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Arcana is a 2D platformer originally developed by Pyro Enterprises. It is now being worked on by Kutenaiabi. The project is highly inspired by the classic Mega Man series as well as Shovel Knight, and is directly stated by the game's developer to be a "take-that" to the game Mighty No. 9, or an attempt to one-up the efforts of Comcept and Keiji Inafune.

Story

Act 0: The Beginning

The world of Elris is at peace. The Emperor and Empress of the realm have kept peace for over three decades, and all the men and women of the kingdom have nothing to fear.

Then, on the eve of the kingdom's 150th anniversary, a terrible event struck the kingdom.

The powerful Arcana, enchanted sentient artefacts with massive amounts of power, made their way into the world. They began possessing various people, granting them considerable power and causing them to create chaos on a massive scale. Even the Emperor and Empress fell under the Arcana's influence.

Now, a lone child, empowered by the Fool Arcana, has set off to save the land from its accursed fate.

Gameplay

Arcana is heavily based off of the Mega Man franchise; as such, it is a 2D platformer with high levels of difficulty and an emphasis on shooting. Arcana's gameplay consists of running through stages in search of the boss at the end, obtaining its signature weapon after defeat.

The primary difference to gameplay in Arcana is how each given weapon (or Arcana) actually works. As opposed to a single ability that will only have 1 or 2 given uses, each Arcana is a full, unique moveset inspired by the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. franchises; this decision was made to extend each weapon's use, and this is further compounded by the fact that Arcana have no energy limits.

Controls

PyrohedronControllerBase
  • PHLStick ~ Move Player Character/Attack Directional Input (Streamlined Mode)
  • PHAlphaButton ~ Jump
  • PHDeltaButton ~ Attack
  • PHOmegaButton ~ Use Rejuvenation Point
  • PHBetaButton ~ Warp to Last Checkpoint
  • PHRStick ~ Attack Directional Input (Controlled Mode)
  • PHScroll1/PHScroll2 ~ Switch Arcana
  • PHDPad ~ Arcana Quick Select
  • Start ~ Pause game

Characters

Name Description Ability
Ace
ArcanaAce
Originally a young child named Ace, one of the only survivors of an Arcana attack on their village. They were met by the Fool Arcana, seemingly cast off from the other artefacts for not being in favor of their plan to conquer. The Fool Arcana empowered Ace's body and encouraged them to go after the other Arcana, as much as the timid girl was frigthened of them. Null Embodiment
The basic Arcana that Ace begins with. It's the most Mega Man-inspired, relying on basic peashooter blasts and charge shots to attack enemies from afar. Null Embodiment is not a very special piece of weaponry, but it will always get the job done.
Cardelia
ArcanaCardelia
Formerly the princess of the kingdom of Elris, Cardelia was forced to flee when the Arcana reawakened, corrupting both her mother and father. She's sort of been venturing around the dying kingdom with her trusty rapier, seeking to kill any Arcana bearer she comes across; this leads to a deadly dispute with Ace at first, but the two soon get along. Null Embodiment (Alt.)
While Ace relies on Mega Man-esque gameplay to fight through stages, Cardelia, is far more melee-focused, with her entire base moveset being focused on her rapier. She can chain together quick attacks eaily, but her only ranged option comes from her ability to reflect most projectiles.

