|Dust: An Elysian Tail|
Cover art for the Xbox Live Arcade
|Title||Dust: An Elysian Tail|
Xbox 360 (XBLA)
This article contains plot details or the story in general. You have been warned.
Dust: An Elysian Tail is a action RPG video game released on August 15, 2012 by Humble Hearts – essentially the pen name of game designer Dean Dodrill. It has attracted a great deal of attention on sites such as Kotaku and Joystiq due to Dust: AET being a project almost completely designed by a one-man team, yet maintaining a level of graphic quality usually notable to teams with dozens of personnel.
The game was originally targeted for the Xbox 360 Indie Games channel, but upon winning the 2009 Microsoft Dream.Build.Play Challenge, it was awarded a contract for an Xbox Live Arcade release. Dust: An Elysian Tail was originally expected to be released in late 2011, but was later delayed until 2012. Dust released for PC in 2013 via the Steam Store. Later, in 2014, Dean Dodrill released Dust: An Elysian Tail for the Playstation 4, on October 7th, 2014 in North America, as a free title for Playstation Plus subscribers, and the following day in Europe. On June 2019, LimitedRun posted an E3 trailer of Dust coming out on the Nintendo Switch, which released in September 2019, with a Physical Version being made
Dust wakes up in The Glade. A few seconds later the flying sword Ahrah and Fidget come flying to Dust. Fidget is the guardian of Ahrah. Fidget tries to catch Ahrah until the sword comes to Dust, where he settles in the hands of Dust. Unaware of who he is or how he got to The Glade, Ahrah tells Dust he can find answers in the village to the west. Fidget tags along, to keep an eye on the sword and return it to her clan whenever Dust finishes with it.
Chapter 1: Destiny
After arriving at Aurora Village, Dust speaks to a few villagers to see if he can learn anything about himself. It soon comes apparent that the villagers don't know much about him, but they need his help to fight off the monsters attacking Aurora. The mayor asks Dust to take out the creature leading the monsters in their attacks against Aurora. Dusts agrees to help and heads to Denham Village through Abadis Forest, where he is told the creature is residing. He finds a Moonblood, who calls himself Fuse, destroying Denham who tells Dust that the monsters are his "children" and is seeking vengeance for what was done to his people. Fuse attacks Dust, and Dust beats him relatively quickly. While Fuse is dying, he tells Dust that people like him murdered all his friends and family. Dusts returns Aurora feeling conflicted. The Mayor thanks Dust for all he has done.
Chapter 2: Darkness
Dust asks the mayor about several things: Who, or what are the Moonbloods, Who is General Gaius, and what is he doing. The mayor says he does not know much about General Gaius, other than he is leading a war against the Moonbloods. The mayor then suggest he should talk to Ginger about the Moonbloods. Ginger at first is startled that Dust would kill Fuse, but eventually comes to terms with the act. She reveals that her family was killed while giving Moonbloods supplies, and Fuse was there when the attack started. After talking some more, Ginger says she is going north, as all the streams are drying up. As she says this monsters burst out of the ground, which are promptly slain. Dust then stays behind to discover where the monsters came from, and Ginger agrees saying they will meet up at Roan's Pass, at the foot of the Blackmoor Mountians. As Dust explores the caves beneath Aurora Village, he finds a small child wondering around. He eventually follows this child to his village called Mudpot. Dust is treated with hostility, but after offering to help Bopo's dad, Dust is treated as a friend. Dust's task was to talk to Lady Tethys, who controlled the water in the land. After confronting Lady Tethys, she admits to holding back the waters in an attempt to stop General Gaius's campaign. Even after Dust says that innocent lives are being lost, The Lady remains resolute in her descision, and attacks Dust. After a struggle Ahrah says that the darkness is leaving her, and Lady Tethys returns the waters to the land, and suggest they head to the Sorrowing Meadows and search for Baron Kane. Dust, Fidget, and Ahrah race back to Mudpot where, despite their best efforts, Popop dies. After the funeral, Ahrah lightly suggests they head to the Sorrowing Meadows to search for the Baron.
