Friday, December 20, 2013

Bigotry and Pigotry on Parade


LOOK AT THE FIRST AND LAST STORIES IN MY GOOGLE NEWS FEED.

THIS IS THE PROBLEM, PEOPLE.

THE DUCK DYNASTY FAMILY IS RICH, POWERFUL, CONNECTED, AND SAFE.  THEIR ABILITY TO LIVE AND BELIEVE AS THEY CHOOSE IS IN NO JEOPARDY.  I’M SO VERY SORRY THAT THEY’RE HAVING TO LEAN ON THEIR FAITH DURING THESE “TOUGH TIMES.”

MEANWHILE, GAYS CAN BE IMPRISONED OR WORSE, JUST FOR BEING GAY, IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD.

GIVING A MEGAPHONE TO A HOMOPHOBE EMBOLDENS HOMOPHOBES EVERYWHERE.  IT ISN’T “JUST AN OPINION.”  PEOPLE ARE HURT.  PEOPLE DIE.  CALL OUT BIGOTRY WHEREVER YOU SEE IT.  WE ARE WINNING THE WAR, BUT WE CAN’T STOP NOW.  FIGHT ON!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Final Fantasy VI, the After Years?

Gentle Reader,

So, I've been away for about a week and it's good to be back!

I'm considering doing a web comic that is essentially a sequel to Final Fantasy VI.  It would consist of "screen shots" that look just like scenes from the game itself, right down to the dialogue box, telling the story of what has become of the characters seven years after Kefka's defeat.  All of the major characters from VI would appear, though I am imagining a "main party" of six characters.  There would be a new villain, of course.  I'd also include some supplementary material explaining what abilities the characters have, listing some of their equipment options, etc. in order to maximize the game feel of it.

The idea is still in development but I thought I would share a map mock-up I did a while back showing the rebuilt Imperial Palace.  I took the original palace balcony map, changed the tileset to the Figaro/Doma one, and then tweaked the map as necessary.  If you're wondering, the new state that replaces the old Empire would not be the villain, that's too easy.  The new imperial state would actually be ruled by a friendly character with the villain coming from a totally different direction.

We'll see how it goes!  In the meantime, here's the little teaser.


Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sigh

Just once in my life I'd like to go to an event where the men wear white gloves and the women wear ball gowns.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let's Play General Leo Edition!

Gentle Reader,

Jason Darth, a commentor on this blog, recently started a Let's Play series of the General Leo Edition hack.  Check it out!

Magrail1982 Channel

Thanks, Jason!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Answer Me



Don't Answer Me
Artist:  The Alan Parsons Project
Album:   Ammonia Avenue
Release:  1984

I was completely obsessed with this when I was five.  Ahhh, MTV was so cool then.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

General Beatrix Edition...?

Gentle Reader,


I would really like for this to be my next project.  There's just one problem:  there are no Final Fantasy IX editors, and there is virtually no hacking information out there on Final Fantasy IX.

Can you help?  Do you know somebody who has looked into doing a hack of this game?  Are you a hacker yourself with interest in such a project?  If so, please contact me!

This project, if ever realized, would be similar in scope to my Playable Golbez Edition and General Leo Edition hacks.  In other words, the storyline would only be changed as much as necessary to incorporate a permanent Beatrix party member.   Unlike the other games, however, I most likely would NOT demote one of the existing party members to guest character status in order to make room for Beatrix.  Rather, Beatrix would remain essentially a guest character, except that she would be a permanent option on the party select screen, most likely following an optional event in the final third of the game.

Beatrix still wouldn't have her own arsenal of add-on abilities (as this really would necessitate demoting somebody else), but she would have an expanded assortment of equipment, as well as more MP, plus a scenario outlining how and why she joins the team.  I would also include other adjustments and improvements to the items, abilities, shops, and other basic facets of the game.

Hopefully this will happen one day!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, November 18, 2013

SO FRUSTRATED!

I've got so many things that I want to DO!  I've got stories that I want to write.  I want to make video games.  I'd kill to make a graphic novel.  But HOW DO YOU DO IT!?  HOW do you break out of the workaday life and into that other life?  HOW I ASK YOU, HOW!?

>:(  x100

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sorry.

