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Ysmena and her entourage were having a winter solstice celebration in the middle of their quest to defeat a great evil when, suddenly, the Ice Queen Czarina interrupted their dinner and froze them all inside of her underground fortress! Confused and cold, the friends must find each other again before facing off in an epic battle against Czarina in order to break out. This is but a taste of the group's misadventures, so make sure to tell Craze what you liked and disliked after you play it! Future games depend on it!

This is a comedy RPG made for the Game Chill 2013-4 RMN contest. It was made in a little less than a week; Craze and Karsuman's game in the making was waylaid by a band saw falling on Craze and smashing him into the side of a truck. He did not feel very well and the project fell through, but Craze refused to not submit something because he had nagged kentona for the event to exist in the first place. Because of this... Czarina Must Die. (Chosen requirements: Prayer, Fancy dinner party, and Gingerbread Men.)

Features
  • Six playable characters, each with unique skills and equipment, who all fight at once
  • The newest evolution of Wine & Roses and Teenage Costume Squad's "Free Turn" battle system allows for even more tactical flexibility
  • Craze's first real attempt at a linear RPG since the cancelled In Praise of Peace
  • Bad jokes, fourth wall breaking, strange battle music, oblivion fists, and more!

Latest Blog

v1.1 released!

Annnd it's out! Hooray!

Unless somebody finds a game-breaking bug that I somehow overlooked, consider this to be the final version. I look forward to your feedback!

(If you played v1.0, this mostly changes the sixth floor to not be horrible -- Zhang appears, there's more to find and explore, etc. Also, some boss battles were tweaked to be a little easier.)
  • Completed
  • Craze
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • RPG
  • 01/08/2014 06:48 PM
  • 03/04/2017 04:47 AM
  • 01/09/2014
  • 29642
  • 20
  • 952

Posts

Pages: 1
" even around Gransen, his boyfriend." Bless you for adding a homosexual couple cause it is incredibly rare that you see them in games other than those with character creation.
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
PsychoticCreeper
" even around Gransen, his boyfriend." Bless you for adding a homosexual couple cause it is incredibly rare that you see them in games other than those with character creation.


Heh heh heh. Glad you approve. =3
Hesufo
I am pretty interested in hooking up sometime. Screw me.
954
Is "potatos(sic)" an obscure reference to a certain old meme I'm thinking of?

Else, don't mind me. I'm gonna keep playing silently...
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
Actually a reference to Visions & Voices. Karsuman hasn't stopped poking fun at me for half a decade since I misspelled "potatoes" as "potatos."
Marrend
Bludgeon of Inspiration
13734
Got as far as the Glorious Herald. It's "Greater Heal" really puts a bumper on, like, everything I do to it. "Judgment" isn't happy either, but I think I can deal with it. I really should give it a third, maybe fourth try with a different setup, though.
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
Typing this on a phone so bear with me, but:

*the spirit flames have low HP. Use magic to clear them out so you don't take any more lunar damage
*the herald deals some phys but mostly solar damage. Put DEF Up on Montrys especially, and let Derek use Ruderoot for tanking. Ysmena has high solar and with the right equips can take a second ruderoot
*gransen and ysmena can heal everybody. Use that! Gransen should be also putting LUK Up on Ysmena to help MGC Down land, and Montrys for LUK Down
*Illysdren may deal mostly solar damage and have low HP, but his MGC Up on Montrys, Ysmena (for Holy Seal) and Byrcallum can be extremely helpful
*items items items! Those cures can save lives


Edit: the games one bug that I know of screws you out of buying equips past the next floors boss, so once you open both barriers I suggest you buy up any gear you want before fighting him. (He's the penultimate boss so there's not much game after him, but still)

Hope that helps!
When are you going to stop messing about and finally decide to remake eddy fist?
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
you mean re-re-re-re-remake
seriously it's at ff4 levels of cloning at this point
author=Craze
you mean re-re-re-re-remake
seriously it's at ff4 levels of cloning at this point

Everyone has a white whale, Edifice (under whatever guise) is yours.

Yes, I have decided this on your behalf.
Couple battle menu bugs:
- Go to item menu, select an item, but before selecting a target, go back to character selection. If you select a different character, the item menu becomes unusuable for that round.
- If you use an item and escape the same round, the next battle's item menu is unusable for the first round.

General commentary:
I played some of your other games (favorite is Obelisk: Devilkiller) and the battles here are not as fun. In Obelisk you really had to think about who got what equipment, and the way this game is set up, most of the choices are obvious.

