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Zalor

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Zalor last won the day on February 11

Zalor had the most liked content!

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About Zalor

  • Rank
    Fuwa Elite
  • Birthday 04/07/1997

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Japan
  • Projects
    Active. Currently have a completed Beta version, will release more information once I am ready for a polished release.
  • Development skill
    Programmer

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  1. Originally I didn't have much to say about this, other than that tastes are somewhat subjective and after strong evaluation I standby most of my writing decisions (even if some disapprove). But, I do appreciate all the effort you spent into pointing out all the parts you had problems with. So if nothing else, thank you for the constructive feedback and giving it a try. EDIT: I should add, when I say I standby the writing I don't mean to imply that I think the writing is free from fault. But personally, I'm done modifying this work and ready to move on with my life to other things. Most of the remaining flaws regarding the writing are either very pedantic technical details, or simply subjective disagreements.
  2. I really appreciate the review and the fuwa-endorsement! Thank you for spending time to write up your thoughts!
  3. My personal favorite KEY work is Kanon (their first title). I mean this as a huge fan of Kanon when I say that you should probably watch the 2006 anime adaptation of Kanon instead of diving into the VN. In general I think its a good introduction to KEY. For one, every major work of KEY has mostly been derivative of Kanon (and ONE, which is a VN many of the founding staff of KEY made for another company). So if you like Kanon, its safe to say you will like their other stuff. The reason I recommend the 2006 anime, is because it hits all the high notes of the original VN, but cuts a lot of the fat. This is one of those few cases where not only is the anime adaptation good, but arguably (at least in my opinion) a bit better than the source material. It is also only 26 episodes long, compared to Clannad's anime which in total is 52+ episodes long. And the real core of Clannad is really in the last quarter. So if you don't want to invest in a huge VN to first dip your toes with KEY, this is what I personally would recommend. Planetarian as others have been recommending is also a fantastic starting place.
  4. The best judge of quality is time. Fads come and go, which is why popularity is a poor judge. Think of all the anime that gets discussed every season. Some of which is very popular and then gets forgotten about within a year or 2. On the other hand, there are cases where something went unnoticed for a while, and eventually it gets dug up and finally appreciated. I realize its a frustrating answer, to say that the only way to really determine quality is to wait. But I think its the only consistent method that is relatively free of bias.
  5. “War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.” ~Judge Holden (Blood Meridian) “My love is destruction. Its flames ache to devour all that exist: Heaven and Hell, God and Satan; all things in Creation, from the first universe that was, to the last that will ever be.” ~Reinhard Heydrich (Dies Irae) The archetype of a sentient embodiment of war continues to persist, and has morphed considerably from its mythological origins. Having finished Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, considered by some literary critics to be the great American novel. I am left transfixed by a particular figure, a haunting presence that defies death: the Judge, Judge Holden. The Judge is a complex figure, and there are many interpretations as to who he really is. One common interpretation is that he is the embodiment of war itself. This, along with his function in the novel, reminded me quite of bit of Reinhard Heydrich from Dies Irae. Reinhard proudly claims to be war itself, and so in this respect he is not subtle. What makes Reinhard standout as a villain, is how evil yet seductively charming he is. He wants destruction for its own sake, or really; for his amusement. To him war is fun, and an eternity spent warring couldn't be a more ideal form of the afterlife in his conception. He would be in complete agreement with the judge on this point: “Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here which is wagered swallows up game, player, all.” Easily some of the best parts of both Blood Meridian and Dies Irae are the speeches and dialogues given by Judge Holden and Reinhard respectively. At some point Reinhard in the midst of battle famously states, “I love everything, therefore I will destroy everything”. The judge says something essentially to that effect as well. Possessing a near expert level of knowledge on nearly every subject (something true of Reinhard as well), he is once asked by a fellow crew member why he always meticulously jots notes of artifacts they pass by. The Judge responds, “to expunge them from the memory of man”. What he's saying there is that he wants to record everything so that he can keep track of what he destroys, with his ultimate goal of destroying everything from the “memory of man”. This ties into another famous quote of his, “Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.” In order to have dominion over everything (to become a “suzerain” in his own words), you must first know everything. For you cannot conquer what you don't know. There is however a key point of contrast between these two characters who share this same archetype. Judge Holden is visibly terrifying, with the image I included in this post being my favorite depiction of him. Reinhard on the other hand, is gorgeous. Compared to the Judge's bald head and completely hairless body, Reinhard is characterized with a mane of flowing blonde hair. The importance of this contrast in outward appearances is that the two characters signify different aspects of war. Reinhard best represents the seduction of war, and the glory as well as rewards it promises. In the prologue alone, he convinces countless Nazi soldiers faced with imminent defeat and slaughter against the Russian troops storming Berlin, to instead give up their own lives and souls to him. Encouraging them to participate in a group suicide that would put the largest of death-cults to shame. They went along with his command, because he promised the glory that Hitler failed to deliver on. It is also noted when that happened, “This could not have been the first time.” If Reinhard is the seducer of war, then the judge is its rapist. Indeed, there are several instances in the novel where it is heavily suggested that the judge was responsible for a brutal rape, but it is never concretely confirmed. But his fetish for violence is no secret. While the judge is capable of persuasive charm, his preference for violence is clear. Even when he does display his persuasive abilities, the threat of violence that his domineering stature imposes must surely add a feeling of extortion to any request he makes. To list the unfathomably gruesome cruelty of the judge would still not accurately communicate how truly horrifying he is. I think the best example is when he was left in charge of the gang and a group of hostages when the gang leader, Glanton, had to leave for other business. When Glanton finally returns, one of the hostages comes