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Over the Top Games , Steven Gutheinz

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits

YEAR:

COUNTRY:

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Title of the work

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits

Studio / Production Company

Publisher Nintendo

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

Spanish

First Edition Details

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits (Formerly known as Icarian: Kindred Spirits)

Running time

3.5h - 6h, according to Howlongtobeat.com

Platform

Wii (Via WiiWare - No longer available as of 31/01/2019) Steam (PC)

Official Website

nyxquest.com (accessed: March 13, 2019)

nintendo.com (accessed: March 13, 2019)

Awards

The Wii version of the game received very favourable reviews, including a 82/100 on the Metacritic website. It has also been given the following awards:

               Winner of Editor’s Choice - IGN 2010

               Winner of Best Design and Best Online Game - Gamelab 2010

               Finalist of Vision Award - Independent Games Festival 2010

               Winner of WiiWare Game of the Year - Nintendo Life

               Winner of Best Euro Game - Dutch Awards

Target Audience

Crossover (PEGI - 7; ESRB - E (Everyone))

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Over the Top Games (Production Company)

Over the Top Games are a small independent video games studio, based in Madrid, Spain, made up of only three people. Founded in 2008, Nyxquest was the studio’s first video game. They have since developed other indie games such as Full Mojo Rampage, another very successful indie video game.



Bio prepared by Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk


Male portrait

Steven Gutheinz (Composer)

Steven Gutheinz was the composer of the soundtrack to the game. He graduated from Rice University, University of Southern California, Aspen Music School, and ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop. He has worked on various known feature films and TV adverts such as the films Grimm Love and Wraith of Cobble Hill, the opening theme to Discovery Channel’s Frozen Planet, and TV adverts for companies such as Google, Audi, and Kellogg’s. 



Bio prepared by Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk


Translation

Translated into English, French, Dutch, and Italian.

Summary

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits is a very simple indie platformer video game, first released on the Nintendo Wii, and then later ported to PC via Steam, based on the story of Icarus. According to the game, Icarus flew to a kingdom in the clouds and met Nyx, the goddess of night. They became friends, but one day, the heat became too great and Icarus’ wings melted. Nyx noticed Icarus’ disappearance and decided to go to Earth to find Icarus, breaking the laws of Olympus. She was met with an abandoned planet, which had turned into a desert because of the titan Helios, who grew tired of being an observer and decided to intervene, killing humanity in the process. Nyx fought against Helios, rescued Icarus, and the Earth was re-populated with humans once again by the gods.

Analysis

This short game has an interesting combination of characters and a storyline, which despite not replicating any Classical myths, uses various elements to create its own story.

Storyline

Nyxquest’s main characters are Nyx, Icarus, and, later on, Helios. Nyx and Icarus are not known for having a link in Classical antiquity, nor is it known that Icarus flew so high that he discovered the kingdom above the clouds, a possible reference to Olympus. This is a twist on the story of Icarus, who according to Ovid’s Metamorphoses 8.183-235, had flown too close to the sun and his wings melted. Upon finding out about Nyx’s visit to Earth, Zeus and other Olympian gods become angry with her at first; however, upon seeing the destruction on Earth, they decide to side with her, helping her defeat the enemies and obstacles. Zeus gives her the power of thunderbolt, used to kill enemies, whilst the god Aeolus helps her by giving Nyx the ability to control the wind currents. The goddess Hestia also makes an appearance, as a neutral character. Nyx must help Hestia by guiding Hestia’s fire to her statues. This is an interesting link as Hestia is known primarily as the goddess of Hearth and the Home, however, she was also known to be associated with the sacrificial flame, according to the Orphic Hymn 84 To Hestia. 

On the other hand, the enemies which appear in the game include Harpies, Hydras, satyr-like creatures, and Helios, the sun titan, who is attempting to destroy Earth. The inclusion of Harpies, Hydras, and mythical creatures such as Satyrs as enemies are typical within video games, however, the game unusually includes the sun titan Helios, who is traditionally depicted as an ally, as an enemy. This reversal of roles, traditionally attributed to light (or the sun) is “good”, and darkness (or the night) is “bad” could be attributed to the fact Icarus flew too close to the sun; therefore the sun is his enemy, given it melted his wings. Another possible reason for this different interpretation of Greek mythology may be in the fact Helios is a titan who has been dormant, and has decided to take an active role, so Nyx is helped by the Olympian gods to defeat the titan, restoring humanity.

Art style and music

In terms of art-work, the game has a very simple style. The player plays as a winged female who has to surpass obstacles, made up of large rocks/stones and Temple columns. The most interesting aspect relating to the art-style is perhaps, during the cutscenes, the game designers have recreated black-figure pottery to tell the story, adding their own story to the style. (figure 1)

The music itself comprises of harps, santur, and duduk. (nyxquest.com accessed: March 07, 2019)

Addenda

First Release Date 

First released in PAL countries on 19th June 2009

Released in North America on 10th August 2009 and in Japan on 11th May 2010.

Steam release on 27th September 2010 and ported to iOS on 6th July 2011.


Version used in this entry was the Steam port of the game.

