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Googleshng - December 15 '00- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Today, Tomm Hulett, creator of Mythri is here to answer questions about this upcoming great looking RPG. Oddly enough though, he got this chance by mailing me a copy of Shining Force 3. Weird huh? Anyway though, here he is.

Tomm: Hey there, everyone! Here I am, ready to answer questions. Weird things happen when Lunar2 gets delayed.
Free publicity for Team XKalibur, and all it cost me was Shining Force too can be a sellout!...or something.
I'm not really sure how to open a Q&A I'll try something Goog's never done. Well...he kinda' did. I'm going to OFFER YOU A JOB!!!
Well, there's a catch. If you're a serious programmer who knows how to code Assembly, and you love RPGs, you can apply. Really, I'm not kidding. Just contact Goog, and if you're a real live assembly programmer...there you go.
::innocent whistle:: with that over the floodgates! I hope I can answer all your questions, and address all your Mythri-related needs.

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Moving the idea along
Hey Google and Tomm,
this question is mainly for Tomm. I use the OHR engine
( to make my games, and they're about FF4 quality. My question is, once I finish a game, is doomed to remain forever on the computer, or is there a way to transfer the code and turn it into a gameboy game? How long does making a RPG take, with how many people working on it? I've been dreaming of making my own gameboy RPG, but I know I don't have the programing skills. Also, I have Phantasy Star 2, good condition, original box. case someone out bids me...I'll throw in Phantasy Star 3 too.

Phantasy Star 2 AND 3? With working batteries?!

Looks like we have a winner.

As for your question, I'm not familiar with the OHR engine. However, once you get a game completed, unless you know an Assembly programmer, it's doomed to stay on the PC as freeware. Don't despair, though! I'm sure if you aspire to be a game designer, you could use these projects as resume's if you apply at a big company. They want to know you have the conviction to stay with a product through completion, and that you're creative. I'm sure previous projects, even unpublished ones, count.

How many people on a team? That really depends on who you have and how much they're doing. There's 9 members in Team XKalibur, many of whom are doing graphics. Things like music, character design, etc. only require one person each (depending on how big the project is). Thanks for the good questions...and the PS games ;)

Speaking of getting in to game design, remember that page I started making way back when to help aspiring game makers get together and get things out there? A few other people with a lot more time than I do dig the idea, so it will actually be going up some time in the future.

Now, for those who haven't been paying attention to this new little gimmick, once Tomm here recieves those games, CN will be allowed to guest a few times, or until someone donates an obscure game CN wants, thus gaining the guest host seat, and so on, until someone asks for a game nobody can provide, in which case the last person gets 3 guest hostings.

Interesting point
First of all, I wish you the best of success with Mythri and future projects, and I'm very excited that a developer will be answering questions. With that said, I hope you can eliminate all of my forthcoming concerns.

I've been following the progress of Mythri since it was first announced on the web, and I must say, I'm on the side of the publishers in that I'm skeptical that the game would be a big seller (or even a sell-through). After all, given the traditional style of the game, publishers would have a hard time marketing it to anyone besides long-time fans of the genre. What's worse, however, is that those same hard-core fans would probably be the most difficult to sell Mythri to, considering both the reputations of American developed RPGs and hand-held RPGs in general. American RPGs, of course, have historically been shitty. And hand-held games are usually half-assed cash-ins of established console franchises or popular licenses. Already attached to two prejudices, I can't think of any publisher who wouldn't be frightened by Mythri's uphill battle.

Another disheartening aspect is that the game doesn't seem very original.

Granted, I haven't played the demo, nor have I read the script (but I sure as hell would like to), but based on RPGamer's coverage of the game, nothing strikes me as innovative. An unidentified Team XKalibur member said, "Some of today's publishers believe that in order to be successful, a game needs to be based on a popular franchise, a cookie-cutter 'me-too' title, or involve catching tiny monsters." A game that copies the visual and gameplay styles of many Japanese developed RPGs isn't a "me-too" title? Given the advantage of reading American gamers' tastes in columns such as Goog's, Mythri has the potential to be everyone's dream RPG, incorporating everything we like best about the genre and breaking the shackles of widely held premonitions regarding hand-held and American developed RPGs, but it has to innovate somewhere to do so.

