Mon, 27 July 2015
This week, Kaleb prepares another Mythic Origins episode. Enjoy!
Mythic and Literature Origins of Rare Game from Final Fantasy XII
Aspidochelon- Likely derived from Aspidochelone, which according to medieval bestiaries is a huge sea creature that resembles a whale or turtle.
Dismas- May refer to Saint Dismas, who according to Christian belief was one of the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus. The other thief, Gestas, mocked Jesus for not saving them, Dismas was accepting of his punishment, and asked to be remembered in Heaven. In many traditions, Dismas is on Jesus’ left, which is why some depictions of the crucifixion depict his head tilted to the right, toward Dismas.
Arioch- Hebrew name that means fierce lion. It originally appears in the BOok of Genesis, being the name of the “King of Ellasar.”
Aeros- This one is pretty straightforward. Aero is a Greek prefix relating to air and flight.
Kris- The kris is a dagger from the Malayan archipelago. It is often made with a wavy blade, and is used for both spiritual means and as a weapon.
Ishteen- Means one in Ancient Assyro-Babylonian language. This is symbolic, due to this rare game only appearing once, as he is a Trophy Rare Game.
Chocobo- Chocobo derives from a Japanese Brand of Chocolate malt ball, Called ChocoBall. The mascot for the product is Kyoro-chan, a bird who says kweh…. WTF!!7
Anubys- Obviously derived from Anubis, the greek name for the Jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian Mythology.
Phyllo- Phyllo is greek for leaf. It is also the name of a greek pastry, which is made up of tissue thin layers.
Matriarch Bomb- Another obvious one. Matriarch denotes a social organization style in which the mother, or eldest female, heads the family and descent and relationship are determined through the female line. They are generally the most powerful in political positions also.
Vishno- Possibly derived from Vishnu, a popular Hindu god. He is venerated as the Supreme Being in the Vaishnava sect of Hin
Imdugud- Imdugud is a lesser divinity of Akkadian mythology. He is the son of the bird goddess Siris. In Mesopotamian Legend, it is known as a lion-headed bird and the sone of the sky god Anu. Also known as Anzu.
Tarasque- Derives from Christian Legend. Tarasque was a giant sea serpent with a turtle shell, lions head, and scorpion tail. This beast terrorized France. Saint Martha supposedly charmed the Tarasque into town, where the townspeople slaughtered it. The beast supposedly offered no resistance.
Grimalkin- An old or evil looking female cat. Scottish legend refers to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands. May be derived from the 1570 book Beware the Cat, by William Baldwin.
Nekhbet- Nekhbet was an early, predynastic local goddess. She was the patron of the city Nekheb. She was often depicted as a vulture, a creature that Egyptians thought only existed as females, having to adopt children. The preistesses of Nekhbet were called muu, meaning “mothers”, and wore robes of white vulture feathers.
Cultsworn Lich- Easy one. A lich is an undead creature. Often, this creature is a result of a transformation, such as a powerful person striving for eternal life. This is obtained by spells or rituals, allowing the individual to bind his intellect to his animated corpse, and achieve immortality.
Juggernaut- Unstoppable force. Derived from the Sanskrit, Jagannatha, meaning lord of the universe.
Kaiser- German title meaning Emperor. Derives from the name of Julius Caesar. Many languages use a descendant of the word Caesar to mean Emperor, such as the Russian Tsar.
Tower- This enemy is a derivation of Babil. It is eluded that this is meant to be the Tower of Babel. This is from a story in the book of Genesis. The story tells of how early humanity was living in one city, and begun to construct a great tower that would extend to the heavens so they could see God. God was pissed, and destroyed the tower, and confused their language. Thus forcing people to spread out among the Earth.
Luxollid- Derived from the Latin word lux, which means lite. It may use the Latin olim, meaning at another time. This may refer to the Gods of XII creating the creature a long time ago.
Rain Dancer- Obvious….
Apsara- A female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu or Buddhist mythology. Usually translated to nymphs.
And my favorite,
Midgardsormr- This name comes from Norse mythology, in which Midgardsormr, or “Jormungardr” was the middle child of Loki and a giantess named Angrobada. Odin threw it into the ocean that encircles Midgar (earth) and it grew large enough to reach around the world. It was foreseen that Midgardsormr would do battle with his arch nemesis Thor, on the day of Ragnarok. The sky would darken from the poison mist from Midgardsormr, and the battle would end with the death of them both. Thor will kill Midgardsormr, and then stagger nine steps before dying from its poison.
Mon, 20 July 2015
History of Square-Enix: Part 2 - From Power Lines to Programming
As Enix was formed from another company, so was square. The Square we know today was created out of an affiliate of a power company originally owned by the father of a young man named Masafumi Miyamoto. After Miyamoto graduated from Waseda University, he began developing computer games through his father’s company, then called Dan-Yu-Sha in 1983.
