Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond is the sequel to Indonesian developers Ekuator Games's Celestian Tales: Old North. The game was released in May 2020.
Nine years after the events of the first game, with the House Levant heir Alana still in her childhood, her six Honorable Companions rule over Levantine in her stead. They have made their mark as progressive and benevolent leaders, vastly improving the state of the city, and establishing a reputation for being more accessible to the people, as well as treating nobles and commoners as equals. However, a shocking trial results in the loss of their status, and the fate of their liege left uncertain. They later manage to reaffirm Alana's nobility, allowing them to resume their duties as her Companions, but they face many new challenges ahead, including: reconsidering their own identities without obligation to any family; their continued survival in the Old North with tarnished reputations, a power-hungry new ruler of Levantine, as well as Inquisitors closing in on their every move; and an Ancient on the verge of reawakening and threatening their new domain.
Instead of the individualized scenarios from the first game, Realms Beyond now gives players more freedom to choose which of the Companions they want to play as, whether in exploring the game world, or even in battle; the latter being a first for the series. There are still certain scenarios that will require multiple playthroughs to view, but for the most part, all the significant moral dilemmas are available no matter which pair of characters you start with. Speaking of moral dilemmas, upon starting a new game, the player gets to choose how the first game played out; both the major decisions encountered by all six characters, as well as their respective individual crossroads.
All spoilers for the first game (including the Howl of the Ravager DLC) will be unmarked.
Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond gives examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Grinding: To a certain extent, grinding is less productive than it once was in the first game. The more you level up, the less experience you will gain from beating enemies from earlier areas in the game. If you really need to earn more experience, you will have to progress further through the story and gain access to newer locations. This does not apply to item drops however, so you can farm as much as you need to regardless of your level.
- Art Shift: Aside from the series staple of 2D-animated title sequences, some of the major events in the game are marked by watercolor artworks depicting the seven main characters together.
- As You Know: Some of the dialogue reminding players of information from the first game is written this way.
- Bag of Spilling: Only applies to weapons and items. Even with only the most basic weapons and armor, the game starts you out at Level 40, 10 levels higher than the previous game's maximum; which also comes with multiple active and passive skills.
- The Battle Didn't Count: Right before the trial at Godland, Abel challenges the Companions to a battle. No matter how much damage you deal, and how quickly you whittle him down, once all his mid-fight dialogue is done, he leaves the battle.
- Breaking the Fellowship: At the end of the game, all six of the former Companions of Levantine decide for themselves what to do with their lives. Cammile and Reynard choose to stay with Lady Alana and raise her together; Aria accepts Marienne's offer to move back to Godland and oppose the unchecked growing power of the Church and the Geraldines; Lucienne and Isaac are finally in a genuine relationship; and Ylianne chooses to stay with the humans instead of following her mother back to the elven world.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of the NPC's in the church at Levantine uses the Thug character model. If you talk to him, he insists that just because he looks like a Thug, and is named Thug, that doesn't mean he's a bad guy!
- Chekhov's Gunman: Many examples, both from the first game, and within this one.
- The witnesses during the trial include one of the NPC's from Levantine in the first game, the servant Ylianne ran into at Levantine Castle, and Aria's sister Amrita.
- During the first trip through the Grey Forest, if you chose to heal the dying soldier, she will go to House Aramis later to volunteer as a blacksmith.
- On the way to Orsea, a bandit decides to leave her gang and help the Companions. She will show up again at House Aramis to volunteer as a trader. Some of her lines vary depending on whether you chose to vouch for her or forced her to give up her information.
- Regarding Isaac's dilemma in the first game, if you chose not to kill Francis, he will be the accomplice when Amrita gets smuggled out of Godland.
- With Aria's decision, the mother of the dead Fiellite soldier at Whiterock Hill will be Lupin's contact in Orsea. If Aria chose to honor his faith and cremate him, the mother will give Aria an item.
- Curse Cut Short: Reynard says "What the f—" a couple of times in the game.
- Cutting Off the Branches: The player gets to do this at the beginning of a new playthrough, before choosing the initial pair and difficulty level.
- Everyone Can See It: Apparently Isaac and Lucienne have had an "ambiguous relationship" since between the first and second game. Reynard says that pretty much everyone, "even the whole Church" knows what's going on between them. Throughout most of the game, however, neither of them seem willing to make a move until the ending.
- Fetch Quest: In order to recruit the services of tailors and blacksmiths, the Companions are tasked with such quests several times throughout the story.
