About ‘Of Stranger Flames’
Of Stranger Flames is a not quite ‘High Fantasy’, and definitely not ‘Alternate History’, but perhaps closer to a historically-based ’Sword and Sorcery’ genre.
It is a “classically-inspired, turn-based (with action elements), 2D rpg with modern graphics, in a para-historical French setting, in the latter half of the sixteenth century”.
Quite a mouthful, eh? What does this actually mean? Let’s break it down:
‘Of Stranger Flames’ is inspired by different classical games that I love and enjoy. Though inspired by the likes of older Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy games, and inspired by the 2D Zelda games, it stands on it’s own and is certainly no clone. The goal when playing ‘Of Stranger Flames’ is not to feel like you are playing a game you remember from your youth (otherwise, why not go play that game directly?), but to be it’s own game, something new, that remembers and takes the best of something old. Like a bottle of fine wine bottled in a certain year, when finally opened, it should taste better (or at least different) than the bottles that were drank the year they were produced. Things improve over time, and technology gets better. Not just graphics, but also game design, storytelling, and everything else, we should have gotten better at – while at the same time, not discarding what worked from the past.
I move, you move, I miss, you hit. But better. More fluid. When you attack an enemy, he has the opportunity to interact with your attack, to try and throw your movements off. Likewise, when he attacks you, you do more than just stand there taking it, you have the opportunity and initiative to put him in his place and evade, block, or even counter his attack by your actions intermingling with his. Combat is a dance – and you are an active part of it.
Of Stranger Flames tries its best to look beautiful. Gorgeous, even. I do all I can to put you within the world. It’s no longer a game, but a real challenge. It’s no longer an image of trees, but a forest with the wind flowing around your face and bristling hair as your sword hangs against your side, longing for combat in the same way you long for a good nap in a soft bed. But no, you have work to do, and despite no one being able to order you to do it, it must get done and the duty has fallen to you and your fellow Guardians.
Sorry, I got distracted for a second. The graphics, the writing, the music, the sound, the setting. I want to put you in the world itself – I want you to be there. I may not succeed, but I’ll do my best to try – that’s my job, if you let your creativity handle the rest while exploring the land – that’s your job.
Para (greek) = ‘alongside of’
The game is relatively accurate in the time period it is set in (with as few liberties as possible), but at the same time, the actual location is a fictional French colony. Actual French people, places, and events are referenced (and explained) but serve more as a backdrop for the story, culture, and world, without the game depending on it. Knowledge of French history is not required to understand the game, as the game explains the meaning of what is being referenced without it actually getting in the way of enjoying the game or plot itself.
While historically accurate in culture and global history, the game also contains several more fantastical elements such as limited use of magic in combat and certain beasts and creatures of undesirable characteristics (that is to say, undesirable for you).
‘in the latter half of the sixteenth century’.
The game takes place 1573 AD, just 38 years after the French colony was established.