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A love letter to J-RPG classics.
A love letter to J-RPG classics.
5,631 backers pledged $195,528 to help bring this project to life.

Soul Saga - Update 28 - Innovating on the class JRPG combat system

Posted by Disastercake (Creator)

Hello, Friend!

Hello, friend! How are you doing today? Is the spring weather treating you well? It's been starting to get warm here, but there's no time to play in the sun! Soul Saga's development is cruising along and I'm crunching in as many humanly feasible hours as possible to get you the best game I can this year!

Beta v9.1 Update!

The update is here! The update is heeeere!!! Yesterday I uploaded the latest Soul Saga Beta version to v9.1 for beta testers to get their hands on. This update is a huge step forward for Soul Saga as it shows off it's final draft of its unique and innovative combat system. If you're a Soul Saga Beta tester, you can find it for download in your humble bundle library now!

Steam Page Live!

Soul Saga's coming soon Steam page is now live! This is a very exciting time for me to be far enough along with my dream project, that YOU helped make, and be this close to sharing it with the world. Thank you! Please let your JRPG loving friends know so they can add it to their wishlist! =)

New Combat Initiation

Earlier we had a vote among you and other backers whether you'd like to maintain the Final Fantasy inspired combat zone system, or switch over to a more dynamic Chrono Trigger inspired system. The Chrono Trigger inspiration won by a landslide, and I got to work implementing that in for you! The results are fantastic, and you can take a look at how it feels below.

Soul Saga Combat

I'd like to talk with you a little about Soul Saga's combat system and the innovations that drive it. When I started working on Soul Saga, it was my goal to design a system that was inspired by the JRPG classics like Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire, and Final Fantasy, identify the critical elements that make those systems fun, and innovate around those core design concepts. After identifying the elements I wanted to maintain, I dissected the common elements in JRPGs that were the most critical to address, and I quickly found the number one issue: monotonous battles.

Monotonous battles are an issue present in almost every JRPG and are even in many of the great classics. As you’re walking through those dungeons and you’re forced to fight wave after wave of weak and predictable enemies, you turn off your brain and just keep hitting the “next” button over and over again until you’ve stomped all over them and you're on to the next battle. Well not in Soul Saga!

For Soul Saga I made sure this wasn't the case, and I'm ecstatic to finally share with you the final version of Soul Saga's combat design that has successfully banished that problem.

The Beauty of Self Discovery

The beauty of Soul Saga's Combat system is in discovering exactly how the synergy works for yourself. While this system is new, it's completely understandable with a little experimentation. I'll share an overview of the system with you here, but I'm going to avoid delving deep into different uses and strategies with these mechanics so you can experience the joy of mastering them yourself!

Your actions, your choice!

The core concept behind Soul Saga's battle system is that you have FULL control over when and which of your characters act. You can even delay your actions to pause the enemy's turn.

Intervene Points

Intervene Points (or IP) is the universal bread and butter resource your characters utilize to use their personal skills. In the current beta, you have 3 IP points maximum.

IP can be accumulated by:

  • Taking actions. Every 3 actions generates a new IP point. Enemies also accumulate points this way.
  • Delaying actions. All unspent IP will roll over to the next turn. Delaying will also not consume the current action buff.

Accumulated IP can be used to:

  • Take multiple small actions.
  • Use a single strong skill.
  • Intervene the enemy turn for various strategic reasons.


Intervene is a unique concept that allows you to pause the enemy's turn to use any IP you've accumulated. You can utilize this to initiate different types of strategies for time critical situations.

Wheel of Morai

The synergy of all these systems comes together perfectly with the Wheel of Morai. The Morai Wheel is a device in the bottom right corner of the screen that foretells the buffs and debuffs that the next 5 actions will be afflicted with.

The most common effects are:

Double Attack Power

This buff will increase the actor's attack power to 200%, strengthening damage dealing skills.

Double Support Power

This buff will increase the actor's support power to 200%, strengthening healing and shielding skills.

Half Attack Power

This buff will reduce the actor's attack power to 50%, weakening damage dealing skills.

