Friday, January 27, 2006


The Leaky Pen has an interesting post on little bit of l33t speak and internet culture that western gamers may not be familiar with, "Orz."

It's also nice to know that 好人(hao ren), meaning "good guy," is the chinese equivalent of the japanese word otaku.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I'm the type of guy who has difficulty with the execution of even relatively simple bureaucratic tasks like renewing a drivers' license. So I was naturally a bit nervous about my capacity for convincing a foreign bureacracy half-way around the world that I should be allowed into their country for six months. Approximately. Because of course I couldn't say the exact date in which I planned to leave said country. Add to that the fact the I conducted this little operation over the mail with only about three weeks until my departure, and you have a recipe for stress.

In order to make things a little less stressful for others, I'm documenting the process I took to get my visa.

Step 1: Find the the TECO in your region by going here.

Step 2: I suggest calling them to verify the requirements and processing time.

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents. Here's what I needed:

  • Passport valid for at least another 6 months.

  • Application Form

  • Two 2"x2" passport photos.

  • Copy of your airline ticket. I used an e-ticket with an open return date. Be careful with open return dates though -- you should give them a good explanation for why you need such flexibility.

  • Money order for $100 for each visa you are requesting.

  • A return envelope for them to send your passport back to you. I strongly suggest you use express mail for both the return envelope and to mail them your application materials.

  • If you are applying for a visitor visa(which doesn't allow employment in Taiwan), you will need to send a copy of a bank statement showing sufficient funds to live in Taiwan for the duration you plan on staying. They contacted me by phone after they received my application and asked for me to fax them this information.

  • If you will be studying in Taiwan, you should send them an original copy of your letter of acceptance from the school or university as well as a letter indicating your plan of study(you've probably already sent a study plan to the school you applied to).

  • Step 4: Mail it and pray for success!


    Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    Super A'Can

    Another Taiwanese contribution to videogames is the Super A'Can. Virtually unheard of in the West --and perhaps anywhere outside of Taiwan-- the Super A'Can is a videogame console roughly equivalent to the Super Nintendo in computational power. It was released in 1995 with a game library which grew to at least 11 games. Unfortunately, most of its games are considered to be of poor quality. Follow the link above for more info and screenshots of some of the games.

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    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Beggar Prince

    If you're the type that consistently trawls the web for gaming oddities, as I am, you may have heard of the recently released Beggar Prince. For those that haven't heard, Beggar Prince is an RPG for the Sega Genesis, the first commercial release for that platform in the U.S. since 1998. Originally released in Taiwan in 1996 by C&E Inc. as Xin Qi Gai Wang Zi(I'll have to do some more research to find the chinese characters), Beggar Prince looks to be a pretty standard Japanese-style RPG. And now a U.S. company by the name of Super Fighter Team has brought the game to an English speaking audience in the United States.

    For more information on Super Fighter Team and why Beggar Prince was chosen for localization, check out this preview/interview at Also, a review of a non-final build of the game received a score of 3.5/5.0 in Hardcore Gamer magazine. I think I'll look around for an original copy once I arrive in Taiwan, provided a used Genesis is pretty cheap over there.

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