Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm Not Dead!

    Whoops! I guess it's been a while since I posted anything on this blog... and I'm hoping to fix that. School kind of got in the way, and then work, and then lazyness, and so on and so on. It seems all I have is excuses, but oh well. But I'm back, and that's what matters, right?
    Anyway, I hope to be bringing some more substance to this blog. Work on more analyses of game series, some popular, and some more forgotten series. I also want to do more in depth looks into forgotten or unpopular games.
    I additionally want to continue my scanlation of Ultima: Terror of Exodus. I kind of stumbled, trying to decide what to do with the sound effects, whether to leave them, remove them, or replace them. I started it off replacing the sound effects - a long, time intensive activity. For now I'll probably just continue removing the sound effects, then afterward, adding the translated version back in. Expect Ultima: Terror of Exodus Update #2 to come soon!
    Hopefully I am back for good - I would hate to come back just to fade away again.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Elder Scrolls Travels

    Spurred on by my last post, I decided to attempt and create a launcher for the TEST games. Of course it can't include Shadowkey, but best just ignore that for now.
    I managed to find all three of the available TEST games, Stormhold, Dawnstar, and Oblivion. The first version of Stormhold I found was a Russian translation, but I opted to find an English version. I then found an emulator to run them, KEmulator.
    I decided to try and put them all into a launcher, like the ill-fated attempt with the Ultima games. This time, however, I wanted for the person to put the game folder wherever they wanted on their computer and still be able to run the games. Because the games open up through a shortcut, I needed to make the shortcuts relative. This was not that easy. Queue an hour or so digging around on Google until I found a way of doing it (You can thank this website for the idea). With that done I needed to create the actual launcher.
    I decided to use Virtual Basic again, as I had some knowledge on how to use it. Setting up the layout was easy enough; I just placed a few buttons and put the title. The hardest part was, again, making the path for the launcher to start the games relative. I dug around until I found the first instructional video on making a game launcher for virtual basic that I watched, as I remembered the video showed how to make the launcher relative. I found it and did what it said, and it didn't work at first. It turned out to be my fault, I had forgotten a slash. I tried it again and it still didn't work. And, again, it was my fault; I forgot to build the version (really stupid).
   In the end, I actually got it working. The games aren't that good, but it's cool none the less.
Elder Scrolls Travels Oblivion running in KEmulator
The launcher interface

Here is the download: The Elder Scrolls Travels Launcher
    Thanks for reading and I hope you come back next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Elder Scrolls and the Nokia Ngage

    A while ago, I got obsessed with the Elder Scrolls series. I got the three most recent games (Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim), got the first two (Arean and Daggerfall) from the Elder Scrolls website, and even managed to find the two spinoffs (Redguard and Battlespire).
    I actually really enjoyed playing Redguard; it was a pleasant action-adventure game in the vein of Tomb Raider. The gameplay is pretty good, with a slightly awkward fighting mechanic, but otherwise pretty workable game. It leans heavily on lore, with tons of necessary dialog and story constantly thrown at you. I, however, am fine with this. I fell in love with the history of the Elder Scrolls series with Skyrim, and all this lore in Redguard was cool with me.
    Anyway, back to the point at hand. So I found all these games, but I knew that there was more. Four more to be exact: the games in the Elder Scrolls Travels series. They are, in order of release, Stormhold, Dawnstar, Shadowkey, and Oblivion (the mobile version, not the computer or canceled psp version). I have searched for these, and they are not easy to find. And even if I did find them, I'm not sure how I'd play them
    The one I searched for the most, however, was Shadowkey. Shadowkey was the only 3D Travels game released. Unfortunately, it was only ever released for the Nokia Ngage. No matter how hard I searched, I couldn't find an Ngage emulator. There are one or two things that call themselves Ngage emulators, but are unable to play any of the actual Ngage games. I eventually consented to the fact that it would be impossible to play Shadowkey on my computer.
    So now I'm just searching for good Ngage and copy of Shadowkey (for a reasonable price) to pop up on ebay. There are a few up right now that I have my eye on, but still not sure whether it would be worth it. Shadowkey only got mediocre reviews, but I have kind of been obsessing over it.
    But that is just what I do. I obsess over something until I get it, play with it a bit, then move on to the next thing. For now, however, I'll just keep on looking.
    Thanks for reading, and I hope you come back next time!

