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[原创] Pacific Archival Updates (May 2015 - April 2016)

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Post time: 2016-5-16 16:16:52
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"Hey, Morgane, you should totally go fix the forums so it's easier for us to find information. We're new here and it's really hard for us to crawl through all that information."

"Okay! Let me give it a shot.

- Thirty minutes of fiddling with Discuz later -



"What the hell did you do to the forums??? GO FIX IT."

Okay, so here's what this is. I'm literally just going to be taking the updates we carried out over the last year or so, and put it in one more or less easy to read post format. Most of it'll be unfiltered, and I'll be leaving the old thread up in case you're curious to see the nuances. We weren't perfect, of course, but we did the best we could. It is what it is. :)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:23:54
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June 2015: Some of our first updates. A 4koma from BC, November's own sketches for the Pacific vol. 2 cover, and Sima's first attempt to create the antagonists of our work - the Abyssals. Honestly, the direction hasn't changed. x)







Ever wonder what exactly wrecked a carrier battlegroup (the event mentioned in AR vol 1 and the appearance of Iowa), along with their respective DPK and ROK units before that?

This sort of thing is what the ship girls, STEC, and the other nations of our world is fighting against. What you see here is a preliminary design of an abyssal scouting unit, nominally classified as "DD" by STEC. The design is created by the talented 司马闹腾 (You can call him Sima. I call him Colonel. Draa calls him Taisa-dono. We all call him different things.)

One of the terrifying things about the abyssal fleet is that they seem to appear out of nowhere. That being said, however, STEC researchers and analysts have deducted that there has to be a method to the abyssal fleet's methodical madness. Currently, this particular type of abyssal is the most commonly encountered type. While they're perfectly at home attacking vessels or eating people, they seem to be more interested in exploring the oceans and swimming around, occasionally sending pulses of energy to ... some unknown destination or dimension.


Some design notes on where we draw inspiration from - back when Sima was still known as "Colonel." xD

The design that Colonel and I are spearheading leans much closer towards the "biological-mechanical" rather than "mechanical" or "mythological" (a lot of canon (KanColle) designs are around Japanese mythology of water demons and youkai, for instance). Naturally, we look towards sea monsters or real-life predators as inspiration. It's a strong point that Colonel wishes to make. The Abyssals (at least the ones here) swim using their own bodies. While they possess turbines or possibly afterburners (yet another nasty surprise for the players protagonists, we want the viewer to get an idea that these things are alive and not machines - in the same way as I've repeated over and over again that our ship girls are not machines.


Where I talk a bit about thematic differences in our work, focusing on Pacific's atmosphere.

I'm on lunch break and can comment more at length on this later, but I'll talk a bit high level before commenting on your post regarding sea creatures. One thing that I think Pacific does a little differently than comparative works is how the abyssals are presented. TGG is framed in such a way that the abyssal fleet has already made headway against humanity - Pearl Harbor, for instance, has already been lost. The abyssal fleet is an active threat in the world's oceans, and fighting is active and on-going at all times. Other official LNs or long JP fanfics also tend to have a situation where the ship girls are actively fighting against a very mobile threat.

Pacific's own abyssal fleet, on the other hand, has yet to show up in force. This is a key difference. The world's oceans are open for the time being, and the ship girls are not open knowledge to the general public. The fleet seems to be content sending scouts and infiltrators to simply document and observe the world, but limited engagements against the abyssal fleet have shown that this is a terrifying enemy far beyond anything humanity has ever faced.

In other words, STEC and the ship girls believes that if the abyssals can somehow manage to land in force, then the world is as good as lost. It's up to the readers to determine how reliable the ship girls are (after all, only a few of the characters in the setting are aware of the fundamental "multiverse" nature of Pacific's universe, much less having an understanding of what the abyssals are), but I feel that a touch of the Lovecraftian is appropriate here considering that I lack the experience to construct more elaborate themes and prefers to keep my conflict and tensions simple.

It may seem mindbogglingly impossible that my home country could have been farsighted enough in this setting to prepare a project forty years ago against an enemy that most don't even know exist, but there were a few critical events in Pacific's timeline that forced the US government into action. Mentioned briefly in Action Report #1 (AR#1), the US sent out a large surface fleet (augmented with technological improvements gleaned from decades of research) against the first of what STEC will eventually call abyssal "incursions". This engagement ended in disaster, and changed a lot of STEC (and the Navy's) operating procedures and long-term strategies.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:31:18
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June 2015: More Hornet.



More progressively better armed Abyssals.



We always try to contextualize and anthropomorphize monsters. We assign to them human attributes, human-like behaviors, and other traits to make them more like us. Pacific's abyssal fleet encountered by humanity so far has no such complexity. I intentionally designed them to be otherworldly in every sense of the word. They're relentless. They cannot be reasoned with. Their intelligence is not what you could call intelligence in any sense of the word. There is nothing human at all about these things.



STEC has always known - even from the onset of the abyssal incursion in 1950 - that the abyssal fleet possesses what most of us would see as "magical" abilities. One of those abilities is the apparent capacity to shrug off most conventional weapons and "regenerate" its wounds. Limited engagement opportunities against the abyssal fleet (and some field analysis done by Mahan) has shown that underneath the heavy layer of armor, the abyssal scouting unit has a thick, fat-like substance that is extremely bio-reactive. STEC theorizes that like STEM cells, the abyssal units draw upon this source of material as a sort of "fuel" for repairs or other purposes - including that of its own body.

Of course, the layer of "fat" is also useful for insulation and cushioning purposes, though as no corpse or "wreck" of an abyssal has ever been recovered, STEC has no further knowledge of the biological structure of these abyssals. What we do know, however, is that the abyssal fleet seems to be capable of metamorphesis. The scout that Iowa took down in 1950 consumed significantly more than any other incursion, and its patterns and size were both significantly different than the typical abyssal scouts encountered today



It's important to note that STEC has yet to encounter an abyssal metamorphesis on the field, nor have they really engaged against larger or heavily armed opponents. At this stage, however, if an abyssal scout hangs around for long enough, it will inevitably "morph" into one of these things. Note a few things that Colonel and I have highlighted (in Chinese) on the sketch page:

Armaments remain unchanged, but the guns fire faster and it carries more rounds. STEC has not recorded how much "ammunition" the abyssals carry, but one thing that STEC has noted previously is that the abyssal scouts frequently choose to engage in melee or physical combat after very limited amounts of "shelling" attacking actions.

Heavy interlocked armor plates appear on the areas most likely to be exposed to enemy attack. When I asked Colonel to read up on marine life biology, he took my advice to heart (good man), and thought about how the abyssal actually "swims" very carefully. Note that this particular abyssal has no armor whatsoever in its ventral areas. Either the Fleet did not see to armor it in that area, or sub girls are so rare across the parallel universe that the Fleet has not encountered one of note.

Also, it's bigger. A lot bigger. On average it's been hard to estimate the size of an abyssal scout, but we usually ballpark around 30-50m. For comparison purposes, a blue whale is about 25-30m.

Note that the armament "caliber" and definitions are actually defined in the notes in the EN release. What I will note is that the Abyssals have progressively been increasing in size given how the story progressed. x)

Part of what I'm interested in exploring, however, is what happens when you combine these elements? Given that our ship girls are explicitly (hammered on, in fact) stated to be fully human, it was my opinion that the abyssal fleet in Pacific should be complementary to the humanity of our girls.

Thus, you get a horrifying mix of machine and organic. Iowa's private communique to Eisenhower uses the term "unholy." The ship girls themselves often find the abyssals to be unsettling, and eyewitness accounts - ask the members of TFM, or Pacific's writing team - explains that there's something unsettling about the "living" nature of the abyssal fleet.

Scientifically, STEC theorizes (note: STEC theorizes based on what they can observe) that the abyssals seen so far has limited regenerative abilities, which appears to be linked to that "zone" of blubber-like insulation that exists directly beneath the armored carapace of the abyssal destroyer. This would suggest that the abyssal units seen so far have some aspects that are biological in nature.

That being said, however, nothing bigger than a destroyer has shown up in the setting of Pacific so far, and STEC cannot comment on whether the abyssals exhibit the type of behaviors as your described in your last paragraph. What has been observed, however, is a certain type of intelligence (or the lack of). As a whole the abyssals so far seem to flip between nonchalance and extreme aggression. Prior to mobile base Avalon entering the waters and satellite technology, STEC had to manually send ship girls out to patrol sea zones or rely on conventional intelligence to investigate abyssal interactions.

To elaborate on the events reported in AR#1, the abyssals do not appear to be intimidated by the ship girls, nor do they seem to be aware of how threatening the ship girls actually are. Abyssal units in one of the few documented cases of engagement with US surface units (and ship girls) seem to attack indiscriminately without prioritization of target, but raw strength alone was sufficient to destroy sizable portions of the US Pacific fleet.


A day later we showed O'bannon, and of course, the first of my many, many, many rants about how our shipgirls are people.

In our work, ship girls are fully human. The Kagero LN series are the closest things we have to an official similarity, but whereas Kagero LN ship girls are mass produced (ala Gundam Mobile Suits), Pacific ship girls are - as I've said elsewhere - closer to western superheroes/superheroines, with unique identities, characterization, and personalities. This then necessitates the abyssals being something inherently different, and a key theme in Pacific is that whereas humanity can (and may) attempt to humanize or identify with abyssals, this is unidirectional. To the abyssals, humanity are simply targets. Fodder. Food. Whatever else you might call it.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:32:46
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June 2015: On fairies. First "hint" at larger universe. x)

In brief, Pacific fairies are unusual miniature lifeforms that seem to appear around ship girls. They are distinctive entities, do not appear to rely on a ship girl for its inherent survival, and for all intent and purposes possess their own range of extraordinary powers.

STEC scientists have been tearing their hairs out in an attempt to make sense of fairies in general. The biggest problem is that while they are clearly human to some degree, the way in which they think or operate is often beyond human comprehension. Add the fact that fairies seem to communicate in its own language - which, while fully intelligible to ship girls is gibberish to humans - and that they seem to phase in and out of existence at will, you can imagine the difficulty in trying to study them in a systematic fashion.

After all, fairies aren't ship girls. If you ask Jer nicely for a hair sample or to do some anthropomorphic measurements she'd be fine with it. Trying to get fairies to follow your orders is like trying to reason with puppies. It often just ... doesn't work.

That being said, STEC has loosely categorized fairies based on their approximate function. These are the types known so far.
  • "Standard" type fairies are very commonly seen. Usually clad in USN work uniforms or its trademark blue overalls, you can generally find large groups of them around places where there are ship girls. They are by far the most "uncommunicative" fairies, as each seems to have specific tasks in mind and tend to not pay attention to humans very much. On an average day you'll find these little guys milling about, refining materials, repairing equipment (sometimes repairing your, the admiral's, equipment), building stuff, gathering food, napping, and so on.

  • "Specialist" type fairies are less common, but are common enough that if you see a group of fairies, you're almost expected to see a few of these. These fairies have clear, visible physical features that sets them apart from their more "ordinary" counterparts, are capable of a greater range of behaviors and emotions, and are "social" in the sense that they are oftentimes actively seen interacting with each other, their ship girls, and the various STEC personnel around.

  • Most fairies of this type appear to have some designated role, and can often be easily distinguished by their dress. A fairy armed with multi-tools and wearing a maintenance crew's vest is probably a carrier maintenance fairy. A fairy strutting around in service dress might be a fire control officer. Pilot gear? Probably a pilot fairy. Cook's bonnet, apron, often seen hovering around the kitchen? Probably a steward fairy.

  • "Unique" fairies are exactly what they say on the tin. To be classified as one of these, STEC uses the following parameters. Unique fairies are able to communicate with humans normally, are considerably more powerful (some displaying a range of powers that are impressive), and possess a definitive, concrete sense of identity (i.e. is self-aware). As expected, these only number a handful in the setting so far.

  • Unlike the ship girls, unique fairies claim to be historical figures. Without exception these fairies introduce themselves as who they "appear" to be - e.g. Enterprise's Butch O'Hare.

STEC cannot verify the veracity of these claims to historicity, and the scholars and researchers within STEC itself is horribly divided in terms of just what these fairies actually are. Is, for instance, the stern Lt. Cmdr Moosbrugger occasionally seen peeking out from Maury's pockets actually Frederick Moosbrugger? Is it actually Moosbrugger, or is it a "copy" of him? What does "copy" even mean? If so, how'd he get here? Is it just an imprint of him? Some kind of psionic memory? Is the fairy just taking on an identity that suits him or herself?
If it isn't him, how does the fairy fool over a hundred independent investigations, where every single person tested (correctly) identified recording of the fairy's message as the admiral, some revealing personal or intimate details? How is it that the fairy is able to instinctively connect with their "real" counterparts?

An out of universe note: The fairy pilots from Aeronautica are gender-bent versions of their historical ace pilots drawn from a separate timeline/reality independent of whatever the source for Pacific's ship girls and fairies may be. Thus, in-universe, both Evelyn O'Hare and Butch O'Hare exists. They just haven't met each other yet.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:35:44
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June 2015: Fashion. Of course. I get a lot of questions on these in my inbox too.

The opinion of what to wear varies tremendously from ship girl to ship girl, officer to officer, and character to character. Let's just say that it's been discussed internally (in-universe) and found it was impractical to try to regulate ship girl dress code. The physics work in such a way within Pacific's universe that the energy "field" (I'll spare you the physics for now, but it's something we've considered and modeled) that a ship girl innately possess is the defining characteristic in terms of practicality.


We even made a point of this in AR2, stressing that really, the girls wear what they want. As for why aren't certain parts of the historical ships more visible in their armaments?

The girls took those things off because they aren't terribly useful to a ship girl (but are very useful for a real battleship!). Maryland points this out in vol. 2, as there's no reason for them to carry a lattice mast in unless they wanted a place to house the spotter/math fairies. It certainly won't give the fairies much more range physically, and if fairies have magic vision that lets them see miles and miles away, STEC is unaware (or have not conclusively determined) if they have such capabilities.


"Why does Helena and St. Louis look the way they are."

I happen to have some background in fashion design. It's why we went for a neoclassical "theme" for both Helena and her sister, for instance. In the respective time periods where the two cities were founded, there were several trends of fashions that were highly influential in American society at the time. You'll probably notice that Helena and Lou both wear a sort of flimsy, soft kind of fabric. That's because I dug out reference images from all over (mostly the Smithsonian because I've got a friend there), and communicated to November the "theme" behind how I would think their designs would be.

We pay a lot of details to things that most people don't notice. But when people notice things like Lou's sandals look like the flag of St. Louis or that Helena's dress' bosom is a particular décolleté cut popular (and considered to be a bit adventurous - which fits her personality perfectly) in both saloons and ballrooms, it's moments like those that I go, yup. Put in decent enough effort.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:43:16
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July 2015: This month'll see the untimely end of my many failed RP projects. x) For no fault other than my own, as GMing requires time, and I was unable to devote sufficient time to actually follow-up in a timely manner. At the time I really did underestimate how much time I would have, and so, you'll see a consistent pattern of these crop up every now and then.

