Tuesday, October 22, 2019

I'm Miss Fortune, Miss So Soon, I'm like a bottle of pain

The Pushkin sim features a mainland tour? But it's on one parcel? The blurb doesn't clear things up, but does at least sound like a haunt:
Want to have some scary fun this Halloween? Come visit Red's Haunted Mainland Tour..Take a tour through the Haunted Lake House, Zombie Barn, Path to Hell, Graveyard, Asylum, Haunted Greenhouse and Haunted house.
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Sure. Hit me dead in the face with two gorram game rips right off the bat. Not cool, kids. Not impressed.

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Was I here last year?

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Warning came too late.

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More game rips...

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Is rips all this place has?

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Yep, I'm done here. Avoid this one. Sound effects are too loud, too many game rips, total waste of a haunt experience.

this is no fiction, we've come to an end now

Remember, Sakura's Masquerade Ball for Halloween is coming up in two days!

Meanwhile, the blurb for LeLoo's World (barely) reads:
/*Windlight Sky: "[TOR] NIGHT - Faux moon" RegionOverride*/
Nothing else? Well, okay, we go in blind, I guess.

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Note I am using the exact Windlight settings recommended. Apparently LeLoo likes it pink.

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There's a great rustic, late-harvest vibe to the sim so far.

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They seem to have a floating pumpkin theme. I like it.

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They look like they're having fun.

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Hello, Jack. It's not a full carnival theme, but up on the hill, there's some booths and this little guy.

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Oh, man, this skeleton knows how to dance!

This one? HIGHLY recommended. I didn't even cover a third of it. It's perfectly charming, with several themed areas, logs of photo opportunities (with a few cuddle spots), and of course the dancing skeleton standing in the shallow moonlit lake. Great, great Hallows/autumn sim.

Monday, October 21, 2019

I watch silently, I wait estranged

The Haunted House of Horrors and Halloween in Siringo has this to say:
Come to the Haunted House of Horrors. We have all sorts of evil creations and furntiure for sale, zombies, ghosts, blood, Haunted Graveyards, Horror Haunted Church, scary and Vampire, HALLOWEEEN
Okay, then. I port there and it's immediate aural chaos. Way too many sound loops on way too short repeat cycles. Yeep. But we must persevere, so onward!

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Wait, it's a store? Well, that's disappointing. But at least I can leave the constant dunnage of sound loops.

How about the Hollywood Tower Hotel? They don't have much to say:
Welcome to the Tower of Terror....
Right.

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The bright sun and palm trees are not filling me with confidence.

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A-ha. That explains some things. It is a lovely build, I will admit. Very well done, very much part and parcel of its era, with vintage Art Deco touches and recreated props from Twilight Zone episodes.

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The shadows are amazing.

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I clicked the box to preload the audio, which told me it would be about two minutes. The sign behind it said the elevator doors open every five minutes (the library doors earlier open every two minutes, that sign said).

[23:05] Object whispers: Ready to enter the Service Elevator!

Okay, audio preloaded!

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But...nothing. I finally sighed and left the sim at 11:12 pm (SLT), because I'd more than given the doors five minutes to open.

Bother. Maybe it was just broken for some reason? I can't imagine they have that entire build on the land and then nothing past the elevator.

Third time's the charm? How about Goodnight's Amusement Park? That was another landmark I picked up at Whymsee's Haunted Mansion. Their description states:
Great roller coasters, games, rides, Mini-golf Course (putt putt), Tunnel of Love, Go-Kart racing, and live entertainment. You can also sit at the pier and just enjoy the sparkly fireworks. Brought to you by Jeff and Q Goodnight.
Doesn't sound like a haunt.

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Ah, that's because it's not. Okay, I give up.

it's easier to walk away, cover and fade to black

Next up, Halloween Hollow. And their blurb says
Witch House Witches Hat Potion Cauldron Pentacle Ghost Spell Book Wand Bat Black Cat Rain Spider Web Pumpkin Patch Jack o' Lantern Dead Tree Fairy Harvest Halloween Village Market Animated Spider Rat Owl
That's clear enough, I suppose.