Chapter 3: Love
Entering the Sorrowing Meadow, Dust notices that Roan Pass (the path to the Blackmoor Mountains) is blocked by a red energy barrier. Passing the barrier Dust meets up with Avgustin and learns that Cora who wondered off into the meadow, thus making Dust look for Cora first then look for Kane. Meeting Cora at the center of the meadow Dust discusses his quest of speaking to the owner of the land; with this said Cora mentions the way to speak with him by gathering four keepsakes in four different mansions scattered across the land. Cora then gives Dust a green resonance gem to access the Bardel mansion just to below the map, getting inside the mansion Dust is confronted by a demon who is unhittable by Ahrah. Reaching the end of the mansion Dust recieves the Iron Grip ability which allows him to climb vines throughout Falana. Going back to the where Cora is found Dust is suppose to go to the mansions in this order (by the servants letters): Dirmo, Nanoth, and Samachua. Once Dust gathered the four keepsakes and dodge the demon, Dust senses that the keepsakes were once the demons possessions and can be used against it but Dust let Cora explain if the player doesn't get it by then. Cora explains that the keepsakes were from her husband Kane who turned into a demon that was hunting Dust in the mansions, Cora wanted to put things right and free Kane from his rage over his wrongful deeds in the past. Ahrah tells Dust that the keepsakes would turn his rage into regret that would remove the invincibilty, along with keep attacking it till the connect between demon and Kane can be separated and Ahrah can cast the demon from where it came. Dust is then Confronted by Kane when the cutscene ends, Dust then kneels and gives Kane his keepsakes removing his invinciblity. Once Dust defeats the demon, Kane has a conversation to Cora about his wrong doings in the past and didn't want for Cora to leave him. Kane then thanks Dust for his deed of defeating the demon that controlled him and rewards him about how to find Gaius by finding the Moonbloods which nobody knows but the survivor of Zeplich village (Ginger). Kane suggest to find Ginger in order to find the Moonbloods and stop Gaius's campaign, Fidget then askes about the barrier that blocked Roans Pass, Kane relieves them by telling that the demon casted it and with the demons defeat the barrier should have shattered. Kane also tells Dust that the demon wanted to consume the two souls Dust has, Dust questions Kane about his gift that Ahrah delays as the perfect place to reveal the truth wasn't at the Meadows. Dust then wishes both Cora and Kane luck to their next life and leaves the meadow to Roan Pass or to the shopkeep (Sereth) to tell about how he sees Kane as one of the greatest traitors in Falana. Reaching Roan Pass Avgustin says his waiting around causes the barrier to shatter, Dust thanks Avgustin Sarcasticly and is told that the old road to the top of the mountain was blocked off and that Dust has no choice but to climb the mountain. Dust enters the cave which takes him to the foot of the Blackmoor mountains.
Chapter 4: Revelation
Getting out of the tunnel Dust finds himself at the foot of the blackmoor mountains that is filled with beauty, hostile enemies, and discomfort about meeting Ginger. Heading up the mountain the cliff grow higher and Fidget suggestes to search for something to help Dust reach the heights. Searching around Dust finds the skill double jump being guarded by a frite who must be defeated before obtaining the skill. Defeating the frite Dust obtains the double jump ability and is able to continue to climb the mountains, but until a heavily snowed cliff blocks Dust's ability to double jump. Fidget and Dust have a conversation about how an avalanche is the only way to clear the snow off the mountain and continue to climb the mountain. Dust continues his quest by breaking the pillars to cause tremors to the mountain, Fidget then suggestes to find more pillars as one wasn't enough to cause an avalanche. Dust suggestes that Fidget is getting lapses in her judgement and is getting sick from the cold, with that said Fidget tries to resist Dust's advice and continue onwards. Avoiding falling icicles, packs of wolves, and floor spikes, Dust continues his way into the cave breaking pillars as Fidget continues to get sicker. Reaching one pillar that is alloyed and unbreakable by sword a group of three frites appear and fight Dust. Defeating the group of frites their voices break the pillar and allows Dust to break the final pillar that causes the avalanche. Dust continues his way up the mountain avoiding avalanches,environmental hazards and defeating enemies all together. Once Dust reaches the top of the mountain his memory comes back reminding him about Zeplich village and the road leading to it not being blocked off by rocks. As Dust approaches the village Fidget asks if the village was the moonbloods but Dust says otherwise and wants to hurry up the road. Reaching the playground Gaius's Soldiers stop him and call Dust the lengendary assasin "Cassius", Dust is angered about the Soldiers presence as the Soldiers deny Dust being Cassius and attack Dust. After Dust defeats the Soldiers he tells Jin's side of the story