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Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
15,802 backers pledged $1,014,600 to help bring this project to life.


Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)

Dear backers,

My apologies for the late update, with the combination of going overseas for work and getting sick afterwards on top of preparing for this update has delayed it's release.

I know people have been asking for game design/play update, but today, we'd like to present part of the cinematic from the game.

We've had the honour of having Mr Hidekazu Ohara help us recreate a legend of Azuregard. Mr Ohara is one of the most respected veteran from the anime industry who is known for his work on Royal Space Force: The Wings of HonnêamiseNausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and AKIRA.

Here's a message from Mr Ohara:

「ゲームの世界の発端となった架空伝説を創ろうと洞窟壁画からアプローチ。 戦い、争いを「音楽」と云う素晴らしツールで凍てつく心を溶かし 悪の象徴である荒ぶるドラゴンの闇を鎮めるが如く”五行山”からインスピレーションを受け、常に表裏一体の世界に生きる神話奇譚を表現しました。」

We started from cave paintings to illustrate a legend from the past. Through the use of "music", warms the cold heartedness of war and hatred. Inspired by the Marble Mountains, the ultimate evil represented by the dragon is sealed within the mountain, a reminder to us all that we live in a world, inseparable between light and darkness.

This cinematic will explain the formation of Titan's Peak and give clues to the whereabouts of a dragon and what "may" have happened to the heroes of the day.

The sound is not done yet, but we will be adding the music later.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
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Please be reminded that this "feel" of the cinematic will only be used to recount the legends of the past. Please feel free to leave a comment below!

Hiroaki Yura
Director / Producer of Project Phoenix

Andrew Pam, Ade Putra, and 49 more people like this update.


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    1. Cenk "Skysect" Aslan on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    2. Missing avatar

      Pratchet on

      I think it looks great. I'm enjoying the clash of styles going into this project.

    3. Missing avatar

      Hunter Bateman on

      @Hiro, can you please issue me the refund you've offered me before?

    4. Missing avatar

      Alexander on

      Ooo i like this^^. It's got that "story book" feeling to it. Glad you guys are still updating. It's been a while but we're still here :D

    5. Missing avatar

      Jim on

      I too do not like this style at all. Reminds me of the cutscenes from Rock of Ages. AAA work, as usual...

    6. Michele "Wise Monkey" on

      @Hugo B. We know about this from May 29 2015 ( , as much as I enjoy reading fanfiction about game developement can you all please stop?

    7. Hugo B. on

      So now you are posting something made in 2015 (saw the year in the end texts)? Seems like old material being recycled, which imo is not even really good. This is turning out to be an even bigger disappointment if it even gets to end up in an actual product. The community backing this seems to have been a big mistake.

    8. Sterling Treadwell

      wow has it really been 137 updates ? that in itself is kind of.. awesome. the lack of a finished product isn't.. hehe... but at this ppoint I consider this to be sort of a "pet project" for most of the developers, something to work on for a few hours a day or week in their free time, outside of their full time regular work. It means it'll take a long time to complete, maybe 5 years total?
      and we've gotten way more than this, past updates have shown various stages of gameplay and graphics and story. I'm not entirely satisfied with progress, but it's not like we've seen NOTHING through the 3+ years.

    9. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      So, 3+ years, 137 updates...and we get a half-finished cinematic. Lovely.

    10. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @Sterling and Balmung - like you both, I am a gamer from the 80s (90s were GREAT though). I have to agree with Sterling on the idea of a Jrpg being a concept that's seemed to lose meaning. What makes a Jrpg a "J"rpg? I'd argue in the past decade, it seems like many fans act like it has to be massively influenced by anime, and other Japanese though it doesn't look/feel Japanese unless it models itself after anime tropes.

      Conversely...look at the games that are widely considered to be the godfathers of the Jrpg genre: Dragon Warrior/Quest and Final Fantasy. Two games that were both trying to be Dungeons and Dragons, in video game form. Dungeons and American game influenced by European literature.

      So you've got the godfathers of the genre influenced by an American game that was influenced by European literature and made by Japanese developers.

      It seems "J"rpgs have largely been getting farther and farther from those roots in recent years. They are trying to become TOO Japanese, at the expense of the other original inspirations for the genre. The more that happens, the less I like the genre....a genre that I LOVED growing up.

    11. Darmin Hadzic on

      It's certainly interesting. Not really for me, but I can certainly live with it.
      I'm hoping the next update does go into gameplay, certainly.
      Thanks for the update!