Not a big fan of the whole pick-up-some-chests-and-reach-a-red-crystal-before-you-die exploration mechanic either. I'd stick with visible encounters.

For a 1 week project though, this is really impressive.
Just finished this. Interesting concepts, but it does flounder in some areas. A wall of text and opinions lurks inside the box:


I think my biggest objection is probably the random encounters. Random encounters are bad, and they are especially bad in a game without a leveling system. There is no real incentive to fight any of them; after the difficulty spiked on floor four I ran from almost every one. Cryst just isn't useful enough. You can't even spend it for half the game, and it's rarely worth it when you do. With so few gear slots, characters fill up quickly, and from there there isn't much point to buying new gear that will likely be outclassed by treasures anyway. I often bought new gear from Zhang at the start of a level only to end up finding something identical or better soon after. Items are useful-ish, but only if random encounters are wearing you down in the first place. Even in boss battles, I usually forgot I had items until the end. Pretty much the only useful ones I can think of were the buff items, which can't be bought.

It just seemed pretty weird that enemy strength quickly skyrocketed while characters remained pretty much the same. Gear provides some stat boosts, but it's not long until that merely becomes a matter of tradeoffs rather than objective improvement, and characters don't even get new skills like they do in TCS and Wine & Roses.

Characters really varied in usefulness, too. In most late-game battles I spent pretty much all my points on the damage-dealers and Ysmena with Byrcallum and Gransen twiddling their thumbs most of the time. Gransen in particular seemed pretty useless; his offensive skills are pathetic and can't be targeted, and his healing is eventually outmatched by Ysmena. Illysdren really outshone everyone, though I suppose that's intentional since he's the last character, but it definitely skews damage output in favor of solar. Pyroclasm deals about as much damage to weak enemies as Swamp Gas does to weak ones. For all the build-up about Montrys being lunar offense, she doesn't have very good damage potential. Even with Carmilla's Hat she wasn't even close to Illysdren and only barely caught up with Ysmena. Ysmena might be a tad overpowered too, since she's good with both healing and offense.

Despite my griping, though, it was still pretty fun, and I do have to make some allowances given the stressed timeframe. Characters were okay (though I think Derek and Illysdren never get a "character development" essay?). I feel like in medias res is a somewhat odd approach if you're testing the waters with these characters, since they already seemed pretty developed and the plot doesn't focus on them much. What little snippets of context you provided were pretty interesting, though. I thought Illysdren and Ysmena were good in particular. Illysdren having the backstory of a power-hungry, evil sorcerer yet being genuinely invested in saving the world with his friends was quite intriguing, and I'd look forward to seeing that developed further. It's also interesting to see a priestess in the role of a hero -- after all those stories about the priests having to outsource the saving-the-world quests to some random schmucks, it's cool to see a priestess actually take matters into her own hands. She seems like a pretty cool person and I would also like to see more of her quest. (I'm surprised that a character so pivotal to the narrative was only included to fulfill a contest requirement...unless you were being facetious about that.)

Would have been nice if the backstory spiels were more readable, by the way -- I felt they scrolled by too fast for me to read in full. Maybe that was the point, though (or maybe I'm just a slow reader).

I really liked the concept of slowly picking up party members. Every new hero I picked up fundamentally changed my strategy with new additions and synergies. It's also one of the few points of objective power progression in the game, and I think it was done pretty elegantly. In a larger game I feel like you could do a lot with the concept. It could even reinforce story ideas if you wanted to get high-brow about it, like mirroring the friends' trust and appreciation for each other in their usefulness to the player, or a sense of loss if they're separated and have to come together again. So, yes. I liked this.

Kudos on having a gay couple, though I do feel it devoured their characters to the point they were defined by it. I found Grant and Daphne's more understated relationship from TCS more convincing and just generally better storytelling, I guess? Although I suppose in that case they weren't already in a committed relationship. I don't really see what they see in each other, but that could be a result of time constraints not giving any space to develop their individual personalities. Might be interesting to see a prequel that builds the relationship more slowly.


Am I correct in assuming these are the same characters from PLEASE STOP EVILGOD? Ysmena and Illysdren are new, though. Will PSE be the "future game" that will develop these characters in more detail, or has it been canceled and you are planning something else? (I hope it's not canceled, it sounded pretty interesting.)
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
Thanks for the in-depth response!

First off, pretty much everything you said about there not being enough time for me is correct, haha, although there are a few specific things regarding time constraints I'll note below since they're more, well, notable.

