...One from which she may not be allowed to escape.[/center]
Shadow City is a dark Magical Girl Visual Novel set in a Film Noir styled spirit world. Shadow, as this world is called, is populated with a whole cornucopia of spirit inhabitants, from giant crickets to begging fountains--and also plagued by evil Sins that seep into Shadow from the mysterious Beyond and feed on negative emotions. To fight this threat, human children are granted Sin-killing weapons called Virtues, that give them magical abilities. These Sin hunters are chosen all over the world to help keep the forces of darkness at bay. While the global war between good and evil remains a constant atmosphere, the story of Shadow City focuses on a more seasoned Sin Hunter, Nina, and her search for answers after her friend Charlotte is killed. Originally a TV show Shadow City started as a straight up mash up of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Veronica Mars, before eventually incorporating elements of Spirited Away, Shugo Chara, Big O and Supernatural. The result is a Magical Girl Murder Mystery Conspiracy story that potentially spanned 3 seasons of story. This VN will focus on the first season story--Charlotte's Murder--heavily modified for the VN format.
Nina is the wielder of Insight, a rare virtue which gives her the ability to see things and make connections others cannot. Haunted by the spectre of her dead friend, Nina throws herself ferociously into her investigation. Snarky, cynical, and stubborn, Nina uses her wits and determination to try to uncover Shadow City's secrets. Unfortunately, she will learn that not all her answers want to be found...
Atticus is a Keeper, a Spirit tasked with going into the human world to find people chosen to wield virtues. When Nina uncovers something unusual about Charlotte’s virtue, he enlists her help to run a full scale investigation. Grumpy and Jaded, Atticus often withholds information until he believes it is relevant, making him a frustrating ally. But with sinister forces at work in Shadow City, he is a source of magical knowledge and a powerful friend.
The Prism Guard
Charlotte, deceased, was a member of the Prism Guard and Nina’s mentor. Sassy, vibrant, and fun-loving, she brought joy into the lives of her teammates and of everyone she met. She and Nina were particularly close friends, often acting as partners. Since she was killed, Charlotte's face has been haunting Nina’s dreams, as if there is some unfinished business she still needs to take care of...
| Phoebe Carlisle |
Phoebe is the leader of the Prism Guard and Nina's former boss. Blunt and down-to-earth, Phoebe believes in facing painful truths head-on, and values the wellbeing of her friends over her friendships. She rather harshly suspended Nina from the Prism Guard after Charlotte's death, worried that she was becoming a liability.
Route Theme: The Nature of Truth
| Celeste Baruwal |
Celeste is a member of the Prism Guard and Nina's classmate. Quiet and shy, she is a good listener and nice to everybody, but tends to fade into the background in larger groups. Since Charlotte's death, Celeste is the only member of the Prism Guard to have reached out to Nina since her suspension. Her efforts are persistent, much to Nina's annoyance.
Route Theme: No one is alone
Weapon: Trident and Net
Quinn is the youngest member of the Prism Guard and thus she brings a lot of raw power to bear fighting Sins. An enthusiastic and surprisingly vicious fighter, Quinn is still very green and has a tendency to be reckless. Because of this, she's kept on a tight leash by Phoebe when on missions. When not slaughtering the enemy, she gets along well with her teammates and is close friends with Celeste outside of Shadow.
Other Sin Hunters
| Rebecca Abrams |
Rebecca is a former Sin Hunter, now retired but with enough magical reserves to return to Shadow City at night. She runs a milk bar in Shadow called the Dusk and Tap, which is a popular hangout for humans and spirits alike. Nina meets her in the course of an investigation and she directs Nina to Atticus, her Keeper. Warm and personable but willing to tell it like it is, Rebecca acts as a sympathetic ear and occasional source of advice for Nina throughout the game.
Route Theme: Don't Dwell on the Past
| Isaac Chen |
Isaac is one of the two Sin hunters who protect Shadow City’s Chinatown district. He and his sister come from a long line of Sin hunters and Isaac does his best to live up to the Chen family legacy. Wielding the Virtue of Wisdom, Isaac is generally reserved and taciturn; he spends a lot of time thinking about what he says before he says it, and will often choose to stay silent rather than cause trouble.
Route Theme: The Difference Between Choosing and Being Chosen.
Amanda is Isaac's twin sister and Sin Hunting partner, wielder of the Virtue of Love. Unlike her brother she is cheerful and energetic, easily making friends with all kinds of people. Amanda is more casual about Sin Hunting than Isaac is, but she delights in helping others and can definitely handle herself. Of the twins she is the more active in a fight, able to dish out damage and take hits in equal measure.
| Luke Solomon |
An enigmatic young man who has been spotted around Shadow City's Goblin Market, Luke is a mage--a human with innate magical talent who can enter Shadow without using a Virtue. Luke belongs to one of Lumina's prominent magical families, but his goals and motivations are mysterious. Rumor has it that he's been hunting Sins, but that should be impossible without a Virtue...
Route Theme: The Price of Giving into Vengence
Gertrude "Gerty" Prinz
Gerty is another Sin Hunter who operates in Shadow City. Her Virtue is Justice and her Virtue weapon is a shield, but she often manifests a mace to go along with it. Gerty is the most powerful Sin hunter of her generation and something of a legend–she has been hunting Sins since she was seven years old and protects a territory the size of the Prism Guard’s by herself. Even now, with her power levels dropping off, Gerty can kick the ass of anyone stupid enough to mess with her. To say she does not play well with others would be the understatement of the century, but Gerty is the best in the business and she doesn’t need any help.
[*]Some Preliminary backgrounds provided by our lovely background artist, Just a Dakota! [*]The First Nina Pose is also Done! This may be one of only 2 poses she has for the Demo, but hopefully she'll get more later. The shading style is inspired by The World Ends with You, though the color palette is a bit different. There's also made a Mock-up to give you a sense for how the coloring will work on the background.
|Game Features: |
- 10 Chapter story with two “alternate” chapters.
- 1-2 CGs per chapter
- Multiple paths of investigation
- Strategic “Battle” Sequences with timed choices and multiple outcomes
- 5 character routes with 7 possible endings
- 7 Characters
- 2 possible endings
- 3 Battles
- 3 CGs
- Vision: Parataxis
- Writing: Parataxis, Taslin and Duo
- Programming: Taslin and Parataxis
- Character Art: Parataxis
- Background Art: JustaDakota
- Music: Free Music drawn from Kevin Macleod
- What do you think about the combination of the tags [Magical Girl] and [Noir]?
- What would you call non-romantic character routes? Do any of the 5 character routes above (Phoebe, Celeste, Rebecca, Isaac and Luke) immediately interest/intrigue you?
- Does the idea of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style timed-choice battles appeal to you? Why or why not? What about a similar system for high-risk conversations/interrogations?
- Given what you know, what do you expect from the plot?
- Do you think that the differing art styles for the background and Sprites works well together?