- Flavor Text: The main characters' items and skills all come with this, which the first game didn't have before.
- Foreshadowing: An event named the "Day of Sorrow" surely must be a joyous occasion, especially with all the preparation going into it, right? Nope; Sophia and Daniel are sentenced to death for Alain's deception, leaving Alana with no House to inherit, and her Companions stripped of their noble titles.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: After the trial, the former Companions are branded as traitors to the realm, even though officially, they are only to be regarded as commoners.
- Hidden Elf Village: Aside from the actual elven city of Anon'Taure, there's also Eastwood and Westwood, hidden in the Emerald Forest, with the latter completely cut off from the rest of the Old North by the vines of the Emerald King.
- Human Resources: Elder Lahari reveals to Ylianne that the crystals that humans use as healing items derive their magic essence from the prisoners of the Witch's Nest.
- Item Crafting: Introduced in this game, this allows you to make certain food items that will give the party a temporary stat boost for 3 battles. Aside from the raw ingredients, you will have to find the recipes first before you can start crafting; or you can buy them ready-made from innkeepers instead. The introduction to this new feature will actually have you make plot-important items this way.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Playing this game pretty much spoils the majority of the first game. The beginning even lets you decide Severin's final fate.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: Happens several times throughout the game; where the party of 6 splits into two groups of three, or three pairs. Impressively, the game goes to great lengths to explain why each character chooses their respective branching path.
- Mission-Pack Sequel: A lot of locations from the first game are either widely expanded, or completely remodeled for this one. The layout of Levantine in particular is almost completely changed from how it looked back in Old North.
- News Travels Fast: Generally played straight after the trial, but actually sensibly subverted for the more isolated parts of the Old North. The heroes actually make the most of their dwindling reputations before the news makes it to the other towns that they take shelter in.
- Player Headquarters: House Aramis becomes this later in the game.
- Point of No Return: Once you cut the vines blocking the path to the Emerald King using the Durandal, you can no longer leave Deep Emerald.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: After they lose their titles, the six leads basically describe themselves as this.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: A minor, temporary variant; whenever the party splits up, the accessories that your other characters are equipped with isn't accessible to you.
- Story Branching: As with the first game, there are certain decisions you must make that will affect the story. Some choices will only affect some lines of dialogue, while others will have a more lasting impact. Unlike Old North, however, there are no longer any dilemmas specific to individual characters.
- In the middle of the Grey Forest, the Companions encounter a dying soldier. Realizing that the soldier is too severely wounded for conventional first aid, Ylianne asks Aria to use her divine magic to bring the soldier back from the brink of death. Aria replies that her magic is reserved for nobles, and may have unpredictable side effects if used on commoners. You decide whether to save the soldier or not. If you save her, she will show up at House Aramis to volunteer her services as a blacksmith.
- When Ylianne, Reynard and Lucienne discover the village of Westwood, they later find out the secret as to how they managed to survive being closed off from the rest of the Old North. It turns out their women volunteered to nurse the forest satyrs' newborns in exchange for protection and prosperity. Everyone realizes that the Inquisition, already scrutinizing the former Companions' actions closely, would condemn this practice, and House Aramis by their complicity, if they ever caught wind of it. However, it's left up to you whether to let this continue, or make them stop their tradition. For good measure, you have to confirm which choice you go with.
- At the end of the game, the Companions manage to weaken the Emerald King enough for Artur to be able to deliver the finishing blow with the Durandal. However, the Companions debate one another and are unable to come to a consensus as to whether it should be done. They leave the decision up to Artur instead, after which you get to choose whether to kill or to spare the Emerald King.
- Time Skip: As mentioned above, the game is set almost a decade after Old North. In the middle of the story, the watercolor interludes also mark the passage of time between events.
- True Companions: The way that the six Companions banter and converse with each other show how close they've become with one another compared to the first game. As the story progresses, Alana returns their loyalty in kind and truly becomes one of them as well.
- Wham Episode: Alain's deception is finally brought to light, resulting in a trial that ends with both Sophia and Daniel being sentenced to death. In addition, with House Levant rendered extinct, Alana has nowhere to go, and her Companions are stripped of their noble titles and are to be regarded as commoners. To make things worse, Gareth becomes Bladebearer Regent for the Garou and takes over Levantine.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: For all the comments about how remarkable and rare a sight it is, it's never shown what the Skymother's Tear looks like.
- Will They or Won't They?: Isaac and Lucienne spend the entire game in what Reynard calls an "ambiguous relationship." They finally get together in the ending.