Alternate World (2011 game)
|Main • Tropes|
|Designed by||Zsolt Tóth|
|Engine||RPG Maker 2000|
Alternate World is a video game adaptation of a (now-defunct) forum-based roleplaying game with the same name, in addition to being Zsolt Tóth's one and only finished game as of 2015.
The game plays like a typical JRPG, as such, there is no character creation, the player is given little to no choice in the events that shape the plot, ensuring for a linear, railroad-like experience characteristic of JRPGs, nevertheless, the Artograch Arc does have day-night transitions, and the Artograch Arc and Terran Arc allow the player to pick party members at will, as long as the main protagonist is in the party.
There are no minigames, and no choices that result in a Game Over. The only way to lose the game is to lose all party members in a battle, or run into a game-breaking glitch that renders the game unbeatable for all practical purposes..
Out of these three, only the Spirit World Arc is a direct adaptation of the Alternate World FRPG, with the Artograch Arc being loosely based off Ways of Darkness, and the Terran Arc being set on... Earth.
Unlike in the designated (and cancelled) spiritual successor, the player is not allowed to create a character: Gnarog Dougfral is the main protagonist, and the game plays very linearly, like a typical JRPG.
Spirit World Arc
Gnarog Dougfral was a soldier in the "Lower Dimension" (Earth). He was a deserter, so he was shot dead, but the time before his ultimate demise as a human being, he has met with a bearded outcast, who told him about the "Upper Dimension" (Spirit World).
In the beginning of the game, Kawazoe (the administrator of the original forum, and narrator), portrayed as a blue-headed golem-like deity in the game, is narrating about how at once world was one and united, but the immorality of humans has caused the world to rip apart and split into two dimensions: the Lower Dimension and the Upper Dimension. Kawazoe further explains that humans who have a very strong will and spiritual potential don't die like other humans do, but instead ascend to the Upper Dimension.
Gnarog is one of those who ascended after their earthly demise. However, his newfound existence was not as easy as one would think, as he found himself lost first, then fighting slimes, then rescuing a certain female - Nemezish - first from wild tigers, then from ninjas. Not so long after Morthen Orden'Ath Ildor also joins the team, but in a little amount of time, the team is captured by orcs. They were about to be enslaved and raped, until Kawazoe used his divine intervention to save the team.
The whole team found itself in what seemed to be another dimension, or just a farther part of the Spirit World. After pretending to be pirates to get on a ship and having dinner, the party of three found itself behind bars again, this time captured by local human guards, and rescued by Dermaglen, a mysterious figure that would only appear in the two other arcs again.
After the rescue, the party of three find themselevs in a village, seemingly enjoying a vacation, however something is amiss - Ildor seems missing. Nemezish convinces Gnarog to search for Ildor, and they find and confront him in a dead end in the local forest, where Ildor tells them that he does not trust them, and that he wants to go on his own way.
The Fourth Wall breaks, as Kawazoe anounces that this was supposed to be the end of the game, however Dockawa - a person who seems to be Kawazoe's new alter-ego - takes over, lecturing Gnarog about the changes his real-life counterpart went through, and how contact was lost with the other roleplayers. Using this as justification, Dockawa makes Nemezish and Ildor disappear, and forces Gnarog into a three-year coma...
Gnarog eventually wakes up from his three-year coma, but much to his surprise, he is not at the forest he fell asleep at, but at another place. He is found by Stephanus Tavilrond, who informs him that it is not 2008 anymore but 2011, and that Stephanus is essentially Gnarog's future self.
Dumbfounded but desperate to find Nemezish and Ildor again, Gnarog decides to join up with Stephanus, who (re-)introduces him to Dermaglen, who fills him in with the details of what has changed in the game's creator's life between 2008 and 2011, and how Nemezish and Ildor may be still around, but probably hard to find, as they most likely went astray. After the explaining of facts, Dermaglen decides to join up with Gnarog and Stephanus.
