“Pale Echoes” is a new indie RPG from Wyrmling Productions and Degica Games, released December 10, 2015. The game can be purchased on Steam for the PC and Steam-compatible devices!
When it comes to uniquely-fun indie RPGs, Degica has yet to disappoint. They publish all sorts of titles that I would have otherwise never heard of, but thankfully due to some awesome PR contacts I keep coming across some of the better RPGs that they’ve published. To this end, Pale Echoes is no exception.
Much like Remnants of Isolation, this game tells an original story with an original setting while mixing in quite a few new gameplay elements to the RPG Maker engine. The game stars a human woman named Schori and her magical companion Spinel, the last of their kind to survive “the End” of their world. In the years since the destruction of the world, the pair have traveled all around the globe looking for Echoes (or ghosts containing the memory of lost mortals) and purifying them to help them find their rest. Doing so, and especially purging the Dark Echoes from the physical world, allows them, through magic, to restore a semblance of beauty back to the broken world. By the time the game begins, the pair have reached the last region of the world needing to be purified – the capital of the world’s former government.
The game’s combat is very unique because of its reliance on memories found in the physical world. Echoes are essentially ghosts and cannot harm Schori, but they can cause her to loose her concentration and thus not be able to purify them. Each round of combat, the player can summon three memories into the playing field, each with their own unique attack abilities, magical spells, and strengths against certain types of Echoes. At the end of each round, though, those memories are unsummoned and more must be brought to the field. If no more memories remain, and the Echoes still have not been defeated, then the combat ends and you must try again.
Memories are gained from the “living memories” encountered throughout the game. One of the game’s unique aspects is Spinel’s ability to draw on the “echoes” of the past to create a replication of the past in the present. The game explains this as simply creating an alternate reality based on the memories of the real world, but this allows the player to interact with people, understand the final days of the world, and get some of those memories to join the party. Swapping between the present and the “past” is necessary in order to get around obstacles, not perhaps dissimilar from the Dark World/Light World mechanic in Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Sacrifice is an important part of the game, too, because there are times when the player will need to sacrifice certain memories they have in order to unlock travel points between certain areas. This, too, seems to be a theme of the overall story.
The game is short, though, and while this isn’t a problem with certain games, with this game I just felt like I wanted more. I wanted to know more about the world, to see more of it, and see further character development. The game also uses a great deal of stock RPG Maker assets, and while this isn’t a horrible thing, I definitely appreciate it a lot more when a developer puts in a ton more of their own resources into something to make it more unique and standing out.
On the other hand, the soundtrack is unique and very well-done. I thought the music was a strong point in this game for sure.
Overall, Pale Echoes is a very unique RPG that does a lot to shake things up. It’s a shorter game, but tells a great story, and is definitely a game to check out if you are into the J-RPG scene or just enjoy a good tale!
On a scale from 0 to 10, where a 5 is “average,” this game gets a rating of:
GOOD: 7.5 / 10