Title screen of Forum Fantasy.
November 1, 2012
Forum Fantasy: Prelich's Journey to Manhood is a JRPG created by Camelslayer on RPG Maker VX. He started the project in early May 2011 and released it on November 1st, 2012.
Forum Fantasy started as a very basic concept- basically running around multiple maps and fighting users, collecting their stones, and using their powers on the other users. In other words, it was basically a different version of Pokemon. At the time, it was simply known as the Chaos Theatre Game.
Over time, it developed from a very basic concept into a full-blown game, focusing on Prelich, a bumbling fool of a mod hired by Camelslayer to take out the admins, with a deeper plot going on. Camelslayer eventually posted a title contest to name the game, offering to make the user who came up with the title a boss in the game. It ended in a tie, with MysteriousFigure coming up with Forum Fantasy and admin Psychotic Nekomata coming up with Prelich's Journey to Manhood. Since Camelslayer had a seriously difficult time choosing between both titles, he simply put them both together, made MysteriousFigure a boss, and allowed Psychotic, who was already a boss, appoint is brother Isaac as a boss. Psychotic Nekomata eventually gained a new quest and superboss status in a recent patch.
Since the game featured users as regular enemies, Camelslayer asked for everyone that signed up to give him a sprite, item drop, signature skill, and elemental preferences. He received these in PMs, and compiled almost 80 users into a master list, using them for reference. Creating user enemies was Camelslayer's most hated task, as it was incredibly tedious.Despite his best attempts to keep it at LEAST PG-13, he couldn't help but add in some M-rated humor.
Camelslayer developed the entire game almost completely by himself, with feedback and musical assistance from various others, with heavy contributions from the Autarch of Flame, Psychotic Nekomata, Disaster Master, Vlarix, and several others.
The game functions much like a regular Final Fantasy game as a turn-based RPG. Aside from battles, it featured a lot of exploration, numerous puzzles, treasure, sidequests, innuendo, and more.
As the game takes place on an internet forum, most of the enemies, elements, and some of the items reflect this. The elements are as follows:
- Flame / Anti-Flame
- Fanboy / Anti-Fanboy
- Troll / Anti-Troll
- Noob / Anti-Noob
- Thread Necromancy
These were used in replacement for the typical fantasy elements, with status effects reflecting some of them, such as Trolled essentially being a poison status effect, and Banned being Death.
The game allowed anyone to essentially take any role- true to a Final Fantasy II style, everyone could wield anything, with the exception of an item or two (the Left Hand of the Devil, for example, was a weapon exclusive to Prelich only.) While each character did learn their own skills and had different stats, this did open up the option to teach the fighter of the group magic if the player chose to do so.
It also featured User Stones, which were uncommon or rare drops by every user in the game. Each user had a skill unique to them, and obtaining their respective User Stones allowed the player to teach that user's signature move to one of the party members. They were organized into three groups- Physical, Magical, and Hybrid stones. The Hybrid stones scaled off of physical and magical power, making them amongst the more useful stones. Each of the admins posessed a User Stone as well, though they were often hidden in their respective optional dungeons.
Two of the party members, Magnum and Vlarix, contained "passive abilities". Magnum was knowledgable about certain objects and was highly observant, sometimes noticing traps before you fell victim to them. Vlarix, on the other hand, held a wealth of knowledge on any item or object that was magical in nature, making him useful for deciphering whether a magical item was dangerous to the party or not.
The game was overall received relatively well; those that played the game seemed to enjoy it.
Despite the fact that everyone seemed to enjoy it, Camelslayer felt it had some glaring issues; the user/user stone system was flawed from concept and forced him to a "textbook" way of making enemies. It was restrictive, and Camelslayer admits to having lacked motivation due to this. Correcting these errors is part of what inspired Grave Story, on top of his general interest in undead.