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LineArt Color - The Future of Oculus Rift by krTsukasa
LineArt Color - The Future of Oculus Rift
I did a re-coloring of my little brother, BostonFanBryer's "The Future of Oculus Rift".  Re-colored from the LineArt up, my version has proper (or at least better) shading and colors.  I'm not an expert at coloring, but I hope to be able to teach him a thing or two soon.
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After a long, silent, and awkward walk, we reach the gunsmith’s building downtown. ‘Friedrich’s Armaments & Ammunition’ read the sign overhead. There was nothing particularly spectacular about this building. It blended in with all the others on the street. A hardware store sat on the left of the building and a video rental on the right. Both adjacent buildings proudly displayed their ‘Open’ signs in the broad daylight outside. This one however remained closed.

The street was rather busy at this hour, and cars continued to drive by our building as we stood before the locked entrance. The hours listed on the shop window suggested that it should be open. Looking inside, there was no sign of the owner or any employees. The front counter sat unmanned at the back of the sales floor.

“It says they should be open,” I commented to my uninvited partner. After a momentary pause, I drew my weapon and took aim at the large glass window. “How about we fix that?”

“Put that away!” Julia yelled as she frantically looked around. Satisfied that no one was watching us, she pulled out some lock-picking tools and knelt before the door.

“Or, I guess you could do that,” I holstered my weapon and watched her work. Shooting out a shop window on a busy street might not have been discreet, but kneeling down to pick a lock didn’t seem much better. I watched her hands move, meticulously feeling around inside the lock. I never learned how to pick a lock. Even back in my old life, I always had Julia around to do it. These days I just couldn’t be bothered to. It’s quicker to just break in and move on, especially when you won’t be around long enough to worry about getting caught.

The lock turned with a ‘click’ and we hurried inside. There were some display cases around the walls of the shop. Inside them, various guns of all shapes and sizes were on display. I walked over to a nearby case to inspect it. A slight layer of dust covered the glass, obscuring from view the fine details of its content. A dingy padlock secured the case shut. It didn’t seem like it had ever seen much attention.

The whole store followed this theme. Dusty cases and grimy fixtures that wouldn’t pass even the most lenient of white glove tests. We approached the back counter, and found it in much the same condition. A layer of paperwork cluttered the desk, but it too had it’s own dusty covering. No one had cleaned up in here for quite some time. It appeared as if the owner had outright abandoned it.

As I examined the gunsmith’s workspace, a dust-coated letter caught my eye. It sat on top of the pile, separated from the rest by an empty envelope. A few keywords in the letter caught my eye, but I didn’t get a chance to read it before I was interrupted by Julia.

“You hear that?” Julia asked. She moved toward the back of the room, trying to locate the sound. After listening for a moment, I could hear it too. From the other side of the wall, I could hear a low humming accompanied by a high pitched, grinding noise.

“Yeah, it sounds like some sort of machinery,” I replied, and placed the letter into my coat pocket. I walked over to meet Julia next to a door to the backroom. I took hold of the doorknob and slowly cracked it open. The sound intensified, but from the small crack, I couldn’t see where it was coming from.

I took a deep breath, and drew my weapon. I looked to Julia, who gave me a nod of approval. Taking aim, I kicked the door open. On the other side, we found a room cluttered with various metal and woodworking tools.

Unable to discern much from the door, I made my way into the room, heading toward the source of the noise. From the doorway, it did not seem like anyone was in the room. If not for the grind of the power equipment, I would have assumed no one to be home.

‘CLANK’

The sound echoed through the room, causing me to jump. Heart racing, I continued forward. I soon found the source of the noise, a lathe left unattended. It had managed to completely carve it’s way through a metal cylinder which then fell to the floor. It couldn’t have taken more than a minute or two to cut through it. It probably hadn’t been running for long. I switched off the red power switch on the side of the tool just as I heard a thud across the room.

