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N-cyclopedia 64 - POWERED BY N64 FOREVER
Topic Started: Mar 27 2017, 06:39 AM (2,230 Views)
Shellshocker18
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I think an electronic version is a great idea Baptist, as long as Dan and Italia agree. I think a slightly cheaper non physical version actually could get a lot of people on board.

Also I think the title isn't necessarily final and that is something we would be glad to take suggestions on. I had suggested that N64Forever be part of the title in some way but it doesn't have to be. I do think calling it a Bible might be a bit much, but I'm not sure if Dan or Italia share the same thought

(I'm also wearing my Nintendo 64 T-shirt right now ^_^ )
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Don't worry Baptist I'm sure you weren't offended. I wasn't saying it's a bad name or anything, just that suggestions are welcome. I'm sure most people care more about the content rather than the name. We are trying to avoid the word anthology but we do need to make it clear what the book actually is within the title
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Thank you Pimpin Mainer and Kerr Avon! :birdo:


:n64: -cyclopedia 64


A History, Guide, and Celebration of Nintendo's 64 Bit Powerhouse and its Games


That sounds pretty good to me. Just waiting to see if Dan approves...



This title is danilochka approved. I think it's official now :applause:
Edited by Shellshocker18, Mar 30 2017, 11:11 AM.
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Hiya guys. So this project has been going on for about 2 months now and I want to update everyone but first I just wanted to be transparent on my feelings of being a head writer in this book.

Despite the fact that this book is being written by 3 people, all the information is coming from dozens of members and years worth of quality posts here and across the web. I feel the slightest bit uncomfortable at the fact that I, as a 19 year old newbie to the scene, may profit off the hard work of a bunch of people. I've already got a lot of reassurance on my role in this book but I still wonder if anyone resents the fact that I was chosen to write so much of it. I don't think I have much to worry about but I still wanted to make known that I'm aware that I'm in an odd position that plenty of other people could have filled. I am still not even sure about putting a real photo of myself into the book. Still, my name is going to be on it so I am doing my best to assure this isn't going to be something anyone regrets and I know everyone involved wants this to be something the entire community can satisfied with. I am quite literally working restlessly to make sure that happens because if something in this book is wrong I'm going to feel terrible.

Anyway, my whole dealio is that I help with game coverage and history. Mostly I'm a “review” guy. I even bought all my own elgato stuff and now all I'm waiting for is the S-video cable so we can get original and high quality screenshots for every game. Correct screenshots too ;)

We are 22 complete reviews in, so yeah progress is slow so far but not a day goes by that we aren't making progress. I want to personally thank Pimpin Mainer for the N-Cyclopedia name. I don't think anyone wants to pay for a book with my personal opinions and anecdotes and the fact we are calling it an encyclopedia always helps keep that in my mind while writing.

I want to give you guys a taste of the style we are going for since I suppose some of you might be interested in this book. “Reviews” so far have generally been close to or under 800 words not including history or any supplemental information. We try to keep it about the opinions of players in general and by that I mean the ones who really give the games a chance, all while still making it clear why someone could be turned off from a game. Our personal experience does help to judge this but we aren't inserting our biases into these “reviews” to the best of our human capabilities


This is one I like as an example because me and italia both wrote it. Often he will write a very detailed review but with some organization issues and English errors. Once we both write together to fix those mistakes we are able to cut down on words and organize the reviews into something I think is really good, but I'd like to hear some readers thoughts. Of course these are missing screenshots, formatting, and other stuff but these are just teasers.


------------Top Gear Rally 2-------------

Developed by: Kemco / Saffire
Published by: Kemco
Rumble Pak
Save: 6 pages Controller Pak for 3 files
Expansion Pak: Unlocks high-res mode
1-4 player

With a different development team and graphics engine Top Gear Rally 2 is a sequel in name only as it looks and plays nothing like its predecessor. The four-point suspension and realistic physics of Top Gear Rally have been simplified giving an overall arcade rally feel combined with an huge amount of simulation features.

The core of the game are the 5 cups of the Championship mode each with anywhere between 3 and 5 courses. The player has to finish the multiple legs of each course with the best overall time meaning that finishing first in every race is not required since racers start one at time.

Top Gear Rally 2 gameplay is heavily based on the damage and upgradable parts system. Tires can blow, water can short-circuit the computer board, and all parts can wear down from intensive use or accidents reducing their performance. In order to prevent failures it's not only important to avoid contact with other cars, walls, barriers, rocks, railroads etc., but also to upgrade the car parts with more reliable and high performance parts. It’s possible to repair parts between one leg and another but this will add penalty seconds to the overall time with the exception of tires which you can repair even during the racing. This gives the Championship mode a strategic aspect as the player must decide what parts need repairing and when they can afford a time penalty in order to survive. Plays must weigh when to drive aggressively to make up time and when to make careful overtakes and cleaner corners when they have a good lead on time.

As the title suggests races take places on multi-terrain roads across mountains, deserts, farmlands, and jungles, with all the rally games variables like night races, sand, snow, fog, mud, different intensities of rain, small streams to cross and more. Finding the right set-up of parts requires experience as the weather is not always predictable and some races have mixed combination of road surfaces. Every component has different specs but most are never clearly superior to their alternatives so it’s not always clear which is the best compromise. Tires are definitely the most important part to consider since the choice will drastically change the performance of every race.

Progress lets the player earn Sponsorship Credits in order to repair or buy parts and Championship Points for unlock parts, cups and get new teams offers.
There are 14 different teams, a few with licensed cars while most have fictional names but are identical to their real life counterparts. Every car has its different behaviour and this going to change as more as the car is upgraded.

