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-=LATEST NEWS=-


Several nasty glitches have been eliminated. Be on the lookout for the Final Version, 1.5, coming soon!

There are several ways to eliminate any possible issue with the text; you could download the various font patches on other sites, or even download the RPG Maker 2003 RTP_RT.exe file and splice it into the main folder. Just don't play the game using the 2003 RTP_RT, or you won't be able to fight enemies!

Video playthrough: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC-ooXBiHPg

-=GENERAL PRAISE FOR CARLSEV SAGA I=-

"Carlsev Saga is a good example of how an RM2k game can and should work." -- EnderX
"To say I was impressed with Carlsev Saga is an understatement." -- Gunsage
"The game is really a masterpiece, and I bet it's to become one of RPG Maker's blockbusters." -- Gretgor
"A wonderful storyline plus an addictive combat and leveling system make for 7-10 hours of fun. Make sure you give this one a try." -- ashriot
"Carlsev Saga Episode I is a refreshing JRPG with a lot of unconventional game-play and story elements." - sunshinesan


-=STORY=-

"The overall plot to Carlsev Saga is a tale within a tale within a tale, with nicely done doses of the traditional heroism and loyalties, but also betrayals, web-within-web deceit, and a quest to stop a massive war...or, perhaps, start it. Story...is Carlsev Saga's big draw." -- EnderX
"A story that has so many different hidden agendas, twists, and politics going on at once and actually working plot-wise is a rare treat in today's games...the story is amazing." - Gunsage
"The story is incredibly well-developed and involving, and it really hooks you into this RPG..." -- Gretgor
"(The story) is, no doubt, by far the strongest element in the game." -- edchuy
"The intriguing storyline presented by this title deserves extraordinary praise." -- Zhou Xuanming
"This isn't a "merry band of teenagers out for adventure and justice from the evil king" scenario. There are real characters, real and complex relationship trees and a real world filled with complex systems, governments and history." -- sunshinesan



Carlsev Saga's political/thriller storyline is the antithesis of "cliche". There are no "good" or "bad" characters, as everyone operates in shades of gray...King Carlsev and Empress Sola notwithstanding. Players will sympathize with most, if not every, character in this game -- if not in this installment, then certainly by the end of the saga. Plot twists are both unpredictable and airtight; any questions will most likely be answered later in the trilogy or through a plot synopsis. Characters feature diverse personalities, though the details are often subtle -- much like reality.

Carlsev Saga's story centers on the small, isolated monarchy of Carlsev. This nation boasts a formidable army and advanced middle-age technology; a power called the "Essence" fuels the magic-like abilities used by many of Carlsev's inhabitants. However, the paranoid king has been withholding progress in every aspect of human endeavor. Some of Carlsev's elite figures, such as General Saito of East Carlsev, have grown impatient with the monarchy and have taken bold action. With support from his closest aide, Youngwood, the charismatic Saito leads the East into a massive revolt. A bitter civil war ensues, partitioning Carlsev into East and West. The story unfolds during the first major battle of this civil war, though what will ensue is beyond everyone's imagination.

-=GAMEPLAY=-

"The idea of strengthening the characters through the use of special items, rather than level grinding, was a nice one, and adds to the originality of the game." -- EnderX
"Carlsev has a bevy of interesting features such as alchemy, skill and magic drawing, scanning, stealing, stealth missions..." -- Gunsage
" is one of my favorite bits of the game, and should be shown off earlier to grab a new player's attention." -- Zhou Xuanming
"The diversity of parties used during the game makes the battles interesting and challenging..." - edchuy
"The difficulty was just right throughout the quest, and for a game of this size (roughly 8 to 10 hours), it is a job well done..." -- sunshinesan


I have thrown the traditional level-up system out the window in favor of stat tonics. The four types of tonics -- stamina (HP+10), power (STR+10), mental (MGK+10), and skill (SP+2) -- must be created regularly to survive Carlsev's dangers. Alchemists create these tonics via items dropped by enemies; however, each alchemist uses a different recipe, so players must manage their inventory well.

Money is rarely dropped by enemies; instead, players must sell loot or find money in chests. However, money is typically needed only for healing items, as equipment plays a fairly minimal role.

In the second half of the game, one character can absorb and stock "Essence" spells (magic) from enemies, in a manner similar to the draw system from Final Fantasy VIII. Carlsev Saga also features a traditional four-element magic system, which must be exploited often. Players can identify an enemy's elemental weakness and HP through a "scan" ability.

