The appropriately named Midgar Studio is coming to the end of a successful Kickstarter with over 3 times what they were aiming for.
Edge of Eternity, their debut title, is aiming to get back to the glory days of Square’s legendary RPG series by presenting a modern-day RPG with active time battles, summons, and stunning graphics.
They even have Yasunori Matsuda – composer of the music for the classic RPG Chrono Trigger – on board to do the soundtrack.
Edge of Eternity met its modest funding target of $44k in just three days, and now, with the campaign coming to a close at the end of this week, they’ve currently raised over 3 times their target – $135,654 has so far been donated by backers, all hungry for a nostalgic tribute to Square’s series.
Midgar Studio isn’t aiming for Edge of Eternity to be “just” a tribute, however; they’re talking up the inclusion of a branching narrative rather than being satisfied with a linear story, and they’re using the Unity engine to ensure that the game has modern visuals on par with any current-gen rpg. With 3 days to go they’ve met a number of their stretch goals, but there’s still a few yet to be achieved.
At $160k, Midgar will add additional playable characters, at $220k they’ll add additional summons to the game. If they reach $295k (which so far looks unlikely given the time remaining, but you never know), they’ll add cinematics by Dwarf Labs. Dwarf Labs has already had a hand in creating the game’s Kickstarter pitch video, and based on their contribution it looks like they’d deliver a bang-up job.
As for the story, it looks like Midgar has been busy with its worldbuilding: “Heryon was once a peaceful world. For years, the crystals gave the three realms of Astrya, Junor and Dehostra, the same access to powerful magic powers and created an harmonious balance,” says the team in their pitch. “They came above Junor first. In no time, their massive spaceship destroyed everything that was once a majestic capital city and they took possession of the realm. Reynan, Grand General of Dehostra’s armies, took leadership for the defense of Heryon. He founded the Consortium and used all the magical power the crystals could give to launch the counterattack.
“Battles after battles, the Consortium pushed the invaders back and got them trapped into their landed spaceship transformed into an invincible fortress. Unable to break the siege, the enemy made a dreadful move: unleash of a terrible biological weapon people will soon call ‘The Metal Sickness’.
Now, 30 years later, the siege is still going on and Heryon lives in pain and in fear of a new open war.”
Midgar is aiming for Edge of Eternity to feature a fully open world which the player can help to shape, a game which is reminiscent of the Squaresoft classics while having enough ideas of its own to elevate it beyond being merely a tribute piece. The levelling system so far looks like an evolved version of the system from FFX, but with the open-endedness and scope of the popular ARPG Path of Exile, and weather will play a part in combat. Depending on the weather and time of day, characters and enemies will be conferred bonuses or penalties, lending an additional strategic element to fights.
As for levelling, it’s a bit of a mix. While characters will gain XP and level up on their own, so too will their weapons. Midgar promises that weapons will evolve the more you use them, becoming more powerful and having access to their own skill trees. It’s an ambitious and intriguing proposal which is likely to satisfy gamers who have memories of staying up all night perfecting the materia loadout in Final Fantasy VII.
With 3 days left on the clock and a number of stretch goals already met, Midgar Studios is on course to make their debut Kickstarter a roaring success. Whether they deliver a game which lives up to their hype remains to be seen – it isn’t due until December 2016; but what they’ve shown so far displays plenty of promise, and you can’t fault the visuals and artwork. Considering that what’s been shown so far is the work of just 4 people when an average Final Fantasy game now numbers staff in the hundreds, it’s pretty impressive that they’ve already come so far.
Check out the game’s Kickstarter pitch below. 2015 may well be a big year for Final Fantasy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room left at the table for plucky newcomers.