The Legend of the Lancer Kickstarter campaign is in full stride

Gorilla Press Games has been busy working on a ‘Metroidvania’-style 2D title for PC, Mac, and Linux called Legend of the Lancer. The game popped up on Kickstarter on October 9th with a goal of $35K to get this game off their PCs and onto yours, with stretch goals of getting LotL on PS3, PS4, Vita, and Wii U.

So what is Legend of the Lancer all about? The story itself is inspired by great fantasy writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin, and will feature player choices that effect how the outcome of the game pans out. Here is the official write-up from their Kickstarter page:

“In the land of Umber, the King, wielding a mighty Lance, defended his Kingdom against the Dragon, Osmos. The Kingdom was saved, but the King was lost. You play as Sam Drexel, a young knight in a land where ten-thousand knights are competing in a tournament for the King’s Crown. A new era is coming! As Sam, you journey through towns, dungeons, and ancient lands. You challenge powerful knights and battle dangerous monsters. As you build your weapons and skills you begin to uncover the mystery of the Lost King, and the Legend of the Lancer.”

What I find interesting is the non-linear story model that this game will utilize in place of structured adventure. You can apparently zip through the game if you want, but will miss out on really affecting the outcome of the story. Completing quests, however, will affect the world around you. Ultimately, Sam wants to enter the Grand Tournament to prove his worth to the other knights of the realm, but may also have an unseen force to reckon with.

As the name of the game implies, Sam wields a lance attached to a magical hilt to dispatch his foes. The hilt can also gain more function through a variety of attachments, like a hammer or grappling hook. These attachments can be switched out in combat, and adds another layer of strategy to the battles. Sam also gets a sweet mechanized, armored horse companion that will help in battle and get past certain obstacles.

The Kickstarter campaign has some great stretch goals down the line that could really beef up the game and its content. Possible online jousting sounds awesome, and adding a crafting system as well as new bosses and locations is always better for the player. Here’s to hoping they hit those goals!

I got a chance to ask Gorilla Games Press developer Paul Emanuel some questions about his upcoming game.

That VideoGame Blog (TVGB): What were your gaming inspirations for Legend of the Lancer besides the ‘Metroidvania’ games? Do games like The Legend of Zelda come to mind? Or do you think more along the lines of Metroid/Castlevania gameplay shaped into a classic fantasy story as an inspiration?
Paul Emanuel (PE): LotL is really the brainchild of our childhood. Needless to we always give credit to Castlevania and Super Metroid but the Mega Man series was a huge inspiration. The sequence breaking idea really came from the early Mega Man series where other mechanics came from MMX. Story-wise, there is a lot of classic tales such as ‘Sword in the Stone’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series that we draw from.

TVGB: Is Jousting the central theme or idea of the game that ties everything else together? It looks as though entering the Grand Tournament is the end goal, or is there eventually some evil force that takes it beyond the tournament that players will have to fight?
PE: We we started drafting this idea we knew there was a central theme that we needed to develop. After some time we feel into the Jousting idea as it would fit well in the story concept and help out greatly with pacing. There is an impending doom at the start of the game that turns Sam’s world upside down. This catalyst then escalates as Sam clears qualifying tournaments in multiple towns. In the end he will be faced with not only competing in the Grand Tournament but facing this protagonist.

TVGB: Does this world of Umber have more steampunk influences (besides the lance and horse) as far as industrial elements being introduced in a medieval-type realm?
PE: There are steampunk elements all over the world. For instance Sam must build, customize, and upgrade these attachments with a local blacksmith. This isn’t a standard blacksmith but more of a mechanical engineer. We have a stretch goal to help implement a robust crafting system that will go into this deeper. The Jousting gameplay will also draw heavy inspiration from steampunk concepts.

TVGB: Any puzzle solving elements? I also noticed some stats for Sam in his HUD, so are there some additional RPG elements added to the game?
PE: There will be armor upgrades, buffs from potions, upgrades to your hilt that can add to your stats. There will be some level of puzzle solving in different levels and boss areas.

TVGB: If you follow different paths in a different order through several playthroughs, will this affect how the game ends? How is the world affected by choosing one path over another?
PE: The world is greatly shaped how you decided to play LotL. At the very start you are offered different quests from key members of the game that have their own story arcs. Completing these quests will shape how others in the world see you, offer to you, or help you. There will be a quick short path to complete the game, speed run so to speak, then there will be longer paths. There will be several outcomes in the game. As the player digs keeper into the game there will be decisions to make along the way that will change everything. If we reach our stretch goal of New Game+ we can greatly improve this concept. The world map is very important to the effects of your decisions. For instances, in the Graveyard there is grave keeper that watches over the dead. He has been there for years even lives there. A Necromancer haunts this graveyard and the dead can’t rest. He continues to raise them for his evil bidding. The grave keeper will request your help to banish and defeat the Necromancer. On the other hand the Necromancer will pose you with a reward, an item that can greatly change your gameplay. If the graveyard is saved it will change in appearance.

Legend of the Lancer looks to be heading for a September 2014 release. So take a minute and go check out the Legend of the Lancer Kickstarter page, and if this sounds like something you would love to get your hands on, support it! Also, check out some more concepts from the game on the TIGS forum.