An RPG of exploration, collection, and critical thinking. The end of the world has come and gone, leaving only phantoms where once there was life. Now Schorl, the last surviving human, and Spinel, the last of the magical saerii, search through the memories of a bygone era, hoping to find a future.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (13 reviews) - 100% of the 13 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 10, 2015

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Recent updates View all (3)

January 17

V1.02 is LIVE!

V1.02 Patch Notes:
- Added support for new screen resolution sizes, for those who prefer a larger window. Activate with F6.
- Added support for a new fullscreen mode that works together with the new resolutions. Activate with F5.
- Rewrote and added to early tutorial messages for greater clarity. Yes, this game does in fact support gamepads!

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January 2

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Patch 1.01 is now live.

Hope everyone's new year is getting off to a great start! Here's our first patch to a fix a few bugs from the release version.

Patch 1.01 Notes:
- Fixed a bug wherein obstacles involved in recruiting the Sincere Memory would reappear during Plus Mode, blocking access to a certain lexicon entry.
- Fixed a bug wherein rapidly pressing the confirmation button after infusing a memory into a window would cause Schorl to enter the window without playing the appropriate animation.
- Added a version number to the Title Screen. (This patch is 1.01)

0 comments Read more

Reviews

“For the short time it lasts, Pale Echoes has an interesting and creative battle system, a compelling story to tell, and an interesting world to explore.”
3.5/5 – The Escapist

“It's subtle, but the craftsmanship of this game is wonderful if you can take the time to notice all that it does right.”
1-UP – 1-UP or POISON

About This Game

The end of the world has come and gone, leaving only phantoms where once there was life. Now Schorl, the last surviving human, and Spinel, the last of the magical saerii, search through the memories of a bygone era, hoping to find a future.

Pale Echoes is an RPG where exploration, collection, and critical thinking are key. Travel between the desolate real world and the vibrant world of memories, reliving the events of the past and collecting powerful human memories, each with their own unique skills.

Battle against and purify echoes, powerful phantoms left behind by the deceased, using a unique battle system where every lost memory you collect is a different character to summon to your aid. Beware, however, as each memory can only act once, and victory must be attained before your last memory has been used up.

Features:

• Open windows into the past to see the world as it used to be, solving puzzles and collecting memories to use in battle.

• A practical puzzle battle system, where the more memories you collect, the longer you can last in a fight.

• A story of finding hope when all seems lost, and friendship forged in the midst of resentment and despair.

• Uncover 40 different memories to summon into battle, and 30 different hidden lexicons that detail the history and culture of the world that was lost.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 98 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1ghz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (13 reviews)
Recently Posted
Draya
( 6.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 6
I will start by saying that as of now, I have played this game through twice in as many days. I had picked it up during a sale, hoping the money I spent on it was worth it, and I can now say definitively that it was. Honestly, I think I would have been okay paying the full price for this little creative gem.

So what's good about it? Well, though the game might be short, the world is surprisingly immersive and detailed. While exploring the levels, I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to find and see. It's especially great if you're something of a completionist, with plenty of memories and lexicon entries to find. You likely won't find it all on your first playthrough, making the new game plus mode a welcome addition.

Another good thing would be the combat. It's highly unique in what it asks of you, requiring you use memories found throughout the world to attack, buff or heal. The battles themselves feel almost like puzzles in a sense, while still feeling like a fight.

Finally, there's the story. You take the role of Schorl, the last remaining human after the end of the world, who is helping the last saerii, Spinel, purify the planet. Without giving any spoilers, I'd say the story is highly enjoyable and worth the playthrough.

I'd definately recommend this game if you love a unique rpg, or are looking for something with a good story behind it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Frogge
( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 29
I don't even know how to put how awesome this game is into words. I absolutely love it and I guarantee you will too!
Pale Echoes is a 5-6 hour long rpg that is about purifying the world after it has come to it's end. The story is nothing too complicated in a good way. It is easy to understand and the twist it delivers later on did really surprise me(I can't guarantee that every one will like the twist, I just personally wasn't expecting it at all so it was effective on me). The graphics are the default rpg maker graphics(a.k.a RTP)however they are put into very good use which brings me to my next point. The mapping in the game is great with a lot of detailing. However, the point Pale Echoes really shines is it's battle system.