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Damn it, I've been here too. WHY two ads? WHY why why??

How about BeMart Halloween? Their blurb is a tad bit shorter:
Welcome boils and ghouls to the BEMART 2019 Annual Halloween event!

Haunted houses, Graveyard, Movie and T.V. themed scenes and more!

At the end is a Carnival/Amusement Park.
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There is a lot going on here, it seems like a very expansive haunt.

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Another skeletal animesh piece, I believe.

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Tch. Game rip. Come on, people, you were doing so well.

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I know we all miss Silent Hill games, but this is ridiculous.

Okay. Take a deep breath. I am trying to reserve judgement, I am trying to reserve judgement, I am trying to...

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Hell with it. I'm out.

Let me make this plain: I'm okay with tribute. It happens in RL haunted houses, it happens in SL haunted houses. And, if I end up with the time to do so, I may go back to see what's behind that irised door into Stranger Things.

But. There is a limit. I go to a Walking Dead sim, for example, I'm expecting being chased by zombies, and overgrown suburbia sets. What I won't expect are Walking Dead game rips of the characters that showed up in those games. If I go into any media-heavy haunt I can largely expect movie monsters, fine. But if I see the specific game mesh any of the killers that show up in Dead by Daylight use, for instance? Those are direct game rips, and it's disappointing.

So while the Stranger Things section of BeMart's haunt may be fine, the fact I had to see all the game rips to get there put a bad taste in my mouth, and I just left.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

the flashes find a way, stealing through these broken walls

So, the Garden of Whimsy is running a haunt this year? Maybe a hunt too:
Grab a HUD on the sign, find all the bones and claim your prize! Halloween is here! Haunted house, swamp monsters, all manner of ghostly ghouls await you if you're brave enough!
Okay. Let's go see.

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Ooooh. Okay. Looking around a little revealed a port pad to go to the actual haunt, plus a hunt HUD that will allow visitors to collect scattered bones around the haunt to get a prize. Neat.

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All that's left of this pirate's ship. He seems determined to keep sailing it, though.

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Oh, you do not make me confident about walking over these rocks.

Thankfully, the haunt is behind the port-in point, so I don't have to risk it. He growls.

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An elegant couple, lounging in the parlor. (Clicking the tray will give you a festive goblet of blood.)

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The library could use a bit of spit and polish. Though the librarian seems...attentive.

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The prototypical nursery, but there are some very disturbing details in this one. One, my brain is almost convinced the pictures above the fireplace started off normal, and just...changed. When the house went bad. Secondly, there is something very wrong with that crib. Third, there is something even more wrong in the fireplace.

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And the lady of the house at her toilette...but what's under the bed?

Not all haunts have to have a storyline, it just has to seem as if everything in the house belongs. This one? Everything feels like that. There's a storyline here to be added by the viewer, there are touches of whimsy--amusing considering the haunt's name--and, overall, it is quiet, but effective. There's more to it, but as I was lagging a bit (still think it's my computer, not SL in general, but who knows? Sixty of one, half of the other), I chose not to continue. Though I may return to cover the rest of it.

I would hate to see you go, hate to be the one that told you so

It is time.

Time to visit Hell House again, that is:
Terrifying, darkly erotic interactive attraction: the infamous ghost filled Belasco mansion, the baroque Mount Everest of haunted houses. Be warned! Explicit sex, BDSM, horror and torture images. Ghosts, death, debauchery.
/*Windlight Sky: "Midnight"*/
Now, last year when I covered this haunt, I was looking for changes. The time before that I was just covering it and its link to one of my favorite haunted-house movies, The Legend of Hell House. Hell House in SL is still based on that film, and that very particular haunting.
[23:03] Coagulate Script Counter: You are running 49 scripts, using 3040 KB memory. You have less than 50 scripts, this is an excellent and light amount.
Oh, thank you very much, that's good to know.

