I finally cleared out the boxes in my apartment! Wild that it took over five, maybe six years and a pandemic, but I've managed to eke out room for a spare bed and a separate room for Raindare, which she's been enjoying immensely. Farah the cat has been a bit fussy about the loss of boxes though she seems happier to be by her favorite human during most hours of the day.
The website has undergone a few changes, which I won't highlight this time, only because very few bits are "finished" and there's now a bit more of a push to show off works that are still in progress. I've not been as able to find the time personally contribute stories and content as work has been taking up more headspace and gym has been taking up more energy.
Black/Matrix 00 is amazing, but hard to relay in website form. The trouble is it's a 50+ hour strategy RPG structured as a visual novel, (very) loosely based on an 8 to 10 hour Game Boy Advance game. It is on the level of a Trails game to translate and effectively localize before even considering the alternate routes, the good endings and bad endings, and the mass of optional dialogue in town segments. I'm not sure how to make content for this game! A screenshot playthrough of Devil Children Red Book seems more feasible in the not-too-distant future. Maybe Black/Matrix 00 will get some pages recovered from the archived web, we'll see.
Raindare's KMT2 screenshot playthrough has mostly stalled on account of us playing Black/Matrix 00. We are about a third of the way through a Persona 3 in terms of running time and still on disk 1 of 2, for perspective. We're still working on website bits! It just happens that video games that clock in at above ten hours of running time are tricky to fit into adult lives.
Life remains a bit busy, hoping to get onto a better project sooner than later. First there are some people issues to sort out and tempers to allay. Once that's resolved, I'd like to get back to writing.
In the meantime, Raindare made enough progress on her Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei II romhack that she's willing to show off more of her work. To that end, she's cleaned up her notes on findings in the ROM itself and started pulling together a screenshot playthrough of what the game is like.
After taking a small break from Skeb requests, Otugei found the time to do a really amazing picture of Raindare's Vivian from the Witches and Artifice stories. We got a few appeals from other artists to do more art of Vivian since, which surprised both of us. I suppose we'll have to figure out a way to showcase that sometime!
On account of a depression that's led to fewer website updates, I've been making a point of eating healthier (vegan) and doing a moderately aggressive workout three times a week. This has helped, though I understand it's not widely applicable advice!
Raindare and myself finished a play through of Devil Children Red Book. That inspired her and my own self to do short form reviews of games we had something interesting to write about. It's all Megaten at the moment as that's what we've been playing just before and since marriage.
Keeping with a theme of angel people and devil people in 90s/2000s era anime games, I expect we'll move on to Black/Matrix 00 (pronounced "Double Oh") next. It's a bit more Tactics Ogre inspired, which might be more to Raindare's liking, and it still fits the post-Evangelion fascination of Judeo-Christian matter.
Raindare and myself have been mid way through bigger stories. To get out of a sort of writer's block, Raindare started a series of drabbles in Moss Bay, and I did a bit in Hokkaido introducing two new characters, Offspring of the Cosmos.
Two more translations of Ma's speculation about the world of Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II have been rendered; on the west side of Tokyo in 2036 and Tokyo Tower Witch mysteries. Ma (aka もこもこ) is a wonderful friend whom I shared old guide books and enthusiasm for the game with on a strange, ailing website called Twitter once upon a time, I hope she continues to do well as far as sharing her own fiction and rambles.
For Valentine's Day, I've started a new branch of stories under Word of Night.
To start with, a short work that serves as an introduction; By Fire, starring C and Eleanor. Raindare has reacted pretty positively to having me try to take on longer form fiction in the Maghreb. We'll see how this goes!
Raindare has been working on more fan fiction, though on account of vaccines and her green card finally arriving, that will take a little more time.
It's been awhile!
Though I've been hoping to give an update on new fiction, I've been a bit more focused on transcription and preservation over the past few weeks.
There's a new section dedicated to the vintage Westwood game Circuit's Edge, itself an interactive novel based on the North African cyberpunk universe of When Gravity Fails that just happens to take place in a dungeon RPG engine. Though that old DOS game has shown up in a few places, I haven't seen any references to the original manual or the author's setting background materials. To fill that void, I've made a point of reprinting all of that here, starting with an introduction to the game.
Alongside that is a section dedicated to D2 Megaten, which wife and I spent much of our COVID times playing before I got a game console more recent than a PlayStation Vita. The main push behind that has been to catalog as much of the (easily missed) story behind the main Wizardry-like mode, also known as Hollow World or Aura Gate 2. With ten floors left and a story mode epilogue, I'm pretty close to wrapping that up.
The last ten floors of Aura Gate 2 that I've recorded dialog for (31F to 40F) happen to be pretty closely associated with office humor of a sort. This past week has made that feel somewhat timely.
Left drifting out in space is You Learn Noise, from an impromptu monologue by ARavingLoon where he espoused one way to square the past with the present.
Finally, thanks to m15o for welcoming the website this journal is hosted on to Nightfall City proper. It's a warm, fuzzy place that I hope our writings are helping to add to. Go check out everybody else's websites!
I've written a Raindare-approved wrap-up of 2022, from getting married to my experiences with the Japanese side of social networking services, and what we're hoping to do with this website in the coming year.
Thank you for taking the time to check out this journal! Wherever you are in life, I hope you're doing well, and I hope your 2023 turns out great.
A Devil Children section has been added. Kicking off with a summary translation of the twentieth anniversary Q&A with the lead writer of the original setting, or the (scenario) "planner" as it's often phrased in the credits of Japanese games.
I am hopeful that this site will continue to pick up obscura from lesser visited parts of the web of interest. Perhaps something like Chris' fan site dedicated to the many ports and direct sequels to Shin Megami Tensei for the Super Famicom, or the classy Boltac's Trading Post, to name a few.
Between now and the new year, I expect to write a more personal piece reflecting on the events of the last year, with some ideas for what this site will become. I hope you look forward to it.
In light of troubled times behind us, and the holiday season right here, it's good to have A Chance to Relax. Featuring the gloom-sensitive witch Vivian and the highly abrasive Matsumi.
Within the last month, a full archive of Raindare's fan fiction has been assembled from the depths of ao3, from early works based on the Len'en Project to more recent bits involving underrated Tactics Ogre characters.
Raindare has a soft spot for writing stories about Sapporo, Hokkaido. It just so happens to be the focus of Mem's observations on Sapporo, New and Old.
Opened up a new section for stories centered primarily around Mem, The Mechanical Lady of Abriel, as she goes on an adventure in post-disaster Hokkaido.
Raindaire just finished a new story with the Burning Angels, The Garage.
Taking place before the three arrived in Moss Bay, the trio meets a character who has been doing quite well in the present circumstances...
Added a new section on Megami Tensei II with a translation of Ma's (まー) Megami Tensei II official setting summary, provided by Raindare.
This game means quite a bit to us both. I hope others are able to discover and appreciate this largely ignored gem from when Final Fantasy III was the standard bearer for JRPGs.
First step towards making a tiny journal, with the intent of tracking contributions to this site.
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