Harpy Gaiden is the fourth publicly released Xysspon game and is the third oldest Xysspon game still available. It takes place before the events of Day in the Life of a Harpy, but its engine was built off of Day in the Life of a Harpy 2, and thus carries over all of the additions from that game. The soundtrack in this game is composed by Qw2 and Jade with leitmotifs that reference the first two Harpy games, and other games that were in development, a few songs that were meant to appear in Mugeneko originally got their first debut in this game. The visual style of this game takes the art style from the previous games and combines them into something with more detail and less restraint in choice. A mannequin has attacked the Harpy Village and has stolen all their blades, and it's up to Radi to seek vengeance.
Harpy Gaiden's gameplay is more fast paced than the previous two games, and due to the player playing as a different character, they also have a new method of combat. Radi can draw back her bow and aim it, granting the player many different options in their projectile's trajectory. The collectable spades in this game will heal the player if 100 are collected. If the player gets the blade in each level, they will be able to unlock the true ending.
Red Hill is the first level of the game and thus has some of the easiest platforming, allowing the player can get acclimated to the controls. It's populated with Tofu Mushlings, Slimes, Lost Souls, and Gargoyles. At the end of the level, the player will fight the barely awake bee girl, Shelbee.
Spiral Sewer is the second level, it has tight corridors and more risky jumps than the first level, some sections include pinwheels that hurt the player when touched. At the end of the level, the player will fight against Jet.
Capitol City is the third level, it throws more enemies at the player and is the first introduction of the Eyeron in any Xysspon game. At the end of the level, the player will encounter Xyssia, a boss that serves as a means of checking the player's reaction time.
Wintry Warehouse is the fourth level, it swaps out the Tofu Mushlings for Mushy Long Legs. Spirits are introduced into the enemy roster, returning from the previous game. At the end of the level, the player will fight Allie.
Peach Plains is the fifth level, a returning location from the previous game, it has pinwheels and is where the game begins to plateau in difficulty. At the end of the level, the player will battle Harrier.
Bewitched Battlefield is the sixth and shortest level, it introduces two stage hazards, the wire and the landmine. These are scattered throughout the level and keep the player attentive throughout. At the end of the level, the player will fight Dorothy, the only boss that has a pinch mode.
Forbidden Fortress is the seventh and final level, it includes a majority of the enemy roster and all of the stage hazards from previous levels. After ascending the staircase, the player will face off against the final boss, Ashley.
Xysspon Headquarters is a hidden level that can be accessed on the second screen of the first level, Red Hill. It contains a large amount of NPCs as Soda Slide was intended to in the previous game, all of the NPCs in this area are characters from various people involved in the development of this game and previous Xysspon games. This level ends in a fight against the lead developer, Jade, and at the time was considered to be one of the hardest, but most enjoyable boss fights ever in a Xysspon game. A couple of the NPCs were removed in a later patch and one of the NPCs had their appearance updated.
New Game Plus
Pressing 913 on the title in this game starts the player in a new game + with increased difficulty. The breakable blocks from the previous two games now appears as common obstacles, and all of the enemies are replaced with more advanced enemies.
All of the songs get New Game + alternatives, and all of the level tilesets and backgrounds change in appearance.
All of the bosses are more difficult, they have more HP, move faster, and often fire more projectiles.
Harpy Gaiden's first developmental build is dated April 13th, 2019. It followed a rather accelerated development cycle compared to every other Xysspon game, and underwent more beta testing than all of the other games combined. It took about 5 months to develop in total, however the game was beatable only 2 months into development.
Despite starting development in April of 2019, the game's title had been floated around ever since the original Day in the Life of a Harpy was completed, and the concept of Radi having her own game had existed for around the same amount of time.
The earliest mention of Harpy Gaiden possibly starting development was on January 13th, 2019 when Jade floated the idea of a Dire Dragon 2 alongside Harpy Gaiden.
The first mention of Harpy Gaiden's boss selection was on March 15th, 2019, with all of the bosses being from a tabletop RPG campaign run by Jade that had two separate parties fighting against each other, a majority of the party from said campaign made it in, and the ones that didn't make it in eventually got to appear later on in Harpy Gaiden DX.
The game was originally slated to release a month earlier than it did, but with the sudden re-emergence of the musician from the previous two games, it was decided last minute to delay the game another month to add in the new game + and to further polish the game.
Throughout the first few months of development, the game essentially played identical to Day in the Life of a Harpy 2, save for a different combat method.
Boss health bars and angle-locked sprites were not added into the game until very late into development.
After release, the game got several updates that adjusted Boss AI, Player Movement, Enemy projectiles, Enemy placement, Boss health, along with adding in a few features such as controller support, Discord rich presence, and a proper splash screen at the beginning of the game.
The mobile version of the game that released was based on Harpy Gaiden 1.0, and thus, contains some of the bugs present in it that were patched out later.
A couple months after the mobile version of the game completed, a Kickstarter campaign began with the goal of bringing Harpy Gaiden to iOS platforms, with one of the stretch goals being an enhanced edition of the game being purchasable on Steam.
Harpy Gaiden was developed as an apology from the lead developer Jade for how disastrous Dire Dragon turned out, it was also developed as a means of learning new coding techniques to make development of Mugeneko easier.
The boss themes used to separate the first group of bosses (Excluding Xyssia) from the second group (Excluding Ashley) were in reference to the two separate parties from the tabletop campaign Jade and the creators of the different characters were playing.
The secret boss fight against Jade was added as a joke, it and the level preceding it features a few in-jokes that occurred during the development of the game.