Stages

Name Description Boss
Prism Plains A once-pristine plain between Ace's old village and the hub town of Cindron. it's now been ravaged by a few Arcana attacks, having patches of burnt grass and a few bits of building wreckage. It has simple enemies and simple level design; this is the definition of a tutorial level. Cardelia (1)
Thundering Plateau Another grassy level, this time under a dark and stormy sky. Lightning always strikes in the same place here, and acts as timed attacks that you must dodge. Enemies are all electricity and cloud-themed, and a fair amount of the stage eventually takes to the skies. 1 - The Magician
Flooded Sanctuary A former church converted into a stronghold for demonkind. It's dark, spooky, and has a lot of spikes; some of these are even on moving platforms. There are also some minor puzzles dealing with light and torches, and a lot of unknowable dark liquid filling the place. Enemies in this area tend to be holy or demonic-themed; later in the stage, enemies actually made of the liquid begin appearing. 2 - The High Priestess
Bio Palace The queen's vacation retreat/greenhouse, now overrun with plants both normal and carnivorous. There are lots of vines in this areas, used primarily to jump from region to region, but it might actually be easier to burn the whole place down. Enemies are flower or plant-themed. 3 - The Empress
Mechanism Castle The former kingdom capital, converted into a gear-filled mechanical nightmare by the Arcana-controlled king. It's full of conveyor belts, gears, moving platforms, and more hazards of the robotic variety. Enemies in this area are largely mechanical themed, though a few loyal knights still remain to defend the king. 4 - The Emperor
Doomsday Assembly A large park where one of the Arcana hosts has set up a sermon for the public…although it sure looks a lot like some kind of dark ritual. The platforming seems straightforward, but watch out for magic runes; they usually mark a trap or obstacle of some sort. There’s a fair few civilians under attack by insane cultists and strange monstrosities alike; if you can save them, you’ll be rewarded. 5 - The Hierophant
Mr. Huggles’s House of Love An entire village converted into a series of strange, life-size dollhouses. The local Arcana’s efforts to fortify the place have turned it into a veritable labyrinth populated by a variety of adorably hostile toy-themed enemies; pay attention to the symbols outside the paths and barricades for hints on how to reach the massive, ramshackle mansion at the center of the village. 6 - The Lovers
Warring Course Elris’s primary coliseum, home to all forms of exciting - and violent - entertainment. It contains a number of smaller stadiums, each with their own games (and threats), but the main attraction is the massive racetrack winding around and through the venue. You’ll need to dodge the racers as you make your way through the level, seeking a means to catch up with the resident Arcana. Enemies are themed on various games known to have occurred in the ancient world; archers, discus throwers, gladiators, etc. 7 - The Chariot
Tomb Of Trials Despite the dramatic name, the Tomb is actually a prison where Strength keeps the gladiators for the coliseum and tests the new “volunteers” with a series of death courses. This is reflected the weak enemies and numerous deadly traps at the start of the level; later on, the traps become less numerous, but the enemies become increasingly powerful and dangerous. There’s primarily humanoid enemies here, with a few machines and beasts for variety. 8 - Strength
Hungry Wasteland A great expanse of barren rock, with a few disintegrating skeletons and crumbling trees being the only reminders of its recent past as a thriving forest. Large crystals dot the landscape, serving as the conduit through which the Hermit Arcana siphons the life energy from everything around him to both fulfill his desire for solitude and increase his own power. Fortunately, Ace is protected by The Fool’s power, allowing her to make her way towards the center of the desolation and take out its source. The main challenge here is the crumbling ground; depending on where you are, it could lead to a complex underground maze or just a Bottomless Pit. Enemies are predominantly earth and spirit-themed, with the majority being “pure” Minor Arcana. 9 - The Hermit
Caravan Fleet A huge group of caravans inhabited by those enslaved by the Wheel of Fortune, periodically taking on new “staff” from those stupid and/or desperate enough to gamble with him even after knowing the risks. Partway through the level, the caravans will pack up and go on the road; mind that you don’t fall into one of the many traps designed to eject you from the now-moving level! Most enemies here are humanoid or mechanical. 10 - Wheel of Fortune
Steel Sanctuary The most peaceful area in Elris, courtesy of the Justice Arcana. If you want to avoid most of the destruction and havoc caused by the sentient artifacts, it’s best to go here…as long as you obey the laws. The main objective here is to reach the main guardhouse in the central castle and deactivate the master control on the Sanctuary’s security, disabling its defenses enough to focus Justice solely on you while the prisoners make their escape. The enemies here are almost entirely knights, with the odd siege engine or attack beast coming in when things start getting particularly dicey. 11 - Justice
Gallows Web The lair of Justice’s partner and head executioner, the Hanged Man. It’s a large tower suspended by several ropes in a web-like pattern, with the ends attached to two massive peaks. Anyone who breaks Justice’s laws is sent to be hung until dead; their bodies hang off the sides of the tower, serving as a grim testament to anyone being brought to their doom… 12 - The Hanged Man
