[VX] The Seventh Castle

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All ideas appearing in this work are marginally cliché. Any resemblance to other Projects, current or dead, is purely coincidental.


This is the story of one woman, the intricate details of her undeserved rise to fame, and her slow descent from grace. Praefectus Evelia Quintana, the highest ranked General of Gaspania who has dedicated her very life to the Queen and all of her ambitions finds herself deeply troubled when she returns, after a long absence, only to discover that the throne is empty and it has remained so for the last five years that she has been away. When no one can answer her over the whereabouts of the Queen or how the country has been held together so long without a ruling monarch after just winning a war against its people, Evelia takes it upon herself to investigate the matter. However, she is not prepared for the things about to be revealed to her that will effect the very fate of the entire country; all the while she is haunted by her past and the dark history of the royal family of Gaspania.



These are the main characters the player will have access to controlling throughout the game, though the supporting cast is quite extensive including 90% of the models included with the RTP and others that are edits thereof.


Name: Evelia Quintana
Age: 35
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight: 136 lbs (62 kg)
Zodiac: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arcias
Weapon: Sword & Shield
Class: Praefectus
Personality: Evelia is disciplined, responsible, and serious, but she can be reserved, condescending, and finds it hard to open up to others.
Biography: As the leading general of the most powerful army in the entire world and personal guard to the royal family, Evelia has clawed her way up from a life of poverty to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the most notable names of Gaspania, in a position that is normally reserved for nobles.


Name: Noemi Pascal
Age: 18
Height: 5"2" (157 cm)
Weight: 118 lbs (54 kg)
Zodiac: Virgo
Birthplace: Lampont
Weapon: Staff
Class: Aedilis
Personality: Noemi is modest, compassionate, and reliable, but she can be gullible, oblivious, and a worrier.
Biography: An orphaned young lady who has lived her entire life in one of Gaspania's poorest villages, studying medicine and tending to the other orphaned children there. Her life changed completely one day when the Praefectus suddenly appeared in Lampont, and after some time together took the young girl away from the life she had been living. 


Name: Genevieve Cavanaugh
Age: 21
Height: 5'4" (163  cm)
Weight: 124 lbs (56 kg)
Zodiac: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Foubrecque
Weapon: Claymore
Class: Princeps
Personality: Genevieve is honest, straightforward, and has a strong sense of justice, but she can be tactless, irresponsible, and rambunctious.
Biography: Born into a noble family known for their military prowess, Genevieve has a talent with a claymore that many of common nobility envy. She has idolized the legendary Lady Evelia ever since she was a very young girl and has made an attempt to follow in her footsteps by joining the Royal Army.


Name: Marion Dietrich
Age: 24
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Zodiac: Pisces
Birthplace: Edulach
Weapon: Dagger
Class: Veles
Personality: Marion is attentive, composed, and intelligent, but she can be pessimistic, sullen, and untrusting of others.
Biography: Originally a foreigner to Gaspania, Marion has been taken in under the wing of the sovereign country, never straying far from the capital city for fear of the Gaspanian commoner and what they think of her kind. She is the last of a dragon-like race that can take human form known as the Nichthein, because of this her life is protected under royal decree.



Set in the most powerful country of the known world, Gaspania, it is the year 392 A.P. (Ateleiotos Pali  - "Unending Strife" - so named by the Order of Euphium), and they have entered into a time of peace despite the monsters that roam the countryside and a civil war that ended just five years prior. Gaspania has ruled for hundreds of years knowing nothing but good fortune. What started as a small kingdom in the northwestern region of the continent has taken over the entire landmass, from the frigid north to the arid south all that is on the western continent belongs to Gaspania. The eastern continent, home to other prominant but much weaker kingdoms, dare not even look to the west in fear of offending the massive kingdom, though it's people have been known to emigrate from there, pooling at the south of the Gaspania as unwanted refugees - a people without a country. 

The Order of Euphium
A sect that has been watching over Gaspania since it's inception. Situated at the center of the continent, it has remained aloof from the passage of time and the happenings of the growing country around it for hundreds of years. It's members are comprised of a people not native to the country and view the people of Gaspania as nothing more than "mongrels" not even fit to rule over themselves. As such, they dictate many things behind the scenes, unknown to much of the populace.

