Happy Easter! You're looking at Epistory: Typing Chronicles, a typing game with a distinctive papercraft look.

You're playing as an amnesiac girl accompanied by a three-tailed fox spirit as she recovers her memories by traveling through a mindscape of metaphorized events from her (modern, real-world) life.

The metaphors are very thin and very college at times, mind you. That's the explanation for the phrases you're seeing on the landscape: internal narration.

I don't recall what's happening here; probably arguing in a Philosophy 101 class.

It is a good game, despite the unsubtlety, combining environmental exploration and satisfyingly intense typing action with lush visuals. This level in particular, with its pinwheels and sunlight and birds and clean white-pastel-sky blue floating springtime palette, stuck with me as a very Easter landscape - which is why you're seeing these images today, a few years after I completed the title. It looks even better in motion, be it through the linked video - or through your own playthrough.

All right, it's time to shake the cobwebs of nightmares & dreamscapes and get down to what matters. Phantasy Star II! That's what matters! A bit ago, I mentioned an article in Game Players magazine that piqued my interest in PS2. On the great repository of archive.org, I found the article.

I don't think this was the magazine I owned; Game Players often repurposed its articles, and I wouldn't have bought a dedicated Genesis publication at a time that I didn't own a Genesis. To my recollection, the magazine I owned was a more generalized end-of-year cross-system roundup. But the magazine above does contain the article, and it deserves a page-by-page appreciation after all these years.

I dreamt last night that I had accidentally found myself at a local retrospective of Akari Funato's work. It spanned her entire career, with a welcome (for me) focus on her early work. It included everything, right down to the promotional banners used to advertise her manga in-store. It even showcased her childhood Hot Wheels collection. (Note: I do not know if the Funato actually owned Hot Wheels as a child.) Just jam-packed with attendees, too.

The exhibit included homemade stuff, like this sculpture of Dyne as Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber (wearing Han Solo's outfit, oddly). (It was paired with this Alice in Wonderland figure that had had its head taken off, which I suspected in-dream was because the figure had originally depicted Ghaleon. I should issue a reminder at this point that dreams do not always follow real-world logic.) A great deal of my attention, however, was commanded by a collection of Funato Lunar illustrations bound in these massive leather-bound books, complete with extensive commentary and contextual essays. The organizers had even gone to the trouble of translating the essays, but I felt frustrated, since the translators couldn't even identify Ghaleon, referring to him in illustrations as "an unidentified harpist" (not even naming the correct instrument, dammit).

I'd been spending time photographing stuff for posterity with my little point-and click, but there was so much illuminating supplemental material archived in the books that I realized that I was going to have to come back the next day myself, without my family (I was there with my family) and spend all day at the exhibit. Before the day closed out, though, I wanted at least to see this display of framed artworks they had of the major "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" characters (I recall a pencil portrait of Tagak and one of Zain with watercolor accents). I weirdly couldn't find them, though, despite recalling them to be in a relatively prominent place in the exhibit. Everything became clear when I circled back to a space I knew held artwork just a few minutes earlier and saw tomato-growing equipment now in its place—I realized that there was no "next day" of the exhibit and that they were turning the exhibition space back into a hardware store, obviously.

I found my way to the back rooms where they were storing the works and ran into whom I believe was the owner of the items shown in the exhibit (an unidentified Funato herself, I later suspected). I explained I was a big fan and wanted to see the Vheen Hikuusen paintings (adding the descriptor of "pale elves" just in case she was just a manager or somesuch who wasn't familiar with Funato's corpus). At first, she listened attentively. At my mention of Vheen Hikuusen, though, she paused for a deliberate beat, then said she didn't know what I was talking about and ordered me to get out. (So, obviously, it was Funato herself.)

I deemed this such bullshit that, while this was at no point previous an "I know I'm just asleep" dream, I consciously decided to wake up immediately right then and there, and so I did. And here I am, no richer in Vheen Hikuusen content for it.

Three personal reasons to recommend the collection of reviews of Japanese exclusives at the Bouken Boy tumblr: One, he has reviews of three Angelique games - Neo, Retour, and Maren. Two, he has a review of Tenshi no Uta: Shiroki Tsubasa no Inori, the Super Famicom incarnation of an angel-themed series of RPGs with lovely, uniquely-soft sprite art. Three, he is the only human being besides myself to recognize that Seiken Densetsu 3's refusal to let players actually freaking attack something when they press the button is freaking gamebreaking.

I am posting to share his observation on an event from Giovanni's route in Maren (from which the pic is blatantly stolen), which was for me the laugh of the week: 

 

They go to the opera! He gives her a new dress! A fancy restaurant! Flowers! It’s amazing!

It is then revealed that he was able to go to such excesses because he scammed rich people out of their money. Teresa, for whatever reason, is appalled at this, and basically tears him apart, making a huge scene in public, even - and I was completely dumbfounded. This might be a bit too political for a gaming blog, but I personally would have no issue with someone I am interested in romantically treating me to a five-star experience through some rich asshole’s money. They’ll be fine, they’re rich - who cares? It would be one thing if he was beating up orphans in the street, but Giovanni only targets those who can afford a little blackmail. He is the ideal husband. Teresa should deal with it.