I’ve been playing the freeware RPG Exit Fate ever since it was recommended by the IndieGames Weblog and instead of giving my usual cursory first look at this excellently-produced game by SCF, I decided to write this post after putting in around 20 hours till Chapter 5 (no idea how many chapters left after that – my bro is already at Chapter 7 after clocking 50+ hours – then again he grinds quite a bit so your mileage may vary).
Created with RPGMaker XP, this game is readily accessible to gamers who have played Japanese console RPGs before (at least it reminds me of Final Fantasy V and Chrono Trigger which I played several years ago).
The game traces the journey of a certain Daniel Vinyard, a colonel in the Kirgard 3rd Legion who strongly opposes his country’s forthcoming invasion of the rival State Union of Zelmony. Nevertheless, he joins his fellow commanders in the first battle for Jargo Port City and before long, a chain of events unfold which sees Daniel and his companions travel throughout the land fighting monsters and setting things right. (Just like any other RPG you might think, but it’s rather hard to describe the story without giving away the plot twists, you know )
The well-written storyline which primarily revolves around the different perceptions of true peace and freedom and the various methods to achieve it, is rather engaging and is a refreshing departure from the conventional Let’s Save the World Again!™ plot.
Micromanagement is kept to a minimum in Exit Fate – all characters retain their weapon throughout the game, be it a sword, spear or crossbow. To improve their fighting abilities, characters need to level up (stats are increased automatically) as well as spend money on upgrading the stats of their weapons to boost damage, accuracy and chance to inflict critical hits. Armour and equipment is pretty standard stuff with the addition of two inventory slots per character to wear stat-boosting accessories, thus offering a certain level of customization for each character.
One reason for the lack of micromanagement is probably the number of characters Daniel can recruit. Apparently, 75(!) characters in total can join your roster but only 8 characters can travel together at any one time. A maximum of 6 characters takes to the field for each battle and the remaining two members in the party can be swapped into battle if needed.
Creating a good mix of characters is an essential part of your battle strategy. Each character is aligned to one of 6 elements made up of 3 opposing pairs (Light vs Dark, Fire vs Ice and Water vs Thunder). Characters of opposing elements deal and take more damage from each other so it’s your responsibility to ensure that there are high level characters of each element in your ever growing roster of characters.
Battles in Exit Fate are the usual turn-based fare where your characters and enemies attack each other sequentially with the order being determined by their speed stat (SPD), thus allowing the faster characters to occassionally squeeze in additional attacks per round. Magic in battle is cast from a shared pool of spells – every character in your party in the game can use magic with varying effectiveness determined by their Magic stat (MAG), mana regeneration speed (MP+) and aligned element – spells of the same element as the caster cost less mana and are of course, much more powerful.
The sequence of combat displayed at the bottom allows a certain degree of tactical gameplay since you can decide when to best utilize your healing spells and items, which enemy to concentrate on first or whether to concentrate all your attacks on one enemy or to spread the damage out. Do note that the battles can be quite tedious at the beginning due to the small number of characters available as well as the lack of spells and the mana to use it – just persevere for a couple of hours after which you can recruit more characters with special attacks to spice up the fighting bits.
Oh, and there’s even a brillant bribery system to pay off enemies that you meet during random encounters when you don’t feel like fighting
Colonel Daniel, being a division commander in the Kirgard army, will ocassionally get to lead units of infantry, cavalry, archers or battles in the more strategic, turn-based battles more commonly associated with wargames. Excellent stuff!
All this in a slightly hefty package weighing at about 150 MB. With the fabulous art direction, enthralling music and a host of quirky characters like the aspiring musicians below, it’s worth every single byte
Download Exit Fate.Games Games Downloads Recommended