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Balmung Cycle has recently passed the 3000th download mark. Thanks to everybody who has supported this and given the game a chance!

An outcast god consumed by despair threatens to bring the world of Midgard to its knees. Aided by a ragtag group of volunteer soldiers-of-fortune and a small loyal following, he aims to establish his kingdom once more. When reason and diplomacy with the outcast deity fail, the Aesir god Loki prepares to make a final bid to halt the ambitions of the heretic. What will become of the world should he be unable to succeed?

You are Blitz Ymir, a disconnected servant to the Aesir. The god Loki has offered you a limited freedom if only you were to complete a simple task in his name. When past obligations become personal choice, will you choose to live a menial life or continue to take up the sword in the name of the gods?

Key Features:
-Modified DBS, third place winner of the GW 2005 code-off battle system division
-Single consistent graphical style that always feels like you are playing the same game
-An original score not composed of commercial game music
-Standard RPG fare gameplay: Mini games, dungeons, puzzles, and more
-Utilizes weapon attributes to expand battle strategies (More info in the blog entry for 4-19-08).

The average length of the game is 6-8 hours long.

Development status: Completed. Part 2 in pre-production

Latest Blog

Balmung's Legacy: From 2011 and Beyond

When I began Balmung six years ago, it was definitely the most ambitious project I had ever created. Designed for the sole purpose of stealing the show in Carius' code-off competition, I was certainly surprised by what my opponents fought back with (DE, I still love your Solstice game even today!). It took second place, an honor which I grudgingly shared with others like Legion, who threw up a Lovecraft horror story around his game (cheater, cheater!) This prototype like many of the entries was only designed as a stand-alone tech demo, which sadly meant many of its original features were cut.

From the original code-off demo to Balmung Chronicle, a lot happened to change. While I learned more and more about the engine, I feel that a level of complexity was lost in the battle system that made the original battle demo much more appealing. Trying to remedy this and a host of plot issues, I escalated the project's need for renewal and started over from the beginning. It was the summer of 2006 around the time, and while most people my age were working a job, I recall spending 8 hours a day working a little full-time job of my own. I didn't just set down tiles and slave away in the awkward database tabs, but also studied a myriad of SNES games to improve my mapping ability (most notably Treasure of the Rudras, as it was the game I was borrowing from!) In the modern community, it's hard to picture the members here and abroad taking their design to such an academic level. As the submissions chief, I've seen more than a share of aspiring new people on the scene who have seemingly never touched an SNES controller in their life. It's not very reassuring, but then again the newer generation of members will need ample time to catch up. It took several years before the Don Miguel community began experimenting with rips and tiles beyond the early REFMAP forests.

If there is one thing that Balmung managed, and thanks in part to me stealing everything from Rudra, it's graphical consistency: A pretty well-known term that has been thrown around here a lot. It's one of the many gears in a larger machine that helps a game operate outside the confines of "RPG Maker game", a rather damning title that causes much of the indie community to dismiss us entirely. While I'm not condoning or condemning the use of rips, they can seem mighty appealing today, when the vast majority of all projects utilize RTP graphics. While this is great for consistency, I think it prevents developers from really getting to know the graphics they are using inside and out, and as a result their project suffers.

Balmung's Past and Future:
That said, the game's package has really aged a bit in my opinion. Part of the reason for my long silence in development was due to the fact that I felt my skills were expanding faster than I could complete the game, and this kind of phenomenon has actually been apparent in classic titles such as The Chronicles of Haledos and Tarion Star. Were I to continue amongst that, part 2 was slated to be released as "The Symphony of the Stygian Queen", a story which took place predominantly within Asgard and detailed Hod's declining faith in the einherjar system and the fate of Elm's father Siegfried. While I did intend for it to be released in three parts, it would have been the final episode, which means sadly I would not have gotten to a point where it was revealed Loki was still among the living (gasp......)

Perhaps the story was never really meant to be told, it was far too lofty for a rather weak and shaky part 1, which reveled more in its game design and likeness to an SNES RPG than a compelling RPG narrative. At the very least, there was some sense of conclusion that I was able to leave the player on, however incomplete it may have been. One thing that I know people were very split on was the inclusion of Alrick, who I like to describe as Klarth from Tales of Phantasia minus being cool. He was meant to be a flawed character with visible weaknesses, as I felt Blitz was far too perfect and was less of a character to the story as he was an observer who was merely partaking in the happenings in the game world. For that reason, I don't think as many people were ever truly pulled in. Like Blitz, they were stuck looking through a window on the outside while a family gathered around their dinner table to discuss the day's events.

But Balmung didn't lack story. The story was clearly there, what it did lack was strong scenario direction and writing. This differs completely from the broad story, as a scenario should be written more as a day to day event that does not necessarily find itself driven by the total sum of events in your plot. It was something I didn't understand proper back then, and it is something I'd like to improve on in my future. Perhaps not with Balmung, but with something.

Consider this then, the project's final goodbye. It was very flattering to see multiple projects spring up that closely mimicked my game, a phenomenon which I've never really seen in the community before save for when Legion Saga was HUGE. For all you still working on those games, good luck! I hope your plundering of Balmung's resources will take your projects to new heights. As a special note: Our very own NicoB is working (with?) a staff of people to bring you a game that no doubt achieves the same nostalgic feelings. It's called Forever's End, and is a rather riveting tale that takes place on the northern unexplored continent of Balmung Cycle! ;)

Into the future and back to the past!:
A lot of people can argue nobody has any business working with RPG Maker 2003 in this day and age, and they're probably right. Though my mind cannot comprehend the true form of Enterbrain's intentions: RMXP lacks hardware acceleration, forcing anybody using it to be locked in a circle of hell where fires burn at 20FPS. I can only imagine this came to be when some stupid temp "accidentally" spilled coffee over the programmer's computer after he got sloppy with a harujuku girl on the hood of the intern's car. Whatever the reason, VX popped out a few years later promising to fix everything! That's right, all of RMXP's flaws fixed, for the low price of losing functionality for multiple tilesets. At last, you can make the game of your dreams as long as you resign yourself to designing another knockoff Dragon Quest clone.

