A downloadable game for Windows

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Mare is an Adventure/horror game created in RPG Maker VX ACE. The game follows Naomi, who awakens to find that they cannot remember their name, memories, and where they are. All they know is they can hear a lone voice calling to them, "Naomi, come find me."


The game is an RPG which will feature turn based fighting,  along with side quests and puzzles. 


Mare is a horror game and will contain many disturbing and upsetting topics.  Please play at your own risk.
The game contains:

-Violence, blood and gore
-Body horror, eye horror
-Foul language
-Medication Mention
-Flashing images
-Loud noises, sudden sounds, sudden movement
-Sensitive topics
-Some jumpscares 
-Bullying
-Suicide
-Death and child death
-Torture
-Transphobia
-Trypophobia
-One small chase scene

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Mare.exe 158 MB
Mare Chinese Translation.zip 160 MB

Development log

Comments

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I absolutely love this game! I'd downloaded it forever ago and kinda forgot about it, but spotted it in my files the other day. It was amazing to play :D

(There's not exactly spoilers? I wouldn't consider there to be spoilers)

 The amount of story detail amazes me, though I do wish you could spend more time with the characters (including the side characters) before going back to the objective. I also tried for about an hour to play the game without hitting anyone- like every fight, my first action was to guard to see if they were actually going to fight me!

Also, THE ART!! Can I talk about the art? I fell in love with the art so very fast, only to fall more in love as the game progressed. The details in all the characters, whether being in their clothes or the area they surround themselves in, it's astonishing! Not to mention the cut scenes in the game look great- they're breathtaking!! 

I really wish there was more storyline, or other route. Mare is perfect the way it is though :)                           [It's also my favorite game now]

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I decided to revisit this game recently after playing it many months ago. There's a lot of praise I have for this, and some constructive criticism from the point of balanced game design to help with possible future ventures.

First the pros: (spoiler free of course for those reading)

The game is beautifully unique in story, visuals, and in the realm of some audio design too.

Lots of replay value

Artistically it's charming and excellently well done

The game's battle system is visually appealing

Character and enemy sprites are something to be seen as a standard for any indie dev wanting to make a game similar to this in regards to quality

The main character's personal arc alongside the secondary character's personal arc is not just something that you can relate to, but it's something that's genuinely touching

On top of it all, this game just has so much personality oozing from it. To the point where I feel bad for not paying for this originally due to this game's quality. Not the best thing I've played, but definitely paid money to play worse games, and I wouldn't have minded paying around $5 initially to play this as long as some things were patched up.

Now the cons:

The battle system is very imbalanced, and very grindy to progress at times. And makes it feel like that you're dealing with artificial length in the game itself.

Not everything is clear cut enough to follow along at some points. Mostly either with how some puzzle segments are conveyed due to the will of the player possibly being the player's downfall on more than one occasion for myself.

Healing items can feel overly scarce, or at other points getting the money for getting yourself healed was a difficult task in of itself, and there was a lot of potential back tracking for those trying to find easier or better means of trying to get from point A to point B without having to deal with a lot of damage.

But the more major thing is power imbalances that're easy to encounter mid to late game. In fact, during the last quarter of one of the endings, which I assume isn't supposed to be a harder or a more difficult one to get, battles felt like even when you had a plan it could be just left up to the toss of the coin with how the AI would react at certain points. (again I'm keeping this as spoiler free as I can for people so, sorry if this is a little vague).


Easy ways to fix these kinds of problems would be to either have the EXP obtained earlier on be substantial enough for new players to get things done later with some difficulty, but albeit not something that feels like that you're constantly on the edge or brink of potentially dying or game overing so easily. Or potentially getting useful equipment early enough to mitigate these kinds of issues. As an example, your tutorial fight, and fights early game to give you enough money to get that immediately if need be.

If you don't want to have that, at least have skippable cutscenes or faster or possible fast travel options to make it more player friendly. All of these suggestions may not be perfect, but I hope that you know that this comes from a place of someone who genuinely enjoyed what the game provided.

Anyways, I loved the story. I loved the characters. And I genuinely loved the various endings that were thrown in. A not necessary but genuinely appreciated thing that was put in. Alongside the final portion of the game and having as much interesting stuff that you didn't need to share, but I loved reading and looking at nonetheless. Thank you for putting in so much love, care and effort into a lovely game like this. And I hope you release more in the future, and I can support you on further ventures in game development Z.

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Hello and thank you so much for your message. 

Firstly, let me say that it truly does mean alot to me that you did like the game, even with the flaws that it does have, and second, I truly do appreciate you going into depths with the issues the game does have. I more than understand the battle system in particular having issues and this is completely my fault for being inexperienced with it when making this game, It was my first time trying to make one and I understand if it did not go the way I had planned.
I really do appreciate you going into detail on why things had fallen flat or did not go well as they do help me understand what I can improve on so I can make my future projects more enjoyable. 