The battle system isn't your typical rpg ''mash attack'' kind of system. Neither does it actually feel like a battle system! The battles in Pale Echoes are really a lot like puzzles of their own. In the game you can collect echoes from the area, who are party members who will help you in battle. However, they can all only hit once before fading away each battle. You cannot win the battle if you run out of echoes, which means your moves are limited. For example, if you have 5 echoes you have to win the battle in 5 moves. There are three attack elements which are strong against one another. Differently from many other rpgs, losing in Pale Echoes will not give you game overs. You can repeat the battles if you lose which was really nice because you mostly have to lose at least once in the battles to form a strategy.

I really don't have much to say about Pale Echoes. You should just buy it, like NOW. It's price is near perfect and it has a great length so that it doesn't start to get boring or repetitive. Personally, I had so much fun playing Pale Echoes and I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of rpgs or just indie games in general.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Black_Clone
( 11.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
Pale Echoes is an interesting twist on the classic turn based RPG battle system with an interesting story to back it up.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Pale Echoes and the battle system was unique and fun to figure out. I liked how you fight with one time per battle Memories which requires you to plan your strategy instead of just mashing the confirm button.

The story was interesting enough to keep me hooked and the Lexicon entries which contained extra lore made for an interesting read.

The game also appealed to my collectible side with it's large amount of diverse memories and hidden Lexicon entries to collect. It also appealed to my completionist side with its 25 Achievements, percentage finish, and two bonus modes for an extra challenge.

Overall I think it made a great effort to utilize the default RPG Maker graphics to the best of it's abilities and my only regret was that the game was not longer.

I would recommend this game to anyone who thinks a good RPG Maker game can't be made with the default graphics and wants a unique interesting battle system.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Warwick J.
( 5.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 14
It was just yesterday that we covered our first game of another publisher of great RPGMaker games, Aldorlea Games, with their Beyond Reality. Today I am quite happy to cast the spotlight on Degica’s December, 2015 release of Pale Echoes developed by Wyrmling Productions. Like EternalShadow Studios yesterday Pale Echoes also happens to be Wyrmling Studios first game published onto Steam.

The most important thing to note about Pale Echoes is that the combat system is unique. The combat system relies upon memories that are found in the physical world. Without these memories you cannot defeat Echoes. If you fail to defeat the Echoes combat comes to a close and you must attempt to defeat that particular Echo again. Thankfully if you do lose a round of combat and are forced into that second attempt you do not lose the memories that you spent in the round that you lost. This is definitely a big advantage that the game has going for it. During each round of combat the player can call upon three memories. Memories in the game play similarly to party members with each having their strengths, weaknesses and unique attack abilities. Each memory has a different color. Red is superior to Green, Green superior to Blue and Blue superior to Green. If the enemy is a particular color the game will advise you of this. Combat is exciting, challenging and thankfully a primary component of the game.As well as coming across echoes throughout the game players will also discover memories.

I personally found that the most significant downfall is the game’s its short length. It’s definitely a title that could have done with more work because just as you feel like you’re getting into a groove you’ve suddenly beaten the game. The game could definitely be expanded to a greater length without sacrificing the quality in other areas or in the storyline either. Perhaps this is something that Wyrmling Productions could take note of and devise an extended version or add more content. This is a mighty fine game that is let down a little bit by its lack of content.

The art standard of the work is typical RPGMaker and the sound is slightly better. In researching for the game I discovered that many people really appreciated the soundtrack to the game but my partner was annoyed by it and as such I turned it down.

Pale Echoes is definitely a very good foray onto Steam by Wyrmling Productions. If there can be a content addition it would be even better but at $4.99 you’re going to get good value from it as it is. A definite and wholehearted recommendation.

For more reviews similar to this one and our daily giveaways please visit http://www.steamified.com/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Atralane
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 5
A large part of my interest in Pale Echoes came from playing a very similar game on the Nintendo Wii back in 2009: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon . The game focused on exploring a lonely, memory-filled world following a planet-wide disaster that leaves the main character (Seto) completely alone, save for his companion. It remains one of my favorite titles on the system, and I was excited to see the formula tried again via the ever-common RPG Maker system.

So, how does it hold out?

Plot and Setting

By far, I would say the reason to play Pale Echoes is the ambient environment and story. Granted, the game is very short--I finished the game with all Lexicon entries and memories in less than four hours. But for those who like lore-driven games and this particular style of post-apocalypse storytelling, it's a pleasant little item. You play as Schorl, the last human alive after the apocalypse, as she and her magical companion Spinel approach the end of their purification of the world. In order to restore destroyed portions of the map, you must defeat a Dark Echo and give respite to the haunted memories of the dead there.

