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V Planet (
The first 100% QuickBasic game Review magazine

DarkDread Goes Ethereal

(10/21/99) The designer of many classic QBRPGs forms a new team and a new project, Distant Promises.

Marionet proves to be a great magician and also a great friend.

With three titles, Darkdread has the most QBRPGs on our top 28 list. We talk with DarkDread about his move to the Darkness Ethereal and Distant Promises, the most ambitious QBRPG to date.

V Planet: What's the general story and theme of Distant Promises?

Darkdread: The story revolves around an ancient evil which almost destroyed the world many years ago... This creature, feeding on humanity's greed and evil, awoke, and ravaged the land... Now, the creature is about to wake again. 

The story revolves around an unlikely bunch of heroes, who learn of this... and are caught up in 'saving the world'.

V Planet: What characters appear in Distant Promises so far? What personality and abilities can we expect from each of these characters?

Darkdread: There will be five playable characters in DP... Or maybe more ;) Raven, the main character, is a decent fighter, who has some magic abilities as well... Rose, his good friend, helps him out... She is a strong magic user, but a weak fighter.  Shroud, Raven and Rose's friend, is a cynical fighter, who excels at using magic as well.  Marionet, is an ex-employee of KaylenCo, a big manufacturing company... He is a good fighter, who uses special magic to summon creatures to help in battle... Finally, DarkDread (Heh, heh) is an ancient vampire, who is a powerful fighter and magic user... Though he seems reluctant to join the party... Well... You might also find another character who will be willing to join the party.

V Planet: What features in gameplay for Distant Promises (that you are willing to reveal at this time) set it apart from any other QB game ever seen before?

Darkdread: Hmm... Well, I think the biggest thing which will distinguish DP from other QB games, is all of the little things that are being added to it... We are spending a lot of time, to ensure the best possible play balance, and story in the game... The sprite graphics are also being created to look as polished as possible.  Another big thing though, will be the likely addition of animated CG backgrounds during battles... In fact, the last boss... Nah... I'd better not spoil it!

V Planet: Are there any part(s) so far in the development of DP that would probably shock other QB programmers and make them ask "Wow! How did he do that?"

Darkdread: Hmmm... I'm couldn't tell you for sure... But the active time battle engine, I am quite fond of... It was much harder to develop than a turn based engine would've been... But it was worth it.  I think that the engine is on par with what one would expect in a Final Fantasy game... But stop me if I'm starting to sound pompous.

V Planet: How big do you expect DP to be when it's done? (In terms of MB, hours of play, and the size of the universe itself)

Darkdread: Well... It will likely be 10 to 20 meg when it is done... Of course, the download shouldn't be bigger than 6 megabytes... It's a little large yes, but the game will be worth it for RPG fans.  Hours of play... To go from start to finish, about 15 or 20 hours... To get everything in the game, and have your characters 'maxed out', could end up being 50+ hours.

V Planet: You've had many projects, including Secret of Cooey, Legend of Lith II, and Lianne in the Dark Crown. What is your favorite part about each of these games?

Darkdread: Many things, actually.  I like being able to create a story in my head, and on paper, then turn it into an enjoyable game.  I also enjoy hearing what others think of the games... So send me e-mail and let me know!

V Planet: What is your favorite DarkDread QBRPG so far? Why so?

Darkdread: Heh heh... I really don't know... I'd have to say Distant Promises, since it's been a lot of fun to work on so far, and I believe that it will be a high quality game, no matter what language it was written in.

V Planet: Which do you prefer to play in QB, Final Fantasy clones or Zelda clones?

Darkdread: It doesn't matter... So long as there's more than a tile demo, and the game is fun.

V Planet: What QBRPGs do you play other than your own?

Darkdread: Hrm... I play Wrath of Sona, but that's also because I'm helping Nekrophidius with it... I like Kids of Karendow, that's a pretty good game too.  Most other QBRPGs are so incomplete that I can't comment on them... Dark Ages was fun though.

V Planet: Name what you feel are the three most important QBRPGs ever made in terms of pushing the QB standard forward.

Darkdread: Hrm... I can't objectively answer this question... So I'll give my three favourites in no particular order:

                Dark Crown
                Wrath of Sona

Yes, I didn't include Dark Ages, this is just a personal preference list ;)

V Planet: Finally, let's talk about the big boy video game industry (Nintendo, Sega, Sony, etc.) You mentioned "console" RPGs in your website and that this is what DP aims to be. What do you feel is the best video-game system console RPG ever made, perhaps what you feel is the archetype of the game that you hope to achieve?

Darkdread: Hrm... I've got a few favourites, but when it comes to DP, it is very much patterened after Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI.  As for what I'd hope to achieve, well, all games can be improved upon, so I just hope to soon create a game that will be very hard to top.

V Planet: Thanks for your time. I hope the best for your QB projects.

Darkdread: No problem, and thank you.

Good luck to Darkdread and the rest of Darkness Ethereal!
Check out more about Distant Promises by looking at our review of the DP demo or by going to Serenity's website at

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