Red Candle Games announced a year ago that it was working on a new game (opens in new tab). It didn't note anything about it, but we noted at the time that its first two games, Detention and Devotion (opens in new tab), are horror joints, and I think it's fair to say that influenced our expectations to a certain extent. Today, we finally found out what's coming, and it appears to be almost completely different from its predecessors.
"[Nine Sols is] a lore-rich, hand-drawn 2D action platformer with Sekiro-inspired deflection-focused combat," Red Candle tweeted. "Embark on a journey of Asian fantasy, explore the land once home to an ancient alien race, and follow a vengeful hero's quest to slay Nine Sols, rulers of a forsaken realm."
WIP title #NineSols, a lore rich hand-drawn 2D action platformer with Sekiro-inspired deflection-focused combat. Embark on a journey of Asian fantasy, explore the land once home to an ancient alien race & follow a vengeful hero’s quest to slay 9 Sols, rulers of a forsaken realm pic.twitter.com/yRy4yHtlnFDecember 16, 2021
The Red Candle website (opens in new tab) has more:
New Kunlun, the Solarian’s last sanctuary, has remained quiet for centuries. Inside this vast realm, the ancient gods left mortals with a promised land that is forever protected by the sacred rituals, yet the truth of this world remains unknown to most. Everything changes when Yi, a long forgotten hero from the past, is awoken by a human child.
Follow Yi on his vengeful quest against the 9 Sols, formidable rulers of this forsaken realm, and obliterate any obstacles blocking your way in Sekiro-lite style combat. Explore in unique “Taopunk” setting that blends cyberpunk elements with Taoism and far eastern mythology. Unravel the mysteries of an ancient alien race and learn about the fate of mankind.
Nine Sols promises "2D Sekiro-lite combat" with boss fights against "ancient guardians and gruesome creatures" in a Taopunk world that blends science fiction with Eastern mythology and fantasy. But it's not just nonstop brawling: Exploration of the world and interactions with NPCs are vital to discovering the truth behind Yi's quest for revenge.
This isn't actually the first time we've seen Nine Sols: In March, Red Candle dropped this work-in-progress teaser on Twitter. It was the last time the studio tweeted until today.
Work in progress pic.twitter.com/yPiNIWEOv6March 19, 2021
Red Candle is best known for Devotion, an acclaimed first-person horror game set in Taiwan in the 1980s that ran into trouble in 2019 over a piece of in-game art that appeared to mock Chinese president Xi Jinping (opens in new tab). It was removed from Steam and wasn't available to purchase for two years, and even now can only be had directly from Red Candle's own store (opens in new tab); GOG had planned to put Devotion back on sale in late 2020 but changed course just before it happened, because of "many messages from gamers (opens in new tab)."
Red Candle said Nine Sols is its "most ambitious project" ever, but at this point there's no sign of a release date, platforms, or anything else beyond the fact that it exists. Despite that lack of information, I think it looks quite intriguing, and I'm eager to see more.