Thank you so much again for your message and thank you for playing Mare, I really do appreciate your support and I really do hope that you will look forward to what I create in the future. -Z

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Hey it's not a problem! I really appreciated the game as a whole, and honestly I really do look forward to seeing more projects from you in the future. I'll gladly pay money next time for it too if you feel that's the best choice as well! And thanks for taking the feedback as well as you did. I really appreciated the love and care you put into Mare, and I would love to see another thing like it refined in a way to see things or maybe even Mare itself refined in a way that makes this game more mainstream. It's honestly a wonderfully put together game that I wish I can recommend to more people. Hell I'd even be down to speedrun it at some point in the future as that's how much I appreciate the game and its style. But yeah, other than that, when I have some money I'll fork over some cash to show my appreciation when I get the chance. Don't stop creating Z. Love your work! <3 <3 <3

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Hello, I am sorry for the late reply, I have had quite a bit going on.

I really do appreciate it and if you do decide to speedrun it one day in the future, I would be curious to know how fast you were able to get through it. And as for donating money, please only do it if you feel comfortable to and are financially able to. ;v;

-Z

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Hi Z! I finally finished playing Mare!
What can I say, I liked the vibe of the worldbuilding, especially the village where you wake up with the floating bubbles, flying carps and earthly axolotls >w< there's a lot of care poured into the game and you can tell first glance. The plot has some key points that are easy to predict, at least to me (amnesia protagonists and shifting worlds led me to guess the conclusion before seeing it) but it was enjoyable nonenthless. It reminded me a bit of EndRoll, where you grow attached to the characters and then you learn the truth about the world and... you can't be happy anymore x°
The exp system is scarce, I had troubles going through battles without grinding a lot (I never skipped random encounters and Misaki beat me twice lol) but the animations of the skills were so cute! 

Thank you so much, Banya.

This was my first time working with a battle systems so I more than understand if it was rough around the edges. I do hope that I can continue to improve at my skills so it will be smoother in future projects that do have that system. I really do appreciate all of your comments though and am glad that you enjoyed it. ;v; 

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Mare was a great game! I finished it a few days ago. The story, the characters, the challenge and horror. it was all so great and entertaining. This is a wonderful game you made, Z. I'd recommend this game to all horror lovers!

Thank you so much, It really does make me so happy that you enjoyed Mare. ;v;

question how many endings are there?

There are a total of 4 bad ends and 2 true ends. qvq/ 

Is this game complete or is it still a demo?

This game is completed! qvq/

I played this game after hearing about it on twitter from 2 different sources. It's a little rough around the edges, but conceptually, the story is interesting.

There were somethings I felt weren't handled well, like how the main character keeps getting thrust into these situations where they're killing inadvertently with a moral high ground. With that said, it's fascinating to see the psychological state of the character constantly changing as the game progresses, with it only going into almost a complete decline. Overall, I think the story could've used more work and didn't try to load the audience with too many themes.

I like this game mainly because it shows that it has ambition behind it. I could have spent that time anywhere else, but for what it's worth, I've enjoyed it. Thank you for this game.

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I'm so grateful Z showed me their game. It was amazing and I really fell in love. The story was really unique, the world building incredible and I seriously loved the characters. I loved the creepiness. I do wish there was a bit more as a personal preference but the world is very balanced in creepiness level. It isn't lacking. If you like creepy thing games but not too scary you'll probably love this. Be wary the trauma is really very traumatising and it lives up to its psychological horror tag lol. I was probably a bit too critical of the writing, I'm a snooty butt cheek like that 😅, but I think the writing did get better after leaving the village to the right at the beginning of the game. 


Ultimately, what I'm saying is yes. play this lol. I made a full playthrough if you'd like to see that but I only got 2 of the endings so you'll have to play yourself to find out the others 🤗💜

Thank you so much for playing it, CptLainey. It truly does mean so much to me that you enjoyed the game. qvq/

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Cool game. I enjoyed the world building and how it all came together towards the end. The artwork was nice too. Hopefully, you get the chance to check out my playthrough :)

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I really liked this game and the finial choice was so difficult </3 

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;v;/ Thank you! I am really glad that you enjoyed the game!

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<span class="s1" <this="" comment="" contains="" spoilers!="" do="" not="" read="" if="" you="" haven’t="" played="" the="" game!*<="" span=""></span>*This comment contains spoilers! Do not read if you haven’t played the game!*

I finished playing your game, got all the endings! The true endings were really heartwarming, but sad! Overall it was an enjoyable experience, it was nice to play another game from you! I’d been excited to play this since the demo. 

There was a lot of effort put into the graphics, in terms of custom sprites and art. There’s something very comfy about your art style, it makes me smile when I see it. And it’s a nice contrast to the horror elements. Speaking of, the monster designs, glitched maps as well as the ambient music/glitchy noises genuinely unnerved me a little. I really liked the music for Mori Village, though it sounded like it was buzzing at times, not sure why? Naomi’s changing expressions in the menu and battle animations were very cute and nice details!

