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Ruby Gloom: Within the dark

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Also known as Ruby Gloom 3DS, Ruby Gloom: the game or Ruby Gloom 1, is an action platform game that can be downloadable on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. It is based on the Ruby Gloom franchise created by Mighty Fine, specifically the Nelvana TV show. The game keeps the traditional "gloomy" artstyle and various known elements along with some original characters and places.

Avaliable in four languages that the system will automatically recognize depending on which one you chose for the 3DS; they can still be changed, though. The languages are: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, it's also to feature the original voice talents of Sarah Gadon (English) and Dora Luz Moreno (Spanish).

Story

The game's main storyline is a little bit darker in comparison to the television series, though the humor is as light as ever. It is also quite simple in comparison to its following installments: Ruby and her friends encounter five mysterious gems and a strange mask deep within their manor. Skull boy, Iris, Misery, Frank & Len and Ruby they take one each but decide to leave the mask alone since it gives them a nasty vibe.

Unfortunately Booboo, in an attempt to improve his scare tactics, takes it and puts it on. It turns out that it's possesed by an evil spirit called Orfryte that takes control of him and kidnaps all of Ruby's friends, apparently thinking that they have come to stop it. The evil being also tries to destroy their gems, as they seem to hold a secret that makes the wrathful wraith worry. Since Orfryte is unable to even take them off Ruby's friends, let alone destroy them, it decides to keep them in captivity and find the one that bears the last gem.

Meanwhile, Ruby was out shopping when suddenly a benevolent spirit called Zeuter emerges from her gem and explains the situation: The key to rescuing each one of her friends lies in the mysterious treasures they hold and, more importantly, the bond that they share.

Characters

  • Ruby gloom
    Ruby Gloom: The gloomy-looking girl that's always cheering up her friends and looking at the bright side of everything and everyone (even if someone's bright side is its dark side) and more than often, described as the happiest girl on the planet. Besides her characteristic spirit now she's got another spirit helping her and thanks to him she can jump higher than usual, run faster than usual, and even channel her possitive energy in "heart blasts" which, although short ranged, pack quite a punch; you could say it's her punch-attack. She fills up positively even when she's losing: The less energy she has, the more powerful her attacks are. She's the only character who's granted access to the Darkdawn Zone, which will be explained later.
    Iris2
  • Iris: The boldest and most energetic cyclops gal you've ever met, there's nothing she likes least than sitting still, so being kept in captivity has certainly been a nightmare for her. She is the quickest character in the group and can also jump the highest with the aid of her springs and by landing on her foes she can put a hurting on them.  Watch out in terrains that require traction for even when walking, she's fast. Or, you can grab life by the horns and just speedrun through the whole stage, just like she surely would.



  • Skull boy
    Skull Boy: His name says it all... almost. He has no recollection of who his ancestors, or even his family is. But he's one to never stop putting his talents to the test to find out who he really is. During this game, he's convinced to be the descendant of a long line of archaeologists, having been able to find five strange gems and a fearsome mask. Now, armed with a whip which he uses to tie and send enemies spinning to one another, he's ready to help Ruby and his friends to get out of the jam he helped them get into.



  • Desgracia3
    Misery: The bad luck banshee is the slowest character of the group but she has twice the health of everyone else. The reason is simple: She is able to perform a disaster strike, (the attack animation depends on the stage, and can be from a tornado to an earthquake or even a rain of hippos) which drains a little of her energy but is guaranteed to take out all of the weak enemies on the screen. If the enemy is strong, this will still inflict heavy damage and she can still perform a combo of attacks with her cane if you don't want to sacrifice energy.



  • Frank&len
    Frank & Len: Always ready to rock! These guys don't play music more than they breathe and live it. Usually Frank is the voice of reason, whereas Len's got the passion, though he usually needs of Frank's help to get it together. They can use their guitar to fire either three ranged sonicbooms spread in a fan trayectory, or a short ranged powerful one.




Controls

Circle pad: Move, look up and crouch

Cross pad: Alternative of Circle pad

B button: Jump

Y button: Attack/Fire weapon

A button: Special attack

X button: Bring out the menu

R button: Walk (or Run if "Walk" is set on default at the menu)

L button: Crouch (same as moving down the circle pad)

Touch screen: Quickly changes character (can also be done on the menu)

Start: Pauses the game

Select: Not used, just to reset the game if pressed along with start, L and R.

Gameplay

Ruby Gloom: Within the Dark is an action platformer where your main objective is to reach the right end of the stage and beat the BOSS to clear a level. Ruby is the only character you will be able to play in the beginning, but when you recover a gem you will be able to switch to the character the gem has the closest bonds with, and Ruby will take his or her place in captivity. Don't worry, the gems stay with the character that just used them, which means Ruby can be switched back whenever as well. There are some areas that have to be found to gain access to, there are also various collectibles and power-ups along the way which serve as health recovery, currency, or to unlock special scenes like those seen on the show and even brand new ones!

