RMMV Legend of the Nine Rings: A Zeldalike Metroidvania (Beta 0.28)

Cormorant42

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Hey guys!

So this all started with an idea: what if the original Legend of Zelda had been a metroidvania game instead of the top-down RPG classic that it was? (and no, I don't mean like The Adventure of Link, I mean like a *good* metroidvania...but whether mine is good or not is up to the player)

Enter: Legend of the Nine Rings, a 4-color gameboy/NES inspired metroidvania where a lone adventurer must find...well...nine rings. I've been working on it for about 15 days so far, and I have roughly 1/3 of the maps finished with 3 of the 9 rings currently available. I estimate I'm about 28% done as-is, and you can play the first third of the game on itch.io ( here ).

1.png2.png3.png4.png

The story so far:

A long, long time ago, on a planet not unlike our own, nine magic rings were forged by creatures of great cunning.
Their empire stretched across the obsidian highways of the night, yet their lust for power would pave the way for their downfall. In a tenth of an instant, in an event known as The Schism, their entire race was violently removed from space and time, never to be seen again. They left behind only monolithic mysteries and the magic rings, a
testament to the ambition which destroyed an entire civilization. Now, at the half-life of the system, a grave threat has appeared, seeking both the Nine Rings as well as their power source--the Celestial Dynamo.
The fate of the rings, and the Celestial Dynamo, is in your hands.

THE WORLD

Okay, so this game is set in a world that I’ve been developing in my mind for a little over two years now. About 85% of the lore is firmly grounded in Norse mythology, though with a different take on it than your standard Viking simulator. The basic overall premise for the world is this: there exists a solar system called the Yggdrasil System which has nine major planets, analogous to our own solar system and Pluto. Each planet corresponds to one of the nine realms of Norse mythology, with Yggdrasil being represented as the gravitational/tidal/inertial forces holding it all together. In Norse mythology, there’s a dragon that gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil (named Nidhoggr), and in this world the sun has been consumed by a black hole of roughly equal mass, meaning for now the orbits of the planets remain unchanged but destruction is inevitable.

This world is much bigger than this game, and I’m betting I’ll use it as a set piece for multiple projects.

THE REALMS

Here’s where things get trippy: each planet/realm is, in fact, an artificial construct of a precursor civilization that, when combined, would be a weapon of mass destruction. Each planet is a torus (donut) instead of a sphere, built as massive particle colliders (because people writing scifi stories have no idea what particle colliders actually do, so apparently they’re just the ultimate macguffin). Let’s say that the goal of the collider array is to alter reality, and that the first time it was activated, it splintered reality into nine different dimensions - more on that later.

The titular Nine Rings get their power from the “nine rings” in the night sky, the nine torus-particle-collider-planet-realms which were meant to alter reality. Additionally, their power is magnified according to the power of their wielder, so they collectively become more dangerous as their bearer becomes more powerful.

This game takes place on Midgard, though frankly that won’t matter in this game since all the planets are populated by humans. Midgard is divided up into nine maps in-game, which each correspond to one of the nine realms of Norse mythology.

THE DIMENSIONS

Okay, so by this point you’ve probably realized there’s a lot of symbolism in everything, so let me lay it all out for you in plain terms:
  • Each planet in this solar system can be divided into nine areas, each representing a realm of mythology
  • Each planet ITSELF is also representative of a realm, which governs the basic terrain and wildlife you would find on that planet
  • Outside of those, there are also nine different DIMENSIONS of these planets, which I guess you could say are the ‘literal’ nine realms, each home to a different race of creatures. For example, every planet in the Midgard dimension is populated by humans, every planet in the Alfheim dimension is populated by elves, etc., etc., regardless of which realm the individual planets represent.
These dimensions were created by the collider array when it first activated, which also caused their sun to collapse into the black hole that is now known as Nidhoggr.

OKAY, TIME FOR THE STUFF IN LEGEND OF THE NINE RINGS

So this game takes place on the planet Midgard in the Midgard dimension, and each of the nine maps will roughly correspond to a realm of Norse mythology. In the center of it all is, of course, Midgard; immediately above and below are Asgard and Helheim, the first depicted as a metropolis in the clouds and the second as the ghost-town-esque remains of one of the First Civilization’s outposts. To the left and right of Midgard are Niflheim and Muspelheim, respectively, the first consisting of a castle underneath a frozen mountain and the other as dead lava fields with tunnels underneath. In the top-left corner is Vanaheim, occupying the tip of the mountain that begins in Niflheim. In the top-right corner is Alfheim, perched atop a giant tree that has its roots in the fertile volcanic soil of Muspelheim. In the bottom-left corner is Svartalfheim, massive halls and mineshafts (think Mines of Moria) that helped provide the material to build the extravagant cities. In the bottom-right corner is Jotunheim, a massive network of labyrinthine caves.

I'm not even going to delve into this, but much of the game is based around the idea of representational geography.

Gameplay features:
  • A heck of a lot of jumping
  • Nine magic rings that give you special abilities, like more jumping
  • Enemies that will kill you without a second thought...usually by jumping
  • Platforms for all your platforming dreams
  • A dedicated button for jumping (x)
  • Have I mentioned there's a lot of jumping?
Serious gameplay features:
  • 25 unique, handcrafted maps full of enemies, secrets, and lore
  • Three different collectibles which will give you upgrades as you collect more and more (money == power, just as in the real world)
  • Thirteen unique chiptunes that compose a hopefully-moving-but-probably-meh score
  • 5 enemy variants and 2 bosses (the bosses are super easy tho, I haven't gotten around to programming them, but the enemies will take your head right off your shoulders)
  • Beautiful* graphics, crisp** animations, unique color scheme (if you're into that kind of thing), and so much more
  • Probably an hour or two of gameplay on average rn, would take me & my playtesters around 30 mins to complete when we're basically speedrunning it so I'm guessing it would take longer for the uninitiated

*Graphics are beautiful for nes standards
**Animations are meh at best

So what's next for this game? Well, depending on the community reaction, one of two things:
1. If people hate it, which I see as a definite possibility, then I'll probably end up discarding it and calling it "Finished" as is, maybe revisiting it later.
2. If people like it, I'm actually planning on redesigning the entire game --from scratch-- in a new engine (pixelbox.js, no offense RMMV, you're just not built for metroidvanias) with fresh graphics and a dedicated development team, of which a few members already exist (Connor A. and BuckRAM...not members of this forum) and which would definitely be open to new members if the time comes.

Feedback is welcome and appreciated, as are offers to help (though I doubt I'll get many xD)!
 
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DecentTreatment

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Looks promising! Do you have a download posted yet?
I'd be interested in giving you some feedback and maybe helping out. :)
 

Willibab

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Love the style! Dislike the font tho, subjective as that may be :p
 

Cormorant42

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