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An expansion to Street Masters, the cooperative minis board game for 1-4 players, designed by Adam and Brady Sadler!
An expansion to Street Masters, the cooperative minis board game for 1-4 players, designed by Adam and Brady Sadler!
2,946 backers pledged $422,647 to help bring this project to life.

Digging into Essence of Evil

Posted by Scottie Mick (Collaborator)

Happy Halloween, Global Gladiators! We hope you're having a spooky fun time, wherever you are! We also hope you're stuffing your faces full of candy! Ylfa, Dolores, Bartholomew, and Selene were definitely out causing some mayhem! They even took a picture to commemorate!

Davenport Manor Showdown Deck

Wow, the Aftershock train isn't slowing down! You unlocked the Davenport Manor Showdown Deck! 

Selene and the creatures that do her dark bidding will now haunt you from stage to stage in Story Mode, and come up will all sorts of new tricks (no treats) to ensure darkness reigns supreme!

As a reminder, Showdown Decks are a new type of story deck that can be used in any Story Mode game, adding a villainous character working in the shadows against the fighters. Each Showdown Deck introduces a unique story for the associated enemy deck, as well as upgrade cards that will replace certain cards in said enemy deck. This means that as you and your fellow fighters try and complete the main Story, as well as any chosen Hero Stories, an enemy faction using its Showdown Deck will continually pop up, each time wielding an upgraded deck!  

Players can also choose to include these enemy upgrade cards in their Arcade Mode games to increase overall difficulty and customize their games even further.

A Closer Look at Essence of Evil

Kyoryu had gone astray. After learning of his ties to Yokai, and the dark gift they shared, he had cut himself off from the world to find his path. Unfortunately, the powers within him were stronger than his spirit, and his mind and soul were consumed.  

Hanzo, the man who raised and tutored him, watched helplessly as his former student skirted the edge … and fell into the abyss. The man, no, demon, that emerged called itself Ikuchi, a rage-filled monster obsessed with calling down the storms it controlled for a singular purpose: the eradication of all who stood between it and more power.  

Hanzo knew there was still good trapped within friend, but also knew that nothing short of a miracle could break the hold the darkness had on him.  

Now, acting against the orders of those who made him watch over Kyoryu his entire life, Hanzo has but one mission: find a way to save his pupil … or die trying.

Essence of Evil is an exciting new, Kickstarter Exclusive expansion that sees fan-favorite Hanzo become a fully-developed fighter. He comes with his own 25-card Fighter Deck (and Hero Story Deck), which players will be able to use in any game of Street Masters. There’s also a brand new enemy faction, The Ayakashi. It’s one of the most powerful enemy factions to date, so you’ll have to train hard to defeat them. Both these new elements can duke it out on two brand-new action packed stages, Reign Storm and Ring of Fire! Of course, another reason Essence of Evil is so exciting is the included Story, which sees Hanzo trying to stop a former pupil from going off the deep end! 

Let's take a closer look at all this amazing stuff!

New Enemy Faction: The Ayakashi  

Aswirl with the raging power of an abyssal tempest, Ikuchi is a boss that is quite literally boiling over with rage. His deck is chock full of viciousness in the form of deadly events that linger in fighters’ threat areas, minions that get stronger with their leader’s reign over the storms, and a surge mechanic that you do not want to trigger!  

This enemy deck is all about area control as Ikuchi charges up enemy cards in play with power, and when a fourth power would be placed on an enemy card, that power is discarded and the fighters must trigger the Ayakashi’s Surge effect. Let’s just say, you should avoid this at all costs!  

Furthermore, with nasty minions under his command, Ikuchi is not easily approached. His vicious Envoys won’t back down, his Naruguard leave behind echoes that serve as power conduits for their leader, and the hulking Stormthralls serve as Ikuchi’s personal bodyguards.  

This is our first complexity 5 enemy deck, and you’ll see why when Aftershock hits your table next year!  

Of course, you'll also get a Showdown Deck for The Ayakashi, further detailing Ikuchi's quest for power and allowing him to upgrade his deck!

Here are the glorious minis for this enemy faction:

The Stormthrall towers over other figures!
The Stormthrall towers over other figures!

New Fighter: Hanzo  

A deadly foe needs an equally heroic fighter, and Hanzo is up to the task. Using his unique Arm mechanic, Hanzo—aptly called the “Master of all Weapons”—has the ability to equip his attack cards as weapons, as well as lending them to his fellow fighters. His various Weapon cards provide new exhaust and action abilities that the controlling fighter can use to make swift work his foes. With his various weapons, Hanzo provides both offensive and defensive capabilities to your team. He is quite the unique fighter that can serve as both support and all-out damage dealer.

