Infernax Devs Discuss Total Pixel Gore and Call It ‘Zeldavania’

Image: The Arcade Crew

If you like modern games with classic style, you are not short of options on Switch. Over the years, talented young developers have transformed the nostalgia and affection for their youth games into new titles that update classic mechanics and genres with mod-cons and twists. subtleties of the 21st century. Games like Shovel Knight You may feel as if you played them in the 80s, but often there are tons of small improvements and features made possible only by modern technology, however the look and feel of the game Play is still amazingly realistic.

The newest game to scratch the delicious classic itch is Infernax from Berzerk Studio, a challenging 2D Metroidvania-style adventure geared towards classic NES titles like Zelda II, Gaiden ninja and Castlevania – totally rock touch! Fully enjoy the glory of Berzerk Just Shapes & BeatsWe are eager to see how the developer has succeeded in this very different genre.

The game launched on Valentine’s Day, and to find out more we recently spoke via email with Berzerk Studio’s Mike Ducarme and Hunter bond. The answers below are combined responses from both developers.

Nintendo Life: You can discuss some of the design and creative decisions that brought the team to Infernax in the early days of the project, as it has a very different style and genre from your last Switch game. , Just Shapes & Beats?

Originally, Infernax was really a small-scale project similar to many of Berzerk’s early games, and designed as an online Flash game. If you pass by The following Berzerk catalog of gamesyou’ll see a lot of arcade and classic games inspired games during that time, so since Infernax was actually technically started 12 years ago, much of OG Berzerk’s DNA The studio is still present in the final version of the game today.

Just Shapes & Beats though was and still is an outlier in our portfolio. A key element of that is that Just Shapes & Beats is the brainchild of one of our other founders, Simon “Lachh” Lachance while Infernax’s creative direction is from Etienne, one of three co-founders. Another original founder of Berzerk Studio.

Different brains, different games, same basic Berzerk DNA.

What were the most influential games, as a source or inspiration or reference, when you started working on the project?

The Infernax clearly carries a lot of inspiration up its sleeve, and in this case we’re talking a lot about the Zelda II and the Zelda II. Castlevania II. Usually when describing the game we call it Zeldavania, because many of the elements in the game that led some to call it Metroidvania were actually mainly inspired by the second Zelda game for the NES.

Other inspirations that are less obvious are to consider historical sources such as direct accounts from well-documented knights such as Jean De Joinville, and historical accounts such as the Battle of Agincourt. It’s clear that Infernax focuses a lot on supernatural horror in its setting, but when it comes to things like dialogue and character descriptions, we’ve definitely had a lot of conversations around the The player controlling the Duke of this land will change how NPCs interact with them.

Heavy Metal has a big part in the game’s soul, obviously the visuals speak for themselves, but at times the tone of the game and the state of the lands can be quite bleak, and we took our inspiration. inspired by the likes of King Diamond, Mercyful Fate and other bands whose work matched the feel we wanted for the game.

Image: The Arcade Crew

The download scene / Indie in particular has a lot of nostalgic style pixel art games, don’t you see this as a challenge or an opportunity to make Infernax stand out?

It’s always interesting to answer this question, because technically Since Infernax was conceived as an idea and the first version was codified almost 12 years ago, the original design predates many of the games that people would think of when talking about the current classic pixel art scene. Grand. So to that effect, we didn’t care about that at all when we started, when we just wanted to make a fun pixel game in Flash, really. But by the time we’re done with it, I think we’ve gotten to the point where we’re happy with what we’re creating and know that for audiences that like it, it’s going to be like we’ve got their name written on it. there . Follow other studios from Quebec that we’re releasing killer games like Messenger [from Sabotage] in the same space to be widely praised can certainly be intimidating in a way, but we’re glad we’ve done what we’ve created and hope for those who want what Infernax is , it will also be well received.

Infernax was actually technically started 12 years ago, a lot of OG Berzerk Studio’s DNA is still present in the final version of the game today.

In the final round of development leading up to this release, we weren’t too worried about designing the game specifically to stand out, instead focusing on what the game was and is doing well, then polish as much as possible so that all of those aspects feel really good to interact with. The great opportunity with Infernax is due to historically mixed feelings towards Zelda II and Castlevania II, it’s quite refreshing in contrast to the mundane rut of following one of the traditional mainline favorites from both two series.

For those new to the game, can you outline the play loop between the town/village parts and the action segments?

The village is home to most NPCs, and is often both a quest center and an important story location. This is where you prepare for your next adventure, get to know the villagers and their troubles and see if there’s anything you can do. It’s not just a stop between two places where you buy new gear and quickly leave, it’s part of your journey, your story.

Your choices throughout the game can and will affect the state of villages and their inhabitants as the game progresses; they don’t just walk idly while the world burns around them, they are part of the world just like the player.

Image: The Arcade Crew

Choices and consequences are an important part of the game, can you give an example of how a major choice can affect a turn?

Each choice piles up on the others as the game goes on not only to change the final ending the player gets, but also to change the playing page itself.

Depending on the choices made, the player may have fewer resources or the spells and equipment provided will differ during the turn based on the choices they made during that turn. Some can make the game more difficult, but in general most offer different experiences.

It’s hard to say more without spoiling the moments of the story, in short, everything happens when you do one thing or when you don’t do one thing; you can’t stop the rotation of things happening, you can only try to make things happen the way you want them to.

In demo we played before release, we couldn’t try mana/magic elements; Can you talk a little bit about this feature? Are there multiple spells and opportunities to level up this ability?

As with the games inspired by it, especially Zelda II, the in-game spells are effective both in combat, but also at times assisting the player in certain in-game quests. Depending on the path the player chooses, the exact effects and spells available can vary, creating a wider range of play than just a single static set of spells.

The game has a fair amount of gore and a ‘disgusting’ boss design. How important is that to the game’s tone, and what inspired that approach to art design?

The project’s creative director, Etienne, likes to point to horror movies from the 80s and 90s like Dead Devil and Dead brain specifically for the raw aesthetic choices, in addition to the case of Evil Dead, how it was used to play a role in the comedy.

Obviously the boss designs and excessive gore are visually heavy on the game’s tone, but they also play an important role in unifying the horror tones of the entire game. play with lo-fi pixel art. The original idea behind the whole thing 12 years ago was to make a game that looks like it’s from the 80s, but may never get the green light, all of which played a major role in the try to convey that feeling of “that game is over” terrible to the public “.

As a pitch, what can players expect when playing Infernax?

I mean, they can actually expect to play a video game, a video game that contains a combination of pixels of different colors and emits sound provided there is an audio output .

Jokes aside, we did our best to take what we love most about the games that inspired us and make it our own, then dump a bunch of gore on top. there, to get a good measure you know!

Hopefully Infernax will make them feel like they’re back in their couch bastion to sip on Capri Suns on Saturday morning, trying to figure out every little secret the game has to offer.

Many thanks to Mike and Hunter. Infernax launches on Switch and other platforms on Monday, February 14, and it’s great.

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