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Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!! - The  Early Years

The Creation ...of a Monster
Written by Benjamin A. Oliver
Artwork by Esa Karjalainen
July 3, 2003

Storyboarding Madness

Eight years have passed like a dream… Well, maybe not a dream. It was more like one of those dreamlike states achieved just before overcoming a fever. In any case, you have done all you can to guide your daughter as best you know…

TerraDear Mom,

Ah, um, thanks for taking care of me for so long, I guess. It's sort of because of you that I've survived up until now. This has truly been an unforgettable experience, with you and Arby always trying to get me to do stuff all the time.

Looking back on my "childhood", the thing I remember doing most is taking voice, dance, and protocol classes. I have no idea what in the universe you were thinking. You must have been trying to make me into an idol singer or something like that. Sometimes, I wished I had more spare time to go outside and find things to kill. I'd like to say I'm grateful for all the effort you went through to get me to go to those classes, but quite frankly, I'm not. I couldn't stand hearing all those other kids sing off-key all the time. And what IS dancing for, really? I never figured that out. I mean, it's such a stretch to be able to destroy cities with it…

Anyway, another thing I remember was working part-time. It seemed I was going out all the time as a sailor-suited magical girl to battle the forces of evil. You could say that Erato—the senior Senshi of Mars—became a sort of mentor for me. In fact, I'd say she really got to depending on me. Unfortunately, due to the Senshi code of ethics, I seldom got to destroy anything larger than a cave or hill. It really did get boring once the droids, youma, farces, and Zentraedi ran out. All things aside, this was probably a high-point in my time with you.

Of course, we can't forget my time helping out the Wandering Samurai on his quest to better mankind. We toppled three corrupt governments on our few adventures together. I wonder what happened to that guy…?

Last week, when we fought and defeated Beryl and that giant, planet-destroying shadow, I couldn't help but wonder if I could somehow be doing more with my life than just taking classes and doing odd jobs around the solar system…

With all major threats defeated, the time had come for Princess Terrifying to decide what to do with the rest of her life…


Queen Serenity"Terra, you have been a wonderful daughter to me and have helped to save this realm. Thank you so much! Now that you're grown and you've had all of these wonderful experiences, what will you do now?"
Terra"You know, I've put a lot of thought into this, and I've made a decision that will affect everyone in this kingdom."
  Queen Serenity"Oh?"
Terra"Mom, I've fought thousands of demonic beasties, trained better than any top-class idol singer, visited many parts of worlds that ordinary people only dream about. And, I know more about ruling and government than anyone else I've met…"
Queen Serenity"You've done so well at so much. The Crown Princess will be disappointed, but I think it's best for everyone if you became the new heiress to the throne—"
Terra"And now, I will pursue my lifelong dream. I shall become… A LUMBERJACK!"
Queen Serenity"W-WHA-WHAT?! But that has nothing to do with what you studied or where you worked! You musn't do that!"
Terra"I must. I shall renounce my title, travel to Earth, and build a log cabin in the mountains, where I will never think about dancing, singing, or anything ever again!"
Queen Serenity"I can't let you do that."
Terra"Go ahead and try to stop me, Mom! I dare ya."

And so, Terrifying followed her lifelong dream and became a lumberjack. She spent her years ripping down overgrown forests and being a holy terror to the citizens in the valley.

Once in a while, her old friends Erato and the Wandering Samurai would visit. Sometimes, they would ask who she was going to marry.

Terra"I'm married to my work! Now quit bugging me!"

One fateful night, Terrifying looked up at the stars and wondered what still might be out there. Her experiences in the Moon Kingdom and as a lumberjack had given her more than enough time to recover her strength and power. She spread her arms and regained her true form.

Terrifying soared into the sky and left for parts unknown. Many years later, millions of supernovas could be seen in that same view of the stars.

She had become a Galactic Destroyer, once more…

  Galactic Destroyer"I'M SO HAPPY!!!"

Red ArbyFish"Roight. Queen Serenit'y, Oye'z watched yer parenting awl these years—"
Queen Serenity"Who are you and where is Aquarius, my patron deity?"

Red ArbyFish"Quiet, you! Oye's yer patron ArbyFish now, n' Oye'z been watchin' yew. Yew'z worked 'ard n' brought out abilities in that girl that 'ave seldom been seen. It's great. Thanks for givin' me something entertaining ta watch!

So, she became a lumberjack. Bloomin' fantastic. A lotta people want ta become lumberjacks, but they just don't have the McGuinnies to stick up for it. She was great at her job, slashin' and burnin' whole jungles and heatin' up the place. She's still got a real noice blaze goin' on the southern continent.

She beat Metallia and became a great, big destroyer again, too. That's not easy ta do. Yew'z been a great Mum, overall. She's not much for kids, but that doesn't really matter now, does it?

