Euphionia is an independent metroidvania title based on the aesthetic feel of the 16-bit era Super Nintendo.
The game is about a young magic-wielding “reluctant heroine” named Skolorie living in the outskirts of town who must go on a quest to save the kingdom of Euphionia from an alien invasion, despite her hesitancy.
As the player progresses through each area, she meets townsfolk to talk with, bosses to fight, puzzles to solve, and new abilities to unlock.
“I simply wanted to create a large, open-world 16-bit game…My ultimate vision has always been to develop a game I would have liked to play when I was younger. A game with a world to escape to, that has all the 2D platforming I loved as a child.”
The developer is a good friend of mine and I was able to ask him a few questions about the game, where he takes inspiration from, and his future vision for Euphionia.
“When I was around 8 or 9 my brother introduced me to Lunar Magic, a level editor for Super Mario World,” he reminisces. “From the moment I made my first level, I was hooked. After that, I did everything I could to scrounge up some money and bought a very outdated PC just to make levels.”
The developer, who also goes by the alias Euphionia, is a lifelong gamer who build his game design skills crafting levels for Super Mario World.
When asked about some of his favorite games, he replied “Super Mario World comes to mind…A lot of SNES titles rank very high for me…The first 2 Paper Mario games and Breath of the Wild are games I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of time playing.”
Knowing that he has spent several years developing this game, I asked him what his favorite part of the game development process was. He replied, “it used to be level design…but my favorite aspects at this point are music and sound design. I learned how to create music specifically for this game, I never realized just how much I would love music making until then.”
The latest build of the game came out this fall. When asked what was new, he noted, “the biggest new edition to the game is the local 2-player co-op mode.” Additionally, “The new build has a lot of revamped/new features and content ranging from boring stuff like physics, to QOL improvements in UI and additions to level environments.”
After seeing the success of randomizer mods for classic games like Zelda, Super Metroid, and Paper Mario over the past few years, he said he would also “like to add a built-in randomizer mode allowing the player to randomize the game and experience it in a completely new way without needing to mod the game in some way.”
I asked him what his experience was in the independent game dev scene, to which he replied, “before embracing alt-tech, my experience was isolation. The other indie devs are extremely supportive…but essentially never from anyone outside of the indiedev community.” He also mentioned “it was around this time that I also noticed just how overly politicized games have become. A driving force for me at this point is also to release non-politicized games.”
Outside of game development, he says “Spending time with my wife is #1, we even stream together on Twitch every night. I also love to make music, so I’m always making demos. For entertainment, I hang out on other people’s streams. Pretty much anything else I do is business, some odd jobs and whatnot to bring in some cash.”
The third major build of Euphionia is out now and can be downloaded on Itch for free with optional donations to further development. There is also a BuyMeACoffee profile which you can use to support the game if you choose, as well as his and his wife’s Twitch streams.
This article (“Euphionia” Breathes New Life into the Classic 16-Bit Metroidvania Genre) originally appeared at Phillip Schneider and may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author credit, and this copyright statement.