The Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters
October 29, 2009 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Not being familiar with Ulillillia, I had to check to see if it was, indeed, Sonic fanfic.

(it isn't)
posted by shakespeherian at 2:08 PM on October 29, 2009 [6 favorites]

This page (probably NSFW) has more information on the guy than you would ever want. He's quite the odd duck.
posted by graventy at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2009

But how does Knuckles feel about gliding south along Highway 83 at 800 miles per hour? I suspect the author is temperamentally incapable of answering this question, and it shows.
posted by clockzero at 2:25 PM on October 29, 2009

Good heavens. It's as though Alain Robbe-Grillet had a account.
posted by Iridic at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Huh, this is fascinating.
posted by everichon at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2009

On this page of his site, Ulillillia goes into a characteristic amount of detail about the genesis and formatting of the book, and lists a whole table of reasons why his Knuckles character should not be confused with the Sega version.

There are also come clues to the unique narrative style:
... I soon thought of combining the three formats - my old play format I used, the movie format, and the book format, taking the best of each. The movie format was clean and flowed smoothly so it was my base design. Book format was optimal for the actions and descriptions. My old play format had almost no involvement since the movie format took up most of this, but it's used with parenthicals in character speech, and the way acts and scenes are used.
posted by memebake at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2009

I considered posting about this. You really should check out his youtube channel.

This video in particular is probably the most accessible:

Having played around in level 2 [of the terrible videogame Bubsy] for nearly 500 hours total (it's my top favorite level of all), I discovered many bugs and secrets during all that time....
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:35 PM on October 29, 2009

I meant this video:

5 Secrets of Level Design in Bubsy 3d
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:39 PM on October 29, 2009

Oh man. I've occasionally put Ulilllillia's Knuckles on Ice Cap's Mountain on when I have insomnia. Very calming for some reason.
posted by pravit at 3:02 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]

Let me ask -- in the most neutral way I can -- what is interesting about this?
posted by grobstein at 3:11 PM on October 29, 2009

It's interesting to me because I am friends with one person on the autistic spectrum and uncle to another. This person's website and book provide a singular perspective on that, uh, flavor of headspace.
posted by everichon at 3:16 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

Well, I read the first 15 pages, and it seems like it was written by a 3rd grader. Horrible. (Unless he is a 3rd grader, and then ...)

I wonder if he's ever read a book.

Is this some sort of chris-chan /b/tard thing?. No offense, but what else are we to do here but poke fun? The novel is incomprehensible.

If he wrote 256 pages of this nonsense, I doubt he has autism.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:04 PM on October 29, 2009

To add to everichon, it's uplifting and inspiring to those who are on the spectrum themselves that are often discouraged by their handicap or their peers to accomplish what this boy has. It's frustrating enough without a neurological disorder for people to understand you sometimes, and it is increasingly difficult if you are non-verbal or communicate best in other interpretive ways.

His attention to detail, seemingly over-thought-out to most, is really where a lot of kids like him get hung up. They are incredibly visual and imaginative, but need those minute descriptions, otherwise it just doesn't mean anything to them.

It's sad people are discrediting him, no matter if he has Autism or not. He's a troubled kid on the internet dealing with things the best way he knows how.
posted by june made him a gemini at 4:10 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

That guy? The Bubsy 3D guy?

I like games and all, but sometimes the degree by which they have captured some folks' imagination bums me out.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 PM on October 29, 2009

This guy is delightful! He should not be scorned! He should be appreciated as an example of humanity's breadth, and we should delight that he can find satisfaction in pursuits of minute detail of which we are incapable!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:30 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]

Arena ticket clerk
Okay. You are fighter number 14. Good luck. Here are the rules.

The arena ticket clerk takes a pamphlet.

I already know the rules, I sensed them.

The arena ticket clerk puts the pamphlet back.


I guess I'll go with pepperoni as well. Then again, split it between half cheese and half-pepperoni. Although I would prefer thick crust, I wouldn't mind going with a thin crust.