    12. Saul & Katie & Baby Samuel on

      Reminds me of Dragon Age Inquisition cinematic's where they tell parts of the story. It's not as great as that, but more of a puppet show to me if you kinda get what I mean? This is progress and a step in the right direction, but if anyone were to watch this I don't think they can tell what kind of game this is.

      My quick synopsis: Jesus's family VS roman empire with a dragon to unite all to fight one?

    13. mrfatso ~ Defender of The Goat on

      looks interesting, i like the art style of it.

    14. Missing avatar

      edzieba on

      An interesting aesthetic, like a mix between Terry Gilliam's cutout animation in Monty Python, and the aesthetics and style of Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack.

    15. Sterling Treadwell

      @Balmung - well I think at this point, since they're veterans of the industry, they know the difference between suggestions/opinions and constructive criticism and critical insight. I am sure they have a set vision for the game and story so the consideration they'd give to any of us or to fans would be slight.

      SO what exactly makes a game FEEL Japanese? I'm not getting how you are defining this criteria. You have explained some details that clearly don't make a game a jrpg.. so.. what does? I'm curious what you consider critical. I guess I have seen so many jrpgs' on different systems, different styles and gameplay aspects.. I don't know what these defining ideals are. Japanese? like following only their cultural norms? Their style of art? their country's fashion aesthetic? Music? do the buildings have to look blatantly japanese?

      And it is good to see a fellow gamer from the 80's. I'm pushing 40's so it's been a pleasure to watch gaming grow through my life. I also love to see the art in gaming, through i don't see all of gaming as art. It is sort of like buying food for a meal. There is true artistic creative effort to cuisine, and there's fast food and pre-packaged stuff. Gaming is similar. some are tru art and divine in it's creativity and artistic expression, and there's stuff made by artists that can loook good but is not trying to achieve any real artistic expression... and then there's just "trying to make a buck and get the job done". hehehe.

      Honestly it feels like this group of dev's is comprised of a lot of artists and not so much in terms of innovative or creative programmers and game design engineers. Hopefully with the inclusion of a coder it'll start to come together and we'll be totally wowed. But until then I'd say the art direction isn't a worry to me as the actual game design. case in pooint most of the vids we saw of the early prototype in the past are about as familiar and "been done before" as you can get. Holding to some conventions is good, but I'd love to see them start expanding and being creative with the gameplay. But.. that's me. I hope for it, I don't require it nor demand it. I backed this game in good faith, so I am trusting their skills.

    16. Balmung on

      @Sterling Treadwell: I didn't say that every jRPG fan is an otaku, that would mean he is a big fan, but i say only "a bit or more japan fan". And I didn't mean "japan fan" in that form what you mean, more like "fan of japanese products". Sorry when I didn't was exactly enough at that point.

      And a jRPG that didn't feel (Look alone is not so important) japanese is no jRPG, it is only a RPG. A jRPG is not a jRPG because a japanese developer made it, there are also jRPGs out that was developed from west developers. So there must something in the game itself that made it to a jRPG and that thing is it that feels japanese and this game was announced clearly as jRPG, still stand in the text on the top of this side.

      But I didn't want to say that something should be changed, I only want to say that because sometimes on Kickstarter, Early Access on Steam and similar platforms I have the feeling the developers get too influenced from her community and hear to less on that what they want to do. Reading feedback, ok, made changes because of the that feedback, only when the developers really really think that it makes the games really better and it matches to her vision. That's how I would do it, when I would be a developer (I'm only a little hobbyist in game developing using actually Unreal Engine 4 with too less time for it).

      For me, games are art, and so only the vision of the developers. And there is no place for players in it, because we are players and not the developers of that game (and many of us players have no clue about developing games). That is how I see games since i play, since early 80s.

      P.S. sorry for my bad english, it is not my main language.

    17. Missing avatar

      Ricardo André Gomes Kislitsyn on

      I liked the art style too, this feeling of a legend told in medieval times is good. And to the ones that do not liked, as far as i understood, these type of cinematics will only be used to recount legends, so probably we will have some japanese anime style cinematics.

    18. Jak

      Seems very very cool! I like the style, and for what the style is, you did very very very good making that style.

    19. Missing avatar

      João Pedro on

      The game is being developed by a (mostly) japanese team. That's what qualifies a JRPG.

      The style is fine and I think people will understand it's a japanese game just fine when we get to the chibi in-game character models.

    20. Missing avatar

      Terry Carter - AoUA|SoA|BoSB on

      You know it's not bad. Would like to rewatch it once they add the sound. I will agree with those that said it doesn't really feel like a jrpg video....but that's not fully a bad thing I guess.

