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Every now and then while digging through the Archives, I come across an earth-shattering discovery such as this. It's an attempt at E1 from around September 25th, 2001. Development on the actual E1 began May 24th, 2006. I like how the Magic command is at the bottom, like it's a last resort even lower on the ladder than running. Just think, if this had actually been the game, it could've been released in 2008 instead of 2013. :P


The status/command interface was actually slapped together in March 2001, when I made a bunch of enemy sprites (which were included in E1's Sketch Gallery). It wasn't really playable, but a mock-up. Still, I tried! And I'd try several more times over the course of the next few years, until I finally got ahold of the inspiration that carried the final product to fruition... not of my own power, of course.


I love the way they're looking at each other,

it perfectly captures their relationship!


To the best of my recollection, the series was first conceived in a motel room while on vacation with my parents in the summer of 2000 (or possibly 1999). It all began with seven characters: Leonardo, Leah, Pica, Ezra, Romeo, Esther, and Boaz, a few bosses including the Cockatrice, Jack, and Ben, and the islands of Arean, Alavon, and Behgar. Over time, the universe gradually expanded, then somehow utterly exploded. My childhood imagination knew no bounds, completely oblivious to the blood, sweat, and tears I would suffer in turning my dreams into reality over a decade later. Just kidding.


Sequels were planned very early on (E2, in fact, by October 2000) and I was constantly thinking of ideas for all of them... so it would be difficult to gauge a concrete developmental timeline. Furthermore, I'm shy about revealing any details of future installments. But I can tell you that it had all coalesced into a coherent whole by the end of 2005 or early 2006. 2003 and 2004 were especially feverish. And even after that, major developments occasionally emerged, such as Maire's expanded story in 2007-2008. E2's overall sequence of events was basically finalized in early 2009.


Luna loves her ball,

she does.


At the series' genesis, I earnestly adopted an "all-inclusive" policy. Everything had to be perfectly balanced, from the equal-opportunity cast to the meticulously contrived matrix of the twenty Elements. Some might say this was unnecessary, but as for me, I believe it was ordained... because, to my astonishment, I've realized that much of my work wasn't half as relevant when I wrote it as it is now.


I've always been fascinated by human motive and reason; what drives people to do what they do, and what makes them who they are. Early on, I became interested in learning about and portraying many different kinds of people, especially when "unconventional" relationships were involved. The Elements series, therefore, is the end result of my psychosocial research. One of my favorite exercises was to write scenes wherein any given pair of characters simply talked about their feelings... and as players can attest, many of them made it into the games.


He's about to deal a 250,000-

damage critical hit.


But I somehow treaded into some pretty dark places with characters like Cugei and Ryota. It actually affected me personally, so I deliberately purposed to lighten the tone thenceforth. Ironically, the early Archival writings of the series were overflowing with zany camp, and this was originally the case with E1, too. Some of it remains, mostly in the beginning; namely your little run-ins with Jack and Ben, though they were heavily censored before the game was released (instead of Jack's lame rhymes, there was some decidedly ribald wordplay with regards to his... erm... means of attack).


I just got so caught up in that cerebral world of psychology that I lost sight of the game's heart and soul, and the very heart and soul of what I do. Professing to be wise, I indeed became a fool. As a result, E1 became inflated far beyond my original vision, its deeply emotional plot muddled by canned vernacular, abstract philosophy, and tangential discourses. But just as E1 got me down in the dumps, God used E2 to raise me up again. That was an amazing feeling, and I knew the game could do it for others as well, which made for a revitalizing epiphany.


Literally some of the oldest depictions of the cast, ever.


As I've said, it's already written; the Archives are set in stone. All that remains is to build upon the foundation that has been established. Hopefully I've planted seeds of interest, but it's not really about winning people over... it's about lifting up those who are struggling to stand. By endeavoring to encapsulate so many personalities and conflicts, I mean to bring to light the inherent value in all things. Because that's what Jesus did for me. And while this grandiose vision may not have come to complete fruition as yet, remember that we're only on E2! Trying to cram it all into one or two stories would be unrealistic.


In any case, I hope you now know that there is absolutely no limit to what this series will encompass, that it was no exaggeration to say it explores the full range of human emotion. And I owe it all to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who laid the foundation with me. No stone will be left unturned; in fact, I've probably already unturned a few you wished I hadn't, haven't I? Or maybe you're glad I did. Everyone will get their turn, you have my word.


So come on, take my hand. This ride's not over yet!


With love, love, and more love,
~ Nikki


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