Crestseeker: Seeds of Shadow is a 3D action-adventure game developed by Pyro Enterprises, and a sequel to the original Crestseeker. The game was conceptualized as the first in a series of potential successors to the original game, inspired by the split timeline featured in The Legend of Zelda franchise. Seeds of Shadow specifically is noted to harken more towards the design and gameplay style of Twilight Princess, with a focus on a darker, more surreal setting and dual-form combat.
Much of Crestseeker: Seeds of Shadow is built on a similar foundation to that of the original, being an action-adventure game played from a third-person over-the-shoulder perspective. Players take control of protagonist Bynde once again, utilizing her returning sword and archery skills to combat enemies and solve puzzles. Much like the previous game, Bynde is able to sprint indefinitely, though this forces her to sheathe her sword and other items while doing so. If Bynde possesses a shield on her person, she is able to block attacks and parry them with correct timing.
Returning from the previous game is the Mana Meter, a crescent-shaped meter next to Bynde's Hearts, which measure her health. The Mana Meter governs the use of Bynde's items and techniques, such as advanced sword moves and the bullet time feature on her bow. Unlike the previous game, Bynde begins the game with more advanced sword skills, such as the Valiant Spin and Guard Break, which were previously unlockable or not implemented. A greater emphasis on these sword skills, as well as customization of Bynde's skills through the use of a new item known as a Pendant, has been implemented to make the combat feel more fleshed out than in previous titles.
The Seedspawn form is the primary new mechanic of Seeds of Shadow, referring to the feral demon-esque form that Bynde is transformed into early on in the story. Seedspawn Bynde is designed to feel much more agile and swift than her standard human form, though this comes at a lack of direct power and ability to break enemy guard in a traditional sense. Though she lacks combat techniques, she is able to perform claw slashes on both the ground and in the air, the latter enabling her to perform combo attacks off of an airborne foe. She lacks a guard, but can perform a backwards dodge if the Shield button is pressed with ideal timing.
Among Seedspawn Bynde's most crucial techniques is her Lunge attack, performed by targeting an enemy and pressing the Bow button- this causes Bynde to lunge towards them and grab onto them. Though this simply allows her to rapidly claw at smaller enemies or jump off of them for greater distance, when performed on larger enemies, she is able to steer them around and control their movements to some capacity by weaving herself into them. Doing this does slowly drain Mana, and she can be knocked off by other attacks. Seedspawn Bynde also possesses her own list of items and skills similar to that of human Bynde, which are unlocked throughout the story.
- Left Stick- Move
- Right Stick- Rotate Camera
- L- Lock-On/Re-center Camera
- X- Attack/Interact
- B- Jump
- Y/A- Use equipped Item
- ZL- Bow/Lunge
- ZR- Shield (if equipped)/Dodge
- D-Pad L/R- Item Quick Switch
- D-Pad Up- Switch forms
- D-Pad Down- Talk to Lissé
- Start- Pull up Menu
The game begins with a dream sequence similar to that of the original game, though the visuals are more abstract. Bynde is shown wandering through a pure black field with an eerie sky, sparks flashing in the air as if invisible blades are colliding around her. After dodging the invisible strikes, she eventually comes to a red and pink object made of flame floating in the air, resembling a heart; before her eyes, this heart becomes surrounded by a multitude of thorny vines, sprouting from strange sigils that appear on the ground and in the air. Bynde feels herself begin to suffocate as the heart is strangled, but before she fades into unconsciousness, a small blue light begins circling around her, giving her strength. Reaching out, she touches the heart, ripping through the vines wrapped around it. The heart turns yellow as a golden diamond shape appears in front of it, and bright light fills Bynde's vision as she wakes from her slumber- by falling out of a hammock.
The impact startling her awake, Bynde takes in her surroundings- below deck in a traditional sailing vessel, the many hammocks revealing the room to be a sleeping quarters for the passengers. Realizing that everybody else has been up for some time, Bynde quickly gets out of her sleeping garb and puts on her soldier's armor, grabbing her sword and bow off of the ground in the process. Walking up to the vessel's top deck, Bynde immediately encounters another woman in similar clothing to hers, though with a black and white coloration accompanied by a blue scarf; Bynde salutes to this woman, who tells her to calm down and prepare for arrival at their destination.
