my favorite number!

This was arguably the most unique list in terms of topics we've had yet. Had to really think hard for this haha.
 

Issun

Could be a fren
CRIMINAL THAT YOU DIDN'T PICK 69

Y'know, everyone's always on about 69 but really a 69 is like throwing things at Trump supporters. Sure it sounds fun, but you're going to end up with an asshole in your face.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
I enjoyed making this list, and I have equal passion for my next list topic, which will remain nameless for now!
 

Issun

Could be a fren
#24: Like a Boss! Talking Time’s Top 50 Bosses!
Ran from March 8th, 2019 to March 26th, 2019
Host: Solitayre
Top Big Bad: Mother Brain (Super Metroid)

Selected Entry:
#1
Mother Brain - Super Metroid




253 Points

Didn't need authorization to vote: clarice, Dracula, Gerad, Kirin, Mogri, Patrick, Positronic Brain, ozacrot, WildcatJF

We've talked a lot about what boss battles can be in this thread. They can be challenging. They can be emotional. But they can also tell a story, and maybe nowhere is that better on display than in this battle.

Nearing the end of her journey through Planet Zebes, Samus Aran enters Tourian and seeks out the stolen Metroid hatchling that imprinted on her on planet SR388. And surprisingly, she finds it, now grown to enormous size! All the remains is to put an end to the Space Pirate menace by destroying the Mother Brain.

Mother Brain is a techno-organic, biological supercomputer that Samus first encountered on her first trip through Zebes, and initially she fights it the same way. But while Super Metroid revisits a lot of old ground, it isn't interested in pure retreads, and the Mother Brain reveals the game's last big surprise; a mutant T-Rex battle body.

There's not a lot too the second phase of the fight, mechanically. Your only goal is to fight the Mother Brain and not die. Before long, Mother Brain will injure Samus with her ultimate rainbow-powered brain laser. Before the final blow can be struck, the last Metroid intercedes, attacking the Mother Brain to defend its mother, shielding Samus from her attacks while restoring her energy.

In a rage, the Mother Brain assaults the Metroid. There's a single cry, and the last Metroid is dead.

There's no dialogue in this scene. There doesn't need to be. The music tells you everything you need to know about how Samus is feeling right now. She lets loose on the Mother Brain like never before. Again, there's nothing to this fight mechanically. It's all catharsis.

The final duel between Samus, the Baby Metroid and the Mother Brain is a master-class in visual video game storytelling, and few games have ever come close since. A strong choice to close out our list.

 
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WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)
That was a fun list! It's fun running its minion-y counterpart :)

God Rugal was my #1 but Mother Brain was my #2 iirc
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
All of my top 10 numbers made the list except my birth year. Actually, basically everything on my list that wasn't a personally significant date or address did.

On bosses, my top 6 made it, but practically nothing after that. Possibly my lowest ever number of hits! Some of them were long shots, but a lot were still from some of TT's fave games (SoM's Dark Lich, Chrono Cross's Time Devourer, LttP's Arrghus, Castlevania's Slogra & Gaibon, FFIV's Milon Z, even SMB3's version of Bowser). I guess there are just a lot of good bosses to choose from!
 

Issun

Could be a fren
#25: Drive faster Zelda, Zelda’s gaining on us! Top 50 LoZ Goodies and Baddies Countdown
Ran from April 22nd, 2019 to July 31st, 2019
Host: Lokii
Top Lonk: Midna

This was a tough one to choose an entry for. I hate Wallmasters and all of you who voted for them, but I love this drawing of Link so here we are.

Selected (by me) Entry:

#17
Wallmasters
First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda
197 points


Wallmasters are just the worst. The worst. They creep out of the walls (and ceilings in every other game past the first), grabba Link and take him all the way back to the start of the dungeon. The start of the dungeon! Just the worst. They also have a knack for respawning indefinitely, so it's not even worth killing them. You just got to deal. The only time Wallmasters were good was in Link Between Worlds, where Link's wall-merging ability gave him an easy escape from their shenanigans and the 3D design of the dungeons which turned them more into a tool or a toy as you hid under floors and baited them to slap switches or crush enemies. Aside from that one game though: the worst. Why'd yall vote for these awful jerks?

" I should hate an enemy where the primary consequence is wasting the player’s time, but I just love these gross wall hands conceptually. IIRC, one of the episodes of the Zelda cartoon, or possibly one of the Valiant comics, went hard on the lore around them and I was utterly enthralled. Give the Wallmaster a hand!"