As mentioned above, Hanzo comes with a highly detailed miniature, a unique 25-card Figher Deck, and a Hero Story deck that will allow you to better understand his relationship to Kyoryu, and the past that led them together.

New Stage Deck & Tile: Reign Storm

Deep in the Forest of Sorrow, the Storm Disciples practice complete control over the sky’s fury. However, even the most blessed servants of the storm can’t hope to fully harness the chaos in the clouds. Reign Storm represents Ikuchi’s final ceremony to bend the storms to his will by creating a massive ball of lightning. Stopping such a ritual is to risk your very life, but to sit by idly could mean a worse fate...  

In this stage, fighters can feed off the objectives that represent the boss’ various lightning balls, but doing so risks them joining together. If all objectives join together, the fighters lose. So do you tap into the storm for an extra boost to take down the boss in time? Or do you ignore the objectives and risk them joining together on their own accord?

New Stage Deck & Tile: Ring of Fire  

Long ago, a remote village burned to the ground due to unnatural fires summoned by those that aligned themselves with the Oni. The memory of the tragedy is so strong that it still manifests in certain parts of the world under the right (or wrong) circumstances, and those that relive the memory must stop it or be cursed to relive it for eternity!  

In Ring of Fire, defense tokens will spawn around the map, representing defensive villagers. Fighters need to balance fighting the boss, putting out the the flames that make up the ring of fire in the center of the map, and rescuing villagers. It’s no easy task, but with the alternative being stuck in this memory forever, fighters should be able to rise to the occasion!

New Story Deck: Essence of Evil

Of course, this Kickstarter Exclusive expansion also comes with a brand-new Story Deck to play through, full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you attempt to stop Ikuchi's rise to power! It will challenge you unlike any Street Masters story before it, so you and your fellow fighters will need to train hard before attempting this one!

Only available in the Aftershock Tier/Super Street Masters Combo Tier!

As a reminder, Essence of Evil is not only Kickstarter Exclusive, it is also only available as part of the Aftershock Tier or Super Street Masters Combo Tier! If you want to guarantee yourself a copy, make sure you don't miss this opportunity and pledge for one of these tiers!

Up Next...

We are REALLY close to unlocking a new stage, Estate of Decay! If you've ever wanted to roundhouse kick a werewolf in the face while standing in a creepy old mansion full of evil spirits, you'll definitely be happy with this one! 

Then, at $200k, it all comes together to bring you the twisted story of Salem Street ...

Keep fighting!


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    1. Pie on

      Them Stormthralls, though. Towering, armored tanks of eeeeeevil.

    2. Scottie Mick Collaborator on

      @Bjorn: the overview cards everyone is getting in their stretch goals box will cover every deck in the game.

      This game doesn't try to emulate 1v1 fighting games, but beat em up/brawler games. It does draw character inspiration from some 1v1s, though. And the mechanics you speak of are sprinkled throughout various decks, such as Gabriel's. Each fighter has ways of benefiting from good player cooperation, but also solo if that's your preferred way of playing. The new Mission Cards in Aftershock will further reinforce this and allow you to help fighters out of turn too.

    3. Björn Kruse on

      Two questions egarding the complexity rating:
      1. will fighters also get a complexity rating or are all fighters equally balanced?
      2. Is the complexity rating for existing bosses/stages already available somewhere?

      Besides that: very good idea to color the defense tokens. That was one of our main critic points (although a not really heavy one 😉).

      Have you thought to go beyond the classic 1vs1 best em up style, for example to introduce some kind of grip/grab/grapple technic (don’t know the exact English word) that holds the enemy, preventing him to move for example. During this, other fighters do additional damage (eg +1die or +1 direct dmg), but the holding fighter has to roll a success during enemy’s action (and also
      during his own turn) to keep up the hold.

      Or other additional mechanisms which benefit strongly from good fighter cooperation.

    4. Joseph Le May

      First of all this content is awesome! Secondly, I would encourage you to not make gameplay elements be exclusive to Kickstarter. It feels like shit as a collector and player if I can’t get all the content for a game I love because I didn’t know it existed soon enough. Upgraded components? Yes! Exclusive art? Hell yes! But stages, heroes, and enemies? Bummer.

    5. BlackGauntlet

      I'm surprised no homage was paid to Namco's Splatterhouse; one of the earliest spooky beat-em-ups ever made.

    6. Olaskos on

      You magnificent bastard you! Keep it up.