Toziuha Night – Order of the Alchemists is a 2D platformer and metroidvania game heavily inspired by the Castlevania series, currently in development with a free public demo featuring the prologue. Starring Xandria the Iron Alchemist, you guide her on an anger-driven journey where she fights the demons of the present and confront the tragedies of her past. To do so, she must use both science and magic to defeat her enemies.
Developer: Danny Garay
Demons of the present
Equipped only with an iron whip and an evasive backwards dash, you navigate the brutal terrains of the village and caves ravaged by several of the undead you have to fight to get through. As you progress, you gain several upgrades allowing you to double jump, whip in eight directions, slide, and much more. You can also find other items such as throwable sub weapons (like axes or shurikens), potions, or materials and chemicals. Instead of relying on leveling up or equipping Xandria with weapons and armor, Toziuha Night has her equip chemical spells as well as materials, all with various different effects.
Materials can add some passive effects, like a burning and exploding effect with oxygen equipped. Spells can be used in combination with the appropriate material, for example two balls of electricity could encircle Xandria with copper, or equipping oxygen and using a spell with two hydrogen atoms spawns a sweeping wave of water. Though the alchemy system is great, you don’t get a lot of chances to use it. You need to stay still, hold up until Xandria glows, and then hold another button to finally use the spell, which is too clunky to use mid-battle. Xandria also can’t handle a lot of hits, and healing also requires you to be wide open for attack. Because of that, I seldom used alchemy and relied on passive effects instead.
Toziuha Night is mildly difficult. How hard enemies hit you depends on their attack and placement on the map, such as skeleton bone throwers in tight corridors being major pains in the butt. Most deaths happening in three to four hits. Thankfully you only return to the last save point which aren’t hard to find. The prologue’s only boss fight is a steep difficulty spike requiring you to land multiple attacks while dodging projectiles and dashing, easily making it the least fun part of the game.
Tragedies of the past
Xandria’s back story and the reasons for why she undertakes this quest in the first place is shown in the few cutscenes Tozuiha Night has between major scenes. Her past is chillingly dark, having lost her family and forced at a young age to become an alchemist capable of manipulating heat, by scalding with hot iron.
While she is pretty powerful on her own, and well-known across villages as the Iron Alchemist, she is also powerless against the enemies from whom she seeks revenge. The narrative and lore is one of the most interesting aspects of the game and this wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to see more in the full game.
Although the game is a little rough on the edges, particularly with the difficulty, Toziuha Night: Order of the Alchemists shows a lot of potential in capturing the spirit of Castlevania’s greatest hits like Symphony of the Night, with engaging gameplay and an intriguing story, so I can’t wait for it! In addition, one of the planned features in the full version is a level editor allowing you to create new maps, share them with other players, and explore creative takes on the game. Not to mention the game’s code is open source! If you have one hour to spare, I recommend checking out the demo on your favorite platform.