Here's where you can sell the game to publishers, RPGamers, and most importantly, me: what makes your game original, and why should I buy it? If possible, give us a taste (some unsaid insight or perhaps a snippet of script?) of what Mythri is all about.


:( How dreary...

I don't think it's a title marketed only towards hard-core fans. In my retail experience, people are always walking in asking for an RPG for the Gameboy Color...and the kind store clerk always has to show them a Pokemon styled game (except now we have the Dragon Warrior series--everyone praise Enix). I think there are a lot of RPG fans who just learned of the genre on Playstation or Dreamcast, and want something portable. They have...what? Maybe 6 options?
As for us copying Japanese games, I disagree. One way that style came about is how limited you are with such tiny sprites and limited colors. As far as the "spirit" of the game, Team XKalibur is a fan of the SNES Final Fantasy games, and the Lunar series, and games such as that. To this effect, we've incorporated the grand storytelling of Final Fantasy, as well as the character-driven, anime styled scenes of the Lunar series. How many gameboy games have you played with face-portraits over key dialogue? Or full-screen anime portraits for dramatic moments? One of our "innovations" would simply be doing "advanced" things on an 8-bit system. I understand the gameplay worry, though, and we've addressed it. We've put some innovation in our battle system, especially in the area of magic. It's important that any action in a game have a give/take effect. Something shouldn't tip the battle in your favor, nor should it ruin your chances of victory. Magic in Mythri is powerful, but can be cancelled if a monster does certain things. I'm sorry I can't really discuss specifics about it, but it'll change some long-held strategies.
Sure, the basic setup of Mythri is "traditional Japanese"...but the basic setup of FF9 is "traditional FF". They took all the best aspects and did them perfectly, with a lot of polish. That's what Mythri does--but instead of FF, we have the entire realm of Japanese Role-playing. We've taken the best aspects of 8 and 16-bit games, rolled them into a single package, and then tuned every aspect in the gamer's interest. Ever played that RPG where a villain tempts you to join him? And you choose "yes" once just to find out you have to fight him anyway? Not in Mythri.
As for us breaking American RPG stigmas? We don't try to "make it uniquely American". If you dig Ultima and hate everything that comes from won't like Mythri. It feels very, very Japanese. We don't have B-Movie references, and our characters don't shout out wrestling catchphrases. We've tried to make a Japanese RPG, not an American RPG with Japanese flavor.
Sorry I have to be so cryptic...I'd love to give you a script snipped, except the only part that'd make sense is a comedic thing near the beginning. And Mythri isn't really a "comedic" game, so I don't want to give the wrong impression. So you can't really do much but believe me......but Goog said it was good--so if you buy it and it sucks, yell at him ;)

Well, I think that covers just about everything. As another point in Mythri's favor, most of us here at RPGamer have played the first hour or so, and it really does seem quite worth buying.

Plot comparison
Hi Goog,hi Tomm,
I'll make this letter very short. I just read an editorial here on RPGamer, and I just need to ask this: what is sooo great about FFVI storyline? Ok,I played every FF since IV,but I had to burrow VI from a friend,and that's why I only played through it twice.I mean, FFVII story was awesome,mainly because of all the twists,the weird events,and the wicked villain.But as I recall,all FFVI had in terms of great storyline aspect was the cast of characters. Really nothing "Xenogear-esque" about the story...

I put the X in X-lax

Well...know what I liked about FF7's storyline? Cloud's past, and the twist that he really wasn't who he thought he was. And Tifa going into his mind and seeing the truth.
The cool part about FF6 is that every character (...almost) had a cool, in depth past like that (more characters = more cool plot = better plot?). The rest of the plot was very good; sure it was cliche (evil empire, powerful secret, etc) but it was done right. There were also very uncliche things (a completely amoral clown) and up to that point, it was the most dramatic game ever. Maybe a lot of it's nostaligia, or maybe you're just into Sci-Fi plots more than magical ones...I dunno.
Oh...and not everyone likes "AGH! MY HEAD!" plot twists, like in Xenogears. Give me Lunar any day (I really shouldn't say that...considering the types of game plots I write...)

