Sunset Maiden is a Metroidvania-styled game with RPG elements developed by Pyro Enterprises. Inspired by games such as Hollow Knight and Dark Souls, as well as the developer's childhood favorite game Monster Tale, the game aims to be Pyrostar (t∣b∣c)'s unique take on the genre.
The story of Sunset Maiden is largely open-ended and told via environmental storytelling, with occasional optional flashback events accessible through intense exploration. Only certain parts of the story are ever outright shown to the player.
The story begins in a dark room with multiple dry docks, a massive hole in the wall open to a bright orange sunset. No intact vessels can be seen anywhere in the room, but multiple vessels of unknown make and model are shown broken down and incomplete. A woman in strange clothing is shown walking across the water's surface, entering the massive empty room. She gazes into the darkness as a strange fairy-like creature emerges from her chest, and the two head off to explore the ruins they have just appeared in.
Memory Sequence: Central Lune City 1
This memory sequence seems to be a flashback to a younger Malya running through the streets of Central Lune City, the streets far brighter and more populated than before. Players navigate her through the area, talking to NPCs and being able to purchase food with a limited supply of money. However, all NPC dialogue is glitched and corrupted, making it unreadable. Purchasing food serves no purpose.
The end of this memory sequence occurs when the player navigates to the entrance of the Chained Tower, where she encounters men and women admiring a large mechanical object. The sequence ends prior to the object doing anything.
Memory Sequence: Arboreum
This memory sequence follows an older woman, who does not seem to be Malya. The player is tasked with guiding her through a special section of the Arboreum and fending off enemies utilizing only a short sword. Some injured NPCs appear, but again, their dialogue is glitched and unreadable. The woman only takes a single hit before death, and death restarts the sequence.
The end of the memory sequence occurs when the player makes it to the end of the section. The woman encounters an old man in regal robes, surrounded by the same enemies she has been fighting. Stunned, the woman drops her weapon as the man points to her, causing the enemies to swarm her.
The general bulk of Sunset Maiden's gameplay is a traditional Metroidvania game; players explore the vast ruins of Palacio de Sol from a 2D sidescrolling perspective, collecting artifacts to grant you new abilities and upgrades, and return to old areas with new skills to unlock more parts of the world. Along the way, players are meant to piece together the game's story, slowly progressing towards one of the three possible final bosses.
Combat is built around fluid combo attacks and has a large aerial focus, as player character Malya does not possess much power. The player has an assortment of options in combat with every weapon, consisting of a basic combo, launching tilt attacks, an air attack, and a "special" option that varies between weapons, typically being a projectile. The player can equip one weapon at a time as their main form of attack, and easily switch to other weapons assigned to one of two "Quick Switch" buttons. This enables players to concoct a variety of combos on the fly, reacting to situations through any means they choose.
By slaying enemies, Malya generates a resource known as SP. SP, being a form of energy, is useless until Malya's death, in which case her ally Wisp can inject her with it and use it to augment her. SP can be utilized to purchase a Perk in order to help increase Malya's strength or grant her special abilities, or it can be converted into gold to be spent on other items in shops.
|The Docks||The sole entrance to Palacio de Sol, The Docks are just that, the city's now-abandoned dry dock. Full of the remnants of decaying oceanic vessels, this is where Malya starts her journey. The Docks are a simple area that acts as a sort of tutorial initially- despite that, the area hides some extremely challenging side paths accessible only through backtracking with various artifacts.
Connects to Central Lune City in the east.
|Calamiedes, the Waterbearer||
|Queen's Glass Garden||A hidden location, this garden was once the secret hideaway of the Queen of Palacio de Sol, and is filled to the brim with both overgrown plants and beautiful crystalline structures. Though it's exceptionally difficult to access, they say that treasure lurks here beyond one's wildest dreams- treasures belonging to the queen herself.
Connects to The Docks below.
|Central Lune City||Lune City is the central residential hub of Palacio de Sol... or at least, it used to be. Now abandoned, the faintly glowing lights still remain on, powered by SP, creating a surreal and haunting visage. This is where the real adventure begins, and could be considered a hub area of sorts due to the intersecting passages that all arrive somewhere in the city.
