Newly released RPG Nadia Was Here is inspired by Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger and other classic game series. Developer Jajaben Games has combined “old school experiences with modern day indie game mechanics” for one seriously nostalgic game.
Jajaben and publisher Indietopia Games are releasing Nadia Was Here in spite of a failed Kickstarter attempt back in 2016, with those who did back the game continuing to follow its development and cheer on the developer to this point.
Nada Was Here‘s Old-School Final Fantasy Inspiration
Nadia Was Here follows three heroes – Nadia, Tereshan and Hogan – as they go on a quest to uncover the secrets of Amytah. The group will fight “epic battles” and solve puzzles in what Jajaben describes as “classic dungeons.” The game also does this with a pleasant art style taken straight from the 8 and 16-bit game eras.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that Nadia Was Here is directly influenced by games from way back when. In an email Joep Aben (the lone developer behind the Jajaben name) tells me that “Nadia Was Here was inspired by a lot of old school games,” including Final Fantasy as well as Chrono Trigger, the Mother series, Phantasy Star 4 and even Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which released on the Gameboy Advance.
Although this influence isn’t always “obvious,” says Aben, the inspirations are clear in the party interactions. The heroes of Nadia Was Here have complimentary skills (Nadia can steal items, Tereshan can ‘learn’ skills from enemies and Hogan offers shields for example) but their personalities seem to be complimentary too.
Aben explains that “an epic quest can give you feelings of awe and adventure, but is ultimately not that interesting once that wears off.” What’s just as important is the way in which the Nadia Was Here characters “get through their own issues, and they really, really need each other for that.” The developer explains that “the cast may not be as big as your typical Final Fantasy game, but to me, how the three main characters influence each other is at the heart of the story.”
The care that Aben has taken in putting the characters together can also be seen in the decision not to include levels. The Nadia Was Here developer notes that in real-life you “grow by learning new things” and this growth isn’t measured in numbers. Moreover, “conventional level up systems come with a number of implications for gameplay that I just don’t like,” with games losing strategy, and the fun as a result.
“The characters in Nadia Was Here grow through learning new skills instead of experience points. Because that’s how I grow too,” says Aben. For those who enjoy the grind of levelling up, that may be a controversial comment, but to us, Nadia Was Here sounds like the perfect marriage of old-school ideas and new-school improvements.
Nadia Was Here is now available for Windows PC and Mac via Steam. The game currently has a 10% discount until June 2.