A Brand New Meaning of Selective Dialogue Gaming
The RPG and visual novel genre have turned in classic titles from all over fantasy realms. Adopting from popular graphic novels and RPGs, The Ballad Singer is a visual novel from developers Curtel Games, full of a massive amount of choices and over three dozen endings, all of which depends on the players choices in crucial moments throughout the enduring story.
Across the fantasy lands of Hesperia, four unacquainted heroes began their journey in a narrative setting like none other. Compiled of crucial decision-making across a story that is sure to change with every line, The Ballad Singer is a new wave of selective dialogue gaming that will introduce a massive amount of story-changing experiences.
The story of The Ballad Singer is made up of player choices and decision that ultimately turn the tide of the narrative. Every choice, no matter how small or monumental, will have a turning effect on the overall outcome of the game. This visual novel title looks to bend the nature of player’s choices, giving even more freedom to creating a personal journey that’s part of a remarkable fantasy tale.
Tons of Choices
Featuring up to 1700 stories in TBS, the game will embark players into a journey that could end in one of 40 different endings. With narrated and illustrated subplots and leading development that’s sure to change parts of the story in even the slightest way, the story of TBS is looking to really come to life, no matter the decisions a players makes. While every choice leads to a crucial bit of the story, one frame after another, if a player dies in the story, the game is over. There are no restarts and checkpoints to let players try again and make the “correct” decision.
However, just because one of the characters has died, does not mean the story will not go on. Using the unique Domino System, TBS is able to adhere player decisions which in turn create unique experiences for all of the characters involved, not simply the one character a particular scene focuses on. Placing this emphasis on player choices throughout the story is huge for keeping players engaged and curious while sifting through the ever-changing story of The Ballad Singer.
The camera pans as the narrator tells the tale of your journey, leaving no animations, but beautifully illustrated paintings that portray the particular scene at hand. As the story begins to unfold, choices will pop up on screen and give the player a crucial decision to take the story where they’d personally like to see it go. Attention spans are in high demand for TBS, as there is nothing but decision-making and deep story narrations to engage players in this epic fantasy.
An Intertwined Adventure
Upon your character’s death after a tumultuous decision, players are then transported to another character in a world that has been shaped by previous choices. There are four main characters that the game will shift between upon and untimely demise, giving players four chances to make their way through the entirety of the story. This also looks to add even more depth to the already broad story of The Ballad Singer.
Throughout the four adventurers in TBS, players will have to use whatever instincts they have to build the ever-changing story. Knowing the choices on the other end of the world is near impossible and will challenge players to think creatively, and about every possible consequence or outcome that could take over. The many branches that unfold throughout the story of TBS create a diverse and expanding journey not like any other selective narrative titles around today.
As mentioned above, there will be four heroes that have intertwining stories throughout the narrated journey. Each playable character has a unknowing power to determine the outcome of each other’s stories, no matter how distant they may be from one another. Leon, a troubled orphan whose parents died when he was only six, he has since studied the arcane arts and is determined to use them to achieve the peace he so desperately looks for in himself.
An aged and renowned swordsman, and bard, Daragast – also known as “The Snake” – has tutored Leon, even saved his life. Now he looks for simpler times, enjoying the many victories that have highlighted his formidable life. A child of magic, Ancoran, is birthed from an arcane experiment. Mysterious in her own right, this Sylph archer never ceases to give up on what she believes. Lastly, Ancalimo, an elf soldier trained to kill without feeling. Dedicated to his work, this assassin knows no limits and stays away from the attachments of life – only so nothing stand in the way of his blade, and his target.
Throughout the vibrant world of Hesperia, many encounters and other situations are treated as rare occurrences, experiencing particular events only ever once throughout your time with the game. When approaching fights and combat sequences, there will always be a different approach than before, there is never a default approach to combat. With a strong focus around realism and believability, TBS will fuse science with the power of magic, but still have a strong sense of melee battles as well. Using caution with every approach to combat, players will need to use their wit when engaging in particularly life-threatening battles.
Delivering Something Completely New
Pushing the envelope of conscious decision-making in video games, The Ballad Singer has a litany of untrustworthy characters up to the player to determine their validity. Knowing your surroundings and the characters in every encounter is a crucial element for staying safe, and alive, in the fantasy world of Hesparia. Knowing your characters and their accompanying abilities is important to properly guide your story in a manner of reaching a satisfying ending.
While the developers over at Curtel Games have ultimately reached their goal, and their Kickstarter campaign is coming to a close very shortly, fan are still encouraged to back this intriguing tale for a few more last-minute bonuses. There are tons of extras for the development of The Ballad Singer, and with the pledge goal reached, fans can now look forward to the production and release, hopefully November 2018.
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