This Week’s Topics:
- The next big Natalie.TF project is DONE!
- An unfinished TSF game from 2007
- A film announcement that people have wanted for 30 years
- Musing about the inevitable release of an industry shaking title
- A surprise hardware stealth drop
Rundown Preamble Ramble:
Dragalia Lost V3 Re;Works is Done!
After two and a half weeks of chipping away at this project and staying up until the wee hours of the morning, I have FINALLY finished Dragalia Lost V3 Re;Works. A mock design document that details the changes that I would make to Dragalia Lost in order to turn it into an offline single-player game.
The document is nearly 800 pages, just shy of being 750 MB large, and represented so much work that if I could go back and talk to my past self, I would tell her to not even bother. Not because I didn’t have fun and didn’t learn anything (I learned a lot), but I have spent over 250 hours on this damn thing. That’s a lot of time!
Even after all that time, the document still is not quite as fancy as I would like it to be, and that mostly has to do with Adobe Acrobat 2017 being a fickle piece of software. Some could argue, such as those on the Adobe forums, that I am using this software wrong, because I want to arrange text within it and center the text. But if a PDF editor is not for editing PDFs, then… what even is it for then?
Seriously, the choice to make this a PDF is one that I regret, but there was NO other way to contain all of this content aside from a PDF if I wanted the document to be searchable. …Except a Word document. Don’t get me wrong, Word document game designs are a beautiful thing, but… wait, I’ve got the best idea for this week’s TSF Showcase!
I could talk about the project and just how much work was involved in it. Though, at this point, I’m just emotionally drained and ready to throw this thing out there. I plan on holding off a few days before uploading it to WordPress, MEGA, and MediaFire, but once I have the links, then I can rid myself of this curse of copium and move onto… anything else.
Akumako: “So, Verde’s Doohickey 2.0?”
No. Next on the to-do list would be TSF Series #018, and you’re actually going to be a protagonist, my dear demoness.
Akumako: “…Which is the Christmas special, coming out on December 20th?”
Yeah, exactly. I wanted to get something ready for my birthday, and probably could have managed that if I held off on V3 Re;Works a bit longer, but… I’ll tell you what, you’ll get a video intro next week, so you can see my face and see my room one final time before I move!
Akumako: “Okay, but what about Verde’s Doohickey 2.0?”
Um… that will be the preamble topic next week!
Akumako: “You cowardly whore!“
Hey! I’m not a whore. Whores have sex!
TSF Showcase 2023-37
The Legend of Zelda: Tale of the Fourth Goddess by Unknown Creator
Now this… is an artifact that I just happened across several years ago. I don’t remember when, I don’t remember where, and I don’t remember what I was doing to wind up with a copy of it. Just that within a zip file simply called “gam.zip” I found a bunch of files for what appeared to be a fangame based on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, with the files having been created sometime in 2007. These files included midi files, sprites and maps from various SNES games, a bunch of sprite edits, HCGs that were traced from manga panels, but most importantly, a script! A 20,000 word script that tells the story of The Legend of Zelda: Tale of the Fourth Goddess.
Set 5 years after A Link to the Past, the story begins with Link venturing to Death Mountain to rescue a 10-year-old boy who was kidnapped by a group of wizards. They wish to use this child as the avatar for the fourth goddess of Hyrule, Agna, and by the time Link reaches the child, he is already too late. The power of Agna has entered the child’s body, transforming them into a… busty 10-year-old who calls herself Agna… despite not actually having Agna’s mind.
Link tries to banish Anga’s power from her body, but because Link decided to be a creep and look like the busty child’s bust boobs, he is promptly punished. Which is to say, he gets ka-girl’d and the only way to return to normal is to find Agna in three locations across Hyrule. That might sound simple, but Hyrule is currently being transformed by Agna’s power, becoming something more TF-y and horny.
With the initial chapter done, Link begins his TF tour across Hyrule, where he tries to find respite or aid as he embarks on his quest, but only finds TF troubles.
These start pretty tame, with a love potion, hypnosis, a skin softening TF, and… breastfeeding a Kilwala from Chrono Trigger. Though, they all congeal together into a greater narrative with a sense of escalation, as Link is gradually subjected to greater perverse actions over time. Actions that shift what he considers to be acceptable mentally, and further sexualize his form physically.
