Bastion is a role-playing action game set in the world of Caelondia after it has been destroyed by an event known as the Calamity, a doomsday of sorts.
The game revolves around a silent protagonist who is referred to as the Kid. The focus of the game's story is the Kid's quest to create a safe haven, known as the Bastion. The rest of the world has become a series of floating islands after the Calamity.
The game takes place in the aftermath of the Calamity, a catastrophic event that suddenly fractured the city of Caelondia (/seɪˈlɒndiə/) as well as the surrounding areas of the game's world into many floating pieces, disrupting its ecology and reducing most of its people to ash. Players take control of the Kid, a silent protagonist who awakens on one of the few remaining pieces of the old world and sets off for the eponymous Bastion, where everyone was supposed to go in troubled times. The only survivor he meets is an older man named Rucks, the game's narrator, who instructs him to collect the Cores that once powered Caelondia. A device in the Bastion can use the power of the crystalline Cores to create landmasses and structures and enable the Kid to travel farther afield via "skyways" that propel him through the air.
During his quest, the Kid meets two more survivors: Zulf, an ambassador from the Ura, underground-dwelling people with whom Caelondia was once at war; and Zia, an Ura girl raised in Caelondia. Both of them return to the Bastion, but upon reading a journal that the Kid discovers, Zulf intentionally damages parts of the Bastion's central device (the monument) and returns to Ura territory. The Kid learns that the journal belonged to Zia's father, Venn, who had worked for the Caelondians. He had helped Caelondian scientists ("Mancers") build a weapon intended to eradicate the Ura to prevent another war. Venn rigged the weapon to backfire so that when he was finally forced to trigger it, the resulting Calamity destroyed most of Caelondia as well.
To repair Zulf's damage to the Bastion, the Kid starts collecting Shards, a lesser form of Cores. As he obtains the penultimate shard needed, the Ura attack the Bastion, damaging it and abducting Zia. In the next seven days, The Kid engages in sporadic skirmishes in Ura territory. When he finally blasts through an Ura outpost and meets Zia, she tells him that she had left with the Ura voluntarily to find out their intentions; Rucks had previously told Zia that the Bastion had the ability to fix the Calamity somehow. The Kid travels to the once-underground Ura homeland to retrieve the last shard. There, he discovers Zulf being attacked by his people: the battle with the Kid has devastated the Ura forces, and they blame Zulf for bringing the Kid to their home. The Kid can choose to drop his weapon to help Zulf or leave him. If he leaves Zulf behind, the Kid destroys the Ura's remnants and escapes through a skyway. If he chooses to carry Zulf, Ura archers initially open fire on them but ultimately cease-fire and watch silently as the Kid and Zulf take the skyway back to the Bastion.
After the Kid returns and recovers, Rucks gives him another choice: He can have the Bastion rewind time to before the Calamity in the hopes of preventing it or use it to evacuate the survivors and move on to somewhere safe. Rucks is unsure if there is any way to prevent the Calamity from reoccurring if the time is rewound, as there was no way to test the process. The game ends, either way, showing images of the characters (with the inclusion of Zulf if the player chose to rescue him) flying away or of their lives before the Calamity along with the credits. In the New Game+ mode, which is unlocked after beating the game once, it is hinted that restoring the world did not prevent the Calamity.
Bastion is an action RPG with a level structure that emphasizes fast paced and frantic gameplay. The Kid moves through fantasy-themed environments that form up underneath his feet as he moves thorough each level. In order to progress, the Kid must defeat enemies using a variety of melee and ranged weaponry while collecting items and leveling up his attributes with experience points along the way. There is a currency in Bastion known as fragments, or pieces of the Old World. They are found laying about in the different environments and are dropped by enemies upon defeat. Between levels, the Kid visits the Bastion, where he can use the fragments he has acquired to purchase weapon upgrades and spirits. These spirits alter and enhance the Kid's abilities in a number of different ways. Depending on the level of the character, players can "equip" more spirits and therefore give themselves a greater advantage in battle.
