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Journal (E1)

That's right, just for your reading pleasure, I've included excerpts from my development journal. It is my hope that some of you find it just somewhat remotely interesting. Enjoy!


7:44 PM 5/24/2006
Project started. Let's hope I do it for real this time.

2:43 PM 6/8/2006
LOCATION: (beginning of?) Arean Caverns
COMMENTS: It's going really good. I've worked out most of the balance and difficulty
issues I wanted resolved so far. I'm constantly getting new ideas; it's even robbing
me of much sleep, probably moreso than healthy. But in the end, I think, it'll be
worth it.

My dad, playtesting, is at the Cockatrice in about 1:45. Makes me wonder how long the
game will actually be when it's completely finished...

It's awesome to see all the crazy ideas I got as a kid come to life like this. So
many times have I tried to make Elements a reality, but I've never come this far.
Here's to its completion!

6:46 PM 6/22/2006
LOCATION: (making resources for?) Pepp Mausoleum
COMMENTS: Still okay. But gosh darn, the bosses are a PAIN in the BUTT!! Winning
those battles is a matter of LUCK and luck alone! This could be Elements' official
slogan: "With Elements, every boss is a superboss." It's funny, in my original ideas
for Elements, there was an "EV" (easy version) and an "RV" (real). Maybe I'll do just
that; start an easy version, once I've gained more ground on the main one... either
that, or tone down the bosses once I've gotten fed up enough.

Dad is nearly 6 hours into the game... at Ben's Playhouse. I'm at the same place, in
around 2... so he's just a slow player, and Elements really isn't so long yet. But 2
hours is quite good, moreso than I've ever done with RPG Maker before, probably. AND
I did a little cheating... so it might be around 3... so Dad plays at half my pace, I

I've made use of common events in ways I never imagined, and VARIABLES... the dreaded
variables. Before, I had absolutely no comprehension whatsoever of what they did. But
now I do, and their potential is incredible. Maybe Elements won't be so far off from
the original idea after all, aside from the battle system, that is, which I imagined
as more of an action RPG... but the funny thing about that: apparently, in my early
concept of Elements - my old drawings - it was to have a turn-based battle system!
How about that...

8:00 AM 7/6/2006
LOCATION: preparing to make monsters/background for Pepp Valley
COMMENTS: Things have been going very slowly lately, mostly due to bad weather... and
my terrible, terrible sleeping habits. Seriously, I've got to get on a good schedule,
and fast. But that's unrelated to this, really...

First things first: I DID tone down the bosses. They're still challenging, but not
entirely frustrating. This is good. It was terrible before, I tell you. Just fricking
terrible. I'm tired.

I've gotten a TON of new ideas, all detailed in my "goodies" document. From secret

characters and costumes to alternate modes and a fully-featured New Game+ (Complete
with a bonus dungeon!), it's all in the works... or, rather, it will be. But still,
there's a lot to look forward to. If I can just muster up the energy... it's hard
when you don't sleep all night... uhh, nevermind.

I'm just such a perfectionist, it drives me crazy sometimes. I've been refining
character sprites/map graphics a lot; more than anything else lately, anyway. There
are still some optional cutscenes at the beginning of the game that I've been putting
off working on... I procrastinate a lot, too. But this isn't an autobiography.

I got up at 7:00 yesterday. 7:00... PM.

Oh man have I fumbled a lot while typing this. I hope I can work good today... I need
sleep... but... sleep from night to day, not the other way around. Ahh, here I go

One more thing. I thought of this awhile ago, but never put it here. I figured out
the rasomn this is going so well. Before,in any other RPGM>aker program, I alswyas
tried to do eevertyithnig in the database fiurst. This lead to be being discouraged.
I never got really, really far on any of my games. There were a couple gems, but noin
like thius. And you've got to figure, I'm making all the resources for this game...
no, most of tem. But still,... that means I wouldn't even have made it as far as I
did on most of those old projects if I planned to put as much effort in tghem as
Elements. But yeah, on to the reason: all the work is spread out here. I do a little
but if map building here,some database there, some spiries over here, maybe some
battle baclground over there (but man oh man that's my least-favoritre part of this).

Now for that one paragraph I stopped being a perfactionist. That last word, too. Now
tell me I shouldn't be, oh yeah.

...Hey, I just noticed these journal entries are getting longer. Uh... yeah.

Man I ramble on a lot when I'm tired... huh.

Now it took me a hlaf-houe to write and proofreadthis . Sleep... come to me baby.

Hey look, I stopped being a perfactionsi again.

10:38 PM 7/23/2006
LOCATION: working on Alavon Underground
COMMENTS: Wargh, it's late! I kept forgetting to update today. As you can see, I've
added a note on progress: 1/8, 13%, 11/76 areas finished. Rough calculations estimate
about 1.3 years' worth of work before Elements' completion. Of course, there could be
slow times and fast times. There have been, already...

Right after I finished Pepp Valley, I got working hard on resources for the Alavon
field. The enthusiasm really came back to me. Yes, I am sleeping better. No more of

So yeah, it's the two-month anniversary of this project. Yay, woohoo, yeehaw, yeah.

I think I've achieved the ultimate balance of difficulty. I base the items and
possibility of making it through an area on my current level, and it's a bit tough
for Dad since he's somewhat behind. I fight all the battles, while he avoids them
whenever possible. But really, I don't want Elements to be so easy. It's perfect now
that I've toned down the bosses.

Dad: over 8 hours, me: 5.5. I've been doing a lot of calculating lately, probably out
of boredom. But anyway, Elements may be upwards of 30/nearly 40 hours once it's
finished! Combined with all the other extras I have planned, Elements will be like
any good solid RPG you can find on the shelves today... in content, at least. The
presentation is less than professional, but I could excuse that as a charm factor,
yes. Harharhar.

Dad said the "spirit" of Elements hasn't really kicked in yet. He's talking about
characters like Jessica, Romeo, Ezra, Esther, and Boaz. Well, they're right around
the corner! I'm approaching the "good part". The part where lots of characters join
you out of nowhere, you mix and match them inside the funkalicious party ball, and
you use the behemoths to travel around the world, seeking the Elements and revenge
for Pappy.

This is only the beginning!

6:42 PM 8/6/2006
LOCATION: just finished party ball, ready to make romeo/jesi/ezra battlers and castle
COMMENTS: Well, here we are at the supposed "good part". I haven't really gotten far
since last time, huh. I've been doing a lot of story cutscenes, which can be a pain
to test. But it's worth it in the end.

The "good part," where the spirit of Elements starts to kick in. The story's
certainly picked up, that's for sure. The "good part" starts at... 6 hours or so, at
least for me.

There really isn't much else to say... maybe I should start to spread these updates
out to about once a month, huh? Or maybe it should just depend on whenever I've hit a
landmark. Who knows... we'll see.

6:13 PM 8/13/2006
LOCATION: working on Alavon Castle
COMMENTS: Surprise surprise! Hey hey hey, whaddayaknow, it's only been a week. Yeah,
I think I'll just update the journal whenever I feel like it from now on. I just have
some thoughts.

Well, I drew Romeo/Jesi/Ezra, and they look great, I think. Fine, yes. The party
system might really be interesting. Who will you take? Will it depend on their level
or their usefulness in that particular situation? Will you keep the same four people
throughout the entire game, or give everyone a turn or two? It's YOUR choice! I
wonder, though, will the game be too easy if you keep the same people, or too hard if
you try to keep everyone up in levels (because only those in your party gain EXP)?
We'll see...

I've decided that I'm not going to overwork myself. That's what always led to
discouragement in the past. I had the idea to make Alavon have this huge castle, with
all sorts of rooms and enemies and stuff, but no. I'm just going to keep it nice and
simple; it's fine that way.

That's all.

6:59 PM 8/27/2006
LOCATION: working on Alavon Castle throne room event
COMMENTS: Wahaha, am I late? Yeah, I think I'm just going to update this whenever I
feel like it from now on.

Well, I think I'm at one of those slow periods. I always dread getting started on
battlebacks, but once I get into it, they're not so bad... I guess. Maybe this isn't
the "good part" after all; not just yet, anyway.

I got ahead of myself a bit... I mean, to avoid making all those backgrounds, I went
ahead and made the events after you free Alavon. Just the text, mainly... I should
stick with what I'm doing, but I don't want to get bored. I don't want to lose track
of myself, either... aaahhh...

Dad's time is 11:20, mine 7:30. Yeah, Elements is gonna be a pretty long game, I
think. I often speculate what time/levels I'll have at certain points in the game...
Mt. Loki, for example. I figure around 20 hours for dad and 12 for me, maybe.
Leonardo's level might be as high as 25 by the time the first Rune is lit. Wow, is
that like... a quarter of the game? Geez... speaking of which, the progress watcher
thingy might be inaccurate, especially considering the New Game+ and towns/areas with
no enemies.

On the subject of Mt. Loki... I'm just thinking, there'll be many times in the game
where you must brave several areas in a row with no rest. You'll have to survive on
the items you bought in the last town. And at this point, Medicines go fast... the
Power Drink is about to be introduced, so we'll see if they hold out. I briefly
considered making a "Memory Crystal" item that memorizes your location, similar to
Farore's Wind in OoT. You'd use it, could go back to town and restock your inventory,
then recall to the memorized position. But that might make the game too easy... I'll
see what happens when I experience it myself.

