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Post subject: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:24 am 
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Hausen, I'm just about ready to send you what I'm calling the first and "abridged version" of this game - V0.98.

Let me gather my wits tomorrow and clean up a few things, then I'll need you to PM me with an e-mail address where I can send you this first "pass". I'll be giving you a ton of instructions on what I need you to look for in this pass because a lot of the content could change significantly during my second pass, using a brand new but yet untested insertion program that may very well expand byte storage space significantly.

In a nutshell, I need you to backstop me as period coach on every single Chinese usage. For now, I'll leave it at that because our Chinese usages won't change in any version we end up releasing.

So, let me declare here and now in as clear of terms as possible that "Shiji Hero Legend" is already one of my all-time favorite RPGs.

It possesses a special charm that appeals specifically to (at least) me. This is enhanced in large measure by extensive historical accuracy and chronologically-presented subject matter. Among other descriptions of my personal background, I'm also a professional and formerly practicing political scientist at the masters degree level who made my living in that particular field when I wasn't serving as a military officer, writer and/or building homes for livelihoods. (I'm still home-building.)

What I'm getting at is that Shiji - even without very much in the way of actual military engagements - works very well for this military-minded writer who is also well-versed in world political systems, both current and archaic. Even so, I suspect this game may be of a nature that is not for "everyone", but I love it! Its unique approaches to melding knowledge with fantasy-oriented game-play is mind boggling at times, but it works, and I really don't mind any more that it's also quite unpredictable and difficult in spots.

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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:22 am 
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Superb job Wildbill! It's a fact this game's special charm won't appeal to everyone. And, owing to some difficulties and rough spots you describe, a translation has to really be stellar to balance things out. Well, no problem - your style of writing carries the script fabulously from what I've seen! All that's left is presenting a solid, accurate backdrop of the stories, ideas and riddles present in the historic setting and crafting their presentation believably, to keep the references understandable and easy to enjoy. Not the easiest task, but pieces of the stories are falling into place, one step at a time I suppose... :mrgreen:

My chance encounter with SHL started from casually observing a liking to the game's sprite art with a whole different project in mind, but glad as I kept playing further on. It's my pleasure to accept a long list of issues to work on.

Small story point to illustrate an example:
Spoiler! :
Reminds me to constantly keep an eye on apparent inconspicuous things such as - the whole Lord Mengchang prison event in Qi? To me, it first appeared to relate to the whole scroll subplot and have been little but a gameplay invention to get the player moving from that area to the next. However, it's inspired by historic fact Mengchang was actually imprisoned (by Qin's king). The king of Qin wanted to appoint Mengchang as Qin's chancellor at one point, so Mengchang traveled to Qin. Yet the king discovered Mengchang still remained loyal to his homeland Qi. The king then placed Mengchang under house arrest, until Mengchang managed to escape out of Qin and return home.

Also, take a look at this snippet:
Quote:
... [After his escape,] by midnight of the next day, Mengchang had reached Hangu Pass—the last checkpoint of Qin before entering the territories of Qi. The guards at Hangu Pass would not let anyone pass through until the cock-crow at dawn. Lord Mengchang turned to his entourage for help. One of his aides could imitate all types of sounds. He crowed like a rooster, and this woke up the rest of the roosters. Not knowing that Lord Mengchang was being hunted, the guards at the pass then allowed Lord Mengchang and his entourage to enter Qi territory to safety.

One of the mercenaries you can hire has a character ability of him imitating animal sounds - including roosters! - in battle to confuse enemies. We can assume this mercenary's silly ability was inspired by Mengchang aide's part in this tale.


I do wish Shiji's chapters on Lin Xiangru and the four Lords were translated into English in full, though. Least I haven't found any translations. These characters feature a lot, and many details of their lives and stories are hard to infer from wikipedia-style short snippets floating on the net.
EDIT: Or perhaps there is actually? Nienhauser's translation perhaps... ordering that right'way!


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Huge shout-out to FlashPV, Bongo`, and Taskforce for creating and processing a finished English Title screen!

Ah, Mengchang! I could have talked to you extensively at what I discovered through research in each scene along the way, but if I had, we'd still be discussing, and the game wouldn't be completely written.

I did learn this about the Mengchang sub-plot in Linzi:
Spoiler! :
You can spring Mengchang with either the minstrel or the thief, but you must have at least one of them, or you can't reach his cell. With the thief in your party, the guy steals/"finds" a key, and you fight the guard on the way out. With the minstrel, he also "finds" a key, then he crows on the way out, the guard thinks it's dawn and quits his post, and you walk out unmolested!" Both work, but if you don't ask the guard for a stamp before he leaves the post one way or another - and daylight comes - you've lost that stamp forever, as I did in my first and only pass so far!


Also, both equipment stops, in Ji and Yangzhai,
Spoiler! :
have owners making contradictory statements. The Japanese writer made the answer to one question "Contradiction", but the question may be worded to either Ji or Yangzhai.
I'm going to ask you to "volunteer" to take charge of all 20 questions and make them "work" in English. Frequently, we must do this in our projects, to have them make sense, for localization doesn't lend itself to discussing topics in Kanji or referencing some children's TV show in Osaka!