With this commanding officer introduced to the player as Nera, Bynde is instructed to begin finalizing her training with her compatriots, which introduces the player to both Bynde's basic skillset and the rest of her allies.
- Moving towards the stern of the ship introduces the player to Enric, a muscular man practicing his swordfighting techniques on a nearby dummy. Conversing with him allows the player to get the hang of targeting foes and using Bynde's sword techniques.
- Moving to the back of the shop lets players encounter Arzein, who is simply standing solemnly and watching the seas for trouble. If approached, he offers to spar with Bynde, letting her practice her defensive skills with her shield.
- Climbing towards the crow's nest introduces the player to Crysanne, a young archer who is practicing her craft by knocking down targets on the sails. Talking with her will let the player perform a short tutorial on utilizing Bynde's bow.
- Entering the ship's upper cabin opens a conversation with Balah, who seems to be more concerned with looking over a multitude of maps and arcane books than preparing herself physically for the events to come. Taking with her opens up a tutorial on various menu-related elements of the game, such as inventory management and item quick-switching.
After every tutorial is completed- or if the player talks to Nera again to skip them- the commander calls all the soldiers to the front of the vessel for one final briefing. As the sunlight is shrouded in fog, Nera congratulates the group for proving themselves to be worthy of the Kindred title once again as they embarked on what could potentially be their most dangerous mission yet. Their target, the strange island that the rulers of Elskeltr had sent them to conquer, had been shrouded in darkness for as long as their scholars could find out, and the concept of taking it through military might alone seemed foolish. However, Nera believed everyone present was capable of purging the darkness and paving the way for the sacred light of Elskeltr to save the island; as their commander saluted them, the group began conversing with each other, psyching themselves up for reaching land.
The crew prepare to dock as their destination appears... a strange island shrouded in a sinister fog that sent chills down almost everyone's spine. Though Bynde had been informed of the otherworldly nature of the darkness infesting the island, she couldn't have been prepared for the strange, gut-wreching feelings she was forming just staring at the island from a distance. It was only a matter of time before the vessel docked, and Bynde joined the rest of the Kindred in taking their first steps onto the new land. The island was covered in disturbing vines that resembled a fusion between plantlife and insect shells, and Enrick swore he could sense the presence of something watching the group. Nera simply told them to press onward- they needed to find higher ground before they could truly begin their mission.
As the Kindred began their march, Bynde noticed their surroundings slowly transition from dense forest to the ruins of what appeared to be some sort of village. While fending off strange humanoid creatures seemingly borne from the plants in the area, she saw bits and pieces hinting towards the island not always being so wild; a crumbling house here, the remnants of a well there, and so on. Everything came to a head when the group arrived in a wide clearing, which revealed itself to be the remains of a once-wide plaza complete with paved streets, more intact buildings, and a fountain clogged with more of the sinister plants. Nera began to share Bynde's suspicion that something terrible had happened to whatever civilization once dwelled here, and began to order the group to be on their guard. As the Kindred grabbed their weapons, however, an ear-splitting screech filled the air as the sky grew darker almost instantly, and an eerie red light shone down on them from above. In an instant, the group was attacked by a dark creature, body black as the night and with red eyes as piercing as an arrow to the heart.
Nera ordered the Kindred to attack, but Bynde, struck by the beast's gaze, felt too intimidated to do anything. Before the beast could raise its arm to smash the fearstricken woman, Bynde was tackled by Crysanne, who swerved her friend away from the impact zone. The two hid behind a nearby wall as Bynde was told to stay put until she got her nerves back, with Crysanne leaping back into the fray with her bow. Bynde, struggling through the fear, stared over the wall with her own weapon drawn, witnessing the Kindred being thrown to the winds by the horrifying monster. Only Nera seemed to be able to match its blows with equal strength, with everyone else having been knocked away without a struggle. In an instant, however, the beast turned its eyes back to Bynde, rushing towards her with immense speed. Nera pierced her sword into the monster's hide as Bynde aimed at its face with an arrow, but both attacks seemed to simply plink off, and it smashed Nera into the ground with incredible force in retaliation. Before falling into unconciousness, Nera told Bynde to run as far as she could; the last Kindred standing, she accepted the order and fled as fast as she could. It wasn't long, however, before the monster caught up to her, snatching her up in its claw. Staring deep into those fear-inducing red eyes, Bynde felt an intense pain shoot throughout her body as vines extended from the beast's arm, piercing and snaking their way into her skin. All she could see was that red glow before she, too, fell into a deep slumber.