"Have an interesting gimmick that makes them nice and creepy (in an entertaining way). It can be a bit annoying if they manage to grab Link but it's usually not that big of a deal (in the first NES game)."

"Giant, roving hands. They pick you up and dunk you back in the dungeon's entrance. Legend of Zelda is often a resource battle, and there's nothing more punishing than losing all your progress in a dungeon to one of these punks. A great and simple way of mounting tension."

 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I guess there are just a lot of good bosses to choose from!
There are more good bosses in video games then there are in life.

In a nested quote said:
Why'd yall vote for these awful jerks?
I am certain someone is going to ask this same question about some of the entries in Top 50 enemies list.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
My Zelda list was weird because I haven't really played any of the 3D entries in the series; still about half made to the 50. This was another one where I mostly stayed away from the main characters for variety, too. I had Mad Battler in #1 because why not. He's a cool crazy bat. And Ezlo in #2 because he's a cool crazy hat.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
This was a great list, though I felt like I kind of ruined it for myself. Loki asked that people submit some blurbs alongside their list, if they wanted, and I got really into it and did these blurbs that were probably long enough to sustain a list on its own. I enjoyed the opportunity to pontificate about Chef Bear, but the problem was that when the actual list got underway, I realized I didn't have anything more to say! I've since reigned it in.
 
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Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Every time I say anything about Zelda I preface it with "I don't even like Zelda" so composing extended opining about something I ostensibly don't care for was an interesting thing to do with this one.
 

Issun

Could be a fren
#26: Get Equipped With The Top 50 Robot Masters List & Knuckles
Ran from August 17th, 2019 to September 20th, 2019
Host: Positronic Brain
Top Wiwy: Gemini Man

Selected Entry:

So, we're halfway there! But before I continue I have to ask you a question: what would you have thought if, for one reason or another, suddenly the Mega Man series abandoned the traditional naming convention of its Robot Masters and started naming them after, dunno, say, puns on rock star names? Asking for a friend.

Please choose one and only one of the following options and click the related button, so I can, um, automagically count your vote. My friend will appreciate it.

I think that'd be awesome:

I agree with you! But some people believe otherwise.

And apropos of nothing….

#24

Duff McWhalen
137 points • 7 mentions • Highest rank: #2 (JBear)





Game: Mega Man X5 (PSX)
Stage: Ocean Depths
Get Equipped With: Goo Shaver
Weaknesses: C-Shot, localizators

Inspired By:

This guy is a robotic whale named Duff McWhalen. How cool is that? And his design is just really good.

I honestly love his fight. It’s not that difficult, but it’s fun - he keeps creating ice blocks that are not that dangerous by themselves, but if you’re not careful he can trap you against the edge of the screen or drive you into the dangerous spikes in the wall.

I’m not that crazy about his stage - it has a bit too much auto scrolling for my taste, but it is an spectacle, as you are chased and then get to chase a gigantic submarine. The whole stage is a multi-tier battle against this vehicle until you finally blow it up and then you earn the right to face the Maverick with the coolest name ever. A pity about the music - it’s good, but it’s a remix of Bubble Crab’s theme, as the original theme for the stage had to be scrapped for reasons unknown.

By the way, Duff McWhalen is the recipient of my “favorite typo” award - or at least the most amusing one. It’s really common that when people try to write “Duff McWhalen” they write “Tidal Whale” instead. Isn’t that interesting? Even though those letters are nowhere close to each other in a keyboard, you’ll find this typo so often that even Capcom did it in the version of Mega Man X5 included in the Mega Man x Legacy Collection (check the select screen if you don’t believe me). Embarrassing, uh? A good thing they didn't mess this up in the original Mega Man X5!

That'd be silly:

I agree with you! But some people believe otherwise.

And apropos of nothing….

#24

Tidal Whale
137 points • 7 mentions • Highest rank: #2 (JBear)





Game: Mega Man X5 (PSX)
Stage: Ocean Depths
Get Equipped With: Goo Shaver
Weaknesses: C-Shot, localizators

Inspired By:

This guy is a robotic whale named Tidal Whale. How cool is that? And his design is just really good.

I honestly love his fight. It’s not that difficult, but it’s fun - he keeps creating ice blocks that are not that dangerous by themselves, but if you’re not careful he can trap you against the edge of the screen or drive you into the dangerous spikes in the wall.

I’m not that crazy about his stage - it has a bit too much auto scrolling for my taste, but it is an spectacle, as you are chased and then get to chase a gigantic submarine. The whole stage is a multi-tier battle against this vehicle until you finally blow it up and then you earn the right to face the Maverick with the coolest name ever. A pity about the music - it’s good, but it’s a remix of Bubble Crab’s theme, as the original theme for the stage had to be scrapped for reasons unknown.

