or 'Things that Nick15 is tired of repeating over and over again'
SITE STUFF:

  • I just completed my online certification course for Unity 3D! With it out of the way, I can get back to making the kind of fake cards I used to make back in the day. Good times!
  • Want to help support Pokémon Aaah!? Then check out Nick15’s store! Or maybe even his eBay store?
  • PA! just celebrated it’s 22nd birthday on April 10th, 2021! Huzzah, good times!!
  • Be sure to check out the Pokémon Aaah! Discord Server, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts!
POKÉMON STUFF:

MISC STUFF:

  • Did you check out the Flipside Book 11 Kickstarter from our friends over at… uh… Flipside Comics?
  • If you want some cool t-shirts and other pop culture merch, check out the online store of former PA! all-star Savage Sparrow (aka NeoQueenJen, aka TRCassidy)
  • I set up a Cytube account where we can collectively watch movies on weekends or something. There’s already a playlist up just to have something running in the background, but on scheduled days I can have Pokémon movies running and we can have a good giggle by riffing it or something.

Feelin' good! Feed me.

Or as Holly from Red Dwarf puts it:

So in case you didn’t know, I’ve been doing a online Unity Certification program since last March. It was a two-parter, with the first course focusing on an introduction to Unity and applying it virtual reality (VR) and utilizing the Oculus Quest, while the second course focused on augmented reality (AR) and building your projects to mobile devices. I only JUST completed the second course—and therefore the entire program—and I’m waiting on my certification. The program was a LOT of fun, and it was also very surprising to learn how much—AND how little—the world of 3D-CGI has changed in the twenty-ish years since I last used Infini-D 4.5. It certainly helped that all that old Infini-D 4.5 knowledge was still locked away in my head, but Unity (obviously) was much MUCH more robust and powerful than Infini-D 4.5 ever was, and I’m glad I took this course to help me nagivate twenty-ish years of advancement!

Last time I talked about it, I shared this little YouTube demo of my Midterm for the first course:

Neat stuff, huh? In fact, ended up getting a 100% on it. Huzzah!

The Second Course (which focused on AR) was… well, both easier and harder. I might have gotten a WEE bit overconfident, so when it came time to actually work on the midterm and final, I found myself stumbling a lot. I did manage to get everything done in time, however! But that said, I don’t see myself getting anything more than 75% on the Midterm and Final. Fortunately this should still even out with the first course, allowing me to still get my certification, but maybe if I paced myself a bit better I would’ve done a better job of it, or at least had the proper time to smash bugs a bit better.

But hey, maybe you’ll think it’s not half bad? Well, I actually have an Android build of my Final Project available for download. Check it out!


The PA! VR AR Experience

v0.999.20210613 (110 MB)
  • This is compatible with all Android devices running Android 7.0 “Nougat” or higher. And only because apparently AR functionality simply did not exist for any earlier version!
  • Sorry iOS users, this is Android only. I mean, technically I could build it for iOS as well, since Unity has the tools for that… the problem is that I didn’t have an iOS device to test this out on! If you’re legit curious about my AR Final Project and want to help me test builds of it, let me know!

I’ve got some really quick and simply installation instructions for you:

STEP 1: Download the APK file and copy it to your Android mobile device (assuming you didn’t directly download it to your device) STEP 2: Tap on the “PA! VR AR Experience.apk” file to install it. Click “Install” when prompted. Another box may appear saying something like “this is an app from an untrusted source” or so; if it appears, click on “Trust source” or something similar. Afterall, you trust me, right?? STEP 3: When it completes the installation process, DON’T click “Open”, but rather “Done” instead.

For some reason clicking “Open” after installing… well, it technically works, but there are some weird issues with it. But loading it from anywhere else corrects those issues. I dunno what’s going on there.

STEP 4: Locate the “PA! VR AR Experience” app in your App Drawer—usually by sliding your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen—and tap it to load it up. STEP 5: Finally, allow the app to take pictures and record video. If you tap “Only this time”, you’ll have to tap it again next time. Tapping “While using this app” ensures you don’t have to do it again.

Tadah! That’s it! From there the app should load and you’ll get to see what I made for the second course. It’s a really simple app, allowing you to place in various objects upon texting planes—either some various cameras (2D or 360), or portals to either FanimeCon or a couple places in Seoul, South Korea—as well as give you a preview of what those objects actually do.

 

You can also utilize some AR pictures to have the cameras appear upon command. Like, if you print out these pictures and lay them out on the floor, you can make a camera appear! The idea here is that you can use these AR images to test out camera positions in a real-world setting.

While testing I actually used these pictures for the AR photo function… but alas, I took that functionality out in place of the generic Nintendo AR images. (Or did I??)

AAANNNNYWAYS… that’s what I’ve been working on! The final was due last Tuesday, so I’ve really been spending the remainder of the week afterwards unwinding and decompressing. I don’t mind doing that kind of work, but I have a habit of pushing myself a bit too hard upon its due date, such that I burn myself out after delivery. I’ve only now just gathered my energy back up.

So what does that mean? Regular updates will be returning! HUZZAH!!! … There’s been quite a bit that I’ve missed out on this past month, not to mention that Nintendo’s E3 announcements are being made right around now… and the PA! Discord has been working on all kinds of various things in the background… so I’ve got A LOT to catch up on! At least too I’ve finally got my free time back, so I don’t expect to be disappearing again any time soon. Only normal, randomized Nick15 disappearances will remain, lol.

