The spiritual successor of a classic timed battle RPG and its seven stars!
When it comes to discussions on best RPG of the 16-bit era, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars always finds a place at the table. And how could it not? With Square and Nintendo teaming up for the SNES’ swansong — composed by the legendary Yoko Shimomura — its greatness was limited only by the N64’s release a mere four months later. Despite the pleas of retro gaming fans everywhere, it seems there’s no interest in revitalizing one of the beloved SNES classics past porting on current consoles, and it seems that’s all fans are going to get…
…unless, that is, Another Crusade fulfills its funding goals on Kickstarter.
Currently in development by Mexican developers DragonVein Studios, Another Crusade promises to be the spiritual successor of the long-retired fan favorite. A “brand new RPG with the battle system of an old classic,” the project offers platform-based exploration with a timed battle system, where strategy is everything. Should the project be funded, the title will launch on PC and mobile, with more ports to be added should more funding be secured.
The gameplay certainly hearkens back to a simpler, perhaps more charming time, when exploration and battles were two distinct systems. The two systems aren’t completely unrelated, however; if you’re able to get a hit on the enemy in the overworld map, you might get first strike, the enemies will take damage before the battle starts, or, if you’re lucky, die from it before it can truly begin. Players can even run and hide from enemies they don’t want to fight, who will lose interest and leave if they cannot find their target.
The storyline is best explained through the developers’ own words on their Kickstarter page:
“A war between humans and monsters was taking place not long ago to see which one was the ruler race. The Order of Light, founded for this same purpose, sent out groups of warriors to deal with the monsters, as this non human race is believed to hold a danger for mankind.
“The war ended with the mightiest of dragons being defeated by a knight and its fellow companions.
“After a week of this event, our protagonist, Rai, the knight and now dragon slayer, was about to take a well earned rest, when a meteorite came crashing just beside him. Over the horizon, barriers were being created in specific locations, one being on a town close to where Rai was.
“Why are barriers appearing? Where did the meteorites come from? Are the monsters trying to reclaim the throne of the ruler race?
“Rai, having his rest being crushed by a new menace, decides that it’s time to set out on an adventure again!”
The developers are seeking $250,000 MXN ($11,079 USD) before Friday, August 21; should they reach their goal before then, they have a plethora of stretch goals to hit, such as adding summons, a new game+ mode, a Nintendo Switch port, and even adding a side story with an additional character. The stretch goals are perhaps lofty, but as they say — shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the (seven) stars.
There’s one thing that’s pretty clear from Another Crusade, and that’s that the developers have a true love and respect for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. It looks different enough to be its own game but feels familiar enough to the series it draws inspiration from to be a unique contender for the “spiritual successor” title. Can it be the Yooka-Laylee to its Banjo-Kazooie? Only time — and full funding — will tell; the best way to get a taste for it for now is the demo, currently available on its Kickstarter page.
Feel like chipping in, or at least downloading the Another Crusade PC demo (which the developers stress is a work in progress)? Head on over to the Kickstarter page, or consider following DragonVein Studios on Twitter or Facebook.