There are several other twists to the gameplay. In one segment of the game, players must evade eighteen patrolling guards in an underground prison. The guards are extremely powerful and offer little reward; moreover, players receive a hefty bonus if they escape without being detected. Many bosses require the use of special commands, such as exploiting the surrounding environment or manually evading a powerful attack.

-=MAPPING=-

"I can honestly say that it is people like Deckiller that inspire me when creating maps." -- Valius
"Deckiller's mapping is something of a hit on UI and I can see why." -- TentacoolKing
"Graphical elements in the different environments in which the game takes place are well laid out and consistent, so that nothing looks out of place." -- edchuy
"The placement of trees, shrubs and various doodads make the scene extremely natural looking and at the same time, Deckiller is able to incorporate practicality/puzzles into them. It is a job immensely well done." -- sunshinesan


Carlsev Saga features 245 medium-to-large maps, ranging from shifting deserts to sprawling garrisons to foggy forests. Despite being my first major project, Carlsev Saga sets a reasonable standard of mapping that is being raised even higher in the second installment. Natural areas are designed as organically as possible, given the constraints. Buildings range from simplistic adobes to massive labyrinths, complete with intricate puzzles and hidden passages.

Chipsets are completely non-RTP, and include selections from Mac and Blue, gamerips, and Theo. Charsets and other graphics are a mix of RTP and non-RTP, though most are edited. (Note: I was an ignorant n00b when I made this game.)

-=LENGTH=-


For most players, the game will take approximately 7 to 10 hours. The Let's Play video took me about 8 and a half hours, and I did almost everything.

The first 2-3 hours are fairly straightforward, with little to do in the way of optional quests aside from extra rooms and a handful of optional bosses. The game will open up immediately thereafter, especially once you reach the Latus River Valley/Carlsev Riverside.

-=OTHER REVIEWS=-

http://www.rpgrevolution.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=34909
http://uirpg.com/articles/1974"]http://uirpg.com/articles/1974
http://uirpg.com/articles.php?act=view&artid=1971
http://uirpg.com/articles.php?act=view&artid=2048
http://uirpg.com/articles/2193
http://indiereview.tk/index.cgi/reviews/Carlsev-Saga-Episode-I-Review.html

Latest Blog

Original Version Re-Uploaded

Hey, guys. So I decided to re-upload the original, unadulterated version of Carlsev Saga (minus all the cool things I had been wanting to put into it, and minus all the changes to the story/characterization that I had been planning). It's looking more and more like I'll never revisit this game, so I might as well have the download up here for historical purposes.

Feel free to play and review, but I think I've come a long way since making this, especially in the characterization department.

Posts

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Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
The download link will be posted next week.
Hey Deckiller, what changes did you made on this version?
I'm thinking of replaying Carlsev Saga, it's a great game!
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Hey there -- thanks for the comments! This version has on-screen, touch encounters...plus some general tweaks to dialogue and mapping. I might add another optional area -- if I have time.

Edit: I misspelled "touch". I'm thinking about releasing "casual" and "hard" versions, though that may be saved for the final release this summer.
Will there be another release after this one here?
I think I'll wait for it, then.

Btw, I'm anxious about the sequel.
I hope it turns as great as this one. ^^
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
You might want to wait. This release is more for those who haven't played Carlsev Saga I before. The later release will be sort of an advanced "hard mode" for those already experienced with the game.

Hope you like the sequel :) Have you checked out the demo yet?
I'm trying my best to not check the demo because I don't want to be spoiled of the story.
I loved it so far, so I'm willing to wait for a great game like this one. ^^

Oh... and about the review, if you can wait I prefer to make a review after beating the "last version", 'cause I already forgotten some details to make a in-depth review.
Sorry about that, Deckiller, but continue with your projects, please.
Thanks a lot!
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Fair enough, and thanks. As far as the demo goes, the content in the game will be in correct order, so the demo covers the actual first 3 hours of the game. You won't be spoiled on later aspects of the game, I don't believe, so you can probably play it without worry.
Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8404
This has MANY comments. You even used some of them as press clips.

Very nice.

Where the fuck is the download link, hombre?
Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8404
Never make your release date 4/20 son, you'll be too busy blazing.
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Why do you think I didn't repost the download yesterday as planned :)

Edit: I don't blaze. I just use it as an excuse :D
Awesome, man... Downloading now
Hm...I think I just encountered a bug. Down in the sewers by the bossfight Deckiller told me he has to handle the loyalists because the others don't know any essence skills...but Deckiller didn't have any either so I had to cheat to get past this fight.
I, too, have experienced this problem. Maybe D-man lost a skill somewhere in the mix or was supposed to gain a level?
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Ah, I see where the glitch is. Deckiller is supposed to know Essence Flare, but for some reason he loses it in some playthroughs. Fixed it and will upload a fresh version tomorrow. I also fixed a possible glitch in the final dungeon if players don't have the RTP expansion.

