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SAGE 2022 - Complete Chapter Zero: A Dream Remembered

Overview

SYNOPSIS

The world is a chaotic, terrifying place, rife with all manner of monsters, warlords and hostile architecture. Even for the mighty Pachacamac clan, just the act of survival is a day to day struggle, and everybody seems to know that they can't keep it up forever. In pursuit of a safe home, a lone spearwoman named Ichima happens apon the Special Stage - and with it, a means of realizing their dreams of safety and peace...

FEATURES

- Through the eyes of Shion - No rolls or spindashes here. Just your spear, your spells, and your wit. A heartfelt throwback to both the gameplay of Monster World III, and the backstory of Sonic Adventure.

- Speedrunner Friendly - A series of replayable, self-contained challenges with inbuilt timekeeping... and a lore-based incentive for beating all the par times, for those so inclined.

- One Man Developer- A largely solo project currently nearly two years in the making, with plans to expand into a proper Monster World-esque game in the future.

MIRRORS / ALT VERSIONS

NOTE: Win 64 is the primary version - I can't guarantee any version specific bugs beyond that will be fixable.

Windows 64 bit
Windows 32 bit
Linux 64 bit
Linux 32 bit
OSX

Media







Updates

CHANGELOG FOR VERSION 1.3:

- Aspects of platforming are affected by refresh rate, which made levels unbeatable for players with higher refresh rates. Attempted to calibrate the player character's jump height - among many other vertical momentum boosts from multiple actors - on startup. The speedrun timer SHOULD hopefully also be more consistent between refresh rates, as it also ran faster on higher ones. If issues somehow still persist, setting your refresh rate to 60hz will always be more stable.

- Level scripting system completely overhauled. As a result, the frame lag in Sign of Evil no longer occurs. This SHOULD also fix a potential soft lock in Gaia's Tantrum, where the door outside would sometimes fail to open if both targets were struck on the same frame by alternating Gaia's Wrath and Thunder Arrow in that order.

- Inputs for special moves have been altered, from Monster World III style (hold button + press direction) to Super Smash Bros style (hold direction + press button), because many players complained the former didn't feel very responsive.

- Camera system reworked to create less jerky, motion-sickness-inspiring swings between certain scripted camera movements. This also allowed for a few scripted cameras that were truly stationary (rather than just so far offscreen there was nowhere left to scroll, ala It's No Use), which levels such as Gaia's Wrath really needed. Also turned off pixel rounding, because it created a less bad but still very irritating jittering when the camera was following the player closely.

- Captive Light was sometimes failing to damage things that were visibly within its blast radius. Came to figure out the hitbox was centred incorrectly and have since corrected it.

- Music used to have awkward pauses between transitions and loops. I've since completely changed the way the game handles looping music to eradicate these. Unfocusing the window sometimes caused loop points in the music to desync in the testing environment, but I haven't been able to replicate this in NW.js - let me know if this still happens.

- In Gaia's Tantrum, players were completely ignoring the prompt that teaches them Gaia's Wrath and opting to complete the level spear only. I've placed a beam just underneath the dropthru platform at the start that bounces the player upwards to rectify this, making the bottom target only obtainable through Gaia's Wrath now.

- Just Wait a Minute used to have WAY too many tutorial prompts for button presses, making it not entirely clear that the player is expected to cast Captive Light backwards to cross the big chasm in the middle of the level. The prompts have now been simplified down to at *most* two at a time, and now become visible only exactly when they are needed.

- The mana check for Wrath of Gaia previously read Captive Light's mana instead. This could either make Wrath of Gaia unusable if Captive Light was empty even if Gaia still had uses left, or give the player literally infinite uses of Wrath of Gaia as long as they still had mana for Captive Light. Honestly baffled that not a single person caught this, myself included, but it's fixed now.

- Previously the knockback of an attack on any given enemy was based on their defined maximum movement speed, which meant Golems would barely move while d'Artbord was sent flying an entire quarter of the arena's length with every hit. I've since found a workaround for this that allows me to define an exact amount of knockback per enemy type without inhibiting their normal behaviour.

- If the player died (observed in Suitable Opponent, not sure if other stages were effected) and re-entered from the main menu, the timer would be immediately active before the starting countdown finished. Fixed.

- Suitable Opponent is now only accessible when the player has accumulated the other 13 par times. Said pars are now more generous to compensate - the dev times, of course, have only tightened, but beating those isn't acknowledged by the game anyway and only exist for bragging rights.

- Baron d'Artbord has been completely reworked. Some people told me he was too easy before - all I'll say in advance is be careful what you wish for.

KNOWN ISSUES:
- Moving platforms sometimes cause very strange behaviour where the player slowly sinks through it instead of standing on top of it. This is easiest to replicate on fast moving platforms, such as the elevator in Maugham Pit, and by entering their collision from unusual angles besides directly on top of them. Still looking for the exact cause for this, but I think in future it will probably be easier for me just to use slower moving platforms.

- Enemies sometimes become completely invulnerable after being hit. Suspect this might have something to do with the sheer hitbox spam of Gaia's Wrath, but I still haven't found a way to replicate it consistently. It's somewhat rarer now, but I would still appreciate ANY assistance in finding a consistent setup for this, because this bug has been a pain in the ass for literally every release so far.

Credits

Original title screen - MacDaddy
All other art and programming - Blacklightning
Alpha Testers - Aisleaf, Snips, Willow, EvalynGrey, Pheydar, JacobGunner
Special Thanks - NovaStorm1101, Eternity Theory, Raito, PsycheRaptor, Jman, SonicFAN
Covered / Arranged music by - connorveach, JX, Dialga22239, Tomais, JGHQ, Savaged Regime, ChilliusVGM

Latest reviews

SAGE 22 - Sonic Fan Game 6 out of 69 - Chapter Zero: A Dream Remembered
I did not expect to like this more than I should.

This game is pretty fun to go through, with its tiny bite-sized stages with huge speedrun potential.
The controls are solid and abilities, OH, the abilities. They're really fun to play around and experiment with.
I managed to get through all the stages except for "It's no use" (I am not good at puzzle games) and they were all very well designed and they all manage to be replayable in the long run.

I can't really comment on much else since this is a really short fan game, but again, I am very surprised at just how much I like it. Did wish this game could be expanded in some way because this could totally warrant being an original game on its own.
Last edited:
Blacklightning
Blacklightning
Expanding on it is certainly the plan! The game's current state is mostly due to time constraints more than anything - by the time I'd taught myself enough Construct 2 to get all the basic mechanics working, I had ~2 months left until the SAGE deadline so I had to crunch the hell out of designing levels and refreshing the visuals to make it on time.

With any luck, at least Chapter One should be done by the time SAGE 2023 rolls around o3ob

Comments

Quick note to those whom it might matter: after watching some footage from various sources I've figured out there's a game breaking bug specific to certain monitor refresh rates. I'm working on fixing this for the next episode, but in the meantime: if you find yourself unable to clear the very first jump of the game (or for that matter, literally anything two blocks high), you should be able to fix it on your end by forcing yourself to run at 60hz, which will most likely be an option on your GPU settings.
 
A very unexpected highlight. I suggest you making a proper trailer showcasing abilities and stuff next time, because screenshots alone don't do the game justice.
 
A very unexpected highlight. I suggest you making a proper trailer showcasing abilities and stuff next time, because screenshots alone don't do the game justice.
Oh definitely, huge regret of mine coming into SAGE this year again compounded by the very short time I had to finalize it for the expo. I genuinely don't think I could have cut it any closer than I did, ahaha
 

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