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Purpose:
This is an RPG for those who want high levels of customization and difficulty. Be warned that the challenge level of this game is much higher than just about any commercial RPG.

Features:
-About 25 hours of gameplay
-The Soul System, kill enemies and steal their soul, equip it to gain that enemy's strength and learn their abilities.
-Finite grind, the effectiveness of JUST gaining XP is severely limited (though there are many other ways to improve your characters), as a result strategy and wits are required to topple challenging enemies, not just grinding away levels.
-Unique script additions coded by me that you won't see anywhere else. Along with completely altered battle mechanics and formulas.
-Totally revamped graphical interface, compared to the standard RMXP build, the text is a lot easier to read, graphical meters are used for various stats, and multiple windowskins are offered, as well as much better status, shop, and equip interfaces.
-The Impulse System, fill your IP meter to unleash special attacks on enemies.
-The Shard System, shatter enemy souls into shards, equip these shards to gain special effects.
-General Complexity, many more than the stock character stats have been added to this game in order to create more room for strategy and customization.

Latest Blog

ANNOUNCING SOUL SHEPHERD 2.00

This update has been a long time coming, but here it is. I've itemized what can be expected from the new version below:
-New Content! Gameplay hours increased from ~12 to ~25. New maps to explore, enemies to fight, treasure to find, and bosses to defeat!
-Introducing: The Labyrinth of Naraka, a side dungeon that can be accessed throughout the game. Enemies here are harder versions of the ones you can find outside it, along with some new faces, and lots of rewards. Warp Crystals won't let you escape from this area, and its layout and enemies will be certain to bring the pain.
-Introducing: Hyper. After defeating the game's first full boss, enemies will be able to show up in a Hyper state. Enemies in this state are much more powerful than normal, proceed against them with caution.
-Introducing: Formations. Later on in the game you will gain access to Formations, these allow you more control over distributing Threat and AoE damage to your party members. Use this strategically to your advantage to help achieve victory.
-Introducing: Soul Synthing. Accessed later in the game, use souls you find from fallen enemies to forge powerful equipment.
-Introducing: Soul beastiary. You can now see stats and skills on any soul you've had previously. Though you must have learned the skills before for them to show up here.
-Visual upgrade. The early game maps have been brought up from their modest roots to be a bit more aesthetic.
-Increased equipment variety. Generally 3-6 options per slot per upgrade.
-Massive improvements to Impulses. Don't underestimate the power of these skills in tough spots!
-Improvements to Shards. They now have a greater impact on combat and more diverse effects.
-Improvements to Rallies. Their potency and scope have both been increased, making them more valuable tools for survival.
-Lots of rebalancing, so don't be surprised to see some different numbers.
-Randomized random encounters (you heard me!) Enemy formations are now generated according to secret formula magix. The end result is that instead of a dozen or so combinations of enemies per map, you get dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of possible combinations. Between this and hyper, random battles are much more dynamic, and you may run into an encounter as tough as a boss fight when you least expect it! Keep those wits about you.

This version has been through alpha and beta testing... but you can never have too many bugs, right? If you find any, let me know! And I'll get on 'em as quickly as I can. Good luck.

IMPORTANT: If you have a save from the old version, you will have to start the game over. Much of the game has been changed from its previous incarnation, so hopefully it doesn't feel like repeating the same content. Future versions will be compatible with saves created in this version.

v2.05 update (Critical Bug Fix):
-Fixed a bug where Panic-ing non-Vespas would now bug the game. <_<

v2.04 update (Bug Fix):
-Fixed a bug where Panic-ing Vespa could crash the game.

v2.03 update (Balance):
-Starting skill limit on player characters increased by 1.
-Defeating Kerberos no longer increases skill limit by 1.

v2.02 update (Balance):
-Added Rags as starting armor for the homonculi. These give 1 PDef/MDef, but more importantly give them a healing Impulse at the start of the game.
-Confuse ailment re-worked. Confuse now wears off from any form of damage AND any form of healing. Players have a 100% base chance of wearoff from damage/healing, enemies have a 50% base chance. AoE damage/healing have 1/2 the normal wearoff chance.
-Help file updated and made more fancy. Both the one included with the game and the one on this site.

v2.01 update (CRITICAL!!!):
-Fixed a bug related to the new soul beastiary.
  • Production
  • zombero
  • LockeZ (Co-Map Maker)
  • RPG Maker XP
  • RPG
  • 11/01/2010 03:09 PM
  • 11/17/2018 02:11 AM
  • N/A
  • 170727
  • 46
  • 1069