1) I chose random encounters because I wanted to try something different. I'm pretty well-known for "enemies standing there and turning to stare at you" at this point, so experimentation felt necessary at this point. I agree that it wasn't ideal, though. The gamelet (it's like 25 minutes long) I'm releasing for the Venture contest tomorrow also has random encounters, but they're definitely incorporated better imo. There's EXP and a very specific point I'm trying to make about oldschool games and heroism (yeah, it's actually a game with a message. wow, craze ur goin 2far)

2) Floor three was meant to be harder than it actually managed to be, haha... as such, floor four felt out of place. Whoops. I just didn't have enough time to spend making the encounters feel smoother, which probably meant I should have just cut them out or something? Definitely a flaw in the game's design.

3) Byrcallum and Gransen were always meant to be support characters, and in Byrcallum's case, a tank. Gransen's damage is poor because it's only necessary for the early game. You can exploit them still, though. Ysmena's basic deals more damage to Dazed enemies, which Byrcallum can do to help Ysmena save some Energy. Byrcallum is also a really good healer with his Regen ability. Gransen can buff Attack, which is amazing on Derek when mixed with his damage pump, and also removes MGC Up with one skill. I DO understand the concern and how odd it feels, though. It fits the idea of the party being a toolbox, but it feels odd compared to just about every other RPG out there. It's a dissonance between expectation and reality for sure, even though it's intentional (the setup that is, not how odd it seems). If I had more time (literally, a longer game) to develop that idea and to introduce skills gradually, it would be more fluid.

4) Montrys's issue is that 30-50% of her damage is invisible (poisoning enemies, lowering enemy evasion) and that the itemization for her is somewhat weak. If I had designed equipment better, before F6, she would be feel more effective (although she actually is quite strong). She also has the vital SPD Down inflictions, so you WILL be using her in the lategame for a mix of states and damage (her damage-based-on-states skill grows to be quite strong). At least, that's the intention.

5) The missing "essays" are 100% because of time restrictions. I was so worried about finishing the endgame in time that I completely forgot to write them! That said, them going by quickly is intentional, although I did slow them down in the scripts. They're making fun of the stupidly involved backstories I feel that a lot of modern characters rely on too much, or to the extent that it weakens then (Anise in Tales of the Abyss comes to mind as an example of an otherwise great character absolutely ruined by her SURPRISE THIS IS MY BACKSTORY sequence). Stuff like Byrcallum being 1/7th cat is absurd and not meant to be taken seriously (nor is it canon, see the end of the post).

6) The gay couple has a lot of focus on their romance because of the proposal at the end. I wanted it to be clear that they've been together for a while and that Derek sort of takes care of Gransen and leashes him to a better, more positive place than when he was a nomad. Gransen is inherently nervous and cautious and commitments, which is why he has that optional conversation with Vampire*. It might have been more heavy-handed than necessary though because I'm not a talented dialogue writer, on top of the time constraints. (I was an English major, but I focused on analyzing films and television shows, not on creative writing.) Re: Daphne and Grant's relationship, I really want to use that cast again, so expect it for future contests. =) They were created to be used in such a manner!

6.5) *There's a completely unrelated vampire in my Venture contest game too, haha... someday I'll just make a game all about vampires. I spent over two years of college studying and teaching about them, haha... hah... ha.

7) Progression through party members is something I keep on writing drafts for and trying to design games around -- Edifice, Diablocide/Demon Tower, and Obelisk: Devilkillers (as terrible as it is) are all based on learning how to turn a party into a well-oiled machine. I hope to perfect it someday!

8) Finally, Ysmena and Illysdren ARE in PSE, which, yes, this is part of. At least, this is a snippet of that world and its heroes. Although none of the games are actually finished, there's an established and connected timeline, from In Praise of Peace to Diablocide to Edifice to PSE. Teenage Costume Squad is a spin-off/alternate universe interpretation of it in a modern-ish setting where dimensions are easily moved between, although I'll likely retcon Czarina, the Moth Queen, etc. out. As a side-note, Wine & Roses is a completely separate universe, and my next "real" project (i.e. non-contest... maybe. If there's another month-long contest that I'm available for, I might do it) will most likely be its sequel, called Sector Bohea. Oddly enough, Czarina Must Die is, in a lot of ways, a tech demo for Sector Bohea, haha. It uses the same version of the free-turn battle system except everybody is a blank slate. The customization is much more like TCS or WaR, but with the open battle system of CMD. Also, a seven-man party. Buuuuut i'm getting ahead of myself

9) Again, yeah these are PSE's characters. These are the canon names; Riker = Byrcallum, for example. I was just trying an oldschool approach with that game, thus the ALLCAPS and five-letter names and whatnot. Dunno how soon I'll get back to it. I'll probably do it in small chunks like this.

