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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.

-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


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
  • 216007
  • 47
  • 1196


Sorry for delayed response, if you have the 3 elemental shields you should be able to survive those breaths, correct? So what exactly is killing you?
Not sure if my strategy is good or not. I still can't kill the boss, but I survived to his last phase.

Party: Harpy, Kappa, Isonade, Rock

1st Turn
Harpy : Shield
Kappa : Aura
Isonade : Heat shield
Roc : Cold Shield

2nd Turn
Harpy : Weak
Kappa : Aura
Isonade : Novice Guard
Roc : Aura

Starting from 2nd turn, he'll announce what elemental breath he'll use to attack you. Harpy is always act first, so you should prepare the other two elements on the first turn, and let Harpy cast the last elemental shield during the second or third turn.

Other than that it's a matter of heal and guard. Kappa always act last so I raise his will and let him use Aura so at the end of the turn, everybody will have enough HP to survive the next turn.

My complain with this battle is, it seems a bit too random. Especially with the Attack, Attack, Wild Fang, Attack. I dont' feel like I survived because of strategy, but more from luck. If the attack is less random, I think it would be more interesting. Currently, the first turn you have to pray nobody got attack twice, or they'll either die or too low in HP, and they'll die later on because you don't have much chance to heal them.

Also, there really should be a save spot that is closer to the boss point more than it currently is. I have to walk three screens everytime I want to challenge him, and some time Kobold respawn and I have to waste more time on it. I don't think this add anything to the game's difficulty, considering your state when you can fight Ceberus. It feels like fake difficulty to me and only waste player's time.

Still love this game though. I wonder if level 23 is too low to fight him? :/
One thing that strikes me is you're using the fire and ice barriers on the same turn? You can only have one barrier up at a time, I may have to add an indicator to make this more explicit, though if you look at what status effects your characters have, they only have the last barrier you cast.

Freeing up one of those slots to cast Weak would help reduce the damage you take on the first turn. His 3 hit combo should be forced to hit 3 different targets, if it's hitting the same target (assuming 3 or more targets are available to hit) then I will have to look into why that's happening. Whether or not the bite attack panics is random, but it's also manageable when it happens.

The distance of to the boss was created intentionally, so people really think on what they can improve after each defeat, rather than just trying to zerg the boss down. It could be a little extreme of a walk, though...
I feel so stupid not knowing that you can't put up more than one barrier at a time :/ Knowing RMXP, I thought it's a problem of not be able to show all the status effect.

Anyway, I finally beat him! That was really really satisfying. This is truly a great game :)

Screenshot of the result of the battle!

I understand your reason though and that thought of 'forcing player to think' did cross my mind as well. I agree that it does work. Now I beat Kobold, then warp back to town and save, so that next time I don't have to deal with him anymore. The walk is a bit more bearable after that. It would be nice to be able to control the encounter rate in the future though. Something like Estoma or Riberama.
Good work! Now hopefully I can match it by making some good progress... I'm pretty happy about the game's maps being more than halfway done, I'll definitely be happy to have that aspect over with.

Were you able to reproduce the same character getting hit multiple times in one combo thing? I haven't been able to so far.
Good work! Now hopefully I can match it by making some good progress... I'm pretty happy about the game's maps being more than halfway done, I'll definitely be happy to have that aspect over with.

Were you able to reproduce the same character getting hit multiple times in one combo thing? I haven't been able to so far.

Yes, Kerberos always attack me four times. I have the version that Lai Strike bug is still in there though... so maybe it isn't the most update one?
Hmm... well, I would suggest downloading the latest version from this site and see if that fixes it?
Hm. The gamepage espouses the project's gameplay features, but how does this fare story-wise? Is there a plot?
how does this fare story-wise? Is there a plot?
I'm not gonna lie to you, the answer is almost "No." There are some plot elements early on in this demo (mostly in the intro), and the full game will have some more of them strewn throughout. But even then, we're talking about plot comprising less than 1% of the game. This game has more in common with a dungeon crawl than a storied RPG. But it's not as linear or dungeon-y as most dungeon crawls.

I would rather read a book and play a game than attempt to combine the two experiences. So this game is almost entirely focused on mechanics and gameplay, it's just a personal preference of mine. I just like enough story to set a mood and background. Any more than that just detracts from the gameplay in my view.
It took me 10 minutes before I was lucky enough to win enough fights to level...
It took me 10 minutes before I was lucky enough to win enough fights to level...

