Back in 2021, I previewed the upcoming Vernal Edge and paraphrasing, I had a lot of good things to say about it: Vernal is just the kind of hero that we love to see in games. A strong independent woman with agency. She is fueled by her pure rage and anger that she directs at her enemies, but especially her deadbeat father. I love how angry Vernal looks as she slays the monsters who dare to attack her. If there is one thing that everyone here at the new One Angry Gamer can agree upon, it is that strong women protagonists who are justified in their anger are way cooler video game protagonists than the stereotypical dude with a gun who slays anyone at the slightest provocation. While loser alt-right trolls may complain about strong women, the type of retrograde video game heroes they prefer is not the future of gaming.
We’ll actually going to be reviewing Vernal Edge this week, so that’s something to look forward to. But spoiler warning, Vernal did not disappoint. She’s the exact type of strong woman character that would cause Tate-bros/fake gamer bros to cry tears of impotent rage. And now, there’s another game seeking funds on Kickstarter with a similarly awesome strong woman main character. Her younger sister, while not the strong muscled type, is also cool in her charming way, being strong doesn’t just mean being muscular and I think both are important to a story like this. Behold, Illyian Rune Fencer:
A young fledgling Runist named Illyia of Moonstone wakes up in the debris of the airship she had been traveling on. Now, she finds herself in the Sunken Kingdom of Ithos, a mythical ancient island that supposedly sunk beneath the waves thousands of years ago. Illyia must explore this strange, ruined world that she’s arrived in, find her missing twin sister, and the way home.
Illyia of Moonstone is a young, tomboyish Runist-in-training, seemingly incapable of performing Runic outside of summoning a conjured sword. While her timid twin sister Lilly of Emerald is a child prodigy capable of using an Emerald glyphstone, Illyia has yet to graduate past a beginner’s glyphstone: the humble Moonstone.
Illyia can be brash and insensitive at times, often acting without thinking. But she is also thoughtful and kind to others, always striving to do what she believes is right.
Soon after crash-landing on the island, Illyia encounters another pair of twins: Solina, an overly-serious master of sword runic; and her bookish brother, the pompous and arrogant Alban. They are accompanied by their retainer and protector: the stoic, hulking knight Izusa.
Royal scions from the southern Queendom of Acria, they claim to be on a pilgrimage of some sort, but their motives are unclear. Are they friend or foe? Time will tell.
A fellow student at the academy, Ceci of Aquamarine is a constant thorn in Illyia’s side, relentlessly bullying her at any given opportunity. Never seen without her best friend, the quiet and polite Farrin of Amethyst, Ceci has also found herself stranded on Ithos, and may serve as an unlikely ally (and rival!) to Illyia in her search for Farrin.
The Central Shrine is protected by strange barrier that repels the mysterious Blight. Humans who don’t have the gift of Runic cannot endure the Blight and are swiftly overwhelmed, becoming trapped inside blighted crystalline pillars. Rescue them from their prisons, and they’ll populate the empty shrine as your adventure continues!
Runists, animals, beastmen and monsters are immune to the Blight, and can be found all over the island. From the lizard-like Sahagin tribes to sentient Mimics, Illyia will find and encounter many interesting faces on her quest.
One of the characters Illyia meets could potentially be your very own, if you back the Runist Loremaster Tier!
A strange and cursed place, trapped in time — the Sunken Kingdom of Ithos, a mythical island kingdom that was said to have sunk beneath the ocean waves thousands of years ago, ruled by the immortal Forever King.
In Rune Fencer Illyia, there are more than 24 distinct areas to discover and explore. Each area has distinct characteristics with unique enemies, puzzles, secrets and lore to find.
At the very edge of the Raindrop Sanctuary, and at the very center of the Kingdom, lies an enormous stone shrine dedicated to the Blue Lady, enduring the constant rain. It is the last place of refuge from the corrupting influence of the Blight, protected by a strange blue barrier surrounding it. During the height of Ithos, the Central Shrine was a bustling area, visited by both the affluent people of Hightown and the low-caste workers of Lowtown. Long after the fall of Ithos, the relative safety of the Shrine has allowed shipwrecked survivors to congregate there.
A dense, orange and red forest with gargantuan trees that stretch towards the sky. Kingspath was once the primary supply route for merchant caravans arriving from the Lantern Coast, Ithos’ primary port. The path led through the forest until reaching the great stone elevator that would lift them thousands of feet upward to the Gates of Hightown. Now, unused for hundreds of years, the path is overgrown and unruly. Plants and trees wrap around ancient guard posts and street lamps.
An enormous palace and the seat of power of the Kingdom of Ithos, ruled by the enigmatic Forever King. Majestic, even in its corrupted state. A terrible miasma of darkness falls upon the entirety of the palace, and the evening sky becomes blood red as you climb the spiraling towers. The Blight manifests itself, ever-seeing, on the Eastern Towers as the Forever King’s servants and soldiers patrol the elegant halls, even in death. The Forever King does not fear them, for he can never truly die.
Looking good, right? As of this writing, Rune Fencer has already earned 93 thousand dollars, far surpassing its goal and hitting multiple stretch goals, and there are still a little more than three more weeks to go. This game is going to be the next big metroidvania. I’ve funded at the NPC level tier, so I’ll be creating another muscular girl NPC character that’ll appear in the game. You can fund it an any level too, hurry while the tiers are still available.
Neira is the self-published author of Raven’s Dream.