A downloadable game
An RPG by Kyle Ballentine.
Do you accept death? Or do you fear it?
An old-school RPG made to question your acceptance of mortality.
A unique RPG where instead of becoming stronger, you get weaker as you go along. Demitri is a hero who already completed his journey. He is already powerful, so combat is complex and strategic from the start! But no one can live forever, and everyone's story must come to an end.
The theme revolves around death and acceptance. Written by a therapist, the story is made help you think about what you cannot control. Age, death, loss... these are all things we must accept in our lives.
For those just looking to experience the story, there will be 2 distinct modes.
- Full rpg experience with combat (6-10 hours), or...
- "Adventure Mode" (3-5 hours), which removes the element of combat and strategy, but leaves the story, puzzles, and exploration to enjoy!
Demitri is a powerful hero who saved the world in the past. He willfully kept himself in a frozen state until he was needed again. Demitri is very focused on his mission, so may come off as blunt, but he is still a brave soul.
Gallium is Demitri's trusty, sentient shield. There is tension at times because Gallium is an immortal being, and Demitri throughout the game must come to accept his old age and eventual death.
I think this idea of getting weaker solves a few problems with RPG's. First of all, there's no grinding! Every fight takes a bit out of you. The stat drops are gradual, but add up eventually, so you'll need to find or buy new equipment to make up for it. It's when you lose skills, however, that you'll really feel the loss I think. Secondly, battles are complex and strategic from the start. There are no long tutorials. This game is meant for RPG veterans who want something different. There is another "Adventure Mode" however for those who want less challenge.
- No grinding levels, because the hero becomes weaker
- Complex, strategic battles from the start and no long tutorials
- Turn-based battles with the "Stance" mechanic, allowing you to strengthen the character in various ways and respond to enemy attacks.
- Strong themes of acceptance and mortality with an impactful ending, even the towns are modelled after the 5 stages of grief
- 2 versions, one for RPG veterans and one for those who just want to experience the story
- 6-10 hours to complete the game in the full version
- 2 endings depending on your choices
- Original art by Neon Skies Studio
I hope that you enjoy the game. Although this is my first game, I believe it's a solid RPG in the spirit of classic JRPGs. I always enjoyed older games for their use of challenge, puzzles, and complex maps. I think that many modern RPGs lack the interesting dungeons and exploration outside of battles, so I set out to make the dungeons full of puzzle mechanics and fun exploration. Although the battles are fairly standard for a turn-based game, I think you will enjoy the unique "stance" system and strategies needed to overcome the fact that you are becoming weaker and weaker. The story is meant to make you think about mortality, but also loss in a more general sense. All of the towns/cities you come across are dealing with these issues too. The story is focused on this but the gameplay I believe really drives the point home. How will you react to the loss of ability? Can you keep moving on? Can you accept what you cannot control?
I am a therapist in Santa Ana, California. I currently live with my wife, two cats, and one dog.
This is my first game, To Ash. I'm a life-long gamer, (growing up with two brothers, we played a ton of different games) and an RPG lover. I worked on this by myself, but had input from testers, family, and had some original art made by Jala Prendes.
So you know where some of my design influences come from, some of my favorite games are; Castlevania, Mario RPG, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Smash Bros., 'Tales of' games, Zelda, and Albert Odyssey.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/toashgame
Podcast by The Level with developer interview: http://duckfeed.tv/lvl/129
Artist's website, Jala Prendes, at http://www.neonskiesstudio.com/
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5.00 USD. You will get access to the following files: