Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, known in Japan as Lunar: Harmony of Silver Star, is the third remake of the 1992 role-playing video game Lunar: The Silver Star. It was developed by Game Arts in 2009 and released for the PlayStation Portable by GungHo Works in Japan, by Xseed Games North America, by Game Arts in Europe and Australia. Along with a new isometric view, the game features a hand-drawn style for the characters and backgrounds, a more talkative lead character, as well as new music and an expanded story. On May 29, 2009, Xseed Games announced Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for North America. At release, a limited edition of the game was available, which includes a soundtrack CD and full set of bromides featuring the female characters. Official website Official website Lunar: Silver Star Harmony at GameFAQs
Lunar: The Silver Star
Lunar: The Silver Star is a role-playing video game developed by Game Arts and Studio Alex for the Sega/Mega-CD published by Game Arts and released in Japan in 1992. After a successful release, the game was translated and localized by Working Designs for release in North America the following year. Designed as a "different kind of RPG", Lunar: The Silver Star made use of the up-and-coming CD-ROM format by featuring high quality audio, full motion video, voice acting to narrate a fantasy story set in a magical world; the game centers on the exploits of Alex, a young boy from a small town who dreams of one day becoming a great hero like his idol, Dragonmaster Dyne. When a childish adventure turns to discovering an ancient dragon and his friends must journey across the world to gather the necessary power to become the next Dragonmaster, save the world in the process. Lunar: The Silver Star was critically and commercially successful, becoming the number one selling Mega-CD title in Japan and the second highest-selling Mega-CD title of all time.
As the first game in the Lunar series, it set the standard for other follow-up titles including the direct sequel Lunar: Eternal Blue in 1994. Since the game's original release, three enhanced remakes have been produced for various systems: Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete in 1996, Lunar Legend in 2002, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony in 2009. Lunar: The Silver Star is a traditional, top-down role-playing video game featuring two-dimensional characters and environments; the player must navigate towns and harsh environments to complete story-based objectives that move the plot forward, as well as interact with non-player characters to expand the script and gain various rewards. Making use of the Sega CD's disc hardware capabilities, short video and audio interludes accompany the game's narrative, including full or quarter-screen animated images and CD-DA sound files. Players record their progress by saving to either the Sega CD's internal RAM, or a separately purchased RAM cartridge that fit into the accompanying Mega Drive/Genesis.
While traveling in the game's world, players randomly encounter enemy monsters that must be defeated or avoided to progress. Battle sequences utilize a turn-based approach, with the player and enemies acting in accordance with their "speed" rating; the player issues commands to each controlled character in their party, which are carried out in sequence until the battle ends. While on the battlefield, players may choose to move their characters to attack the enemy, retreat into a corner, stand their ground, or flee the battle with characters only able to strike enemies if they are close enough to their target or use a ranged attack. Nall, a supporting character not directly involved in combat, is present throughout the game to analyze enemies before battles begin, gauging their relative strength to the player's group. Players may find weapons and assorted items during gameplay that increase the effectiveness of characters in battle, such as causing more damage to opponents and increasing their stamina.
Winning battles grant experience points that go towards making characters stronger and able to battle progressively more difficult enemies. Upon defeat, a player may choose to load a previous save file, or restart their game at an automatically saved checkpoint; the game takes place in the fantasy land of Lunar, a small habitable world orbiting the massive, barren blue planet, forming a loose parallel between the game's world and the Earth and its moon. Centuries before the start of the game, the Blue Star was rendered unlivable by years of war; the powerful and benevolent goddess Althena relocated humanity to the Silver Star, the world of Lunar, entrusted four dragons to safeguard the elements of the new world. From this point on, those who would use the power of the dragons to serve the goddess and protect the world were known as "Dragonmasters", no such Dragonmaster was more revered than Dyne, a legendary hero who defended the goddess and succumbed to an unknown fate; the stories surrounding Dyne's exploits would form the life model for a young boy named Alex, the game's protagonist and central character, who aspires to become a Dragonmaster himself.
