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Who's wearing bad-ass Celtic armor, has a reputation of being widely feared, and can go from zero to bitch in less than 35 seconds? No, not Inyri at a cosplay convention. I am instead referring to the uber boss - and most influential allied character - of Final Fantasy IX, Beatrix!
So, with that out of the way, what is this file exactly? Well, Beatrix wouldn't be half as uber if she'd been given a Mythril Sword, lemme tell ya. Save The Queen is Beatrix's signature weapon, apparently created specifically for her. The sword's custom properties make it virtually unwieldable to anyone else due to it being tailored for Beatrix's fighting style. It's also proven to be conductive to magical energies, hence Beatrix's combination sword techniques which consist of a physical strike enhanced (usually) by non-elemental damage. It also has one rather unique property among swords, in that it doesn't restrict the wielder's ability to use White Magic - Beatrix is packing several White spells, including Cura and Holy, and can use them at will despite not using a wand, rod or staff for focusing her energies; an ability she shares only with Cecil of FFIV, whose legendary weapons allowed him the same powers as a Paladin. It's also suggested that the sword was crafted by Hades, as one can acquire a duplicate of the sword from him upon his defeat in the Memoria dungeon on disc 4.
Needless to say, the sword itself is a powerful weapon, but whether or not it would be as powerful when in the hands of anyone but Beatrix... well, who knows?
Anyway, enough background (and hell, there's sure a LOT of background info on this one!), let's take a look at the model.
If you're insecure about your sexuality, the pink might throw you off a little. True enough, I don't quite remember the sword having a pink tint to it in any of the FMVs, but with the standard PSX graphics, it's damned nigh impossible to tell. The blade, from every reference image I have available, looks to be the right shape, albeit with a few tweaks to compensate for the fact that 99% of the sword's appearances used a model which probably composed of no more than 100 polygons and this model has closer to 1000 polygons. Kinda hard to tell exactly, as in-game shots are never dead-on side shots, but hey - we gotta make do with what we got. :p
Despite the pinkyness, there's a very apparent steely-tint to the model. And unlike other metal textures, it doesn't look like a fork! Not sure just by looking on whether it's a shader - I shall have to check in a few minutes once I've seen if I can pinpoint all of the model's features and elements just by looking - but there's an effect to the blade texture which gives it a sort of weak reflective quality. The common mistake made with sword blades is that it's either perfect stainless steel, or too reflective. Needless to say that swords which see use will never be in either state.
OK, yup, that's a shader. Nice to see a subtle shader which doesn't stick out like a sore thumb wearing a band of neon lights. Most shaders just feel unnecessarily excessive, y'know? Shaders are a good thing to use, but people don't really need to stick giant flashing neon signs next to 'em saying "<-- OMFG 'tis a shader!". Lesson to be learned? It doesn't have to be so excessive that you can't help but notice it, just to look good. Sometimes, less is more, and subtlety is better than charging in the front door guns blazing.
The hilt guard caught my attention, because I can't figure out what the hell it is. It's still a good, decorative design, although it doesn't look practical. What I did like, however, was the texturing on the grip. None of this elaborately fancy design crap, it's simple and good. Plus the coloration is at a neutral phase between light and dark, so the detail is visible without blinding you.
It's another quality weapon model with the attention to detail and intuitive creative license which Inyri considers to be the only acceptable standard for her own work. Explains why her files take longer to get from the drawing board to public distribution, but then again, people know better than to pressure Inyri over releasing. She has a gun. Pressuring is a bad idea.
Anyway, I better finish this review off. My nose is starting to hurt from having a Beretta pressed against it....
*********************************** Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy *********************************** TITLE: Save the Queen AUTHOR: Inyri Forge E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org CREDITS: Credits always go to LucasArts, as without them none of this would be possible. Credits also go out to Square Enix (that's what they are now, right?) for their game Final Fantasy 9, upon which this weapon is based. INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS: Place the PK3 in your base folder within your Jedi Academy directory. DESCRIPTION: For those of you who have played Final Fantasy 9... you still might not recognize this weapon. In any case, it's Beatrix's Save the Queen sword. Beatrix is awesome... yeah. BUGS / COMMENTS: Don't complain to me that it's pink. It is a female general's sword, after all. THIS MODIFICATION IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY ACTIVISION, RAVEN, OR LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC. ELEMENTS TM & © LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC AND/OR ITS LICENSORS.
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