"Echoes of Aurelia" takes place in a surrealistic setting that is meant to make players wonder and immerse themselves in the world we have imagined. The game does not try to fit anywhere in the Zelda timeline, though it does use content that has been introduced in the official Zelda titles and is probably closest related to Nintendo's 1993 Game Boy title "tLoZ: Link's Awakening".
The game lays great emphasis on the gameplay experience by putting lots of devotion into coherent plot (Sheik), smart coding (Rayo et al.), artistic map design (Gonken), and a wonderful original soundtrack (InvertedMean).
About the Game
The Legend of the Dreamkeepers
This is but one of the many tales Hylian lore speaks of...
Every night as the stars rose upon Hyrule, the Dreamkeepers watched over the slumber of the Hylians from their place beyond the edge of reality. But one fateful night when the dreamers where heavy with worry, the Nightmares ascended from the darkness. The Nightmares plagued the people and soon all hope was lost. With the source of their power withering, the Dreamkeepers began to dissappear. That was when destiny had a chosen hero...
Traveling beyond the borders of the waking world, the hero felled the nightmares one by one and brought back peace upon the dreams of the people. Hope returned in the hearts of the Hylians.
Link and Princess Zelda
Link, an apprentice to the noble knights of Hyrule, and Zelda, the princess of the kingdom, share a close friendship with eachother having grown up in the shelter of Hyrule Castle together. With his training progressing, Link is soon to enter the ranks of the Hylian Knights. However, being the stubborn lad he is, Link is oftenly pushing his limits and thus Princess Zelda has made it a personal mission of her's to make sure that her childhood friend finds rest in their shared interest in the Hylian tradition of playing the Ocarina.
Through a twist of fate, Link and Princess Zelda end up being torn into the realm of Aurelia. To save the princess, Link has to awaken the Dreamkeepers and learn a mysterious melody that has the power to drive the nightmares away: the Echoes of Aurelia.
Welcome to Aurelia
Aurelia, the realm of dreams, is shaped by the nature of the dreams of the Hylians. As such, there is nothing really impossible in Aurelia and you can stumble across the most wondersome things. Its landscapes are floating islands with elemental themes. For example, one continent is composed of vast forests whereas another is shaped by great amounts of sand.
The Dreamkeepers, kind nightborn entities, watch over the slumber of the Hylians and through the power of the dreams they feed the realm of Hyrule with hope. Lately, peril has come over Aurelia, as the nightmares are emerging once again in the sleep of the Hylians. Through the close bond that connects Hyrule and Aurelia the fate of one realm is the fate of the other and considering the latest developments trouble seems to be lying ahead...
A Partner Named Elfin
Elfin is an enchanted butterfly and Link's invaluable companion on his adventure. She appears any time new gameplay elements are introduced and provides helpful information for Link to master his quest. Elfin appears to have a vast knowledge about the Dreamworld and will prove to be a dependable partner.
Echoes of Aurelia retains the gameplay features that were present in Nintendo's original installments of the tLoZ series. Link, the main protagonist, must naviagate several overworld areas to reach hidden dungeons (with "bosses" waiting at the end of each dungeon) where new items or enhancements that are pivotal to the quest are available. Further, Echoes of Aurelia includes several "side quests" that are not part of the main quest but reward the player with certain benefits.
Echoes of Aurelia centers largely around the use of music to interact with and navigate through the world. The Ocarina will see an comeback, in all its OoT glory with many new melodies and some old and trusted ones! Much like its predecessor in spirit, the Ocarina will be played by pressing different buttons. Play your song and Aurelia will listen - in the most literal sense.
The plot progesses in a manner of "Chapters", of which the game feautures five. Each chapter includes at least one new continent to travel and one dungeon to explore. Currently, the plan is that the game will be published in five "Episodes", each of which features one new chapter. This is meant as a compromise between the time consuming development of high quality material and a soon-as-possible release of the game.
Explore the Realm of Aurelia
The Whispering Woods
The Whispering Woods is the first continent Link travels to on his quest to save the realm of dreams. This bright and colorful continent is composed by a number of areas that feature the most different kinds of forests. Deep within the Whispering Woods the first dungeon, Skyforest Shrine, lies hidden.
These little tree spirits are extremely shy. Bokos are said to be the wandering souls of the many majestic trees that grow in Aurelia. They are the only creatures that know how to traverse the enchanted Forgotten Grove.
The Pumpkin Palace is the vast citadel that resides in the Viridian Woods. Mystical fairy magics flow through the ancient walls of this royal structure. This place is deeply connected to the watchful Dreamkeepers.
Skyforest Shrine features a forest and wind theme, true to it's name. It's a floating temple built long ago that nowadays is inhabited by monsters. Especially the peahat enemy is a prominent resident of the Skyforest Shrine.