Many of the locations of Lunar: The Silver Star were given a deliberate "northern" feel to present an environment, cooler than the settings of most role-playing games, if only to allow the characters to wear more clothing. Many towns and locations were based on areas of Medieval Europe; the characters of Lunar: The Silver Star were designed by anime and manga artist Toshiyuki Kubooka. The main characters include Alex and his companions, each of which have their own reasons for joining his quest: Alex - a 15-year-old boy from a small town with dreams of becoming an adventurer. Alex is a silent protagonist, typical for a Japanese RPG he never speaks in the game, except for one cutscene where he confronts Ghaleon, in the last cutscene of the game where he yells Luna's name. Nall - a small, winged creature resembling a white cat, with him since birth. Luna - Alex's childhood friend and love interest who has the unique ability to heal with music. Ramus - son of the town mayor who dreams of one day opening his own shop, begins Alex's adventuring career by having him fetch a priceless diamond from a dragon's cave.
Nash - a junior premier of the floating city of Vane prone to rash decisions and despair. Mia - another junior premier of Vane, though much more reserved than Nash. Kyle - a headstrong and womanizing bandit. Jessica - a tomboyish daughter of a famous hero, training to be a priestess. Major supporting characters include the three surviving members of the Four Her
The Game Gear is an 8-bit fourth generation handheld game console released by Sega on October 6, 1990 in Japan, in April 1991 throughout North America and Europe, during 1992 in Australia. The Game Gear competed with Nintendo's Game Boy, the Atari Lynx, NEC's TurboExpress, it shares much of its hardware with the Master System, can play Master System games by the use of an adapter. Sega positioned the Game Gear, which had a full-color backlit screen with a landscape format, as a technologically superior handheld to the Game Boy. Though the Game Gear was rushed to market, its unique game library and price point gave it an edge over the Atari Lynx and TurboExpress. However, due its short battery life, lack of original games, weak support from Sega, the Game Gear was unable to surpass the Game Boy, selling 10.62 million units by March 1996. The Game Gear was succeeded by the Genesis Nomad in 1995 and discontinued in 1997, it was re-released as a budget system under license from Sega. Reception of the Game Gear was mixed, with praise for its full-color backlit screen and processing power for its time, criticisms over its large size and short battery life, questions over the quality of its game library.
Developed under the name "Project Mercury", the Game Gear was first released in Japan on October 6, 1990, in North America and Europe in 1991, in Australia in 1992. Retailing at JP¥19,800 in Japan, US$149.99 in North America, GB£99.99 in Europe, the Game Gear was developed to compete with the Game Boy, which Nintendo had released in 1989. The console had been designed as a portable version of the Master System, featured more powerful systems than the Game Boy, including a full-color screen, in contrast to the monochromatic screen of its rival. According to former Sega console hardware research and development head Hideki Sato, Sega saw the Game Boy's black and white screen as "a challenge to make our own color handheld system."In order to improve upon the design of their competition, Sega modeled the Game Gear with a similar shape to a Genesis controller, with the idea being that the curved surfaces and longer length would make the Game Gear more comfortable to hold than the Game Boy. The console's mass was considered from the beginning of the development, aiming for a total mass between that of the Game Boy and the Atari Lynx, another full-color screen competing product.
Despite the similarities the Game Gear shared with the Master System, the games of the latter were not directly playable on the Game Gear, were only able to be played on the handheld by the use of an accessory called the Master Gear Converter. The original Game Gear pack-in game was Columns, similar to the Tetris cartridge that Nintendo had included when it launched the Game Boy. With a late start into the handheld gaming market, Sega rushed to get the Game Gear into stores having lagged behind Nintendo in sales without a handheld on the market; as one method of doing so, Sega based the hardware of the Game Gear on the Master System, albeit with a much larger color palette than its predecessor: the Game Gear supported 4096 colors, compared to the 64 colors supported by the Master System. Part of the intention of this move was to make Master System games easy to port to the Game Gear. Though the Game Gear was designed to be technologically superior to the Game Boy, its design came at a cost of battery life: whereas the Game Boy could run for more than 30 hours on four AA batteries, the Game Gear required six AA batteries and could only run for three to five hours.
