Hazelnut Bastille gets a new staff member: composer of Secret of Mana
Hazelnut Bastille is, at the moment, an upcoming indie fantasy JRPG that everyone is interested in. Well, they can add a new reason that the Latest games will interest them. It has recently acquired a composer, Hiroki Kikuta, who is known for composing the music to Secret of Mana. That was released by Square Enix (then simply Square), for the Super Nintendo, in August of 1993.
Kikuta was apparently influenced to join the crew because he really enjoyed the game. Also, answered Aloft Studio’s call for composers. Kikuta, who is named as a “celebrity guest composer” in the soundtrack, made this statement. “Hazelnut Bastille is a wonderful looking retro-style game. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and hope we can create music that lives up to the rest of the game and everyone’s expectations!”
In his role as a guest composer, Kikuta will be supporting the main composer, Shannon Mason. He will add a few tracks to the final game. The news was confirmed by the artist of the game, who contacted gaming news website Kotaku to give them the details.
The top-down, Metroidvania-styled RPG draws obvious influence from The Legend of Zelda, in particular, A Link to the Past (ALttP), the third core entry in the series, and, of course, Secret of Mana itself—and features an iconic retro-influenced, 16-bit style. So far, it would appear that the game is bright and colorful, with vibrant shades. In other words, it really resembles the games of the Super Nintendo era, before console games began using 3D character models and environments as part of their graphics—more specifically, the mid-1990s, which was (according to the official text surrounding the game) “the moment in time when mainstream 2D titles reached arguably their greatest level of refinement.”
The text refers to ALttP and Super Metroid specifically and explains the following. “We seek to emulate this period in most ways, from graphic presentation to audio production, to general level design philosophy. Hazelnut Bastille tells the story of a young woman who travels to a foreign shore on the outskirts of her world, in order to seek out the promised gifts of mythological ancients, in hopes of retrieving something which was lost to her. On the way, her story becomes irrevocably intertwined with the lives of those living in this far off land.”
Vague, and yet…rather fascinating. It’s unclear how the game will play out, but—having played countless games from that era, in which young protagonists have cast away into magical new worlds (including Breath of Fire, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI)—we know that it will be amazing.
Fantasy RPG Hazelnut Bastille was developed by Aloft Studio, an indie gaming company. No trailers are available yet; however, an official demo is available on their website. The demo shows us a bit about the game, which shows us a female protagonist on a magical journey.
The latest games are set for a release in mid- to late 2019. It will be available for the Nintendo Switch, as well as PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux). The ports will all be released at the same time. The game has been in development for about two years so far.
And what about Secret of Mana?
The secret of Mana is the fantasy JRPG that serves as the first official game in the Mana series (the first, unofficial game was Final Fantasy Adventure). In quick time, it was followed by several sequels. Also made by developers Square and Square Enix (after the merger of the two companies in 2003). It would seem, however, that the first game is one of the highest-selling games in the franchise.
The latest games are the Seiken Densetsu Collection (Seiken Densetsu is the name of the series in Japan), released in June for the Switch, and a 3D remake of Secret of Mana, released on PC and PlayStation 4 and Vita in mid-February. The remake was lackluster and was poorly received by critics, as well as many of the fans.
Although recent titles were a remake and an anthology collection. It seems that Square Enix will most likely develop more latest games for the franchise in the future. They have released excellent games in other franchise, though—including the upcoming, long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3, and last February’s Nier: Automata—so we definitely have a lot to hope for from the company.