Sketch Dump #6 ~ Golden Sky Hero Stages Picture

I apologise if these amateurish sketch dumps are becoming a nuisance and you want to see some proper art. I am mostly focusing on my university work, while also trying to get the ideas out of my head on paper. I think this could be the last one, so I'll do something proper with the next deviation.

Anyways, these are the stage ideas I have made for the first Golden Sky Hero game. All of which conform to a varied formula of different stages, and most of which play out like a small story that is inspired by mythologies and folklore.
I'll explain what they're like as we go along.

Stage 1 ~ Cave of Rites - A cave nestled nearby Artie's home village. Dwarfs have to go through a rite of passage to become men when they reach their tenth birthday, which involves exploring a deep cave that is rumoured to have jewels and such in it, and retrieve the best one, which is implanted by their fathers. Now that Artie has become ten years old, he begins his rite of passage by entering the cave with a pickaxe to defend himself. However, as he explores the cave, a sudden tremor causes a large cave-in which breaks the floor and sends Artie falling down into the depths. There, he finds the jewel which he attaches to his gauntlets and boots that gives him the super-power of enlargement. And he uses his new powers to break out of the cave. When he makes it out, he finds his whole village in ruins and all the people have gone missing. Despondent and clueless about what to do next, he sets out toward the Old Folk Forest, which is rumoured to have a fortune-teller there than can hopefully tell him what he can do.

Stage 2 ~ Old Folk Forest ~ A forest full of talking trees. Because most of the talking trees are seniors, the forest has been christened "Old Folk Forest" much to the younger trees' dismay. Artie is told by one of the welcomers that in order to talk to the fortune-teller, Old Madame Evergreen, he needs to catch her pet owl, Toby, and pluck one of his feathers so he can plant it and water it near Madame Evergreen's motionless stance. However, as he chases him, Dusk clouds loom over the forest, and a Shade Snake appears to catch the owl and eat it. With the help of the other trees in the forest, Artie defeats the Snake and as thanks for saving him, Toby gives him one of his feathers. Artie plants and waters it near Madame Evergreen, but her senile ramblings and nagging lead him nowhere. That is until Artie tells her of the monster that attacked the forest, where Madame Evergreen tells him it was from a malicious group called The Shade Syndicate. Artie, being told of the Shade Syndicate's identity, thinks that they are someone that can easily be beaten by his hero and idol, Leon von Braveheart. And so, after being told by Evergreen he is in a place called the Confectionary Kingdom, he sets out to find him.

Stage 3 ~ Biomass Bay ~ Artie's journey out of the forest leads him to Biomass Bay, a large lake that is main intersection of all rivers and streams in the world. He was told by Evergreen to follow one of the streams to find the Kingdom, but is confused about which one to take. However, he comes across a sobbing couple of a human and a mermaid, who tell him they want to get married soon, but have lost the engagement ring in the lake and it has been swept up by the currents. The mermaid tried her best to find it, but has no luck. Artie, seeing as how he might find a clue where to go next if he helps them decides to dive in and help them look for the ring. After a long search, Artie finally finds it, but is soon up against a Shade Anglerfish. He manages to defeat it, and give the ring back to the couple, who tell him the way to go to the Confectionary Kingdom is by following the stream that goes through Crystal Sweep. So, he waves goodbye, and continues on his trek.

Stage 4 ~ Crystal Sweep A very large scale of mountains that are not only hard to climb, but difficult to navigate through as well. The Fading Sun actually shines against the back of the tallest of these mountains, which is rumoured to have a tree with a Golden Apple that can grant its eater eternal youth. Artie gets confused navigating the windy mountains, but soon comes across a very injured goatman who says he has been climbing the perilous mountains to get to the tree. He is also not accepting any help because he wants the Apple all to himself. Artie of course, can't leave him behind regardless, and so he picks him up and helps him get through the mountains. As they climb, a Shade Eagle is hovering around the mountains to try and devour them. When they get to the top, they find the tree was nothing but a false myth, and in rage, the goatman takes his anger out on the Shade Eagle. The goatman, impressed with Artie's skills points him to the right direction where the Confectionary Kingdom should be. Before Artie can wave goodbye to the stern beast, he had already vanished.

