I’ll Start at the Beginning.
Growing up, I remember my first PSX Console. It was a humble thing - a mere solid gray rectangle with a circular top that popped open.
My dad got it for me when I was 6 years old. He bought it used from a Pawnshop (we used to frequent pawnshops with my pop, as it was one of his hobbies.)
He then told me to pick out a few games from behind the glass.
There I stood, mesmerized by the case art and the titles I could barely read. I picked based on feeling, as most children do, and out we went with a used PSX and a gaggle of games.
When I sat down and plugged everything in, I was overjoyed. I don’t much remember the first 5 titles or so I played, but one of them stood out to me above all else, and that was Final Fantasy Tactics.
North American Box Art
This game captivated me immediately. The wonderful art of Akihiko Yoshida was quite memorable and appealing:
Art by A. Yoshida - Copyright SquareEnix
Never mind that I could barely read, I sat there sounding out the words as the story unfolded, and before long I found myself in the tutorial battle.
Controlling only Ramza, the protagonist, I played all my turns until the allied AI destroyed the opposition.
Then it was time for the real battle, the first one wherein you fight with your entire party. You had to be smart, as the units were under your control this time, and not at the whim of the game’s surprisingly smart AI.
I lost that battle countless times. Then I figured out I could add more units to my party prior to starting. From there the game really kicked off, and I was hooked.
I spent hours customizing my units, changing their abilities and equipment, and playing through the story while synergizing the group I was growing.
All of these memories are some of the most dear to me. I sought these types of games thereafter, and have played and thoroughly enjoyed many an SRPG since.
In fact, it’s what lead me to generate the world of Strataegis: Rhapsody of Battle.
And overview on some of the completed pieces I’ve done thus far.
My highest ambition is to realize the project as a game for a major console or directly on Steam, but for now it’s an excellent exercise in world building and visual development.
Here’s a bit of backstory
Strataegis is the fabled shield of the creator, wielded by a long lineage of heroes in times of great need – the likes of which occur every 888 years.
A chaotic populace of malevolent forces are always aiming to besiege the world Valon. This populace is ever-scheming with various occulted denizens of Valon; some of whom hold great power and influence.
Sanquisition is a secret organization that seeks to recruit promising soldiers, warriors, arcanists, agents, and everything in between in order to carry out a gamut of missions. The aim is to thwart the malevolent takeovers and onslaughts while seeking the fragments of Strataegis.
It is the 880th year in the grand cycle, and as the two moons begin to seek their celestial alignment (growing closer to the planet Valon on which this story occurs) the attacks from the Morivolum are growing more frequent, and require greater cost to fend off.
Worthy recruits of Sanquisition are being scouted and indoctrinated faster than ever in an effort to reunite the fragments of the Strataegis before it's too late.
Pictured in the center is Arcus - a sword-wielding Taroteer who plays a crucial part in the events of Strataegis.
If that wasn't enough, a triumvirate alliance of kingdoms and surrounding principalities have banded under the kingship of a possessed Ruler, Khard Trummeldane IV. Khard will stop at nothing to ensure that Sanquisition gets wiped off the face of the planet.
Villains serving Khard T IV.
It's up to small collectives of Sanquisition agents (Sanquisitors) to do everything in their power to fell all of these opposing forces within 8 years, lest the veil break and the Morivolum infect the world.
Caeli - one of the higher-ranking Sanquisitors.
Thus far I’ve focused primarily on illustrations, but there have been some classes or job concepts completed as well:
Generating worlds visually, textually, contextually, and otherwise is one of the greatest joys of expression. After a certain point you begin to feel more like a faithful teller, rather than the creator of said world.
None the less, I’ll continue to put work into Strataegis whenever time permits - if you’re interested in direct updates you can sign up for news here: http://eepurl.com/cLDqrn
If you’d like to talk about contributing to the project, you can reach me here.
Here’s to further developments! Until next time.