Before you continue, we invite you to play this tune from the Celestian Tales soundtrack and let it accompany your reading.
Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond is a role-playing game that combines turn-based tactical combat with a story of questionable morals seen through multiple points of view. You play as the Companions of House Levant, six knights sworn to serve and protect the heir of the noble house, in their journey to survive a world where one's real enemies are often their closest.
If you have played Celestian Tales: Old North, the game will read your end save and shape the game's world based on the choices you've made.
If you have not played CTON and do not wish to, you're not missing out: Realms Beyond is designed to accommodate new players into the setting. At the beginning you will be asked about what happened in the past, which defines how the world of Realms Beyond is shaped.
At its core Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond serves as a vessel for its immersive story. Discover a living, breathing world rich with lore and history, populated with hundreds of NPCs and dialogues. Enter a world where nothing is ever black and white, and failure to know which one to side with means losing everything you hold dear.
If you have played Celestian Tales: Old North, Realms Beyond offers not just brand new sights to explore but also the rediscovery of older places and the continuation of previous character bonds, now evolved as years have gone by between the two points in time.
Combat in Celestian Tales is done in classic turn-based style, allowing you to read the flow of combat and think a few steps ahead. Strategy is crucial as carelessness are heavily punished even against the most common of enemies. Boss fights take this to another level, pushing your tactics, team composition, and character customization to the limit, each fight demanding deeper mastery of the battlefield than the last. Harder difficulty levels are also available, turning boss encounters into intricate deadly puzzles for you to solve.
The evocative story branches in certain points, forcing you to take a choice of action or a point of view among several. Your knowledge of what happens on the other side is limited, and even the most trusted of allies rarely tell the whole story.
Combining animated pixel art on top of hand-drawn environment art inspired by watercolor brush strokes, Celestian Tales achieves a beautiful and unique visual identity.
With more than 30 fully illustrated characters, each with a range of different facial expressions, Realms Beyond brings emotions in its dialogues to pull you into its immersive world.
All characters return to full health after each battle and the whole party gains experience together, saving you the pain of grinding for certain characters or drowning in dozens of cheap potions. If you're in a hurry or just feel tired of fighting, just avoid battles completely. We understand how some people don't have as much time to play as they used to, just remember that less battles gets you less levels and items to survive the harder fights.
Some enemies reward certain strategies and combinations, but how to defeat them is ultimately up to you. Concoct your own special mix of combat style through extensive customization of character skills, personal equipment, and party composition.
Thanks to their heroic deeds in the Enders War, six young knights were appointed as Companions of House Levant. Their lifelong duty was to protect and serve the family's heir, who at the time was but a speck of life in her mother's womb. However, Lord Alain Levant's sudden demise left a void on the house's seat of power, and the six unexpectedly found themselves leading House Levant in place of its unborn inheritor.
Realms Beyond begins nine years after the end of Celestian Tales: Old North, when the comet Skymother's Tear is sighted in the sky. The rare cosmic event calls upon the realm's largest noble houses to convene for a religious ceremony where their leaders will perform a sacred ritual. For the eight year-old head of House Levant and her six mentors it is the first public test that may make or break the family's reputation. For some others, it is the perfect stage to set in motion a master plan decades in the making.
Ekuator Games' art direction started from traditional roots. Our artists were originally much more comfortable with pencils, papers, and paints than digital brushes, and it was difficult for them to make the transition. However, as the team continues to evolve with the game, what was once a handicap became the basis of a distinct coloring style, giving Celestian Tales a unique visual identity.
In Realms Beyond, you play as the Companions of House Levant, six knights sworn to serve and protect the heir of the noble house.
All illustrated characters, both main and NPCs, have a variety of facial expressions which deepen the emotional weight of their dialogues.
Elevating the classic SNES-era technique of frame by frame pixel art to modern standards, we've increased the size of sprites to allow more detail, smoothness, and complex movements. We believe frame by frame belongs in today's games not only because it evokes nostalgia but because it is still the most beautiful way to animate something.
While today's technology has allowed us to create amazingly realistic 3D environment in games, the strokes of 2D art remain beautiful in its own incomparable way. Just like how Studio Ghibli's hand-drawn frame-by-frame movies continue to captivate us in this age of motion capture CGI, we wish to take this seemingly outdated, traditional way of art-making into the modern era and redefine what 'classic' means.
In a game without voice acting or a riot of sound effects clashing with one another, music plays an incredibly important part in setting the tone of the world. That is why we have our own dedicated audio team to create all the sounds needs of Realms Beyond.
From a bustling port city to sinister moods, the music of Realms Beyond is as colorful as the world it pulls you into.
Celestian Tales started in 2013, back when Ekuator was just a name four RPG-enthusiastic friends used as their alias. We loved old SNES games such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI and in our naivety wondered why RPGs nowadays with their incredible graphics don't have that same depth anymore (we learned later that some of them actually do).
With reckless confidence we gunned for Kickstarter to make our dream project come true. It ended up failing to meet its target, but the amount of enthusiasm from its backers was enough to convince some people to give us financial aid. And thus Celestian Tales continued on.
After a year of hard work which massively improved the game, we relaunched Celestian Tales to a successful campaign. Ekuator Games became a fully registered company and began to dedicate its existence to develop the title.
Celestian Tales: Old North released in Steam and GOG in August 2015 to a mostly positive review. It wasn't a wild meme-able internet phenomenon. Neither was it an unprecedented indie Hollywood success story. It had many flaws, yet at the same time had many things done right. The game was a financial boon, won numerous awards from local game events, and spurred the rise of game development industry in our country. That was more than enough to move forward with the title.
And now here we are four years from the starting line, crafting the next evolution of Celestian Tales. Realms Beyond is the result of a long journey, each step taking it to new heights. It is a work of art that keeps the rights from the past, repairs the wrongs, and introduces new elements into the fray.
We have mostly financed the development of Realms Beyond through our own resources and the proceeds from the sales of Celestian Tales: Old North. Much of the “heavy lifting” is done, and don’t take our word for it: you can download and play the demo and judge for yourself! So you may be asking, why are we doing this Kickstarter campaign?
Firstly, we are running a little low on cash. Additional funding will give us the peace of mind to stay focused on making Realms Beyond as amazing experience as it can be. The funds we raise from a successful Kickstarter would be utilized to complete the remaining art, create additional music tracks, complete and polish the programming and user interfaces.
But more importantly, a large element that contributed to the success of Celestian Tales: Old North was the feedback, insight and community that developed as a result of our previous successful Kicksarter Campaign. So while the money is definitely a reason, we are most excited to get you - to have you involved in the development and listen to your input in order to make Realms Beyond something special.
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Risks and challenges
As with all projects, especially those that are creative in nature, there's bound to be a certain amount of risk involved. It is simply naive to think that this one will be free of it. However, with the current state of the project over 75% complete, most of it has already been overcome.
Our experience in successfully delivering our last Kickstarter has adequately prepared us for this task and helps us understand when to make the necessary adjustments to address major complications or hurdles as they arise.
In no way do we want to belittle the risk associated with backing a video game on Kickstarter. Game development is full of unforeseen challenges and unquantifiable risk. Delays in completion is a very real threat, but we are committed to work our hardest to manage these risks for you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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