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Demonophobia Remake (2023) - New Fanmade Version of the Indie Horror Game Demonophobia

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Recently, a new project appeared that strives to create an improved version of the Japanese indie horror game "Demonophobia".

This project is called "Demonophobia Remake". It is a fanmade work - the original author of the game is not involved in it.

The development is carried out by several people under the nicknames "553”, "Anonymous”, and "909”. They plan to port Demonophobia to a new engine, improve the gameplay, add some features from "Xenophobia", and also add sound to the game.

In November 2023, a playable demo of the remake was released (Demo Ver1.1). It's possible to play the first level there.

Let's see what new features were added to the game - and whether they made it actually better or worse.

Differences in the Remake

1) New comments and monologue lines for the main heroine are added. For example, in the first room, Sakuri can inspect the walls and comment on the blood stains on the floor. And she also has something to say when she sees the first monster. This is definitely a nice addition. It would be great if the developers could add more comments to the game.

2) Magic checkpoint symbols (from "Xenophobia") are now added to the game. If Sakuri reads a prayer next to such a symbol, a checkpoint will be activated.

3) Perhaps the most unexpected change is that Sakuri has suddenly learned to JUMP. The game now has some light 2D platformer elements. The jump animation looks a little cringey, but most likely the authors will fix this over time.

4) The structure of the first level has been slightly changed. It became larger, and has a couple of new secret rooms in it.

5) The controls were changed. Now the "Ctrl" key is responsible for crouching, and the "Shift" key is for running. In my opinion, the new control scheme is inconvenient - it was much better in the original game.

6) Pop-up hints have appeared in the game.

7) Sakuri can do a turbo-crawl now (to do this, you need to hold down the "Shift" key while crawling).

8) The developers added two indicators to the upper-left side of the screen - "Health” and "Stamina”. They show the exact level of hit-points and fatigue of the heroine. In my opinion, it was not a good idea. Firstly, multi-colored scales clog the screen and become an eyesore. And secondly, in Survival Horror games it is generally better not to reveal the exact number of hit-points to the player.

9) After each monster attack, Sakuri's sprite starts blinking for a few seconds - much like in old 8-bit games. I think it makes the game look less serious, as if you are playing "Chip and Dale 2”.

10) The game can now be launched in full screen mode (the original "Demonophobia" could be launched only in a window mode). This is a welcomed improvement - horror games are always more enjoyable to play on full screen.

11) The walking speed of the main character has been increased - now Sakuri has become noticeably faster. But I think that speeding up the heroine makes the game too fast and can negatively affect the atmosphere.

12) The boss of the first level has been slightly changed. I won’t spoil it, but a cool surprise awaits you during the battle. I really liked how the boss fight was remade here.

13) The backgrounds have been redrawn - now they are a little less blurry. But devs also didn’t make them too clear - so the general style was more or less preserved.

14) The game now has an optional side-quest that affects the stage ending. The demo has two endings for Stage 1 - "bad end" and "good end". To get the good ending, you need to complete a secret side quest and find the hidden talisman.

15) Also, the developers plan to add sound to the game - but there is no sound in the first demo yet. The thing is, they haven't found a sound designer yet. If you know how to work with sound, you can try to contact them and offer help.

Bottom line

The remake is a mixed bag of different ideas. Some improvements are nice and welcomed. But some changes can impact the game negatively. But in general, the project looks interesting, and the demo is done quite well.

If the authors can redo all the levels and boss fights in this spirit, then we will have a cool alternative version of "Demonophobia”. Perhaps even with sound.

You can follow the development of this remake on the official page of the project.

Gameplay video
(+ bad ending)

Gameplay video
(+ good ending)

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Author of the article: SilentPyramid

Publication date: 05.11.2023

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