With its quick launch in Japan, the handheld sold 40,000 units in its first two days, 90,000 within a month, the number of back orders for the system was over 600,000. According to Sega of America marketing director Robert Botch, "there is a need for a quality portable system that provides features other systems have failed to deliver; this means easy-to-view, full-color graphics and exciting quality games that appeal to all ages." Before the Game Gear's launch in 1990, Sega had success marketing its 16-bit home console, the Sega Genesis, by advertising it as a "more mature" option for gamers. In keeping with this approach, Sega positioned the Game Gear as a "grown-up" option compared to the Game Boy. While Sega's marketing in Japan did not take this perspective, instead opting for advertisements with Japanese women featuring the handheld, Sega's worldwide advertising prominently positioned the Game Gear as the "cooler" console than the Game Boy. In North America, marketing for the Game Gear included side-by-side comparisons of Sega's new handheld with the Game Boy and likened Game Boy players to the obese and uneducated.
One Sega advertisement featured the quote, "If you were color blind and had an IQ of less than 12 you wouldn't mind which portable you had." Such advertising drew fire from Nintendo, who sought to have protests organized against Sega for insulting disabled persons. Sega responded with a statement from Sega of America president Tom Kalinske saying that Nintendo "should spend more time improving their products and marketing rather than working on behind-the-scenes coercive activities"; this debate would have little impact on sales for the Game Gear. Europe and Australia were the last regions to receive the Game Gear. Due to the delays in receiving the new handheld, some importers paid as much as £200 in order to have the new system. Upon the Game Gear's release in Europe, video game distributor Virgin Mastertronic unveiled the price of the Game Gear as £99.99, positioning it as being more expensive than the Game Boy, but less expensive than the Atari Lynx, a full-color system. Marketing in the United Kingdom included the use of the slogan, "To be this good takes Sega", included adv
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The Agency for Cultural Affairs is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology. It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture; the agency's budget for FY 2018 rose to ¥107.7 billion. The agency's Cultural Affairs Division disseminated information about the arts within Japan and internationally, the Cultural Properties Protection Division protected the nation's cultural heritage; the Cultural Affairs Division is concerned with such areas as art and culture promotion, art copyrights, improvements in the national language. It supports both national and local arts and cultural festivals, it funds traveling cultural events in music, dance, art exhibitions, film-making. Special prizes are offered to encourage young artists and established practitioners, some grants are given each year to enable them to train abroad; the agency funds national museums of modern art in Kyoto and Tokyo and The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, which exhibit both Japanese and international shows.
The agency supports the Japan Art Academy, which honors eminent persons of arts and letters, appointing them to membership and offering ￥3.5 million in prize money. Awards are made in the presence of the Emperor, who bestows the highest accolade, the Order of Culture. In 1989, for the first time two women — a writer and a costume designer — were nominated for the Order of Cultural Merit, another official honor carrying the same stipend; the Cultural Properties Protection Division was established to oversee restorations after World War II. As of April 2017, it was responsible for 1,784 historic sites, including the ancient capitals of Asuka and Fujiwara, 402 scenic places, 1,024 national monuments, for such indigenous fauna as ibis and storks. In addition, about 13,500 items had the lesser designation of Important Cultural Properties, with fine arts and crafts accounting for the largest share, with over 10,000 so designated; the government protects buried properties. During the 1980s, many important prehistoric and historic sites were investigated by the archaeological institutes that the agency funded, resulting in about 2,000 excavations in 1989.
The wealth of material unearthed shed new light on the controversial period of the formation of the Japanese state. A 1975 amendment to the Cultural Properties Protection Act of 1897 enabled the Agency for Cultural Affairs to designate traditional areas and buildings in urban centers for preservation. From time to time, various endangered traditional artistic skills are added to the agency's preservation roster, such as the 1989 inclusion of a kind of ancient doll making. One of the most important roles of the Cultural Properties Protection Division is to preserve the traditional arts and crafts and performing arts through their living exemplars. Individual artists and groups, such as a dance troupe or a pottery village, are designated as mukei bunkazai in recognition of their skill. Major exponents of the traditional arts have been designated as ningen kokuho. About seventy persons are so honored at any one time; each was provided a lifetime annual pension of ￥2 million and financial aid for training disciples.
