User:Erik the Appreciator

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Erik's userpage directory: Golden Sun Universe | SmashWiki

All About Erik (AAE)

Greetings, greetings. I'm Erik, editing from California, but I primarily edit Golden Sun Universe, which I am a bureaucrat at. Otherwise, I don't post or appear anywhere else on the Internet. SmashWiki is my "secondary wiki", and even after saying that I rarely appeared here for several years after Brawl's release; it was the latest pair of Smash Bros. games that prompted me to put in lots of hard work into revising and restructuring the universe-franchise articles for the time being. A more detailed profile of myself is on my user page at the Golden Sun wiki, if you're into that sort of thing...

Past and Current Activities

I wrote the initial forms of the fully-detailed Franchise Description sections for every character-based Universe page. As part of my efforts to cover them all, I had also written several universes' descriptions in advance so that I wouldn't have to scramble to write them and post them shortly after their first reveals, assuming the likely scenario that they would have made it in - but this left me with several universe write-ups for pages on franchises that never got roster representation in the final game, and I therefore felt they did not warrant an entire section with a wall of heavily-descriptive prose because Smash players wouldn't be anywhere near as interested and willing to read them. I have these potential write-ups posted below as an extra treat, as well as to show the writing style I used for the articles:

My Alternate-Reality Golden Sun Franchise Description
Camelot Software Planning was originally founded in 1990 as a division of Sega, and as Sonic! Software Planning, they developed and strictly focused on the multi-game Shining series of fantasy RPGs up through 1998, even after they officially separated from Sega but agreed to keep Shining a Sega-exclusive property. After the last game they handled in the series, Shining Force III, Camelot formed their present-day partnership with Nintendo, for whom they would develop every iteration of Mario Golf and Mario Tennis for the Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 3DS. Early in their partnership with Nintendo, Camelot began development of a new fantasy JRPG, which was originally planned to see release as a single game for the Nintendo 64. When it became apparent that the GameCube's superseding of the Nintendo 64 was fast approaching, Camelot shifted their focus to the upcoming Game Boy Advance portable system and developed their project for that. Camelot previously wrote Shining Force III with the narrative device of playing through the perspective of both the "good" and "bad" characters, having felt that it was an effective method of conveying the full story of a fictional game world. Hardware limitations with the Game Boy Advance made it unviable to achieve this with the new game in a single release, so Camelot was compelled to release their final product as a duology: Golden Sun in November 2001, and Golden Sun: The Lost Age in 2003.

Golden Sun was critically praised as a successful presentation of a "classic" JRPG formula that creatively married fast-paced battles with out-of-battle environmental puzzle-solving by including a progression system dependent on collecting magical creatures called Djinn hiding in the game's world, which were equipped to party members to modify and improve their character classes and also provide them with unique abilities. The game similarly enjoyed a priviledged position early in the release timeline of the Game Boy Advance's budding library, where it was released within months of the system's launch amidst a dearth of RPGs available for it. While reviews of The Lost Age noted that it was extremely similar to the first game and was primarily differentiated by a much sharper difficulty curve, it enjoyed a comparable degree of success for completing the story and for making use of a non-traditional form of backwards-compatibility with the first game; party and event data from a completed Golden Sun save file could be transferred into a The Lost Age file either by a link cable between multiple systems or by a massively long password. Following The Lost Age, though, the series began a very long multi-year hiatus, with the only appearance of anything Golden Sun-related being a non-playable cameo appearance by its main character, Isaac, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The silence was broken only with the summer 2009 announcement of the third game in the series, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the Nintendo DS, which was released late 2010 and sold over half a million copies worldwide. Subsequently, the main character of the third game, Matthew, was featured in Super Smash Bros. 4 as a playable character alongside many established Nintendo characters.

