Tale of the Cursed Lantern - Alpha Available

Are you excited for recent progress in Tale of the Cursed Lantern?


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Simon D. Aelsi

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ANNOUNCEMENT! ALPHA 01 IS HERE! Link at bottom of OP.
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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE TALE OF THE CURSED LANTERN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK!

WHOSOEVER FREES THE CURSED FLAME SHALL BE DOOMED TO

PERISH SHOULD THEIR OWN FIRE BE QUENCHED.



Countless ages ago, A vicious and hideous evil was vanquished by a legendary warrior. The monster, a fire demon, left behind a special “gift”, a cursed lantern which would fuse his remaining fire with the body of the one whom would be foolish enough to disturb the flame inside. Some time later, the Kaiser Kingdom was founded, its grand opulent castle built on the final resting place of this horrifying little secret. The only one who knew of its true whereabouts was slain in battle. But was he truly the only one who knew?

The Tale of the Cursed Lantern was the most popular tale of lore in the Kaiser Kingdom, many flocking to the castle in search of the forbidden treasure. Some were too scared to even venture inside the beautiful structure for fear that the curse might take them and that they’d be consumed. Some say they could see a frightful glow coming from the basement vents of the castle. Perhaps, the fair Queen knew more about the legend than she was letting on? Perhaps the honest Queen was...hiding something?

No one knew. Not even her daughter, the Princess.

Over the years, the queen began to feel ill at ease, as if someone were after her. She started fearing the very shadows... She put on a brave face, but deep down she was most fearful. Someone, somewhere, somehow would bring about her untimely end.

Within weeks, she was found dead by the Princess and one of her trusty guards. Some could hear the anguished final cries of Her Majesty, but by the time anyone got to her it was too late. Moreover, the seal to the chamber where the cursed flame sleeps was unsealed. But by whom? Had they any connection with the murder of the Queen? What will become of the princess? Who will be the one to unleash the curse?

The inscription of the lore reads as such:

La te tangata e pa ki te ahi te kanga, ka mate haere, ka tona mura ki waho.
Your mother was horribly murdered and all the killer left behind was an antique lantern. But was this any ordinary lantern? Suddenly, almost the entire castle staff are after you! What were once harmless maids are now deadly enemies! There’s only one solution to this problem: ESCAPE!

Flee the perils of Kaiser Castle, all the while trying to figure out how her poor Majesty was killed. And why. Maybe a guard might help you. Just maybe... or maybe you might be thrown in prison. There’s only one way to find out.



Story - 100%!!!!

Gameplay - 45%

Mapping - 10%

Sprites - 40%

Music - 60%

Art - 10%

VoiceOver - 5%





Kaiser Castle is arguably one of the most beautiful structures in the entire world! The majestic towers of this beacon of wealth and power attract visitors from all over the world. Fabulous galas and balls have been hosted here, serving royalty from all around. The people of the Kaiser Kingdom pride themselves on being the best, even down to the farmers and fishermen. How much more the staff and servants of the castle? Visitors flock to the castle at the glimmer of a chance to taste one of the fabled Fire Rolls, a Kaiser Specialty pastry named after the fabled “Cursed Flame”. Few get the chance...

However, nobody knows just how the great and powerful Kaiser Kingdom even came to be, let alone their rise to power. What existed before the kingdom? No one seems to know. Also, no one knows who ruled before the great Queen Elysia. Did... anyone rule before the great Queen Elysia?





Tale of the Cursed Lantern is a FANTASY/SURVIVAL Adventure RPG. There are no battles here. Instead, you must use your wit, your sharp mind, and guts...to advance and make it out alive.

Guide the princess through the beautiful but dangerous Kaiser Castle: Through castle corridors, lush gardens, Deep, dark catacombs, the castle crypt-wait. WHAT? Well... heh. You’re on your own!

You’ll have to find out how the queen died, find out why, and uncover the killer! But the twist is that you have to keep yourself from being killed! It’s not just one killer after you. The entire staff of Kaiser Castle wants your head! What’s a young princess to do?

