It's been three years since Celeste, the pixel-perfect platformer, first came out. Since then, the people who made it have banded together to create a whole new studio — Extremely OK Games — and have been hard at work on what comes next.
Today, that question finally has an answer: Earthblade, a "2D explor-action game" set in a "seamless pixel art world", with the entire Celeste team working together to create a worthy follow-up, due in "20XX".
The reveal on Twitter was not a full trailer, or even an early screenshot, but instead something that EXOK is calling a "vibe reveal", with some gorgeous keyart, the title, and Lena Raine's music all setting the tone. Old-school JRPG fans will be extremely happy with the vibe, which recalls Secret of Mana and days spent cross-legged at a friend's house on a rainy Saturday, playing video games until your mum comes to pick you up.
Even that title — "Earthblade" — pointedly evokes Earthbound, and the kind of games that took a lot of inspiration from even older-school choose-your-own-adventure and adventuresome fantasy books.
Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry, Amora B and Pedro Medeiros, and Heidy Motta form the EXOK team — all of whom worked on Celeste, and some of whom also worked on Towerfall. The audio design is being handled by Vancouver-based studio, Power Up Audio, whose work you may know from Cadence of Hyrule, Darkest Dungeon, and Super Meat Boy Forever, while the musical score is all done by Lena Raine, who also did the music for Celeste, and wrote the music for Minecraft's Nether Update. Quite a list of credits, then!
Although there's not much more to see or to say about Earthblade until they show off some of the art, we're quite interested in how the game will develop the ideas and design behind Celeste and Towerfall into something that looks more like a traditional RPG. For now, we'll just have to hope it comes to Switch... which it probably will, given Celeste's popularity on the platform.
Is this the follow-up to Celeste you were hoping for, or is it a surprising new direction? Let us know what you think about Earthblade in the comments!
pipe this into my bloodstream pls and thx
Sounds cool! Celeste is great!
Knead this through a big JRPG sausage machine for me please.
@Eddyzubgy Ah yes, spam, love to see it. You have been reported good sir.
Hated Celeste, so this will be a pass for me.
Is explor-action a word they’re trying to use so that people stop saying Metroidvania?
@Eddyzubgy ok bot
Although I must say that I'm interested, could be good, but I will wait for gameplay first of course. Celeste was a great game, even if all I did was the 6 standard stages.
Oh hell yes! I loved Celeste but I hope this doesn't have never as much constant player death.
Just the fact that this comes from the Celeste team makes this one interesting for me to follow. I wonder why they created a new studio though, what happened to Matt Makes Games?
I liked Celeste well enough, so hopefully this turns out well.
@Low_ink No point talking to it, it's not an actual person
Celeste and Towerfall were two of my favorite games I started playing in the past year.
The term “explore-action” to me sounds like a way to avoid calling it a Metroidvania. It also sounds like it’s taking alot more from Celeste than Towerfall, also citing that their previous prototypes were too far away from their wheelhouse. I hope they can incorporate multiplayer, because Towerfall is a go-to MP game for me, but regardless, I’m excited to see when this comes out and wait patiently for its distant release.
I've only just realised how many modern day retro-style RPGs insert "earth" into their name. Must've seen EarthBound become a Wii U top-seller got dollars in their eyes, kinda like how a lot of crossovers will put "smash" in their title.
Partially to reflect that it was more than just "Matt" making the games, and also to reflect that "Matt" came out as non-binary and now goes by Maddy.
@Mackocaster7 Oooh. Had no idea there. I knew I recognized the 'Thorson' part in the article but not Maddy, but that makes sense. Thank you!
@Ryu_Niiyama - That's not too fair for this game.
Having done the same because I hated Ico, I regret not playing Shadow of the Colossus til much later. Or saying Metroid is forever ruined because Prime exists.
I would definitely hold out to see if it may be you cup of tea.
Celeste is probably my favorite game I've played in the past couple of years, so I'm excited for...whatever this ends up being.
@Eddyzubgy Even if you aren't a bot, you're still spamming. You did only make an account to advertise shirts after all.
celeste is my favorite game ever, so this i day 1 purchase no matter what for me
How are we getting Secret of Mana from this? Is there some gameplay I missed, somewhere? Definitely something to watch for, considering the caliber of the development team, though!
NINJA APPROVES EXPLOR-ACTION
DOWN WITH METROIDVANIA
Couldn't care less for the "vibe-reveal", but Celeste was amazing so I'm looking forward to this.
@Kyloctopus I could be wrong, but when I hear the term "metroidvania" it makes me think of a side-scrolling, Metroid/Castlevania style game... Where the description of this game as "Secret of Mana vibes" makes me think it's a top-down. Has there ever been a top-down game that's described as a metroidvania? Maybe that's why they use the term explor-action.
I'm also curious about where it says "seamless pixel art world." I wonder if this means there are no rooms, screens, or whatever meaning like the whole world is just one giant map/screen to explore on.
Hell yeah, can't wait for this hidden gem.
