Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sexy Grolla

Schwer reader Johnny Truant has provided us with an incredibly sexy picture of Grolla. Enjoy!

Click the preview for a full version! You know you want to!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yet another [erka:es] update!

I always know that when WOMI posts an entry, it'll usually be about art or music that he likes, and in this case, I'm right on both fronts. Featured in the latest blog entry is a new picture of Schirach Fühler from RKSF. Seems he's enjoying his tablet. I've noticed that he hasn't updated his own website with new drawings since August of last year. I wonder why...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Schwer Doujin Game Review: Melon Squash

Since the RKS off-season is going to be a long one due to the Freudenstachel delay, I've decided that I'll take up some of that time reviewing various doujin games. This is a site dedicated to a doujin game, after all, and while we're anxiously awaiting the release of the Freudenstachel web trial, let's look at what else the doujin game world has to offer. I figured I would start with something that is at least somewhat based on the Megaman universe, so I chose Melon Squash by Ichigo-Citron, the people who brought us the Kanon-based Gradius clone, Feather Raid.

Letty, what does the Melonbooks girl on a motorcycle have to do with Megaman? Glad you asked, Schwer reader! Well, the entire game is pretty much a clone of the Speed Bike level of Megaman X4's Jet Stingray. The textures of the first stage's platforms are even reminiscent of it. I'm not quite clear on the story, but that doesn't matter, and soon, you'll find out why.

Right off the bat, you're given the option of selecting one of four special weapons mapped to the L-Shift key. Hitting it when the S.Weapon bar is full will allow Melon to fire a super shot. The one you choose will affect how quickly the bar fills up, so the higher level shots will be accessible less frequently than the lower level ones. Obviously. After choosing your weapon, you're thrust into battle with your navigator Lemon there to help you along the way.

Bike controls are simple. Use the arrow keys to move around or aim your gun, the Z key fires, and the X key jumps. Enemies, when defeated, will most often drop small gems that give you experience points. Collecting enough will allow cause Melon to level up, giving her a more powerful base attack shot. She can reach a maximum of five levels. The money counter in the top right corner appears to be the equivalent of the score system and, I assume, is probably the plot device (Melonbooks wants more money).

Taking damage will reduce your health bar and drop your shot level by 1. The system basically adds insult to injury, as in some instances, dodging enemy fire while struggling with the game environment is nigh impossible. Occasionally, people will appear on the track, and hitting them will give you even more money.

Levels are split up into multiple areas. The transition between them is seamless, and each area in a stage is a bit harder than the last. At the end of the level will be a disappointingly simple giant boss, and defeating them will take you to the next stage.

This is literally all you do. It is level after level of the same thing, and each stage takes what feels like forever to complete. I cannot imagine why Ichigo-Citron thought that a game based around arguably the worst part of the post-Megaman X3 era. This is seriously one of the most boring doujin games out there and is either a great test of patience and persistence or just poison.

No, thank you.

Schwer Rating: 3/10

Friday, April 17, 2009

Slow News Day

Not much is happening in the world of RKS, so I'm starting to delve in the world of fanworks from the English-speaking community, as shown by the showcasing of Superjustinbros's amazing artwork. Today, we have an anonymous (see: UNBEKANNT) author of a short RKS fanfic called "Catch". I know the author is a Schwer blog reader, so you should give him/her your opinions!

Download/view here. Next post, I'll probably post the story submissions as well.

Oh, and here's something else to watch if you're bored. Schwer and Schwer Alike is proud to present ReisenMell and her glorious retelling of RKS.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UNBEKANNT Results and MegaMari

It was not easy selecting a winner, despite there being only 4 entries anyway. It was a difficult decision, as I liked all of them. First, here are the entries in order of submission:


"A Day in a Gamer's Life" by Lion
- A gamer new to Rosenkreuzstilette thinks Schwer-Muta is cute and tries her stage first. Little does he know that everything waiting for him on the other side is just one big joke. The story is written from the point-of-view of the gamer in question and provides a commentary definitely felt by all the first time they entered the stage of the mighty Schwer-Muta.

