By Tom Tolios / March 21st, 2015
Fans of classic console RPGs from the 8 and 16-bit eras know all too well the enchanting quality and the mesmerizing effect they possess despite showing their age. Whether one is a long time fan who played the original Final Fantasy back in the late 80’s, or a younger gamer having only recently experienced the likes of Dragon Quest or Ys while on a nostalgia kick, there is no denying that these types of games have an undeniable charm that transcends normal hipster culture. Many of them are surprisingly deep and have complex, mature narratives that all but defy the limitations of their native platforms. The developers and publishers crammed as much meaningful content as they could into those games and they were so addicting that it was hard to put the controller down. Whether it was leveling up and buying new gear in order to get to the next area, pressing forward to watch the story unfold or simply abusing the game engine in order to find the ultimate party setup to wreck any monster or boss encounter, our devotion to them knew no bounds.
The good folks at Cloud Runner Studios have a lot of love of the classic console RPG genre and they’ve gone to Kickstarter to share it with all of us. Melancholy Republic is an RPG that harkens back to the glory days of the genre. Days that are upon us once again, if this trailer posted by creator and director Nicholas Spargo, is any indication.
The opening scene shows the game’s protagonist, Claire C. Lockridge, standing on a forested cliff overlooking the city of Lorna. She is just beginning her political career as a senator for the country’s republic. She is of noble birth but hardly dismissive of those beneath her station; she’s keenly aware that political intrigues rooted in the aristocratic revolution against the crown fifty years prior have resulted in a gradual increase in starvation, poverty and sickness for the common folk with the passing of time. She’s decided to put an end to these problems and, she hopes, improve the lives of everyone in the country. But things aren’t going to be so simple for the ambitious, some might say naive, young official. Decades of entrenched political selfishness at the expense of the populace are a way of life and such deeply embedded corruption will prove difficult to uproot. She’s going to make some dangerous enemies along the way but she’ll also have some friends to help her out, watch her back and work towards their own goals while assisting her in achieving hers.
According to the Kickstarter page for Melancholy Republic, the focus will be less on reproducing the repetitive elements of the classic console RPG era (probably combat and level/gear grinding) and more on revisiting the character drama, storytelling and city exploration elements that moved Cloud Runner Studios to not only love the genre but to make their own contribution to it. The funding is still ongoing and those interested in what they’ve seen and read so far should definitely check out the entire presentation at Kickstarter, where they can find more details on the game elements, characters, music and pledge rewards. You can also show your support for the project by voting for it on Steam Greenlight.
Melancholy Republic is currently in production and set for an early 2016 release on PC.
Cloud Runner StudiosKickstarterMelancholy RepublicSteam Greenlight