Raising Your Spirits: Spirit Engine 2 Free

By Kieron Gillen on February 16th, 2010 at 9:14 am.

The mind, body and soul of Savygamer tells me that, after recently mentioning it would become Freeware, the Spirit Engine 2 has been released in the format. It’s a bit of a shame, in some ways – it’s a critically celebrated indie-game which never managed to find a proper audience, for a number of reasons. On the other hand, it’s a bit of a brilliant thing – it’s a splendid, novel take on the RPG with a whole lot of charm, which I wrote about here. You can get it here or see a boss-fight below…

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42 Comments »

  1. Mihai says:

    Highly recommended!

  2. damien says:

    the situation creatives find themselves in when they are either unwilling or unable to be their own agent / booster / barnum is tragic in some ways.

    tragic in that when they signed up to create lovely things, no one really told them what else was required once the work of creating was done.

    “great, mate. you’ve finished the game / novel now its time to REALLY get to work!”

  3. LewieP says:

    The really bizarre thing is that there isn’t a donation button.

    Sure, it might not be profitable to sell right now, but I am sure plenty of people would chuck some change his way in return for a free game.

    • bookwormat says:

      I just wanted to write the same thing. A paypal or google checkout donation button is easy enough to set up.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      Directly below the links to the free download the developer has the options listed if you’d still like to purchase the game. $15 from Impluse or $10 from BT Micro (or something like that). $10 is certainly a fair price for this. I do agree that a donation button would be nice though for those who would like to give a little less.

  4. Railick says:

    There is actually kind of a donate button ;P Rather they suggest if you like it you can go ahead and buy it from Impulse.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Agreed. Think of it as a persistent choose your own price and add a donate button. I hope they/he/she has more luck with future titles.

    I nearly bagged it a few times but never got around to it because the first one was still staring at me.

  6. Wilson says:

    I’d recommend it highly. Got it a while back, and had a lot of fun. I should play it again, actually.

  7. Stromko says:

    I strongly considered getting Spirit Engine 2, partly because it seemed interesting and partly because RPS recommended it (which was also where I first heard of it I’m pretty sure).

    But 15$? That’s too much for an impulse purchase. Maybe if they’d released it on commitment-driven.com instead. Not that I have anything against Impulse, but Spirit Engine 2 seemed so different from what I was playing at the time I was never entirely sure I’d put the time in to enjoy it. For 5 or 10$ it would’ve been worth it.

    If it’s really good I’ll just have to find a way to donate.

  8. Stephan says:

    I have to say that the music is awesome.

  9. Narretz says:

    Hm, I wanted to download it, but why the second link is down, and the first wants me to finish some survey, which I don’t really want to do. There are so many filehosters out there which let you download the file without any hindrance, why not use them? Or maybe set up a torrent.

  10. Mahel042 says:

    You can work around the survey by clicking the captcha box before it pops up and then using the keyboard afterwards.

  11. LewieP says:

    Seems here is the best place to get it at the moment:
    http://www.curlysworldoffreeware.com/games/view/367

  12. Lugribossk says:

    The Spirit Engine 2 for free? And it’s not even Christmas anymore!

    It’s a shame such a good game never got a wider audience playing it. A compelling and non-traditional plot (which unfortunately isn’t really apparent at the beginning), some wonderful set-piece scenes and a really good soundtrack combined give a great story. And the combat design is interesting too, three classes that can all tank/dps/heal while still being very different and fights that feel different from what rpgs normally have.
    If you like rpgs for the story and world exploration you really should check it out.

    And a small tip for the combat: When your characters attack, they hit the monster that’s physically in front right now, which might not be the monster in the first slot.

  13. Sam A. says:

    Oh, well. I bought this a few months back but haven’t really started playing it beyond the first hour. That said, I thought “damn” when I saw this story not because I regret paying but because I regret that he couldn’t sell more of them. I stopped playing at the time because I knew I wanted to give it my full attention when I got around to digging in for real.