Scavenge the castle for helpful items that might help you later. Even that bunch of old grapes you found on the kitchen table that nobody in their right mind would eat...may have some use.

The princess has much more to lose than, well, her life.

Most of the castle staff have turned against the princess after the curse is unleashed. Fortunately, not all. A few are willing to help! However, if you don’t help them as well, they may just turn you in...

As you explore the castle, you may come across a few...difficult decisions. You may have to choose between your own life, and another, innocent soul. Which will you choose, if ever such a decision came to pass? Why couldn’t it be both?

As you uncover the mysteries of Kaiser Castle, you must be careful not to let your own fire go out! If your fire becomes extinguished, then so will you. Find ways to feed yourself and your fire!

More features:

Puzzles and mazes abound.

FULL Voice Acting!

A (almost!) FULLY custom soundtrack!

Perils at every corner!

Multiple characters to play as, each with their OWN goals!

THE MIGHTY DEATHSWALLOW ORGAN or MDO, a massive 5 manual, two console beast with a network of pipes that spans 45 feet tall!

Custom artwork by yours truly 

Opportunities to play as different characters, each with different goals!

CAUTION: Some scenes may contain sudden loud noises and/or Jump Scares.





Queen Elysia


The ill-fated matriarch of the Kaiser Kingdom. Who would want to end her and why? She is renowned for being a kind soul, always putting others first. Her kindness and generosity has allowed the Kaiser Kingdom to explode and flourish.



Julius

Elysia’s third in command. He’s been put in charge of the Princess’ safety at all times. He’s a bit of a goofball and quite dramatic at times... maybe overly so. Despite this, however, when battle or action calls, all playfulness melts away, revealing the warrior machine within.



Fantasia



Little is known about this girl. She wanders about the castle corridors completely undetected. Some say she’s the imaginary friend of the Princess...

Princess Isa



The princess of the Kaiser Kingdom. She’s very shy and quiet, almost never speaking. The queen is constantly disappointed in Isa at her refusal to speak, let alone in public. A queen must have flawless public-speaking skills. She seems afraid, somehow. But of what? If only she’d speak...



Staluc



The first ever nonhuman to work as a guard in Kaiser Castle. He's a hulking wolf and is very powerful. SO powerful he has to wear power-dampening bracelets so he doesn't knock the stone walls down with one swing.  Few of the staff have grown to befriend Isa. Staluc was one of them. He looks mean and ferocious, but he's actually a kind, tenderhearted, caring soul.

Mura Wehi



The curse of the lantern has a name. The fiersome Fire Demon who left his last "gift". His name was Mura Wehi.  His name literally means "Fearsome Flame". Very little is known about this beast.

Prince Nicolas "Nico" Victor Laren



The prince of a faraway kingdom. But what is he doing here? And why is a 14 year old prince out and about with no escort? He is a sweet and charming individual. Charming to a fault. Does he have any idea what's going on within the deadly castle wallss?





Story: IRON CROC

Non-Custom Music: Eugene Gigout, Alexandre Gilmant, St Saens, Also freesmallchurchmusic1.com

SCRIPTS:

KilloZapit, Khas, Yanfly, TBE

Engine: Enterbrain

Graphics: Enterbrain, Deathswallow, Kanax, Celianna, TBE

 













More screenshots will be added as game progress continues!





I choose to believe that a good video game has may things balanced well. Good gameplay, eye-pleasing graphics (No soul-crushing pink-on-yellow against black.) and MUSIC. The MUSIC is what made me want to create my own video games ever since I was a child. Yes, my love for the game goes way back, some 25 years. (Not THIS game, mind you.)

Most of the music is classical-baroque sounding, and much of it features the KING of instruments, the mighty PIPE ORGAN. Now, some of you may not be fans of that, and some of you might be!

I want to do everything in my power to create a soundtrack for this game that will evoke similar emotions to those I felt playing those games as a child. Feelings of awe, of wonder, of amazement... and of inspiration. If I’ve inspired at least one person to create, then it was all worth it.





