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'ActRaiser Complete Score' Kickstarter launches

Revisiting a classic soundtrack

Are you a big fan of the music of Actraiser? If so, this new Kickstarter should be right up your alley. Yusuke Ichihara, the conductor of the New Japan BGM Philharmonic Orchestra, is looking to score the Actraiser soundtrack, and his work is being personally supervised by original composer Yuzo Koshiro.

The funding goal sits at 1,500,000 yen, with stretch goals for the production of a condensed score, solo piano arrangements, and talk events

Check out the Kickstarter here

Nintendo Dream magazine celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Mother franchise

Happy Mother Day!

Fans in the states may not have learned about the Mother franchise until Earthbound launched here, but Famicom owners in Japan had already bee long familiar with the series. Believe it or not, its been 30 years since the Mother franchise first debuted. The latest issue of Nintendo Dream pays tribute to the series with a special feature, which is 6 pages long, and takes a look back at the three titles that have been released.

Super Famicom's Majin Tensei gets a fan translation

The original Majin Tensei on Super Famicom is the title that gave birth to the entire sub-series of the Megami Tensei franchise, which makes it pretty damn important! That's why it's nice to see the game get an English fan translation courtesy of DDSTranslation. This now means that every Megami Tensei game to release on the Super Famicom has been translated in one way or another.

The Mona Lisa has been recreated using sprites from Super Mario World in Super Mario Maker 2

Mama mia!

Now this is a work of art! Reddit user Listix made a program that recreates source images using sprites. He put his program to work on a recreation of the Mona Lisa, and the sprites used come from the Super Mario World tile set in Super Mario Maker 2. The final result is ridiculously impressive, and makes me want to see more famous artwork recreated this way!

Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack Revival Disc gets another promo video

I'll never get tired of Corridors of Time

The Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack Revival Disc released in Japan today, and Square-Enix is celebrating with another promo video for the package. This video focuses on the Corridors of Time segment. Definitely one of the best songs in an absolutely amazing soundtrack.

Square-Enix releases promo video for the upcoming Chrono Orchestra concert

I want to attend this SO bad

The Chrono Orchesta Concerts will be held in Osaka on September 7th, 2019 and in Tokyo on October 27th, 2019. As previously detailed, these concerts will showcase music from both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. Check out the video above to see what to expect from these concerts.

Kazuko Shibuya shares tons of details on her history of working with the Final Fantasy franchise

A must-read for fans

Kazuko Shibuya is one of the artists who was hugely influential to Final Fantasy's overall look. She handled sprite and menu work on the series' early days, which has lead to design choices that are still held true to this day. Shibuya was recently part of a panel at Japan Expo 2019, where she shared a ton of details on her time with the Final Fantasy series. Check out a recap of the info below.

- Shibuya wished to become a mangaka and became an animator, and most notably worked on the first Transformers anime
- she joined Square in 1986, back when Square occupied a super small office on one floor
- Shibuya would only see the programmers in the morning and at night when they had to check-in and check-out
- Square’s founder Masafumi Miyamoto was still a student at the time, and she became an employee before the founder did
- Hironobu Sakaguchi and the other devs would often sleep at the office, lying down on chairs they lined up
- Square had little money back then, so their sole secretary would also take some time to tidy up the office a bit in the mornings
- each time she’d find Sakaguchi and the others sleeping, she would wake them up by using the vacuum cleaner on their faces
- when Hironobu Sakaguchi told everyone he wanted to make an RPG on NES, no one was really interested at first
- Shibuya decided to help him and became the project’s pixel artist
- most at Square simply didn’t want to work on an RPG like Final Fantasy I, thinking it wouldn’t be popular
- the game’s team, only a handful of people Shibuya included, didn’t really think it’d be a hit either
- this lead to them being a kind of unpopular group at Square
- Shibuya handled nearly all of Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II’s graphics
- this included the characters’ pixel art, the menus, the battle backgrounds, and the towns
- the world map was drawn by the sole other artist on the games
- you could only use 3 colors on NES, so Shibuya would make certain pixels transparent as a trick to use a 4th color
- this is most notably used for the characters’ helmets and armor outlines
- Final Fantasy characters always had a similar/now iconic pose because this meant there was less animation to do
- characters already having their arms partially lifted up meant they didn’t need to make a “arms lift up” animation
- when she worked on Final Fantasy V, Shibuya could use 16 different colors for her pixel art
- she had no idea what to do with all these colors, but gradually got used to it
- with Final Fantasy V, Shibuya focused solely on the pixel art for the characters
- the game’s Job System required over 25 different pixel arts for each of the five main characters using each job
- Shibuya focuses on efficiency and tries to be as concise as possible, despite the characters being limited to 16×24 pixel
- she focuses on the characters’ head, which is almost half of their length, and their hair
- Shibuya handled non-pixel art illustrations for old pre-Final Fantasy Square games on PCs
- she also worked on the illustration which served as the base for the cover art of Final Fantasy IV
- Shibuya didn't work on Final Fantasy IV, as she was working on Final Fantasy Adventure instead
- only seven people at Square made the whole game, and she drew every single thing in the game
- this included work on every single visual element, including characters, the monsters, the backgrounds, the maps, and the UI
- everyone at Square back then had no idea Final Fantasy would become this big and continue to this day
- the team didn't really know that Final Fantasy I, IV and VI were hits outside of Japan either
- as game localization took much longer back then, by the time the games released outside Japan, the team was already busy with something else
- once when coming back from vacation, she was told that a Final Fantasy game just released in America, and she had no idea it was even being localized
- Shibuya supervises the pixel art of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and personally handled the pixel art for Katy Perry’s character
- she drew the monsters in battle more realistically than the characters simply because she could do so size-wise
- Yoshitaka Amano never changed his illustrations so it could be more easily adapted into pixel art
- the Black Mage might look a bit less human compared to all other Final Fantasy characters, but that wasn’t particularly intentional, and it’s simply how Yoshitaka Amano and Shibuya drew it
- Shibuya thinks about all the players who will enjoy the game she’s drawing for when working, and this is what drives her.

Game Informer Podcast - Composer David Wise Dissects Donkey Kong Country's Best Music

A RARE sound

In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Rare's original composer David Wise walks us through the creation of some of the best music from Donkey Kong Country like Gangplank Galleon, Stickerbush Symphony, and the title theme for Diddy's Kong Quest. He also talks about his work on the upcoming game Tamarin.

Square-Enix releasing Chrono Trigger orchestral album

One of the greatest game soundtracks ever

Square-Enix has been doing a lot with the soundtracks for their games lately, and the next project involves the timeless Chrono Trigger. A Chrono Trigger Orchestral Album has been announced, along with a concert series. The project will be overseen by original composer Yasunori Mitsuda, who will supervise the arrangements.

Both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross will receive a separate orchestral album release featuring 8 tracks each. Super fans can go for a special box set, which packs in a bonus disc of four arrangements that can only be found in this package. The standalone album is priced at $30, while the box set comes in at $74). The series launches on Sept. 7th, 2019.

As for the concerts, they'll be held in Osaka on September 7th, 2019 and in Tokyo on October 27th, 2019.

Super Scope modified to shoot Bullet Bill 'rockets'

So long, King Bowser!

The Super Scope may not have seen a ton of support on the SNES, but there was definitely some fun to be had. What do you do when you've played the few supported games a million times over? You modify the Super Scope into a makeshift, real-life weapon, of course! Now it goes without saying that you shouldn't try this yourself, but you can at least watch how it turned out for someone who decided to take the project on.

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