The game features a useful ARSG Rally School, a GranTurismo influenced mode, where the player has to practice different tasks and traversing obstacles. Hardcore racers will love to get all the gold licenses in this mode by mastering powerslides through hairpins without touching cones or being tested with different damage or weather conditions. Multiplayer modes include a 1-4 player arcade vs mode where car parts will not take damage and a very interesting team championship where 2 players race through the whole single player championship against a computer controlled team. The replay value is increased by a random track generator, available for players who have finished all the regular cups. It is possible to have déjà vu sensations as even the normal tracks are composed by a certain number of different segments combined in a different order.

Graphics are a mixed bag but are overall opaque, blurry, and drab looking. Car bodies visually don’t feature any damage either though it’s possible to see new sponsorships appear as you achieve good results for your team. There is some attention to details to compensate like the mud which progressively accumulates over the body of the car and can be washed by driving through deep enough water. Tires kick up sand, mud, and dust depending on the terrain, bugs and stones mark the screen, cars leave skids and trails, and rain on the camera decreases visibility. The sense of speed in the beginning is very low but it get better with faster cars, the framerate is solid with some exceptions in multiplayer.

While the music is very understated and generic the sound effects are well recreated. Every engine makes a different noise which also changes after upgrades or if you break the muffler during the race. There are also different co-pilot voices and good assortment of other effects like parts damaging, splashes, wrecks.

Star rating: 4/5

You may like:

More arcade like racing physics
Strategic part damage/upgrade system
Replay value with ARSG School, random track, and 4 player modes


You may dislike:

Bland visuals and audio
Slow cars and failing parts in the beginning can be frustrating
High learning curve


The UK release of Top Gear Rally 2 was renamed TG Rally 2 despite no other entries in the series being changed. A trade mark from the UK Intellectual Property Office says in 1999 the BBC filed against Kemco for the use of the name

https://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-challenge-decision-results/t-challenge-decision-results-bl?BL_Number=O/252/99


-----------------------------------------------

We have a You may like/dislike system which is different from pros and cons. Some aspects may be both a like and a dislike depending on what type of player you are. That way we can make it clearer that even good games have negatives and bad games have positives from different player perspectives. I hope everyone understands that when we list flaws we aren't saying they universally affect everyone's enjoyment

As you can see games are rated from half a star to 5 stars which is basically a 1-10 scale. I will make special note of this myself but the ratings are for the most part not important and personal enjoyment is completely subjective. Some games (Goldeneye, Ocarina, etc.) will get points for being games that defined the system and still help maintain its popularity today, even if they are riddled with flaws that some gamers may dislike ( No game is perfect, not even 5 star games. Plus if they didn't have 5 stars people would hate the book. I hope you understand what I mean)

As well as coverage for all the English releases I have made it a priority to cover Japanese games with the exact same amount of care as too often Japanese games are given less coverage due to the fact most people haven't played them. Of course this has to be done with my minimal knowledge of Japanese, using Google Translate to both play the games and translate every page of the manual as well as searching Japanese websites for coverage which Danilochka has helped with greatly.

I want to thank No64DD for personally helping me out with several Japanese manuals already including both Nushi Tsuri games. Anyway here is the review as it is now. It is one of the more feature rich, mechanically deep, and still relatively undiscussed Japanese exclusives.


-------------Nushi Tsuri 64-----------


Developed by: Victor Interactive Software
Published by: Pack-In-Soft (Pack-In-Video)
Saves: 1 file for each character saves on cartridge. Controller Pak saves 2 extra aquariums and insect cages for 1 page. These animals can’t breed or die
Rumble pak
Transfer pak: Fish caught in Umi No Nushi Tsuri 2 will be added to your animal journal and can be viewed in 3D


With the first game releasing in 1990 on the original Famicom, Nushi Tsuri 64 is part of a prolific series of mostly Japanese exclusive life simulation/fishing games. The few installments released internationally were renamed to Legend of the River King in the U.S. and Harvest Fishing in Europe which is not a coincidence as some games were published by Natsume for their similarities to the more well known Harvest Moon series. The original and Harvest Moon 64 were published by Pack-in-Video in Japan and it is likely that many of the same developers worked on both series’ as well.

There are 6 characters to choose from each with their own mission and legendary fish to catch. The game has 10 areas each with unique plants, wildlife, and fish to encounter depending on the time of day and the current season, as well as many fishing competitions and special items to find.

Fishing is a simple matter of waiting for a fish to circle the bobber and pressing A where the camera angle will change to show a 3D underwater view of the fish. From there you must keep the lure from floating to the surface until the fish bites. Then it's as simple as holding A to reel the fish in when it runs out of stamina so the line doesn't break. There are 102 types of fish to catch many of which can only be persuaded with specific bait or lures which mimic the shapes, movements, sounds, and light reflections of certain fish. The size of each rod determines which fish it is best suited to catch and some fish require boats like canoes or a tarai to reach and an anchor to avoid drifting away while fishing.

There are also 111 types of insects that can be caught and used as bait. The bugs and other small animals are caught with a unique first person view where you slowly zoom in and grab them with your hand or net. It's best to wait for the insects to be calm and unmoving because missing can cause them to fly away or get angry and try to attack. 40 types of flowers can also be found which you can snip, plant, or water to keep more sprouting up. Flowers can be easily sold for money and get bigger and more valuable the longer they grow.