Speaking of getting back to normal with things: another thing I’ve been working on in the background has been… 8-bit programming! Y’know, stuff like BASIC, LOGO, and even assembly code. For example, I recently got an old Atari 800XL back in working operation, as well as recently acquired a Commodore 64. Both of those systems represented the best platforms of their time, so if I’m gonna teach myself how to to any kind of 8-bit programming, it’ll be on those systems.

Here, check out a stupid little thing I did on my Atari 800XL:

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, aside from the fact that I want to ease PA! into other geek-related topics such as retro computing—consider my alternative name for PA!: ‘Puters Aaah!—I also want to apply all of this towards actual Pokémon-related stuff as well. In particular, consider that the Nintendo Game Boy is (to my knowledge) just about as powerful as one of these old 8-bit computers from 1982-84. Which means that I might be able to make a Pokémon clone-game for those systems! Better yet, what made it even worth considering to do in the first place has been the rise of neo-retro games like Xeno Crisis and Attack of the PETSCII Robots as well as neo-retro programming tools like the Pico-8. These neo-retro projects not only look the part, but many times they’re also 100% playable ON older hardware! Like, imagine how different the world could’ve been if Pokémon was released in 1982 instead of 1996? Or how the SNES/Genesis Console Wars might’ve turn out if Xeno Crisis was released in 1992 instead of 2020?

I’ve always wanted to make a video game, but those dreams were strongest in my youth during the 8/16-bit eras. And now that making games that fit that style and era are hot once again, I’ve been powerfully inspired. As such, I’ve been playing around with as many of these old systems that I’ve been able to: discovering newly developed apps for them, using modern hardware to push them to their limits, AND even trying to get them online. And by the looks of it, producing something like Pokémon RBY (maybe even GSC) for these old systems seems very possible indeed, as well as making anything I produce on them also playable on modern platforms like the Switch and Steam. At the very least, teaching myself how to program for the Atari 800XL and Commodore 64 will definitely give me a better grasp of programming fundamentals in the same way Infini-D 4.5 gave me a strong foundation upon which my understanding of Unity was built upon.

Of course I still have a LONNNNNNNNGGGGG ways to go before I can develop anything close to something like Xeno Crisis… but I have definitely noticed a positive feedback loop forming between my programming creativity and the amount of serious effort I’ve been putting into developing for these old systems. It has definitely helped jumpstart that desire to program in my again, so I can’t wait to see where this takes me!

With all that said… that’s all I’ve got to say today. I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m not dead and that I’ll be working on some new updates again soon enough. All the good luck you guys gave me paid off, and now it’s time to return the favor. Stay tuned! :D


I mean, EVERY time is a good time with MissingNo. Even if your Hall of Fame Data gets corrupted.

I wouldn’t call this a slow news day, only because I really don’t do the daily news thing… if that’s your deal, I HIGHLY recommend going to PokeBeach.com; after all, webmaster WaterPokemonMaster is sort of my little bro of websites. … Of course, now he’s kinda the big bro now. A SUPER BIG bro. And now I’M the little bro…

Still, I don’t mind talking about the fandom and doing other “in-the-weeds” research stuff, at least whatever I can get in inbetween my Unity Certificate studies. And so I think I’ll share some of that which has been piling up on my desk lately.

First off, a totally random update: as I’m sure you might have noticed, but I’ve kept old archival versions of PA! online for as long as I could. In particular, I have a copy from 2001 (at PokemonAaah.com) and 2003 (at old.PokemonAaah.net). I tend to leave them as-is and not edit them, but I have gotten emails from a few people every now and again asking me to remove their names or some bit of information about them, as it can still shows up in searches… so for those kinds of requests, I don’t mind obliging. But other than that, I tend not to change the sites because I want to keep them as prestine as untouched as they were since their original release.

What I’ve always loved was seeing technology slowly advance: the first site was built for 800 × 600 pixel monitors, the second was more for 1280 × 1024, while today the site is… well, it’s definitely better suited for mobile than the older sites… but making a proper mobile version is gonna be a serious job and a half.

But one thing that totally slipped my mind was… for as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had my “Nick15 Sez” rotating graphic at the top of the page. But for some reason the 2001 version of the site seemed to have been stuck at the “All Your Bases Are Belong To Us” Sez graphic, which totally betrays its 2001 heritage. Turns out I guess it’s been that way for forever, and I only JUST NOW noticed that it was broken. So, I fixed it. A twenty year mistake has finally been corrected. Huzzah!

The second random little update is… I’m sure you’ve ALSO noticed how hard it is to get Pokémon TCG product lately. Or if you can find it, you might only be allowed to buy three packs at a time, and that’s at a fairly generous Target location.

Well, one thing we used to do at Pokémon Aaah! was do a little contest where your fake card could earn you a few packs. Sometimes it might have just been a pack or two, later on you had a chance to earn a box… but instead of relying on straight luck to get TCG product by just happening to visit Target or Wal-mart at the right time, your artistic skills might help you earn yourself some packs of cards. And there’s no better feeling that knowing your skillset brought you success than mere luck.

But competition may be fierce: these were the winners of the last contest we did… if you think you can do better, then some cards might be in your future!