This one failed mostly on a technical level. It'll be a consistent theme.



Ah, of course. Chester.
Basically, to put it simply. If Chester had access to our world, she'd be perfectly at home with the good anons of our interwebs. When our Japanese team asked if we could provide details to her personality, one of our team members unhesitatingly answered, "Troll". She's fun loving. She likes to poke around where she probably shouldn't. All of this more or less means hilarious things happen when she's around.

The reason, of course, is that I happened to have stumbled on a personal war diary of a historical member of the Chester crew. This man had a great sense of humor. What struck me particularly was in one entry where they were getting attacked by air, and the soldier wrote. "I wonder what we're having for dinner tonight... Also why does Jap shoot so bad?"

The personality kind of stuck after.



And this cover was just done in time for Comiket. I remember we were pushing it, with the printing and whatnot, but all's well ends well.



Sailfish, too.



And, of course, a new humanoid Abyssal. She's still canon, but Sima's kind of interested in going back and giving her a facelift, considering how much better he's improved in the simple course of a year.



The readers learn that this thing is actually (or appears to be) air-dropped. It offers an interesting hint to where the Abyssals are coming from.

One of the first things that they would have probably noticed is the fact that this thing starts out a deep shade of purple, and then it will more or less "fade", becoming nearly transparent before dropping down into the waters with a splash. The way this thing "drops," however, is a bit like a glider trying to land. Its wings are obviously too small for flight, but they're enough to act as guides that allows for some degree of steering during free-fall.



When Sal dive in to investigate, however, she quickly notices that this particular abyssal gave a faint amount of bioluminescence. If it weren't for the fact that STEC was tailing it, this particular abyssal would have been very difficult to distinguish from the colossal squids that prowled the earth's depths. In fact, given how slow it moves underwater, it almost seems as if it's trying to hide from potential observers.

Seeing an opportunity to engage, Adm. Yin orders an opening salvo. To everyone's surprise, the abyssal "transformed" into a ... different form. Something managed to intercept Sal's torpedoes and detonated them before they could reach their targets.
The first thing this particular abyssal attempted is to lash out at Sal with its tail tentacles.These appear to be detached from the abyssal's "body", originating inthe squid-like "base" which acts as a mantle or outer cloak, and are likely the same component ("tails") outwardly observable from the falling object as observed earlier. Before it could raise its larger combat tentacles, Sal fired a second salvo. One of the torpedoes appeared to have caused a chain reaction on impact, which resulted in the abyssal's destruction.

STEC has assigned a new assignment to this abyssal in question. SSC-1 (Submarine, Command-type, 1) is classified as a unique abyssal class for the following reasons.

- Contrary to all abyssal designs seen so far, SSC-1 displays a higher level of intelligence and attempted, whenever possible, to avoid combat. It is well-equipped for subterfuge. Further analysis reveals that the abyssal's outer "squid" shell possess a remarkable degree of optimal camouflage, and its capacities for disguise is remarkable given what has been observed.
- SSC-1 likely possessed combat capabilities beyond that of which was displayed, but it has been observed launching decoys to throw off Sailfish's initial attack. However, given its small size, it is unlikely that it carried more than a single salvage of torpedoes. Given that the abyssal did not attack in its "squid" form, it is reasonable to assume that the torpedoes can only be used in its "humanoid" form.
- Further analysis from Sailfish's fairy teams reveal higher than usual levels (approximately 30x) of abyssal signaling activity coming from SSC-1. Given that the signal broadcasts are intermittent rather than constant, STEC theorizes that this abyssal actively communicates with the abyssal fleet rather than passively transmitting information.
----------------------
An important point to stress that when Sima and I were discussing designs, we wanted to create abyssals that were human-like. However, we wanted to make it clear that monsters can appear human without being human. One potential way for this to end badly was for some starry-eyed admiral to think that oh, they look human, they must be human in some way. As we continue to create Pacific, you'll see the evolution of the abyssal fleet alongside our ship girls. That means their tactics and strategy would evolve as well.

The abyssal fleet has been fighting and devouring humanity for a very long time. Perfidy - while a dishonorable tactic - is not something that they'd be averse to. They know humanity has things that make us human. Empathy. Emotions. These things can be exploited to the abyssal fleet's advantage. And exploit it they will.

Of course, as we've noted elsewhere, we do have an entire line of work that's more or less happy derp SoL. There's a picture of a rough sketch with this particular Abyssal digging into a bucket of KFC. It's part of the same line of work. x)


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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 16:51:37
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July 2015:



Admiral Momsen. I think I'll have to go back and look to see whether or not I actually did post his short story. Might have missed it. x)



Rapid Abyssal Transport Mechanisms (Trademark) xD



That sketch you see in front of Pacific vol. 1's EN version, which sets the tone for our work...




Ah. Sculpin. xD

In my training, my professor stressed that children characters are one of the hardest (and most boring) to write. Here's the problem. Children are typically incapable of tackling problems or conflicts that would be of interest to readers, because most readers are not children. More often than not, their literary "punch" or impact comes from being some kind of an object or platform in which the author derives meaning from something else - be it a tragic incident, a horrifying event, or something else entirely. In other words, they often exist for no good reason other than feel-good or to show how bad things are. It's functionally speaking a commodity and it's very rare (and takes a long time) for a writer to skillfully manage children characters.

I am not saying that children characters are necessarily bad. While I don't consider Harry Potter academic literature, Harry Potter is a great children's series. That being said, was the age of Harry a big deal to the overall significance of the story? If you were to ask me, I would argue no. Harry was 11 years old. It was quite an accomplishment (as Dumbledore said) considering the things he did in the first book. But being a child had little to do with it. In other words, Harry's heroics are exclusive to Harry (the character), and the age just happens to be a part of that character design. It's funcionally irrelevant. Rowling wanted to have a character her targeted audience can identify with. That's a great decision on her part, but Harry's obviously not functioning as your average 11 year old.

Let's take another perspective. If a six year old or what have you is giving a serious, meaningful discourse on say, international politics, it really begs the question of: why is this character six years old? What is the author trying to achieve in that regard? Look to all the "she looks 12 acts like she's 12 thinks she's 12 but is really 700 years old stuff" prevalent in Japanese ACG. The dragon-kids from the Fire Emblem series is a prime example. You'll soon realize that there's no other reason other than, well, fanservice, because plenty of people are into that stuff. I should make a point, however, that there are people that simply like the tiny loli look, and there are people that simply like both the look and the mental capacity. Shimakaze and Iku is popular because of the latter. Kagero is popular because of the former.

In fact, people's asked to lower the age of Pacific characters. It's one of the few places where I absolutely refused to compromise. No. I'm not lowering the age of the characters. I'm not going to make them more child-like or moe even if it might do better in Japan or China.

Me being my typical gaijin self on children. x)

And, of course. My own evolution in writing. Compare this Shaw to the Shaw we have in the book now.

*giggles* Commander! DD-373, Shaw, USS, preparations complete! Would you like a band-aid before we head out?

Commander, you've probably met my sister. We Mahans were pretty common in the other world's war, and if I had to guess, you've probably seen what we can do. Okay, so maybe we aren't as new or shiny like the other girls, but we still pack a hefty punch! We're definitely not losing to any other destroyer girls, that's for sure!  

Aw, no worries no worries, commander! I'm not going to explode again (I hope). What happened on December 7th was just meant to be. In any case, I wasn't hurt too bad, see? Didn't even leave a scar! Besides, to make it out of that big of an explosion, I'm just thankful that the good Lord decided I can stay! Actually, I got better like really, really fast, and returned to service right away. Now, as you know, my historical record was pretty boring after that. I guess no news is good news, right?


Well, what's that supposed to mean, commander? I-I guess if you want a real story about what happened... Okay, that's fair. You weren't there, after all. How about all those times where I rescued all those sailors? Yeah, you know, the funny looking rubber boats. I think what was really, really easy for me to remember was how happy they looked when they saw us approach. You ever been in a courtroom before, commander? You know the "thank you good Lord!" look on the guy when the judge decides he's innocent? These boys looked just like that, except I know for a fact that none of them did anything bad enough to drown!


Haha, did I ask them? No no no, commander. Why would I do that? It wouldn't be half as good of a story if I got thanked for doing the right thing! I hope they never figure out who saved them - maybe they'll tell their kids: an angel did it!


STEC notes that the historical Shaw gained a total of ten battle stars within the Pacific theater. Like others of her class, her duties included night illumination, close quarters fire support, shore bombardment, escort duty, and other support operations. Shaw, in particular, was known in the navy for rescuing fallen sailors and pilots, and STEC is pleased to observe that the particular trait seemed to have carried over to the young woman today.


An idealist who enjoys taking care of others, Shaw is a demure and cheerful girl. She is frequently seen toting a home-made "medkit" comprised of little more than assortments of mundane household items. STEC would like to remind the commanding officer that the number of small avian creatures (and on rarer occasions, mortally-wounded homo sapiens) she's managed to nurse back to perfect health using little more than chicken soup, play-doh, and glitter should be kept secret until R&D replicate her successes.

You can see that - the character didn't change, but I got a little more competent at showing, rather than telling. (I hope)

Some commentary on Pacific's "theme."

As far as real vs. "super" go (I'm a mecha fan, after all), I prefer to think of the narrative in terms of how "ordered" the setting is. In our work, ship girls have extraordinary powers. I don't think anyone minds that - in fact, as you may have noticed, we're inspired a lot by western myths, legends, superheroes. The question becomes: to what extent does these powers obey the rules of the world itself?

Again, I love to bring in a few examples. Asimov's works show hallmarks of "hard" sci-fi, with very clearly defined rules and regulations in terms of what's capable and what isn't. Tolkien's stuff has a lot of magic in the background, but by and large, it's absent and presents to the reader a sense of wonder, a mysterious power that's intentionally left unexplained. Harry Potter, to give a modern contrast, has a lot of magic, but Rowling strikes a reasonable balance (with the exception of the last two books) and minimizes the amount of times where a new magic is introduced to solve the plot specifically.

Something that's very "soft" and has a lot of breakings of disbelief would be something like the Star Wars expanded universe, where Jedi seems to be pulling powers out of their rear ends as the plot demands or the X-Men comics, where mutant powers pop up like cells getting irradiated so they could overcome a particular problem. I personally find that to be a lot less interesting. You shouldn't need to rely on a plot gimmick to allow your characters to overcome a particular obstacle.

This is why I'd describe Pacific as a fairly "high" "magic/powers" setting - ship girls are capable of superhuman feats. However, Pacific is also a very defined or organized setting. Even the abyssal's unorthodox way of deploying follows what appears to be a set of rules (its own physics, to put it frankly), which one day may be studied or understood. Hence why the mostly "real" setting with a healthy dose of super-like powers thrown in.

Answering questions elsewhere on alternative character interpretations.

My opinion is that once we release our designs to the public, the public is free to interpret the ship girls as they'd like. I don't agree with some of the depictions of our characters in Chinese fanworks, for instance, but unlike GRRM I think fanfiction is great. Do what you'd like. :)

If the question is whether or not I have plans to go down the "abyssals are vengeful spirits type" thing, that is not currently in line with the theme of Pacific (within our specific iteration of the Pacific "multiverse" as a whole.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 17:00:26
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July, 2015. On answering some queries regarding similarities to Sea Queens, another fictional take on similar subject matters.



Pacific's ship girls, in a nutshell, is designed with iconic American concepts of "heroes" in mind. Readers have commented that there's a wholesomeness (one Chinese American reader even used the term "All-American") and a sort of positivity that's not very common in mecha musume works, and I think that's because we intentionally focused on the "girl" kanji/hanzi of the term "ship girl". It doesn't mean we forgo our historical research, but I stress this again and again: the girls of Pacific are people. They're not simple weapons of war.

Now, again, plenty of people that like our designs prefer to interpret the other way. The extent of which mecha musume is popular is precisely that - no different than fans of military hardware everywhere. For me and my team, however, we draw inspirations from works like the Lord of the Rings or myths such as the Arthurian tradition. There is an enemy out there. One that is vast, terrible, and beyond humanity's comprehension. Our abyssal fleet - which at this point has evolved to the point where it only shares a common name with the KanColle canon - has already consumed countless planets. This one should have just been another bump in the road.

When the single abyssal "destroyer" (now STEC knows it was simply a scouting unit) effortlessly annihilated the carrier task force sent to relieve and rescue the doomed USMC garrison on the shores of Korea, the United States Navy realized - with some trepidation - that they were up against an invincible foe from the depth of the cosmos. Humanity was outmatched. To resist is suicide. Even the timely appearance of Iowa should have been ultimately futile in the grand scheme of things - it's not like the abyssal fleet hasn't dealt with planets that had ship girls before, after all.

Should. Keyword there. Should. Fast forward to 1990.

Even today, the public is unaware of the abyssal fleet's existence. The public is, however, aware of STEC's technological contributions to their lives over the last four decades as humanity fought a secret war against the abyssal fleet at every turn. Scouts and pathfinders sent to probe the planet were dispatched with due efficiency. As humanity's champions - the ship girls - stride to the front lines, STEC's researchers and scholars worked tirelessly to uncover the secrets behind the abyssal fleet.

When the abyssals come, this world will be ready.

On whether or not Chester is an idiot:

Okie is the one who really has bad luck among the Pacific girls. Chester just has a tendency to screw up things. Personality-wise, she is blessed with an inquisitive mind that's curious about everything and a personality that's just doesn't fraid of anything.

Contrast two of our ship girls as an example. Lexington. Very curious. Very prone to pondering, but generally has the common sense to not poke around things that she probably shouldn't. Or, alternatively, contrast Phoenix. Fearless. Ballsy. Doesn't think all that much.

In other words, you put a big red button and tape a "do not push" next to it. Phoenix will probably walk over, take a look at the button, and just go on her business. Lexington will notice the button and agonize over whether or not she should actually poke it (before leaving it alone). Chester'll think for about maybe two seconds before going, aww, what the heck. *PUSH*.

On whether or not the Abyssal Fleet is a "Hivemind."

The abyssal fleet isn't quite a "hive-mind" - that would be drawing too much from some of my favorite sci-fi works, but it does have a central intelligence that directs its development, which is mostly against humanity's conventional weapons rather than ship girls. It's important to note that unlike most works, ammo is a considerable limitation for both sides. Unlike the ship girls, the abyssals have little to no way to replenish, "rest" (STEC does not know if they require rest) and repair - they do NOT yet have a foothold on the planet's waters, and STEC along with the other world organizations is trying their hardest to make sure it stays that way.

(Here's the problem. Yes, that's true, but they can always teleport in more. x)

"Why aren't Pacific subgirls school/elementary aged?"

