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Comfort Zone


Comfort Zone
Developer(s) Checkmate Company
Publisher(s) Checkmate Company
Genre(s) Role-playing
Release Date(s) Flag of the United States 2018
Flag of European Union 2018
25px-Flag of Japan2 2018
Flag of Australia 2018
Age Rating(s) Trating2000px-PEGI 16.svg
Media Included Steelbook Edition
'Aliss' and 'Aras' Amiibo figurines
Break out of your comfort zone.
Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone is a 2018 role-playing video game released by Checkmate for the Nintendo Switch and The V². The premise of the story focuses on two unlikely heroes from the newly explored 'Yaeciran' planet in the Bleakverse, Aliss and her ex-boyfriend Aras. 

Premise

The story of Comfort Zone focuses on two unlikely heroes - Aliss and Aras - who whilst still struggling with their intense breakup, have to evade destruction by an unknown organisation trying to hunt and destroy them. The Yaeciran planet has been in turmoil since the overpopulation of factories has caused pollution to affect the levels of pure oxygen in the air, which in turn, creates a cloud of polluted smoke covering the entire continent. However, more seems to be hidden by the shroud of clouds than what meets the eye, creating the purpose behind their journey, well, and to satisfy Aliss' blood lust.

Characters

Aliss

The main protagonist of the game, Aliss is homeless by choice after her parents left the planet after it became severely polluted by local factories, making the normal air harder to breathe for the citizens of Yaeciran. Despite this, Aliss is fine with the air and the planet, and she enjoys spending time there with her friends from the local orphanage. Aliss tends to only associate herself with people of a similar or lower social class, believing them to be more honest with her than others in higher classes, however she is a very untrustworthy person with everybody despite this, and often retains a guard with everyone close to her due to her upbringing. Due to her rough and tough background, Aliss is vile-mannered and carefree, as well as tending to disrespect anybody she doesn't associate with. The only person able to crack down those walls of trust was Aras, until the couple broke up, sending her into a spiral and building her inner trust walls even higher than before.

Aras

The deuteragonist of the game, Aras is a part of one of the middle class families on Yaeciran, which is actually one of the fanciest families on the planet due to the decaying economy. The only reason why Aras' family have retained their wealth is through Aras' father's factory business, which is also the reason behind the immense pollution in the local area. He finds it hard to love anybody, including himself, and often finds himself confused as to how and why him and Aliss were together, making him very paranoid and depressed on many occasions. He is often mistreated by his parents, who don't really care what he does, until in company of other upper class people who the family are trying to impress. They care about Aras' reputation with these associates, but not for himself or his inner feelings, another reason behind his anxiety and isolation.

Gameplay

The game follows the Kirby formula of exploration/fighting. Throughout the level, you need to travel from the left to the right of the screen, while defeating any enemies in your path, trying to sustain as little damage as possible. At the end of the level, you must defeat a boss through using your powers and abilities. 

While doing this, there are many other things you can do. You can find equipment to help boost your karmas, find coins to help you purchase ability upgrades and other character-specific benefits, or just explore and find hidden mysterious and easter eggs within the levels. A standard level can take up to 20 minutes to complete, making the level's very expansive and large, perfect for the player who wants to discover every nook and cranny in the environment they are traversing. 

Another gameplay mechanic is the Beastpedia, which is a book that contains information on all of the enemies in the game. When you defeat an enemy, your knowledge of them increases and more information will become available on them through the Beastpedia. This also has an effect on their health; they will become easier to defeat with less health due to your understanding of the enemy, making it easier to grind in previous levels to gain more money, experience or equipment if needed.

Characters also have a levelling system, where their overall stats become increased when they have fulfilled the experience requirement (similar to how levelling up Pokemon works). Every character also has a star system attached to them, which is levelled up through an item called 'Star Crests' which you earn periodically during the game for completing side missions and the like. When a character's star increases, they receive a dramatic increase to their stats - approximately 5x the increase from levelling up. 

Karmas

Karmas is the collective term given to the different types of stats you can increase with your character in the game. There are several different types of character you can build by increasing specific karmas to make them more suitable for how you intend to use them.

Karma Description
Vitality Vitality is a measure of how sturdy a character is. It influences the amount of hit points that the character has, and boosts resistances to special types of damage.
Strength Strength is a measure of how physically strong a character is. It influences the amount of damage a character can deal to foes, and can allow them to carry heavier weights.
Resistance Resistance is a measure of how resilient a character is. It influences the damage taken by an enemy, decreasing it significantly, and helps build immunities to illnesses.
Intelligence Intelligence is a measure of how knowledgable a character is. It influences the amount of experience required to level up, and makes it easier for the character to make smart decisions.
Dexterity Dexterity is a measure of how agile a character is. It influences attack and movement speed of the character, and increases the chances of avoiding enemy attacks.
Charisma Charisma is a measure of how socialable a character is. It influences the amount of money needed to purchase items, and also makes it easier for a character to talk themselves out of tough situations.
Perception Perception is a measure of how alert a character is. It influences the character's surroundings, and makes them more aware of traps and ambushes by hidden characters.
Worship Worship is a measure of how faithful a character is. It influences similarly to how 'Luck' would, by allowing more random events to occur to the character, good or bad.
Emotion Emotion is a measure of a character's mental resistance. It influences their resistance to mind tricks by enemies and makes them immune towards insanity.