Along with the insects there are also 50 larger animals to interact with like tanuki, goats, foxes, and various birds. You can befriend some animals like cats and bunnies which will give you health but animals like snakes or bears will attack instead. Running away takes time so often throwing weapons can make animals flee but this could also make others more aggressive and territorial.

Many things like animals and insects who attack, the passing of time, climbing slopes, rowing, and swimming will decrease physical strength and if the player passes out they have to return to the last statue they saved at. Eating food, interacting with friendly animals, and resting at inns restores strength. High strength is important for dealing higher damage to animals and being able to cast the fishing rod farther upstream so it doesn't startle any fish.

Taking fish, insects, and flowers as well as murdering animals in cold blood will lower their population. It is important to feed animals, water flowers, and not take every fish you catch so resources won't disappear. Fish and insects can be placed in the aquarium and insects cage to breed but if the tank isn't maintained and they aren't fed the correct food they will die. These creatures can then be used as bait or sold for money.

The game contains relaxing music and environmental sound effects adding to the relaxing atmosphere and some of the most detailed 2d art of any N64 game which is reminiscent of classic top down RPG’s, a visual style rarely seen for the console.

Most of the challenge comes from identifying and gathering the correct resources to catch some of the rarer fish which makes the game very trial and error based. The biggest flaw with the game is that it can be very repetitive due to the slow nature of fishing and it is very challenging to play without knowing Japanese. The game also has less focus on character interaction and community events like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing. It currently doesn't have a translation but it is worth a look for fans of slower paced simulation games.



Star Rating: 3.5/5

You may like:

Relaxing life simulations
Relatively simple and approachable fishing mechanics
Beautifully detailed 2d world with great music
Tons of unique mechanics and events


You may dislike:

Gameplay requires patience and trial and error which can be repetitive
Less focus on characters than similar games
Later areas can only be unlocked in certain seasons and time passes slowly

-------------------------

So, I would like some feedback about these overviews. Would you guys mind seeing a book with 388 of these? Obviously not all of them will be the same length or focus on the same aspects but these are good indicators. If you have legitimate criticism or ideas on how to improve these I would like to hear it.

If you have a collection of Japanese exclusive game manuals and you would like to help out please feel free to contact me. You will be credited and I won't upload the pictures anywhere else without your consent.

Edited by Shellshocker18, May 18 2017, 03:20 PM.
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Well yeah we are going to include every game from every region. This book is written from a more North American perspective so as of right now the format will be Ntsc-u and PAL released games in 1 section listed in Alphabetical order, with the Japanese exclusives being in their own separate section. Unfortunately I can't post every review but I may periodically throw some teasers into the thread if anyone is interested :P
Edited by Shellshocker18, May 13 2017, 01:28 PM.
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Critisicm noted! I will do a little rewrite, part of the jankiness of Nushi Tsuri is that there is a ton of info to cram in 800 words so I realize if it sounds odd. It feels more information overload then other reviews I have written. There was lots of stuff I had to cut or move to the Nushi Tsuri 2 review. If you like I can send you some more examples of my work so far or maybe I can post one that I wrote on my own that isn't Japanese.

I'm sure there are some typos but we will have to reread all of them at some point and hopefully our editor can catch these.

I edited the Nushi Tsuri review once. I did use the word you too much.
Actually I edited it like 7 or 8 times. Fixed quite a few things though. Still not perfect but better at least
Edited by Shellshocker18, May 13 2017, 02:48 PM.
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@Pimpin Mainer The name is good enough to sell books on its own so thank you! :yeah: Not sure if there will be a subtitle but we've got awhile to decide on that.

@breeding_fear It's going to be awhile before we start getting settled on pictures but we certainly wouldn't want to miss anything like posters or preorder/special edition trinkets. When we take into account every unique box manual, plastic tray, card, and promotional pamphlet in the world, including Japanese stuff, it would be a whole project on its own just to get that pictured and we would need cooperation from a lot of collectors. I do know we at least wanted to squeeze in every box variant. You'll have to wait for Dan or Italia to make a statement on that since it isn't my forte. We will see how it all goes and once a plan is set in motion I will pretend I was also in on it :mario:
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Hi Tyree. I'm glad you're are interested and enthusiastic to help out. I heard you and Dan were talking. I agree with you on several things mainly that I also dislike most retro gaming books because they are incomplete, have incorrect info, and are generally very opinionated and don't take the opinions of others into account for anything. This project is nowhere near as far in development as people may think it is. Full printed books are very nice because they can last hundreds of years but like you say, you only have 1 print to get everything right unlike something like a website which can be updated.

Small thing, the black boarders can be easily removed from screenshots. Italia had accidently recorded while stretching the standard definition, that's why those examples look so strange. Wipeout 64 does look strange, maybe it runs in widescreen normally? Italia knows more about that than me. But the regular 640x480 screenshots we have been taking look really good.

I'm strictly a game guy so I'll just answer your questions on reviews. That was the whole reason I was picked up for this by Italia was to write reviews. The 2 above are just early examples but I don't want just reviews. Ideally I want the games fully covered. When they were announced, public reaction, where they were displayed or demoed, advertisements and events, any delays, how they changed throughout development. Comprehensive coverage of everything about the game that is currently known. That info is spread all over the place, deep within dozens of websites and 20 year old magazine articles, interviews that have happened in the past few years, and some is simply lost to time as we have unfortunatly found. Doing that in less than 800 words is impossible for 99% of games and I don't want to make my writing short and crappy to save space. Because I don't want to spend months or possibly years write filler nostalgia fluff to make an insignificant amount of money. I would love to feel like people learn something and other experts could read our writing and not be disappointed. But I'm one guy, it takes a long time, and this is taking its toll on me right now for sure.