There's also the sheer intensity of FF6's plot to consider. The last game from Square to reach America was FF4. FF4's major emotional scenes were limited to a few deaths, only one of which was of a character you really had a chance to get attached to, many near-deaths, and of course, people getting turned to stone or getting sick. For it's time, FF4 was pretty shocking. THEN along comes FF6. For those who don't recall, here are some of the more provacative elements of FF6: You get to watch a large population die of poisoning, including a little kid I'm going to estimate is about 5. It deals with teen pregnancy. Whether or not three major characters live or die depends on your actions. If you fail at one of those, a major character attempts to commit suicide, AND YOU HAVE TO CONTROL THIS. Then on top of all that there's the little matter of the firey apocolypse halfway through the game, and the look into the way people cope in the aftermath. That's some PRETTY powerful stuff to tackle in a 16-bit RPG. To this day, only a scant few games to this day have attempted to tackle even a fraction of FF6's level of controversy, most of those sticking to controversial issues which have already been dealt with by earlier games, or in some cases, anime. FF7 isn't even one of those.

Alright, let's give it up for Goog and Tomm!!! *applause heard all around*

OK, um...... lemme see if I have this right. Anyone wanting to guest host has to give you an "old, obscure game" that you want, and they get to guest host on the following Friday and give a list of games that they would like. Ummm....... what if a lot of people have the game and want to give it up? And, who do we have to tell to say that we will give it up? See, I'm just really lost and........ woah, where am I?

Ok, you! Tomm, umm..... this game, Mythri. What's the plot behind this game? And when will it be out? (I haven't been paying attention much around here.....) Will this be something I could get for ..... uhh, this.... "special holiday" that everybody calls..... "Christmas"? Oh, and I need a GBC, too? But I already have a Game Boy Pocket...... can I still play it on that? Help me, and lead me the way out! Oh, sorry, I don't have those games...... yeah.

While in Trance, I am:

Red Swoon

Well, Mythri involves this world torn apart by war. Both hemispheres are spending all their resources in attempts to crush the opposing side. The only people who see wrong in this are a small band of rebels. However, these rebels don't think war is wrong. They don't think the leaders of both armies are going to destroy the planet. The rebels see that the war is destroying culture--and that's a danger to mankind. Without culture, what is life or history? Sorry I can't go into detail...if you put this with the RPGamer preview, you might have some semblance of an inkling of any idea.

I just noticed it's 4 AM, so I'm going to sit out most of these so I don't cut into the weekend letter supply.

Didn't we cover this?
Hi Google and Tomm!

I have a question for Tomm: Why should I buy Mythri? :) (Of course, when it'll be out...)

You have 30 seconds to convince me.... start!

Ghar Diann

Mythri is a plot-driven, expansive, Japanese RPG for the Gameboy color. It has exotic locations, unique characters, and a grand plot filled with twists both psychological and mystical. If you've ever loved...if you've ever need to experience....~MYTHRI~
::wipes a tear::

Gee, I wonder what this one's about?
Hey to Goog and Tomm- I find it rather cool that the ol' Official Unofficial Scribe of something-I-forget-these-days, circa Northlands, is guest-hosting. Happy to confuse people with that sentence. ;) Anyway, I was wondering which game currently out there Mythri is most like. There are very few handheld RPGs I've been impressed with. Then again, I'm sure the team is doing a great job and I'll probably be buying it simply because I know (from the aforementioned Northlands) that Tomm's a great writer and would do his best to make a cool game. Another question I've been meaning to write in and ask is more general and I hope one of you can answer. A few months ago I found an old stack of video game magazines I'd bought when I was younger. One of them is "Game Players Strategy Guide to Nintendo Games" circa August 1991. The issue (as luck would have it) previewed/reviewed a lot of RPGs, including Final Fantasy II (IV for the purists). The end of the preview says, and I quote: "As an added bonus, readers can follow the Final Fantasy storylines in Disney's new Final Fantasy comic book series." Do either of you know ANYTHING about this comic book series? I have not seen mention of it anywhere. Nor have I ever seen DISNEY involved with FF. Anyway... Later and good luck with Mythri! ~m3~

...if any of you have a copy of aforementioned Disney FF comics--you may send them directly to me and usurp ChaosNyte's position as "next QA host"...