I turned to my right and there lay two men, now unconscious, on the floor. Julia stood above them, catching her breath. Unarmed, she had beaten the two into submission, without even breaking a sweat. Having been on the other end of her wrath more than once, I almost felt pity for the guys on the floor.

“This way,” she yelled, throwing open a fire door. “They went out the back.” Without waiting for me, she bolted through the exit and onto the street again. I carefully stepped around the unconscious men and pushed my way through the door. Across the street was red sedan with its engine running and a driver at the wheel. Two rough looking men were forcing another into the back seat of the car. The captive man had disheveled hair, blackened hands, and wore grease covered overalls.

“Is that him?” I asked, as I caught up to Julia by the side of the road.

“I think so,” answered Julia. “Who else would it be?” she added sarcastically.

After closing the gunsmith in the back of the car, the two men drew their weapons and began to fire at us.

“Get down!” I yelled to Julia. We took cover behind a car parked on the side of the road. A nearby mail collection bin cried out in pain as stray bullets ricocheted inside of it. We remained pinned in our position as we heard their car start to move away.

The gunfire stopped as the car rounded the corner. I heard it accelerate into the distance. I stood up and looked around, trying to think of a way we could catch up to our attackers. A moment later blue flashing lights began driving toward us. ‘Oh, great,’ I thought to myself, sheathing my weapon. It was then that I noticed that Julia was frantically flagging down the flashing lights.

As the police car pulled over, Julia leapt across the hood and got in the passenger side. “Get in!” she yelled to me. Left with few options, I got in the back seat of the vehicle, effectively arresting myself.

“He a friend of yours?” the officer asked, as we rushed forward.

“Something like that,” replied Julia, spitefully.

Read the rest of this chapter at devilsadvocatestory.com!
Seiken Densetsu 3 - North American Box Art by krTsukasa
Seiken Densetsu 3 - North American Box Art
Yet another amazing game that never made it to our shores.  This one has been fan translated into English since way back in 2000 though.  I played it many years ago, almost to completion, and regret never having finished it.  Going to have to pick it up again sometime.

Now, on to the cover.  When searching on Google, I found myself very disappointed with the box arts that others had made for this game.  All of them had simply cropped the original Japanese box art into the square of an SNES box template.  They would either leave the Japanese title, crop over it (cutting it in half), or awkwardly shove the picture to the very top of the box to hide it.  Worst of all, some choose to title this game "Secret of Mana 2".  While this game is a sequel to Secret of Mana, it is really the third game of the Seiken Densetsu series, with Secret of Mana being the second, and the first being Sword of Mana (or originally Final Fantasy Adventure, as "Sword" is a remake).

When editing this, I had to remove the title kanji above the characters and reconstruct the missing pieces of the background as well as Angela's staff at the top of the box.  The top half of her staff is actually the bottom half mirrored and blended together.

The most difficult part of this project, by far, was the English title text.  While the game has been translated for a long time, the only English title is the in-game title screen.  A 256px title screen wasn't going to give me the resolution I needed for this box art though.  So instead, I recreated the title entirely from scratch.  The original box art and title screens use a 1-point perspective for the letters, and I did my best to recreate that... manually.  I did all the perspective on the letters by hand using a vanishing point and digital rulers, then painted some highlights and shadows.  It was quite the undertaking, and I do NOT recommend trying it.  After that I added in a stone texture I had created back when I used to 3D model, and tried to match the colors as best I could to the in-game title screen.  I think it all came out very faithful to the original.
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Dragon Quest III - North American Box Art by krTsukasa
Dragon Quest III - North American Box Art
I've been playing Dragon Quest III for Super Famicom on my RetroPie lately.  When I was younger I played through the Game Boy Color version of the game, but the Super Nintendo (Famicom) version, arguably the best, was never released outside of Japan.

This game has since been translated by various fan groups.  The completed translation I've been playing is the one from DQ Translations.  The only problem is that the original Super Famicom box art is tall and skinny, in a portrait orientation.  It looks out of place among all the other North American box arts on the system.  I tried searching Google Images, but it seems like no one has ever made a NA style box art for this game.

