Hiraeth: a Metroidvania with Swords-clashing Combat

Wei Dai

Hiraeth is a game demo that merges a Metroidvania level-progression experience with sword-clashing combat.

When talking about a sword fight, people will usually picture a scene where two people are sparring swords back and forth until one of them makes a hit and wins the duel. People think this way mainly because it is how novels, movies, and TV shows depict sword fighting. Even in a real sword-on-sword duel, like a HEMA longsword duel, sword biting and parrying are essential to the combat. The victory is usually decided in seconds and the sword-clashing sparring is what’s the most exciting to the audience. Strangely, it is not how the video game industry usually depicts a sword fight.

This project is an attempt to design a combat system that emphasizes sword-clashing combat, and combines it with a favorite form of the level-design method, Metroidvania.

This is a graph I drew to summarize the fighting scenarios mainstream action-games mainly employ to generate continuous excitement in combats. Scenario 4, the sword on sword sparring, is usually treated as a difficult technique that only players in high skill tiers can pull it off occasionally.

This is my conclusion on how to make a Metroidvania experience based on my researches.

Thesis Faculty
Kyle Li
Jessie Contour
Jessica Marshall
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