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Though the years have passed and the world has been reborn, the legends of destiny restored into the tales from Zilmurik, the nameless created fables as their echoes faded across the seas, stories of what has been and how it transpired to affect today have not yet been properly sung. If you would so desire, stay with me for a moment as I share with you the true history and meaning behind this world that has been left scarred and renewed through the acts that lay the seeds that flourished into this... the Dawning of a Dragon's Valor.
2005 - 2006: Born From The Legends
Truly a game that nearly died before it was born, my initial plan was never to turn this into a game but to simply open the RPG Maker 2003 and try my hand at making a logo appear the first time a player would enter a town. This example that I settled on was to be a sort of headquarters for a nameless villain's military. It was after this and a moment in MS-Paint that I created such an image by typing out the name of this fortress and including a basic frame to surround it. I proceeded to work out the eventing necessary to display this fine piece of art, and the result was met personally with great satisfaction.
With that task completed, I had little to do but to let it either gather dust in my project folder or delete it. Later I decided to open the project again and make an inside map to this fortress and make a scene that would detail the dragon hero walking to the sovereign of this military who would, in true arrogant villain fashion, send a lackey to dispose of the hero while claiming that it would be a waste of his time and that the hero can not comprehend his power. The dragon hero that was aptly-named "Drago" would presumably be killed but would mysteriously be sent back to his childhood village 7 years into the past by this ninja henchman. It wasn't until shortly after this that I decided to just sit back and have fun with this new "game" that had begun to form.
After spending two weeks working on an introduction to this quest, one that would include such laughably sub-par plot points as the ninja chanting "send you to the past" backwards (or "tsap eht ot uoy dnes!") while holding his sword upside down, I had created everything to the point of both the king of Vermolin and Rage's initial demise, or roughly the first 15 minutes of gameplay. I carried on with this until I had completed the airship of the imprisoned pirate where you would encounter your teammates to carry you through the rest of your quest, the Dragon Forest, and the small grass brushstroke-like landmasses that held the areas now present in the project.
I spent some time thinking about this exciting new project in school, planning out such things as the confrontation of the "Dark Leader" on his airship that would lead to your childhood village's destruction, the death of your mother, and the single most important plot-point in the meaning behind your existence, how I envisioned Greed as a floating, fireball, bomb-like creature from Final Fantasy, and the conclusion of the game as you scaled the tower of your nemesis' army as your final task to return the world to the past, thereby rescuing your mother from her dreaded fate.
For some reason or another, I felt that making the beginning and end of the game while leaving all the juicy middle plot parts as little more than filler was a good idea... I can't imagine why.
2006 - 2007: Revelations Of A New Land
On June 16th, 2006, exactly one year after its creation, the project was completed. I had spent the last week creating a small bit of optional content known as "Clue Scrolls" (big Runescape fan at the time), crystals that could be bought from the merchant in the Ice Forest that lead to rare and powerful equipment. Even then, I struggled with the most basic of eventing, namely around the time of the Crystal of Wisdom where you were asked multiple questions about the game. It was after this that I decided to upload this game to FileFront and post a link to its download on the only forum that I frequented at the time.
Unfortunately, the game was met with neither a grand amount of praise nor interest in general. There -was- one who did play my game and shared with me his critique. I remember trying to shrug it off as him just being stupid or some sort, but I realized that some if not all of his points were more than valid enough to consider making changes to the game. The first of these changes was to:
• Create some sort of indication as to the location of the Ancient Temple docks, either in mapping or dialog, after the fight with Medusa.
• Make a difference between the daytime music of the Hero's Beginning and the nighttime music.
After this was completed, I began looking into other places that may need a touch-up and spent a fair share of time reworking some areas. Every week or so I would upload my changes, which proved cumbersome as the game was well over 300+ MB at the time due to my inclusion of both used and unused DragonForce MP3s. It was then that I had had enough and decided to go through and cut out all but a few of the songs to make the game smaller and easier to work with, a practice I still exercise today.
While making these changes, I felt a desire to expand on the game in the form of both new towns, dungeons, optional quests, and even a new world complete with its own storyline that carried on where the original left off. Over the next months leading into the new year, I nearly doubled the size of the first world and created a fair amount of places for the second. The expansions to the new world came in the form of:
• A complete world map revision
• Desert Temple
• Desert Tower
• Dragon Mountain
• Ice Lake Beastmaster
• Minotaur Camp
• Tree of Wolves
• Ice Canal
• Abandoned Mine
• Forest House
• Swamp of the Lost
• Caldinasus Cavern
• Ice Forest Cavern
• Tower Courtyard
• 3 new side-quests
2007 - 2008: Honoring The Nameless
As another new year dawned on this world, my first major revision of the game was complete and the second was already in the works. Back then, I didn't make the extreme changes I do now, so houses first saw a third vertical rooftop row added to them followed by the pyramid-styled roofs of the "2007 Demo" while grass, trees, and windows were added where appropriate. Alimena made a fair bit of progress, however, as the wooden fences surrounding the town became grand castle walls and the buildings inside were revamped.