Puzzles mainly focus on the use of explosives, bomb flowers for the most part. When Link obtains the dungeon treasure, the bomb bag, he will be able to solve puzzles that formerly seemed impossible.
The Floating Fields
The Floating Fields are the main hub area of the game world. However, don't let yourselves be fooled - there is so much more to do in the Floating Fields than just walking by to reach other areas of the world: numerous hidden secrets are waiting to be uncovered! A big village is located on this main continent.
~Western and Eastern Field~
The Western and Easter Field are the lush, grassy areas of the main continent which conncets all the different floating islands Aurelia is composed of. While the Western Field features more sky holes and connected landmass, the Eastern Field sticks out with its prominent rivers and bodies of water.
Reliaton is the major village in Aurelia; it is located in the middle of Floating Fields, between the Western and Eastern Field. In Reliaton Link can find several shops selling different items, the Reliaton Plantation, an Inn and ever so much more.
Reliaton Cemetery is located south of Reliaton. Two important structures are located there; the Shard Trader's Mansion and the Nightmare Coliseum. At the Shard Trader's Mansion, Link can trade Dream Shards for several upgrades. Within the Nightmare Coliseum, Link can relive the fights against the Nightmares he has encountered.
The Singing Snow
The Singing Snow is the frozen continent that is ruled by eternal winter. Slippery ice and cumbersome snow barriers hamper Link's progress through these chilly heights. High atop the Lonely Peak rests the Cave of Ice. What secrets will Link uncover in these freezing temperatures?
The Anouki that inhabit Cool Pool are a peaceful race that prefer to live in cold envoriments. However, lately it's been getting a little too cold - even for the snow-loving Anouki... Rumors have it that the Anouki know the sercrets of the eternal winter.
~Singing Snow Inn~
Every season is holiday season in Aurelia! Whenever the inhabitants of Reliaton grow tired of the mild climate of the Floating Fields they will stay for vacation in the Singing Snow Inn. There is lots of fun to be had and errands to be run at Singing Snow Inn.
~Cave of Ice~
Atop the colossal Lonely Peak, the Cave of Ice lies hidden. These caverns house a vast underground library. A river system runs through the dugeon which partially frozen state makes it traversable. However, sometimes the ice becomes an obstacle as well and ways to melt the frozen barricades must be found. The mystical Frostfire Boomerang is said to lie hidden deep within the Cave of Ice.
The Rumbling Rock
Rumbling Rock is a mountainous area floating in the air. Most of it consists of jungles and its prominent Whopping Volcano. The fire themed monsters that live in the Rumbling Rock make this continent a dangerous place for Link, especially when his equipment is not fireproof.
The Jungle Gorons lead a live of harvest and plantation in their village in the Jolting Jungle. The constant erruptions of the Whopping Volcano have burned much of this season's harvest. Goron legends speak of singing flowers which have protected their kind in ancient times...
The Forest Temple is the sacred ground were the Gorons celebrate their deep ties with the nature. The infamous Goron Gardens are located on the temple grounds. Recently, the Gorons have been researching ways to calm the rage of the Whopping Volcano here.
~Within Whopping Volcano~
Magnetic ores, ancient machinery and impressive ancient architecture are featured Within Whopping Volcano. Manipulating the machines might uncover means of traveling the blazing lava streams that flow through the live volcano. The proven Magnetic Gloves should come in handy in an enviroment such as this.
The Vigilant Winds
High above the floating islands of Aurelia the Crushing Cloud is located where the player can face a fierce battle challenge. Rich treasure such as the legendary Roc's Cape is rumored to be hidden in the heights of the Vigilat Winds.
The Drowning Desert
The Drowning Desert is a sand continent that features harsh enviroments and dangerous traps. However, the area has not always been in its current dried-out state: Once upon a time lush forests and rich gardens grew in the place that has now become the Drowning Desert - the Runied Kingom is the only remaining proof of these days.
The Oasis Zoras of Drowning Desert are used to hot climates but the recent heatwaves have dried out the Oval Oasis. Hiding in caves now, the Zora tribe longs to return to their homes at Oval Oasis. The Zora hold valuable cues how to reach the Ruined Kingdom.
Relatives to the Oasis Zoras, Sand Zoras have changed their surroundings from the fresh waters to the dry Shifting Sands. Swimming through quicksand the heatwaves have not proven difficut for the Sand Zoras to cope with, but they are more than willing to help out their waterborn brethern.
These ruins are the sole remains of an ancient tribe that used to live in the Drowning Desert hundreds of years ago, when the area wasn't dried out into a desert yet. Drawings on the inner walls hint at a connection to the Dreamkeepers of Aurelia. A Magic Hammer that lies hidden in the Ruined Kingdom should help uncover the secrets of the anient tribe.
The Neverending Night
The Neverending Night is shrouded in eternal darkness. If there is one place that the Nightmares could be orginating from, it must be somewhere within the abysses of the Neverending Night...