If you’re even a casual fan of Metroidvania games, you’ve likely crossed paths with the Momodora series before. It’s hard to ignore the charming pixilated priestesses and their trusty weapon – magical leaf blades that pack quite a punch! Over four mainline entries, the series has carved out a comfy niche among the indie greats.
And now with Momodora: Moonlit Farewell, creator Bombservice is bidding the franchise adieu. For the final hoorah, we once again step into the shoes of High Priestess Momo. When a mysterious guest rings the cursed Black Bell and unleashes demonic forces upon her quiet village, it’s up to Momo to descend into the darkness and save the day.
Moonlit Farewell brings back the satisfying exploration and tough-as-nails battles the series is known for. The pixel art is as enchanting as ever, with fluid animations bringing both characters and environments to life. And with the promise of answering long-held questions, it seems the perfect way to send off our beloved priestesses.
So without further ado, let’s journey with Momo one last time as she faces the ultimate threat to her village. Will she triumph and restore the peace? Or will Moonlit Farewell turn out less happily-ever-after and more just farewell? Read on to uncover the fates of Koho and its devoted guardian.
A Peace Shattered
The adventure opens in the tranquil village of Koho, where High Priestess Momo keeps watch over her peaceful flock. But when a mysterious visitor rings the forbidden Black Bell, Koho’s peace is instantly shattered. Demonic forces trapped beneath the village surge to the surface, intent on destruction.
As Koho’s guardian, Momo springs into action. She descends into the shadowy dungeons below to face the demon invasion head on. Armed only with her trusty leaf blades and bow, she carves a path through hordes of hellish foes. It’s a monumental task, even for one as powerful as Momo.
Thankfully, she doesn’t have to undergo this trial alone. Throughout her journey, Momo crosses paths with both new and familiar faces. Some join her quest, offering companionship or aid in battle. Other characters reveal hidden knowledge about Koho’s past and the secrets behind this latest threat.
In particular, Moonlit Farewell finally ties up loose threads from across the series. Long unanswered questions now come to light as Momo pieces together the whole story. Just who rang the forbidden bell, and why would they unleash such evil? The truth may prove more complex than anyone realizes…
And Moonlit Farewell doesn’t just wrap up past plotlines. It also expands greatly upon familiar characters. We discover previously unknown backstories that add depth and intrique. And new allies like the mystic Dora reveal their own vital roles to play.
Of course, even with companions Momo’s road is filled with challenges. Many foes block her path, from common demons to hulking bosses. To succeed, she must unlock dormant powers and gather arcane artifacts scattered throughout the dungeons. Only by overcoming these trials can Momo hope to face the ultimate evil behind Koho’s downfall.
So steel yourself for a journey filled with shocking revelations, old friends, and many deadly battles. Can Momo defend her home to the last? Or does an even darker fate await Koho? One thing is certain…nothing is ever quite as it seems in the Moonlit Farewell.
Forging Your Own Path
At its core, Moonlit Farewell utilizes traditional Metroidvania design to encourage exploration. As Momo delves deeper underground, she’ll uncover abilities like double jumps or vine cutting that allow access to previously unreachable areas. This satisfying loop creates plenty of incentives to revisit old zones in search of hidden goodies.
And Moonlit Farewell offers lots of tantalizing secrets to uncover. While the critical path forward is usually clear, deviation quickly leads to surprises. Maybe you’ll discover a treasure trove of useful items. Or perhaps a quick detour drops you into a battle against an optional superboss.
The winding levels conceal all manner of challenges, from basic enemies to environmental hazards. And with frequent branching routes, no two journeys will be the same. Will you uncover the quickest way to your goal? Or wander off the beaten track in pursuit of riches? The choice lies solely in your hands.
Of course, backtracking through perilous areas can prove tedious even with new mobility upgrades. Thankfully, Moonlit Farewell introduces Fast Travel anchors to zip between major zones. Still,prepare for lots of criss-crossing side passages while cleaning up your map completion.
Combat itself also allows for customization by way of the Sigil system. These cards passively enhance Momo’s abilities when slotted into limited spaces. Swapping Sigils mid-adventure can shore up weaknesses or emphasize certain playstyles. Add lightning damage to your arrows, boost elemental resistances, increase critical hit rates – the options abound.
And you’ll need every advantage possible against the formidable bosses. These spectacles pit Momo against screen-filling behemoths and lightning-quick horrors. Success demands equal parts aggression and caution as you learn attack patterns and openings. Fortunately, each boss battle toggles its own adrenaline-surging music theme – perfect accompaniment for white-knuckle dodging and furious leaf slashing!
Of course, even triumphant victories may hide surprises. Certain secret conditions even unlock special rewards and story scenes. So be sure to test the limits of your skill if you wish to experience everything Moonlit Farewell’s challenge has to offer.
Pixel Perfect Presentation
While Moonlit Farewell offers plenty of enjoyable gameplay, its sublime presentation proves just as big a draw. The exceptional pixel art dazzles the eyes while the evocative soundtrack delights the ears. Together they craft an experience both charming and memorable.
Veteran artists contribute their talents for maximum appeal. Backgrounds brim with intricate details that cement Moonlit Farewell as one of the most gorgeous indie titles around. Lush forests, serene villages, gloomy caves – each locale overflows with visual splendor. Even repeated areas reveal new depths upon revisiting older zones.
Of course the environments would feel lifeless without equally exceptional sprite work. Here too Moonlit Farewell delivers, with smooth animations that perfectly capture a sense of weight and momentum. Momo and her companions move with remarkable fluidity, their body language readily conveying emotion alongside action.