Artistic license. I'm American. I don't get the thing Japan's got with schoolgirls (more on this later). Most girls in Pacific hover around very late teens to 20s-30s. The youngest in lore is Shaw, who's about 16-17 by STEC biometrics measurements. As ship girls are not observed to age (more on this at a different post), STEC equivocate a ship girl's age with her biological/biometric markers. Hence, Shaw is estimated to be about 16 based on comparisons to metrics of defined by NIH or other biomedical databases.

Edsall. The last of the DD girls for vol. 2



Sometimes, the most valiant of sacrifices are not always the ones that are remembered.

Wiki doesn't mention that the thousand shells fired were from respectively the IJN's most accurate battleships (and #3? (Hiei), Kirishima is widely considered to be #1 among the fleet), and the IJN's finest CAs. Between Chikuma and Tone they took almost all of the IJN gunnery awards during the interwar period.

That is why Nagumo got pissed enough to throw everything at her. Her torpedos almost hit Chikuma, too.

Needless to say, she's going to be a great ship girl. xD If we were ever to implement the next phase of the Pacific project, we need to provide solid reasons for why players would be interested in her rather than say, O'bannon or Maury.

To put it another way, mecha analogy:

Maury: Ace pilot in an experimental prototype.
O'bannon: Ace pilot in a customized mass-produced mech.
Edsall: Veteran pilot in an old, technically outdated mech.

(Relevant, but I don't know how to embed youtube in here. T_T)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0a_tAofsH4



(The latin says Sivis pacem on one side, and para bellum on the other. It's the motto of the DesDiv 57)



Thanks for the suggestion, everyone. November worked very hard to try to figure out how the gun mount would look. This is what we settled with in the end. Again, remember that from a thematic design, all of our ship girl equipment are designed with "realism" in mind. The girl should either be able to have it fired from supports, or otherwise use it as a personal combat weapon in some way.

On STEC and governments:

Maybe it's the nature of our work, but most of our work's governmental agencies are stunningly competent, and I vastly prefer as a narrative backdrop than the typical GRIMDARK!! that seems to be prevalent within most modern fiction. The Soviet Union's ARC (Abyssal Response Command), for example, let me quote our own team member responsible for their design.

Due to the lack of significant numbers of ship girls, this means the USSR focuses on utilizing its human resources and industry. The ARC has the highest proportion of humans involved in the ship girl programs for obvious reasons. That being said, however, the ARC's highest priority has always been efficient use of resources.

When we set out to write Pacific, each nation has its own internal and external challenges to overcome. But this aspect of the "thematic focus" for Pacific is pretty simple. When something greater than us comes, we band together or we perish.



Marby. xD

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图书馆馆长·Library Director

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-16 17:20:55
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Sune's first attempt at co-authoring something with me. We are really a work that focuses on American shipgirls, but this serves as an example of the type of personalities you can find here.

Akagi's nearly impossible to summarize in a few words. The best way to describe her is that she is a girl of many masks, putting on each as the situation demands or allows. The best example of this facet of her personality is probably seen in the following lines of dialogue below.

"What does a Reppu taste like?"

Akagi: Ah... That would depend on what the meaning of taste is, no? What do you think?
Kaga: That is a silly question. Planes are not edible.
Hiryu: It tastes like victory.
Soryu: Eeh? Eeh??? Uh... Wafer bars! Covered with chocolate and green tea and Kuri (Japanese chestnuts)....

Dutiful - perhaps even more so than Kaga, Akagi is professional, serious, and until recently, she rarely had reasons to smile. At first, she took her role as a ship girl with the utmost level of dedication. Awakened in the middle of Japan's fourth economic downturn, Akagi first spent much of her time amidst the poor shelter-cities that has cropped up all over Japan's urban centers. Interacting with the have-nots left a deep impression on her mind, and that is: while the threat of the abyssal fleet is dire, there are always things she should, and could be doing for people - starting with those right around her.

Maybe if I did things right, commander will finally take me seriously.

Akagi is more than aware that she is overcompensating. Outwardly brave and proud to the point of brashness, Akagi is occasionally plagued by memories of that other world and of that other war. Chuichi Nagumo's ambivalence and his stubborn lack of appreciation for naval aviation left a deep impression on her, and she detested the protocol, tradition, and honor in which much of the IJN - and the modern JMSDF today - is trying to emulate.

In truth, it was more than simple ambivalence. To say that she understood how the men saw Nagumo was an understatement. Nagumo was the "sailor's sailor." The finest torpedo commander the IJN had ever seen. Maybe the greatest naval strategist of the era - in his youth. And now, looking back, her only memory of Nagumo was one where the admiral was stuffed with medals, yet he looked so uncomfortable, as if he was trying to hide. His empty, lifeless eyes betrayed his own attitude - it was as if Nagumo was begging to be removed from the tangle that quickly became that of the Pacific War. The sheer lack of passion hurt her to no end, yet she had no explanation for why.

Did she resent him? Somewhat. The complete lack of interest in naval aviation irrirated "her" - or, specifically, the sailors that served on her, and that lingering sense of resentment somehow became a part of her psyche. In truth, after visiting the naval archives at Kure, she sometimes wondered if she could have had a different fate in that other world had she had Ozawa in command instead. Whatever the case may be, however, it's clear that Nagumo left a very deep impression on her. Much of her instinctive attempts at finishing her duty to the point of absolute perfection is because of that, which ultimately may have stemmed from neglect.

"Battleships? Please don't bother. Comparing me with those worms is frankly, insulting, commander."

Akagi harbors an intense dislike for the battleship girls of her own nation, and is one of the reasons why she doesn't work well at all with any of the IJN girls currently awakened. Supposedly, this has some historical truth to it. After all, the Akagi's crew referred to the battleships as the "rusting-in-port fleet".

In truth, she simply doesn't get along with the personalities of the girls present. Yamato is like Hiryu, but far, far more pushy and demanding. Coupled with a reckless disregard for other opinions and an all too drastic willingness to apply force, she would rather go join the Americans than listen to that hotel's orders. Nagato's passivity and "lack" of perceived passion annoyed her to no end. Whereas Kaga is similarly cold and analytical, Akagi interprets Nagato's caution as one of inactivity, and in her mind a girl of Nagato's caliber should be applying herself and more or less be taking command - preferably from the frontlines. Not whatever it is that she's doing currently.

Hyuuga's no longer with them. Not that she had much of an opportunity to get to know her, at any rate.

With an attitude surprisingly similar to Pennsy, Akagi demands perfection. From herself, from others, from who she works with. One key difference, however, Akagi is never vocal about these opinions. She preferred to keep these things to herself, because like Nagumo, she's inwardly exhausted. She's not sure if people could be changed, so ... why even bother pointing it out? It'll only generate bad feelings in the end.

"...Kaga never had the heart to tell me to correct myself. She's too afraid of hurting me. But Haruna. She is the last and only person I could expect to call me out on my own flaws."

All this changed when she encountered a young ship girl. As Akagi drifted from city to city, it was in the little town of Takanabe that she finally met someone very curious to her. Ship girls had the natural ability to tell each other apart, and at a glance, Akagi knew who she saw.

Haruna, then the ward of the retired admiral Ozawa, spent most of her days in a correctional facility designed for juvenile criminals. As the Prefecture lacked money to support proper programs, Japan thought it simpler to throw them into prison instead. Conditions were harsh, and most of the young men - some as young as ten - are likely to return to a life of crime and poverty or worse, becoming involved with that of many Mafia-like (Yakuza) organizations that were cropping up all across Japan during this time.

"Why do you bother? It's not like these things can be helped. Some people are inferior."

It wasn't long before Akagi learned that Haruna spent much of her stipend scouring the shops nearby. With some amusement she watched the ship girl haggle in the markets for things like fresh fish or meats - still a luxury at the time in Japan's economy, and with open derision she scoffed at Haruna's attempts to make one solid meal a week for the individuals housed in the facility. She simply didn't understand why someone like her - a "daughter of nobility", supported by a well-respected if reclusive figure - would bother with the dregs of society. And to feed criminals, when these scum deserves nothing but maybe a swift chop to the neck? That just wasn't something she could understand.

"I know. Akagi-san, but you've heard the star-fish story, no?"

"...Tell me about it."

"Okay. So there was a child on a beach. The beach was owned by a wealthy samurai, who noticed the little boy coming there every night. With some humor, he noticed that the boy was throwing back all the starfish he could find back into the waters.

Why'd you do that? The samurai asked.

I'm trying to save them! The boy answered.

But there are so many of them! How could you save them all? Why does it all even matter when they're going to get eaten anyways?

The boy thought for a moment, and smiled.

Well, it matters to the one I'm throwing back into the water right now, no?"

Haruna's story was an illustration of Haruna's own principles, and it's something that Akagi found refreshing. Here was one little thing that refused to stay downtrodden, who was willing to given even the worst of the worst a second chance.

And so, she stayed. Against all reason and all purpose, she stayed in Takanabe. Akagi was too proud to move in with the aging former admiral (and of course, Haruna), but she hung around the peripery, partly because the ship girl reminded her of another person that she once knew.

"Cpt. Aoki? Yeah. Him. I suspect if he could see me now, he'd say, Akagi, don't run away like Captain did. Akagi, you need to learn that things can be forgiven, if only you'd give yourself a chance to let others do the forgiving for you."

Captain Taijiro Aoki was her last captain, and one she remembered well - perhaps better than others. He was clean-shaven, meticulously groomed, and had a nervous type of excitement around him. Short and stocky, he reminded her of one of those little guardian statue things outside Buddhist temples.

But Captain Aoki had never commanded a large vessel before in his life. He was a seaplane officer prior to his transfer of the Akagi, and his incompetence was well-known within the fleet. She knew - the other captains gossiped. Surely Aoki was here because of connections, or bribery. Why would Nagumo assign someone who has zero experience in the operation of carriers? He is not fit to be one of us.

... And that was true. Aoki, objectively speaking, was not particularly suited for the job. But he had a capable team supporting him. Mitsuo Fuchida. Murata Shigeharu. Suzuki Takeo. Men who were low-key and forgiving of mistakes. Sure, Suzuki Takeo was kind of mean-spirited, but Aoki's humble attitude must be capable of melting stones, and nobody on the Akagi spoke ill of their commanding officer.

Even now, on occasions, she wondered about what happened to him. After all, she never did find out whether or not the others made it off alive - and to her recollection, Aoki wanted to go down with the ship...

(STEC Commentary: Aoki Taijiro was forced off the burning Akagi in '42 and transferred over to command the Genzan Air Group. When Japan surrendered in '45, he abandoned his men to their fates and fled back to Japan alone. None of his men - many of whom who followed him from the Akagi - would survive being captured by the Soviet Union, as Stalin's Gulags knew neither mercy nor kindness.

Aoki Taijiro faded away into the annals of history after that. It was said that he refused pension, aid, and support from his old comrades, and it was said that he died a depressed drunk due to liver failure in 1967. It is probably best that Akagi does not learn of this in the near future - tensions are already high in the first place.)

Thinking back to Aoki's can-do attitude of trying his best despite his inherent limitations and watching Haruna today, Akagi slowly lightened up. Perhaps the world's not a worthwhile place. Maybe it'll never be. But to those that mattered, it was everything, and it was no longer simply a matter of honor or perfectionism that drove her to self-improvement.

No, in fact. She has something worth fighting for, and that's the people around them. It was ironic that the person who finally got through to her wasn't Kaga, but rather, a certain former pilot of hers that managed to survive to today.



Guh. I remember how crunched for time we were for vol. 2...



UNC command heraldry Mk. I. The role of this particular X-COM like organization tends to fluctuate along its competence, and different members of the team all have different ideas about how it might function. This is still canon, but unfortunately, due to events happening in the Pacific storyline, its effectiveness is curtailed significantly.
"Why Pacific focus on girl and not ships?"

My rationale for choosing the focus on the humanity of the characters is a simple one. I was never really interested in the machine itself. I am interested in the people that were the drivers of these things. Tiger tank? Eh. Tiger ace? Awesome. The same with naval ships. I can't tell you which specific ammunition was loaded on the SBD during Midway (actually, that I can, bad example), but I can rattle off the lives and details of almost every single one of those pilots in question. I may not be able to recall Doolittle Raid's damage report, but I can off the top of my head cite major news coverages from across the Pacific and back - believe me, the Japanese tried to cover it up for about two days before realizing it wouldn't work.

There's a reason why I insist that fairies in our work are not genderbent like KanColle. There's a reason that we do go out of our way to highlight historical details in other ways that's just stripping a ship into its base parts and then throwing them onto a girl. Look at Helena, whose complaint typically falls under "too much fanservice". The searchlight-like object she wears on her leg is an obscure reference from a footnote from the evaluation report, where it was mentioned that the strings and strings of emergency lighting was what enabled a speedy evacuation. If you know anything about fashion design, you'll notice that the bodice of her dress is a carbon copy to an era-appropriate replication of the "legendary" Helena's dress (Helene, technically) who played an integral role in the salons of the mining town when the city was first expanding (on display at the Smithsonian, actually). The girdle is actually another nod to historical women's fashion, as the neoclassical style was actually popularized by the phase in westward expansion, and isn't at all "greek" in origin.

November just likes to sex things up. He also decides to add an extra touch of applying rivets to her dress to give her a little more of a nautical theme when it comes to design. The laurels were my idea, as is the color scheme. The rigging of our ship girls are more or less consistent in their minimalist approach because we want the equipment to be realistic enough to the reader that they can picture it in their heads in terms of how it'd work, and you can see handles for situations where they would need to manually aim as the ranges close in. We prefer to keep our clothing clothing and our weapons, well, weapons. xD

All of these things are designed to complement the writing and the design of the ship girl in question. Helena is characterized by her selflessness and guilt, and one of the first things she immediately brings up upon meeting the commander is the fact that her historical counterpart objectively failed in its task as a warship. There's not much I could cram into 250 words - most of our Asian readers don't like walls of text - but based on the feedback they "got" the connection between her past, USS Helena's activities, and the connection to her personality. Helena'll tease the commander. She'll snuggle up to him. You have a bad day? She'll immediately notice and ask you what's wrong. As you get close to her, you'll find out that she's a dutiful steward. A lot of things you want her to do, she'd have done already, often with a characteristic smile on her face.

Why is she written as such? Like I said, I focus on the people, first and foremost. My reliance on primary sources is what got me in trouble for book one where the Chinese miliotaku started a sh*tstorm over whether the USS Arizona was sank by bomb or was there torpedoes involved. When you read an account from one of the men of the Helena who pushed himself out so someone injured could get on a boat or how the decision to fire sans flashless powder was deliberate so that the other ships has a better chance for a surprise attack, this kind of thing leaves an impression in ways you wouldn't believe.