Ruby can gain access to special doors that lead to the Darkdawn zone, which is esentially a room that sorta looks like the level you're playing, except it's a monochromatic version of it (think of the opening sequence). The upper screen has the background in black and the characters and objects are white, whereas the bottom screen has the background white and the objects and characters black, the player will be controlling two Rubys at the same time and need to keep an eye on both screens. Here Ruby must collect all icons and avoid the enemies for a door to appear, if one of the Rubys gets stuck, the player can press X twice to switch the Rubys to what would be their position in the other screen, so be careful not to switch into a wall or an enemy or you will lose the challenge; a hint to where they will teleport is shown when you press X once, so if you want to cancel, press any other button. Once she heads in the door, she will clear the trial and receive a bronze, silver or gold medal, depending on how many items you collected. You will receive up to three prizes depending on the medal received, so always try to go for the gold one! When you clear, lose or press start and pick "abort challenge" the challenge, you'll go back to the normal level and the door will shut. 

Levels and plot

Ruby and her friends encounter five mysterious gems and a mask which they decide to leave alone. Booboo inadvertenly wears it and is possesed by an evil spirit from ages past. He goes on a wild chase to find Ruby's friends, who now each one has in his or her posession one of the five gems that could hold the key to imprison him once again.

1.- Gloomsville Boolevard

Ruby was out shopping for supplies for the mansion when the voice of a spirit called Zeuter informes her that her friends were in danger! Then he gives her enhanced abilities to run faster, jump higher and shoot skullhearts. He also warned her that one of her friends was now posessed by Orfryte, an evil spirit, and that she should be careful because if it recovers all of its power it could turn into a major threat, not only for her friends but to all of Gloomsville.

This is a tutorial level, the moves are put into practice according to what the stage needs with just a few hazards and really little chance of losing a life.

BOSS: Orfryte

He can spew purple flames and attack with its ghosty tail and claws, it turns out to be more powerful than Ruby can handle, so Zeuter appears and intervenes in the battle, weakening the foe and enabling Ruby to win the fight. The heroine has to avoid its now small embers and jump when it charges, she does so and defeats the evil spirit but she doesn't finish the battle because she finds out it is indeed possesing one of her friends, the ghost Booboo, Zeuter tells her that they will find another way of dealing with it later. For now, they let Orfryte go in its weakened and beaten-up state.

Ruby's pad

Back at her home she finds her friends trapped in floating dark energy cells. She tries helplessly to get them out. But ends up calling for Zeuter's help again.

2.- Kalma cliffs

Zeuter asks Ruby to visit the Gloomy Shrine at the top of the Kalma cliffs, a dangerous area filled with tricky footwork and bottomless pits, even some of Orfryte's monstrous servants are roaming the area to stop Ruby from causing more problems to their master. This will be her first real trial in her quest, here she must put into practice the basic abilities; one false step and things may turn ugly. The first Darkdawn zone portal is found here too. Once Ruby reaches the shrine, the trial is not over yet...

BOSS: Silius

This runic door has a face that shoots in three different ways: It shoots laser from its eyes which Ruby can easily dodge by not jumping, it may also spew rocks that Ruby must jump over. Finally when half of its energy is gone, it will roar and shoot flames that will rain down at the protagonist's exact spot. Keep moving Ruby for a while to avoid this. To defeat it, simply jump and shoot at its face trying not get hit by the lasers in the process.

Gloom Shrine

The ancient Gloomsville temple, here Zeuter manifests again and tells Ruby that he lost all of his energy in the battle with Orfryte but there is still a way to save her friends and get rid of the malevolent spirit: Each of the gems that her friends have is protected by one of the Five Spirits of Gloom that remain dormant in five stones all across Gloomsville. If one wearing a gem approaches a stone, the spirit will wake up and a link with the gem it protects will be formed. The only way to rescue all of Ruby's friends at once is to wake up all five spirits and use their powers to defeat and vanquish Orfryte without harming Booboo.

3.- Woods of Woe

The Mansion's nearby forest is crawled with batrats, green flooves, hosmooze and treanks. Ruby must deal with these annoyances for this place is where the Earth Shrine, the place the Earth Spirit is said to sleep, lies. This is a rather straightforward level with a portal to a relatively easy Darkdawn Zone stage.