They've upgraded their introductory notecard a tad:
WARNING:
This dark and dreaded place is not called Hell House for nothing. It is, indeed, a very disturbing and twisted "Palace of Perversions" filled with nightmarish and sometimes pornographically explicit sexual imagery. So if you are likely to be offended by such an environment, please, for pity's sake, don't subject yourself to the many sensual and not-so-sensual sights and numerous frightful occurrences which abound within the walls of Hell House! This experience is NOT for the faint of heart and is very much FOR ADULTS ONLY.
You have been WARNED.

In addition, while not actually a "sex-club" in the usual SL sense of that term, Hell House's past history is one of total license and debauchery with no limits and no rules. So, in keeping with that twisted tradition -- and bowing to popular demand -- Hell House NOW features pose-balls, sex furniture, and other erotically interactive items in specific areas throughout the house and grounds. These include two sex carpets in the Master Bedroom Suite, a Sex Grave in the Cemetery and nearby Sex Ruins, a Sex Throne in the Gazebo, poseballs in the Greenhouse, Steam Room and Shower, and a full Sex-Bed in the old, dilapidated tin Shed! So... ENJOY!!
Also good to know. Onward!

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I admit, I'd adore if someone took on this particular cemetery guardian in mesh.

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I realized I'd never walked around the grounds that surround the Belasco mansion. So I did just that, taking a stroll past the weeping angel. I found part of an older, ruined structure, with some undefined mist beyond it. I did my best to command it to manifest, but it remained stubbornly unclear.

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Okay, I have two very serious problems with this. And I'm angry about both of them.

1. This house has never had anything copyright-infringing from a known video game property before. Horror films, yes, horror shows, yes, horrific or disturbing art that may not be in the public domain, that's also a possible. I am not saying that there were no instances of copyright infringement in Hell House before this. BUT...

2. This is not just a game rip. It is a game rip of a child. And copyright infringement or not, model or not, lump of soulless, nonreactive mesh or not, the owners of this sim are PUTTING AN IMAGE OF A GODDAMNED CHILD ON AN ACTIVE SEX SIM HAVE YOU LOST YOUR GODDAMNED MINDS.

Moving on before I start throwing things.

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All right, inside the house, then, wandering around for a bit, listening to the whispers. Moving idly by whim between the first, second and third floors; there are a weird amount of staircases going in all directions. This version of Sebastian seems new, however. (Censorship mine, yes.)

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I did my best to crop out as much of the very...active...side stage manifestations, but I don't remember finding this room before, either. Behind the curtains, there's an RLV-enabled cage, a spectral mistress of the backstage, and a rather hungry-seeming wild cat.

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And, in a room full of moaning, writhing ghosts next to a sputtering fire, the wall art stood out to me--seemingly radiating from the walls, unmoving, yet seeming more mobile than all the activity in the house. Likely this was also there in previous visits, but I was never drawn to it before. (Censorship again mine; original is not censored in any way.)

So, end result? Still worth going. Still very adult. Still one of the better haunts in SL, despite the staggering bad taste of using the child Alma game rip from F.E.A.R. I'm subtracting a skull for that.

If you go, do expect to see nudity, active sex animations, and sex furniture; hear moaning, whispers, pleas and vile imprecations; and now there's at least one RLV trap in the mix. Most of the animations are human, though there's at least one elf from World of Warcraft being happily plowed on a coffee-table, so...some of the choices are a tad jarring. Still, it more or less makes a cohesive whole, and it does match the film very well. Full...well. Four marks.

And you might want to avoid the side of the grounds with Alma, just on general principle. After all, the ageplay incident that started off the whole fear-of-anything-small on SL took place between a fully adult woman in a child avatar, and a fully adult man in an adult avatar. (The child brothel later, seen in several news broadcasts in Germany, I maintain was thrown up on the spot to give someone salacious footage, and did not reflect the originating incident.) But that was enough--intent itself was enough for the entirety of Germany to throw a fit in the Lab's direction, and boy, did they react.

