A retrospective look at Azreal Freeman, and the origins of blonde mystery ninja girl

2017-05-12 12:19:59 by AzrealFreeman

Let me start by saying that I've been doing flash for the best part of 12 years now. Let me be frank, everything prior to the year 2010 is cringey garbage I made when I was in school, and I WILL turtle slap anyone who manages to track down my original body of work. 2010 was the year I made a music video to the song friends by flight of the concords, it was basic, but even now I'm happy with it. I made a few bits following that, and I have more dead projects that I care to mention, but for the purpose of this story, nothing happened before the year 2010.

You'd think in that amount of time, I'd have become amazing at animation. The reason why I'm not, however, is because I only put REAL effort into flash about three years ago. The reason for that is because I'd left university and return home to England at the end of 2013 and real life came crashing down on top of me. I had to go and get a job and partake in real adult shit. Over time of course, this resulted in me turning more and more to flash as an outlet for a great many things, mostly my own sense of fulfillment.

2013 was the year of Robin Raid. No, not the quirky, chose your own adventure story book that you all love or at least love to hate. Oh no, I mean the /ORIGINAL/ Robin Raid, a game that went through a constant stream of redesigns. It started off as a broken platformer, later a primitive as fuck point and click/rail shooter hybrid, and then later as a slightly less broken platformer. Four or five people that remember me back then might remember early releases that have since vanished. As for Mr stick, that was a proof of concept idea that I had, the fact that it has 50,000+ views is a Goddamn enigma to me even to this day.

The game of Robin Raid was broken, it was hard to play and poorly designed, but I don't give up, ever. So the engine it was built upon had a massive over haul. From that, an actually playable game was made. That game, was called Razor Hand (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/651230). Razor Hand was a game I made out of a cannibalised Engine that had been taken apart half a dozen times, and since I was self taught, as I still am with flash, that took all of 2014, coming out early 2015. Razor Hand and Robin Raid exist in a shared Universe, the Princess you rescue in RH is seen in both the flash back of Robin Raid 3, and in a torn painting in Robin Raid 1

2015 Is the point where my love of animation breaks out of its crysalis big time styley. This is basically the point where we need to start looking at me from, because I did more in a single year than I had in the 9 years that preceeded it. 2015 was spent juggling between two projects. One was a sequel to Razor Hand, much longer, with multiple paths and vastly better graphics. the project is dead and you'll never see it. Only level 1 of the 7 level game was ever finished, and that was in turn released as a demo (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/660679) In this installment, she gains a different look and feel, a lot closer to the way she is presented in Robin Raid 3.

That was only how I spent part of 2015. And a small part it was. Here you can find my varying catelog of works.    http://captain-ganto.newgrounds.com/movies/ a lot of them educational, others parodies and music videos. There you will find kick ass history, the failed pilot, IMO, a series I had to conclude when I went to work full time as an arcade operator, and other shiney bits, as well as the afformentioned Friends, the only relic of the past I'm not ashamed of. (And yes, the narrator in all but one of them is me, that's how I sound)

But the AzrealFreeman name always lingered on in my back of my mind, and it was here that we enter 2016. I made Robin Raid 1 to prove that I could. That I could make a game like one erotic adventure game from many years ago with a similar feel that name escapes me. Except where perhaps that author could draw better than me, I would have actual resolution to my plots. After a month and a half of work, Robin Raid was released. Then released twice because there was a game breaking bug that was easy to trigger. Once that bastard was fixed, the Freeman Brand continued, putting out hisory quizes to use my degree, a sci fi game (my personal favourite to make) a sequel to Robin, and a few others. I was riding high, but longed for the days where I educated instead of aroused, and so I revisted to the Ganto brand once again. Here we enter dreadfully simple. It does exactly what it says, it takes concepts that might confuse, and it makes them simple. 

