Posted by Al
Thu, 2nd Aug 2018
After my last blog post explaining the basics of the game you’ll encounter once you’ve purchased Mary Skelter: Nightmares, here’s a two part breakdown of the Blood Maidens you’ll control throughout the game. Not all of these ass-kicking ladies are available from the off and you’ll be able to change their jobs to build varied skill sets as you progress, but I hope the following gives you a little insight into their skills and abilities during the earlier parts of your creeped-out dungeoneering adventure.
Let’s get started!
Alice is Jack’s childhood friend and fellow prisoner within Jail. Once she’s freed by Red Riding Hood she discovers that she’s a Blood Maiden in her own right.
Alice’s Blood Ability is called ‘Rabbit Hole’ and allows you to place a single save point anywhere, which is a brilliant inclusion for the more cautious player (and something I recommend!) Even better, the save point can be used as a warp to escape the current dungeon and return home to the Liberated District.
Alice starts off as a Fighter by trade, and she begins with some useful skills. Water Attack proves highly useful in the game’s first dungeon as it attacks the most common elemental weakness in that area. When assigned as a partner, she has a chance to counter attack when her partner is hit.
Red Riding Hood
The first Blood Maiden encountered during your play through of the game RRH is a high-energy soul, and often rushes into situations before thinking things through. Her impetuousness often alarms her teammates. ;)
Red Riding Hood’s Blood Ability is called ‘Body Nipper’ and uses giant scissors to break through chain-link fences, manipulate giant screws and cut power lines within the Jail. Especially early on, if you’re stuck and can’t seem to advance it’s worth trying Body Nipper on dungeon features to see what happens.
Red Riding Hood’s starting job is as a Libero and focuses on elemental attacks and support skills. She’ll be your first healer, so you’ll rely on her during the first dungeon, in particular (EX Helia is your first all-party healing skill), and Fire Attack provides an early opportunity to exploit Marchens weak to the Fire element, which you’ll encounter later in the first dungeon.
True to her inspiration, Snow White is a good-hearted and kindly character who wants to look after everyone. As well as an aversion to mirrors, Snow White’s other problem is a lack of confidence and a clumsiness that can often cause problems, despite her best intentions.
Snow White’s Blood Ability is called ‘Poison Bomb’ and can be used to destroy cracked walls that block your progress and to poison plant material that may be in your way. You’ll need to stay clear of the blast otherwise you’ll take damage, or even get poisoned yourself!
Snow White’s starting job is as a Scientist and she’s great at punishing the Marchens with ailments and is great at buffing allies’ abilities, especially earlier on in the game. She can nullify physical and magical attacks completely with skills like Attack Block and Skill Block.
A girl of very few words, Sleeping Beauty prefers communicating by nods and monosyllabic responses when she can get away with it. When the group are in the dungeons, though, her skill with a bow gets the job done!
Sleeping Beauty’s Blood Ability is called ‘Rose Arrow’ and allows you to remotely trigger switches and other features up to 7 squares ahead of you, allowing you to trigger doors, etc, from a distance or across impassable areas.
Sleeping Beauty’s starting job is as an Archer and she is your first change to inflict Lightning elemental damage, as well as providing a good early multi-target skill in the form of Amber Red.
Despite her diminutive size Thumbelina is extremely feisty and can be cutting, especially when questioned by Jack, with whom she frequently finds fault. Underneath it all she’s probably a sweetheart. ;)
Thumbelina’s Blood Ability is called ‘Tiny Princess’ and can be used to shrink certain items in your possession to your advantage. Some items perform better when they’ve been shrunk, but you’ll need to experiment. You can return items to normal size by using Tiny Princess again, but your consumable will remain tiny, so take care!
Thumbelina’s starting job is as a Magician and she has early access to a TON of elemental attacks, including your first chance to attack with Earth in the form of Sandstorm. You can also employ a sneaky approach in higher-level dungeons using her Stealth skill!
That’s all for now, I’ll be back next weel with part two of this blog, but until then why not follow us on our Twitter and Facebook pages, our Youtube Channel and our Instagram account, where we’ll be posting all the latest news from Ghostlight.
Posted by Al
Wed, 25th Jul 2018
As you’ll have heard by now, we’re tremendously excited about our latest JRPG release on Steam and GOG, Mary Skelter: Nightmares, but what is the game all about I hear you ask? Well you’ve come to the right place, because that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about today.