Gentle Reader,

I've been basically absent from the blog since the release of Version 2.0 of the General Leo Edition hack.  Not to go into a big story or anything, but I went out of town for a bit and now I am working on a really exciting new career opportunity.  Mia apologia to everyone who has been waiting for an e-mail reply, as well as the comments on the blog that had gone unanswered.  My bad!!!  But I'm back now! 

By the way, I started a tumblr account as a complement to this blog.  You can find it here:

The Mercy of Callouses on tumblr

Do any of my readers have their own tumblr accounts?  Let me know if ya do!

The nice thing about a "micro-blog" like tumblr is that I can post things quickly without having to invest too much time into it, including when I'm on the road.  It was also the perfect home for some GIF sets I made but that Blogspot just couldn't display as intended.  Still, that doesn't mean I'm going to forget about this site, which is still my main sounding board and jumping off point for major projects.

So again, mea culpa to all and to all a good night, and thanks again for following my wackiness and bizarre activities.

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Friday, November 1, 2013

DOWNLOAD - Final Fantasy VI: General Leo Edition Hack v2.0

Gentle Reader,


Version 2.0 of the General Leo Edition hack is here!  This is a pretty substantive bugfix and expansion of the earlier content.  Please see the included ReadMe file for details.  And... enjoy!

General Leo Edition Hack version 3.2 download (Updated 1/18/2016)
Romhacking.net article

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Siobhan Fahey


I think that Siobhan Fahey is quite possibly the most beautiful woman in the entire world.  The fact that she looks the way she does at 55 years of age is... it's just amazing.

55 is the new 40.  I'm hoping that it will be the new 30 by the time I get there, ha ha.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

WANT


Why him so grouchy???

Me just want to cuddle him until him smile.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DOWNLOAD - Final Fantasy VI: General Leo Edition Hack v1.1

Gentle Reader,

The first batch of players of the hack found a variety of bugs both large and small.  This new patch corrects those mistakes without changing any of the other significant content of the patch.

General Leo Edition Hack version 3.2 download (Updated 1/18/2016)
Romhacking.net article

Thanks again to everyone who's tried it out!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

General Leo Edition: Important Notice!!!

Gentle Reader,

Just found a pretty serious bug in the General Leo Edition hack, which will be corrected in Version 1.1.

General Leo joins the party when they return to the airship after the events at Thamasa.  Here's the thing... to get Leo to appear, when you are prompted to "Find the Floating Continent," "Lift-off," or "Not just yet," be sure to choose "Not just yet."  This is what actually activates Leo and adds him to the party.  If you don't do this the first time... then Leo won't join in the World of Balance.

I am so sorry that I didn't catch this! Again, it wasn't my intention to do it this way, and the error will be corrected in the next release!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DOWNLOAD - Final Fantasy VI: General Leo Edition Hack v1.0

Gentle Reader,


It's here!  So... give it a try!

General Leo Edition Hack version 3.2 download (Updated 1/18/2016)
Romhacking.net article

Here are some additional preview images.

Siegfried still isn't actually important.
A new scene with Leo!
Reinterpreting awkward translations.
Exploring Imperial household relationships...
Like adoptive father, like demented son...
Gogo and Umaro get some actual lines.
Maria, at last!!!

Links:
Update #2
Update #1 
Original Article

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Friday, September 6, 2013

UPDATE – Final Fantasy VI: General Leo Edition Hack

Gentle Reader,

The General Leo Edition Hack is progressing well.  Here are a few screenshots of new and updated content.

More screen time for minor characters.
Catching up in the World of Ruin.
There is new Siegfried content. (Sorry!)
Don't go into this unprepared...!
Always had a soft spot for Chupon.
You can get the dummied rages now!
Item and spell names are cleaned up.
Espers are generally improved.

Links:
Update #1 
Original Article

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Dandy Ideal

Gentle Reader,


Wow.  This is the biggest clothes-boner I have ever gotten in my life.  These clothes are just... just... like, wow.

He looks like a fashion plate from an alternate universe where Edwardian style sensibilities have somehow remained en vogue.  Or maybe he's from a steampunk-influnced future.  Well, whatever world he's from, I want to live in it.

Honestly, I would probably be THIS before I would be anything else.

