“Wildermyth” – A Fantasy Epic You Forge

Wildermyth is a video game in which you take a band of characters and go to explore a larger world that has called you to find out what’s happening. As you play, you not only explore the region around you, but you also find stories in abundance. These stories shape your characters, sometimes literally as they get new hair colors, are imbued with magic that shows through their skin, or get merged with beasts. Battles can take their toll as well, leading to characters with eye patches or other physical impacts that appear going forward.

At its core, Wildermyth is a storytelling system that throws a bunch of mini-tales at you, lets you make choices within them, and then plays out consequences of those choices. Battles are also a major part of the gameplay loop. They play out in grid-based sequences that have you interacting with the environments using your spell-casters and moving your characters around to most effectively impact the battles in your favor. They can be quite challenging, and a few wrong moves could mean you lose a character–sometimes permanently, depending upon the choices you make. The environments are hugely important, as you can start fires, watch them spread, or thwart them in order to push your own ends and bonuses. Pets, spirit creatures, weapon types, preparing ambushes, and more are all elements in the strategy. I’m certain I haven’t even encountered all the ways to fight battles in the game yet. There are so many, and a lot of them are based upon how you level up your characters.

Battles are strategic affairs in which nearly everything in the environment can have an impact upon the way they play out.

Examples may be the only way to really make clear how epic and beautiful the stories are that you help create. These stories are epic in ways that are small and beautiful. One example is I had a character who contracted an illness. We went seeking a cure for the illness after persuading the sage who was helping treat her to tell us where to find it. We had to persuade the sage because her brother had sought it and never returned, and she didn’t want us to also never come back. She came with us, much older than she’d been then. We found the cure, and I got the choice to either cure my character whom I’d developed across the land or turn the sage’s brother back from stone (we’d found him along the way). It was a brutal decision, and it had long term consequences when I chose to bring the brother back. It made the character who sacrificed some of the years of her life for another’s life into an epic hero. These kinds of small vignettes with heart-rending choices and long term impacts are found throughout the game.

Choices abound in the game, and some can have long-term impacts on how your characters interrelate.

It is true, as some reviews have pointed out, that there is an overall limit on just how many shorter stories exist in the game. This limit seems to be quite massive, though. I’ve only run into one repeat so far at 8 hours in. The repeat didn’t even feel repetitive, though, because of the way the storytelling works. It’s so dynamic that it made sense in-universe for these other characters to encounter a similar circumstance.

Each time I play Wildermyth, it feels in a way like coming home to a lengthy adventure novel that I helped forge by the choices I made. The legacy system means that characters you have fallen in love with in earlier campaigns can make appearances later, possibly as a mythic figure to look up to. It’s amazing how invested the game gets you to become in your characters after a few short hours with each of them. They will fall in love, marry, have children, grow old, watch their children become adventurers alongside them, retire, die. Some will die too young. Some will be forced to retire by disease. Each has the chance to become a legend, and each will likely find their place in your heart.

You can change equipment and upgrade it between chapters. Characters can grow old and that is shown in their appearance and some choices that open or close for them.

This game has become for me one of those that I had only dreamed of when I was younger. It’s a game in which it truly feels as though you’re playing a legacy. While it’s not open ended in the sense of “do anything,” the way the stories are presented makes it not matter. You, the player, are guiding the story, dynamically reacting in the moment to how your characters act. Do you want to risk their lives for a potential gain? Are you willing to sacrifice one to save another? How about those lovebirds over there? You didn’t ever think the children of your characters may find their own lives, but they do. It’s an absolutely incredible experience.

The presentation also has its own beauty. The characters are kind of papercraft, and their equipment, battle scars, and sometimes even basic decisions show up on their person. Maybe you chose to touch that well of magic, and something happened to you. Perhaps a beast offered a chance to forge a new path? Did you feed a small creature you found in a cave? You’ve got a pet now. The possibilities and choices are massive, and they show directly upon your characters. The music is on another level, as well. While I’d say the track selection is a bit limited, the score is epic and beautiful, full of stringed instruments that rise and swell at the appropriate times.

I can’t really recommend Wildermyth highly enough. It’s an experience that anyone with a love of stories ought to at least give a try. I adore it. It’s clearly been a labor of love for the developers, and I can tell you it’s worth every penny.

Links

Video Games– Check out all my posts on video games here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

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SDG.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: My Thoughts on the “Big Reveal”

FF-RCI’m writing this post the night before the “Big Reveal” so this introductory part is without knowledge of what is going to show up tomorrow. I figured it would be worth writing about, even though my prediction is it’s going to be some compilation album or book or something I’m not going to buy. Maybe it will be a game, but I suspect any game that they’re showing characters from all the Final Fantasy games is not going to be one I’d enjoy. But hey, who knows! Maybe it will be the holy grail AKA Final Fantasy VII REMAKE!!! I’ll write more when the reveal happens tomorrow.

The Reveal

Okay, so it is a game and it’s called Final Fantasy Record Keeper. Astonishing. Anyway, as I suspected it looks kind of like a cash-in on the whole series, though depending on how they do it it may be fun. The premise is some guy is studying with a Moogle and is researching Final Fantasy history. He’s going to research the stories of the games and you can pick up different characters along the way as you complete areas in the other FF games.

The problem is that the reason we love final fantasy so much has been because of the stories told therein; but how do you tell a story in a mash-up game like this? I don’t know if it’s going to be possible. Color me skeptical and probably not playing.

I guess we still have to wait for the “holy grail.”

In the meantime. I hope FFXV will be awesome. It better be, considering how long we’ve waited.

 

What _is_ this place?

Hello to anyone reading this. I’m J.W. Wartick and I’m already a fairly regular blogger over at my main site, Always Have a Reason. That site is itself about philosophy of religion as well as Christian apologetics, theology, and science. But I have way more interests than I could contain on just that blog.

I have a fascination for history, science, and the arts. I love reading sci-fi, fantasy, and history. Paleontology and archaeology fascinate me. I love playing role-playing games and driving franchises in Madden.

In short, I need an outlet for all these things–a place for me to just reflect on my interests that don’t seem to fall under the umbrella of my main site. There is too much going on in this head to keep it all in.

You, the reader, may find this diverting. I know how interesting it can be to explore the random thoughts of people. Hopefully this site will lead you to some new interests, or perhaps you’ll comment and help lead me off to learn about things about which I know little or nothing.

You, the reader, are therefore asked by me, the author, to leave your own reflections on the topics I present here. Or, if you desire, you can just post about other random interests of your own. When I put up a post on the Battle of Midway, you can respond by talking about Gettysburg. That is fine! Please do so!

Finally, readers are entitled to a bit of background about myself if we’re going to have engaging discussions. I’m a Christian theist who loves a good debate. I’m getting an M.A. in Christian Apologetics. Philosophy of religion is my primary interest, but as you read on here you’ll find I have interests all over the place. I’m a devoted Christian who believes that the evidence for Christian theism is quite strong (if you want to read on that, you should check out my main site). You’ll note, then, that theism–indeed, Christian theism–permeates my posts, even when I’m talking about things unrelated to it. I’ll not apologize for that. We all let our worldviews into every aspect of our lives. I hope as you read here you’ll find some questions to ask and, maybe even some answers.