Log In  

Cart #adc_v2-2 | 2021-01-12 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

You can also play ADC on its itch.io page!

- - - ABOUT - - -
So right after I finished my first released game, Messages, I decided that I wanted to try and make an RPG in Pico-8. Well, about a month and a half later, this is what that project became.

This thing barely fits on a cart, using almost 8192 tokens, each of the 64 available sounds, and basically all of the sprite and texture data.

Oh, and I did what I could with the soundtrack, but I'm not a musician so I can't promise anything about it's quality.

And if you're interesting in finding out about future projects of mine, you can check out my Twitter: @Jusiv_

- - - BASIC CONTROLS - - -

  • Up/Down:
    Change Selection
  • Left/Right:
    Change Skill Tab (only in battle)
  • Z/X:
    Choose Selection


  • Arrows:
  • Z/X:
    Interact (when prompted)

If you stand still for a few seconds, you can view your current status.

- - - COMBAT - - -
You have three basic types of skills you can use in combat: Attacks, Spells, and Actions. In order to use a skill, you will have to perform a quick minigame to determine its effectiveness. As you level up, you will unlock more skills.

Attacks and Spells are offensive. The base damage they deal is determined by how well you execute their minigame, but the final damage dealt is also affected by the enemy's defense against the chosen type of skill. Higher-tier Attacks and Spells are more powerful, but also harder to execute.

  • To perform an Attack, you will have to stop a series of moving sliders on the highlighted sections using Z/X.
  • To perform a Spell, you will have to quickly sort a series of runes by color (orange or blue). If they're orange, hit Left, and if they're blue hit Right.

Actions are defensive, and there are only two available: Flee and Recover. Flee exits a battle (if executed correctly), while Recover restores up to half of your maximum health and can cure status effects if performed well enough.

  • To perform Flee, rapidly hit the button shown. Pay attention, since the required button may change after each successful press!
  • To perform Recover, you have to keep a meter balanced in the center using Left and Right. The amount of health restored will vary depending on your maximum HP and how effectively you executed the minigame. If you get an Amazing or Epic rating, it will also cure any status effect you have! Recover has a 2-turn cooldown.

Lastly, there are three status effects which enemies can give you: Poison, Dizzy, and Panic.

  • Poison deals damage over time.
  • Dizzy has a chance to halve your base damage when you use an Attack or a Spell.
  • Panic makes minigames harder to execute.

- - - CHANGELOG - - -
v1.0 - Initial Release (7/30/2017)
v2.0 - Revision (7/21/2019)

  • The intro can now be skipped through
  • Minigame prompts are more clear
  • Poison now deals 25% of your current health per turn instead of just 1 point
  • Recover only removes status conditions if performed with an Amazing or Epic rating
  • The encounter rate is a bit lower
  • Experience gained from a battle is now shown
  • You no longer have to use Reset Cart to return from the ending screen
  • Extra visual polish has been sprinkled in a few places
  • Some sprites got tweaked
  • A few other random miscellaneous details

v2.1 - Small Update (1/12/2021)

  • The intro can now be completely skipped through the pause menu
  • Fixed typo calling the "Recover" ability "Rest"
  • Fixed possible issue with restarting after beating the boss.
  • Tweaked encounter rate slightly
P#42903 2017-07-30 03:13 ( Edited 2021-01-12 09:55)


Epic game, thank you so much for it! Amazed, how much did you pack in it!

P#42918 2017-07-30 13:04 ( Edited 2017-07-30 17:04)

Very impressive! I couldn't get very far playing on a phone because the minigames were very hard on a touchscreen, but now I'm at a proper computer I'm giving it for another shot. Very engaging battles!

P#42926 2017-07-30 15:33 ( Edited 2017-07-30 19:33)

Man, this was a really cool game, and a really polished one. Great job.

P#42955 2017-07-31 10:38 ( Edited 2017-07-31 14:38)

Really good, played through it this afternoon. Actually to be honest, I'm not sure if I got through it because I didn't beat what I believe was the final boss yet ;) Glad it has a save feature!

P#43011 2017-08-01 23:05 ( Edited 2017-08-02 03:05)

Fired it up here on the forum and didn't stop until I got the good ending. Really stellar work. You've either done this before or you're some kind of prodigy. :) Either way it's really polished and fun.

The only bits of feedback I have are:

  • Magic seems way easier to do perfectly than melee, so I tended to rely on it alone. In melee, I feel I'm at the mercy of RNG placing the boxes at the left edge where the marker wrapping right->left makes them very hard to hit. Maybe if the boxes scrolled to the left while the marker was a fixed vertical line on the left side? I dunno. Or just limit them from being too close to the left edge.

  • Fleeing feels impossible. Maybe it's just the unfamiliar button labels vs. the usual consoles, but I could seldom get the bar above half and never once succeeded, to the point where I stopped trying entirely.

  • It was a bother to reset after the bad end to continue. Why not allow a button press to return to title? Edit: Actually, I forgot Tab is the Start button. If that would have worked, then disregard this.

