This is the first in our Retro Roots series which focuses on games that have inspired the development of The Flawless: Art’s Tale and our other games. Retro may be a little inaccurate as games from the early 80s all the way to the present day have helped us design and develop the game giving it an original yet familiar feel. The first game on the non-chronological list is Shadow of Memories (Shadow of Destiny in the US) on the PlayStation 2.
Released back in 2001 by Konami the game involved the protagonist, Eike Kusch, time travelling to numerous times to prevent his own death. This game was described as a thinking man’s game and it truly was. The story was deep and the characters interesting, the game really made you feel like a quantum detective unravelling the mysteries of your own death. Everyone was a suspect and every time you travelled to would contain intelligent puzzles that drew you nearer to understanding the who’s and why’s of the mystery.
Shadow of Memories relied on multiple play-throughs where Eike died at the end and was resurrected by a creepy homunculus just to be murdered again. When coming back after the murder he knew everything he had learnt on the previous play-through. The story was truly complex and playing the game through multiple times never felt like a chore. This is something we are trying to incorporate in The Flawless Art’s Tale (TFAT). Although we are not using resurrection and time travel we like the idea that when returning to an area with new information, things which were not obvious before may come to light.
Eike meets the homunculus who keeps resurrecting him.
The story in our game is complex and non-linear and gathering information from other areas and characters may allow the story to progress differently upon return to a previous location. We describe TFAT as a thinking person’s game and we hope to keep the player thinking about finding Dirty Paws and bringing colour back to Typha, the cat world, with intriguing puzzles and a deep story requiring thoughtful decision making. If you’ve played this game we’d love to hear your thoughts on it, if you haven’t dust off your PS2 and pick up a copy now you won’t regret it.
Ste Wilson is a director, game developer, and programmer at Bare Knuckle Development Ltd. When not coding away on BKD games he can be found playing video games on console and PC. He also makes music under the music maker name of ‘Electric Fan Death’ and loves playing guitar, writing tunes, and producing music.