March 7, 2014 5:15 PM | Lena LeRay
Indonesian developer Ekuator Games has taken to Kickstarter for a second attempt at crowdfunding development of Celestian Tales: Old North. The game aims to be a turn-based RPG in a classic Japanese style, but with a different approach to storytelling. Rather than focus on a chosen hero or heroes on a quest to save the world from some archvillain, the story in Celestian Tales: Old North will follow six would-be knights over the course of three decades. They'll be faced with morally gray choices as the lands and people around them change with time.
The setting of Celestian Tales: Old North is a land ravaged by war. The drafting of soldiers to fight off an invading enemy has left fields untended and the food shortages have led to other problems. As the war continues, corruption has gained a foothold. It is in this environment that the six main characters start their training as knights.
The six characters, two male and four female, are a diverse bunch. A half-elf girl, disdained by the elves, has come to the human lands to see if she can fit in better among humans. A man raised from childhood to be a warrior is great at bashing things, but has trouble stepping into the leadership role he's supposed to fill. Another man was born into poverty and clawed his way up to a higher socioeconomic class to keep from dying in obscurity. A warrior woman with a strong sense of both morality and loyalty must struggle between following orders and doing what is right. Just reading the descriptions of the characters makes you want to know more, and it sounds like every one of them has strengths and weaknesses.
Ekuator has made a prototype available for people to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Keeping in mind that it's a very early demo designed just to show off the work they've already done on the engine, it looks like the battle system will be pretty standard fare for a Japanese style turn-based RPG. Even though it looks like the story is Ekuator's primary focus, the art and music are both lovely. The prototype supports both controllers and keyboard controls, which are listed on the prototype download page.
Celestian Tales: Old North will be a series in three parts, with the first part to be released in late 2014. Right now it looks like the game is headed for Windows, Mac, and Linux only. The developers have interest in porting it to consoles, but being in Indonesia seems to be making that more difficult. Either way, it looks like the work they have done so far is solid and they really just need some support to be able to finish fleshing out what looks to be a great story in the making.