Otherwise, geez, not much to complain about, nor a desire to. :) You really nailed the gameplay in this mini-rpg. Battles felt balanced, save points were well-spaced, mechanics were either intuitive or explained. The artwork is well done also. Nice work.

P#43147 2017-08-09 09:06 ( Edited 2017-08-09 13:16)

Finished it. Really nice work and I can't really add anything new to what others said. I really enjoyed the battle system. Have yet to find the second ending. I hope you make more RPGs!

P#43156 2017-08-09 19:40 ( Edited 2017-08-09 23:40)

Wish I could remember what buttons are what. Might be useful.

P#59634 2018-12-04 00:20

Just went through twice, once for bad, continuing for good. It felt good knowing that a large worm-like Ganon (Mol'ojar) thing will no longer be enticing children for who knows what else.

My opinion on the overworld is that it looks nice, has a good hitbox system, ant the small idle animation was nice, then showing a status box.

The battle system felt balanced, and kind of interesting how the higher-tier attacks advanced. The attacks started slow with small boxes, but advanced with faster bars with wider boxes, and the spells just got fast.

The battle screen looked good, too. Another nice touch that if the Earthbound-like backdrop distracts you, you can change it to a simpler, non-moving frame.

The enemy progression was fair, too. I also like how there was usually one enemy weaker to attack, rather than spells, and vice versa.

The little town was nice, too, but I have a question. Did the man who lost his boat get wet?

I really like good RPGs like this, and I hope that everyone making cartridges find some degree of success in every genre of cartridge you make, so that we all can maybe find inspiration, so that more cartridges can be made.

P#63812 2019-04-22 05:11 ( Edited 2019-04-22 05:11)

@Thom Hey, thanks so much for all the kind words! Always nice to hear the progression and design works well, and to hear appreciation for the battle screen. I think that screen was the part of this project I was happiest with.
If the boat guy was smart enough maybe he fetched a fishing pole or something. But some say... he might still be panicking there to this day. :P


ALSO: Whoops, I guess I never replied to anyone else on this. So, apologies for how incredibly belated these are, but here:

@egordorichev Aw, thanks for playing! Glad you liked it so much!

@weeble Yeah this is not really a mobile-friendly game, unfortunately. Glad you like the combat though!

@alfasketer Thank you so much!

@gradualgames Thanks! Yeah, making an RPG without saving just seems cruel, even if it's only like a 45 minute one.
I do have another, very different PICO-8 RPG I made more recently for a game jam (though it could use a proper tutorial, actual audio, and some enemy tweaks): https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=32426

@Felice Dang, thanks so much!

  • This was in fact the first RPG I'd ever made, although I had experimented with making the basics of a somewhat similar interactive combat system in GameMaker previously for a project that never went anywhere.
  • The melee sliders do wrap around to the left side the box if they reach the right edge, so I don't think it's too unfair, but it could be tweaked. Keeping them away from the left edge is probably the simplest and most fair way to do it, though perhaps making them reverse direction instead of wrapping could also make it easier for timing purposes.
  • I agree Flee's reliance on knowing the PICO-8 button icons is less than ideal. If I revisited this it'd be more fair to make larger, more distinct icons and probably use letter key icons instead of (O) and (X).
  • Yes, you can just reset the cart from the pause menu to play again. If I were to tweak this and free up some tokens it certainly wouldn't hurt to add a button prompt for returning there (I'd also want to make a way to skip/fast-forward the opening.)

Thanks again for all the kind words and in-depth comments!

@hwd2002 I always use Z as (O) and X as (X), and in the magic attack minigame you should be able to use the Left and Right arrows in addition to them. But yeah I could have made it more clear, and you do still have to memorize them for fleeing with how it's implemented right now.


Thanks for all of the support, folks!

P#63821 2019-04-22 06:43 ( Edited 2019-04-22 06:46)

I forgot to mention that I found that a flaw in the featured carts category: Some people may only look there, and not other places, and people might not get the needed response/feedback they need. That being said, I hope this gets on the featured category!

P#63941 2019-04-24 19:42

Also, can someone help me to figure out how to use the hide/spoilers bar?

P#63942 2019-04-24 19:44

A Dream's Command Version 2 is out!

This cart was due for some revisions based on player feedback and my own preferences, so nearly 2 full years after the initial release here's Version 2!

Here's what changed:

  • The intro can now be skipped through
  • Minigame prompts are more clear
  • Poison now deals 25% of your current health per turn instead of just 1 point
  • Recover only removes status conditions if performed with an Amazing or Epic rating
  • The encounter rate is a bit lower
  • Experience gained from a battle is now shown
  • You no longer have to use Reset Cart to return from the ending screen
  • Extra visual polish has been sprinkled in a few places
  • Some sprites got tweaked
  • A few other random miscellaneous details

ADC is also now directly playable on its itch.io page!

P#65995 2019-07-21 08:18

This was incredible. This time I got both endings, really fun and amazing!

P#73084 2020-02-14 01:27

@Th3Gam1ngWiz4rd Hey, thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!

