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Penumbra Crystallis is a complete remake and reimagining of Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy as an original game rather than a fan game. All Final Fantasy assets and references are being removed, and the story/world are being adjusted accordingly to make up for the removal of every aspect of Final Fantasy.

Penumbra Crystallis gets its name from two elements of the original games storyline, the Blackmoon phenomenon (Penumbra) and the Crystals of Element (Crystallis).

All graphics will be original. I will be attempting to do all character sprites and tiles, but am likely to look for help with monster sprites and character portraits. In addition, all music will also be either original or royalty free.

Large changes to both the world and story will be made in order to keep players of the original Blackmoon Prophecy as in the dark as new players. While I intend on changing up a lot of locations and story beats, the original adventure is mostly going to be left intact.

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Blackmoon Proph... er, Penumbra Crystallis Info Dump!


Penumbra Crystallis Info Dump



Penumbra Crystallis. It is something familiar... yet different. Take the original Blackmoon Prophecy, remove all Final Fantasy elements, add lessons learned over the years from other projects, and sprinkle in some new plot elements and story beats, and presto! You have Penumbra Crystallis!

This project is being developed in RPG Maker MV and is a full-on remake, and reimagining, of Blackmoon Prophecy as an original project. This info dump addresses questions I've had thrust at me, as well as answers to questions that nobody's asking but probably would at some point! So, without further adieu...

What's happening with the graphics?
All Final Fantasy graphics are gone! I am attempting to do all field sprites and tiles by myself. We'll see how far I get with that, but I'm happy with my progress so far since I've never taken on a task like this before.

I'm using Final Fantasy V as inspiration for the tiles and the first five Final Fantasy games as inspiration for the sprites. I'm trying my absolute best to keep that "Final Fantasy" feeling present so that returning players feel like they're in a familiar world. I don't know what I am doing for portraits and monster sprites yet, as I'm not quite able to do those. I'll likely look for help for RMN for this.



How will battles play out?
Pretty much the same since I'll be using RPG Maker MV's side view battle system. There are two things worth mentioning though!

First, characters will feel more unique and there will be abilities/commands that were absent in Blackmoon Prophecy such as the steal ability among other things.

Second, the battle graphics for the characters will match their overworld chibi sprites. This is a design decision on my part, as I want the characters to feel largely the same in and out of battle. I feel that the chibi sprites bring a "lighter" air to the game as well, and will also try to incorporate other lighter elements into battle sprites. One example being that, when a character hits zero hit points, they won't collapse. Instead, they'll turn into a gravestone that will likely read "RIP" and have a personal keepsake. For instance, Oalston's gravestone will probably have his hat resting on top of it.

Are all of the playable characters returning?
Nope! Since this is a remake AND a reimagining, things won't unfold in quite the same manner as before. The major characters (Vahn, Vera, Oalston, etc.) will still be around, but some others are being renamed and given new identities while others are being cut entirely.

One character that is being reimagined is Ami. No longer will she be a blue mage, but instead a huntress who is familiar with the Lenadian countryside and can act as a proper guide for the party. She will still incorporate some form of blue magic into her attacks. She will attack with a bow and may have an animal companion or two.

Characters such as Bosche, Jasmine, and Omicron are being cut due to being largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Bosche and Omicron simply will not exist while Jasmine may appear as an NPC. I'm also figuring out if Godot even needs to return since it is my intention to make Oalston feel like the defacto elemental magic user this time around (other characters will use different types of magic).

What does all of this mean for the story?
I'm not telling the same story beat for beat. If I were doing that, then I'd honestly feel like I'd be wasting my time. Penumbra Crystallis uses the storyline from Blackmoon Prophecy as a base and there will be various changes along the adventure that will surprise the player, because the game is not going to unfold in the same way. Players may find themselves going to certain dungeons or towns at moments in the game that catch them by surprise, and unexpected plot points that were not in Blackmoon Prophecy will pop up from time to time.

The story will still revolve around Vahn's group trying to save the crystals from Malacore, but the story will focus on the people around the party a lot more as well. I intend on making the story have a little bit more political intrigue, and for there to be more strife with groups that the player fought against in the first game such as the Ivalician (now Stromgarde) generals or the Lindblum (now Artalia) rebels. Characters like General Braak and his cohorts Deckar and Aveline (formerly Eva) will get much more attention, and how things unfold with Darius will be much, much different this time around.

