Yes, much like Ghost of a Tale, an animator whose experience lies within other media has taken to the solo game development waters to see what they can come up with. I found it quite interesting that Dark Souls has obviously had quite a big influence – it having been cited as one – on both developers when making their first games. Start your conspiracy theories!
Lost Spirits of Kael is about loneliness, I am told by Pablo. You’ll be playing as a young painter who has lost his inspiration and tries to get it back in the Forest of Kael. Seems like the right thing to do – lose your inspiration; take to nature. It works for most. However, he ends up finding a little bit more than just inspiration. This forest is magical, and inside he discovers a harpist who brings a mist descending on to the forest through playing her instrument.
So now you’re lost in this forest, and as luck would have it, there are graves everywhere. Pablo makes it clear that there are no zombies, however, at which point I breathe a big sigh of relief and continue. As this painter, your only goal at this point will be trying to find your way out of the forest, but due to the magical powers imbued within, that is practically impossible, and the inhabitants don’t want him to leave, so they’ll do everything they can to keep him there.
So you’re stuck in this labyrinthine forest with creeps after you. After the tutorial is over, all of the areas are open for your exploration, except the final one, but getting around will prove difficult. Inspired by The Lost Woods in Zelda III and The Phantom Forest of Final Fantasy VI, there are teleporters that act as a transition between areas. However, they’re not there to trick you as they’ll show you where you’re headed. You’ll still get lost, though, and that’s why your ability to paint on the environment will help distinguish the various areas. But what does he paint with? His blood, obviously, and doing that drains you of life, and that means surviving fights is less likely.
Don’t expect to be fighting a lot in Lost Spirits of Kael, though. They’re deliberately very hard, and the majority of them are avoidable, encouraging you to flee, rather than stick it out. But if you do manage to defeat the monsters and bosses, you’ll gain their souls, thus making you stronger. You have to equip the souls and fight with them in order to level them up, and all equipped souls lose HP upon character death. When it’s out of HP, it is gone forever. There’s a chance of being reset to the beginning of the game if you’re not careful and don’t manage your souls.
The monsters aren’t everywhere, however, and if you’re about to enter into a dangerous area, then the harpist will let you know. It’s then up to you to decide on what to do. Lost Spirits of Kael will be hard, and it seems to be full of atmosphere. And you’ll be able to see how it looks in the trailer, being sure to notice that the monster on show is a terrifying Onryo spirit. Lost Spirits of Kael is due for release on PC in 2014, and if you want to help fund it, then you can purchase the soundtrack in what Pablo calls “OST-funding.”