I'm beginning to see roles forming for the main characters:

LEONARDO: Overpowered killer.
LEAH: Item-based healer. Or, rather, good-for-nothing, because anyone can do this.
PICA: Love-her-or-hate-her "utility" character.
ROMEO: Secondary attacker.
JESI: Stat-buffing tank.
EZRA: Standard mage.

We'll see if these come true.

It's coming soon... so many characters, so many abilities, so many options, so many
incredible challenges... let's hope my pace picks up soon!

9:54 AM 9/8/2006
LOCATION: Just finished Alavon (WOO WOO!!), up to Alavon Forest (6:49 PM)
COMMENTS: Bad sleep again.

I've spent far too much time going back over things I've already done/planning ahead.
I need to stay right where I'm really at: in the present. Otherwise, this project'll
never get done.

But yeah, I got the Land Behemoth up and running. It went nice and easily; I'm glad.


Well, well... there's the Magic Shop, too. That's going okay... and, uh... the
character count's at seven now... gettin' bigger... uhh... yeah.

There hasn't been an actual boss battle in awhile. Not since Bigger Ben... but the
next big guy is the Great Mantis, in Alavon Forest. The new equipment makes all the
characters powerhouses, but I'll try my best to make the Great Mantis just as
challenging (read: frustrating and nigh-impossible) as the others.

That's all.

12:49 AM 9/17/2006
LOCATION: JUST finished testing Alavon Forest & boss
COMMENTS: Wow, this is surprising! I made the forest in record time, I say. It all
started when I hadn't slept all night (I think)... the next night, before I went to
bed, in some sort of creepy all-nighter state of... uhh... something, I just
bing-bang-boomed through and made the forest's layout. A few days later (I guess), I
proceeded to make and place the enemies... yeah, one night I broke down and made all
those in a heartbeat. I wish I could do that all the time... oh yeah, and the
background was a simple recolor, so that was no trouble at all, really.

At first, the enemies WERE too easy, but all I had to do was raise their defense, and
the difficulty became absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I actually had planned to give Coil and
Slick Lizard attacks like Lick, Halitosis and Gaze, but forgot... and THEN tested it.
But after all, I don't think I'm going to risk screwing anything up by adding those
skills. Everything's fine as-is... except...

...the boss. I had NO trouble at all in making him "challenging" enough, that's for
sure. I originally planned to give each boss just 150 HP more than the last, but he
went down too quickly with just 700. I wanted Jessica to be vital to the battle, but
she couldn't even damage him at all. I tried lowering his Defense, Will, etc. in
various combinations, but no matter what, he was just too easy. So I doubled his HP
and said "heck with it." Heck, or perhaps Hell, indeed, for he's one of the hardest
bosses yet, since I toned the others down. Ben might be equal or perhaps a smidgen
tougher, but maybe not... I dunno for sure.

My time is like 9:12, and Dad's is 16:15 or so. He had to do some leveling up to
beat the Great Mantis. I really didn't want that to be required, but... it wasn't
so bad, I suppose.

On to the badlands... new enemies, a new background, and a new character... Boaz.

That's all...

9:14 PM 10/3/2006
LOCATION: finished the badlands, up to mt. loki
COMMENTS: I actually finished the badlands around 2:00 AM.

Despite all the gold I put around Alavon, there are still money troubles every so
often. This is fine, though; I just add more gold, heh heh.

Instead of a memory crystal (and who knows, I still might implement it), I think I'll
put a "restore point" between areas. Like, if you must go through three or more areas
in a row, between the second and third ones, or every two areas, there will be a spot
to restore the party... maybe. We'll see... in testing it, I have the convenience of
phasing mode, but a regular player won't... then again, most people probably wouldn't
fight every battle, but if they did, I suppose it's only fair that they have to
maintain their party.

My time is exactly 10:22:08, and Dad's at nearly 17 hours.

1:37 AM 11/18/2006
I thought it was only right to update after all this time...

The long absence is due to a loss of interest. I was discouraged by Mt. Loki's
layout; I want it a certain way, and it's a pain to make.

I tried to regain some enthusiasm by replaying, and I must say, it was pretty cool...
The game isn't nearly as long as I previously thought (I'm at Mt. Loki in 5:34:20). I
weakened Jack and Ben even more; they were such a pain before, and probably still
are, albeit less so. I also made it so that the Great Mantis can be confused, though
it's a very minute chance. I did it, actually, because I couldn't beat him at a lower
level in this new file...

I didn't fight every battle this time around; actually, I tried to avoid most of
them, and thus, my levels were much lower: my weakest character is 8 now, as opposed
to my old 13, or 10 for Dad. Surprisingly, the only really difficult part was
fighting Goblins. I considered changing some enemies' stats and weaknesses, but I
ultimately decided that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

With the new time in mind, the game might be around 27-30 hours when finished, like
any average classic RPG.

4:14 AM 12/3/2006
I've started Mt. Loki, for real! I gave up on trying to make it all nifty and stuff,
though. I like this new layout better, anyway.

9:08 PM 12/7/2006
LOCATION: finishing loki crater (setting up boss picture & battle)
COMMENTS: We're back in the business, baby.

Holy crap, Mt. Loki turned out hard. The Flareagle has to be the most annoying enemy
I've ever created; I toned down its usage of Flareflash, but still, man. The crater
seemed easier than the mountain, which is good. The enemies just do so much damage,
and that may not be fixed until new equipment is bought in Winstar... ouch.

I figured out a solution, a replacement for the "memory crystal" idea: I'll just make
Pluto able to take you to certain non-town areas like Loki Crater.

Dad's time: 18:18:41. My time: 12:21:21. Ha ha ha, funny numbers.

11:45 PM 1/7/2007
LOCATION: finishing ashe (about to draw boss)

9:46 PM 1/13/2007
LOCATION: back to arean
COMMENTS: After approximately ten million years, I've completed about a quarter of
the game. Yay. I'm at about 16 hours, and Dad... like, 26 or more.

2:55 PM 1/27/2007
LOCATION: winstar arena (about to draw carbuncle)
TIMES: ME 18, DAD 32

1:25 AM 1/28/2007
LOCATION: finished winstar arena

2:08 AM 1/31/2007
LOCATION: planning layout of drafty rift

3:05 PM 2/5/2007
LOCATION: working on mt. gareth's layout
TIMES: ME 20:39:41, DAD 34:15:56
COMMENTS: Hahaha, haven't been too many of these lately, have there? I guess it's
because there's not a whole lot to say at this point; I'm just working on the game.

Well, one thing... I've never really successfully drawn a horse before, and I think I
did pretty good with the wild stallion.

I'm making this game based on memories as a kid, along with filling in the gaps. The
whole Jack - Ben portion of the game is batcrap crazy, making little to no sense and
would probably be labeled "filler" if Elements were another type of entertainment
medium (such as TV series). So there are bound to be a few blatant ripoffs (though I do try to cover them up a bit, or at least turn them into homages) and nonsensical, way-out-there moments. I think the sequels will do better in this area, as they all came into play much later than the original.

6:52 PM 2/17/2007
LOCATION: mt. gareth
COMMENTS: Yeah, I took another little break. I was discouraged by the centaur and
griffin enemies. I drew them too big, then shrunk them down in Photoshop, and they
got all stinky. I shouldn't use Photoshop to adjust graphic size, just to make snazzy
text and stuff. I'd forgotten the art style: big heads and stubby bodies. That worked
for the griffin, and really, all the centaur needed was a torso removal. It's all
fine now.

Update on character roles:

LEONARDO: Overpowered killer... yeah.
LEAH: Item-based healer/good-for-nothing... yep.
PICA: Love-her-or-hate-her... well, since the upgrade, she's second only to Leo.
ROMEO: Secondary attacker... yep.
JESI: Stat-buffing tank... actually, she's better at deteriorating enemy stats.
EZRA: Standard mage... no, awesome mage.
ESTHER: Eh... average.
BOAZ: His awesome agility makes him a reliable healer, but other than that... bleh.

6:09 PM 2/25/2007
LOCATION: take a wild guess
COMMENTS: I must swear to eliminate so much revision. I must move forward; what's
done is done... I must accept and adapt, I must deal with it, I mustn't sweat the
small stuff, the little details, etc... like Ezra's memory loss, only not really,
just his magic it seems. Mt. Gareth's cracks gave me Dante's Inferno, what with
leading to certain locations, whether an exit or treasure is visible at the landing
point, etc...

Well, well, I've played for 24 hours. Cool.

2:05 PM 3/1/2007
LOCATION: fiyara shores
COMMENTS: Holy crap, it's March already...? Dang, I just noticed when I clicked on

I feel like the difficulty is perfectly balanced at this point. Now watch it go to
heck all over again. Ha ha ha. Actually, some of the bosses seem a bit too easy...
but meh. One thing that probably made Loki so hard was the enemies' stupid
counterattacks. I considered giving Sasquatch and Mtn. Lion similar abilities, but it
made them TOO fierce. And I'm not going back to change anything... at least, I hope
not. I must swear... yes.

Dad's timer is at 38-some hours right before the fight on Mt. Gareth's summit. LWAO.