Emotions

During the game, characters will under-go different emotional states which will affect them in battle. This will change periodically depending on what happens to the character in the story, or in the battle. For example, if they are hit with a critical attack they will be tired, and slower when it comes to attacking. Some Emotions have more positive effects, while some are negative effects.

Emotion Effect
Anger Critical hits will be more likely.
Boredom The user's accuracy will be reduced.
Confidence Status ailments will be more likely.
Confusion The user may damage themselves when dealing attacks.
Depression The user may not listen to commands and do what they want instead.
Embarrassment The user will not be able to attack effectively.
Energized The user will be able to perform two commands instead of one.
Insanity Attacks will either be reduced or increased; random chance of either.
Inspired The user may combine their attacks with others in their movepool by default.
Normality Nothing.
Sadness The user will be slower than normal.
Tiredness The user may sleep during this period, but will regain health whilst doing so.

Abilities

Every character in Comfort Zone has unique abilities to aid them in combat, based around their personality and behaviour. Every character unlocks up to six abilities which can be inter-changed by the player at any given time outside of a direct battle. Some abilities will be locked to specific characters, and some will be able to be customized among your party members.

Ability Effect User
BLOOD LUST Aliss will hack and slash at the enemy several times, not stopping until they die. While being an instant kill against the foe, Aliss will be open to attacks from other enemies and it may take her several turns to stop attacking the body even after the foe dies. Aliss
Open Wide! Aras spends a turn backing up poisonous snacks, before throwing them up in the air for any character to ingest. Caution: Party members active with a low intelligence level may eat the snacks themselves and become poisoned. Aras

Cards of Fate

Another big mechanic in the game is the Cards of Fate. Based off of Tarot Cards, Cards of Fate will offer insight into characters and how they develop over the course of the game, but they also add benefits to the characters' abilities. When you collect a Card of Fate through winning battles, you can apply them to your desired character, which will change their ending scene and their fate, but it will also manipulate their abilities to make them more powerful or more effective for the type of foe you are battling.

When you apply a card of fate to a character, initially their stats will slightly increase overall. You also get a 'flash forward' into how their story and plot will develop, with more truth being revealed over the course of the game. Once you apply a card of fate to a character, you cannot remove it, so it is vital to choose wisely. Alternatively, if you never give a card of fate to a character, they will receive a 'normal ending', which serves as the canonical ending to the character in the game.

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The High PriestessCZ TBA The EmpressCZ TBA
The EmperorCZ TBA The HierophantCZ TBA
The LoversCZ TBA The ChariotCZ TBA
StrengthCZ TBA The HermitCZ TBA
Wheel of FortuneCZ TBA JusticeCZ TBA
The Hanged ManCZ TBA DeathCZ TBA
TemperanceCZ TBA 200px TBA
The TowerCZ TBA The StarCZ TBA
The MoonCZ TBA The SunCZ TBA
JudgementCZ TBA The WorldCZ TBA

Social Classes

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The Social Class system also applies into the game as a sort of 'type effectiveness' triangle. Every character in the game will have a pre-determined social class assigned to them (however, it may change over the course of the game depending on several factors like the cards of fate), which either increases or decreases their effectiveness against enemies. 

First Class is represented through a triangle icon, Second Class is represneted through a square icon, and Third Class is represented through a pentagon icon.

  • 1st Class or Upper Class are more effective on 2nd or Middle Class; but less effective on 3rd or Lower Class.
  • 2nd Class or Second Class are more effective on 3rd or Lower Class; but less effective on 1st or Upper Class.
  • 3rd Class or Lower Class are more effective on 1st or Upper Class; but less effective on 2nd or Middle Class.

Levels

TheWastelandTitleCZ
TheWastelandCZ
The Wasteland is the first discovered area in Comfort Zone. A secluded desert on the outskirts of Yaeciran, uninhabited aside from local plants and wildlife, depicted by the locals as a 'no man's land' that is incredibly difficult to cross, with many not knowing what lies inside or on the other side of its intensive sandstorms. It is believed to be very vast in length, with the entire Wasteland being unexplored before as none have dared to venture to the darker depths, it is also unknown how long it would take to cross from one side to the other. Due to so much uncertainty and a lack of knowledge of the Wasteland, nobody dares to cross it, however to prove their strength, Aliss and Aras make it their mission to cross it to prove a point to their hunters that they aren't going down without a fight.

Release and Reception

TBA.

Trivia

  • Comfort Zone was inspired by the "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast", as well as the television show "The End of the F**king World".
    • There are also many features influenced by Nintendo titles like the "Kirby" series, the "Mother/Earthbound" series, and "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild".
  • The main theme for the project is "Emotions", and how emotions effect people in different types of situations, relationships, and environments.
  • Development for the game started on February 13.
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