Half Support Power

This buff will reduce the actor's support power to 50%, weakening healing and shielding skills.

Synergy = Strategy

By taking advantage of the IP, delaying, and intervening systems, you can manipulate which team and actors consume which buffs and debuffs to turn the tide of any battle! The great thing about this system is that it's simple, but dynamic, so you're always thinking for every turn in every battle.

Hopes and wishes to Kumamoto, Japan

You may have heard about the recent earthquakes in southern Japan and the devastation it's wrecking on the families there. One of Soul Saga's key members, Nozomi, is from that region of Japan. She has requested time off to take care of her family during these trying times and I will be making adjustments to Soul Saga's timeline as needed. My sincere condolences go out to the people of Japan, especially Nozomi and her family. She has been a critical part of Soul Saga's successful development from the beginning and I wish nothing but the best for her.

Adjusted Release ETA

Earlier this year I had set a hopeful release date of June, but with everything happening at this point it may be rushing things a bit. To reduce the chance of delays I'd like to say that August is a safer release schedule. However, I will be trying my best to get it earlier than that for you. Thank you very much for your patience while we finish up Soul Saga for your enjoyment!

Thank You!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for having given me this opportunity to create Soul Saga for you. I seriously can not wait to share it with you later this year! Please join me and other Soul Saga backers in the forums to discuss this update here:

I'm very excited to get your feedback on the final draft of Soul Saga's combat system!

Anthony Hanson, Justin Holmes, and 30 more people like this update.


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    1. Disastercake Creator on

      Thank you very much, zerooooopa! Soul Saga's "saga" arc will span several games, but each game will have its own complete main arc.

    2. zerooooopa on

      looks good! exciting! is this episodic? or can some one give me the run down as to the scope of this game thanks

    3. Disastercake Creator on

      Completely understandable, Johnson! My best experience with good games is when I go in blind and experience everything fresh. I'd only want the same for you and Soul Saga. =)

    4. Johnson Lam

      I didn't try any BETA since I want to play the game when it's mature.
      Don't want to spoil the fun and surprise.

    5. Disastercake Creator on

      Ahhhh~ I get it now, Dawn. ;) That one went right over my head! =P

      You may commence eating my face after I finish sending out all the Kickstarter pledges. I'll die a happy Cake then. =)

    6. Dawn_

      I did saw your answer disastercake i was just being playful my meaning was when can we eat you the disastercake lol.

    7. Disastercake Creator on

      Hey Dawn!

      It looks like my response to you didn't send below regarding GoG. I wanted to say that I'll let you know as soon as I figure out what's going on in that front. =)

      Regarding the release date, I'm still sticking with the timeline I stated in this update of August this year, but I'm going to be trying my best to get it to you sooner. Thank you very much for your patience! =D

    8. Dawn_

      Last question: When can we actually ate this cake ?

    9. Disastercake Creator on

      Thank you very much, J.C.! I love connecting with amazing fans like yourself. It's really made developing such a huge project alone in my studio apartment much more fun. =)

    10. J. C. SweetZ on

      the way you have been communicating with us thru-ought this whole process is awesome. Mighty No.9 could take notes from you.
      I look forward to the final product

    11. Disastercake Creator on

      Thank you, Travis!!! I'm flattered you're so excited for Soul Saga. It's been a long and tough journey developing a game like this as an indie, and I'm eternally grateful that all of my wonderful backers have stood by me this entire time. =D

    12. Travis Cook on

      There was so much excitement that was audible in my office when I saw the update I'm just like "YASSSSSSSS!"

      Good job. :D

    13. Disastercake Creator on

      Thank you very much for the feedback, Jeremy! I'll pass that feedback on to the UI designer and see if we can find a better font. =)

    14. Jeremy Rieske on

      I'm really excited for this game, it's really coming together since you originally pitched it. My only real nitpick is the font choice. I realize it's still in beta, and I haven't been keeping up on everything thing that's planned for the finished game, but the font really kind of pulls me from the game, and has that slightly 'cheap' feel to it. I think even changing it towards a serif based font would help make the game more cohesive. Again it's a small nitpick, but when you're reading a lot of stuff, the look and feel of the font makes a difference.