The game incorporates a unique feature called 'dynamic narration'. Rucks, the strange old man (voiced by Logan Cunningham), serves as the game's narrator. As well as delivering story exposition, Rucks' narration will change based on the player's actions and style of play - for example, he might remark upon the player's affinity for a certain weapon if said weapon is used frequently during battle, or he might comment on an enemy that the player is about to fight.
Aside from the main locations that the player visits throughout the progression of the main story, there are also optional challenge levels for each weapon. Referred to as Proving Grounds, these areas test the player's ability to use each weapon efficiently. The player is also able to participate in three different arenas that provide additional lore for the game's characters while adding a competitive nature to the game through online leaderboards.
The Kid has access to buildings in the Bastion that can drastically alter the way game is played such as: weapon/spirit load out, weapon upgrades, and enemy difficulty.
- Arsenal: The Kid comes here to swap his weapons and his Secret Skill.
- Forge: The Kid can upgrade his weapons here using materials he finds or buys.
- Lost-and-Found: The general store that the Kid can buy materials, mementos, and Spirits with fragments (money).
- Memorial: A place that honors the citizens of Caelondia. The Memorial contains challenges for the Kid to complete and award fragments upon completion.
- Shrine: The place where the Kid can invoke the gods and make the game harder in a number of different ways.
- Distillery: The Kid can choose which Spirits he is using here.
Some of the above buildings can be found in levels and used there. Typically, an Arsenal will soon show up after the player discovers a new weapon so they can swap it out if they dislike it.
Later in the game, the player has the opportunity to upgrade each one of the buildings at the Bastion. Upgrades grant additional features or items for the upgraded building.
- Arsenal upgrade: Trapper Snare secret skill unlocked.
- Forge upgrade: Two additional tiers of weapon upgrades become available for The Kid to make his weapons even better.
- Lost-and-Found upgrade: More items available for purchase unlocked.
- Memorial upgrade: More vigils become unlocked for The Kid to achieve.
- Shrine upgrade: Additional idols become unlocked.
- Distillery upgrade: Several spirits unlocked for The Kid to increase the variety of passive skills available to him.
The Kid meets three characters during his adventure, including the narrator of the game.
The main character of Bastion. The Kid never got to know his father, and spent his early life living with his mother. To support the two of them, he worked at The Rippling Walls -- Caelondia's primary defensive line -- being sure to send his earnings back home. One day, after his work term ended and he returned home, he found his mother dead and his hard-earned money stolen. He became the first person in history to return to the Rippling Walls for a second term. He wakes up some time after the Calamity.
The Kid's "Who Knows Where" level is available by using the smoking pipe acquired after a few cores have been gained.
Rucks (The Narrator)
The narrator of Bastion, voiced by Logan Cunningham. Rucks is the first character that the Kid meets, although he is only referred to as The Stranger until the two of them officially introduce themselves. Rucks knows a lot about the Bastion and the Calamity, and throughout the game he fills in the history of Caelondia, the Calamity, and the history between the Caelondians and the Ura. He also knows the back-stories for the other two characters, Zulf and Zia, and tells them during the Kid's trips to Who Knows Where.
Zia (The Singer)
Zia is special in that she is a Ura who was actually born in Caelondia. Her parents were allowed to live in Caelondia as long as they never returned to the Tazal Terminals. She never knew her mother for she died due to birth complications. Her father worked for the city Mancers. Zia began playing music and singing to pass the time, and became quite skilled at it.
Zia is found in Prosper Bluffs, singing a song. Her song can be played in the Bastion once the player acquires the gramophone.
Zia's "Who Knows Where" level is available not long after she arrives in the Bastion through a cooking pot.
Zulf (The Survivor)
Zulf is a Ura who was sent to Caelondia to spread peace. Zulf survived the Calamity and is found by the Kid in the center of The Hanging Gardens, who welcomes him into the Bastion. Zulf befriends the survivors, but things eventually go sour. Zulf learns from an old diary the truth about the Calamity. In his ensuing rage, he damages the Bastion and flees. By the time the Kid successfully restores the Bastion, Zulf has already rallied the remaining Ura to rebel against the Bastion and the survivors. They don't realize that the Bastion has the potential to undo the destruction.