  14. Hodge says:

    I bought this a while back, but it’s still lurking in my ‘yet to play’ queue. By all reports it’s a a thing of wonder though – it’s odd (and a shame) that it never really made much of an impact, even by indie standards.

  15. bill says:

    Shoulda done a “pay what you want” thingamajig. They’re all the rage right now, and seem to be an easy way to get free press.

    It looks like a JPRG but it isn’t Chrono Trigger, so it’s not for me though.

    • Dominic White says:

      “It looks like a JPRG but it isn’t Chrono Trigger, so it’s not for me though.”

      It plays like no other game in existance. Give it a try and don’t write stuff off at first glance.

  16. JackofAllTrades88 says:

    Wow. Played the demo and loved it… great find.

  17. Andy says:

    Wow, can’t believe this is free!

    The music is just the best and the writing was fantastic. I had some leveling issues but generally this was one of the best games I played last year!

  18. Ozzie says:

    I never liked the first game. I guess I never understood the appeal. It takes the mechanics of a RPG and combines it with the strict linearity of a platformer. Either you go back or just forward. It seemed endlessly pointless to me. I like the introduction though, thought it was well written.
    So, even now that it’s free I’m rather hesitant to waste time on it…is it much better?

  19. Freudian Trip says:

    Can’t believe I paid 11 quid or so for this absolutely terrible, awful game. The combat system made no sense and when I did get the hang of it I was just bored. No exploring, just dragging your mouse left or right.

    Can I get my money back?

    • Dominic White says:

      There is a pretty significant demo for the game. Did you just buy it on a whim or something, then decide to complain about it? That’s just dumb. Also, your attitude makes you sound like a jerk.

    • Freudian Trip says:

      A 28 word review of a game you didn’t like will normally make you sound like a jerk. Just so happens that I am also a jerk.

      And no I didn’t know there was a demo.

      I actually wanted to plat Grandia 2 but I couldn’t find it anywhere so settled for SE2. Like most people who settle, we found we weren’t made for each other. She was boring, I was impatient. She couldn’t cure my pining for a proper JRPG and I didn’t have the will to spend time with her. We ended up with a mutual resentment of each other followed by a swift divorce.

      Is that better? If I just make a meaningless analogy instead of outright saying, I didn’t like this game?

    • BooleanBob says:

      It IS better!

  20. Craig Stern says:

    TSE2 is brilliant. I bought this game back when it was priced at $20. It was a good purchase then, and I’d do it again at the same price now. If you’re complaining about dropping $10 or $15 for it, you’re undervaluing a great game.

    That said, I’m honestly sad that this is now free–Mark Pay deserved to be able to live off this game while he worked on his next opus.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Rhygadon says:

    Highly recommended. And don’t let the first chapter (which feels a bit traditional-fantasy) put you off; the story gets MUCH stranger and more interesting as it goes along. It’s admittedly quite linear, but the different character subplots do change things up somewhat, and the central plot is far more surprising and convoluted than you’ll ever see in a big-budget game.

    One tip: if you think you’re going to play all the way through, I’d recommend hitting the forums sometime before you start Chapter 3, and finding the thread that lists exactly what all the equipment items do. The item descriptions are sometimes rather misleading, and the special item powers (like “minor self heal”) are impossible to evaluate without knowing their numerical strengths. Some of them are quite worthless, and since money is in very limited supply, you don’t want to be stuck with buyer’s remorse.

  22. KillahMate says:

    Wow. Now it’s free. Guess I have no further excuse not to play it.

  23. Daniel Johnston says:

    Hmm. It’s fun enough from the few hours I’ve just spent on it, but freezing up every 20-30 minutes of play isn’t great. At least it’s nice enough not to lock up the computer when it does so, but having just frozen when clicking on a save statue I’ve lost the will to proceed any further. Seems to be tied to entering menu screens, whatever the cause is.

