- May 31, 2018
Mystery solved! Good job! Quite an interesting tale.Well, I come bearing some unexpected news. You guys remember the mystery of Ayumi's spirit artwork? We all were quite puzzled about the source last December, but while looking for artwork for my above post (in Japanese this time), I actually stumbled over the source. This might get a bit lenghty, as usual for me though. Well, let's start.
While going through Google Images, a particular image caught my eye (more on that shortly), which in turn led me to a Japanese fan blog talking about FTC. Scrolling through it didn't reveal much new in terms of art, except for two particular pictures:
One was the artwork used for Ayumi's spirit, but the other had her in a swimsuit, which I've never seen before. Seeing those two pictures piqued my curiosity and I decided to actually take a closer look. First thing I did was check the date and the blog entry is from March 2016, which predates Ultimate by nearly 3 years (December 2019). And that's when I was all like:
Running the site through Google Translate didn't reveal much about about the school uniform artwork, but it said the swimsuit is from the official site:
Seeing that the blog is from 2016 and mentions the official site, I took the chance to see if it's still up and luckily the Japanese Wikipedia article for the first game did indeed have a link. While it seems to mostly be focused on the SNES remake and the history of the series, celebrating the "10th anniversary of FamiTan", it does have some FDS era stuff, too. Well, to stop beating around the bush, after going through the pages, I ended up on this page, featuring Ultimate's spirit artwork. And clicking on the left FDS era Ayumi, bring up this page with swimsuit Ayumi. And for good measure, here's the page with the biography of the protagonist and Ayumi, as well as their best known SNES era artworks.
So, there you go, two of the probably most obscure Ayumi artworks straight from Nintendo's very own website. Also writing all this down in a somewhat meaningful order took me way too long than I'd like to admit. But hey, case close, I'd say, I consider it a victory.