The Tower’s basement areas might have had a floor plan at one point, when it was first built into the mountain.
However, the combination of limestone bricks left to the teeth of time and reappropriation of spaces to accommodate new technology has left it a rather surreal, confusing place.
Nature seems to have started reclaiming these rooms long ago, as moss and vines grow freely and roots that seem ancient and interconnected have made their way through many of the crumbling surfaces from somewhere high above.
As we make our way through gaps in walls, floors and ceilings by trial and error, we face what appears to have have served as a well at some point. It’s run dry now, its walls clad the aforementioned greenery.
Fearing what may lurk down there, we try to make our way across to the other side, only to be met by the gaze of a creature that seems to be half wolf, half cockroach, all eyes and all too tired of an vegetarian cave moss diet. Luckily there’s an electric field between us and it, keeping us exploring the insides of its belly… At least for the time being.
Passing through the narrow path of magnetic barriers, we emerge on one of many small balconies peppering the walls of a tall vertical shaft.
The entire area is bathed in an a clear blue tint, emanating from a large electromagnetic device at the bottom of the shaft.
A statue displaying the hallmarks of the Teslamancer order is floating in mid air, hinting at the power of their ancient artifacts. We chance a leap to the bottom, miraculously taking no damage from the fall. A strange flower grows in the cracks between the metallic plating on the floor, small currents running through it’s orblike petals. We touch the flower and are immediately propelled through the air, charged with the same polarity as the floor itself. Equal polarities repel, opposites attract. Unfortunately, a massive barrier stops us from exploring further up, so we set our sights on a doorway at the bottom of the shaft, hydraulics springing into action and lifting the heavy metal door as we approach it.
Entering the bottom doorway, we realize that the tower’s foundations interweave with a naturally occurring cave system, rickety dungeon walls built into mountain itself.
On a makeshift bridge made from the tower’s omnipresent magnetic boxes, we walk by an effigy carved in stone, depicting a multi-eyed monstrosity of some sort. It seems to predate any architecture we’ve come across so far.
Moving through a crack in the wall, we stop for another sudden shift in environments- A huge cathedral, specks of dust floating in the air illuminated by a row of stained glass windows. Through the imagery tiled in glass, we can decipher a fragment of the history of the Tower’s masters, the ancient Teslamancer order.
We see a story of prosecution and survival. Once a peaceful, small community of thinkers and inventors, the order suffered frequent attacks from barbarian tribes roaming the land.
They were forced to weaponize their technology to ward off the invading forces- the centerpiece of the stained glass imagery shows the creation of a golden gauntlet, capable of controlling the environment by adding positive or negative electromagnetic charges to nearby objects.
Moving onward, we encounter an a passage blocked by gigantic metallic cubes, impossible to bypass with human strenght alone. We have no option but to turn back.
Upon returning to the cathedral, our attention is grabbed by vines growing on the left hand wall- they look solid enough to climb, and continue upwards through holes in the roof. We see a faint glow emanating from above.
Climbing through, we discover a hidden chamber high above the cathedral. Upon a pedestal, gleaming in the light from a nearby window, we see a golden relic- the metallic gauntlet pictured in the stained glass imagery. Glowing insects circle the pedestal, seemingly attracted to the electromagnetic forces contained within the gauntlet. Clearly, this is the key to navigating the Tower.
As we venture deeper into the castle that form the foundation of Teslagrad’s hulking tower, we see that beyond the partial renovations seen in the previous post, things are in quite a state of disrepair.
Though whoever was here before is long gone, they’ve left the power running throughout the tower.
Plating emitting strong magnetic forces and diodes emitting deadly arcs of electricity have been placed haphazardly in this musty room, perhaps as a desperate measure to fend off the intruders- If we look closely at the crumling brick wall in the background, we can see the faint outline of a human figure turned to ash.
Tiny multipurpose robots (“voltwalkers”) appear from a protruding pipe at regular interwalls. These provide people and objects with a strong electromagnetic charge.
This can be useful for transportation and acrobatics in conjuction with the strong magnetic fields present in the tower- provided they’re not used in too close proximity to deadly arcs of electricity, of course.
Moving forward, we come across a section of the tower that’s been crudely retrofitted to accomodate some kind of giant machinery. Intertwined with the pipe system and seemingly stretching far beyond this simple chamber, it likely fills nooks and crannies throughout the tower. An endless row of voltwalkers clatter over plates charging electromagnetic boxes, switching their polarity to drive an array of pistons before disappearing back into the darkness of the pipes.
In the heart of Teslagrad there is a grand tower, its base an ancient hamlet, with layers upon layers of newer and more advanced structures built on top.
Our entry point to the tower is through a musty, crumbling castle that once composed the city walls of Teslagrad, now haphazardly reinforced and outfitted with electrical devices with little regard to its original architecture.
We see the signs of conflict here, walls have been crushed and doors broken down, dusty corpses littering the ground.
Ominous statues of hooded figures that seem to be holding the power of lightning in their hands tells us that this is a place one should enter with a modicum of respect.
A courtyard, shrouded in mist with a long-dead figure slumped over at the base of a statue. There’s signs of struggle.
An industrial-looking drilling machine lies near the inner wall, broken downe from breaching the tower’s perimeter. It’s likely to have been a gift from the neighbouring country of Motorland back when the relations between the nations were more amiable. No attempts at repair have been made- it seems whoever raided this place left in a hurry.
As we enter the tower we come across an area that seems to have been modestly remodeled into a training facility of sorts- it seems a last minute attempt at a basic crash course in self defence and electromagnetic manipulation was cut short by the intruding forces.
We thought we’d take you on a little guided tour to some of teslagrad’s hand-painted environments. First out is a look at the starting environment, the city of Teslagrad!
Teslagrad is the biggest city in Elektropia, a land cut off from and shunned by the rest of the world after an unsuccessful attempt at conquering the nearby nations years ago.
Rumor has it that the nation’s king- once an idealistic and well-regarded leader, now deluded and bitter after years of isolation following his defeat- has grown resentful and paranoid towards his people.
Whole neighbourhoods are mysterously cleared out overnight, and rumors are running rampant as not much information about the state of affairs is available to the population of Elektropia-except for of an abundance of propaganda posters painting the king’s former advisors and associates, the order of the teslamancers, in an extremely negative light.
Here’s the final trailer showing off all the games taking part in the Super Indie Connection event.
Remember, if you’ve got the Wii U version of teslagrad, the rest of these games are all 60% off (and vice versa) on the Wii U eshop!
Also, HERE‘s Nintendo’s own page for the promotion!
Again, here’s the facts:
if you buy, or already own, one of these games, you can get the other games for 60% off. Ends January 29th, 2015!
Last, but not least, the final piece of Indie Connection fanart is Rusty from Image & Form’s excellent SteamWorld Dig. Looks like he’s stumbled over the skull of a certain bird boss from Teslagrad here! (Also, on the note of Teslagrad/Steamworld Dig crossovers: I’m fairly certain Rusty must be a distant relative of Fernus. That strong jawline! Those handsome, glassy eyes! That fiery furnace in his belly!)
Next game up to recieve the fan art treatment is Commander Video from Choice Provisions’ stylish and fun Runner 2!
This game has a really colorful and cool art style that is very different from Teslagrad’s, so it was a nice challenge to draw something that felt recognizeable!