Field of the Dead This place used to be a farmer’s field, until the Death Arcana arrived here. Now it’s literally just a grey wasteland covered in skeletons with a gigantic pile of corpses in the distance. Yeah…suffice to say you’ll be fighting plenty of undead enemies here. 13 - Death
Golden Villa A gaudily opulent mansion situated on an artificial hill…in the sense that the “hill” is basically the only part of the surrounding land that hasn’t been excavated to hell and back by the local mining operation. 14 - Temperance
Hedonists' Hollow A literal underground tavern hidden among a confusing network of tunnels and caverns. It’s the stuff of legends among the Elrisian populace, said to contain unimaginable pleasures and the ability to fulfill your every desire…and it actually does live up to the hype if you can find it. Of course, that’s leaving out the tiny caveat that you have to make a contract with the proprietor of the place, and she’s very insistent on you fulfilling your end of the deal before she upholds hers… 15 - The Devil
Eternal Pillar Before the Arcana showed up, this imposing tower was Elris’s primary prison, with absolutely no escapees ever reported. After one of the longer-serving inmates bonded with the Tower Arcana, the whole place effectively became her body, allowing her to kill everyone within it to ensure her own safety. While she’s not doing much to actively contribute to the Arcana’s cause, her intimidating defenses ensure that she’s immensely difficult to kill, which throws a wrench into Ace’s plans to end the Arcana threat unless she braves the dangers of the Pillar. 16 - The Tower
Ragnarok Plains This area is actually a redux of the Prism Plains following Judgement’s display of power and the arrival of the “Annihilators”, a trio of Arcana who are specifically tasked with eradicating all life in Elris. Most of the level is simply an effort to escape the devastation and return to Cindron to figure out what to do about the new threat. Cardelia (2)
Extinction Plateau A large plateau among the moors of Elris, chosen by the Arcana as the perfect site for their deadliest Annihilator to begin her work. Fortunately, it’ll take her some time to get her plan going; unfortunately, she’s protected behind a barrier generated by the other two Annihilators. While you can traverse most of the level beforehand (dealing with a number of dangerous beast and magic-type enemies along the way), you’ll need to beat The Moon and The Sun before you can reach the boss of this area. 17 - The Star
Cocytus Tundra An ever-expanding wasteland of ice created by an enormous, unnatural blizzard summoned by The Moon Arcana. As if the impossibly-below-freezing temperatures and whiteout conditions weren’t bad enough, the resident Annihilator will personally harass Ace throughout the level, summoning ice-themed enemies and taking pot shots in an effort to wipe her off the face of Elris. At the center of the tundra is an orb of powerful magic energy, sustaining both the blizzard and part of the barrier protecting The Star. Smash it to lessen your long-term problems immensely…while making your short-term problems much, much bigger. 18 - The Moon
Gehenna Desert A rapidly-growing desert created by the devastating heat of The Sun Arcana. If dehydration and exposure don’t get you, the sandstorms and roaming enemies will; if they fail, The Sun will happily step in himself. You’ll need to survive all of this to reach the orb sustaining the unnatural heatwave; smashing it also shuts off part of The Star’s protective barrier. Unfortunately, it also ticks The Sun right off, causing him to assume his real battle form. 19 - The Sun
Genesis Rift The final area in Elris, a vast crater thought to be where the Arcana were first discovered. There’s a breach in the fabric of reality at the base of the crater; the only way to pass through is with a tremendously powerful Arcana…or the combined power of several lesser Arcana. On the other side is the dimension where the Arcana’s race resides…including the mastermind of all the misfortune they’ve wrought upon Elris. 20 - Judgement:
Arcane Olympia The lair of The World, the ultimate Arcana, is a massive tower that seems to have been literally carved out of a mountain. It’s split into multiple parts.
Elrisian Memories A mishmash of various area pieces floating in a strange void, all being drawn towards the tower proper. The varied level fragments also come with varied enemies from all over Elris; however, they’re not necessarily on the pieces of levels they came from. The Four Ace Arcana
Eternity Harvester The interior of the tower seems to be absorbing the other stages into itself, eventually transitioning their environments into a strange metal. This place is mainly guarded by pure Arcana enemies, abstract metallic versions of previous Arcana-possessed creatures, and a few wandering soul enemies. Wraith Rider
Dominus Generator The upper levels of the tower are dominated by a vast, cathedral-like structure containing massive metal fragments that rotate in seemingly random paths, several colored orbs orbiting among them. The objective here is to adjust the orbs so the fragments form paths leading to higher levels; to do so, you need to venture through the massive doors around the chamber, each one leading to a nasty new spin on familiar faces…
World's Eye An elaborate structure at the very top of Arcane Olympia. Its primary feature is a massive crystal that appears to be equal parts stained-glass window and microscope lenses; looking through it somehow gives you a view of Elris itself. There’s no enemies to be fought here; just a short climb through the World’s Eye to face the ultimate source of Elris’s woes… 21 - The World

