Resurrection Time
I'm a little bit on a role lately with translating various things, so once again I have another Game Lab article finished.
I get the feeling interest in Game Lab is split between people, so for those who would rather read other news, I have more Mana/Moi dix Mois related information to share in this update after the Game inferno translations!

Please check it out!


Photo caption: Beauty is…a sin!?

Mana-Sama's Deep Game inferno

~Part 14~

THIS MONTH'S PICKUP

MYST

Sunsoft
Release date: November 22, 1994
Console: Sega Saturn

Sensations put into a game, the too beautiful "MYST"

The theme in last month's issue was "Game Sounds", so this time I want to talk about beautiful visuals.

In the dawn of the polygon era
special techniques implement beauty onto the screen


I was deeply impressed some ten-odd years ago when I encountered "MYST"; an experience that was visually captivating. It was an adventure game where a mystery on Myst Island was to be solved, and it boasted the most beautiful striking visuals.

"MYST" was originally released in 1993 for PC, but following in 1994, it was remade for the Sega Saturn. Furthermore, in the following years, a 3DO version and a PS version were also introduced.

If I were to speak about the traits of these 32-bit consoles, it would have to be about polygons. As it is at the moment, they are still underdevelopment and while it is cool that we can experience the three-dimensional 3D world, the limitations in presentation have been shaky.

In such a situation, the technique that "MYST" used was connecting CG depicted in high-definition to the screen as it advanced [in the game].

It wasn't until then that I saw clearly distinct landscape, so it was something that surprised me, making me say "Something this beautiful can actually be expressed in the game world?"
As a natural reflex my breath was nearly taken away by a peaceful and wondrous world appearance.

The situation is that there is nobody but you left on a deserted island. There is no BGM [background music]; you can only hear nature sounds like wind and water. It was really nice! Even as I talk about it now, it gives me a healing therapeutic sensation.

I digress, but I really like these kinds of games loaded with natural sensations, so in recent years my favorite [game] has been "Portable-Island Palms Resort" on the PSP. Its an open world in a southern country where you are free to look around as you enjoy the beautiful scenery depicted in 3D. It was something I played leisurely in my free time when Moi dix Mois did a European tour……

"MYST" felt like a sensation of just "being" in that world

Now then, let's return to the main topic. "MYST" is configured in a surreal mysterious space and the solution to the puzzle is difficult.
You are thrown into this strange world from the moment the game starts. There are no particular instructions so it makes you feel like 'what should I do', but the feeling of being isolated in this world is, on the contrary, mysteriously original. Also, as you solve the puzzle little by little you get this feeling of excitement that you can't savor in other titles.

Back in the day, when speaking of adventure type games, there were instructions that told you what to do next, and the story pretty much developed allowing players to hold on to their goals.
"MYST" was the polar opposite of what was customary of those kinds of games which seemed to create problems dividing people's preferences.
The main concern for me was the graphics, and I was extremely shocked it's all too beautiful CG, so of course that was a positive point.

The game had an extremely high level of difficulty, but with the amount of beauty it had awakened, that charm alone probably fascinated people. Even as I stumbled along I still advanced in the game play, but somehow being in this beautiful world just seemed soothing and I would find myself absentmindedly staring at the screen.

As for the original presentation techniques that "MYST" used, you could say it was a monumental breath of fresh air for adventure games.

Right now is a great period where we can enjoy games with extremely beautiful polygon imagery. There is a game I recently played called "Oblivion" on the PS3 that had the same kind of dream-like sensations as "MYST". This work has a huge open world that you're free to roam around set in a medieval European world.

The polygons depicted in this world are so beautiful you could mistake them for real pictures. The flowers and the surface of the water flicker, so it gives me the illusion that I'm actually in this world.

Of course, as it is a game, there is a goal in "Oblivion", but the desire [to get to the goal] is surpassed because I just want to do nothing but look at the vast world. Several years ago I was reluctant to go to bed on New Years, so I continued to play this game.