that he didn't want any of the violence that Gaius's army brought to the village, with this said Fidget asks Dust about him being Cassius which isn't his name. Heading into the village Fidget makes an observation that the village was destroyed for sometime, Dust then fills in the gap about what happen to the village how it was attacked one year ago, how he helped assasinate everyone in the village but somehow that the events felt it has been over a year ago. Dust approaches Ginger's house and Ahrah tells him that the answer lies within the house, once Dust approaches the bedroom that Ginger once slept in Dust remember everything that happened. Dust talks in Jin's voice that he was going after Cassius, which confuses Fidget as Dust seems to have two personalities that don't go together. Dust then questions how he could be a victim of the attack and help destroy it as well, as soon as he questions himself the Elder moonblood and Ginger appear right behind Dust. Elder Gray eyes then answers Dust's questions about how he is the Mithrarian that was created by both the life thread and the moonbloods to help turn the tide of war by using the event that happened one year ago. With Cassius and Jin fighting each other and loosing the duel their souls were used to create Dust to suit the needs of being incorruptible and willing to defeat an entire army. Dust learns about how Ahrah was sent to guide Dust and maintain the balance the souls within him were not overpowering each other, how Fuse was once a soldier in the village and how he got disfigured after the attack and became corrupt in killing all warmblooded kin including Gaius. Elder Moonblood also informs that he got rid of the memories of both Cassius and Jin so that they won't distract him from fulfilling all his tasks from saving Aurora, Mudpot, Kane from his demon, and arriving to Zeplich to help finish the war. Ginger also learns that her brother was killed by Cassius and that Dust shares his soul which Ginger questions Dust who doesn't know. After answering all of Dust's questions Elder Gray Eyes asks Dust to join them at the Everdawn basin where their last stronghold is located. Fidget then is nervous about going to a place so unstable and begins to resist going over there, She also resist going with Dust as she thinks that Dust is either: Cassius, Jin, or Dust. Questioning Dust, Dust couldn't answer who he was and understands that he can't ask Fidget to continue following him but Ahrah turns Fidgets doubt by reminder her about all the actions that Dust has done. Fidget stills has her doubt in Dust until Dust admits that he cannot do his quest without her which gets Fidget to join him. Once all their questions been answered Elder Grey Eyes ask Dust to find them at the basin and leaves Dust and Fidget. Once Dust exits the village a cutscene appears where Gaius is informed about how "Cassius" became a traitor by killing Gaius's soldiers but Gaius declines Cassius being a traitor and assures his commander that he can bring Cassius back on his side.
Chapter 5: Legend
Dust arrives at the Everdawn Basin, where the last remaining moonblood camp is located. Upon his arrival, Dust is met and welcomed by a moonblood warrior. Once Dust enters the camp, Elder Gray Eyes tells him that there are a few tasks needed to be done before making the assault against Gaius. One task is to help Sanjin start the generators to hold off Gaius's attack and tend to the wounded; the other task is to find a scout Kier who hasn't checked in with his findings. During this conversation the player can also learn about the moonblood technology, how Gaius found the camp, who is the merchant that keeps following them, and the doubt of having little soldiers to support Dust. Dust can also talk to Ginger about Jin and about himself as well. After speak with the Elder Dust talks to Sanjin who is busy prepairing for war and hasn't had the chance to fix the generators below, with this said Dust agrees to fix the generators. After starting up the generators Dust heads back to Sanjin to report about the generators being able to work again, Sajin informs Dust that with the generators the moonblood would be able to hold off their camp against General Gaius's attack. After helping Sanjin Dust heads east to check on Kier the scout that hasn't checked in, before arriving to the part of the map Fidget informs Dust of footsteps nearby. Reaching the resonance gate Dust finds Kier dead, and is confronted by Cloaked Assassins. Fighting his way back Dust informs Elder Gray Eyes about Kier's death and the Generators being operational again, Elder Gray Eyes then informs Dust that the attack has begun and that he is suppose to lead the moonbloods into battle. Elder Gray Eyes then says his final good bye and that he was honored to stood by him no matter what happens in the battle. Dust recieves a yellow Resonance gem in order to exit the camp and meet up with the moonblood warriors who have stopped just outside of the Resonance gate. Dust may speak with Sereth for a disscussion about how he was following him the whole time, Dust then thanks Sereth for his help and opens shop. Heading to the east a moonblood soldier then informs Dust that the exit is blocked by an alloyed pillar, Dust then