A number of institutions come under the aegis of the Agency for Cultural Affairs: the national museums of Japanese and Asian art in Tokyo, Nara and Fukuoka, the cultural properties research institutes at Tokyo and Nara, the national theaters. During the 1980s, the National Noh Theatre and the National Bunraku Theater were constructed by the government; as of April 2018, it is led by the Commissioner for Ryohei Miyata. The agency is based in the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo. Main parts of the agency's relocation to Kyoto is scheduled by fiscal 2021, while other parts will remain in Tokyo. Hidemi Kon Kenji Adachi Hisashi Yasujima Tadashi Inumaru Shinichiro Sano Isao Suzuki Shumon Miura Hitoshi Ōsaki Hiroshi Ueki Tsuneaki Kawamura Hiroyuki Uchida Atsuko Tōyama Shigeru Yoshida Hideki Hayashida Masamine Sasaki Hayao Kawai Shinji Kondo Tamotsu Aoki Hideo Tamai Seiichi Kondō Masanori Aoyagi Ryohei Miyata The agency contains the following divisions: Policy Division – personnel matters, awards system, research Planning and Coordination Division – diet matters, museums, Independent Administrative Institutions Cultural Economy and International Affairs Division – economy strategy, international cooperation Japanese Language Division – improvement of Japanese language, education for foreigners Copyright Division – copyrights, publishing rights, treaties Cultural Resources Utilization Divisi
A memory card, flash card or memory cartridge is an electronic flash memory data storage device used for storing digital information. These are used in portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets, PDAs, portable media players, video game consoles, electronic keyboards, digital pianos. PC Cards were the first commercial memory card formats to come out, but are now used in industrial applications and to connect I/O devices such as modems. Since 1994, a number of memory card formats smaller than the PC Card arrived, the first one was CompactFlash and SmartMedia and Miniature Card; the desire for smaller cards for cell-phones, PDAs, compact digital cameras drove a trend that left the previous generation of "compact" cards looking big. In digital cameras SmartMedia and CompactFlash had been successful. In 2001, SM alone captured 50% of the digital camera market and CF had captured the professional digital camera market. By 2005 however, SD/MMC had nearly taken over SmartMedia's spot, though not to the same level and with stiff competition coming from Memory Stick variants, as well CompactFlash.
In industrial and embedded fields the venerable PC card memory cards still manage to maintain a niche, while in mobile phones and PDAs, the memory card has become smaller. Since 2010, new products of Sony and Olympus have been offered with an additional SD-Card slot; the format war has turned in SD-Card's favor. PCMCIA ATA Type I Card PCMCIA Type II, Type III cards CompactFlash Card, CompactFlash High-Speed CompactFlash Type II, CF+, CF3.0 Microdrive CFexpress MiniCard SmartMedia Card xD-Picture Card, xD-Picture Card Type M Memory Stick, MagicGate Memory Stick. MU-Flash C-Flash SIM card Smart card UFC FISH Universal Transportable Memory Card Standard Intelligent Stick SxS memory card, a new memory card specification developed by Sandisk and Sony. SxS complies to the ExpressCard industry standard. Nexflash Winbond Serial Flash Module cards, size range 2 mb and 4 mb. Many older video game consoles used memory cards to hold saved game data. Cartridge-based systems used battery-backed volatile RAM within each individual cartridge to hold saves for that game.
Cartridges without this RAM wouldn't save progress at all. The Neo Geo AES, released in 1990 by SNK, was the first video game console able to use a memory card. AES memory cards were compatible with Neo-Geo MVS arcade cabinets, allowing players to migrate saves between home and arcade systems and vice versa. Memory cards became commonplace when home consoles moved to read-only optical discs for storing the game program, beginning with systems such as the TurboGrafx-CD and Sega-CD; until the sixth generation of video game consoles, memory cards were based on proprietary formats. Home consoles now use hard disk drive storage for saved games and allow the use of generic USB flash drives or other card formats via a memory card reader to transport game saves and other game information, along with cloud storage saving, though most portable gaming systems still rely on custom memory cartridges to store program data, due to their low power consumption, smaller physical size and reduced mechanical complexity.