Miyamoto, much like his Enix counterpart, Yasuhiro Fukushima, was much more of a businessman than a programmer. But Miyamoto saw the rising electronic market in japan, and he wanted to make money out of it. Despite his purely financial motivations, Miyamoto figured he knew what it would take to make a good computer game.
Through his father’s company, he began hiring college graduates and creative types to help work on his games. During this time, it was pretty typical for a game to be made from scratch by one single programmer, but Miyamoto, hoping to save development time, hired many different people for different creative posts during game development.
He was especially concerned with making games that were more visually impressive than the other games on the market, so he had applicants do pixel art at part of their recruiting process. He was also sure to bring in programmers who could figure out how to make the games with such complex graphics, into something that the machines could handle.
Under Dan-Yu-Sha, the first games Miyamoto produced were called Death Trap, and its sequel, “Will”. “Will” was a big success, and sold 100 thousand copies. Following “Will”, Square ported another game called “Thexder” to the Nintendo Famicom, which came out before a string of unsuccessful Famicom games.
In 1986, as we said before, the Square we know and love was officially founded, and relocated from Yokohama to Tokyo to begin producing a Role-Playing game thought up by the Director of Planning at the company, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Highly influenced by Dragon Warrior, this Role-Playing game would be called DUN DUN DUN!!!! Final Fantasy.
There are a couple differing stories surrounding the title of Final Fantasy. The traditional story is that of a company in financial peril and one last ditch effort of a project to save them from utter failure.
The other story, (more likely the truth) as told by Sakaguchi, was that he had originally titled the game “Fighting Fantasy”, but that the titled had already been trademarked. In order to keep the pleasing sounding “FF” as the game’s shorthand, they came up with “Final Fantasy”.
For more history behind that game, refer back to Episode 1 of this podcast.
Anyway, the game was released and was a great commercial success, selling half a million copies and spawning the Final Fantasy series in 1987. Funnily enough, the first Final Fantasy game didn’t sell nearly as well as the first Dragon Quest.
And we’ll see in the later that there is a certain pattern to Square’s sales and Enix’s sales. You see, Square would sell well in Japan, but even better outside of Japan. Enix would bust the block in terms of Japanese sales, but never would break into the western market all that well.
Thu, 16 July 2015
Kaleb and Joe talk over Episode VII of Final Fantasy Unlimited. Enjoy!
Mon, 13 July 2015
This week, we interview Daniel Burke of the Beacause Project. The Beacause Project is a long running re translation effort of Final Fantasy VII. Daniel discusses the biggest motivators behind the translation effort. He talks about all the lost moments in Final Fantasy VII. Daniel did more than discuss the simple grammatical and spelling errors of Final Fantasy VII.
Hi, guys! Just had the interview and it was a lot of fun. I'll respond to questions here that we didn't manage to talk about and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did
I had just had a Playstation bought for Christmas 1997 and had come from playing the Sega Megadrive games. I was not prepared for the cinematic FMV opening of FF7 in the slightest. It was way ahead of anything else I had ever seen. The music, the sound, the graphics, the direction - everything. I was awestruck. Then the game started and it just kept getting better. I'm actually getting warm feelings right now thinking about it, and this despite the hours I've already ploughed into the game. The thing that irritated me (the only thing) were the random battles. I wasn't used to that and it bugged me at first - so much so that I couldn't beat Gi Nattak in Cosmo Canyon because I had already escaped around 300 times by that point. I learned to get over my irritation of the random battles from that point on, though. Funnily enough, years later I learned I could have just used that Elixir you can pick up beforehand, rather than go outside and level up. Shame. Although I'd only have gotten stuck again at Materia Keeper.
There are a few:
Not at all. Although I'd be far happier if I was the director of the remake and could use our localization. Or, at the least, use our localization. But the remake is going to be very different and I think our work will still be relevant after it is released. Once the hype dies down, I believe mass apathy will set in (you'll see why I think that from interview), and more people will want to play the original at that point - not less. I've also learned how to program in assembly, localize, and lots of other skills from this project that made it worthwhile - even if everyone hated it or never played it.
Mon, 6 July 2015
This week, Joe has prepared a special history episode. We delve into the origins of Enix. Strangely enough, they began as a real estate tabloid company, formed by Yasuhiro Fukushima. Fukushima is now one of the wealthiest Japanese men. Enix started their foray into video games when Fukushima spent some time in America. He noticed how popular computer games were, and decided to have a contest for building games. Koichi Nakamura, one of the contest winners, would later be a key player behind the scenes of the Dragon Quest series. Enix also began as a publisher, rather than the commmon style of in house game design. Enix's third video game would put them on the map forever. Dragon Quest. Enjoy!