The last time Ganymede had a public release was last Winter C3, a year ago. In the year since, I've probably done the most work I've done on this, ever, and that's saying a lot. Thousands and thousands of hours. Not even enough, as I'm still finding all kinds of little nits to pick. (no, seriously, I've spent probably 50 hours in the last week just making everything work and fighting all kinds of frustrating issues). All I'm asking is for one or two of yours. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back.
Welcome back to GANYMEDE. I've been promising Chapter Two all year, and I'm thrilled to finally submit, for the approval of SMWCentral,
This is a complete experience. Fully playable, fully scripted. If you played it last year, you haven't played it at all. If you've been waiting, perhaps now is the time.
I have been in a desperate struggle to make sure this game is fully playable and there's nothing which can break the game. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you find something critical that I missed. Understand that there are bits and pieces, here and there, minor jank (the message boxes are an example, they are not working and I simply didn't have time to fix them, so the few times you see a message pop up, it will show random vanilla messages). Please forgive any small visual or sound errors, I'm probably aware of them.
I love and appreciate all feedback, and I'd really love to see you record yourself playing it. Also, try it with some shaders, the graphics were drawn with them in mind. I'm partial to 5xBRZ or one of the CRT filters on SNES9X.
Also, I can't even begin to express my appreciation to the SMWCentral community. So many of you have helped make this possible in all kinds of ways. This is my love letter to you all.
BTW, it occurs to me that, in my haste to finish, I probably left something in Cocytus which will get you stuck. I will address this at the earliest opportunity. Since it's literally at the very end, I'll update the patch and you should just be able to replace the rom with the fixed version without losing progress.
Also, I have a long list of individual credits to write up tonight. I didn't create any of the 40ish songs or the also 40ish patches/UberASMs. I stand in the shoulders of giants. Note that, with particular regards to the music in this game, I was very picky about the soundtrack, and the tracks I used were those I consider to be the highest quality, so a testament to the talents of the composers and porters. You people rule.
Been waiting to see this again for a long time, extremely happy to see such great progress on it. What a wonderful concept executed with a level of love and passion that's difficult to match, great job on this. I'm not currently in a spot to play it but it'll be top of the list for me to check out once I get the chance.
All I can say is wow. Ganymede has always been one of the most impressive hacks I've seen just because how non Mario like the whole thing is (seriously, if I didn't know from these threads I'd think this was an indie game built in its own engine), but damn, chapter 2 looks even better than the 1st one here. The graphics and atmosphere alone look astounding!
I'm definitely excited to give this a shot at some point.
Probably one of the most visually impressive and distinct hacks ever to grace the community.
The amount of work and effort not to mention pure passion you've put into this project is amazing. I'm so glad you've got Chapter 2 out for people to play.
It's so refreshing to see a hack that isn't Mario and is its own unique and different adventure.
I'll always be happy to see your work Ryan. Very Nicely Done!
Thanks, everyone, for the kind and encouraging responses. It's really gratifying. I hope you enjoy your experience.
I want to share a little about the story. For all the time spent on drawing graphics and designing levels, I've spent just as much time crafting the tale, which to me is the real heart and soul of Ganymede. So I've written a short synopsis of the first chapter, I hope you enjoy.
G A N Y M E D E so many words, so little attention span
A terrific storm is lashing a little city on the coast. Rain pounds down from the heavens, whipped into a fury by fell winds. In a house, in a neighborhood, the thunderous sound of the squall is drowned out by the sounds of yelling from the next room over. The boy awakens from a nap, prematurely, not for the first time.
His parents always seem to be at each others’ throats lately, too busy yelling at each other to really care about anything else, it seems. Most of the time, he feels invisible to them as they drift around him and loom above him. And, on those occasions they can see him, he doesn’t feel visible, just exposed to whatever rage or sob story happens to be the subject of the day. It’s gotten to the point where invisibility has become a kind of sanctuary. He’s just a kid, and doesn’t get the deeper meanings and implications of having two parents who seem to hate each other, and they both seem to be to blame. All that mattered to him, lately, was that he wasn’t involved. As long as they were tearing each other apart, they were only tearing each other apart.
Their arguing rises to shouts. His angry, bellowing dad, for whom a good day is one spent quietly annoyed by seemingly everything. His mom, usually quiet and rarely raising her voice, for whom a good day is one spent away from here, at work. Blah blah blah. Meanwhile, the storm outside begins to ease off. As the boy stares up at the poster above his bed, he thinks to himself that he could be like the intrepid sea dog on said poster, braving the waves on a sturdy ship, relying on his wits and courage, facing the unknown with relish and danger with a wry smile.
The power goes out as he makes his way downstairs. The Boy takes it to be an omen, and he is gone a moment later.
Before long, he finds himself at the nearby shore. It's night, and there's not much to see, except for the beacon at the top of a distant lighthouse, spinning gently around and around, its light spiking into the gloom. Nearby, he finds a sailboat moored to a dock, and he raises the sails without a second thought.
The land recedes behind him, though he does not see it, because he is not looking back. The storm retreats, and the clouds peel back, revealing a stellar tapestry lit across to every horizon. The best part about the view was that he had it all to himself.
What the boy does not know, in his ignorance, is that a great eye has fixed upon him.
Without warning comes wholly renewed fury. Ripping winds shred the skies. The sky alights with brilliant blasts of lightning. The only witness to this display is the tiny boat, which finds itself crushed by jagged, white-capped teeth.
