June 26, 2019

 

                                


Commentary for June 26, 2019:

So, continuing on from my thoughts on yesterdayís page, I really wanted there to be more reason for what the Echidna Empireís trying to do than just being power-hungry extremists. And I think this was reflected later on in even the original Eonís Comic, where I did touch on their backstory a bit, including their demand for an echidna homeland to the newly formed Senate. But it wasnít until about three or more years into the series that I decided to add this detail to their history. With this remaster, I have the benefit of foresight. No, itís not essential that all information about every character, place, or group be presented upfront; but Sora-Ya is taking the time to explain the history of the echidnas who left Angel Island in order to win Knuckles over and this may help her case, so itís worthwhile getting it in now.

And of course Knuckles isnít won over immediately. Knuckles is often portrayed as lacking intelligence or being easily duped, and I donít care for that, myself. It makes sense that heís naive, if heís spent his life alone on an isolated floating island, so he might well believe whatever the first other person he meets (which was Doctor Eggman) tells him. But after being tricked a couple of times, I think it would become a lot harder for someone else to fool him. Heck, he might have trouble even believing someone who is being completely sincere (which, to her credit, Sora-Ya actually is in this scene, despite the fact that she most definitely is a villain), because his experiences have taught him not to trust others. Once bitten, twice shy and all that.

Now, a note on language. Tol Ainu. Itís a name I came up with for Angel Island that the Echidna Empire uses. Now, some of you cunning linguists might actually recognise the language. Itís Quenya, one of the two elven languages that Tolkien invented, and it basically means ďisland of angelsĒ. At some point, I decided to borrow Quenya as the language the ancient echidnas spoke. (I did say I originally conceived of the Echidna Empire as first existing in a Tolkien-esque fantasy world, after all.) And, of course, I later established that elves did indeed once live on Earth. (And that much, at least, still is true.) So, the echidnas didnít invent the language, certainly, but they adopted the heck out of it, long before Angel Island even existed.

Anyway, letís talk about visuals. This page was less of a pain to make than the previous one, but it still took a lot of work. I had to create more single-use echidna sprites (though, naughty me! I did re-use some from the last page), so that took some time. But the biggest task for this page was the Senate. The original version of it looked very different -- in fact, it had the same aesthetic as the Meridian government building, which is why I chose to change it. But itís not a completely new asset; I edited it from the later Senate of the United Nations of Earth, switching out the green benches and carpets for blue ones and changing the emblem on the Speakerís podium for the seal of the United Federation. Does this mean Iíll change the design of the United Nations Senate? Possibly. Weíll see. But thereís only so many designs for a legislative bodyís meeting place that work in a sprite comic. Iím also quite pleased with the post-war echidna city on Angel Island, as well as the shanty town. They were both fairly easy, especially the latter, since Metal Slug had some wonderful existing shacks that I was able to drop in with very little changes. Those skiffs in the first panel, though? I made them for later on in the original Eon's Comic run and theyíre based on the skiffs used by Jabba the Huttís minions in Return of the Jedi during the Sarlacc scene. But I donít feel as if they really fit with the rest of the aesthetic for the time. However, as the go-to vehicles for the echidnas of Angel Island at the height of their power (or, rather, just after it), I felt they were appropriate.


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