I love video games. I love comic books. I love art. Combine those three things and what do you get? Battle Chasers: Nightwar, a video game currently a Kickstarter entering its final days.
Battle Chasers was one of the initial three comic book series released in the late ‘90s by Wildstorm’s imprint Cliffhanger. Founded by J Scott Campbell, Joe Madureira and Humberto Ramos, with the goal of the imprint company being to release creator owned properties. Joe Madureira’s offering, Battle Chasers, is a fantasy comic following the adventures of a young girl named Gully. Well, it would have followed the adventures of Gully, Red Monika, Garrison, Calibretto and Knolan if it had gone beyond 9 issues. That’s right, 9 issues and a Prelude, released over the course of roughly 4 years with a ridiculous amount of alternate covers, of which I own every single one. Seriously.
Nine issues over 4 years translated roughly into two to three issues a year with a 16-month gap between issues 6 and 7. Fans, for the most part, remained patient. However, issue 9, released in September 2001, ended in a cliffhanger which was to be resolved in the promised issue 10. Unfortunately, issue 10 never saw the light of day. Understandably, people were upset and, over the years, have constantly asked Joe Mad if he will ever return to the world of Battle Chasers. His response has always been vague; he still thought about it but there were no plans.
The title became a cult classic with a devout following, myself included. Throughout the years the existing issues have been repacked and re-released a few times, with each iteration resulting in total sell out. Of course, there is a second hand market for everything so you can still get the full story, such as it is. The prices vary depending on the release and condition however, the 2011 Anthology hardcover, if you can find it, is currently going for some ridiculous sums as of the time of this writing.
Over the last 13+ years, I have longed for a continuation of the Battle Chasers mythos but it was not meant to be. Or so I thought. On February 19, 2015 Joe Mad posted a picture to his twitter account, my friend and I immediately geeked out.
— Joe Madureira (@JoeMadx) February 20, 2015
The texts flew fast and furious between us, it looked like Garrison’s sword, it looked like Battle Chasers, and we were beside ourselves with excitement.
Here we are, in the later half of 2015 and Battle Chasers is making a comeback. Joe Mad, along with other industry vets, formerly of Vigil Games (remember them?), formed Airship Syndicate with their current plan to continue the Battle Chasers story in both comic and game format. This makes my little nerdy heart jump for joy.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a turn-based RPG in the vein of classic JRPGs such as Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, Fantasy Star, and Suikoden. As described on their page: it will be a non-linear story filled with “action oriented, randomly-generated dungeons loaded with traps, puzzles and secrets”. In addition to that goodness, key story moments will be depicted in traditional 2D animation.
This sounds delicious and, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a backer of the project but I am far from alone. Within the first 3 days, Nightwar reached 100% funding with 10,100 backers and four stretch goals in tow. Since then they have steadily smashed through stretch goal after stretch goal.
The game was originally to be release for PC and Mac only with Xbox One and PS4 support part of the campaign stretch goals. After 24 hours of the Kickstarter launch, it was announced Xbox One and PS4 both would be rolled into the main campaign and Nightwar was working its way through Greenlight in an attempt to bring it to Steam. You may be happy to note, Battle Chasers: Nightwar has officially been Greenlit.
As the campaign has gone on, a few fun items were revealed, one of them has me a tad excited. Thanks to Nordic Games, the current distributor of the Darksiders franchise, all Kickstarter backers will receive an exclusive weapon with their copy of the game: Chaoseater, War’s legendary blade from Darksiders.
The Campaign is now entering its final days with a few more stretch goals to hit. I, for one, would love to see more stretch goals smashed so the world of Battle Chasers can be further enhanced. What can I say, maybe I’m a bit selfish, I just want to see a property I’m passionate about get a second chance. Also, Joe Mad’s art is pretty spectacular.
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