I wanted more though, and that is where we enter my first big SFW project in years, the animated music video to Avenue Q's shardenfrude. If you've been watching the other side of the freeman so far, watch this one in particular, because it actually features a cameo of the other persona. After that, I was finishing training to be a private security officer, and had been unemployed during my training. So to get money, I sold out and made a load of garbage shovel ware for money and immediately regreted doing so. When I started work at my current job, I felt heart broken that I had betrayed my fans. Maybe I'm not a great artist, but fuck, I always put max effort into all my work, and I'd failed you. I could launch a PR stunt to make up for it....Or I could actually make up for it.

So Robin Raid 3 was conceived. This one was going to wash clean the sins of my bad games, and then some. In total, Robin Raid 2 was 42 master frames of animation, Robin Raid 3 was just short of 100. With a graphics tablet in hand, I'd learned how to draw properly, and I wasn't going to let anyone down. For months I slaved at it to make it perfect, deleting whole scenes with they weren't perfect. As time went on, however, I started to fade into obscurity. Last people check, I was the guy who put out a load of Garbage, promised the world, and vanished. And so over christmas, while working 60 hour weeks, I moved to a new project. 

Mostly knew at least. Slut quest began as a generic test RPG to teach myself to program, but I knew I could make something out of it. it took two weeks to built, and two to animate. I'd learned the lessons of the past. I can't draw as well as others, but I possess a arsenal of charm and humour to put into my work, and by God that was going to be the basis of Slut Quest. There was also a sneak peak of the half built RR3 in there, as well as a meta joke at my own expense. It was released to the Public, and cruxified. I'd left a game breaking bug inside as an oversight, and so from 7am to 7pm, I didn't stop until everything was fixed and redistributed again.

Finally, the road to Robin Raid 3 was clear. One distraction remained. It had been a while since Ganto had put anything out, and I was feeling artistic, more so then ever. So I took something a minute long and animated the fuck out of it. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/689266 With that final piece of practice left, all that remained was the final grind to get my work done. At long last, I stood (hopefully) redeemed of my disgrace, for I had finally given the world my magnum Opus. Robin Raid three.4658093_149460583992_AQTN.png4658093_149460586642_kah1tn.png4658093_149460594651_Razorhandfight.jpg4658093_149460597631_lawnmower.gif4658093_149460599453_robin1.jpg




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2017-05-12 20:02:12

Okay, so I wanted to say something but I'm pretty speechless right now. This is why I check on you everyday. So, uh.. hi.

Honestly, I just want to say that I'm extremely happy for you, and that I'm sticking around no matter what you put out. Robin Raid 3 is, as you stated, something to wipe away the sins - a sin tsunami if you will - and I believe that everything you make in the future will entertain and (cough.. other "entertain") people like the first Robin Raid did with me. I never knew about Captain Ganto, so I'll be looking at that account for a while, just to see what you've done over there.

Overall, just hoping that you'll be able to pick me out from the hundreds of comments in your future games. I'll be there.

AzrealFreeman responds:

every single comment you make wipes clean all the anon's on SWFCHAN <3 <3 <3 <3


2017-05-12 20:25:52

you're always gonna be fucking amazing to me, and I don't think i'll ever not like what you produce, I seem to always find some kind of enjoyment out of the games you make and I hope you dont stop for a long time.

um, i'm not very good at these types of comments so i'm keeping this short(ish), keep up the good work, and never loose passion for what you love doing, and you'll always have your fans if you're ever down in the dumps

also, if you can, in the next RR game, throw in a reference to the theives guild from the elder scrolls if you can, cause, you know, she's a theif, i'd like it.

AzrealFreeman responds:

I'll have her thrown out of several thieves guilds for her rampant kleptomania


2017-05-13 09:35:58

Do you have a higher resolution of last picture? I like her in this style of artwork (Or how to call it?)


2017-05-19 14:03:59

Hey Azreal,

I was wondering if you ever made the replay mechanic you said you were thinking about doing. Something with hidden keys and such/

AzrealFreeman responds:

I didn't apply it to Robin Raid, but it will be a feature in the next game of a similar style