Bynde soon felt herself regaining consciousness, though all she could see was light being filtered through some strange blue membrane. Feeling herself being restrained by something, she desperately tore her way out of whatever was binding her, pushing herself through whatever it was surrounding her. She succeeded in bursting out of her confinement, stunned by the bright light that began shining in her eyes once she had escaped. Adjusting to the intense brightness, she looked around, finding herself in a calming, mossy grove; behind her was a massive blue flower bud, and judging by the large hole in the side and the dark ooze dripping from it, one that was killed off before it could bloom when she burst out of it. Confused as to why she was inside the flower in the first place, Bynde looked down at her body. To her shock, her hands had been twisted into massive, nightmarish claws, and her armor had been shredded down to little more than metal cuffs and a few tatters of cloth. Her whole body was covered in strange vines, digging into her body and pumping fluid like veins. Bynde assumed she had to still be somewhat asleep- she dashed into the nearby forest in fear, looking for some way to snap herself out of the daze she believed herself to be in.
Even after traversing the woods and managing to slay a couple of dangerous creatures in her path, Bynde felt no difference. The monster in the ruined city had done something to her that reduced her to nothing more than a freakish monster, something that she didn't even know could be reversed in anyway. Emotions overwhelming her, she crouched down in the shade of a nearby tree and began crying, fearful that she'd never be able to see her home or family ever again. After some time, however, she heard a voice she didn't recognize calling to see if someone was nearby. Scared of someone seeing her in her current state, Bynde rushed behind the tree to hide herself, but the source of the voice soon spotted her- it was a strange, incredibly tiny girl, with blue skin and what appeared to be a flower on her back. The girl wasn't scared at all, but instead approached Bynde and asked if she was okay. Bynde, still worried about everything going on, turned away from her, but the mysterious girl flew closer to her, comforting her and ensuring everything would be okay. With an offer extended to help reach shelter, the two set off through the forest, with the girl helping Bynde adjust to her new physique.
After some time, Bynde arrived at what looked like a giant hollowed-out tree, with strange glowing spheres and golden string wrapped around it like some form of decoration. The girl lead her through a large hole in the front, which lead her inside and revealed what seemed to be a small town, populated with flower-like creatures akin to the being that had brought her here. The idea that the Dark Island had any sort of civilization at all, even strange beings like these, both comforted and concerned Bynde, and she continued shrinking away from anybody who looked at her altered form out of fear. Her guide continued to ease her onward, taking her towards what appeared to be an elderly male version of one of the creatures; though he was old and shriveled, and his legs seemed to be growing into the ground like roots, the flowery wings on his back had bloomed into a beautiful, vibrant blossom. Upon seeing Bynde, the old man seemed more jolly than scared, and asked the girl who had guided her here why exactly she had brought such a "curious beast", revealing her name as Lissé.
Lissé explained to the elderly being that she had simply found Bynde in the forest, clearly in some sort of distress, and decided that taking her back to Aremi Village would be a good idea to help ease her fears. Noticing the distinct marks and spines all over her body, the elder, introducing himself as Belden, stated his concern that whoever Bynde was, she had been infected by the great beast that their people, the Viita, called the Darkshrieker. The monster had resided on the island long before the Viita ever had, and seemed to delight in nothing more than morphing the creatures and land itself into vile, corrupted beings akin to itself; to him, Bynde's transformation was a miracle, as she seemingly had retained her mind and self rather than losing her mind entirely to the dark influence the creature possessed. Bynde, concerned that the rest of the Kindred had now become mindless monsters in the Darkshrieker's thrall, tried to rush out of the village, but Lissé stopped her, stating she had clearly already fallen to the beast before. She would need to prepare in order to face it again...
