Cave of the Infernal Dragon
Dance of the Heavens
The Rest of Eternity
February 21, 2024
February 7, 2024
Elements Zero is now available on aldorlea.org!
Go get it!
February 1, 2024
Oh, happy day!! :D Finally, finally added the remaining info for E6 and E7. The site is now truly complete. Revisiting this material reminded me how grateful I am to have been given this story to tell, and of all those times I burned the midnight oil while the inspiration just flowed and flowed (literally, for pages and pages of my old notebooks).
Have a look if you will; there's some heavy stuff in there, also some nice music! It really made me enthusiastic to go ahead with E3 so I can get to all that other awesome stuff. ^_^ Thank You, God!
January 16, 2024
"Elements Zero: Cave of the Infernal Dragon" released!
Find it at itch.io
December 30, 2023
Hot on the heels of "Dance of the Heavens" and "The Rest of Eternity," Elements Zero is an ode to the dungeon crawlers of old, with ferocity to match. Featuring 14 character classes and three gameplay modes - Standard, Survival, and Marathon - the game emphasizes replay value. From the lock-picking Rogue to the treasure-seeking Hunter and smooth-moving Dancer, every party member promises a different run than the last.
Descend into the madness of a 16-floor dungeon filled with tricks and traps. Decode cryptic murals, solve the mystery of the warp panels, and make offerings at ancient altars at your peril. Over 100 treasures await the intrepid adventurer. The only question is, can you make it out alive?
"Cave of the Infernal Dragon" also features a Speed Mode to accommodate your needs. Clear time and high scores are recorded, encouraging repeated attempts to hone your skill.
Bumped this one up as it's not quite as extensive as the others, and E2's epilogue chapter needs more time and consideration.
December 25, 2023
The second new project to be announced by Soul Catapult since our return! Tentatively titled "The Rest of Eternity," it aims to tie up E2's (admittedly very) loose ends. It's still quite early, but the gameplay may espouse more adventure-like elements than its predecessor, and there will be especial emphasis on storytelling to conclude each of the characters' personal arcs.
Told from an adult Maire's perspective as she recounts the events of E2 and those that followed, fans of the classic text adventures may find intrigue in this unique installment's novel format, interspersed with RPG-style tangents. An experimental sequel of an experimental sequel, "The Rest of Eternity" follows Elements III as Soul Catapult's return to form takes shape at long last!
...How's that for a sales pitch? :P The name comes from the original final chapter in my planned outline of E2 (from two decades ago), so it's like poetic justice or something!
December 22, 2023
Re-ordered the site a little, since E2 is no longer the prime focus. You can now return Home by clicking the Soul Catapult logo from any page. You'll also notice that I listed Elements Zero on the "back burner" over there. I still think it's worth doing eventually; I just wanted to completely overhaul what I'd done with it. It needs more time, more thought, and it certainly doesn't take precedence over the main installments.
For transparency, I also altered the tone of my musing on self-censorship, as I really didn't like it. I don't know how many I've already chased away, but I do want to be clear that my religious beliefs have not changed, and I also removed a spineless disclaimer from my coming-out essay. No, God doesn't make mistakes, and I'm living proof. "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." That scripture is precious to me. I don't condone sin and would never want to be held accountable for encouraging anyone to indulge in it, so I'm very sorry if I misled anyone.
With that out of the way, I look forward to sharing further progress with you. :)
December 19, 2023
2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the year when a majority of Elements III's plot was written. From a sweet little Valentine's Day story in February, to the action-packed Nire Arc in the summer, and finally Division One between the fall of 2004 and spring 2005... not to mention countless other writings over the course of the year that followed.
After finishing the Aftermath, I found myself still very much attached to Nevena and Dia, so I even wrote a short "alternate universe" series where they lived in the real world. Only the genesis of the E1 project in May 2006 demanded enough attention to get my mind off the two of them. 😊
Needless to say, I'm very happy to finally be getting around to turning this dream into reality at long last. To this day, I still regard the period where I worked on E3 to be the absolute peak of my creative output, both from a writing and artistic perspective. I look forward to revisiting this wonderful, and at times heart-wrenching story, taking utmost care to honor and preserve what made it great in my mind.
So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that! A blessed New Year to all as well.
