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This game was originally developed as a retro game with mostly NES-like limitations, so this port to the actual NES is remarkably faithful. As far as modern games go, Alwa’s is mostly adequate. It’s a good, simple metroidvania, not too long, but just the right length. As an NES game, though, it really shines. It has the rare quality of possibly being the only PC-to-NES port that has more content than the original PC game! The Famitracker-composed music was ported to the NES without modification, and the sprites and background and all pixel art mostly came through unscathed, except for some simplifications of the palette. The story and secrets are all there, and even a few new secrets made it in to this port! The mechanics and physics between three simple abilities provide an interesting challenge in almost every room of the game. Nothing feels out of place.
If this game had come out during the NES days, it would have been one of the best-known and most loved games of the system. It came out last year and it is one of my most loved games across all systems..
I just streamed this game co-op with a friend.
It’s a lot of fun!
It’s very well-made and the game mechanics are very well thought-out. The music is catchy and the pixel art is clear and easy to read. In co-op there are also good ways to help your fellow firefighter, whether it be by guarding the hose or a particular room, or by splitting up and having one player grab keys or hose extensions which the other player can immediately use to open doors or bring the hose in further.
It’s pretty impressive how the mechanics are so well done, especially with the limitations of NES game design. Highly recommend this game!
Just bought this game, and it’s such a beautiful package! I love the cosmetics of the game, including the music and visuals configuration, plus that magical cylinder-roll effect that I have never before seen on an NES.
I am playing this game on an Everdrive on an original NTSC NES, and it plays perfectly. I have spent many game sessions trying to get a high score. Lots of puzzling fun!
I just bought this game and I have to say I’m slightly disappointed. The music and visuals are good but the controls are slightly awkward. Mawthorne can stick to some walls like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden but unlike Ryu to do so you have to press up against the wall. You can either tap the attack button once to do a short attack or you can double tap for a long attack. There’s no apparent use for the short attack and you can’t walk while you attack (although you can attack in mid-air during a jump). It’s a bit of an unusual way to handle the usual platformer formula.
The game advertises itself as a Metroidvania, and while we may debate the meaning of that, to me that means it’s about exploration and obtaining abilities that open new paths of exploration. I have only played about 30 minutes and it’s not evident to me from the manual or the gameplay that any abilities will be unlocked. It appears to simply be what I would call an exploration platformer.
There are a few other niggles. Surprisingly, there’s no pause button, so if I needed to take a sudden break, I relied on the pause function of my emulator itself. There are no passwords or save files, so you have to do the game old school, in one sitting. There’s a limited map system: you can’t check a map at all times, only the one you see on the wall. I would have liked a better audio or visual cue for a few events like enemies being defeated or Mawthorne being damaged. Finally, a limited life system is also something I find unusual in something called a “Metroidvania” and reminds me more of exploration platformers like Blaster Master.
I don’t mean to sound too negative. The game isn’t bad and I had fun with my short time with it. I think I’ll go back to it and learn more to see what else the game has to offer. These are just my initial impressions after 30 minutes of gameplay.
Having to press start to get a UI prompt also confused me at first. I was also confused that start can’t skip the intro logos. So I just kept hitting start and going through a loop.
Hopefully there would be a prompt “are you sure?” so that new game doesn’t accidentally save an ongoing game!
I am trying the demo but I can’t get past the title screen?
If I press start at the title screen, “new #cont” shows up on the bottom right but then the game just loops back to the NESMaker logo.
Well, it completely hardlocks my laptop within two seconds and forces me to do a hardware reboot, but other than that, it looks great and I am very grateful for the effort! :D
(seriously, though, don’t spend any more time working on this, we Linux users are small potatoes compared to the rest.)
Comrade, for the glory of the proletariat, let the fruit of our combined labour be a GNU/Linux version. Together, we can make this port happen!
This game shows promise but this feels like an incomplete and buggy build. If you press start too much during the intro cutscene, the nametable and attribute table get corrupted.
I was asking a few more people in the NESDev discord and they reported similar problems in other emulators, including the recommended Mesen.
This happened using an everdrive n8 pro, OS version 2.12, with G revision PPU and CPU on a famicom motherboard HVC-CPU-07:
Not obviously a bug, but from a game design perspective, it is awkward that key counts don’t reset after dying and that keys respawn after entering, leaving a room. Way too easy to get infinite keys.
After clearing what I assume is “level 1”, I was softlocked in this screen, with my character spinning around in the middle of it, and no further inputs worked.
If the developer can debug the game, this looks like it could be a fun platformer.
Sorry for the port begging, but, yeah… I really enjoyed the previous Linux port.
Hopefully that doesn’t have the post-Catalina trouble that the Mac port has.
I had so much fun with this! I played the NES version and got to the end. I was interested in Ling's story and struggle. It took me several tries because it's difficult to have to do the game deathless, but in the end I was glad I did.
More, please! I'd be happy to pay for more!
I see this is a Unity game, and I understand that Unity can do Linux builds. Is it easy or even feasible to provide a Linux build? Wine is always a slightly inferior alternative.
I can offer some help to make the build if you'd like.
Another vote for a Linux version here, but I have no idea if that's at all feasible. It really depends on how the game was made in the first place.
Physical release is still for sale if you want one:
A Famicom version for your Famicom or Dendy is also about to be released.
You can also buy the game on Steam, but that's a separate purchase.
When you navigate to the download page on your PC, you don't see these four downloads?
If you download the installer, you should open it to install it on Windows.
If you instead download the portable version, just unpack it anywhere and run the game from it, without needing to install anything.
I believe the PC version is also effectively emulation, since the game is made for the NES. The PC version is probably just another emulator conveniently wrapped around the NES ROM.
No, games added to the bundle after you paid for it should also show up.
From the bundle page,
click on download at the very top left. That will show you the whole bundle. Then search for Micro Mages by title:
This game is amazing! And not just amazing for the NES, but amazing in general, lots of fun! It's really built with multiplayer in mind, so try to find some friends and experience the multiplayer mechanics, like bouncing off your fellow mages or being able to float around as a ghost looking for ways to come back to life.
But it's also fun to play on your own! The game isn't very long. A dedicated player can probably finish it in about two hours. It includes a hard mode, which you need to complete in order to see the true ending, kind of like classic NES games like Ghosts N' Goblins. The difference is that the second loop in hard mode has lots of little changes, from level layouts to enemy behaviour, that really are more like just the second half of the game, kind of like the inverted castle in Symphony of the Night. There are also secrets to uncover and lots of little easter eggs and small references to other games, as classic as Space Invaders and as recent as Shovel Knight.
If you like run-and-gun wall-jumping vertical action, definitely give this game a try!