Winners of the Fourth Pokémon Aaah! Fake Card Contest (2003):

  • FIRST PLACEGroudon by Dezza
  • SECOND PLACE (2)Seph’s Bannette by Joseph Barnsley
  • SECOND PLACE (1)Sora’s Articuno by Kasey
  • HONORABLE MENTIONCorporate Switch by GymLeaderPhil

So how about it? Are you interested in participating in the Fifth Pokémon Aaah! Fake Card Contest? Sounds like a fun idea, right??

Well, before I get too ahead of myself, I do want to mention that this is still in the planning stages. Of course you know me, I’m really good at PLANNING to do something, only to sort of… procrasticate on actually working on it. But this time I have an excuse: I actually have to get the prizes! Plus I also need to set the rules, stuff like who would be eligible to enter, what would be the conditions to win, if I’ll have different categories, etc. Even with the prizes, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll offer a prizes only from the latest set, or from the various more recent SwSh sets. Honestly a lot of it relies on my ability to acquire product to begin with.

But I did want to at least mention this just to put a little bug in everyone’s ear and help build a little hype, so that once the contest actually begins, everyone will be able to hit the ground running. I am at least hoping to get the site back into becoming a regular fake card making machine so that, if anything, other people who have no prior faking experience can still have a chance to participate.

Ok ok, I promised a MissingNo. related update, so here we go!

I still owe you guys a small update on both the April and May First Partner Packs, but what I have done recently was create a First Partner Pack BLANK! Now you can add in three Pokémon of your own choice and have a pretend jumbo pack of your favorite Pokémon. Heck, maybe your TRUE “first partner” was a Bulbasaur, Pikachu and Pidgey? Well, you can have it now!

But if wouldn’t be a PA!-related First Partner Pack if MissingNo. wasn’t involved somehow… afterall, it WAS the very first fake Pokémon TCG card I ever made, back before this site even existed! So to give you an idea of what your dream First Partner Pack would look like, I made my own with various MissingNo. sprites on the cover:

Pretty neat, huh? If you want to make your own… well, the full-sized blank is right there! Download it and make your own First Partner Packs right away.

Finally… working on a website that I started over twenty years ago has created a fanbase which have since spread far and wide. But even though Pokémon is still around, finding old fans who still remember the old site is still fun and exciting. But what admittedly throws me off is how everyone now is older today than I was when I originally worked on the site. Gosh we’re getting old…

But as I would recently find out, one of these classic PA! fans is none other than uber-popular and world famous artist as well as self-proclaimed master of art of monsterology, Rachel Briggs (aka @RacieBeep)… who you might have seen making authentic-looking Ken Sugimori-ish versions of lost G/S Pokémon in a recently episode of “Did You Know Gaming”:

Now after initially discovering her on Twitter as one of my earliest friendly follwers, I thought she was just a normal small time artist. This is NOT to dunk on small time artists!!! But rather, imagine you’re at a convention and you find a really cool artist in the Artist Alley, only to later see them on an episode of Ellen or Conan or something. So it’s like, AMAZING TOTAL SHOCKER to see Rachel’s work on an episode of Did You Know Gaming, being spoken of in the same sentence as Nob Ogasawara who translated Pokémon names during the early years.

Well anyways, on her online store—which is currently down while she moves—she had a cute little MissingNo. pin on sale (aka “Missing Number”)… and after discovering it also GLOWED IN THE DARK… well, I just had to get one. After ordering it, I then had a good chat on Twitter with RacieBeep, and we got to talk more about art, MissingNo. and PA! and so forth. Good times!

So anyways, when my package came in, I was only expecting to get my pin and that would’ve been the end of that business transaction. But to my surprise: I see a sketch of my “Light Missingno” on the receipt!! 8-O


(L-to-R: RacieBeep’s “Missing Number” pin, Light Missingno sketch on my receipt, original Light Missingno)

My heart grew three sizes that day—which is acutally a serious heart condition called cardiomegaly and should be checked out—and so I had to return the favor. So I decided to make RacieB her own fake card!

I’ve been slowly rebuilding my fake card making facilities, only this time I’ve been working inside Adobe InDesign instead of Adobe Photoshop, as InDesign is how cards are ACTUALLY constructed by Nintendo and other card game makers (like Wizards of the Coast). Plus it helps to have aschefield’s SwSh blanks to work with. I’ve actually also been putting my TCG Card Background experience to good use, via using Picture #180 from the Vol 005 – Sky and Clouds collection and adding a filter to it. I’ll share with you on a later date about what filters are used on these backgrounds on official TCG cards, but I will at least share that I used the “Maximum” Filter in order to create the effect used in the background… which is actually a filter used commonly on the backgrounds of official TCG cards.

Finally, I based the card off of a couple of things… specifically, the “Glowing Web” attack is based on RacieB’s “Spider” self-portrait, combined with the GLOW IN THE DARK features of her MissingNo. button, while “Ethereal Sunrise” is similarly based on the GLOW IN THE DARK features but also to mix in the sunrise look of the background picture. Mechanic-wise, “Glowing Web” holds the opposing Pokémon into place, and if they were unlucky enough to NOT switch out, you can remove an Energy card off it via “Ethereal Sunrise”. Maybe “Ethereal Sunset” might have been a better term? But then again… it IS always darkest before the dawn… MWAHAHAHAHA

Anyways, I posted RacieB’s fake on Twitter, and what was the verdict??

