Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sega Saturn and Mega Drive 2 designs for your Animal Crossing: New Leaf suite

You know how at the end of yesterday's post--about the rather rad (if I do say so myself) Dreamcast and PC Engine cushion designs I recently made for Animal Crossing: New Leaf--I asked people to let me know if I should conjure up designs for any other consoles?

Well, a few people actually took me up on that offer--especially on Twitter.

The results of their suggestions can be seen in the Mega Drive 2 and Sega Saturn (the original Japanese version, of course) designs below.

As was also the case last time around, I made "light" and "dark" versions of both of today's designs. I prefer the dark (regular) ones myself, but I thought some folks might like the light ones better so I'm sharing QR codes for them as well.

Above and below: light and dark Sega Saturn designs.

Above and below: dark and light Mega Drive 2 designs, respectively.

Oh, and here's how the "dark" Saturn and Mega Drive 2 designs look when applied (by Re-Tail's Cyrus) to a plain ol' cushion.

Got any other design suggestions for yours truly? Let me know all about them in the comments section below.

See also: 'PC Engine and Dreamcast designs for your Animal Crossing: New Leaf pad'

Friday, July 26, 2013

PC Engine and Dreamcast designs for your Animal Crossing: New Leaf pad

Early yesterday, the guys over at published a post about a trio of Animal Crossing: New Leaf designs that, after being applied to the cushions that can be purchased within this addicting 3DS title, allow players to plop adorable Mega Drives, Super Famicoms and even PlayStations in front of their retro TVs (or, if they're like me, their modern/mixed-wood TVs).

As much as I liked those designs, I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed that the person responsible for them didn't create Dreamcast and PC Engine ones, too--especially since both of those systems actually were square-shaped, unlike their aforementioned 16-bit and 32-bit counterparts.

So, what did I do? I whipped up a few of my own designs. Four, in fact: a white Dreamcast, a properly gray Dreamcast, a PC Engine and a PC Engine Core Grafx II.

Here's what my first PC Engine design looked like after Re-Tail's Cyrus got through with it:

I've since changed it up ever so slightly, although I'm guessing most folks won't notice the alterations.

Here's a closer look at the design, by the way, as well as its associated QR code:

And here's the Core Grafx II design I came up with, as well as its QR code:

Like I said earlier, I ended up making two Dreamcast designs--one of which is gray, and one of which is white. 

I know the Dreamcast's actually a light gray, but for whatever reason I prefer the white design to the gray one. (Maybe because a cushion bearing it is sitting beside a PC Engine cushion in my male New Leaf character's "man room," and I've always had a thing for symmetry.)

I'm pretty sure most hard-core Sega fans are going to want their Dreamcasts to be gray, though, so I made a design to please them, too.

Anyway, here's the gray Dreamcast design:

And here's the white one:

Finally, here's a screencap of the Dreamcast and PC Engine designs--affixed to cushions courtesy of Cyrus, of course--sitting in my above-mentioned man cave. 

Should I make any other console-inspired designs? If you think so, feel free to let me know which ones in the comments section below.

Note: just in case anyone's wondering, I realize the lid on the Dreamcast design is a bit smaller than it should be. It was the proper size in my original design, but it looked all sorts of wrong when applied to a cushion. So, I shrunk it a bit, as my intention was to make a cushion design. If anyone would like me to make and share another Dreamcast design--one that features a properly sized lid (so you can hang it on your walls or something)--let me know in the comments section below.

See also: other Animal Crossing: New Leaf-centric posts

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wart and Birdo, sittin' in a tree ...

While scouring the Interwebs for the Mr. Saturn illustration that anchored yesterday's EarthBound-focused post, I came across the curiously titled (in a good way) Sketchamagowza! tumblr.

Although said tumblr is filled with awesome pieces of art (here are a few yummy examples), most of which are inspired by or related to video games and nearly all of which are produced by someone who calls him or herself Shmorky, my current favorite is the Super Mario Bros. 2-inspired you see below (and here).