Maybe I'm just bitter and disillusioned, that's a good word for my situation. But regardless of the advances and in light of the limitations of the modern Enterbrain lineup, I think I'd still prefer to take my chances with an engine that is old, but has proven itself to me time and again. No, I'm not talking about OHRRPGCE, I'm referring to RPG Maker 2003. Why, you ask? Why did Constantinople refuse to yield to the Ottomans? They were stubborn, as am I.

Fortunately, those who choose to use 2003 despite it approaching nearly 10 years of age, there's a lot of good going on. Between Easy RPG and Wolfcoder's 20XX engine, we're getting RPG_RT replacements that can modernize an engine for those who prefer to keep clicking instead of scripting. Cherry of the German community continues to release patches that expand the functionality of RPG Maker 2003, and in the coming months anybody will be able to create a custom battle system in the program with relative ease. To the script snatching members out there who can't understand why anybody would look forward to that: It's a comfort thing.

Having been in the community for nearly 11 years, I've seen it change multiple times. In the early days, RPGMaker.net flourished under the administration of RPG Making legend Rast, and then died shortly after. From the ashes came RPG2knet, Gaming Ground Zero, RPG Wolfpack, Skytower Games, RPGinfinity, and Gaming World; the last of which I think most here are familiar with. This in my opinion was really the golden age of RPG Maker, with so many different communities, the diversity really allowed for a massive exchange of ideas that is far greater than today. One by one however, these communities closed their doors to either financial issues or waning interest by its members. Today, there are still a hand full of communities, but they're much more divided in general. Perhaps it's just the age of VX, but people don't seem to be as focused and goal-oriented anymore. That is reflected sometimes in the communities themselves, many of which just happened to install a forum and call it a day. Will we be able to bring back the golden age? That's really not up to me, but to the members of this community and abroad.

So what am I working on? Well, I've been in league with the creative minds from #shmup for a while, which in popular opinion seems to be viewed as an isolationist fringe community (they'd be partially right ;) ). The notoriously elitist IRC channel #rm2k was viewed like this before it imploded in on itself, and a few of the better minds from there went on to create RPGMaker.net, so you'd better all watch yourselves..... The future of the RPG Making community will be written in blood and twilight................

This is Alrick signing off, saying "o-owow i am sooooOOo drunk!! zzzzZ"

  • Completed
  • Magi
  • RPG Tsukuru 2003
  • RPG
  • 04/18/2008 05:18 PM
  • 09/08/2020 03:27 AM
  • 10/30/2008
  • 306942
  • 114
  • 10674


an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
I heard this game is huge in France
How do you get the explsive core
*click to edit*
It's also a smash hit in Montenegro.
*click to edit*
BTW, 3rd place in the contest was ridiculous. The 3 top games were so different it was an impossibility to compare them and come up with an objective verdict. For some reason I feel bad that your game didn't get first place, because it's obvious that of all of us you put the most work in your entry.
*click to edit*
Resident Terrapin
Most community awards and evaluations tend to be a little silly/biased, so there isn't much else to say. At least it was placed at bronze. :)
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
Add another silly biased award to your collection Magi as Balmung is now the featured game
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
M-Magichan........... your time is now..........
... what madness is this. I remember you getting SECOND in the Code-off and me getting third. DE got first, iirc. It's been so long, though, I honestly don't remember. DE's right, though. All the games were so different, they're almost impossible to compare -- yours, mine, or DE's.

I'll have to play this (god, I remember when it was Balmung Chronicle) along with Hero's Realm.

... or really I should finish my thing.
I wonder when Part Two is going to be out. Can't wait to try it even though I haven't played this one yet. I wonder if it's already out.
I started the game, and was really enjoying it, but I got stuck on a mini game, where you have to revive the friend. The pulse never registered at all, even if I was exactly at the same point as the drs. Unfortunately, you can skip the mini game, so now I'm stuck and can't continue.
Resident Terrapin
What are your PC specifications? That particular mini game does not have bugs, but what the game is displaying and the actual event code running the mini game can run out of sync on older systems, causing it to be impossible to solve.

I can release a save file for the minority who are stuck with this, which would be easier than a separate game patch.
I have Windows XP. Is that what you wanted to know?
Resident Terrapin
Not exactly. I'll look into creating a save file past that point.
I don't know a whole lot about computers, sorry. :( I know it has a pentium processor, and it's a Dell, and the harddrive says "Dimension E510" on it. We bought it about 7 yrs ago, and at the time it was great, but probably now is antiquated.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
3,000 DOWNLOADS? That's hardly fucking fair. Looking only at RMN, my most popular game has 1/6th of that...some of my less popular games are at more like 1% of that figure, if that. And my games were accused of being popular at one point! That is an incredible amount of attention.

Is this really that good? It's on my playlist now, in any case so expect a review..some time...before 2009 is over.
it's not letting me download... plz help me.
Resident Terrapin
It is possible that your system is infected with a virus already. As a member of the staff I would have nothing to gain from packaging my distributions with malware, especially considering I have spent the better portion of the last several years working on this project. I do consider myself to be one that practices professional ideals in every sense of the word and have even personally scanned my file with 39 different anti-virus programs. It is safe.