Wussup peoples! Sorry about the lack of updates, but with the demo of the hack and source code out, I am now hard at work again! This time, I have begun putting Alucard’s graphics into the game; while this does not sound like a HUGE task, it actually is. Besides the usual nuances when putting in over a 50-100 sprites, all of the sheets I found on the internet from SOTN for him had his cape colored the EXACT same shades of black as his body. This created a huge issue for me, since unlike in SOTN, game maker does NOT have palette support. Meaning without the cape being a unique set of colors I would not be able to easily and efficiently have different colored cloaks. I have found a way around this now, but it involved me re-ripping the gfx from SOTN myself from in game with the josephs cloak on. A time consuming process in itself; not counting the time it took to make sure I got all the frames from each animation, aligning them, setting hit boxes, etc. But this also ensured that my animations would also be 95-99% identical to the original SOTN.
But getting past these boring technicalities, more importantly was the fact that I had to figure out what new features and tweaks would be implemented for Alucard himself. I mean let’s face it: the Castlevania franchise has become stagnant, and SOTN itself is over 15 years old. Some changes have to be made to make the game more fun, more interesting, more challenging, and to balance it out in general. The problem with this is that at the same time I want to keep the things that made the game great and made it SOTN in tact as well. Or this whole project would become POINTLESS, lol. Although I am aware that it is impossible to satisfy everyone, I also wanted to do my best to keep in the things that the majority of fans out there like, and make sure that my changes improved on the game, and did not detract from it. But the bottom line is that Alucard just had too much stuff before, and didn’t use 75% of it. While Richter & Maria definitely needed more options.
With that being said, here are a list of some features and changes planned for Alucard specifically (NOTE: that some of this stuff may not be final, and that things will be tweaked and balanced as needed):
Alucard’s weapon sets will include the following:
- Swords (there is only one short sword type here; the rest are the longer types)
- Great Swords (DOS/POR version of them; yes the animations are already done for Alucard)
- Katanas (act similar to a mix of the original 2 handed swords, & katanas from DOS; but improved upon. Also uses new Alucard animations that are already done)
Shields will still be used for blocking. However there is much more to them now:
- There is now a shield meter that decreases every time you block based on what attacks hit it. This meter restores only with time.
- If your shield is knocked off due to the meter emptying from something hitting it, the shield is disabled for a short time. Then the meter begins restoring as normal.
- Shields have greater durability meter length wise as the game progresses, but otherwise do not effect stats at all.
- All shields found in the 2nd half of the game do attack damage too (dark shield, skull shield, medusa shield, fire shield, alucard shield).
- Shield spells will NOT be used for Alucard; THIS IS NOT UP FOR DEBATE AND ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS ON THIS SUBJECT WILL BE ERASED! Sorry but at this time I cannot discuss this further other than to say someone else will use them. Just trust me when I say I know how this sounds to some, but I love these spells and still plan to include them in the game. 🙂
- Alucard will have a slide; it will be the one from Castlevania HD.
- Alucard WILL have a dash; yes I know for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time I said I would never give him one. But no one wants to spend 20 minutes getting from one side of the castle to another. The fans win on this one! 🙂
- The high jump costs no MP; but can only be used once now until landing again, and is not invincible
Form changing will be different:
- The bat and wolf will both be made much more versatile and useful.
- While bat/wolf form changing will no longer be invulnerable, getting hit in either mode, will not change you back to Alucard. If hit while transforming however, you do turn back to normal. Also wing smashing into a wall will drain your bat’s meter a bit (see below for info on meters) but doesn’t change you back.
- The bat has a dash; the wolf still runs as always.
- The bat and mist will both be less abuse-able.
- Bat fire is much cheaper mp wise now, is faster, and does more damage.
- Bat echo does more damage now but you are stopped in place while using it.
- The wolf is now offensively much more powerful, and can jump normal height and double jump, walks faster, has a hit AND cut element attack.
- Wolf charge, and Wing smash will be useable while still in Alucard’s normal form.
- In mist form, the longer you stay as mist the more MP it uses
- Changing to bat or wolf in itself costs mp, but doesn’t drain mp after.
All 3 form changes have a meter:
- for the mist the longer you stay mist, more MP you use.
- For the bat it is how long you can stay as a bat, and decreases with time.
- For the wolf it decreases each time you get hit and MAY also decrease slowly over time.
- The bat will have areas designed for specifically it’s use now to get thru them; there will be no form change time limit in these cases.
- The back dash will be made more useful on the ground, and MAY also be useable in the air now.
Sub weapons now level up, which may add new effects & abilities (ex. boomerang can become flaming boomerang). You can also carry ALL of them at once, and can switch between them by tapping a button. However, Alucard no longer has MOST of Richter’s sub weapons. The ones planned for him right now are:
- Yagyu shuriken (acts similar to a dagger)
- Shuriken (POR version)
- Boomerang (acts similar to a cross)
- Bwaka Knife
- Pentagram (inflicts dark at first, and eventually dark/curse/stone; hits all enemies, costs low mp. Mostly used to inflict a status effect)
- Holy Water
- Dynamite (upgrades to TNT with huge blast effect)
- A new spell: black lightning; it is similar to Shanoa’s lightning bolt attack that arcs a thunderbolt towards enemies.
Old spells have been tweaked:
- Summon spirit: no longer freezes the action now, and goes directly at the enemy. It can be used in the air too.
- Hellfire can be cast without teleporting or with it; same for dark inferno. When teleporting you can make it longer or shorter time wise.