So, I decided to make my own!  To do this, I used the original Famicom (NES) version's box art, the logo from the Super Famicom (SNES) version, and an SNES box template.  Plus a few artistic layout choices.  I think it turned out really good!
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I gathered myself and went to knock on the door.  Before I could reach it, the doorknob turned and a familiar face greeted me.

“Well, look what the Devil dragged in,” the woman taunted, standing in the doorway.

She was about my height, but irritatingly an inch or two taller.  Long straight blonde hair stretched halfway down the length of her back.  Physically, she looked like she couldn’t be older than twenty-five.  In reality though she was actually thirty, two years older than me.

“Shut up Julia, you knew I was coming,” I snapped at her.  “Let’s just get on with this.”

“Fine, fine.  Come in then,” Julia said, holding the door and motioning inside.

The inside of her house always surprised me with its tidiness.  When I knew her, she wasn’t remotely someone you could call ‘tidy’.  Julia used to be a bit wild and unpredictable.  That was a long time ago though.

“Take a seat,” she said, having directed me into the kitchen.  “Can I get you anything?” she asked, irritated, as she opened the fridge.

“No, I’m fine.  Tell me what information you have before I decide to leave without it.” I answered.  My patience wore thinner with every passing second.  Julia rolled her eyes and poured me a glass of water.  She sat down across the table from me after getting an iced tea for herself.

“Axel, I know you don’t want to be here, but it’s not going to kill you to have some patience,” she said condescending me.  “If you want to hear what I have to say, you’re damn well gonna be polite.”

“Alright!” I exclaimed, and took a deep breath.  I took a moment to try to push all the reasons I couldn’t stand Julia out of my mind.  As calmly as I could, I asked, “So, what is it you wanted to tell me?”  Impressed, or at least satisfied with my new tone, Julia began her story.

“There’s been some strange occurrences in town lately.  I thought you might be able to make some sense out of it.”

“Okay, what’s been happening?” I asked.

“I guess it all began a few weeks ago.  I started noticing some rough looking individuals around town.  When they first arrived, they spent their nights terrorizing the local bars.  Nothing big, just some roughhousing and harassment, but more than we usually see around here.  Soon, the police got involved and these newcomers stopped their trouble-making.  I’ve still seen them around, but they’ve been keeping out of trouble.”

“Do you remember anything specific about them?  Anything identifiable?” I questioned.

“Nothing specific.  They just all feel out of place.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say that they don’t feel like they belong in this realm.  They all look a bit... brutish?”  she said, fumbling for a better description.  “They’re altogether rough looking.  Some of them had scars, others had obscene or crude tattoos.  Not to sound discriminating, but they just don’t seem like the usual candidates for this particular afterlife.”

“Sounds like a group of individuals I ran into a little bit ago.  Is there anything more you can tell me about them?”

“Oh, I’ve just gotten started,” she replied.  “I’ve been working with the police department to try and keep tabs on their whereabouts.  They refuse to take any direct action against them, but they agree that something seems unusual.  First of all, the police keep losing track of them.  As far as I’ve been told, these individuals will disappear down an ally never to be seen again.  Either the police are flat out incompetent at their jobs or these individuals have been vanishing like you do.”

She paused for a moment to cast me a questioning glance.  When I refused to give her any information, she continued, “Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit of both.  But anyway, here’s where it gets interesting.  There’s a gunsmith downtown.  In his life, he was renowned for his craftsmanship.  Around here, he scrapes by on what work he can get.  There’s not much interest in weaponry here, and the police only need his expertise every so often.  I suppose sometimes there can be a downside to being an upstanding citizen in life.”

“So you think he’s turned to supporting criminal activity to keep his business going?”

“Don’t you try and get ahead of me!” Julia exclaimed.  “So, up until a few weeks ago, rumor was that he planned to close up his shop and find a new line of work.  In the time since then though, he’s spent more time in his shop than ever.  The strange thing is that his shop’s been locked up tight.  Besides him, the only people seen going in or out of it have been those shady individuals I mentioned.”