desperately running to him only able to say, “That man, that man.” What Judge Holden personifies, is the horror of war itself. I suppose the last point of comparison I would like to touch on, is how both Reinhard and judge Holden are based on real people. Reinhard Heydrich was a high ranking Nazi official. They tie this in an interesting way in Dies Irae, but obviously the overall depiction of Reinhard in Dies Irae is mostly fictional. Judge Holden on the other hand is much more mysterious. Both the real and fictional Judge Holden was the second in command of the Glanton Gang; mercenaries who in 1849 temporarily worked for the Mexican government to genocide Apache Indians. However, the Glanton gang (lead by John Glanton) also slaughtered peaceful tribes in order to collect more Indian scalps which they could exchange for a higher bounty. At the end of 1849 the state of Chihuahua outlawed the gang, and put bounties on their heads. Samuel Chamberlain, who at one time worked for the Glanton gang wrote about his experiences with them in his memoir: My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue. Mentioned several times in the memoir, it's the only document that attests to the existence of Judge Holden. In it he is described as, “a man of gigantic size called "Judge" Holden of Texas. Who or what he was no one knew but a cooler blooded villain never went unhung; he stood six feet six in his moccasins, had a large fleshy frame, a dull tallow colored face destitute of hair and all expression. His desires was blood and women.” In the memoir he also notes, “Holden was by far the best educated man in northern Mexico; he conversed with all in their own language, spoke in several Indian lingos, at a fandango would take the Harp or Guitar from the hands of the musicians and charm all with his wonderful performance.” It is the fact that the only testimony of the Judge's existence is in several pages of an obscure, forgotten memoir that makes him more terrifying for me. Given how similar the description of the real Judge Holden, and the fictional one is, it makes it that much more difficult to draw the line between fiction and reality. What can be said though is that “war endures”. As long as there are masses of people desperate for glory, then Reinhard will be there to seduce them. And as long as there are blood soaked battlefields, the towing silhouette of the judge will be there to lead men to their doom.
  6. First of all, thank you very much for having read it! And I'm glad you found many aspects of it pleasurable. Your criticism of the ending isn't something I myself even disagree with. Way back when it was only in the form of a script, I personally felt it was one of the weaker aspects of the story. I can at least explain why I ultimately went with it, for any curious: As for the flickering screens, what you mentioned was also a concern of mine. I think the effect can add a nice touch, but I'm also aware some people might be sensitive to it. I'm sure if I looked into it I could figure out how to add an option to have it on or off. Or I might just get rid of it all together, since I'm not sure if it adds that much to the overall atmosphere. Out of curiosity, did you have trouble with the flickering screen for both the half-screen computer, and the full screen one? Or was it one more than the other? Because my suspicion is that the full screen one is likely the more annoying one.
  7. Update: Version 1.20. is now out. @Zakamutt was the editor for this version and he helped a lot. This will likely be the final update to the VN. And if not the final, it is certainly the most significant update. The script has been thoroughly examined and polished of any errors. If any errors do remain they were either intentionally left in as a design decision, or my subconscious just really wants them there lol.
  8. UPDATE: Just updated all the files, lets call this version 1.10. Zakamutt kindly did some work as a proofreader, and I've fixed various typos for this version. There may still be some typos that stubbornly escaped attention, but at least the majority of them should have been taken care of in this release.
  9. First of all thanks for that catch (something like that is the definition of a mistake that I don't notice when I reread something too much). I already fixed it, but before I update the downloads I think it would probably be more efficient to fix up the other typos as well. If you really wouldn't mind helping me with that, I would be really appreciative.
  10. Thank you very much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And thank you for making the vndb page!
  11. General fuckiness, probably yes. Typos, no (not intentionally for the most part). When you reread the same thing and constantly make small edits like a billion times your mind tends to gloss over the small mistakes. I had one person read it before release and they spotted a couple errors and I fixed those. Maybe I should have sent it to you since you edited my articles before lol. Purple prose was intentional, mostly because I believe that style of writing most accurately reflects the main character's mentality. Thanks for the feedback! And I'm glad you liked the atmosphere, as that was probably my biggest focus.
  12. Great topic, its been a while since we had a thread contemplating the nature of VNs as a medium. I've thought about this a fair bit myself, and I'm inclined to agree. VNs that use sprites (pretty much 99.9% of them), I think can be compared to puppet theater. Especially in how you direct things. VNs that abandon the usage of sprites (Narcissu for example), I think are a different beast and I wouldn't know how to classify them.
  13. I would like to say before anything else, that this project is first and foremost an open love-letter to the visual novel medium. I've officially been reading visual novels (granted, on an on-and-off basis) for 10 years now. Hell, I've been posting on these forums for over 7 years. It's safe to say that visual novels are an ingrained part of me at this point. Whether across discussion threads here or blog posts, I've written a lot about my thoughts on visual novels, especially about those that I like. However, even with blog posts that I took lots of time to carefully write up and polish, I never felt like I was able to truly convey my genuine love for the medium. I think with this visual novel, Digital Seclusion, I've finally been able to do that to some respect. Plot Synopsis: Isolated in a room repurposed into a personal shrine to esoteric Japanese media. Our nameless protagonist has dedicated himself to a collection of retro Japanese computer games, with a particular fondness for early visual novels. Although decaying in a slovenly existence to the untrained eye, his retreat into digital life is enriched by the scripted interactions with various charming 2D girls. His one purpose in life is to chronicle his thoughts and reflections on each of the digital worlds he immerses himself in. However, one day while pulling out another visual novel to review, a girl leaps straight out of the cover art and begins interacting with him, face to face. But perhaps most shocking of all, in a completely unscripted manner. Information: Digital Seclusion is completely free. In terms of its length, I would estimate it to be between 1.5 ~ 2 hours long. The current and most likely final version of this VN is version 1.20. Download: https://thezalor.itch.io/digital-seclusion
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