Will you be able to survive the Regi’s trials and discover incredible treasure without going insane?

⬇ Dᴏᴡɴʟᴏᴀᴅs
http://phal.io/rezawrces/music

📒 Mʏ Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛs
Finally I covered this song, it’s one of my favourites from the game. Two months ago, when I first mentioned wanting to cover Aegis Cave, I said that I apparently haven’t been there yet in the games as I didn’t remember the Regis and Unowns and just know the song because I’ve listened to the soundtrack a lot. When I was sick in December, I dusted off my game, saw the Regigigas symbol on the save file and found Unown stones in the Kangaskhan Storage and immediately remembered. And apparently only a couple of different Unowns can spawn on each floor and you can check which ones exactly in the menu. Knowing that definitely would have made things easier.

At first, I couldn’t decide if I should use arpeggios or two channels for the trumpet-like part at the beginning. With two channels, it sounds almost exactly like the original and better but with arpeggios it sounds more unique and more like 8-bit. Eventually, I decided to use two channels as it sounds better but I had to use arpeggios after the first part. I’m also glad that the arpeggios sound good again, apparently the times of the GoT intro where I had no idea how to properly use them are gone. There are so many instruments in this song, it’s really great that arpeggios exist to save channels and of course VRC6 for 3 additional channels. This is the most complicated song I’ve covered so far and yet, I was done quicker than ever before and I think it also sounds better. I guess I still just can’t believe I might actually be improving and maybe one day actually be good at an art.

I also used single-channel echoes again and they again sound good, the times of me thinking that I have to use dual-channel echoes and thus potentially wasting channels are also over. They probably are only necessary for faster songs where the notes aren’t far apart enough most of the time to allow an echo to happen. The volume slides were interesting to make and even though I’m still afraid of making noise-only percussion, I think it turned out alright. As always, I didn’t like the noise bass drum at first, but after listening to the finished song a couple of times, I’m satisfied with them. I guess, noise base drums just can’t be much better than this. Or maybe there is some secret technique I’m not aware of. The percussion by itself turned out sounding quite interesting I think, with the quite large amount of different drums used.

This time, I mostly made the volume envelopes at the desired volume level and played the notes at full channel volume instead of the other way around to give me exact control over the volume instead of the volume envelope being multiplied with the lower channel volume and possibly making the volume changes a bit worse. The difference is probably inaudible, however, another upside is that I can change the volume for all instances an instrument was used by changing the volume envelope instead of having to change the volume in the volume column for every note. This is especially useful for percussion where all notes of an instrument usually have the same volume and where lots of different instruments with different volumes are used, making it very annoying to change the volume of every instance of an instrument.

For the fideo visuals, I record each channel by itself with OBS and this time, listening to them while recording actually led to me noticing 2 wrong arpeggio instruments in pulse 1 and a vibrato that I forgot to end in pulse 4. Apparently doing that is useful after all and not just a waste of time or an unnecessary extra. Also, I edited triangle fx1 out as it was empty anyway to make room for pulse 4 fx2. I believe editing out unused effect columns to make room for others is better than doubling the resolution, as long as there are enough empty columns to remove.

I’m used to the actual sizes according to the Pokédex of Riolu and Chimchar now but the size of Unowns was another surprise. I thought they would be small, no more than like 0.2 m but apparently they are 0.5 m tall, as tall as Chimchar. The pre-3D-games really messed up every sense of scale. Also, Chimchar’s eyelids absolutely don’t make sense. Apart from the red things around them that look like the inside of eyelids, in some instances of the anime and of the 3D model’s emotion textures, the eyes have proper eyelids that go over the eyes and have the colour of Chimchar’s skin but in others, there are no eyelids and instead the iris and pupil form a horizontal line that is shaped the way the end of the eyelid would be according to the current emotion. Very strange and inconsistent.

I used the NTSC NES colour palette again, like in the Halloween theme, as it has darker colours and greys that are below 50% brightness. The Pokémon were fun to draw and no problem, the coloured lighting from Chimchar’s fire was also interesting to make and looks good, I think. Finally, I could make some lighting again instead of the usual flat style. And I really love how Riolu’s pose turned out, it looks so adorable!

Also, while looking at Riolu images for reference, I came across this image from the anime https://archives.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Cameron_Unova.png which looks hilarious. It would probably be impossible for a Riolu to actually do that but I’ll definitely make an emote out of that.