Noice try, in any case."


Ben OliverAh, glorious, glorious storyboarding goodness! I love plotting, and plotting is what I do. What you have just read is a theoretical way that endings could occur once the Galactic Destroyer Maker game gets put together. Naturally, I will plan out something a bit more exciting and hopefully a bit more comical, but you can get the gist of it here.

Game design is a very interesting and time-consuming process, especially for someone that's doing it for the first time. People with a bit more experience have suggested I make up a documentation for its development and proceed from there. My current attempt at building documentation is here—or here for a PDF version.

One thing that's a huge temptation to do while designing a game is to load it with a whole bunch of nifty features—features that, when all things are said and done, add nothing to the plot and are just there to add another random dimension or a side-game. Take the Gummi ships in Kingdom Hearts, for example. While it was fun and all to build your own vehicles of destruction to travel between the worlds, it didn't really contribute much of anything to the plot. You couldn't use those vessels in regular combat or have anyone perform a last-minute save with them. They seemed added just to appease a desire most younger folk have for legos and such.

Galactic Destroyer Maker (GDM) will stick to basics and be a parody of Takami Akai's Princess Maker series. It may take some time to get the jokes and the gameplay to come out right, but we've made a valiant start. There's already been a basic sort of main screen design done and a beginning Adventure mode created, as witnessed by some of the screenshots in the forums and in a few earlier Extras articles.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the girl in Princess Maker seemed just a little too cooperative with the player's wishes—where were the random rebellions for no apparent reason during the early teen years? Where were the protests when you wanted her to put on an outfit that obviously clashed with her personality? And why didn't she complain when she got sent to do work as a lumberjack when all she had done before was dancing and painting?

Most importantly, why didn't she ever blast the player when he suggested she take all those Buxomizer pills? Wouldn't that sort of imply that he thought she was insufficient and needed a little help in that department? That's an offense in desperate need of some blunt trauma. "PAPA NO BAKA!!!"

The point is that, while it was a sort of fun game, the girl needed a bit more spunk. So I got to thinking about what would happen if we put Princess Terrifying from NETTG in the place of the PM2 girl. There are few girls with more force of personality than that in what I've read. That led to a sort of spoofy edited picture and a couple of offers to help out on the project. That way, the joke could get carried to a more viewable extent to more people.

Besides, it's about time a Princess Maker clone/parody got made. Parodying a date sim… has pretty much already been done. Parodying a first-person shooter… has been done and would be too easy. But there's this one niche that hasn't been filled yet, surprisingly enough. It apparently has the virtue of never having been tried that I'm aware of.

Customizing the game to the player's preferences has been on my mind, since you could easily play PM2 in a number of different fashions. To make things a bit more interesting, I've decided it would be best to have a selection at the beginning for a character persona for the player to occupy. First of all, you could just as easily play a mother or a father, and then you'd be able to pick your alignment, whether good, neutral, or evil. That makes for a total of 6 possible parent types and will require a whole lot of additional writing to be programmed in, not to mention the art for each parent's design. Plus, the intro storyline will be greatly affected by this. In the NETTG webcomic and fanfic, Sailor Moon's Queen Serenity defeated the Galactic Destroyer and went on to raise her, doing a fairly decent job. Had someone else done the job, things could have turned out quite differently. It may be a bit difficult to program, do the art, and write for, but I really do want this feature included.

I mean, imagine the girl rebelling against an evil parent. What does she do? Like Sorsha from Willow, she'd start doing good things instead, much to the chagrin of her mother. That alone is a terrific comedy of errors.

Now, to make the game entertaining, we have to draw a whole bunch of pictures of the main focus of the game, at different ages, with different expressions and different outfits. Plus there's the sprites that we've not even started working on.


I must say, it's quite fascinating to see a familiar character at various ages, watching her grow up, etcetera. I'm trying to imagine what it's like for the artist to draw Terra at all these different stages. It's all well and good to draw a cute child or a teenage, but to figure out what she looks like fully grown must be quite a task. Nevertheless, Esa's done quite well so far.

We'll use a sort of "blank" form image, overlaid with outfits and expressions in a sort of paper doll format. Graphically, it's quite simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy for the artist to put it all together. Plus, he's working on school and the comic at the same time—this guy seriously deserves some praise. Go ahead and tell him at esa@nettg.com how much he's appreciated. Or, you can mention something to him in the Forums.

We're also doing the programming in JAVA, since it's theoretically platform independent and most everyone seems to know a bit about the language. If you'd like to help out with art, music or programming, we may be able to fit your talents in, although we still need to get a few details straight before charging ahead with the coding details. Mostly, we'd like to hear what you think about the idea of the game. It'll take a long time to piece this all together in the end, but I think it'll be worth it.

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June 19, 2003: Senseless Switcharound


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