October 2008
S M T W T F S
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Hello Kitty Online isn’t the only MMO holding my interest!  GaiaOnline’s much-anticipated game, titled zOMG! (no, really, that’s its name!) entered its Open Beta phase on Monday of this week.

For a few days, only members with their hands on a Jump-Start Ticket (an item given away as a promotion last month) could play.  Yesterday, Gaia further opened up its zOMG! gates a little more, allowing members who have been registered on the site since 2004 or earlier to play.  That’s me!

(Note: The reason only select members can play at this point is to test the limit of the game servers.  Too many Gaians online at once would crash the game - then no one could play, and that’s no fun!  So, more recent members will get their turn in the game in the coming weeks.)

(Another note: zOMG! has actually been playable for a while - although it was only available to a select amount of Closed Beta testers.  Guess what!  I was one of them!!  But, screenshots and information from that time are strictly confidential, so I have been unable to share anything until now.)

Now that it’s safe for me to share my adventures, I shall wholeheartedly do so!  All you folks who are unable to play the game at this time are getting an exclusive sneak peek!  As with my HKO screenshots, you can click on these to view them full-size.

The game interface looks like this.  zOMG! is, amazingly, an entirely Flash-based game, so all of this takes place right in your Web browser (there is no downloading whatsoever!).  Furthermore, your players is represented as your Gaia avatar, so you can look awesome from the very start!  No more worries about other players labeling you NOOB just because you don’t have any good equipment yet.

Anyway, in that picture, I am chatting with an NPC about how awesome we are.  Rina seems to like yellow, but my favorite color is…

BFFs!

One of the most memorable aspects of zOMG!, and Gaia in general, is the dialogue.  Interesting characters around every corner!

zOMG! isn’t anywhere close to being as pink as HKO, but I still managed to find some pretty spots to rest for a bit.

The Null Chamber is a mysterious place… the Experience Orbs picked up during your journey can be channeled into your rings, making them (and you!) stronger.

 I found a little friend!  This isn’t an enemy, just a cute environmental critter.

The area just outside of Barton Town is a golf course… or, as Gaians would call it, a Goof course.  Apparently, the statues can talk?  And they know our names?

Thought it would be a good idea to talk about how fighting works.  It’s certainly more interesting than HKO.  Click on your ring icons to use them… my only damage-dealing ring right now is Solar Rays, which is very shiny and cool!  As you use them more, you can charge them up and perform stronger attacks!  The battling system is very dynamic and awesome, and there is great potential for customization!

This one isn’t a screenshot of the game - this is one of the shops on Gaia’s main site.  Loot collected in zOMG! can be crafted into cool stuff, if you manage to find a recipe!  Here, I have recipes for a Badge (I think that’s something you can tack onto your profile to show you’ve done some kind of achievement) and… a rainbow pinwheel!  Cool!  I need to get to work collecting those items, so I can craft those recipes!

Some helpful links:

GaiaOnline

My GaiaOnline Profile (be my friend!)

zOMG! Wikia (cool videos and info here!)

Happy birthday, Hello Kitty! Wow, you’re 34 years old! Here’s a picture to celebrate girls all over the world staying young forever!
Love always,
- B u n n y W i n x -


Happy Birthday Hello Kitty by ~MagicalGirlYossy on deviantART

Cool!  I was featured on the blogs celebrating Hello Kitty’s birthday!

Official SanrioTown Blog (Chinese)

Hello Kitty World (my message is mistyped in this post! XD)

This entry is a chapter from the Alyce in Waffleland Diary ~ Learn about it here.

When I left the Sundae Inn, Waffle Town’s jolly and pudgy little mayor was waiting for me outside. His name is Hamilton and what’s left of his grey hair is twisted in a funky little hairdo! Hamilton encouraged me to take a look at the shops around this area of Waffle Town and introduce myself.

What a beautiful place this island is! This area seems to be the central hub of commerce, since all of the shops are located here and there are only a couple of residential homes (the main residential area of the island is north of here, surrounding Maple Lake).

Simon and his wife Barbara are the proprietors of the General Store. Everything on display in their shop is so cute!! There are dozens of different household items, like telephones and calendars and blenders, in several different colors and styles! I feel myself longing for my own house, so I can fill it with all of these cute things!

