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Arena Preview

Working on the arena! Here's how it works.
1. Pay 500 zil for your party leader to enter on their own.
2. Party leader engages in a series of five battles that are based on their level. The further they progress, the more arena tokens they receive.
3. Exchange your acquired arena tokens for zil or items!

The party leader will be fully healed in between each fight, which is something that was not incorporated at the time of this recording.

Dev Blog: https://penumbracrystallis.blogspot.com/
Discord Server: https://discord.gg/FtNhY8H


Demo Release Date

The Penumbra Crystallis demo is tentatively slated to be uploaded on June 10. It may be a few days later than that depending on how testing goes. If I can't put the demo out there then, expect it before Sunday, June 13th.

Also, as always, you can check the following links for more frequent updates on the game since I don't post everything on RMN these days.

Dev Blog: https://penumbracrystallis.blogspot.com/
Discord Server: https://discord.gg/FtNhY8H


Going Commercial!

Penumbra Crystallis was conceived with the idea that it would be a commercial game. I knew that I'd be making all character sprites, battle backgrounds, tiles, and battle animations myself. I was able to get my hands on music and sound effects that could be used in commercial projects, but there was one problem holding me back... monsters.

Until now.

Penumbra Crystallis now features monsters that are being commissioned exclusively for the project by the talented level2janitor! With his awesome monster graphics entering the game's database, Penumbra Crystallis has now transitioned to commercial project. This will probably affect the rate at which I work on the game (meaning I'll work on it more often), and since I already have a complete blueprint for the game in the form of Blackmoon Prophecy, I would like to have this game published on itch.io and/or Steam in 2023. I'll also have a demo available in the coming weeks so that people will know what they're getting into with this game.

Progress Report

Recent Videos

Honestly, this is mostly just to bump the last blog post off the game page since it was SO LONG! Videos are cool too though, so here are some recent progress videos!

Also, as always, you can check the following links for more frequent updates on the game since I don't post everything on RMN these days.

Dev Blog: https://penumbracrystallis.blogspot.com/
Discord Server: https://discord.gg/FtNhY8H

Progress Report

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.

Progress Report

World Map Progress

Gaia is being recreated!

All of Branch has been mapped, and Lenadia is roughly 75% completed. I have not started the southern kingdoms (currently unnamed, formerly Ivalice and Lindblum).

Gaia is much more condensed now, and players won't have to walk great lengths to get from one location to the next.

Can you pick out the returning locations from Blackmoon Prophecy?
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