Gameplay

The actual areas you explore are somewhat small. Most are about the size of your typical 2D RPG villages. However, they are doubled in size and content due to the fact that you travel between the real world and the memory of the past world via Spinel's portals. You essentially look for two things: Memories (or Pale Echoes)--which are recruitable units you use in combat or sacrifice to open some of Spinel's Windows (portals)--and Lexicon entries, which provide lore information about the world and unlock various post-game bonuses.

Both are strongly recommended for enjoying Pale Echoes to the fullest. As far as combat goes, I would describe the game less as an "RPG" and more as a "light-RPG/puzzle" hybrid. All encounters are fixed and predetermined; specific Echoes are always encountered at specific locations. Fighting revolves around a simplified combat triangle (think Fire Emblem's sword -> axe -> spear -> ) of mental states: Composed, Provoked, and Erratic. Fighting is more about tactfully deciding each turn of Memories to maintain Schorl's Focus (aka HP), as all attack types deliver a determined amount of damage throughout the game; as an example, a Fixed attack without a mental state or buff will always deal 100 points of damage. Later Memories are more "powerful" through a greater variety of attack types and buffs. Losing a battle does NOT result in death, as the enemies are merely memories you are confronted with.

The system is simple, but it works. It's an interesting twist on the RPG Maker system, and it fits the more casual, visual- and aural-based gameplay. For those really looking for a challenge with the system, there is an alternate style called "Perfection Mode" which demands very specific actions and Memories in order to subdue the various Echo encounters.

Visuals

Let's get this over with-- Pale Echoes clearly uses RPG Maker components, and for many people this is a huge turnoff. To be fair, I myself am starting to witness recurring sprites and tilesets (I just played Moonchild a few weeks earlier). While my opinion may change on it in the future, I wasn't too bothered by this fact here. I thought the characters pictures and sprites fit the Memories well, and the game includes a wide diversity of them to find.

One thing that particularly bothered me was the fact that the Real World seemed far too empty after viewing the Memory World. The Developer Commentary even points out that they opted for giant, gaping holes where houses and structures existed to avoid needing destroyed sprites. This...is not a good thing to admit. I'm aware that custom sprites and tiles require time to make, but as I've seen numerous people point out in other titles, this is what separates good RPG Maker games from the poor ones.

The rest of the gameworld felt more detailed--I enjoyed jumping between the Windows to see exactly how the two worlds differ from each other. Numerous items and objects can also be observed in the world, which is great for this type of game. Exploration and world depth is key!

Audio

I personally love post-apocalyptic games that emphasize silence (again, coming from Fragile Dreams ). The Real World is mostly quiet, save for ambient sounds. However, the rest of the game uses various sets of music, so you might recognize a few of them (the alternate set of music that can be unlocked was nice, but I remembered several from Moonchild's soundtrack). I prefer the first set of tracks employed in the game, particularly the battle theme with the Echoes which gives a sort of nobility to the ruined world and significance to the memories of the dead.

Replayability

I wouldn't mind playing Pale Echoes again. However, much of the game can be achieved in one playthrough. There are several modes and features available after your first completion of the game, which flesh it out more (I applaud the developers for including them! I've gone through a few already). Honestly, it depends on your own personality. I tend to treat games more as books, and I'm fine with rereading a good story--if this isn't the same for you, it might be harder to justify going back to it.

Final Say

Ultimately, I liked Pale Echoes . It certainly has some flaws that prevent me from outright recommending it to anyone who likes RPGs or puzzle games, but I wouldn't condemn the game for it. Again, I stress that the game shouldn't be considered as an RPG first; much of the enjoyment I got came from the world, lore, and Memories. If you happen to find the game on discount and are remotely interested in this type of game or setting, I'd suggest taking a look at it.
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IAmJakeSauvage
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: December 15, 2015
A very satisfying gaming experience - especially from an RPGMaker game! Pale Echoes really differentiates itself with it's unique battle system, player choices and lore (I love the ingame Lexicon). You can tell the developer really enjoyed creating this world.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FyreNyxie
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: December 13, 2015
Here's a link to my review video:

https://youtu.be/bXBkqJAh41c

Hiya Everyone!

