dollyt

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Critical Hour

Title Screen.png

The CATO: Critical Hour demo is here! With nearly five hours of gameplay, beautiful music, a fascinating story, and sometimes hilarious dialogue, it is the start of a great adventure in a futuristic world where you strive to conquer a mysterious enemy against all odds and the ire of your superiors.
Critical Hour will most likely involve three 'chapters': CATO: Critical Hour, CATO: Trojan and CATO: The Watcher. The total gameplay time will be over 30 hours. Updates on progress will be added to this thread. Please note any errors or questions and they will be fixed in the next update. Any and all criticism is welcomed.
SECTION A: SYNOPSIS
Critical Hour is an action-adventure, story-based, open-world RPG with a sci-fi setting and definite strategy game elements. You play Dr. Peter Brown, a failing scientist in the mysterious government organization called CATO. CATO is unreliable, with questionable ethics and tactics. No one is really sure what their game is. The world seems to be crashing down around you as robots continue to attack citizens in the streets of your cities. However, the robots are only a symptom of a greater problem. It is up to you to assemble a team of misfits to battle the robot menace and discover the truth about a man who seems to control the very fabric of your existence. And you have to do it all without the approval of your organization, infiltrating the enemy by committing crimes. Who is Firedrake, the mysterious 'man with a dragon's heart' who foils you at every turn? And who is the Sentinel who threatens the existence of free humanity?

"Peter, do you really think that you can defeat the Sentinel? You have been serving him all along as his puppet. You are not the hero you think you are...only a tool in the hands of a man who already controls the outcome. The Sentinel...is only as powerful as those who serve him."

The demo lasts from 3-5 hours and includes various side quests, four secret rooms, astonishing locations, dynamic ATB battles and brief puzzles. Note in the comments if you manage to find all of the secret rooms!
  • This game includes some unique features. There are two types of skills: Talent and Special. Talent skills are unique to the particular character that uses them and cannot be transferred to any other character except by use of a special item called a Talent Training App. Special skills, like 'Strong Attack' are not very unique and may be used by different characters at various times. SP, or special points, regenerate throughout a battle. Talent points or TP are only gained by consuming items.
  • Two other helpful features unique to Critical Hour are the special skills 'Journal' and 'Rush'. 'Rush' will cause your character to act on their own throughout an entire battle. This can be useful once you are fighting lower-level enemies but are at a higher level yourself and are tired of selecting 'attack' each time. Journal is used to remind you where to go next.
  • Critical Hour also does include minigames and quizzes. All are multiple choice, making them reasonably easy even if you are not sure of the answer. They are quick and do not add very much time to the game, but they are an important plot point as you discover later. Every puzzle or minigame has three difficulty levels. The easy level in each instance will require only a brief time commitment.
  • You can craft some types of armor and weapon using a machine in your lab. However, unlike games where you have to waste time finding several different items to craft just one item, you only need one item to craft a particular armor or weapon.
  • Because of the unique sci-fi setting, you will rarely find items in chests. You are more likely to find them in lockers, refrigerators, cardboard boxes and other similar areas.
  • Each character has two classes to choose from, with different skills and specialties applying to each.
  • Finally, Critical Hour features ZERO random encounters except on the world map. That's right; you can choose when and how you want to fight. Strategize carefully, though, or you may find that you don't have the power necessary to win boss battles.

IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS
Beautiful Graphics.png
2nd Cutscene.png
Interactive Battle Scene.png
Undersea Temple.png

