Gotta get the game out then and prove them wrong.
I can't put the game out in an incomplete state. Even if I did, it wouldn't prove anybody "wrong." I don't believe anybody is wrong, in this instance. If somebody says that it's not worth their time, then it's not worth their time. They're not wrong. That's their decision to make. And thinking about it, if I did just put the game out, that would prove me to be part of the apathy that I find to be so disappointing. I would effectively be saying, "Who cares? I'll just release it. No big deal."
It's sad that I can't get the project moving... That it's just floundering because, hey, who cares if it takes a long time? I care... I hope each day that progress is made, but even that hope is fading. As I'm moving on to other things, TM Zero is fading from my mind too, and with it, maybe the hope of a release as well.
Jeimuzu and xZabuzax, the symbol on the floor is not just for aesthetic purposes. I believe there's a character who also mentions it in the dialogue, and I've written the dialogue as if that character is referring to the divine symbol, not the Chinese letter. Most of the remaining graphics are aesthetic changes that have nothing to do with the story, but the dragon's divine symbol is rather substantial... And it's also the hardest thing to hack. The small, superficial graphics could be done in one, devoted weekend, I'm sure... But that graphic... That's going to be messy.
I would absolutely not release a "missing graphics" version just to rush out a release. Whatever version gets released first is going to be the one that everybody plays. A post-release patch would be ignored by most people.
It's funny that you said "It's not like this is a professional release anyway..." Because I think professional developers would
rush out the release because of deadlines (or especially in today's market, just try to post-release patch it). Because
this is a free fan project, we have the luxury of making sure that everything is done right without having to rush it out and fix it later.