Some time after the events of the 2020 version of Arch of Coups, Mario and company were once again scattered to the winds. They had been sent to Planet Earth, more specifically the island of Ireland. Upon some research, it was determined that the walled city of Derry was Mario’s next objective. However, he was in the city of Cork instead, about as far from Derry as possible.
What Mario didn’t know was the hack author’s self-insert was nearby. Moderation of Fire Emblem Universe and dealing with the frequent rule-breakers was growing tiring, so Darrman wanted to go on a holiday. Of course, he had way too many hacks to finish, but holidaying is more important than work. Somehow, a few more groups of people from across his preferred fiction had wound up in Kent Railway Station, Cork…
The station was filled with passengers, not all of which were too fussed about the Arch of Coups. Mario was familiar with some of them, but not all. He knew Sigurd of Chalphy from before, but this time he had some of his family with him; his son and nephew, along with their respective wives. Cecil Harvey was also familiar to him, leading several other familiar faces. Finally, there was a smaller group that appeared to be led by a small boy with truly incomprehensible hair. However, none of them were destined for Derry: Sigurd would accompany him as far as Belfast, but Cecil would split off at Limerick Junction.
However, someone was out for revenge. Bowser’s whereabouts were unknown, and that was of concern. The train soon departed. However, it then begun to behave erratically, stopping at stations it shouldn’t and skipping stations it should. A swing onto the rickety Ballybrophy branch proved most concerning: the track was poorly maintained and the threat of closure perpetually loomed. Soon, all manner of catastrophes began to occur, finally resulting in a derailment near the town of Nenagh. Many on board the train were killed, and most of the rest were sent flying.
Night would soon fall. The group was split across an imposing railway embankment. Someone had tried to kill them all. But just who is the culprit? Bowser is rarely this dramatic or murderous. One of the survivors, a brown-haired woman named Tea, complained about having been in a crash like this before. Mario knew one thing for certain: this was not an accident.
Evening Train Crash was my submission for the 48-Hour Hack Jam, hosted by Fire Emblem Universe user Buggo. There were only two entrants to the competition, myself and Sme. The winner has yet to be announced at the time of writing. Though a game jam typically takes place within a short period of real time, this competition decided to allow any prospective entrants 48 hours of real time instead, something difficult to measure. In effect, it was little different from a typical Make a Fun Chapter round. I attempted to follow a proper 48 hour jam development, but I wasn’t satisfied with the state of the chapter after two days of work. In the end, I got it tested and submitted after spending four days of work. Assuming I worked for 12 hours a day, that comes in at 48 hours.
The storyline was largely written off the cuff at the dead of night, with ideas coming and going. Gameplay gimmicks also fluctuated to a degree. At first I wanted to make it focus on my self-insert working through my project backlog. The player would pick one of ten groups, and myself and the chosen group would play through the same map. However, I soon realised that would be far too much effort. The party was made static, composed of elements from several of the original groups. The plot was largely changed to reflect Mario picking up the pieces after a train crash, though the first scene of me complaining about things remained intact.
With the limited time allotted, I think I didn’t do too badly this time around. The contest had a keyword system; the keyword here was “Nightfall”. I addressed that by setting it in the evening and using the appropriate palette.
As a contest entry, there are no plans to adjust Evening Train Crash beyond the original release.
Downloads and Links
Latest release (29/05/22): Here
Fire Emblem Universe post: Here