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, August 26, 2013

UPDATE – Final Fantasy VI: General Leo Edition Hack

Gentle Reader,

Many commentators have suggested that the storytelling in Final Fantasy VI loses steam in its second half due to its nonlinearity.  (I agree with this assessment, though I would argue that the presentation itself remains excellent.)  However, what works well about the second half is that we get to see how the twelve initial party members have tried to find a place for themselves in an environment of isolation and ruin.  Some have done better than others, and many are haunted by memories of their old lives.

The primary aim of this project is to answer the question:  how would General Leo react to the end of the old world, and what would he end up doing in the new world?  General Leo doesn’t get that much screen time in the original game, but what we do see of him is impactful.  This is evidenced by the tremendous amount of interest in him even after so many years, despite his brief role in the action.  So, I think the question of how General Leo would deal with the ruined world is an interesting topic to explore, and one that has not been touched on before.

As I said in the previous article, the overall story is largely unchanged in the hack.  However, I did take advantage of a couple of opportunities to give General Leo more time in the spotlight.  Since he survives the attack on Thamasa, we get to see how he reacts to finding out once and for all that Emperor Gestahl is beyond redemption.  Will he accept this truth, or deny it?  Will he remain loyal to the Empire, if not to the Emperor?  And then, after the year of darkness, what type of role will give Leo a sense of purpose?  Will he try to repair the damaged world, and if so, how?

I also thought it would be best if Leo’s story in the second half could reflect the arcs for Terra and Celes, the two characters to whom he has the closest relationships.  Leo’s expanded story is connected to both of these threads, and ends up bringing to them a greater sense of resolution.  However, I have been mindful to try to take the existing story elements to a natural-seeming conclusion, rather than delving too far into fan fiction land, and I think I’ve succeeded in that.  I’m really very pleased with how it’s turning out so far, and I hope you will be, too!

And now… pretty pictures! ^_^

General Leo's new troops.
Hanging on the airship.
Initial stats.
100% bug-free equip menu.
Using his newly-learned spells.
Shock is way too overpowered!

Links:
Original Article

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Next Project

Gentle Reader,

Some time back, a reader who was commenting on my Playable Golbez Edition hack half-jokingly wished me luck on my inevitable General Leo Edition hack for Final Fantasy VI.  At the time I downplayed the idea, although it had crossed my mind, because what I really wanted to do was a Phantasy Star II hack.  Well... now that the Phantasy Star II Modernization hack is a reality, I think it's time to revisit old Leo.  So...


 I'm thinking it will take me a good while to get this one finished.  There is probably more hacking documentation out there on Final Fantasy VI than on any other major RPG, but I'm not familiar with any of it.  Although the documentation on this game is deeper than what I was able to find for Final Fantasy IV, it's also a lot more complicated and will take more time to digest.  With that said, however, these two teaser images are not mock-ups!

As with the Golbez hack, the idea here is to keep the storyline as intact as possible, but to reduce one of the main party members to "guest character" status in order to accommodate Leo.  The hardest part was deciding who to cut.  It has to be one of the main 14 party members, because there's no point in doing this if Leo has to stay a guest character.  However, it also needs to be someone who 1.) is not too central to the storyline; 2.) doesn't have a special ability too unique to lose; 3.) can be convincingly modified into Leo despite my limited hacking experience with this game; 4.) can be made to seamlessly rejoin the party in the World of Ruin without creating a major new story event; and 5.) can be inserted into the ending without major difficulty.  I'm pretty sure I know who the "lucky" character is going to be, though as with Edge in the Golbez hack, that character will still be an important part of the game world.

I plan to update some item, ability, and enemy names, as with my other hack projects, and probably create a few new items, too.  Beyond this, however, I only intend to change the elements that I must change for the purposes of the hack.  It will ultimately be the familiar Ted Woolsey version of the game, but with Leo as one of the permanent 14 party members.

Watch this space!

See Also:
Playable Golbez Edition
Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vector (Final Fantasy VI)


It was such a cool image that I just had to share it.

Add a little music to complete the effect...!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DOWNLOAD - Final Fantasy IV: Golbez Edition Hack v1.4

Gentle Reader,


Version 1.4 of the Playable Golbez Edition hack is now available.  Before you get too excited, this update is just a quick bugfix of the least release.  Specifically, it was pointed out to me that the last two revisions contained a bug that created problems for the Black Chocobo Farm in Toroia.  Version 1.4 repairs that bug but is otherwise identical to Version 1.3.