Posts

"Souls are considerably closer to Magatama than equipment" -- I said Magatama are like equipment, not souls are like equipment. Souls completely remake all your character's stats, so it's quite different indeed. Magatama's immediate effects are exactly like equipment, though yes you do learn skills from them too. But I was talking in the context of what you'd equip for one battle.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the feedback. I'm more open to the concept of paying gold or exp for previous skills than I am to an ability to bank... Part of the problem there is I don't want to encourage learning all the skills in the game once for the purposes of building up a pool of skills you've learned. That is also grind-happy, and defeats the purposes of planning and optimizing ahead of time. But we'll see. The wipe-happiness probably won't go away unless I make an easy mode :)
The download file has been updated with all the necessary minor bug fixes!
Currently playing the game and loving it so far, despite the fact that I hate the cute main character and the dungeon seems rush. I think it'd really benefits from a darker theme with first person point of view like good old SMT.

I do wonder why this game hasn't got any reviewed. The system is well design and is really solid. I carefully observe the enemy behaviors, and every choice I make with Soul switching or Shard switching is important and is a meaningful choice. It's been so long since I've played something like this.

I died many times in the game, which is to be expected. But because of the system, dying in this game doesn't seems to be penalty. Every time I died in the game, I learn something. I learn more about the enemy I'm fighting with. I learn more about skills they use, so I can decide whether I should switch my Soul to this enemy or just shatter it to get more useful Shards.

README file could use some work. Basically, the organization of some part make it a bit difficult to find useful information. I read the file before starting the game to prepare myself, but I got puzzled by the 'Warded' thing.

I also think there should be some more signals when some special condition is activated. Tail Wind, for example, should have some kind of animations playing, showing that the effect is activated. While I think the reason you didn't add this because you want the player to observe from the status effect text by themselves; but to me it looks unpolished and is a bit of a turn off to see the status text change suddenly.

I haven't gotten far into the game ( just rescued the blacksmith and then got a Fairy Soul ) I'll write more of my thoughts here once I finish the game.
Hi Zombero. I'm gonna try the game and give feedback.

Right at the beginning right now.. I think poison is too common at the beginning. I keep getting poisoned and having to go back to the inn -_-.

Also that Kobold is absolutely ridiculous for the point in the game when you can reach him. I like hard games, but he's way too hard IMO.
Kobold isn't that hard, really. Just need to prepare your party appropriately.

- Weaken him so he doesn't do ridiculous damage.
- He's weak to fire, so equip Shard from Blob + Flame would do big damage every turn if Burn catches him.
- Alternatively, you can poison him. He seems to be weak against it. Deal something around 100+ damage every time he acts.
- Don't waste time deal little damage. If your healer can't do much damage, just guard.


The more I play, the more I appreciate the system and the challenge. Man, I really want to help you remake this. RMXP doesn't do this game justice :/

As for Magatama/Demon Fusion vs Soul system, I like this better than SMT for the following reasons :

1.) Skill Information
Magatama doesn't give you anything about the information of the skill you'll get. On the other hand, whatever enemies are using, it's there in their souls - down to their Shard. All the information is there, and you just have to observe. Magatama hides this information from you completely, and it's all trial and error.

2.) Control over skill learning
Soul system allows you to customize your character to suit your needs, without randomization involve. In SMT, the randomize skill inheritance system is there to prevent you from getting all the skills you need too easily. But because it's random, you can't really control it and all you can do is keep checking the fusion result, cancel, rinse and repeat until all the skills you need show up. It's like playing a slot machine but not as fun.

In Soul Shepherd, there is no randomization in learning skill. With a little bit of planning and smart Soul switching, you can get all the skills you need. Yes, it's a bit tedious to fight and gain skill, but I think this is too prevent from getting skills too easily. It's the same reason as SMT random skill inheritance. But this system allow you to have some control. You know that if you do this, you'll definitely get that skill. So you can predict the effort you have to put in, or come up with an optimize plan to customize your character.

Like you mentioned, Avatar Tuner is just too grindy and suffer from a what I'd like to call 'gotta catch'em all' syndrome. Skills in that series is like Pokemon where people collect them and then decide what to do with them later.

Some problems with the system though.
In SMT games, there are characters outside of your party. You can use them as another resource for healing, cure bad status alignments or use some special spell like Liberama or Estoma. Some characters are like sideboard cards in MGT, that you can switch in if the battle calls for that type of nakama.
In Soul Shepherd, however,there are only 4 characters so having a convenient support character is impossible. If there are battles that require different type of skills, it'll take time to customize character to suit the current situation. So I agree that there should be some way to buy back skill or make this part not so time consuming. Let the player choose whether they want to invest time or money would be ideal.

