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Mar 28, 2014 | 1:22 PM EDT

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Made for Stencyl Jam 2014. Try to impress Princess Locria, then walk in her shoes as she navigates a dungeon using a giant chain whip. Collect upgrades to increase your health and chain length.

~ Arrows to move
~ Down to duck
~ Up, X, or V to jump
~ Z or C to perform an action

~ P to pause
~ N to mute sound
~ M to mute music

/// Tips ///

The whip takes a bit of practice, but is fun once you get used to it! Sometimes striking the wall opposite of the one you are trying to reach, then quickly turning around and striking the target wall is the best way to clear some obstacles. Think of it as "wall jumping."

The whip can destroy projectiles, but it may be easier to duck to avoid some obstacles like the fireballs.

Checkpoints save your progress

You should collect all health and whip upgrades before leaving the dungeon (it's pretty linear so hopefully they shouldn't be hard to miss).

The dialogue between Locria and the knight changes slightly depending on how many flowers you get, and whether or not you grab the kitten.

/// Issues ///

The health bar disappears after respawning / reloading. Health still works, and you can rely on audio cues to roughly gauge your health as well. The more health you have, the higher the pitch of the sound when the player gets hurt (it gets lower as you get closer to death).

The bosses are somewhat easy, I'm hoping to work my way up to more complex bosses in future releases.

Checkpoints cause a random lag spike to occur, for some reason this only happens in a browser. I'd like to get it fixed for a future release.

I apologize if the learning curve is steep, I threw this together mostly throughout the last few days!

/// Additional Info ///

A large portion of the game is centered around the Locrian musical mode. All of the songs implement the Locrian mode, as well as the majority of sound effects. The health bar plays the Locrian mode when filling up or depleting (it becomes more complete as you work up to 8 hitpoints), and the chain plays it when being used (it slowly builds up to 8 notes).

OST to be posted soon!

I would like to expand on the game's mechanics more for a future release, so feedback is greatly appreciated!

Reviews


MrccbirdguyMrccbirdguy

Rated 5 / 5 stars March 28, 2014

I loved everything about this game. The music and its concept had a simplistic almost 16 bit nes charm to it. The graphics were nice to look at and the story had a lovely twist in it.

I look forward to seeing more games by you! Good luck and great job!


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DaggerPenDaggerPen

Rated 4 / 5 stars March 28, 2014

I wanted to finish this game before reviewing, I really did, but I'm hopelessly stuck in the dungeon, and so far, I'm just not seeing any way past this particular section. I just cannot get up the increasingly projecting blocks. I've even tried backtracking to see if I missed a chain extension, but I can't seem to backtrack fully at this point, either. Maybe I'm missing something glaringly obvious, or maybe it's just not a well designed section - without seeing how I'm supposed to get out, I can't make that call. But either way, as it stands, I'm just going to give you the rundown on what I've played so far. Long review incoming.

Generally good:
-Not gonna lie, I bumped this game up a star purely because I am so happy to see a game calling out the whole "princesses as prizes" thing. Don't ditch the title for any future releases, please - it's fantastic.
-While it could be a bit awkward to use, I really like the concept of the chain mechanic - I would definitely build on that type of thing for future games.
-The controls in general are pretty smooth, actually - they're responsive and don't lag.
-The graphics are cute - simple, but charming.
-You asked me whether I wanted sound before the game even started, which was a nice touch - I almost always play on mute. You have separate sound and music mute buttons, too, which are a huge plus.
-That having been said, your music is really cute and fun. I love it.

Technical improvements:
-I get that you were on a deadline for the contest, but for future releases, your top priority should be the issue with the health bar disappearing before publication. Sound cues just don't really cut it.
-I'd include an in-game tutorial for some features such as blocking projectiles via chain - those aren't really obvious from the game itself. An infodump in the description just doesn't really work.
-You seem not to have a restart/take me back to the last save point option. While you seem not to have included any no return zones in here, I would still include that option so that if there is a clipping issue or something you do not become hopelessly lost.
-A way to aim the chain would be nice - most of my ledge-ascending involved luck and button mashing, tbh. Something as simple as firing at an upward angle while pressing up, firing at a downward angle while pressing down, and firing straight while pressing neither would do wonders, especially for some of the particularly tricky jumping bits. I wouldn't go so far as mouse control, because that'd require entirely too many hands, but an up/straight/down feature would be really useful. I know that the lack of aiming is some of the challenge, but honestly, it's not a very good source of challenge, and requires more button mashing than any real skill. Add in a basic aiming system and use that to enhance the puzzles.

Graphics issues:
-Power-ups should probably be a bit more obvious. Give them an aura or something, maybe.
-On that note, try to make background objects a bit more... backgroundy? I spent a little bit early on stuck because I thought that a background pillar was an actual wall, for example.

Content/plot improvements:
-The dialogue is kind of stilted - I like the point you're making, but it's awkward and rather anviltastic, which detracts from the experience a lot.
-I know the lead-in with the knight is just fluff for the real game, but I would like something a bit more than grabbing a few flowers and some kittens. My suggestion: open with the king begging the knight to save his kidnapped daughter in exchange for her hand in marriage, and have the knight actually fight some enemies. Nothing long, but some actual difficulty involved, and more importantly, as tropey and formulaic as possible. Real "chivalric hero" type stuff. Then when he gets there, turn it on its head. I think it'll make the critique MUCH stronger if it resembles the type of stuff that gets played straight so often, rather than "go get some flowers."

All in all, I really like this game conceptually. I can see the shape of what you're going for, and it has a tremendous amount of promise. But this game feels more like a concept test than an actual finished product. Make it richer and fix some bugs in the next version and you could have a really great game here.


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LTPATS responds:

Fantastic feedback, I will definitely use this review as a basis for most changes in a future release, thank you! I really appreciate how in-depth it is and the volume of critique provided, this is all extremely helpful.

Thanks again for putting the time into writing this!