Comparison of memory cards Hot swapping
Lunar is a series of role-playing video games, developed by Game Arts in Japan and published in the United States by Working Designs and Xseed Games. The original releases of The Silver Star and Eternal Blue, were published for Mega-CD in Japan and Sega CD in North America; the Silver Star was the top selling game in Mega-CD history. Both games were remade for the Japanese Sega Saturn with considerable story and musical changes; these remakes were ported to the PlayStation in Japan and North America. The first game was ported to the Microsoft Windows computer platform in Japan and Korea, was remade for the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation Portable in Japan and North America. A side-story game, Lunar: Walking School for the Game Gear, was remade for the Sega Saturn but has seen no North America release in any form. Backed by publisher Ubisoft, Game Arts created a new Lunar installment for the Nintendo DS, released in September 2005 in North America; the Lunar stories take place on an inhabitable moon called Lunar, or "The Silver Star," that orbits a planet known as "The Blue Star."
Thousands of years ago, the Blue Star was infected with evil by a dark god named Zophar. His evil corrupted the hearts of people; the survivors cried out to the patron-deity of the Blue Star, a Goddess named Althena, for help. She confronted Zophar in an epic battle, was only able to stop him by using her powers of creation to seal him in another dimension, destroying nearly all life on the planet in the process. Unable to restore the planet until several millennia had passed, Althena instead chose to transform the planet's moon into an earthlike world, transported the survivors there; these included not only humans but a race of "beast-men," and another race of elf-like beings skilled in wielding magic. There was a fourth race of people who would come to be known as "The Vile Tribe" after they rejected Althena's teachings, she was forced to banish them to an area of Lunar called "The Frontier," a barren wasteland where Althena's magical power could not reach. They became her followers for thousands of years.
To protect Lunar, Althena created four intelligent Dragons – a white one, a red one, a blue one, a black one – that each shared a part of her divine power. There are only four Dragons at any given time. Strangely, during their infancy, these dragons resemble talking, winged cats, until they claim the power of their predecessor and ascend to adulthood; the Dragons spend most of their time sleeping underground. Althena decreed that there would be a champion called The Dragonmaster to lead Lunar's heroes; this person would be anyone who managed to make their way to the hidden lairs of the Four Dragons, pass their harrowing trials. There have been many Dragonmasters across the centuries, many on Lunar have striven to achieve that title; the people of Lunar became devoted to Althena, though many remember Lunar's origins as only an old legend. The various Lunar games and manga cover different events in Lunar's history; the Lunar series has spawned a variety of other works in the setting, including a manga series, two artbooks, as well as novelizations of The Silver Star, Magic School Lunar! and Eternal Blue.
The console titles have been received positively. The original two games, their remakes, have reviewed well, averaging between 82% and 91%, with Eternal Blue agreed to be the highest-reviewed Sega CD title in the history of the platform. Lunar Dragon Song, was panned critically, with an aggregate rating of 58% on GameRankings. Since the release of the enhanced remakes of Lunar: Silver Star Story and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, rumors have come and gone concerning the development of a game known only as Lunar 3. In a 1998 interview, Victor Ireland, president of Working Designs, stated that Lunar 3 was "in development" and scheduled for release for the PlayStation 2. However, several delays no such game was revealed by Game Arts or Entertainment Software Publishing, the Japanese publisher of the series, it has been speculated that an English version Magic School Lunar! would be called "Lunar 3", but this has been proven false as well. List of longest-running video game franchises LunarNET - Fansite
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete released in Japan as Lunar: Silver Star Story, is a role-playing video game developed by Game Arts and Japan Art Media as a remake of 1992's Lunar: The Silver Star. While the overall plot remains true to the original, accommodations are made to the game's story to allow for a larger, richer cast, as well as additional scenarios. Released on the Sega Saturn in 1996, the game has gone through several variations, beginning with enhanced video support in conjunction with the Saturn's MPEG graphics add-on in 1997, being ported to Sony's PlayStation in 1998; the PlayStation version was released in North America by Working Designs, who had produced the English adaptation of the original game, in May 1999. Like its forerunner, the game follows the exploits of Alex, a young boy from a small, humble town who enters a life of adventure and intrigue after being chosen as the heir-apparent to the title of "Dragonmaster", guardian of the forces of the planet. With the help of his expanding band of companions, Alex must pass the trials set by ancient dragons to claim his place in history, stop a powerful sorcerer and former hero from controlling the world.