So if our ship girl designs don't fit with how you envision a particular character would be, well, I'm sorry you don't like her xD. I stand by November's (and our team's) design decisions even if they aren't the best at times (Dolphin carrying a shotgun torpedo launcher is quite literally rule of cool because he wanted to draw a shotgun torpedo launcher, for instance), but to assume that we ignore history is hilarious from my perspective as the ship girl's "mother."

I wrote Pacific so I could reach out to the Chinese and Japanese and tell them about all the amazing things that happened, across the ocean, in history. Yes, telling a good story and building a world I could be proud of was my first goal, but this secondary goal is no less chunni than the first. xD

And by the way. This isn't "I" any more. I may still play an intimate role in the creation of each of our ship girls, but Pacific's grew, too. The subtwins, SF, O'bannon and others for book 2 were mostly K9's handiwork. You've seen our Akagi written by my Japanese best friend (that sounds cheesy xD), and every single IJN girl from canon we've re-written, re-analyzed, and expanded on in full context of our world. Sir Fong and Draa are crafting with us the backdrop of an entire timeline of the type of politicking only 4X gamers would be into. The bottleneck of Pacific, if we must pin the slowness on someone, is me, and it is completely my fault for not having the time to fully translate our work - irony that isn't lost on me considering that Pacific is first written in English, my native tongue, and translated into Chinese.

This is a consistent theme here, and I freely admit. I'm still the bottleneck now. Some things don't change. xD



Ah. Right. Big E. Normal E. Tiny E. Er, mini-E?



Right. This is where we start getting into heavier abyssals. x)

"Why does Enterprise into bow?"

I should clarify that when November calls slapping things together, it means at least 20-40 hours of straight up work. Did you see how he revised her equipment? The flight deck was re-drawn. Her side arm was corrected to USN specifications based on additional research. Her anti-air armaments are revised to fit the historical refit the Enterprise received. He sat down and went over every aspect of her character design for when we released Pacific vol. 1, and he's been working between the long and short haired versions since. See the equipment sketch at the end of the book?

She may not look like how you want her to look, but I'm proud to say that we sat down and thought about - again - how she'd actually use her equipment.

You can call us whatever you'd like, but you shouldn't pick on November - especially when he doesn't speak the language.I would really prefer that you direct your criticisms at me instead.



On New Jersey:

I'll answer the question on New Jersey (Jer), since she's my pet character - more so than Enterprise, even. Personality-wise, she's opinionated, brash, passionate, and fiercely independent. She's the de facto base commander (Pacific had a Nagato-like ship girl running things prior to the anime xD) at STEC's main mobile base in the admiral's absent, and is probably one of the most powerful ship girls in the setting.



Ah, Hakuryuu. Our lovable derp. In actual lore she's basically a really bad ultranationalist. We're talking someone who's too kind-hearted to actually buy into that type of rhetoric. That's what she looked like then. That's what she looks like now.



"Are you ever going to put Russian characters in Pacific?"

In Pacific, many glorious ship-comrades of glorious USSR are men.

Big men. Very buff. Much handsome. Stronk. Can lift ten ship with hand.

(November stronk. Great at drawing handsome men. Would post, but is shirtless.)

Off-topic, but we discuss, apparently it still ok in English writing to ethnostereotype Russian. Obviously Pacific USSR ship-comrades not stereotype, but it lazy to write Russian character by remove article, break syntactical structure, and replace -g with k.

On actual lore and combat distances:

For the purpose of writing, I define any combat at visual range to be "cinematic" in nature. It's cool. It's awesome, but we save it for only the most important of plot bits.

STEC combat doctrine against the abyssals prefer to exploit range whenever possible. This is a deliberate contrast with other nations in the setting (IJN has no "formal" doctrine, while RN-STEC prefers medium to close engagement ranges to take advantage of their girl's strengths.) This is because of in-universe "historical" precedent. STEC has consistently observed that the abyssals will attempt to enter melee to utilize their strength and size as an overwhelming advantage against conventional navy vessels and ship girls. This makes no sense whatsoever until someone made the connection that units armed with ranged weapons have little reason to enter into melee unless it is more potent, or have otherwise practical concerns such as logistics.

The abyssals are not firing laser-guided shells here. Look at how hard it is to hit a moving target historically. Now, shrink that target down to something the size of a person, and you realize that it's not easy being an abyssal (at least the types of abyssals shown). This is why in Pacific, fairies do much more than simply operating the ship girl's equipment. For mechanisms that I'll save for another post, they increase the performance of ship girl weapons massively. If the abyssals have a 1% rate of scoring a hit and a ship girl has 10% (much, much higher for some of the girls), this comes out to be a significant advantage.

The reason why so many of Pacific's girls carry sidearms, melee weapons, other weapons, jury-rigged incendiary devices or the like should be self-explanatory. Our ship girls here can be thought of as Space Marine from 40k. While the average tac is probably potent in melee, melee is not their "main" mode of combat, nor is it particularly desirable unless you're a trained melee specialist or in a situation where you could put your physique to use.

That being said, however, doctrine is doctrine. A lot of ship girls in our setting prefer to close in for combat, and when they're out there, they're the ones calling the shots. Examples include Amatsukaze, Hyuuga, Tosa, and Hakuryuu (okay, Haku's a bad example because she's just really bad at gauging combat distances) on the IJN side, Phoenix, Lou, Helena, Narwhal on the USN side, and other ship girls I am not permitted to discuss currently.

On more ace fairies:

Not particularly much for the ship girls. For the fairies, varies from person to person. Jimmy Thach for instance will joke that he rather missed the bureaucratic, inefficient, and somewhat useless OPTEVFOR in the 70s of "our" (IRL) timeline. He and Pacific's Jimmy Thach are actually good buddies (in the setting, Thach was called out of retirement to serve as a STEC advisor until his death in 1981), and no temporal explosions occurred as a result.

Jiro Horikoshi, who more or less showed up a bit after Yuubari appeared in our work, is someone who was rather deeply conflicted. Bear in mind that the Jiro that showed up roughly would correspond to Jiro Horikoshi, 1940. He just built the Zero a few months ago, and would have NO IDEA as to the effects it would have cause in the war. Even then, however, Horikoshi was already sick of war. As a fairy, seeing how devastated Japan was (and remember, Sune's grimdark! Japan is a lot worse than it was IRL) - partly because of the war machines he supplied - it took a long while for him to actually come forward.

Jiro loved making planes. He loved to build things. But see, here's the thing. It's not like he doesn't have an autobiography of himself to read. Imagine if you were him. Reading up on what already had happened as "you" from a timepoint in the past. Reading about the future that already was.

How would you feel?
I'll tell you what happened. Fast forward to modern times some years later, something happened that he got together with the other ace engineer fairies, and started working furiously on prototypes to combat the abyssal fleet.



Marby, in all her colored glory.

Hi Commander! United States Ship-girl Marblehead, reporting for duty! Do you know what happens when you witness a ship wreck?

... You let it sink in! Hahahaha! Geddit?  

Aww, alright. I'll work on my delivery. See, commander, I'd blame that on the Omaha class, but I don't think "can't tell a joke to save life" can be blamed on historical design flaws. Sure, we've got comparatively low firepower and armor, but our speed's great! We also carry torpedoes like those other cruiser girls, too. What, low endurance? Commander I thought you men liked the whole delicate-maiden-fainting-into-big-strong-arms-thing...

Yes, sir, just stop Marblehead if her imagination's running too wild. Heh. I uh, like to tell stories. I also like to write 'em down. Part of what makes me unique, I guess. You've read the historical USS Marblehead. Was it a myth-making moment when Roosevelt told our tale to the country in one of his fireside chats? Sure. Was it real? Yup. That's what makes it so awesome. The Asiatic Fleet had one thing in excess, and that was men with balls.

Balls.

Commander I'm serious. We gotta write this stuff down! There's an old saying about people who forget history. I don't remember how it went, but it was good!

--------------------
STEC notes that the historical USS Marblehead was an Omaha-class light cruiser. As newer cruiser designs rapidly entered service, USS Marblehead eventually settled down with the Asiatic Fleet. When hostiles commenced with Japan on December 7th, she was the third largest ship by displacement in place to defend a rapidly untenable allied front in south Asia.

February 4,  1942, two US cruisers - including USS Marblehead - were heavily damaged by Japanese air attack. The allies would ultimately lose access to the Makassar strait, allowing Japan to tighten their encirclement of the Dutch East Indies. While USS Houston would soldier on and ultimately meet her demise at Sunda Strait, USS Marblehead was deemed too damaged to go on with the ABDA fleet. She retreated to South Africa for repairs before ultimately arriving home to New York. On May 4th, when she finally steamed into Brooklyn Navy Yard, she had sailed more than 16,000 miles from where she was damaged. Of those 16,000 miles, more than 9,000 miles were carried out with a destroyed rudder - the men of the USS Marblehead steered by adjusting her boilers at different speeds.

The determination and courage of her men did not go unnoticed, however, and the tale of the USS Marblehead was featured prominently in one of Roosevelt's fireside chats. Five months later, the rebuilt and rebuilt USS Marblehead would return to service, mostly in the Atlantic. Between convoy duty and the liberation of France, Marblehead earned two battle stars prior to her retirement. In time, her ship's bell would return to the city and rest in Abbot Hall.

Erudite, talkative, if a little awkward, Marblehead is an inquisitive young woman who enjoys making other people laugh with her terrible puns and jokes. STEC recommends that she be kept to backline roles until research develops breakthroughs in Omaha-class ship girl weaponry. While the quality of her writing ranges from good to terrible (she admits freely that she loves to tell stories no matter what they are), her habitual documentation of everything that interest her and natural gift for record-keeping makes her a fairly talented logistics officer.

----------
Design notes:

"Let's go for a walk. I love a good book as much as the great outdoors, but you just can't beat that morning smell!"

- When Marblehead (Mar-mar? Marble?) was written, we focused on the city of Marblehead itself as part of our inspiration. An idyllic, nice small town with a lot of greenery and scenery, November got into his head immediately that this girl was going to have "Mori-garu" elements in her design.

"Oh, I just put those heels on to look pretty. We going somewhere, commander? Let me put on something appropriate. Been awhile since I had a pair of pants made. Maybe I should go visit Helena - you know she's actually got a good selection of fabrics to boot, right? BOOT? GEDDIT? Hahaha~"

- Marble enjoys the outdoors and likes to read and write, yes, but it doesn't mean that she's forgoing the parts of her that makes her feminine. You'll find that one thing not particularly PC about Pacific is that the girls come from all spectrums of perspectives and views. As their creator, I believe it's my obligation to craft diversity in their personalities without forcing some aspect of social agenda.

"This signature's a forgery. I'm sure of it. You can see it from the ink blotches here. If this really is [classified], then why would his hand be pausing or shaking when signing his own name?"

- [STORY CONTEXT, CLASSIFIED UNDER AUTHORITY OF STEC.]

(Marble's got an eye for the arts, as I've mentioned above. Her penchant to pay attention to detail often allows her to pick up details that other ship girls might have missed.)

"Uuugh. You know I can't use these things to save my life, commander! I thought if I ... well, tied them together, maybe it'll work better!"

- The historical USS Marblehead was built with 10 torpedo tubes in mind as a part of her original design (Two triple, and two double mountings). However, let's just say that bureaucracy sort of put a dent in that plan, and it was found that the Omaha class really couldn't operate with that many arms in mind. Marble's art in Pacific will have triple launchers - her historical loadout - to reflect this point. However, let's be frank. The historical Marblehead didn't hit anything with them in WWII.

"When this war is over, commander, you're coming home with me. I'll build us a little place by the docks and you can go fishing all day. We'll need a large yard, too. Something big enough for clam-bakes. Ooh! Do you think we can go to Abbot's? It would be so, so romantic if they could ring Marblehead III's bells for us on our big day..."

- Believe it or not, for many American young women, marriage is a priority. Marble, with her runaway imagination and an innate talent at organization, would probably be very good at planning weddings (including her own). Whether or not she's teasing, however, is an entirely different story. Though STEC must comment that for a ship girl, construction really isn't much of a problem at all - when she says she'll "build" you, the commander a "little place," she probably meant, "I'll do it myself."

Clam-bakes are a thing for native New Englanders. As for Abbot's? It's Marblehead (the town)'s town hall, which just happens to house an amazing number of arts and artifacts, especially those pertaining to the navy.

Looking back, so much of this got cut from the book. But what we have I'm happy with as well. x)

"So are sister ships related to one another?"

Tosa was a character that I wrote only to test the roleplay supplement and is meant to be a tutorial character to explain game mechanics specific to the battleship girls (since my players picked mediums and CVs) such as ally shielding, support attack/defense, suppressive bombardment, and adjusting fire solutions.

She ended up being a character that people liked enough to warrant a permanent spot. Note that while our ship girls feel a sense of kinship with their sister classes, arguing whether or not two ship girls of the same class are biological sisters is one of the easiest ways to spark civil war with STEC's biologists. Kaga and Tosa, however, are related (biologically) as much as say, two Japanese persons from the same general geographical region are related to each other. So, yes and no.



Not an original concept, but we definitely had these things before KanColle ever thought about putting in marines!

If people were curious about what exactly type of SF forces USS Narwhal carried, well, this is an example of one of these fairies. Narwhal - in story and for both the roleplay and maybe the game - can deploy teams of these guys. For WWFF, at the very least, it's literally set them on a tile, point them at an abyssal, and watch the little fairy rubber boat go wreck havoc if it finds a target.

The historical precedent for her SF units are actually still classified, so we know a lot less than Nautilus (coming in vol. 3) and her Marine Raiders. However, my own research based on checking army unit logs and Narwhal's own deck logs suggest that at least one group of army special "operatives" (note the word used - this pre-dates Delta by a good 30 years) were transported on Narwhal to the Southeast Asia region. Only one army SF unit was active in the area - the legendary Alamo Scouts.

Over a hundred missions known, zero casualties. That's only the tip of the iceberg.

(Aka, pre-Green Beret Green Berets or pre-Delta - DELTA DOESN'T EXIST MY BAD)

You will notice that there was a slight mishap with the gun. After some helpful advice from anons that understand firearms (literally his name was historyanonymous xD), we ended up revising the little guy.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-18 13:19:53
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On what happened during the Pearl Harbor attack:

(Fuchida was not finished until AR2)

...I thought the rivalry was largely due to the fact that during the Pearl Harbor attack because CarDiv5's pilots derped on and attacked before the appropriately signaled time. AFAIK a DB got the honor of first blood. That, and compared to how poorly CarDiv5 did during the exercises only a few months prior made them both laughingstocks AND glory-hogs of the IJN.

AFAIK the actual attack went something like this.
Fuchida: Okay, guys. One flare means TBs attack. Two flares means DBs attack. Got it?
Everyone: Okay!