FyreNyxie here and this is a review of Pale Echoes. This game had really unique battles and an interesting storyline that kept me wanting more the whole way through. You and your companion are the only survivors to the end of the world and you travel around putting dark echoes to rest and purifying the land. By traveling between the past and the present you collect memories that you can use to battle the echoes that remain. I give this one a 4/5 because the controls are really simple, traveling between the past and the present doesn't get tiring, and the battle are more like puzzles that aren't so impossibe that you get frustrated, quit, and never see the end of the story. The game is a bit short but everything mattered, the story flowed, and I believe the length ended up being just right.

Have Fun Gamers!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
how horrifying
( 10.3 hrs on record )
Posted: December 11, 2015
I had never heard of this game, saw its description when it was released, and decided to risk $4 on it.

It was definitely worth it. It's far more engaging than many game with better graphics that cost 5 times as much. One of the most melacholy game I've ever played, but not crushingly depressing like Planetarian. The battles really are puzzles, while still feeling like console RPG battles.

My only complaint is that it really needs something like a 200% window size, as the only options are tiny RPGMaker default and giant full-screen blur.

More window sizes were added, complaint gone.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
crissymoss
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: December 11, 2015
While it's an interesting story, and the fighting techniques are quite unique I did find one thing very annoying.... I couldn't adjust the resolution of the game. It came up in a tiny window on my screen and I had to adjust the resolution of my screen in order to make it bigger. There should definitely be some controls for making the game full screen built into the game. Also the movement is bound to the arrow keys instead of W,A,S,D, and doesn't allow for mouse clicks to make the game easier to navigate.

I do plan on putting some more time into the game to see more of the story, but I hope the developer will address these issues eventually to make it a more enjoyable experience. Otherwise the story and world development, and the mechanic for going back and forth through memories is quite enjoyable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Psyker
( 6.4 hrs on record )
Posted: December 10, 2015
I am a tester for Pale Echoes and was provided a copy for testing purposes.

Pale Echoes takes RPGs and gives it a little bit of twist.

Combat is very paper / rock / scissor-ish as you have to find out what works best against certain enemies. You gain "memories" as you play which act as additional characters during combat. Each memory has separate abilities which provide ways to heal, buff, or damage in battle. Each memory can only be used once per battle and if you run of out memories then you have to restart the battle again. Combat takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it then it becomes second nature.

Aside from combat what makes the game interesting is not just the story but the perspective of how the story is told. Your character is the last surviving human who is recruited to help restore the world to a better place before it's destruction.

Overall the game isn't too difficult and the normal playthrough can take about 3 hours beginning to end. Additional options for playthrough are Dev commentary, Plus Mode (standard playthrough with all memories unlocked), and Perfectionist mode (which involves selecting the correct memories in an exact order to win).

This is a game that shows despite using stock RPG Maker resources you can still have a great experience.

If you are a fan of indie games this one is definitely worth looking into.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: December 10, 2015
A review code for "Pale Echoes" was provided to me from VG Smart Press on behalf of Degica Games. This, however, does not affect the score provided in this review!

When it comes to uniquely-fun indie RPGs, Degica has yet to disappoint. They publish all sorts of titles that I would have otherwise never heard of, but thankfully due to some awesome PR contacts I keep coming across some of the better RPGs that they’ve published. To this end, Pale Echoes is no exception.

Much like Remnants of Isolation, this game tells an original story with an original setting while mixing in quite a few new gameplay elements to the RPG Maker engine. The game stars a human woman named Schori and her magical companion Spinel, the last of their kind to survive “the End” of their world. In the years since the destruction of the world, the pair have traveled all around the globe looking for Echoes (or ghosts containing the memory of lost mortals) and purifying them to help them find their rest. Doing so, and especially purging the Dark Echoes from the physical world, allows them, through magic, to restore a semblance of beauty back to the broken world. By the time the game begins, the pair have reached the last region of the world needing to be purified – the capital of the world’s former government.

The game’s combat is very unique because of its reliance on memories found in the physical world. Echoes are essentially ghosts and cannot harm Schori, but they can cause her to loose her concentration and thus not be able to purify them. Each round of combat, the player can summon three memories into the playing field, each with their own unique attack abilities, magical spells, and strengths against certain types of Echoes. At the end of each round, though, those memories are unsummoned and more must be brought to the field. If no more memories remain, and the Echoes still have not been defeated, then the combat ends and you must try again.