Even though everything looks perfect and peaceful to me, the shop owners say that they don’t have as much in stock as they usually do. What’s more, villagers have been moving away from the island to find success in other parts of the world. Simon and Barbara have a daughter that has moved away for a time. In the back of their shop is a room with its walls lines with strange and complex-looking machinery. Does this all belong to the daughter that they mentioned?

Next-door to the General Store is a pristine white building with pale green trim. This is the island’s hospital, the Meringue Clinic. At the counter is a severe-looking elderly woman named Irene, who sells medicines. She has a no-nonsense personality, but she is still friendly and welcoming.

As I stepped out of the clinic, I almost walked right into someone standing outside! “I’m sorry!” I said, then looked up.

“It’s you,” he said, simply.

“Me?” I asked, still surprised by his presence and at a loss for words.

“You’re the one brought in on the boat. I’m Jin, the doctor on this island. I’m the one who treated you while you were at the Inn.”

“Oh…” was all I said for a moment, then realized that he was looking at me expectantly. “Oh! Sorry. I’m Alyce! Thank you so much for treating me! I woke up feeling great!” I flashed him a big smile, which I now realize was probably a goofy thing to do…

He didn’t answer immediately, but finally said “I’m glad to see you feeling better,” and then stepped around me and into the clinic. Before closing the door, he looked back, offering me the tiniest smile and saying “I hope you settle into island life well. Don’t overwork yourself.”

I smiled back and waved good-bye, but the door closed and he was gone.

There was another building next door to the clinic, but it was empty and unused. Further down the same path was a lighthouse, overlooking the blue water of the ocean. The waves still looked choppy, even though the sky was blue and the storm was ended.

Heading back the way I came, I found Waffle Town Square just beyond the Sundae Inn. It’s a beautiful place, with a clock tower and rows of planted tulips! While I was sniffing the flowers, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t alone in the Square! 

A boy with platinum blond hair introduced himself to me as Gill, the mayor’s son. At first I thought he was cute, but as we spoke I found that his attitude was less than amiable (at the same time, I was also slightly relieved to find that not everyone on this island was freakishly friendly and welcoming).

Gill was indifferent to me until I told him about the brochure that led me here, the one apparently written by his father.

“Nothing in that brochure is true. Waffle Island isn’t a paradise. Everyone’s businesses are failing and the younger villagers move out as soon as they get the chance.”

I was miffed hearing that, and I told him so! “It doesn’t look bad to me at all. With everyone so friendly and the island so peaceful, it’s easy for me to believe I’ve found a paradise…”

He shrugged. “That’s only because you don’t know any better.” I was about to say something in reply, but he suddenly looked at me very seriously and said “It takes more than that to make a paradise. It takes hard work. I’m going to do everything I can to make the words in that brochure the truth.”

Stunned, I didn’t have anything to say in response, and Gill began to walk away, saying over his shoulder “Just visit the Town Hall if you ever need help.”

He was out of ear shot by now, but I said “I want to work hard for this island, too,” anyway.

Town Hall was the lavish building at the end of the Square, and my obvious next destination. Inside was a refreshing smiling face, belonging to a girl my age named Elli. Elli offered me lots of advice for living on the island, and said to come straight to her if I ever needed help! She’s very cute and funny, and I can see us becoming fast friends.

While laughing and sharing stories with Elli, another villager came by. Her name is Kathy, a girl with a spunky personality and long pretty hair!

Kathy had stopped by to post a notice about the bar where she worked… She didn’t expect to see a newcomer, but was happy to see me and welcomed me to the island! I’ll have to drop by that bar to hang out with her sometime!

Leaving the Waffle Town Square, I again ran into Mayor Hamilton in front of the inn. I hadn’t been keeping track of the time, and by now the sun was setting! I asked Hamilton what my living arrangements were for the moment, since the brochure had advertised that the island’s new farmer (that’s me!) would be granted with a house and plot of land.

Hamilton explained that the house was still being built, and I had to spend this next night at the Sundae Inn again. That didn’t bother me at all, since Yolanda’s cooking was incredible!!

The next morning after leaving the inn, Hamilton led me on a path leading north away from Waffle Town. This way, explained, led to the Souffle Farm, which I was surprised to hear because I hadn’t expected my future business to have competition… But Hamilton assured me that they were very friendly, and I was to stay with them until my house was built.