*above Pearl Harbor*
Fuchida: Okaaay. Flare time!
TB attack leader Shigeharu: *is derping in clouds*
Fuchida: ._.
TB attack leader Shigeharu: *still derping in clouds*
Fuchida: Ookkaay. HELLO! ATTACK! *Flares again*
DB attack leader Takahashi: THAT'S FLARE TWO. IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR, ATTACK!
TB attack leader Shigeharu: *out of clouds* Oh. Okay. On it - wait, what's going on?

And so, in the chaotic mess that was the first attack wave, a lowly DB pilot from CarDiv5 (sources vary on whether it's Shokaku or Zuikaku) scored the first hit against Pearl Harbor. x)

On inter-service rivalry in the Japanese shipgirls:

Let me begin by clarifying that I think the 1st/5th CarDiv rivalry seems to be mostly KanColle based. I can find scattered historical sources here and there pointing to intergroup "rivalry," but they almost always seem to be referring to specific incidents (eg. "stealing" Pearl Harbor first blood) than something like say, the IJN vs IJA debacles. The idea that the 5thCarDiv pilots are less experienced seems strange to me when they had just as many senior pilots (more Zero fighters, actually, if you count Zuikaku's commander that was transferred in 1940) and experienced pilots from the Sino-Japanese War as the others.

The peace-time exercise thing was a big deal. When you miss your carrier and crash into the ocean, fly straight into the ocean instead of taking off, or crash into your carrier during an exercise, considering the level of discipline and the ethos of the IJN, that was simply dishonorabru.

(Nevermind that the 1st and 2nd CarDiv pilots also did all of these things in the same exercise, but they didn't just derp out and land belly-up on their carrier. If you're wondering how the 5thCarDiv guys did that, hell if I know. I do know that in the after action report the CO blamed the elongated deck of the Shokaku class, claiming that they're more familiar with the layout and formats of the smaller carriers in which they were used to landing on.)

"First blood" is a huge deal at the time, because you have to take into account the wartime feelings of the Japanese. At the time these pilots were the best of Japan, and they knew it. Many young Japanese pilots were so confident of their superiority that they believed that the war was going to be over. They've been handed one glorious victory after the other. They beat the Russians, beat the Chinese, is currently expanding into their rightful place... blahblah. Pearl Harbor was supposed to be the next leaf on the laurel, so to speak. The average every day pilots (including the commanders themselves) did not know of the high-level strategy making decisions that we now discuss freely. In fact, pretty much all the way up to the "fateful five minutes", to many of these guys war was really a chance at glory and a chance to be a hero.

That's why having first blood "stolen" was a huge deal. You'd be mad too if someone stole your place in the textbooks.

The second part is discipline, and this is a far more realistic concern. I don't have time to comment in depth as to why the IJN arranged their attack groups as they did, but having DBs going in first in a surprise attack has a severe chance of compromising the mission altogether. Remember that the goal was to attack and sink enemy capital ships. At the time the IJN simply didn't think bombs had the same type of power as their torpedoes did.

Plus, you can drop a bomb on a ship or over land targets. Can you drop torpedoes on land targets? x)

On Phoenix and her experiences:

"Argentinian? Nope, all American here!"

In Pacific, each ship girl is a unique human being. At least for Phoenix, her conceptualization and subsequent awakening cuts her "memories" off at the same time around the decommissioning of the historical USS Phoenix, roughly around 1946. As such, it was only natural that Phoenix have no recollection, memories, or experiences as an Argentinian ship.

A tote bag for Pacific II



Chalk-sketch of Pacific II's cover...



Random bits on food:

A lot of Pacific's IJN-USN slice-of-life pieces (wow that's a lot of hyphens) deals with food. There's a piece we drew of Iowa looking very confused at the sight of rice cookers while Soryu's prodding a dishwasher in Iowa's kitchen with some interest. It'll probably turn up on its own at some point.

That being said, though, I really don't see any of our girls being strictly vegan or vegetarian. Some may have a preference for lighter fare, but America has never been a non-meat-eating country. You'd think that our superheroine equivalents would stick to period-appropriate fare, but there's way too many delicious things throughout the course of our history to not mention.

Also it's a Nevada!



Cards for the Japanese folks!





An upgraded Hakuryuu...



More stuff on bows. Jesus, this comes up a lot.

Enterprise is a high-tech composite bow.

Hornet uses a scoped crossbow (a hornet sting, get it? Also beekeepers were the only folks who were allowed to carry heavy crossbows at the time or the original Hornet's time due to BEAR ATTACK).

Lexington has a slight case of kleptomania and will loot better weapons as she see fit. Her default is a Springfield that Lorenzo provided many reference images for, but she already looted a M1 Garand from base prior to meeting the commander.

Langley has a long rifle that was made by the same folks from her hometown region.

Hakuryuu uses a repeating crossbow because G-15 was never a real ship, so it makes sense that we pick a weapon that never existed in the first place. (Don't lecture me on the Chi ko nu. First of all it doesn't look like that. xD)

Lastly, of course, a 4koma.



(The running gag here is NOT Lulu's name. Rather, it's the fact that I cannot answer a question in a straightforward manner.

I speak English with an East Coast tilt, so I pronounce say, Helena like Hailenna.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-18 13:31:15
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On why Morgane can't into Russian:

That being said, though, as I mentioned earlier, Russians appear to be the last ethnic group where it is generally accepted that they're shoehorned into one of like, four, character archetypes in creative writing. So when I brainstorm supporting characters for Pacific's cast, I do my best to avoid these stereotypes. I don't read Russian beyond very elementary levels, and increasingly have to rely on Chinese sources instead since it's a language I can now read without much difficulty.


On November and wish-fulfillment:





A random note on ship desserts:

While the term "Gedunken" is often used to refer to the ice cream bar, family anecdote suggests that anything sweet was popularly received by service members. The public domain "Cookbook of the US Navy" (I think it's 2nd or 3rd edition, 1939) can be found in the Naval Research Society and lists not only nearly a hundred or so popular dessert items, but one particular edition even lists what was considered to be popular at the time.

What's not popular (again, more going off of the recollections of my great uncle) were jellies and gelatins. Apparently the mix-equivalents have a tendency to turn bitter when placed under storage. Lava cake was popular on his ship.




And, of course, a few weeks later you can see how the cover's turning out.



And, of course. Fairies. This is also I started consolidating image hosts. xD



Yeah... Good times. Very unrealistic, but it's a fun piece nonetheless.



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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-18 13:39:31
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A draft for O'bannon...

Hey! Hey! Commander! Hey! Hi Commander! I’m here! Fletcher class destroyer USS O’Bannon has arrived!

You look… Am I too early?

Whoops.

Well, I hope you don’t mind Commander.

You know, sometimes I feel like I was just born to mess with people. Not that I mean to go around ruining people’s day, but there’s some odd form of satisfaction with annoying the hell out of certain people.

I guess you can say it’s a skill I’ve honed through my experiences. Come on. Running circles around a battleship while she couldn’t even bring her guns down low enough to hit me? Throwing potatoes at a submarine? Hell, looking at the awards I’ve got, in the Navy it’s a GOOD thing to be annoying! Haha.

Guess I should apologize when I get the chance.

See, the important part of messing with people is that in the end no one actually gets hurt. You hurt someone? That’s just being mean. I get no satisfaction from being mean.

It’s why your perfect target is someone like Pennsylvania. She’s full of herself, generally disregards the opinions of others, and so argumentative to the point where I can’t say anything to her without pissing her off for some reason. She’s practically asking for someone to go and annoy her for kicks. Most importantly, though, she doesn’t take what you say or anything you do personally. She just gets all shouty for a bit. Important thing is that at the end of the day, she’s calmed down, some of the other girls get a kick out of it, and life goes on. See, no one gets hurt.

Someone you don’t want to target is Oklahoma. Poor girl’s just too unsure of herself that she’d be hurt by anything you’d do, even if it’s all in good fun.

Point is, you mess with people who either can take it, or just outright deserve it. Japan back during the war? They deserved it. These Abyssals, well, I’d say they deserve it too. Let’s give it to them, Commander.

STEC notes that O’bannon was the second of the Fletcher class destroyers to be commissioned. Named after Presley O’bannon, the Marine hero who led the successful attack during the Battle of Derna in the first Barbary War, O’bannon shares a similar fighting spirit. The historical USS O’bannon held the honor of being the most decorated destroyer of the war, with seventeen battle stars and a presidential unit citation Participating in the battles of Kula Gulf, Kolombangara, and Vella Lavella, it comes as a surprise to many that the USS O’bannon suffered no crew casualties to enemy fire.

While her combat accomplishments are vast, two particular events stand out:

During the naval battle of Guadalcanal, O’bannon lauched an attack on the Japanese battleship Hiei, getting close enough that Hiei could not depress her guns low enough to hit O’bannon. O’bannon fired two torpedos, although both were duds. Hiei would be heavily damaged in the battle, and later sunk by american air power the next day.

More humorously, on April 5th, 1943, O’bannon sighted the Japanese submarine RO-34 on the surface. Closing to engage, O’bannon found itself sailing alongside the submarine. Being too close to use the guns and fire at the submarine, the crew of the O’bannon ended up grabbing potatoes and throwing them at the Japanese submarine. The crew of the Japanese submarine -thinking that the potatoes were hand grenades- were too preoccupied dealing with the potatoes to man their deck gun. This gave the O’bannon time to gain distance and sink the submarine with her guns.(STEC also notes that while potatoes aren’t STEC standard issue equipment, shipgirl O’bannon does seem fond of carrying potatoes into battle.)

The shipgirl O’bannon is an active girl, good at heart but at the same time a chronic troublemaker. She maintains a strong friendship with Maury, although Maury does stay away from any and all of O’bannon’s antics. O’bannon is commonly seen pulling practical jokes, though she is quick to apologize or fix things if she senses that things have gone too far. In combat she has the remarkable ability to turn anything into a weapon, and is an effective fighter in practically all combat conditons. STEC recommends she be used as a part of a quick reaction force, being able to strike quickly and take down any threat. Pairing her with USS Maury is also recommended.


Those of us familiar with vol. 1’s Chester know her to be something of a prankster. The ship girl I’m about to introduce to you, however, is just as prone to practical jokes. Meet O’bannon. She’s mostly designed by K9, who alongside me also dictates US policy and story structure.

One funny thing, though, is that O’bannon’s hairstyle went through a lot of revisions. Those of you who saw her sketch know that she first had the double-odongo/sailor moon type hair. We ended up choosing something else because we didn’t want her to be typecasted or shoehorned into one particular character interpretation. Not to mention, I personally think that with how she’s written and her relationships, giving her short hair makes a lot of sense.Originally she’s not scheduled to show up until much later, but she managed to make it into this book because we wanted to give San Francisco – another star of our book – a good friend. Not to mention this happens to be the historical ship that – out of all things – contributed to the sinking of a sub by throwing potatoes. This Fletcher-class DD not only trolled Hiei (likely to her demise) because the venerable Japanese battleship could not depress her main guns well enough to hit it, but happens to be one of the few ships that saw as much as action as the USS Maury.

A lot of folks have suggested that she carries something to symbolize the original marine, O’bannon, who is still to today regarded as a hero of the UMSC. The mameluke sword was an idea that K9 had when we first decided to draw her. A few other things of note include, in no particular order:

    Unlike Maury, whose equipment isn’t at all visible, O’bannon’s ship girl “gear” is clearly something closer to standardized equipment. This is to highlight an aspect of her characterization – as a nod to history, USS O’bannon was one of the many Fletchers produced during WWII. We want to set her apart from Maury, who’s closer to a mecha prototype if we’re talking anime-like inspirations.
    Her red hair speaks to her personality but also to history. The historical O’bannon had – depending on artistic depiction – reddish brown to brown hair. Considering that O’bannon was of Irish descent, the ginger-ness fits. Plus, it fits her personality.
    Her hair-pin says “CAN DO”, which is a triple reference. Her ship’s emblem, of course, is a green four-leafed clover with the phrase “Can do” written on it. Her crew’s unofficial motto was also that, and it just so happens that the can-do attitude is prevalent across USN destroyers as a whole.
    Given that we make it a point of pride to make our ship girls unique (let’s just say that if we ever make an RPG-TBS hybrid, we gotta give the players a reason to use them), we chose to focus on O’bannon’s fighting style. If Maury’s Captain America (complete with acrobatics), O’bannon’s a classic comedy brawler. Think Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. Anything O’bannon can get her hands on she can weaponize. In fact, the abyssal learned that the the worst thing they could do when running into her is causing environmental damage. O’bannon’s plenty deadly already. Trust me, the abyssals really don’t want to see what happens when she picks up a ladder or a towel or half a coconut…

Previews for C88:

http://imgur.com/a/Ccb22

More Abyssals...

All units be advised. Abyssal incursion T-minus 10 minutes. Repeat, abyssal incursion, T-minus 10 minutes.

... We have a situation here, commander. And it isn't looking good. After months of inactivity, it looks like the abyssals are on the move at last. What's more, they brought in a new toy to mess with us.



While STEC has never officially encountered this particular abyssal before, the girls are familiar with its capabilities. This unit is nominally known as the Nightmare. Completely unarmed and lightly armored, its main "weapon" - if it can be called such - is that circular "ring", located on its massive back. The ring can be thought of as its identifying feature, as it is made out of many segments and generally suspends itself about a foot or so above the abyssal in question.



The nickname "nightmare" comes from its actions on the battlefield. While the ring-like structure is typically withdrawn to its flanks when swimming, the ring will become fully "assembled" during combat, and begin to broadcast an unclassified type of "signal" normally detectable by fairies. Any humans caught within its signaling radius will begin to experience horrifying illusions and visions. Combat capabilities are severely degraded, and insanity or death follows very rapidly from the time of exposure. This abyssal induces in humanity a natural instinct of flight, and affected personnel will generally attempt to flee from the area. Its maximum radius of influence is unknown, but an estimate diameter of 50-75 km is generally appropriate given this one's size. The abyssal is also capable of focusing its fear-inducing hallucinogenic aura into a "beam," and target any incoming combatant it sees with it. The purported effect is unknown.

Even though the Nightmare seems to be a powerful support unit, it has severe and significant limitations. It carries no other armaments other than the standard combat "tentacles", and its armor is only thick if approached from the front. While it generally moves at approximately 25-28 knots, if it is in "battle" mode - i.e. broadcasting its fear aura - its cruising speed drops to less than 10 knots. What's more, it has been observed that this abyssal appears to be "cowardly" in nature. In previous situations, it is known to jettison its broadcasting structure in order to flee - oftentimes preferring to hide beneath the waters until reinforcements can be obtained.

On Lexington's personality:

Our Lexington (She answers to Lex and Lexington, and only people close to her gets to call her "Lexy", as she feels like the name sounds like something a stripper would use as a stage name) is pretty serious, quiet, and the straight-man of the carrier girls. In Pacific 2's introduction rather than spending time with you (like the other ship girls have done) she asks to be taken to the airfield so her fairies can fly instead.

