Hello Penguin Team have launched the Kickstarter campaign for Vernal Edge, a 2D Metroidvania with combat inspired by Devil May Cry.
The press kit describes Vernal Edge as “a Stylish Action Game with Metroidvania elements where you fly out into the sky to find new places to explore and monsters to beat up. You juggle enemies, explore mysterious islands on your airship, and fight ruthless bosses, all with a combat system inspired by deep technical actions games like Devil May Cry.”
Developed by Hello Penguin Team (with PluswPlus and Matthew Martinez), the game also offers customization options, light resource management, and a broad moveset.
The story focuses on the kingdom of Haricot, which rose into the sky along with several islands two decades ago. The Church of Aloe soon seized power, and the islands technology and understanding of magic rapidly grew, including “Memory Storage.”
The headstrong Vernal has sought out this kingdom, to get revenge on her long lost deadbeat father. She discovers Chervil, “a strange cyborg with the mind of a brilliant scientist but no memory.” Together they explore Haricot for answers.
Their journey shall see them battling monsters, the Church of Aloe, endure catastrophes plaguing the islands, discovering the world’s secrets, and a “powerful woman named Alstroemeria, who is also searching for Vernal’s father.”
Players cannot just pummel foes endlessly, as they have Poise. Players will need to break them with Charged Attacks and Pulse Attacks to focus on one foe. You can find the full description of all three below.
“Poise: To start, some enemies will have 1 or more blue orbs below their health bar, this being their Poise. While they have Poise, you can not stun them or knock them around. Certain abilities and attacks directly deal Poise Damage, offering you different options to deal Poise Damage you can even knock enemies into each other to destroy their Poise. Once an enemy’s Poise is broken, you can begin to combo them freely until they recover from the stun. You can see this as a blue meter beneath their health bar, so there’s no nasty surprises when an enemy recovers. This back and forth relationship between you and your foes is what makes Vernal Edge tick.
Charged Attacks: Plain and simple, and usually very good at breaking enemy Poise. Hold down the attack button and release after the glow to perform a charged attack. There are different attacks you can do depending on the direction you hold and even whether or not you’re in the air!
Pulse Attacks: Since most of our inspirations for Vernal Edge’s gameplay are 3d and use lock-on target systems, we wanted an option in combat that lets you perform attacks to specific targets. Using Vernal’s magic sword, you can throw out a Ghost Blade that marks an enemy, and lets you perform attack target to that enemy specifically! Barrel into them, shred them with a thousand swords, or run up to them and deliver a multi-hit barrage! You spend Pulse Points to perform these attacks, and the only way to gain them back is to hit more enemies.”
Players may also explore the games various islands (traversed to via airship) in any order they want. These islands can be explored by jumping, sliding, air-stepping; and the developers are even open to letting players break the game with them.
“Using these tools you can make movement or as technical or relaxing as you want, and we fully intend for some of you to sequence break.” The developers also hint at “a mysterious hidden world that links the island together with even more secrets to discover.”
Players can also use items, and equip spells and abilities they find, dubbed Memories. In true Metroidvania fashion, “some rare Memories will even give you access to important movement abilities that let you traverse new areas.”
Players can equip up to four Spells at a time- which are more focused towards dealing damage under specific conditions, or breaking enemy defenses.
Minor Memories can also grant “Lost techniques from other fighters,” such as “a rising punch out of your slide attack” and “catch your sword when it returns to you to perform a deadly spin attack.” Only a few of these techniques can be equipped at once, but this can be expanded as you play the game.
You can find the Kickstarter trailer below.
Backer rewards include a digital copy of the game (and multiple digital copies at further tiers), a digital OST, a PDF containing design works (“concept art, character art, design methodology, and more”), an exclusive alternate color for Vernal, Volume 2 of Hello Penguine Magazine (focused on the game), a themed poster, designing an NPC, designing an island, and designing a boss.
As of this time of writing, the Kickstarter has raised over $15,000 towards its $50,000 dollar goal.
Vernal Edge aims to launch late 2022 on Windows PC (via Steam, and “other digital PC platforms), and later on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The developers are also “open” to releasing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, “but we will adjust our plans with time.”
A demo is also available via itch.io