However, when King Alamilla takes to the throne, Gaspania's prosperity takes a turn for the worse. He seems to blatantly ignore his duties to the Kingdom, agreeing to the very bare minimum when he takes the hand of Lady Magdalena in an arranged marriage. Like any good wife, now Queen Magdalena sees the broken country at her feet and does whatever she can to limit suffering and endear herself to the people of Gaspania. She takes a tour of the country to assess the damage while trying to make sense of it all, as the King remains silent about to the real issue at hand. When she returns to Gaspania, however, Sorceress Leocadia enters the picture with a list of demands.   

The Thaumaturgy Campaign (370 A.P. - 374 A.P.)
Leocadia does not make the details known of her prior relationship to the King, but she does reveal the existence of a world beyond their own: one that needs to be made whole with the world they know by the breaking of a seal known as the "Arcana Veil". The endeavor to do such becomes known as the Working of Miracles Campaign or "The Thaumatugy Campaign". Once the fabric in reality is torn two things happen simultaneously: the use of magic becomes possible within all living beings on the western continent and magical beasts along with other sentient beings that had been living quietly in the parallel world either retaliate violently or go into hiding.

Three years pass before anyone sees an official make a public statement on the matter of the campaign. The Royal Army has done away with as many of the menacing beasts as it could, but some prove to be too resilient to be done away with entirely. The King has all but disappeared from public view, something the people of Gaspania are not too unfamiliar with, as being ruled over a monarchy without a face had become something they were used to. The Queen is left to her own devices so over the next three years she takes it upon herself to send aide across the country to clean up the mess that has been made, little by little a very clear vision begins forming in her mind of a better future for Gaspania.

The Sunset War (380 A.P. - 387 A.P.)
When the Queen publicly anounces her plan for a "better Gaspania", having gathered every prominent official throughout the country, it is met with complete outrage and revulsion. A country where much weaker women would have more rights than men who were far stronger would become second class citizens was unacceptable the officials clearly explain, but when the Queen refuses to listen to their rebuttal the result is a civil war that lasts seven years and shakes Gaspania to its very core. Because it has the potential to change the very function of the country itself, bringing everything Gaspania knows to an end, it becomes known as the "Sunset War" that started with the simple words, "I vow to never see another woman suffer again".


A deep, romantic, classical RPG  storyline: you are playing as Evelia and learning how you have and how you continue to influence the lives of those around you in a true fantasy-medieval setting.
100% original music by various artists, no reconstituted game or retail music.
Crisp, clean menus: organize your skills and items, and learn more about them through more than just the help texts, descriptions will be attached to each and every selection – including the ability to view states and their descriptions.
An intuitive battle system featuring OriginalWij's Rear-view Interactive Battle System, not only will you have to worry about hitting your mark on the Judgement Ring for characters with varying Ring Speed based on their individual personalities, but understanding enemies' strengths and weaknesses will play a large role in both your run-of-the-mill battles and major bosses.
Monitor your party's health not only through HP and MP bars, but through changing facial expressions that also include being afflicted with certain states.
Enemies that wander on-screen: tilt the battle in your favor or against you, surprise and be surprised by them, meet them head on, or avoid them completely.
A unique equipment system: equip more than what the default system allows and learn to rely on a myriad of accessories and equipment that will mean victory or demise against more complicated enemies.
Sidequests that teach you more about the world of Gaspania, your party members, and even the story behind minor characters while rewarding extra items, skills, and equipment.
A choose-your-destination world map, so you won't have to spend time walking between place to place once you've unlocked new areas.
A complex shopping system: only certain places will sell certain items and you may have to backtrack to get what you want, but play your cards right and you can have whatever you specify delivered right to you in any dungeon.
Explore detailed maps of elegant cities and natural dungeons: swamp, forest, desert,  beach and much more all in an effort to reveal the mysteries of The Seventh Castle.


Currently, this is a compilation of Screenshots from a technical demo, so they will be small, a little uniform, and a bit sparse. They are here to show the general mapping style I will be using in official maps, comments and critiques are welcome even though these are just samples. (The World Map, Menu Scene, and Battle Scene designs will carry over to the official release.)
Spoiler for:
Mapping Samples
Spoiler for:
Menus & Battle (Battle Stats shown are grossly inaccurate.)
Spoiler for:



I have always felt RTP characters do not get enough credit as resources you can use in a serious story, so I started this project around this time last year, to show that they can be used enjoyably in more than just first time trial projects and parodies. The story that I have written out for these characters is wholly based on impressions of the character designs and things I felt went unaddressed in most other people's projects such as the use of strong female archetypes and a solid storyline where the black and white nature of good and evil fades into shades of gray. Even though it has been some time since I began thinking up this project, taking my time with it has helped me to find scripts, fixes, and other resources I would have otherwise missed out on. Now I feel I am ready to share my project but that it still needs quite a bit more work before it is finished. I have made a few technical demos but only just recently started work on eventing, mapping and filling in the database for the official game. Though I am happy to say, the story and scripting are 100% complete and the graphics 75%, but I am still trying to decide between regular or parallax mapping.


