Mystic Messenger Special EP1

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Sep 14, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 101 comments

Link (YouTube)

It’s a Spoiler Warning first! We play an untested mobile game on an untested emulator with no preparation. Watch us figure out technology in real time!

I wasn’t joking when I said I was confused. I’ve never used text messages, and there are a lot of conventions at work here that are not obvious to the uninitiated. When there were multiple conversation threads going, I was constantly struggling to match messages with replies. And when the boys sent animated chibi images of themselves I wasn’t sure how literally I was supposed to take what I was seeing. I mean, I don’t have a button on my phone to send someone a chibi picture of myself giving a particular emotional reaction.

So we’ve got three different unfamiliar systems at work: Dating in the 21st century, texting and mobile conventions, and Korean culture. I’m really glad I’m married, because I’m pretty sure I’m not smart enough to perform the required mating rituals of this day and age.

Happy birthday, Mumbles.


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101 thoughts on “Mystic Messenger Special EP1

  1. SpiritBearr says:

    To the guy who wanted more Eastern games here you go.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      Variety is the spice of life! :D

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        So which worm produces variety?

    2. Christopher says:


      1. Christopher says:

        Tell me I was wrong!

    3. Grudgeal says:

      And a bishie game no less. And it’s not even my birthday for another month and a half.

  2. Ninety-Three says:

    And when the boys sent animated chibi images of themselves I wasn't sure how literally I was supposed to take what I was seeing.

    If you play through the game multiple times it begins dropping pieces of lore that hint at the fact that humanity as we know it has gone extinct and been replaced by sapient chibis living in the ruins of civilization.

    That’s a dating sim reference, which I trust will land perfectly with this blog’s audience.

    1. Cybron says:

      I understood that reference!

      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        …Is it Hatoful Boyfriend?

  3. Ninety-Three says:

    There is a lot about this game where I can’t separate authorial intent from translation problems and/or cultural norms. Referring to the player as “it” is incredibly strange, is that a bad translation of a gender-neutral pronoun? Why is the player so damn quiet in the group chat? Is Mr. “Just remember as the 22yr old young hacker lol” supposed to be hilariously awkward?

    1. Droid says:

      “Why is the player so damn quiet in the group chat?”

      Exposition. Totally just because of exposition.

    2. Remember that the player’s basically completely unaware this is going to happen, confused by the “But Thou Must” messages at the beginning, and is probably trying to get their bearings while 5 people send messages fairly fast.

      It’d be hard to get a word in edgewise even if the player wasn’t still trying to collect their thoughts about what the hell was happening.

      Also, I’d guess that’s the intent about 707. :P

    3. Joe Informatico says:

      It’s probably something like that: apparently Korean doesn’t really have grammatical gender. Also notice they refer to the player as “it” when they’re first made aware of her and aren’t sure if she’s a man or woman, but then start to refer to her as “she” near the end of the video as they start to believe her story?

      1. Philadelphus says:

        That’s not quite what grammatical gender means; linguistically it refers to systems used in about a quarter of all languages where all nouns have an inherent quality of being masculine, feminine, or (sometimes) neuter. Korean doesn’t have that, but neither does English, and that has nothing to do with whether pronouns are inflected for gender. Korean pronouns appear to be a bit complicated, especially in the third person where there isn’t really such a thing as a distinct third-person pronoun; originally there was just a re-purposed demonstrative (akin to that) which could mean “he, she, or it” but it’s shifted over time to take on a masculine connotation while a new form has arisen to cover the feminine form (though these forms are mostly used in certain writing styles, such as when translating from English to translate “he” and “she”).

        So overall rather complicated (and I haven’t studied Korean myself), but I wager you’re correct that they’re simply not making assumptions about the player’s gender at the beginning.

        1. tengokujin says:

          Long story short: Korean pronouns are distinguished by formality level, not by the gender of the subject. Pronoun-like words can be cobbled together, but they’re basically pronoun phrases, constructed with a genderless directional and a generic noun for the subject matter.

  4. Henson says:

    I think the most interesting thing to me so far is…they list their download progress percentage to two decimal places? Is there a high demand in Korea to know the hundredths of a percentage left till completion?

    1. Humanoid says:

      Not that they’d even see it given they have the fastest connections in the world.

      1. Hypatia says:

        I like seeing numbers moving so quickly as to make them useless in most situations. It is like a stopwatch with a millisecond place.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          In idlers, if it’s an option, I sometimes turn off shortened numbers/scientific notation just to check how many digits actually change faster than I can see.