Still, this is related to level design as well as how many skill slots will you allow each party member to have. It's 8 in SMT, which is pretty limited considering they also include passive skills in there. But you already separate passive skills into Shard system, so maybe 8 active skills would be plenty.

Will keep playing if I have time. This is definitely one of the best RPGMaker games I've ever played, gameplay wise. Kudos for making a solid system :)
Zombero, you mentioned that Warp Crystal can take you to other town and not just the initial one. How do we do that? I keep returning to the first town :O
Woah... Is this completed yet? I remember playing the demo and talking about production with you. I've largely lost interest in designing myself (might get back in for teamwork but not really feeling it).

This was a really good game concept and I'm glad to see it here :)
I just found two bugs. One is more like something you overlooked, while the other is a show stopper.

1.) When the main character switches back to human soul, he'll learn Lai Strike regardless of how many skills he already has. This allow the number of skill he has to exceed the maximum number for one battle.

2.) This happened when Nekomata attack me with Wild Fang


I also found a way to teleport to other home points now. Much more convenient! :D
author=hima
I just found two bugs. One is more like something you overlooked, while the other is a show stopper.

1.) When the main character switches back to human soul, he'll learn Lai Strike regardless of how many skills he already has. This allow the number of skill he has to exceed the maximum number for one battle.

2.) This happened when Nekomata attack me with Wild Fang


I also found a way to teleport to other home points now. Much more convenient! :D


Thanks for the report about Lai Strike, sounds like an oversight. As to the error, that's interesting, I know people have gotten all the way through the demo without experiencing that, so it must be a fairly specific situation. If I had to guess, the most likely cause is a problem with a shard skill on that character. I will take a look at it when I get home. I should say, however, that there is a known bug with the Reaper Soul Shard, I have since fixed it in the current project, but it remains unfixed in this demo release for the time being, and it makes Reaper essentially unusable. Glad to see you found the second home point :) there's only 2 in the demo, but basically every time you reach a new stratum of areas, there'd be a new home point. Did you manage to topple the end demo boss?

author=hima
2.) Control over skill learning
Soul system allows you to customize your character to suit your needs, without randomization involve.


Yeah, the randomization thing was really annoying in the megaten games, I once re-rolled a Michael for about 3 hours before finally getting what I wanted. Not something I really want to put people through.
author=hima
Currently playing the game and loving it so far, despite the fact that I hate the cute main character and the dungeon seems rush. I think it'd really benefits from a darker theme with first person point of view like good old SMT.

It isn't as much that the dungeons are rushed as that I have no talent for map making :( I've tried to get as much as help as I can find on the map making side of things, and have a few good works, but they don't come until after the point of the demo.
author=hima
I do wonder why this game hasn't got any reviewed. The system is well design and is really solid. I carefully observe the enemy behaviors, and every choice I make with Soul switching or Shard switching is important and is a meaningful choice. It's been so long since I've played something like this.

Glad that you're enjoying it :) that's really how I felt the first time I played Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne (it was the first SMT I played) and Etrian Odyssey, so I'm glad I can give people with similar tastes a similar experience.
author=hima
I died many times in the game, which is to be expected. But because of the system, dying in this game doesn't seems to be penalty. Every time I died in the game, I learn something. I learn more about the enemy I'm fighting with. I learn more about skills they use, so I can decide whether I should switch my Soul to this enemy or just shatter it to get more useful Shards.

I hope to expand on the usefulness of shard skills going forward :) and also have several new implementations in mind. I'd like to focus more on party mechanics, and having your characters work together as a team.
author=hima
README file could use some work. Basically, the organization of some part make it a bit difficult to find useful information. I read the file before starting the game to prepare myself, but I got puzzled by the 'Warded' thing.

It could probably stand to be more than just a basic .txt, I'll have to see about improving it once the game is finished.
author=hima
I also think there should be some more signals when some special condition is activated. Tail Wind, for example, should have some kind of animations playing, showing that the effect is activated. While I think the reason you didn't add this because you want the player to observe from the status effect text by themselves; but to me it looks unpolished and is a bit of a turn off to see the status text change suddenly.

Mostly this is programming laziness, Tailwind should have an animation, but I haven't programmed one in yet. I had planned on a lot of polishing once the game is fully playable.
author=Battlemaster1
Hi Zombero. I'm gonna try the game and give feedback.

Right at the beginning right now.. I think poison is too common at the beginning. I keep getting poisoned and having to go back to the inn -_-.

Also that Kobold is absolutely ridiculous for the point in the game when you can reach him. I like hard games, but he's way too hard IMO.