Memories are gained from the “living memories” encountered throughout the game. One of the game’s unique aspects is Spinel’s ability to draw on the “echoes” of the past to create a replication of the past in the present. The game explains this as simply creating an alternate reality based on the memories of the real world, but this allows the player to interact with people, understand the final days of the world, and get some of those memories to join the party. Swapping between the present and the “past” is necessary in order to get around obstacles, not perhaps dissimilar from the Dark World/Light World mechanic in Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Sacrifice is an important part of the game, too, because there are times when the player will need to sacrifice certain memories they have in order to unlock travel points between certain areas. This, too, seems to be a theme of the overall story.

The game is short, though, and while this isn’t a problem with certain games, with this game I just felt like I wanted more. I wanted to know more about the world, to see more of it, and see further character development. The game also uses a great deal of stock RPG Maker assets, and while this isn’t a horrible thing, I definitely appreciate it a lot more when a developer puts in a ton more of their own resources into something to make it more unique and standing out.

On the other hand, the soundtrack is unique and very well-done. I thought the music was a strong point in this game for sure.

Overall, Pale Echoes is a very unique RPG that does a lot to shake things up. It’s a shorter game, but tells a great story, and for $4.99 (full price) it is definitely a game to check out if you are into the J-RPG scene or just enjoy a good tale!

On a scale from 0 to 10, where a 5 is “average,” this game gets a rating of:

-------------------------------------
GOOD...... 7.5 / 10
-------------------------------------
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2015
I am a tester for Pale Echoes and was provided a copy for testing purposes.

Pale Echoes takes RPGs and gives it a little bit of twist.

Combat is very paper / rock / scissor-ish as you have to find out what works best against certain enemies. You gain "memories" as you play which act as additional characters during combat. Each memory has separate abilities which provide ways to heal, buff, or damage in battle. Each memory can only be used once per battle and if you run of out memories then you have to restart the battle again. Combat takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it then it becomes second nature.

Aside from combat what makes the game interesting is not just the story but the perspective of how the story is told. Your character is the last surviving human who is recruited to help restore the world to a better place before it's destruction.

Overall the game isn't too difficult and the normal playthrough can take about 3 hours beginning to end. Additional options for playthrough are Dev commentary, Plus Mode (standard playthrough with all memories unlocked), and Perfectionist mode (which involves selecting the correct memories in an exact order to win).

This is a game that shows despite using stock RPG Maker resources you can still have a great experience.

If you are a fan of indie games this one is definitely worth looking into.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2015
Pale Echoes was a surprise hit for me. I went in skeptical and came back pleasantly surprised. The game is pretty short, but every bit of it seems purposeful. At no point did I feel like I was wasting my time. The combat is fun and fresh, with a learning curve that felt appropriate.

I’d really recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and fresh RPG, with some fun world building, especially if they’re a completionist.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2015
Here's a link to my review video:

https://youtu.be/bXBkqJAh41c

Hiya Everyone!

FyreNyxie here and this is a review of Pale Echoes. This game had really unique battles and an interesting storyline that kept me wanting more the whole way through. You and your companion are the only survivors to the end of the world and you travel around putting dark echoes to rest and purifying the land. By traveling between the past and the present you collect memories that you can use to battle the echoes that remain. I give this one a 4/5 because the controls are really simple, traveling between the past and the present doesn't get tiring, and the battle are more like puzzles that aren't so impossibe that you get frustrated, quit, and never see the end of the story. The game is a bit short but everything mattered, the story flowed, and I believe the length ended up being just right.

Have Fun Gamers!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
It was just yesterday that we covered our first game of another publisher of great RPGMaker games, Aldorlea Games, with their Beyond Reality. Today I am quite happy to cast the spotlight on Degica’s December, 2015 release of Pale Echoes developed by Wyrmling Productions. Like EternalShadow Studios yesterday Pale Echoes also happens to be Wyrmling Studios first game published onto Steam.