Wow, Elements has been 9 months in the making! More like 7, because of the delay...
but I probably screwed around with minor stuff in that timespan, anyway. But yeah,
9 months... it's like I'm pregnant, only the baby won't be coming out for a long,
long time.

By the way, the game should be about a third done around Fiyara Desert. Neat.

12:30 PM 3/10/2007
LOCATION: fiyara imperial city at 2:21 AM
TIMES: Me 27, Dad 42
COMMENTS: Yeah, here I am.

Regarding the New Game+... I could simplify it by just disabling all switches,
neutralizing all variables, and setting everyone's level to 1. But that would kinda
make it not so fun... hmm... we'll see...

5:59 PM 3/17/2007
LOCATION: fiyara fortress
COMMENTS: I just have to make the background before I can play again. It's a hack of
the Alavon Castle one. I've made the basic layout of the fortress; next, I must make
all the events and sprinkle enemies around. Uhh... yeah, that's it for now.

4:55 AM 4/1/2007
LOCATION: fiyara fortress (boss)
COMMENTS: I would be getting Mt. Marine ready by now if it weren't for the fact that
I drew the warg too small... these things really discourage me.

11:16 PM 4/2/2007
LOCATION: see above
COMMENTS: GRRRSTUPIDWARGARRGHH... anyway, I just wanted to list an idea: Dungeon
Mode. Instead of the bonus dungeon or NG+, you would play the game in "dungeon mode,"
which would have no story scenes or towns. I'd have to put more restore points in,
maybe halfway between each boss. You'd start with everyone in the party ball at level
one, and 99 of each perishable item. Good luck if you run out... also, maybe I'd put
save points before each boss, thus, you can't save freely. Hurhurhurr...

5:39 PM 4/3/2007
LOCATION: finished fiyara fortress
COMMENTS: ...And then his hind legs were too spread-out. Sheesh. I didn't care this
much at first (just look at some of the earlier battle backgrounds), but now it seems
that I've set some standards... which is good for the game, but not for me. But at
least now I've got a good method for fixing enemies who are too big/small... if
small, just shrink and trace the lines, if big, enlarge and do the same, erasing the
stray outline.

Character prediction update:

RYOTA: Totally broken boss killer.

Not sure about Luna, as I haven't used her, but Deadweight seems like it'll kill.
Levitating may make her an effective healer, too.

About dungeon mode: maybe I could just put restore points before each boss and let
you retain the ability to save anywhere. Also, each character could have the worst
equipment possible to keep things interesting, and instead of items being bought in
shops, you'd find all the merchandise in treasure chests. There would be no free
movement between land masses, or backtracking for that matter, and thus no behemoths.
Maybe early bosses, or all of them could be more fierce to coincide with larger party
sizes early on, for example: more HP, and double-attacking (even for King Arch).

Items you'd start with:
Medicine 99
Power Drink 66
Vital Mix 33
Incense 99
Myrrh Droplet 66
Angel Tear 33
Pepp Pep 99
Hyper Blend 66
Neo Tonic 33
(stat-curing items) 99
Adrenaline 99
Life Elixir 66
Phoenix Feather 33

Ideas I'm currently juggling around but not sure of:
Boss Attack
New Game+ and bonus dungeon, which may become...
Dungeon Mode

3:32 PM 4/14/2007
LOCATION: nearing the end of mt. marine
COMMENTS: From an earlier entry: "Rough calculations estimate about 1.3 years' worth
of work before Elements' completion."

AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA... yeah right. I'm gonna be at this for awhile... and just for
the heck of it, a better estimate would be about three years at this rate. Holy man.

I always get stuck on mountains. It's like a curse. I get discouraged, and take a
break. Yeah... huh.

I like having power. I like to feel power. And on Mt. Marine, I do; Leo always OHKO's
any Thunder-elemental enemy (and poor chibies of all kinds never had a chance), same
with Jesi and lightning bugs. It's like the tides have turned, and it feels really
great. The tera spells are awesome, too. Who cares if they all die in one hit? You,
the player, have put up with that crap yourself for long enough!

1:33 AM 4/19/2007
LOCATION: glymac prison

10:59 PM 4/22/2007
LOCATION: about to test glymac prison
TIMES: Me 31:15, Dad 45:47

4:55 PM 4/23/2007
LOCATION: glymac empire
COMMENTS: I've made some mistakes in the development of Elements. I moved on from
them, but this time it's very difficult to do that... still, I must. I must trudge
forward, not looking behind me. I must find the courage, the determination that I
lost somewhere along this winding road. And once that happens, all will be right.
(I'm listening to the FF theme song as I type this, just so you know.)

In Mt. Loki - Ashe, I felt the enemies' HP got a bit too high. I think Mt. Gareth is
somewhat lengthy because of two warp points and many repetitious enemy troops. But
this is far bigger than either of those...

Glymac Prison has lots of surveillance guns. I fought them all and got tons of EXP
and gold. Then I thought, should the player be rewarded for falling into a trap? No.
But I didn't make a backup save before I tested the prison... so here I am, stuck
with a massive surplus of gold and overlevelled characters. I dread fighting all the
surveillance in Glymac Fortress, where there'll be a ton in the first room, maybe
double that of what was in the entire prison (24)... and by the time I'm done that,
I'll have over 100,000 gold and all-powerful characters. I'll be able to buy so many
Vital Mixes and Angel Tears that the game's difficulty will plummet. I almost wanted
to just quit right here, right now... I messed up so bad. There's no way to know how
much EXP to deduct from each character I used. Nothing adds up.

2:18 PM 4/24/2007
LOCATION: see above
COMMENTS: Well, screw all that pep-talking; I decided to do something anyway, and I
did my best. I'm sure the EXP numbers aren't exactly as they should be. Some may not
even be close (like Romeo and possibly Luna or Jessica if they fought any
surveillance guns)... but I have to move on. I have to accept that I fixed the
problem as best I could, and that's that. God help me!

Well, then, onward to the Glymacian Empire.

11:07 PM 4/30/2007
LOCATION: glymac fortress boss event
COMMENTS: Get this: my mother played the game for an hour or so, beating King Arch...
and guess what? It drew my attention to some very serious, game-ruining glitches in
the game's outset. I say I moved so much faster in the beginning, but I suppose I was
a lot sloppier, too. However, I'm not about to praise my obsessive behavior; it's
pure, unadulterated, hellish torture. I mean, worrying about the size of enemies
(compare: warg to war machine for this new policy) is just pointless and draining.
Not to mention it makes me take forever to get through an area...

Back to work.

2:14 PM 5/3/2007
LOCATION: finished glymac city
MY TIME: 33 hours

12:57 AM 5/7/2007
LOCATION: glymac forest boss event
MY TIME: 34 hours
COMMENTS: Mechanical enemies are a huge pain. Pica's Gnaw is a huge help. Important:
NEVER EVER SCREW UP THE STATE ARRAY AGAIN. For some inane reason, it erased all
memory of states beyond that which I accidentally removed in all other database
areas, so I had to redo effects for skills, weapons, and armor... plus the enemies'
resistance levels! Aaaaahhh!!... Enough of that.

11:29 PM 5/28/2007
LOCATION: finished glymac forest
COMMENTS: *glances at time gap* Uh... Pokemon Diamond is cool.

3:57 AM 6/2/2007
LOCATION: glymac quarry
COMMENTS: Wow, I missed two huge events this year: E3 and Elements' first
anniversary. I suppose Pokeyman is to thank. But whatever.

Um, yay and stuff.

4:53 AM 6/16/2007
LOCATION: ha ha ha
COMMENTS: "A snail's pace" is extremely vulgar terminology with which to describe my
working habits. That is to say, I am very, very slow. And now the project screeches
to a halt!



Because of... the resurrection. *cue ominous music*

When I FIRST got RPG Maker, I made a game. It was called Alavon: The Quest of Light. HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAH. Laugh. Anyway, when I look back, I think it was incredibly awesome. I mean, sure, it had lots of messed-up crap (random encounters barely worked, tons of switches were misused), but it was an incredible first attempt, if I may say so myself. I mean, the game had substance. I liked it so much I've integrated its world and characters in the archives of Elements 3. And now I'm remaking it.


That's right, I'm remaking it! It was started Sunday, June 10, at around 7:56 PM. I'm
using all default graphical resources, just like before. I am not using video game
music, but the default ones. I'm up to the mountain, which isn't very far, but I
think I'm doing good. Sometimes I get discouraged, but just go with the flow and
settle for whatever, moving on. Anyway, uh... that's it!

Elements is not dead. I just hit another crappy spot and needed a break.

Here's to two great games, and more! (E2, E3 and hopefully beyond!)

So now I have three (incomplete) RMXP games in my arsenal: Quest for the Crystals,
Elements, and Alavon. I could start my own little company! HA HA HA!!... No.

2:14 PM 7/11/2007
LOCATION: finished glymac
COMMENTS: It seems like forever since I last finished a landmass, and I guess it
really has been. I notice that whenever you claim/reclaim the Sea Behemoth, it seems
a large change is in store, and there's always a new side quest in Arean. First, I
tried rebalancing the difficulty and made enemies give you more gold. Now, I'm going
to REtry rebalancing the difficulty. Truthfully, in Elements, there is no "curve";
instead, there are "waves". In fact, the game can be compared to a choppy ocean. This
needs fixing, because some areas are truly brutal. Honestly, I'd rather there be a
moderate challenge all throughout instead of intense ones here and there.