Zulf's "Who Knows Where" level is available late in the game through a bedroll that Rucks finds.
New weapons are found as the player progresses through the game's main story. The Kid can also equip one special attack, called a Secret Skill, which is used by pressing the right trigger. These attacks are usually weapon specific and drain a single Black Tonic on use. Players can find additional Secret Skills by completing weapon challenges with high scores, or purchasing them from the Lost-and-Found.
|Weapon Name||Description||Related Secret Skills|
|Powerful long range weapon. Can be fired from the hip but will be less accurate.|
|Ranged weapon that is more powerful when the bowstring is drawn all the way back.|
|Melee weapon good for attack enemies at medium range. It can also be thrown.|
|The first melee weapon in the game. Well balanced and good for just about any situation.|
|Extremely powerful rocket launcher that also does area of effect damage.|
|Dual handguns that can fire as fast as the player can pull the trigger.|
|Rapid-fire weapon that reloads automatically.|
|A flamethrower that can only fire for a few seconds before having to cool down.|
|A mortar that causes damage over a wide area.|
|A shotgun-like weapon that has lots of spread.|
|The fastest melee weapon in the game. The Kid's movement is slowed while swinging but it can be thrown as a long range attack.|
Spirits are items the player can equip that grant specific in-game bonuses. Although the Kid can initially equip only one spirit, new spirit slots unlock with each level-up with a maximum of 10 slots. Spirits can be switched at any time by visiting the Distillery.
|Spirit Name||Description||Note/Side Effect|
|+10% Critical Hit Chance||Only active at full health|
|Absorb Stray Fragments||None|
|+100% Critical Hit Chance||Only active when health is below 33%|
|Reduced Damage From Falling, +200% Damage By Falling On Foes||None|
|+100% Damage When Counter-Blocking With The Bullhead Shield||None|
|Gain Some Health By Counter-Blocking With The Bullhead Shield||None|
|+33% Speed While Defending||None|
|+25% Damage Using Secret Skills||None|
|+5% Chance To Turn Zealous After Defeating A Foe (Zealous Gives Player +200% Damage For 3 Seconds)||None|
|Gain Some Health By Striking Foes||-66% Health Tonic Potency|
|+10% Critical Hit Chance||-10 Max Health|
|+25% Damage||-1 Chance To Carry On If Defeated|
|+10 Max Health||None|
|+1 Chance To Carry On If Defeated, Damage Surrounding Foes If Defeated||None|
|Health Tonics Fully Restore Health, +2 Health Tonic Capacity||None|
|+2 Black Tonic Capacity||None|
|+15% Damage Resistance||None|
|Automatically Retaliate When Injured||None|
|Survive An Attack That Would Have Brought Defeat||None|
Idols to each of Caelondia's deities may be activated at the Shrine. Activating an idol increases the rewards the Kid receives for defeating enemies; however, each idol also makes enemies more difficult to defeat. This allows for a high level of user customization of the game's difficulty. Idols that are turned on will remain on for both the story and Who Knows Where arenas. The online leaderboards for Who Knows Where do not track scores, but rather the Idols that a player had on when they completed all 20 waves.
|Hense (Goddess of Pain and Pleasure)||Foes are more ferocious|
|Acobi (Goddess of Oath and Abandon)||Foes drop a live grenade when defeated|
|Lemaign (God of Hope and Despair)||Foes' attacks slow down the player|
|Pyth (God of Commotion and Order)||Foes are quicker, both with movement and attacks|
|Jevel (God of Health and Atrophy)||Foes are more resilient|
|Yudrig (God of Impulse and Bravery)||Foes cause damage on contact|
|Roathus (God of Thirst and Plenty)||Foes never drop Health Tonics or Black Tonics|
|Micia (Goddess of Loss and Longing)||Foes have regenerating health|
|Olak (God of Chance and Whim)||Foes occasionally turn to air, making them invulnerable to attacks for a short period of time|
|Garmuth (God of Purpose and Folly)||Foes are more capable of deflecting attacks|
Giant Bomb's "Building the Bastion" series of videos give substantial insight into the development process of Bastion. The first video can be seen at the start of The Whiskey Media Happy Hour 10/29/10 and the subsequent videos can be seen in Bastion's video section.