I hope you guys are enjoying the game! Aside from that glitch, of course :)
Certainly do. The presentation may not be as good as in some other games (for now at least) but the story is interesting enough to keep me playing.
The only thing this game really lacks is a custom menu for alchemy. I'd really like to see what I need and what I have without talking to the alchemist first and then looking into my inventory or simply trying out if I have the neccesary ingredients.
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Yeah, we will be working on a custom menu system for the final release of episode 1 later this year, and we'll hopefully carry it over to episode 2's systems.

I don't recommend giving too many tonics to Roland's party, as you will switch parties a couple times. Same with Deckiller's group.
Hey, just finished. I was pretty impressed with the battle balancing and the fancier boss fights, as well as the abundance of small side dungeons to go after. Alchemy's pretty cumbersome, but you'll be fixing that. The plot was also interesting but nearly as complex as Metal Gear Solid's, which did require a little suspension of disbelief in all of the little things that had to go right (Soren/Krystle standing in the right place at the end, Nathanson getting to the bookshelf first, Youngwood cheating death dozens of times). I also think I'm pretty sure I found a plot hole, where one of the secretive conversations doesn't actually make sense because the people involved are talking about doing something they both know isn't going to happen and they'd just be giving themselves away if anyone was listening.
I'll toss out some other things in convenient bulleted form:
-In some of the earlier scenes it's hard to figure out which character corresponds to which sprite (With Deckiller and Saito in the beginning, for example, or at the Summit). I would recommend implementing facesets in dialogue boxes or just playing a brief speech bubble animation over the head of whichever sprite's talking during cutscenes.
-I was a little disappointed with the lack of more alchemists in the second part of the game. Instead of three with a 40/40/infinity spread, I might have preferred to see five who only made 15 or 20 tonics each. It seems like the "different ingredients for each alchemist" feature was meant to imply tons o' alchemists.
-Money and experience ended up being too plentiful, especially since there wasn't a whole lot to buy after the Riverside level. Maybe shopkeepers could sell unique spells later on, like a short-duration haste spell or magic with multiple elements at once. The superteam also hit max level about halfway through the swamps, with a pretty big amount of game still to go. I think it would be alright to bump up the max level to 30.
-The lack of effective AoE healing was pretty nasty, but I guess I was able to deal with that alright.
-The orange crystals were a very good idea.
-I had a pretty big problem with the register of several characters. Some of them didn't really seem to have speech befitting their roles, i.e. Roland acting like a teenager and Sola swearing in secret briefings and treating Deckiller like a kid. It's a hard problem to explain, but it was definitely there.
-Also, the dynamic of the second major party was pretty much stagnant throughout the game. Nobody really had any character development, and the banter tended to fall through. N wasn't really endearing, K didn't do much of anything once everyone got to Riverside, and S seemed like less of a character and more of a means for announcing where sounds were coming from. I would recommend trying to make the dialogue be more than a way of announcing reactions; instead of S just being annoyed by the existence of a teleporter maze in Felb, he could mention his instinctive hatred of teleporter puzzles and mazes in general due to his failing the "ancient puzzles" class at the academy. I was much more interested by Roland, who rationalized the policies of King Carlsev into a somewhat-defensible position.
-It would have been nice to see some black-and-white still frames during the long-exposition-over-a-black-screen segments. The scrolling text was fine with me, though.
-I think I found another game-breaking bug: on the return trip through Southbridge to get to the Ice Labyrinth, if you leave through the south after talking to the adventurer the first time and then return you won't be able to pass through to the north since the adventurer's blocking the way.
-The "Bolster Mind" skill actually bolsters attack.
-Was there any use for the Golem's Rings after the first optional boss fight? I had seven of them by the end of the game but was advised not to sell them.

But hey, good job overall. I'm definitely looking forward to the series' continuation.
Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
Nice points, and I'll address some of them via message.



Oo, looks good. I'll wait for v1.5 before playing.

(Just so you know there are people.)
I was watching your LPs, Deckiller (which are very amusing by the way, more ppl should watch them) and I had to make myself stop because the story was getting too good (I wanted to actually find out by myself by playing the game)
Definitely going to play this very soon.
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