Ahhh, yes, a job well done. This is why I enjoy doing what I do: making people happy through art is one of the most simplest pleasures in life but is also one that has the most positive effect on the world. At least, that’s how I see it. And it’s all thanks to our little buddy here!

Thanks, MissingNo.! You’re really a gr ’M  ood tim


Q: How many new ways can I incorporate the newly new word 'new' into every new posts? A: Yes.

A lot of stuff has been happening since the release of New Pokémon Snap! For today’s post, I got:

  • a little New Pokémon Snap update notice
  • a small update to the Colordex based on the type icons revealed in NPS
  • a new technique to get HYPER MEGA high-res pictures from NPS

Is this new right up your alley? If so, stick around! If not… well, thanks for visiting anyways.

 


Revamp of the Lentalian Alphabet Page

OK so first off, I just wanted to give the Deciphering the Lentalian Alphabet of Lental page a spiffy do-over, especially since it’s hasn’t been updated in months and it had been getting a lot of traffic from new players everyone wanting to know what exactly this says:


THIS IS A FALSE SUBTITLE! IT IS MADE OF LIES AND DECEPTION

Anyways, after getting the game, taking tons of screenshots of more Lentalian text, and then filling out the rest of the knowable letters—as well as realizing that four letters are still MIA—I finally felt it was time to give that page an update. And so I did! Huzzah! So now the page is far more complete, at least when it comes to understanding the alphabet of the Lental Region. In fact, I also realized that there was an ancient form of Lentalian, so I even updated the page to cover that.

To get a taste of the update to the Lentalian Alphabet page, you can see my handy Lentalian alphabet chart below, in both Standard and Ancient forms.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pretty nifty keen, huh? If you want to see everything else there is to know about the Lentalian alphabet (at least, so far), then swing by the Deciphering the Lentalian Alphabet of Lental page!

 


New Pokémon Snap Colordex Update

You know me, I LOVE my colors. Looks like there were some long-term effects of having starting my original Pokémon journey back in Pallet Town! Now if you don’t know, I have a page on the site called the Colordex, which aims to collect every single color used to depict each of the various Pokémon elemental types—Grass, Fire, Water, etc—so that other artists can use them for their own artistic projects. Like, imagine drawing a picture of Tyranitar using only the colors that have ever been used to depict its Dark/Ground typing? Better yet, I’ve also attempted to collect the various graphics and symbols used to depict each type, such as the various Fist icons used to represent Fighting-type, etc.

Well, with a new Pokémon game comes new set of symbols and colors for me to add to the Colordex! But although this was something that usually would only take me a day to gather and process, it actually took me the better part of a week to get this bit together. This is only because the New Pokémon Snap Photodex entries for every Pokémon has really piddly-small type icons and there really is no way to get high quality information from them. I mean, just look at this!

Can you see that? I sure the heck can’t!

Fortunately, however, jumbo-sized versions of each type were made available as player icons, AND plenty of players in the online sections of the game would use these icons in their profiles. Best of all, they’re just nice and big, perfect for addition to the Colordex. Take a look!

(Yeesh, how the heck does anyone manage to get 2 million points within days of getting the dang game!)

Anyways, now that I was able to get pictures of every single type icon, I finally was able to fill out the Colordex entries for each NPS type. And here they are!

Bug
#bed35a
Dark
#a9aeb0
Dragon
#7cb4e8
Electric
#f0e562
Fairy
#f8b9f1
Fighting
#d69f9c
Fire
#f18363
Flying
#aecaf1
Ghost
#a5abde
Grass
#84c58c
Ground
#debe8b
Ice
#9be2d6
Normal
#cfccc7
Poison
#bd8fc6
Psychic
#f894af
Rock
#d1966a
Steel
#adc4bd
Water
#7bd1e7

Wow! I must admit these type icons are really creative. Like, they all incorporate a diamond design in each type. In fact, other icons used in the game use the diamond or otherwise very angular motif, such as the PokéBall (with a square “button”) and the designs on the Photodex “book” cover. Anyways, the Colordex page itself will be updated with this information soon, along with Crown Tundra scarf colors that I completely forgot about. At least I didn’t forget to add the HGSS, BW and BW2 “attack box” colors from last month…

Side note: here’s my profile! I wonder how you can add people as friends? Well, at least you have my user code. Let’s be friend! :)

 


Jumbo High Quality Snaps

Are you tired of your New Pokémon Snap pictures looking a bit small and low quality like this?

Wouldn’t it be neat if your photos looked as high quality as… this??

“But wait!” you say, “low quality is what ALL New Pokémon Snap photos look like! How can it look any better??”

I’m glad you asked! It’s simply really: just get all Diamond ratings on EVERY star photos for a single Pokémon, and you’ll unlock high-res mode for only that Pokémon!! You can trust me too, my Dad works at Nintendo.

OK OK, I’m just joking about that (awww, it almost felt like the good ol’ days of fake video game cheats for a second there, huh?)… BUT! High-res mode is NOT impossible to pull off in New Pokémon Snap. Now fair warning, it will involve a bit of elbow grease and a LOT of extra save data space… but it’s absolutely possible to pull off! And you don’t need to do anything like take 256 pictures of Mew and then turn your game off for exactly 15 minutes in order to unlock a secret extra mode.

