SAGE 2020 - Demo Demon Legend

Overview

Hello and welcome SAGE fans! (Notice: updated build can be found at https://demon-legend.com/sage-demo-build while the SAGE servers are unable to accept new downloads)


The game: Demon Legend is a retro action platformer set in a Yokai apocalypse, and features many Japanese legends / Yokai, with an effort to remain true to the lore of many of them. It features character swapping with a party of four Demon Hunters (originally inspired by Castlevania 3, see the recent Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon for a sort of recent take that's also been inspiring to us!), fast action and movement originally inspired by Ninja Gaiden and various other games (dashing/backdashing, grappling hooks, combo movement canceling, slides, and most importantly, character movement swapping combinations), and a rich narrative experience.



The setting: Demon Legend takes place in a world after the Demon King has mysteriously breached the veil of the world from beyond: humanity has been forced into hiding, and resistance to the Demon invasion has seemingly been futile at best. The only real forces now that have any chance against the demons are roaming Demon Hunters... though quite often, they are more interested in payment rather than helping out of kindness…


The inspiration:

Part 1: Japanese legends notably have a huge amount of lore that's just ripe for a world, notably - the Yokai. Mountain Oni that are both vicious and cunning, Kappa that guard the rivers and waterways, Kitsune that take the shapes of mankind and trick them, and more - all together make an amazing backdrop for a world! !And we are more than just interested in the ideas of some of these Yokai as things just for the player to battle, we want to present a bunch of the Yokai lore as well!)


Part 2: A lot of our inspiration of the world comes not only from Japanese Legends of Yokai, but also from action packed anime, such as Vampire Hunter D, and Demon Slayer. The roaming wanderer outcast in a world full of monsters and hunters is something we latched onto as sort of an inspiration for our main character and setting. We also were inspired by several fighting game characters (Chun Li, Nakoruru, Sagat, Ryu, etc), a handful of classic platforming characters (Rad Spencer from Bionic Commando, Shinobi, Alucard and Sypha from Castlevania series), and more!


The characters:
Daisuke: Element - void. Season: Fall -Daisuke is a Demon Hunter with a mysterious past and an interesting set of tools. He uses a bionic arm as a grappling hook to move around, and can pull himself up on ledges or swing from heavy branches and outcroppings. He also employs blessed shuriken with deadly effect to take out demons from afar. When he has to close the distance however, he makes short work of them with his deadly relic of the past: an energy blade with a mysterious power source. Daisuke specializes in thinking fast and making use of his surroundings to get the drop on an enemy.


Hitomi: Element - wind. Season: Spring -Hitomi is young and a bit crass, but her ability to take on demons and protect her village is unmatched. Hitomi is descended from a line of shrine maidens, and may perhaps be the last of her kind. Genryu, her faithful falcon, also fights by her side, using his powerful talons to claw enemies. She uses powerful Omamori to call effects into battle, and can give her falcon a boost with Wind to help raise her up to new heights. When up close to an enemy, her powerful kicks can split the very air itself and cleave whatever hapless monster that gets in her way in half. Fast and versatile, Hitomi is a valuable addition to the team.


We also have two other characters not currently in the demo, who will be featured in a future release:


Asuka: Element - water. Season: Winter -Asuka is a mysterious entity from long ago, who was isolated on a mountain locked in eternal winter. While typically disdainful of the acts of man, she cannot ignore the presence of the Demon King, and sets out to bring the world back into balance. Her very aura itself chills her enemies to the bone, and she can send this aura at enemies in the form of ice spears. She can also concentrate her power to freeze enemies (and more) in place, and can even use this power in a burst on anything that gets close as she escapes backwards to safety. Some say that she can even fly... Asuka is slow and methodical, but a powerful ally that always comes through in the end.


Graves: Element - fire. Season: Summer -Graves hails from a foreign land, and seems more interested in proving his own strength than fighting the Demon King. A powerful fighter who uses a modified form of Muay Thai designed to kill demons, he has carved out his own niche in the heart of the demon infestation. While he may take some convincing, and maybe a little demonstration of force, but once he's on your side he would die for your cause. Graves size and demeanor may make him seem slow, but he can launch himself with surprising speed at his opponents. He can launch powerful combos and shake up his attacks at will, launching himself up with a powerful uppercut, slide tackling his foe, or even using a powerful stance to block even deadly attacks. In the heat of battle, he powers up even more, and soon becomes an overwhelming force. Graves is a powerful train that takes a bit to build up force, but when he's in the fray, he's completely unstoppable.


Gameplay and Design Philosophy: Demon Legend features fast action gameplay with tight controls and movement tech. Each character has something they can bring to the party, and being able to swap characters on the fly will be essential to making the most of the game. Characters can also find artifacts to expand their abilities further through exploration, completing challenges, bounty hunts, and more. However, any upgrades outside of the main path will be completely optional: all of the game will be completable with simply base abilities. Our levels are also being designed more as linear-with-branching / optional content rather than as a full loop-around-the-castle-foyer-25-times metroidvania style: we seek to maximize adventure and exploration and minimize backtracking. This design will also let us add more optional content as we go with minimal restructuring required. Our design will also allow for complete travel from one end of the game to the other, as well as a few fast travel points to unlock to reduce travel time. This way, we can focus on a few locations as hubs, and can even have changes occur as the adventure progresses. Think more like Faxanadu, rather than Symphony of the Night or Metroid.