The most important thing to note about Pale Echoes is that the combat system is unique. The combat system relies upon memories that are found in the physical world. Without these memories you cannot defeat Echoes. If you fail to defeat the Echoes combat comes to a close and you must attempt to defeat that particular Echo again. Thankfully if you do lose a round of combat and are forced into that second attempt you do not lose the memories that you spent in the round that you lost. This is definitely a big advantage that the game has going for it. During each round of combat the player can call upon three memories. Memories in the game play similarly to party members with each having their strengths, weaknesses and unique attack abilities. Each memory has a different color. Red is superior to Green, Green superior to Blue and Blue superior to Green. If the enemy is a particular color the game will advise you of this. Combat is exciting, challenging and thankfully a primary component of the game.As well as coming across echoes throughout the game players will also discover memories.

I personally found that the most significant downfall is the game’s its short length. It’s definitely a title that could have done with more work because just as you feel like you’re getting into a groove you’ve suddenly beaten the game. The game could definitely be expanded to a greater length without sacrificing the quality in other areas or in the storyline either. Perhaps this is something that Wyrmling Productions could take note of and devise an extended version or add more content. This is a mighty fine game that is let down a little bit by its lack of content.

The art standard of the work is typical RPGMaker and the sound is slightly better. In researching for the game I discovered that many people really appreciated the soundtrack to the game but my partner was annoyed by it and as such I turned it down.

Pale Echoes is definitely a very good foray onto Steam by Wyrmling Productions. If there can be a content addition it would be even better but at $4.99 you’re going to get good value from it as it is. A definite and wholehearted recommendation.

For more reviews similar to this one and our daily giveaways please visit http://www.steamified.com/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
While it's an interesting story, and the fighting techniques are quite unique I did find one thing very annoying.... I couldn't adjust the resolution of the game. It came up in a tiny window on my screen and I had to adjust the resolution of my screen in order to make it bigger. There should definitely be some controls for making the game full screen built into the game. Also the movement is bound to the arrow keys instead of W,A,S,D, and doesn't allow for mouse clicks to make the game easier to navigate.

I do plan on putting some more time into the game to see more of the story, but I hope the developer will address these issues eventually to make it a more enjoyable experience. Otherwise the story and world development, and the mechanic for going back and forth through memories is quite enjoyable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
A large part of my interest in Pale Echoes came from playing a very similar game on the Nintendo Wii back in 2009: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon . The game focused on exploring a lonely, memory-filled world following a planet-wide disaster that leaves the main character (Seto) completely alone, save for his companion. It remains one of my favorite titles on the system, and I was excited to see the formula tried again via the ever-common RPG Maker system.

So, how does it hold out?

Plot and Setting

By far, I would say the reason to play Pale Echoes is the ambient environment and story. Granted, the game is very short--I finished the game with all Lexicon entries and memories in less than four hours. But for those who like lore-driven games and this particular style of post-apocalypse storytelling, it's a pleasant little item. You play as Schorl, the last human alive after the apocalypse, as she and her magical companion Spinel approach the end of their purification of the world. In order to restore destroyed portions of the map, you must defeat a Dark Echo and give respite to the haunted memories of the dead there.

Gameplay

The actual areas you explore are somewhat small. Most are about the size of your typical 2D RPG villages. However, they are doubled in size and content due to the fact that you travel between the real world and the memory of the past world via Spinel's portals. You essentially look for two things: Memories (or Pale Echoes)--which are recruitable units you use in combat or sacrifice to open some of Spinel's Windows (portals)--and Lexicon entries, which provide lore information about the world and unlock various post-game bonuses.

Both are strongly recommended for enjoying Pale Echoes to the fullest. As far as combat goes, I would describe the game less as an "RPG" and more as a "light-RPG/puzzle" hybrid. All encounters are fixed and predetermined; specific Echoes are always encountered at specific locations. Fighting revolves around a simplified combat triangle (think Fire Emblem's sword -> axe -> spear -> ) of mental states: Composed, Provoked, and Erratic. Fighting is more about tactfully deciding each turn of Memories to maintain Schorl's Focus (aka HP), as all attack types deliver a determined amount of damage throughout the game; as an example, a Fixed attack without a mental state or buff will always deal 100 points of damage. Later Memories are more "powerful" through a greater variety of attack types and buffs. Losing a battle does NOT result in death, as the enemies are merely memories you are confronted with.

The system is simple, but it works. It's an interesting twist on the RPG Maker system, and it fits the more casual, visual- and aural-based gameplay. For those really looking for a challenge with the system, there is an alternate style called "Perfection Mode" which demands very specific actions and Memories in order to subdue the various Echo encounters.