Boss: Squirrk

This rabid purple grizzly squirrel will roll at Ruby and make vicious carnicorns fall, Ruby must get rid of them and strike it with bright blasts it while it's stunned. Ocassionally some recovery items might fall as well. When half at health, the fiend will climb one of the trees and make a huge acorn fall, from which several carnicorns will sprout. Get rid of them and be wary, Squirrk will fall afterwards. This will stun it so you have your chance to attack. After defeating it, it will spit out a purple carnicorn and it will be back to being a regular squirrel. Just defeat the purple carnicorn to finish the battle. Ruby suspects that this was Orfryte's plan and hurries to the shrine.

Earth Shrine

Upon entering, a beam of light comes out of Ruby's gem and frees the spirit of Earth, Wyrda. She will explain that Gloomsville is not a safe place anymore, a new foe, Duke Crulagar, has taken control and will not stop at anything to take control of Gloomsville. Still, she informs her that there is a great power within her and her friends that, channeled right, is able to get through anything. Since she represents trust, she is able to connect with one of her friends, Skull Boy, and she can now switch places with him.

To the player, this means that Skull Boy can now be selected anytime, anywhere by just tapping his icon in the 3DS bottom screen.

4.- Crimson Cavern

A cavern that, as it's name implies, is lit with a crimson tone as a result of the numerous molten rock pits that is filled with. These pits are dangerous and should be jumped over. Ruby and Skull Boy should also watch out for scaldrones, bubblobs, red flooves, stalktites, marrozoics, pyropteri and vides.

Boss: Spynonykus

Do not be intimidated by this ghostly dinosaur's size and features; it is really just a possesed spine from the triassic period, projecting the being that it once was. Safe for the flames it spits, the one thing that could damage you is its spine. You must destroy all of its vertebrae to beat it, Skull Boy makes the job easier with its whip; just grab a vertebra and throw one into another or simply use Ruby's bright blasts to finish off each one, though this method takes longer it is safer. The ectoplasmic raptor is beaten when its spinal cord is gone.

Fire Shrine

The gems of both Ruby and Skull Boy cast a black and a green beam of light, respectively, upon an ancient seal, causing it to break. The next spirit, Sitash, manifests and congratulates Ruby and Skull Boy for conquering the cavern and telling them that they, as spirits, had to go through various ordeals as well, but for her, challenge is part of the fun. Sitash is the spirit of generosity, which means she is able to create a bond with Iris' gem and call her when she is needed. Congratulations! Iris is playable when you clear Crimson Cavern.

5.- Mirage Marsh

The most romantic place in all Gloomsville... or at least it was. The water has become corrosive and this place will require precise jumps to avoid falling in the muck. While not lethal, it will gradually take energy away from you so you better get out as soon as you fall. On top of that, monsters (evil ones) have also invaded this zone, like draculic, eyediles, pobbles, dwarties, skeetishes and boggs; but there are also leebels that can give you a ride where there are no lily pads to hop across. Speaking of lily pads, you better watch out for the ones with lotus flowers as they may sink. Also, jump over Laffesias or they will munch on you, press the A button to get out if this happens. Needless to say, Iris is the best option since she can tackle long gaps, watch out for the traction though. A DarkDawn Zone portal lies within the marshes so keep an eye for it.

Boss: Bloatoad

This gargantuan toad sits in a giant lilypad and swallows the leebels that you stand on (with you on it, if this happens press the A button repeteadly to escape with less damage). Its croak can also scare off flies that he will proceed to eat, watch its tongue. Iris makes the first half  of this battle a joke since she can just multiple stomp its head, Ruby's blasts and tossing flies at it with Skull Boy works ine as well. Now, for the second phase, the amphibian will hop off the lilypad into the muck; this will send the corrosive stuff splashing so watch out. Also keep an eye when it sticks its head out, for it will lash its tongue at you. It may also hop back in the lilypad and into the marsh again. Your best option is to pounce it with Iris' springs when its head sticks out. Some more hits in phase two will deflate it and will fly away, right into the mouth of a giant Lafflesia. Use it as a platform to cross to the other side and enter the Wind Shrine.

Wind shrine

The spirit of loyalty, Fuusan, commends Ruby, Skull Boy and Iris after they release him, with the help of the their gems of course. He also warns them that they will need to rely on their teamwork in the future if they want to see through this dilemma and that they would also need their last friend. He bids farewell and forms a bond-bridge with Frank & Len so they can be playable too!

6.- Cape Kraken

The beautiful edge of Gloomsville

Ruby's pad

7.- Duke Crulagar's Castle

A-1 Gloomy plains

A-2 Iryee Jungle

B-1 Crystal Crag

B-2 Grimstone Volcano

C-1 Sormenta Sea

C-2 Boreal Fjord

D-1 Gloomsville Express

D-2 Aldabyss

FINAL Orfryte's Domain

Trivia

This is the first of four Ruby Gloom games for the Nintendo 3DS, it's got a simple plot and controls in comparison to the next ones in order to prepare the player for the more advanced games. The third and fourth installments are announced to be retail games.

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