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Sacred Reviews: Dark Destruction (Demo)


I'll admit on some level it's rather pointless to review "Dark Destruction" a RPG developed by Antilurker77 using RPG Maker XP. After all, this project was cancelled over a decade ago and will forever remain a demo. So it's not like my criticism here will help improve the final product. And my biggest criticism of this project is something the developer is already aware of and has a better grasp on why said issue is occurring than I do. Even so, I'd still like to offer my two cents on this project even if it is meaningless to a certain extent.

Stability Issues

This game is remarkably unstable. So much so that I actually had the game crash on me while simply walking around one of the maps.

If it had crashed during the start of a battle or because of a map transition it would have made a bit more sense, but the game must be extremely unstable for it to simply crash because I'm walking. And the developer does have an explanation for why the game is so unstable.

This game used and old version of the ACBS, which in itself wasn't very stable. It also had huge compatibility issues with just about any other script, making this game a huge mess.

And if he is information is correct than it does explain why other aspects of the game are prone to jaw dropping glitches like my characters being unable to attack the enemy at all during a battle with some bats and why the system for mastering new skills messes up as you gain additional characters. And these stability issues that led to numerous glitches occurring is why I ultimately decided to give up on the demo.


You play as Athemis, the former King of Leanore, whose renounced his title after the senate threatened to charge him with treason if he didn't go along with their plan to feed the souls of those who live on the surface to recharge the mana crystal that keeps the city of Leanore afloat. After all, he couldn't live with the guilt of carrying out such a plan and figured if he ran away and hid he wouldn't feel as guilty about it. Of course, the senators worried about what Athemis might try and do on the surface decided to send men after him to capture and kill the king. So I suppose Athemis has no choice but to try and get his throne back and put the senate in their place.

Greatest Strength/Weakness

To be honest, I'm not sure I have a positive thing to say about the story so far beyond the basic plot having potential. After all, I really don't like the main character since he simply plans to run away and hide and only tries to actively save people after being cornered by the forces sent by the senate. And while the leader of this group does believe the former king's claims about the senate.
She's also extremely naïve, to the point she just gets herself and the former king arrested by the other hunters. As such they get sent to prison in order to await execution for treason. Though why they just don't kill them on the spot is beyond me. Maybe the senate wanted to make a show out of Athemis's death.
And I stopped shortly after recruiting the third character because of the stability issues. So all I know about him is that he's an extremist that plans to kill everyone living in Leanore because they were fated to die at the hands of a volcano as far as he's concerned.

So while I believe a game of the planned length of this one could potentially turn things around. It's hard to deny that I really don't like any of the playable characters your going to encounter within the first thirty minutes or so of starting the game. So it would have taken some really good dialogue and character development to turn this one around in my opinion as well.


The game use an active-time battle system with wait mode activated by default. As such the game feels a lot more like it functions like the conditional turn-based system used by "Final Fantasy X". Though the game also places a short charge time on certain skills as well which reminds me of "Growlanser Generations". Albeit the skills impacted by this are usually physical moves rather than magical ones.

Outside of combat the game also utilizes a system where gaining experience allows the player to master an equipped skill. A system that allows the player to either build characters to serve a particular purpose in combat or to turn their party into masters of every class if your willing to put the time in. Unfortunately this system isn't fully functional due to the stability issues and a character will usually stop gaining experience towards their orb after a new character joins the party.

It's also weird that even if you learn white magic spells like cure and cleanse. You can only use them in battle which means after you've won a tough fight you'll either need to head to a nearby save crystal in order to use it's healing properties to restore your party or you'll need to use up healing potions and antidotes.

And on the balance side of things the game is a bit weird. A lot of the regular enemies go down rather easily. After a few level ups you'll be able to kill most of the regular enemies in the starting area with a single blow while being able to kill slightly tougher enemies with a single fireball. On the other hand the first mid-boss you'll come across in the caves is strong enough to easily party wipe the player if it spams it's powerful magical attacks a few times, but after the initial cast it seems to get stuck on casting MP drain which turns it from a dangerous enemy to a rather boring one.

And while the game does feature a touch based encounter system. A few of the enemies respond to the player coming close by only moving a few steps or in some cases not moving at all despite detecting the player. At the same time other enemies will pursue the player until they leave the map. As a result enemy behavior in this game feels a bit inconsistent. Albeit the enemies that only move a few steps always seems to apply to the same unit type. So this behavior might be intentional based on the mobility of the enemy, but it doesn't explain why the turtle chimera will pursue the player until the end of time.

Graphics and Sound

As far as I can tell the game relies on the RTP for these aspects of the game. Albeit the presentation of said assets in battle feels a bit different since the player and enemies are presented in a side view format which isn't typical of games made using RPG Maker XP.


"Dark Destruction" does have potential in my opinion, but it's hard to say if Antilurker77 could have turned the story around in my opinion. Though maybe others would be a bit more favorable towards the early party members. At any rate the unstable nature of this game means it was probably doomed to fail unless Antilurker77 completely redid certain aspects of the battle system. Though, I suppose this project did serve as a learning experience for why you should never use combat systems that introduce stability issues. So if nothing else this game did serve as a learning experience for the developer as well as for others. Albeit the lesson seems a bit obvious when you put it in writing or say it out loud.


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Quite surprised to see this review in my notice list!

But yeah the scripts are super buggy, if I remember that crash you got from on the map was from monster pathfinding being wonky. And I remember finding the glitch with skill orbs, I think that one really killed my motivation to work on the game. You're right about it being an interesting learning experience though.
I've been digging through the older games recently looking for short projects to review as part of my unofficial competition with TheRPGMakerAddict.
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