Cozziekuns, IceDragon, Jet, Modern Algebra, OriginalWij, and Rajawali for helping me out with requests and fixes that went towards the unveiling of this Project. (Official Credits for everyone will be found at the end of the Game.)



*In a number of packages: With or Without the RTP, and With or Without the BGM folder.


This game is suitable for ages 13 and older.
Contains: violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, and infrequent use of strong language.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 12:19:10 AM by Kyriaki »
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The over land map looks very nice and the graphics in general give off an impression of elegance. I do like the straight-forward look that you have applied to your menus, but I think that its background may be a little too plain. The mapping is good, but it has a heavy lean towards appearing square and has several wide open spaces (although I figure that this will change, as you have said these are samples). Overall, it looks promising and I hope to play the demonstration version soon!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 12:52:44 AM by Exhydra »

UPDATED 05-29-14


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UPDATED 07/04/15 - v2.5

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UPDATED 07/04/15 - v1.5

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Looks pretty cool.

Glad to see my scripts are being put to good use :D. When's the demo going to be out? I'll probably be a little more constructive once I play a bit of the game.

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Glad to see my scripts are being put to good use :D.
It must feel great ;9
But yeah, this looks great. And I like how you acknowledged your usage of cliche.

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This looks good, I was too lazy to read the entire story but it certainly seems like you've put a lot of work into the game world, I'm a sucker for a deep backstory.

You said the maps were samples, so I can't say much, but I like the tileset (floors mainly) that you're using. I like the world map, and the different face animations for the status of the characters is an excellent touch :)
Good luck with this one.

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It's great to see you working on a project, Kyriaki!

The story sounds very interesting, and I'm definitely feelin' the RTP love.

Keep at it, I'd love to play it :3
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Thank you for the support everyone! I was busy yesterday so did not have time to reply until just now.

@Exhydra
I too feel your concern about the Windowskin I am using, but I have switched around from it again and again and cannot seem to find something as slender with a bit more detail like I want. I will definitely keep an eye out for something new or try to tinker with an edit of some sort.

Other than that I really appreciate the feedback, I wanted a general idea of if I was portraying the feel I was going for and you guys have definitely confirmed it. I can proceed without hesitation. ^^

You can hope for a demo featuring a part (not necessarily the beginning so people won't get tired of playing through it ^^;) of the game that will be featuring official samples of: dialogue, mapping, complete with a dungeon + boss so that I have a wide display for use of music and the battle system. I can whip something solid up in about a week or so, just for enticing purposes, since I am used to working with the scripts I have and eventing with them by now.
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Just looked back at your Status Screenshot; what will the Enmity stat effect - I know what the word means, but what kind of impact will it have on the game?

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Ah, it will effect monster aggression during battle (I might rename the stat, not sure yet) it is a modification of the Odds stat. It still needs some more testing, but the little bit that I did was very effective - certain actions by certain characters will generate or lessen enmity. So, for example, if you wanted Evelia to tank because she will naturally have more defense and HP than say Genevieve who is all about damage and weak everywhere else, you could take steps to make sure it is Evelia taking most of the hits, or all if you prefer. 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 06:27:17 PM by Kyriaki »
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Minor Update #1: Tutorials, Quests, and Statistics (Oh my!)
- Stat Refinement
- Tutorial
- New Maps
- New Windowskin
- Quest System

There is still no Demo for now, but there will be one soon. I am working hard on this Project, but decided to go back over some things: add, take away, and refine it a little more.

Stat Refinement
There is a little more to the battle stats ATK, DEF, SPI, and AGI now along with the addition of a few new stats that will make the battle system even more interesting. All of the stats from the default system have been renamed and are explained in detail in the Tutorial.

Tutorial

The Tutorial will be accessible as soon as the game is loaded as a selection on the Title Screen so that you will not have to skip it on multiple playthroughs within the game. Lydia, the Dark Rider, is a minor character that guides you through the tutorial, but will be a major part of a subquest late into the game. She will explain how to get around, use of each and every menu, and a detailed walkthrough of the battle system. It is for beginners and advanced players alike.