As for ratings I agree with you there as well. I've wrestled with the inclusion and implementation of them everyday for the past 4 months. There is no guarantee they will be in the final product but people do find them fun to look at before they read a review.

These reviews aren't my opinion at all. First I write the facts like modes, controls, levels, features etc. and try to find some interesting facts like if it was the first game to do something unique. Then I go into what human beings think of the game because I think that's important to the games legacy even if opinions aren't factual like what would be included in an encyclopedia. I never word those as facts. I say something like "players who don't like _ may find this frustrating" or " This aspect of the game was highly praised for this or that reason but for some players this aspect was why they didn't like it because it can lead to _". That's why each review has the you may like/dislike instead of pros and cons. I can give real reasons why people dislike great games and real reasons why people enjoy bad games. The rating itself doesn't affect this. Let's say Goldeneye has 5 stars, that doesn't mean I won't list like 10 things people don't like about that game. But that proves your point that being forced to give certain games high to ratings defeats the point of being informational. More popular games will always have more praise and scrutiny than smaller games so those ratings are especially controversial.

The rating isn't a mark of quality, it's based on what other people have experienced. None of my reviews of "bad" games are made hastily. I don't ignore what people enjoy. I scour the internet looking for diverse opinions and filter out stuff that is odviously not serious or were made by people who put no thought into what they were saying. I would never describe something as overrated because it isn't factual and it's better to explain why the high rating exists rather then try to explain them away. Trust me I've learned no matter how bad something is I can find people online who like it for one reason or another. We all have bad games we enjoy. Same with good games. No matter how good or groundbreaking, all good games have major issues for certain types of players. I know because I myself have many good games I don't enjoy, though I have respect for them and can see the good. I was going to take the space under my authors note to make it clear the ratings are less important than the writing, but agin they may not exist by the end.

I'll wait for the others so they can answer anymore questions because this post is long and took me an hour. That's the danger of something like this for me, trying to explain all my thoughts over 1 interaction is impossible. But anyone is free to ask me about reviews anytime. I can provide more examples to people interested. I would post some more early stuff but there's no guarantee I would get any feedback. I don't like being secretive about the process because this is something everybody should be allowed to have a say in.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Jul 6 2017, 01:21 AM.
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Kamikaze
Aug 20 2017, 02:03 PM
Very nice project guys. As you're going for a database-like book, is it an idea to include board-scans as well? Mostly because of the rise of repro games for N64. It might be a pain in the :donkey: since you're dealing with 3 regions as well and boards probably will vary between regios and maybe even with print runs. But, I do believe this forum has a pretty big (US) database as well. I might be able to provide some PAL scans as well.
Sorry for anyone in the thread if it ever seems we aren't answering questions. I don't because this project is still pretty early. Though work is being done I still think it's still in a stage where things are always changing.

So, including board pictures of every game. I took most the U.S board pictures and in general, most N64 games use the same shaped boards. It think that at the very least, we can include pictures of all the typical boards, and any games that have unique board shapes like Ogre Battle or Waialae, with a list of what games use that board type, as well as explain what the inside of a board consists of. I think that's enough to help people understand and avoid bad fakes. Realistically, getting pics of every board requires a ton of cooperation and takes up lots of page space. There's also a high chance we miss one then I feel like crap we missed something nobody would notice was missing. It may not be worth including that in the book, but of course that could all change.

Also I'm sure a small home brew will be included as it seems to me here is very little going on in that scene. I'd have to do some research. A section dedicated to what the N64 has been doing since it became antiquated would include lots of things. Rom hacks, translations, N64 programming, fan projects and custom hardware. Lots of stuff. It's the fans that keep any console alive with these sorts of things.


Again, glad to see the enthusiasm from everyone. Even if work is slow, i hope by the end we have something that's unmatchable in quality. The day we have enough done to really start sharing with everybody will be exciting. Questions are always welcome in here, this is everyone's book.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Aug 25 2017, 05:08 AM.
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bluedogrulez
Aug 25 2017, 04:32 PM
One photo that would be really helpful would be the english menu screen of Sin & Punishment (wii U VC version has one).
So I got your message about that. With Japanese games, I'm doing my best to ensure the reader can use my writing to understand the game, but it still takes initiative on the part of players to figure out things like menu's or what the words on the options screens do.


With Sin & Punishment specifically, it has menu translations online, actually it even has a full N64 translation, and honestly its a very easy menu to figure out anyway. So let's say I do include a translated screenshot of the menu, should I do all the sub menus as well? Sure the game is easy to play without a translation, but what about all the other Japanese games with insanely complicated menus? This would be like if I translated every menu option in Nushi Tsuri or Sugoroku. I don't see the point of translating all those screens because it takes up too much space and even if I translate menus, players will still have to translate the rest of the game themselves, so in the end I barely helped them at all. I trust that anyone who both has interest in Japanese games and is willing to pay for an N-Cyclopedia 64 is smart enough to navigate Japanese menus.