Click here to download:

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

Thanks!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Thursday, August 8, 2013

80's Cartoon Nostalgia Overload

Pole Position
1984-1985

Galaxy High
1986-1987

Dungeons & Dragons
1983-1984

Jem
1985-1988

The Transformers
1984-1987

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Modern Ghost Town

Gentle Reader,

We're on a road to nowhere.

A while back I took a day trip to visit three malls in my local area:  the Center Mall in midtown Omaha, the Brandeis Building in downtown Omaha, and the Southroads Mall in Bellevue.  These malls were built in different eras and in neighborhoods with very different personalities, yet they all have one trait in common.  Though each of them is still open to the public, they are all essentially dead, at least as far as retail business is concerned.  This has been the situation with each of them for well over ten years now.  Of the three, the Center has found a successful second life as an office complex.  Southroads briefly enjoyed such an existence but is now on its way to total abandonment and collapse.  All the while, the historic and quite beautiful Brandeis Building has been trying to reinvent itself as a desirable mixed-use complex of residential and business space, but with decidedly mixed results, at least so far.

A typical hallway at the Brandeis.

Let's look first at the Brandeis.  It was the original home of the JL Brandeis & Sons department store chain, and a destination in itself back when downtown Omaha was a shopping mecca.  (It's actually a great shopping area again, though only due to herculean efforts, following about 25 years of utter neglect and rot.)  Brandeis was bought out by Younkers in the 1980s and the store slowly faded from local consciousness.  I remember visiting the Brandeis many times in my youth, visiting the big store and the rare coin dealer and other shops, as well as eating at the McDonalds downstairs.  A few shops held on for a time after the big store moved out, but these were eventually replaced by office space.  I had to go there a few times in the early 2000s to pay my internet bill, and though there was no shopping to do by then, the place at least felt occupied.

Vacant business fronts at the Brandeis.

The Brandeis today is not in good shape.  The food court on the lowest level is pretty jumping during the week, and the top floors are now home to upscale condos, but woe upon anyone brave enough to explore the other areas of the building.  The first thing one notices is that it is VERY DARK.  These images are lightened up quite a bit because the originals came out almost black.  I can understand the management not wanting to waste money on lighting, but it creates an eerie atmosphere.  The other thing one can't help but notice is that the place bakes in the summer and is freezing cold in the winter.  Again, it's understandable, but it certainly doesn't make the building feel like a welcoming place to be.

Another road to nowhere.  (It's a theme.)

I understand that the condos at the Brandeis are absolutely gorgeous, and I can believe that.  The building itself is exquisite to look at, with lots of gargoyles, external lighting, and frilly decorations that give it a very Victorian feel.  The rest of the place though is foreboding and creepy, and also a feng shui nightmare, due to the way that the originally expansive areas have been divided up.  I was very surprised, while climbing a staircase that was labelled "ROOF ACCESS," to round a corner and find my face just inches away from a dark ceiling.  It really gave me a shock, like something from the Winchester Mystery House.  So, good luck to you, Brandeis.  I hope you can turn it all around, but...

Not much to do at the Center, really.

Next up is the Center Mall.  The Center was another Omaha landmark for decades.  It was actually one of the first enclosed malls ever built.  The DNA of the typical indoor mall is evident here, but one can also see that the whole concept was still in its early stages, as the setup of the Center is a bit off.  The mall consists of several public spaces over a 5-story structure.  What's odd is that some of the public spaces were originally connected only by the anchor stores, meaning that to get from one wing to the other one had to pass through the anchor stores.  This would have made good business sense for the anchors, but those anchors are no longer there, so to explore the place thoroughly, one has to go outside and walk around to one of the other exterior entrances.  One is at least shielded from the elements while doing so by the Center's other odd feature:  the entire structure is enclosed by a cage-like parking garage that winds along the outside of it.  This makes parking very convenient as all spaces are essentially right outside one door or another, but it has the side effect of giving the interior a sort of murky lighting level.  It always feels like a cloudy day inside the Center.

But at least it's clean.

