Hi everyone, I know it has been a long an arduous wait for Episode 3 and I hope to alleviate that with this post. In this post I am going to provide a preview of as much of Episode 3 as I can right now. Much of our art is still being completed and many of the levels aren’t quite polished enough to show off so I’m going to do my best to work around those limitations. All the art here is still a work in progress. First off – the episode’s story synopsis:
The evil Botchangers, the Badbots, are attacking Shadow Valley’s Jean Claude Van Dam and stealing all the power! Marty must stop them to save the town.
What this means is that the vast majority of the episode takes place in Shadow Valley’s hydroelectric power plant, the Jean Claude Van Dam. The rest of the episode takes place in downtown Shadow Valley. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the environments for this episode!
Downtown Shadow Valley:
Downtown Shadow Valley is a hub area that leads to all of Shadow Valley’s main attractions: the Shadow Valley Spaceport, Town Hall, the Jean Claude Van Dam, the Dragon Land Theme Park, and H.O.M.E. – Marty’s base inside Shadow Valley’s active Mt. St. Elmos volcano.
In Episode 3, players will not yet have access to the Spaceport, Dragon Land, or H.O.M.E., but future episodes will take players to those locations. Downtown Shadow Valley is structured much like Hill Valley from the Back to the Future films with shops surrounding a large courtyard area leading to Town Hall (which has a giant flip clock on the clock tower). The town is populated by several different citizens who may or may not need Marty’s help with side quests.
Jean Claude Van Dam:
The Jean Claude Van Dam is the main environment for Episode 3. Players have to traverse both the interior and exterior of the dam – fighting evil robot enemies the entire time. The Jean Claude Van Dam features two different types of environmental puzzles (detailed later). During the final part of the dam, the player actually gets to choose between three different paths – each rewarding the player in a different way.
Episode 3 introduces 11 new objects to Saturday Morning RPG. Most of the objects are stat boosters or status effect inflicting objects. Each object was designed to help bring in more strategy and interplay between certain object combinations. For instance, the sunglasses boost Marty’s accuracy to a ridiculous point – using them before the USS Starr creates a devastating attack that will rarely miss (and will hit all the enemies on the battlefield). There is also a new healing item that works with Marty’s multiplier. I’ll leave you to try and determine what the other new objects do. One of them is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t want to spoil it yet.
Episode 3 adds 9 new Notebook covers to earn and equip! Here’s a small sample of what to expect:
Episode 3 features 7 side quests, five of which feature branching paths allowing players to make decisions that will carry forward to future episodes. One of these branching paths even takes into account choices made in Episode 2. None of the quests require the completion of Episode 2, though.
There are 9 new enemies to fight in Episode 3 (and two optional arena battles featuring familiar enemies with new tactics and quirks). Most of the enemies have specific hooks that make the experience of fighting them completely new. For example, the Sphere Bot enemy explodes when defeated damaging his colleagues in the process. This leads to a new level of strategic planning while dispatching enemies.
The first new environmental puzzle in Episode 3 involves toggling switches to trigger the raising and lowering of certain pathway impeding ramps. Our level designer was inspired to create this by a similar puzzle in the desert temple in a Link to the Past.
The second new environmental puzzle revolves around rotating platforms. Platforms are arranged across a chasm and the player has to rotate them to create a safe path; however, each time a platform is rotated, adjacent platforms also rotate.
- Hoverboard: Marty gains a hoverboard to travel the world in a faster (more radical) manner.
- Optional Boss Fights: Episode 3 features an optional boss fight that is difficult on the level of a Final Fantasy optional boss. Defeating this boss will allow you to collect an emblem that will open a door in a previous episode (allowing access to some new content).
- Cloud Saving: You can now sync and grab your save data using iCloud.
- Endless Battle: Players can fight their way through never ending waves of increasingly powerful enemies, striving to survive and manage their resources. Players can compete for a spot on the endless battle leaderboard.
- Achievements: Tons of new achievements to earn. We also added an object that gets more powerful as you unlock achievements.
- Notebook in the Main Menu: In order to make endless battle work, we added a notebook the main menu!
- New Intro for Episode 1: We changed the intro to Episode 1 to make it a bit more awesome.
- New Content for Episode 1 and 2: Mysterious doors that must be unlocked using emblems from Episode 3 have been added to Episode 1 and 2. We’re also adding 1 object from Episode 3 to Episode 1 and 1 other object to Episode 2, so that players can get a taste of the new content.
- New Quest for Episode 1: Manly-Man has appeared in Gaia! What could he want?
- Arena Fights: Take on special boss battles from the main menu. You can now fight the HOOD Goliath and his HOOD Munchkin minions.