The details in all of the maps were nice to see. Stuff like all the individual sprites and optional dialogue after beating bosses. I liked the dolls as well as the posters in the city area that referenced other games! It’s a nice thing to see. :)

I have just a couple of criticisms. Firstly, it’s not a big issue but interacting with the second elevator from the side in the city will allow you to go further before you’re supposed to. If you try and go back you get soft-locked due to the crowd standing in front. It’s only a small bug though. I know how hard the beta testers worked and it’s highly unlikely that anyone would encounter this, I just like to interact with everything in games like these or try breaking it for fun lol. (ω)

Second, for all the details in some maps, I wish there could have been a bit more interaction with the environment or some more NPC dialogue, just for some added stuff. But they were well laid out and had a lot of effort, just a personal opinion.

Also, I sometimes find myself getting characters confused with one another or forgetting their names, but I still enjoyed learning about them and the variety of colour and details in their designs. I think some could have been a bit more fleshed out. I really liked the inclusion of a blind character, the shopkeeper Senri. Also Chris’ design and her love for her girlfriend was really cute! 

The story went in a slightly different direction than I thought it would. It could be confusing at times, but the idea of being in someone’s dream was an interesting concept and handled fairly well. The way it connects to the beginning is very clever; the kois turning bad (not the cute fishies!) the town transforming, learning about Naomi’s past life (I liked her home design!).  I appreciate the fact you listed content warnings on the game page, I personally didn’t mind anything. The sad scenes with death, suicide or transphobia, you could really feel the characters suffering, especially Naomi and Chiyo. ( ; ω ; )

Overall, I enjoyed this cute horror adventure! It reminded me of some games like Time Traveler and End Roll, which is definitely a good thing! I look forward to your future games! ^_^

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qvq/ Hello RPGHorrorfan2, thank you so much for your review.

I really do appreciate all of the criticisms that you brought to light and I will try to improve on these. I really do appreciate any words of advice that you have for me and I will take them to heart.

qvq/ I do also really appreciate you bringing to light the small glitch in Satomi, I have now patched this in the most recent version. (1.03)

I hope that you have a wonderful day and thank you again for your support!

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I played the Mare demo a few years ago, and have been eagerly awaiting the release of the full game ever since. Oh, man. Where do I start? (I will refrain from talking about specific details so as to not spoil, since the game is still new).

My most favorite aspects of Mare are the storytelling and the characters. The story has many dramatic emotionally charged scenes, but also  subtle quiet scenes where things are implied/visually presented rather than stated. A note here, a picture there -- little details that tell big stories. I found these two ways of telling the story of the main and side characters really worked well.  The story the game tells is a very serious one. I won’t go into details in fears of spoiling anything, but the game’s message is told in a nice subtle, yet impactful way.

The characters – oh, the characters! The two leads are very charming and interesting. I was emotionally invested in Naomi’s quest from the very first scenes. The rest of the cast are also brilliant. The characters are designed in a visually pleasing anime style, with vibrant personalities, and very interesting stories.  

Immaculate care was put into the graphics of Mare. Character sprites change depending on the events in the game, as do character dialogue portraits. Even the character’s menu portraits change throughout the game! These additions provide so much life and personality to the game, and tell me so much about the characters without having to spell it out.  Mare also has custom CG art that accompanies the game’s key cutscenes. The CG art is beautiful and enhances the impact of the scenes. The CG art is spread nicely throughout the game, that getting one feels like such a treat and adds importance and a sense of accomplishment. Locations are also uniquely designed and have strong signature visuals and motif. Even the battle transitions are custom and unique to each area!

Mare has an all original OST. The game’s music adds personality and life and to the game’s locations, battles, and cutscenes. A certain battle theme at the end of the game comes to mind as one of the most memorable and emotional ones, as do the themes for the second and third locations of the game.

Mare has turn-based battles. I found the difficulty of the battles just right. I didn’t need to do any grinding, but still needed to pay attention in battles and strategize to overcome some of the more difficult foes.

Mare is such a joy to play. One playthrough took me about 3.5 hours to complete. It is perfect to spend an evening on. There are also multiple endings. The characters and story will surely leave an impact long afterwards.

Tldr; Mare is an artistic, poignant, inspiring, and important game that All JRPG fans need to experience

Thank you so much for your kind words Yoraee, It really does mean so much to me that you enjoyed the game so much. I am glad that I was able to properly convey the smaller details that leads to the bigger plot. I hope that you have a wonderful day and thank you again for all of your support. ;v;/

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I've been waiting for this for a while, It looks amazing and I cant wait to play it! Congrats on the Release Z!

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Thank you so much Captain! qvq/