Three words have never struck such fear into the hearts of a would-be let's player: PRINCESS OF PERIL.

I was going through some rather difficult times then, but I suppose no excuse is ever good enough. I'd like to formally apologize to all players who played Princess of Peril and walked away frustrated. That was not my intent. Of course, it was my first game ever, and I've learned so much from the experience. I'd do it all over again.

Tale of the Cursed Lantern is not just some simple "Remake". This game is going to be everything I imagined Princess of Peril to be, but never had the time nor experience to do so. Armed with newly found knowledge and one of the best supporters out there, I aim to create a game that will leave a lasting impression. A positive one that may extend far beyond RMW. Who knows.

What was once a filler project to move out of the way for a much larger project has grown into a mature, substantial project all its own.

Thank you for your time in reading through all of this. I sincerely you hope you enjoy Tale of the Cursed Lantern as it grows.

Thank you.

Some things to get over:

 



Save points.

Fourth-Wall Breaking.

Tall sprites, Generator Sprites.

RTP Tiles.

Mostly non-custom artwork.

Non-custom GUI.

Almost no scripts.

This is NOT a high-res project.

 

That is all. :)

Download the demo (alpha 01) HERE

Known issues: Nun sprites are scrambled

One save point is nonfunctional

Would you like to support Tale of the Cursed Lantern? Grab a lantern and proudly display it in your signature! Choose one of four designer colors. Simply highlight, hit CTRL C, then CTRL V in your signature. Each lantern will take you back here!

     

Thank you! Enjoy your day!
 
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Dalph

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I see someone still insists with tall sprites here, ahahah! The plot is very intriguing I must say, I like it.

Good luck Croc and I warn you, I will play and review this one. Do your best. :D
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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@Nio, yes it is, of sorts!  Princess of Peril was just a launchpad. I knew I could do so much more, so I am. This won't be a very long project/game, though.  But it'll b short and sweet. Like a candy bar.

@Dalph, I'm not worried. I'm ready.  Livestream that sucker! Maybe you and buka, eh? :p

Alright, everyone.  Starting this week, I hope to get updates to you at least once a week!

I'm sorry to say that there are no updates this time. This will change. Currently working on finalizing a castle map legend. I'm gonna try to see if I can implement a map. Maybe Zelda style. That'd be cool.  Next time I should bring more screenshots!

Please note: There will be NO demos available until at least halfway through.  However, if you'd like to playtest, contact me!

I need at least one male and at least one female. :) (Mods, Can I do that here?)  I'll update the main post too.
 
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Simon D. Aelsi

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Time for my first update! Forgive me, kind denizens of RMW. I have nothing visual for you YET, but what I do have I assure you is just as good.  I have the OST for the game. A work in progress, it has SIX pieces of music and counting. (Soon to be seven!)

I'm sharing the OST for now because I'd love to garner support and encourage people to eventually want to play this. Any way I can. I also assure you that by this time next week I'll have more visual stuff. :)

Here is the Tale of the Cursed Lantern OST!

By the say, you say "Curse ed.

Please enjoy the music! I'll be adding to it every single week.
 

Kes

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I enjoyed listening to the OST. And the info at the top looks promising.

Could I make one suggestion, though, about your mapping? The two with the pink carpet would look much better if you shift-clicked on the lower borders so that it looks like the carpet is going behind the wall.

Looking forward to your updates.
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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I enjoyed listening to the OST. And the info at the top looks promising.

Could I make one suggestion, though, about your mapping? The two with the pink carpet would look much better if you shift-clicked on the lower borders so that it looks like the carpet is going behind the wall.

Looking forward to your updates.
Thanks for the advice! I had actually already done that. I'll update the screenshots soon.

Next week I'll try to focus a little more on some game mechanics.

I'm glad you're taking an interest in this newold project! :D
 
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ElementalLight

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I will be watching this i always find your music good hope this game will be the same .
 

zDS

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Your game sounds interesting. I'm really digging the music. The organs are really nice. What music program do you use to make it with? And if it costs anything, how much does it cost?
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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Thanks and thank you!  I used FL Studio. There are three versions, each with more features and things.

