Guardians Of The Rose Is Zelda Meets The Elder Scrolls

Guardians of the Rose [official site] is a skill-based action RPG that plants you in the shoes of a guild master out to achieve world peace. Alongside customisable stats, skills and gear, you have the power to recruit any NPC, any enemy and “even a few” of the game’s bosses in your quest for unity, so say developers Pixel x Pixel Games, however can also be swayed by the forces of evil depending on the choices you make.

Yes, it’s another pixel-heavy retro-inspired throwback, but citing inspiration such as old school Zelda, Gauntlet, Ragnarok Online, and the Elder Scrolls series has led to Guardians of the Rose being recently wrapping up a successful crowdfunding campaign. In any event, aesthetics aside, the choice-driven depth it promises is what’s caught my eye. Trailer time:

“Make your way across a blood-soaked continent to oppose the forces that have taken your kingdom,” explains Guardian of the Rose’s Kickstarter blurb as to what it’s all about. “Steal ancient relics from wraith-kings. Bring down underground cities of the Old Kingdom. Risk your sanity as you travel through the cursed Clock Valleys. Hunt by moonlight to draw out creatures of the night. Venture into the snow-ridden Mountain Lands and discover hidden temples in the wild. Explore the Unfellable Forest while being chased by Sand Giants. Encounter river spirits, groundlings, and dragons alike.”

Sounds alright, doesn’t it? If you’d like to catch up with more of the game’s lore you should head over to the above-linked Kickstarter page, however what I’m most interested in is the way in which Guardian of the Rose lets you interact with its environments and population.

Your alignment towards good or evil is based on your actions, see, which means slaying monsters to save villages, for example, helps you earn “good points.” Conversely, engaging in shady activities, such as stealing or killing innocent civilians, ups your evil quota and your alignment ultimately affects how NPCs respond to you and how your story plays out. It does sound very Elder Scrolls/Fallout-y, but intriguing all the same.

With peace the end-game, change can by ascertained by inciting revolution from the shadows or by engaging in full-blown war and while I’m well aware Guardians of the Rose is promising a lot with a relatively modest budget, I’m nonetheless keen to see how it develops and, crucially, what it will and/or won’t deliver on. It’ll launch “May 2017” according to the Kickstarter and I for one will be watching this space.

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  1. Lugg says:

    Totally missed a glorious opportunity to call it “The Zelda Scrolls” there.

  2. MrFinnishDude says:

    There’s two kinds of Pixel art: lively, and dull.
    Sadly this falls on the dull scale, if the pixel art is dull then the game will only suffer from it. You know, it wont bring that nostalgic feeling and it looks low-rez as in poor resolution instead of something artistic.
    This could be amended by improving the framerate and making the animations more lively, but in it’s current state I feel that it wont lure in too many people to back the game.

    • Paladin says:

      Agreed. I know that once you want to make it look good, pixel art animation is actually *more* time consuming and expensive than 3D models, so I’m OK with cheap. However if you couldn’t select anything better than screen scrolling stuttering for your tech demo Kickstarter trailer…

    • Someoldguy says:

      I have to agree. Having tried and failed to get into Serpent in the Staglands because the murky old school pixel art just couldn’t portray the world in enough detail, I won’t be backing any more Kickstarters that go this retro.

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      reddog says:

      I wonder why they felt like the scrolling needs to stutter like that? It just adds unnecessary strain to the eyes.

      If it’s a deliberate attempt to make it look retro, it’s not only a bad idea, it’s also uninformed. If my memory serves me right, even the original 8-bit Zelda had perfectly smooth scrolling from one screen to the next.

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        reddog says:

        The art style looks okay to me, though. And this is an early video, so it’s probably not fair to judge the game just yet. They probably don’t prioritize the method of scrolling very highly. Personally I think they made a mistake by not having smooth scrolling in their kickstarter trailer, because it gives a bad impression.

  3. wonkavision says:

    your alignment ultimately affects how NPCs respond to you and how your story plays out.

    I don’t like this, because how would they know I stole all that stuff and got away with it? What if I murder a villager inside a closed room? You should be able to play an evil bastard who tricks goodies into liking him.

    Also, from the trailer it looks like you can’t play as a girl.

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      Aitrus says:

      Why is having gender choice an expectation? I guess it’s a fairly common trait in RPGs, but not all of them.

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        Harlander says:

        It doesn’t seem like there’s anything in the game that really needs to care about your gender, and with low-fi sprites like that, just not mentioning it would be enough to let anyone make any assumptions about it they like.

    • lokimotive says:

      I’ve always wished for a much deeper, say, social system than anyone’s really attempted, but I realize doing so would be incredibly resource heavy and logistically difficult for something that most people may not even notice. Nevertheless, it would be great to be able to break into a house and not really know if you ever pulled it off. Maybe the cops were conducting an investigation, and a week later, after you stroll into town, having fenced some goods to someone who got caught and blabbed to the cops. Or, maybe someone saw you leaving the area and the police bring you in for question. Or maybe you pulled it off perfectly and you’ll never be caught. Such is the risk of living like a thief.

      Or even slightly less ambitious, perhaps your deeds are discussed and different citizens have different reactions to them. Some might view your raiding of ancient dungeons intriguing and heroic, some may find it disrespectful, some just wouldn’t care at all. And those rumors would have to travel to towns and spread at various paces. If you’re a nobody, then no one will talk about you, but if you’ve performed a lot of deeds for various people, then your reputation will start growing and you’ll be talked about more and more. And some people will resent your fame and treat you worse, some will be sycophants.

      I know that’s a lot of work, but that could be a really interesting clockwork environment.

  4. Jaws4096 says:

    Thanks for pointing me towards this game. While this incarnation isn’t too exciting, the pitch is wonderful and I hope others attempt something along the same lines.

    Off-topic question: where have the Papers gone the last two weeks? I’ve been missing them! Hope all is well.

  5. Yglorba says:

    The idea is cool, but I’m a little dubious about any game that describes itself as partially Elder Scrolls, since a huge part of those games is their sheer size, and that’s very hard for a small indie studio to compete with.

  6. DancesWithSheep says:

    These pixel graphics look tiny and rough (yes I appreciate its a Kickstarter video) so I can’t see how this is going to work on a 1440p screen.

  7. Turkey says:

    Wait. I noticed the protagonist is wearing a backwards baseball hat. Are they doing the cool 90s kid gets sucked into a fantasy land trope(AKA the best trope?)

  8. Tiger Teeth says:

    “Guardians Of The Rose Is Zelda Meets The Elder Scrolls”

    Actual Zelda is Zelda meets the Elder Scrolls these days.

    Man, it’s got to suck to sit down and go “let’s make the Zelda that Nintendo should have been making all these years,” and then it turns out that Nintendo is making the Zelda that Nintendo should have been making all these years.

    Looks like they might even be releasing at the same time. Eeesh.