OK so if you don’t know already, when you finish a research mission, you’re able to save the pictures that you took by clicking on “Save Photos to Album”, choosing one of the pictures you took, and then selecting “Resnap Photo”.

Doing so allows you to bring you back to that moment in time and play with the camera settings, such as zooming in and out, fiddling with the blur, tilting the camera, etc.

Well, in being able to retake your photo, you actually have NO limits to how many times you can retake it. So what you can do is zoom in all the way, take a picture of one part of the photo, move the camera to choose another part of the picture, take it, and continue on and on until you have multiple pictures of your Pokémon that you can piece together in something like Adobe Photoshop. Here, lemme show you what I mean:

So for that high quality Crabrawler photo I took above, it was actually pieced together from a LOT of pictures I took of that Crabrawler all zoomed in. I took enough that I was able to piece it together in Photoshop. That said, if you want to do something like this, make sure you take the right kind of pictures so that they overlap! Like, look at pictures 01d.jpg and 01e.jpg… see how Crabrawler’s left eye is in both? I use that to help me line the two pictures up. All the pictures have some degree of overlap with one another, allowing me to piece together a giant picture of Crabrawler.

Speaking of which, since I was able to zoom in using the Resnap feature, this is the kind of detail I could get:

WOWZAH! Hey, you’re in me personal space there, Crabrawler!

Now there’s a fair warning for working on something like this… this was my first attempt on working on something like this, so I was a bit inefficient in how I took my pictures. To get Crabrawler’s entire body at this quality, I ended up taking something like 443 photos. EEEP! But I’m sure if you’re a lot more efficient than I am, as well as keeping better track of what pictures you already took so you aren’t retaking the same picture over and over again… then it might only take about 100 to 150 pictures. Yeeeeeeesh, yeah that is still a lot… but in order to pull out a high quality photo of your favorite Pokémon from New Pokémon Snap like that? Well, hey, sometimes good art is worth sacraficing for!

That’s pretty much what you need to do to take a high-res photo in New Pokémon Snap, but don’t worry, I plan on writing up a proper page with better step-by-step instructions and better screenshots to help make better sense of what you need to do. But hopefully this quick introduction to it whets your appetite for this process and hey, maybe you can pull off some better snaps right away. Go for it!!

Anyways, that’s it for today’s post! I need to get back to working on my Unity Coursework soon, since the Second Part started last week. But I’ve also been waaaaay overdue on updating the site… hey, like I said, sometimes good art is worth sacraficing for. Still, I do have on last major update for you planned before I go back full force on my Unity work… so keep an eye out for that very soon. Huzzah! Good times.


Back again with back a...grounds.
A Quick Diversion:

Hey UK Pokémon fans! Looks like you’re gonna get the McDonald’s Promotion too very soon. On the plus side, it looks like McDonalds and The Pokémon Company has learned their lessons from the North American release and are making sure everyone in the UK will get their fair share. But the real question will be… will the UK get something totally new, or just get our North American hand-me-downs? I will say I’m very curious to see what—if anything—will be lost in the pond during its journey eastward…

By the looks of it, the promotion will last for four weeks, between May 1—er… 19th May to 15th June 2021. (See what I did there? I did that, just for you.  )


The Actual News:

Wowzers, do I have an update for you! Since the last update, GC| Linkinboss 70HP (aka GCLB) and his friend, along with PA! Discord new friend Gamez n’ Gainz (aka SteppoBlazer), put their heads together and discovered a whole bunch of new backgrounds on your favorite TCG cards. Well, I hope they’re you’re favorite cards… it would be kinda embarrassing if they weren’t… Anyways, I won’t spend too much time jibber-jabbering before I get to the good stuff, but there IS one little observations I’d like to share with you.

I’m beginning to suspect that maybe Media Factory—the original makers of the Japanese version of the game—might have used photos from OTHER stock art collections aside from Datacraft Sozaijiten. I don’t know what that other catalogue might be, and I can’t say for a fact if they even did use something other than DS… especially since the DS catalogue totals some 200+ collections of some 200ish photos each and I simply haven’t gone through all of them to know for sure. But I and others (like cvramen on the PA! Discord Server) have spotted a few cards which clearly have a photo for a background, and yet they don’t seem to appear in any of the DS collections we’ve seen so far. A few good examples include Nidorina (Jungle), Dark Electrode (Team Rocket) and Lt. Surge’s Electrode (Gym Challenge):

See what I’m getting at? They’re all clearly stock photos, and in fact they look a lot like existing stock photos from actual DS collections. HOWEVER those particular pictures simply don’t exist. Now if you happen to spot these backgrounds, please let us know on the Discord Server. We’ve been scratching our heads on this one and could use all the extra eyes we can on this.

Sorry, one last thing! One super awesome thing that has come from all this background discovery is that it’s actually helping out greatly in the card translation front. In particular, the Game Boy cards from the Pokémon TCG Game Boy Color game technically never existed in physical form, not even in Japanese! Well, I mean, there was a pseudo-physical release of the GB cards in Japan, as versions of them appeared in a Japanese card Price Guide (of which I don’t know the name of)… but that’s it. And even then, the quality of the printing wasn’t all that good… so in the end the world got rather poor quality versions of the GB-only cards, and that’s a damn shame.

