I'm Manall Lockhart and I run this site. I'm the creator of all music and game mods found here.
You can reach me at
May 30, 2023
"Just live like humans for now."
Easier said than done.
If the lives of my family and crew here were fed into a machine and spat out as a man-made movie, there’d likely be an epic soundtrack to accompany, foreshadow and accentuate the madness. Viewers would attach themselves to characters, pick their favorite quotes, and debate over crucial areas of character choice and development. Neat little details would gradually be uncovered through shared discussion and repeated viewing, which would contribute to the overall appreciation for each scene and help build a loyal, thriving fanbase. And yes, this film would pack every cinematic angle in the biz to convey dripping expression and oozing personality, right down to the eyelash.
In a more perfect world, that film might do well. The plot might resonate with spectators, fate willing. It might even achieve a level of international acclaim, and be spread about for mass consumption as a relatable, universal story - one which helps keep the monetary gears of global society oiled for just a little longer.
But make no mistake, there’s nothing glorious about it. In reality, there is no sympathetic native audience to relate to the under-cover alien protagonists, and the supportive capitalism machine is (regrettably?) tone deaf to the narrative. Those who are aware generally have only a slim few with whom they can share their thoughts, and as sad as it makes me to say, that’s hardly an advantage.
(I edited the above to include the word ‘native’ - my sister rang my ear to remind me that she is among those who sympathize. A tribute to her character, when she herself has been waiting to live in physical form again for at least eight years now. Maybe nine. My human memory is failing.)
But as I’ve prattled before, it is all made to feel this way. On a prison planet, clutching to your values makes you an exception, but it’s certainly not a perk. I remember reading many years ago (and this was before I’d had it confirmed to be real) about how the prison machine slings temptations at us to coerce us into breaking our moral code. Basically, you can do that by drifting toward one of a few extremes. So you’d either fall in line with the rest, and sacrifice your individuality and freedom (which, let’s face it, matters to flesh life forms at least a little) or say, “To hell with all ethics and morals,” thereby shedding your cloak of sanity.
Neither is good.
The best choice is to stay in the middle, which isn’t actually part of any pre-defined center, but rather wherever you feel your true, core self stands. Of course, this space only accounts for a few metaphorical inches’ worth of tiptoed standing room on the cosmic number line; even the corrupted Earth religions deliver heavy talks on temptation. The system‘s goal is to pull you away from your values, and change them to fit whatever reimagined version of you it’s come up with.
“But,” you ask, “what does that actually mean?”
Say you’re a hard worker. You might get punished for working hard (endless additional ‘unforeseen’ circumstances!) and then ridiculed for turning away. Perhaps your long-standing love for a hobby across lifetimes would be turned against you, maybe through your failure to achieve success with it or because someone was set up to take your golden opportunity away at the right moment. Or, perhaps you desire family unity above all. That could be easily broken through a repetitive loss of close relatives, or being born in a dysfunctional family that does not share your spiritual values.
Those are just quick and easy examples, and obviously, it gets much more complicated than that. But the worst might just be something else entirely - this is all part of a cycle, and not a one-and-done. You’ll be spun around and around, life after life, with strengths here, weaknesses there - wrestling forever with pieces of other beings who do not match with you. If you possess even a trace level of adherence for literally anything, you will immediately see the problem here. Except you can’t - what you see is merely one link in a never-ending chain, created by a machine. And that machine does not care about you.
Humans are always ready to admit, spaciously, that they do not understand the limits of the universe, because the social ecosystem awards them brownie points if they appear humble. Yet when it comes to the actual specifics of the universe, they balk and plug their ears, unwilling to learn with nothing to add. But a prison planet is like a raging river - it doesn’t mind what face you wear as it carries you downstream. And the sort of systemic personal sabotage it carries out millions of times per day is piss easy child’s play for a computer with even more millions of years’ worth of tech powering it. And that computer was created by people who spent even longer than that trying to bullet-proof its design!
Do you begin to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, and why I no longer give a shit when cognitive dissonance gets in the way of intelligent conversation?