Upon entering, however, the Souffle Farm owners put me to work right away! I thought I was supposed to be their guest! But, I welcomed the opportunity to learn about life on a farm before actually starting my own…

Ruth, the more benign half of the couple, gave me a short tour of the shop before telling me to go out to the field where her husband was waiting. This cozy store will be my source for purchasing seeds and other farming supplies I’ll need once I’m on my own, so I’ll probably be seeing it a lot! I like all the pretty flowers that Ruth has on display, although she didn’t seem the “flowery” type to me.

Craig was impatiently waiting for me outside near their field. Right away, he tossed a hoe into my hands and directed me to the till the field, which I did well even though he wasn’t nice about it. He even called me “scrawny!” Hey, I’m doing your work for you, can’t I get some appreciation here?

After tilling came the seeds, which I tucked into the dirt in nice little rows. I was happy with finally being able to work with the soil, but Craig scolded me for taking too long! Gosh, can’t a gal enjoy her work? I came to look forward to having a field of my own to work with, where I could happily work at my own pace.

“Hey, Alyce, I got a gift for you,” I was surprised to hear from Craig.

“Really? A gift? For me?”

“Yeah, hold out your hands.”

I did so.

He placed a watering can into them. “This is for you. Now water those seeds. You can keep the can once you get your own place.”

“…Thank you.”

As you can imagine, my day spent with Craig took a very long time. I was relieved when the sky took on a rosy hue and the two of us headed back inside. Ruth was there, along with a younger and very pretty girl. This was Anissa, the daughter of the two farmers. She is kind enough to make up for all of her father’s rudeness, and has a fondness for nature and flowers. Ah, so she is the one responsible for the flowers on display!

Craig headed deeper into the house, while Ruth informed me that I still had one more job to do. She also apologized on behalf of Craig, saying that he acts tougher than he really is, and only made me work so hard because he wants to see me do well. That’s sweet, but did he really have to call me scrawny??

The last assignment of the day was to familiarize myself with the island’s residential area, Maple Lake (this is just south of the Souffle Farm), and deliver strawberries to the neighbors who live there. I took one basket of strawberries in hand and Anissa took the other, and we headed down the path together.

Anissa is a very quiet and polite girl, and we talked about farming life. She seemed impressed that I intended to run a farm by myself, while her family needed three members to keep up with everything. Maybe I’m not brave at all, I suggested to her, maybe I’m just very silly. She laughed at that, but I don’t know if I had really intended for it to be a joke…

Reaching Maple Lake, a scattering of neighbors were outdoors enjoying what remained of the sunlight, and gladly accepted the strawberries that we offered. Yolanda was especially pleased, because no dish tasted better than one made with the very freshest ingredients!

Just before heading back, Anissa took hold of my arm and pointed further down the path. There, apparently having just reached his home after work, was the doctor I’d met yesterday. Anissa wasn’t looking at me at the time, but I saw the smile on her face…

Well, we certainly couldn’t leave without delivering strawberries to him!

Jin accepted the gift, asking me I was working for the Souffle Farm now. I told him it wasn’t permanent, but I couldn’t place his reaction. He seems so… neutral. Not cold, but not friendly like the other villagers. Thanking us for the visit, he retired into his home.

Walking back to the farm, I wondered if I should ask Anissa about Jin, but the opportunity didn’t come up while we talked about other subjects, such as how planting seeds in the soil can be relaxing and shouldn’t have to feel rushed.

That night, sleeping in the guest bedroom at the Souffle Farm, I dreamed once again about the faded blue-green figure… She was silent in my previous dream, but this time I heard fragments of words.

I only wish that I could make out what she was saying, because she seems so helpless.

This entry is a chapter from the Alyce in Waffleland Diary ~ Learn about it here.

It’s a beautiful day for something new! The water is so clear and blue, and fluffy white clouds are in the sky overhead. The gentle rocking back and forth of the ship feels like the rocking of a cradle… I could fall asleep at any moment.

Well, I could if I weren’t so excited! The island is visible on the horizon… it’s only a matter of time before we reach it!

“There it is, miss,” the captain of the small ship, Pascal, said to me as he approached the deck where I was standing, “Waffle Island! By the way, did you happen to tell me your name yet?”

Oh! How rude of me. “I’m Alyce!” I told him.

