RMVXA Turovero: The Celestial Tower (Dark Fantasy RPG with Light Horror)

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To my credit, I realized too late what I'm about to unleash. .3.

And speaking of unleashing... well, I just reached the Chapel.

So I thought that "one of the dudes is a Dark One" is a twist... and certainly not that this is, in fact, a RPG session by four nerds who went through some serious sheep. Or rather, a dying hallucination, because it looks to me like Siggy gassed the whole place where the four of them lived. I'm curious to know if the real-life big event changes depending on who is a Dark One.

I knew the least about Edric's, so his hit the hardest. I also blundered and thought Ruby's going to be a yakuza princess - 'cause ninjas, duh - and not a journalist's daughter (and certainly not from Japan, but I guess that was obvious and I just got thrown in for a loop.) I'm guessing the motif is "the strain of hardship broke the Dark One which caused them to try and kill the others".

I'm still not sure if I understand Amitiel's role in all this however. Is she an actual angel or rather another figment of imagination symbolizing the party's resolve to save Siggy? Who are the Guardians then? (Vivuca and Mortia, at least. And that poor dragon, ouch)

Now, onto some mechanical things...

I missed out on, I'm guessing, Leilia's ultimate weapon. I thought I replicated the garden perfectly, but something was missing. The birds, chiefly, but I wasn't exactly sure how to replicate them.

And as for the chapel itself, oh dear, can the Syrins get bent. They're the hardest regular enemy around, bar none: they're fast, they hit hard, they throw out Confusion and party heals without a care in the world... they make the Unicorns look utterly tame in comparison.

I'm a massive sucker for dynamic title screens since Death's Gambit, so this one was a welcome - and sad - surprise, as was finding out how utterly defaced Sigurd's entry in the biographies was.
I won't say too much, since you're still 2/3 hours away from the end, buuuut...

I CAN say that the world, as well as Amitiel, are real, in the sense that the world came into being after the big event in the real world occurred and that Amitiel is, in fact, a real angel. If you'd gotten a different route, Amitiel has a conversation with Sigurd about the mechanics of it, but it's essentially an extreme case of horrific circumstances leaving a psychic impression on the universe, like when they say people who have violent deaths leave behind energy, which manifests as ghosts.
 

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*throws this game into the "Will Make Let's Play Of" pocket* One of my friends posted some screenies of this game in Twitter and I became immediately interested. ^ w^ I'll play it blind, but I did look up the OST and love the music aaaa.
 

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*throws this game into the "Will Make Let's Play Of" pocket* One of my friends posted some screenies of this game in Twitter and I became immediately interested. ^ w^ I'll play it blind, but I did look up the OST and love the music aaaa.
Be sure to let me know when you post it so I can sub! I love stalking LPs of my games to see people's reactions :3c
 

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Be sure to let me know when you post it so I can sub! I love stalking LPs of my games to see people's reactions :3c
For sure! I'll try to get to recording it soon. I have disabilities so sometimes it's hard for me to get to things on my big PC. XD I wish I could lie down in bed and somehow use PC and record at same time, but that's in my imaginary Utopia it's possible.

From what I saw it looks like a very emotion-driven game, with emphasis in characters. The trailer shows that too. I love these types. Reminds of The Crooked Man, which is another game I like the deep/introspective narrative of.
 
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Found some bugs on the way through the Chapel.

1. The description of Blessed Sallet refers to it as a chestplate, but it's a helmet.
2. The talk between Leilia and Amitiel has the latter use "journies" in one place. I've just checked that this is an archaic form of "journeys", but since there's not much archaic language in the game if any, I figured I will give this to you as well.

...now, the Chapel itself.

Ruby is right - the entire place was nothing short of disturbing. Sigurd's dulcimer being a guitar makes sense, but boy... the library, oh the library. Each entry was more upsetting than the other.

I'm guessing each Chapel would differ, but I'm curious how much: I'm guessing the contents of puzzles and the layout would, at the very least, but would the enemies? As for Rekviemo, he was more of an annoyance than a threat, which brings me to debuffs: there's no easy (any?) way to remove them short of counteracting with buffs on your own. Stocking up on stat-buffing items isn't really a proposition until late-game though, I don't think.