You have to build up some souls before you can venture very far past the first town. The start of the game is pretty hard, even by comparison to the rest of the game, although it remains pretty hard. Ultimately, this comes down to how I feel as a player. A game has very little time to impress me as a player before I'd move on to something else, and extreme difficulty in RPGs is an important part of it. The other, equally important part of it is my choices as a player having a significant impact on this difficulty. As for Kobold, I like presenting obstacles before I expect a player to be ready for them, it gives them a chance to try things before they should be able to win, which I like as a player.
That bug prevent me from continuing until I got a response from you, since it happened to me twice and I've lost my progress so it was pretty demotivating :( And yeah, my main character is equipping Reaper + Nightmare combo for some free HP,SP,IP when dealing with Pixie and Angel. I guess it has to do with Reaper, so I might need to revise my strategy.

I could pretty up the readme file for you once you got everything down. Would be better if it's a html file with some css styling.
author=hima
That bug prevent me from continuing until I got a response from you, since it happened to me twice and I've lost my progress so it was pretty demotivating :( And yeah, my main character is equipping Reaper + Nightmare combo for some free HP,SP,IP when dealing with Pixie and Angel. I guess it has to do with Reaper, so I might need to revise my strategy.
Actually, now that I'm home and can look at that section of code, I think Reaper is working fine, and this is a different problem. I must have made a release after fixing Reaper afterall. Hmm, was it with a Nekomata and using Wild Fang each time? Were any of your party members dead? Was it against the same party member? Any extra info would help :) I'll try to reproduce it myself. My immediate suspicion is something shard related, since those are the newest addition to the game and have been tested the least. But Nekomata's shard should only activate when he dodges attacks, so I'm wondering what other shards might be on the target of Nekomata's attack?
author=hima
I could pretty up the readme file for you once you got everything down. Would be better if it's a html file with some css styling.
Sure, if you'd be interested in doing that, it could probably use it!
author=doomed2die
Woah... Is this completed yet? I remember playing the demo and talking about production with you. I've largely lost interest in designing myself (might get back in for teamwork but not really feeling it).

This was a really good game concept and I'm glad to see it here :)

Hey, yeah, I remember you too. Sucks about the losing interest, but it can be tough to stay motivated for me too. It's good to alternate design with playing games. Sadly the game is not done, I've been making some progress behind the scenes, but I'd like to finish the entire thing before doing another release.
author=zombero
Hmm, was it with a Nekomata and using Wild Fang each time? Were any of your party members dead? Was it against the same party member? Any extra info would help :) I'll try to reproduce it myself. My immediate suspicion is something shard related, since those are the newest addition to the game and have been tested the least. But Nekomata's shard should only activate when he dodges attacks, so I'm wondering what other shards might be on the target of Nekomata's attack?

If I remember correctly, my party was using these shards.
Player
- Reaper
- Hot Blooded
Patsy A
- Venomous
- Simply Stunning
Patsy B
- Warden
- Clarity
Patsy C
- Tail Wind
- Craven

I think it happened when Nekomata hit Player or Patsy A. And nobody in the party is dead.
Anyway, I just tried again and it doesn't happen anymore. Weird. I have different shards setup now as well. If it happens again, I'll report you :)
Ok, it happens again. This time it's when my second homonculus got his with Sting and he got poisoned. His shards are still the same, which are Venemous and Simply Stunning. Seems like it happens when you got a bad status effect from enemy's attack.

EDITED : Hmm, now my main got attacked with Sting, he was not poison but the same error occur. Anyway, here's my main's shards
- Reaper, Clarity
With Hima's help, I found the bug and fixed it. The issue came with using Panic on enemies who didn't otherwise perform basic actions (like attack). I've updated the download link with this fix.
this is not the full vercion i wanna play the full vercion got almost anywhere excepet the door with invisible force and the door that sealed and the cerberus my freeze move deals 2500 which i have in 2 parties and i can deal with his attack but then use magick icebreath and kill me 2 members other with little iam at 23 level having harpia rock kappa isonade can wait for full vercion i like the difficult of the game the game keep me enterteiment
I COULD KILL HIM IF ONLY HE DIDN.T USE MAGIC AT LEVEL 24 I USE WEAK SHIELD SLOW AND HAVE AURA IN 2 MEMBERS I MUST HAVE MISS A ITEM THAT HAVE MORE MAGIC DEFENCE DAMN DO AT LEVEL UP STATS GO UP EXCEPT HP AND SP
how do you kill kerberus ? i have the three that cut damage for lighting fire and ice and still can beat it use slow shield weak have 3 aura for healing and use something with shield that gives 4 pd defence and magick defence