Things continue in this way for about the first half of the document, after which the transformations become more… extreme. Link becomes a horse girl— not a centaur, just a girl with horse features. A demoness with voices that fill his mind. A girly girl lesbian who must obey slutty Princess Zelda’s whims. An anthro fox who… can run faster, I guess. A Black fairy with dobonhonkeros. A bunny who gets impregnated by three blessings of the goddesses. And more!
If that all sounds like a lot of wild stuff to include in a 20,000 word story… that’s because it is. Tale of the Fourth Goddess is inarguably creative, filled with various hentai dynamics and scenarios that are lovingly rendered with the traced HCGs. However, the transformations just keep happening, one after another, and the continuity between them becomes muddled. It stops feeling like a story and more like a collection of scenes that the creator wanted to write out because they thought they were hot.
I actually love the ideas that this script introduces, the idea of gradually changing Link by giving him access to more optional transformations, and choosing to pursue events locked to particular transformations. Like how the bunny TF leads to the impregnation TF, or how the horse TF leads to the the horse beast fucking. Because you can’t have Zelda without horse fucking.
However, viewing what is here… it all kind of loses steam during the latter half, and concludes on a pretty lame note. Agna turns Link back to normal. Link removes Agna’s powers from her body, but she remains an adult woman (she got older every time Link found her), and claims to be Link’s girlfriend in a… rewritten timeline. With Agna’s mind no longer that of a child, Link kisses her, only for Zelda to barge in, and hit both of them with a bimbo TF spell, turning them into sluts with no memories of their past lives. …Yeah, it is not a reasonable progression of the preceding events. Maybe if locked behind a certain playthrough if this was a nonlinear game. But as the sole ending? It would be better if Zelda never showed up and Link and Agna just wound up as horny bimbos.
Moving onto the writing of the script itself, I would say that the writer behind this understands how to make sexual scenes feel spicy and is clearly invested in bringing these scenes to life. Their writing is honestly better than I expected, and if the creator kept it up for this many years, they’re probably doing great stuff now. However… opening the script in Word 365 literally underlines the 100+ typos and errors in this story. It has flickers of something great, but is ultimately a rough draft.
A rough draft with oodles of potential, and one that, circa 2007, was aiming to be something very ambitious. Sadly, ambition is one of the quickest ways to failure, Tale of the Fourth Goddess was left incomplete, and has fallen into such obscurity that I don’t think it can be found on the internet anymore. It is too generic of a title in too big of an IP for it to really turn up search results, and pairing it with something like gender bender doesn’t produce any relevant results. So… I uploaded the file, and you can download it here. I normally don’t like distributing porn, but this is history, yo.
And Tale of the Fourth Goddess is a particularly fascinating bit of history. It’s a glimpse into an alternate reality where TF ROM hacks of SNES games became all the rage, and an impressive work in its own right. Sure, you could highlight how some of the edits are a bit crude, but this is something that took weeks to produce, at a minimum. I just wish the creator did something more to preserve their work so more people could stumble upon it… or at least include their damn name in the files.
Nintendo’s Quest For Another Billion Dollars…
(Nintendo Announces Live-Action Legend of Zelda Movie)
As I was working on this week’s TSF Showcase, Nintendo went and announced that they are working on a live-action Legend of Zelda movie! Was it a fluctuation in the—
Akumako: “No, you silly little bitch! They announced it right after publishing their earnings and before their quarterly investor meeting! You were irrelevant! You were born irrelevant and you will die irrelevant!”
Ah… that does make more sense. Anyway, this was merely an announcement that they will develop a live-action movie based on The Legend of Zelda. Nothing was really detailed, but a few names were thrown around. The film is being distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is a bit odd, as Nintendo has been buddy-bud with Universal, but I suppose they want to diversify things. As a major Sony project, it is being produced by controversial yet prolific Hollywood bigwig Avi Arad. Shigeru Miyamoto is also producing it, obviously. While directorial duties are on… Wes Ball, who directed the Maze Runner trilogy, back when teen dystopia was en vogue, and the upcoming fourth Planet of the Apes reboot film. …Huh.
Remember when the only thing that people knew about The Super Mario Bros. Movie was that it was being handled by Illumination and how everybody was unhappy with that news? Yeah, that’s something I’m going to remember when these sorts of announcements are made. A Zelda film has ample potential, could easily launch a film series, and I’m sure that all parties will put all their resources into it. …And executives will try to make this ‘their Lord of the Rings.’ Because executives think like insects! Will it work? No clue! Not even the people making it know if it will be good or not!
Akumako: “You’re not going to talk about how you want horse fucking in the Zelda movie?”