Arcana

Name Description Abilities
1 - The Magician
ArcanaBase
Once a court mage, this former servant of the kingdom has become corrupted by the Magician Arcana and gained considerable power over electricity. Taking over an abandoned castle, he began creating electric monsters to attack nearby towns. The Magician is a hyperactive, chaotic individual who has the attention span and itchiness of a squirrel on drugs; definitely not a sociable man, he blasts first and asks questions later. The Magician's arena is completely flat, with no real gimmicks, but it does have walls and a ceiling unlike most arenas. The boss itself tends to jump around a lot, and fires off various types of lightning bolts. They range from diagonally-aimed shots that ricochet off surfaces to triple shots fired directly in front of the boss to a slow-moving and massive charge shot. At half HP, the Magician is able to summon large lightning strikes from the ceiling; if one happens to strike him, he temporarily gets an electric shield that deals damage on contact. The Magician grants the Plasma Aura weapon.
2 - The High Priestess
ArcanaBase
Formerly a high ranking member of the church, she has been twisted by the High Priestess Arcana and has gained powerful demonic magic. Having converted an old church into a demon fortress, she's been raiding towns to gather resources for a summoning ritual. The High Priestess is sadistic and self-indulgent; her immediate wants come first, everything else second.
3 - The Empress
ArcanaBase
The queen of the land, beloved by all and loving them back in return…until the Empress Arcana got a hold of her. Its influence has given her tremendous control of plants…and a terrible hatred of any who would “despoil my babies”, which basically amounts to everyone.
4 - The Emperor
ArcanaBase
The king of the land, a decisive yet compassionate ruler who had the misfortune to be possessed by the Emperor Arcana. Given an obsession with machines by his possessor, he’s converted his castle and its surroundings into a clockwork nightmare to glorify “the superiority of metal and wheels over our pathetic organic frailty!”
5 - The Hierophant
ArcanaBase
A soothsayer of the same church that the High Priestess hailed from, his role was to travel the empire and attend to the concerns of the common folk. He’s still at it even after the Hierophant Arcana possessed him, but he’s less “soothsayer” and more “cult leader” now.
6 - The Lovers
ArcanaBase
Not even children are safe from the Arcana, as this little girl proves. Her desire to see everyone find happiness with their soulmate was horribly twisted by the Lovers Arcana; now she’s bent on playing “matchmaker” herself…and she’s gotten unpleasantly literal about the “soulmate” part. The dolls she surrounds herself with exist for one purpose: capturing the life force and consciousness of “lucky” victims and dumping them into “Mr. Huggles”, a titanic cloth doll that literally “spins” the souls around until they find someone to love…and then keeps them trapped there to “enjoy” each other’s company forever.
7 - The Chariot
ArcanaBase
A foreign man who came to the empire to compete in a race against the best in the world…and by “came,” I mean “was dragged here under order of Strength.” His intense desire to survive the blood sports attracted the attention of the Chariot Arcana, and its possession has turned him into a crowd favorite…if you’re into brutal and often fatal one-sided “death races”.
8 - Strength
ArcanaBase
The organizer of the blood sports…although not entirely intentionally. He was originally the king’s head tournament planner, but he intended the entertainment to be fairly harmless…riiight until he got possessed by the Strength Arcana. Now his only concern is giving his audience a good show - and if he can kill a bunch of them in the process, all the better!
9 - The Hermit
ArcanaBase
Once a reclusive sage, possession by the Hermit Arcana has made him want nothing else but to be alone…by turning everything within a 20-mile radius of him into a lifeless wasteland.
10 - Wheel of Fortune
ArcanaBase
A notorious gambler who was plying his trade in Elris when the Wheel of Fortune Arcana took over his body; he’s not actually much different because of it, but his “games” have become much more dangerous and esoteric; if you lose, you become one of the Arcana's mindless slaves. He mainly operates out of his wagon, transformed into a mobile tavern of sorts.
11 - Justice
ArcanaBase
The captain of the king’s guard, he was claimed by the Justice Arcana shortly after the Emperor claimed the king. His duty was twisted by the Arcana into “impose Justice on everything.” His territory is actually one of the more peaceful places controlled by the Arcana…if you can ignore the fully armored guards everywhere and the fact that people are executed for the smallest crimes.
12 -The Hanged Man
ArcanaBase
An innocent man wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to execution. He was just being prepared at the gallows when the Hanged Man Arcana found him; moments later, his would-be executioner found himself strangled to death…along with the judge that declared him guilty, the people watching the execution, and the person who accused him in the first place. Deciding that he had been given this power for a reason, the man took it upon himself to become the new judge, jury, and executioner of the guilty - it’d be more admirable if his definition of “guilty” wasn’t “anyone trying to stop the Arcana”.
13 - Death
ArcanaBase
A simple gravedigger before the Death Arcana claimed him, he proceeded to animate everything in the graveyard, from skeletons to recently dead bodies, when he was corrupted. Now his army of the undead roves across the land, slaughtering people and adding them to his forces…
14 - Temperance
ArcanaBase
Once a high-ranking noble of the Kingdom, the Temperance Arcana corrupted him and managed to raise his already high greed even higher.
15 - The Devil
ArcanaBase
The host of the Devil Arcana is a capricious woman who lived selfishly to “avoid the effort of having to care for others”, which was taken to extremes in her corrupted form. Now, she roams the fallen empire, seeking out new “toys” to play with until they break.
16 - The Tower
ArcanaBase
One of the more bizarre Arcana hosts is another prisoner of the empire, rightfully accused this time. Instead of execution, she was sentenced to a life sentence in prison; she was approaching the end of her life when the Tower Arcana appeared before her and offered her a way to live on. Accepting the being’s power somehow fused her body into her prison, allowing her reshape it as she pleased and manipulate the earth itself.

