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Vandio: First Order
Vandio: First Order is a 2015 2D "Metroidvania" game developed by Inora for the Nintendo 3DS. The first entry of the Vandio series, the game follows Pael on his quest to defeat the First Order cult. Reception has been TBA.
Pael Enterfrie is a cold unfeeling sword-for-hire living on the planet of Vandio in the country of Consurgo. One day, he takes up an anonymous case that leads him out into the open unpopulated plains. Suddenly, with a puff of black smoke, hooded beings walk toward him, subduing him and knocking him unconcious.
Pael wakes up in a white room without his sword. Quietly, he gets up and rams into the door, blasting it open and knocking the guard unconcious. The guard drops an average steel sword, which Pael picks up. Taking his radio, he learns that he is in the Cinitium cavern, and begins to go along, killing guards and solving puzzles.
Deep inside Cinitium, Pael finds two hooded people arguing. One in a red ornate hood talks down to a black hood, scolding him for bringing Pael, but the black states that he can be brought in and learn the truth. The red ornate hood disagrees, but the black hood is insistent, bringing out a dark smoggy creature. However, the creature murders the black hood and takes control of the red hood, sensing Pael and chasing it into the room. Pael fights off the creature, confused at what it is and what comes next. Using a key, Pael enters the next cavern, Cirage.
Pael goes deeper inside Cirage, learning new abilities and battling increasingly disturbing creatures. Eventually, he reaches the location of another red hood, who is writing a report. From this, he learns the name of the organization, First Order, and their motive, to cleanse Vandio with the "demons" in the ground. Jumping out to attack, the red hood is shocked and slams a drill button that releases more dark energy, creating a sandy shell around the red hood bound with the dark aura. Pael destroys the shell, going deeper into the caverns, unnerved and anxious to see what he will encounter next.
Going inside the ice cavern, Cyro, Pael discovers the First Order bible. The First Order began as a mining group, who discovered the darkness and dark ground, "purifying" them and showing them the way: ultimate destruction. Pael gets used to the increasingly dark creatures and moves along, conquering the viney cavern Coure, the volcanic cavern Cire, the mining cavern Calloy, the watery cavern of Caqua, the bright diamond cavern of Crance, and the windy cavern of Cumu, and finally reaching the bottom cavern, a dark land known as Cinis. However, he still wonders why he was kidnapped.
In Cinis, Pael reaches the leader of the First Order, a man known as Baro Capri. Capri explains that they needed his sword, made out of the finest steel in the land, to power their drill and release the demons inside. After defeating Capri in battle, Capri flees to a drill, where he mines to the very bottom of the first dark patch. A bright flash of light overtakes the screen, revealing the source of the dark energy: a mindless demon known as Terminexitus. Terminexitus swallows Capri, and turns his attention to Pael. Pael, knowing that he is nothing but a skilled swordsman, feels fear and despair.
Pael, with life flashing before his eyes, remembers all the cases he took up and all the people he helped. Realizing that those lives are in danger, Pael gives it his all, using his old sword to slay Terminexitus in a climactic battle. Destroyed, Terminexitus explodes, revealing a new cavern that leads back to land. Pael also spots hundreds of dark spots, presumably with their own demons just like Terminexitus. Pael exits, promising to prepare Vandio for the coming of the Demons.
The game is an action-platformer. Players take control of Pael, as he makes his way through 10 seperate underground caverns, defeating enemies, solving puzzles, and collecting new tools. Along the way, he periodically encounters Order Leaders, the bosses of the game. Defeating bosses allows access to a new cavern, until players defeat the final boss to end the game. Tools allow the player to go deeper, but clever use of those you have will allow players to Sequence Break, which is encouraged. Every cavern has a seperate vehicle section to pilot to break up the pace.
Pael has a decent level of manuverability. From the start, Pael has a basic jump and run, as well as the power to pick up and drop weapons that are found in chests or from dead enemies, but always keeps a single main sword that can be upgraded. He can also learn new moves like a wall jump, double jump, and block attack. Some weapons have ammo. Weapons and items can be managed in the inventory.
There is also an extensive multiplayer mode, split into Battle, Race, Protection, and Hunt. Battle faces up to four players battling each other. Be the last one standing to win. Race has players racing to reach the end of an obstacle course. Protection has players protecting an energy tank from others. Whoever is the last one standing wins. Hunt has players hunting for pieces of gold. Whoever has the most at the end of the time limit/the required number first wins.
Pael Enterfrie: A skilled but cold and unfeeling sword for hire who is roped into the First Order and sets off to escape, with his endeavor changing him.
First Order: A religious cult who believe that the underground creatures are Demons sent to cleanse Vandio by destroying it.
The 10 caverns serve as worlds in the game, where players free-roam, complete vehicle sections, collect tools, and eventually fight an Order Leader.
The first cavern, it introduces players to the mechanics of the game. Cinitium is a grassy cave with deep rich soil surrounding it. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Potens.
