Hey all, Klok here.
Before I begin, I need to give a big shoutout to Lenh who worked her tush to the bone compiling a sizable chunk of what I’m about to post today. I did some heavy lifting, but she practically dragged a battleship across half a continent compared to me.
The Fire Emblem community as a whole is well over two decades old. The English community is probably about two decades old, with the first game (FE7) releasing in 2003 and Smash Bros Melee dropping in 2001, which introduced the USA to Marth and Roy.
In the time the FE community has existed, hundreds, if not thousands of people have made all sorts of incredible contributions to the fandom. Fangames, maps, animations… and also portraits. Today, I want to talk specifically about portraits.
Not too long ago, Tinypic shut down. Additionally, Photobucket shut down 80% of its servers, breaking countless images across the internet. This has absolutely devastated the archives of many older forums, and in particular, the FE Art Forums. A few weeks ago, I went looking through the old Serenes Forest spriting competitions, and I was shocked to see just how many images broke, fell apart, or simply stopped existing. I started contacting people to see if we could salvage any of those incredible creations, and together, we… managed to rescue some of it. A few years from now, there genuinely might not be anything left.
My most important goal was to preserve as much spriting history as I could. Many great spriters are no longer with us, having left the community years ago, and even though I’ve tried contacting many people, I only got a few replies back.
As such, with Lenh’s help, as one of the former hosts of the Serenes Spriting Competitions, we managed to compile maybe 60-70% of all the mugs we could find; some saved on her hard drive, but most taken from the threads.
Additionally, I saved some other spriting competition entries as well; namely the Mug Medley entries.
So, here is what we have.
First, we have our very own FEU-competition results: Freakishly Ugly Combo Kit and Create an Ugly Mug. Expect a sequel to these soon! The goal of these competitions was to take three mugs, then create a new mug from their combined might. Often, people made actually ugly mugs, but sometimes, people made masterpieces.
Those mugs, all together:
In the near future, I will be compiling a big google drive entry for all of these, with credits. More info at the bottom of the post, where I’ll go into detail about usability requirements.
Mug Medley #1:
The premise of Mug Medley is that people take a sprite, make an edit of it, and then post that edit on the forum. Then, someone else edits that edit, and hands it off to someone else, who makes yet another edit.
We were very fortunate in that someone compiled the first Mug Medley years ago, and so, it made our work a lot easier.
Unfortunately, the same was not true of Mug Medleys 2+.
Mug Medley 2:
This sheet is the start of sadness. Everywhere you see a red star, that means there was an entry missing we could not recover. Two of them are final versions, meaning what were probably the last, and greatest entries, have been lost to time.
Mug Medley 3+:
This sheet tells just as sad of a tale. While I did label this “Mug Medley 3,” it’s actually a combination of Mug Medley 3 and a few spinoff series that didn’t last too long.
After Mug Medley, we have the BIG BOY. The following files were compiled entirely by Lenh, with significant edits after the fact by me, where I made the images transparent, added some clarifications, etc.
Welcome to the Spriting Competition results for Serenes Forest, from #1 all the way to the final version, #159.
Please note that there are two file types here. One is a Microsoft Word document, and the other is HTML, which you can view in any browser. I recommend downloading the entire folder to your PC, and then viewing the HTML page in your browser.
There are countless images missing. Many of the ones we recovered were in JPG format, ruining the sprites. A couple of them even had watermarks. Still, we did the best we could.
SO… with all that in mind, let’s finish this post up.
As of today, we need help repairing the Mug Medleys and recovering as many sprites from the SF Spriting Competitions as possible. This post is first and foremost a PSA/request for people to send in any missing mugs they might have, preferably with any information they might have about who created the mug, what sprite comp it got submitted to, and so on.
Secondly, this post is also a wealth of resources. If you want to use the mugs present, you can, but you must follow certain restrictions.
Mug Medley mugs are Free to Edit and Free to Use. The very nature of Mug Medley submissions was that the community would work together and edit them. If you want to use a Mug Medley submission in your project, you will need to credit the people who worked on it though. To that end, I will (soon, but not today) include a list of people’s names who worked on the various mugs linked in the Medley images above so everyone knows who made what and who to credit.
Freakishly Ugly Combo Kit and Create an Ugly Mug submissions vary. Some of them are Free to Use, some are Free to Edit, and some aren’t allowed to be used in projects at all. Similarly to #1, I will compile credits for all the mugs present (I already have a folder full of them, but not F2U/F2E listings yet) to ensure every artist’s wishes are respected. Unlike Mug Medley submissions, only one person worked on each of the Freakishly Ugly Combo Kit and Create an Ugly Mug submissions, so they own all the rights to that sprite.
SF Spriting Competition mugs are, for the most part, neither F2U nor F2U. There are many exceptions to this rule, however. Mewiyev, a close friend of mine who I brought into the FE community, doesn’t mind if people use her work in projects. There are other people with similar views, and there are people who think completely differently. Much like the previous entry, you can expect me to compile a detailed list of permissions for the mugs, eventually putting all F2U and F2E mugs inside the Portrait Repository.
I’ll say it again, just in case it wasn’t clear. This post is first and foremost a PSA/request for people to send in any missing mugs they might have, preferably with any information they might have about who created the mug, what sprite comp it got submitted to, and so on.
If you can help us fill in the gaps for the spriting competition mugs, you’ll be helping us preserve more than 4 years of spriting history. I have a few other competition submissions compiled from outside of SF and FEU, but none of them come close to the importance of Sernes Forest’s spriting competitions and how they forged many of the best-known spriters today.
Also, if anyone is here who once contributed to those competitions, please post in the topic linked below to inform the Repository’s team regarding how you do or do not want your content to be used! Every post and vote here helps!
That is all! I will post more updates regarding this Preservation Project in the coming weeks.