I'm not coming off like a jerkass right? I really just don't see it as being worth the page space.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Aug 25 2017, 06:12 PM.
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Cabanon
Oct 24 2017, 02:10 PM
Does the thought of including a picture of each board from the repository in something you've considered ?
I do think showing what actual boards look like would be fine since I see more people getting fakes this year. Since so many N64 games use the exact same boards, it's probably more space efficient to just show what each of the like 5 board types looks like and list games known to use that board. Some games like Mario Kart are also known to have at least 2 different shaped boards which did confuse somebody on Reddit earlier this year who thought their game was fake. Also nobody has offered to do Japanese games yet so it would be an incomplete list as it is now. Really I'd love it if somebody actually contributed some of those. My biggest fear is having people put boards of cheap games into fake shells to make them look more real in pictures. Can't really be avoided though
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This project started in March 2017, so we are at the 10 month mark. Breeding Fear you have shown a lot of interest and I'm sure we will have some updates soon. I know the staff have talked to us about some things (not me specifically) and we have got tons of work done.

I'm sure a few people wish we would share stuff more often. We have been talking about what to show and when/where to show it. It may look like we are sitting on our asses but I promise we aren't. Everything is just work in progress and I personally just don't like sharing stuff early only to improve it later without people seeing. I regret even posting those 2 early reviews but I'm not taking them down now. I really need to get over it but even after all 3 other guys praise my writing I sometimes still hate it and judge it too hard. Plus we already have a lot of exclusive information that would be best to share either closer to release or after the book is already out so we can sell people on it, but it's the kind of stuff that would also be cool to show early to give people a glimpse into what we are doing and inspire a little faith that we aren't doing this half-heartedly. It's a big catch 22.

I don't wanna bring this up constantly but I do wanna be honest. I've come to find more and more as time has gone on how incomplete and biased the N64 Anthology is as a book. I will not say any personal feelings I have towards the writer Matt Manent, but he is about to release a GameCube anthology as well. He is one man and being able to recount entire console histories by yourself is hard, it's hard enough with 4 people, and the amount of incomplete and incorrect things in the book is stunning. Just keep in mind we have 4 knowledgeable and diverse writers, a community of very helpful people backing us up, all the time in the world, and we are making it as great as we can. I'm not going to waste 1-2 years of my life then put my name on a book that sucks.

Everytime I come into this thread to respond I'm afraid I'm humblebragging or I'm somehow building it up too much. I don't know why though. It's hard to tell how closely people are watching us when we've barely said or shared anything. When we do share stuff I hope people realize it's less than 1% of our work. I'll share some of my stuff here in the next couple days.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Dec 17 2017, 09:39 AM.
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So I said I would post an update, and here I am. I thought about posting a review or 2 and covering our recent research methods and changing writing styles. I just couldn't decide which ones I felt were done enough to share and I'm tired right now. These posts take a lot out of me and I just wanted to do a little something for Christmas, so consider this just a mini update from me. Everybody else is probably going to update something too here in a few days. This stuff is just random info I felt like sharing, so I'm sorry of it's copy pasted in such a sloppy way, I promise we are more organized than this behind the scenes. It's just hard reformat everything to look good on the forum.

One idea I had a long time ago for the forum was compiling all old N64 websites as most are only accessible from the webarchive. Nearly every game had at least one no matter how obscure, and some of the ones that don't have websites may surprise you. Since with N-Cyclopedia 64 one of our goals is to be people's first resource for any N64 questions, I wanted website links to be present at the top of pages with all the other supplemental information, along with things like release dates and trade show appearances which I've been trying to cover.

Most game sites are simple to find and only have 1 or 2 pages, while others are more complicated.
For example Majora's Mask I heavily mention 5 websites.

The regular http://www.zelda.com
Japanese https://www.nintendo.co.jp/n01/n64/software/nus_p_nzsj/index.html
By the way, http://www.zelda64.com/ was the Prelauch site for Ocarina. Nintendo was forced to buy http://www.zelda.com because it was a pornohraphic site prior to 1999, as can be seen through the webarchive. Yes I'm serious, and all the images still exist so I imagine many kids were finding it on accident.

There were also multiple promotional websites for Majora. In August Nintendo of America registered 2 secret websites to promote the game

http://www.z-science.com/ was a mysterious website, filled with talk of parallel universes and global destruction on Z-day, October 26th, with reports from fictional researches. Visitors could take a fake fingerprint dna to test if they had the specific genetic makeup to interact with the other universe and save both worlds. The site is filled with anagrams

JRAMOA = Majora
Dr. Mouke Takeko = Koume & Kotake
Dr. Tarin Rugeshi = Tarin & Shigeru
Amonua Magoh = Aonuma & Gohma.

http://www.radiozelda.com/ reported on the alternate universe, complete with on the street video reports of the world ending and people cheering on the kid (Link, the player), with Majora’s Mask commercials linking the website. These commercials even aired across American movie theaters.

In another commercial Nintendo teamed with the World Wrestling Federation, with a commercial featuring Matt and Jeff Hardy. Majora's Mask was sponsored in the November 23rd episode of SmackDown several times along with WWF No Mercy,

http://wwfzelda.com let visitors email to enter a sweepstakes (October 30th to December 4th) to win tickets to the 2000 Armageddon pay-per-view on December 10th, 2000. 1 Grand Prize winner received a trip for 2 to the event, 2 nights hotel accommodation, and a N64 console with the Majora’s Mask collector's edition. 5 second prize winners received just a collector's edition game. This site later promoted Zelda Oracle of Ages/Seasons.

There is also http://camphyrule.com/ which requires more investigation but had a year which was Majora themed.

Anyway most games have only 1 site, maybe some have a website for the developer, as well as any publishers or license holders. I find them fun to compile and our book will be the first place to have them all, and so convienently organized. Everything will find its way back to this forum and across the web eventually.