Music Design: Demon Legend has seen many changes in its time of development, from audio to visuals. Originally, emulating the iconic sound chips of yester-year was explored, from both consoles and PC. The sound has since evolved into a much more modern direction, favoring the cinematic music style of anime. Now using a mix of classic and modern synthesizers, along with virtual and real instruments, this has proven more fitting for the project. Demon Legend promises to deliver a robust, extensive soundtrack that features soaring strings, low-fi hip hop beats, and deep Techno vibes.


Social Media: You can follow our progress at various social media sites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/demonlegendgame

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/demonlegendgame

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/demonlegendgame/

Our Main Website: www.demonlegend.com


Demo Features:

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Shoshinmura: the village of beginning. Here, our hunters start their journey to battle the demons of the world. As our hunters journey forward, more activities might appear here. You can see some of the defenders training just behind the dojo here.

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The shopping district is home to various shopkeepers. Keiji here bangs on his anvil, busy making weapons for the villagers. You can visit him to restock on shuriken, upgrade Daisuke’s blade, and more. Hint: visit him after talking to the Elder to get a free shuriken capacity upgrade!


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The elder sits outside his mansion, guarded by samurai. He has sent for Daisuke to investigate the neighboring village in the woods after several scouts had gone missing. Hitomi waits nearby as well, ready to force Daisuke to take her along too.


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Deep in the forest, giant toads, snakes, and bats influenced by the power of the Demon King lie in wait to attack any human they come across.


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Not even the treetops are safe in the forest! Nobusuma, evil little squirrel-bat yokai swoop down to suck the light out of our demon hunters.


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A small reprieve from the hordes of demons at this set of arches. Could there be something here?


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Dark Ninja lie in wait at the neighboring village, which has certainly seen better days. These ninja are fast and can jump too… don’t let them get close!



Controls and Hunters:

Controls (currently) consist of 5 basic buttons, + 2 menu buttons

Attack

Jump

Special (and direction)

Dash

Character Swap

Defaults for these are:
Keyboard: WASD, E for attack, R for special, F for dash, P for swap
Controller: Dpad, Xbox: A for attack, B for jump, X special, Y dash, Triggers for swap

Daisuke attacks and specials:

Daisuke fights quick and reverses direction on a dime: he can slash and turn and jump and anything at any time, rarely becoming locked into any action. He throws shuriken with [Special + neutral], and uses a grapple with [Special + Up].
His dash is a quick way to get out of trouble... or into it. (note: Dash is still pending a rework on Daisuke as well!)


Hitomi attacks and specials

Hitomi is fast and uses her powerful legs to blast foes away in combat. This means she has to anchor herself to fight though. However, if she is in the air, she can simply propel herself forward with a powerful air kick. It may not be advisable to always dive right in during the air however... luckily she can cancel into a backdash / air escape! (hold down during backdash if air escape is available to not use it).

Her companion Genryu also assists her: use [Special + neutral] and he will use the power of Hitomi's wind Omamori to slash into Demons! With more powerful Omamori, Genryu's attacks will be enhanced as well!

Credits

Credits go to:
Ikkir and Muta: the masterminds behind the project.
Our various contractor bros! Thanks for helping with the art!

Latest reviews

A game based on Japanese culture? This already has my approval. In all seriousness, this game is pretty great, not a huge fan of Castlevania but this game might make me wanna play those games someday. The levels are great, the colors and pixelart are really great looking, though I can't say the same for the controls. They're not bad or anything but just not ideal to play with, it would be nice to be able to remap the controls. Great overall.
Ikkir
Ikkir
Will definitely make remapping controls a priority going forward!
This game is nothing short of fantastic. The stages are beautifully crafted and abound in Japanese lore. At a few points, most notably the inside the houses and the water fall section, I got strong The Revenge of Shinobi vibes. After sage I plan to give this demo a more thorough play through.
Ikkir
Ikkir
Thanks for the playthru! We have some various post-SAGE fixes planned, as well as some extra content that didn't make it in time!

Comments

I played this on my stream last night. You knew that, you were there!

Just a little more polish, and this game'll be great! The pixel art and use of color are GORGEOUS.
 
I've tried pressing every key I can think of in the control remapping menu and none of them seem to do anything. Even if I could get the menu working, it looks like it doesn't allow rebinding the basic directional keys. The game looks mostly attractive in screenshots—though some sprites, particularly the player sprites, use too limited a palette—but I can't survive those default controls.
 
I've tried pressing every key I can think of in the control remapping menu and none of them seem to do anything. Even if I could get the menu working, it looks like it doesn't allow rebinding the basic directional keys. The game looks mostly attractive in screenshots—though some sprites, particularly the player sprites, use too limited a palette—but I can't survive those default controls.
Sorry, control remapping didn't get finished in time but is priority now! Thanks for trying our game though!
 

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