Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's Up With Me?!

Hi! I've been trying to fix my portfolio lately. Current work is fine. I'm one of 2 designers in an office primarily composed of programmers. This is the reason why the next update will be a little delayed. Sorry :(

Monday, November 5, 2007

(#003) The Crystal Line Diagram

In the beginning of time, an enormous Sentient Jewel spawned forth a paradise ruled by mighty Gods. Atlana hailed the Goddess of light, and Promathia the God of darkness. While Altana’s heart flowed with unconditional love, Promathia only desired death. To save Promathia from his ultimate will, Altana split the sentient jewel into 5 parts – the “Tears of Altana”. Paradise was no more; the divine Gods fell into slumber within the mother crystals, and the imperfect world of Vana’diel was born.

The Zilart, children of the Gods held dominion over the new world. They possessed the ability to levitate, move objects with their mind, and communicate by means of pure thought through the “Whisper of Souls.” They cultivated an advanced civilization around the mother crystals, and utilized the power of the 8 elements to shape the world. Eventually, a number of Zilart children were born without the Whisper of Souls. Regarded as lower beings, they were cast away from the Celestial Capital of Al’taieu, and formed the Ancient race of “Kuluu”. In-tune with the world, the Kuluu discovered how to harness the power of the terrestrial Gods, enabling them to establish impenetrable strongholds in Pxo’ja, Horotutu and the Temple of Uggalepih.

The Zilart’s quiet contentment was broken when a Zilart boy was suddenly given a vision of paradise. This vision quickly spread to the entire race through the Whisper of Souls. This triggered an ambitious campaign headed by Zilart princes Eald'Narche and Kam'lanaut to enter paradise, against the counsel of the Dawnmaidens.

It was theorized that in order to enter paradise, the light of the 5 mother crystals must be siphoned and re-united as one. To achieve this, the Zilart built massive structures around the mother crystals to harness their light: the Crag of Mea in the Tahrongi Canyon, the Crag of Holla in the Latheine Plateau, the Crag of Dem in the Konschtat Highlands, the Crag of Vahzl in Xarcabard and the final crystal was encased by Capital City of Al’taieu itself, over the Sea of Shu’meyo. Pathways of energy or “crystal lines” were built to properly direct the siphoned light. The five crystal lines converged deep below the Delkruftt Tower, a structure which served as the power core of the Floating City of Tu’lia and the Celestial Capital of Al’taieu.

A prominent section of the crystal line, found stretching across the Meriphataud Mountains was eventually named “Drogaroga’s Spine” by the Tatutaru, as it resembled the back bone of what could have been a gigantic Heavenly Dragon. San d’ Orian pastors on the other hand, believed that the long structure is a wall created by Altana to protect the Elvaans from harm.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ancient Memories

"Long, long ago, an ancient race, descended from the gods, flourished in Vana'diel. They traveled through the sky, extracted gold from stones, and gave birth to grasslands across the world."


Sunday, October 21, 2007

(#002) Glorious Goddess Uggalepih?

This image shows a divine being resembling Altana, with her wings spread out and her arms open in a welcoming gesture. She is surrounded by what is perharps a representation of the 8 elemental crystals of the world.

At a time between the Ancient War and the Crystal War, the Kuluu who have mysteriously mutated into Tonberries due to radiation, turned their back on history and embraced a radical new religion that promoted anger against Altana. This “rancor” or great anger would cause the once peaceful race to commit terrible acts against the other races of Vana’diel. They would chant curses within the halls of the Temple of Uggalepih, while holding out their lanterns and daggers as symbols of their desire for justice and revenge. Every night, they gather deep within the bowels of the Den of Rancor, a series of caves which they have dug up, to participate in a vile ceremony that strengthens their common hate for Altana. They cut themselves and pour their blood into altars, as they implore the goddess to restore the lost glory of their so called creator.

It is not known whether Uggalepih is in fact a god-like divinity, or if she belonged to an ancient race, let alone if she existed at all. What’s widely known is that she continues to be worshipped by the Tonberries, and is believed by many to be evil in nature – perhaps as a result of the wicked acts of the Toberries themselves.

Was Uggalepih truly a divine being, smitten because of her beauty that rivaled that of Altana, as told in the Tonberry religion? Was she with the faction of Kuluu who went to Diabolos asking to be cleansed, despite being warned that emptiness was necessary for their survival as a species? Or could it be that she was just an illusion created by the Shadow Lord to spread confusion, enabling him to enlist the aid of the Tonberries as his minions in the impending Crystal War?

The History of Vana'diel
FFXI Stratics
Allakhazam Forums
Altana View

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Have Chosen

"O brothersss of rancor, take up thy lanternsss,
The truth we shall illuminate.
O sistersss of rancor, take up thy knives,
To cleave our foesss with barren hate.
Through this we ssseek our just reward;
Our goddess's glory be ressstored."