Stressed beyond all measure, Bynde was told to rest before she tried to do anything else. Assisted by the Viita in the village, who were strikingly kind to her, Bynde spent some time sleeping, recovering her strength and doing her best to accept what exactly was happening to her and her friends. Upon her awakening, Lissé swiftly arrived to check up on her, snuggling up with her to "attempt to make her feel better"; when that didn't work, she simply told her that Belden had news for her. The two headed back to the elder, who had brought out what appeared to be a sword and bow- he informed Bynde that some of the Viita had located the objects out in the forest and believed they could very well be hers. Bynde nodded to confirm this, saddened that she didn't seem to be in shape to wield them any longer. Without warning, a strange guttural bellow echoed from outside the village, with the Viita fleeing to their homes as Bynde's heroic instinct kicked in. Desparate to help protect her, Lissé followed her outside the village, where a huge tentacled monster was striking the tree in feral rage- the two realized they needed to fend it off or die trying.
Once the mighty creature had fallen, Bynde and Lissé caught their breath as it began shrivelling and dissolving into a strange red orb, glowing with a shadowy aura. Though confused as to what it was, Bynde picked it up at her companion's behest, with the Viita exclaiming that it was her right by her people's law to claim the "Lifeheart" of their prey. Bynde crushed the strange seed pod in her hands, and its essence seemed to absorb into her body as she felt a surge of power flow through her. Overjoyed at the defeat of the monster, Lissétold Bynde to come back inside, but the latter heard some familiar sound echoing through the forest- it was Nera's voice, feebly calling out for the other Kindred. Bynde rushed to where she heard the voice, only to find Nera limping forward in a daze, shadowy matter growing over her body akin to what had happened with her before. Attempting to reach out and snap her out of her trance, Bynde was taken aback by Nera swinging her sword aimlessly at her, her mental state clearly damaged after what had happened to the Kindred. Bynde blocked her attacks until some level of sanity returned to Nera's expression- the broken woman dropped her sword and ran, with Bynde not being able to catch up.
Disconcerted, Bynde returned with Lissé to the village, with one goal in mind- she needed to save Nera and the rest of her friends from the Darkshrieker. Getting her old form back was secondary in the face of that goal. Returning to Belden, she tried her best to mime her goal to the elder Viita, with Lissé attempting to explain in words. Realizing that Bynde sought to gain power capable of defeating the Darkshrieker, Belden recounted a legend that had been passed down for centuries among their race, speaking of a mythical object known as the Crestbloom. Glowing with divine light, this flower was what gave the Viita and the few straggling civilizations on the island free and sentient, providing them with clarity to avoid the Darkshrieker's influence. If Bynde could find the whereabouts of the Crestbloom, then its light could be turned to a weapon to cleanse the island of its corruptive influence. Pointing her towards the location of a temple in the distace, which he believed to hold a clue towards the blossom's whereabouts, Belden wished the maiden luck on her journey to save her friends.
Before Bynde could leave, however, Lissé volunteered to join with her on the adventure. Belden questioned the girl if this was tied to her own quarrel with the Darkshrieker, which intrigued Bynde, but Lissé denied the accusations, saying she simply wanted to help Bynde restore her form and potentially save the island- even if she looked cute as a Seedspawn. Bynde grumbled and swatted at her, with Lissé simply giggling and flying into Bynde's hair.
After some time exploring Almier Grove, with Lissé helping Bynde navigate the area, the pair came across what seemed to be the temple that Belden was talking about; though it seemed to have once been surrounded by many ornate stone structures, they had crumbled away over the years, leaving only ruins behind. Lissé expressed confidence as the duo entered the dusty, sunlit temple, claiming that after beating the monster attacking the village, Bynde could probably beat any opponent she came across. That sentiment rang true for much of Bynde's expedition- she managed to slaughter every threat she came across one by one, even claiming the Lifeheart of another powerful monster along the way. Eventually, Bynde and Lissé came to a vast room filled with poison, a large humanoid mass tied down with vines in the center. With the vines removed, the large creature awoke, revealing itself to be a towering golem with flowers growing on its body; even this titanic monster was no match for Bynde's power and she walked onwards into a room filled with bright glowing tendrils... and a strange dark object sapping their energy. Unsure of what exactly it was, Lissé told Bynde to deal with it in whatever way she desired.