... Until you realize she'll crawl out of her window to play with kittens in the middle of the night (Being "Lawful," Lexington isn't aware that navy regulations have been "relaxed" since the 1920s and pets are, yes, not against regulations), pine for the commander when he's away, and has a tendency to loot acquire borrow equipment that's not bolted down (first of all, the formal term is "repurpose," secondly, as Lexington will tell you, unlike the marines that hung out on the historical CV-2, she has standards! She only take prototype equipment from R&D. And the occasional prototype plane or two for her fairies. Or that radar that was deemed to be too short for use...)

If you have issues with her blue hair, take it up with me. November wants to draw a girl with blue hair. So he did. There is absolutely no historical reference about that. xD

What version of the gun is she holding?

You can't see it very well at the angle that she's holding it, but it's a M1903 with a C stock, so by technical definitions it's a M1903A1. This gun would have been issued to a number of navy personnel post 1929, so it is probable that some of her men may have received something like it. At any rate she'd know what this one looked like. We know from a number of first-hand accounts from both the Pacific and Asiatic fleets that the ship usually had a number of infantry weapons on board. Rifles, BARs, even 30 cals.

(We gave her a looted Garand in the end x)

On more shipgirl designs:

Pacific went on the full "flavors of America" type design, where each girl's appearance is more or less "unique". We think of them as people first.

In fact, I would contend that we intentionally try to avoid common elements of mecha musume, which is trying their hardest to make everything look as mechanical as possible. We want the reader to think of our girls as girls (maybe girls that their admiral insert can bring home to mom some day), and not cold, mechanical weapons of war like a lot of KanColle works. I've said this again and again. Pacific's weapon design tends to be fairly minimalist in nature. We do solid work on the ship girl's historical equipment because we want to do justice to, well, history, but we also think about how this stuff would work in the first place. For instance, in contrast to the Yorktown sister's equipment, you can see that Lexington's gear is "truncated." Her flight deck is an attachment that she can "wear" as a shield, but it actually "attaches" into the "ship" if she needs to launch planes. That is not really "historical", but I think a design smells of laziness if you just slapped the top part of a ship wholesale onto a ship girl and called it a day. Pay close attention to our designs and you'll see straps, handles, clips, and other things where it could conceivably be interacted with.

On clothing choice or is Lexington too fanservice-y, since I posted Lou a bit earlier.



There are several buttons made out of very strong material that prevents her from being a walking wardrobe malfunction. That's not the issue. Her skirt-coat is also longer than it looks because it's billowing away in the wind. Arguably speaking the worst offender in this book is Cal (pronounced "Kayle" in Mandarin xD) or Lou, both of whom in my opinion has a far, far better chance of clothing damage given their roles in combat. Cal's outfit is quite literally a couple of shawls over a bikini.

Before you call me sexist, I did some math. Nagato has less fabric per square inch of her body than any of our girls that's not the submarines. Also I'm not a guy. That alone should invalidate about 95% of the arguments social-justice minded individuals care to throw our way because our vision doesn't fit with their definition of what's appropriate and what's not in terms of the depiction of women in fiction. The rest of the 5% I'm happy to explain our reasoning and defend our creative choices. ;)

And, of course, my signature page. Drawn back in November 2014...


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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-18 13:48:02
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On Why I can't edit TVTropes myself:

The team consensus is that I do not edit or touch the TVTropes page, as the Asian members of Pacific are very particular about matters of self-promotion and do not want any part of that. That being said, however, I deeply appreciate your commentary and hope the editors of TVTropes see your post.

The same, Nevada, just at different head heights. xD



BC actually really prefers drawing his characters at 4 heads tall.



Of course, there's more stuff for the upcoming comiket. They went all-out too, and it was great fun.



Yeah, people were pretty fond of keychains.







Over 110 meters long, this abyssal we have categorized nominally as a "cruiser" type, as it seems to act as leaders for nearby scouts and destroyers. STEC has observed that this particular abyssal leads the charge, which is why it is nominally classified as an "assault type." While it is heavily armored, its relatively light gun complement means that again, it is extremely vulnerable to air attacks.

In contrast to the scout destroyers encountered so far, this is clearly a combat unit. STEC notes with alarm that the abyssals seem to possess some form of regenerative/bioactive armor, and in dire contrast to the scouts, the armor of these abyssals regenerates faster, are denser (based on impact observations), and considerably thicker.

Primary armament: nominally classified as "6.1''/60". Estimated firing rate: approximately 20/min. Based on ship girl observation, likely possess switchable ammunition which may include HEAT, AP, HE, or others.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-18 13:51:56
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At about this time we had our first website updates.

http://www.hon-haka.org/archives/180



Sanny showed up quite some after, along with this little gem of a wordless 4koma.


And, of course, more lore stuff.

An important distinction is that in this particular work, the abyssals are NOT open knowledge. Think of Pacific as something more like X-COM along the sort of narrative we're telling. The goal is to stop the abyssals from calling in their actual landing force. Thematically Pacific plays on the uncertainty of the unknown as a key narrative point. Readers have commented that the abyssals are so far unknown and seems to be only displaying a sliver of their might is what makes them a convincingly scary antagonist, and I'm quite happy with how it's turning out.

On STEC itself: tldr: STEC was founded by authority of Truman, but it begun expansion roughly around the Eisenhower era. Fast forward to today and the United States has the best (sorry, I'm American. What did you expect?) developed ship girl program, with technologies that are designed explicitly to combat the abyssal fleet.

The public itself has zero knowledge of what STEC actually is. All they know is that it's navy's secret research thingie that pumps out useful tech like lighter aluminum or better electronics. I mean, the term itself is kind of harmless, right? Special Task and Evaluation Command. Probably testing like new engines or something. The military understands STEC to be something like Delta Force, but few individuals actually "see" the true nature of STEC. Plus, in a nod to classical spy thrillers, it's not like STEC isn't working with the CIA to monitor potential abyssal or ship girl sightings and making sure that the information isn't getting out to the public (yet).

Each of Pacific's main team members take a "major" naval power and develop it as they see fit. K9, who you've seen post fairly regularly in our own site, works on the US with me. The USSR, for instance, has their own abyssal defense program called ARC (Abyssal Response Command) and is taken by a fan of Russian armor and of course, the "heroic' narratives of the Soviet Union. The UK has the mighty RN-STEC (Special Test and Evaluation Command) which is designed by an honest-to-goodness Englishman. Japan's written by my best friend and a Japanese naval enthusiast and has its own hilariously grimdark ship girl program.

Given that this is 1990 and the EU doesn't exist, the jurisdiction or nationality or girls such as Bismarck becomes a hot point of contention, though we currently have no German national or German fan willing to shoulder how the Kriegsmarine girls would behave considering that both the USSR and the UK are stronger in Pacific as a whole. My rule of thumb for Pacific is that we only take people that really love and care about their respective country's cultural and historical background.


And, of course, Kasiu (the guy that made mini-E) took a trip to Japan. :) All of those are custom sculpts.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-19 15:06:46
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A lot of C88. This was a huge event, and we knocked it out of the park. Great times.



Zero didn't have much time to take pictures, but here's what he took. Outside of the convention center.

(Yes, we're still on August 2015)




Flash photography's very limited, but the lines were gigantic.


During Day 1

Current tl;dr situation is that the Pacific preview book is all sold out, and stocks for volume 1 (Japanese edition) is running low. A reprint may be coming shortly. We have not updated our MELONBOOKS info yet, and I need to run since the event is still going on.

We met a metric ton of awesome KanColle fan artists and creators. Exchanged quite a number of gifts, too - I'll have photos later today or tomorrow. Zero managed to secure a press pass, so he's actually allowed to take pictures. I'll be able to update the rest of this later. For now, though, we actually have a logo and a "business card" - it's required to be formally registered in Comiket. I'll have real photos later. For now:

This is what our station looked like at the beginning of the convention, before the swarm showed up at 10. xD


The culture of Japan is one that's quite a bit different, where permission is sought out and obtained for just about every action. It was extremely encouraging to meet a lot of great artists and creators, and it's an honor for artists to exchange gifts with one another.

So, because of the humble nature of the artist culture over there, we need to seek out permission to post their stuff. Many of them don't really want to be in the public eye in the first place, and a lot of their works for us - live sketches or signatures for their presents, for instance - are meant to be for private eyes only.

That being said, however, we were able to link up with (arguably) the man who inspired us to do Pacific in the first place.

You know him as Kannnu. Creator of the KanColle-Pokemon crossover books (Dragons), and the creator of four Orions class British ship girls in his own ORIONS fanbook.


You want to know what's hilarious about this exchange?

The creator of British ship girls is a Japanese artist, who met up with a Chinese artist (in Japan), speaking only English and Chinese and a Chinese translator, who is creating American ship girls with an American naval enthusiast, a Japanese nationalist, a couple of red-blooded Americans coming from all sorts of immigrant backgrounds, a Canadian, and a British gentlemen on our own team.

Quite an international effort, don't you think? Kannnu is an extremely chill and laid-back guy, and he was very flattered to hear that he has readers overseas. He didn't even realize that we saw him as an inspiration - "I was just doodling because I wanted to draw."

The actual C88? Went extremely well. Huge, huge, huge thanks to NEIGHBORS who manned the whole thing. You can find their twitter here. These guys are solid and professional, and even if we aren't collaborators I'd say they run solid, solid stuff. Look at how well they did on the R18 day (day 3) x)




We had next to no downtime, and there were always people visiting our station. The Pacific preview/time parody, DEFENSE, is all gone. (JP team was worried about it being dead stock, because - rightfully so - the real book is right there next to it), and the actual Pacific hit 400+ at the very minimum (I never got concrete numbers). Those numbers aren't bad at all when 50+ is considered a decent success, especially at places like Comiket. Statistically speaking we were definitely - simply by visual inspection - one of the more popular stalls around.

What was impressive was that people would show up, buy the preview book, then swing around and buy the actual Pacific book as well. By about early in the afternoon, they looked like this.




In no particular order, we met up and made friends/exchanged gifts with a lot of folks. People active in mecha musume (in no particular order) include Freddy (creator of the Historical KanColle series), Nogami (GuP/Strike Witches, our old friend that we met up in Taiwan), the creator of admiral Mao, and a lot of others. All in all, it was great. Sometimes right after we had to reprint vol. 1 because it sold out extremely fast.



A huge amount of thanks to NEIGHBORS. You can find their stuff being sold on MELONBOOKs mostly.


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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-19 15:36:34
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The rest of August passed super fast, but nonetheless, a few things ended up being completed. Vol. 2 ended up hitting the printers at around that time, too. The Japanese version came out soon after that. xD



"Gotta question that the image reminded me of, Morgane - How big would you say Pacific is? I mean, as an even smaller niche of an already niche game, it'll probably never be mainstream, but how well-known would you say it is among the general KanColle audience? Has it reached a point where people are cosplaying it? That's one of the points when you know a work's made it. 'cause I hope I'm not the only one who'd be tickled pink to see an Iowa cosplayer doing a shoot on the original Big Stick."

There were Pacific cosplayers at C88. Mahan dropped by our station to say hi. In fact, whenever you see November release one of those "schematic" type things on Pixiv it generally means someone's asked to see what the character looks like in full. I know there are plans in the works, but some of these tend to be private requests.

I'm afraid I can't give you how "big" we are, only that we regularly break into Pixiv top tag charts when we update, our books are now selling out within weeks to months of their print runs (Most recent examples would be AR gone in three weeks and Pacific I (JP) gone in five(!) days.), and I've seen everything range from fanfiction to MMD models to, well, actual figurines. The problem is that we don't track that kind of stuff very well, and we aren't really into the # of hits or followers or what have you anyways. x)

Since I'm basically taking a break as 2nd book's proof has headed out to the printers, I've got this to say.


Making it "big" has never really been our concern in the first place. In fact, making it this big so far has been surprising to us the whole way.

So to actually answer your question? Definitely big enough to keep us making our next book and our follow-up projects. Don't overestimate us. We're - at the end of the day - a bunch of idealistic idiots who had ideas and have a story to tell, so we went ahead and did stuff. Our strategy basically boils down to "let's do our best" and see where it goes from there.




Sometimes between vol. 2's release, we added a little RN commando guy. (Blondie Hasler)



“You do realise that if you join my unit, your chances of a long life are very remote.”

Herbert George “Blondie” Hasler (27 February 1914 – 5 May 1987) was a distinguished Royal Marines officer and one of the most extraordinary special forces commandos of the Second World War. Hasler was an unconventional thinker who devised innovative ways to deal with problems. As a leader he was a person who inspired by example, never asking his men to do something he did not do himself.

In December 1942, the Royal Navy Submarine HMS Tuna carried Hasler and his small commando unit to the coast of occupied France for Operation Frankton. In arguably his most famous raid, their mission was to navigate the most heavily defended estuary in Europe to reach Bordeaux harbour in order to sabotage enemy shipping and strike a blow against the enemy war effort. Hasler – a Major at the time – personally led the team on their daring raid, which had to evade the might of the German military and cross 70 miles from the Atlantic to Bordeaux. On December 11th, the Royal Marines were able to set off many limpet mines right under Hitler’s nose, shattering the German’s own perception of invincibility and – by estimates of Prime Minister Churchill – shortened the war by up to six months.

Though Hasler and his second would be the only ones from the original ten commandos who would return home safely, the forward-thinking Hasler and his expertise was instrumental in the planning of one of the greatest amphibious landings in history: D-Day. He was also responsible for many of the concepts which would ultimately lead to the post-war formation of the SBS (Special Boat Service), Britain’s elite naval special forces In Pacific. Finally he would retire from the armed force with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and end his days indulging in his love of sailing.

As a fairy with RN-STEC, Hasler is in command of the special forces fairies and spends much of his time training or preparing his troops for secret commando missions against the Abyssal fleet These elite units would see significant action around the world – much like the British special forces of our own timeline – in the coming days Hasler is also fond of HMS Tuna and accompanies her a lot. As they are largely seen as a team, Tuna and Hasler are often the commander’s first choice combination for deep infiltration missions . Whenever not on duty, Hasler can be usually be found canoeing.



Not long ago I was looking through a list of British submarines searching for future candidates to fill a possible Royal Navy ship girls cast. One submarine which stood out was HMS Tuna, at first mostly because she had a funny name. This T-class submarine however also had a respectable and active career fighting the war from beginning to end, and most interestingly to me carried Royal Marine commandos.

Remembering that Sima had been wanting to draw Royal Marines, and that Morgane had asked before about submarines carrying special forces I researched further and found the amazing tale of ‘Operation Frankton’. It was truly an inspiring tale of bravery, self-sacrifice, and triumph against all the odds, sure to bring manly tears to one’s eyes.

