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Balmung Cycle has recently passed the 3000th download mark. Thanks to everybody who has supported this and given the game a chance!

An outcast god consumed by despair threatens to bring the world of Midgard to its knees. Aided by a ragtag group of volunteer soldiers-of-fortune and a small loyal following, he aims to establish his kingdom once more. When reason and diplomacy with the outcast deity fail, the Aesir god Loki prepares to make a final bid to halt the ambitions of the heretic. What will become of the world should he be unable to succeed?

You are Blitz Ymir, a disconnected servant to the Aesir. The god Loki has offered you a limited freedom if only you were to complete a simple task in his name. When past obligations become personal choice, will you choose to live a menial life or continue to take up the sword in the name of the gods?

Key Features:
-Modified DBS, third place winner of the GW 2005 code-off battle system division
-Single consistent graphical style that always feels like you are playing the same game
-An original score not composed of commercial game music
-Standard RPG fare gameplay: Mini games, dungeons, puzzles, and more
-Utilizes weapon attributes to expand battle strategies (More info in the blog entry for 4-19-08).

The average length of the game is 6-8 hours long.


Development status: Completed. Part 2 in pre-production

Latest Blog

Balmung's Legacy: From 2011 and Beyond

Introduction
When I began Balmung six years ago, it was definitely the most ambitious project I had ever created. Designed for the sole purpose of stealing the show in Carius' code-off competition, I was certainly surprised by what my opponents fought back with (DE, I still love your Solstice game even today!). It took second place, an honor which I grudgingly shared with others like Legion, who threw up a Lovecraft horror story around his game (cheater, cheater!) This prototype like many of the entries was only designed as a stand-alone tech demo, which sadly meant many of its original features were cut.

From the original code-off demo to Balmung Chronicle, a lot happened to change. While I learned more and more about the engine, I feel that a level of complexity was lost in the battle system that made the original battle demo much more appealing. Trying to remedy this and a host of plot issues, I escalated the project's need for renewal and started over from the beginning. It was the summer of 2006 around the time, and while most people my age were working a job, I recall spending 8 hours a day working a little full-time job of my own. I didn't just set down tiles and slave away in the awkward database tabs, but also studied a myriad of SNES games to improve my mapping ability (most notably Treasure of the Rudras, as it was the game I was borrowing from!) In the modern community, it's hard to picture the members here and abroad taking their design to such an academic level. As the submissions chief, I've seen more than a share of aspiring new people on the scene who have seemingly never touched an SNES controller in their life. It's not very reassuring, but then again the newer generation of members will need ample time to catch up. It took several years before the Don Miguel community began experimenting with rips and tiles beyond the early REFMAP forests.

If there is one thing that Balmung managed, and thanks in part to me stealing everything from Rudra, it's graphical consistency: A pretty well-known term that has been thrown around here a lot. It's one of the many gears in a larger machine that helps a game operate outside the confines of "RPG Maker game", a rather damning title that causes much of the indie community to dismiss us entirely. While I'm not condoning or condemning the use of rips, they can seem mighty appealing today, when the vast majority of all projects utilize RTP graphics. While this is great for consistency, I think it prevents developers from really getting to know the graphics they are using inside and out, and as a result their project suffers.

Balmung's Past and Future:
That said, the game's package has really aged a bit in my opinion. Part of the reason for my long silence in development was due to the fact that I felt my skills were expanding faster than I could complete the game, and this kind of phenomenon has actually been apparent in classic titles such as The Chronicles of Haledos and Tarion Star. Were I to continue amongst that, part 2 was slated to be released as "The Symphony of the Stygian Queen", a story which took place predominantly within Asgard and detailed Hod's declining faith in the einherjar system and the fate of Elm's father Siegfried. While I did intend for it to be released in three parts, it would have been the final episode, which means sadly I would not have gotten to a point where it was revealed Loki was still among the living (gasp......)

Perhaps the story was never really meant to be told, it was far too lofty for a rather weak and shaky part 1, which reveled more in its game design and likeness to an SNES RPG than a compelling RPG narrative. At the very least, there was some sense of conclusion that I was able to leave the player on, however incomplete it may have been. One thing that I know people were very split on was the inclusion of Alrick, who I like to describe as Klarth from Tales of Phantasia minus being cool. He was meant to be a flawed character with visible weaknesses, as I felt Blitz was far too perfect and was less of a character to the story as he was an observer who was merely partaking in the happenings in the game world. For that reason, I don't think as many people were ever truly pulled in. Like Blitz, they were stuck looking through a window on the outside while a family gathered around their dinner table to discuss the day's events.

But Balmung didn't lack story. The story was clearly there, what it did lack was strong scenario direction and writing. This differs completely from the broad story, as a scenario should be written more as a day to day event that does not necessarily find itself driven by the total sum of events in your plot. It was something I didn't understand proper back then, and it is something I'd like to improve on in my future. Perhaps not with Balmung, but with something.

Consider this then, the project's final goodbye. It was very flattering to see multiple projects spring up that closely mimicked my game, a phenomenon which I've never really seen in the community before save for when Legion Saga was HUGE. For all you still working on those games, good luck! I hope your plundering of Balmung's resources will take your projects to new heights. As a special note: Our very own NicoB is working (with?) a staff of people to bring you a game that no doubt achieves the same nostalgic feelings. It's called Forever's End, and is a rather riveting tale that takes place on the northern unexplored continent of Balmung Cycle! ;)

Into the future and back to the past!:
A lot of people can argue nobody has any business working with RPG Maker 2003 in this day and age, and they're probably right. Though my mind cannot comprehend the true form of Enterbrain's intentions: RMXP lacks hardware acceleration, forcing anybody using it to be locked in a circle of hell where fires burn at 20FPS. I can only imagine this came to be when some stupid temp "accidentally" spilled coffee over the programmer's computer after he got sloppy with a harujuku girl on the hood of the intern's car. Whatever the reason, VX popped out a few years later promising to fix everything! That's right, all of RMXP's flaws fixed, for the low price of losing functionality for multiple tilesets. At last, you can make the game of your dreams as long as you resign yourself to designing another knockoff Dragon Quest clone.