Is the world going to be the same?
Gaia is going to be "sort of" the same. If you head on over the the game's screenshots, you'll see that Gaia is roughly keeping the same shape, but the actual kingdoms are structured a little differently. Branch is much more compact than before while Lenadia has had huge chunks removed to trim the fat/filler that plagued players there. I'm very aware of what errors and misteps I made with Gaia in this game since I've grown so much in the 9-10 years since Blackmoon Prophecy was completed, and I actually look back on the original game in disdain because I know it could be so much better. I'm fully open to suggestions on what to "fix" from the first game, but just know that I may already have plans on fixing what you may suggest since I am hugely critical of my own game and have a laundry list of issues that I have with it.

(Image of WIP map, hence areas of empty grassland.)


What will be used for music in the game?
I might use some of Brandon's tracks that he composed for Blackmoon Prophecy II, I mostly intend on using Winged Seraph/Yufuruka tunes such as:


How far along is the game so far?
I haven't even made a single map yet! Even though I made this project public several weeks ago now, things have been a bit slow. I'm mostly just doing document work and figuring out what needs to be reworked, what Final Fantasy names need to be removed or renamed, and how things will unfold differently. I've also been busy working on sprites using my original template that is meant to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia in NES Final Fantasy fans. Currently have 39 sprites done and have been averaging 2-3 per day for the last week, so I should have a good number of them done soon.

If I get enough original assets completed in time, I may try to remake Blackmoon Prophecy's intro using Penumbra Crystallis music/sprites for fun and post that on December 25. It won't be the actual game's intro because that will actually be in Vahn's hometown this time around, it's just a fun little thing I feel like doing to get my feet wet with using my original assets.

Anyway, that's mostly it! Any further questions, fire away! If you're interested in getting "micro updates" or just hearing about how the game is progressing, you can also hop onto my Retroist RPG Makers Discord server and follow the Penumbra Crystallis channel.

Posts

I kept putting off on clearing the original because I kept forgetting it while playing other games. So having a remake would be awesome for me :D
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
author=ZarethKnyght
I kept putting off on clearing the original because I kept forgetting it while playing other games. So having a remake would be awesome for me :D


Good to hear, but it's going to be a while! After all, I've decided to put this off and make it in MV instead of VX Ace.
author=UPRC
Good to hear, but it's going to be a while! After all, I've decided to put this off and make it in MV instead of VX Ace.


Good choice. Remember that it might take some time for MV to get custom scripts, battle systems etc. + the fact that old resources will be incompatible due to the new screen resolution.

For you, it's probably for the best though, since you're already quite busy with BMPII. I'm currently remaking a game myself, and let me tell you that it can definitely be a lot harder and take much more time than you initially think.

Some things are actually harder to remake than to simply scrap something and renew. Also, don't forget to take into account that BMP is a pretty huge game to begin with.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck!
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
The main reason why it's moving to MV, above all else, is the battle system. I'm much more comfortable tinkering with a default side view system than a scripted one.
I don't mind the wait too much. I'm waiting for BMPII more anyway. And the longer it takes, the more time I have to finish BMP ^_^
...UPRC - you sure you wanna remake this? I mean, what’s wrong with the original, besides you removing all those blasted Berserker Rings that you could get early on in an updated patch.

(Yes, I’m still mad about that. You took away my god powers and it made me feel sad...)
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
I know I could make it much better, that's why. :p

Lots of TERRIBLE dialogue, countless pacing issues, tons of balance problems. I started the original game in 2003, I've come a long way since then. Guaranteed, it could be a MUCH better game.
Adon237
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
1743
I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE IT ACCURATELY
author=UPRC
Guaranteed, it could be a MUCH better game.

(But it’s one of the best games that I’ve played here…)

I mean, the only thing that kind of seemed like it dragged a bit from what I remember were the sheer amount of locations that you had to go to and how many of those were seemingly pointless in relevance to the overall story, especially during the first half of the game. But it wasn’t like a serious issue like other games have or in the series, as the pacing felt just right, and the large amount of locations meant that as long as you fought every single random encounter that you had that grinding was basically non-existent, which was a good thing, since I don’t like grinding that much.