While I made the trills in the song, I had the idea to let a group of Unowns appear and circle around Riolu and Chimchar every time the trills play. It looked great in my head but when I started animating the Unowns, I soon realised that it would be a lot of work to draw each Unown in 24 angles and it also would look weird if they disappear and Riolu and Chimchar are being attacked by nothing. So I scrapped that idea. I actually had no idea what the Unowns should spell out, so I drew 8 bodies first and then added letters to them that aren’t that creative but suffice, I guess.

The interior of the cave was an entirely different matter, though. It reminds me of the troubles I had drawing the mountain textures for The Legend of Kirlia. I tried many different things but they all horribly failed. Then I thought I could try dithering as the limited colours are even worse for the dark cave background and learning how to dither was interesting and fun. The end result certainly looks interesting, I don’t know if it looks good, though. It looks a bit crowded and confusing but that could mirror the athmosphere in the Aegis Cave. I was so frustrated because I had no idea how to draw an acceptable cave background that I was very inefficient and also didn’t do anything for many hours. I could have been done on Monday and then would have had a week of time for trying out Linux again and finally starting the website but now it’s Friday and the fideo has to be up in two hours and it’s still rendering. Very slowly again, for some reason Resolve only uses like 10% CPU instead of 100% of all cores like it did before which was amazing. Also, synchronising the many parts of the FamiTracker visuals in Resolve is very annoying as it takes like 5 seconds to load a frame when only the song and the currently needed video track are visible. It’s at 100% RAM usage during editing, apparently I would need more than 16 GB, the minimum requirements are 16 or 32 for Fusion effects. Maybe I should try rendering optimised media in advance next time. I tried that for the Christmas video I think and it crashed.

I think I’m slowly improving in respect of the integration of (positive) self-love and confidence in my abilities (or at least abilities to improve). I’m thinking that I’m improving and that I like what I’ve recently done more often but I still think that I’m terrible and should stop a lot. I’m having fun though and that should be the most important thing, but it’s not that easy when the fun gets dampened by self-doubts. When I wrote the second paragraph on Monday, I had very positive thoughts about the cover but now I’m not sure if I even should have written that. When I write or say good things about myself I feel bad because it sounds pretentious and when I write or say bad things about myself I feel bad because it sounds negative and I also don’t want to say or think negative things about myself because these things probably mostly aren’t true but thinking them makes them come true because thoughts become reality. Just like in art. I guess it’s an art to think positive about yourself and then take that image in your mind and bring it to life in the physical world. And everyone can learn any art, all they need is to have fun and not to give up. Being happy is fun and I won’t give up, so I guess I will further improve. This also led me to write a lot (for me) of nice comments to other people recently whose creations I like as I’m a lot more positive and also want to make others happy by actually telling them that they and their art are wonderful instead of just pressing like. It’s amazing how easy love is to give and how it multiplies by giving it away. Except that it’s not that easy for me because I spend hours on a sentence because I’m not sure if it sounds good and nice or maybe bad and weird.

Progress has also been made in respect of the integration of a unique Internet name into myself. I will provide more background information on my website (when it actually exists) and I’m currently trying out a new name on Discord to see if I can get used to it and if I like it. It’s a completely new creation purely out of letters I like.

👆 Lɪɴᴋs
Website: http://phal.io
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/linkriolu
Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/link_riolu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinkRiolu
Discord server: http://discord.phal.io
Secondary YouTube channel with random videos, work in progresses, behind the scenes etc.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6OogQGNdNLLRix0TR0Ke_A
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-725569481
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/link-riolu
Twitch (German): https://www.twitch.tv/link_riolu
I’m on almost every site because I don’t want to exclude anyone, find out if I’m using the site you’re using here: http://phal.io/links

🕒 Exᴘᴇɴᴅɪᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛɪᴍᴇ
38.76 hours total
Song: 14.66 h
Drawing: 21.38 h
Editing: 2 h
Thumbnail: 1.23 h

💾 Pʀᴏɢʀᴀᴍᴍᴇs ᴜsᴇᴅ
Video editing: DaVinvi Resolve https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
Pixel art: Aseprite https://www.aseprite.org/
8-bit audio production: FamiTracker http://famitracker.com/
Screen recording: OBS Studio https://obsproject.com/

🎵 Mᴜsɪᴄ ᴜsᴇᴅ
Original song: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky – Spinda’s Café https://youtu.be/C7FkBLIZThY
[8-Bit] The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme https://youtu.be/qc1RTNB6Rwc
[8-Bit] The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Ilia’s Theme https://youtu.be/IWw9-V1yJtk