First and foremost, Mary Skelter: Nightmares is first and foremost a dungeon crawling RPG in the finest traditions of the genre, including first person, tile-based exploration, filling in large and complex dungeon maps, figuring out solutions to traps and navigational puzzles and opening up new pathways to continue your progress through the game.
While all those things might sound fairly standard for the dungeon crawling sub-genre, it’s the way these things are approached and the overall setting that make Mary Skelter: Nightmares a thoroughly unique experience. On top of these highly original takes on the genre’s staples, MSN as I’ll refer to it from now on, features some all-new features of its own. Read on to find out more!
A Twisted Fairy Tale:
The first thing to really grab you about MSN is its setting. This is a world that’s built upon foundations inspired by the classic fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Lewis Carrol among others.
MSN’s hero, Jack, and his childhood friend Alice are trapped in a mysterious living dungeon called “Jail”. Each day they’re subjected to terrible torments by Jail’s monster inhabitants, known as ‘Marchens’.
Soon, Jack and Alice are saved from this tortuous existence by a mysterious girl who introduces herself as ‘Red Riding Hood’. After witnessing their fellow escapees being cut down by a powerful Marchen called a Nightmare, Jack, Alice and Red Riding Hood head to the ‘Dawn’ organisation who hold out against the Marchens in a rebel-controlled area of Jail called the Liberated District.
Above: MSN features awesome Blood Maidens, like Sleeping Beauty, who’s talking to RRH here.
Jack soon discovers that Alice (as well as Red Riding Hood and a host of other heroines) are powerful Blood Maidens who can use the blood of defeated Marchens to unleash terrible magical powers and are Dawn’s best hope of breaking out of Jail forever. Jack too as potent abilities and can use his blood to temper and control the Blood Maiden’s powers, guarding them in combat and keeping them from entering the fearsome ‘Blood Skelter’ state if they spend too long under the corrupting influence of their fallen enemies’ blood.
As the player you’re dropped into this fascinating setting. You’ll get to know a whole gang of Blood Maidens and a rich supporting cast of Dawn members, as you discover the truth behind the living Jail, the Marchens and their mysterious and terrifying leader, Snark. Sounds pretty cool, right? :)
A Bloody Good Time:
As I mentioned above, several important mechanics in MSN revolve around blood, be it the powerful but corrupting influence of the Marchens’ blood, or the restorative and moderating properties of Jack’s blood on his allies. This blood affects the gameplay in various interesting ways:
From Weakness, Strength:
If you attack a Marchen’s elemental weakness, score a critical hit on it, or perform an ‘overkill’ (by killing it while dealing enough additional damage beyond its total HP) then blood splatters over your Blood Maiden, filling their Blood Splatter gauge. Once the gauge fills, the Blood Maiden enters ‘Massacre mode’, giving them a stat boost and access to very powerful special attacks.
It’s A Massacre:
Massacre mode is great, but you’ll have to be careful because every time a Blood Maiden gets Marchen blood on her, she is gradually corrupted, indicated by the Blood Splatter gauge darkening in colour.
Above: Cinderella has entered Massacre mode here. Time for the Marchens’ to panic!
Once a fully-corrupted Blood Maiden’s Blood Splatter gauge fills, she enters Blood Skelter mode, an even more powerful state than Massacre mode, but with terrible side-effects.
While in a Blood Skelter, the Blood Maiden is beyond control and will randomly attack friend or foe until she either dies or comes out of her Blood Skelter.
Above: Uhoh! This time Alice has entered a Blood Skelter… Could be good, could be VERY bad! :-\
This can sometimes work out great, if she smashes down a powerful group of enemies single handed, but can work out terribly if she zeroes in on her allies. Beware!
Licking the Blood Splatters of other Blood Maidens is also worth consideration as it empties their Blood Splatter gauge will bestow various stat boosts or buffs to the maiden who performed the Lick, depending on which maiden’s blood is absorbed. While this defers Massacre mode, it can have restorative effects and also prevent unwanted Blood Skelters, so this is worth keeping an eye on. ;)
See the Light:
Blood Splatters can also cover the dungeon environment with glowing pink blood spashes, helping illuminate darkened areas, which can be invaluable when being pursued by the deadly Nightmares’ that patrol each area of Jail. Speaking of which…
Having a Nightmare!