- Dark inferno is acquired as a separate spell from hellfire, and does much more damage.
- Tetra Spirit: much higher damage now
- Dark metamorphosis: heals for much less now but it is % based off max hp. Each enemy will only bleed a certain # of times when hit. It also slightly boosts your STR and lasts a LONG time.
- Soul steal: has a new effect now; won’t hit candles, projectiles or non enemy objects. Only hits a certain # of times then ends. Heals for less hp (% based off max hp also). Some enemies MAY be immune to this. Does dark damage.
- Sword Brothers: does holy damage, can only be used once sword familiar has reached a certain level. Eventually can be charged up for more damage
- Wolf charge & Wing Smash: can be used as Alucard or a wolf.
- NOTE: some spells will even improve as you level up Alucard
Familiar changes up the ying yang. For one thing, they gain levels quicker now, but gain them from SP which are given by killing enemies. There is also a cap on their levels based on Alucard’s level (no more overpowering them by grinding early) also. By level 50 though they can all reach level 99.
- Fairy: has 2 modes: auto potion on and off modes. In off mode will not use potions, high potions or super potions. Can boost resistance to elements or your basic stats for a short time if you find the right items. Costs 1 MP per second to have active. Much more useful familiar now. BIG NOTE: you no longer need the fairy on now to use the death doll (used to be called the life apple)
- Bat: costs 2 MP each time it attacks with it’s charge. When Alucard is in bat mode, the fireballs shot by the bat familiars are smaller, and do less damage than the normal one
- Ghost: costs ? MP each time it attacks; does dark & curse damage. Randomly drains a soul from an enemy that heals a small % of your Health.
- Devil: costs varying MP based on which attack it uses. Can use normal mode, fire, ice, lit, or dark mode.
- Sword Familiar: Has 2 modes of attack you can set: slice or slash mode. Does holy damage eventually in addition to cut. Learns sword brothers as it levels up, and eventually can become the strongest great sword in the game.
Also here is some info on a few of the systemic changes to be implemented:
- No more limited use weapons like there was in the original SOTN. All of the unique weapons (like monster vials) are still in the game, but will be used for another character. I do not plan on leaving ANY of the neat unique equipables out. I cannot elaborate further on this at this time so please do not ask. 🙂
- Healing items (potions, tonics, uncurse, etc.) are used from a separate menu now. Death doll used without fairy now, and does not have to be equipped at all (only heals 25% Max HP).
Status effects are tweaked:
- Curse lasts a while longer now; anything attack wise that uses the attack 1 or attack 2 buttons will also not work with it on.
- poison drains HP repeatedly for a set time, but doesn’t effect atk and defense as much. It drains about 10% of your max hp FOR ONE ENTIRE POISONING NOT PER HIT.
- stone is harder to shake out of, and each hit during it does % based damage
The equip menu has the following slots for him:
- Shield (blocking only. Doesn’t affect stats)
- Boots (various special & unique effects; minor stat boosts)
- Accessory 1
- Accessory 2
Cloaks are now equipped under the accessory slot and still boost various stats. There is a menu for cloak color specifically with 3 options:
- Off: uses the default black cloak for Alucard regardless of equip
- On: uses the colors of the currently equipped cloak
- Custom: uses the custom color set by you; regardless of cloak equipped, and even if you don’t have one on (must have joseph’s cloak RELIC)
- Accessories now all have unique effects. They do not just mainly boost stats anymore.
- Updated equipables list with lots of new stuff
- More relics with unique effects; many changes to the old ones.
- There is a MND stat and a M.DEF now. It affects how much damage most projectiles and some attacks do.
- Library card can only be used in areas that have already been beaten; when this item is used a teleport pillar is created outside the librarians rooms which if reentered teleports you BACK to the spot you initially came from as well.
- Equipment and items can now be sold
- Teleport rooms also let you teleport between castles
- Food items are instantly used now; you cannot carry them. There are far less different ones now too, and they all restore based on % rather than a flat numeric amount, making them ALWAYS useful and effective.
A change will be made to the drop system; it will now include something I nicknamed a “guarantor.” This system is being put in place because to be blunt, having to kill an enemy 500 times in a row to get an item is fucking annoying, and not fun in the least! Here is how it works:
- After killing a set # of a particular type of enemy, and you will be GUARANTEED a drop. An example of this would be killing 20 axe armors, guarantees they will drop a copper armor.
- If you pick up the item after it is dropped via this guarantor, you have used up your one guarantor and cannot do it again for the rest of the game for that particular enemy type.
- If the item vanishes, or you leave it, the counter resets. So to use the above example again, if you leave behind the copper armor, you now have to kill 20 more axe armors to get another one.
- In addition to the guarantor system, items can STILL drop randomly from luck. So if you kill 19 axe armors and get a copper armor by luck, then kill the 20th one the guarantor drop STILL occurs. And the opposite scenario also applies; you can get the guarantor drop for the 20th kill, and then get another copper armor by luck on the 21st, or 56th kill, or 103rd kill, etc..
- The # of kills you have, and how many you need total for the guarantor item will be listed in the bestiary (accessible via start menu)
- More common items probably will not have a guarantor; just the rare and unique ones.
Luck and special items like the thief ring now have a much greater effect on how often you get item drops.
I know that some of the changes here might freak some of you out, but believe me when I say everything fun will still be included, and things will be tweaked as needed to ensure that the game feels fun and complete, yet balanced.
Stay tuned to my blog for more progress, updates, and changes as this thing progresses.