...now, I presume the game wasn't meant to crash prior to visiting the final Spring of Truths, but if you're about to Undertale me, I'll mail you the image of me shrieking face. :v
 

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Found some bugs on the way through the Chapel.

1. The description of Blessed Sallet refers to it as a chestplate, but it's a helmet.
2. The talk between Leilia and Amitiel has the latter use "journies" in one place. I've just checked that this is an archaic form of "journeys", but since there's not much archaic language in the game if any, I figured I will give this to you as well.

...now, the Chapel itself.

Ruby is right - the entire place was nothing short of disturbing. Sigurd's dulcimer being a guitar makes sense, but boy... the library, oh the library. Each entry was more upsetting than the other.

I'm guessing each Chapel would differ, but I'm curious how much: I'm guessing the contents of puzzles and the layout would, at the very least, but would the enemies? As for Rekviemo, he was more of an annoyance than a threat, which brings me to debuffs: there's no easy (any?) way to remove them short of counteracting with buffs on your own. Stocking up on stat-buffing items isn't really a proposition until late-game though, I don't think.

...now, I presume the game wasn't meant to crash prior to visiting the final Spring of Truths, but if you're about to Undertale me, I'll mail you the image of me shrieking face. :v
Y-Yeah, there's a very rare chance that the video files will crash the game, despite the fact that they're all native .ogv files and I'm using the in-engine video player... I honestly have not been able to find a fix for it, and for that I apologize :(

Also, re: your question about the chapel:

Actually, it's not the enemies that change, but rather each puzzle. The general layout is the same between routes but each "section" is different, e.g. in Edric's route, instead of the wrecking ball and statue puzzle, you have to answer a bunch of riddles about Eddie's Big Fat Crush on Leilia, and in Leilia's route you have to walk through a fire maze. The color scheme also changes to match each character's theme color, and the motifs in the main chapel are a bit different too.
 
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I figured they might differ, since "unicorn in a gasmask" fits Sigurd a little too well, but then I remembered they are a representation of "impure thoughts" rather than his specific fear of death. I am curious to see how Sirins and False Idols fit the other three on their routes though.

...now that I've reached the tower summit...

I was right: it is a dying hallucination, of sorts. And honestly? Given how utterly different Ryan and Sigurd are appearance-wise, him being the Dark One makes it much more effective for contrast (since Melissa and Peter look pretty much just like their characters, and Myra is IMO only slightly different) because this is the first time you see their portraits. And then you have the player commit a cold-blooded murder out of despair. Haunting.

Viveca and Mortia being ripped from the headlines is a neat touch, as is Mortia's second battler having three dolls instead of two. Now that I'm just before the final battle, the only thing left to do is to conquer the final trials, and here's where I found a bug: if the fire touches Leilia, she can end up stuck on one of the pillars in the room from the jump.
 

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To my credit, I realized too late what I'm about to unleash. .3.

And speaking of unleashing... well, I just reached the Chapel.

So I thought that "one of the dudes is a Dark One" is a twist... and certainly not that this is, in fact, a RPG session by four nerds who went through some serious sheep. Or rather, a dying hallucination, because it looks to me like Siggy gassed the whole place where the four of them lived. I'm curious to know if the real-life big event changes depending on who is a Dark One.

I knew the least about Edric's, so his hit the hardest. I also blundered and thought Ruby's going to be a yakuza princess - 'cause ninjas, duh - and not a journalist's daughter (and certainly not from Japan, but I guess that was obvious and I just got thrown in for a loop.) I'm guessing the motif is "the strain of hardship broke the Dark One which caused them to try and kill the others".

I'm still not sure if I understand Amitiel's role in all this however. Is she an actual angel or rather another figment of imagination symbolizing the party's resolve to save Siggy? Who are the Guardians then? (Vivuca and Mortia, at least. And that poor dragon, ouch)

Now, onto some mechanical things...

I missed out on, I'm guessing, Leilia's ultimate weapon. I thought I replicated the garden perfectly, but something was missing. The birds, chiefly, but I wasn't exactly sure how to replicate them.