"Die Konfrontation mit der Katze Mädchen" by Killing_Doll
- Schwer-Muta has gone berserk, and because Spiritia has gone missing and Sichte is off at a Beer Festival, Graf Michael Sepperin has put Grolla in charge of handling the situation. This story is described in the beginning of the tale as "Grolla's fight for existence... Her battle for love, peace and all... Her biggest challenge yet..."

"Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert: The Abridged Series, Prologue" by ViperAcidZX
- This story is a re-telling of the RKS Grollschwert intro. You'd have to read this one, as there are no words. Turns out that Grolla is a huge Zero fangirl. Who knew?

"Here Comes the Break" by GammaShade
- Freudia has sent Spiritia to make Luste wear pants, but upon entering her stage, Spiritia is overcome with a sudden urge to dance... with disastrous results.


I've gotta hand it to you guys. In spite getting so few entries, you really outdid yourselves. Unfortunately, the rules state that there can only be one winner, and that winner is... Killing_Doll! Something about that story kept me giggling the whole time. Congrats! I will be posting the stories later, unless the authors don't want them shared. Just let me know in the comments!

For those of you who don't know what MegaMari is, it's another Megaman clone based on the Touhou Project series. It's infamous for being brutal, combining the platforming action of the Rockman series with the danmaku aspects of the Touhou world. While waiting for the release of the Freudenstachel demo on the [erka:es] website, one 2ch user started playing it and sparked an interesting discussion amongst fellow 2ch netizens. For one, it would be appear that difficulties between Grolla and the Cross Wall are not just felt here. One user brought up that battling the bosses in MegaMari is "harder than fighting the wall with Grolla." In response, someone else states that they feel the Wind Fish Egg Devil fight is harder, a stance that I personally can get behind. However, everyone can agree that nothing is harder than battling Yukari Yakumo... even the one user who felt that MegaMari was actually easier than Rosenkreuzstilette.

If you want to learn more about MegaMari, then visit the MegaMari page on either the Touhou Wiki or Rockman Perfect Memories. If you're interested, the game is available on PaletWeb for only 25 bucks and is a worthwhile purchase for any Megaman fan's collection. Rosenkreuzstilette is also up there, but it's been sold out for a while now. I encourage everyone who would like to own a copy of this fantastic game to send them a request to restock it. That's all for now!

Monday, April 13, 2009

RKS Uploader to be wiped... again!

According to a blog post on the main Uploader homepage, all Uploader pages, RKS included, will be going through a full "system renewal." I'm not entirely clear on the details, but future use may actually require registration to the Uploader site. Looking at the agenda, the preparations will begin on April 22nd with the actual switch being made on the 29th, so if there's anything up there you want to grab hold of before the wipe, I suggest you do so now. Keep in mind that the posted dates are in reference to the current time in Japan, so it is my suggestion that you grab whatever you want or need by April 20th, if you can even access it.

With the way things are looking, I may simply cease use of the RKS Uploader altogether and have any further entries for challenges be sent to the Grollschwert e-mail account. However, we'll continue to keep an eye on things for whatever may get posted there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

RMPM is fixing their RKS soundtrack.

Finally. A new, properly tagged version of the soundtrack is currently in progress over at Rockman Perfect Memories. I am very happy to see this happening, as credit is going where credit is due. We'll keep an eye on things and inform everyone when the new OST comes up.

Special thanks to Schwer blog reader Spiritia Rosenberg for sending this our way.

Friday, April 10, 2009

[erka:es] Update and the Golden Bug

WOMI of [erka:es] wrote an update today in the [erka:es] diary. I'll get my resident translator on it shortly, but from what I can tell, either the delay was an April Fool's joke, or it wasn't and they're finally getting stuff done so they can get started on Freudenstachel again (and hopefully will release the downloadable demo soon). I'll amend this post with further updates when I get them.

Edit: Yeah, they're finally getting back to work with Freudenstachel. Also, WOMI loves blogging about music.

