October 3, 2013 2:25 PM | John Polson
Legend of the Lancer clearly wields a mighty large weapon, and it's going to take a sizeable arsenal for the non-linear Metroidvania's plans to strike hard on Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, and Wii U. Developer Paul Emanuel of Gorilla Press Games is excited about his upcoming debut game, which is going to take to Kickstarter on October 11 to help make these plans a reality.
In Legend of the Lancer, players will explore towns throughout the world of Umber. Protagonist Sam Drexel's main goal is to enter a Master Jousting Tournament. Sam must compete in qualifiers in each town to work his way up the Jousting ladder to enter the Legendary Tournament. Players will visit a town, complete quests, and search for items to prove their worth to the town leader. The town leader will then allow Sam's entry into the town's qualifying tournament.
Legend of the Lancer allows players to do this all in a non-linear fashion. Each town has a Legendary Boss that haunts, guards, or controls that area. When a player begins the game, it randomly generates spoils or drops that each boss with reward once defeated. The player is only required to complete three towns to enter the main tournament. This will lead to one ending. Multiple boss defeats and more paths taken will result in different outcomes.
The map above is one of three Gorilla Press is designing. The player will scroll around this large map to select towns to visit. As you progress through the story, the map will change based on the result of the ending level (think Super Mario World). "If you defeat the Beast that guards the tower, then it will fall. If you defeat the Necromancer in the graveyard, then it will be covered in flowers and beauty," Paul described.
The HUD has a portrait of Sam as well as health and stamina bars. There is also an attachment icon that will appear in the bottom left of the screen. Sam has a magic Hilt that can be customized with different attachments. Sam discovers this hilt attached with the basic lance inside the skull of a dragon. As Sam progresses, he can find more attachments for the hilt such as a hammer, grappling hook, and rocket lance attachment. The player can cycle through these attachments on the fly during gameplay to create different combat styles.
Paul explains, "For instance, a player might slam the hammer to stun the opponent, knock him into the air with the basic lance, then shoot him with the rocket lance. The player can have up to 4 attachments attached in the Inventory menu at one time to cycle through."
One of visually striking elements I spotted in the TIGS forum is the horse players can summon during the game for heavy combat. Paul tells me "[it is] useful to clear areas blocked by boulders, fight certain mid-bosses or bosses, and to help reach certain platforms. The horse will also be able to have armor and attachments that can be upgraded separately from Sam. When Sam jumps on the horse itself it will transform into a Biped horse. We drew this inspiration from Mega Man X."
Paul says Legend of the Lancer will launch first on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The upcoming Kickstarter will contain stretch goals for PS4, PS3, VITA, and Wii U. The pixels look stunning and the gameplay mechanics together seem like a long-lost SNES game. We'll know how Legend of the Lancer is in motion when the Kickstarer launches on October 11.