5:12 PM 7/22/2007
LOCATION: finished ikory village
COMMENTS: I was actually doing okay drawing graphics and making maps and such before
getting sidetracked by Pokeyman again. Ah well, let's see what I can do this time.

I realize... in order for me to do my best, I need two things: TIME and MUSIC. Good
music. As for time, I'm very slow about basic daily business. If I could just get
done what I need to and throw all my free time into this, I could attain a level of
performance equal to that of the project's beginning. And I'm more cautious now, so
there shouldn't be as many errors. Though, this game has always been doomed to late

All right, here I go again...

1:06 AM 8/6/2007
LOCATION: testing ikory forest
COMMENTS: I've... had it. I'm making some changes, and breaking my cursed
perfectionism. Forever.

It's horrible that I dread playing my own game. And I do; I very much dread trudging
through all six areas of Ikory Forest, fighting every enemy. So I'm not going to.

That's right, all through the game I've gone and fought every enemy, and now I'm
going to stop... in the middle of a dungeon, no less.

If I feel like fighting, I'll fight. If I feel like running, I'll run. But I'll
actually try not to get into any battles from here on out. If I need gold or to level
up, I'll fight then. Or maybe I'll just lower the difficulty even more and add a
motherload of gold in chests. Yeahaha, take that, perfectionism.

Oh, I can already feel the freedom. Well, I should, anyway. And it's going to stay
that way, even into the sequel. I need to enjoy my work, not dread it. Actually, it
shouldn't even be called work. It should just be fun. It should be me expressing my
imagination and sharing it with the players. And everyone should have fun.

I really don't feel like going back and revising the whole game to suit this change,
so I won't. But in E2, I must SWEAR to adopt a few new policies... no, I said that
wrong. I must rend the stupid book of policies, or else I'll never go as far as I can

Actually, after all is done, I might go back (possibly a long time later, after I've
moved on to other projects), and tweak the game a bit, using the ideas for an "easy
version" in my goodies document. MAYBE!!!...

Well, okay...

7:12 PM 8/6/2007
LOCATION: finished(?) ikory forest
COMMENTS: I broke the mold... yes. Fought a few enemies that bumped into me, went to
the next map, saved, then threw up my arms and squealed "Woohoo, I'm free!!"

And now, I'm going to be more crafty about my development.

Kitsune seems very tough. But if I were to have the Steel Will skill, in addition to
Glow, her attacks would be suppressed to a point where using Rage would be halfway
safe. Thing is, you need Maximus to reach Haine's spring, and I wasn't planning on
making the reunion with him until AFTER Haine, which is right after Ikory.

So, what am I gonna do?

Easy. I'm going to make the bit of Carlo up until you get Max, then the bit of Haine
up until the spring so I can get Steel Will, THEN go back and beat Kitsune. Hahaha,
let freedom ring!

1:41 AM 8/11/2007
LOCATION: haine wilds
COMMENTS: Did what I said, yeah, it worked good. But now I've realized that Elements
was founded on principles of perfectionism. Gotta change that.

1:23 AM 8/17/2007
LOCATION: lost temple
COMMENTS: Ha ha ha haa, it's goin' good now. Another big change: from now on, Scan
will only work on bosses. It'll still work on enemies before this point, but the
description says it shows only boss attributes. And it'll be that way from here on
out. Gotta do all I can to make this the easiest, most enjoyable time it can be. The
better mood I'm in, it'll reflect on my work. That's what I think.

4:29 AM 8/26/2007
LOCATION: lost temple... still
COMMENTS: *looks at time* ...Gah, crap.

Could it be? Am I really halfway finished? Well... ha. Ha, if so.

I've drawn the background, layout, and enemies, made the boss's special properties,
etc... all that's left to do is sprinkle the maps with events. Oh yeah, and draw the
Haine brothers... then, I can return to Carlo.

Dad hasn't played in awhile; he's still in Glymac Mines, not having fought Rysh yet,
actually. Maybe, since the game branches out here, I want there to be more to play at

3:41 PM 8/29/2007
COMMENTS: I've gone back and tweaked the early game (up until Neptune is obtained) to
be easier. I've also modified some enemies in Fiyara, so there's not so much double
attacking and crippling, full-party status ailments. I also reduced some enemy troops
and removed all counterattacks, from the Yeti's Flex to the Flareagle's Sacrifice.
Less importantly, I removed Pica's Snowball, Shadow, and Fog skills because they were
completely useless. Maybe the game will be a bit more fun now.

Oh yeah, and I drew the Haine brothers.

11:01 PM 8/29/2007
LOCATION: finished haine
COMMENTS: Looking through past comments, I remembered my analysis on character roles,
and so I shall update:

LEONARDO: Overpowered killer? Not so much, anymore.
LEAH: Good-for-nothing? Yeah, she's weak.
PICA: Love-her-or-hate-her? Well... I don't use her a lot, so...
ROMEO: Secondary attacker? Kinda.
JESI: Stat-buffing tank? With Empower, yes.
EZRA: Standard mage? Was all right, but I haven't used him lately.
ESTHER: Average? I guess, but she can be really good VS beasts.
BOAZ: Fast? Yes, but really, really weak, too.
RYOTA: Totally broken boss killer? He does help, but he's not really cheap.
LUNA: Her accuracy sucks, but I'm building her up to get Zero Gravity.
MAXIMUS: HERE is your overpowered killer, and your totally broken boss killer.
SYBIL: It'll be a bit before she can become an effective magical healer.
NATHAN: He has the highest Attack so far, but I just got him, so...
TREVOR: Might be good for killing beasts, but Bull's-Eye costs a lot of EF.

Stay tuned.

10:41 PM 8/31/2007
COMMENTS: Self, you could revise the difficulty forever. Stop, self. Stop, please.
You have done enough... You lowered all the enemies' attack and defense. Then you
lowered them even more. Some, more than that. It was too hard before, and now it may
be too easy. So what? It's good enough, so move on. Please, I beg of you, self. Do it
for your own sanity. Please stop dawdling and move on. Accept what is, learn from
your mistakes, and trudge onward. Please... please do this. I beg of you, self. Get
this thing done. Not "over with"... don't just push on and not enjoy it. Casually
progress at your leisure, but don't turn back. What's done is done, and what's done
is good. Don't think of how you can better the past, because that's not possible.
Better the future. Please.

...Sorry if I creeped you out, there.

9:29 PM 9/2/2007
LOCATION: carlo boss
COMMENTS: I think it's time for another little spot of LI-BER-TAY!...

...Um, because the boss has a super-strong attack, and the only way you'll survive it
is with 4 Filter Goggles plus the Guard command. I'm having everyone heal while Max
hurts the boss. Thing is, the boss heals itself, too. I think a stronger axe would
give me more of an edge, and Max's next weapon is in Hobo, so maybe I'll skip ahead
to there.

Things are starting to get really interesting. It seems like character development is
picking up. And in Hobo, you'll meet Erin, who shares some interesting words with
Boaz. Nalin's and Erin's little nudges and history might add some spice, too.
Speaking of spice, I should remember to put 9 spicy herb bushes all throughout Hobo
Island, and that's how you get the Neo Tonic (multi-target Pepp Pep) back in Pepp

9:50 PM 9/4/2007
LOCATION: (pretty much) finished carlo
COMMENTS: Forget LI-BER-TAY, all I had to do was lower the amount she healed herself
for, and I can beat her now.

4:30 PM 9/5/2007
LOCATION: finished carlo
COMMENTS: Haven't listed time in awhile, but I'm at 39 hours now, closer to 40. By
the way, I weakened Twin Soul's Radiance power after all. It's awesome that I'm okay
with not-so-bleeding-hard difficulty anymore. As long as you don't just slam the
action key through every battle and never use any items, the game isn't too easy.
Now THERE is a good principle. More fun for everyone! :D

Dad still hasn't played in awhile. Wow, he's got some choices to make, and now I'm
going on to Hobo, as well.

1:37 PM 9/15/2007
LOCATION: preparing hobo bog
COMMENTS: I went back and resolved some difficulty issues I previously overlooked,
like Ruiner and the Ashe treasure guardians. I also tested Ruiner and Rockfeller, and
they were great! Not bloody frustrating, and certainly not too easy. I like how this
is turning out.

By the way, Dad's time is 50 hours. Ha-wow.

2:12 PM 9/26/2007
LOCATION: hobo festival
COMMENTS: The Hobo Festival is quite possibly the biggest achievement I've made thus
far. I really got back into the writing spirit while making it.

6:52 PM 10/3/2007
LOCATION: "renovating"
COMMENTS: Well, here's the long-needed "renovation". Some maps were too huge/had too
many events and produced horrific lag, Fiyara Desert being the worst. So I split it
and Pepp Sewers into several maps to make things better. I also removed many, many
needless cracks on Mt. Gareth, and eliminated the "trap" route in the Drafty Rift. I
made a couple more enemy formations smaller, as well. Now, I can continue my file,
getting the treasure in Hobo Bog... and after that, I can resume development, and
move on to Hobo Wilds.