The Golden Sun series takes place on a flat-Earth-styled world named Weyard, the continents and cultures of which are spiritual analogues to those of the real world, where all matter is composed of the four classical elements - earth ("Venus"), fire ("Mars"), wind ("Jupiter"), and water ("Mercury"). The world's ancient past was a golden age of civilization fueled by the power to manipulate all four of these elements together as one, referred to as Alchemy, but this gave way to conflicts and strife which only ended when the power of Alchemy was sealed away within one Mount Aleph. Many ancient ruins, chief among them four gigantic towers spread across the world representing the four elements called the Elemental Lighthouses, are holdovers from this era, while civilizations across Weyard in the present day are relatively sparse. Knowledge of the existence of Alchemy has long since dropped out of common knowledge; however, certain individuals living in the present have the capacity to conjure a form of spiritual sorcery called Psynergy to separately manipulate one of the four elements in the surrounding environment, and the element a person can cast Psynergy of is determined at birth. This makes a person an "Adept" of that element.

It turns out that a sanctum hidden inside Mount Aleph, Sol Sanctum, contains four elementally-aligned jewels, the Elemental Stars, that can permanently light each of the four corresponding Elemental Lighthouses when brought over to them, and that lighting all four will break the seal and restore Alchemy to the world. In Golden Sun, warriors from a secluded northern clan of Mars Adepts that know of all this raid Sol Sanctum and steal the Stars, then rush across the world to light the Lighthouses; a young man and Venus Adept from a village near Mount Aleph, Isaac, is chosen by the omniscient guardian of Alchemy's seal living inside Mount Aleph to go on a quest to stop the antagonists from unleashing a potentially dangerous and abusable power upon Weyard. Isaac forms a group of four friends that are Adepts of all four elements during his pursuit, but despite his best efforts, his enemies succeed in lighting two of the Lighthouses because one of his childhood friends, the Venus Adept Felix, is in league with them. Golden Sun: The Lost Age is told entirely from Felix's perspective, and the player takes control of his own four-Adept party's effort to light the remaining two Lighthouses while avoiding Isaac's efforts to stop them. It is revealed later on that Felix's side had very good reasons to bring Alchemy back.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is set thirty years later, and the unleash of Alchemy has had time to radically change not just Weyard's geopolitics, but the geography itself. Isaac sends his son, Matthew, and the other offspring of the now-world-infamous eight heroes on an initially innocuous rite-of-passage quest to hone their abilities as Adepts so that Isaac's generation may pass onto them the responsibility of looking after the world. Early on, however, Matthew's party gets sidetracked into a darker plot by agents of a sinister, militaristic nation named Tuaparang, and their quest delves into more carefully-concealed secrets from the ancient past, some of which are best left undisturbed.

My Alternate-Reality Shovel Knight Franchise Description
WayForward Technologies is an American independent video game developer best known for the Shantae intellectual property. In 2011, a former director of WayForward, Sean Velasco, founded a separate video game development studio, Yacht Club Games, and two years later, the company launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign in tandem with the March 2013 announcement of their first title, Shovel Knight. The project's $75,000 funding goal was satisfied four times over, and despite delays that postponed its release to June 26, 2014 - roughly eight months after what was originally intended - it was released on the PC, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U to critical acclaim. It was subsequently released on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One in April 2015, and by June 2015 it had sold over 700,000 copies total, with an eventual Japanese release planned.

Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platform game mimicking both the design and visual styles of the multitude of such games made famous in the library of the Nintendo Entertainment System, but with modernized twists. The player controls the eponymous main character, an undersized, cartoon-styled, blue-suited medieval knight armed with a shovel instead of any form of conventional weaponry, not only to attack enemies in front of him, but to drop down upon and "bounce off" enemies and obstacles from above (in a move reminiscent of the "pogo jump" featured in the acclaimed NES platformer DuckTales). The shovel also serves a variety of vital utility purposes, including digging up treasure from the ground and boring through walls. Treasure is spent at in-game shops for both character upgrades and limited-use secondary items such as long-range projectiles and temporary invincibility providers.

Praised alongside the game's gameplay, level design, graphics, and soundtrack were its cast and the methods by which its story was expressed through the gameplay. In an abstract fantasy setting referred to in-game as "The Valley", the Shovel Knight loses his taste for wanderlust when his lover and traveling companion, Shield Knight, is possessed by a cursed amulet and sealed within one Tower of Fate. He only brings himself back into action when an evil Enchantress subsequently rises to power and unseals the Tower of Fate in doing so, and embarks on a journey in hopes that he may rescue Shield Knight. Along the way, not only must he take arms against each of the eight members of the Enchantress' elite knightly order, the Order of No Quarter, but he must separately contend with the interference of his rival, Black Knight, who attempts to prevent Shovel Knight from reaching the Tower for reasons not initially known.