I've also started a few other sections. On top of covering released games, something I started a while back was coverage on unreleased games. Most lists or articles online don't include every game, or they include them all but don't describe them in any detail. Some games truly don't have much to say, but they deserve to have a readable description that isn't just 2 or 3 sentences long like on some websites. We have already done some that aren't covered on sites like N64ever and unseen64 because they are so obscure, and we are orginizing them all in a very readable way. Many of mine can be even better than some of Unseen64’s articles which are incomplete, abandoned, and not written in a clean way, though of course I give credit where credit is due as they often have great source links and images, plus they have to work with more consoles than N64. Here are a few I have done so far, I'm at about 16 of like 100, though they are often fun because it's very easy to be unbiased about games that are unreleased. It's all just research based, no opinions to rationalize or mechanics to explain in depth.

Here is a basic one that most people don't know exists, but a very interesting one because I uncovered some exclusive stuff for the book. I hesitated sharing it but decided to anyway so consider yourselves lucky. Just know we find lots of stuff like this. It's a game that was cancelled, and until I found the official website, it only had 1 screenshot and basically no information. For a brief moment we all thought I had discovered a new N64 game, but no it's just not well known, for obvious reasons. As someone who has become very familiar with SETA, it's actually interesting to me. Notice how even some cancelled games have official websites accessible through the webarchive. Fascinating stuff I tell you. Also don't worry these will have screenshots in the book to make them easier on the eyes and much funnier to read. They also aren't necessarily finalized. Usually i provide a source reason and/or reasonable explanation as to why a game was cancelled. For this one it's not entirely clear to me yet. SETA had financial troubles in 1998-1999 resulting in several cancellations, but the where I wrote down the specifics is escaping me at the moment.

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Like Thunder Ultra High Speed Go

雷のごとく ~超高速囲碁~
Pronounced Kaminari nogotoku ~ chō kōsoku igo ~
Website: http://www.seta.co.jp/game/igo/igo.htm

Being developed and published by SETA, this would be a video version of Go, a 2 player strategy board game in a similar vein to SETA’s shogi games, where they mostly add graphics, music, and modes to an already existing piece of software. This was likely chosen since the Computer Go Association and Computer Shogi Associations often sponsored each other's events, and had some overlap since both games promoted community, mental health, fun, and advancements in programing.

Go originated in ancient China and was even 1 of the 4 arts of the Chinese scholar gentleman along with painting, Calligraphy, and the guqin stringed instrument. It is one of the oldest known board games and is still played nearly identically to its original form.

Each player chooses black or white and takes turns placing them across a 19x19 board. The game also depicts 13x13 and 9x9 boards often used by beginners or people who only have a short time to play. Stones can't be moved once placed and points are scores by completely surrounding opponent’s pieces. Those pieces are then removed from the board, since at the end of the game both players count how many of their pieces remain and add that value to their score. Captured territory counts as points, meaning any empty intersections a player surrounds are also counted. Despite the simple premise, Go has a wealth of available moves and tactics similar to chess or shogi.

The website says the Controller Pak would take 12 pages, the game would cost 9,800 yen (the equivalent of around 75$/80$), and that the cartridge would be 32m (presumably this means 32 megabits which would be 4 megabytes). 10 total characters were featured and there would be 5 computer difficulty levels.


The 3 title screen options are Niimon, Dragon Gate, and Introduction to Go.
The website also boasts that the faces of opponent changed during the gate mode such as getting frustrated.

According to the title screen Toyogo Inc. supplied the artificial intelligence algorithm. Toyogo was founded by artificial intelligence programmer Bruce Wilcox, who wrote landmark Go programs in the 70s and 80s such as NEMESIS Go Master, which was the first commercial Go program in Japan in 1991. He eventually worked at 3DO on games like the Army Men series and later worked for Telltale, and won multiple Loebner prizes for his work on artificial chatbots.

Also mentioned on the title screen is David Fotland, gold medal winner at the 13th Computer Olympian and seasoned Go programmer including the Many Faces of Go program. He likely was the primary creator for the AI used in game.

EGM issue 90 had a screenshot which notably featured a sprite based character, while the website screenshots show pictures of real people.

Issue 41 of Edge Magazine had a release list placing the game down for January 1997 which didn't happen.

The webpage on SETA’s site was last archived on July 4th, 1997, with the release date still to be decided. By October 15th, 1997 the game was removed from the upcoming game list.

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Here is one of the biggest ones, Zenith. This is also an example where most of the information comes from other more recent sources like Unseen64 or various interviews, which is unavoidable for this type of project. We’ll be taking lots of information but I'm trying to always give credit where credit is due, combine it all into a very readable format, and make plenty of our own original contributions so it's not so plagiaristic. Sometimes I'm just afraid it turns out that way. But yes this one is made up mostly of other people's interviews. I also make specific mention of screenshots in this one, so I'll include them so you can see what I'm talking about. Also sorry I didn't resize them, I'm lazy.

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Zenith was under development by DMA Design and set to be published by Nintendo. It was handled by at least 9 members of the younger staff: Andrew Eades, Andrew West, David Osborne, Doug Smith (the same Douglas E. Smith who created Lode Runner), Frank Arnot, Harry Thompson, John Gurney, Mike Dailly, and Paul Reeves.

Tentatively titled “Climber”, the game was never publicly shown, though it's title had some convinced it was a 3D take on the NES game Ice Climber, and even appeared on release lists with that title.

The game itself was vertical obstacle course racing game where players would pick a handful of characters ranging from humans, to aliens, to other bizarre creatures. The towers had various motifs like wild-west or medieval themes. Players could walk, run, jump, and use grappling hooks to swing around as well as attack with punches, kicks, and special attacks.