11:35 PM 10/11/2007
LOCATION: sun valley boss
COMMENTS: Okay, HERE is the FINAL draft for the New Game+: you're set at the very
beginning of the game with all switches disabled, and you'll keep your time, steps,
gold, and items... but not levels, skills, or equipment, since characters are
initialized whenever they join (even Leo). So, you may be able to get through most of
the game at a much lower level since you're so powerful otherwise. Since you have the
party ball at the start, you can even go solo with Leo the entire game, if you want.

After the credits, you'll be prompted to make two saves: New Game+ and Post-Game.
First is Post-Game, in which you're sent back to Leo's room with all endgame switches
undone, and dead characters revived. This is so you can use whoever you want to
tackle... the Boss Attack challenge in Winstar Arena! In it, you'll face powered-up
versions of selected bosses, all in a row without healing (though you can use your
items during battle, and you'll be given the opportunity to save and/or quit between
each match... really, it'd be frustrating otherwise). In the New Game+ file, which is
second, you'll be asked to either begin or return to title. So whenever you continue
that file for the first time, you'll be given those options.

Also, I did some more revising, eliminating another parallel process event (the war
sounds in Esther's Romeo sendoff scene) and fixing a crippling glitch regarding the
block puzzles (I'll spare you the details).

12:48 AM 10/13/2007
LOCATION: finished sun valley
COMMENTS: These long, drawn-out story scenes are bogging me down... I type what's on
my mind, then reread it, then add to it, then decide I don't want it, take it out,
add it back in, add some more, take that away... it's torture. I just have to accept
the initial draft and move on. Every scene doesn't have to be so long and dramatic.
That'll just make the game cheesy and boring...

Okay, now... the final stretch of Hobo: the lagoon and falls.

3:35 AM 10/13/2007
Fixed another HUGE glitch near the beginning of the game; Joe was always in the
kitchen, when he should only be there after the iron element is obtained.

Whew... hope there aren't too many more bugs like these I've missed.

1:09 AM 10/17/2007
Found another one involving the Goth Lord... the event was screwed up pretty bad.

4:10 AM 10/20/2007
LOCATION: hobo falls
COMMENTS: Gosh, I need help again...

I'm up so late because of the accursed scene of Nalin's death. At first I thought it
was too mushy, so I removed all tender words. Then I decided that wasn't right, and
rewrote it less mushy, but still emotional. And just now I've been trying to PERFECT

(Did you catch a certain villain's name in all that mess? :P It was unintentional,
believe it or not.)

...Excuse me. I really needed that. This is driving me insane. Utterly insane. I just
need to forget it. I thought writing about it here would make me feel better, and
maybe it will. Okay... breathe deeply... that's it... aahhhh...

I should ENJOY writing these scenes. Everything about making this game should be fun
for me... I've said this before, but I just have to keep cramming it in my skull,
dang it. When it becomes torture, I need to LET. IT. GO! I was fretting over how many
times Erin begs Nalin to "come back". But hey, lemme ask ya this. If your father was
eaten by a t-rex, and you returned home to find that your sick mother died, and your
best friend came in and picked you up, and you then threw all of your emotions into
them, then after several years of intimate bonding, the same dinosaur that killed
your father chomps down on that friend, and you're holding their mangled, bloody
body, surrounded by a sea of fire, your breath choked by tears and smoke, your eyes
further irritated by ash from the crater, and your friend breathes their last breath

...Dad said games shouldn't be like that; that it's more suited to movies, and if a
movie became a game, that part would be removed. I think he's wrong. I mean, I know
that would probably happen, but I don't want Elements to be a shallow experience on
the level of emotion. I want you to feel the characters' pain, get wrapped up in
their lives, and feel power in desperate moments. Yeah, I'm talking big. Because...
that's my goal. And I hope I can accomplish it with at least a few people.

A couple more things: my play time is totally not accurate. Remember, I said that in
my alternate file I was at Ashe in under 6 hours, and in my first file it was over
12. So now I'm over 40 hours, but I might've been in the 20's if I played right all
along. So there's no way of figuring it out, unless I start a new file... or do some
math. Let's say my time before adoption of the new policy (WRONG! That should say...
trashing of the old policy) divided in half plus the time afterwards equals... the
correct time. Which would be... x hours. Okay...

Time up until the change: let's say 36 hours.
Time now: 42 hours.
Time since the change: 6 hours
True play time up to this point: 24 hours!

I was afraid the game would be too long, but Seiken Densetsu 3 took me over 40 hours
to finish, so Elements may be close to that... or not even. Which is great. By the
way, I think Dad's played for a whopping 60 hours. Though he admits that he piddles
around a lot.

And for future reference: I AM OKAY WITH THE SEQUELS BEING SHORTER. Elements 2 may
very well be. Maybe even MUCH shorter than E1. And that's just great, really. We'll
see. They're all different games, different stories. It's not like each has to
outclass the last.

Lastly for this update... more character analyses.

NALIN: Dad used her, and she does good on Avians. But Aim is useless.
ERIN: Might be good once she learns Emanation.
ELIAS: Useless... but that's now; however, many enemies resist flinching.

Oh, and for SYBIL: she might be a lot better at healing once you get the Magus Ring
in the Yayrie regions.

And hey, why not make some future predictions:

KARMA: Banish could be good for weaker enemies, Necromancy for a small portion of
UNDINE: Might do good in the sole dungeon you have her for.
REUEL: He'll be a straight killer, I just know it.

AND NOW... I have to go to bed. (at 5:00 AM... God help me, please!)

Good night, America! (and the rest of the world, too)

6:44 PM 10/24/2007
Went back and split up Mt. Loki and Hobo Lagoon into a few maps each; the former
because of lag and the latter because I wanted a lot more enemies than there were,
and there would've been terrible lag if I hadn't split up the map.

From now on, I'm always gonna carry 99 Vital Mixes with me. I took 50 for Hobo Falls
and ran out; Sybil then became my healer. So, actually, this was a good experience
for me, because I got to see Sybil in action.

I was afraid the game was becoming too easy, but holy crap did I ever get my butt
kicked in this last area. Of course, I was using Sybil and Luna, who are among the
worst attackers... but giving damage wasn't my problem. Both Leo and Max are weak to
water, and the Sea Boys royally schooled their rears. Pearl Dragons also dealt big
damage with Light Burst, but they probably wouldn't have done much to me if I was
using Ryota. However... I'd like for you to use any party you'd like to get through
the game. For bosses, you might have to change, but generally... yeah.

11:50 PM 10/25/2007
*looks at progress watcher* OMGosh CAN IT REALLY BE!?!??!?!?!........ Hopefully. As
of this entry, it indicates that I'm almost 2/3 finished... somehow it seems off, but
hey, who am I to scrutinize the fundamentals of mathematics? By the way, the game
should be about 3/4 done after Islan Lake, at the Cambrian Reef. Calculations
indicate a quarter is every 17 areas, which means after Ashe was 1/4, and after Haine
Wilds was 1/2. Every 23 areas is a third, so 1/3 was after Fiyara Shoals.

11:38 PM 10/26/2007
Oroboros was a cinch. :\

Ah well. He'd probably be harder if I didn't have Air/Dark Wall and Empower (which
someone who didn't overlevel as I have may not).

11:15 PM 10/31/2007
It was barely a dungeon, much less an island.

On to Mesomia.

11:52 PM 11/14/2007
Done Mesomia up through Yayrie Village; the mountain's next. I'm thinking the gimmick
there will be falling meteorites, but that could change. Also completed the three
instances of raft usage up to this point.

10:46 PM 11/23/2007
I've finished drawing all the monster families (the last three were Starfishy, Dragon
Ray, and Flamer). I'd say that's a good accomplishment. Now, if only I could get back
to working on the blasted game itself.

10:03 PM 11/27/2007
I figured that since there were only three enemies left to draw and I finished them
off, I might as well do the same for the characters... so I drew Karma, Ondine, and
Reuel all just now (their battle pictures, that is; not map sprites). They're pretty
good, if I may say so, myself.

12:19 AM 12/3/2007
Well, the Curse of the Mountains has officially settled in once again. I think the
reason is because they all look so BLAND. Just rocks and roads, no variance. So I get
bored... and it'd be tough to go back and try to give every mountain its own look.
But I have high hopes for the future of the series, so I must push on. In E2, I was
thinking of adding moss/snow/sand/slime/whatever to the rocks, and that might help
just a bit...

9:22 PM 12/7/2007
Finished Mesomia. Took me over a month, which is pitiful...

Can I finish Islan any faster...?

3:28 AM 12/10/2007
No comment on the time of this entry. :(

Tonight I made the scene where Karma tells of her childhood. I had absolutely no
problem at all typing it up. Why, then, was Nalin's death such torture for me? Why do
I still look back on it and cringe at the smell of the cheese? How the heck did
Karma's scene come so natural to me, and turn out so well, yet anything involving
Erin and Nalin degenerates into mushy, cheesy melodrama?

The world may never know... and neither will I, by the way. :\

I'm making a vow to never go back and touch those scenes again; to spare myself the
heartache. It can be the lowest point of Elements; so be it! I think I'm getting
better all the time in my drawing and writing, so each fall becomes another step.
I'll learn from my mistakes and do better next time. Yep, that's the way to see it!