It was during this time that the game's original name "Legends of Destinies", which was the name of an older project of mine from 2003 that never saw completion, no longer felt acceptable for this now grand project and some long overdue brainstorming was in order. After twiddling my thumbs and staring into the ceiling, the title of "Dawning of a Dragon's Valor" came to mind. Also during this time I created a small side project by the name of "Redeeming Legacy", who more than generously lent a few of its names to this project, such as Caldinasus, Ternotris, and Corfaisus, the third of which would become the official name of the "Dark Leader".
More names would be shared between the projects and progress was made towards both, but these alone are barely all that came out of this era. A backstory was formed for the newly named Corfaisus and other aspects in the world through a desire to tie some of these optional places together such as an old wizard in Caldinasus who was exiled from the Mage's Domain, Vrenmasil who was Corfaisus' friend during childhood who went his own way after an argument that lead to his eventual position as overseer of the Mage's Guild, and the fall of Hronulum as a consequence of Corfaisus' corruption. Rage, Greed and Fear no longer carried their original ties to Corfaisus as physical manifestations of his emotions but rather the follower of their hidden master, serving only to bring their own plan to fruition after their puppet's role had come to an end.
2008 - 2009: Era of Rebirth
In 2008, I began having a recurring nightmare. The first time I dreamed, I was standing on a dirt path with wooden fences on either side of me, beyond that was a wheat field. I walked into a shack on the edge of these train tracks surrounded by high-voltage wire fencing. There I saw a tall, black-cloaked man (presumably the Grim Reaper) speaking to three villagers about some plot or something. He spoke to me and commanded that I throw a lever that reached up from the ground. I decided to try my luck and take a swing at the phantom. Upon doing so, he seemed to fade out slightly and float to the side before returning to me, a scythe appearing in his hands which he used to punish me by death. The last thing I did just as the scythe hit was close my eyes as I heard it tear through me.
I awoke once again in the wheat field and carried through the dream up to that point, but this time obeyed. The next time, I would appear in a mansion and make my way to a lounge with a broken floor that lead into a frozen cave-like basement. Jumping across platforms that rose up from the darkness below, I made my way to an orb much like a crystal ball and touched it. A bright light began to glow from this orb and I awoke. The next dream was the same as the last, only it carried through till I stood in the doorway to a study to the north of the lounge, where I peered in but suddenly awoke.
The final dream I had of this horrible place began with me standing in the foyer of the mansion when suddenly a zombie jumped down from the upper stairway that lead to a door and to the second floor. We stared into each others eyes for a moment before I awoke. This dream remained so vividly in my mind that I used it as inspiration for Fear's domain beyond the graveyard, the Mansion of Shadows. This same place appears once again in "Lingering Forsaken", though reworked into a relatively better mapped form.
Outside of this section of the game, it was during this time that I began to experiment with slight chipset editing to allow me the freedom to create towns with cliffs, dungeons with curving openings leading to either water or a dark pit, and large sections of trees without having to make thousands of events for the upper halves. Details such as these became staple in all walks of game design after this point and have since been improved on in the few revisions of towns and dungeons that have come to be.
Around this time, Chaos, the father of Rage, Greed, and Fear also became a prominent figure in the game as his plans and appearances aided to further expand and flesh out the storyline.
2009 - ???: Present Age
With the creation and now revision of Tales from Zilmurik, the storyline of this game has taken yet another turn that will ultimately do more for this project than any half-baked plot points ever could in the past. The after story sections of the game have seen their first grand revision since their introduction in 2007, while the main story continues to flourish and benefit from my practice and somewhat excessive planning. Sub-quests, mini-games, equip skills, faster walking and text speed, new characters, dungeons, towns, crafting, fishing, and much more have been introduced in what short time I've been throwing them around and the future is looking brighter for new ideas everyday.
"Legends of Destinies" History
During early 2003 I started work on what would have been my first true RM2k "epic" under the title of "Legends of Destinies", which told the story of a young teen and his quest to return his world back to its Golden Age before it became fused with multiple other worlds that were inhabited by its own native races and fiends. Cameos would have played a very important role in the story, evident by the fact that before progress on the project was canceled, your team consisted of this teen, Megaman EXE, Kirby and a small blue creature called Chao. Unfortunately this would become the reason behind this project's cancellation as I began striving towards more original and creative endeavors, sickened by my own tendencies to virtually trace whatever piece of art I was working on from its original source. The project was ultimately brought to a close in 2004, shortly after discovering RM2k3.
Although little remains of this project, I did hold on to two of the many songs that I had created using Acid Music Studio for use as a completely original soundtrack for the game, as well as two MSWord documents that held small tellings of the story of the Legends of Destinies, one being written as a novel that covered the beginning and end of the quest, and another in the form of a sort of prophetic message of the game's story that was partially told during the intro of the game.
"Legends of Destinies" Music
LoD Game Over.mp3
"Legends of Destinies" Text