“Very nice to meet you, Alyce! Waffle Island has so few visitors now. What made you want to come visit?” the inquisitive captain asked.

“Oh, I’m not just visiting,” I began to explain, while searching through my small bag for the brochure that initiated this whole adventure. “I’m going to live here and begin a new life as a farmer!”

Captain Pascal looked over the brochure, which advertised the scenic locations of the island and asked for interested farmers-to-be to please consider starting their business here. “Ah, that’s the brochure that Mayor Hamilton put together. You’ll meet him soon enough!”

That reminded me to look toward Waffle Island again on the horizon. Yes, it was certainly closer now! …Or maybe it was just my wishful thinking…

While Pascal and I observed Waffle Island, there was suddenly a flash of light that pierced the sky followed by the loud crashing sound of thunder! Out of nowhere, there was heavy rain falling everywhere!

“Another terrible storm!” Pascal reacted to the downpour immediately. “Alyce, get inside, quickly!”

Barely able to see through the heavy rain, I tried to make my way toward the cabin. The ship lurched violently to one side, and I was thrown off my feet! Again, I heard the loud crash of thunder… or maybe that was the sound of me smashing into some hard surface on the deck… in any case, it was the last thing I heard before finding myself in a dream…

After the turmoil on the deck, it was reassuring to find myself in such a peaceful dream. Surrounded by a faint blue light was some sort of figure…

Her image was so fuzzy, I could barely make it out… I could see very little more than a blue-green blur vaguely in the shape of a woman. Even so, I definitely didn’t need to see her clearly for the sadness in her expression to be easily recognized… She looked ill, and I found myself worrying for her safety. Is she okay?

Before I could vocalize my concern, I was awake. The bed underneath me was still – I wasn’t on the ship any more. Sunlight filtered through a window, making it clear that the storm had passed. Was I on the island now?

Getting to my feet, I expected to feel woozy, or some kind of pain in my head where I had hit it. Surprisingly, I felt nothing of the sort. I felt as if I had woken up after a full night of good rest.

Stepping into the hallway, I noticed that the rooms on either side were identical to the homey one I had woken up in. I think this is some kind of inn. I found the stairs at the end of the hallway and descended them.

Downstairs were the proprietors of the inn, who were very friendly and welcoming to me! Jake and his wife Colleen were the owners of this building, called the Sundae Inn, and an older woman named Yolanda is the chef. They’re all so nice! Colleen made sure I was feeling totally better, then suggested that I go outside and tour the island.

Well, I made it to Waffle Island after all!! The method was a bit different than I had hoped, but I’m here in one piece… and can’t wait to get started!!

Everywhere I look, generous Founders are writing help guides to aid their fellow SanrioTowners.  They’re all over the forums and in blogs.

Imagine the uber-helpful force we could create by pooling all of this information together!!  I implore everyone to contribute their tips and guides to the Hello Kitty Online Wiki.  It is empty right now, but we can fix that!!

I’ve also made a thread in the forum on the subject.

Please, give the Wiki a try!  There are so many people writing guides in their blogs, and so many people who would benefit from finding all the information in one organized place!

Just finished playing for the day, here’s what I got for ya!

Eee!!  A house made of tea, and giant sugar cubes, and creeeeeeaaaammmm!!!!  Why, oh why, can this world not be real??

What??  We have a princess?!  This is the first time I’ve heard this…  Do I get to slay a dragon and rescue her?

This flower garden is sooooo pretty!   I’m unsure what character this house belongs to… how do I get the keys for these places??

Chatting it up with Ripplecloud…

Back at the Harbor, Yggdrasil showed us some neat tricks!  Where can I get a sparkle-creating necklace like that?  And more importantly, is there a necklace that creates a flowery effect, too??

*Sniffsniff*  Smells so pretty~  I thought this area seemed very serene, so now I’m keeping it forever!  (Love the adorable penguin-hut, too.)  HKO has such fanciful plants.  This one is Dark Opal Basil, which sounds so cool and romantic to me~  Basil is an herb I like a lot in food, plus it is my very favorite boy name ever!

I thought it was a good idea…

On the eastern side of the Harbor, I found a trio of Deku Scrubs!

Omg adorableness alert!!

Now, I’m north of Florapolis, in the South Dream Woods, on a quest to gather materials needed to learn how to craft an axe.  Gathering those materials involves cutting down trees with… an axe.  Why did I need to buy an axe in order to complete the quest for crafting an axe?