Connects to The Docks in the west.
|Varasba, the Rampager|
Ekopitios, the Brood Mother
|Upper Lune City||The upper echelons of Lune City were reserved only for the richest people in Palacio de Sol, and acted as the home of the wealthy and powerful. Now, it's abandoned entirely. Upper Lune City is not very difficult to traverse, and there's certainly treasure to be found, but some stragglers may remain to hoard their precious, worthless money.
Connects to Central Lune City below.
|Mul Zibanu, the Golden Arbiter||
|Arboreum||A vast garden built into Palacio de Sol in an attempt to create a natural paradise. Decorated with jade statues, it's now covered in a thick lush carpet of hybrid plant life, some of which has become carnivorous and SP-powered. Traversing the Arboreum is now a task that requires peak precision and agility, as well as the skills bestowed by an artifacts found within.
Connects to Central Lune City to the west.
|Astraea, the Lifegiver||
|Chained Tower||An abandoned area where Palacio de Sol's industry and technological marvels were once created and crafted, resulting in an astounding amount of both broken-down and pristine technology. Many of the enemies here are robotic in nature, with the miraculous power of Sol technology making them powerful foes indeed. It's also a highly vertical area- perhaps some new platforming skills will be needed.
Connects to Arboreum above.
|Karkinion, the Slayer of Men||
|The Umbralus||The mysterious SP reactor that fuels all of Palacio de Sol... This area is almost a metaphor for Malya herself. At any rate, this area is treacherous due to SP radiation, with only certain safe havens preventing her from slowly losing her lifeforce over time. That's to say nothing of the mummified, mutated remnants of human life that have been trapped in the reactor...
Connected to Ruined Complex above.
|Chirarius, the Bonearcher||
|Quicksilver||None||Malya's signature weapon, taking the form of a device resembling brass knuckles wrapped around her palm. Its true form is the white-hot mercury contained within, creating a weapon that shifts between a scaldingly-sharp blade and projectile spurts of deadly liquid metal. As her basic weapon, the Quicksilver doesn't have much going for it other than being very reliable. It also has massive amounts of customization, being able to be modified extensively via Perks to follow preferred playstyles.|
|Healyth||None||A glowing flask-like object that generates a soothing blue gel. It may not taste good, but this gel regenerates Malya's health almost fully when drunk, and it can be upgraded to hold many servings of the healing gel. However, effective use of the Healyth's power is required, as once all the gel has been consumed, it is unusable until the player refreshes at a Mercurial Fountain.|
|Curselight||Central Lune City||An advanced bow which seems to generate arrows out of hardlight energy, resulting in a near endless supply. The Curselight gives Malya the ability to strike targets at a distance with arrows, be it enemies or switches. It does not have infinite ammo, as Malya must build up more ammo by picking it up in the environment, attacking enemies, or waiting for it to auto-reload.|
|Waterwalker Soles||Mystical technology that enables Malya to walk on the surface of water as it it were solid ground. Does not necessarily allow her to swim freely, but aids in traversal of watery areas.|
|Shadow Aura||A nanotech sigil that taps into the bearer's veins, giving them bursts of adrenaline and superspeed. Enables Malya to perform a dash by pressing one of the shoulder buttons, which offers intangibility if it is given a sufficient cooldown.|
|Stressor Charge||An enhancement to Curselight, imbuing its hardlight ammunition with powerful destructive capabilities. Causes Curselight's arrows to become explosive when charged, breaking open certain walls and armor.|
|Deepmask||A thin mask that generates an endless supply of oxygen. Enables Mayla to submerge herself underwater without worry, though polluted or acidic water can still damage her.|
|Heatshield Cloak||A cloak with hexagonal panels sewn in to act as a heatshield, defending Malya from the effects of convection and enabling her to use the Waterwalker Soles to walk on the surface of lava. Does not work alongside the Deepmask, preventing swimming in lava.|
|Propulsion Boots||Rocket-powered boots that enable Malya to charge her jump to incredible heights, allowing her access to many things she would be unable to access beforehand. Requires some charge time before the super jump is triggered.|