Guardian Of The Galaxy: Zeboyd’s Cosmic Star Heroine

By Alec Meer on June 27th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Zeboyd played guit-ah-arrrrrr

The story of Zeboyd is a strange one, but perhaps a slightly familiar one. Creating a bit of buzz around their Lovecraftian RPG Cthulhu Saves The World on Xbox, only to find that to be a cold and uncaring land, things were a lot rosier for the subsequent PC release. That in turn led to the opportunity to tackle a new game for the even-tempered and all-embracing fellows over on Penny Arcade, which in turn led to a sequel, and now they’re at the point where the announcement of their new game creates headlines. As well as having a most excellent title, Cosmic Star Heroine will include “turn-based RPG gameplay that takes the best elements from our past games while adding a few new ideas.”

The titular heroine is one Alyssa L’Salle, agent of the galactic government who finds herself betrayed by her bosses and fighting “every villainous organization she’s ever crossed in her career.”

Oh God.

Oh God.

Sorry, I just imagined having to meet everyone I’ve ever had a Twitter or comments argument with/abuse from at once, and it was just the most terrifying thing. Urgh.

Back to Zeboyd’s lastest. They’re not saying too much outside of the plot summary as yet, but then again they’re also making no bones about the fact that it’s an evolution of what they’ve already been up to with Cthulhu and Breath of Death so perhaps we can abide by the More Of A Good Thing Principle. Here’s the main run-down:

Future sci-fi setting
2D pixel art visuals (but with various improvements over our previous games including bigger and more animated ally sprites)
Created with Unity so that we can cover more platforms
No separate combat screen – combat will occur directly on the same maps that you explore on
Turn-based RPG gameplay that takes the best elements from our past games while adding a few new ideas.
Enemy groups will no longer just stay in one place on maps but will patrol and chase after the player as appropriate
Not a parody but will still have plenty of humor
Players will be able to customize their own spy headquarters by recruiting more agents (think the Suikoden series)
Will be trying to get Hyperduck (who worked with us on our last game) again for the music (they’ve already agreed that they’d like to do it but we haven’t signed anything yet)

As with the rejiggered version of Cthulhu, they’ll be taking to the Kickstarters with this one. Not sure if that’s because they need to, or because they can, but if people are interested people are interested. They’re also planning to be very open about the game’s development, so keep an eyeC on their site if you’re interested in such insights.

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39 Comments »

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  1. Wedge says:

    Oooooooh on screen battles Chrono Trigger style. It’s hard for me to put up with the old turn-based battle JRPG thing these days, but avoiding random battles and the repetitious separate battle screen does a lot to make it feel much less tedious.

  2. Arach says:

    Fhtagn!

  3. BooleanBob says:

    Robert Boyd suggested on a website not a million miles from here that it’s because they have to.

    • tossrStu says:

      Why they gotta do a Kickstarter? BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO

      • BooleanBob says:

        Why do Zeboyd look so creasy-browed?

        BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO

        Why they gotta get their funds from crowds?

        BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO

        Do these budgets have to be so tight?

        BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO

        Why they gotta stay and code all night?

        BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO

        • Premium User Badge

          lorddon says:

          RPS, this is why I love you madly and will marry you some day.

        • TomA says:

          hahaha you champion. This sounds really great can’t wait to play. Played through the old suikoden games countless times can’t get enough of them and I’m a sucker for the old JRPG battles tedious as they might seem now.

  4. Jekhar says:

    Mh, sometimes i feel i’m the only one who bothers checking in the xblig channel. I regularly test any new releases and have bought quite a number of them. I bought both Zeboyd games on xbox, not that Penny Arcade game though. I didn’t liked the previous PA games, so i didn’t bothered with that one. But it certainly isn’t because of me that indies have it so tough on xbox.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Buy the Zeboyd PA games, they are entirely different beasts. Also, really really good!

    • Grygus says:

      I did not care for the first PA game and didn’t bother with the second, but the third one is actually good.

    • Premium User Badge

      lowprices says:

      Is being constantly furious tiring? I imagine it would be.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Bro, Bro. Leave it on Reddit/4chan.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      That comment makes it pretty clear that you are far worse then Penny Arcade could ever be.

  5. mondomau says:

    “That in turn led to the opportunity to tackle a new game for the even-tempered and all-embracing fellows over on Penny Arcade,”

    That was a bit snide, Alec.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      A wise word-smith does not let an opportunity like this pass.

      • DerNebel says:

        Also, the Penny Arcade folks are probably fine with this. They are after all a half games half self deprecating humour based web comic.

        Actually, they might be thinking that Alec went too easy on them. They are both really clever assholes and they know it.

        • Alec Meer says:

          The idea of those guys ever reading anything on this site is pretty absurd, let’s be honest.

