Samurai Waltz (prototype) is a JRPG demo created by VapourSword (Super Game Dev, PenGen, Days Devoured By Nightmares) in 2018 using OHRRPGCE.
As one might expect, the game’s setting is feudal Japan (or a fictionalized simulacrum thereof). The player takes control of Ronin, who can wield katana and wakizashi as well as fire magic. Companions include the bickering duo of Kenta (wielding sai, whip, ice magic) and Yuki (flail, fire magic), plus the cynical Kant (axes, hammers).
The game appears to be unfinished as of this writing. Dialog sometimes alludes to the potential for quests, but none seem to present themselves. The graphics are taken from FnrrfYgmShnish’s “8-Bit Graphics Set,” and they look really nice in this context. The sound effects are a mixed bag of retro simplicity, ranging from highly satisfactory (combat sounds) to highly annoying (the “ding” and “pew” sounds in the menus). There is no music yet. A few areas of the map have dubious passability (such as the counter in Guilder’s Shop that can be walked over). The writing is solid and functional, with a handful of minor typos.
A few early-game conversations show the seeds of a WRPG-influenced dialog system that I find very appealing, even if the kinks are not yet worked out. Some NPCs present multiple dialog paths or responses that vary with repeated visits. Party members can be spoken to via the main menu, a very promising feature I’d love to see expanded upon (this concept is taken to glorious extremes in Planescape: Torment, which I am also currently playing). There are still a few issues though – I couldn’t always choose every option presented, and some text boxes linger awkwardly after they should be closed. Kant’s menu-dialog also seems to function differently than those of the other party members.
The combat system seems to have a good start, but is also incomplete. I love the stat-boosting charms and attack-chaining off-hand weapons (multiply my hits please!), but most battles can be completed by holding the Enter key. A few rare enemies are a little jokey, such as a clown that doesn’t take but can take a colossal amount of damage. I received a game-breaking error during one of these clown fights. As I killed the clown, I received an error message and battle started over; after fleeing the battle, the graphics were messed up so I had to restart.
Samurai Waltz is a very promising start to a game. The focus is pretty clear, and the combat/dialog systems both appear to be the start of something good. What it needs most is a beatable main quest, followed by some side quests and polish if necessary. This is one of the demos I’m most excited to see become a completed project, hopefully it will become reality sooner than not.
...spake The Lord Thy God.