Introducing the Tile World Chronicles (2024-01-09 update : just published a map of where the action takes place)

Hi everyone,

I’ve been working on this project for a while now and I think it deserves a thread distinct from the on where I post my other project. The homepage of this project is here .

What’s the Tile World Chronicles ?

The Tile World Chronicles are a set of stories in N4+ Japanese that intermediate learners can use as comprehensible input. Despite being written in simple language I intend to make the stories genuinely entertaining. Ideally even people who are fluent in Japanese would enoy reading them.

Why do I do that ?

Because I can.

What’s my inspiration ?

I am a Final Fantasy fan. Especially the old ones : FF6 & FF7. I am now too old to play these games and spend time fighting ennemies so I’ve decided to use them as inspiration to tell stories. However I do think encounters are a key element of the story telling in Final Fantasy so I have mad my best to have them present in my work.

In what type of world to the stories take place ?

The stories take place in a typical fantasy world quite close to FF6. The one thing that makes it unique is that this world features a technology that allows people to communicate remotely and form some sort of social networks.

What’s my timeline ?

At the time of writing I’ve been working on it on and off for 2/3 years or so and I expect the project to be achievable within a decade.

Am I a native speaker ?

I’m not. My Japanese is not even great. However I pay a freelancer to proofread my work and make the Japanese sound natural (she does wonders!). I actually believe being a learner helps as I know which words tend to be learnt first.

What technology do you use for the illustrations ?

My pages do use any image files. I use three different technologies that have the illustrations being stored as code & characters.

  • CSS generated Pixel art using some software developped by @TheCodingFox (thank you so much again for this !)



  • Emojis & HTML using Twitter free emoji font which allows me to have all the users see the same emoji (emoji are OS specific).

I hope you have a good time reading my stories !


All of this to introduce the Chapter 3 of Marcus’s Ascent taht I’ve just released. It’s here .



Hi all

I’ve have just finished the 4th episode of Markus’ ascent.
This chapter contains less exploration than the previous ones and really builds up the story. As a result it contains more text than in the others is a bit more complicated.
I’ve made my best to keep the dialogues as simple as possible but still, it’s more N3 than N4.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Link to Chapter 4


Hi all,

I have finally finished Chapter 5 and 6 of Markus’ ascent (part 1) ! I’ve been at it for the past 6 months or so and producing the last chapters has required a lot of discipline. I still need to get it proofread and implement the corrections but this requires a lot less energy.

The story is about 110 pages long and I’m very proud of it. I think it really follows the spirit of the old Final Fantasy by mixing exploration, combats and proper plot.

I’m quite satisfied about how I developped Markus and Celestina’s relationship. I think my age and personal experience show in it. In some comment TwelveWishes (my number one reader) found some of their interactions cute :slight_smile: .

People on this forum have always known me as a creator but it’s actually the first time I produce a piece of work such as this one. It’s a lot of work but creating a story tailored to my personal taste is very satisfying.

I’ll soon be releasing these last two chapters and then I’ll be working on shorter stories for some time.


Chapter 5 is out ! Just in time for you @Twelvewishes.

As usual, the vocab is a bit harder after the corrections from the person who does the proofreading but I do not overthink it and let it as is. At least I’m sure the Japanese is correct and I can move to the next chapter.


Hi all

Chapter 6, the last one of this arc, is out !



I’meowt of likes, but huge thanks!
Just finished reading. The only bug I found is that I think on the last page


probably meant to be


Anyway, very interesting, huge thanks!
Was very sad about Selestina’s reaction, but that’s to be expected. Feels like watching a good anime. Looking forward to the next episode!


You’re correct. Thanks for the feedback !


I have the chance to have a native Japanese speaker sitting next to me at work. He’s read all of Markus’ Ascent and only found two typos !
He also said about 70% of the text sounds native and 30% is correct but sounds ‘language learner Japanese’. Even I round it to 50%, I think that’s OK.
He also found the story cool and original which made my day :slight_smile:


I’m very sorry to hear that. I really hope your situation would start improving soon! May the Great Cat of Opportunity help you overcome your problems and may the Great Cat of Peace and Harmony hiss away your anxiety and purrotect you! :cat2:


Hi all,

I’ve just published a short story :
I believe vocab and grammar are be a bit easier than in the other stories.

This time it’s illustrated with Emojis.

It’s about Aryn who we already met in a previous story when she was still very young and got kidnapped by Gogotz. She’s now a bit older and we get to know her a little bit more.

Its end is when Aryn will join the main story (which I’ll write after writing the backstories of most of the main characters)


I’ve just finished a short children story : Aryn’s wonderful world.

This one should be very accessible (~N5) despite some N4 bits.


Hi all,

I’ve just published a map of the area where Markus’ ascent part 1 takes place. Nothing crazy, just 4 pages with a few sentences describing the villages and towns.

It’s here.


Since the Tile World Chronicles are trending on the forum I thought I’d give @NeoArcturus some description about what to expect in each story.

  • Aryn’s rescue : the first story I wrote. Japanese level : ~N4.
  • Aryn’s wonderful world : a very short children story. Japanese level : ~N5+.
  • The King’s Birthday : this one is illustrated with emojis (which I imagine people in general will not like as much. You’re warned now :slight_smile: ). Japanese level : ~N4
  • Markus’ ascent Chapter : this one spans 6 chapters and is a real personal achievement. Writing a real story like this one has required using some more advanced vocabulary and grammar so I’d say it’s N4+/N3.

More generally :

  • the hardest vocabulary I use is usually repeated several times.
  • except for a few words here and there the vocab used is one you will 100% encounter if you like manga or JRPG
  • In Markus’ ascent, the hardest words of the page are usually in the title and are translated in the url. eg the page entitled “もう二度と来ないで” can be found at this url “/twc_markus_ascent/chapter_6/07_do_not_come_back.html”.
  • a Japanese friend of mine who read the stories told me that they are about 75% natural Japanese and 25% language learner Japanese
  • I pay a freelancer who is a native speaker to review everything I publish

And last, this is an amateur project made by a non native speaker shared for free with all the pros and cons of such material.

Enjoy !


Jugding on the levels, the Tile World Chronicles seem to be absolutely perfect for me to start reading! :blush: Thank you for writing and listing this! :heart:

(Also, for words that I don’t know, I usually use Yomitan, but I try to pick up as many words as possible whenever I can, especially if I know all the kanji of the vocab :wink:)