Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away has been a “guiding star” for beautiful platformer Planet Of Lana

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Wishfully’s upcoming cinematic platformer Planet Of Lana turned eyes and heads when it was first introduced at E3 2021, and the comparability we immediately settled upon was “like Ori meets Inside”. At a current ID@Xbox showcase we attended final week, inventive director and Wishfully co-founder Adam Stjarnljus acknowledged that Playdead connection, saying that each Limbo and Inside “had a huge effect on me”, however he additionally mentioned Studio Ghibli’s animated movie Spirited Away was one other key affect, which, yep, that undoubtedly tracks.

“I used to be very impressed by Studio Ghibli movies, and particularly the movie Spirited Away,” Stjarnljus informed us. “That’s been form of like a guiding star from the start by way of tonality with this severe, emotional story, however [also] nonetheless, like, a enjoyable quirkiness to it, and actually this sense of exploring one other world, which we actually need.”

Stjarnljus was additionally impressed by the “epic sidescroller adventures” he appreciated rising up, name-dropping OddWorld, Flashback and Another World. “[Planet Of Lana] will certainly get darker as you get additional into the game,” he provides. “What we’re going for is actually an epic journey with correct character development and a narrative with a correct starting, center and an finish. We have a number of twists and turns for you.”

During the ID@Xbox showcase, there weren’t any indicators of these darkish portents to come back simply but, however we did get a better take a look at a brand new swamp space on Lana’s house planet of Novo, which her fuzzball companion Mui has a tough time navigating because of their unlucky concern of water.

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“Where we’re right here within the game, Lana and Mui have already been capable of get to know one another for some time, and Mui has confirmed to be a loyal good friend and ally to you,” says Stjarnljus. “And right here [in the swamp], Lana realises Mui’s weak spot, which is that she’s actually, actually afraid of water. She simply will not go into water, so Lana wants to seek out one other method to get Mui throughout.”

In the primary lake you come to, Lana finds a close-by log to drift over to Mui and swim her throughout, however Mui rapidly repays the favour by leaping up a sheer cliff to push down a vine so Lana can climb up and observe her. This is not automated, although – gamers might want to direct Mui to sure factors on the map to assist Lana on her quest, which is all accompanied by the soothing strings of Takeshi “The Last Guardian” Furukawa’s lovely rating.

A young girl floats in water while a small creature hypnotises a strange creature in a swamp in Planet Of Lana

Later within the quick demo, we additionally get to see Mui’s Hypnotise energy in motion, the place she tames an odd creature with a white glowing eye and lengthy, evil-looking tentacles (see above). Turns out this creature is linked to a different massive, shrub-like monster within the background, which begins sucking up or blooping out plenty of water within the massive ditch they’ve simply climbed as Lana controls Mui’s hypnotising energy, altering the peak of the water to unlock a brand new path.

“Both Lana and Mui have their very own strengths and weaknesses,” Stjarnljus continunes, “and what Lana and Mui can do collectively and individually is actually key to the design of our game and puzzle fixing.”

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The demo ends with Lana bringing to life an previous steel construction utilizing a magic keystone she discovered earlier within the game. Alas, it stops quick earlier than we actually get to see inside its unusual, echoing innards, nevertheless it all appears like wonderful stuff. Lana herself is stuffed with character, her small physique a gaggle of limbs as arms wave and ft journey over themselves as she recovers from massive jumps and surprising falls, whereas Mui appears to be simply the form of charming companion you’d count on from a Ghibli-esque dustmite with legs.

Alas, nonetheless no phrase on an actual launch date simply but, however will probably be launching on Steam and Game Pass someday this spring.

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