I feel like a masochist playing this game... And oh my god I hate you for that kobold. he 1 shotted every single member of my party... and whats worse is I wasnt expecting him to charge me so I wasn't even ready for a fight.
It took me 10 minutes before I was lucky enough to win enough fights to level...
I almost restarted the game cause I was almost out of money.

Also, it's freakin evil how quickly the cost of the inn climbs. The only time I had money to buy armor is when I found 150 gold in a chest.

Oh my god confuse is evil.... I didn't even have the chance to run when it all my party members. All but 1 anyway but that one was asleep... Needless to say the one chance I got to run failed (Like usual) Thank god I save every time I go back to heal.

When the hell are we supposed to be able to fight the kobolds?!?! They STILL one hit me... Also, first turn it used spincut and it almost 1hitted my ENTIRE PARTY... I take it I'm supposed to go to the next "town, get equips that don't suck and then come back 10 lvls stronger with 3-4x my current stats?
To kill Kobold, all you should *need* are all the best souls from the south, northwest, and northeast initial areas. Though it is possible to get to new towns and use the equipment from those as well, for added effectiveness.

The success rate on Escape is pretty abysmal, it's definitely a last resort kinda thing, a last chance to leave the battle alive if there's no other way out.
Would it be possible to add a fight or flight mechanic so when you have one party member left alive they're given increased stats and the success rate of escape is higher? Though to be perfectly honest most people will probably end up save scumming for the start of the game... Especially with the inn price going up every level (I'd assume anyway)

I'm still trying to figure out when it'll be that my amount of income won't be enough to balance out the cost of the inn. Though thanks to detox it makes things MUCH easier. The only times I go to the inn now are when party members die since the cost of the inn is cheaper then the revival item. (for now)
Save scumming?

Generally, over the course of the game money woes are lessened, rather than worsened. Though more uses for money are scheduled post-demo content. It is possible to add fight or flight, yes, but I don't see how that would serve a desirable purpose.
Save scumming is when you reset the game whenever an undesirable outcome happens. I.E. fighting and then saving right after then going back into a fight. If a character dies you reset the game and try again,if you win without deaths you save and then repeat the process.

Are you saying, then, that the game gets easier as you progress? Though to be honest, I died about 8-10 times in those first few battles so I don't see how the game can get any harder then that. (They focused my healer to death almost every damn right *_*)
Ah, you definitely want to save frequently, particularly at the beginning, though I don't think you'd want to reset most situations that you live through, especially not if you get a soul drop. The only exception I could see is if you literally can't afford the inn.

The game does get a bit easier than the beginning. I wouldn't say it gets progressively easier *after* that, but once you get your first set of souls and get some decent skillsets on your characters, the normal battles are definitely less hazardous than the very start. This is, in part, by design though, as there will be a new mechanic post-demo that makes normal battles randomly more difficult (think oversoul from FF:X-2... though I haven't actually played that game myself). The bosses and such stay pretty equally tough. And the demo's only true boss takes it to the next level compared to the wandering bosses.

Kind of a sidenote: I was actually watching my friend replay the early parts of the game and he didn't die in any normal battles. Of course, this is his 4th time playing it and he *did* die in normal battles his first time through. So it seems that game knowledge can go a long way.
Rainen, I can assure you that the inn isn't much of a problem later on. It is not easier, but it's harder by giving you a more interesting challenge.

The inn cost is still there to keep pressure on you, but the amount of pressure is lessen and you can focus more on coming up with the strategy to fight the next boss/sub boss.
A little update: I'm planning/hoping to have a new release for Soul Shepherd in about a month or two... This update will more than double the existing content, and help me get some feedback on some new systems and alterations to current systems. Some pretty big changes are planned for rallies, shards, and impulses, to give them a larger role in the game. The early areas will get a total facelift, as they are some of the most low quality maps currently in the game, and give a poor visual first impression. 2 new full-fledged bosses (like Kerberos), and a lot of new mini-bosses (or FOEs). An introduction to the game's "optional dungeon" (working title, as it may well not be optional at all, but it runs parallel to the normal game's progression). A new party formation system will be added. I'm looking to include some beastiary and help menu functionality. A new difficulty setting of sorts, that will make ONLY the very early stages of the game less difficult, to help players get their footing if they choose to use it. A new random enemy generator has already been made that provides many more possible enemy combinations in any given area (typically 3-5x as many combination... and many more new permutations). Wider selection of defensive equipment. And probably other stuff I'm forgetting!

All of the maps for this section of the game are done (actually, many more maps than are needed for just this section are done), along with a lot of theory-crafting, I just have to implement the more mechanical stuff... which is sure to be time consuming. 1-2 months might be a bit ambitious, but it's what I'm striving for!