Hey, guys! This is Zach here once again to tell you about Creepy Castle. In some of my previous posts I've alluded to the game's unique, action-oriented battle system, but I figure it's time to go in-depth on this subject, since it's one of Creepy Castle's defining features. If you followed our Kickstarter campaign then you already know a lot about the battle system, but if not, this should give you a good grasp of how combat works.
As you're exploring the castle (as I discussed last time), you'll frequently cross paths with stationary enemies blocking the way. How do you get past? beat them, of course. Nothing happens from just touching an enemy, so it's up to you to initiate combat by moving the cursor to the sword icon and attacking. Sometimes, you'll simply strike the enemy, causing them to strike back, basically trading blows until someone, preferably the bad guy, is defeated. (If the enemy has only 1 HP, you'll defeat them before they get a chance to retaliate.)
But most of the time, striking an enemy will cause a duel to take place - essentially a minigame that you could say is inspired by the Bros Items in the Mario & Luigi games, or maybe you could attribute them to the minigames in Mario Party. No matter which way you think about it, it's a quick, reflex-based form of combat. If you do well on the minigame and earn a perfect, you'll damage the enemy; if you merely do OK or fight the enemy to a standstill, both you and the enemy will take damage; and if you mess up, you'll earn a failure and only you will take damage. If the enemy is still standing after the duel, you'll have the opportunity to attack, and likely duel, once again.
There are nine types of duels in all, and the type you play depends on the type of enemy you're fighting. (Some enemies only offer one type of duel; others, like bosses, have several.) Here are some of the duels you'll encounter:
Quick-Draw: This is the first, and the simplest, duel that you'll come across. It's a pure battle of reflexes: when the indicator appears on screen, you must press the button to unleash an attack on your opponent. If you're fast enough, you'll score the hit without taking any damage. Don't get antsy, though - if you press the button too early, you'll fail the encounter. This was the only type of duel featured in the original Creepy Castle prototype, but the addition of eight more duel types brings some much-needed diversity.
Struggle: Struggle occurs when an enemy tries to grab you, choke you, or otherwise get a little too close for comfort. When this happens, you'll have to quickly alternately press left and right to fill up a meter in an attempt to break free. If you fill up your meter before your opponent can, you'll earn a "perfect." If the enemy fills up its meter first, don't give up; your meter will drop a little, but you still have a chance at earning an "OK."
Pursuit: This duel takes place on a three-by-three grid, where an icon representing the enemy moves from spot to spot. You must move your cursor to overlap the enemy image, then press the confirmation button to nail him! Hit him three times to emerge victorious, but miss three times and it's over. There's also a time limit on this one, so you'll need to be fast! Fun fact: This duel was mildly inspired by the shooting sequences in the classic Sega CD game Snatcher!
That should give you some idea of how combat works in Creepy Castle, but there are still more duel types to tell you about. I'll explain more about them in my next post!