    15. Disastercake Creator on

      @Jaszon Alexzander - I completely understand, Jaszon! I want Soul Saga to be as fresh as possible for you when you get the final version. Thank you so much for being an amazing backer! =)

    16. Disastercake Creator on

      @William Allen - Thank you very much, William! I'm very glad to know you're happy with how Soul Saga is turning out! =D

    17. Disastercake Creator on

      @mkl - Thank you very much for your support, friend! I'm very glad you're enjoying the possibilities with Soul Saga's combat system. I definitely don't have any immediate plans to delay that long since Soul Saga is close to complete, but I promise not to rush anything. What's most important is a good game is created. =)

    18. Disastercake Creator on

      @Lim Yeow Seng - Intervene basically pauses the turn order of the enemies and allows you to use any accumulated IP as if it was your turn. This can be useful against multiple enemies, or a single enemy that has multiple IP built up. =)

    19. Missing avatar

      Jaszon Alexzander on

      I'm pointedly not following your progress at all so I can enjoy the game fully on release. Super excited that date is coming closer though!

    20. William Allen on

      I was a huge fan of interupting the turn order in Xenosaga to grab the buff and hand a beating to those Gnosis. This makes combat much more involved than just selecting attack over and over. Planning several turns ahead can give you a great advantage, especially in boss fights. Good move, Mr. Cake. Looking forward to the finished product.

    21. Missing avatar

      mkl on

      Hey, great update. I like the idea of the Morai Wheel, I think it has potential to make combat feel satisfying. About the delay: please take as much time as you need. I'd rather have a polished game some time next year than one that you yourself aren't happy with. As long as you demonstrate progress the actual release date doesn't matter that much.

    22. BlackGauntlet

      So, is Intervention sort of a counter-attack or is it a different beast altogether?

    23. Disastercake Creator on

      Thank you very much BigEarl! It's always great to hear from you! =D

    24. BigEarl19 on

      Everything is still looking awesome, Mike! And the amount of polish continues to impress. I'm really looking forward to the release!

    25. Disastercake Creator on

      Yay! I'm glad you're liking it, Michaeljack! I can't wait to share the final version with you soon! =D

    26. Michaeljack on

      Love the Morai Wheel. Reminds me of the system in Trails in the Sky and i love how that influenced combat. Looks like it might be even more of a game-changer here!

      Roll on August!

    27. Disastercake Creator on

      Hey Alan! Sure thing! Please send me a direct message here on Kickstarter and I'll switch you over in the database! You can message me using this link:…

    28. Alan Aj Johnson on

      Any chance I can get my wii u key switched to a pc key

    29. Disastercake Creator on

      @Scott - Thank you so much! I'm very glad you're happy with how things are looking. That's a great suggestion, and I'll take that into consideration as soon as I make some better trailer videos closer to release. =)

    30. Disastercake Creator on

      @Blackstaff and @Dawn

      I'm currently talking with GoG and it looks like it's a very high possibility! I'll let you know as soon as things solidify with them. =)

    31. Disastercake Creator on

      @Darryl - Nozomi sends her thanks, friend! We appreciate your sincere considerations. =D

    32. Dawn_

      XD, i was about to say the same thing ^^
      Hope for a GoG release! Keep us in touch if you get in!

    33. Scott Seaward on

      I love how everything is looking! I really like the idea of the IP system, and mixing things up with the Morai Wheel!

      One thing I wanted to mention is that when I watched the video on the steam page (I went to watch it before I finished reading this update) I had no clue what the Morai Wheel was. I'm not sure how easy it would be for you to add notes on the video, describing all the aspects of combat, but I think anyone coming to the page who has not been with the Kickstarter might not understand all the features.

    34. Blackstaff on

      Have you contacted GOG to release soul saga there ? There is an audience for JRPG there with the x-seed games or grandia 2 for instance. This the link to contact them if necessary :

    35. Missing avatar

      Darryl Reyes on

      Hope's and Well Wishes to the people of Kumamoto. Give our best regards to Team Member Nozomi on behalf of the entire Soul Saga community.