With the monolith dealt with, the light from the glowing vines felt even more vibrant and soothing. Whatever these were, they had to be related to the Crestbloom somehow, and it was entirely possible that following them would lead them to the mythical object's location. Certain her quest would prove fruitful, Bynde set off with Lissé to continue her adventures.
|The boat in which the Kindred arrived to the Dark Island on. In the story's intro, the tutorial is held here; later in the story, Bynde is able to visit the wreckage of the ship, having been torn apart by some beast. Perhaps some stragglers of the island's civilization may appear to examine the new landmark...|
|A dense forest just off the moon-shaped island's inner shore, grown over the remnants of some sort of village. The fallen trees and crumbling stone structures make for a dark and foreboding beginning to Bynde's journey, accompanied by the first true enemies in the game.|
|City of Despair|
|The forest gives way to this ruined city in the center of the island; showing signs of once having civilization and prosperity, it's essentially become an empty waste of destroyed buildings where nothing dares reside... aside from the Darkshrieker, who seems drawn to this location.|
|Bynde finds herself in this strange location after emerging from a giant flower, transformed into a monstrous plant-like being. Something about the sunbeams filtering through the trees makes this place seem much more calming and welcoming than the rest of the island, though it's not without its own dangers.|
|A large hollowed-out tree used as a dwelling by the Viita people, a race of small flower-like beings who remain free from corruption and darkness. Bynde's greatest allies throughout her adventure, their village is a consistent safe haven for her, providing an easy place to rest and restock on supplies if need be.|
|Out in the woods lies this ancient, crumbling temple, thought to be connected to whatever people inhabited the Dark Island before its corruption. As the first dungeon that Bynde is tasked with exploring on her adventure, it's not necessarily the most complex dungeon, but it is certainly a step up in difficulty from the previous game's intro. Much of the dungeon is meant to showcase the Seedspawn's intense aerial traversal, with sequences requiring use of Lunging, the Longclaw, and the newly obtained Wind Blossom Daemon Skill, which enables Bynde to glide and shoot gusts of wind.|
The boss of this dungeon is Iconavar.
|Sword||Bynde's basic weapon, a standard sword provided by the Elsketran military. It's the bread and butter of Bynde's combat when she's not transformed, being able to be slashed in many different directions and angles. Can be upgraded by collecting Shadow Ore.|
|Bow||A simple bow that Bynde's been training her whole life with alongside Crysanne. Used to fire arrows at far-away targets; while aiming, time slows down while slowly draining Mana, letting the player fire precisely at targets.|
|Seedspawn Bracers||The metallic bracers attached to Bynde's arms when she is transformed. The bracers are more or less representative of the power level Bynde has when attacking in Seedspawn form, though she actually uses her claws to attack.|
|Longclaw||A Daemon Skill obtained by defeating the Garbana attacking Aremi Village. Transforms Bynde's arm into a long-ranged grappling claw that allows her to drag in smaller enemies and grab onto ledges and various objects. Can be used on enemies in midair to refresh Seedspawn Bynde's Lunge ability, making for chains of lunge attacks.|
|Wind Blossom||A Daemon Skill obtained by defeating the Blossom Beast in the Sunlight Temple. Transforms Bynde's arm into a large flower, which when held in the air slowly drains Mana and enables her to gently glide downward, controlling her trajectory as she goes. Holding the button on the ground does not let her glide, but instead blows a gentle gust of wind forward as long as she holds the button. This also drains Mana.|
|Heart||A small red heart that can fall out of enemies or pots when broken. Restores 1 heart to Bynde upon pickup. Can also be found growing on Heartflowers in the field itself.|
|Moonstone||An semi-rare item that can appear in place of a heart. Upon pickup, instantly refills Bynde's Mana Meter to full.|