    If anyone has found a way to play the Travels games on the computer (or has even just found their files), I would love to see it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ultima: Terror of Exodus Update #1

    I've decided to post what I have scanlated of ToE already up to the blog. Don't expect this much progress each update, it has taken many hours over many days just to get this far.
    There are a few notes I should talk about:
  • The sfx font I think I'll change later on, as I don't really like how it looks right now. As you can see, I've stopped putting it in in the later ones, while I search for a more suitable font.
  • I've decided to be boring and just use Wildwords as my bubble font, it just looks so right.
    Without further ado, here is the manga. I'll put any comments in the captions.

I have not yet changed the cover, as I do not know Japanese, and have been relying
on this translation.

Unfortunately, It was almost impossible to fit Sattava's quote in his bubble
with legibly sized text. I tried my best, I guess. I will probably change that

The SFX on this page were horrendous to remove. They were all over the

    Thanks for reading this and my blog! Hope you come back!

The Ultima Series

    The Ultima series. The beginning of rpg video games. A huge series of games stretching across many years, console generations, and computer types. I've recently become engrossed with collecting all the different games. At first I only collected the ones from the main series, 1-9, but split off and collected them all. I did my best to find all the versions for each game, for every console and dos release.
    I found all 19 games, Ultima I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII part 1, VII part 2, VIII, IX, Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, Worlds of Ultima 1 and 2, Runes of Virtue 1 and 2, Akalabeth, Escape from Mt. Drash, and Ultima online. I found all the versions I could; I found all the console and computer ports, like the NES, SMS, SNES, and for Exult, as well as the fanmade remakes of V and VI and two launcher versions of Ultima Online. There are tons I'm probably missing as well.
    I didn't stop there either. I collected all the Ultima novels, like the aptly named Ultima Saga, and the Technocrat War, Ultima manga (I'll come back to this later), and some manuals, maps, and clue books.
    After collecting all these items, I decided to put them all into a launcher, so I could easily find the game or book or whatever when I wanted to. I ended up using Microsoft Visual Basic to create the launcher, due to it's relatively easy to use interface. It took a few days of finagling, but I managed to get it working. It definitely wasn't complete, but it was good enough. I decided to very creatively name it the Ultima Launcher.
    After some debating with myself, I decided to release it to the world. But first, I needed to test it out. I put the file together (a bulky 10.2 GB) and put it on another PC. I put it in it's spot, started the launcher, and it worked! Kinda. 
    The games launched using dosbox worked fine, but almost all the other emulators had little problems. The fanmade remakes of V and VI are both mods of Dungeon Siege, and when I tried starting them up, tons of errors started popping up. Just clicking through them, saying that I'd fix them later, the game seemed to start up fine, and testing it seemed to work, but that is still iffy. And for the Rune of Virtue gameboy games to work, the computer will need to have Directx Runtime installed for them to run. Another problem is that for Ultima IX to work, you need to go into its options.ini file and manually change the resolution to your resolution, otherwise it will crash.
    It was just plauged with little problems like that that made me drop releasing to the public, at least for now. I will continue to work out these bugs and stuff for the launcher, but I've changed my focus. I've been looking at those, and have become obsessed with a smaller part of my obsession. Crazy, huh?
    It has been a journey finding anything about these; out of the four, I found three, out of the three, two are complete, out of the two, one is in English. The incomplete one is in English as well, however, so all is not lost. I have to thank the author of this website for combining these translations with scans of the pages for both the complete Ultima: Quest of the Avatar and the partial Ultima: The Fall of Magincia. That website is also the only place I have found scans of those two manga, english or not. 
    I have recently taken it upon myself to scanlate Ultima: The Terror of Exodus. This is made much easier by Pix's scan of the manga and, again, Capowski's translations. I'm only on the 20th page of 100-something manga, and alot of the early pages had no text. The actual changing of the bubble text isn't that hard, it's the darn sound effects that cover huge areas in buisy parts of the manga. It will take a long time to just do one symbol, as I also have to make it look natural with the background. It will be a while before I have anything real to release on that front.
    But I guess that is it for now. I'll report back with any progress later. Thanks for reading through my rambling post. I hope you come back next time!

    If anyone can find anything about Ultima: Maze of the Schwarzschild, that would be awesome. I have nothing but a cover.

A Beginning

Hello World!
    This is my first blog, and I don't really know what I'm doing. I guess I'll just say what I'll do.
    I plan on making this blog on my adventures in playing, studying, making, and reviewing video games, as well as some of the accessories that come with them, i.e. "feelies" like manuals, cases, special edition bonuses, etc, as well as video game related items like movies, comics, books, cartoons, TV shows, manga, anime, toys, products, and whatever else falls into my lap.
    I will mainly focus on things I am obsessed with at that moment, making multiple blog posts about it before moving on to the next.
    Hey, I hope you stay and stick around for my next post. Thanks!