You can also find a bunch of soundfonts for free (legally too) around Google, some of them are harder to find than others.
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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It's time for an UPDATE.  I wish I could say I've been a lot of amazing things that I could show you all right now... but--
Well, actually, I CAN.

For those of you who don't know, due to health issues I had to take a hiatus. I'm back now and (All self-doubt aside) I'm ready to march onward.

I took the old story from Princess of Peril and completely burned it up. No pun intended. I've now started on a whole new outline and storyline revolving around the lantern, featuring the same beginning and a similar ending. Most of what I did was create sprites.  Let's show some off, shall we?

Here's our heroine. (No busts yet. I just don't have that kind of talent...)



One of my favorites, the fallen warrior, doomed to hunt the spirit of the cursed flame. He was killed in battle fighting against a tremendous evil, and now he's out for revenge... (Who keeps a dead warrior in their castle?! Seriously...) this guy's HUGE!



We have a hero! He was once a bumbling goof--actually, he still is kind of a bumbling goof. :) this is...

Julius! In his Civillian clothes...



That's just a few for now.

I also knuckled down and sought out to be the best I can be gameplay and interface-wise. I've built a spiffy new menu. (Prototype) I've also been experimanting with a new Fire Meter. No more nasty glass ball! Again, this is just an early prototype.




Look guys... I wish I could show you a lot of flashy, fancy amazing hand-drawn stuff, All kinds of fancy maps and such, but I'm just not there yet. :( As for art, well... all Ive got to work with is RTP. Sorry. :/ I just wanted to post SOMETHING. ANYTHING to let you know that I'm not dead, and this project is not dead.

... But I do have the COMPLETE* OST!  Listen HERE. 17 tracks of awesomeness, all composed and/or arranged by me.

over 22 in total. *some tracks are being kept a secret. I have to have SOME surprised!

Not to mention all the bonus tracks in the game itself.

I do hope I've rekindled SOME kind if interest in this project. Please have faith. I won't let you down. :)
 
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Kes

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Actually, rethinking an entire project and doing sprites for it is already a very substantial amount of update.  I shall listen to the OST while I'm doing things.
 

That Bread

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I am very glad you haven't given up on this project yet Oceaniqo. It's good to see you determined to continue and strive to make this game the best it can be.

I am looking forward to playing out the brand new game once it gets done!
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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I am very glad you haven't given up on this project yet Oceaniqo. It's good to see you determined to continue and strive to make this game the best it can be.

I am looking forward to playing out the brand new game once it gets done!
Thanks, man. It's been a long, LONG struggle. I feel like I've been wrestling a monster with this; a monster that will determine whether I sink or swim!

EDIT: Alright, everyone.  UPDAAAAATE! I've been working like a madman and I've got more done including tweaking maps!  FINALLY... New maps to show off.

New concert hall


Newly Refurbished Throne room!



The main area of the first floor of the castle. During the game, something.... special... happens here several times. ;) I can't give it away but it's sure to BLOW you away. I can barely contain my excitement... 

I call it the "Main Annex" because I like fancy names.

 
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mlogan

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I really like the menu though I would consider a different word than "Terminate". But maybe that's just me.

Glad to see this coming along!
 
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Clord

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Those walls look rather thick for something to have mirrors on. Also wall heights look a bit off compared to elevation changes.
 
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Simon D. Aelsi

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@MLogan yeah, that was just a prototype menu, words will definitely be different in the end. :)

@Clord Mirrors...?  Also WHICH walls? in which maps?

EDIT: Since I'm only allowed to post every three days (Am I the only one who follows this, mods? :p ) I'll put my update HERE.

I am THRILLED to announce that the story for the game is now 100% complete! That's right! START TO FINISH, THE STORY IS COMPLETE.  And... it's KICK-ASS! ^_^

Edit 2: You will find a few characters speaking a "different" language. These are not some random letters jumbled again. I've searched for languages, their rhythm, flow and how they sound when spoken. The best language  for this project and any others in this "universe" is Maori, a language of the Island People who live in NZ. I listened to a man speaking Maori and whoa. I felt like a whole world's been opened up to me.
 
