Red Candle Games has launched a crowdfunding campaign for Nine Sols, its 2D action platformer featuring “deflection-focused combat, immersive storytelling, and a Taopunk setting.” It is seeking NT$3 million (approx. $105,900) in funding.
According to the campaign description, Red Candle Games will release Nine Sols for PC and Mac via Steam, “as well as both the Nintendo and Sony consoles,” but since porting will not begin until the game is near completion, and since development is in between console generations, the studio cannot provide a definitive list of supported platforms just yet. However, it does note that it has already acquired PlayStation and Switch development kits.
Here is an overview of the game, via the crowdfunding campaign page:
Nine Sols‘s gameplay comprises fast-paced 2D action and exploration that draws on classic platforming techniques. Given our background in producing narrative-driven games, the studio also focused on crafting an immersive hand-drawn world with a fresh Asian fantasy setting, vivid characters, and a solid storyline.
“Become one with the Tao…”
New Kunlun, the Solarian’s last sanctuary, has remained quiet for centuries. Inside this vast realm, the ancient gods bequeathed mortals with a promised land that is forever protected by a set of sacred rituals. Yet the truth of this world remains unknown to most. Everything changes when Yi, a long forgotten hero from the past, is awoken by a human child.
During the course of the game, you will follow Yi on his vengeful quest against the 9 Sols, formidable rulers of this forsaken realm, and obliterate any obstacles in your way using Sekiro-lite style combat. Explore a dark fantasy world where every path is fraught with danger, and unravel the mysteries of an ancient alien race as you learn about the fate of mankind.
For the past two years, we’ve spent considerable time and effort testing and modifying our core combat mechanics. Not only should the controls feel smooth and responsive, but countless other elements must be considered when coming up with a fun, innovative, and user-friendly combat system.
As such, we have designed our fights with an emphasis on close-range encounters and the use of deflection and charging attacks. However, the traditional side-scrolling action controls remain unchanged, so you are free to use moves like dash, double jump, and wall jump/climb in the same ways you’re familiar with.
- Deflection – Yi’s most powerful skill. Deflecting an opponent’s attack not only allows you to avoid damage, but also to absorb and accumulate energy (Chi) with which to launch a stylish charging attack. Using quick reflexes and precise timing, you can escape numerous life-threatening situations with the simple press of a button.
- Charging Attack and Chi Explosion – Having succeeded in deflecting an enemy’s attack, you can reverse or “deflect” the damage onto enemy targets by sticking a Chi-filled talisman known as a “Foo charm” onto an enemy body during a charging attack and blowing them up with a spell.
- Slash Attack, Dash, and Double Jump – The classic action platformer controls are included in the game, so feel free to mix them up in combat situations.
- Bow – To enable more variations in the main combat loop, we will add a long-range weapon to the available arsenal. Yi’s Godly Bow offers a powerful solution to any combat situation.
Enemies and Bosses
Monsters are designed to test a player’s skill to execute the correct move in the right moment. While it might be difficult at times, when players are used to the above tools and grasp the game’s core rhythm, the experience can be both satisfying and rewarding.
Ready yourself to fight an assortment of callous ancient guardians and gruesome creatures. Be patient, utilize every tool in your arsenal, and mix it up with Yi’s Godly Bow to defeat these larger-than-life figures.
The 9 Sols of New Kunlun is your ultimate challenge. Each boss has a different personality and unique fighting style, and it’s up to you to figure out the best way to defeat them.
A Taopunk World
Almost all facets of the game have undergone countless iterations, from the hand-drawn environments and sprite animations, to the world setting elements and narrative arcs. We had a clear goal of combining Taoism with cyberpunk, melding sci-fi elements with Eastern mythology, yet the actual process of doing so has been challenging. The product of this challenge is the New Kunlun, our depiction of a Taopunk world.
Different areas in the New Kunlun are mostly interconnected, while each region has its own architectural style and environment. Explore and discover hidden secrets/treasures and put your platforming skills to the test.
Meet and interact with NPCs to trade, receive upgrades, and gain new abilities. In this deserted world, it’s important to grab hold of all the help you can get. Through conversations with these vivid characters, more background stories and lores are revealed.
Nine Sols features meticulous hand-crafted, anime-style landscapes and sprite-based animations, and blends these with manga-inspired cutscenes. Every frame is carefully drawn in a traditional style and we have taken great pains to create the most eye-catching fluid animations.
Purchase and Upgrades
- Meridian Skills and Abilities – By defeating enemies you will gain experience, and once leveled up, Yi can receive permanent upgrades and gain new skills. These improvements can be game changers, so choose wisely.
- Jade and Passive Abilities – When equipped with jade, Yi is further empowered with different passive abilities. These passive skills could come in handy in various situations. Leveraging the power of the jade in your fights may bring you strategic advantages as well as other benefits.
- Purchase and Modification – Items in the game can be purchased with Jin, a rare metal that’s essential to Solarian technology. Jin is also used in order to gain equipment modifications; for example, to apply enhancement to Yi’s bow and ammunition.
The sound in Nine Sols will be unique and distinctive while not breaking immersion. With a setting that features both sci-fi and Asian mythology, we aim to blend various traditional Eastern instruments and vocal sounds with modern electronic synthesizers.
Fusing Asian cultural sounds with the game’s narrative, we hope to deliver a pleasant albeit experimental auditory experience to visitors of our Taopunk world.
Watch a new trailer below.