Three days into Islan now. I actually made most of its current layout earlier in the
game, as I intended for you to visit it earlier on. When you consider that, I'm
moving as slow as ever. But, no... I can pick up the pace. I must! Blah, blah, blah.


7:49 PM 12/16/2007
Nine days into Islan now, is it? Actually, just today I bing-bang-boomed its layout
(I'd made the tundra and a single map of the forest in the past few days). I still
have to place all the events and crap, but the basic maps are finished, which is
cool. If I can just do that... and draw the bosses (AAAAARRRRGHHHHH!!!!!), I could
make record time!!... Possibly.

There's a problem. Did you see it? "ARGH!" Why the heck did I type that? I thought
this was supposed to be fun. Yeah, it is! Yay, I get to draw another horse! TWICE!
Woohoo, great fun!!!


By the way, a reminder for you and myself... after Islan, the game is 3/4 finished!
Awesome!! But it just seems like there's so much left... Cambria, Southern Islet, ALL
of Behgar, which is huge... then the endgame (OMEGA, Elemental Shrine, and Oblivion).
And even after that, I still have to go back and patch up a few glitches.

I've come so far around the track...

1:50 AM 12/19/2007
Up to Kirin's Cave. Kraken was pretty tough! I used Jesi/Leah/Sybil, the latter
healing every turn. It took a lot of buffing to bring him down. Attack, Defense,
Will... they all had to be boosted, and the boss's Agility lowered, as well. Of
course, I couldn't have done it without Magus Ring Sybil, either...

9:03 PM 12/23/2007
Islan is finished! Just in time for Christmas, too. ;)

16 days... eh. Shoulda been under two weeks. Oh well!

So I guess 3/4 of the game is finished now. Uhh... cool.

This is a good landmark. I wonder if the project will be finished by its second

12:04 AM 1/2/2008
Finished underwater Cambria. Holy crap, Leonardo is a death machine with the
Orichalcum Knuckles and Megalodon Fang. 688 Strength at my level... dang... almost
8000 damage to an amorphous enemy... that means about 4000 to anything else. Whoa.

1:48 AM 1/9/2008
Got a program called ACID XPress which I've been fooling around with... Dad got it
first; he heard about it from someone at his work after he showed the guy some of the
music he's made for Elements. It's got a nice MIDI player, and I've been playing some
pre-existing Elements tunes, and even made a couple new ones... maybe one will get in
the game, who knows. I sure hope so!

As for Cambria... I haven't been working on it lately. However, I've made the credits
event. Hahaha, talk about jumping the gun... well, I AM three quarters finished.
Maybe it'll motivate me to go the rest of the way. :D

Anyway, they work nicely, and the "THE END" screen is there, too. Then there's the
big group picture with all the characters clustered together. Let's not mention the
nightmare I went through to put it together... yes... let's forget that completely.
I'm trying to make some changes in my life now, and thinking positive is the best
start. So I will: the picture is great! I tried to place characters next to their
best matches, and I even hid Joe in there, even though he's not a full-fledged
character... but why? Well, he's not in the party ball, for starters, and he has no
skills, either. On top of that, you can't even change his name!

Speaking of not-so-full-fledged characters... I suppose Nalin and Ondine also fit
that bill. Nalin less so, because she has one skill at least, but you can't take her
off Hobo, and don't have her for very long there, anyway. But Ondine... she has no
skills at all, and you only keep her for one dungeon... a lot like Joe. But she IS in
the party ball, at least, AND you can customize her equipment... and rename her, too.

3:33 PM 1/13/2008
I never actually said it here before, but I've sort of done some more to "optimize"
the game; that is, I added a guy in the party ball who tells you where to go to
unlock islands if you get lost, and I changed useless Rune functions (because there
are some Elements that don't actually have any in-game damage spells). And I'm always
going back and revising text and stuff. I guess you could call it "polish".

By the way, I went back and edited the Erin/Nalin scenes to be slightly less mushy,
cheesy, or whatever else they should be called. Also changed a line from the Leo/Jesi
scene on Hobo Beach. And... it's a little obscure, but before, I mentioned Sea Boys
killing Leo and Max with their magic, but I've since made regular enemy Intelligence
low so their spells aren't so brutal (bosses' INT is still up there, though).

Anyway, maybe it's time for another Play Time Update! Okay, let's see...

Time up until the change: 36 hours, cut in half to 18.
Time now: Let's say 47 hours. Deduct 36 from that to get...
Time since the change: 11 hours. Add 18 and you get...
True play time up to this point: 29 hours!

Round it up to 30, and consider that I'm 3/4 finished... and Elements might be about
40 hours long. Wow.

11:32 PM 1/23/2008
The Tera spells don't backfire anymore, making them a lot more useful. Actually, I
(almost) never used them because the backfiring takes common event processing, and my
computer is kind of old, and when it can't take the heat, it "craps out," so to
speak. Early on I said I wasn't going to downsize Elements to suit the needs of my
aging computer, but oh well.

This should make magic-oriented characters like Ezra a lot more useful in the long
run, and will probably make the early game tons easier. Though, if you use Terastuff
a lot, you'll need lots of EF-replenishing items. And that early on, the best you've
got is Myrrh Droplets... so I guess it evens out. Before, Teracrap was nearly
useless, and now it's probably the only way to play.

Maybe I should continue that old alternate file I made (still at Ashe, just before
Fafnir) and find out for myself... it could also give me an even more accurate "true"
play time.

4:45 PM 2/4/2008

This time I've made the Kilo and Giga spells on par in power with regular and Mega.
So they're really good now, as opposed to before when they were totally, completely

I've also redone Ryota's skills. They're not common events anymore, nor do they
require items to use; they run on EF now. Their effects are still sort of similar to
the originals... well, at least Calthrops and Smoke Bomb (somewhat, in that it paves
the way for an easy escape).

3:43 PM 2/7/2008
Last night I made a massive To-Do list for the Elements series story. It's funny,
because I once read an unverified story about Thomas Edison... it was said that when
he encountered problems with his inventions, he would sit in a chair, holding a rock
above a metal bucket, and fall asleep. When he fell asleep, the rock would fall into
the bucket, waking him up quickly. The meaning of the account was that in a sleepy
state, a higher level of creative performance may be attained... or something like
that. Anyway, maybe it's true, because I wrote all that stuff ungodly late last night
(or should I say, this morning), even after I had already been in bed and had the
lights off... I got back up to write more.


10:19 PM 2/17/2008
Hello again, L-O-L. Well, E1 is pretty much on the back burner for now. I wrote about
5 pages of To-Do regarding the entire series in the last couple of days, and I've
barely scratched the surface as of now... it's because, in the middle of working on
something, I get yet ANOTHER new idea... and they just keep coming on and on, like a
flood. I guess you would call it a "brainstorm". Well, it wouldn't be too bad, if not
for the fact that I stayed up until 8:00 this morning writing it. I wrote it in a
spiral notebook, but not just on the lines; I filled the sides and the top on each
page, too. Three pages are like that, and two others' lines are about half-full, with
some on the sides... so, I guesstimate that it's collectively close to five pages.
Man, I hadn't written so much in a really long time... my arm hurt. Guess I was
grasping the pen too hard...

So anyway, yeah... there's my colossal To-Do list, a story about a character in E7
(which I was really hyped-up about but somehow lost track of) then a bit more to-do
in E1, including character development scenes at inns (which are many and large), and
redoing some graphics. After I complete all of that, I'll be able to continue E1's
core development with a clear head and renewed thought process... I really hope I can
do this, because, like I said, I've barely scratched the surface... and it's already
late tonight... and tomorrow will be busy... eesh. That's how I got off-track from
the E7 character story... it seemed like every day, the only time I could find to
work on it was late at night... I could never get much in before it was time to go to
bed, and I just became discouraged, because the first time I wrote it, I had lots of
time and really got into a fervent writing, err, typing spirit... I surprised myself
beyond my wildest imagination. I thought, "Is this really mine? Did it really come
out of my head? I wonder if any great writers ever surprised themselves like this?"
The story became very special to me... but I was afraid that if every time wasn't
like that, the story would suffer. I wanted to put in as much heart and soul as I
could, each time I sat down to type... and I couldn't due to time restraints, so I
stopped... but one day, I'd like to finish it. And that day might be after I finish
this mega-mother To-Do list. THEN... E1 Inn Scenes. THEN... E1 itself! But who knows
how long it'll take... Really, though, the longer I take to polish everything, the
better it will turn out. I want to make a series I can really be proud of. Even
though they're just games, I want to evoke emotion in people; I want to make them
think about the philosophies presented by the stories. I want to bring about a kind
of "revolution" with the Elements series; to change the way people perceive video
game plots. I want people to take them more seriously. That is my dream. It may be a
far-out dream, but it's still my dream!

...GOSH. I'm even TYPING more now. What's happening to me, huh? I must be honest,
I've been reading a lot on parapsychology and other mental/religious stuff lately,
and it's made me more of a thinker (as if I wasn't one already). I hope I can be more
calm, collected, and insightful from now on. It's helped me a bunch; just consider
that To-Do list!

At any rate... some funny stuff about E1 for you now!