volunteer's to seek a way to open the path once more. Dust heads underground and finds boosted jump that allows him to exit the underground and head upwards to a path that leads him to the other side of the pillar. On the other side Dust is attacked by more cloaked assasins and uses the fruit bomb to destroy the alloyed enforced pillar, allowing the moonblood's to continue the assualt. Entering the next map a cutscene shows the battlefield where Gaius's forces compose of: Soldiers, wolves, Cloaked Assassins, Bombers and Kush. Right before the cannon fire a moonblood informs Dust if he has business else where nows the time to do it as there is no turning back (even though this is false). Fighting his way through the basin Dust is finally stopped by cannon fire that shells the battlefield making the land unsurvivable unless Dust can flank the cannons. Dust then heads underground to stop the cannons and is confronted heavely by Gaius's forces. Destroying the first four cannons Dust is hit again with heavier forces and constant Bombers who show up in midbattle. Destroying the final cannon the moonblood's inform Dust about Gaius being close and says his pride about fighting by his side. Once fighting through the last two battles filled heavily by Gaius's forces Dust finds himself next to sereth at the bottom of the volcano. From this point is the last time to buy supplies for the fight against Gaius, climbing his way up the vines a final save point is left. Passing the save point Dust approaches Gaius and engages in a conversation about Gaius's actions and Cassius previous actions. Gaius attempts to convince Dust (that he is Cassius) to turn sides but Dust is convinced by Fidget and Ahrah that he is not Cassius. Dust then comes to his senses and accepts his identity as Dust not Jin or Cassius, Dust then threatens Gaius to come peacefully or fight. (please refer to the Gaius page for the fight). Through three continous battles Gaius questions Dust as if he was Cassius who turned rogue, this discussion suggest that Gaius hasn't accepted Cassius's Death and thinks he has a chance to befriend Cassius again. At the final battle Dust defeats Gaius and is knocked off his feet by a explosion in the background. The final scene has Dust (without Ahrah, Fidget and his satget) crawling to help Gaius who is on the verge of falling off into the lava. Once Dust reaches Gaius a cutscene appears of Gaius realizing that Dust isn't Cassius but part of him that is left from his death, Gaius then accepts Cassius's death and tells Dust to cherish life. Then Gaius pushes off Dust's arm and falls into the volcano, Dust tries to reach for Gaius but is out of his reach. Dust then rolls over to find Ginger at the top of the volcano telling Fidget where Dust is. Dust then tells Fidget to leave him as he is to damage to escape, Dust then thanks Fidget for her aid and Fidget says her final goodbye to Dust. Fidget then flies out of the volcano and shows Ginger in tears seeing Dust be consumed by lava. Ginger then covers her face from Dust's Death, another scene appears with Ahrah floating aroung in the dark losing all five symbol's light on the side (indicating Dust's death and ahrah heading back to sleep). The next scene composes of Elder speaking with the Moonblood warriors about Dust's sacrifice freeing them from the terror of Gaius's forces, Ginger and Fidget in the back hearing Elder's speech and showing sadness in Dust's Sacrifice. Near the end of the speech Elder mentions that Dust may have appeared to have fallen that his force for good isn't easily stopped. During this part of the speech Ginger and Fidget notices a cyan smoke rising out of the cracks of the basin, and Ahrah following the smoke deeper into the basin. Fidget then heads off to follow the smoke and Ginger asks the question "Dust?", giving the player an indication of a sequel to come, and confirming that Dust is still alive.
Dust: An Elysian Tail received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic getting a metascore of 83/100 on Xbox 360, 85/100 on PC, 79/100 on PS4, and 84/100 on Nintendo Switch. It also received "universal acclaim" reviews on iOS holding a metascore of 91/100.
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- "Microsoft Announces Dream.Build.Play 2011 For Indies". GameDaily. 2011-03-01. http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/news/microsoft-announces-dreambuildplay-2011-for-indies/. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Rose, Mike (2011-01-07). "In-Depth: 10 Indie Games To Watch Out For In 2011". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/32195/. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Dust: An Elysian Tail". IGN Entertainment. http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/077/077719.html. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- Metascore for Dust: An Elysian Tail on Xbox 360Metacritic, Retrieved May 15, 2020
- Metascore for Dust: An Elysian Tail on PCMetacritic, Retrieved May 15, 2020
- Metascore for Dust: An Elysian Tail on PS4Metacritic, Retrieved May 15, 2020
- Metascore for Dust: An Elysian Tail on Nintendo SwitchMetacritic, Retrieved May 15, 2020
- Metascore for Dust: An Elysian Tail on iOSMetacritic, Retrieved May 15, 2020