This RPG Maker VX demo starts with a piano playing over the custom title screen. The game introduction starts with an Irish-accented individual (yes, the game is voice acted) talking about a day in the past, when him and others were heading to the New World when a storm came. He was engaged to Annette, he found her and spent their last moments together during that storm. His friend Antoine Vivinci was nowhere to be found though. A mast began to fall and so the main character cut the rope of Annette’s lifeboat. He then got his foot caught as the ship “cracked in half”, and Antoine seemingly drowned. The main character woke up days later on an island, alone. It took him five years to escape the island. When he finally got to the New World, he learned that Annette’s lifeboat never made it there. The speaker says his name is Scatto and this is his story.
Scatto has a talking bird, Peeko, that he asks to dig up some potatoes, and they have a conversation about how he’ll do it. Scatto is entirely serious when he says that Peeko should pick up the shovel with his wings. Then Peeko goes to dig up the potatoes that run away and start talking. Peeko says that he knew the potatoes were alive and that Scatto just wouldn’t believe him. You then have to catch the potatoes that are running away from you. The text contains occasional grammatical and spelling mistakes, and some of the text has discrepancies from what the voice actors say. The interior mapping seems to have some wall errors. The conversation text is cut off at multiple points. The Mack tiles all look off, like the transparency isn’t correct or something. There are quite a few mapping errors, with clothes line being used as a fence around a farm.
Then, a girl called Arianna, is trying to talk down a wolf that is going to attack her. Peeko hears her and then flies over to her, before flying away to tell Scatto about it. Scatto goes to help the girl. You pass talking woodland critters selling items and accessories.
“I just don’t get what is with all of the talking animals.”
You also have to pass through a cave and fight talking bats. Then a rat, who pretends to be my conscience, starts talking. His name is Remmington. Scatto doesn’t want help from the rat and so the rat says…
“Scatto’s name is Italian for jerk, with jerk meaning ‘a single quick motion of short duration’.”
The battle tutorial says it is the same as the Earthbound battle system. The battle tutorial actually referred to another game. It’s just a front view battle system. Battling consists of just using the Attack command for now. I have a Steal skill, but it’s never worked. You get a skill called Potato Peel when you level up, which does similar damage to Attack but for 2 PP. The Potato Peel skill I have is effective against certain types of enemy, but by the time I reached the specific enemies, the skill did half of my attack.
After finding Arianna, and helping her out, you take her to your house. I didn’t realise this, and figured we were looking for her grandfather’s house. There was a choice between a cave and a path at one point, I picked the cave, and it wasn’t the right place to go, so the story skipped forward. I figure out that I needed to go back to Skatto’s house. You can easily skip the scene where you take Arianna to Skatto’s house, and not even realise it. In one scene, Arianna calls Scatto out for talking to a bird, despite the fact that she was talking to the bird only just a few minutes ago. Arianna mentions the Relic. There is a prophecy that talked of the Relic and Annette (the missing / dead fiancée), and so Skatto wants to get this Relic, so he asks to join Arianna’s band of thieves, which she agrees to.
You have to look for a book that is a few maps away. When you find the book, a bookworm comes along and says that it is his. Then you have to fight him. He will constantly ask you facts about books, which you get rewarded for if you answer correctly. It’s an idea I’ve not seen used before. However, there aren’t many questions, so you’ll get asked the same ones multiple times. Whilst doing all of this, you flick various switching building a bridge. However, once I had built the bridge, I couldn’t enter that map.
Back at Skatto’s house, they read the book. During the story, the voices cut out mid-sentence multiple times. They work out that they have to travel to Terra Desert. I’m not exactly sure why though. Then an ogre, looking for Arianna, appears, wanting information on the Relic. The ogre steals Annette’s necklace, and so, the party chase after him, walking over the bridge that was built before (the map that I couldn’t enter). In the search for the ogre, there’s a mine containing a switch you need to pull to reveal a bridge, but I had to use the switch multiple times to get it to work. In one part of the mine, an unknown voice sets a puzzle for Scatto. The reward is a key. In another part, there is a lever that affects a mine cart. However, there is an eventing error where the mine cart is off the track for a few seconds. I found a bug on a bridge I made appear, after crossing it, I couldn’t cross it back. The focus of the mine is on getting keys to unlock doors, with the aim of getting the “grand key”. The key I eventually get, however, is called “boss key”.
“The style of the monsters varies significantly.”
I fight the ogre that stole the necklace. I try to steal, to see if the skill has become useful, however the ogre doesn’t even have anything to steal. Also, Arianna does 0 or 1 damage to the ogre, so it’s just a matter of attacking with Scatto. After the battle, Scatto takes the necklace, and once the party leaves the cave Scatto goes for a walk. The demo ends with Scatto talking to Arianna about Annette. A good ending to the demo.
The music generally seems well selected. Aside from the mapping errors, the mapping isn’t bad at all. There are some passability setting errors, however. The sprites for the characters are original and look good. All enemies are on the map, and they chase you if get too close to them. Running away from battles fails a lot, so your best bet is to be really careful when walking around the map. Battles are generally monotonous and just consist of attacking and healing. The damage is all done by Scatto, Arianna is only effective at healing. Battles can be frustrating with lots of physical hits missing. Some of the dialogue is fairly humourous. The voice acting is fairly good, with Arianna being the strongest. Scatto’s Irish accent can be a little grating after a while. The voice acting cuts out midway through sentences occasionally. The game seems to break the fourth wall a few times. One item description reads “Try some of this in real life, it’s damn good,” another reads “ZOMG good”. All of the issues in the game suggest the game really hasn’t been tested properly.
“One of the many careless errors in the game.”
Overall, the story is just about a band of thieves looking for this mysterious “Relic”, but there is a lot of focus on Annette. It does seem a little too coincidental how Arianna looking for her grandfather’s house finds Scatto now living in the house, and the Relic she is searching for is part of a prophecy that just happens to also mention Scatto’s missing / dead fiancée. The game introduces many of the characters that you haven’t yet run into, and there is a certain sense of intrigue. However, the games many faults will, ultimately, hold it back. *¼