With all of that being said, however, the Center was easily the happiest point on the tour.  It's sad to see all of the stores gone, as many of them were still hanging on even into my teen years, including a semi-prosperous Younkers anchor store.  Still, the entire mall is at a very high level of occupancy due to a large number of office-type businesses that have moved in.  There's no food court, but I did find self-serve snack stations, as well as a convenience store and a flower shop.  The place was empty on the weekend, but even with the lackluster lighting, it felt alive and upbeat.  Perhaps not as much as when there was both a bowling alley and a movie theater on site, but still, it's not bad, and not even slightly spooky.

The monolith.

I really wish I had a better camera.  My flip phone just can't capture the degree to which the Center is a veritable time capsule of 1960s aesthetics.  Wood panelling and dark brown tile abound, and all of the original (and quite distinctive) Center signage is still proudly in place.  The best part for me was the directory.  While the listings have been kept up to date (near as I could tell, anyway), everything about it screamed 1960s.  Today we're used to upright directory displays that are brightly colored and lit.  The Center's directory is a flat, black slab covered in tiny white backlit lettering.  It looks very much like a background prop from 2001: A Space Odyssey.  What a find, just so awesome!

Former anchor store entrance at Southroads.

The last stop on our tour is Southroads Mall.  This was by far the saddest point for me.  The Brandeis and Center were blips on the radar from my childhood, but Southroads, throughout my childhood and teen years, was THE mall in my world.  I suspect this is the case for most people between, say, 30 and 80 who live or lived in southern or eastern parts of the Omaha metro.  It was easily the smallest mall in the region, but dammit, it had heart.  Southroads was the little mall that could.  It was dwarfed by Crossroads, didn't have the ritzy appeal of Westroads, and was hopelessly dated next to the sparkling Oakview, but it remained the best place to shop for a huge section of the community.  The other malls were just too far away, so Southroads filled an important niche, and it did it well!

Just me and the tumbleweed.

There's been a lot of talk locally about what it was that killed Southroads Mall.  It's not difficult to explain the decline of this mall; the only controversy is in how great a role was played by each of the major factors.  For one, Southroads is on the extreme east side of the metro, whereas Omaha is always growing explosively to the west (as necessitated by geography).  So, as West Omaha grew and people moved west and new malls were developed out there, business shrank at Southroads.  There's also the fact that even with multiple ambitious facelifts, with bright paint and large exterior windows, the Southroads building could never be made to really feel like the newer, sleeker malls.  The most important factor, though, at least to my mind, was the development of the Kennedy Freeway.  It used to be that all traffic south, toward Kansas City and other areas, passed Southroads.  The final spiral of Southroads began after the construction of the freeway, and a quick drive down Fort Crook Road will show that the entire area has been economically blighted ever since.  That area is essentially an appendage on the south side of town, and with the cross traffic cut off, there was little to keep people coming through the area.  So, perhaps the death of Southroads was inevitable.  I tend to think so, much as I hate to say it.

Remember when...?

I moved away from southeast Omaha years ago, so I probably wouldn't shop at Southroads anymore even if it was still like it used to be.  Still, I get a little bit misty-eyed when I think back to the hubub of Southroads at Christmas, or eating lunch with my granny at the Woolworth's diner, or being treated to a new toy at Kay Bee and a gluttonous lunch at Pisa Pizza afterward.  Southroads was also the initial haunt of my teenage mall escapades, as it still had a lot of its old life left back in the mid-90s.  Even then, though, I think we all knew that the writing was on the wall.

Sorry, we're closed.  No, really.

The most fascinating part of the visit, I thought, was finding that the entire Southroads movie theater is still intact, from the ticket window to the concession area to the individual theaters themselves.  This came as a huge surprise to me, and I flashed back to all of the movies I'd seen there:  The Neverending Story II, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hocus Pocus, The Rocketeer, Beauty and the Beast, and so many others.  I think the last movie I saw there was The Blair Witch Project, so the theater was still up and running around 1999 or 2000.  Not sure when it closed, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the last elements to hang on.


Let's end it as we began it.

So what's there now?  Not much, really.  There's a gym that seems to be doing all right, and a restaurant, and a nail salon, and a couple of other small this-and-that.  The legendary Game Gallery arcade is long gone, as are all of the familiar stores, and even TD Ameritrade, who single-handedly propped up the mall for years by using the old Brandeis/Younkers suite as office space.

