Feel old yet? On this day, 13 years ago, Star Fox Assault was launched for the first time in America. The states got the game before the other regions, even Japan. It also happens to be Valentine's Day. How fitting that a game with Fox and Krystal being awkward around each other while a third interloper, Panther, tries to steal her affection.
As with the Honeymoon cutscene before, this is a pre-rendered cutscene. Star Fox Assault stored it as a badly compressed 640 by 336 pixel 30 frame per second video that was then stretched vertically. I used the amazing waifu2x-caffe to upscale the frames to 4K resolution, along with other improvements. This is the best you're going to see!
This is the first cutscene of the entire game, where the Star Fox team is called into action during a massive battle above Fortuna. Since we have finished showing off in-game cutscenes that feature Krystal with the Queen Escapes cutscene last week, the only Krystal-related cutscenes remaining are the pre-rendered cutscenes. As before, I plan to release a new one once per week.
I also included an "original resolution" version (above) that features the subtitles. In my exploration, I found that YouTube actually over-compresses these lower resolution videos due to their 4:3 aspect ratio. Eventually, I will release the original files for viewing off YouTube, so you can see them at exactly their native resolution.
As for the Japanese versions, there are no major differences in visuals in this cutscene over the English version. The only difference I spotted was the relative volume of the "incoming message alert" noise is much louder in the English version than the Japanese version. However, as we start going into other cutscenes, there will be some significant visual differences between the two versions.
SchattenKitsune666 posted a new video last night showing off his improvements to the rig, adding hair physics, a non-textured bra, and a changed fur effect. She has plans to further improve the rig before releasing a new version. For now, enjoy the video. It features the song Hear Me by Kelly Clarkson.
Sorry for missing last Friday's post. I'm posting another thing right after this to make up for it.
Someone on the Discord server mentioned that the original Assault Model by Nanogrrr was different than the other ones ripped from the multiplayer version of Krystal. This model appeared to have been the one used in cutscenes, and it was known that the legs had odd missing features back before Nanogrrr corrected them. That lead to the question of whether or not the characters have any legs during the Star Fox Assault Briefing scenes.
While the whole theory that the Star Fox team voluntarily amputated their legs to help with handling high g environments has been conclusively busted (language warning), I did a little research and found that most characters during the briefing cutscenes do not have legs. Some don't even have their pelvis! It's obviously to save time animating and perhaps improve performance during those scenes, since the developers knew those parts of the characters wouldn't be seen anyway. At least, not without emulator tools. Check out the video to see what you can do with the Free Look mode in the Dolphin emulator. I also included more images of characters below that were not in the video.
Wow! It's been a really long time since I've seen a traditional Krystal fanfilm appearing on YouTube. Once a staple of YouTube, they're now supplanted by the new stuff like MMD videos. Anyway, enjoy the effect filled, electronic music video titled "Krystal McCloud Tribute 2018".
This Krystal tribute video is by Jilver Stiven Guerrero GonzalesNCS, who sent in the video directly. The music used was Arrow by Jim Yosef.
Here's another maintenance-type update. I mentioned in the announcement post that KingJion would be allowing the Krystal Archive to host the Krystal and Fox VRChat rigs once some corrections to the download files were made. They have been made, and now the much smaller downloads are also available on this new page for his mods. The page also includes a gallery and other links.
Remember the project to get all Star Fox Assault cutscenes in 4K? Yeah, it's been a while. After Christmas, it got shifted down in priority thanks to all the other interesting news items. But now, it's time to finish it!
Here we have both the English and Japanese versions of this scene. Fox fires the self-destruct program into the Aparoid Queen, only for her to suppress it and try to escape. The Star Fox team follow her even deeper into the planet in this final showdown. As before, this is in better-than-4K resolution!
This is the last Star Fox Assault cutscene in the game featuring Krystal that isn't pre-rendered. After this, I will go back and do the pre-rendered cutscenes and the credits. Pre-rendered cutscenes are much harder to prepare, and not just due to the cost of processing. I have to edit them together very carefully from multiple sources. The credits cutscene is similarly difficult.
Another interesting fact: YouTube can't correctly handle the "Original Resolution" pre-rendered Star Fox Assault cutscenes. It resizes them smaller than they should be. As a result, I'll eventually be uploading those versions somewhere on the site in addition to YouTube.
Sorry there were no posts on Thursday and Friday last week. Real life hit me pretty hard last week, but I hope that's taken care of now.
Cosplayer extraordinaire Kuridel Black of Uruguay is planning a Krystal cosplay. The armor is some of the most accurate I've ever seen, made from worbla. She posted several sketches and finished armor pieces previously, and then had to put her Krystal cosplay project on the back burner.
I've been chatting with her and she plans to restart work on this cosplay project in the near future. When complete, she will be a humanized Krystal, though she plans to cosplay as several different Krystal versions. I expect that means at least the Adventures and Assault outfits, and possibly more. She will be sending in a lot of extras and photos when she gets the costume done. For now, you can follow her progress on her various social media accounts.