Following the game's release, an expansion called Plague of Shadows was released for free. Running parallel to Shovel Knight's story, the game features one of the Order members, Plague Knight, as the playable character, as he enacts his own scheme to gather the ingredients for a potion that will grant him any one desire. Meanwhile, Nintendo created and released an amiibo of Shovel Knight in 2015, apparently as if to extend a gesture of goodwill towards independent developers. Furthermore, Nintendo included Shovel Knight as a post-launch downloadable content character for Super Smash Bros. 4.

My Alternate-Reality Splatoon Franchise Description
In mid-2013, one member of the Animal Crossing development team, Shintaro Sato, created a prototype third-person arena-based shooter based on control of territory - which was expressed through the player-character shooting and splattering ink all over the ground. After management at Nintendo EAD approved development for a full game derived from Sato's prototype, the directors sought to expand the concept while keeping its formula filtered down to an easily-approachable game, and wanted to incoprorate squids thematically somehow, despite the need to have a humanoid character capable of holding an ink-spurting firearm and despite original considerations to use Mario characters. These and other project goals, which ordinarily conflict with each other on a conceptual level, were resolved by introducing characters that were humanoids freely capable of transforming into squids and back, and could hide and swim through the ink while in squid form.

The game, Splatoon, was released to critical enthusiasm in May 2015, with many in the gaming press expressing surprise that Nintendo was creating a shooter IP. Praise was given to its refreshing and colorful take on the populated team-based third-person shooter genre, which rewarded tactical maneuvering and team coordination in a fashion not prevalent in genre mainstays such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. But while its campaign was commended for its own allotment of creative elements in spite of its short length, the game was criticized for a sparse selection of multiplayer maps at launch, and for locking off challenges behind potentially hard-to-find amiibo. However, Nintendo proceeded to release a consistent and expansive stream of free downloadable content in the months that followed, greatly expanding the game's collection of weapons, stages, modes, and costumes, included among which was a surprise collaboration with the manga and anime Shinryaku! Ika Musume. After the game's main character design, the Inkling, was included in Super Smash Bros. 4 as a Mii costume, it was introduced as a fully-developed playable character in its own right as DLC.

In stark contrast to its cartoon-style aesthetics and light atmosphere, Splatoon technically takes place in a post-apocalyptic rendition of Earth after its rising sea levels rendered its land-dwelling inhabitants extinct. Squids and octopi eventually evolved into Inkling and Octarian forms and began fighting over habitable land, and the Inkling race eventually won out and established the city of Inkopolis while the Octarians were forced into their hidden and industrialized retreat, Octo Valley. The "Turf War" sport seen in the game's multiplayer modes is Inkling society's commemoration of the original struggle. In the game's story mode, the Octarians launch a rebellion by kidnapping the various Zapfish that provide power to the city, and it is up to an unnamed Inkling referred to as Agent 3 to infiltrate the secret underground base within Octo Valley and retrieve the Zapfish.

Erik's Miscellany

I'm not at all a skilled or competitive player, and I only ever focused on the single-player portions of these games. But I like achievement-hunting, and these are my Melee milestones:

  • I have collected all 290 non-Action Replay trophies
  • I have beaten Event match 51 without losing a life.
  • I have beaten Classic mode on Very Hard
  • I have beaten Adventure mode on Very Hard
  • I have beaten All-Star mode on Very Hard. Took forever, but I pulled it off with Roy on April 13, 2007.

Meanwhile, my Brawl achievements include having gotten every single trophy and sticker in the game, as well as having devoted the time to beating 100-Man Brawl legitimately with every character choice and repeatedly putting ALL of the characters through the five Target Tests, 10-Man Brawl, and Home Run Contest to minimize the total time ratings and maximize the total distances. In some ways, this kind of Stadium-mode play was the real meat of Brawl's single-player offerings.

You don't see funny trolling like this nowadays...