Someone on 2ch found this interesting bug in Iris Palace 1. I'm not entirely sure on the triggers, but it would appear that if certain circumstances are met, the water, as seen, remains electricuted, even after the player dies. For convenience, I've uploaded the replay here. If you find any bugs in RKS yourself, then get a screencap or a replay, and send it to us, and we'll showcase it here.

Schwer Blog Decor and Stuff

I've decided to combine the last two posts into this latest one. As you can see, I've been messing around with the decor of the place. Tell me what you think. Or not. It doesn't really matter.

As I reported early this morning, I found a deleted Wikipedia entry on RKS. It no longer exists, but Google, being the great search engine that it is, has a cached version of the entry available for viewing. I'm impressed. It appears to be the workings of an incredibly elaborate April Fool's Joke that fell short due to Wikipedia moderation. Much of the information is wrong (such as the game taking place in the year 2007), and a collection of fantastic profiles have been created for the RKS cast, which is a little more focused here. Interestingly enough, Axelle Blitzdonner is included amongst the Freudenstachel cast, something that makes me laugh a little on the inside. Give those pages a look. It's hilarious how much work went into the thing.

And then... there's this. I really can't figure out where half of this information comes from, and I hope that the release of the English patch and the opening of the upcoming Wiki will alleviate some of these errors.

In other news, Schwer blog reader PreddY has posted a speed run of Rosenkreuzstilette over at Speed Demos Archive. The link provided gives a full set of videos complete with audio commentary and a page chock full of information on the run. If speed runs are your thing, then give it a look. You may learn something, and it might just help you in future challenges. According to the page, Cremator, the winner of the Double-Cross RKS Challenge, is working on a Grolla run as well. Hopefully we'll see that soon. If any of you RKS players out there think you can do better, drop by the Speed Demos Archive forum and challenge PreddY with your own runs. I'm sure he'd love the competition. ;)

If you guys have any questions, comments, or news/info you'd like to submit to the blog, then e-mail us with the link over on the right. The account gets checked every day, so it won't be missed! We promise!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We're heading up in the world.

Schwer and Schwer Alike is now on the second page of results for "Rosenkreuzstilette" on Google, being beaten by some download pages, reviews, and forum posts about the game. As the center of the English RKS fan community, we'd like to be a little higher up in the rankings, especially beyond the places that offer the game for download, as we encourage the purchase of this fantastic doujin game.

So I encourage all of you to link to this place wherever RKS discussion is being held. In return, we will do our best to keep you all up-to-date with the latest news on Rosenkreuzstilette patches, mods, discussion, fanworks, and Freudenstachel updates. Without you guys, no one would be reading this thing, and we'd be some lonely magi.

Don't forget, the latest RKS Challenge ends next Monday, and we've already gotten two great entries! Keep them coming, and let's make this the best challenge yet!

Monday, April 6, 2009

RKS Challenge 008: UNBEKANNT

For today's challenge, we're doing something a little different. To win this one, it's going to take a different kind of skill. This will not be a simple time attack. This challenge, like Double-Cross, is in two parts and will require two things to be submitted. Hope you're ready!

Part One:

Enter any stage in Arcade Mode as either Spiritia or Grolla. This includes the Prologue, the 8 Bosses, Sepperin Castle, or Iris Palace. Play the level however you want and complete it... or don't! Save your replay.

Part Two:

Now, open up a text editor of your choice (Notepad, Microsoft Word, VIM, etc.). Write a story version of your replay. Make it epic. Make it humorous. Make it boring. Make it an informative essay. Make it a short story. Make it a haiku. Whatever you do, make it your own.

Submit them both, and the winner will be whoever submits the set that I like the most. Remember, writing skill is not a requirement. Your story can be made up with three-word sentences, and if it's the best one, it will win.

Submissions will be handled differently this time around. I know how secretive and easily embarrassed people can get when it comes to their own pen works, so rather than using the RKS Uploader, you will submit both the replay and story to grollschwert [at] gmail [dot] com. You will need to include your name and a title to your story.

Let's make this the best challenge yet!

