Reobirth: Magic’s Awakening announced

Jon Dibble writes in to inform me of a side-scrolling action RPG he’s working on called Reobirth: Magic’s Awakening. (That’s not a typo, by the way–it’s actually spelled Reobirth, and pronounced like “ray o’ birth”.)

Here’s the premise:

When Reo, a powerful and devastating form of elemental magic, is unleashed across the greatest expands of the universe, sinister monsters of dark magic begin growing all throughout the galaxy. On earth, humanity is forced to seek refuge by escaping to the Hove, a large man-made airship that valiantly hovers high above the clouds. The privileged and high ranking civilians retreat to the Hove under command of the questionable Emperor Vioz, while the commoners are left on earth to fend for themselves against the growing masses of dark monsters. Two hundred years upon the Hove and the once mighty airship now slowly grazes through the air, desperately seeking restorations: damaged, quickly losing altitude, and seemingly mere moments away from plummeting back down to earth for the Emperor and all passengers to meet their untimely fate: death by Dark Magic monsters.

But in a moment,  a mysterious young boy with aquatic blue hair is seen standing motionless on the deck, mysteriously blending with the darkness of the night. No name, no origin –  stricken with an eerily uncanny silence and a deadpan expression drawn across his pale face.

“Who is this young boy that has slipped aboard?” the passengers whisper, completely perplexed. “There is no entrance to an airship that hovers hundreds of miles in the air!”

And this Reo – such a relentless and destructive force – how did that come to be?

Our adventure begins…

Based on early gameplay footage (which I’ll be posting here later this evening), the combat in Reobirth looks quite fast-paced, with a wide variety of sword attacks that call to mind Link’s move set from Super Smash Brothers. Dibble assures me that this is intentional, and that he has drawn further inspiration from SSB in utilizing tight controls and “a simple control scheme that focuses mainly around an attack button, a spell button, and a block button.”

Equally cool (or possibly even cool-er), Reobirth has a system where you breed little flying combat companions called “Pon.” Per the developer:

The Pon are largely autonomous creatures controlled by AI. Their movements and interactions will be both influenced by your actions and the context of the battle. For example, if you attack an enemy, the Pon will also immediately target that specific enemy – chasing and attacking. The Pon are also the spellbearers that enable your player to cast spells. Each Pon will be born with three spells (varying elemental types) which can be equipped in the spell palette (upper left hand corner of the screen, with each spell mapped to the SPELL button + a direction for easy spell casting). There’s a limit to how many times a Pon can cast a spell before it must recharge, but Pon will also have self-spells that they can cast at their own discretion (such as healing and other support spells).  The spells and power of each spell is determined via a Pon breeding system, similar to breeding Pokemon or Chocobos in the Final Fantasy series.

Reobirth is being developed for Windows, with possible Mac and Linux ports to follow. Dibble estimates that Reobirth has been in development 8-9 months; based on the game’s Kickstarter rewards, it looks like Dibble is aiming for release in September 2014.

Speaking of which: there’s a Kickstarter. It’s $10 to pre-order the game, which seems like a pretty fair deal to me.

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