The boy sees stars again.
When next he opens his eyes, he finds himself looking right into the sun. It is a very short staring contest. The gentle sound of the waves, rolling up the beach and over his feet. He stands, soaked and battered, but still in one piece. Strewn up and down the beach, smashed lumber sticks up out of the sand turning it into a bottom jaw littered with broken teeth.
No going back now.
Wherever here was, here he was.
1: Serenity Steps
Survival sinks in rapidly, leaving behind a clarity unrivaled in the boy's living memory. He has, by now, left the beach and walks shaded by many tall trees. Sun dapples the ground at his feet, filtered by leaves and branches which sway with gentle ease. It feels good, now that his clothes have dried. Being alive also feels good, and it looks as if he has, at last, discovered the freedom and peace which had always eluded him. It’s quiet, it’s tranquil, and the best part is that there’s no one around to ruin it for him.
Even if he was a thousand miles from home, in the middle of the sea with only fish for friends, it didn’t feel that different from the woods at the end of his neighborhood. A thought occurs; this really does seem like a kind of place where a resourceful and courageous kid could start living the rugged, solitary life of a true man of the sea. There’s food to eat and he wasn’t dumb enough to drink scummy pond water.
Eventually, he finds himself rounding a bend, and just like that, the trees stop. Not much beyond his feet, so does the ground. One direction ends abruptly in a steep drop down into the bay. In the other, a crumbling old ruins ascends a cliffside. Another can be seen across the bay. Towering over both, and drawing his attention more immediately, was the lighthouse. Maybe he wouldn’t have to build a shelter, and lighthouses are really cool. His mind made itself up on the spot. If he hurried, he could probably make it there before the sun went down.
2: The Dying Light
It really sucks that he has to do so much climbing and leaping, but he’s had all the open water swimming he could ever want, so there’s nowhere to go but up. It’s hard to even tell what he was climbing. Whatever it used to be, it used to be that a very great many years ago. Now, it was just a treacherous and weathered set of stairs up a cliff.
No one said it was supposed to be easy, right?
If he was going to be a free man, he would first need to be a boy with a plan. Just winging it would not be good enough. He would have to be aware of where to find supplies, and how to avoid dangers. Nobody seemed to think he had a brain in his head half the time, or was using it for anything useful the other half. It was almost, but not quite, a shame that none of them could make it to personally witness being proven wrong.
That being said, it sure was getting late already.
And, regardless of his determination, there was that little whisper he could hear in his own head. It was only here to remind the boy that there wasn’t a hospital he could go to if he got hurt. That it doesn’t magically just rain when you run out of water. That there was no store he could visit to even steal food. That it would definitely not almost be a shame that none of them could make it to personally witness being proven right.
3: Wants and Needs
The boy lived in the city. He'd lived there for all of his short span of years. When lounging in the backyard at night, he would hear the far-off whispering of cars zooming along the highway, the loud snort of a truck here and there, the assorted sounds of civilization were everywhere. And, even when there was no moon, civilization produced its own ambient glow. There was almost always enough light to see your immediate surroundings.
In this place, the sun disappeared underneath the horizon, and when it did, it took all its light along with it. Here, and especially now, when twilight ruled and still outshone the stars, it left the entire world shrouded in inky blackness. Right here and now, the boy's every step is a cacophony drowning out the quiet slumbers of the local nature. Even the sneakiest footfall seems to come down upon a branch, and the crack is as loud as lightning.
Frankly, the boy is starting to feel like maybe this isn't very much fun anymore. Reality sets in as the sun sets down. You see, the funny thing about adventure is that it isn't really adventure at all unless there is danger and risk. There isn't another human being for a million miles, but he is not alone on this island. Even though he can't see them seeing him, he feels the weight of countless watching eyes.
The lighthouse seems to recede further away, with each step he takes towards it.
4. Spilled Milk
Out of the frying pan, so they say, and into the drowned and crumbling ruins of some long-dead place. Night is in full bloom, and every last hopeful ray of light is but a memory. The boy is as far away from home as he has ever been in his life. He's free from his stupid parents and their stupid problems. He is finally in control of his own destiny.
And yet, he couldn't feel less free, or in control of anything. A million miles away, somehow, he can hear his dad's voice. Smug, satisfied, knowing without seeing that his idiot boy was exactly the short-sighted screwup he always told him he was. Someone else might mistake that insufferable laughter for the sounds of leaks and drips echoing within the darkness.
Someone else might mistake them for the tears of a sad, lonely mom who has finally taken a moment away from feeling sorry for herself to realize that her kid ran away from home. But, just for a moment. Now that she has found yet another reason to feel sorry for herself, she will go back to cultivating her useless lamentations. It's all she ever does.
By the time he finds himself standing in front of the place he has been trying to reach all day, and finally having arrived at his long-sought destination, he finds himself wishing he had never even taken the first step.
5. Back Of My Eyelids
He has finally reached the lighthouse, and wouldn't you know it? All light had gone out of the world. It looms over him in the dead of night, and he must swallow that lump of dread in his throat and approach.
Once upon a time, a keeper lived a solitary life, doing his part to keep the ships and boats safe and aware. This was his home. Maybe now it was the boy's home. It had been perhaps his entire life since it was anybody's home.
As weary as he was, it didn't matter that the bed was old and dusty. He was asleep before he even lay flat. For the moment, at least, he was safe and could relax.