Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rinoa = Ultimecia?

Gentle Reader,

All right, this is a Final Fantasy VIII thing, so feel free to skip if you aren't into that game.

Wow, I just discovered that there is this big controversy among fans of Final Fantasy VIII about whether or not Ultimecia is a future version of Rinoa.  I am really surprised because, when I played this game back in the day, I thought it was pretty obvious that you are supposed to come away from the final battle with this possibility in mind.

I think it would be wrong to say that Rinoa is Ultimecia, or that the game intends for you to believe that Rinoa is Ultimecia.  Rather, I think the storyteller is having a bit of fun with the player.  The storyteller wants to plant the idea of there being a connection, but the question is never really answered.  There isn't necessarily a correct answer at all.  Still, I was really surprised that so many people insist that this idea comes totally out of left field or is otherwise absurd.

I'm not going to recount the entire Rinoa/Ultimecia theory here, but I will remind the reader of just a couple of points.

- Ultimecia's costume is essentially a duster, like Rinoa's, and it also includes a wing motif, as does Rinoa's.

- Ultimecia's castle stands on the spot that Rinoa and Squall promised to return to if they ever had to find each other.

- While on the Ragnarok, Rinoa tells Squall that she wants time to stand still.  This is also what Ultimecia wants, ultimately.

- Squall idolizes the lion, and he has a lion necklace which he calls Griever.  Rinoa is the only person with whom Squall shares the idea of Griever.  Later, Zell promises to make a ring for Rinoa to match Squall's necklace.  Later still, the player can find a GF called Doomtrain that is housed within a ring.  Then, at the end of the game, Ultimecia summons "the ultimate GF," which turns out to be... Griever.  So, the idea is that Griever was more than just an idea, and that it was in fact a GF that came to be housed within the ring, and to which Ultimecia was junctioned.

- As described more than once during the game, junctioning a GF causes the user to lose parts of his/her memory.  This could explain why Ultimecia does not seem to recognize the heroes when they confront her.

It has often been said that Square officially denied the idea of Rinoa being Ultimecia (though I have yet to find a cite for this).  However, even if this is the case, then how does one explain a few oddities that appear in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, in which Ultimecia is a playable character?

Point #1 - Ultimecia's unique weapons are all weapons that were used by Rinoa in Final Fantasy VIII.

Point #2 - When Ultimecia and Squall meet, Ultimecia's way of greeting Squall is to ask him if he wants to dance.  This is similar to the first time that Squall met Rinoa, at which point Rinoa asked him to dance.

Seems to me like the folks behind Dissidia are playing with the player, and toying with the idea that these two characters are in fact the same person.  That doesn't make it canon, but it underscores that it isn't completely out of bounds to draw such a connection.

Again, I am not saying that Rinoa is or must be Ultimecia.  But, I do not understand why people say that the idea is unfounded.  It seems to me like everything about Ultimecia is designed to hint at the possibility of her being Rinoa.  But, whether or not it is actually the case is for each individual player to decide.  That's all!

Ever Yours,

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

Cheers to another year, and to yet another end of the world prophecy that went unfulfilled.

May we all find something to love in our glorious new futures.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Notice Regarding Golbez Hack

Gentle Reader,

Here is where my total ignorance regarding the technical side of ROM hacking is made evident!

I know that some people have had difficulty patching the hack to the ROM.  As it happens, the  patch is only compatible with a headered ROM.  It won't work with a nonheadered ROM.  I was too ignorant to realize this myself, but someone who downloaded the hack pointed it out to me.

Once the patch is applied to the headered ROM, the exact filesize should be 1,049,088 bytes.

Also, while we're on the topic, there will be an update to the hack in 30-60 days.  I discovered a few minor bugs that can be easily corrected.


Ever Yours,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Gentle Reader,

He very well might be history's greatest monster, but I just can't help but love him!

And best of all, South Park Babies!!!


Ever Yours,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

UPDATE - Final Fantasy IV: Kain "Unhelmeted" Hack

Gentle Reader,

This is a modest revision to the "unhelmeted Kain" mini-hack that I released about a year ago.  The update consists of... (drum roll...) a modified menu portrait, based on Kain's appearance in The After Years.  I will probably do a Version 3.0 of this hack eventually that includes a modified battle sprite, but I just haven't gotten around to designing one yet.

Mazel tov!

Download Link
Original Article

Ever Yours,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Story Extract: Saving the Whales

Gina had met Dr. Armand Guillaume as a graduate student in marine biology.  Starstruck, she immediately made the first of many gaffes, calling him the Jacque Cousteau of the 21st Century, a moniker which he was widely known to despise.  He was annoyed and she was humiliated, but something moved him to give her another chance.  A bond quickly formed, the type of friendship that can only emerge from a shared obsession, and it only intensified with time.  Armand was Gina's teacher, her mentor, her friend, and the one that held the key to her dreams.

The new species was called Guiallume's whale in the popular press.  It was named in Armand's honor, as per tradition.  Yet, the official name that Armand pressed for was Balaenoptera leviathanus--the Leviathan.  Gina rolled her eyes when he told her, but he'd come back with a simple question:  what species could be more deserving?  The blue whale, the largest animal previously known to exist, could reach lengths of 200 feet and weights upward of 130 tons.  Guiaullume's whale was estimated at 500 feet in length, and as it seemed to have similar dimensions to the blue whale, they'd estimated its weight at over 250 tons.  And that was being conservative.

There was debate as to whether it could be classified as Balaenoptera at all.  Living at such depths, it was doubtful that it could ever surface to breathe, as light would be entirely alien to it, and the lower pressure levels at shallower depths would almost certainly kill it.  It would then be the first known cetacean to have adapted to living permanently underwater, extracting oxygen from the water like a fish.  It appeared, based on its body shape, to be a whale descendant, but perhaps the resemblance to Balaenoptera was due to convergent evolution.  It was impossible to say without more data.

Yet, to Gina's frustration, she found that no one was all that that interested in discussing the whale with her.  Reporters were only interested in scandal, but it wasn't hard to guess why.  Gina was a good-looking girl in her twenties, the All-American Sweetheart.  Armand was nearly fifty, but he was handsome, tan, and as fit as a man half his age, with hair that was still deep black aside from a touch of gray at his temples.  But Armand preferred blondes and Gina preferred men who could never make her feel stupid.  Gina dismissed the rumors at every turn, as did Armand, but it did little to stop people talking.  She said to herself, if only they would talk about the whales.  But it was futile, and she knew it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I ship Nivanfield hard.

What you say!!!???  How dare you question Nivanfield!!!???


Saturday, December 1, 2012

DOWNLOAD - Final Fantasy IV: Golbez Edition Hack v1.2

Gentle Reader,

Version 1.2 of my Playable Golbez Edition hack is now available!

This is a much more ambitious revision than what was attempted in Version 1.1, and I hope that you will give it a try.  Please review the accompanying readme file for details.

Click here to download:

Golbez Edition Hack version 2.1 download (Updated 10/1/14) article

Ever Yours,