|Kalo||A small diamond-shaped gem obtained from defeating enemies and around the environment; apparently, it's the currency used by the civilization on the Dark Island. They come in a variety of colors, denominating their value at a glance. Red gems are worth 1 Kalo, yellow gems are worth 5, green are worth 10, blue are worth 25, purple are worth 50, and silver are worth 100.|
|Flask||A silver container built by the Lumina to store any substance perfectly. Bynde can use these to carry potions or other objects into the field with her. There are three Flasks in the game.|
|Heart Shard||A fragment of red crystal. When four are collected, they merge into a Heart Vessel, granting Bynde one extra hitpoint.|
|Mana Shard||A fragment of blue crystal. When three are collected, Bynde's Mana expands by one unit, granting her longer use of her abilities.|
|Heart Vessel||A heart-shaped red crystal, dropped from fallen bosses. Grants Bynde one additional hitpoint upon obtaining it.|
|Mirekin||Strange shadowy humanoids with vines; they're primitive lifeforms, but that level of intelligence doesn't stop them from being feral and rushing towards uncorrupted beings. These basic Mirekin only attack with windup punches, which can easily be countered or evaded.|
|Mirekin Shieldbearer||A Mirekin wielding a crude spear and shield made from dead wood. They're experts at defending and poking out their spears from behind cover, but they can be countered to open up their guard- or simply attack them when they provide an opening. Seedspawn Bynde can lunge at these foes to tear off their shields.|
|Mirekin Archer||A Mirekin advanced enough to wield a strange magical bow, with infinite ammunition. Though a threat from far away, it's rather pitiful up close, so rush in or use your lunge depending on the situation. You can also simply use your own bow to retaliate at a distance.|
|Great Mirekin||A large rotund Mirekin, having engorged themselves on prey one time too many. They have lots of stamina, and do not flinch when hit by most attacks, making their slow club swings incredibly crucial to avoid. If you manage to daze one, Seedspawn Bynde is able to lunge at its head, taking control of its movements for a short time and forcing it to strike other foes.|
|Vitasect||An unholy fusion between plant and insect, the Vitasect appears to be a parasite which thrives off the vines scattered around the island. When approached by Bynde, they fly at a distance, occasionally lunging in to try siphoning her fluids. Of course, they can often be found feeding on the vines, where they are completely defenseless and unaware of their surroundings.|
|Garbana||A strange creature which resembles a specter, wearing a cloak of vine-like tentacles that it is able to manipulate. Being a rare breed of creature spawned directly from the Darkshrieker, the Garbana possesses the Daemon Skill known as Longclaw, giving it the power to extend its tendrils incredibly far. Tending to stand in place and let these tendrils do the work in capturing foes, it simply watches from a distance, trying to attack Bynde with the extending vines. To retaliate, target the tendrils and Lunge at them to evade them, causing them to be stuck in the ground where they are vulnerable. Just watch out for the other tendrils, which will try to retaliate.|
|Flotaflowa||This peaceful flower-like creature simply floats in midair, spreading its pollen everywhere to reproduce. They don't actually attack Bynde at all, instead being used as grappling points with the Longclaw ability. Don't latch onto them for too long, however, or they'll extend sharp spines in self-defense.|
|Widewing||A wasp-like creature with very wide, flat wings, almost like a propeller of sorts. Attacks by hovering at a distance and swiftly lunging inward; though highly evasive normally, they can be blown back with a Wind Blossom burst and then lunged at to possess. While riding it, Bynde is able to fly with somewhat-limited freedom until the Widewing shakes her off.|
|Blossom Beast||A massive fusion of a giant, beautiful flower and a hideous pile of corrupted flesh. Centered in a small arena, the Blossom Beast sits in place, summoning wind gusts in various patterns in an attempt to blow Bynde into the spikes on the walls. The hard flesh is immune to all damage, but using the FLotaflowas moving around in the air to gain height, Bynde is able to lunge downward into the vulnerable portions of the flower, possessing the beast and letting her ram it into the walls. Doing this makes it open to further attack.|