Stage 5 ~ Confectionary Kingdom ~ Probably the most extravagant kingdom in all the world. It is a place that thrives on its pleasant and colourful imagery and delicacies, but its residents say otherwise that they want to eat more healthy things. Artie finally comes across the place and goes through a variety of tasks to try to get an audience with the princess, Angelica Buttersweet, so that he can ask her if Braveheart is here or not. Once he does get to speak to her, she tells him he's already left to contain the forces of The Shade Syndicate, and so Artie persists to wait until he comes back with his village friends. However, Dusk clouds loom over the Kingdom, and a large army of Shades approach the candy-coated castle. All the guards proceed to attack the invading forces, and Artie just can't sit back to watch. So he joins the advance, and eventually they defeat the dark menaces. However, the abundance of guards against the Shade Syndicate left Buttersweet defenseless, and she is kidnapped. The injured guards of the princess tell them it was by a lone female warrior, who exited through the window, and escaped to Troll Hill. So, what's left of the army charges toward the mountain, along with Artie.

Stage 6 ~ Troll Hill ~ The common residence of trolls. Usually, it is a rocky mainland filled with greenery, with the residents living underneath large rocks as they consider it their houses. However, for some reason, the entire place is blistering cold and covered with a heavy snowstorm. As they advance further, the guards seem to be getting colder and colder by the minute, to the point where they fully freeze. Artie is not frozen because he is a dwarf whose race can survive harsh cold temperatures, but even under these circumstances, Artie may not last long in the sub-zero climate. He eventually comes across an extravagant cave decorated with ice sculptures, where there the princess is being held prisoner (and also frozen) by an evil troll ice lord named Sorbet, and his minion who it turns out is a female dwarf working under Sorbet to protect her frozen husband. He eventually defeats Sorbet which it turns out is harder than it seems, and the ice made by Sorbet melts away including those frozen by him. After rescuing the people, Artie is cheered on as a hero, and so he finally comes to realise how much he has grown since his first steps in the Cave of Rites. Seeing a bombardment on a gigantic castle off in the distance, covered with red and purple skies, Artie has a gut feeling that is where his family and friends are kept, and so he rushes off to fight them off himself, leaving Buttersweet angry that her knight in shining armour has passed her by.

Stage 7 ~ Shade Stronghold ~ Indeed, it is the area where Artie's friends are kept, and for that matter where Leon von Braveheart is. Keeping his fanboy-isms to himself, Artie helps Braveheart storm the castle and breaks down the front door. He advances through the enemy-ridden stronghold by himself hoping to find his friends. And eventually he does. He finds them all locked up in large prison cells, which means this castle the Shade Syndicate acquired is actually a large prison, with its convicts working beneath the Shade Syndicate's loyalty. So, Artie proceeds to venture deeper into the castle to find the keys to unlock the doors and help them escape. He finds the keys in a special room that also houses a large, glowing egg. Before he could approach it, he hears the doors behind him flung open and a large roar. He is them grabbed by a dark and strong arm and thrown toward the ceiling where Artie breaks through it and lands on the tallest battlement of the stronghold. There, he finally comes face-to-face with the Syndicate's leader, General Skroll. The two have their final showdown and Artie manages to defeat him, taking down the castle with it. Fortunately, the villagers are not harmed as they have already been freed by Braveheart. After Artie wakes up from his fall, he finds the egg from before land beside him and start to hatch. From it, a beautiful young elf girl emerges in a comatose state. She them rests back down in the egg, and Artie proceeds to take her away from the ruins of the stronghold. Now that the villagers and his family are safe, they proceed to all go home, with the girl nestled in Artie's large hands as he takes her home with him and his family.

Golden Sky Hero © *The-Quill-Warrior