Is it sad to see these much-loved malls as they are today?  Yes, I have to say that it really is very sad indeed.  These aren't the only subjects I could have looked at, either.  The Crossroads Mall, situated at the busiest intersection in Omaha, died out rapidly in just a few years and is now slated for demolition.  Parkfair, an abortive attempt to jumpstart commerce near the Brandeis in the 1980s, died an early death and is now a parking garage.  Mall of the Bluffs, a very classy mall in neighboring Council Bluffs, also recently imploded.   I guess even the nicer malls are only safe until the next newest mall opens up.  It's really a downer to think about.

Humans seem to have evolved to expect permanence, but permanence is one luxury not afforded by life or nature.  Nothing lasts forever, even though it seems like it might, during the happy times.  That's just the way it is, and how it will probably always be.  C'est  la vie.

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Descent With Modification


The Donna Reed Show
Network:  ABC
Aired:  1958-1966

I don't know about you, but I find this video almost hypnotic.  It demonstrates how descent with modification--evolution, in other words--is present not only in biological lifeforms, but in all things.

For those who have yet to watch the video, it is simply a montage of all of the opening sequences from the run of this classic TV show.  The changes to the sequence from year to year tend to be mild, yet there is no denying the ultimate transformation from the demure 1950s culture of Season One, where Mom stays at home, to the much more dynamic mid-60s world of Season Eight, where Mom is dressed for success and headed out the door right behind Dad.

For someone of my generation (I was born 21 years after the show premiered), it is kind of remarkable to sit back and think about the changes that took place in the world while this show was on:  the blossoming of television, the civil rights movement, women's lib, the Cuban missle crisis, the Kennedy assassination, and on and on.  Donna's fictional family was subject to these forces along with everyone else, and we can get a sense of that through the changes in styles and the family's daily routine.  Their world starts out rather quiet and simple, orderly, but it becomes increasingly brassy and complex with the years.  Sure, part of this was due to no more than the basic tropes inherent to sitcoms, such as the constant need to inject fresh dynamics to keep the viewers' interest.  Yet, even those tropes were shaped by the events of the age.  You really can't separate out the parts.

A lot more than Donna's hair changed in those years, and we'd do well to remember that.  The world moved on, and even the blissful denizens of TV Land could not escape the inevitable.  Donna's hair was just the signpost marking the time.

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Inspired: Mario Paint

Gentle Reader,


Mario Paint
Publisher:  Nintendo
System:  Super Nintendo Entertainment System
USA Release:  1992


One of the top comments on this video said it best:  "Nintendo preparing a genration for Photoshop."

I must have spent huuuuuundreds of hours with Mario Paint when I was about 12 years old.  It's probably a big part of the reason why I am still obsessed with game design.  The color palette was pretty limited, but even so, it was incredibly flexible compared to similar offerings like Art Alive.  It was also my first experience ever with a mouse.  I'm guessing this was so for many thousands of people my age.

Thank you, Nintendo!  Mario Paint was one of your finest hours!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Rodimus Prime and friends

Gentle Reader,


Oh my gosh, it's my 7th birthday all over again!

Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Cyclonus and Scourge, and Rodimus, too...  It's been 25 years (errr, 27 actually), but I've still got 'em all!  :)  Now if only I had a decent display case!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Word Gets Around

Gentle Reader,


What what WHAT???  How did my Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack just get around 75 downloads in only two days?  WOW!  Is somebody out there spreading the word for me?  Regardless, I really appreciate it!

Russian Romhacking came through for me, just as they did a while back for my Playable Golbez Edition hack project.  Here's a rather Engrishy translation courtesy of Google Translate:

Fedorajoe made ​​and put in sharing special hack for the game «Phantasy Star II» on the Sega Mega Drive, which addresses a number of shortcomings. In particular, the game has been increased and the amount of money received by the experience, refined features characters, deleted useless items, increased the number of references to other games in the series, improved translation, bug fixes, and many others For details and to download the patch - here.

Thank you thank you thank you!

Links:
Russian Romhacking Article
Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack Verson 3.0 download (Updated 1/13/15)
Romhacking.net Article

See Also:
Original Article
Preview #1
Preview #2
Preview #3

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Those Crazy Aliens!

