Penny Blood: Hellbound is a roguelike companion game to Penny Blood, set to release in 2024 for PC
Yukikaze, Studio Wildrose, and Natsumi Atari have announced Penny Blood: Hellbound, a companion game to Penny Blood, a Shadow Hearts spiritual successor that ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last year.
Hellbound is a roguelike prequel game, with core development done by Natsumi Atari (Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising). It features the so-called Hellhounders described as "rivals" of Penny Blood's main protagonist Matthew. The game is currently only announced for PC, and the Steam page has been opened.
A limited closed beta will begin on December 14 for backers of the original "Double Kickstarter" campaign. An Early Access launch is planned for early 2024, followed by a full release set to launch in Summer 2024.
An announcement trailer, many more details, and screenshots can be found below, via Yukikaze.
Yukikaze, Studio Wildrose, and Natsume Atari are excited to announce the upcoming release of "Penny Blood: Hellbound," a roguelike companion title set in the dark, captivating world of Penny Blood. Taking a page out of other AAA Japanese-led Kickstarters like Bloodstained and Eiyuuden Chronicle, with Natsume Atari at the helm of core development and Studio Wildrose driving the creative vision, "Penny Blood: Hellbound" will deliver an indie-spirited gaming experience that delves into the sinister side of the Penny Blood universe.
About Penny Blood: Hellbound
Devised by dark JRPG mastermind, Matsuzo Machida, developed by industry veterans at Natsume Atari Studios, featuring art by Miyako Kato, and with a brand-new soundtrack from Yoshitaka Hirota and Noriyuki Iwadare, players can enjoy a taste of the tenebrous in this prequel to the upcoming RPG, Penny Blood.
Hellhounders Unleashed – In Penny Blood: Hellbound, you play as the Hellhounders, the formidable rivals of Matthew and his companions in the Penny Blood world. Navigate through a side story teeming with challenges and uncover the background of this group of anarchists as you attempt to fight your way free of the otherworldly prison of Mictlan.
Roguelike Thrills – Players will experience the fast-paced action side of Penny Blood through a roguelike world, where each run works toward unlocking a plethora of power-ups, new skills, and enhancements available in the game. Progress through dynamic action stages and topple exotic bosses, gearing up for the final confrontation that looms within the Hellhounders' retreat..
The Malice System – There will be blood as you slice, dice, bash and shoot your enemies throughout Penny Blood: Hellbound. The more blood you spill, the richer your rewards. Engage in intense battles, accumulating currency through the innovative Malice System to unlock a myriad of upgrades and abilities that can be procured in the game’s hub--The Hellhounders’ hideout.
Bloodsurfing Dynamics – Players can dive into the action with "bloodsurfing," a unique gameplay mechanic that turns spilled blood on the ground into a powerful tool. Slide along the floor to unleash momentum-based attacks and skill upgrades, enhancing your mobility and combat prowess.
Strategic Hellhoundery – Choose from a roster of 6 distinctive Hellhounder characters, each with their own set of attacks, weapons, and status-altering abilities. Strategize your run by switching between 2 chosen characters in real-time, creating devastating combo attacks. For even more fun, bring a friend along when the full release hits in mid-2024.
Enthralling Penny Blood World – Traverse through a variety of Penny Blood-themed locations in the Roaring 1920s, encountering diverse challenges and enemies throughout. Forge allegiances with fellow prisoners and immerse yourself in the rich atmosphere of the Penny Blood universe with each character's unique storyline.
Musical Mastery – Enjoy a captivating musical score composed by Yoshitaka Hirota, the main composer of Penny Blood and the Shadow Hearts series, along with guest composer Noriyuki Iwadare of Lunar and Grandia fame.
Comment from Matsuzo Machida of Studio Wild Rose
“We've had the idea for a Penny Blood companion game from the time when we first ran the Double Kickstarter campaign. Companion games are very meaningful products that allow us to answer the passion of all the fans waiting for the main game while preventing the excitement surrounding the IP from dwindling.
Around the end of last year, Natsume Atari contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in making a roguelike game set within the Penny Blood IP. The roguelike genre is one where the player goes through multiple runs in order to fully “clear” the game. While they’re different from JRPGs, they’re also popular around the world as well. It was possible for me to create a world and main characters that would fit that concept, so I gratefully accepted their offer.
I hope you’re all excited to experience Penny Blood: Hellbound, a roguelike game where we unleash the Hellhounders, the villains of Penny Blood.”
Comment from Takanori Furukawa of Natsume Atari
“I’m so happy to be able to announce Penny Blood: Hellbound to you all today. This game is a companion game to Penny Blood, and the entire team has worked very hard to make it a way for every player to enjoy the amazing world and charming characters of the Penny Blood universe.”
“With Eiyuden Rising, we aimed to create a game that people who aren’t great at action games could still enjoy. Working on the development was a great learning experience, and I was also happy to see the finished product receive some praise. We also heavily focused on creating gameplay and action that feels good. I hope to use that experience to make this game embody the true fun of a roguelike action game as much as possible.
Natsume Atari has mainly focused on developing action games for some time, so we’ve always wanted to create a roguelike - a genre that’s popular all around the world. We’ve also been big fans of Machida-san for quite some time, so once the desire to create an exciting game with him grabbed our hearts, we took the liberty of contacting him.
Machida-san’s clear vision and burning passion serves as great stimulation for us, and the chemical reactions based on those things have caused lots of interesting ideas to pop into our heads. One of the most representative ideas would definitely be the “blood” motif which includes the bloodsurfing mechanic among several others.
As of now, we’re convinced that we’ll be able to deliver new excitement, revolutionary elements, and a whole chain reaction of surprises to you in a “roguelike action” form.
The entire team has poured our blood and hearts into this game, so we hope you’re excited for it, and we hope it moves you just as much as it’s moved us!”
Closed Beta Access
Penny Blood: Hellbound’s Exclusive Backer Closed Beta Access launches on December 14th, 2023, via Backerkit on Steam. This limited-access beta features around 10 hours of gameplay and includes an exclusive Team Emblem, available only to backers during the beta phase.