No, I don’t want children to share my trauma… I wish there was a Paheal Rule 63 archive so I could find that formative image.
A Preemptive Musing About the Inevitable GTA VI Reveal
(Grand Theft Auto VI Will Be Revealed Soon)
The world of gaming is one filled with numerous facets that intersect in a wider slurry, and it is nigh impossible for certain people to follow every subset. Personally, I tend to only float in the niche Japanese bullshit, Nintendo, and general AAA/AA/indie console gaming spheres. The spheres that make up what I consider representative of the console gaming sector, which is what I am drawn into, even though I haven’t played a game on a console in months.
However, gaming is far, far more than that. Despite typically being dismissed by console-fixated enthusiasts, the mobile sphere is one so large and faceted that it is daunting for me to try to understand. But for many people, it is gaming, and is seen as the most lucrative market for various developers and publishers.
While the world of ‘traditional’ PC gaming is something I consider to be distinctly different next to console gaming. As it is home to titles defined by the internet, the ability to play with others, and exist together in online worlds. Titles that are built around customization, choice-driven gameplay, and player expression— everything from city builders to simulation games. Titles whose lifeblood is competition and asserting one’s dominance over their fellow humans. I mean, you could say that is part of console gaming, but… there’s a reason why eSports players typically use a PC and not consoles. And, of course, the über niche world of games that are only on Itch.io or their developer’s website, which contain
some of the most unique and emotionally raw experiences that can be found within the entire world of gaming. I mean, re:Dreamer falls into that bucket, and re:Dreamer is a goat wearing a red baseball cap with the word “DOPE” written on it with yellow lettering.
Akumako: “That’s because the goat’s name is Dope!”
This rampant fragmentation of the games industry means that one can be invested in gaming yet have virtually no experience with certain spheres. Maybe they don’t have the hardware to play these games, maybe they just aren’t interested in them, maybe they are just unaware, or maybe they just care about three IPs..
Anyway, I bring this up because of all the recent hubbub about the inevitable reveal of Grand Theft Auto VI, which Rockstar founder Sam Houser announced will happen sometime during early December. (Maybe at Keighley’s The Game Awards?)
I’m one of those people who holds a deep respect for the GTA series, but has never actually played any of the games. Which… sounds like the stupidest freaking thing ever. I know how to acquire the best versions of the early 2000s trilogy of titles (in fact, I just downloaded them while editing this post). I own a copy of Grand Theft Auto V from the Epic Games user retention giveaway. And I have a particularly squishy spot for the open world urban sandbox genre. So, why have I never bothered? Because the series is so vast, so important, and so successful that it almost seems like a waste for me to try playing it. If that makes any sense.
Akumako: “It doesn’t. But that’s nothing new for you.”
Oh hush you smegma gremlin. Grand Theft Auto V is a title that just broke 190 million copies. Forming an opinion on it, from my perspective, and as myself, is a waste of time. And even if I were to play through its single-player game, I would not understand the true experience that the game offers. The online experience that has been keeping players engaged for… shit, a full decade! For a non-insignificant group of people, GTA V is video games, and for those people, especially those who have grown up with GTA V, they are downright desperate for a sequel. They want a new world to explore, a game that addresses some of the more antiquated and shitty parts of GTA V, and something that injects a spark of excitement into their lives.
Which is why GTA VI is so important to so many people. …Also, it will probably make $2 billion in its release quarter, cause a spike in console sales, and be an overwhelming force in the world of video games. Hell, I know I’m going to wind up sitting through days of discourse about the title, what it does well, what it doesn’t do well, how it handles representation, its political failings, etc.
Surprise! Steam Deck 1.5, Bitches!
(Steam Deck OLED Model Announced)
So, this is something of an unexpected holiday turnover. The Steam Deck is a doohickey that has garnered a significant number of vocal fans since its release in February 2022, but one that still targets a very enthusiast category of people. It was a successful product, one that has probably sold over 3 million units, though that is chump change next to a Nintendo Switch. Or any gaming handheld that is not a niche toy for niche-heads who view hardware as being as much of the experience as software.
I ultimately think it is a great little device, at least conceptually, but it is also the first of its kind, so its form factor and usability weren’t perfect. This opened the door for other hardware creators to throw their hat into the handheld PC ring, such as the ROG Ally. However, a Steam Deck 2 is pretty far away, and we have known that for a while. Tech takes time to advance, and this is their first time creating full computer hardware, rather than licensing it (Steam Machines). These things take time to make, iterate, and there are lots of things that developers don’t know about unless they get feedback from long-term users.
