Day in the Life of a Harpy

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Day in the Life of a Harpy
Developer(s) Jade
Platform(s) PC
https://xysspon.itch.io/day-in-the-life-of-a-harpy

Day in the Life of a Harpy is the first publicly released Xysspon game and the first game to feature a playable Harpy. The game features 5 levels, and is arguably the simplest game published by Xysspon. It was initially developed as a programming exercise, and was the only game made before the formation of Xysspon. The visual and musical direction is designed to resemble that of old game boy games, more specifically Kirby's Dreamland, the game lifts quite a bit from said game, with similar styled bosses. Duri has stayed out exploring for too long, and now she must get home before dinner!

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay of Day in the life of a Harpy is based around what a harpy's abilities would be, as well as firing feathers as projectiles and using a bag to capture enemies and use them as projectiles. The player has 1 normal jump and 17 flaps in air, The player's projectiles always have a slightly randomized trajectory, as to make destroying blocks easier. Enemies can be killed from just one hit from either Duri's feathers or from dust created by Duri's Bag. Firing a projectile pushes Duri back a little, and the bag can only be used if the player is next to an enemy. Landing on the top of a breakable block will destroy it.The way Duri heals is by eating bread, 1 piece of bread will heal 1 hit point to the player.

Folded Forest is the first level of the game, it serves to be as a tutorial area and is filled with Suburban Mushlings and Slimes, the player will fight two bosses in this area, the Mushlord and the Megashroom.

Tea Tunnel is the second level and requires the player to utilize their skills from the first level, being faced with new challenges as well with two new enemies, the Bat and the Lost Soul. This area requires utilization of timed jumps. The boss of Tea Tunnel is Genny and Vioule, with Genny being a miniboss you fight halfway through the level, and both of them being the boss you will fight at the end of it.

Danish Desert is the third level, it is designed to be the longest level, and a gauntlet that the player must endure through if they want to make it home. This level introduces moving bones that serve as obstacles, Desert Skeletons that stand still, and Tochi that walk left and right. The first section of the area also includes falling quicksand, if the player falls into any of the dozens of quicksand pits, they will be faced with an instant game over. This area features the Icon of Nothing in Particular as a miniboss, and Chathis as the end boss. The player will enter a tram to fight the level's main boss. This level later recurs in Harpy Gaiden and Mugeneko.

Harpy Mountain is the fourth level of the game, it involves the player scaling a mountain, fighting familiar enemies, as well as fighting cloud spirits. The area is very foggy, and there are two bosses here, the Moyamini and Moyamega, both have high amounts of health. After fighting through this area, the player is rewarded with finally being able to return to their home in the Harpy Village, with Duri being able to eat her meal on time.

Duri's Nightmare is the last level of the game, it serves as a boss rush, giving the player plenty of health at the beginning, and short little segments of each level with new music for each. The player will only fight the main 4 level bosses in this area, as well as a completely new boss, Duri's Shadow. After defeating the final boss, the player will be met with static, revealed on the next screen to simply be the sound of rain. The credits will then play and the player will be returned back to the title screen.

Development[edit]

Day in the Life of a Harpy started development in the mid summer of 2016, it was made as a creative exercise and as a means of giving the lead developer, Jade, time to plan out Mugeneko more thoroughly.

The beta testers of the game were the classmates of the lead developer, they threw around ideas and helped in getting the game to a basic state of completion. The music was originally composed by Jade, and was later taken over by Qw2 in order to ensure a higher quality, this decision helped set a trend for the way Xysspon handled its musical direction.

The beta had very few differences from the final, the most notable ones being that the Moyamini and Moyamega were originally intended to be Arias, but a bug came up in development involving the boss not being rendered properly, so that concept was scrapped in favor of the easier to program faces. Genny and Vioule were added in at the request of the game's cutscene artist, Luneria2, the sprites for the two were done by her, as well as the sprites for the Tochi.

The game was originally planned to have a New Game + with the story of "Duri left something important back in the forest and now must travel back to get it.", it was planned to use the music that appeared in the final version of the Duri's Nightmare area, but it was scrapped in the end due to time restraints, the earliest version of said New Game + can be seen in the trailer for the game in the form of a Folded Forest with a black background. This concept was eventually added in Harpy Gaiden as a last minute addition.

The game's original title was Heikin Hapi​-​Bi, a transliteration from Japanese that defined a mathematical average instead of the intended type to explain the mundane, this was the last change made to the game, as advised by Sodapone just before the end of development and the publishing of the title.