Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fatal Limits - [RMHistoria]

"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Most RPG Maker games tend to have very traceable influences and they vary based on the choices an author would make. To say Fatal Limits is a recreation of Final Fantasy 7 isn’t quite accurate. It starts off at roughly the story beat in FF7 where Cloud and crew decides to rescue Aeris from Shinra as opposed to a bombing mission equivalent. Only, you aren’t terrorists, you simply want to escape the city and travel the world. There are tiny little details that are divergent from FF7, and it’s interesting to see how even the style of the cutscenes and phrasing mimic the source material and then don’t. I think it proves that unless you are actually lifting exact moment to moment aspects of the source material directly, there are still ways in which a game can define itself...."

(from RMHistoria - March 17, 2019)
Please check out RMHistoria!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Confessions of a teenage asset ripper ----- A better class of art thief: []

(from by Giada Zavarise - May 24th 2018)

"...I never played Secret of Mana 2 on the Super Nintendo, but I could recognize its trees in a blink. I saw them in countless other games, their lush branches decorating the corners of fantasy worlds filled with magic, dragons, and bugs. Oh, so many bugs. I’ve never played the first Star Ocean, the Suikoden series, Terranigma, or Chrono Trigger. But I know them. They are games I’ve always appreciated in a disjointed state, their plants and furniture dissected and laid out on sprite sheets like tiny organs on an autopsy table. I saw all this because, when I was a teenager, I illegally ripped art assets from commercial games..."

"...Before 2005, the amateur game-making tool RPG Maker didn’t have an official publisher. The community thrived in the shadows, a bunch of teenagers armed with cracked, unofficially-translated copies of the engine, and one shared dream: making games as cool as Final Fantasy. Teens with no preparation, no guidance, and no bloody idea of what they were doing.

RPG Maker is an intuitive tool, and people were quick to master it even without official support. But all games need art assets to shine, and most of those teens had never used graphics software more complicated than MS Paint. That’s why they – we – turned to stealing art from other games. Ripping assets was not a new concept to the pre-pubescent indie scene. GameMaker users were ripping as well, and some famous GameMaker games from that era, like Ark 22, feature a number of ripped and edited graphics. Ripping from commercial titles soon became an integral part of the early RPG Maker days..."

"...People often feel OK about downloading those old, forgotten games from clandestine websites, but using old assets from forgotten games in your own non-commercial endeavour is still a taboo. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to salvage whatever we can from our past? To celebrate it in a new form?..."

"...When a work enters the public domain, everyone becomes free to change it, redistribute it, and use parts of it for their own creations. In the world of literature, this freedom gave birth to literary mashups, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and to new novels featuring borrowed characters, like The Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s a form of fan-fiction, in a sense (another kind of homage that is getting difficult for videogame authors, with more and more projects taken down by cease and desist letters).

Pop art got Andy Warhol and endless replicas of Marilyn Monroe’s face. Songs have covers and remixes. Novels have fan-fiction. Moms have decoupage. Will games ever be allowed to have the same freedom? We’re used to seeing old games being remastered and rebooted. I hope one day we will be allowed to remix them."

Via RockPaperShotgun

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Stop Hating on 'RPG Maker,' the Easy-Bake Game Development Tool - [MOTHERBOARD]

(from MOTHERBOARD by David Jagneaux - May 24th 2018)

"...If you browse the RPG Maker forums or the various digital indie game storefronts like or Steam Greenlight, you can see why. They're filled with shoddy efforts that appear to have been created in an afternoon using nothing but stock art assets that come with the program. Broken english, bad level design, poorly written stories, boilerplate interaction, and inconsistent pacing are just some of the problems that often plague these games.

To the Moon’s promotional art work. Image: Freebird Games.
...The most important thing a developer can do to protect the vision of their game is creating unique content that goes beyond this base level of production," said Justin Amirkhani, creative director at Vagabond Dog. "With the proper application of fresh art and uniquely developed mechanics, it can be difficult to discern if a game was even made using RPG Maker. Developers who take the time and effort to make their product their own need not fear any stigma, regardless of what engine they create with."