I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but if so, then it's worth mentioning
again. One time earlier on in the development, I was wandering aimlessly through the
Crystal Tunnels, in a trance of sorts. Suddenly, a Crystal Eater appeared and roared,
and I jumped in my seat. Great laughter followed, and great pride, too... My Dad was shocked by the zombie jumping out of the closet and moaning, in Pepp Mausoleum. I didn't think THAT was very scary... I mean, a little blue man just pops up and makes a weird sound. The doors don't swing open and bang on the wall, there's no bloody zombie gore or anything... so... that's just kind of surprising to me.

Next... my nephew Ricky got back into Elements, and he seems to really like it... the
best part about making this game is watching people play it... seeing their reactions
to things, hearing their feedback... it makes me excited to do more... it's a source
of motivation. Anyway, he's in Glymac now, just having defeated the War Machine. When
he got new equipment and loved what powerhouses it made of his characters, I liked
that, and hope other people will feel the same way. Anyway, after he left, I played
his file for a bit, beating Glymac, getting Sybil, and going to Mesomia. But what
really made me smile was how I defeated Master Geranium in Glymac Forest: I charged
with Maximus, attacking the next turn and dealing over 6,000 damage, killing the boss
in one shot. I'm sorry, but that is just COOL. Some may think Max is incredibly
cheap, but others, like me, Dad, and probably Ricky soon, will just love him... and
rightfully so.

Well, that's it for now. Onward to "Mega-Mother To-Do!"

When I finish that list, I'll update the journal again with some more thoughts.

12:23 PM 2/22/2008
NOTE: I'm doing absolutely great with getting up a decent time in the morning! I'm
still going to bed late, though...

Ahem, now then... I'm almost finished "Mega-Mother To-Do". Before, I said I'd go back
to that E7 story afterwards, but I think it can wait. After all, I DID note all the
plans I had for it, just not in "dialogue" format. So it's not like I have any
immediate ideas that'll fade away if I don't get right back on it. As for the inn
scenes in E1, well, I can complete them at my leisure, or even after I finish the
rest of the game if I want. I haven't worked on Elements in awhile (though I did
finish the core layout of Triton's Tower, just no events on those maps), so I'll have
to see what it's like after this time, and act to suit my mood.

And now I'm gonna go watch Liberty's Kids, el-oh-elz.

1:58 PM 2/25/2008
Huzzah, I'm finished "Mega-Mother To-Do"! I wonder what I'll do now... I think the E7
story is in limbo (plus, I might change some of it... and besides, like I said, its
future is planned out, at least), and the Inn Scenes of E1 can be done anytime... so
I just might resume core development of E1 soon! Hurray!...

...MIGHT. Keyword, MIGHT. Keep that in mind...

3:02 PM 2/25/2008
Welp, now Jesi's "Scan" is completely gone. I suppose it was ill-fated to begin with;
nobody ever really used it (Dad may have once or twice, just to be courteous). Ah,
well, it's one less common event stressing the CPU.

Also fixed those terribly sloppy "sewer grate" graphics. However, a couple of the
earliest battle backgrounds (reikya mansion and dungeon) are still a little shabby...
but I don't feel like redrawing them now. Maybe I never will. Oh, well.

10:41 PM 2/28/2008
Doing great on Triton's Tower. I've completed everything up to Octoboss, and I'm
currently working on the fast-current sections, which are surprisingly simple to
make; NOTHING like the cart rides in Glymac Mines. Yay, good for me! :D

It's A Secret To Everybody: I was inspired by Hydrocity Zone in Sonic 3. You know the
part where the underwater fans propel you towards spikes, and you hang onto the
poles, having to slide up or down on them in order to avoid the spikes and be pushed
along by the current? Yeah, I think it's near the end, just before you meet Knuckles.
Haha, I'm so hardcore.

9:39 PM 3/4/2008
LOCATION: Done Triton's Tower, and finished Cambria completely!
COMMENTS: Figured I should return the "Location" and "Comments" header-thingies so
that my progress wouldn't be so vague upon first glance at each date's entry. :)

I made Kiwa stronger than any other boss in the middle part of the game; maybe I'll
go back and buff up some others, too (don't worry, just 2x their HP). Some went down
way too quickly, especially after you got better equipment elsewhere. So I'll go back
to my idea that you should visit all the islands and get better equips first, THEN
tackle the bosses. Of course, I'll test things first... or maybe not do it at all.
After all, why mess with a good thing?

I also may want to buff up the alternate weapons (Bug Masher, Scorpion Tail, Sky
Shredder, etc.) so you actually might consider using them under special cirumstances,
even if you have other weapons with higher attack power at that time.

Well, I guess now I'm on the "last leg" of the game... not quite the "home stretch"
yet (that's after Behgar). So I guess I should be happy, and stuff. Yayyy.

2:28 AM 3/5/2008
LOCATION: South Islet (surface)
COMMENTS: Just made a smidge of it... only the surface, actually. I'm going to be
using a certain dungeon in an old RM2K3 game I made as a basis for the maps. It might
be pretty big if I follow the blueprints closely, so I'll be sure to put plenty of
treasure, and hopefully a few puzzles... ice cube block pushing, concealing vent
tunnels, (like I've talked about for OMEGA... since the mecha-parts of the South
Islet actually ARE OMEGA; how it would go: wall appears solid, but in blackness, you
can see the ventilation tube... so push against the wall and you'll enter the tube,
emerging into an area that was previously seen but not accessible) possibly a raft
section, (several ice floes in a lake, choose the right one or you'll be set back)
maybe a dark maze, a tricky ice pillar puzzle, a section where you can go behind a
"foreground" frozen waterfall (the "ceiling" tiles will outline its sides, giving a
hint) and maybe even an ice-sliding puzzle... if I can get it right.

There will be a jump in difficulty here, too... Level 33-style enemies with stats no
lower than a pre-set rating of "3", and the beginning of super-powered bosses... 2x
HP/stat progression, (Kiwa was the first, actually) and an extra layer of resistance
to everything. Wow, I wonder if it'll be too hard... I'm taking Maximus, Nathan, and
Romeo. I haven't used the latter in a long time, and Nathan... not at all. So they're
only level 25, while Leo is 40 and Max... mid-high 30's. So their HP is lower... and
it may be tough trying to keep them alive. But if I can, and they get stronger, I'll
have a killer team, as they're all the highest-attack characters right now (that's
why I chose them, actually). But when Reuel comes in, I'll probably ditch Romeo for
him, since he'll have the highest Attack in the game, period.

11:33 PM 3/8/2008
LOCATION: South Islet surface... just made some graphics.
COMMENTS: A lot of new graphics had to be made for the South Islet, and I'm mostly
done them. I just need to modify a "high-tech" background from either Glymac or CSO
for the lower parts of the dungeon. Then, of course, make the enemies' stats... and
the dungeon itself. Plus, the boss event. Maybe the last leg isn't just yet... maybe
that'll be once I reach Behgar. That's more like a fair estimate...

This dungeon could be pretty long. It also might be really hard, unless I reduce
formations to just 2 enemies each. I think I'll spread out the treasure (as in, have
all 8 stat-boosters of one type in separate chests, instead of all in just one) so
that I can make the most of those RM2K3 dungeon maps I made.

One more thing... I shouldn't struggle to put so many puzzles or creative action
scenarios. I mean, it's good when I can, but a lot of old-school RPGs that are
revered to this day (e.g. the original FF trilogy) never had any deep puzzles in the
dungeons, just searching around for treasure and staying alive. So, it's all right if
I do that, too. Sometimes making these tricked-out things is more trouble than it's

Well, that's all for now.

1:42 PM 3/20/2008
LOCATION: South Islet (surface)
COMMENTS: I haven't been on my computer in over a week. Wow, I'm even typing slower!

Of course, this means I haven't done any work on Elements... internally. Ohhoh, yes,
I've done plenty of writing. This past To-Do pretty much dwarfs "Mega-Mother". I'm
going to call it "Mega-MUTHA". Yeah, that's good. Mega-MUTHA, the successor to

But I'm not going to copy everything to my computer this time. It's enough that I
wrote the info in the first place; it's always there for reference. However, some
things demand action, like refining aspects of the Elements RPG. So I'll do those,
and I guess I have the right to pick and choose anything else I may want to elaborate

Well... I should get started! :D

2:26 PM 3/31/2008
LOCATION: Still on South Islet surface.
COMMENTS: Ricky played again and discovered a few glitches, which I've fixed. I also
went back and patched up some things (you no longer need certain characters in your
party for some secret events to appear; you just need to have recruited them in the
party ball, period), and altered some dialogue I didn't really like. I've also
written lots about the future of the series, and I'm almost finished establishing
what will make each installment unique from any other, or at least, they'll each
introduce a new facet to the story and/or gameplay.

I really feel like I'm refining Elements to be something great. I've really gained a
lot of experience in both drawing and writing through this project. Some of the early
battle backgrounds are quite shabby, I'll admit, but I think that the later ones are
really good! Also, some of the dialogue used to be quite embarrassing... I've since
changed it, having learned that I don't need obscene humor to make an entertaining
story. I don't want Elements to have that nasty twinge anymore; I just want it to be
a fun experience, with characters that people can grow fond of.