Visuals

Let's get this over with-- Pale Echoes clearly uses RPG Maker components, and for many people this is a huge turnoff. To be fair, I myself am starting to witness recurring sprites and tilesets (I just played Moonchild a few weeks earlier). While my opinion may change on it in the future, I wasn't too bothered by this fact here. I thought the characters pictures and sprites fit the Memories well, and the game includes a wide diversity of them to find.

One thing that particularly bothered me was the fact that the Real World seemed far too empty after viewing the Memory World. The Developer Commentary even points out that they opted for giant, gaping holes where houses and structures existed to avoid needing destroyed sprites. This...is not a good thing to admit. I'm aware that custom sprites and tiles require time to make, but as I've seen numerous people point out in other titles, this is what separates good RPG Maker games from the poor ones.

The rest of the gameworld felt more detailed--I enjoyed jumping between the Windows to see exactly how the two worlds differ from each other. Numerous items and objects can also be observed in the world, which is great for this type of game. Exploration and world depth is key!

Audio

I personally love post-apocalyptic games that emphasize silence (again, coming from Fragile Dreams ). The Real World is mostly quiet, save for ambient sounds. However, the rest of the game uses various sets of music, so you might recognize a few of them (the alternate set of music that can be unlocked was nice, but I remembered several from Moonchild's soundtrack). I prefer the first set of tracks employed in the game, particularly the battle theme with the Echoes which gives a sort of nobility to the ruined world and significance to the memories of the dead.

Replayability

I wouldn't mind playing Pale Echoes again. However, much of the game can be achieved in one playthrough. There are several modes and features available after your first completion of the game, which flesh it out more (I applaud the developers for including them! I've gone through a few already). Honestly, it depends on your own personality. I tend to treat games more as books, and I'm fine with rereading a good story--if this isn't the same for you, it might be harder to justify going back to it.

Final Say

Ultimately, I liked Pale Echoes . It certainly has some flaws that prevent me from outright recommending it to anyone who likes RPGs or puzzle games, but I wouldn't condemn the game for it. Again, I stress that the game shouldn't be considered as an RPG first; much of the enjoyment I got came from the world, lore, and Memories. If you happen to find the game on discount and are remotely interested in this type of game or setting, I'd suggest taking a look at it.
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0 of 9 people (0%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2015
A very satisfying gaming experience - especially from an RPGMaker game! Pale Echoes really differentiates itself with it's unique battle system, player choices and lore (I love the ingame Lexicon). You can tell the developer really enjoyed creating this world.
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Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
I had never heard of this game, saw its description when it was released, and decided to risk $4 on it.

It was definitely worth it. It's far more engaging than many game with better graphics that cost 5 times as much. One of the most melacholy game I've ever played, but not crushingly depressing like Planetarian. The battles really are puzzles, while still feeling like console RPG battles.

My only complaint is that it really needs something like a 200% window size, as the only options are tiny RPGMaker default and giant full-screen blur.

More window sizes were added, complaint gone.
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Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
I don't even know how to put how awesome this game is into words. I absolutely love it and I guarantee you will too!
Pale Echoes is a 5-6 hour long rpg that is about purifying the world after it has come to it's end. The story is nothing too complicated in a good way. It is easy to understand and the twist it delivers later on did really surprise me(I can't guarantee that every one will like the twist, I just personally wasn't expecting it at all so it was effective on me). The graphics are the default rpg maker graphics(a.k.a RTP)however they are put into very good use which brings me to my next point. The mapping in the game is great with a lot of detailing. However, the point Pale Echoes really shines is it's battle system.

The battle system isn't your typical rpg ''mash attack'' kind of system. Neither does it actually feel like a battle system! The battles in Pale Echoes are really a lot like puzzles of their own. In the game you can collect echoes from the area, who are party members who will help you in battle. However, they can all only hit once before fading away each battle. You cannot win the battle if you run out of echoes, which means your moves are limited. For example, if you have 5 echoes you have to win the battle in 5 moves. There are three attack elements which are strong against one another. Differently from many other rpgs, losing in Pale Echoes will not give you game overs. You can repeat the battles if you lose which was really nice because you mostly have to lose at least once in the battles to form a strategy.

I really don't have much to say about Pale Echoes. You should just buy it, like NOW. It's price is near perfect and it has a great length so that it doesn't start to get boring or repetitive. Personally, I had so much fun playing Pale Echoes and I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of rpgs or just indie games in general.
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