With much love,
~ Nikki ❤️
See? I'm still hard at work. Very, very hard at work. This is just a huge project, is all, so it's taking awhile to come together. But I'm trying my best! I didn't post these here yet, so here's the world map and another screenshot. :)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I hope to have a demo available at some point, so keep your eyes peeled. I also have a plan to finish the story of E2 as a sort of text adventure/visual novel hybrid. Nothing too fancy, just something to get the job done. I'm sorry I wasn't able to complete the game as is, but it really was way too ambitious for just one person such as myself. So I'll bear the bitter taste of defeat, and even make a little lemonade from it! ;)
October 4, 2023
I haven't done this in awhile... but I have to do something. I'm not having my best day (bad, bad habit of working late)... bleh. >_<
So help me God... I present to you the current thing! Wish me luck. I've been gathering resources lately and getting periodically juiced up... I just need to be an adult and put it down for beddy-bye. Then I'll have it made.
Spare a thought, send a message even. It means a lot. :)
April 5, 2023
Haven't updated this site in awhile, but I've started updating my social media pages again, with progress on a conversion of E2 to a newer version of the engine. It's making better use of lighting effects, with slightly smoothed graphics at a much higher resolution, and runs a lot better as well. Some things will be streamlined (like equipment) and I want to tweak the Attribute system to be a little less crazy. It's a long term endeavor and a bit of a pain, as many things don't work the same way and a lot has to be retrofitted as a result. But I want to do it. :)
I also found some super-old character drawings that had been lost for years. I may have mentioned them before; my original sketches of the E1 cast. I was thinking of posting them on the History page or something... I almost couldn't believe that I drew them, though I do remember them.
August 8, 2022
Havin' fun with RPG Maker MV, so much fun. It's so refreshing after being stuck on E2 in VX Ace for so many years. I kind of burned out on it, doing the same thing for so long, yet remained anchored to the project and felt trapped. My faculties weren't being adequately stimulated. Now I'm challenging myself by learning new concepts, solving problems and otherwise doing things I've never done in any version of the program before. I'm discovering ways to make my game design more efficient and modular. I haven't felt so exhilarated in years; it's been a wonderful creative exercise, and just what I needed all along... even though I didn't know it.
What you see above is a demonstration of what E3 could look like, but I've also been working on things that aren't Elements-related, and it's utterly liberating. I still love the series (and my characters), but I know it too well. Doing new and different things is a vital component of anyone's creative process... I just didn't realize it until now, and that's how stubborn I am. But that stubbornness is why I was able to stick to my projects as tenaciously as I did, too. ^_^
June 18, 2022: Uh-oh, here we go with the J months again. You may have noticed that I'm not quite as "social" as before... at least, judging by the number of social media icons there. Per Twitter, I just couldn't keep my mouth shut on issues that matter to me, and that drew the wrong kind of attention. Two people joined the Discord channel (and one left, but I'm no less grateful for either of them), and Itch was just sort of there, so... whatever. Instagram still holds a neat little archive of illustrations and conceptual imagery, and my Facebook page has had the remaining character art and backstories for E6 and E7 since last summer.
I withdrew info on the "E0" dungeon crawler because I wasn't really happy with how it was turning out. That's not to say it'll never be finished and released, but why should it take priority over, say, E2? I've gone back and had a look over things, realizing it was necessary to compromise on a few fronts. It isn't important to specify to what extent, but a few of the features I've mentioned won't make the final cut. But, for the first time in a long time, I can actually see myself finishing the project, and that's encouraging.
January 16, 2022: I've added the promotional demonstrations for E7 from my other social media pages, along with the little bit of information I provided; more may come over time. I also added a "Me" section (cute little button over there) with some of my personal musings, but they may or may not be relevant to the rest of the site. Regardless, it's all me, so there. ;P
December 23, 2021: As you can see, I've been hard at work illustrating the design aspects of E4 onward. And not done yet! So stay tuned, because the best is yet to come, and I do mean it... ~.^
December 15, 2021: Aha, see that? It's a little mock-up of the class-changing interface to be used in E4. I'd already pretty well illustrated the unique systems in E3, and I felt inspired to do the same for E4. Actually, I've started laying the foundation for (very early) demos of each installment. I don't know how long it will take before any of them are presentable, but it's great to have a new project to look forward to. Of course, I still want to finish E2 as well, and great things are still planned for it.