          1. I’d do that in AdCap, but that would require logging into a game I’ve completely and utterly finished.

            1. Zekecool says:

              There’s a new one! Adventure Communist! Make potatoes for glory of communist state!

              1. *checks Steam*

                Cool, something to mess with before work. >:3

  5. James Porter says:

    This was delightful, Mumbles birthday gift ended up a treat for us all!

    I dont think ive been charmed by a Spoiler Warning episode like this in a while.

    1. Christopher says:

      It helps that the game is all talking, all the time, in big, readable letters. No downtime, just cute boys chatting. The crew don’t get to say “Oh you know, I like the story bit here, but now I’ve gotta kill more raiders”. They’re all engaged in the game.

  6. Mr Compassionate says:

    I agree with Shamus, I am part of the current generation and as somebody who eschews all social media and textchat services of any kind I have no idea how to perform the mating rituals of my species. I’m 23 years old but I’m more than happy to wait another 23 just in the off chance the world of romance becomes slightly less absurd during that timespan.

    Also happy birthday Mumbles! You and Ruts make up the comedic core of the show. I wish you the best.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      People still meet the old-fashioned ways; It’s just that there’s more options now. You’ve still got the in-person stuff, but now you also have digital social stuff, which lets you interact with people who share niche interests with you. :)

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        Its just that the digital stuff is vastly superior.

        You can avoid leaving the house and spending money or even just sticking your neck out only to be swatted down a lot more often. I make sure women know exactly how wide and how nerdy I am because it saves time I’d prefer to spend playing video games as opposed to being judged by someone who’s meal I bought.

        There’s no reason she and I have to be sitting in the same room when she’s rejecting me.

        Side Note: “You kids and your mating rituals” is the oldest old man thing I’ve ever heard. That’s like some elder being from a precursor race surfacing to speak to these newly evolved simians for the first time.

      2. MrGuy says:

        So….we need a Spoiler Warning dating site add-on (maybe to the forums)?

    2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      If you’re not participating in the mating rituals (as you call them) how do you know that they’re absurd? That’s kind of holier than thou, don’t you think?

      1. MichaelGC says:

        It’s perfectly possible to gain an idea about how something works and decide it’s not for you without prior in-depth participation. Particularly when that thing is seemingly ubiquitous in one’s social milieu. The decision not to conform & not to participate can be a difficult one, given the social pressures involved, and especially at that age.

        You’ve thoughtlessly and needlessly contributed to that pressure, by calling someone out on their understandable if admittedly somewhat suboptimal choice of a single word. Was that your aim? To strike a blow for conformity?

    3. MichaelGC says:

      You and Ruts make up the comedic core of the show.

      Bullshit! They make up two-fifths of it.

      1. MrGuy says:

        That’s a common misconception. It’s actually 3/5th.

        People seem to forget that “Chris” was just Rutskarn doing a funny voice, but people liked it so much that he keeps the character around.

        It’s why it’s especially hilarious when Ruts and “Chris” get into an argument.

    4. Mike S. says:

      I'm 23 years old but I'm more than happy to wait another 23 just in the off chance the world of romance becomes slightly less absurd during that timespan.

      Roughly when you were born, I met my now-wife the old-fashioned way: by posting a question about which bank I should open an account at to a local Usenet newsgroup.

      A couple of friends who got married a few months after us met on a MUD (the text-based ancestor of the MMO). They wound up on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times, which wanted to introduce its readership to this “meeting on the Internet” thing.

      (IOW, it’s always been absurd.)

      1. Galad says:

        I feel like an archaeologist, stumbling upon the ruins of an ancient civilization, reading this :D

      2. tengokujin says:

        Yeah, like attending a group meetup for a group you’re not a part of, because you want to hang out with a friend who is, whereupon someone there takes a liking to you and you start flirting online through Facebook, before meeting up in real life because you’re teaching that person how to cook and then some kind of real life romance blossoms.

        Life *is* weird.

  7. SoranMBane says:

    I’m literally playing this game as I watch this. I’m honestly enjoying this game so much so far. I love flirting with my pocket boyfriend (even while my real flesh-and-blood boyfriend watches…).

  8. Dingaling says:

    As someone who doesn’t do much phone emulation, could someone guide me to what emulator they’re using, what OS they’re emulating, and how I can get this game running? This game’s presentation interests me enough that I want to try it.