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Foo's and Random News

Some people have been requesting a full explanation of my April Fool's joke, so here it is:

First of all, TDOMMX demands that I let everyone know that he was not involved, so yeah, he was not involved. This was all my own doing. To begin, the files that you guys downloaded were completely unmodded. They were copied straight out of my Rosenkreuzstilette folder and are, in fact, interchangeable with your existing files without consequence. I am told, however, by someone that the mod caused Liebea's stage to freeze on them. I'm not entirely sure how I accomplished that, but I won't ask questions. For those who didn't take a listen, "l_graphic.dat" is actually a music file. It is a renamed .wav version of the final Iris boss theme "Last Battle -Requiem for Myself-" by Unkolyn. The code listed, if you didn't notice, was a variation of the Konami Code, and not only did it not work, it was nearly impossible to enter within the time allotted. It was all an elaborate ploy, and I'm glad it worked out as well as it did. Apologies to anyone who grew frustrated by what you thought was your own failures. :3

Speaking of music, I've grown somewhat irritated by the misinformation of the music tags for the Rosenkreuzstilette GST released at Rockman Perfect Memories. Aside from the fact that the songs have an inconsistent bitrate amongst all the files, the tags are all wrong. The song titles and artists are in the readme.txt that comes with the game. The prologue stage theme is not "Eroffnungsstage ~ Der Anfang vom Ende" by [erka:es], it's "The Ground Which Can Shine" by Silver Chaos. Liebea's stage theme is not "Liebeas Stage ~ Rapunzel ist in tiefe Trauer" by [erka:es], it's "30" by AM3 (which has a description of how the song was supposed to resemble a mood of stress or strong consideration and was a test of the sound of acoustic guitars). The given titles don't even work when you consider that all the stages are renamed when you play as Grolla. In Spiritia's game mode, the prologue stage "Ready!" message says "Der Anfang vom Ende", but in Grolla's game mode, it says "Der einsame Krieg". The Japanese Rosenkreuzstilette Wiki, if you can navigate it, has each song listed in each character's profile (which two exceptions being Zorne's stage theme and Iris Fortress Stage 1, both currently of unknown origin; I haven't cross-referenced with the readme.txt songlist personally, though). Soon, we at Schwer and Schwer Alike will provide a full, easy-to-read listing of the actual track names and artists, something we hope will end the misconceptions once and for all.

On the 2ch news front, there were many guesses as to what [erka:es]'s April Fool's joke was going to be, one of the suggestions being Liebea Mode. I believe Visual Novel mode may have been mentioned as well, as it was in the original April Fool's Joke last year. Unfortunately, [erka:es] pretty much tossed a rod in the gears with their announcement. Among other notes of interest are a replay of a pea-shooter-only run of the Iris Machine boss fight. It's an impressive fight, especially the second part of the battle. Finally, one 2ch user discovered a news report about Germany getting their first nudist-only hotel. Here's the article:


Germans get first nudist-only hotel
The first nudist-only hotel is set to open in Germany's Black Forest.

Guests will be required to leave their clothes at reception and must be naked at all times when on the premises – "or they will be required to leave".
"We hope to open as soon as possible," Silvia Probsthain, a member of staff at the planned Hotel Rosengarten.
"It will be the first comprehensively nudist hotel in Germany."
The rules state that all guests must put towels on chairs and loungers before using them, that there be no sexual harassment and that all sexual activity in "commonly accessible rooms" is strictly forbidden.
The hotel is being built in Freudenstadt, which translates into "Town of Joys". Freudenstadt's tourism director Michael Krause said: "I'm in two minds. It's always good if a new hotel is set up but I'd prefer a normal hotel concept."
Nude hiking is proving increasingly popular in Germany and two villages in the central Harz mountain range plan to mark special forest hiking routes for naked ramblers.
The practice is frowned on in neighbouring Switzerland, however, where authorities plan to fine such behaviour.
There are similar hotels catering for nudists in Scandinavia, Croatia and the south of France.


Hotel Rosengarten. In the Black Forest/Schwarzwald. In Freudenstadt. Really. Finally finally, I just found this on the uploader.

