Expoint: The Fred Rail Role-playing Game
|Expoint: The Fred Rail Role-playing Game|
|Engine||RPG Maker 2003|
Expoint: The Fred Rail Role-playing Game, often shortened to Expoint: The Fred Rail RPG or Expoint, is a role-playing video game developed by FredTheTimeLord. The game follows an unnamed protagonist, an amnesiac with magic abilities, who joins a party of characters as they attempt to clear their names after being framed. The game is a direct sequel to the film Fred Rail 3: Fred's Strange Escapade and acts as an adaptation of The Fred Rail Picture Show, an unfinished television series based on Fred Rail.
Expoint began development in early October 2021, with a demo two months later on December 15, 2021. The game was developed in RPG Maker 2003 after Fred explored different game engines. The game draws inspiration from Deltarune and the Mother role-playing game series, with story elements heavily based on MRT Server lore. Skills, such as Attack, Maximum Magic, Maximum Health, and Agility increase by winning battles with enemies. Battles are conducted using an Active Time Battle system, where players and enemies attack at different times and different speeds based on their agility levels.
Expoint is a role-playing game in a traditional top-down perspective. The player controls an unnamed protagonist in a two-dimensional world based on the New World composed of cities, towns, and wilderness. Along the way, the player encounters various enemies. Unlike some other RPGs with random encounters, all enemies can be visibly seen in the world. Each character has six abilities which increase by defeating enemies and gaining Experience (EXP). Health Points (HP) dictate the amount of health a character has, which decreases when damage is dealt in battles. Magic Points (MP) grant additional abilities with different effects. Some abilities impact enemies, significantly weakening them more than standard Attacking. Other abilities, such as healing, can impact the Party. Using Magic Points decreases them depending on the ability used. The points can be gained using items or by saving the game. Attack levels dictate how much a standard attack impacts an enemy. Attacking doesn't use any points. Defense, Mind, and Agility all work similarly witch each corresponding to their respective abilities; Defense protects against damage done by an enemy, Mind influences the amount of magical damage done, and Agility determines a character's speed in battle.
Combat is based on an Active Time Battle system. Each character has a timer based on their agility, which influences how fast they can make a move during a battle. Characters with higher agility are able to be used during more turns than characters with lower agility. The player can select whether they want to manually fight, automatically fight, or run from a battle. Manual fighting allows the player to select from a variety of options, depending on the character. Most characters are able to perform standard attacks, but some are restricted to magical abilities only. Items can be used, which can have a wide range of abilities from healing points to directly attacking an enemy. Running from battles is sometimes possible. Fighting or Acting has no impact on the game, as characters are shown to be perfectly fine following a battle. Acting merely makes it easier to win fights, and adds variety to the battle system. Earlier in development, a Fight and Act system was planned, where players who exclusively fought via fights would gain access to a hard mode, and players who only used Act would gain access to an alternate ending based on their extended use of magic. Early on, certain Act abilities would not use Magic Points. This was changed to a more traditional battle system, but some characters such as Clark retain abilities which don't use Magic Points.
In the overworld, the player is often confronted with puzzles in order to progress the game. These puzzles range in variety, from mazes based on navigation, to logic puzzles that require direct inputs. Depending on the difficulty of the puzzle, the player can sometimes use a Party Member for assistance. Party Members are characters throughout the game who join the player in their story. The number of Party Members varies over the course of the story, with different characters joining and leaving at different times. Each Party Member has unique abilities that can be utilized in combat, primarily through Acting. Some Party Members can also solve exclusive puzzles.
The first version of the demo was released on December 15, 2021. The game can be downloaded either as an installer or a zip file. It's best to create a folder in Documents for games and install there. Do note that Setup.exe was originally programmed in Japanese, so it may look a bit weird when you select an installation location.