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  • Lars Henriks

Three ideas for RPG Maker games

Back in the 2000's, when I was around 11 or 12, there used to be a weekly magazine in Germany, called the "BRAVO ScreenFun". It was a light, entertaining computer game magazine for a young audience (complete with two pages of atrocious film criticism) and it always had a CD containing free games. I loved it.

To fulfill their promise of delivering free games as cheaply as possible, the ScreenFun turned to the amateur indie game scene that was emerging around the "RPG Maker 2000". The German scene was in its infancy, but it already had some classics to boast: "Vampire's Dawn", an epic tale about romance among Vampires, "Eternal Legends", a Final Fantasy rip-off full of typos, telling a story that I was truly fascinated by as a kid, and "Dreamland", a series of bloody zombie horror games that were modeled after "Silent Hill".

I loved all that! A few years before that, the Nintendo 64 had been the console to own if one were cool. I got a used Nintendo Entertainment System instead, and had decided, that this retro console was not only equally as cool as the one everybody else had - It was clearly much cooler, because nobody else had it!

Ever since then, to me, a game ought to look like games from the NES/GameBoy era. If it doesn't, it's no fun. Leave me the fuck alone with your tiring 3D and headache-inducing ego shooters. I wanted retro-RPGs and jump-n-runs that went from left to right without confusing shenanigans.

Obviously, the RPG Maker, a few years later, felt like it was tailor-made for me. It had the graphics I loved, the simple gaming principles I wanted to mainly set stories in. I spent quite some time of my then-young life making and playing RPG-Maker games.

It sometimes even now annoys me, that I've got nothing to show for it: The computer, on which I had made my own games, none of which had been ready for publication, one day straight up exploded, rendering a drive with all my self-made games, three juvenile novels, my first feature length screenplay and my two first attempts at making horror films (without screenplays) unreadable. It's probably for the best - All those things were dreadful.

Now, the RPG Maker appears to be a thing again, which makes many fond memories come flooding back to me. These days, I simply don't have the time for obsessively crafting my own, little amateur indie games, but if I did, I would.

Since I don't and won't, I thought I'd share my three ideas for games with you! They're all sequels to feature films of ours.


1 - Leon must die 2 - "Aqua must live"


So, in the end of "Leon must die" we see Aqua disappearing, because her timeline ceases to exist. Leon obviously dies shortly after this, so there can't be a sequel involving him - But where did Aqua go?

Well - Into a parallel dimension, of course! Aqua finds herself in a world a lot like ours, but more awesome. It basically looks like a world Akira Toriyama would set his stories in: Semi-Futuristic urban fantasy. There's everything we've got here, culturally und technologically, but also pirates, monsters and adventures.

After Aqua has gotten used to her new world and moved into a shared flat with an aspiring playwright, an influencer with heavy "Only Fans" presence who wants to be an actress, and a lazy slob who works a nondescript job in an office, the problems start.

First, she begins to experience manic, dream-like episodes of reality shifting. The new dimension is reacting in defense against her presence, which is a violation of reality itself. After a while, a call for help by her mother reaches Aqua. Aqua's mother is trapped in a laboratory, where scientists try to create a portal, potentially connecting all dimensions with each other, using dimensionally misplaced Alpha as kind of an engine to make their machine run.

Reluctantly, Aqua decides to try and help her mother. Her new friends will aide her.

So, after a while of quite mundane but fun anime/comedy RPG stuff, discovering a new world, cute characters and small challenges (even fighting pirates and monsters in the wilderness around the city) - The real adventure starts and with a group of misfits as her party, Aqua goes into a creepy scientific facility and has to step into the dimension-connecting machine, from which point on the player gets to experience all kinds of crazy maps, monsters and other things to fight - A labyrinth through alternate realities with no limits at all for the creativity of the map designers - The crazier, the better! Endlessly varied, never dull for a second, a surprise a minute!


2 - Bearkittens 2 - The Woods


After leaving the forest and lying to the police, most of the Bearkittens brats assume the adventure to be over, the crisis to be averted. But after one of them gets brutally murdered, the cryptic message "Come back to the Forest", written in her blood on the walls of her room, the remaining girls decide to go back and confront what's hunting them.

A fun trip to the forest begins, delving deeper into its mythology. We get to see the old water mill, the witch house of the heath murderer, the corpse lake and we will get to experience supernatural phenomena in this gaming version of a weird fiction tale, as the girls discover themselves apparently targeted by a witch.

If you've watched Bearkittens, you know which one.

You'll get to play any character you want and you'll get to snoop around in the haunted forest, uncovering mysteries and having fun - As long as you don't get yourselves killed!


3 - Performaniax 2 - The King in Yellow


You're an audience member. An art hipster. You're going to a very hip, very exclusive staging of the play "The King in Yellow" - As an immersive theater experience. The play is rumored to make everyone mad who reads it and to your knowledge, it has never been staged before. Thrilling? Yes. More thrilling than you think.

The play takes place in an old, abandoned building. It's huge, several floors and a labyrinthine basement. You go inside and are thus in the hand of the mad troupe we all know from "Performaniax".

Will you make it out alive? That's not a given.


If I had the guarantee that I would definitely reach the required biblical age of 945 that I would need to realize all these ideas of mine, I would get the current version of the RPG Maker and start making these TOMORROW.

But I don't, so I won't. Just though I'd share these with you, cause I think they're fun ideas and I'd love for these games to exist.

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