So you will understand why I get so irate when I find people being this boneheaded on sex sims. It's a bad look. And, the wrong photographer posting the wrong image in the wrong way, it becomes a potential actionable one. Because in a virtual world, proof is nothing, perception is all. It's been proven time and again. And no thank you, I'd rather we just avoid that entirely.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

you committed, I'm your crime, push my button anytime

This could be dire. The keywords to contemplate:
apocalypse, horror, urban survival, grunge, dystopian town, cannibal caves, creepy cemetery, photography, popular, scary, haunted hangout, hospital, asylum, carnival, circus, amusement park, freakshow, halloween, NO SEX,flicker,
The "NO SEX" prohibition is ironic, considering it's an Adult sim.

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The night is rainy and cold. Distant whispers, the wind through the trees, the crackle of lightning directly overhead.

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Oh, no. I've seen this build. It was used for a deeply tragic "asylum" shopping event a few years back. Whole thing depended on the trope of all mentally ill people being psychotic blood-covered murderers screaming in dirty hallways and corpse-infested padded cells. It was terrible.

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I can't figure if this skeleton is screwed into the chair, or if that's just a halo-style clavical support.

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That is genuinely creepy.

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No.

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Absolutely no.

I mean, look, the translucent floating toys effect is pretty neat. But the fact that one of the toys is YET AGAIN a Robbie doll, and the center figure is YET AGAIN a F.E.A.R. game rip, I'm done with this. There may be more; I didn't bother. Go if you want, it's not great.

you got your finger on the trigger, but your trigger finger's mine

The blurb for Sono's Spooky Spot read:
Roumors in the town spread of an old abandoned house deep in the forest outside your small town. on a dare you are sent to walk the maze like home. Are you brave enough to endure what lies inside!? Find out in this fun haunted house attraction!
Hmm. Okay. I'll take that dare.

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Simple enough rules. (Inside, another sign reinforces these rules, and also strongly suggests mouselook. Mouselook can be useful for direct ride experience, but it's lousy for picture-taking.)

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Getting down to the house was tricky. I had to jump over the railing on the far side to get onto the path I thought led to the house. Then I apparently went around the wrong side trying to find the entrance, and saw this. Oh, so this is how it's going to be? Game rip central, again??

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I ran into invisible walls on both sides of the house, with no way to get to the door, so finally, in frustration, I cammed through the entrance and found a chair to sit on. Needlessly irritating.

First room, not sure why I bothered. Yet another rip, though I did like the hanged man silhouette. Oh, and this:
[15:33] Onyx Plaza @ Get Right City shouts: Onyx Ent now features 5 radio stations for your enjoyment, stop by our office in the business area for more info!
A few minutes later, this was shouted:
[15:37] Onyx Plaza @ Get Right City shouts: Onyx Ent Management thanks you for coming to party, shop and hang out with us!
Great. They must be next to a club.

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One floor up, past a chainsaw-wielding pigman that triggered late, and this:
[15:40] Onyx Plaza Welcome Center: Hello Emilly Orr, welcome to Onyx Plaza!! Please grab the NC and if you want to join our group follow this link: [group link given]
Dude, I'm not even on your parcel, shut the hell up.

Around another corner, and...he doesn't so much look scary, as...bored.

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[15:41] Onyx Plaza @ Get Right City shouts: Would you like to have an event here? Contact XkwizitLeigh Teardrop
Yeah, yeah yeah, I get it already, stop. I do not want to book an event there. I do not want to contact anyone. I want to go through a haunt in peace.

Also, tiny Bluebird zombies. Just randomly in a hall. Why?

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Really? That's it?

Yeah, okay, fine, whatever. I'm sure there's more to the house, but between the club next door screaming at me and the various "monsters" in my path that either failed to trigger or didn't do anything but stand there, maybe I just wasn't in the right headspace. But I stopped there. There didn't seem to be much point in continuing.