Kharon’s Crypt Interview – Become Death itself and possess your enemies

Kharon’s Crypt is a metroidvania dungeon crawler in which you can possess your enemies. We talked to developer Hebi Lee about the game.

Some games may have asked you to prepare to die, but Kharon’s Crypt actually asks if you’re prepared to become Death itself. In this metroidvania-style action-adventure, you play as Kharon, the personification of Death itself, as you attempt to escape the crypt you have been trapped in.

To fight and explore, Kharon relies on stealing the bodies of your enemies. Each type of enemy bestows unique properties, so you can fly as a bat, open locks as a skeleton, and even use a mimic’s ability to hide.

Kharon’s Crypt released on February 2nd this year, and you can play it now on Steam (PC and Linux) or Nintendo Switch. We interviewed developer Hebi Lee on how the game came about, what inspired it, and more.

Tell us about yourself and your studio Andromeda Project. How was Kharon’s Crypt conceived and how did the team for it come together?

Hello! I’m Hebi Lee, a Spanish independent video game creator. For the last 4 years I have been developing the game Kharon’s Crypt alone but I’ve had the help of my colleagues Mimi (artist) and Tony (music).

My first console was a Game Boy and I have always wanted to make a video game inspired by the memories I have of those games. I really wanted to make a game that would have been my favorite if I had played it as a kid. That is the reason why I started developing the game and why the game is so inspired by my favorite games, like The Legend of Zelda.

Kharon's Crypt screenshot

What works of media (games or otherwise) inspired Kharon’s Crypt?

As I said before, the game is inspired by The Legend of Zelda series but you can also find some elements inspired by Biohazard, such as the old Resident Evil mechanic where you have limited saves, and also the challenging bosses you see in Dark Souls.

The game is also heavily inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s mythology when it comes to ambience and plot.

The Game Boy Color is a prominent influence on how Kharon’s Crypt looks, right down to the game being rendered in a frame reminiscent of the handheld console. Did you ever consider dropping the explicit homage to the Game Boy Color, or was it a constant during development?

The game was born as homage to our childhood video games. During the game’s development, we thought a lot about the game’s color palette and resolution.

In the end, we decided to keep it as close as possible to the Game Boy but without forgetting that it’s a modern game. That’s one of the reasons why we made sure that the controls were fluid and that the game performed constantly at 60 fps.

In Kharon’s Crypt, the protagonist Kharon can possess enemies and use their properties. Did this game mechanic present any unique problems or unforeseen situations?

Constantly! This is a unique mechanic that hasn’t been seen a lot in games and it has posed unexpected problems.

For example, we needed to make sure that there’s no room or boss fight in the game where the player can get soft-locked by losing a possessed enemy.

This mechanic then generated another problem where some players would become used to losing the body and getting a new one without repercussions or danger. Thus, they would never improve in their fight against bosses, so I had to program boss patterns that punish the players in smart ways, pushing them to improve their fighting against the boss, but without leaving them completely defenseless.

Kharon’s Crypt released earlier this month, after about a year and a half in Early Access. What has your experience been like leading up to and following the release?

We used all the Early Access time to make sure we fixed bugs and polished all the game mechanics, but most of the time went into preparing the Nintendo Switch version.

Our Early Access became longer than we expected because as self publishers, we had a lot to learn when it came to releasing a video game, and we wanted to make sure we did it right.

During the game’s development we had a lot of stress to make sure the game was finished in time. Now that it’s out, we have constant stress to figure out how to make the game known to people!

Kharon's Crypt screenshot

What’s next for Kharon’s Crypt, and for Andromeda Project in general?

RIght now we’re trying to spread the word about the game and make sure people get to know it.

After that, depending on the game’s success, I would love to continue adding content to Kharon’s Crypt for several years.

However, we also have other things in mind, like bringing back older video game projects (like Necrocosmos) or trying our luck with tabletop/board games.

Thank you for your interest in our game. We hope you like it!

Kharon's Crypt screenshot

You can stay updated on Andromeda Project’s future developments here on Twitter! Also check out the game’s official website here!

For more interviews and features, check out our Features section on Into Indie Games here! Featuring: The Kids We Were, Flynn: Son of Crimson, and more!

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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