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Battle Chasers' Kickstarter Continues a Story Started in 1998

Joe Madureira returns to his creator-owned property with a brand-new crowdfunded video game.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

The Battle Chasers are back again! Way back in 1998 artist Joe Madureira, hot off his run on Marvel's X-Men, joined Image's Cliffhanger imprint to launch Battle Chasers. The fantasy comic followed the adventures of former swordsman Garrison, magically-augmented little girl Gully, ancient wizard Knolan, war golem Calibretto, and bounty hunter Red Monika. Unfortunately, Battle Chasers suffered from severe scheduling issues, releasing a total of nine issues over four years before Joe Madureira called it quits and left the comic industry to make games.

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Now, after a few tumulous years in the game industry, Joe Mad is ready to return to Battle Chasers again. Following the collapse of Vigil Games, Madureira and fellow studio members formed Airship Syndicate. Today, Airship Syndicate launched its Kickstarter for Battle Chasers: Nightwar, a turn-based RPG based on Madureira's original series. All the characters from the comic look to be involved and the game's story has them heading into the Grey Line, a wall of mist that many have never returned from, to find Gully's father.

Nightwar looks to be a homage to classic turn-based JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. Your party of three occupies one side of the screen, while the enemy party occupies the other. Attacks are done in turn, based on an initiative bar similar to Grandia II. Battle Chasers' unique system involves having two pools of mana: red and blue. Blue is your basic resource pool, while red is used for stronger attacks. Certain characters prefer certain pools: Knolan is a wizard, so he suffers penalties for using red mana, while Garrison is much better drawing on the red for combat.

There's also a bit of roguelike in the plans Airship Syndicate has outlined for Battle Chasers. Dying in a dungeon means you lose everything not equipped on your party and there's only a single one-use save point and item stash per dungeon. Ouch.

Nightwar will feature Madureira's trademark hand-drawn art for character portraits alongside 3D modeled characters designed by him, with Airship Syndicate calling the 3D art style "moving concept art". Battles will feature the 3D characters on 2D backgrounds, while the overworld itself looks to be all 3D. There will also be animated cutscenes done by Powerhouse Animation Studios.

Finally, the Kickstarter also mentions Battle Chasers #10, 11, and 12, with Joe Mad returning to finish the original story he started, in addition to tying into Battle Chasers: Nightwar. That alone is worth a few dollars if you're a long-time comics fan.

As of this writing, Nightwar is already to $202,000 of its $500,000 funding goal. The game is planned for a December 2016 release.

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