I really burned out on E2 a long time ago, as I confessed in a lengthy musing. So I'm just trying to get a feel for how I'm going to adapt my creative strategy moving forward, and I like the results. :)
November 27, 2021: It's here! Yay. Find it on the Download page. Additional features:
EXP is rescaled so you level up faster, with increased gain the higher your level
Boss HP in Episode 3 onward has been reduced
The boss, Snapdragon, uses single-target Life Drain
The Leaf of Life now restores debuffed stats, like Refreshers do
Diligence is no longer awarded for theft, and the gain has been reduced for normal treasure
Please let me know what you think, and let's keep looking to the future! ^_^
November 24, 2021: Still working on that new update for E2 with rescaled EXP, so you'll level up much faster. I think it improves the experience a great deal. ^_^ Bosses from Episode 3 onward will also have their HP reduced, so every climactic confrontation is no longer akin to a literal mountain in terms of a difficulty spike. ;P
By request, I've also added to the guide. It contains Episode 4 now, and Episode 5 will hopefully be coming soon.
Please enjoy! :)
November 3, 2021: You'll get a kick outta this. I've included a portion of the E1 Journal on this site, and may add to it over time. Now, at long last, my darkest secrets will finally be exposed. Ahaha... read if you dare. ;P
In other news, I've uploaded 40 videos to YouTube and got myself on Twitter. Check me out, if you like. :)
October 25, 2021: Know what? I think you level too slowly in E2. So I'm going to recalibrate the experience curves and possibly release a new update soon. Stay vigilant!
October 20, 2021: Finally finished the E5 section. Only E6 and E7 remain!
October 14, 2021: So I figured... why wait? Therefore, here are the updates. These aren't full installs; what you do is simply extract and copy/paste the new RGSS archive over the old one in the game directory. Just click "open file location" from the desktop icons if you have them.
E1 update (67 MB)
E2 update (118 MB)
October 13, 2021: I just wanted to announce that in the next version of E2, whenever it's released, HP and EF will no longer be adversely affected by your Attributes. Too many people, myself included, dealt with EF degenerating to absolutely nothing, which just plain sucks for no good reason. And with all the big super-attacks bosses will be throwing at you (hi there, Giga Golem), you need all the HP you can possibly get. Why should you be robbed of it just because you like treasure? It makes no sense... so it's out. Therefore, rejoice! As a result, I shuffled around a few other Attribute influences to preserve the balance.
I'm still intermittently working on E1's script, too. I also simplified the "jump track" in Glymac Mines for a future release.
September 25, 2021: Pardon my absence, I've got quite a bit going at the moment. ;P For starters, I've released a revised edition of E1 with decreased difficulty and the beginnings of a tidied script. You now gain levels faster, learn skills sooner, and a few of the difficult reflex stupidities throughout the game have either been toned down or removed entirely. The mine carts are still there, but do remember they're optional. I suppose that means nothing for completionists, though... :( Seriously, it's just a Phoenix Feather. There are, like, 19 more throughout the rest of the game! And those vines? All for Radiant Soma. Just buy it at the Castle in the Sky... thanks.
The script edits mainly cover just the opening sequence as yet, and I honestly can't promise it'll ever be more than that, but at least the game isn't quite so cumbersome to get going now. A few other select dialogues were adjusted... namely, Leonardo finally has a comeback against Cugei's nauseating nihilism at the end of Omega. Had that one waiting in the wings for quite some time... ~.^
I took a few other liberties, including removal of some redundant skillsets between the characters. Medicine and Power Drinks also heal more now. Yay! Incense and Myrrh, too (for EF). Oh, and those useless potions you buy with Scuttlebug Shells are no longer useless, as they now double your stats (after I uploaded it, however, I realized that I forgot to modify the in-shop descriptions... oh well). A few other buffs were beefed up, too, like Focus, Flex and so on.
You can download it on the E1 page, as always. It's still as blocky as the blocks I built my first worlds with in early childhood, but hey... that's poetry for ya! I had ideas to spruce up the graphics as well, and even performed some preliminary experimentation in that regard, but... it's a long-term endeavor to say the least. I just wanted to make the game more playable to start, and now it is.
I started to add info on E5, but only completed the About and Features pages so far. More forthcoming! And that's a promise.