    21. Sterling Treadwell

      @balmung- I don't think shooting for the cinematic being euro-manuscript styles will turn off japanese fans at all, they have a deep appreciation for not only their own work/history, but what has been done in other countries. If anything doing something that stands out as unique from the MASSIVE market of ashcan manga and anime will help it stand out front and draw interest. I mean look at who actually MADE the cinematic. If they didn't feel strongly, and confident of the work, they wouldn't go with it this far. It would be a massive waste of time and resources, and a marred spot on their resume.

      Thinking every jrpg fan is an otaku is shooting for generalities and thats not really fair. I know many friends that like anime -esque styled games and jrpg's but know little of japan and their culture or history. There are some people that think "hey this is a fun game!" and that's as far as they ever get.

      I don't think "this is a jrpg, so it has to look and feel japanese" is a good mindset to have, it just narrows the creative possibilities for them. If anything I'd LOVE for them to take this cinematic style, design all of the 3d characters to emulate this style to a degree, and render looking like papercraft models (as if they came to being cut right from the pages of great tomes). it wouldn't look particularly "japanese" but it would match more of this style and all around it would look unique and fresh. the gameplay, storytelling, and all around experience itself could still be typical jrpg.

    22. Sterling Treadwell

      The animation here looks good. I do like the feel of an illuminated manuscript for the characters and sections that portray it, and I love the cave painting portions. It altogether has a kind of primitive simple style but I don't think that's bad, it starts to set in the time period and lets us know this legend isn't modern, and thats ok.

      of all that you show the ONLY gripe i had was the very first dragon firebreathing scene, because the eye is sort of looking up and away and it's twitching so much as it breathes it is..laughable (and highly meme'able) which is counter to the feel of the rest of the cinematic.

      I also feel it is..very long. Are we going to have this as an intro before gameplay or will it get cut up and cited as we progress through the game? I am hoping the latter, since info dumping (or mass exposition to feed us lore and story) is not a good design. It often kills flow, gets gamers impatient to get back to the gameplay, and it is poor storytelling as a ongoing practice.

      Lastly, I am curious how this art style will work with the look of the game and characters. I... well the last I saw of the game's art style doesn't look or feel like this AT ALL and that transition feels jarring and disconnected. You know, like the cinematic was done by a different crew than the game developers, so they don't "marry" conceptually or visually.

    23. Balmung on

      Something came into my mind what I want to say here:

      @Creators: Don't make the mistake and think: because there are so much Backers outside japanese we must do this game also for them. Make it for the japanese audience and only localize it, we love it than too.

      @Backers: or is that thinking wrong? I think every jRPG fan is also a bit or more a Japan fan and that is one reason why they play jRPGs, because they feel a bit or more japanese.

    24. Balmung on

      Hm, I know what William T means. For it's alone with the right sound it would be ok, but I never would think that this is an jRPG. There is too less japanese in it, too much "west" feeling. And no, it doesn't mean it must look Anime like. Final Fantasy is also an jRPG and didn't look Anime like, but it feels japanese, even FFXV.

      And even without that there is also the question: did this cinematic match to the game art style? From that what I have seen so far, not that much.

    25. Jason Broadley

      I loved it. Made me feel like I was reading the story in an illuminated medieval tome, with the illuminations coming to life as I read.

    26. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      Arthur - the answer to your question is in the update.

      William - I'll agree, the art style is kinda strange (not inherently bad, though)...but is your problem that the videos don't look like anime?

    27. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @Arthur - your question was answered in the text of the update.

    28. Zombra on

      Gorgeous. Love the style.

    29. Missing avatar

      William T on

      It's not good enough.

      This kind of animation doesn't even feel Japanese. The animation is sluggish and easy to animate, there's absolutely nothing in it that drives me to believe this would be suitable for a "good old classic Jrpg" that was promised.

      I've seen better animations from university graduates... in fact... i think this would be graded average or less as a final project in an animation course.

      Add to that, the religious style art is quite cheezy, sub-par and looks like the kind of art just about anyone can make by copying old images from google, coloring it and then modifying it by adding textures with photoshop...

      I mean... it'd be more okay if we were promised 'something different' and ' unique' but I was promised a good ol' Jrpg game and this is just not it.

      to me, this just feels like a lower tier version of The Witcher 3: opening cutscene. It would be ok if the standard is there but it's not. i'd rather see a japanese style animation instead of this.

    30. Arthur Michoux on

      Cool. Is it normal that I have no sound?