I am so surprised by the progress in how the presentation of games now are so different from a while back. When you get used to the high spec machines used for games now days, it might seem like what is displayed in "MYST" that I introduced this time is cheap. However, "MYST" was certainly a revolutionary game, so I think it had some ties to today.

Writing my thoughts about "MYST" has made me want to go back and enter that particular world again......
But I have a hunch that if I go back to it now, I won't be able to play it with that fresh new sensation again. There is also a sequel to it that I haven't played yet, so that it also a vital point to check!


Mana-Sama


Footnote:
There was a hut included in "Portable-Island" which would load into special mode where you could look at the imagery of the beautiful southern island and listen to the BGM of the natural sounding environment similar to a movie. I would lean it up against my bed and enjoy looking up at this mode. There was also a clock, so it had various conveniences. (Mana)





As for other news, recently I came across a book I had been looking for for a few years now. I was a little reluctant to buy it at first because it was a little bit on the expensive side, but I decided to make it an early birthday gift to myself.( ̄ー+ ̄)

I really couldn't pass up the opportunity when I found it because it is pretty rare.


魔術妖術大図鑑
The Big Illustrated Encyclopedia of Black Magic and Witchcraft

You might be wondering, how exactly does this pertain to Moi dix Mois?
Back when Mon+amour was still active, in the very beginning Mana talked about this book as the roots of the Madousho (vol. 2).
As a matter of course, I became interested in getting my hands on it, but this book was printed in 1976 and as far as I'm aware it was never printed later on in another edition. Furthermore, even Mana only had this book in his childhood and some how his copy vanished so he asked Mon+amour members to send it to him if they found it.

Long story short, a fan eventually gave it to him at an event some years later and he wrote about it in Mon+amour saying he was really excited to have finally received it.

As for me, I thought this book would be a great chance for gaining more insight into what Mana meant exactly by "roots". Obviously he meant that this book was one thing that captured his imagination and inspired him when creating Madoushos, but I couldn't shake the feeling that his interest ran deeper than Mon+amour; it was probably implemented into Moi dix Mois as well.

It turns out once I finally received the book a few days ago I was not disappointed!!



These pages particularly interested me and the stories and information were things I hadn't known about before.
Some of them are a little bit lesser known stories so I often feel like I can't put this book down and its constantly on my mind!

Another interesting point is the art style used throughout the pages.



Seeing constant blue and red throughout all the illustrations screams "Mana" everywhere. There is very little left to the imagination as to why he loves this book so much!


Funny enough, after spending some time reading through this book, I started connecting some of the dots in my mind.
Although on the surface level this is an obvious observation, I think theres still some degree that has been overlooked by lots of people (including myself).
Basically all the stories are linked to witches in some way. In fact, when I researched the author and publishing company, this book is only one in a series, and each has its own special topic. A large portion specialize in some part of the occult, but this one is specifically about witches.

Thinking about that, I started to realize some other materials Mana uses as inspiration for Moi dix Mois...

suspiriaDVD.jpg


Suspiria is about witches too. In fact, the whole Suspiria trilogy is about 3 witches.
Moreover, another one of Mana's favorite movies is Black Sunday, which is another film about witches.

And if thats not enough he throws the song "Witchcraft" right in our faces with the lyrics "Les Sorcières Fiancées de Satan" which I mentioned back in 2012 is the title of a book yet again about witches.



I don't mean to say Moi dix Mois is all about witches, but these resources bring to light more and more mysteries hidden within the world of Moi dix Mois. For me its interesting to dwelve into these themes in order to truly understand Mana as an artist (and perhaps to some extension as a human being).

In my opinion, Moi dix Mois was not created to be easily understood. It was intended for those who sympathize with the same world outlook, so to research it adds a new level of depth that can easily be taken for granted if we don't stop and think its meanings from time to time.

This is one thing about Moi dix Mois that constantly keeps me in suspense. The more I try to research deeper into various themes, the more I learn that all along the answers behind the mysteries are hidden in plain sight. You just have to adjust your eyes and ears a little to see things in the proper light. Maybe that in itself is the true secret...
腐腐腐・・・



Sarah