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

(Archive) Corpse Party - Dante98 (Japanese)

(I made a vow not to upload Corpse Party until I could find  the original Japanese PC-98 version copy of Corpse-Party PC-98, I have.)

The Original PC-98 version of corpse party is available through webarchive on enterbrain's site.
The emulator to play it is also available through enterbrain as well. (Use D2 by Mr.Nakao instead!) I've include the emulator and the game as a download:

---(Warning, Full Screen only)----
---How to play Japanese RPGMaker Games (Google it)---
PC Download (Japanese)
Mac Download (Japanese)(Mouse only)
(you'll need to quit by selecting the last option from the save menu)


--For the playable English PC freeware remake---please check out:
CorpseParty-Rebuilt- over on, these guys are a really cool fan translation group that are translating a whole bunch of really cool japanese rpgmaker games.

(from : CORPSE-PARTY (PC-98))

CORPSE-PARTY (コープスパーティー Kōpusu Pātī?) is the original survival horror adventure game in the Corpse Party series created by KENIX SOFT. It was made using the RPG Tkool Dante 98 program for the NEC PC-9801 home system, and it was released in Japan on April 22, 1996. It is usually known under the abbreviation Dante 98 (Dante98版 Dante98 Han?) in Japan and occasionally as CP98 overseas.

On December 17th, 1992, a Japanese group called ASCII released a program titled RPG Tkool Dante 98 for the Japanese exclusive home system known as NEC PC-9801 which allowed people to develop their own role-playing games. They further promoted their tool by publishing a monthly magazine titled LOGIN Sofcom where amateur developers could submit their creations. On April 22nd, 1996, an adventure game called CORPSE-PARTY was published in the Spring 1996 edition of LOGIN Sofcom No.6. It was made by a 22-year-old college student by the name of Makoto Kedouin. On February 26th, 1997, Kedouin won second place in the Second Annual ASCII ENTERTAINMENT competition, netting him 5 million yen [$61,675.00 USD].

This game was remade nine years later for the mobile under the title Corpse Party: NewChapter. This new version would later be ported to the PC as Corpse Party BloodCovered and once again to the PSP as Corpse Party: BloodCovered ...Repeated Fear.

On September 1, 2011 Corpse Party saw a sequel, titled Corpse Party: Book of Shadows for PSP and iOS which further tells the story about the Kisaragi students. Since then, Corpse Party had many spin-offs, manga adaptations, an OVA and a live-action movie.
Three years after the release of Book of Shadows, the final part to Heavenly Host saga was released, called Corpse Party: Blood Drive for PSVita.

About a year before Corpse Party: BLOOD DRIVE was released, the first chapter of a new project titled Corpse Party 2: DEAD PATIENT was released. Taking place five years after the conclusion of Heavenly Host Elementary School saga, it serves as the latest installment of the series.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

(Archive) Kindred Saga - RM2k - GamingGroundZero

Update: Reposting, because people kept visiting the old blog page,
(Decided to update this to RTP-free, the old entry can be found here download below)
(The rest of the GamingGroundZero Games, can be found here)
"Sparked a new era of rm2k games." - Aug 2003
"The first real custom system(s) game to wow the community." - June 2012
"Literally taught me how to program as a kid." - anonymous Oct 2017

"It is only a matter of time…before I consume you” These are the words that plague Slain's dreams, as he awakens in Terrason, a now dead city, segregated by class, into a chain of districts, each separated by an impenetrable wall. He along with Jagan and Lance, live in District 5 of the Dayga Block, an impoverished area where inhabitants struggle to get by, crowding in wherever there is space.

With plans of stealing the Genesis Rune from Bendale Manor, an invaluable gem worth millions, Jagan and the others, hope of finally leaving the city in search of a better life. But on the night of their biggest heist, Slaine is haunted by a recurring dream of a dark magician, a kindred spirit who threatens to consume his soul...

