In Haiku Hero Verisimilitude Is Rapidly Broken

My work is available for purchase at the RPS store.

Haiku Hero, first
Appears to be a nice game
Racing for poems

Against the clock you
Create a haiku within
The rules as given

It might tell you to
Use just two syllable words
And include, say, “bath”

It then assesses
If you met the rules in time
Then sets another

But I realised
Putting in any old crap
Would be accepted

“bothering elsewhere
panted yellow fortitude
buses escaping”

To which it replied
“That was a good haiku”, which
I’m not sure is true

I think this will count
As one of Kieron’s spoilers

Thanks go to TigSource
For spotting this one last week
You can play it here

(Yes I am aware
That Kieron posted this one
Before. I hate him)


  1. randomnine says:

    Kieron posted about it here a month ago.

    • Fede says:

      Yes, but please don’t remove this article, it’s awesome :)

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      You will soon find that Kieron wrote all future articles already. They are back in the archives. It’s all a big cycle.

  2. The_B says:

    I wonder if we
    Can keep the comments for this
    Also in haiku form?

    • The_B says:

      I’m not sure how many
      Syllables in word hiaku
      I may have failed.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Haikus only work
      Properly in Japanese.
      Moon speaks full at night.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      In haiku the word,
      two syllables are spoken,
      is signifier.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Spacewalk

      No they don’t. They’re clearly very different in English (and other Indo-European languages) than in Japanese, but they’re still poems and as such they work. Saying that they don’t work in English is about the same as saying that American movie format or the iambic pentameter don’t work in Japan (or anywhere else for that matter). They’re just formats that are given their meaning by the culture that uses them

    • UW says:

      Haikus are awesome
      But sometimes they don’t make sense.

    • Lars Westergren says:


      Wacky haikus fun.
      Purple monkey dishwasher
      (Simpson’s reference)

    • minipixel says:

      Surprise! Butterfly

    • TeeJay says:

      @ Rinox “They’re clearly very different in English (and other Indo-European languages) than in Japanese, but they’re still poems and as such they work.”

      Different to the point of not really being haikus at all in any meaningful way. The genuine haiku format has far more to it than just a 5-7-5 syllable format. The ‘western’ version is often dumbed down to the point of being meaningless babble and leaves out any requirements concerning tone, pacing, content or themes. Sure there are in fact some very good english-language haikus that remain faithful to the original Japanese format and rules. However it is stretching the word “poem” to destruction to claim that it automatically applies to any random collection of 5-7-5 words, other than in the very broadest sense of authorship/intention. Sure it’s true that anything can be a ‘work of art’ if someone designates it as such, and similarly anything can be a “poem” – but “haiku” is a genre within this. I’d argue that the “western haiku” is a nonsensical / idiotic / meaningless subset that barely fits within this genre at all..

    • Rinox says:

      @ Teejay

      Fair enough. I guess it’s semantics and personal feeling on form/format conventions, to some extent. :-) I’ll leave with one of my favorite and somewhat non-conventional poems, by William Carlos Williams:

      This is just to say

      I have eaten
      the plums
      that were in
      the icebox

      and which
      you were probably
      for breakfast

      Forgive me
      they were delicious
      so sweet
      and so cold

    • mpxd says:


    • Lars Westergren says:


      I don’t know why but
      I laughed until my sides hurts
      you win the thread, man.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I know why. Not only is it pretty deep for being so simple. It’s also a pretty great joke in this context. Sure better than all other (wannabe) “haiku”s on this page.

  3. sigma83 says:

    Walker is a terrible poster. Ninja’ed by a technically nonexistant man.

  4. Brumisator says:

    With my first Haiku
    I exploited this weakness
    Never played again

  5. Matt says:

    I played this flash game
    Typed in some profanity
    Was told it was good

  6. Ian says:

    Who is this Kieron
    Gillen of who you all speak?
    Never heard of him.

  7. The_B says:

    And again. I am
    Clearly quite rubbish at this
    Though quite persistant.

  8. John Walker says:

    Kieron never tried
    To get a haiku into
    Our crappy title bar into which you can never get any bloody phrase to fit.

    • Deoden says:

      Seeing you do this
      Has made my comment shameful
      Apologies, John

    • Brumisator says:

      surely, you do know
      “is rapidly broken” has
      six syllables

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      The line is broken
      not after the longest word,
      but after the “Is”.

    • Brumisator says:

      Oh, well I never…
      Verisimilitude is
      But six long, my bad.

  9. Deoden says:

    John must feel shame now
    Even when not existing
    Kieron still mocks him

  10. The_B says:

    Don’t worry Walker,
    Lovely even if you are
    Terrible healer

  11. Eagle0600 says:

    Am I the only one who saw this coming from the first time they heard of it? It was obvious this was going to happen.

  12. Mike says:

    Was hoping for a
    Haiku image alt text
    C-Combo breaker

  13. RaveTurned says:

    Mister Fred Wester
    Paradox Interactive
    CEO states: “Right…”

  14. Jarmo says:

    poetry, the AI reasoned
    cannot be that hard

  15. Alex Bakke says:

    Does anyone else do
    The thing where you count with your
    Fingers, to work out order?