That operation was largely possible and successful due to the effort of one extraordinary individual: Herbet ‘Blondie’ Hasler. I felt that he and his story deserved to be in Pacific as part of our universe. Thus steps for his inclusion were taken promptly in a manner which perhaps he would approve of. Thanks to the efforts of everyone on the team this has been made so.

Sir Fong



I do want to thank everyone – Morgane and Sir Fong and everyone else from the team. The challenge in drawing fairies, as always, is how to draw them so that they resemble historical characters Because you can not change the cute tiny eyes of the fairies too much, you can only change their appearances via eyebrows, mouth, and expressions.

One of the things I’m super happy about is that our Pacific fairies all have a real interesting story behind them. Even though most of us have never heard of them before, the stories are really so very interesting.

(Plus, I really like the cute little guys I wonder how surprised (or scared) Eugen and Bisko would be when the Royal Navy girls bring Hasler – and his royal marine commandos – out onto the negotiation table)

Sima



A piece of Maury art. Last time I checked (as of 2016), he's drawing his own Iowa & New Jersey doujin. http://823-amine.tumblr.com/

We also started showcasing our humanoid Abyssal designs - some of which are being played with here.



By the time we entered September, Pacific vol. 2 was ready.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-21 12:22:27
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September 2015:

People curious in terms of where we were, we were at CC16. That's one of China's larger conventions, and I think at this point "our books sold well" has ceased to be an interesting update information. But we did well. Zero went out solo this time, but thanks to a couple of kind folks who just jumped in and decided to help us, the two or three stations we ran were not short-handed.

Hail Hydra.



This is what the space looks like before people arrived. Once the doors opened Zero had no chance to take more pictures. It's been pretty busy this whole time. The booth next to us were selling these little cloth doll thingies. I'm not familiar with that aspect of anime, but I thought these things were cute. x)



Since we'll be working with Kannnu's ORIONS series, we'll be bring those to China sometimes soon (definitely before Q1 2016). You guys interested in an English release? Not a scanlation, an actual English release? x)



You've already seen Aeronautica vol. 2. This book is probably going to come out sometimes soon (Q4 2015?)? (Scratch that, Siqi will Siqi)

Sometimes right after Comiket, we released Pacific vol. 2.



Also Batmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.


On the production of Pacific books:




We took this photo a couple of days ago, but by now, we've finished binding all the Pacific books and they're ready to be sent out. In terms of sheer text, this one was 2.5x the previous book, and we've had considerable "upgrades" in both the layout and the printer themselves.

On Langley's Rifle Type:

It's an homage to a Massachusetts gunmaker in the 1800s who happened to have been a distant relative of the actual Samuel Langley. Internally, I refer to it as an American (The commonly used "Kentucky rifle" is technically incorrect to hoplophiles) longrifle. ;)

On a random Missouri update:



Missouri's someone we've worked on for a long time, but we just haven't really bothered to post her.



On the first of many of our proto-Abyssal humanoids:

(We can do cute chibis too xD)



I can't say whether or not the tail can go away, but the gear, definitely. Helps with blending in.

I think therein lies the challenge. For instance, take skin color. The easiest way to make something "inhuman" is to give it a different color than the typical range of flesh tones. But then we get into the question of what does it mean to be human.

If a living being looks human but doesn't have human emotions, is that being human?

Or, for instance, think to Hisahiko's 4koma Wo-chan. The exact opposite of it. How is she not like the other girls?

We're still finalizing some of our humanoid antagonists. And it's always a work in progress as usual. :)

Of course, BC brought in a 4koma that's been one of my favorites. x)



"Hey, Morgane, just thought up a question regarding fairies: I know you said how both the real ace and the fairy version of them can exist at once, but can multiple of the same fairy exist? For example, Stanley 'Swede' Vejtasa downed 3 Zeros as an SBD pilot off Yorktown before becoming an ace as a F4F pilot off Enterprise; could both sisters have a Vejtasa fairy or is it one or the other? If it is one or the other, is it by where he first appeared/first claim to fame (Yorktown) or by where he spent the most time (Enterprise)?"

My answer:

Named characters are unique. If Vejtasa exists in the timeline, he exists as a singular (fairy) instance of himself. In one instance, he might be an ace SBD pilot. In some other parallel world, he might show up as a F4F pilot. But always there's only one instance of that unique fairy in that world. The girls from the Aeronautica series are (tl;dr) alternative universe versions of the same person, but female. Make sense?

Now, let's be fair, it's not like the F4F Vejtasa magically forgets how to fly an SBD. But the SBD Vejtasa will definitely need to learn how to fly the F4F like any other fairy. STEC doesn't know why. The operational theory is that if fairies are linked to their historical counterparts, then it makes sense that their skills and expertise is based on their historical experiences. Am I making sense so far?

Let me give you an alternative example. Pilot Thach vs. Admiral Thach. Or, Captain Ozawa vs. Admiral Ozawa. The former plays very different roles than the latter.

Speaking of fairies...



This is Sherman with Admiral Wags. xD

And, right.


Can't say anything else other than being proud of Zero for doing the right thing.

Alright, folks. Long story short, the printers grabbed the wrong copy of Pacific vol. 2. This resulted in a portion of CN Pacific vol. 2 having very minor cosmetic errors.

If you've made a pre-order and already received a copy, great, just sit tight. We'll be sending you a revised copy of vol.2, free of charge. Figure it's the least we could do since the printers are printers. Accidents happen too.

If you've made a pre-order, we'll be temporarily halting all Pacific vol. 2 shipments for the upcoming week as we sort out the orders. Shipment will resume in approximately a week.

And since we're gearing up for ORIONS's Chinese release, here's November's art. x)



Of course, another RP event that unfortunately I never had time to finish up. I'll just have to write this one instead.

Commander, we have an escalating situation. On-screen.

What you see there is the burning hulk of an Udaloy-class ASW destroyer, sir. It was caught by the abyssal just outside of the Bering Straits. Nevermind what the Soviets were doing up there - you have that you need to take care of.

MERLIN first detected its signature approximately three hours ago. We had proceeded with standard operational procedures and sent out a single ship girl in response, believing it to be a standard heavy destroyer. It was only as it warped in, three minutes ago, that we realized it was too big. Far too big to be a heavy destroyer. We don't know anything else -

It is not my style to criticize, admiral, but they realized it was too big three minutes ago. That is two minutes and three hours too late. Perhaps STEC is growing complacent given the lack of recent incursions?

Miss Mahan! Ma'am! You're not authorized to -

Well aware. Admiral, screen to your left, if you would please.



Admiral. It is my preference that we name this particular abyssal "Pipidae." The reasoning for its name will be provided shortly. This abyssal is considerably larger - greater by approximately 80% - than the ones previously encountered. Given its distinctive appearance, however, it is my belief that STEC should still classify it as eiher a scout or "light cruiser". Whatever its true role may be, it is not designed for combat - at least, not explicitly.

Optical estimates of its powerful hind "fins", along with its streamlined design, suggest a maximum combat speed of up to 45 knots when charging and a high crusing speed in the normal course of combat. It is my estimate that its frontal armor is enough to resist most of my fire from the front, but will fail against anything significantly larger. The rest of its body also appear to be unarmored, and assuming standard abyssal physiology, may prove to be vulnerable even against conventional arms if the situation permits, and will certainly be damaged by glancing hits or explosions.

Weapon hard-points have been highlighted, and the Pipidae is armed with a powerful complement of twin or triple abyssal torpedo launchers. While it has no visible combat appendages, extreme caution is still advised. It is my opinion that the primary threat from this abyssal is not necessarily its high speed or its torpedoes. MERLIN, rotate view.



The real-life Pipidae is a primitive type of frog where the females carry eggs on their skin, and the skin will swell up and grow around the eggs. Sometimes tadpoles will emerge, but other species will have full-grown froglets bursting out of the mother's skin. Fascinating things, they are, and it is my opinion that the nomenclature fits this abyssal in question. This abyssal carries eight "drone" abyssals on its back. These "drone" abyssals carry four abyssal torpedo launchers, albeit of a signficantly smaller payload than the Pipidae itself. Very sharp teeth has also been observed, and it is in part thanks to the poor Soviets that the hypothesis I proposed proves to be fruitful.

Officer, while I load the simulation, please be useful and give admiral an updated sitrep. Thank you.

Right, ma'am. Okay, commander. Some of our boys are on the line with the Soviets now. It seems that the Маршал Шапошников (Marshall Shaposhnikov) was struck by multiple torpedoes beneath the water line. The impact destroyed much of its machinery and ignited two deck fires, which even now appears to be blazing out of control.

Clarification. The Marshall Shaposhnikov was not "struck" by an abyssal torpedo. Rather, the torpedo passed through the ship and exploded some significant distance away. Reports from the Soviets are mixed, but at least two of the "drones" are visible, and seem to be circling around the ship. The Pipidae itself appears to be some 4-5 kilometers away, and appears to be closing in.

Our ship girl will arrive within engagement distance in T-minus four minutes. Admiral, to your right please. No, your other right.



Given that even now, an abyssal drone is returning to the Pipidae to "dock," it is my interpretation that their activity range - especially in combat - is very short in duration or intensity. The Pipidae must remain stationary during docking, though it appears to be capable of resuming movement as soon as the drone is secured. In any case, be aware of flanking attacks and pack-like attack behavior.

Whereas previous abyssals function largely as independent units, it is clear that recent abyssal units observed have the potential to play significant roles in a combined arms attack or even in tandem with one another. A few of these abyssals and the drones that they carry can easily decimate any conventional naval force, but it is my opinion that the lightly armored Pipidae is still just an auxiliary-support unit, designed more so as the "eyes" of the abyssal fleet.

Trust me, admiral. When they send in the big ones, you'll know.


-------------
Our primary objective is:

1. Devise a plan to destroy the Pipidae.

Our secondary objectives as follows:

2. Deal with Mahan's insubordination.

3. Recover/rescue the crew of the Marshall Shaposhnikov.

4. Discover why the Soviets were sending a state of the art ASW destroyer up to the middle of nowhere.

Considerations:

- This is not the first time Mahan has "hacked" the conference and interjected useful information - often to the chagrin and embarrassment of the staff officers on duty. Be cautious in how you review this particular affair, as it may set future precedents down the road.

- The Soviet Abyssal Response Command (ARC) is directly under the control of the Supreme Soviet of the the Russian SFSR, whose government under the leadership of [CLASSIFIED] is not particularly hostile to the United States. Take care in how you choose to represent U.S. interests if you choose to ... "interact" with the crew - it's bad enough that this situation there is out there in the first place. Neither the Pentagon nor Washington wants a bigger fiasco on our hands, and the Soviets probably don't want this to get bigger either. A cover-up story of hitting an inactive mine is already being drafted by Pravda.

- Avalon, as usual, can send out up to six ship girls. It is up to you to decide whether the ship girl already deployed to the handle the scenario is good enough to handle the threat.

Unless the players mention explicitly which ship girl STEC sent out, the "default" ship girl for this scenario is Chicago.
Lastly, you know, I think we've actually finished Missouri for all this time. We literally just hasn't posted her yet. xD

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-21 14:03:25
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September - October:

In no particular order, what's coming up next. - There is an AR2 coming out that's all of the abyssals we've been posting, fairies, and STEC itself.
- There is an AR3 that may or not be popping out at around the same time, where we're looking at releasing our short stories on the RN or the NKT or even ARC (though admittedly the ARC's "representative", Draa, has stated that he would prefer the USSR to play a minimal role in the actual storyline due to what he has planned for the Soviets in the Pacific universe) along with additional ship girls that we've made.
- Vol. 3 is on Midway.
- Probably some kinda IJN-USN Slice-of-life funsies book or a collaboration with folks like Kannnu.


We also posted the following things to the website:
- A draft of Sculpin.
- A literal translation of my Pennsy in vol. 1. You can see how "different" the two pieces are, and it really shows how - despite the trivia and everything staying more or less the same, I've evolved myself.
- One of our antagonists who you'll be meeting as a part of our story.

And, of course, Surcouf. x)



She started out as kind of a joke character, but I sat down, did some research, and now she's a formal part of the cast. As a part of AR2, which we've released in December.

So I do want to make a note about why Surcouf's getting screwed over in all of her trials. In Pacific's setting, the vast majority of the ship girls have their speed accelerant units (engines/screws/boilers or what-have-you) as wearable little "Jetpack" equivalents. Surcouf's unit, however, lack that. It's fastened to her back, and unlike Narwhal's "gun", she can't just detach her guns and hold those by hand. On top of that, she has no real way to collapse her gear or to somehow reduce the amount of drag on herself while moving under water. If you don't believe me, next time you go swimming, try tieing a kickboard or a noodle to your back and see how fast you could go with and without it.

Surcouf is the first of a number of "foreign" (non-American) ship girls we'll be adding to the Pacific cast. The next ship girl that'll be going into AR is another World of Warships "paper" ship, and we'll likely work them into our updates or possibly into the Fleet problems/persistent RPs as we continue to make Pacific.

One issue I've ran into with running the RPs is time. It's somewhat trivial to actually write the posts - they're simply time-consuming. However, given my preference for unique storylines, it becomes incredibly challenging to make sure each player is getting proportional amounts of attention. It's fine for oneshots, but for folks like Adjunt and a few of you who poked me in private for something a bit more persistent, I need to better manage time. One thing I'll be doing in the next few days is to offer some general "mechanics" for the purpose of organization. Since Pacific itself is written with the assumption that not all the ship girls we make exist in the setting, I think it'd be sensible for each admiral's RP story to have a limited number of options at the start, and bring more characters into the fold later. That way, it'll resemble more of a traditional RP rather than the truncated 4x thing that I'm failing at actually running.


"So why is Surcouf in Pacific?"

The current idea is that we'll be illustrating abyssal tactics in AR2. Artois does have subordinates, though unfortunately they aren't nearly as cute as her.

Right now, the plan is that we'll be introducing one non-USN ship girl for each of the major ship girl powers, and in turn flesh out quite a bit more of STEC in the process. Surcouf started as a joke character, but well, France IS part of the UN Security Council, so I think she's here to stay.




This is where we started working very heavily on AR2, while November directed his efforts to the Japanese release since we needed a new cover for it.

"How much do shipgirls remember of their sinking experiences? Does X remember Y" (this was in context of Surcouf)

Probably, but she probably won't remember how she was sunk. Vol. 2's Langley profile, vol. 1's profile all talks a bit about whether the ship girls remember exacting details, and the answer is: depends on the ship girl in question. Northampton remembers all the way up to the sinking. Okie remembers Father Schmitt's final words to her crew. Langley doesn't remember much other than vague recollections of strafing, and Soryu in our setting doesn't even realize that there was a war in the first place. xD


On Sculpin and headphones:



We have a fairly consistent "theme" in our designs in that the USN sub girls wear expensive American headphones as part of their gear. Sculpin, for instance, has a vintage Grado (should be quite easy to figure out what it is if you pop onto their website timeline). The purpose is really to reference how submariners worked historically, and we've actually managed to sneak in things like the TDC into their character designs.