But once again the Fake Card community has come up with a solution! With easy-to-find high quality Ken Sugimori artwork AND our newly re-discovered card backgrounds, we can finally turn all of the GB cards into authentic-looking English cards, and in higher quality than the original Japanese version scans. In fact, that’s what both GCLB and Gamez n’ Gainz did over at the PA! Discord. Take a quick look below:

Scan currently available on Bulbapedia (as in, representing the most commonly available scan) Highest possible quality scan from the Japanese price guide magazine (as in, it was a low quality print to begin with) GCLB‘s reproduction English fake card, using high quality Ken Sugimori card art and DS background Gamez n’ Gainz own reproduction of Dark Marowak, as originally seen in the Japanese-only Pokémon TCG 2 game.

Pretty neat stuff, huh?? And best of all, these are effectively the BEST QUALITY of these cards available… period. I seriously mean it: there does not exist a higher quality version of these cards anywhere… not in English, not in Japanese, nowhere. And it won’t be the only time this happens: I’m still working out the details, but I might—MIGHT—have a new section dedicated to bringing these GB-only cards to life as English-language fakes. This was something I had planned to do back in the day… and I thought I made an example GB Electrode fake, but I can’t seem to find it. Anyways, no better time than now to bring an old idea to life!

Anyways, enough jibber-jabber: time for the backgrounds! Once again, most of the card arts were pulled from scans at PkmnCards.com or Bulbapedia, while any holofoil and/or Japanese-only card art generated by myself.

 

 

SET Name Card Art Original DS Image DS Source Notes
CD Promo (Japan-only) (n/a) Charizard Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #161

Y’know, I realized just now that my previous numbering for Vol 006 was wrong; I will be using the CORRECT numbering here. Every other Volume’s numbering is fine, however.
Base Set 28/102 Growlithe Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #033

Base Set 23/102 Arcanine Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #029

Gym Challenge 39/132 Erika’s Bulbasaur Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #029

“We’ve run out of backgrounds to use… so just use a posterize filter on a background we’ve already used; no one will notice!” … And y’know what? For nearly 20 years, they were right: no one did notice.
Base Set 68/102 Vulpix Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #009

Also seen on Neo Genesis Pichu (see below)
Base Set 56/102 Onix Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #167

Jungle 11/64 & 27/64 Snorlax Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #085

Jungle 6/64 & 22/64 Mr. Mime Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #087

Jungle 7/64 & 23/64 Nidoqueen Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #101

Base Set 22/102 Pidgeotto Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #031

Base Set 3/102 Chansey Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #077

I realize that this might look like a bit of a stretch, but after playing around with a bunch of filters in Photoshop, as well as comparing other pictures in Vol 9, I’m 90% certain that this is the background used.
Base Set 45/102 Caterpie Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #109

Base Set 57/102 Pidgey Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #006

Aside from the use of Photoshop filters, a bright spot was added in the upper-left corner.
Base Set 62/102 Sandshrew Vol 008 – Walls & Soils

Pic #176

Base Set 73/102 Impostor Professor Oak Vol 008 – Walls & Soils

Pic #070

Gym Heroes 11/132 Rocket’s Hitmonchan Vol 004 – Flames Sparks & Waters

Pic #081

For some reason the English version turned the black bits into brown, but otherwise it’s the same picture.
Base Set 88/102 Professor Oak Vol 008 – Walls & Soils

Pic #151

Anyone else extremely satisfied knowing that they chose picture number 151 for Professor Oak? No, just me then? OK….
XY Evolutions 84/108 Professor Oak’s Hint Vol 008 – Walls & Soils

Pic #063

This is interesting; for the “update” to Base Set in the form of “XY Evolutions“, they created a new card to replace the original Professor Oak card called “Professor Oak’s Hint”… but they went with a totally new background instead of reusing Picture #151. That said, they still chose one from the same DS collection: picture #63.
Team Rocket 1/82 & 18/82 Dark Alakazam Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #031

Jungle 41/64 Parasect Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #092

Fossil (Tropical Mega Battle Phone Card) 12/62 Moltres Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #197

Fossil (Tropical Mega Battle Phone Card) 2/62 Articuno Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #104

Gym Challenge 118/132 Misty’s Tears (Japan-only version)
Vol 004 – Flames Sparks & Waters

Pic #145

This one only applies to the original Japanese version, as it was changed for the International (eg. non-Japanese) release. It used a slightly naughty picture of Misty, which I’ve hidden behind a spoiler box in case that’s not your thing.

Anyways, this was previously seen on Base Set Seel.

Gym Challenge 91/132 Misty’s Seel Vol 004 – Flames Sparks & Waters

Pic #155

Gym Heroes 55/132 Misty’s Seaking Vol 004 – Flames Sparks & Waters

Pic #156

Gym Heroes 31/132 Misty’s Poliwrath Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #111

Black Star Promo 2 Electabuzz (First Movie Promo) Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #010

The card was given a red filter for the background, but otherwise it stayed the same.
Neo Genesis 12/111 Pichu Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #165

Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #009

Gym Heroes 24/132 Brock’s Zubat Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #171

0
Gym Heroes 78/132 Erika’s Oddish Vol 026 – Forests and Grove

Pic #110

Gym Heroes 79/132 Erika’s Tangela Vol 026 – Forests and Grove

Pic #101

-+

 

Gym Heroes 73/132 Brock’s Vulpix Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #172