Another unique element of gameplay in MSN are the deadly and powerful Nightmares that patrol each area of the Jail. These creatures are nigh-on invulnerable to attack and only by finding and destroying the core that lurks somewhere within each district can its Nightmare be defeated. Until that point Jack and the Blood Maidens must keep alert for the Nightmares as they patrol their environment. When a Nightmare closes within a certain distance of your party you are warned and the map becomes invisible.
Above: Here’s a Nightmare. Panic stations!! Luckily I just knocked it down, so I can hopefully get away!
The player must either confront and hope to knock down the Nightmare, giving them a valuable time for escape, or else avoid it altogether and navigate the labyrinthine Jail until they pass out of range and the Nightmare moves on. These are tense times, but escape comes with its own rewards. There are rumours of some Nightmares that are so big they span multiple dungeon floors, but there is no concrete evidence for that as yet…
Keeping Jail Satisfied:
As the Jail is a living structure it likes to have its urges satisfied, and this mechanism has cool gameplay implications. Jail has three basic desires: Hunger, Libido and Sleep and each desire’s level of satisfaction is communicated by a meter. Performing different actions satisfies these meters until one of them is filled. The actions to fulfil each desire are:
· Hunger: Killing Marchens and causing Blood Splatters satisfies the Jail’s Hunger.
· Libido: Collecting Items, opening Chests and using Emotion Points in the Jail boosts its Libido.
· Sleep: Not taking damage during time periods when the Jail is sleeping boosts Sleep.
At certain times of the lunar cycle one desire is boosted quicker than the others, and performing the right actions during those times allows the player to manipulate which meter is filled first, to some degree.
Above: I’ve just maxed the Jail’s Hunger, so I get a nice reward. More gold please! ^^
Once you’ve boosted a desire to its fullest, the Jail will be satisfied and you’ll be offered a bonus by stopping a spinning wheel, a bit like some kind of Freudian game of Roulette. These boosts can recover physical damage or SP points, increase or decrease the likelihood of certain encounters, or even open up all-new areas of the Jail for exploration, so this is an essential - as well as an intriguing -element of gameplay in MSN.
Your Maidens’ Blood Abilities:
Each of your Blood Maidens’ has a unique Blood Ability that only they can use and which can be deployed during any dungeon at a cost to their SP (Magic) points. I don’t want to spoil the discover of these but they do really interesting things, such as triggering switches that can’t be reached on foot, gathering distant items to you, letting you nullify trap damage, move incredibly swiftly for a limited time, or even make a save point for re-use at any time once you’ve placed it.
Above: See that? That’s a save point. I put it there, using a Blood Ability. :)
Each of these abilities really opens the game up in interesting ways and it’s so cool to consider a new Blood Maiden’s Blood Ability once they’ve been acquired and then use it to move past a previously-inaccessible area in your current dungeon, or even ones previously cleared. If you hadn’t guessed, I really love the Blood Abilities! ^_^
Get a Job!
It’s not just us regular folk that need to find employment sometimes, but Blood Maidens too! Each of the maidens starts in a certain role by default, which dictates the Skills they can learn and the weapons they’re able to equip during exploration.
Above: Which of the many jobs available shall we give Red? If only it were so easy in real life! ;)
Once you’ve explored default job roles and acquired all the Skills you wish to, it’s a great idea to head to Dawn’s Laboratory and explore other Jobs. In this way you’ll be able to customise your Blood Maidens’ in various interesting ways, making a front row tank to protect weaker members of your party, or create a skill buffing maiden to boost the power of her allies from the back row. There are a TON of interesting possibilities that come out of the Job system in MSN, so they’re definitely worth exploring.
So, there are some of the exciting and fascinating gameplay features found within Mary Skelter: Nightmares, which is out on Steam and GOG, priced at $24.99 with a 40% launch discount reducing the price to just $14.99 We hope that this blog post has given you a little insight into what the game offers and we hope this has made you as excited to jump into Mary Skelter: Nightmares dark and fantastical world as we are.
Don’t have Nightmares, and thanks for reading!
Al and the Marchens of Ghostlight