As I write this, the constant state of shock I've been in all day still hasn't subsided even a tiny bit.
Let me tell you all a little story.
When I first heard about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, to be quite honest my expectations hadn't been too high. I still clung onto my favourite titles, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. This idea that a game predated those didn't sit well.
During time in Germany last year, I was able to attend the GamesCom in Cologne and test play Skyward Sword for a total of ten minutes. It consisted of running around a closed off section of Faron woods with the Beetle as a test item. I was ecstatic. Link could sprint in a console game again! Those ten minutes felt like seconds, and I was finally looking forward to the game with a new found love.
Time since then was slow. Very slow. Soon, the release date came upon us. My problem was that I didn't have a Wii. The release date came and went. December, the day after Black Friday, my mother informs me that she ordered me the Special Edition set of Skyward Sword that came with the gold Zelda Wiimote and the 25th Anniversary CD. I was so happy. I planned to buy the Wii on the first of January, this month, when I knew I could afford it... the next surprise? My mother buys the Wii for me, so I can play my new game. ♥
I admit, my expectations were still a bit low. I didn't know what the story would provide and was still clinging to OoT and MM. I think it took me about 5 minutes of game play to change my mind. It was gorgeous! Little did I know at first that the game would hold so much amazing information... and a new alphabet.
Of course, I noticed the signs around Skyloft. Then I bought my first item from Beedles Airship. Sold out...does that thing say "sold out"!? I ran to grab a sheet of paper and a pen, and began writing all the characters down that I could. Note, at this time, I had avoided spoilers to the point that I had no idea that other fans in the community had not only been working on translating the characters, but at this time were a week ahead of me and were only missing about 5 or so letters.
I kept writing, and finding new things with new characters..and eventually stumbled upon the forum at Zelda Universe. Come to find out, by the time I'm running out to share a half finished cypher, I find their almost finished one. I made a note to myself that it was there, but made a point to keep trying to find more on my own. I actually refused to write much into my own list until I'd seen it myself, just to double check them. I found a couple more characters just as the community found them. Then we were down to three left. J, Q and X.
For three weeks, I sat on an almost finished font, scouring through the game here and there as I finished the game and began Hero Mode. Those signs in Lanayru kept nagging me. I made a mental note to go back and look at them until I could figure something out. The in game graphics seemed so bloated, it was almost impossible to read them, though I did notice a pattern. I could see a few letters, and knew it said something... at the time I last looked at it, I was tired and decided to go back to it later...
Then came the Hyrule Historia scans. Those had to tell us what the characters were! After days of abusing search engines, and talking to other Zelda fans, forum users and site owners, I managed to acquire a link to the scan of the "SS Hylian" text!... to my dismay, it was gibberish, and the Japanese description claimed "this alphabet is too ancient to translate". Safe to say I was mildly heartbroken. But, none the less, I just couldn't give up. I was either going to find those remaining letters, or provide a broken font.
It was about...2am on the second of January, mere 42 hours ago, that I found the hires version of the scan. I was ecstatic, and terrified at the same time- the characters I had drawn in photoshop didn't look perfect. I was feverish, nervous, and it took me around an hour to calm down so I could begin basically remaking the font from the ground up. If I was going to make the font, broken or not, I was going to do the best job I could. This...was a task for coffee. Lots of coffee.
By around 7am I had finally finished reimporting every glyph, reformatting them to perfection, and had saved the font. I come here to DA fully intending to upload it when I notice a message. A simple message from a user who was aware that I was attempting the now near impossible, and wished to help me find the last letters. The message proved a link to the texture image from one of the signs from Lanayru! The small text on the texture proved to be much easier to read than it had been in the game. ...Low and behold... this tiny text that had nagged my mind for three weeks, was in fact the entire alphabet repeated in a tricky way that made it look like a couple words written on the surface and repeated much like other texts in the game!
January 02, 2012, 7:45:53 AM
That is the final creation date for the now fully finished Skyward Sword Ancient Hylian font.
I uploaded it as soon as I could.
As I write this... and refresh the fonts page once again, it tells me that I uploaded it 1 day, 11 hours ago. The font as of this refresh has had 17,998 views and 3,783 downloads.
The story of the fonts creation got posted ti Zelda Universe early this morning and since then has spread like a wild fire from site to site, all cross posting the news, all linking directly to my DA page which provided the font. From ZU, to Kotaku, ScrewAttack, even IGN UK, and various other sites all hyping the news. Every couple minutes, even now, the download count raises by one or two numbers. I've had a hard time keeping up with it all...it's so overwhelming.
I've spent most of the day wanting to cry, and laugh with glee. I never even thought that it would spread like this, that so many other fans would know my name in less than two days, that so many people around the world would be thanking me from the bottoms of their hearts, that it would be such a rage...
Words cannot express how thrilled I am to see that my work, with the help of other users, has made so many people so very happy.
I'm still in shock.
Thank you, everyone. Thank you so very much. ♥