And as for the chapel itself, oh dear, can the Syrins get bent. They're the hardest regular enemy around, bar none: they're fast, they hit hard, they throw out Confusion and party heals without a care in the world... they make the Unicorns look utterly tame in comparison.

I'm a massive sucker for dynamic title screens since Death's Gambit, so this one was a welcome - and sad - surprise, as was finding out how utterly defaced Sigurd's entry in the biographies was.
Hey I want to ask you something! But my questions have spoilers in them haha you or the creator herself can answer it if she so pleases ^^

I already beat the game with Ruby and Leilla as Dark Ones, and I am DYING to know what happens when Sigurd or Edric are the Dark Ones, how was Sigurd's past and reason for having a meltdown and killing everyone?? and if the creator wants to, I want to know the same things when the Dark One is Edric ^^" (I could beat the game again but, gosh... another 20 hours of gameplay...)
 

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I figured they might differ, since "unicorn in a gasmask" fits Sigurd a little too well, but then I remembered they are a representation of "impure thoughts" rather than his specific fear of death. I am curious to see how Sirins and False Idols fit the other three on their routes though.

...now that I've reached the tower summit...

I was right: it is a dying hallucination, of sorts. And honestly? Given how utterly different Ryan and Sigurd are appearance-wise, him being the Dark One makes it much more effective for contrast (since Melissa and Peter look pretty much just like their characters, and Myra is IMO only slightly different) because this is the first time you see their portraits. And then you have the player commit a cold-blooded murder out of despair. Haunting.

Viveca and Mortia being ripped from the headlines is a neat touch, as is Mortia's second battler having three dolls instead of two. Now that I'm just before the final battle, the only thing left to do is to conquer the final trials, and here's where I found a bug: if the fire touches Leilia, she can end up stuck on one of the pillars in the room from the jump.
I thought I'd fixed that bug way back in the beta build... sigh :( Thanks for letting me know!

Hey I want to ask you something! But my questions have spoilers in them haha you or the creator herself can answer it if she so pleases ^^

I already beat the game with Ruby and Leilla as Dark Ones, and I am DYING to know what happens when Sigurd or Edric are the Dark Ones, how was Sigurd's past and reason for having a meltdown and killing everyone?? and if the creator wants to, I want to know the same things when the Dark One is Edric ^^" (I could beat the game again but, gosh... another 20 hours of gameplay...)
Visual Novelty has a full playthrough on YouTube for one of those routes, so if you want to see the whole thing without playing through the game again I'd look that up! The other route you mentioned is still getting worked on since the LPer had to restart the game to get that route :D;;

For the quick and short summaries, though...

In Sigurd's route, Ryan returns to his doctor only to discover that his cancer has returned. Before they can discuss treatment options, however, he has a breakdown, and his unwillingness to suffer more pain leads to him becoming suicidal. This then becomes warped into a delusion where he believes his friends will only suffer once he's gone, the way he suffered, so he concocts a plan to sabotage an old space heater and poison everyone with carbon monoxide in order to "save" them. This further translates into a big fat messiah complex in the fantasy world, where Sigurd sincerely believes that what he's doing is righteous, and that he can free everyone from suffering by keeping them trapped in the tower.

In Edric's route, Myra and Ryan convince Peter to confess to Melissa; unfortunately, despite wanting to be with him, Melissa turns him down, saying that she does not want her own mental health issues to get in the way and asking him to wait until she's in a better place emotionally. Despite trying to take her word for it, Peter's depression causes him to blame himself for not being "good enough", and he attempts to kill himself using his dad's gun. Melissa attempts to stop him, but is shot accidentally in the process, which causes Peter to snap and kill the other two in a rage as well. As the Dark One, Edric becomes determined to erase all memory of his past life and rebuild himself as someone who will be "worthy" of Leilia's love - a very stubborn yandere, if you will.
 
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So, that's game.

I lucked out and had Paralysis go off early, so Sigurd spent a good half of the fight just taking hits. He tried sweettalking Leilia, but I guess clearing final trails ensures his speeches didn't work - and had the opposite effect, in fact.