Speaking of fondness for characters, it seems there's a favorite: Maximus. Between
three of the playtesters (including myself), he's in all of our parties. Why? He's
just so dang strong! That's all there is to it.

4:48 AM 4/3/2008
I removed all theft and HP absorption. Makes it easier on the processor, and also
makes the game a bit easier. Plus, getting your stuff stolen totally sucked. No fun
at all...

Also, I started to do it just now, but apparently already did it a long time ago... I
changed Ben's Maze so it wasn't a parallel process event.

5:09 AM 4/7/2008
Made stats of the South Islet enemies. Ruiner 2 is too strong; I guess bosses' stats
will be on the same scale as enemies'... they'll just have a lot more HP, is all. The
difficulty may also be due to the fact that Ruiner 2 has four parts attacking you all
at once. So maybe single bosses can still have somewhat higher stats.

...So, I halved his stats, and made his Agility even lower (after all, Ruiner 2 IS a
big, CLUNKY machine), and used good defensive/attack-bolstering techniques... plus
Ryota's Smoke Bombs. The boss went down without too much trouble...

Welp, I've finished the frozen machinery background (and the variant with Ruiner 2),
so I guess I can finally move on and start working on the core layout of the dungeon
itself. Wow, I just noticed I've been at this same location for over a month. Oh
well, things have changed.

12:43 PM 4/11/2008
Guess I'm updating so much lately (even though I'm not making any actual in-game
progress) because I want you to know I'm still working on the game, just in smaller

Anyway, I've revised a lot of things, such as tweaking the stats of Nidhoggr, Fafnir,
and Neptune's uvula. I also made the beginning of the game more, well, beginner-

friendly. Also powered up those "special effect" weapons (Zombie Pike, Harpoon Crossbow, etc.) so they'll actually be useful; maybe even quite cheaply powerful. And they sell for a ton of gold, too! Woo, easy-fying Elements sure is fun!!

I also thought of some new surprises, like ways to get more Phoenix Feathers and
Elemental shards through secret random encounters, so you can't miss the Phoenix
Headdress or the Rainbow Ring.

I've also added more to the guide, but if it's to be of any use, I'll have to retype
the earliest portions of it since the game has changed so much since then.

By the way, about the whole "easy-fying" thing... as I said so long ago, in my
original ideas for Elements, there were two versions: Real Version (RV), and Easy
Version (EV). It's funny, because Elements started out as the "Real" Version, with
hellish difficulty, cursing, and obscene humor... and now it's developed more into
the "Easy" Version (though it's not entirely babyfied just yet), with more enjoyable
gameplay. But I think THIS is the "real" Elements, not that old unrefined version. So
now THIS is "Real" Version, and the old Real Version should be the "Hard" Version.
Yeah... even though it no longer exists. Only in my memory!

2:21 AM 4/12/2008
Found more screw-ups at the beginning of the game... yeesh!

2:14 AM 4/13/2008
Still more! Aghh!!

Sometimes, it seems like the game will need endless playtesting. Why? I removed the
Cockatrice's battle before, evidently, as part of some sort of test, and forgot to
re-insert it!

Geez, man, that's huge... the second boss battle was missing. Dang... it's a good
thing I decided to play from the beginning again!

4:29 AM 4/14/2008
I went back and made some of the secret passages more obvious, and also the nymphs'
shadows in the Crystal Ruins.

With all of these latest revisions, Elements is starting to seem a little more like a
"Beginner's RPG". Now, it's not quite that easy YET, but... I think I should stop
messing around now. I don't want to get to the point where I look over everything and
think "Oh man, what have I done?" You know?... Then again, it wouldn't be so bad if
Elements was targeted towards beginners. I mean, the bosses are still tough, and I
wouldn't weaken many of them much more, but above all... I want my game to be fun.

I considered and went through with this change because, even when staring at them
after I pointed them out to him, my dad had trouble seeing the secret passages. So
that's justified. Also... the nymph shadows WERE barely visible; in fact, on my LCD
monitor, you had to duck down in order to really see them good. So all of that's
justified... but like I said, I shouldn't do this anymore. Maybe it's time to finally
move on with the project... or concentrate on other stuff for a little while.

Har har har.

7:52 PM 4/22/2008
I've done even more cool stuff, like adding a few more Pepp Pep Ambassadors. I also
made the "copy" enemies palette-swaps, having abandoned my "every monster family has
three forms" perfectionist garbage.

Also! I added little bubbly exclamation point icons next to Runes, so you can easily
count how many you have. White marks for illuminated Runes, inverted (dark) ones for
darkened Runes. Yay, happy world! :D

South Islet is... coming along. But enough of that, now! Elements is getting better
and better, little by little. Polishing is fun! :)

Also, a minor note: just last night, I thought up a new character for Elements 2.
Yep, after all this time, I'm still adding such drastic features to the sequel.
Working on each Elements one at a time allows me to think of more ways to make the
next even better; it would be a mistake to follow through with that old whim to work
on them all at once, breaking monotony. The series might suffer that way, and I would
probably get to a point where I looked at the huge mess of unfinished games and
sloppy, scattered ideas, and thought, "Oh, screw it." On the other hand, I'd have
more to do; more to stimulate me... get bored with one (maybe some graphics need to
be done), go to another (just build and test a map); etc...

I'm off to a great start, and the future is brighter than ever before. Here's to a
legendary series!

6:40 AM 4/30/2008
Edited more dialogue (involving Luna, some resistance soldiers, and a handful of
Jessica's lines), changed Luna's battle picture (now her right arm is down and the
ball is floating in her "gravitational field"), gave Erin a facelift (literally),
tweaked the facial shading of Ezra and Elias, and redrew Jessica's battle picture to
better match her personality (it was based on another picture I drew, so I had to
adjust the proportions). I'd better stop there, though...

I also made Luna have way better Dexterity; she's probably one of the best in that
area, now. It's more suiting, really.

Oh, and I also did some more of the South Islet, placing some of the treasure, as
well. I'm on B7, with two treasures left, and three more floors to map out. But
still, the enemies... events... etc. But someday... someday soon. Believe!

1:11 AM 5/5/2008
I'm adding a new chapter between South Islet and Behgar. So the Fiyara Fortress
revisit... know that it originally wasn't a part of my ideas for Elements; the heroes
were just gonna go straight from South Islet to Behgar. But not anymore! This should
beef up the storyline a bit, add a little more tragedy (Jesi's dog gets it), and
breed more hatred for Emperor Fiyara.

Wow, um... I guess I've repeated that "two-month break" (been on South Islet for
two months). Oh well.

2:33 AM 5/19/2008
I'm on Sybil's death scene, and going through the same crap I did with Nalin. Guess I
just want these scenes to be perfect, is all. For the sake of my sanity, I simply
CANNOT do this with all of those "inn scenes", though...

Well, after this, I'm placing the enemies... and saving the ice-sliding puzzles for
absolute last. Wish me luck!...

9:47 PM 5/20/2008
Amazing... I found a simple way to create the ice puzzles; they were an absolute
snap. Thank God!

Well, I'm doing lots of revising again. Most, if not all of the RMXP music has been
filled in. There may be one or two instances I missed, but it's not a big issue.

The South Islet should be ready soon...

Wow, it's only four days until the project's second anniversary. Hahaha, guess I
won't be finished by then... oh well, let's hope for the third!

10:08 PM 5/22/2008
49:07:19... that's my time before testing the South Islet. I want to see just how
long it takes.

Remember: apply the "new, correct time" principle once the total time is determined.

4:39 AM 5/27/2008
LOCATION: Between South Islet and Fiyara Revisit
COMMENTS: South Islet is finished! My time's now 50:49:53, so it took almost two
hours to play... and almost three months to make!! FUAHAHHAHAHHAHA!!!...

And hey, I might as well list the "true time" again. Let's get the formula right...

Time up until the change: let's say 36 hours.
Time now: let's say 51 hours.
Time since the change: 15 hours
True play time up to this point: 33 hours!

Wow, Elements may be MORE than 40 hours. Probably close to 50, I'd say!

I also copied all the "Mega MUTHA" To-Do on my computer, from the notebook. Yay,
that's a relief!

Now... some misc. tidbits, not something I do too often. This is mostly to clear my

The "Metal Guard" enemy has a Mega Buster-looking gun arm. I guess that's what you get when you grow up playing Mega Man games... "rock" on! (heheheh) A CSO employee makes an indirect reference to H. G. Wells' novel, "The Time Machine".
Abigail says "Now, FIGHT!!" which is kind of like the beginning of Final Fantasy Adventure.

Lefties: Goth Lord is now left-handed, and so is the new Ninja enemy, and the future
enemy, Shield Guardian, will also be. I changed Goth Lord because his former pose was
too... um, it was just kind of... vague, I guess you'd say? You could hardly see his
wooden stake, so I changed it to be in his other hand. Anyway, as of now those three
are the only lefties planned in Elements 1. My perfectionist complex caused me to
make all the heroes right-handed, but in E2 this will not be so.

I made it so that dead characters (and Ondine) are visible in the Party Ball as white

...Oh, goodness! I missed Elements' anniversary again! Hahaha, ain't it terrible!? My
mind's just so busy, you know.

Well, a belated happy birthday to you, Elements!

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