Pael's cell and the surrounding area where guards try to stop Pael from escape. Players learn basic combat here.
Guards come and go from this empty wide tunnel featuring basic rock structures. This area teaches basic platforming.
The entrance to the inner areas of Cinitium. To get inside, players must solve puzzles utilizing the various statues and boulders in the area.
A grassy cavern melted with machinery. It tests the basic skills players learned in earlier areas.
The office of Order Leader Poten and the location of the first boss.
The second cavern, where things begin to get harder. Cirage is a sandy cave where the hot temperatures can cause hallucinations. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Tunica.
The entrance to Cirage. An empty large sandy tunnel with little enemies. Players have to navigate the maze to win.
A gigantic pool of boiling quicksand with a few stray rock platforms for "transport". Players must test their maneuverability to make it across.
A wide open rocky space. Players can explore here and test their skills while battling enemies and testing their skills on the rock cliffs.
A gigantic pyramid with branching paths. Depending on which slide players take, they'll face enemies, items, puzzles, and other oddities.
A large sandy hall and the location of the second boss battle.
The third cavern, players test their platforming prowess here. Cyro is a frozen cave with slippery ground and lots of hazards to go with it. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Frigo.
A calm quiet snowy tunnel and entrance to Cyro that is slowly collapsing. Snow and rocks rain down from above.
A cold, dark ice cave that has various paths, with little sound or activity.
Giant snowy cliffs and mountains intertwined through a cave system, the ground is icy and slippery here.
A gigantic system of airborn ski lifts and rails above Cold Climb.
The location of the third boss and a gigantic cavern suspended in the sky using giant lifts.
The fourth cavern, which holds harder and more numorous enemies. Coure is a cavern that has been taken over by vines and nature. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Acutus.
The entrance to Coure. A maze that is controlled by the thorny vines around it. Cutting them down will open new paths, where puzzles and enemies lie.
Players ride a giant flower with the wind over protruding thorns from the ground.
The source of the wild vines and forestry. Players must grow a giant vine to climb up.
After growing a giant vine, this area has players climb up it into the sky while avoiding airborn hazards and platforming.
The location of the fourth boss. It's a giant wooden mansion suspended through trees and vines in the air.
The fifth cavern, which holds a mix of the last two cavern's focuses. Cire is a volcanic cavern, featuring hot magma, smoke clouds, and flying clumps of rock. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Arsione.
A river made of hot magma, interspersed with rocks that pop over the magma, which players must use to progress.
This area is where the lava gets more shallow, with the main hazard being spiky protruding rock cliffs that surround the rocks and magma.
This area is a climb up a steep volcano, with magma running down it and various enemies and platforming challenges in the way.
The area above the volcano, an abandoned complex set of airborn mining structures that are constantly being broken by flying rocks and hot magma.
The location of the fifth boss. It's a metallic shelter located on the outer caves of the volcano.
The sixth cavern has a focus on timing and careful movements. Calloy is a mining cavern, where the First Order began. It's full of abandoned minecarts, falling spikes, and various types of machinery. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Mekk.
This area is full of dark creatures lurking and jagged rocks. Players must use an old shady minecart to escape the area.
Where the First Order first discovered the dark patches. It's chock full of dark enemies and corrupted land.
An area where supplies and machinery are stored. Most of it has broken down or is very fragile, so to avoid death players must be careful.
A dark eerie area traveled through by minecart. Rails come loose, rocks fall, and more.
The location of the sixth boss. It's a small mining station deep in the ground.
The seventh cavern, it introduces players to swimming. Caqua is a mostly submerged cavern inhabited by various sea creatures and crumbling rock structures. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Demerso.
One of the few areas in Caqua not submerged yet. The water is mainly shallow, with rain drops falling down and calm waters in the background. Mainly focuses on introducing swimming.
The first fully submerged areas, where players learn to balance their oxygen and swim through hazards.
A dark watery area which teaches underwater combat and introduces new foes.
A completely submerged area that used to be a mining station. As such, the current will blow hazards and spikes towards you, which you must narrowly avoid.
A small temple deep underwater, that is mostly sealed off with rock and stone, but some water drips in. It's also the location of the 7th boss.
The eight cavern, which acts a break for players. Crance is a beautiful cavern that is home to a wide variety of crystals and metals. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Decorus.
This beautiful but dangerous area is a dark narrow corridor illuminated by shiny crystals which are also the hazards here, being spiked crystals.
The ninth cavern, which features difficult platforming coupled with strong winds. Cumu is a fairly average rocky cavern that features a strong wind surrounding it, constantly pushing back. The boss of this cavern is Order Leader Turbine.
The final cavern, which tests every skill learned so far. Cinis is a dark cavern illuminated soley by the rare candle, inhabited by hellish creatures and dangerous rock structures. The bosses of this cavern are Order Leader Capri, and Terminexitus.