@Eddyzubgy Then why do you post things like "Tried this game, love it, here's a spam link" on an article for a game that has just barely been announced?
If all they have so far is the logo and that awesome music track, I'm worried they might not meet the 20XX release window...
Cool. Should have waited to release gameplay though.
There is the faintest of whiffs of Secret of Mana. I was scared the music was going to straight up copy FF6 at one point lol. Could be good! But, I'm not one to get too excited for title reveals lol.
Oh wow this is checking all my boxes. I love the color palette and the "seamless" world. I've never played Celeste but I know it was highly rated and recommended, it's just not my bag (,baby.) Would be willing to try a demo maybe just so I give it a fair chance but I can sort of tell I won't enjoy it.
Anything where I have to use attack abilities to bounce and zoom across the screen atop enemies turns me off. Like in The Messenger having to attack and jump and attack and jump across a chasm or Shovel Knight's pogo-stick stuff, and .... yeah. Anyway, I'm placing bets on this one being amazing.I hope.
@Paraka I have well over 400 switch games (I'm not a collector, these are for me to play) not to mention all the other systems I have, so I have long since moved beyond trying anything and everything. I've been more burned by that than not, so I have a very strict policy on games and devs.
Especially now since it is harder to get your money back; case in point Celeste... all I can do is delete it, which I have done. The fun thing about being a consumer is that I don't have to give a dev a chance if I didn't like their other product. Fair is not part of consumerism; it is a dev's job to produce a product that a consumer feels is worth paying for. If they don't do that, as a consumer I have every right to go "no thank you". After all, there are other people that may enjoy it in my place. I would rather play games I enjoy and purchase from devs that make those games. However, to each their own.
Tried a bit of Celeste and it just wasn't for me. Curious to see what this new game will be like though.
Looking forward to this! The soundtrack will be great by the sound of it!
@Ryu_Niiyama I think the point is more though that we know next to nothing about this game and it seems to occupy a completely different genre to Celeste. The only information we have to go by is that it’s being made by a supremely talented group of developers. Surely the logical next step would be to wait and see what they’re offering and if it does look to be something you’d be interested in. I think saying it’s a hard pass just because it’s from a dev that made a game that you didn’t gel with despite its clear quality (and that’s not a sleight on you, that’s fine if you didn’t like Celeste, it’s all subjective, though it’s hard to deny its quality and craftsmanship) is a tad reactionary and unfair
Nice and I did enjoy Celeste so I'm looking forward to this.
@Ryu_Niiyama - I am not saying buy it outright, we only have art to go on.
@Kirbyboy92 it's a reveal of the vibe of the game! seems like it's been effective so far:)
Celeste was an instant classic, so this is automatically with paying attention to.
Lena's soundtrack was one of the best I've heard before as well, so glad to hear that she's back
@MajorasLapdog Again, I don't have to be fair, as it is my money and time and being put on the line. I'm not knocking anybody that is looking forward to it, but you and the previous person are coming at me merely because I don't like something you do like. I could understand that if I stated that the the game was trash or some of the more hyperbolic statements people make. But that isn't what happened. I stated how I personally felt about another product made by this dev and that I would be passing on further products. That should have been the end of it, full stop. However you both have decided that I somehow needed convincing because or that the dev needed some sort of defense instead of just liking what you like and letting me like or dislike what I like or dislike in peace.
Reactionary? Well yes, seeing as I literally said that I didn't like the other game this dev made and thus I have no interest in other games the dev makes. I'm assuming that you mean this in some sort of an insulting fashion however (correct me if I am wrong); you'll have to forgive me but I don't keep up with internet jargon so when words are given new memelike meaning I tend not to grasp where you are going. Am I not supposed to react to past experiences and use that information to inform a purchase? To do otherwise is wasteful spending.
Logically, I should be able to apply my own preferences and experiences to my purchasing choices...which I did in the first comment that I made.
So what is the problem exactly? It seems like you are saying two different things here. You cite logic, but attempt deny me my own experiences or the right to make a purchase based upon that experience. Do you buy every game and genre that comes out, hoping that it sticks, or do you like every other consumer use your own experiences and preferences to filter your purchases? I certainly do. I don't like FPS games either and thus veto any new one that comes out; is that unfair, how so?
@Paraka I'm not saying that you said to buy it outright and if that is what you got from my response, then you missed the point I made and likely didn't read what I wrote. I addressed your complaint which was that I was being "unfair" for dismissing this game based upon my previous experience with this dev (while ignoring your personal example as it lends nothing to my personal situation which is what my initial comment was about). As I stated I don't have to be fair and the amount of additional information is irrelevant. I know the dev and name of the game, that is more than enough based on my prior experience.
Again, by all means when this comes out if it is your thing, please enjoy it. You won't find me on the release comment page ripping it up; I don't do that. What I did do however is make one and only one comment about how I feel, that I have now had to defend twice for some reason. What is unfair is that I am not allowed to state how I feel about a game without people coming to bat for a dev or somehow try to convince me my purchasing decisions are wrong. Not a fan of how I feel? Buy me the game and I'll play it. Otherwise as previously stated I will pass and take my money elsewhere.