P#73085 2020-02-14 02:38

How does one beat the final boss?

P#75220 2020-04-23 15:46

@Mikel_Hofer48 It's critical to make frequent use of RECOVER to keep yourself intact. Also stick to higher-tier attacks when you can to push through their defenses (it's not necessary to use the highest tier but if you can pull them off it'll be significantly faster).

If you're referring to getting a better ending:

There's somewhere you haven't been on the island.

P#75246 2020-04-23 22:05 ( Edited 2021-01-12 10:48)

I love the way the ui looks, the fact that the enemies shoot at your bar to put a status effect on you or how bouncey everything is looks really nice, gg man

P#75263 2020-04-24 07:24

game was good enough that I had the patience to finish it in one sitting. the save feature actually works on iOS bbs if you need it. I never figured out how to get the ladys boat for her lol!

P#86303 2021-01-09 22:55

@Jusiv Hey, just a question. At what level do you get REST? Also, what menu?

P#86381 2021-01-12 01:19

@SmellyFishstiks Very belated (oops) but thank you so much for the kind words!

@roroyobert Aww that's great to hear! And unfortunately there's no way to help the boat person :P

@Zero_The_Riolu Wow I'm actually amazed no one has ever caught that! It's supposed to say you learned Recover, not Rest, and you can access it from the Actions menu (the green cog). Note that Recover will be grayed out and unusable for the first 2 turns of every fight due to how its cooldown works.

In light of the confusing typo Zero caught (apparently both in-game and in a comment I left earlier here), I've decided to push a small update to the game! (v2.1)

While I was at it I also added a way to skip the intro altogether (select Skip Intro from the pause menu) and made a couple other minor tweaks.

P#86389 2021-01-12 10:07 ( Edited 2021-01-12 10:49)

Hi again! I forgot to mention in my first comment, I really enjoyed this Pico-8! I kinda hope that you could make a sequel. (Also, is it just me, or does this game remind me of Earthbound?)

P#86469 2021-01-14 20:53

@Zero_The_Riolu Why thank you! Also while I (perhaps ironically) haven't actually experienced Earthbound myself, someone on itch.io just the other day said ADC was "like if Earthbound were on the Atari" so maybe there's more similarities than I know :P
The minigame-like combat was far more directly inspired by Mario RPG games like Bowser's Inside Story.
As far as a sequel goes, I don't have plans for one at present (though I am still interested in making other RPGs in some form, just not one built around a battle system like this right now).

P#86480 2021-01-15 04:30 ( Edited 2021-01-15 04:32)

this is an ok game it gives a pokemon like feel but not enough interactions

P#86928 2021-01-29 15:40

Great game, although one thing I noticed when i got to the final boss is that he seemed immune to magic, although i only had the level 2 spell, so could that be it?

P#87464 2021-02-10 14:58

Really really fun game. I think this is going in my all-time favorites list. Fun but challenging gameplay. Found the second ending after wandering around a bit. Love it.

P#90902 2021-04-21 17:28

@Reallm65 I mean it's only really comparable to Pokemon in that it's a turn-based RPG. It's not trying to have combat built around intricate type interactions; the battle system is far more focused on the minigame-like abilities.

@N1ghtshade Yeah you were underleveled when you got there :P
Their resistances are high enough you need to generally use tier 3 and 4 attacks to make any sort of dent.

@Mike6453 Woah, thank you so much! Glad to hear you enjoyed it to that degree!

P#91122 2021-04-26 15:39

Yea thats what i was guessing lol. I went back and grinded a bit had had no other problems with him

P#91123 2021-04-26 15:43

Good game. I died to by the big bad once and bonked him twice.

The encounters every few steps got tedious, and if I wasn't able to mash 2 buttons at once to flee I doubt I would have retraced my entire journey TWICE to get the second ending. I suggest having 1/4 the encounter rate, 4x the XP gain, and half the number of save points (or keep them all as an easy mode option).

Protip for the final boss:

It's a long fight so choose attacks that let you do consistent damage to it, and be sure to use the recovery option often. I beat him when I got the Crush attack but I probably could have done it earlier

P#116598 2022-08-30 17:39 ( Edited 2022-08-30 17:41)

those interactions and attacks are beautifully made 10/10 actual walking could use some work… but otherwise great game (got to final boss but couldn’t beat it)

P#124888 2023-01-26 14:33

pretty good

P#128820 2023-04-21 00:41

I didn't play for a few days and it removed my save. :( Also, can you make it so we can save wherever? It keeps deleting my saves. >:(

P#138057 2023-11-30 19:53 ( Edited 2023-11-30 22:49)

@Hell_Cat How Lexaloffle handles storing saves is outside of my control, and saving any time wouldn't help with your problem. If your saves are being deleted maybe your site cookies are getting cleared?

P#138105 2023-12-01 18:17

I know saving whenever wouldn't help my problem, but do you think you could still add it?

P#138127 2023-12-02 01:53

[Please log in to post a comment]