    • Daniel Johnston says:

      Huh. Some googling of the SE2 website reveals that the problem lies in the touchpad on my laptop. There’s a window scroll zone on it, and touching that causes an instant freeze. Joy.

  24. Wedge says:

    Oh, well damn. I paid for this and thought it was pretty worth it, I guess I’ll really have to go recommend it now.

  25. cheeba says:

    Got this back when it was $20 or so, a charming little game with some truly gorgeous pixel art. People complain about it being linear, but I found it more tactically interesting and enjoyable than, ohh, 100% of jrpgs. Well, not counting the srpg stuff, natch. Highly recommended.

  26. Quijote3000 says:

    Any opinions about the first part, the spirit engine?
    Is it necessary to understand the second (and now free) part?

  27. Chroelle of CWF says:

    Hi – I am the Admin of Curlys World of Freeware who is offering the game for download. I wanted to let everyone know here that this game is amazing (nothing short of that) and should be downloaded. On another note I would however like to say that the flood of downloads could eventually make our site crash for a little while so should you not be able to download the game from our site, then please only consider it a momentary problem. And while you are over there, do yourself a favor and “shop” (pun intended) around the freeware games that are also there. Lots of games there are worth the download and time consumed. CWF (Curlysworldoffreeware) has mission to host QUALITY freeware games, so it should actually be a problem finding something NOT woth the download over there. Oh and TSE1 is not necessary to play before playing this one – BUT IT IS NECESSARY TO PLAY AT SOME POINT! :)

  28. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I remember trying out the demo when RPS wrote about this earlier. And maybe it’s because I like rpgs a lot but am unfamiliar with jrpgs.. maybe it’s something else, but I disliked it.

    That is to say, the characters seemed interesting, but there was little to do except press continue, buy stuff, equip stuff, wander to the left (or right) and fight. Maybe it helped that I wasn’t much good at it. It’s sad that, what with the lack of choice, people call this an rpg. It’s more like a storybook-type-thing. Follow the story along, while whacking monsters.

    The game has its charm, but is probably not my thing. I can only wonder why people laud this game and what games they compare it to. That’s not to say it’s a bad game. I just couldn’t stand playing it for long (even though I did give it a good try).

  29. merc says:

    The writing and art are very nice, and the music is especially nice. I like the ideas the combat system uses, it feels inventive. But the battle controls are bad and that’s a constant irritation. Selecting skills is too fiddly with most of them hidden away in submenus, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to like any battle system that expects me to go into submenus in battle. Then it has the whole skill chain/party skill chain system which feels like an unnecessarily complex means of compensating for the fact that selecting skills on the fly is too fiddly. It could easily go with the old F1-F3 to select a character and 1-0 to select their skill and then I wouldn’t ever have to worry about submenus or skillchains, and then it would be perfect. Grrr. Bloody submenus.

    It falls into that uncomfortable region where I’ll be annoyed if I don’t finish because it’s good enough to be interesting but I’ll be annoyed if I do finish it because of the annoyances with the battle controls. Damn.

  30. Stefan says:

    Delicious graphics!

  31. d. says:

    Just finished it this weekend. At first, I thought story is boring and combat is chaotic, later I discovered combat to be highly tactical and almost puzzle-like and story captivating. I found myself amazed, that SINGLE guy is behind the programming, story and graphics. Pure genius.

  32. Snidely says:

    Downloaded this on a whim. Now I’m several hours in. Combat can be a bit fiddly, but I’m impressed by how the game feels like it was made for the 3 characters I picked who, in turn, impressed me as well. Especially that Mericious chap.

  33. fuggles says:

    Finally played this and not bounced off the (surprisingly deep) combat. This game was great, with the steam punk atmosphere and the way that whatever party you pick the game makes it feel like the right choice. Awesome music too – this game needs to feature more in free game / indie articles as I have just played it for three days straight, I found it that good.