Basically then, have one pizza a cheese-only and the other as pepperoni. Tu will get one-third of each while the others get two-thirds of their type. That way, it's fairly split and easier to make.

I can agree with that. You're smart!


If you do encounter any of these monsters, (with emphasis) do not fight them! (normal) They are incredibly powerful, especially the large ones. (with emphasis) No military should attempt to fight these either (nortmal). Bombs and missiles will heal them instead. They are so resistant that they're very hard to scratch even ignoring elemental properties. (with emphasis) Let me deal with them.

Jimmy Wilson
What an unusual event! You really are powerful! Your statement nearly three years ago about having this kind of power was true! Why did the monster heal you though, knowing the green number?

It cast the plasma ball 55 spell on me and I absorb fire-elemental attacks. That means it cures me. I cast ultimara6 on it, the cause of the big damage.

Jimmy Wilson
I didn't catch that part but oh well. The green one on you distracted me from catching it.

This is all I need to report. You can return to normal broadcasting now.

After a second, the TV resumes normal broadcasting, cutting to advertisements, one for life insurance.

Jimmy Wilson
What a fascinating story! Did you see that thing that caused the voice?

I could sense its position, not see what it looks like or target it. I tried to get it with ultimara6, bur nothing happened, other than wasting spell power. With 467% magic accuracy, missing is extremely unlikely. I need to go to Hawaii though.

Jimmy Wilson
posted by shii at 5:23 PM on October 29, 2009 [9 favorites]

What's really interesting is that, according to the Something Awful thread in which people can ask the guy questions, that cover contains no photoshop- he created an enormous spreadsheet and coloured it pixel-by-pixel, mathematically determining which color each pixel should be.

(You probably shouldn't click that link. There's some interesting insights into the guy, but it's full of people being dicks. Rather just look at the posts made by the OP who's conveying the questions and answers back and forth between Ulillillia and the thread.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:41 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]

Insanely interesting. More than anything else, I admire his passion for sticking to the stuff he knows. His website is so 1999, it makes me feel like I'm having flashbacks.
posted by Bageena at 5:46 PM on October 29, 2009

I actually own the book and it's not too bad. If you know a bit about Ullillia, it makes a lot more pleasurable (like how he degreases pizza in one scene).

I think this review says it best:

posted by champthom at 5:57 PM on October 29, 2009

Okay, what I meant to say was this comment:

Nick Smith's excursion into the literary arena represents a pivotal moment for American culture and civilization. In creating his novel, "The Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters", Smith throws out all conventional ways and approaches to artistic expression and replaces them with new structures and processes of analyzing the age-old problematic thoughts brought about by human conflict, identity and belonging. Smith manages to do this by utilizing a multi-disciplinary, consilient approach (which Faulkner would be proud of) by synthesising elements of American popular culture such as roleplaying games and super powers. In Sartre's existentialist tradition, Smith utilizes the elements available in his times and environment to revalidate and giving meaning to what had become a meager existence, while at the same time elevating & liberating the rest of humanity to another level of meaningful existence. Examples of this new paradigm of human expression abound in this ouevre. From the cover, which shows our protagonist manipulating the spheres which symbolize the possibility of humanity's ability to break away from the circular oppression that enslave us all and prevent us from leading a truly meaningful existence, to his aptly named chapter, "A pizza break" which utilizes his hunger for degreased cheese pizzas as a metaphor for the conflict between a superficial and unfulfilling material existence and a meaningful and rich human spiritual existence. This truly is a paradigmatic change that T. Kuhn would find exemplary. This is a seminal must for any one's reading collection, for it is destined to be a classic and the topic of scholarly and intellectual discussions for quite some time. Five stars is not enough to show the importance of this novel. Perhap all the stars in the Ursa Major constellation would be more fitting.
posted by champthom at 5:59 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

There's really no need to make fun of him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:04 PM on October 29, 2009

