This Week In Indie: Return To PS1 Days With TBT: The Black Tower, And Lost Spirits Of Kael
This week has flown by fast and some great news has surfaced. A game called TBT: The Black Tower, an indie RPG, returns to the roots of PS1 JRPGs in great fashion. This is something original in the midst of all the 16-bit and 8-bit influenced indie RPGs. The other game we’ll be discussing is called Lost Spirits of Kael and is a 2D RPG with a strong focus on mystery and horror. These two games both have different takes on the current trends they find themselves in, by looking to oft forgotten sources for inspiration.
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TBT: The Black Tower is the current project of French indie developer Simon Mesnard, now joined by a team of developers, after finishing his solo indie game ASA: A Space Adventure. The story of TBT runs parallel to that of ASA: A Space Adventure with many connections. The story follows as such:
TBT is about saving a planet. The world of Terra is in decline, but no one really cares. In the middle of the chaos, Yan wants to have a peaceful life in the forest, but there are more and more wild beasts. As a forest ranger, he has to fight them to try and restore an equilibrium. On top of that, some wood pirates, the Palak’us, are destroying the trees for an unknown reason. Yan will meet various characters who will defy him or help him, like his master Jacob or the boss of the Pirates, Orma. But what will change his destiny is the encounter with Ellana, who falls from the sky in a mysterious cloud of Yellow Particles. This is not going to be a story about love, it’s not a romance, even if the feelings of the heroes will have their place. In fact, the link between Yan and Ellana will come from a mysterious artefact, a black die with great powers, that reminds us of a Cube found by Yan’s father 20 years earlier…
TBT is a game which will be developed with a budget in mind, and Mesnard wants to incorporate pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera angles, including a traditional turn-based battle system, which were all traits of many PS1 JRPGs. As stated above, this will be a team effort and will bring Mesnard together with many developers, in order to fully realise the potential of TBT. The prototype of the game shown in the video above does suffer from some animation problems, graphical glitches and lacklustre music; however, Mesnard assures us that this is only temporary. Otherwise, the game follows a particular style and trend of JRPGs, which is refreshing.
Lost Spirits of Kael is an action RPG with a focus on ambiance. In Lost Spirits of Kael, you assume the role of young painter bereft of inspiration seeking a muse in the Forest of Kael, which he has visited once before. He faces more trouble than simply finding a new source of inspiration in the Forest of Kael. The forest is magical and within the forest he discovers a mysterious harpist who allows mist to descend on the forest. In the game, you will encounter ghosts and have to find out the truth about what exactly is going on.
The game will be difficult much in the tradition of games like Zelda III and Final Fantasy VI. The difficulty of the game is comparable to that of Dark Souls. Combat will be quite intense and will require you to strategically flee battles with ghosts. But if you can defeat a ghost you’ll be richly rewarded. Lost Spirits of Kael is shaping up to be something quite spectacular.
Well that’s it for this week. With all this great news, things are truly becoming impressive this year for indie. Check back next week for more news and updates on what’s going on in the indie scene.