Foes also surprise with their expressiveness, though most won’t stick around long enough for observation! Between the diverse bestiary and multi-phase bosses, you’ll battle a wonderful variety freakish hellions. There’s no shortage of oddball monstrosities to slash through on your journey.
And underlying it all lies a pitch-perfect soundtrack just as vital as the art. Gentle village themes contrast wonderfully with heavy riffs punching up intense boss fights. Rather than distract, this excellent music intimately complements both story beats and gameplay. Things just wouldn’t feel the same without this audio ambience.
Of course pixel art won’t appeal universally, but that art style harmonizes perfectly with Moonlit Farewell’s fantastical themes. The simplified sprites possess an undeniable charm while allowing your imagination to fill in finer details. And again, the sublime environments are so lovingly crafted that “retro” feels wholly inappropriate. Moonlit Farewell demonstrates masterclass technique for maximum immersion.
So while the story and combat prove plenty compelling alone, they’d feel lesser divorced from such superlative sights and sounds. This incredible presentation transforms Moonlit Farewell into an aesthetic experience that outshines nearly all competitors.
More Than Meets The Eye
Like any great Metroidvania, Moonlit Farewell encourages revisitation. While the critical path might span 8-10 hours, true completion requires far more investment. This added replay value comes thanks to permanent upgrades, incremental stat growth, unlockable bonus modes, and more.
Core to the replay experience are mobility upgrades allowing access to new areas. Double jump, wall climb, ledge grab – these permanent abilities open fresh territory for exploration. Sections once maddeningly out of reach can now surrender hidden loot to savvy veterans.
Yet progression branches beyond movement alone. Discovering artifacts or completing certain challenges also confers bonuses. Slowly whittle down boss health bars in return for seals granting new combat capabilities. Or stumble upon arcane ingredients to boost Momo’s base attributes. Little by little she transforms from fragile waif to unstoppable magical powerhouse.
Of course raw stats aren’t the only way to improve. Various allies also join the fray as exploration unearths their hideaways. While these companions don’t always excel in direct combat, their support abilities can really turn the tide in your favor. And favor is always welcome against Moonlit Farewell’s ever-escalating enemy threat!
But the challenges don’t end even after the credits roll. Post game content opens in the form of Crepuscule Mode, a mirror realm variation of the main journey. Here remixed level layouts and altered boss patterns test your mastery of Moonlit Farewell’s systems to their fullest. Can you overcome the Crepuscule realm’s even deadlier trials?
Additionally, players can now directly select and challenge any previously defeated boss. Take on these classic foes under special conditions to further build up seals, gold, and satisfaction. Or just relive your past triumphs over some beautifully crafted monstrosities!
So while Moonlit Farewell’s straight shot might not impress in pure scale, determined explorers will uncover substantial hidden depth. Let the secrets of Koho energize your adventure long after bidding its denizens farewell!
A Fitting Farewell
When all is said and done, Moonlit Farewell marks a worthy finale for the Momodora franchise. It proudly carries the torch for its Metroidvania heritage, encouraging rewarding exploration across intricately designed levels. The plentiful hidden items and upgrades ensure there’s always motivation to revisit previous areas once Momo unlocks new movement options.
Combat also hits more high notes than low, with a simple yet flexible moveset allowing for aggressive offense or cautious defense. While individual basic enemies pose little threat, bosses and minibosses should provide plenty of electrifying challenge for veterans and newcomers alike. Just beware the occasional gimmicky fight glorified by overly generous health bars.
And of course one can’t overlook the exceptional presentation holding everything together. The vibrant sprites and environments burst with dazzling color that outshines even some modern 3D titles. Coupled with the ambient soundtrack that adeptly punctuates both story and gameplay beats, Moonlit Farewell seduces the senses on all fronts.
Regrettably, a few blemishes do mar the experience. Irritating backtracking across similar terrain can occasionally test one’s patience between major upgrades. The limited Fast Travel availability attempts to mitigate this navigation, but often falls short. Also, outside of chasing map completion, Moonlit Farewell lacks many surprises for those sticking to critical pathways. You’ll blaze through most optional content on the first run itself.
Yet even considering these flaws, Bombservice should feel proud of this franchise finale. Moonlit Farewell retains everything fans enjoy about the series while expanding lore and scope in exciting directions. And the new characters like Dora mesh wonderfully with existing favorites to send off the saga on a high note.
Could Moonlit Farewell still do more to distinguish itself among its crowded indie genre? Absolutely. Does it stand as an above average, supremely polished effort that respects fan investment? Absolutely. This farewell may not top many Game of the Year lists, but provides a charming, heartfelt experience well worth any Metroidvania lover’s time.
Momodora: Moonlit Farewell
While it doesn't necessarily break new ground, Momodora: Moonlit Farewell exemplifies polished Metroidvania design. Satisfying combat and rewarding exploration come together through gorgeous artwork and evocative music. A few tedious sections bog down backtracking, yet imaginative locations brim with secrets for the diligent. Bombservice sends off the series with a rewarding adventure that hits all the right notes for fans, culminating in an emotional yet fitting farewell.
- Gorgeous pixel art visuals
- Great soundtrack
- Tight, responsive combat
- Engaging Metroidvania exploration
- Large cast of interesting characters
- Answers long-standing franchise questions
- High replay value
- Occasional tedious backtracking
- Fast travel unlocks late
- Some boss fights are too easy
- Doesn't stand out in a crowded genre