Nocturne: Prelude is a free rhythm RPG developed and published by Pracy Studios for release on March 3rd, 2020. It is the first chapter of the full game. Nocturne: Prelude was developed in Unity.
The story takes place in a digital afterlife where the protagonist (known by default as Karma) has woken up after dying in the real world. Discovering that thousands of years have passed since their death and the afterlife is now in ruins, they begin the search for their brother with the help of Kimothy (a child who is obsessed with ninjas and doesn't know when to stop talking) and Satoru (a human-koi fish monk who is wise and knowledgeable about the world).
Players explore the 2D pixel art world called Maya from a top-down perspective. They speak with non-player characters through written dialogue and collect items they find around the world. During exploration, combat is initiated as a random encounter which transitions the player to a separate combat screen.
The game features a Rhythm based combat system, which is similar to many traditional Rhythm games, though with the addition of RPG-like abilities. The player can obtain passive or active combat abilities through equipment found in the world or as rewards for defeating creatures.
The player must defeat the enemy by correctly playing notes which fall down 4 separate columns, each assigned to a different key. For each note the player misses, the enemy's next attack will be more powerful. They must reach the end of the battle without losing all their health to win the encounter.
In addition to the Rhythm based combat, there is also a non-combat Rhythm mechanic where the player must correctly play a short musical tune with high enough accuracy to progress through the story. During this event, the music columns can move around the screen or become invisible.
Nocturne: Prelude's rhythm combat features multiple note types which have different effects during the battle.
- Standard: Missing these notes will cause the enemy's next attack to do increased damage
- Mines: Hitting these notes will disable the corresponding column, preventing player input for 2 seconds.
- Critical: These electrified notes will cause the enemy's next attack to increase in damage by twice the amount of a standard note.
Abilities & Effects
Players can equip items which provide either Passive Effects or Active Abilities, in addition to increased base stats of health and armor.
- Restore: Heals the player for every 15 perfect notes they hit.
- Barrier: Creates a barrier which protects the player from additional damage for every 15 notes in a row they hit (combo).
- Failsafe: Protects the player from a fatal attack.
- Coolant: Provides immunity to the effects of the Mines.
- Fortify (Active): Temporarily increases the player's armor for the next attack.
A public beta was released on January 19th 2019 that allowed players to play through the first half of Nocturne: Prelude. The beta closed on September 7th, 2019.