...and then I ended up in the Heart of Suffering. I thought the Chapel was disturbing. Instead, I spent way too long listening to a faceless patient smacking their head on the wall to wet, disgusting squelches. And then I had to beat up a cancer patient, which is a sentence I hope not to write ever again. I guess it makes sense for the Dark One to stay around in the void, but I still don't like it. At least he's on his way to recovery, hopefully.

As for post-game content...

It amuses me that Ruby only got to sweettalk someone after passing on to Heaven. I guess Turovero residents aren't much for flirting, that one Naga aside.

It however intrigues me that you (the lead dev) and me are in agreement that Sigurd/Ryan makes for the most effective Dark One. As I processed that information, I realized there's quite a few things separating him from other prospective Dark Ones:
1. His trauma doesn't come entirely from mental hangups.
2. His character looks the most different from his real self compared to the others (Myra being close second)
3. He is the most composed and overall dispassionate as the Dark One (this is hearsay, admittedly, but from what I can hear the others are more emotional)
4. He is the only Dark One that believes he's doing the right thing (rather than just being in denial), and therefore the most entrenched in his beliefs.

Also, looks like I missed on the Bad Ending. Am I correct in assuming that you have to lose to either Dark One or their true self for it to trigger?
 

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So, that's game.

I lucked out and had Paralysis go off early, so Sigurd spent a good half of the fight just taking hits. He tried sweettalking Leilia, but I guess clearing final trails ensures his speeches didn't work - and had the opposite effect, in fact.

...and then I ended up in the Heart of Suffering. I thought the Chapel was disturbing. Instead, I spent way too long listening to a faceless patient smacking their head on the wall to wet, disgusting squelches. And then I had to beat up a cancer patient, which is a sentence I hope not to write ever again. I guess it makes sense for the Dark One to stay around in the void, but I still don't like it. At least he's on his way to recovery, hopefully.

As for post-game content...

It amuses me that Ruby only got to sweettalk someone after passing on to Heaven. I guess Turovero residents aren't much for flirting, that one Naga aside.

It however intrigues me that you (the lead dev) and me are in agreement that Sigurd/Ryan makes for the most effective Dark One. As I processed that information, I realized there's quite a few things separating him from other prospective Dark Ones:
1. His trauma doesn't come entirely from mental hangups.
2. His character looks the most different from his real self compared to the others (Myra being close second)
3. He is the most composed and overall dispassionate as the Dark One (this is hearsay, admittedly, but from what I can hear the others are more emotional)
4. He is the only Dark One that believes he's doing the right thing (rather than just being in denial), and therefore the most entrenched in his beliefs.

Also, looks like I missed on the Bad Ending. Am I correct in assuming that you have to lose to either Dark One or their true self for it to trigger?
You are correct on how to get the bad endings! I'm glad you were able to beat the game, congratulations and I hope you liked it! :D
 
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I really did :) It was a treat. I can't say when I'll have another go at it, but I'm itching to see where it goes.

1. Are you planning to add portraits for Vivuca and Mortia later down the line? They're about the only other important characters in the game. Well, there are all the people from the real world, but their roles are somewhat smaller overall.
2. Did you ever consider a "Worst Ending"? Something among the lines of the Dark One swaying the rest of the party to his cause somehow and smiting Amitiel as the final boss?
 

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I really did :) It was a treat. I can't say when I'll have another go at it, but I'm itching to see where it goes.

1. Are you planning to add portraits for Vivuca and Mortia later down the line? They're about the only other important characters in the game. Well, there are all the people from the real world, but their roles are somewhat smaller overall.
2. Did you ever consider a "Worst Ending"? Something among the lines of the Dark One swaying the rest of the party to his cause somehow and smiting Amitiel as the final boss?
1. Not anytime soon, no. I didn't give them portraits purely out of cost efficiency as I already shelled out quite a bit of cash for the artwork... XD

2. I have played around with the idea of a 5th route where Amitiel is the Dark One, falling into despair after repeated failures to save the party in the other four routes (kind of like a combination route). If I add it in though, it'd probably be for an updated rerelease, kind of like what I plan to do with my first game, Prom Dreams. That all depends on how successful this game and the PD remake are, though. :D;;
 

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