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Memoirs Of Magic is a charming, free blend of '90s FPS and JRPG

Last night, Memoirs Of Magic launched, a free, cute and bouncy old-school FPS by Strawberry Octopus Productions that I’ve been following on and off for years. Inspired by Doom and early 32-bit JRPGs, it’s a large, semi-non-linear FPS and RPG hybrid, like an adorable, squishy version of Hexen. There’s seven characters to play as solo or co-op, lots of monsters to zap, punch, clobber and loot, and a distinctive chunky, pre-rendered aesthetic backed up with some similarly old-school polygon bosses and summons. Check out the launch trailer below, and grab the game here on Itch.

It’s worth noting that, for better or worse, Memoirs Of Magic leans heavily on its early RPG inspirations. You’re fragile early on, under-equipped, and it’s easy to get lost. Still, I’m having a lot of fun playing as a kung-fu wolfman with combos that level up over time. The developer highly recommends talking (repeatedly) to the NPCs around town at first. Some guidance can be found in the library, too. Once you’re out of town and on the forest trail, keep to the right if you’re after the forest graveyard. Cute little piggies can be zapped to turn them into handy free healing items, too.

Death fortunately isn’t a huge deal. You respawn back at the beginning of your current area and drop half your carried gold. You can save your cash at the bank in town, and apparently there’s some reward for banking a lot of cash. Melee attacks are longer range than you’d assume them to be, so you can safely rely on them for most early enemies to conserve ammo and magic, but watch out for the tentacled Ropers. They like to fade out, teleport to you and get in a sneaky hit. If you see one disappear, start backpedalling until it’s visible, then you can safely punch it again.

A couple little technical notes, too – you’ll probably want to reconfigure the game’s controls, especially the ones for using items in your inventory. By default, the game runs at GZDoom’s default 35fps (the demo was featured in my Doom derivatives mod roundup, too) for that authentically retro look, but you can have it run as smoothly as your PC will allow by turning on Rendering Interpolation in Display Settings. There’s also no reason not to set the game to a fancy modern widescreen resolution, either. As for playing multiplayer, a guide text file is included for setting it up.

Memoirs Of Magic is free and here on Itch. The developer is currently tuning early-game difficulty based on feedback, with one hot-fix released already.

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Dominic Tarason

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