Finally, I did not get to the "Hermit Pleasure Mountain" because
Spoiler! :
I don't have all 60 stamps. We need a good FAQ put together on the precise circumstances of those stamps! Anyway, the hermit amusement park features more dad-gum puzzles!


Then, the four colored super-dragons...
Spoiler! :
You must be as high as level 80 to bag all four, but that's not practical for me right now. However, the scenes are written and inserted. At some point we'll need to test them!


Last, I never fiddled around with the "casino" in Luoyang, that is really nothing more than a
Spoiler! :
counter with a couple of guys to check you in and do admin functions, along with a separate small room with a card table and a few people sitting in chairs gambling.
It's written, though, and will need to be play-tested for menu functions and such.


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:11 pm 
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Interesting, i never had the entertainer for that scene and didn't know there was another way besides the thief. Makes sense i had no idea what you were on about, talking of chickens and roosters some time back in relation to translating those events. Hehe.

The penglaishan puzzle mountain. Somrthing's up as in my current endgame save i cant enter it even with 60 stamps in tow. Similar has been commented on a japanese forum thread, but no answers there. But i have been there on an old save i no longer have!

I havent fought the superdragons yet either, but ill test how beating them looks this time.

You can play in Luoyang casino by sitting on north end of the table. Its a simple short minigame screen that's all it is :)

I started taking screenshots of every hidden item and stamps location. The strat guide has a complete list but its easier to pin em down with screenshots. When done, i'll send the folders to you.


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:41 pm 
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hausen wrote:
Interesting, i never had the entertainer for that scene and didn't know there was another way besides the thief. Makes sense i had no idea what you were on about, talking of chickens and roosters some time back in relation to translating those events. Hehe.

The penglaishan puzzle mountain. Somrthing's up as in my current endgame save i cant enter it even with 60 stamps in tow. Similar has been commented on a japanese forum thread, but no answers there. But i have been there on an old save i no longer have!

I havent fought the superdragons yet either, but ill test how beating them looks this time.

You can play in Luoyang casino by sitting on north end of the table. Its a simple short minigame screen that's all it is :)

I started taking screenshots of every hidden item and stamps location. The strat guide has a complete list but its easier to pin em down with screenshots. When done, i'll send the folders to you.
Okay, one of the Quiz Masters "somewhere" says, "Come to me when you have all 60 Stamps."
Spoiler! :
Maybe he administers all 20 questions. Or, maybe you direct your Spirit Cloud to Hoji Mt. out in the Yellow Sea when you have all 60, Maybe that lets you penetrate for the first time, and some gatekeeper controls your further entry, based on the 20 questions. We'll sort this out, in time.

BTW, the monsters are super hard in the Dragon Gate and hidden Xianyang Palace. The Pandas on the Xianyang throne, in the Handan lamian shop, and inside one of the mountain labyrinths blew me away!


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:21 pm 
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The last quiz master is
Spoiler! :
at Xianyang, school at northwest. 5 students there then ask 1 quiz each.
love the pandas :mrgreen:
Spoiler! :
didya know there's a puzzle mole in one of deadends at Xianyang palace dungeon?
He has no puzzles tho... no idea if he's connected to anything.


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:10 pm 
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...Oh, I'm sorry, I think I just drooled all over this forum thread. I shall procure a mop.


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:39 am 
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Swordmaster wrote:
...Oh, I'm sorry, I think I just drooled all over this forum thread. I shall procure a mop.
Haw-haw...!!


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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:16 am 
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hausen wrote:
The last quiz master is
Spoiler! :
at Xianyang, school at northwest. 5 students there then ask 1 quiz each.
love the pandas :mrgreen:
Spoiler! :
didya know there's a puzzle mole in one of deadends at Xianyang palace dungeon?
He has no puzzles tho... no idea if he's connected to anything.
Nah, just another "wacky wabbit" moment... BTW, I should have a better ROM for you in a few days. Your saves should load right up in it. You won't see as many overflows of text and menus in it. Must make sure it's stable before I send. It is so far, from the top of the Dragon Gate to "Hermit Heaven". If this holds, we have significant story expansion space, which basically means I restore everything I cut.

I do have a major Item Pack bug immediately after the name change. That may be cheat-related, but somehow I suspect not.

Spoiler! :
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Post subject: Re: Shiji Ready for in-house Beta Testing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:39 pm 
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Exciting to see this all unfold! Hopefully all goes well for the project and then we get to beta it as thoroughly as possible, 'till nothing's left. This could be yet another brilliant release this year. 8-) I'm betting there's going to be some interesting tales and myths thrown in there too, considering how alien the whole plot could be to an average westerner... quite a learning experience indeed. Well, either way, before the 'open' beta I can just offer my words of encouragement. :)


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