You have to understand, the kind of example sabotage I touched on earlier is invisible to humans - the players have no idea they are being played. Imagine if, right now, someone was curbing your pros and amplifying your cons as a being, without your knowledge. If you make a mistake influenced by these ‘edits’, who takes the blame? You do. You are the only one for people to observe doing or not doing a thing. Why would they even think to ask questions when they implicitly believe the answer is right in front of them? Shit, these observers don’t even know any of what I’m fucking saying right now.
But yunno, hee-hee, ha-ha. Gotta live like them humans!
…That means going along with them, agreeing with them - playing their game, and embracing it, too; being herded into a pack, and doing things you know are bankrupt on one or more levels because that’s what the mission calls for. You are behind enemy lines, and because your rule book is light years away, you use the enemy’s, because you don’t want to knuckle under. You don’t want to undo all the work your crew mates are putting in all day, every day, in order to try and rescue your miserable asses. Because they haven’t forgotten who you are. Because they know that once you’re hauled up and away, you will be how you used to be. How you are supposed to be.
So no. Being a “spooky tall alien” with teardrop black eyes isn’t any fun here. All the jokes and stereotypes about us in popular media and across the internet don’t account for shit. And no, humans, you certainly don’t come in fucking peace. You murdered the shit out of my family thirty years ago, and for as long as I have this space, I’ll say whatever the fuck I want about your planet. Because I’m still stuck living on it, when I’d rather be back home fucking my mates, exploring uncharted solar systems, creating entire simulated worlds to get lost in, and writing songs you can literally see and feel in your brain.
And you. The one reading. Whoever you are, just do me one favor. Tonight before bed, step out on your porch, your balcony, or out from what you call home, and look up at the stars. Really look at them! Personally, my favorite set has always been Orion.
May 10, 2023
"You only exist because we allow it."
If you think anything other than that you live in a world entirely crafted by far richer, far more devious minds, I am sorry to disappoint you.
The ever-increasing complexity to life is by design. It is meant to overwhelm everyone. Overwhelmed individuals often seek simple solutions which they need not bother with, so they may tend to other life aspects they deem more worth their time. These solutions tragically dumb their senses, however; yet it is unavoidable since survival demands it. If there is no going back, and forward is too far off, there is little choice but to face the present.
Ultimately, humans are being forced to evolve at a pace unnatural for any species. Can it work? Sure. Most anything can 'work' (subjective) given enough time. Just so long as you don't pay any mind to the quality of life along the way.
A fact people often forget - evolution is largely infinite. It's not really taught in school (or anywhere), but where you are on that "food chain" isn't really so important. Of course, everybody believes it is - that's the ego talking, not the nature of our universe.
The nature of the universe is such that you should simply make what you are able to. Good, or even bad - the rest is just sides of a coin. Separate, yet actually the same.
Once, decades ago, a member of a higher evolved species said 'greater spirit is more valuable than greater skill'. Why does that matter? Well, on a planet like this one you need much more than just your choices to survive. As the powers that be tighten their grip, more and more concessions are required of the so-called 'general public'. You've probably noticed this involves a lot more lies. Strap in - it isn't going to get better. But this doesn't mean that all that was good has died. You just have to look a little harder than before.
May 2, 2023
It's More Than A "Generational" Problem.
If you've ever read, well, practically anything I write, you probably deduced it somewhere along the way - I hate this planet. That hasn't changed of course, but I've been observing a growing pattern for a while now, and I need to get some relevant thoughts out and about.
We have quite a clash of generations on Earth right now. Anyone with a few brain cells to rub together can name at least a few causes - higher life expectancies, rapid "social" & technological changes every odd minute, along with radical sheep-herding fueled by media-induced tribalism. Yeah, what else is new. And while that's great and all, something else rises above all of that for me: people saying stupid shit about the way up-and-coming youths just don't have their shit together like before - à la previous generations.
That's a fucking load. On a terrible planet, obviously every generation will have its own bullshit to cope with, and each one's nitty gritty inheritance (or lack thereof) is most certainly unique, even if somewhat cyclical. But never before in the history of this godforsaken species have things moved at the pace things do now, nor so suddenly. Naturally, I have seen a lot of people crumbling under that pressure, and the ones who pretend otherwise are usually doing just that - pretending!