Head of DMA art David “Oz” Osborne, who eventually founded Realtime Worlds, had this concept drawing in his office.

Spoiler: click to toggle



It was cancelled during the ongoing development hell surrounding Body Harvest. Worse was that the cancellation occurred during the Body Harvest team’s trip to Japan, so they found out the news after they got home from an already stressful visit to Nintendo. With Zenith cancelled “about 10 people” left DMA according to White (John Whyte? Need issue 121 of edge) while the rest continued with the Body Harvest team or other projects.

Andrew Eades lead programmer of Zenith shared words with unseen64 in 2015,

“We had a really innovative split screen effect that showed the leading player on top but as the follower caught up the split would start to rotate until it was vertical as they were side by side. The effect of an overtake was really awesome as the split would turn upside down as the bottom player became the top player. It’s hard to describe in words. I left DMA to go to work for Virgin Interactive but I think you can see the ideas of Climber in the agency towers of Crackdown.”

Artist Paul Reeves said

“This was the first video game project that I worked on, during my time at DMA. Zenith was a future sport style game show, where the participants had to scale various towers on different themes, while avoiding obstacles and other players. The first to the top wins.

My involvement on the project was mainly character and level design, this also included the 3d modelling and texture mapping of both of these. Using Alias on an SGI Extreme 2, I also animated the characters. The animations involved a basic run, walk and jump. The more complex animations were climbing, hanging, swinging hand over hand, and a small selection of combat moves, punch, kick, and flying kick. Each character had two unique animations.

Each character had roughly 250 polygons, and 8, 16-16 texture maps. The texture and polygon budget was an incredibly small amount to work with compared to present day titles. The texture maps were made using Dpaint on an Amiga 3000. This project never completed production.”

Later in a March 21st, 2016 interview with TheGebs24 of juicygamereviews.com, Paul Reeves revealed more on Zenith including this detailed character banner.

Spoiler: click to toggle

Spoiler: click to toggle


“Every game I worked on went through a long name changing process. Body Harvest went through some really weird name suggestions. I think The Human Seed, was the weirdest one I heard. Zenith had some hilarious name suggestions. Cling On, was my favourite. If you're a Trekkie fan, you'll get the joke.”

When asked what the highlight of his career was so far

“I don't know about highlight, but there's several things I had a lot of fun with and was proud off. As you may know, Zenith was cancelled and we, the Zenith team, were put onto Body Harvest. I was sad about this because Zenith was a really awesome game with a great variety of characters of both sexes without sexualizing the strong female characters. So it was breaking a lot barriers on many fronts. So I decided to create some textures that were renders of the Zenith characters and created a decorative frieze that I used on some of the buildings and temples in Body Harvest. Some sharp eyed gamers out there may be able to find the Zenith characters in Java on the temples and in America on some of the decorative parts of the buildings. I hid some other things in there, but won't say what they are. Lots of developers I know do this sort of thing.”

Body Harvest Easter eggs
Spoiler: click to toggle

Spoiler: click to toggle

Spoiler: click to toggle


Art of what appears to be characters from Zenith is seen behind Richard Ralfe, a picture predating Paul Reeves revealing the character designs himself. Before Reeves interview it was only speculation that the characters were from Zenith.

Spoiler: click to toggle


---

Here is a famous one, Kirby Bowl. Unfortunatly today I'm not covering any games which have had appeared at trade shows or had their roms dumped since they were cancelled, but I don't skimp those details either.

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Kirby Bowl 64 was 1 of the original 13 N64 games shown at the console’s reveal at Shoshinkai from November 22nd-24th 1995. Along with Mario 64, it was the only other game with a playable demo at the event. It was reported the game was only 20% finished despite claiming to be 1 of 3 launch games for the system along with Mario and Pilotwings.

It was being developed by HAL Laboratory as a sequel to the Super Nintendo title Kirby’s Dream Course, the Japanese title being Kirby Bowl.

The single player involved rolling along undulating 3D plains to collect items for points and hit enemies. The analog stick was used to gather momentum and change direction, while B made Kirby jump, which is different than the power bar and miniature golf gameplay of the SNES game. Kirby Bowl promoted the N64’s 4 player with a demo in which players competed to knock each other out an arena, and the game was even shown to have ground polygons which could terraform in real time, a feature used later in Doshin the Giant.

The game also saw moments where Kirby surfed down levels collecting stars. Kirby went unmentioned at the N64 launch but reappeared in Japanese magazines and at Shoshinkai 1996 a year later as Kirby’s Air Ride. It showed Kirby surfing, doing tricks, and puffing in the air. Though it had no playable demo, it had a release date set for mid-1997 in the U.S. and in a July 1997 interview Satoru Iwata said a release date would be announced soon, but it was put on hiatus for many years as HAL focused on Kirby 64 and other projects.

Kirby Air Ride resurfaced for GameCube in 2003 in a short gameplay clip at D.I.C.E. Summit. It released that same year, but no playable roms of the N64 version have surfaced.

In July 1997 Satoru Iwata revealed in an N64.com interview that Kirby’s Air Ride featured not only splitscreen, but also 4 players playing on 1 screen, and that this new screen display technology was being used to make an unnamed HAL Golf game which also never released.
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That never released Golf game is overlooked because it never received a name. But I've got it covered. This is what I like to call “Unnamed Golf game from Hal Laboratory”.
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In July 1997 Satoru Iwata revealed in an N64.com interview that screen display technology from Kirby’s Air Ride, which allowed a wider screen for 4 players to simultaneously race on 1 unsplit screen, was being used in a golf game. He said we would understand more with Jack and the Beanstalk (another unreleased game) and that it would pioneer a new genre of software.