That said.

Unofficial Scribe of Riddles and Haggis...fool :) Word to the brutha' man. Wow...that's a blast from the past.
Mythri doesn't feel like a "handheld RPG"...did you like SNES RPGs? Good, come on in to the Mythri party. Mythri is most like...Lunar2. If you hate Lunar2 with a passion? Scratch that--Mythri is most like FF9. ::shrugs:: It's different enough that we're not ripping them off. Geez, I can't say anything here that doesn't sound incriminating :(

Yeah...never heard of those comics. Speaking of ripoff, though, if you're a heavy FF fan--check out anything by Hayao Miyazaki. ::coughs:: Shame on you, Square ;)

Hey, the FFs never ripped off Totoro! That'd be spiffy though... imagine the gang from FF9 piling onto the catbus...

Spoilers... not here! It's just about spoilers, no wait..
Hey Goog and Tomm,
Starved for letters, haha too the rescue. Ok number one what is Wonder Boy 3, never heard of that one. Two as a Q&A host do you get a lot of spoilers? Like at the end Final Fantasy IX when Zidane...( heh, I'm not that evil). Now here's one for the guest host of the day, how did you get to be a game developer and how's the publisher search going? Wow, that comic/image on the main page it sweet. Why are chibi's so cool?
Tapion-"Pleaz don't kil me forr my atrocious spelng and;gramar I'm illiterate, I swear"

Wonder Boy 3? mean you've NEVER heard of WONDER BOY 3? I can't...uh...::coughs:: hey Goog, fill him in on Wonder Boy 3 ::glances around::. I'd like to comment that Goog did get spoiled...on a specific point of FF9 that *I* wanted to spoil him on. Shame on you guys! But didn't you dig that scene with Dagger, when Steiner kills Vivi? I NEVER could have guessed her reaction. Man! How I got to be a developer? Thanks for asking. I moved nearby someone who worked for Virgin Games, and did some unofficial game testing for them for a few summers. He moved on and started his own company, and I did some level design for him. After that, I applied at some upcoming companies who said my scripts were promising. When they said I'd be designing games someone else would be getting credit for producing...the situation sounded weird, so my friend Keith and I started our own company--Team XKalibur! Our publisher search is...going. More on that later :) In short...for all you people who want to know "how do I become a game designer/musician/artist/programmer/person thing?!?"...the key is testing. Apply for a bugtesting position. When they have an opening in your shout real loud till they hear you. an Assembly Programmer and reply to my opening.

WB3 is a very spiffy SMS game that honestly, we should probably cover but don't. Long story short, you get cursed at the beginning by the dragon you get killed and turned into a lizard-man. Then you spend the rest of the game trying to turn back, and getting turned into other stuff along the way, like a mouse. As for spoilers, well, let me put it this way. You know the big huge surprise right at the end of CC? The one about Kid? Someone blindsided me with that a week after the game came out IN JAPAN. That sucked an awful lot of the enjoyment out of the game for me. On the other hand, with FF9, I managed to shield myself from everything but the fact you had 4 characters at once and there's a black mage. Usually I just buy every game instantly and plow through so that nobody can get far enough ahead TO spoil things, but with all the games lately, that's a lost cause.

Now come the staff letters...
We haven't spoken to each other for ages... but anyway, since you're here and all, I might as well make the most of it. ^^;

1. How far do you think Mythri is in completition?

2. What would be the nearest competitors and/or what would it be closest too?

3. Just curious, what have you been up to anyway? I haven't heard from you in AGES. :(

4. ... Well, this isn't really a question, but hell. Say, when you finish it, could I have an autographed copy of Mythri? Gold Plated? Collector's edition perhaps? [For free?] ;)

Just a thought.

Mistress Nightshadow.

A list! And from our dear friend Mistress N! Heya Mistress N! Long time!