Is it just me or does Ulillillia, in his Bubsy YouTube video, sound a bit like a weird, alternate-universe-version of William S. Burroughs?
posted by dylanjames at 6:12 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fascinating! The level of detail is mind boggling. That makes the fact that he hasn't updated his blog since July quite jarring for me.
posted by tellurian at 6:42 PM on October 29, 2009

I find this guy's writiting and website really, profoundly disturbing for some reason.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:46 PM on October 29, 2009

tellurian: he's working on several games, updating a vlog of leveling JRPGS to 99 before the 3rd boss, and until the start of the month, writing a book.
posted by codacorolla at 7:03 PM on October 29, 2009

posted by fuq at 7:53 PM on October 29, 2009

Can I do that "But is it literature" joke now?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:02 PM on October 29, 2009

I don't know what it is that makes me feel that Ulillillia City is truly and really the best of the web.

Maybe it is the deeply sad beauty of a man in a prison that he cannot see.

Maybe it is his blindingly pure sincerity.

I came for the funny pizza degreasing procedures and animated GIFs, I stayed for the psychological shock and awe.
posted by krilli at 8:25 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]

Yeah, this shares something with Memoirs of My Nervous Illness--nothing withheld, a frankness that is completely engaging. Obviously apples and oranges in many ways, but there is some kind of overlap, and I am grateful for such communicators.
posted by everichon at 8:51 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think he does see the prison, krilli. According to the ED link (which, you know, could be totally wrong), Ulillillia says that he has severe obsessive compulsive disorder, and not autism. He knows that his interests and behaviors don't fall within the spectrum defined as "normal" - but presumably, he doesn't care. He is what is is and does what he does and that's the way it's gonna be.

It is liberating to see someone who seems to be so at home within their own skin, and who has turned his interests into a kind of art. Ulillillia himself may be the only one who can truly understand and appreciate that art, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating or uplifting.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:22 PM on October 29, 2009

Yes, that's true, Kevin Street. However, there's also quite a lot of implicit discomfort and angst in all the trying to make sense of very small things and put them in order. This is what really gets to me.

But most of all I respect him greatly for being an industrious little fucker! I'd like to be more like him in that way.
posted by krilli at 11:38 PM on October 29, 2009

Am I the only ones seeing the reviews as condescending tripe, bordering on parody? Because it looks to me like the kind of things people write when they have nothing good to say about something, but want to say something nice so as not to hurt the feelings of the author.

If the quotes shii posted are any indication of the average quality of the writing, I'm even more convinced that the reviews are tongue-in-cheek trashings.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:28 AM on October 30, 2009

+50 compatibility.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:29 AM on October 30, 2009

Am I the only ones seeing the reviews as condescending tripe, bordering on parody?
caution five frogs, you are not alone in your interpretation of the motives of most people, although i do think that are a few individuals that are honest in their appreciation.
posted by the aloha at 8:47 AM on October 30, 2009

It is liberating to see someone who seems to be so at home within their own skin, and who has turned his interests into a kind of art. Ulillillia himself may be the only one who can truly understand and appreciate that art, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating or uplifting.

I think that's why I like Ullillia, for all the "uniqueness" that he is. He manages to really like himself for who he is and not too many people are able to do that, especially mentally ill people.

I wish I could meet him someday, buy a beer, and let him tell me about the Mind Games or his mud dreams but apparently, he dislikes social interaction and he doesn't drink.

Also, back to the book, the ending is pretty great too, with the Animal House "Where are they now?" sort of ending.
posted by champthom at 10:36 AM on October 30, 2009

champthom, caution live frogs, the aloha: where are the reviews? Am I missing something? I can't see any on the lulu page.
posted by memebake at 3:42 PM on October 30, 2009

I think he should do an audio book, reading the book himself. I would buy that for a dollar! It also, might have the side effect of making the book slightly more comprehensible.
posted by asok at 1:47 AM on November 2, 2009

I would buy that for TEN dollars.
posted by pravit at 9:53 AM on November 2, 2009

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