King's Field Episode IV: A New Hope
King's Field Episode IV: A New Hope (KE4) is the first game in a planned series of King's Field trilogies set in an open source canon, or universe, intended to lineup with the continuity of From Software's original trilogy with the smallest margin of error possible, but with allowances made for the sake of quality and coherence here and there. These games are implicitly licensed (or not) by virtue of being made with From Software's own Sword of Moonlight: King's Field Making Tool retail software.
Everyone is encouraged to take part, and multiple versions of these games and the canon itself are able to freely coexist. Everything that makes up the official canon is public domain+ and fluid, and versioned to the best of the abilities of those involved. Games set outside the planned trilogy projects represent welcome additions, but are not held to as high standards. The maintainers of the canon designate which games, and versions of said games, are deemed to be apocryphal, or breaking with the canon, or some version (incremental or forked or otherwise) of the canon. Which is not a big deal. Just a matter of record.
+With the possible exception of anything that coincides with From Software's King's Field games. And if so, perhaps limited to games made with Sword of Moonlight.
The projects begin with Episode 4, not unlike the Star Wars trilogies. From Software has not produced a new King's Field game since IV. The fourth game in the series is unrelated to the original trilogy, or the first three games. And not well received. Episode 4 was originally conceived of independent of IV, however it bore so many similarities, that it was decided that it can serve as a reworking of the fourth game, without any concessions in the slightest made to better overlap with IV. If there is any derivation between them it is purely subconscious, probably born of disappointments if so.
The decision to replace the fourth sequel in the new canon is also practical. If this is not done then the direct continuation in the form of subsequent trilogies would not be possible. The back story is consistent across the games admitting to exist within the canon. However each trilogy is separated by vast distances of time. And the affairs therein are entirely disconnected. Exact dates are to never be given, so that the timeline remains flexible, for the purpose of inserting new games and events at any point within the canon. The history and back story as presented in any given game is allowed to and even encouraged to be inaccurate or deceptive, but anything that plays out in the form of game play or cutscene adheres to canon or invites rejection.
Episodes IV, V, VI
IV follows Solomon, a young man with the innate affection for fire magic, while he explores a future Melanat aided by Meryl, a pure blooded elf fountain maiden of a few centuries native to Melanat by way of a clutch of an unbroken line of original elves making their home in a protected caldera at the summit of the larger of the twin landmasses making up the island.
The similarities to From Software's IV are a few. Solomon is cast out on a mission to save the fate of the land in the eyes of his people or perish doing so. He does not bear an idol to deliver to the underworld, but he is sent to use his fire magic to quiet the volcano of Melanat, and will need to venture into its underworld in order to do so. He will pull the Moonlight Sword from the roots of the Dragon Tree in a scene similar to how the sword is rekindled in IV. And he will discover a forest paradise in an unlikely place, and just as the elf aids the hero in IV amid such a paradise he is aided by Meryl, an elf and playable character that is not so different.
V follows Marilyn, the dark-elf daughter of Solomon and Meryl, now king and queen of Elegria, as she crisscrosses the continent, once parched and now flooded by the events of IV, by boat, visiting the many highlands that remain above water. Just like her mother she is a consummate swimmer at home in the waters. Much of the game involves exploring underwater environments.
In IV Solomon was not only able to placate Melanat, but somehow summoned the negligent sea and sky gods Elfos and Elwin to return the rains and waters to the bone dry crevices of greater Elegria. In the presence of the two gods somewhere between the sun and the moon Solomon witnessed from outer space as the atmosphere of his world was repaired. In awe he saw that his home is a child's ball impossibly small, and what is more, the whole of Elegria as he could discern it, must have been no more than a spec on that spec of a ball.
VI follows Daniel, a pure-elf nature boy born with a rare condition leaving him without need for the water of Melanat or its sister springs scattered across the wider continent: a curse endured by his kind since time in memoriam. Like all pure-elves he shares the language of animals which he may hail from across great expanses by sending entreaties along the great winds. By a constant battery of animal cohorts he is able to cross the entire continent more swiftly than anyone of his age. His only stalwart ally is a falcon with a bird's-eye view who sees what he sees and vice versa.
We soon learn that the demons of long lost Guyra have made their home in a new world and have determined to make their way to far Elegria. It looks like the remnants of the flood will be no match as they make preparation to receive their demonic guests. One by one the still waterlogged tribes of Elegria are willingly enslaved until the moment of the final showdown arrives. The Moonlight Sword and newly recovered Dark Slayer are readied to be pitted against the foreign invaders. Sealed inside the seat of the continent, now surrounded Melanat, a desperate pact is made with a pair of old dragons.
Episodes I, II, III
This trilogy comes in the form of retcon of From Software's trilogy including reshaping Melanat in whatever form it takes in IV for II, and likewise for Verdite of VI for III.
Episodes VII, VIII, IX
In VII we learn that the tables are turned. Logic reigns supreme across a far future landscape. Magic is an arcane memory. Demons are the masters of the high-tech world. We follow a half-demon who is sympathetic to the mostly human underclass. Not that the humans did not deserve their fate, unleashing those fiendish dragons to do their bidding.
The setting this time owes much to Vampire Hunter D. Superhuman Damien in league with the cult of Seath stops at nothing to master the lost art of magic in pursuit of the immortal Solomon.
VIII treats us to a flashback episode from the vantage of Millia—the one true constant of the King's Field universe—from her stint as the "Forest Dragon" of legend to the events of episodes I through VII, including privileged insights into previously unrecorded circumstances and happenings of the intervening millennia, before betraying Guyra and setting the stage for episode IX.
In the grand finale episode; Guyra is no more, the seal around Melanat has fallen, and Millia has entered its lost world, cultivated for millennia by the adherents of Seath, to awaken Dias from a deathless slumber. They find themselves a dying garden world haunted by a wounded lord and one Leon Shore who speaks on their behalf. Millia explains that the garden is an illusion borne of magic and demonstrates how its veil may be punctured with her curious sword of light.
Along the way we catch up with a guilt ridden apparition Aleph on a single-minded errand to renew the lord of the garden and his kingdom and in doing so end his own inner turmoil. The Moonlight Sword and Dark Slayer collide in a fitting conclusion to the Magic Cycle.
The "A New Hope" project is a three trilogy (nine games in total) cycle. Games taking place after the end of IX are marked with an X to indicate that they diverge from traditional King's Field settings to significant degree. In that they feature non-fantasy historical or futuristic settings after the age of magic. Magic and monsters may or may not play a part in an X game. But whenever it does it is presented as an unusual occurrence. Like paranormal activity. Bewildering the parties involved for the most part (games with Arthurian or Transylvanian like themes may treat magic more liberally, or with less overall suspicion.)