Despite her power, the Tower is absolutely terrified of anyone reaching her, well aware that losing her Arcana will all but certainly cost her life. As such, she’s a constant presence throughout her level, manipulating the very environment of her new tower lair to stop anyone from reaching her.

17 - The Star
ArcanaBase
An enigmatic girl who carries the Star Arcana. Unlike most of the Arcana bearers, she seems to have a mutualistic relationship with her possessor, sharing control of the body and actively discussing events among themselves.
18 - The Moon
ArcanaBase
A cloaked woman controlled by the Moon Arcana. She’s converted part of the kingdom into a frozen wasteland through her powers of cryokinesis, using constant blizzards to freeze anyone that steps into her very wide range.
19 - The Sun
ArcanaBase
A cloaked man controlled by the Sun Arcana. He’s converted part of the kingdom into a desert through his powers of light and heat manipulation, immolating every bit of greenery in his very wide range.
20 - Judgement
ArcanaBase
A man clad entirely in regal, almost angelic-looking armor granted to him by the Judgement Arcana, describing himself as “the voice of the world”. This actually betrays its real status as the technical second in command of the Arcana: it serves to keep them in line while answering to and protecting the World Arcana. Anyone that wants to even try and find the World has to contend with him.

Unlike the other Arcana, Judgement’s personality and powers are entirely its own; its “host” is a corpse, chosen only to give the Arcana a vessel for its power and a means of interacting with Elris at large.

21 - The World
ArcanaBase
The strongest of the Arcana, and their leader. The World’s appearance is extremely unnerving. After appearing as a completely transparent and featureless humanoid figure for most of the game, its full appearance is revealed during the final encounter: a horrifically mutilated and bloodied mirror image of Ace. Apparently, soon after the Fool found its ally in Ace, the World thought it’d be funny to painfully alter their current host into a copy of Ace, and then mutilate them to freak out said young girl. Yeah.

Weapons

Name Description
Ace: Plasma Aura TBA
Cardelia: Volt Spear TBA


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