Either way, I didn’t think it was all that bad in terms of overall pacing and stuff. Character balance wasn’t entirely perfect, but you could still form a pretty decent team made up of seemingly anybody and still do just fine. I mean, f***, I had Bosche on my team for the longest time before I ended up switching him out for Jasmine and he was supposedly the worst character in the game - but I got out pretty good.

But it’s hard to complain since, you know, ten years is a long time and you’ve improved so much since then that to me this may be one of the best games ever on here and there’s really no need to remake it but for you it’s probably beyond ancient and doesn’t have that same new car smell that it once did when you were working and playtesting it from before all those years ago. I suppose that happens to all of us eventually… I mean, that’s why I’m remaking / retooling mine, as the original lacked most of the things that I wanted to implement back then.

Either way – I hope you’re ready for the long haul, because there’s no turning back once you hit that “new project” button...otherwise you're gonna see me post this on here afterwards!

(You don't want that, do you?)
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
author=Addit
Either way – I hope you’re ready for the long haul, because there’s no turning back once you hit that “new project” button...otherwise you're gonna see me post this on here afterwards!

(You don't want that, do you?)


The good thing about this is that it would be at least a year away. ;)

This is a side project and, thankfully, gets to remain in stasis for a little while since MV isn't out. It will get more attention when Blackmoon Prophecy II is finished, but that's probably not until in the first quarter of next year sometime.
One of the faults of RPGMaker 2003 is the clunkyish battle system. Plus..as it's been said, this is a good game. A remake will get people that are scared of RPGMaker 2003 system/graphics/etc to try it out too. So if it happens at some point, I'm all for it. Not going to stop me from beating the RM2k3 version though.
hopefully this epic game will be done soon. :) because i'm really looking forward to playing it. ^v^
hey UPRC? i think yur work is awesome. :)
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
author=taios87
hopefully this epic game will be done soon.

It won't be. I'm starting it after Blackmoon Prophecy II, which is going very slowly at the moment (was struggling with something in it for a while that I only planned a fix for last week). It's also being made in MV, which I do not yet have.

Even then, it's probably just going to be a side project. After Blackmoon Prophecy II, I really want to make an original game. I don't just want to be remembered for fangames.
author=UPRC
After Blackmoon Prophecy II, I really want to make an original game. I don't just want to be remembered for fangames.

Yeahhh…nobody really wants to be remembered for that.
I was actually planning on doing a Let's Play of the original & I'm really looking forward to seeing this remake. I remember some of the errors I found in the original (not to mention how difficult it was getting the Ultima Tome, starting with the Chocobo Races). Here's a list I archived from when I last played a few years ago (in case some of the things in this list got overlooked):

#1 - Various equipment that doesn't give an accurate stat boost (actual stat boost different than description says)
#2 - Weapon Sprites in Mt. Ordeals either missing or inaccurate
#3 - Murasame from Mt. Ordeals says aquired 'Masamune' instead of Murasame
#4 - Ami's augments function on Nobumasa'a augment switch (you forgot to make a augment switch for her)
#5 - Nobumasa's Shadow Step doesn't switch off when switching skills
#6 - When switching from Oaleston's Improved Comet to Exorcism, it says 'want to forget exorcism' instead of Improved Comet
#7 - Vera's Remora summon says 'Drain 100 MP' but doesn't absorb the MP
#8 - Even if you recruited Bosche in the 1st world, if you get to Garmonde before finding him at the Mithril Mine he's there & acts like you never meet him before (you should have set his 'gone' page to require the 'Bosche Joins 3' switch instead of the 'Bosche Rejoins' switch).
#9 - Accessory shop in Mohadmal village (3rd world) doesn't have a functional door (I duplicated the original accessory shop from the 1st world & added it to the 3rd world version & changed the teleport events)
#10 - Can't remember which dungeons but you can walk off of bridges & walk around in the air
#11 - The effects of Protect & Empower are reversed (Protect doubles Magic & Empower doubles Defense. Also, the 'Empower' skill does not inflict Empower. Also, the 'Berserk' skill actually removes Berserk instead of inflicting it.
#12 - When reaching the Dark Elf, his sprite & the Abaddon sprites are invisible, as if the Dark Elf switch is already on (I've corrected this by adding an event that turns that switch off when you enter the room them flips a new switch so the event only goes off once. Did this after beating him so I can't test it.)
#13 - In Sandy Point you have a guy block your access to the treasures until you complete the treasure hunt, but you left the right steps open, allowing the player to go around the guard (fixed this by adding a duplicate of the guard & changing his sprite to that of the guy who's positioned a few steps from those steps)
#14 - I can't remember this perfectly but you can sneak off to the Citadel & get thrown in prison by Zeul before speaking to one of the Grans that tells you to go there. There's some sequence breaking involved when the story reaches this point.
#15 - In the boss room in the Mithril Mine when Bosche rejoins you, there's an event in the room that memorizes a BGM & gives a message about a character & class that joins the party & requires the switch for chest 613 to activate. What's with this?
#16 - When defeating Orphan, his death turns the Kefka dead switch on instead. In fact, the whole switch arrangement with the Trophy Bosses seems messed up

