Tag Archive: metroidvania

Pharaoh Rebirth Boss

Pharaoh Rebirth+

Official Site (Japanese) || Steam Page

Pharaoh Rebirth+ by Krobon Station is not quite a Metroidvania and it’s not quite a standard action platformer either, but it is a whole lot of fun. Players take control of Jonathan, an archaeologist transformed into a rabbit by a curse, as he rushes across Egypt in an attempt to collect seven holy grails and break another, deadlier curse caused by accidentally reviving Sehur the First, the pharaoh in question in this game’s title. There’s a lot to like about Pharaoh Rebirth+ so let’s get started!
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Knytt Stories Main

Knytt Stories

Knytt Stories 1

Official Site || Level Archive

Indie platformers focused on player-created content seem to have suddenly become surprisingly common around here, but the experience this one offers is quite different from that of Below Kryll. Created by Nifflas, whom you may already be familiar with from NightSky, Knytt Underground, or several other games, Knytt Stories offers players the possibility of adventures which can not only range anywhere from being soothingly atmospheric to soul-crushingly difficult, but which are often both of these extremes simultaneously.
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Below Kryll Level Batch 1

Advanced Moves Boot Camp / Dash ‘N’ Slash / Flying Lesson

Below Kryll Title Screen

Official Site || Steam Page

As this is the first set of player-created Below Kryll levels I’ll be covering, I wanted to show off some of my favorite ‘tutorial’ stages. These areas are each designed either to focus upon fully utilizing a single ability or to actively teach you advanced techniques which many of the hardest stages expect you to be familiar with while still being challenging stages in their own right.

Please note that there are some slowdown issues in these videos which I was not able to resolve in time for this recording and the game normally runs at a faster speed. I’ll be looking into ways to fix these issues for future Below Kryll videos and will hopefully have them resolved very soon.

Advanced Moves Boot Camp by Zubit (1w14)

This is the oldest stage of the lot and the only one which is blatantly designed as a tutorial, though it is still entertaining and can be tricky in its own right. It was made before air dashing was implemented into the game, but the two primary techniques it teaches you, extending your jump’s horizontal distance with Death from Above and performing a long jump by lunging off of ectoplasm cubes, are necessary for completing a significant number of stages in the second layer. Even though air dashing can be used to trivialize this stage, many difficult, newer stages combine these techniques with air dashing. The instructor is also set up to give additional tips with more details on how to perform these actions if you get stuck on a particular segment for too long.

Flying Lesson by Mostro (7w9)

Speaking of stages which expect you to utilize air dashing alongside other techniques, here’s one now. Flying Lesson keeps things simple with the focus placed entirely upon covering huge gaps with Mitsu’s ability to temporarily cancel his vertical movement when he hits an enemy in midair. It can take a good number of tries to fully clear this stage, especially if you aren’t used to utilizing this particular technique, but making it to the end of a gap feels immensely satisfying. It’s definitely a difficult stage, but things are nicely balanced out by tying the upper level of Enuras (the giant frogs) to the respawn point and by giving you the option to talk to Mitsu’s master a second time to access a much easier path, though one which does not allow you to collect all of the shurikens.

Dash ‘N’ Slash by Ikami (21e9)

Dash ‘N’ Slash is more of a fully-realized stage than the other two, but it’s one which was made around the time the ability to dash was added to Below Kryll and still serves to this day as one of the best illustrations of how this technique can be utilized. It starts with simple (though rather difficult) jumps in which you need to use the dash to get around a low ceiling or just cover a large amount of space, but the second half throws enemies into the mix. What’s particularly nice about this stage is how it gradually builds up to tying everything together by first making you use the air dash to perform tricky jumps at the top of the stage, then moving on to teaching you how to use the instant-recovery gained from killing enemies to cover large amounts of ground in a short time or to cross gaps where a single dash alone would not suffice, and then finally forcing players to overcome all of these challenges simultaneously if they want the final shuriken.

Mystik Belle

Official Site || Steam Page

Mystik Belle attempts to create a unique fusion of the Metroidvania and adventure game genres and, for the most part, it succeeds, though it stumbles rather heavily in two parts of its design. At first glance, this may very well appear to primarily be a Metroidvania platformer with other elements simply tacked on. After all, there’s a castle to explore for new abilities, a basic leveling system which both increases health and changes the basic fire attack, and even a good number of references to Maziac, a much older Metroidvania platformer created by the developer which also stars a fire-wielding heroine. However, Mystik Belle is definitely more than it may initially appear to be as interactions with items and NPC’s play just as large of a role as the platforming.
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