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›› Mystic Ark

Published by ›› Enix
Published on ›› July 14th, '95
Platform ›› SNES
Genre ›› RPG
First Release ›› September 22nd, '09
Current Version ›› 1.01
Released on ›› September 26th, '09

Mystic Ark

Progress ~ Ancient Magic: Script Fully Inserted Ancient Magic
# Posted on May 1st, 2010 03:35 PM by Gideon Zhi
A few days ago I finally managed to get Ancient Magic´s auto-format routine working nearly 100%. What this means, in effect, is that I add a single control code at the start of a string, and the game itself adds line breaks where appropriate. This is complicated by Ancient Magic´s text system for two reasons. First, there is no standard "line break" command like most games have; instead, the game has a "print cursor position" command, which takes X and Y parameter bytes. Second, the routine likes to recursively call itself, most notably to differentiate between the speech patterns of the male and female main characters. These have been fully retained in the text translation, and the routine is currently navigating said recursive jumps with about 98% accuracy. Of course we need 100%, but it´s really cool to see nonetheless.

The *nice* thing about the super annoying Cursor Position command is that it lets me tweak menus like crazy, and take advantage of the double-spacing that ten-ten marks usually occupy. I´ve also managed to add max hp and max mp indicators to the battle window, which the original game did not have!

I don´t know how much longer this will take, but I´d like to have it being playtested in a week or two. No guarantees on that, of course.
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Progress ~ Tactics Ogre enters playtesting. Tactics Ogre ~ Let Us Cling Together
# Posted on March 27th, 2010 12:25 AM by Gideon Zhi
Yeah, that´s right! There are still two or three small things that need fixing, but things are pretty tight as it is. My testers are loaded with cheats and will hopefully run it pretty quickly. We´re hoping for a speedy test phase, followed by a release!
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Progress ~ Tactics Ogre much closer Tactics Ogre ~ Let Us Cling Together
# Posted on March 6th, 2010 06:24 PM by Gideon Zhi
Attached below are screenshots of stuff I´ve fixed over the last couple of days. First one shows the finalized L-view character list, while the second shows an expanded S-view character portrait window and hacked "Start: Parameter" graphic. Expanding that window was a right pain in the arse, let me tell you - and it still doesn´t function 100% correctly when the screen scrolls up or down. I´ve since fixed some major crashes, some nasty non-crash glitches, and a lot of really bizarre stuff, including stuff that worked breaking inexplicably later on down the line.

All that said, it´s look a *lot* nicer, and aside from the introduction to politics if you let the game sit at the title screen twice, you can play up to the world map without encountering any Japanese or glitches. The Warren Report menus still need rather a lot of work, the dates still display in Japanese on the map, I haven´t really tested much of the intermission stuff and the aforementioned political introduction is still broken (it´s only displaying one line of four) but otherwise I think I´ve fixed most of the biggest issues. It´s certainly a lot more stable than it used to be!
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Progress ~ Alpha Has an Editor Super Robot Wars Alpha
# Posted on February 23rd, 2010 01:56 AM by Gideon Zhi
Please welcome Antialias, recruited in desperation from the depths of /m on 4chan, to the SRW Alpha project. When he passed me these images two weeks ago he´d edited up through the route merge at scenario 6 (of 57.) So I´ve uploaded a bunch of the stuff he sent me to showcase his work! The two snaps below are now in the game´s gallery, along with nine more new snaps. Enjoy!
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Progress ~ Tactics, Making Progress Tactics Ogre ~ Let Us Cling Together
# Posted on February 23rd, 2010 01:35 AM by Gideon Zhi
In the last 24 hours or so, I´ve fixed a couple of major issues. One of them was hopefully the last of the hiccups resulting from the conversion of the text routine into something that´ll accept a different format of text. Another was a crash surrounding the default name for your squad. This means you can actually play past the third map now without the game blowing up in your face.

There are still a lot of issues, though. One of the tutorials has a bad button press in its script, which is causing it to go out of sync and lock up. A lot of the interfaces need to be tweaked, windows moved and expanded, and every once in a while there´ll be a *really* horrible glitch with some of the graphics, though I have a feeling this is a result of a hook misfire with some of the code I´ve added to the game. I´ll have to double check.