Gentle Reader,


This is another preview video for the Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack.  The purpose here is to illustrate how references to elements from other games in the series are referenced in the hack in order to increase the sense of continuity.  This is really a reference-a-rama, so you won't understand the references if you aren't familiar with Phantasy Star.

Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack Verson 3.0 download (Updated 6/23/15)
Romhacking.net Article

See Also:
Original Article
Preview #1
Preview #2

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, July 1, 2013

DOWNLOAD - Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack

Gentle Reader,


The Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack is now available!  The download file contains setup instructions.  Please share any bug reports or other feedback!

Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack Verson 3.0 download (Updated 6/23/15)
Romhacking.net Article

See Also:
Original Article
Preview #1
Preview #2

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PREVIEW #2 - Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack

Gentle Reader,


Here is a preview of the first Esper Mansion scene from my Phantasy Star II modernization hack. As with other elements of the hack, the idea here (beyond cleaning up the text itself) is to strengthen continuity by including more allusions to elements from other games in the series, and also to provide greater stylistic cohesion with Phantasy Star IV.

More to come, and thanks for watching!

Links:
Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack Verson 3.0 download (Updated 6/23/15)
Original Article
Preview #1

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Game Over Gallery

Gentle Reader,

I've always had a soft spot for game over music.  For whatever reason, the convention of the "game over" screen tends to result in rather nice pieces.  Perhaps game designers like to provide a soothing bit of music in order to calm a frustrated gamer.

Regardless, I collect this stuff!  And since the videos that I shared on this blog previously have been taken down by their channel operators, I took the liberty of reposting the pieces to YouTube myself.  Here's the result.



See ya later!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Saturday, June 15, 2013

PREVIEW - Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack

Gentle Reader,


Here is a preview of the attract mode text rewrite for my Phantasy Star II modernization hack. As with other elements of the hack, the idea here (beyond cleaning up the text itself) is to strengthen continuity by including more allusions to elements from other games in the series, and also to provide greater stylistic cohesion with Phantasy Star IV.

More to come, and thanks for watching!

Links:
Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack Verson 3.0 download (Updated 6/23/15)
Original Article

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy

Monday, June 10, 2013

Phantasy Star II Modernization Hack

Gentle Reader,


It is with tremendous pleasure and excitement that I announce my next major game hacking project:  a modernization and overall streamlining of 1989's Phantasy Star II for the Sega Genesis, one of my most beloved games of all time.

Features:
  • Technique arsenals are revamped for all characters (except for Rudo, who still does not use techniques).  As in Phantasy Star IV, characters who learn the base level of a technique will also learn whatever Gi-, Na-, and Sa- levels are available.  Hugh and Kain learn their specialized techniques quite early on in order to maximize their usefulness.  Anna and Shir are much more effective as support characters.  Also:  Amy, Hugh, Anna, Kain, and Shir learn all of their techniques as of level 25, so you can get full usage out of the entire team without having to do any power-grinding.
  • No more random discrepancies as to who can use which equipment.  Example:  Amy, Anna, and Shir can equip all of the capes, crowns, and emels in the game.  Characters still have strengths and weaknesses without the artificial crippling of grossly limited equipment.
  • The contents of shops are greatly simplified and dole out new equipment in a much more orderly, predictable, and sensible manner.
  • Useless low-level equipment like the Sonic Gun and Boomerang is retired in favor of new equipment, much of which will be familiar to players of the other games in the series.
  • Enemies provide experience and money at double the original rate.
  • The script is essentially unchanged, but I am fixing many large and small grammatical howlers.
  • Repairing as many bugs as possible from the original game.

Screencaps:

Rolf's late-game inventory
Late-game storage locker
Amy's late-game technique arsenal
Hugh's late-game technique arsenal
The game's first armor shop
The game's last weapon shop
Finally, it's possible to buy the atomizers! ^_^

The hack is currently about 90% complete.  I've been able to implement all of the features that I initially planned, excluding one thing:  I have not been able to figure out how the game controls which special effects are produced by weapons and armor when they are used as items in battle.  If you know how this works, or are willing to help me figure it out, please contact me.

Thanks!

Ever Yours,
Fauntleroy