Gym Heroes 40/132 Brock’s Graveler Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #170

Gym Heroes 45/132 Erika’s Gloom Vol 003 – Metal and Rust Textures

Pic #118

Gym Heroes 46/132 Erika’s Gloom Vol 008 – Walls & Soils

Pic #063

Gym Heroes 42/132 Erika’s Dratini Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #011

The original stock picture was rotated 180 degrees for use on Erika’s Dratini; the example image was similarly rotated for comparison purposes.
Gym Challenge 67/132 Brock’s Diglett Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #044

Gym Challenge 93/132 Sabrina’s Abra Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #185

Neo Genesis 13/111 Skarmory Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #021

I suspect that there might have been an overlay image used on top of Vol 7 Pic 21, but I’m not sure what it could be.
Gym Heroes 60/132 Sabrina’s Slowbro Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #126

Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #078

What an update! I think that just about DOUBLED what we had already worked out. But it looks like there’s still more to go, so keep your eye’s peeled. Thanks once again to GCLB and his friend as well as Gainz  for helping out spot these. We couldn’t have done it without your help!


One is a name of a game, the other is... an adjective. Which one is it??
A Quick Diversion:

HOLY CRACKERS! The RMS Queen Mary has gone bankrupt? That was where the 2000 West Coast Super Trainer Showdown took place at, which was very first organized national Pokémon TCG tournament for Western players! What’s gonna happen with it? Hopefully this episode of Bankrupt from Bright Sun Films sheds some light on things… check it out!


The Actual News:

Oh boy-oh-boy… I still have a LOT to catch up on! It’s bad enough that I’m merely halfway done with my Unity certification (which means more lack-of-updating ahead), but the place I moved to after spending some three decades in foggy San Francisco had the audacity to start summer a whole five months earlier… so I’m suffering under HORRID 80°F (27°C) temperatures. I just can’t take the heat!

I hate having to explain a joke, but I also realize not everyone lives in California… so in San Francisco, we don’t get actual summer temperatures (basically anything above 70°F/20°C) until around late-September to early-October; we’ve always called this “Indian Summer”. PROPER summer time—June to September—is typically very cold, something like 55-65°F (12-18°C) is common; after all the pseudo-Mark Twain quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” wouldn’t be a thing if it wasn’t true. The point is, my April has been well over 20°F (10°C) hotter than it normally is and it’s been burning me out. I can’t even begin to imagine how hot it’s gonna get at the peak of summer. 7o7

But fortunately the wonders of air conditioning—man’s triumph over nature!—has given me the strength to finally get some work in. Well, that, and a little thing called “New Pokémon Snap”. Huzzah!

Anyways, today’s post will focus on two updates: the first being updating the TCG Background page with some new backgrounds that have been discovered by the PA! Community, and the other being a few significant steps towards getting the Lentalian alphabet deciphered once-and-for-all! Good times.

 


New Pokémon Backgrounds!

While this section will be short, the update itself isn’t. There has been a LOT of folk helping source the backgrounds on a number of Pokémon TCG cards!

In case you aren’t aware, on many Pokémon TCG cards during the game’s early years, much of the card art of the cards—particularly on cards drawn by Ken Sugimori—utilized stock photos from a Japanese stock photo collection titled Datacraft Sozaijiten, of which “Sozaijiten” (素材辞典) translates to “material dictionary” in Japanese. When it was first brought to my attention, I thought maybe it only appeared on one or two cards… but it turns out to be on a TON of them! The TCG Card Backgrounds page here on PA! has only just started, but every one we can add to the list is one more that we can chip away at. So let’s take a look at some of the pictures you guys found!

SET Name Card Art Original DS Image DS Source Notes
Base Set 55/102 Nidoran ♂ Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #107

This background would later be used again on GB Marowak (see next entry)
Game Boy (Promotional) B33 Marowak Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #107

This background was previously originally used on Base Set Nidoran ♂. I suspect that the artists simply forgot that that background was previously used before.
Base Set 40/102 Raticate Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #063

Base Set 49/102 Drowsee Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #043

The background was modified with Twirl filter of about 226%. Yes, we checked.
Base Set 77/102 Pokémon Trader Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #067

Fossil 31/62 Arbok Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #046

Fossil 24/62 Kabutops Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #162

The top picture was flipped vertically when used as Kabutops’ background, so the example image was similarly flipped for comparison.

The other picture, on the other hand… is a complete mystery! Like, clearly it looks like it’s part of the Volume 9 “Pains and Pastels” collection… but if you look at the entire collection, you’ll notice that it’s not there! If you happen to spot it elsewhere, let us know!

Oh, and just so you know, that second picture was generated using the magic of Photoshop; I used filters to remove the above Pic #162 from the background, punched Kabutops out using a raw copy of the Sugimori picture, then filled in the blanks using blurs and brushes.

Unknown! (read description)
Fossil 22/62 Hitmonlee Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #161

Another mix.
Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #115

Black Star Promo 17 Dark Persian Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #034

Background flipped vertically, so the example is similarly flipped. Base picture also used on Fossil Zapdos (Tropical Mega Battle Phone Card version)

Giovanni’s eyes were mixed in, but, alas, it’s not part of the Datacraft Sozaijiten collection.