At least now I know what all the fuss over Box Pigs is about.  They do have charm.

Adorableness alert again!!  Wee-ooh, wee-ooh, wee-oh!!

…What is this thing?!

Back in Florapolis now, and feeling like a queen~

Love this tree!!  I found it on the way to London, which is southwest of Florapolis.  The monsters here are very strong and I had to run away fast!    The moths are adorable, though… I think I found what monster I want to be my pet!!

Successfuly braved the perils leading to London… It’s a pretty place, but not much to do because much of the NPC dialogue and quests aren’t in English yet!!

I chose this area in particular to take a screenshot of, because a building is blocking the H in the sign, so it says ‘ELLO KITTY!!  Get it?  ‘Cause it’s London?  Ha ha?  …Haahhh.

While waiting for crabs to respawn, I grew very bored and started doodling… here’s a pic of my unremarkable HKO character~

Brown hair… red eyes… I look the same as hundreds of other people!

Thoughts and discoveries made during my second day of playing (this was yesterday, and I intended to make this blog post yesterday as well, sorry for the delay!):

I had just started playing when I happened across Ripplecloud and Noliai sitting with GM Calealen and others.  Hi there, girls (and guy)!

Now that HKO has only one server, as opposed to three, everyone is vying for their share of spoils… Somehow, the dozens of people here are expected to collect 30 crab claws from the handful of crabs available, which have very slow respawn rates.  *cry, cry*

I took a break from the furstrating crab claw quest and started exploring… then realized I hadn’t shared the picture of what my character looks like~  There I am!  I look just like 1/3 of everyone else playing.   I was really hoping for more variety in the character creation.

 I like this gal.  That was my first guess, too.

AT LAST, VICTORY IS MINE!  It took a very long time to reach this point.  But now, it is over!  Onward with the quests!

I love the environments in this game~  I could just walk around exploring, adoring the scenery for hours.  These trees look like cupcakes or gumdrops!

Bravely, I ventured to the next map, Florapolis.  I didn’t have much time to explore here, but I found a magic wand shop!  I really like the looks of that sparkly flower wand!!  Eeee!  It costs a lot of money, though…

 

My last discovery came in the form of Pinkuruchan’s PRETTY PINK HOUSE, especially the flowery bed.  Ahhhh, I want one~

Ta-da!  The first post in my brand-new HKO Diary category!  HKO is finally here, oh joy!  I played it for a couple hours as soon as the doors opened, which was very late at night.

There were some grueling times right before the server opened up!  I and many others passed the time by mingling in Noliai’s Hello Kitty Chat, which reached a record 10 visitors at the same time!

Some had more trouble than others making their way toward SanrioTown Harbor, so those that made it in grasped the hands of their left-behind comrades and dragged them along through the dimensional portal between Connecting Server Land and Sanrio Town.  …That’s how Noliai got through, at least!

Here’s my first batch of gathered HKO screenshots.  If they’re too small to read, you can click on them to view the full-size image.

Hurrah!  My favorite Sanrio character.  Can’t wait to actually find her in the game and not just as a tutorial guide…  Erm, no, Melo, I don’t notice a button below you…

“Are you happy today?  If you’re not, smiling surely helps!”  I just thought that line was pure awesome.

Myself, Aaron, and others are puzzled by this Hello Kitty doppleganger.

Dear Daniel warns us of the magidal doors that await us in our adventure.

Finally made it to SanrioTown Harbor!  The time is now to quest for the pants of ultimate power.

Exploring around the Harbor~

Hmm… the 450pixel width of this blog layout isn’t very forgiving when it comes to resizing HKO screenies. I will have to come up with a more creative way to share these in future posts.

I’ll spend more time playing today (I’m still learning the basics of gameplay, really…).  If anyone sees me (my username is just BunnyWinx), feel free to say hello!  I’ll probably be hanging out in the My Melody server!

Download the game client if you haven’t yet!

Here’s how things are looking so far!

If you hunt down the music folder (Program Files > Sanrio Town > Hello Kitty Online Founder’s Beta > Music), you can listen to the songs in the game.  I like the one titled “Hello My Friend.” ♥

Can’t wait until Wednesday, guys, it’s gonna be magical!

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