20XX? kinda want it to take longer than a decade now
@Nitwit13 Nowhere in EXOK’s announcement blog post do they reference Secret of Mana. That’s the journalist whom is projecting that; and to be fair, Earthblade’s art does look similar to Secret of Mana’s boxart. But the description to the game, from the little we know, doesn’t necessarily sound like its inspired by the Mana games.
@Ryu_Niiyama i hated 13 kinds of spikes too
@ancientlii Thank you, that got a full bodied laugh out of me. I needed that. Have a great day!
@Ryu_Niiyama I think you’ve just come at this from a weirdly defensive angle. I wasn’t trying to “come at” you or anything of the sort. And I wasn’t implying that you’d insulted me or the devs, nor did I use some revolutionary meme language. I was just trying to bat for these guys because, despite not being the biggest fan of Celeste myself, I can see they’re highly talented individuals. Guess the message I was trying to convey was more of a ‘why deny yourself of an experience you may enjoy when there’s every chance it will be an entirely different game’. Each to their own though. Shame you’ve chosen to take such a stance
@MajorasLapdog To each their own. We are now in agreement, no shame about it at all. Have a great one!
A game whose title is reminiscent of Earthbound that gives of Sieken Densetsu vibes from the team that made Celeste?
Fantastic. I genuinely hope the story deals with more depressing human existential dread.
@Grahamthecracker Good lord I hope it is. It sounds so fresh you could slap it.
You have my attention
If the rest of the OST matches this style.. OH MY it's AMAZING!!
Honestly, very very very excited. Celeste has been one of my favourite games of the past 20 years.
Is explor-action a word they’re trying to use so that people stop saying Metroidvania?
@Grahamthecracker It's an old Canadian tradition:
You did only make an account to advertise shirts after all.
@Low_ink Thank you. I will say one thing about bots, in their defense: they know what they're about and what they want. Humans and furballs, not as much...
Thank you for reporting this wonderful news Kate! I think I preordered this game already in my heart! ❤️
I love these artists’ work. I don’t know if Earthblade can match Celeste’s excellence for me, but I’m convinced Maddy, Lena, and team will bring us something special.
Can’t wait to hear more! I just signed up for the EXOK fanclub newsletter on their website.
Looks very intriguing! This could have been a good shoutout in the indie world last week
Breath of the wild is the best Zelda, own all amiibo’s
Dear Lord, Eric.
“ParticipACTION?!” I cringed so hard at that video I think I ruptured something! 😂
A little warning next time please!
So if Earthblade is an explor-action game, then I suppose we can retro-brand Celeste a Jum-Puzzler??
I’ll shut up now... 😅
@Teksetter Why, my dear Nintendo-Lifer... don't you appreciate '80s culture?
Part of the reason for sharing that video was our good staff writer, busily engaged in learning how to be Canadian. (She has probably Ignored me by now, and she is pretty busy, I'm sure, but... I can always try.)
I do understand your cringing, however. You know what's worse, though? Just listen to the lyrics of that ad without the context of the video. If I posted them as text, Mr. Whitehead would undoubtedly ban me... unfairly. The British, of all people, should understand subversive Canadian humour...
I’m sorry, I can’t reply properly while cringing and laughing (and crying a little inside).
I appreciate 80s culture, having survived that decade though probably not entirely unscathed. I think what I admire most about the 80s is they were just so bad, they were good!
I think I’ll share your video with my siblings and scar them now, too. 😂
But yes, please don’t post those ParticipACTION lyrics out of context. I’d hate to see you banned! And you’re probably in trouble as it is for trying to repulse Kate back to Britain with that video!
"seamless pixel art"? Looks more like drawn art unless this is a CGI rendered faux pixel but the trailer shows nothing of substance.
@COVIDberry I have to agree, honestly. You make a good point.
@Kyloctopus Fair enough.
Here's hoping it comes to a Nintendo console.
Celeste was amazing so I'm interested.
What a pedigree!
I love both Towerfall and Celeste, as well as Secret of Mana, so I can't help but get excited about this!
20XX? Coming in 2030 alongside Metroid prime?
Since Celeste is in my top 10 games of all time, this one is going straight on the top of most anticipated list
Celeste was great! Though I died over 5000 times, because I died over 5000 times and kept playing to the end, that game will always live in my memories!
I am excited about their new game, we shall see . . .
Yes please. Celeste was my favourite game of that year, I double dipped on Switch, and am super intrigued to see where they go next. Love Lena Raine's work as well, fast became one of my favourite videogame musicians ever, thanks to that soundtrack.
I've been waiting for this game to come along since Earthworld on the Atari 2600 and Earthworm Jim on the Sega Mega Drive disappointed me years ago.
Loved Celeste but I’m not sure the design skills for that game will transfer to Metroidvania.
Tap here to load 69 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...