Well, the commissar fairy goes with the Soviet ship girl. One unique mechanic is that the Soviet fairies all have these political officers as part of their attachment. It's not that the Soviet fairies don't work just as hard as their other nation's counterparts, but the presence of these political officers offer marked improvements in terms of the efficiency of their activities.

And no, for the record, the commissars aren't lazy or cowardly. By STEC observations they work just as hard as the other fairies. Maybe harder. At any rate, there's been no summary executions observed on the field either.




"Is traitor to france?"

Her memory would be honestly hazy at best. She'd probably believe in one theory, then remember something else, then basically shrug and tell you that she doesn't know.

She's most DEFINITELY NOT a traitor to France though ;)


"1) You guys are putting some interesting focus on Abyssals and from what I gather are probably doing a better job than the real creators with giving them depth. Now you showed a design for an Antagonist so I'm to assume we will get some write ups and more details on Pacifics Abyssals. So my question is: If most to all shipgirls retain some memory of their past as actual ships, could this apply to 'Abyssal installations'? Obviously I'm referring to Abyssals such as Anchorage and Midway since the more standard Abyssals seem to be unique in their own, but these like our shipgirls are based on something and more important previously human. So would in Pacific's Lore Midway be an enemy for the US forces, but in the back of her mind remember that for some reasons these girls especially Yorktown, offered their lives to protect her. Now this is to assume installation type Abyssals exist in Pacific so I should've probably asked that first :P"

Since my original post got censored, here's what the answer to it is.

K9 has already answered much of what I wanted to say, but the short answer is that installation type Abyssals, if those exist, serve very different functions than what's in KanColle. The KanColle installation Abyssals have always been a not-subtle jab at the US, and that's where you still see vestiges of their own theories regarding how the game's themes might have been.

So it's really good guesswork, but it's not what we're about here.


"2) How are the girls found for the shipgirl program? From what I've gathered, Shipgirls in kancolle are built and we're lead to believe their more machine than person? Even though we can marry them? ... anyways. In Pacific the girls are actual girls with lives of their own previous to being enlisted into the army with their own names and everything. Will this be explored in the future? I read a lot of fanfics and posts about Kancolle and never have I seen subjects as simple as homesickness brought up. In the case of some girls especially some destroyers, we're talking about girls in what? Like their 10 years of age like with the Akatsukis. In the case of Pacific is there like an age barrier where we know your shipgirl matterial, but first, at least finish middle school or something? Can parents actually prevent their daugthers from enlisting since some might be underage? "

In short, K9's right. Shipgirls don't enlist in Pacific. They appear. You cannot become a shipgirl through training like some of the official works. Different girls are different. Some appears out of the blue, like Iowa and Jer. They have their own "civilian" identities, but they mostly just live life as a shipgirl. Think of basically being a full-time superhero.

In some other cases, they appear in every day life and have very ordinary lives. It isn't particularly clear as to when they figure out they're more than just who they are, but we (or rather, STEC) uses the term "awakening" to describe a shipgirl becoming attuned with her powers. There will be telltale signs, of course. Hyuuga on the Japanese side has been discreetly helping with construction or disaster relief for decades, so she's something of an urban legend. Mary was found by STEC as they scoured records of local parishes and notice unusual or inexplicable events that all traced back to one covenant in, well, the state of Maryland.

Each girl will be different. One thing you will note is that the American girls, despite how different they may be, are united in their understanding of what needs to be done. The other shipgirl factions or other girls aren't, and it's a distinctive element unique to Pacific's story. Pacific's Japan is fracturing underneath its alternative development, and the leaders of Japan have to deal with the Abyssal threat in addition to shipgirls going rogue. It makes for very interesting characters to create.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-22 10:50:26
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October 2015

Ah, October. This was crunch-time again, since we had to finalize Pacific 2 for the Japanese release and deal with the follow-up logistics for our other books. Zero also had his hands full handling ORIONS' Chinese release. Afterwards, the team had to head over to two different conventions. Not to mention as AR2 is being slowly released as well, we had to finish up all of the characters that are involved in that.
Other than posting Okie to the website and a few other updates, most of what happened happened around the various sites I tend to hang out at.

On Tasha:

We are calling her "Tasha," and she's Tashkent.

Aka Soviet Maury.

The round thing aren't depth charges, but PPSh-41 drum magazines. While doing research we noticed that Soviet frontiviks tend to carry those in satchels as only the officers had drum magazine pouches. So we figure if she ever needs to use that thing, she could put extra magazines in there instead.

Tashkent's speed historically has been somewhat curious (mostly because I can't read Russian and has been depending on encyclopedic guides. I'm fairly sure that the historical ship was very fast, but only under non-combat loads.

Given her historical status, however, and how easy it was to find wartime photos of her, yeah, I'd say again, she's Soviet Maury.

As for emails? I have 164 stacked up in my inbox. It's probably there, but I answer them in order in which they're received. x)



You can see here some of our rough sketches on how her armaments and equipment is supposed to work. Of course, she's a fun character to draw as well.



"What's Team M?"

Originally, it was just Morgane, Zero, November, Draa, Sune, and I. For Vol.1 and Action Reports, it has always been just this group. The English speakers of this original group we like to call "Task Force M". (All of our names happen to start with the letter M.)

Right. I do remember now. Zero's basically overran with boxes. This'll become a reoccurring theme as time goes on.



He snapped a shot of the poor mailman coming to pick up all the Pacific boxes to be shipped. x)



"When are you gonna depict the Essex-Class(namely the intrepid?)"

Soon(TM)

HistoryAnon's predictions for vol. 3:

My personal Volume 3 predictions:

Yorktown appearing in Vol. 3 leaves Saratoga, Ranger, and Wasp as the remaining pre-war US carriers for Volume 4, which presumably will be Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. Sara and Wasp both seem like good fits for the Solomons, and if going by time period over geography Ranger would fit into a Solomon-era volume as well (Operation Torch). The Essex class did not appear historically until mid-1943, after the major fighting in the Solomon campaign had ended. Unless the Pacific team does individual art like they did with the Iowa class, I wouldn't expect to see an Essex-class until Volume 5 at the earliest.

Battleships is a more difficult guess as no American battleship participated at Midway, but I don't think they'll just leave the battleship section blank. One possibility is fudging the timeline a bit to add the North Carolinas in Vol.3 and save the South Dakotass for Vol.4 (possibly adding in the Utah, the only remaining Pearl Harbor battleship), but I think the more likely option is to have Volume 3 encompass both Midway and the Aleutian Islands campaign, which would give the battleships Mississippi (BB-41) and Idaho (BB-42).

The only cruisers to see action at Midway were the two heavies assigned to Yorktown's screen: Astoria and Portland. Including the Aleutians adds one heavy (Salt Lake City) and one light (Richmond). This list alone is rather anemic given Vol. 1 had three heavy and three light cruisers, and Vol. 2 had 5 heavy and light cruisers. Adding the only other available light cruiser, Atlanta, is one option, though she really didn't do too much at Midway and IMO would be a better fit for Volume 4. Another option is to pick and choose from the remaining heavy cruisers (Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pensacola, and Vincennes) over who to have in Vol. 3 and who to save for Vol. 4.

Destroyers seems easier given that's what the USN had the most of. I think one very natural choice is Hammann, the destroyer who attempted to tow Yorktown back to Pearl after Midway. Another decent choice is Monaghan; besides past recognition for ramming a Japanese midget sub during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Monaghan participated in both the Battle of Midway and in action in the Aleutians.

Nautilus is an obvious choice to include in Volume 3: she attempted to torpedo Kaga only to be spotted and hunted by the destroyer Arashi, and I think her frustration over losing her opportunity due to Arashi's depth-charge attacks will be abated somewhat when she learns that Arashi, dashing at flank speed from her hunt to rejoin formation, inadvertently led Yorktown's dive-bombers right to the Japanese fleet. Other sub options include Tambor, the spotting of whom led Mogami and Mikuma to collide (but whose captain would be promptly cashiered by Spruance upon returning to Pearl for insufficient aggression against the two crippled cruisers, a large step in transforming the American submarine service from a cautious peacetime service to an aggressive wartime one), and Grunion, a submarine lost during the Aleutians campaign.

There's a couple of here that's definitely right. x)

Of course, we do plenty of non-Pacific fun stuff as well. For instance, when MGSV came out, November spent a lot of time playing.



As for everyone else? We were posting other characters as well.
...Who actually is American, despite AR2's additional "focus" on the various nations/components of the UNC. That being said, though, she does represent another perspective. So keep your eyes peeled.

Still consolidating travel information, since we've got three different teams expanding in various locales. So far I'm aware that we plan to attend winter comiket in Japan with the JP version of vol. 2. Other conventions are up in the air, though the English vol. 1 is in production now.

Before long, Halloween rolled around. x)


Nah, here's an actual Halloween costume. x)



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 Author| Post time: 2016-5-22 15:29:16
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November 2015:

I hereby announce the cancellation of the Pacific project, as the team has decided to switch to becoming a dedicated Shovel Knight doujin circle over night.



(Okay, actually, shovel knight is a great game. xD)

Nah, joking. Alright, guys, so here's what's been happening.

1. First, we have finished localizing Kannnu's ORIONS. You can find the Chinese book here. Kannnu is quite glad to try an English release if it does well, so, fingers crossed! This book (the Chinese version) is available for pre-order on our site.



Yup, brand new cover. Again, ORIONS is arguably one of our biggest influences. Having the privilege to translate his stuff makes us quite giddy. HK's sketched some fan-art to go with it. xD



2. I've submitted the English vol. 1 proofs to Zero - he's been working like a madman to keep everything steady. During the course of the time I will release the writing onto our website as well, since there's quite a bit of it I just can't put into the book for fairness' sakes. You can expect to see the English available definitely before Boston (March 2016), but it depends on when our print schedule is coming out.



You can get a copy of Pacific 1 (Chinese) in the first post of this thread or on our website, so you are getting exactly what it is on the tin.

3. The next Pacific book in our release schedule, in addition to what we're working on, is Action Reports #2 . Action reports #2 covers a number of characters from non-US navies in addition to expanding more on our work. Book one sort of loosely covered the founding of STEC. Here, the possibilities abound, from Eisenhower's decisions to a look at how STEC's research department works.





The abyssal protocol guide will probably be released in another book.



We will be attending two major conventions (in addition to winter comiket [I think]). Singapore's AnimeAsia in a few weeks, and Shanghai's Comic-con equivalent around the same time. I'll have more news as these events approach. Until then? Happy Halloween.




On Langley, as someone asked why the "momma" carriers are important.

I can't speak for how others interpret their character designs, but for Pacific, Langley is not just "mom." She is respected around STEC not only because of her motherly nature, but also because she is an excellent mentor. The historical influence for this aspect of her characterization is self-evident. A quick glance at many memoirs of old WW2 navy pilots and you'll find that for the old guard, having been through Langley's deck is considered to be a badge of honor. The first generation of fliers had nothing in terms of safety. Little assurance that the things they were trying would work, but they went and did their duty anyways. Some describe that it was for the thrill. Others because it was service. But not a single one had anything less than positive to say about their experiences on the ancient Langley.

It's why I had to write a few words in her profile. This was a big deal to the pilots back then, this should be a big deal to the readers now.

On a question about Houston's profile in vol.2, or what happened historically...

On Mogami: Unfortunately I had to cut that tidbit of detail from Houston's historical profile in volume 2. See, just like Willie D, Mogami ganked a superior offier. But the transport she sank at Sunda Strait was no ordinary transport. No. It happened to be the one that carried Lt. General Imamura, the overall commander of the IJA invasion force.

Imamura had to swam to shore on his own. In his after action report, he lauded the bravery of the crew of the Houston and praised the accuracy of her torpedoes. When some aide at HQ helpfully pointed out that Houston had no torpedoes, Imamura thought for a bit, and said, "well, count the kill for the Houston anyways."*

Yes, the Mogami was such an embarrassment to the IJN that even the IJA couldn't stomach picking on them anymore.

*Note that more modern sources have disputed the nature of the torpedo spread. Since I use older Japanese sources, I'm going to say it's Mogami, since based on my sources Mikuma was nowhere close to the action in terms of where Imamura's transports would have been.

"Are there shipgirls of other powers in Pacific? For example South America?"

No thought at all has been given to the possible existence of South American ship girls. That is not to say they'll never appear, but for now it's not actively being planned.

"What happened during the Falklands in Pacific's timeline?"

The Falklands War is a conventional war with no ship girls involved. Whilst the ship girls of Pacific can be used to fight normal military campaigns should their national governments choose that path (I'm looking at you Japan), overall in lore they are used more like special forces for anti-Abyssal combat.

"Do the conventional navy fight the Abyssals as well?"

Conventional warships are ineffective against abyssals not necessarily because they cannot wound or defeat the abyssals, but rather conventional navies are equipped to fight other navies, not sea monsters. A tomahawk hitting an abyssal is still going to hurt - if it goes through the abyssal's shield, armor, and scores a hit on a biological or otherwise important part.

In Action Reports #1, a very terse summary explained that the US Navy sent out an expeditionary force against low double digit number abyssals, and was met with more or less the total destruction of their fleet. While the cover-up was more or less successful, that defeat sealed US foreign policy and resulted in a far less interventionist US worldwide.

Sir Fong is correct in the analogy of special forces. I assume that ship girls can probably be used for special force purposes. Think to the Captain America movie where Captain America was leading his commandos, and you get a reasonable idea of what that might be like. Narwhal's early appearance in the storyline means that US Special Forces doctrine are basically ahead of their conventional timepoints by a good ten to twenty years. If SFOD-D or DEVGRU wants to borrow, say, Narwhal or Nautilus to accompany their normal troops on a mission, I doubt anyone other than STEC would know.

Pacific has a single [redacted]. The Japanese keep it under very heavy wraps and with the exception of maybe two or three individuals, and not even STEC was aware of the true nature of the particular incident until very recently.


Remember I was saying something about bringing history back to Pacific?

Well, here are concept drafts for our upcoming project. Sometimes in-between pumping out Pacific III we're working on well, an almost purely historial work.

With ship girls.

So not actually historical.

... Whatever. Semantics!


Remember I was saying something about bringing history back to Pacific?

Well, here are concept drafts for our upcoming project. Sometimes in-between pumping out Pacific III we're working on well, an almost purely historial work.

With ship girls.

So not actually historical.

... Whatever. Semantics.

Today's veteran's day.



As JFK said: as we say thanks, let us not forget that the highest appreciation isn't uttering words, but rather, to live by them.



We've only got one day in the year to highlight and honor our military service members, but let us not forget for the rest of the time what you've given up so we could stay safe.

Thank you.

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