1) I'll never understand the gaming media's obsession with percentages. Planning and concepts are 100% done. Implementation and Programming is...20% done? Bugtesting is 5% done? So overall we're about eleventeen percent. Okay, I made that up...mostly. NEXT QUESTION!

2) Our nearest competitor, like every GBC game ever, is Pokemon. Though now we have Dragon Warrior 1&2 and 3 on the way. We're closest to...16 bit games. That's our edge on the competition.

3) You know, a little of this, a little of that. Some Chrono Cross, a little FF9. You guys have CC and FF9 in Australia, don't you? ...right? Why are you glaring at me? kiddies--never try to design a game AND go to school. It's harder than you'd think.

4) Just cause we love you, Mistress N...just cause we love you. I was only joking about answer 3...put the boomerang down! Noooooooo!

... more ...
Hey Tomm, Hi Slimey,
First off, thanks for having the time to come on Q&A with google here so we can bombard you with 50 thousand questions about your game. Takes real guts, my friend. ;>
And thanks for giving him Shining Force 3 so he can play something I've already played, instead of all the games I still need to play.

Now then, about Mythri, we all know that it could possibly be the best handheld RPG out there, so the question I have is: What games did you pull the most inspiration from? Were you trying for a game like "Game X", or a mix of "Game X Y & Z"? Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, and good luck with Mythri.


I'm going to give you a random list of Mythri inspiration, but hide the percentage inspiration I took from each, okay? (I love this) Lunar:SS, FF4, FF6, FF7, Lunar2:EB, Evangelion, Lodoss War, Vampire HunterD, X/1999, MGS, Macross Plus, Chrono Trigger...and a bunch of other stuff from 2 years ago when I wrote the plot.
Remember...if you liked any ONE of those--you'll love Mythri. Really. It's not just's not...come on...
Seriously though, thanks for the kind words :)

Hey! You aren't staff!
So your one the guys trying to bring that sweet game known as Mythri. I worhship you. Anyways What games do you like most and what are your favorite anime?If you have played FF9, what do you think of it? I still think FF7 is the best PS FF game.But FF6 is the best FF game of all time.


I think FF9 crushes FF7, but we all have our opinions :) I like a lot of games "most". Metal Gear Solid is my favorite game ever, followed closely in no order by Harvest Moon (64 or BTN), Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Lunar:SSSC, Lunar2:EB, FF6, FF9...and probably something I'm forgetting. I own every Megaman game ever made...that should count. My favorite anime? Geez... Probably Trigun, but that could be because I found the manga before anyone had even heard of it. Or my graphic designer found it...whatever. Here's a list of that, too: Escaflowne, Trigun, Evangelion, Macross Plus, Gundam, and anything by Miyazaki (Kiki's Delivery Service, Totoro, Mononoke...whatever). And no, I don't think the Disney dubs suck. Sue me. :)

Hehehe. He originally left Esca off, I had to remind him. Have to love the scream of shock that comes when you forget to list off something you obsess over.

Hey! You aren't staff either!

Tomm Hulett? As in the same Tomm who wrote a couple of editorials to rpgamer -- no -- in the days of yore? .......wait a minute ..... nevermind the days of yore thing. I just checked the editorials update ..... is that you rebutting Maciel? If not, sorry, but if so, how did you get into the gaming business? Sorry, it just gets me excited to see a fanboy break in. It makes me think if this guy, who used to just write editorials, is now in there, maybe some day .. . . . . .

I noticed a Gambit reference in your editorial. You a comic fan? Batman's cool...... No Man's Land rocked and Dark Knight 2 has huge promise. Frank Miller doing Batman....mmmmm.

Anyway, to the real letter:

Mythri: by far the most promising handheld game to date. Yes, Link's Awakening must step down (it really wasn't THAT good). With all earnestness, I am REALLY looking forward to this game. Probably because my GBC has been mighty lonesome for a LONG time (sorry, Crystalis doesn't cut it for me), but then again, I think its more along the lines of Goog's earlier, inexplicable wanting for Kloudelka. Ya know? For some reason a game just sticks out. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and THANK YOU for relieving us of the four-days-a-week annoyance of Goog proclaiming his nostalgic yearning for -- ahem -- Wonder Boy 3.