    1. Sigilis says:

      Josh appears to be using Bluestacks ( It emulates the function of an android device on your desktop. Very simple to use. After installing the emulator and running the initial setup, you would then get the “Mystic Messenger” app in the store.

      1. Dingaling says:

        Thanks for your help, pal.

        1. I grabbed it for Fallout Shelter to prep for the PC release. Some of the “do you want to download this?” questions are a bit silly for an uncapped 50mb/s connection compared to what the average cell plan would be, but otherwise it’s pretty decent.

          Resolution is weak, though, considering it’s an Android emulator.

  9. RedSun says:

    Shamus has it completely backwards. These days, if you want to meet cute boys, you hack into a group chat they’re part of, don’t immediately introduce yourself, and at that point see if you can score some cute selfies. If that doesn’t work, THEN you break into someone’s home.

    Also, kudos to Ruts for immediately picking up on the fact that Zen is a fuckboy.

  10. Hermocrates says:

    This is amazing (/・ω・)/

    It’s a damn shame you have to pay for literally the two best cute boys though (“´_ゝ`)

    1. Just like life.

      Er… I mean… or so I’ve heard.

  11. Tizzy says:

    A LARP as a mating ritual ? Is that even possible?

    Surely, the world is greater for having Rutskarn in it.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      I always thought LARPING was a way to ensure that one didn’t end up mating.

      1. It’s the rules for romancing other characters. They’re totally broken.

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          Just think of it: the LARP rules for romancing another character are so broken they hooked someone into a long-term relationship with Rutskarn! How do you report a bug for a LARP?

          1. “I had too great a success! I’m practically married! I need an official ruling on this, quick!”

            1. MrGuy says:

              They fixed all this in the 6th Edition. You’re LARPing wrong, nerd!

  12. Cinebeast says:

    I’m not going to lie — I kind of like the sidekick in Watch Dogs 2 too. Like, unironically.

    Mumbles understands me.

    1. Christopher says:

      Wrench is the one with the digital smiley mask, right? That was funny, definitely the one other thing about the trailers I remember besides the new melee weapon being a ball.

  13. My brain was brought to a jarring halt by Rutskarn’s attempted pronunciation of “unrequited” at about 14:26.

    Not only is that a drink, I need one, now. :)

    1. No One says:

      That hit my ear too. Perhaps his vocabulary is defined more by what he reads rather than what he’s heard.

      1. Possibly. I ran into someone who had never heard “bow” used verbally before, as in “a shot across the bow,” so I wondered what part of the ship they were talking about that would come with a festive ribbon tied with prominent loops.

        I’m kind of amazed it happens so much (apparently), in that they often seem to be words I thought were pretty common. There could be a thesis in this for some English major.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          This would not be a problem if English had umlauts and stuff on its vowels for the slightly different sounds! :)

          (The consonants are mostly good, except for S/C/K, and CH, and…)

          1. But then what would heavy metal groups use to distinguish their high art from the more pedestrian bands that eschew Scandewegian punctuation?

            And we could adopt it, if the words/languages were made to be “cool” enough. We just need a reason to appropriate the words in question. I think the closest that’s ever come to happening is the popular rhythm combo, “Mà¶tley Crà¼e.”

            1. Awetugiw says:

              Wait, Scandewegian? That seems like a very weird portmanteau. Wouldn’t Scandinavian-Germanic (Scandimanic? Germinavian?) or even Scandinavian-Finnish make more sense?

              1. Nidokoenig says:

                Scandewegian is a comical term, coined by Stephen Fry, I believe. Basically covers the “somewhere around there, fuck if I know” idea

    2. The Rocketeer says:

      This drives me up the wall about George Weidman/Superbunnyhop. For reference, he managed to excruciate “prime-meridial” out of “primordial” during his guest spot on Spoiler Warning’s Dark Souls week. It left a few of us wondering what residents of Greenwich had to do with Lordran’s background, but everyone makes a blunder every now and then.

      After that guest spot, though, I gave his other videos a try, and was abashed to discover that ol’ George hardly knows any >$5 words except by sight. He’s a butcher of the polysyllabic. To his credit, he clearly knows what the words mean, which is the important part. But at some point, you just have to think, “This is your living, man!”

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I have a bit of that problem but English is not my native language, I write quite a bit in it but I rarely speak it. I do hear it spoken in various corners for the internet but this comes in a very eclectic set of accents, not all from natives and some actually faking various (existing or not) accents for the purpose of entertainment.

