Cyberpunk in 1330:
The Elements of Anachronism
E3 had some very interesting beginnings. As early as 2003, perhaps even 2002, I began writing stories based on its characters and events, which I originally envisioned as an anime (complete with detailed choreography for fights and other action scenes). As a matter of fact, it was the first installment that I actually wrote a detailed story for and wasn't revised much over the years, even as all the others developed. So it feels very distinct from the rest, being heavily inspired by prominent anime of the era. At times it's just plain campy, and other times it's far darker than E1 and E2 ever were. This striking contrast is the spirit of E3, and I want to preserve that special quality in it.
Because E3 began as a series of stories rather than a game concept, I feel that it's even more character-centric and story-oriented than the first two. The plot, characters, and their relationships are just more complex by nature. In my old writings, the characters were always branching off and doing their own thing, and I thought this might be difficult to represent in the context of a solid, playable narrative. So I decided to implement a kind of "fluid" choose-your-own-path system, so you can follow who you want and the story can flow more naturally. As a result, E3 might feel quite different. But rest assured, the spirit is there... even if it has matured a bit.
Overall, the story and world have a darker feel to them. As the plot deals with more mature subject matter this time around, I recommend that you keep an open mind in order to appreciate the value of the themes it presents. And whereas E2 was more like a continuation of the original, E3 really is the start of a brand-new story, in a brand-new world, taking the series to new heights; it's truly the dawn of a new era in the Elements saga. That's exciting!
Chronologically, E3 is actually the first in the timeline, taking place in the year 1330 NCE. As the plot largely revolves around a polymorphic pathogen that was, in the earliest stages of development, called the "Shadow Virus" (and please bear in mind that I wrote this back in 2003), the date was intended to coincide with the Bubonic Plague. This might not make much sense in light of the modern-day cities (much less the cyberpunk dystopia of Kelvan), but there are also medieval societies that coexist right alongside them. The answer lies within the Elements, and the idea is that the Kelvan Empire, having tapped into the Element of Time, was able to steal technology from the future. But of course, just because they have the power doesn't mean they have the discipline to control it properly... hence the chaos that ensues.