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits

Studio / Production Company

Publisher Nintendo

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

Spanish

First Edition Details

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits (Formerly known as Icarian: Kindred Spirits)

Running time

3.5h - 6h, according to Howlongtobeat.com

Platform

Wii (Via WiiWare - No longer available as of 31/01/2019) Steam (PC)

Official Website

nyxquest.com (accessed: March 13, 2019)

nintendo.com (accessed: March 13, 2019)

Awards

The Wii version of the game received very favourable reviews, including a 82/100 on the Metacritic website. It has also been given the following awards:

               Winner of Editor’s Choice - IGN 2010

               Winner of Best Design and Best Online Game - Gamelab 2010

               Finalist of Vision Award - Independent Games Festival 2010

               Winner of WiiWare Game of the Year - Nintendo Life

               Winner of Best Euro Game - Dutch Awards

Target Audience

Crossover (PEGI - 7; ESRB - E (Everyone))

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Over the Top Games (Production Company)

Over the Top Games are a small independent video games studio, based in Madrid, Spain, made up of only three people. Founded in 2008, Nyxquest was the studio’s first video game. They have since developed other indie games such as Full Mojo Rampage, another very successful indie video game.



Bio prepared by Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk


Male portrait

Steven Gutheinz (Composer)

Steven Gutheinz was the composer of the soundtrack to the game. He graduated from Rice University, University of Southern California, Aspen Music School, and ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop. He has worked on various known feature films and TV adverts such as the films Grimm Love and Wraith of Cobble Hill, the opening theme to Discovery Channel’s Frozen Planet, and TV adverts for companies such as Google, Audi, and Kellogg’s. 



Bio prepared by Nanci Santos, OMC Contributor, nancisantos@hotmail.co.uk


Translation

Translated into English, French, Dutch, and Italian.

Summary

Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits is a very simple indie platformer video game, first released on the Nintendo Wii, and then later ported to PC via Steam, based on the story of Icarus. According to the game, Icarus flew to a kingdom in the clouds and met Nyx, the goddess of night. They became friends, but one day, the heat became too great and Icarus’ wings melted. Nyx noticed Icarus’ disappearance and decided to go to Earth to find Icarus, breaking the laws of Olympus. She was met with an abandoned planet, which had turned into a desert because of the titan Helios, who grew tired of being an observer and decided to intervene, killing humanity in the process. Nyx fought against Helios, rescued Icarus, and the Earth was re-populated with humans once again by the gods.

Analysis

This short game has an interesting combination of characters and a storyline, which despite not replicating any Classical myths, uses various elements to create its own story.

Storyline

Nyxquest’s main characters are Nyx, Icarus, and, later on, Helios. Nyx and Icarus are not known for having a link in Classical antiquity, nor is it known that Icarus flew so high that he discovered the kingdom above the clouds, a possible reference to Olympus. This is a twist on the story of Icarus, who according to Ovid’s Metamorphoses 8.183-235, had flown too close to the sun and his wings melted. Upon finding out about Nyx’s visit to Earth, Zeus and other Olympian gods become angry with her at first; however, upon seeing the destruction on Earth, they decide to side with her, helping her defeat the enemies and obstacles. Zeus gives her the power of thunderbolt, used to kill enemies, whilst the god Aeolus helps her by giving Nyx the ability to control the wind currents. The goddess Hestia also makes an appearance, as a neutral character. Nyx must help Hestia by guiding Hestia’s fire to her statues. This is an interesting link as Hestia is known primarily as the goddess of Hearth and the Home, however, she was also known to be associated with the sacrificial flame, according to the Orphic Hymn 84 To Hestia. 

On the other hand, the enemies which appear in the game include Harpies, Hydras, satyr-like creatures, and Helios, the sun titan, who is attempting to destroy Earth. The inclusion of Harpies, Hydras, and mythical creatures such as Satyrs as enemies are typical within video games, however, the game unusually includes the sun titan Helios, who is traditionally depicted as an ally, as an enemy. This reversal of roles, traditionally attributed to light (or the sun) is “good”, and darkness (or the night) is “bad” could be attributed to the fact Icarus flew too close to the sun; therefore the sun is his enemy, given it melted his wings. Another possible reason for this different interpretation of Greek mythology may be in the fact Helios is a titan who has been dormant, and has decided to take an active role, so Nyx is helped by the Olympian gods to defeat the titan, restoring humanity.

Art style and music

In terms of art-work, the game has a very simple style. The player plays as a winged female who has to surpass obstacles, made up of large rocks/stones and Temple columns. The most interesting aspect relating to the art-style is perhaps, during the cutscenes, the game designers have recreated black-figure pottery to tell the story, adding their own story to the style. (figure 1)

The music itself comprises of harps, santur, and duduk. (nyxquest.com accessed: March 07, 2019)

Addenda

First Release Date 

First released in PAL countries on 19th June 2009

Released in North America on 10th August 2009 and in Japan on 11th May 2010.

Steam release on 27th September 2010 and ported to iOS on 6th July 2011.


Version used in this entry was the Steam port of the game.

Yellow cloud