Final Fantasy XI Stratics

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick Reference for Future Voters

I thought it might be a good idea to post this image for those who haven't seen all of the paintings yet. I hope I didnt miss any. This only involves the ones that I think belong to the Temple of Uggalepih. I will upload images of other Vana'diel paintings and posters when I run out of Cop/RotZ paintings to render ^^ (or if I get bored with them and want todo something else instead).

Note: I did not take these images my self, so credit belongs to who ever took them. I'm very sorry, these are scattered all over the net and I don't know who to give credit to.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Making of "The Wrath of Bahamut"

This is the original painting of the angry Bahamut flying over Al'taieu. It's in bad condition like the other paintings found inside the Temple of Uggalepih.

I started drawing this picture by blowing up a copy of the original painting. I used a popular vector illustration program to trace over the pattern above Bahamut's head. I added color to the vector shape, then exported it to an image editing program to add more detail.

Drawing Bahamut was particularly difficult because it was hard to find a good quality reference photo that matches the proportions of his body and his peculiar posture as seen in the painting. Using Altana View, I created a lot of reference pictures to get the details just right.

I used the FFXI Map Tool to create reference images of the actual in-game model for Al'taieu. Using these images, I added as much detail as I could to the structure of the Celestial Capital. The original painting is very small and all sratched up so it was a pain to draw this. The capital as depicted in the painting is not an accurate representation of the actual in-game model, so I had to find a common ground between the two.

(#001) The Wrath of Bahamut

This image, once stolen from the Temple of Uggalepih, depicts a verse from a legendary song of the Ancients. It shows the Wyrmking Bahamut, gatekeeper of the gods, breaking away from his confining shackles as the Zilart attempt to open the gates to paradise. He leads an aerial assault over the Celestial Capital of Al'taieu, location of the fifth Mother Crystal, in an attempt to save Vana'diel from imminent destruction. A great battle takes place in the sky between the powerful Zilart and the mighty Terrestrial Avatars: Diabolos, ruler of dreams; Phoenix, the bird of resurrection; Fenrir, the hound of the moon; Carbuncle, the keeper of the world; and Bahamut, lord of the skies. To protect the city, the Zilartian king gives an order to activate the city's defense mechanism - a magical barrier forms to protect its inhabitants.

Meanwhile, the Kuluu led Grav'iton, together with the Dawn Maidens assault Fei'yin - the control center for the Zilart's ambitious plan. This would cause awesome destruction throughout the world. Massive shockwaves of energy kill majority of the Kuluu. Radiation was said to cause Kuluu survivors to mutate into Tonberries, and it is rumored that an encouter with Diabolos would turn a number of them into Cryptonberries.

The machinery of the Zilart was forced to a halt. With Fei'Yin, Ro'Maeve, and Pso'Xja destroyed during the spatial transfer of Al'Taieu, the attempt to enter paradise is incomplete. The Celestial Capital would get torn away from the land of Vana'diel to an alternate dimension, condemned to be frozen in space for thousands of years.

The world, ruined by the massive destruction is slowly engulfed by emptiness. The children of Vana'diel would seek the power of the slumbering gods to heal their wounded land.

Final Fantasy Compedium
Altana View
FFXI Zone Tool

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Why Graviton?

Hi, I'm Joseph. I play Final Fantasy FFXI, where I am known as Khali in the Hades server. This is my first post in my first ever personal blog.

I've been playing FFXI for several years. One of the main things that I really like about the game is the rich story. I specifically like the story behind the Rize of the Zilart (RotZ) and the Chains of Promathia (CoP) missions. A lot of mystery surrounds these missions, and I became particularly intrigued by the antique paintings scattered in the Temple of Uggalepih and around the world. No one knows who created these paintings, but they depict historical monuments and events surrounding the Zilart's attempt to open the gates to paradise.

Grav'iton is one of the central figures in these missions. Today, she (yup, shes an old lady) can be found deep within the Den of Rancor, wandering as a Tonberry - she harbors stories from ancient times vital to understanding the secrets of Vana'diel's past.

Graviton, in real-life physics is a theoretical particle with an indefinitely long lifetime, no mass and no charge, that carries the gravitational force. Upon discovering the location and true nature of the elusive Graviton, man can potentially achieve further understanding of gravitation, it's role in Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity, the postulation of space-time itself and ultimately, the complexity of the universe.

I plan on devoting most of my free time attempting to breathe new life into the wonderful paintings in Vana'diel, and hopefully spark new interest on the world's deep history. I will research and try to write stories surrounding these paintings to hopefully assist other players in understanding the FFXI mythos. I am initially planning on just working with RotZ and CoP paintings... but perhaps I can expand on nomal paintings/posters (Ancient Blood, Lines and Spaces, etc.) and probably even Treasures of Aht Urgan in the future.

PS: It usually takes a while for me to finish the illustrations, so please stand by for updates even when it seems that its taking to long :)