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Bukarett

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I hope I'm not too forward, I've been looking at your maps and I spotted a few mistakes that I thought you should know about ;D The projects looks very nice btw~



(Number correspond with the picture, to help visual. At least I hope it will ;D)

  1. ​Usually the Concert Halls have they seats next to each other. It's very common for a reason, because that way you vision isn't blocked from any side. Also it allows for more seats to be places, saving some space in between. :D It's really more efficient to do this, unless of course this hall is meant to be the opposite and people who sit on chairs are meant to play the instruments, if thats the case then the audience would have very little space and would have to stand. Wouldn't make much sense. 
  2. My advice would be to get rid of that wall and make the stage a tad bigger, also add some decorations, for a concert hall in the fantasy world it's a very bare hall. ;D If you want any other idea how to fix this I would maybe suggest to make the seats into triangle? Keep the wall but get rid of those that can't see anything and place some nice flowers and statues there. Decorated a little~ Make it...
  3. I'm not sure if that was your intention but this stairs are meant to go down making the stage sinked rather than raised. Those seating in the back although are fairly elevated their view still will be blocked by those who seat way in the bottom. Thats why in our days we see stages elevated and placed on the platform so everyone would have the same share of the view. ;)
  4. There are two missing stairs, people won't be able to even walk to the top stairs if the entrance will be still at the bottom since there are no stairs allowing them to raise from one elevation to the other. ;D These two are easy fixes so just place two stairs in the appropriate boxes and get rid of the ones that are in the unnecessary space~ And Your done ;D
  5. Here is the big one, You don't gave any other entrance except from the stage, which would be a pain in the butt in the real world. There needs to be an entrance on top for people to be able to flock without having to go through the back stage. Whats the fun of watching a show if you see everything that is happing behind the scenes while walking to your seats? Plus how uncomfortable it would be to leave the stage afterwards? Everyone would be going to the same doors. 
The hall over all needs way more decorations. I would also maybe suggest to change the view of the stage from the bottom to the top. It would add a very nice perspective of the player watching what is going on as well, kind of like being amount the audience themselves. :D Sort of like Final Fantasy made here:







I would advice to look around the net for reference pictures while you map, things like old concert halls from european countries would help. They show a lot of class and details, that suits Fantasy world, and can give you a lot new ideas how to improve and better your map ;)

The throne room doesn't look too shabby, the water coming out of no where should be fixed a tad. :D I think i know what you were trying to do there but it does look as if its just a mapping error. It needs more decorations just as the Hall, its very bare, especially with such a description you provided at the top, it seems like the kingdom has well enough money to be all extravagant. ;) Add some nice paintings, flags and what not, statues flowers and maybe some nice plantation on the water. Also the carpet near water seems like a bad idea D; It will only get dump and smell later. I'm sure the queen wouldn't want that. :D

The game overall seems to have a unique concept, I like the intro you wrote and set up this thread. The menu you made looks really nice as well, the texture you used works really well with the sound effects. It's a nice mention about the music as well,  I love organ pieces and those usually give this nice highly feel that suits castles and fancy mansions, really good choice for the game. 
 
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Simon D. Aelsi

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Thank you for the detailed feedback on the concert hall and throne room, Bukarett. The concert hall, I'm sorry to say, has been scrapped, since it was to be used for only one easter egg at the end of the game after the best ending was recovered.  I will, however, take the tips into account for the next time I'll need a concert hall or stadium-like setting.

Also, the entire castle's design, save for the exterior, has been gutted and stripped once again. With some help from friends, I redesigned ONE phase of downstairs and the upper floors.  This castle isn't that large in footprint, but man is it tall. Someone in another thread suggested that this castle is more like a palace in its design, rather than a fortified defense, and yes, that's true.

I'm currently hard at work on the flow documents for the game, then after that, more hands-on work will begin.
 
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