The Last Alchemist shows us a reimagining of how modern science came to be
From obscurantism and religious persecution to becoming the foundation on which our knowledge of the world is built, that is the story Vile Monarch wants to tell.
There are certainly plenty of farm and simulation games out there, but few as curious, daring and with the backstory that The Last Alchemist will offer when it comes out Early Access on Steam early next year. During last Gamescom we had the pleasure of interviewing its creative director, William Besnard, to talk to us about his motivations and some curiosities within its gameplay, which you can see below.
In Vile Monach they want the adventure to be fun, yes, but they also want the story to make us reflect on the progress made by those who came before us. That's why it's important to frame where and when the adventure begins, which narrates the way from mysticism, alchemy and the Dark Ages to light, logic and science.
"During the period of the Thirty Years' War in Europe, alchemists began to be persecuted by the religious powers and kings of the time, and their practices and advancements put in danger. The player's goal will be to carry out those practices in a safe place and bring alchemy (as it becomes science) back to its glory".
That safe place will be specifically Switzerland, where in a mansion in the mountains we establish a base in an ancient observatory and collect the resources to build and power all sorts of instruments and machines thanks to the help of some curious beings, the Agari, intelligent mushroom-shaped beings that will help you in the mission. But they are very intelligent indeed, and their different vision of life will lead the alchemist to carry out new experiments and solve the alchemy puzzles, another one of the central elements of the game.
"The way we've treated alchemy and puzzles in the game is that all objects are made up of essences, which are like Tetris pieces that connect to each other, and with these pieces you can split them up or recombine them to create new ones to get new effects based on their type. You can create very harmful effects, but also very beneficial effects for other creatures and a lot of effects like accelerated growth and explosions. There's a lot to do."
As mentioned, The Last Alchemist will be available in early access via Steam from early 2023.