Scarlet Shadow is an old school indie rpg set in a sci-fi/fantasy world available on Itch.io and Gamejolt, released by Proto Co. on July 7, 2020 on Windows and ported for Linux on September 30. It's the first game ever created by this company. It's only available in English.
The game is still under development, and its current version is 0.7.3 (January 5th, 2022).
The game narrates the journey of Lux: a young man who was entrusted with the mission of defeating the evil organization Ether Animus. In his journey he'll meet a lot of characters with the same objective who will join him. There are 4 playable characters, with 3 more that are available just temporarily, as they leave the party for story-related reasons.
The gameplay of Scarlet Shadow is quite similar to that of traditional RPGs like Final Fantasy VI or VII. The player takes control of a party led by Lux, the protagonist of the game, and has to move around a fictional world, where they can advance in the story by completing tasks like speaking to certain characters or exploring cities and dungeons.
There are two kinds of locations: cities, where the members of the party can recover their Hp and Mp, shop various items using the currency of Kaeli (K symbol) and interact with different NPCs, who often tell the player fun facts or give information about the world of Scarlet Shadow, or even a gift; and dungeons, where the party can be attacked by various enemies, due to randomly triggered encounters. No shops and inns can be found in dungeons, and even NPCs are much rarer. Dungeons will often have some puzzles that the player must solve in order to proceed with the exploration. Also, chests and items necessary for the completition of side-quests can be found inside dungeons. At the end of the dungeon there is always a boss, who is usually much stronger than random enemies.
During the roaming part of gameplay, Scarlet Shadow is different from Final Fantasy for two reasons: The player doesn’t have to be on a Save Point to save the game; indeed, the game can be saved from every point of the game, except for some particular events or scenes, and the fact that in Scarlet Shadow there isn’t a world map, and every location is linked with a Teleport that can be unlocked at a certain point in the game.
Scarlet Shadow’s battles, which are often random, features STB (standard turn battle) system, one of the battle systems offered by Yanfly Engine. Action orders are determined by the battlers' AGI values and they go from highest to lowest. Each battler is only allowed one action per battle turn, meaning a single fighter cannot have twice the number of turns as another battler even if the battler's AGI value is double that of the other.
Actions include attacking an enemy, using an item, guarding or escaping; besides, every character has a special ability of their own with different skills connected: for example, Lux and Edith have Swordsplay, while Lumi and Irid have Magic; instead, Andrew has a set of abilities called Throw.
The objective of every side is to bring all the enemy battler’s HP (Health Points) to 0. Characters also have MP (Magic Points), which can be used for special abilities, and TP (Temporal Points), which increase depending on the character’s TP Modes: some characters will gain Tp when they deal damage to enemies; others after receiving damage. Every character has 4 different TP Modes. TPs are used to cast powerful abilities that deal much more damage than normal ones or target every enemy in the battle.
Another aspect of the game are the Status Effects and Buffs: Buffs raise temporarily one or more stats of the character or their elemental damage; Status Effects instead usually harm the characters by making them unable to perform certain actions or by taking damage: Poison for example slowly drains the characters of their hp; while BlockSword prevents them from using Swordsplay.
Whenever the party wins a battle, it gains Exp Points, Kaeli and Materials, which can be used to craft new weapons and armors.
Equipment and Crafting
Every character has four slots available for armors and only one slot for the weapon. The slots usually are: Weapon, Body, Shield, Head and Accessory, some characters though, do not have just one type of slot but two of another kind: Andrew, for instance, doesn't have the “shield slot”, but instead has two “Accessory” slot.
Weapons and Armor pieces can only be crafted after that you unlock the corresponding “Card”: A card usually contains 4-8 armors and 1-2 weapons. A group of 4 Armors with the same characteristics like “Magma” and “Herbaceous” can form a Set: when they are equipped together, they give special bonus to the characters: sometimes it is just an upgrade of the bonuses of individual armors: other times it is a totally different bonus.
Armor pieces and Weapons can only be crafted once all the requested materials are obtained: materials can be found by defeating enemies on the battlefield. Every material has a certain chance of dropping after the battle, and this chance of dropping (especially regarding the rarest items) can be increased by performing an Overkill. The latter can be accomplished when the amount of damage inflicted to the enemy is superior to half of the their HP.
Furthermore, some types of armor pieces and weapons can be bought at the Weapon Shop: however these kinds of pieces retain no special bonuses whatsoever apart from increasing normal stats such as "Attack" or "Defense".