CHARACTERS
  • Peter Brown is a passionate scientist with a mission to save his world and take down the strange, mysterious man known as the Sentinel. He created a suit of armor that he calls the Ferrous Phantom. It is often mistaken for an alien costume, much to his chagrin. Peter's inventions fail about half the time, and his organization has completely lost confidence in him. He is determined to prove himself.
    Peter Brown Full Body.png
    Ferrous Phantom Improved.png
  • Bill Cross is one of CATO's top agents, or was until PTSD forced him into early retirement. Peter Brown has called him back for one last mission. He is a grim and sometimes sarcastic soldier who thinks little of Peter Brown and his silly plans. He seeks revenge for his eye, which was injured in a fight against the illegal organization Utech. Code name: Commando X.
    Bill Cross.png
  • Lee Crocker is a true maverick. He is an underworld brawler who likes nothing more than to start a fight. He has zero respect for the law and zero interest in joining Peter Brown's team of heroes until he realizes that means he will have an opportunity to fight even more. He develops an unexpected liking for another team member, but for the most part he is surly, obnoxious and hard-headed. Code name: Gauntlet.
    Lee Crocker.png
  • Angela Cruz is a desperate, unhappy woman who is trying to save the life of her little brother by committing crimes where necessary. She is reluctant to join the team, and only does so because she believes they can help her brother. However, there is an even darker side to her character that is not immediately apparent. She uses a bow and arrows to fight her enemies. Code name: Shadow Archer.
    Angela Cruz.png
  • Manuel Cortez is a young, enthusiastic tech expert who prefers to battles bots with the use of electricity. He often rushes into situations without thinking and riles the tempers of other team members with his jokes. Underneath it all, however, he has a warm heart. Code name: Rayo (pronounced Rye-oh, Spanish for Lightning)
    Manuel Cortez.png
  • Xavier Allen is an unprincipled, disturbed individual who uses microwaves as his principle weapon. He is shockingly powerful, but wants nothing to do with helping save the world. His only interests are his own, and he has a long history of crime to prove it. He only joins the team under threat of arrest. Code name: Xenon
    Xavier Allen.png
  • Ruth is a gentle soul with experience both as a nurse and as a technician/mechanic. She can heal her companions as well as fix their technology and displays a cheerful, hopeful outlook on life. She is a peacemaker who helps hold the team together when it is on the point of exploding. She is also a genius who sees no need to flaunt it. Her preferred weapon is a simple pistol, as fighting is not her strong suit. Code name: MedMech.
    Ruth Nelson.png
  • Vincent Clyde is an annoyingly good person. He is an expert with a sword, and seems virtually incorruptible. This gives him great difficulty when he finds that he is expected to act the part of a villain in order to infiltrate the enemy organization. He and Xavier do not get along. Peter is continually teasing him about his relationship with Ruth, but he has more interest in Angela. His code name is Vanguard.
    Vincent Clyde.png
  • Taryn never goes around fighting robots, but she is Peter's only real support within CATO. She is intelligent, cautious and gracious. At various times she implies that she and Peter were once interested in each other. Peter's actions seem to indicate this may still be the case.
    Taryn.png
  • Firedrake: friend or foe? His real identity is unknown and hidden behind scars and a mask. He overturns Peter's plans and indulges in mortal combat with Vanguard on a fairly regular basis. He has been called 'the Man with a Dragon's Heart' and is said to have committed multiple assassinations, among other violent crimes.
    Firedrake Full Body Wings 2.png


SETTING AND/OR WORLD DEVELOPMENT
  • Similar to the MCU, the universe portrayed here includes dozens of different, entirely unique, tech-based, never-before-seen heroes, many of which overlap across completely different stories with totally different main characters. Villains are also diverse, with more than 30 completely unique bad guys that are seeking their own ways to power. CATO is presumably set on earth. The laws of science apply; there is zero fantasy or magical elements within the game. However, technology is far more advanced than it is today, and at times it may look like magic or mysterious powers. Wherever the Sentinel is, nothing seems to make sense and commonly appear to defy laws of logic and reason. The country is not named, but it is made up of 'states' and you sometimes take a plane ride to get to a particular area instead of walking.

DOWNLOAD LINK
Windows:
Linux:
Mac:
CREDITS
Tilesets and other graphics:
Kadokawa, Degica
Archeia and Ksi
Cunechan, Korvinu, Mike44, Sandman, TheRealFusion and Comshou
Palxan and Verdibona
PandaMaru
whtdragon
Cyanide
Avery
hiddenone
Music:
Kadokawa, Degica
DollyT (Myself; all rights reserved.)
Scripts:
Galv
 

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dollyt

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Changed the links to a newer upload with a few updates: Gorgeous new undersea battleback and a few minor bug fixes that do not affect playability. Additionally, this upload excludes unused files, making it about a fifth the size.
 
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dollyt

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Now available for Linux and Mac!
 

dollyt

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New updates include ATB system instead of the default battle system, plus new windowskin, battle animations, and skills! Two new skills include Protector: a skill that enables the user to sacrifice all their own power to raise the defense of his friends, and Rush All, a throwback to VXAce where you can have all of your people attack at the push of one button. It can only be used by leaders like Bill Cross and Peter Brown. Protector can only be used by Peter Brown.

Coming soon:
1. A HUD interface for whenever Peter is in the Ferrous Phantom armor
2. New and improved city graphics and some indoor graphics as well.
3. Two different possible classes to choose from for each character
4. Dozens of unique skills
5. Option to skip dialogue
6. Better quest journal that includes side quest updates. If requested, I may also add an option to re-read dialogue from the journal.
7. More secret rooms.
8. More hours of gameplay. That's right; the demo alone may wind up being closer to 10 hours at some point, once the full first game is done.
9. More original music
10. Additional battle animations and improved icons.
11. Better font and more unique menu screen.
12. Additional sound effects

I'll mark each of these 'done' as they are added.
 
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dollyt

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Adding additional battle animations, re-working sound effects and adding room ambiances, as well as changing various maps from default graphics. Also finished creating two classes for each character and added options to skip dialogue. New download link coming soon.
 

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