Project Beast is Likely a Shadow Tower Game

By J.C. Wigriff

Just a single day after I asserted on the INT Spec Podcast that Project Beast was almost definitely Demon’s Souls 2, new evidence has caused me to completely alter my opinion. The newly leaked FROM game Project Beast – probably headed by ‘Souls’ mastermind Hidetaka Miyazaki – is likely a new entry in the Shadow Tower series.

 

 

 

Shadow Tower is a first-person, action oriented role-playing game, released only in Japan on the Playstation. Sharing many similarities with the King’s Field series (the spiritual predecessor to Demon’s Souls), Shadow Tower is a dungeon crawler where you gain experience through killing beasts. Instead of choosing where to allocate your experience, different enemies instead automatically raise specifically targeted attributes associated with your character.

 

A sequel was released in 2003 for the Playstation 2, only offered in Japan, and possessed several genre and mechanical elements in common with Demon’s Souls and the King’s Field series. Oh, and there are guns.

 

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Although firearms are present, ammo is incredibly scarce. You can hold a weapon in both hands, allowing one to dual-wield a pistol and melee weapon in the game, and weapons and armor have durability ratings. Also like Demon’s and Dark Souls, Shadow Tower focuses on collecting the souls of the dead in order to improve character attributes and the effectiveness of equipment.

 

If you examine the leaked title screen for Project Beast, you’ll notice that the font used is very similar to the font used on the Shadow Tower box art – especially the O. Coincidence? At this point, I don’t think so.

 

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These connections probably would have been caught by Western audiences sooner if Shadow Tower had ever been released outside of Japan. The connection was revealed to me by Dark Souls writer and enthusiast  dis_pear on twitter.

 

I think the game will still likely be 3rd person, based upon the screenshots, and that it will still retain a strong similarity to Souls-based combat since it’s held in such high regard. Also, the mechanics of Shadow Tower would undoubtedly need to be updated in order to facilitate a respectful modern release, and many of those updates would probably be in the form of Souls similarities, therefore making the game feel more familiar to Souls fans. That would account for the fog gate, for instance. It’s likely, however, that Project Beast will end up being a dungeon crawling game similar in vein and lore to Shadow Tower, while retaining Souls combat mechanics.

 

What do you think? Are you excited about the possibility that this will be Shadow Tower? I love the idea of being able to pick apart lore in a game series that’s entirely new to me. Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

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Avatar J.C. Wigriff Writer, guitarist, gamer, alchemist. Editor at Fextralife.com, and host of the INT Spec Podcast. Be sure to follow him on twitter.
J.C. Wigriff has written 21 awesome articles.

8 Comments

  1. dis_pear May 6, 2014 at 9:39 am -

    Thanks for the shoutout! I can’t wait till we find out more at E3 – if this is indeed Miyazaki’s next project with the backing of Kadokawa and Sony… Wow.

  2. Avatar
    ManatuBear May 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm -

    1st person view????
    Just…. NO

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    Argetlam350 May 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm -

    Interesting read but I still think there is more evidence of it being Souls related then this Shadow Tower game. Really the only evidence you provide is the connection of Guns and the Font. Guns is a good connection but the font I feel could mean anything. The font for Project Dark is different from the font of Dark Souls so font really isn’t by any means a good way to tell what the game will be in the long run.

    Things that I feel actually pull away from this theory is that images are third person when shown of what appears to be a player character and the fact of the odd fog gate image. Now I don’t know if fog gates were in Shadow Tower but I’m assuming no they weren’t. Since these images actually have third person images are what actually kills this theory to me since you mention Shadow Tower is first person which clearly this isn’t.

    Ultimately we won’t know until Fromsoft announces the game but I just wanted to state my opinion on the matter.

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    skarekrow13 May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm -

    Alternatively, it could be a completely brand new IP that just happens to borrow game mechanic ideas from other From Soft games.

    Let’s not forget the amount of sharing that occurs in their games. There’s actually a lot of stuff I’d say that is borrowed between Souls and Armored Core games.

    Regardless, ain’t speculation fun?

    Hint: Yes it is

  5. Avatar
    Wigriff May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm -

    Well, considering the age of Shadow Tower they would undoubtedly update the mechanics. Shadow Tower and King’s Field were the primary influences on Demon’s Souls, so I think it’s fair to assert that they could re-launch the Shadow Tower IP with Souls-like mechanics, and in 3rd person view (which is obvious from the shadow gate picture), but differentiate it enough to make it a unique experience as opposed to a carbon-copy Souls game. If you look at footage of, specifically, Shadow Tower Abyss, it has a LOT more in common with Souls games than guns and a font. I think it’s a smart idea for FROM to make a dungeon crawling game with Souls-like mechanics, in order to make a unique experience/IP, instead of just making Dark Souls with a different name.

  6. Avatar
    skarekrow13 May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm -

    Amen, my chief complaint with Dark Souls was that I kept thinking to myself "Wow, just like Demon’s Souls."

    The similarities to me were so blatant that while I was fighting the first Bell Gargoyle I actively was panning my camera around looking for a second when I could.

    It’s funny that in Dark 2, I didn’t that feeling quite so much on gameplay. However, I was mentioning this to E, it appears to me that the team did the equivalent of getting out a sheet of tracing paper for the lore/story. As in, this is Lordran in the future and we’ll just have everyone scout around for what this all "used to be."

    What I’m getting at is, if I am to continue falling in love with these games, they will at some point need to stop making me have the "been there, done that" feeling.

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    eminusx May 7, 2014 at 6:16 am -

    Shadow Souls?

    That feeling of familiarity has to go, I played Dark first which was a revelation because of three things:

    1) Vertically interlinking world design
    2) Visual style
    3) Fundamental gameplay mechanics (world based lore and fighting)

    These are fundamental and the reasons I wasnt so keen on DS2 was because it felt like ‘more of the same’ so it lacked the impact of Dark, by no means is it a bad game, far from it, but it felt like another expansion, and what I wanted was a new game I guess. A new game could be something set in a completely different era, but it would likely need to keep the same fundamentals at its core, or maybe elaborate on them, not just imitate.

    DS2 felt like it was purposefully held back a little, restrained, maybe Project Beast is the reason for this? They didnt want to explore too many new concepts because they were reserving ideas for PB and Miyazakis next gem, knowing a sequel to Dark would sell anyway.

    From what ive seen of Project Beast, it looks like a completely different world, with some new mechanics to boot (guns etc). It could be a serious peach if it keeps some of the core mechanics, its already oozing atmosphere

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    True_Adamance June 10, 2014 at 4:45 am -

    I would certainly prefer that whatever form this new game takes it works away from what Souls fans have come to expect from the series and retains the aspects from the original Shadow Tower games, or takes more inspiration from Demon’s Souls rather than the two Dark Souls installations.

    I personally love the idea of fire arms and to see the possibility of a build where ammunition is a scarce and rare commodity…….. FANTASTIC!

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    Odinbear June 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm -

    I think Miyazakis saw a vision when the new Souls engine was created, and now saw how to expand on a previous game. The game you speak of. It’s gonna be a blend of souls and tower, multiplayer will be integrated, the lighting and fit&feel will be a key part. Looks promising.
    Think I’ll have to start filling the Money Jar again to buy a PS4.