Someone really likes Iris.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Question Mark Blocks

And to those of you wondering, play "l_graphic.dat" in a music player.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

RKS Challenge 007: Lusteful Thinking

Alright, I'm going to have to walk you through some steps to get this challenge to work properly, so bear with me. We at Darkside-Zeppy have been hard at work trying to put this one together, and we hope that it's paid off. In this challenge, you'll have to save the day as the Hero of Justice, Luste Teuber! Err, I mean, UNBEKKANT!

Step 01:
It is very important that you back up all of your original .dat files. I cannot stress this enough. We have had to explain this to a few testers who have been helping us. In the event that something goes wrong (which is unlikely but still possible), you will want to have everything backed up so you do not have to reinstall the game for one specific .dat file.

Step 02:
Download the "RKS Luste Mod" here. I have temporarily stored it on my Mediafire account; soon, we will move it to dedicated file storage for the upcoming new RKS website. Inside the .zip, you will find modified versions of the following files:

- rks.exe - The executable for the game.
- scenario.dat - Where the new script and scenario are stored.
- player.dat - Where the Luste action scripts are located.
- system.dat - File modded to allow the game access to the new Luste files.

You will also find a new folder called "ex_luste", which is designed to act similarly to the "ex_freudia" folder for RKS Freudenstachel; this is where the important Luste graphic files can be found. Because the mod uses no unique sound effects or stage graphics, only a graphic file is included. All voice clips, SFX, and graphics are pulled from the existing RKS .dat files.

Step 03:
Replace and add all the necessary files in their respective directories. The .zip archives the files in a manner similar to the original file archive for RKS, so everything should be self-explanatory. If everything is put in its proper place, the mod will be installed.

Step 04:
Our resident programmer, TDOMMX (from the Darkside part of Darkside-Zeppy), has implemented the mod so that it can only be accessed by a button code at the company logo screen, much like with the Grollschwert Another Mode (which is Left, Right, Weapon Change R, Weapon Change L at the [erka:es] screen, in case you were unaware). Because of how simple the input is for Grollschwert (I actually stumbled upon the Grollschwert mode originally myself), he has taken the liberty of making a slightly more complicated code. To access Hero of Justice Luste Mode, do the following:

Wait 2 seconds and then quickly enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Weapon Change L, Weapon Change R, Shot, Jump.

The code may seem familiar to you for obvious reasons. If entered correctly, the "Warning!" symbol will appear as per the norm, but instead of hearing "Grollschwert!" or "Seelegewehr!", you will hear Luste say "Ah! Asobo!". We really didn't feel like making a complete unique title screen or options menu, so it will appear the same as Spiritia's, only with Luste's awesome stage theme playing over it.

Here's some quick info about HoJ Luste:

- Her only attack is Lustatem, but it is chargeable and has infinite ammo.
- She can jump higher than both Spiritia and Grolla; unfortunately, we did not implement a hover/flight mechanic.
- Her stage boss is Spiritia. (This will later be changed to Doppelganger Luste in the next revision of the mod.)
- Her attack power is greatly improved, but her defense is lower than even that of Grolla's. She will only take 3-4 hits before dying.

Step 05:
Now that Luste is ready for action, the challenge begins!

Enter that password to start with Silberflugel Eins, Silberflugel Zwei, and Lilli, and head over to Trauare's stage. Complete the stage in the fastest time, and you win the challenge and, lest we forget, the cash prize!

- You may use any available means to complete the stage. No strings attached this time.
- You must take the lower path in Trauare's stage. (At the mid-level checkpoint, take the path that requires you to slide instead of the ladder path.)
- Because of Luste's defense, taking damage will actually decrease your time by 1 second. This is nullified, however, if you die.

That's all there is to it!

To submit your replays, please use the RosenkreuzStilette Uploader Site. Please follow these easy instructions.

1) Name the .rpy files whatever you want and upload the zip here. (Note: Please make sure your replay is in a .zip archive.)
2) Enter "Lusteful Thinking" in the comment box.
3) Click here to upload the file.

Godspeed, Luste! Show the world your warrior's pride!