Since its English release, Silver Star Story has garnered much attention from critics for its use of fluid full-motion animated sequences, lavish game packaging, quality of the English script. The game was followed by a sequel, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, in 1998. Two more remakes of Lunar: The Silver Star, Lunar Legend and Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, were released in 2002 by Media Rings and Ubisoft and in 2009 by GungHo Online Entertainment and Xseed Games, respectively. Silver Star Story Complete is a traditional, top-down role-playing video game featuring two-dimensional character and background graphics. Using the Sega Saturn and PlayStation's advanced hardware, many elements of the original game's presentation have been altered, including a larger color palette, more sophisticated visual effects, improved sound quality. Throughout gameplay, the story is interspersed with animated cut scenes designed to give the game a cinematic feel, allow the player to get more involved in the game's plot.
Players advance the game's narrative by completing story-based objectives and interacting with non-player characters. In the original version, players encountered enemy monsters randomly every few steps when traveling in a harsh environments, while the remake now makes enemies visible, with combat ensuing only after a character has come in contact with one. Many of the game's new battle features were adapted from Lunar: Eternal Blue, including the auto-battle feature that allows players to set moves and actions in advance. While in combat, a player may choose to attack an enemy, move about the battlefield, use magic or items, stand their ground and defend, or flee the battle entirely. Silver Star Story Complete retains the original version's movement feature, which requires characters to be within a certain distance of an enemy before it can be attacked. Battles are won when all enemies are defeated, yielding experience points that allow characters to gain levels, making them stronger as well as allowing access to better abilities.
By gaining levels, as well as finding or purchasing more powerful weapons and armor, characters can battle more powerful enemies as the game progresses. Bosses will have their abilities scaled to the party's level with no limit; the cast of The Silver Star all return for the game's remake, retaining their original designs by anime and manga artist Toshiyuki Kubooka. Players assume the role of Alex, joined by a menagerie of playable and supporting characters who aid him on his quest. Alex - a young boy from a small town who dreams of becoming an adventurer like his idol, Dyne. Luna - his childhood friend and sweetheart Nall - a winged, cat-like creature with an uncertain origin Ramus - son of the town mayor with dreams of becoming a rich businessman Nash - a boisterous magician-in-training from a prestigious magic school Mia - quiet daughter of the magic guild's headmistress Jessica - a tomboyish priestess Kyle - a self-absorbed vagrant and ladies' man as well as Jessica's strained boyfriend.
Each character's personalities were expanded for the new version to make them easier for the player to relate to, give each of them more presence in the game's story. As the game’s designers felt that Luna was lacking presence in the original game, she was included in the player's party for a longer period and her past was expanded by giving her confounding dream sequences. Ghaleon, a dark magician who seeks godhood, serves as the primary antagonist, appears as an ally to Alex's cause. In the new version, Ghaleon's personality is altered to make him a more sympathetic character. Motivation for his plans to rule the world were shifted from revenge to misplaced concern for humanity not having a true leader, he is still undeniably cruel, however. Game Arts added new villains to the story, feeling that the game's opposition lacked enough characterization; these include Royce and Phacia, two powerful sorceresses who are sisters to Xenobia, Ghaleon's top general who appeared in the original as his sole underling.
The plot of Silver Star Story Complete remains true to the original Sega CD version written by Kei Shigema. Novelist Keisuke Shigematsu was recruited as the remake's scenario writer, was tasked with expanding the previous script written by Shigema to make the game more current; as in the original version, players assume the role of Alex, a young boy who hopes to become a great hero like his idol, the legendary Dragonmaster Dyne. At the insistence of hi