Inspecting the prison of Grandfolk first, the new team of three finds a mysterious woman named Arnélia claiming to be innocent and wrongfully imprisoned, who promises to help them at their quest. The team of three also come accross a female ninja named Aya who plans to work into the prison to steal the gold stored inside. With the assistance of Aya, they break into the prison, steal the gold and free Arnelia, who is found the next day by the team hiding at one of the lower, abandoned levels of the prison rather than having escaped to the surface.
Gnarog, while talking with Arnelia, summs up the story so far, while Kawazoe is seen on Earth, imprisoned by Vladimir Putin,Kim Jong-Il, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres. Kawazoe uses a combination of stealth and might to fight his way through the guarding ninjas first, then disguise himself as Kim Jong-Il, get on a aeroplane. After fighting back three Israeli aeroplanes, Kawazoe is forced to make a crash-landing with his aeroplane, and somehow ends up in Artograch.
The team which has now swollen to four members heads to the north, ending up in a cave where they - after fighting their way through an autobot - manage to rescue Nemezish and Ildor.
After this event, the player is free to arrange his/her team at will, but Gnarog must remain a member. Gnarog's party finds Kawazoe in a remote corner of Grandolk, who tells them use the airship he left behind near Grandfolk and use it to travel to Keldorn, Magnus Nex Urbs to be specific.
Following Kawazoe's instructions, the fellowship meets Keldorn's government-in-exile, who promise to pay them a lot of money if they kill Dockawa, whom at this point is considered the source of all evil by Gnarog, who wants revenge, even though he has found Nemezish and Ildor alive.
The party storms the governmental building and manages to overpower the guards, but much to their surprise, it turns out that Dockawa himself was a puppet. The puppetmaster, Doclonius reveals himself by killing Dockawa by one hit, and then fights the fellowship, ultimately losing the battle.
With his dying words, Dockawa tells Gnarog that he should not repeat his mistakes, and should never accept bribes or let himself be intimidated. Dockawa also instructs Gnarog that he should stop the ones who really are pulling the strings - Vladimir Putin,Kim Jong-Il, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
Returning to Grandfolk, to Dermaglen's house, Gnarog notices that there is something unusual about Dermaglen's computer...
Dermaglen's computer ends up teleporting the team to László Dornfeld's fictionalized home, who gives them a tool to travel between Earth and Artograch at will. He also gives them several weapons. After this, Gnarog has the option to teleport to Zsolt Tóth's house, back to Artograch or "an unknown location" (a toilet near an Israeli airport).
After teleporting to Israel, the party gets to an airplane flying to North Korea, where they are welcomed by Ju Song-Il, who uses sleeping gass to render al members of the team unconscious.
After finally defeating Kim Jong-bot, the building starts to crumble, leaving only a limited amount of time for the team to escape - they manage to succesfully escape.
Gnarog has married Nemezish and lived a happy married life with her until they died. Stephanus married Arnelia, Dermaglen went to Earth to help his creator László Dornfeld, Ildor continued his life of treasure-hunting, and Aya was rumoured to have changed her name and became the wife of a lumberjack.
Everyone lived happily ever after.
Game development started in 2008, or even as early as 2007, but the project came into a halt, and was considered for all purposes dead until 2011. At that point, only the Spirit World Arc part was ready, Ways of Darkness did not even exist yet, so the Artograch Arc wasn't even though of.
Zsolt Tóth decided to dig the project up in 2010, and after some slow and sluggish development, the project was finally finished in the Summer of 2011. Just one week after the original Hungarian-language version found itself uploaded to Mediafire, the English translation was also finalized and uploaded.
There were plans to include other cities in the Artograch Arc than Grandfolk and Magnus Nex Urbs, but due to time constraints - and the belief that they were irrelevant to the plot - compelled Zsolt to skip them, leaving Artograch for all purposes consist of only two cities and one cave. The map for Artograch was re-used in Emergence of Darkness, and it's successor Ways of Darkness as well.