          • BisonHero says:

            Sure about that? Mike and Jerry seem to keep abreast of major gaming blogs as a source of comic strip material, and RPS has become that to a certain degree. I would at least expect Jerry to check up on RPS on a somewhat frequent basis.

          • Soldancer says:

            We know at the very least that the folks at Penny Arcade Report do. I don’t read PA proper anymore (not since Dickwolves), but I do read the separate report website. Heck, just last week Ben linked to the interview about Skulls of the Shogun and MS exclusivity.

            I just wonder how much of that info leaks over. I like to think that they operate somewhat independently, but it still makes me feel bad when Mike or Jerry get in a fit about something.

          • tungstenHead says:

            I actually discovered RPS when Tycho linked the King’s Bounty stuff that you wrote, Alec. That was a few years ago, so who knows about now, though.

          • BooleanBob says:

            The impression I get is that they’re so busy with their myriad side projects at this point, they struggle to keep up with the game releases, let alone the industry’s sprawl of enthusiast apparatus and paraphernalia.

            Certainly the newsposts seem to contain less links to other games websites than they used to. But there was a time when fine sites like Eurogamer, RPS and The Register saw some love (admittedly Gamespot, Destructoid and K-dawg saw more of it).

        • Bhazor says:

          “clever”? I’ve not seen any evidence for that. I’ve only seen meager evidence of “funny”.

  6. frightlever says:

    “Sorry, I just imagined having to meet everyone I’ve ever had a Twitter or comments argument with/abuse from at once.”

    And their mum.

    • sassy says:

      it’s about time I get to meet some of their mothers, since they are all so well acquainted with mine

    • The Random One says:

      I wouldn’t mind that. In the context of the game, you’d meet all of them, and punch them.

  7. Premium User Badge

    lowprices says:

    A new Zeboyd game free from random battles and Penny Arcade? Sign me up.

  8. CobraLad says:

    I strongly suggest Zeboyd artists learning about perils of pillowshading…

  9. SkittleDiddler says:

    Not sure how one could improve on 2D pixel art visuals, but hey more power to these guys if they think it’s going to look prettier.

  10. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    I bounced right off of Cthulhu with the auto-leveling enemies.

    Did that pattern change in later games? What about here?

    • BisonHero says:

      The enemies don’t auto-level in Cthulhu, by any reasonable definition of “auto-level”. They don’t scale to your level or anything, though sure, as you go further into the game, the enemies gradually get tougher, like in every video game ever.

      As you fight each battle, the enemies get slightly stronger as more turns pass. This builds gameplay tension, as unlike a lot of JRPG combat systems, you actually have to know your party and abilities pretty well, so you can end the battle as quickly as possible. Instead of just being pointless grinding, there is always the chance that if you really slack off and choose poor targets or abilities, even common enemies could defeat you.

      I guess they could’ve designed it so that enemy stats are static and don’t increase each turn, but that’s also how every other JRPG ever has done it, so if you really want a game to play like that, you have a lot of other options. The battle system in Cthulhu (and in the Zeboyd Penny Arcade games where enemies also gradually get stronger) is challenging but completely fair.

      • Jekhar says:

        Also, each new location presented you with a finite number of random fights. After you were done with them you could explore the dungeon unhassled. If you still wanted to fight after that you could always initiate an encounter via the menu. I really liked that feature. Nothing bugs me more than getting interrupted every three steps when i just want to explore the damn place.

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        jrodman says:

        No, they really auto-level.

        If you stay in the same area, and level up, the game will give you harder fights that it didn’t give you when you were lower level. Really.

        • Robert Boyd says:

          Some dungeons in Cthulhu Saves the World have 2 random encounter lists. When you first start the dungeon, it gives you the easier list and after you’ve fought there for a while, it switches over to the second list. It has nothing to do with your LV.

  11. fuggles says:

    I don’t think cthulu had auto levelling enemies, certainly I had to grind a great deal to beat the bonus dungeon, which I guess wouldnt have worked if they levelled too.

  12. wilynumber13 says:

    It sounds like the most recent PA game they did hasn’t sold especially well, so they probably actually need the cash infusion this time.

  13. nimzy says:

    Silver hair? Cosmic star heroine as an agent of the galactic government?

    I could have sworn I’ve seen a cartoon like that before…

  14. TheMopeSquad says:

    Combat of Chrono Trigger, art style of Phantasy Star, team-collecting like Suikoden or Shining Force?

    I could get behind this.

  15. scumblr says:

    La Salle?

    L’Asalle?

  16. apocraphyn says:

    “Players will be able to customize their own spy headquarters by recruiting more agents (think the Suikoden series)”

    YES. YES. Suikoden was excellent, more games should borrow from it and its systems.