Neo Genesis 23/111 Magby Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #116

Unknown flame effect added to BG
Base Set 32/102 Kadabra Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #108

Background image is flipped vertically relative to the original stock photo; the stock photo shown here was similarly flipped for comparison.
Team Rocket 56/82 Ekans Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #052

Vending (n/a) Mew Vol 007 – Lights & Crystals

Pic #148

Jungle 13/64 & 29/64 Venomoth Vol 020 – Wild Flowers and Cherry Blossoms

Pic #034

Jungle 10/64 & 26/64 Scyther Vol 006 – Seasons and Nature

Pic #078

Gym Challenge 98/132 Sabrina’s Porygon Vol 033 – Computers and Technology

Pic #057

Picture #057 is only BARELY visible relative to picture #058, but I assure you they are BOTH visible.
Vol 033 – Computers and Technology

Pic #058

Gym Heroes 41/132 Erika’s Ivysaur Vol 020 – Wild Flowers and Cherry Blossoms

Pic #085

Ivysaur’s background is zoomed in from the original; it is placed in the large empty (green) patch in the bottom-right corner of the original picture.
Black Star Promo 8 & 9 Mew Vol 009 – Paints and Pastels

Pic #190

That’s about it for now! I want to give my thanks to Alveinhero, cvramen, and CinnamonBiscuit for helping out with this update, but it’s far from finished! Now if you want to help out, the Datacraft Sozaijiten website has examples of their CD collection… take a look and see if any picture matches up with any cards in your collection. PROTIP: there are well over 200 volumes in the collection, but most Pokémon TCG cards pulled from the earliest volumes; start your search quite literally at Vol. 1 and work your way up!

 


New Pokémon Snap!

Well, yesterday was April 30th… and you know what that means? That’s right! wake up wake up get up get up, today’s the first of tha month!

Oh, and I guess New Pokémon Snap was released as well. I got my copy!

Anyways, as I’m sure you know by now, I’ve been working on decrypting the Lentalian alphabet with everyone over at the PA! Discord. We’ve got basically the entire alphabet worked out, except for a few key letters; specifically F G H J Q V W X Z. Well, now that the game is in my hands, I’ve actually uncovered a few new letters, as well as had one really useful idea (I know, shocking, huh??)

First off, let’s get to the new letters:

So while the region is called “Lental” (or “Lentil” in Japanese romaji), the island you start off on is called Florio. Which means the first letter on this sign is “F“. First letter down!
And with “F” sorted out, this means I’m 95% certain that the main male character’s generic name is “Fellow”, meaning the final character on the camera is “W”. That’s two! (I think…)
On your Photodex book, the word “LENTIL RE?ION” is stamped on the cover. That second word is almost certainly the word “REGION”, which means we now have “G” sorted out. That’s three!
Next, we have the text below the search icon which spells out “INITIALI?ING”, which is obviously “INITIALIZING”. Four? Shut the door!
Finally, WAAAAAYYY down there in the lower corner of the screen, you’ll see some text that says “LENTIL OS ?ER 7.65”. Any time you see numbers like that, that’s almost very likely the version number, meaning that word spells “LENTIL OS VER 7.65”. That’s “V”! Five new letters down!

So how about that? I barely turned the game on, and now five letters were solved in a snap (y’know what? pun TOTALLY intended!). This now leaves H J Q X. Which is actually rather strange because H is one of the more common letters in English. I wonder where it’s hiding??

Anyways, with that out of the way, I’d like to share my quick idea: I’m gonna make a Lental Translation Guide! I mean, since the Lental alphabet is simply an English cipher, there really isn’t much that needs to be ACTUALLY “translated”… but most people aren’t exactly fluent in the Lental alphabet, so it might be helpful if I could put together a simple guide for everyone playing the game. This is especially considering that while the game itself “translates” Lental text, it’s not exactly a 1-to-1 conversion. For example, take this bit of text in the beginning of the game:

Now technically it translates to “Laboratory of Ecology and Natural Sciences”, but—as we worked it out earlier—it actually says “LENTIL POKEMON AND NATURAL SCIENCE LABORATORY”. So if they’re gonna feed us LIES like that, what other bits of nonsense will they try to feed us next? /jk

Seriously tho, it might be useful to have a handy proper 1-to-1 transliteration of Lental text, and so that’s what I’ll set up for you. I don’t have it up yet, but I can at least share with you some of the other bits of Lental text I’ve run into during my initial playthrough, as well as a few other little pictures of note:

This says “LENTIL MAP”.

As a reminder, the logo on the side says “LENTIL INSTITUTE / POKEMON AND NATURE”.

The title on the book of Captain Vince’s stories says “LENTIL TRAVELOGUE”.
That’s it for any actual new words… so I’ll just share this quick pic with you! I guess we’re gonna be getting special New Pokémon Snap friend codes, but it doesn’t look like mine was initialized yet. Well, when I get it, I’ll share it with you folk… hopefully it’ll be easy to spot me when that time comes.

Anyways, that’s about it for today’s update! I still have plenty of other stuff to update about, such as some awesome artwork and research that the PA! community has been sharing with me over at the PA! Discord. Stay tuned for that!

Oh, one last thing! IcarusAvery on the PA! Discord pointed out an interesting coincidence that they spotted concerning the various Pokémon languages:

That’s quite interesting! I wonder what this could mean? Well, you’ll just have to find out in the next update! Hopefully it won’t take me three weeks to get to… but, even then it’ll still be worth it. Huzzah!