Question: What (if you can be specific then by all means specify away) does your job as lead developer entail? It sounds everything-ish. If you can, compare it to its equivalent in the film industry (I'm a film major.... I know all of THOSE jobs).

Oh yeah, Goog.... forgot about ya. Ummm.... I don't know. You are just so darn good at answering questions that you have answered all of them before I even asked them (quite the fulfillment of the journalistic dream).

MIKE, Josh Reid's #1 fan, but Goog's #1 lover.... I mean... no....err... What sex are you again?

Editorials? I wrote fanfics too! Damn good ones! Everyone go read them!

::ahem:: anyway. Yeah, that's me. I am rebutting Maciel, too...go read. Though I'm hardly a fanboy! I'll never understand America's preoccupation with otaku culture ;)
And as you can see a few letters up--I was in the gaming business even back when I was writing editorials and fanfics. Scary, huh?
I gave Goog Shining Force, though. Our friendly neighborhood slimer man/woman will be yearning for Wonder Boy long into the coming months. Someone help Goog out...come on. Honestly.
My official title in Team XKalibur is "Co-President and Lead Designer" of Mythri. While a Designer normally works on concepts and then watches to make sure everyone creates his vision--in reality (because of our small team) my job actually is "everythingish". I did concepts, I helped design characters, I scripted, I mapped areas, I do town dialogue, and have a hand in pretty much everything that isn't graphic design, coding, music, or art. Wow...I need a vacation ;)
Thanks for remembering me :)

I'd just like to point out that the reason I was so big on style is that it's target audience evidently was me, personally. 1800s horror puzzles turn-based tactical combat funky names! Granted, horror and turn based kinda clash bigtime, but hey, it was an interesting mix... oh, and you are NOT my lover.

Ah, now YOU'RE a staffer!
Hi Goog. Hi Tomm! *pounce* Long time no talk ;)

Anyway, my question for Goog is can I borrow Shining Force once you're done with it? I've played 1 and 2 for the sega and 1-3 for the game gear, and they rocked.

My question for Tomm is what part have you liked the best so far about making Mythri? Has there been anything you really hated doing?

Have a great column guys!

-Paws =^^=

I hate scripting townspeople. It's a pain in the really is. "How do I make this interesting, but informative, but not boring? Will the gamer WANT to talk to these people? How can this be fun? AAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!" (note to sayers of nay: it's annoying to do if you take the time to do it well)
I thought I'd hate designing all the area maps, too, but that's really fun when you get into it. Then you start getting tricky, and designing areas that will really twist the player's mind. It's a rewarding job :)

I suppose you can borrow SF3 when I'm done, but it's getting stuck pretty far down in my queue.

Ah, now YOU'RE a staffer!
To that one guy complaining of FF9's summons showing all the way through every time, two things: You can turn that off by removing the Boost ability... and, if the whole animation is shown, the Eidolons do quite a bit more damage than just showing the weapon attack part...
Ellipsis Knight

::takes note:: thank you. I didn't have time to check PlayOnline......stupid strategy guide.

Boost leads to full length. Full length leads to more damage. More damage leads to victory!


Hey Goog, Just a quick question. What holiday do you celebrate? -Chris

Tomm: I celebrate Christmas. The Who-bilation is fantastic!
Google: Halloween! Oh, this time of year? Well, since nobody in my family really belongs to any particular religion, we all just celebrate Christmas since it's shoved down your throats, plus it's easier to get the whole family together for 2 days than 8 or so.

The Last Laugh:

Tomm: Hey, that was fun :) You guys are great. Thanks to everyone for writing, and thanks again for your interest in Mythri. Lunar might come out tomorrow...wouldn't that be neat? Let's all hope.
Seems Shining Force 3 was worth two hosting if I've peaked any curiosity about Mythri, you can save up your questions till then. Until then...keep the faith! Mythri'll be here before we know it :) Laterz, all!

Google: LightSoul sent this too. It's 5 AM. I sleep now.

Googleshng "TIRED"

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