Anyway, definitely looking forward to doing a Let's Play of the original as well as seeing a remake. You may have trouble implementing certain features if plugins haven't been made for them yet.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
A lot of those were fixed, but it doesn't matter at all anyway since, whenever I tackle this, the game would be rebuilt from the ground up since it will be made in an entirely different version of RPG Maker. Hell, Mt. Ordeals was flat out removed entirely if I recall correctly. I'm still very busy with Blackmoon Prophecy II, which I'm planning on finishing "sometime soon", and then this game will merely be a side project. It will never be high on my list of priorities since, after all, the game already does exist. :p
Wait a minute - WTF – there’s a 3rd Blackmoon Prophecy now!? When the heck did this happen!?!?!? *re-reads through old posts* Oh… Oh…! So you’re turned the remake of the original Final Fantasy: Blackmoon Prophecy that you were planning on doing and pulled a Final Fantasy XIII: Verses on all of us and made it into the next installment into the series; you crafty b*tard, you…! (Also are you trying to be like the next J-Man and eventually make six of these things to catch up to him and his Phantasia series or something? Lol.)

Welp - I’m up for another installment! But…why drop the Final Fantasy namesake from the title anyway…? And does that mean that all of the borrowed Final Fantasy elements that have been prominent in the first two titles will be dropped from this one??? Either way, this has me feeling both intrigued and rather a bit nervous at the same time. But, I guess we’ll have to just find out and see what this is all about in due time. Besides - I trust ya!

UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6138
I don't have Final Fantasy in the title because the game sits in a weird place. Because of how I had the last game end, and with the sort of things I'm putting in this game, I don't really think it will "feel" like Final Fantasy in the strictest sense. Things like various abilities and spell names are all going to be there, and I'll be using all Final Fantasy music (all orchestral remixes and/or remasters).

It's a bit weird to explain, but I suppose it's mostly because space travel and interacting with other sentient humanoids in the same region of space play a big part in what I'm planning.

author=Addit
(Also are you trying to be like the next J-Man and eventually make six of these things to catch up to him and his Phantasia series or something? Lol.)

I honestly had no intention of doing this at all less than a week ago. I just realized that, every single original project I've tried to start since finishing Blackmoon Prophecy II crashed and burned. Some didn't even get to the point where I'd start working on them in RPG Maker. It was all really demotivating and I was wondering if it was a sign that there's just no steam left at all anymore, but then I had a random thought and started working on this out of the blue. I feel like there's still some story that I can tell, and I half feel like I have my own little mythos going on after the first two games that I can keep building off of.

I'm going to be a bit quiet with progress on this since I'm still very early in. I even need to wait until next week when I get paid to snatch up some Time Fantasy resources that will be integral to the game (the future pack), and I still have no idea how I'm going to visually represent some things like space travel (there's a god awful screenshot on here now that will probably be deleted once I get an alternative fourth image ready of literally anything else).

I told the Facebook followers that I'd be making some form of a post today with what I expect from this project, how I want it to look/play, etc. today at some point, so I'll probably make a blog post later on when I'm sitting at work with nothing to do.
dude you're a legend. the edit of the eyes makes the sprite look 100x better.