By the way, Tidal Whale is the recipient of my “favorite typo” award - or at least the most amusing one. It’s really common that when people try to write “Tidal Whale” they write “Duff McWhalen” instead. Isn’t that interesting? Even though those letters are nowhere close to each other in a keyboard, you’ll find this typo so often that even Capcom did it during the localization of Mega Man X5 (check the select screen if you don’t believe me). Embarrassing, uh? A good thing they fixed that in time for the Mega Man X Legacy Collection!

So yeah, thanks for your input. So let's talk about Robot Masters.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
That was a very clever way of working around and incorporating both names of the whale maverick. Hats off to PB for that.

I had Gemini Man as my #1 and I think it's the only time I've actually gotten that. I was very surprised; I had no idea Gemini Man was so popular, and was expecting it to go to Elec Man or Cut Man or someone.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
Gemini Man was my...#25. That has definitely been the biggest surprise out of any of these lists where I've participated. I wish I could review the thread right now, because I vaguely recall that wasn't the only unexpected outcome. I want to say Break Man didn't even place. But I do remember Positronic Brain made a special post spotlighting Bond Man, for which I am still thankful. Splash Woman was my #1, of course.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Yeah, possibly the most surprising #1. But I guess anything can happen in a set where you have a very finite number of choices and none that are super-obviously way more popular than the rest.

I put Sheep at #1, Gemini was my #10. Metal, Guts, Splash, and Quick rounded out my top 5. I was honestly stretching to fill the bottom of my list and put in a few from games I hadn't even played just on the strength of looking cool, and a couple I had nostalgia for solely due to goofy old sprite comics from back in the day.
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)
Pretty sure Shadow Man was my #1, and I'm sure Gemini was on my list too. That was a fun one!
 

Issun

Could be a fren
#27: Just One More Thing: The Top 50 Detectives
Ran from October 13th, 2019 to December 19th, 2019
Host: Rascally Badger
Top Gumshoe: Sherlock Holmes

Selected (by me) Entry:

2. Columbo
181 points, 6 votes, highest 1 (Rascally Badger)


My number one pick was Lieutenant Columbo. While David Suchet had a nice 25 year run portraying Poirot, he’s got nothing on peter Falk, who played Columbo for roughly 35 years. Columbo is a lieutenant with LAPD. He always wears a rumpled raincoat over a rumpled suit, drives a beat up old Peugeot, and is usually smoking a cigar. He runs up against a lot of smart, crafty and/or rich murders, and manages to get the better of them by being relentless and observant, and chatty.

One of the true joys of Columbo is how nearly every episode sets up something of a class struggle. Columbo is a working class detective. He wears cheap, rumpled clothes and drives a beat up old car. He looks exactly like at least one poster on this forum’s grandfather. Nearly all of the crooks he catches are upper class jerks. They are elite snobs. Sometimes they earned their wealth, sometimes they were born to it. Most of them let that make them think they are better than this nosy, apparently absent minded detective who just won’t leave them alone. There is no way a schlub like him could unravel their masterful criminal plot. The format of the show works into this, spending the first quarter or so of each episode showing the elaborate staging of the crime and the culprits alibi. And here is Columbo, asking inane questions. Showing up at inopportune times. Fixating on apparently irrelevant details. The haughty crooks start out completely dismissive of him, but he wears on them. He keeps showing up. He gets closer to the truth. His questions get sharper. The crooks get more and more tense. Columbo never drops the facade. He is polite and apologetic. And he just needs to ask one more thing. It's probably nothing. Next thing you know, the killer is trapped, caught by this cheap, insignificant bug of a detective. Daniel Mallory Ortborg said it best when he called Columbo the “Anton Chigurh of goodness” due to his unrelenting, untroubled pursuit of justice.

Peter Falk makes Columbo the (2nd) greatest detective to ever exists. He plays him as kind of bumbling and inquisitive, but there is a twinkle in his eye that lets you know it is something of an act. The viewer knows that Columbo is much smarter than he lets on. The only one who doesn’t is the criminal. And Falk walks that line perfectly, where the viewer can see the method, but also understands why his foes do not.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
This one was a stretch for me as I haven't read or watched a lot of detective genre fiction. Still, my list had a lot of hits, because most of it was either characters who are extremely well known, or crossover to other genres (Dirk Gently, Sam Vimes, Greg House, Rick Deckard), or crossovers to games (Pikachu, Phoenix, Layton).
 
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