The land of Nocturne, peaceful for generations, has been invaded by a powerful and exotic force. Seemingly overnight, almost all of Nocturne is occupied leaving only one stronghold – Mooncrest. Can Mooncrest’s overwhelmed forces rally together to defeat a mysterious army with mythological powers?
The Rise of Mooncrest is a Tactical RPG with gameplay inspired by the Sega Genesis classic Warsong (Langrisser) and storytelling inspired by modern TRPGs.
The commanders (yellow units) are more than just players on the field. They are the characters that lead the counteroffensive and drive story. Characters that can be brave, desperate, loving, distrustful, overwhelmed, supportive, self-serving or loyal.
Each stage is one of the many battles required to free all of Nocturne from its invading overlords. These stages play through the major events of the story: reconnaissance, rescues, skirmishes, defenses, and liberations. Some stages are a single, grande battle while others are a series of related events..
As each stage involves the conflict between two large forces, the threat of direct combat is inevitable. Victory cannot be achieved through perfection as each stage is a war of attrition. The key to success is to leverage tactical advantages..
Commanders and Squads
Inspired by the Sega Genesis classic Warsong (Langrisser), the defining tactical feature for The Rise of Mooncrest is the Commander and Squad system. All of the units on both sides are composed of a few commanders and their many associated squads.
Each commander represents a highly skilled individual and is one of the main heroes or villains of the battle. In comparison, squads units represent groups of rank and file combatants. Part of a commander’s strength is their ability to buff their nearby squads through their Command Radius. But their power does come with a price. When a commander is defeated, all of their squads will leave the battle.
Battles of this scale will not be won without casualties. These are wars of attrition. Commanders are akin to kings or queens in chess while squads are the pawns to be carefully sacrificed to protect their commanders.
Some terrain allows for fast movement to enable more positioning options, while other terrain is slow to travel through but grants useful attack or defense bonuses to occupying units.
Each unit type has a natural combat advantage over others. At first it is as simple as Soldier > Archer > Mage > Soldier, but the system increases in complexity when more unit types become available to both sides.
Strength in numbers
As units become injured, their combat effectiveness diminishes. Overwhelm weakened enemy units with fresh units to minimize losses.
While completely decimating your enemies is satisfyingly fun, variety is always a welcomed feature. Some stages will be simple, one step objectives, while many will have a linear series of objectives to clear to claim victory. Objectives such as:
Defeat all enemies
Move to locations – put out fires, destroy barriers, create obstructions,…
Chase down fleeing enemies
Survive for X turns
And many, many more.
The story of the The Rise of Mooncrest partially comes from the developing events during stages, but is more often relayed in the form of cutscenes involving two or more characters. These cutscenes serve multiple purposes: from the telling of the main story to revealing the variety and depth of the characters to explaining newly revealed objectives during stages.
Leveling and XP
When a commander or one of their squads defeat an enemy, that commander gains XP. This XP leads to level ups for the commander until they reach Level 10 where they will progress to a choice of two advanced classes. In total, there are 22 different classes the player’s commanders can potentially advance through.