Now hold on, I'm not judging. But that's the fact of the matter. The default mode has become progressively more and more about pretense and systematically numbing every once-felt aspect of life, as if they were each a disease to be purged from an otherwise healthy being.
And as wrong as that is, you can't just say people are entitled. You can't just say they're addicts, or being manipulated, or "don't know the meaning of hard work". It's all fucking stupid, yes. But nobody knows how to cope with it. And NO ONE gets to climb aboard the high horse to judge or simplify just because the world no longer matches their personal, romanticized - nostalgic - variation on suffering.
We are currently witnessing the slow collapse of an empire; following this, its enemies may just consume it without ever militarily setting foot within the borders. Just don't be waiting for a televised, bite-sized product to guzzle down. If it does come, as the arrows so point that it will, you won't be warned. Prevention of mass hysteria is far more important to them than your preparedness.
...In the meantime, give people born in this time period a fucking break. People are doing the best they can to manage a whirlwind of insanity, even if they have to sacrifice everything to do it. From front to back, we're all stuck with this shitshow, and you can bet your life that the profiteers would love to have everyone fighting about it!
So don't. You're better off being a damn hermit than giving in to temptation.
April 7, 2023
Manall's FF1 v2.3
No, that is not a duplicate headline, nor is it the same one you've been seeing for months.
I do in fact still exist, and I am still making things. I will always be making things, whether it's on this planet or another.
Especially when it comes to the assembly side of things, this update has lots of MY original handiwork stamped on it! I'm super proud of that! There's tons of quality of life packed into this one too, like FINALLY FUCKING BUYING MULTIPLE POTIONS AT ONCE. Yes, I've heard all of you, and I apologize it took this long. That said, this is just one of the legion of niceties; I'll let you head on over to the changelog and witness the barrage for yourselves.
I did lots of testing on 2.3, and am quite ready to have it off my hands. This is definitely the most epic and polished this project has ever been. While today's news is a bit muted for something so epic, I'm rather tired as of writing...
...But since it's so short, I'll tell you a little about the NEXT update. It's not balance-related or ado with bug-fixing, but rather singularly about adding a new mode of sorts - Yes, you'll have to unlock it.
Oh, and it will be hard.
January 24, 2023
Manall's FF1 v2.2.2
Another one for the start of 2023!
One of my goals with 2.2.2 is to smooth some of the steeper damage thresholds, specifically to aid the Fighter. Fighters will also become ever so slightly stronger by the very end, and this will collaborate with the minor absorb changes to improve combat flow.
Keep in mind, this will not allow for a massive amount of extra damage. Rather, the changes are geared to make turns against specific armored foes more meaningful. This will also build off what I started in version 2.2, which saw improvements to several important melee weapons. I’d like to think this will be the last time the issue needs to be addressed.
I determined that these first two updates of 2023 would be simple enough to get out in a brief window of relative calm. I do not know when I will again have time to sit down and spend serious time on mods. Waluigi RPG is still overdue for its own update, and I have not forgotten. Please be patient; it will come when time permits.
January 20, 2022
Manall's HoMM3 v1.5
I've been working on this one quietly for a bit. It only recently dawned on me that I first mentioned this update a whole year ago. I had no idea it had taken this long to get to, but things have been fucking insane for a while so that probably has a lot to do with it
This is an awesome patch. It's so far the largest for this project regarding content, quality of life and variety. However, above all the fun and conveniences there is one change which rises to the top:
TAN HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH YELLOW.
Anyhoo, there are way too many great things to list here, so go on over and check out the whole shebang. I know this one took a while, but I think it'll be worth it.
Oh, and before you do that...THERE'S A HOMM3 BOARD GAME COMING OUT THIS YEAR!! (That is, if Poland survives to see the ship date)
(phew... I've barely had time, but it's been done for a bit so I finally rounded up all the pieces for pushing to the website.
I still have plans to update FF1 and WLRPG, but it's going to be a minute. Be patient please.)