Nintendo seriously needs to bring back Wart, don't you think? And all of the other guys and gals who were featured in Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka Super Mario USA or Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic), too.

Silly aside: if you're any kind of RPG fan, be sure check out Shmorky's hilarious "Secret of the Dungeon" comic.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A fascinating look at EarthBound's localization

I haven't finished it yet (I know, I know), but that hasn't kept me from professing my undying love for Shigesato Itoi's EarthBound (aka Mother 2) anyway. As such, I tend to glom onto any article I come across that's related to this treasure of an RPG.

Few of them are as fascinating as the one Wired published yesterday, though. That's because this one features a Q&A with Marcus Lindblom, the man who translated--and in many cases, re-wrote--the game’s text from Japanese to English.

Here's my favorite passage in the piece--in which Lindblom chats about the difficulty of this particular localization--although there are a number of other sections that are just (or nearly) as compelling.

"We had to go back and forth and figure out what would be the best thing to do in some of the stranger situations in the game.

I believe this illustration was created
by the person behind this tumblr.
"For example, you know the part in the game where there’s an iron pencil and eraser statue blocking your path, and you need to get an item called the 'pencil eraser' and the 'eraser eraser' to progress? In the original version, the pencil was an octopus and the eraser was a Japanese kokeshi doll.

"So those two objects, I knew just wouldn’t play in the U.S. I mean, I couldn’t do an octopus because people here don’t really care about octopi (laughs). Whereas they’re really important in Japan and they’re this… You know there’s a group of people in Japan where octopus and sealife is a big deal in their life and culture.

"Then the kokeshi doll was more of a play on words in Japanese, because the word keshi means to erase. So Mr. Itoi did this clever pun in the Japanese game where you get an item called the 'kokeshi keshi.'

"So when I was trying to figure out how to handle that, the guy from Japan was like, 'I have no idea what you want to do here. You can make it weird if you want.'

"Then I said 'Well, there needs to be something that’s an eraser,' and I thought, 'Well, if the item is called the ‘pencil eraser’ then it’s kind of funny if there’s just a big metal pencil.' So that worked and then the next thing was like, okay let’s just call it the 'eraser eraser.' Which ended up playing off the 'kokeshi keshi' idea.

"It worked out but that was one of those cases where I had to come up with something odd that didn’t really have all that much to do with the original Japanese."

Another series of questions and answers reveals that Itoi himself wasn’t all that involved in the localization process, which I find more a bit shocking considering how much the game has always seems like such a labor of love for the famed writer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aino's (and Bryan's) Adventures in Animachi, Week Six

Week six was a pretty low key one for Aino, the Magnificent Mayoress (that's what she's requiring her underlings to call her at the moment) of Animachi, and her cohort, Regular Ol' Citizen™ Bryan, as you're sure to see while taking in the following photo diary.

That's not to say it was without its thrills, though. Case in point: a rather fabulous lighthouse was built (overnight, of course) near the town's most precipitous cliff.

Also, Animachians were treated to a stunning meteor shower for the majority of one evening.

And then there was the morning when both Bryan and Aino were handed golden watering cans in recognition of all the hard work they did (not much, to be honest) to maintain Animachi's "Perfect Town" status.

All of those events paled in comparison to the one documented in the photo below, though.

Why was the unearthing of yet another boring fossil considered such a momentous occasion? Because it had laid, maddeningly undiscovered, for about three or four weeks--during which time Aino and Bryan nearly tore out their hair in search of it. (Because, you know, it meant they only were able to dig up three, rather than four, fossils each day.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy belated 30th birthday, Nintendo Famicom and Sega SG-1000!

Did you know that both Nintendo's Famicom and Sega's SG-1000 (the precursor to the Sega Mark III, aka the system North Americans know as the Master System) were released in Japan on the very same day all the way back in July 15, 1983?

I didn't--until I came across the following, charmingly minimalistic illustrations over the weekend.

Both were made by German graphic designer and artist, Barto, by the way.

To see more examples of his work, much of which is related to gaming, check out his website,, as well as his Flickr photostream and his YouTube channel.