I did a lot of housekeeping tasks today, mostly focusing on reducing the amount of online storage the Krystal Archive uses. We pay for every GB of downloads. With four copies of Star Fox: Event Horizon, that's quite a bit. After my changes, the Krystal Archive managed to save a little over 4GB! That's a reduction of about 20 percent.
Speaking of Star Fox: Event Horizon, UndyingNephalim released a 6th and 7th demo of his Star Fox: Event Horizon fangame, the latest being released back in June. I spoke to him, and he said he's still working on the game and will be working towards a beta version next. In the meantime, I removed all previous downloads for the first, second, third, and fourth demos. Instead, I will only be mirroring the most recent version here on the Krystal Archive (Demo 7 for now). To keep track of download changes, and because it deserves it, there is now a Star Fox: Event Horizon Fangame Page.
Warfaremachine sent in some small updates to his Krystal 2018 Rig. The updated versions were added to the page, and the compression was switched to 7Zip.
I pulled the same trick I did on the second Half-Life 2 Alyx Mod to get a much smaller download for Falemirous' Half-Life 2 Alyx Mod Version 1, combinding both the blaster and gatling gun versions into one download.
I also applied the multiple version trick with GreyFireFox's 1.2 Krystal Maya rigs. Then I converted it and the 1.4 version to use 7Zip. I also updated GreyFireFox's Page to explain the disappearance and later reappearance as CakeInferno.
Sorry for the late post, but these things take time to get right and make sure you didn't miss anything.
A fanart of Krystal appeared on national television in Japan last week. I heard about it thanks to this tweet that Ayano Harumaki retweeted, since it has Krystal in it. Asking around, we managed to figure out that the show was the most recent episode of "YOUは何しに日本へ？" (Why Did You Come to Japan?) where they approach foreigners at the airport and ask them the purpose of their visit to Japan.
On January 22nd, 2018, TV Tokyo broadcast this episode of Why Did You Come to Japan? The show focuses on trying to find interesting stories about different people, from famous athletes to everyday travelers. For some interviewees, they just ask a few questions, or perhaps ask for a demonstration of their skills. For others, they follow the visitor around to their destination, to get a more in-depth look at their interesting reasons for coming to Japan.
This time, one of the people they interviewed was "Kai" from Australia. He is an illustrator for whom manga meant a lot to him as a kid and now he seeks to learn how to be a great manga artist. Two years ago, he happened to attend a lecture by Fukaya-sensei at a Manga Café called Manga Kūkan (Manga Space). This café served drinks, provided computer services, and, less commonly, hosted lectures and classes to learn how to draw manga (more about the café).
With permission, the TV crew followed him as he went to the café again. There was a minor hiccup what with the café going out of business, but his teacher was willing to meet with him at his other teaching studio. At the new location, he met with his teacher to learn how he had improved over the last two years and where he could continue improving. It was at this point that he showed off his Krystal artwork to the cameras, as well as some other artwork featuring Sonic and Samus.
Overall, Fukaya-sensei thought he was doing well, and should continue practicing to improve. Kai asked for a tutorial on making dynamic angles and action often found in Japanese manga. He was given an assignment to make a five panel comic about a character being punched in the face to show what he had learned about dynamism.
There is a whole page about the trip on TV Tokyo's website. A lot of information about the trip above comes from a Google Translation of that page, so it miiiiight not be entirely accurate.
Finding the Artist
With only a handful of details to go by, I set to work trying to figure out who this Kai from Australia was. Searches for Kai and Kay from Australia were no help. I even considered emailing Fukaya-sensei about it. But before that, I tried another option.
Using my amazing image editing skills, I managed to undo the perspective projection of two different screenshots from the video, digitally combined them, and then digitally reconstructed missing portions. This was the result:
Not my best work, but with some hints, it was just enough to get Google's reverse image search system to identify the original!
It would only occur to me later that the artist was actually wearing a shirt with his own logo on it during the show. I could have just looked him up. But we here at the Krystal Archive believe firmly that "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing!"
The Artist is ShadowFenrir
He created the Krystal artwork in a Sketch Request, and the requestor begged him to color it. The colored sketch was posted on May 23, 2016 via Patreon. Later, he would post the finished version with a painterly background on his Tumblr. As far as I know, he hasn't posted the art anywhere else, but he does occasionally offer it for sale at conventions he attends. I do not think he has ever posted the original sketch anywhere. This is the only Krystal artwork he has done to my knowledge. Perhaps one day I'll run into him at a convention and be able to purchase this fanart. It looks great!
This artist does a lot of NSFW art, so I urge caution if you decide to go through his galleries. I did manage to get into contact with him, and he wanted me to let you guys know that he is starting work on a new comic endeavor and a live competitive art duel series soon called Quick Draw (detail video). One last thing, my best guess places his visit to Japan sometime in July 2017, meaning his story wasn't broadcast for 6 months after filming!