Quaesitio

The quest system (called Quaesitio in the main menu) will display the Main Objective at the top: it is the main story and as you progress it will change. The "inquiries found" will be an indicator of how far along you are in the current Main Objective. As for the Secondary Objectives at the bottom, that will be a list of your subquests. the percentage in the upper right corner of the window will tell you how many are done in relation to how many there are. As far as the game goes, there will be the option to only follow the main quest at the sacrifice of extra story content and gameplay found in subquests.

New Maps
Spoiler for:




Here are 3 maps of the castle area (the castle, a waiting area, and the bridge/moat separating it from the city). I was thinking of doing a "stage" type setting and making most of the maps exactly 544x416 with a fadeless transfer; with only a very few maps exceeding those dimensions.

Also, here is the new official Windowskin for the Project, I edited it myself with a little help from others with materials. ^^


*While all of the above mentioned features and maps are subject to change, they will all be shown in the upcoming demo. Critique and criticism are fully encouraged.
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I'm loving the tutorial map, has a faded and 'classy' feeling to it. Good job!

And the windowskin looks good too. \me loves.

But I personally feel that the castle balcony could have more detail to it, like potted plants, french windows, etc.

Overall it looks good. Can't wait for the demo.  :)

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Great, I'm glad this game is still coming along nicely.

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Hmm ... since Kyriaki is still around (at least according to her profile xD) I just wanna ask, are you still working on this or the project is completely abandoned OvO???
Since this is one of the better project around and I would really want to see it gets to be released OvO
I support \\(>O<)b




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I'm sorry about not mentioning anything earlier but this project is not dead or abandoned in any way! It's just that I've gotten a new job and a bunch of other things have been going on that I haven't had much time to work on it. Here are some work in progress screenshots of a more finalized mapping style in the meantime (please note that the city streets maps are under heavy construction)! I wouldn't mind any feedback on if I should use a series of small maps or large area maps for dungeons & towns, etc.

Spoiler for:


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This map is really beautiful. I dig the midieval castle scene. Love it. :) The guards are too cute. :V
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Oh this project is not dead, yay! Now I can still keep my support bar LOL
I totally dig the color scheme in your screenies, they look so beautiful. Though in the third screen, the hugeeee door makes the NPC look so tiny. And some maps still remain quite bland compared to the earlier Tutorial map you've made.
And looking at your screenshots, I think a series of small small maps would totally fit your game :3

When can we expect a demo, by any chance x3???
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Yeah, I think the mapping can use some work, otherwise it looks like a pretty nice game! Can't wait!

I'm back.

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Minor Update #2: System Adjustments & Additions
Just posting to let those interested know this Project is not dead. ^^




Fully integrated the extended stats system. I know I mentioned it in the last update but I did not have any adjustments to show them in menu. New icons by OceansDream.




Before the Quest system was very linear, only allowing you to activate and complete quests: now there is the ability to fail them, which will determine the outcome of certain major story arcs, or if other quest lines will no longer be available to the player. Quest shown above is just an example.





In addition to the "complex shopping system" which limits what certain places have available for sale instead of an item, weapon, and armor shop in each town, there is now an item limit and bank system to accompany it.



Since there will be a lack of resources given that it is a "time of peace", there is aslso a synthesis and disassemble system available. Which will largely be used for enhancing already existing items or making better use of things that are no longer needed.


Added the ability to see enemy information during battle which will be saved to a Bestiary accessible in the main menu for viewing any time.


Also added two new features to the R.I.B.S battle system: the Judgement Ring now effects accuracy as well as damage, adding more with each strike. There is now an aggression system, which gives the player better control over which character the enemy will target over the others. However, it only updates on the next turn (after current Player and Enemy Rounds).


A number of important scenes throughout the game will have illustrated pictures with their dialogue to add to the emotional impact and aestheticism of the scene. Original artwork by Monstee.


I have also added a bit to the story as well, though there is not much to compare to for the previous update or main setting since I don't want to give away too many spoilers. Rayen (a chic even though the face is intended as a male character according to CLOSET) is a newer character since I started the thread, that will mysteriously guide the player and protagonist along but will bring into question whether she is friend or foe.


That wraps up this update! My schedule has been pretty terrible lately as I've been very busy with work and taking care of my family, but I'm hoping to get a (substantial) demo out by September, though I will not make any promises.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 01:23:37 PM by Kyriaki »
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This project looks very promising. I wish you the best of luck!