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X-Noir is the story of Eddie Humphrey, once an up-and-coming City Councilor but now an alcoholic has-been making a living as a private investigator. The game is a unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction. Hardly a typical film noir hero, Eddie is beset by severe anxiety, depression and low self-esteem as he balances his work with visits to the therapist and the concerns of his circle of friends. When a mysterious drug called "Chemical X" begins to play a recurring role in his investigations, Eddie realizes he is being drawn back into the twisty world of city politics whether he likes it or not. Along the way, he may also unravel the biggest mystery of all - himself.

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Those Wings You like Are Coming Back in Style

It's been five years since Volrath and I actively worked on a project together. It's pretty hard to believe we've been inactive for so long. There were many reasons we went dark but that's for a different blog post.

I just moved back to my homestate where Volrath lives and we discussed working on another project together. I started playing through some of our old projects for inspiration. I hadn't touched or seen X-Noir since 2015 and forgot most of it. During my playthrough, Volrath joined in and we've been having a fun time doing a let's play together and voicing the characters just like we used to do whenever we playtested our games together.

We've been discussing doing a sequel of sorts to X-Noir for the last few years but other than a rough draft of the early game we haven't made any progress. It's been a long time since we've done any serious game make and it's honestly quite intimidating thinking of starting a new project. Playing through X-Noir again, I realized there was a lot of potential for a remake.

X-Noir is described as a "unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction." It's our most experimental project to date, and ended up being kind of a mess. The action combat is clunky and simplistic, as expected from an action RPG in Ace. The logic-based investigation sequences have a bit too much guessing, and there's a lot of needless back and forth around the city. The story is also a bit all over the place, especially in the beginning. But in the mess there is beauty.

Volrath and I take a very organic approach to game development. We draft a rough outline of the mechanics and story early-on for our games but we leave a lot of room for ideas to emerge later. In the case of X-Noir, we didn't really figure out the identity of the game until around Case 4. By then we had more confidence in the characters, story, and investigational sequences. Because we committed to having an action combat system, we still had segments where Eddie fought off enemies but these were given less focus. We realized the Anxiety mechanic was going nowhere and it just became a superficial aspect of the game.

I've had a lot of time to think about how I'd approach X-Noir if I did it all over again. I would ditch the combat completely, which tonally never fit with the game. In its place, there would be more focus on the Investigation and Interrogation sequences. The Ace Attorney series have been a big source of inspiration, as well as the Zero Escape trilogy, Hotel Dusk, and Danganronpa titles. Eddie was an attorney, and his best friend is a cop, so modeling the game after the Ace Attorney Investigation series would make a lot of sense thematically. I'd also like to rethink the Anxiety/Depression system to have a bigger impact on the overall plot.

Right now Volrath and I are just talking about it. We still have to complete our playthrough and decide if a remake of X-Noir is something we want to do. We fleshed out the world more in Labyrinthine Dreams, as well as the sequel that we're still planning, and it would make sense to remake the game that started it all. I know there isn't as many fans of these games as our titles in the Solest universe but I'm hoping there are still some subs here that would be interested in seeing us taking another swing at this strange sci-fi detective game.
  • Completed
  • Stoic
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • Action RPG
  • 06/28/2012 01:13 PM
  • 06/25/2019 11:39 PM
  • 07/09/2014
  • 182810
  • 68
  • 623


It's at 665 downloads.... O_O CANNOT RESIST! *downloads* (But seriously, neat looking game from the two of you again!)

Thanks for being the most metal |m| downloader.
Great game there. Apart from those incredibly annoying code puzzles!!! One solution I had to find in forum, and if it wasnt written there I would be screwed (the drug real name). Other code that turns off laser in lab I couldnt solve for 10 minutes. I am not native english and I hate verbal and code puzzles in games.
Thanks god for Free Online Anagram Solver!!!
I encountered an odd bug. After returning from Snake Island (after bee boss fight and discovering the truth) case was closed. Next day Eddie says he has to go to the Dr. Stanwyck and nothing else, but when I come there, he says this is not a right time for appointment. I didnt know what to do, so I tried to go to several places. When I came to Sharks, the game went "back". There was the scene with searching the desk and discovering the Snake island pamphlet again, the same before ever going to the Snake island. What should I do in first place if not going to the shrink?
There must be a bug with the appointment switch not getting flipped. I'll look into getting it fixed. You shouldn't be able to back into the Shark Inc building either so that's a bug too.
I've encountered the same bug as Mngwa too. Hope it gets fixed soon.
The bug was fixed a few weeks ago. I've been waiting on our artist to finish the mockup desktop background we were going to us for the credits sequence. If he doesn't finish it by this weekend I'll throw up a version with the bug fix so people can progress.

Thanks for being patient.
Great game, I've really enjoyed it so far. I'm up to case 4 and I cannot for the life of me figure out that code in Hal's workplace...can't find a let's play or walkthrough anywhere either, so I'm asking for help basically.
I saw it on a forum once but I can't remember what it is. iirc it's something like "primedium" or something
I saw it on a forum once but I can't remember what it is. iirc it's something like "primedium" or something

That was exactly it! Thanks.
Hm, I just hit the appointment bug in case 5. I guess the fix hasn't been uploaded yet.

Speaking of bugs, there's another bug, with the objectives. Ever since case 3, my objective has said to search for the missing people in the slums 'n all that. Never changes.
Oh wow haha xD

^and yeah, same here with me regarding the objective bug.
Welp never did get those credits. New version is up with the fix. I haven't tested it in awhile though so hopefully the rest works.
Hmm I've downloaded it and tried to transfer my save file but it says I don't have an appointment.

e: ok so the download was uploaded on 2013...
It's the same link since it points to a php page that counts the download #. But the download URL was updated. You should have version 1.1 I tested it earlier and it seemed to work. But I realize now that if you saved after the initial CS in the apartment it still won't get triggered. If you open the actual game project and hit the green play button to test it you'll be able to flip switches by pressing F9. Just keep scrolling down until you see "THE APPOINTMENT" switch and turn it on. Should fix that up.
Ok that worked!

I've finished the game but there seems to be another bug, I'm at the part where Eddie finished talking with everyone else on the computer and someone called him out of his new home, and when he tried to walk to the door (I presume), he's stuck right at the edge of the house and wouldn't budge. :/
That's actually the last scene. If you hold down Ctrl Eddie will walk through the impassable tiles. I'll fix it for the next update.
I finished it, and for some reason holding Ctrl doesn't work for me, Eddie stays stuck against the side of the house. Oh well, guess I can wait until next update to see the rest of the ending.

Overall I'd say it was a great conclusion. I was worried it would feel anti-climactic without a final boss fight, but I think it was done pretty well. I can see Case 5's boss being final, with all of case 6 basically being the ending.