Getting much closer, though.
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Progress ~ Merry Christmas, and Apologies
# Posted on December 26th, 2009 08:15 PM by Gideon Zhi
I´d hoped to have Megami Tensei (as in, the original) out yesterday, but due in part to being with relatives for the last 48 hours (without internet) I was unable to post this yesterday. Unfortunately this is not the biggest problem with my plan, as several extraordinarily nasty bugs (including the one pictured in the screens below, which refused to die and killed my entire party quite handily) have reared their heads and are preventing the release. The game is mostly done, I think, though I do want to get some of the more nonsensical text segments doublechecked, but the issue is largely due to the physical expansion of the ROM.

Physical expansion (i.e. making the game bigger and being able to fit more text in) is a relatively easy task when dealing with SNES games. Not so with the NES. The glitches - possibly related to timing and interrupts - were initially discovered to be causing visual corruption in the maze layouts. These are easily ameliorated by simply turning your view, but given that this is a first-person dungeon crawl, the bug was deemed serious enough to hold back a release. However when I endeavored to play further, I encountered several further problems, including the Mappa spell´s output (a minimap in the left-hand pane) locking in place instead of moving with the player, Nakajima dropping to level 1 after gaining a level in battle yet retaining all of his statistics while Yumiko progressed normally, and of course, the nasty creature pictured in the attached screens, which frankly seemed to be unkillable. Given the severity of these issues, I cannot yet in good faith release the game to the public.

(I´ve actually just finished talking with Liana, who you may remember from Metal Max Returns. She´s done some research and apparently the Bug enemy is not a bug. I hope that sounds as odd to you as it did when I wrote it! The other issues still stand, though.)

However, I *HAVE* done a lot of work on the game in the last week. I´ve tweaked the font to be a bit more uniform and much more readable (I´ve un-bolded a few of the letters and straightened out the heights), and I´ve redrawn the bland "DON" that appears when you bang into a wall to be a much more fancy "BAM" (pictured below.) I´ve re-researched all of the enemy names and brought them up to speed with proper romanizations. Several of them don´t appear in any other Megami Tensei title, or certainly not in any that have been released in English - examples include Akhushtal, Viy, A Bao A Qu, Bathym and Myrrha. I´ve inserted most, if not all, of the miscellaneous text in the game - and Lord knows there´s plenty of the stuff. I wouldn´t be at all surprised to find out that I´d missed some.

I´ll post more news when I have it. Can´t say when that´ll be, though, and I apologize again if I´ve disappointed anyone.
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Progress ~ LUNAR not quite ready LUNAR Walking School
# Posted on December 5th, 2009 01:56 AM by Gideon Zhi
I´ve edited Chapter 9 and am a good way through 10 (just done with the townie text), but 11 and 12 are going to be long ones. However, I have been posting brief updates to Twitter when they´re available. I´m working hard on it, but LUNAR has a very particular flavor to it, and getting that across while still maintaining textual accuracy can be very tiring.
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Progress ~ LUNAR: No promises, but... LUNAR Walking School
# Posted on November 30th, 2009 02:44 AM by Gideon Zhi
No promises, but if I can manage to edit even one chapter each day this week, LUNAR: Walking School might just be available by the weekend. I finished editing Chapter 7 (of 12) today, and as a bonus plowed through 8. Four left...
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Progress ~ Holy Umbrella enters beta testing. Holy Umbrella: Dondera´s Wild!!
# Posted on October 29th, 2009 02:40 PM by Gideon Zhi
Betatesting on Holy Umbrella started last night. Should be a pretty quick deal, all told; the game is not very long and is a *lot* more stable than Mystic Ark was. It DOES have a lot of text, though! A surprising amount of text.

I´ve completely replaced the snapshot gallery with up-to-date material - 22 brand new screenshots, two of which you can see here.
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Progress ~ Mystic Ark Beta Test Progressing Smoothly Mystic Ark
# Posted on September 16th, 2009 12:03 PM by Gideon Zhi
Mystic Ark entered playtesting on Sunday afternoon, and the tests have been progressing smoothly. We´ve been moving at a quick pace (but are not sacrificing accuracy for speed) and are up to the fifth world on our initial playthrough. Second playthrough should go pretty quickly, faster than the initial one anyway. I´ve replaced the old screenshots on the project´s page with 28 new ones showcasing the current work on the game.
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