Maybe I'm just bitter and disillusioned, that's a good word for my situation. But regardless of the advances and in light of the limitations of the modern Enterbrain lineup, I think I'd still prefer to take my chances with an engine that is old, but has proven itself to me time and again. No, I'm not talking about OHRRPGCE, I'm referring to RPG Maker 2003. Why, you ask? Why did Constantinople refuse to yield to the Ottomans? They were stubborn, as am I.

Fortunately, those who choose to use 2003 despite it approaching nearly 10 years of age, there's a lot of good going on. Between Easy RPG and Wolfcoder's 20XX engine, we're getting RPG_RT replacements that can modernize an engine for those who prefer to keep clicking instead of scripting. Cherry of the German community continues to release patches that expand the functionality of RPG Maker 2003, and in the coming months anybody will be able to create a custom battle system in the program with relative ease. To the script snatching members out there who can't understand why anybody would look forward to that: It's a comfort thing.

Closing:
Having been in the community for nearly 11 years, I've seen it change multiple times. In the early days, RPGMaker.net flourished under the administration of RPG Making legend Rast, and then died shortly after. From the ashes came RPG2knet, Gaming Ground Zero, RPG Wolfpack, Skytower Games, RPGinfinity, and Gaming World; the last of which I think most here are familiar with. This in my opinion was really the golden age of RPG Maker, with so many different communities, the diversity really allowed for a massive exchange of ideas that is far greater than today. One by one however, these communities closed their doors to either financial issues or waning interest by its members. Today, there are still a hand full of communities, but they're much more divided in general. Perhaps it's just the age of VX, but people don't seem to be as focused and goal-oriented anymore. That is reflected sometimes in the communities themselves, many of which just happened to install a forum and call it a day. Will we be able to bring back the golden age? That's really not up to me, but to the members of this community and abroad.

So what am I working on? Well, I've been in league with the creative minds from #shmup for a while, which in popular opinion seems to be viewed as an isolationist fringe community (they'd be partially right ;) ). The notoriously elitist IRC channel #rm2k was viewed like this before it imploded in on itself, and a few of the better minds from there went on to create RPGMaker.net, so you'd better all watch yourselves..... The future of the RPG Making community will be written in blood and twilight................

This is Alrick signing off, saying "o-owow i am sooooOOo drunk!! zzzzZ"

  • Completed
  • Magi
  • RPG Maker 2003
  • RPG
  • 04/18/2008 05:18 PM
  • 11/16/2013 06:44 AM
  • 10/30/2008
  • 159979
  • 101
  • 9162

Posts

Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
Don't mind "Macubex" he has recently overdosed on anime
Hi, my name is Abdel McCrack, and I have to say; I approve of this message.
Craze
RMN's supervillain, and enjoying it
9890
And I thought EMDE!2 was going nuts at over 1000 downloads.
Craze
RMN's supervillain, and enjoying it
9890
That said, this is an actual GAME, so... gg!
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
Unfortunately for me I'm not too familiar with these chipsets. ~ The Magi 2004

All you kids out there just getting started on the path to RPG Maker glory, read the above comment and be invigorated. You may not understand chapsets now, but we all started at the same place - the beginning. Even legendary RPG Maker "The Magi" had difficulty grasping certain nefarious chips just five years ago, and now he has conquered and utterly subjugated the beast known as Rudra.

So while you are sitting there toiling over your RTP map, know that your efforts do not go to waste; if only you dedicate yourself to the craft, you have a bright future ahead of you.
Hey guys.

Pay attention to this.
Can you put the game on again as .zip please?
I can't even beat the first dungeon. There are all these disturbing brown stones blocking my way. How can I make those disappear?
Have encountered a plot killer. In the first minigame (reviving Alrick) there is no progress made for even spot-on timing - also it is only catching a very very small number of big misses.

I'm running the most recent version as of this past week on Vista.
Just saw similar posting from May. Just to add some detail: I am running v2.0 on Vista with AMD1.8GHz 8GB RAM. I also tried on my laptop with the same result (XP Intel 1.3GHz 2GB RAM). Also take into account that I was able to get through this minigame on the laptop in an earlier version of the game.

In any case it does look like a timing issue, since movement gets really jumpy as soon as the minigame music starts playing. I find that bumping up thread priority helps and is necessary on the 1.3 GHz since the character was jumping a quarter of the way across the screen otherwise.
nevermind... I was just too retarded to realize i need to click again at the target. It works fine....

<hiding head>
I just started the game and am on the world map trying to go into Sersul Heights, and when I do I get a message that says "the file ovr-forest-huge cannot be opened" and the game crashes :(
magi I just beat it


where's balmung chronicles 2
Magi
Resident Terrapin
1028
Balmung Chroicles 2 is currently being co-developed with Bandai Namco and John Romero of John Romero Enterprises Ltd. under the code name SECRET PROJECT X.

Point your browser to SECRET PROJECT X dot com or visit us on Twitter/SECRET PROJECT X.
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
I heard something about Spring 2010...
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
Sorry that was not true at all