In a 1999 issue of Used Games Magazine, Satoru Iwata was interviewed as President of HAL Laboratory, a position he would leave the following year. Here he describes the golf game was cancelled after Mario Golf released in June 1999.

Full interview: http://shmuplations.com/iwata/

-- Were you involved in all of HAL’s game developments?

Iwata: There were games I wasn’t involved in, but I worked on all of the golf games: Golf, Japan Open, US Open, Mario Open for Nintendo, and then our own HAL’s Hole in One Golf for the Famicom and Super Famicom. I had really wanted to make a golf game for the N64 too, but the timing wasn’t right. Then while we were working on other things, Nintendo released the definitive golf game for the system, Mario Golf 64. I admit that we felt kind of emotional about that, given our history of making golf games for Nintendo. It was like, “we’re supposed be the ones making the Mario golf games!” (laughs) But the people at Camelot who made Mario Golf 64 told me that NES Open Tournament Golf was one of their favorite games, and that they had taken all the good parts from it for their Mario Golf 64, so I was personally very satisfied with what they created.”

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And I'll end with another Golf game. Actua Golf 4 is barely a cancelled game because it got converted into something extremely similar, but even it gets a piece.
Notice before you read how it breaks down in the middle and goes off topic.

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Actua Golf 4 was being developed and published by Gremlin Interactive as a sequel to Actua Golf 3, Fox Sports Golf ‘99, and VR Golf ‘97, which are both titled Actua Golf for the PC and European PlayStation versions. Gremlin sports games renamed to unify under the Actua brand which includes Actua Tennis, Actua Pool, Actua Soccer, and Actua Ice Hockey, all of which normally released on PlayStation.

On February 1st, 1999, and IGN reported that Gremlin had acquired the rights to the PGA European Tour and had finally announced Actua Golf 4 for N64 after Actua Golf had appeared on release lists occasionally over the previous 2 years. It was said the game would feature motion captured golfers like Lee Westwood.

Only a month later on March 24th, 1999, Infogrames, who already published Gremlin’s titles in Spain and France, offered to purchase Gremlin as they were a prime acquisition target after management troubles and finance issues made them weary of floating the company. IGN reported $40 million dollars was being offered but Ian Stewart, 1 founder of Gremlin, says the final purchase was £24 million pounds. Both of Gremlin’s majority stockholders supported the takeover and Infogrames would expand publishing Gremlin titles to Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

Stewart wanted the company to go from a privately held company to a publicly traded one, but the London Stock Exchange flotation raised £8m instead of the anticipated £12m. This left Gremlin short of money after their previous acquisition of DMA Design, which wasn't helpful profit wise since their hot Grand Theft Auto series was not included in the acquisition as it had already been sold to Bertelsmann’s BMG Interactive Entertainment. When Bertelsmann exited video games in 1998 BMG merged back with DMA reuniting them with GTA, then DMA were purchased by Take 2 for $11 million in April 2000 where they became part Rockstar.


The Gremlin sale was made, giving Infogrames the PGA European Tour license while Gremlin renamed to Infogrames Sheffield House. PGA European Tour was announced on October 12th, 1999, to become the first game to make use of the license and released in May 2000. Lee Westwood ended up not doing motion capture. :(

Infogrames never used the Actua title again though the brand had been struggling previously by not having major sports licenses.

---

I went off topic about Gremlin being sold and DMA Design losing then reuniting with their Grand Theft Auto series. I'd like to move this stuff eventually to a section about companies, what happened to them during or as a result of N64 dealings, their specific impact on N64, company stories, their financial reports etc., because it's usually too detailed to work into the "reviews" in a clean way


Other consoles have closer to 1,000 games not counting any other pieces of writing like cancelled games, betas, prerelease, company dealings. So they have to cut corners or skimp details, and would need upwards of 10-20 writers all working constantly which would get confusing and make fact checking each other impossible. With N64 400 games giving them all their dues is an actual attainable goal.

But yeah things are going smoothly. I have got several suppliers of Japanese manuals that I can translate to better research the games which has been fun. I've even got my first interview with an N64 developer in January, one none of you have ever heard of, but I'm very excited about it because it's possible I'll be able to learn more about the company, see beta art, and promote our research using things like unseen64 and of course out forum. I'll probably post the interview here eventually

Coming hopefully sometime soon I might post a review or 2 and talk about those. But I need to get back to work. These posts are hard. And wow seeing a few of these unreleased games stacked on top of each shows me how many freaking words I write.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Dec 25 2017, 05:00 PM.
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Shellshocker18
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Tyree_Cooper
Dec 29 2017, 09:39 PM
I am sweating at that long, thick and nutritious post, good job and thanks for the update.

Reminds me I have not made much progress except for some scans. It's hard sitting in a small room all alone >_<
Do remember I called it a mini update. There were a bunch of other things I wanted to share to show off a better range of things, but like I say sharing is exhausting :coffee:
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Cabanon
Feb 9 2018, 06:32 AM
I dont care if it takes 1 or 5 years, but I sure can wait until it's properly finished instead of a ass-halfed product.

you guys have my entire admiration for this project, the amount of dedication is above and beyond.
Good because that's how I view this. If we wanted to half-ass it we could have been done by now. It's no rush. Plus I recently got a job right after Christmas so I've slowed a little bit personally, but I still have been working on this pretty much daily for almost 11 months now
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