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I am a person that avoids autodescription.

Okay, but really. I've been doing sprite comics for a long while, ever since NSider was a thing - and certainly since well before I realized I was a trans lesbian. Probably leaves me as one of the oldest people here still doing sprite comics, but I've got setups that I have to see through to the end.

I like Mario, Pokemon, Kirby, Rhythm Heaven, and incredibly silly/convoluted references to past works.
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Remember how I said these ideas I came up with like four years ago? I was still in college at that point, and I just happened to draw from one of my classes on differential equations or whatever as inspiration to use the new name "Epsilon". It also works because... well...

Ɛ > 0 < 3
This has been planned for four years.

Like, this decision was entirely independent of certain other Kirby comics having wacky not-evil Dark Matter around, and it deeeefinitely predated the likes of Star Allies and... theories surrounding its lore. (Though I do find that level of coincidence funny.)

So, what DID inspire this decision. Ultimately, I'd trace it back to a particular scathing review of this very comic done by one Ultizeta. (Link here, though I don't think he's particularly proud of his style at that time so I dunno how he'd feel about it today.) I took away plenty from that critique, such as cutting down on reference jokes and ditching the whole visible HUD for bosses thing - and heck, that's why I'm doing the remakes of the first arc YES THOSE ARE STILL HAPPENING. One particular point I noticed, though, was Ulti saying that I was adhering too closely to the actual games' structures.

So I decided to put a swerve in the overall narrative so extreme that future arcs would have no choice to be significantly different. And what could be more extreme than turning Zero away from evil?

Now, I initially planned this in the hopes that I could ask for a re-review once I got to this point, and have Ultizeta see the big changes. Of course, he's not even doing those reviews anymore, but even if he was, it was still a really petty initial reason on my part. I'm sorry it came from a bad sentiment like that... I still held onto the idea, though, since I felt like I had stumbled onto something way more interesting that whatever else I could have done with Zero.

We're not done yet, though! The whole reason this all took so hecking long is because I wanted to ensure the last few pages of this arc could happen all close to each other, just to wrap things up. And there's certainly a couple more shake-ups to go.
Oh hey I finally moved this over here.

The months are, perhaps obviously, based on their respective gemstones. Daima = April = diamond, for example.
Most of you are probably super confused! What the heck is this stuff? Where's the Love-Love Stick? Why is an angel hamster involved?

The very few of you who'd noticed the Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak references would have seen the build-up a long time ago, right as the Love Meter was introduced. I don't have any real REASON for switching it out like I did... except that I felt like subverting expectations.

And also to set up a joke image that I haven't actually done yet whoops. I'll put that in another author comment here when I do make it.
Once again, it's been a while! But there's more updates to come - one tomorrow, and one two days after that, on the 10th anniversary!

Really, all the things happening here were inevitable. Keeby and Paula catching up, Batamon finally being a big enough douche reeeeally piss Kirby off, the myriad of friendlies along the way helping lay the smackdown on Dark Red... not really a huuuge amount of surprise there.

Tomorrow's page might be a little more surprising.
@RedsterTheGamer: In-universe answer: He's not yet over the disappointment of everyone failing to stop Kirby, and didn't want to have to step in himself.

Actual answer: I wanted to use a bunch of the unique sprites from the game's sequences when it shows you the codes for Extra Mode and such.
@RedsterTheGamer: That'd be the English dub, which doesn't have the song referenced here.
...aaaand no Adeleine Dream Friend reveal. Guess I didn't time this as well as I hoped.
So. This name. Ado, standing for Adeleine Dark Orange.

I've had this planned since... I don't remember exactly how far back, but it certainly predates the Dream Land 2 arc (which started over four years ago). And in fact, the buildup to this was the entire reason why I gave the pieces of Dark Matter individual names to begin with, and that led to them having differing personalities and wants and potential rifts between them... all because of this thing.

This thing that's a stupid reference joke.

Also if these constant self-created delays have had one positive outcome, Adeleine should hopefully be pretty relevant the day this goes up! So there's that.
@Muix: aaaaa even when it's done this page still finds a way to make me come back to it

So I came up with the idea of putting extra midbosses into this stage way before I even started on this arc. It sounded great!

And then I had to do the sprite work. Yaaaaaay.

I'm not totally satisfied with Whyyou's design here, but it works juuust well enough, and Dubior honestly looks pretty good despite having exactly one pose. (I planned to make two, but the first one was difficult enough.)

And then there's Harmony. I'll... address her inclusion a page or two later. The reasons will be a bit more clear then.
That one panel was going to be a bit more elaborate and actually feature enemies in the background, but I was running late as is.

And hey, I gave the Shade Swipers some relevance! I think I decided on this revelation prior to their first appearance in this arc.
@applehead27: Those are just taken from the game itself, mostly. The basic standing pose took a bit of small editing, and the walking/bouncing sprites needed to be recolored, but for the most part there's barely any custom work there.
@applehead27: If you mean the 8-bit sprites from the Dream Land 2 arc, those are edits of Kirby sprites with Noddy's eyes (and a custom hat).

If you mean the KDL3-looking one that appears in the banner sometimes... thaaaat's actually just a recolor of the base 8-bit sprite. It's not great. Which is the primary reason why Marx hasn't been in this arc at all.
Honestly I'm not sure why they didn't just use Mr. Frosty instead of this kiiiinda lazy miniboss design