        1. I’ve got a slightly similar problem, but instead of English not being my native tongue (it is) I’ve got a dialect that, for the most part, lives in the $10 word section or at least has $10 phrasing, like this sentence, for example.

          I also use a metric ton of commas, if that wasn’t obvious. :^D

      2. James Porter says:

        Eh, maybe I’m just weird, but it feels kinda silly to get mad about the way people pronounce things. It always feels like they arn’t treating the host with respect as a person. I follow a podcast, and those fans who critique they way they talk tend to get really annoying, really fast.

        I do like that George can poke fun at it, like when he paused in the middle of the Morrowind vs Skyrim video to sound-out “comparison”, or that one review where he went online for a translation, and the computer gave him two answers, so he just played both.

      3. Blackbird71 says:

        Bonus points if you can pronounce “polysyllabic”.

  14. Is there any way episodes of this game can be inserted between episodes of Fallout 4 to represent the romance options?

    1. The sudden drop in quality when they got back to Fallout 4 would be a bit too jarring.

      1. Unless it’s Hancock, right? You don’t want to make Mumbles angry, do you?

        1. James Porter says:

          I don’t, but I honestly want us to romance Paladin Danse. Thats the type of curveball I would love, and deep down a part of me really likes him.

          1. Like a lot of characters in F4, he’s got some decent backstory and you can see the start of some interesting character development… if we were allowed to role-play with that.

  15. Daniel England says:

    Gotta get Pushing Up Roses back on to get all the time zones.

    1. Philadelphus says:

      I’m glad Chris, at least, remembered those of us in Hawaii (which timezone we also share with part of Alaska).

  16. Fizban says:

    My first thought was “text moves so fast aaaugh,” and with how slow most people seem to read there’s no way that’s common (even if they type slow multiple people can overwhelm). I’ve never heard much about chatrooms over here, but I’m given to understand chat/messenger programs are the standard in Japan/Korea/China?/etc. With wider use of dedicated programs instead of just direct text/social media messages, more group chat makes sense. Makes me think we need to get all the kiddos in multi-user chatrooms, that’ll teach them to read faster.

  17. tmtvl says:

    Who’s V?

    Voilà !

    in View, a humble Vaudevillian Veteran, cast Vicariously as both Victim and Villain by the Vicissitudes of Fate. This Visage, no mere Veneer of Vanity, is a Vestige of the Vox populi, now Vacant, Vanished. However, this Valorous Visitation of a bygone Vexation stands Vivified, and has Vowed to Vanquish these Venal and Virulent Vermin Vanguarding Vice and Vouchsafing the Violently Vicious and Voracious Violation of Volition!

    The only Verdict is Vengeance– a Vendetta, held as a Votive– not in Vain, for the Value and Veracity of such shall one day Vindicate the Vigilant and the Virtuous. [ Chuckling]

    Verily, this Vichyssoise of Verbiage Veers most Verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my Very good honor to meet you, and you may call me V.

    1. I get the feeling this V isn’t exactly into domestic terrorism…

    2. Grudgeal says:

      I preferred the comic version. Nothing bad with the alitteration speech, mind you, but quoting the Scottish Play just sat better. Then again, comic V is a different beast from film V anyway.

  18. SyrusRayne says:

    You know what, it’s finally time to come out and say it. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but… Spoiler Warning has a real Mumbles Problem. That problem is that you don’t play enough games that Mumbles enjoys. When you do it’s a delight!

    Basically just do whatever Mumbles says from now on, IMO.

    1. Majere says:

      Mumbles always picks the best games or at least the ones that are the most fun to see the cast interact with.

    2. The Rocketeer says:

      It’s either a delight, or BioShock. Quite the gamble.

      1. Hermocrates says:

        Thankfully, the latter only occurred once. And really, who knows how much of that was actually Josh’s fault.

        1. Josh says:

          Yeah to be honest, I think Shamus and I picked Bioshock and Mumbles was like “Oh I’d be down for that.”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            She had to learn sooner or later.

  19. Christopher says:

    Man, this was great! I’m happy there are more episodes. It’s like when Shamus talked about Huniepop, but with the awkwardness replaced with engagement. And was this stream even on delay for the rest of the crew? It felt so snappy compared to normal.

    I wasn't joking when I said I was confused. I've never used text messages, and there are a lot of conventions at work here that are not obvious to the uninitiated. When there were multiple conversation threads going, I was constantly struggling to match messages with replies. And when the boys sent animated chibi images of themselves I wasn't sure how literally I was supposed to take what I was seeing.