Glad you enjoyed it, despite the flaws. I had fun making it, but's it's a bit more sloggy than I wanted it to be. Sigh. AT LEAST MY CONTEST GAME THIS TIME IS LESS SLOGGY i hope
They're making fun of the stupidly involved backstories I feel that a lot of modern characters rely on too much
Ah, I see. I definitely got the impression that it was mostly tongue-in-cheek, but some stuff (like most of Ysmena's) seemed relatively serious and important. I'm kinda rabid for any and all characterization tidbits I can get my hands on, though, so that may have influenced my desire to read all of it. :D

and that Derek sort of takes care of Gransen and leashes him to a better, more positive place than when he was a nomad. Gransen is inherently nervous and cautious and commitments
Yeah, see that's what I mean. That doesn't come across very clearly, since there's not a lot of time to develop their individual personalities. I did sort of get that vibe but it's not terribly clear.

Although none of the games are actually finished, there's an established and connected timeline, from In Praise of Peace to Diablocide to Edifice to PSE.
Oh, that is interesting! A pity that all of those games are cancelled or in development limbo. I haven't played IPoP or Diablocide since I make a policy of not playing cancelled games (so I don't despair if I end up liking them), and roguelikes aren't my cup of tea so I've never tried Edifice. Will IPoP be revived in some form if it's important to the overall timeline?

Wine & Roses sequel
I await it with glee and excitement. :D

To be honest I'm not as much of a fan of this "free turn" system (the same used in Obelisk: Devilkiller I believe?), but I think that may just be a taste thing or being used to characters getting individual actions. It's just...I dunno, when a character's skill misses or proves ineffectual, it feels even more painful because that's an action I could have spent on another character. Or something. It also leads to certain characters being marginalized, but I guess that could be a good thing -- if they're not necessary, I can spend their turns on pumping out another Pyroclasm or whatever. Personally I feel Wine & Roses' version was the best (multiple actions per character, but individual action point pools). I guess it's just a different kind of playstyle I'll have to wrap my head around.
Craze
Machines don't have feelings.
12879
IPoP only has two major plot points (it's about carmilla, who's in almost all my games, as a young adult becoming immortal. it's also about padrick, a savior/divine figure for followers of the goddess helena due to his continent-saving sacrifice; lots of boys are named padrick in his honor, including one of the PCs in the edifice timeline), but they're both worldbuilding elements that can be sort of built up in other games. IPoP actually happened but is basically a creation myth for modern-day Cydrel (the northern country on the continent where all these games take place; Derek is from Mercedes, the southern country. During IPoP's time, it was all one monarchy called Salenar). As such, I can just refer to it as necessary and will probably never remake it.

Regarding the battle system comments, I get that. Sector Bohea has 100% customization of your characters (and no accuracy%) so that you can make each battler useful to you. You could make a supertank and put all the healing/support skills on them, for example, although if they somehow die you'd suddenly be without healing. Or you could make seven red mages, or have min/max stats out for max damage at the risk of low defenses, etc. etc. etc.. Because of this, I feel like some of your issues would be put to rest. (Note that it might be a long time coming because I want to do it justice -- I need to script the tech for stuff like saving party loadouts so that you can make a boss-specific build and then revert back to your "normal" setup for the majority of the game.)

Also, to sort of assuage an unspoken fear you might have, I only plan on using this for games with 6+ party members in battle at a time. Any more Teenage X Squad games would use the same one-action-per-character style, and any games with tiny parties like WaR will probably use that battle system.
Well, a little bit disappointing. Won't finish it, but the humour could need some polish - it's too much "in your face"-stuff.

For example, I'd appreciate it if not everything the characters do would be announced. Fourth-wall- and trop-breaking stuff comes off way better when you are not expecting it - it's the whole point of it. You can give the intent afterwards, but not before.
The overly-long character introdcution would've been pretty neat if you told afterwards something along the lines of "now that I'm a fully developed character, never again speak of it", instead of giving the intent away right from the start.

Just my humble opinion, the game itself is pretty solid I'd say, it's just that without enjoying the kind of humour it offers, there is little point to it.
shayoko
We do not condone harassing other members by PM.
515
didn't like it dropped after got 3rd character.
the battle system was a nice attempt.but the game lacks value to care enough to finish it.
there is also a really annoying delay before a random battle starts 5+ seconds
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