You are one of the few remaining members of the Order of the Dragon Knights, whose purpose is to travel the world to help the needy and fight evil.
Those centuries of peace clearly mean you haven't had a whole lot to do recently, but it looks like business is picking up again!
Evoland is a game developed by Shiro Games, originally made for Ludum Dare 24.note An expanded and refined version of the game was released for Steam on April 4th 2013. You can play the original game (known as "Evoland Classic") here.
The game is themed all around the evolution of video games. You play as the hero Clink, starting in a Game Boy-esque world with few abilities. As the game goes on, you unlock more and more features, and see the game world itself get upgraded, from more advanced sprite graphics to full 3D.
Evoland Classic contains examples of:
- Captain Ersatz: If his name didn't give it away, Clink is one of Link, being a blonde, green-clad, sword-fighting hero, and the gameplay for large parts of the game being similar to top-down Zelda games.
- Cosmetic Award: Finding all the chests in the game.
- The Internet Is for Porn: One of the awards you get is the "P0rn banner", adding a banner parodying dating site ads ("Meet cute monsters near your home!")
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: At least until you get "Diablo mode", which gives you a life bar.
- Save Point: Unlocked early on, and much appreciated, as dying without saving forces you to restart.
The enhanced version of Evoland contains examples of:
- Art Shift: The game starts out with Game Boy-inspired graphics and slowly works its way through NES and SNES era graphics, all the way up to full 3D.
- Background Boss: The final battle with Zephyros has him in the center of a ring platform, forcing you to run around to attack or avoid attacks.
- Beef Gate: Past Aogai Village are enemies that only the most stubborn players can get past before Kaeris rejoins the party.
- Big Bad: Zephyros is a generic evil guy who Clink fights for poorly defined reasons.
- Bonsai Forest: Trees and bushes aren't very tall, not even in 3D mode.
- Bullfight Boss: Dopple, the evil Clink, can only be harmed after he runs into a wall.
- But Thou Must!: Lampshaded when you meet Kaeris for the first time.You got Forced Choice
Looks like the scenario is lacking proper branching here...
- Convection Shmonvection: Some of the dungeons have lava in it, but only deal damage if you fall in.
- Critical Annoyance: Also lampshaded at any point after you get the Life Hearts upon clearing the Crystal Caves.You got Annoying Sound
When you have low life, the game will make sure you know!
- Department of Redundancy Department: When Kaeris temporarily leaves your party to learn a new spell.You got Member Leave Party
Being alone feels a bit lonely.
- Kaeris is one of Aerith with her pink outfit, staff and healing magic and plot demanded death.
- Clink is an expy of Cloud this time, complete with a buster sword you can pick up eventually. He is also one to Link, as his name already suggests.
- Zephyros is one to Sephiroth.
- Genre Shift: From Action-Adventure to Role-Playing Game. The Ruins of Sarudnahk is a Diablo-style Hack and Slash.
- Green Boy Color: The game starts with a greenish, Game Boy-esque color palette. Eventually, you unlock first color graphics, then 16-bit graphics, then full 3D graphics.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can name both the main character and the healer (and her uncle) whatever you want.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Part of the first battle against Zephyros.
- Indecisive Parody: Starts out as a parody of old 2D adventure games, with some pretty clever puzzles. When the 3D comes into play, however, it abandons the clever puzzles and starts playing things more straight.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The Dimensional Stones, like they suggest, are completely impassable in 2D... but when you're in 3D, you can walk right over them. Meanwhile, Tree sprouts are unpassable in 3D, but they can be walked past and burned away by fire in 2D mode.
- Interface Spoiler: In the Ruins of Sarudnahk, one chest is in the middle of an area that has been marked with a skull on the Minimap. You could see where that is going...
- Item Get!: A fanfare plays every time you open a chest, and the hero holds up said item if there is one.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Zephyros does one during the first battle with him. He even cries out, "Ka... me... ha... me... HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
- Last of His Kind: Zephyros, after the rest of his race was hunted down for their horns.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Parodied—in Aogai Village, screen transitions are padded with a loading screen until you buy the "Fast DVD Player" upgrade.
- Mirror Match: The boss fight in Noria Mines is against Dopple, a shadow version of Clink.
- Money Spider: All mobs in the Ruins of Sarudnahk drop glis when defeated.
- My Name Is ???: Clink, Kaeris, and Zephyros all get this treatment.
- No Ending: You defeat Zephyros. That's it. You do not get an epilogue of any sort.
- 100% Completion: Of secret stars and duel monster cards.
- Party in My Pocket: Kaeris spends most of the game in this state. In the Ruins of Sarudnahk, however, you have the choice of playing as her instead of Clink.
- Prepare to Die: The Undead King says this right before you battle him.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Clink dies in a single hit from monsters, until you get the "Life Hearts" upgrade, giving you a health bar showing you how much health you have left.
- Reference Overdosed: The game uses a lot of homages to classic RPG games to show evolution in gameplay. There are segments that play like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and Diablo, alongside multiple story nods to Final Fantasy VII to the point of Affectionate Parody.
- Retraux: The game starts in a simple pixel art style with a Game Boy palette, before eventually turning into 16-bit pixel art and 3D graphics.
- Scripted Battle: The first fight against Zephyros forces Kaeris to die and Clink to unlock his Burst mode.
- Sdrawkcab Name: The Ruins of Sarudnahk, a hack'n'slash section of the game, is Khanduras, one of the kingdoms of Diablo, spelt backwards.
- Sequence Breaking: Even if you manage to get past the Beef Gate between Aogai Village and the Ruins of Sarudnahk without Kaeris, you can still play as her in the hack 'n slash segment.
- Talk to Everyone: Getting the bombs requires talking to nearly every villager in Aogai Village.
- Tennis Boss: The final boss's third form shoots projectiles that can be hit back to him with your sword.
- Took a Level in Badass: During your first visit to Aogai Village, Kaeris decides that she shouldn't rely on Clink to protect her and proceeds to learn the X-Crystal spell while Clink goes looking for bombs.
- You Have Researched Breathing: This game lives off it with every chest containing a element of the game that's initially missing. At first, you can only move in only one direction, with the tutorial being simply to collect the first few chests, giving you full movement, a weapon and proper scrolling.