Supergiant Games started development of Bastion in August of 2009 whilst Amir Rao, Greg Kasavin and Gavin Simon were working at EALA. They had previously worked on Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 and decided to make a small game together.
The earliest version was an isometric action game where a boy wakes up and sees everyone from his village dead or dying. The monsters from this build were scanned from the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual and the collectibles were Rupees from the Zelda series. The world of this early build was very grim. Most of the music from this build was made by Darren Korb, and still appears in the finished game.
Rao, Kasavin, and Simon showed off the early build at GDC, but were told that it wasn't ready to be shown yet. After receiving this feedback, the team hired Jen Zee to create the game's artwork. The debut trailer for Bastion was released on August 31st, 2010 and was picked up by many gaming sites. By September 1st, everyone on the team had left their jobs at EA to start working on Bastion full-time.
After showing the game at PAX for the first time, Supergiant continued working on the game in a house in San Jose. They used a custom-built editor made by Simon to create and use the assets in game. The voice work for the narration was performed by Logan Cunningham and recorded by Darren Korb. The recording was done in closets in Darren's apartment in New York and a closet in the house of Supergiant Games in San Jose.
Some assets did not make it into the final game. Examples were a Castlevania-style Bullwhip and the moose-like creatures Meese. Over the course of development, the team's electricity bills shot up to almost $600 a month as they had computers and other devices running constantly.
The game came to the end of the alpha stage in February 2011. In April 2011, the team submitted the game to Microsoft for technical certification requirements. Supergiant had to ensure Bastion could run off of a memory stick, and that the player could use a Guitar Hero controller to start the game. Following its certification, Bastion received an E10+ rating from the ESRB in the U.S. for animated blood, fantasy violence, and alcohol use.
Bastion was finished and ready for release on Xbox Live after 20 months of work, and was released on July 20th, 2011 as part of Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion. A PC version released on Steam a month later on August 16th, 2011. As of December 8, 2011, the game also became available through Google Chrome.
PC System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7
- Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
- RAM Memory: 2 GB
- Hard Disk Space: 1.6 GB
- Video Card: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (with pixel shader model 2.0)
- DirectX®: 9.0c
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Mac System Requirements
On April 26th, 2012, Bastion was released on the Mac App Store, and is now also available for Mac on Steam via SteamPlay.
- Operating System: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
- Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
- RAM Memory: 2 GB
- Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB
- Video Card: 256 MB OpenGL 2.0 compatible graphics card
On August 5th the original score for Bastion was released in both a digital and a limited edition CD version. Composed by Darren Korb, it includes the game's original 21 tracks, along with two new bonus tracks, and the CD cover features Jen Zee's very own artwork.
The soundtrack is available for purchase at the game's official website.
|Track #||Song Title||Running Time|
|01||Get Used to it||00.54|
|02||A Proper Story||01.09|
|03||In Case of Trouble||02.56|
|04||Bynn the Breaker||04.09|
|05||The Sole Regret||02.27|
|09||Faith of Jevel||01.31|
|10||Mine, Windbag, Mine||03.06|
|12||Build that Wall (Zia's Theme)||02.45|
|13||Spike In a Rail||02.54|
|14||What's Left Undone||00.22|
|16||The Mancer's Dilemma||02.01|
|17||Mother, I'm Here (Zulf's Theme)||02.16|
|19||The Bottom Feeders||04.44|
|20||From Wharf to Wilds||01.21|
|21||Setting Sail, Coming Home (End Theme)||02.54|
|22||The Pantheon (Ain't Gonna Catch You)||02.27|