How often do you wish technology would just deliver what it promises?
I have about had it with hardware that doesn’t do its job, broken links and slow system performance.
However, the hard work is done and I am now free to write a fun little tidbit for you all.
If you found this entry searching for anything related to:
Super Smash Brothers Brawl
you can either continue reading (which will probably end up being entertaining and worth your time) or jump to the end for a summary and links to all the important stuff (lame).
That’s right, it’s all about a video game tonight, and special character in the game.
When I was young I loved watching cartoons and playing video games, and such activities always provide plenty of cute little girl characters to attract the straight little boys and make them want to play the game or watch the show. For example, I actually watched the Power Puff Girls because I had a little thing for Blossom.
Any time I tried a new racing game or fighting game, I wanted to be the girl just so I could watch her while I played. Obviously, I liked girls a lot then, and I still do. I married one.
Of course, just because I’m married it doesn’t mean I have to stop thinking these characters are cute.
Not long ago we purchased a new game for our Nintendo Wii. The game (some of you may be familiar with it) is Super Smash Brothers Brawl (or SSBB for short, check it out on Amazon). The game is massive, with tons of characters to play, levels to play in (even a level editor for if you get bored with the ones they made) and trophies and stickers to collect. There is an adventure mode to play that resembles older RPG style games but in the Smash Brothers game play. As with prior versions of the game, you can pause it durring the battles and move the camera around to take pictures (more on that later).
I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with the game for the last week or so, and early in my time getting to know it I found a character that I really loved.
Not only is the character a good player with nice, powerful moves to keep me winning a lot, but she happens to be rediculously and unrealistically cute. Meet Samus Aran:
As far as video game chicks go, she is the cutest one I’ve ever seen, and she’s got a big gun. I’m not usually into blond hair, but in this case it doesn’t matter. She’s got a simple face, pretty hair and a plain body (with the usual virtual enhancements to fill her out, which are not necessary but they make money).
After seeing her in the game, I realized there was probably a lot of fan art and material dedicated to her online, so I poked around just a little bit and found something that opened up a whole new world to me. The world of cosplay.
Basically, the way I understand it, cosplay is a word coming from “costume play” and it represents a whole network and community of individuals who devote a healthy (or, I’m sure sometimes unhealthy) portion of their time and effort into creating costumes and props and attending events dressed as characters from games, shows and movies all over the country and even the world.
What I found was a Samus Aran cosplayer who actually looks a lot like the real deal (only slightly more realistic). As of writing, she hasn’t updated her blog since January of this year, but here’s a link and here is a photo of her as Samus:
Isn’t she cute? Her face matches the video game character’s closer than any of the other “cosplayers” did, she’s got the big gun and her hair is just right.
I looked through some of her other photos (none were of as good a quality as this one) and saw some really sweet photos of her posing with kids at comic book conventions, hugging other video game characters and even posing next to a few real celebrities in the world of comics and anime (or at least, I thought they looked like the real people, I could be wrong).
Of course, I am not the only married man who thinks Samus is a hottie. Plenty of people absolutely worship this character and it was fun looking into their little world.
So, using the photographing feature in the game, I took some cool photos and wanted to share them. I went through the usual process of trying to get the photos off my Wii and onto the computer, but was stumped. I couldn’t just e-mail them to myself, they seemed to be an in-game item only, not viewable outside the SSBB game. There is an option to copy the pictures to an SD card in the Wii, so I tried that, but the files are stored as .bin files, not image files (.bin is used as a general file format for all kinds of random crap and is rarely meant to be opened or read by human eyes, only by the programs that made them).
That’s when I did what any nerd would do – searched the web to see if and how other people were doing it. I came across a whole bunch of people who credited one known as GTCoder as being the super-coder who wrote a simple .BAT for converting a bunch of the .bin files into .jpg files. It came bundled in a .zip along with a couple other files, I’m sure they’re useful too, but I only needed the bin2jpgall.bat program which converts any .bin file in its folder to a JPEG.
If you need it, the download can be found here, and you want to make sure you get the “Windows binaries: bin2jpg tools” rather than the source code (unless you’re hip to that stuff).
Of course, it wasn’t that easy (it never is). No, not for me…
First, in looking for the GTCoder program I found several broken links before stumbling upon the one that worked (found it on YouTube, of all places).
Then I loaded the images onto the SD card and went to put them onto my laptop (where I write from and do all of my Internet stuff). That would have been the most convenient and direct way to do it, especially since the laptop has a built-in SD card reader…
Guess what? The SD card reader doesn’t work anymore (anyone know how to fix that? It recognizes when I stick a card in, but doesn’t recognize that the card is formatted). So, I had to use the family PC to transfer the .bin files from the SD card to my thumb drive (good old trusty thumb drive…) and then take it to the laptop. From there, everything worked fine.
Here are a few of the photos:
If you’ve played the game you might be asking why the pictures look just a little funny. The Wii does a little anti-aliasing but stores the images in their raw, pixelated form. I could have taken these into Photoshop and made them look a little more like they did on the screen, but decided not to waste my time – they look just fine as they are.
In summary (for the losers who didn’t want to read all of the stuff I wrote:
*** I found a really cute girl who calls herself “a girl from mars” who dresses up like Samus Aran and looks a lot like the real fake character.
*** I found a way to convert the .bin files from your SD card (the way the images from SSBB are stored) to JPEGs using GTCoder’s tools.
*** Finally, I was really amused while reading in the Samus is a Hottie post by “chris” to learn that performing well in the prior Metroid games has always led to images of Samus outside of her power suit (like the images you see above, only less cool). Here’s an example (see his post for more):
With power suit (notice the time):
Without power suit (see the time again):
Notice that “without the power suit” means “without much on at all.”
Aahh, I love video games… 😀