“So whoever they are, he’s making them weapons,” I commented.  “Lovely.”  

“This definitely doesn’t sound like a group of random thugs.”  Lost in thought, she sighed, “Organized crime.  All this shady stuff,” Julia paused and gave me a serious look, “Honestly, it's starting to remind me of old times.”

At those words I slammed my hands down on the table.  “We're done here!” I yelled in frustration.

“Axel,” she called after me.

“I don't want to hear it!” I dismissed her.  “Thanks for the info, I'm leaving.”  Without looking back, I stormed out the front door.

I began to wander the streets, trying hard to not to think of the past.  Unable to stop them, thoughts of ‘old times’, and another ‘boss’ I once worked for, soon overtook me.

Julia died when she was only twenty-four, but I knew her long before then.

--- * ---

“Come on Axel, it’s over here!” an enthusiastic voice called out.  An energetic and fearless girl led me along a winding path of city streets.  The neighborhoods became more dilapidated and run-down with every turn we took.

“Where are you taking me?” I questioned, trying to keep up.

“I told you already! I know somewhere we can earn some money.”  she answered.

“Yeah, but where?”

“We’re almost there,” she replied, dismissing my question.

Though she kept racing ahead of me, I maintained a focus on her short, bright, pink and blue hair.  Eventually, she stopped in front of a decrepit looking butcher’s shop and waited for me to catch up.

“Just follow my lead,” she said, trying to reassure me.

We entered the shop, which was somehow still open and in business despite its outside appearance.  As we approached the counter my companion looked around, checking to see that there were no other customers inside.

“We’ve come to see the big man,” she said.  “Tell him Jewel is here.”  One of the two butchers behind the counter motioned toward a door into the back room.

“This way,” he said in a deep voice, leading us into the next room.  We came to a walk-in cooler.  The large man opened the cooler door and waited for us to enter.  Without hesitation, Julia walked right in.

I stood, staring into the cooler.  The perimeter of the room was adorned with large meat carcasses hanging on hooks.  Toward the back there were pallets containing boxed items.  I couldn’t see any other exits though.

After a low growl from the butcher and an urgent look from Julia, I reluctantly entered the room.  The butcher took one last look around and nodded, presumably to his coworker.  He then turned and followed us, shutting the door behind him.

The butcher cast a murderous look toward me as I stood petrified by the blood on his white coat and concerned of its potential origin.

“Axel,” Julia harped under her breath, tilting her head and signaling me to move.  I looked down and noticed a small recess in the floor by my feet.  Upon noticing it, I quickly moved aside and joined Julia.

The butcher bent down and pulled on the small handle embedded in the floor.  With what looked like little effort, he lifted open a rather large insulated trap door revealing a staircase.  As soon as it was open, Julia darted forward once more.  I followed behind, forced forward by the broad-shouldered butcher bringing up the rear.

Julia led the way, navigating through several basement hallways.  We found ourselves in a darkened room with a desk.  Across the desk from us sat another broad-shouldered man, this one wearing a stylish, and expensive-looking suit.  As soon as we were in the room our butcher escort turned and left, closing the door behind him.


Read the rest of this chapter at devilsadvocatestory.com!

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krTsukasa
Simon McDougall
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:iconcelbatrix:
Celbatrix Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011
I have tagged you!

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Minnat Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010
Happy Birthday!
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KumagoroBunnyGirls Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thanks for the fave ^_^
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krTsukasa Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010
I gotta keep track of who uses my brush somehow. =P
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KumagoroBunnyGirls Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That I can not help you with... maybe keep track of all those who fave your brushes?
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SkiesOfAzel Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
Thanks for the fav on Orta, an update is coming soon btw;)
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Notmiown Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010
Thanks again man. I appreciate It.
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Notmiown Featured By Owner May 31, 2010
Me again. Thank you also for the :+fav:. :)
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Notmiown Featured By Owner May 31, 2010
Thanks for the :+devwatch:
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