    Come on Shamus, haven’t you ever used any instant messaging? The stuff in the video seems less like texts and more like the stuff you’d get in any chatroom, save for nice custom emotes and the effort required to change fonts and font size. No matter whether it’s IRC, MSN Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts or Discord, this kinda thing has been going on for many years. Isn’t there a spoiler warning group on discord or something? I’m from Europe, and also like 20 years younger, so I guess the culture could just be too different.

    1. SyrusRayne says:

      Actually, hotkeying fonts in a chat-messenger is an interesting idea. ctrl+a gets you a big blocky angry font, and ctrl+s gets you a sad, small mumble of a font.

  20. Jabrwock says:

    For a group chat? Yeah, it’s that chaotic. But in real life there’s a lot more chaos as people post the same things in answer to other texts. Or carry on side conversations within the larger chat.

    I suspect they’ve sped up the pace of the messages a bit for such a small group.

  21. Ramsus says:

    I don’t have the slightest idea what this is but I desperately desire more! Good job Mumbles!

  22. Cuthalion says:

    This is pretty funny. Happy almost-birthday, Mumbles!

  23. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,didnt you meat Josh in real life after you met him online first?You basically made friends without ever seeing them.Its not that big of a leap from making friends to finding a loved one in this fashion.You just have to stumble upon someone who clicks with you in all the right ways.

    Though the chatroom itself here…yeah,its a bit unrealistic.Especially the fact that these guys know by ip who is in whos house.

    As for texting to a random stranger,I actually did receive a random text from an unknown girl once,and we met for drinks some days later.And I also got a flirtatious random call from an unknown girl once,but that lead nowhere.However,both happened back in the day when I was a teen and cell phones were a new thing.Im not so sure such a thing would happen today.

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Shamus,didnt you meat Josh in real life after you met him online first?

      “Shamus is a happily married man, DL!”

      No, no wait: “On a first date? Josh has standards!”

      Wait, try this one: “Sure you didn’t get it backwards? ‘Cuz maybe Shamus got it ba”””


      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And only now have I realized the freudian slip I made.Oops!

        1. Mephane says:

          This is hilarious. :D

      2. Josh says:

        I can confirm that I have no standards to speak of.

    2. It wouldn’t, but I’m fairly certain explaining why would make several people quite nervous. Suffice to say there are risks that shouldn’t be taken. :/

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I disagree with this.Ive met plenty of people online,from outside my country even,both male and female.I never had bad experiences.But,there were situations where I decided not to meet someone because they seemed off to me.And usually,this would be confirmed to me later when someone else had bad experiences with them.

        People think that meeting someone without seeing them first is somehow more dangerous,but its not.It just depends on how good judge of character you are.Some people can do it just through voice,some through text,but for some even body language is not enough.

        1. It’s mostly risks on the part of women. :P

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            No,it isnt.

            Of the abusers that mostly pick their targets online,pedophiles are the most predominant.As for which gender they target more,I have no idea.Nor is it relevant here.

            But of the adults,I havent even heard on the local news that a grown woman was raped after meeting someone via facebook,or a chatroom,or a game.Its far far FAR more likely that you meet an abuser in a conventional manner than online if you are an adult.The most Ive seen from people who meet online is doxxing,even after the two meet in person.And Ive seen that done by women as much as by men.

  24. Jsor says:

    Honestly, with the stickers and stuff it’s a lot more like the Line app (or Facebook chat now I guess) than texting.

  25. Warclam says:

    What happening is even the fuck, with game?

    Why does it proceed automatically like that, it’s hard to read? Why is there this middle-plot where you download an app to talk to cute boys but then it doesn’t work and some creeper makes you break into a stranger’s home where you… talk to cute boys (and Zen)? How are we supposed to take a secret ultra-secure special… chatroom seriously?

    ¿Confused is happening!

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      Their dialog is needlessly implausible (the writer should have either made them less curious about the protagonist, or quicker to talk to the protagonist, because having a twenty minute conversation about a stranger who’s in the room with you is just weird), but the short answer is that we’re not supposed to take anything seriously, it’s a dating sim.

      1. Also, I’m sure there were loads of translation difficulties.

  26. Maryam says:

    You guys should totally try to get the bad ending in the intro, if you start the game over at any point. It’s super weird and I have no idea if it actually ties into the storyline of the game (having only been playing for a few days at this point).

    I got it by balking several times at the door lock.

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