Released in 2001, Kindred Saga is a game created by Qheretic (of GamingGroundZero) which utilizes a custom side-battle-view system in rpgmaker2000
(1 year before rpgmaker2003 was released!)

Kindred Saga combines:
- the co-op tech abilities of Chrono Trigger,
- the character field puzzles of Breath of Fire,
- the dark and dreary setting of Final Fantasy 7's midgar,
as well as many other influences found in jrpgs from the mid to late 90s.

While unfinished, Kindred Saga served as a major influence for many aspiring rpgmakers during the early 2000s that still contribute to rpgmaker to this day. We've decided to upload the game here for reference sake, as part of the rpgmaker classic archive initiative, in order to give future makers the opportunity to examine how it utilizes various game mechanics from numerous jrpgs in order to create something new - so that these games are not forgotten.

Mac (Beta)
-lag during battles/picture use
-Issues with Midi playback on Mac Operating System:
- OS X 10.6, 10.7, (midi is too quiet/certain songs will lead other songs to not play right - if this happens, save, quit/close, then reload the game)
-lag and sound issues aside, otherwise 100% playable

Saturday, August 4, 2018

(Reference) - RPGMAKER 101: An Intro to Development and Community

(Rindre, Hogwash and Meake did a really cool panel at AnimeNEXT June 2018)

"Love when your favorite Youtuber played The Witch’s House? Ever wanted to make a game, but programming complex code seems terrifying? Join our lovely dev guides Meaka, Hogwash, and Rindre as we walk you through all things RPGMaker. The past, the present… and maybe you, the future!

Part of our discussion of RPG Maker and its history will include “landmark” games made in the engines, such as Yume Nikki, OFF, and Ib, among others.

This discussion will include how these games shaped the community that grew from it and how they continue to inspire new developers to this day. A particular emphasis will be placed on community and the “fandom,” as it were, since they are the lifeblood of RPG Maker and indie game dev in general.

The approachability of the idea that anyone can make a game is a particularly strong draw, and people of varying skill sets can come together for game jams, create fanworks, or even just be able to chat with fellow fans and devs, bounce ideas off each other, and bring new projects to life without even realizing it."

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Conversation With the Creator of Final Fantasy IV - (theatre influence)

(from by Jeremy Parish - April 15th, 2011)

...I guess up until then RPGs tended to have a map, a dungeon, a castle, and boss battles, and you kind of went back and forth between the gameplay and the boss battles. But our idea was if we approached it from a movie editing perspective, perhaps we could create a more dramatic, story-driven game.

And it was also a big development in terms of music, because up until then we had one piece music per map, essentially. For IV, we focused on how to make the game more emotional -- to have the music play at the right timing. And so it was kind of a new way to approach the music in a game.

1UP: The characters are really a big part of the game, and FFIV was really the first game I can think of to have musical leitmotifs surrounding the characters. Did you and [composer Nobuo] Uematsu look to movies for inspiration and say, "This is something we need in our game?"

Tokita: I, myself, have a theatre background, and the main appeal of an RPG is that you can play as the protagonist. We really wanted to have the music play out when it would affect you the most, in a sense. So, we really focused on finding the right points and best timings to play the music so it would evoke the emotions necessary to make you feel better.

1UP: You say you have a theatre background. Did you have a lot of interest in videogames and, specifically, RPGs before coming to work with Square and Final Fantasy?

Tokita: I'm a little bit the opposite, actually. Apparently there was an animation boom when I was young. I had the intention of becoming a voice actor. On the side, I was drawing manga and cartoons, and while I was in a theatre troupe, I made some cash. I had the game design work as something part-time on the side, and that's how I got into the industry.

As a part-time job, I wanted to be involved in something creative as well. So a career in game design seemed very appealing as well. I'm not sure if you know Tokyo very well, but there's a little area Roppongi... Prior to Square, I was with ASCII in Roppongi.