    • Brumisator says:

      the more you play
      the more your fingers will flow
      and you’ll forget math

    • Gap Gen says:

      one two three four five
      one two three four five six sev’n
      one two three four five

  16. Bob Bobson says:

    I recommend that
    Difficulty level three
    Is used when you play

    Restriction is what
    Makes you feel heroic if
    Your Haiku makes sense

    (I’m not a robot
    so why do I find that the
    CAPTCHA is tricky?)

  17. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    I said it before:
    This game is truly broken.
    Words are excluded.

    (Examples: ursine, susurrus and more)

  18. Montoli says:

    I just have to say:
    Seeing threads of all haikus
    makes me so happy.

    (Also I’m sorry
    for dictionary problems –
    good, free ones are scarce!)

  19. El Stevo says:

    Splitting a longer
    Sentence into separate
    Lines is cheating. Blegh.

  20. chokoladenudlen says:

    Nature of haiku
    is important thing to say
    but how to finish?

  21. Old Sam says:

    You’re wrong about Curse
    It’s better than TLJ
    Not as pretentious

    • phlebas says:

      What is the secret
      of Monkey Island, Guybrush?

  22. SLeigher says:

    The captcha system
    is broken beyond repair
    fifteen fucking tries

  23. chokoladenudlen says:

    Argh! Dirty haiku!
    Putting pictures in my mind!
    It said use ‘swallow’

    And so I use it
    Mentioning birds, I do not
    But nasty I was:

    The plight of pornstars
    Is always stop with swallow
    That is happy end.

    Wash my dirty mind
    Next must be on my to-do
    And no more haiku.


  24. Lars Westergren says:

    haiku: Paradox alert!
    This line is a lie.

  25. Juggz says:

    Haiku is good fun
    It got me through English class
    I owe it my life

    CAPTCHA is shithouse
    It is so damned hard to read
    It makes me sad face

  26. espy says:

    It may very well be
    that this, of all posts, ever,
    delighted me most.

  27. stahlwerk says:

    Five syllables in
    the first line or was it six?
    I don’t remember.

  28. Crabtacular says:

    Quit your whining, fools!
    My Captcha is legible.
    You all need new brains.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Do hush, now, I say.
      Appreciation thirsts for
      An even temper.

  29. stahlwerk says:

    Jim Rossignol, John
    Walker, Quintin Smith, Alec
    Meer, Kieron Gillen

    • phlebas says:

      Jim Rossignol, John
      Walker, Quintin Smith, Alec
      Meer, that’s everyone.

  30. Rosti says:

    I’m writing haiku
    I could not say ‘in’ there as
    I ran out of syl-

  31. Chris D says:

    Haiku Hero is
    Good for checking syllables
    When posting comments

  32. stahlwerk says:

    PC gaming died
    when Bobby Kotick said so.
    Necromantic blues.

  33. adonf says:

    Posting in Haiku
    Should be mandatory for
    RPS comments

    • James says:

      The suggestion made
      too harsh, unenforceable
      a guideline instead

    • adonf says:

      Harsher than CAPTCHA ?
      I think not. Machines
      Will never succeed

  34. chokoladenudlen says:

    Medal of Honour
    Got most disastrous reviews
    EA stocks plummet

  35. westyfield says:

    Kingdom of Loathing
    had a haiku chat channel
    I never left it.

  36. orangedragon10 says:

    Too much haiku here
    I think it is time for a

  37. DMJ says:

    Rock Paper Shotgun,
    PC News and Wot I Thinks.
    Now with less Gillen.

  38. Dovi says:

    Thank you RPS
    Now the whole Internet
    Haikus in my head

  39. bwion says:

    Look at you CAPTCHA
    A pathetic creation
    Out of meat and bone

    How can you challenge
    A perfect immortal mach-
    Shit I typed it wrong

    • Lars Westergren says:


      An impressive feat
      Many levels of meta-
      Gaming geekery-

      Site relevancy-
      Haiku mastery achieved.
      I bow before you

  40. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Wonders, wonders all
    Fine thoughts and company, too
    See it for yourself

  41. Shadram says:

    Hmm, I don’t get it.
    What is this haiku nonsense?
    Shouldn’t they all rhyme?

  42. Montoli says:

    I just have to say:
    Comment threads of all haikus
    make me so happy…

    (also yes, sorry,
    about any unknown words
    good free word lists: Scarce)

  43. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Haiku is boring—
    iambic pentametric
    sonnets are better.

  44. stephan says:

    dozens of dumb dogs
    dude, a bonnet, want it? dude?
    dog bonnets? no way..

  45. John Walker says:

    This is the best thread
    RPS has ever had
    You are all the win

  46. DrazharLn says:

    End this misery forthwith
    Oh shit. I can’t count
    Bugger it all. Shit.

  47. Hastur says:

    These are senryu
    Haikus are about nature
    Yeah it’s pedantic