With that in mind, people were pretty surprised when Valve went and announced the Steam Deck OLED right in time for the holiday season. A slight revision over the original that is mostly a quality of life iteration. One with a slightly bigger OLED display capable of 90 fps and HDR, a bigger fan, better thermals, a larger battery with faster charging, better Wi-Fi, some improvements in its overall build quality, but the same form factor.
As part of this, the original 2022 version of the system is being discounted. The starter 64 GB version is down from $400 to $350. The reasonable 256 GB model is down from $530 to $400. While the premium 512 GB model is down from $650 to $450. …Which is pretty crazy considering how the Steam Deck could ultimately function as somebody’s computer. Well, if you bought the $80 docking station. …And a $100 monitor. …And a keyboard and mouse that you can probably get for free if you have low standards.
Also, rather than using this as an opportunity to bump up the price with this new model… they’re increasing the storage instead. The 512 GB OLED model will cost $550, while the 1 TB OLED model will cost $650. Which you simply don’t see from modern electronics these days, so… good on you, Valve.
Overall, I like the Steam Deck as a piece of tech, mostly because I view it as being something versatile, affordable, and compatible with the modern lifestyle of many people. The generation who don’t want to spend their days at desks in front of a workstation, but want to spend it on couches and beds, diddling with a doodad in their hands.
Progress Report 2023-11-12
I have been listening to the Persona 5: Imagining Project soundtrack for a few weeks now… and I thought it was a bunch of original music made by fans for this project. But no. This is just somebody’s damn playlist. That is super upsetting to me, as I somehow thought that people, in 2012, were able to make music this DOPE. It’s honestly some of the best writing music I’ve found in a hot minute, even with the covers of The Stranger and Another Brick in the Wall. Those are just special treats!
2023-11-05: I was not as productive today as I wanted to. I watched a movie with Cassie, as that is our way of ‘hanging out at the weekend’ and spent 3 hours looking for furniture with my mother. I was super tired when I came back, but still worked on V3 Re;Works until 2:00 and finished edits through section 3 of 8.
2023-11-06: I worked on creating the components of the PDF for V3 Re;Works, recreating backgrounds, aligning and arranging text, and getting all the pieces together for assembly.
2023-11-07: I did a final glance of the components of V3 Re;Works… before assembling them together into a massive package. The project was finished by 13:00, and I spent the rest of the day working on this week’s TSF Showcase and Rundown until around 19:00. Then I got 8 CPE credit hours in 4.5 hours. Which sounds INSANE, but… that just means a lot of review and 40 multiple choice questions. Yes, 40 multiple choice questions, online, with a glossary, and infinite attempts. …Now I have 24 CPE hours less than 2 months after being an enrolled agent. That’s a full year’s worth!
2023-11-08: I got back on the saddle with 3,800 words of writing for the 2023 Ramble. I know that this is super early, but I had a lot of fury I needed to expel before starting work on the next TSF Series. Because that one is… gonna be a doozy! I tried working on the outline, but I only got 1,000 words into it, because the subject matter is pretty heavy and personal for me. Also, I was just sleepy. That happens when you only get 6 hours of sleep for several nights in a row…
2023-11-09: Wrote 1,200 word for this Rundown and 6,000 words for the outline of TSF Series #018. Then I decided to go ahead and edit the Rundown, as I decided not much would be announced this Friday. I also wrote about 2,000 words for the 2023 ramble, as I don’t like finishing an outline and starting the story on the same day.
2023-11-10: It was like herding cats to get started, but I finished the first two (of seven) chapters of TSF Series #018, which wound up being 5,300 words. It is a story requiring a vulnerable headspace, and I was reluctant to enter it…
2023-11-11: I wound up helping my mother a lot with stuff regarding our new home. I was tired, not in a writing mood, so I spent my evening save scumming through Pokémon Emerald Rogue while watching a 5 hour long essay on why Danganronpa 3 the anime is bad. I agreed with like 70% of it. I actually reviewed Danganronpa 3 seven years ago, but I failed to grasp overwhelming number of the ways it just did not work. Also, I guess I did technically add 500 words to TSF Series #018, but 500 words ain’t shit.
Verde’s Doohickey 2.0: Sensational Summer Romp Progress Report:
Current Word Count: 142,355
Estimated Word Count: ~700,000
Total Chapters: 75
Chapters Outlined: 42
Chapters Drafted: 17
Chapters Edited: 0
Header Images Made: 0
Days Until Deadline: 199