A downloadable game for Windows

This is a Touhou Fangame. Maribel Hearn is a girl with unusual experience with ghosts and supernatural beings. However, one night she meets a strange woman who turns her life upside down. In Cross The Boundaries, you will solve riddles while trying to stay alive, looking for an answer to what the strange woman desires.

Note: controls can be seen in the settings menu. 

Features:

  • Re-imagines characters in the franchise as monsters.
  • Interesting puzzles to solve.
  • Story deeper than it looks.

This is only the demo. The game is still in development. 

Edit: Special thanks to  东游鉴The GameGroup for translating the demo to Chinese. Please note this is a partial translation and some things may still be in English. 



StatusIn development
PlatformsWindows
Rating
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(9 total ratings)
AuthorZiel_graywords
GenrePuzzle, Adventure, Role Playing, Visual Novel
Made withGameMaker: Studio
Tags2D, Atmospheric, Fantasy, Horror, Singleplayer, Story Rich
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard

Download

Download
Cross The Boundaries Demo v1.0.1.zip 383 MB
Download
Cross The Boundaries (CN).zip 389 MB

Comments

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I remember that day when I was fully drown into the beautiful music and wonderful plots. Also the dialogue between Merry and Renko are so humorous! They are so lovely! I've been waiting for the full release since you posted this demo-play last year, but I can still wait! Sincerely hope you could carefully polish every parts and present a good mystery-sealing story:D

Thank you so much, sadly progress is moving at a snail's peace, but it's moving forward. Hope you can enjoy it when it comes out! 

It doesn't matter,  rather I would like to express my gratitude for this artistic story you adapted.

when is the full release?

we are still working on the game. we are a very small indie studio so it will take a while, but it will come out.

An A- demo hinting at a game with the potential to be an A+.


Music:

Excellent. The Touhou themes reimagined as ambient horror music hit just the right tone. The start screen music alone sold me on the atmosphere and tone of the game. If I have one note, it's that the music during the final scene of the demo maybe comes on a little strong for the mood the scene seems to be trying for.


Gameplay & quality of life:

It's tough to comment on this since this is a demo and I don't know what might be intentional choices or already being worked on, but I'd feel remiss to not bring up those things that stuck out to me.

Overall, nice and simple. The puzzles weren't hard but satisfying enough to solve. Calling up the inventory several times to check the text for the seating arrangement puzzle was a little annoying. The password puzzle at the temple could make it clearer that you're supposed to put in the first and last letter as well and not just the missing ones.

The interactions with doors in particular are a little inconsistent: Impassable doors give you the "It won't budge" text by walking into them, but locked doors have to be interacted with. But then, to actually unlock them you need to go into the inventory and interact with the key. This could use some streamlining.

The dream levels would be enhanced by some miscellaneous background interactables with flavor text.

The text wrapping in the dialogue boxes evidently checks for length whenever a new letter is revealed, which often causes words at the end of a line to jump lines as they're revealed. That's visually distracting. Since text boxes are such a common feature across RPGs, I have to imagine there's at least a module for RPGMaker that should make it easy to fix this.


Writing:

Good, clean writing and presentation. Could use a proofread for style, syntax, etcetera. The writing style is good at setting the tone, and the shift in mood between the more relaxing club scenes and the horror scenes is well executed.

The biggest gripe I had with the demo overall, and I understand that I'm saying this off a sample size of three dream sequences, is that the deaths could use more variety. Getting ambushed and eaten by a spider for the first one is fine. Clean and simple (narratively, I mean!), and a good introduction. For the scarlet mansion dream, becoming the main course makes sense and is tailored to the dream. For Koishi's dream, though, I feel the death scene would have been significantly more unsettling had Koishi not started eating the already dying Merry, but simply watched and smiled as Merry's own repressed anxieties literally crush her into a puddle. It's sudden, not really foreshadowed by the environment the way the previous two were, and feels like it's only there because it's the Done Thing. To be clear, the scene is otherwise excellent right up until that line.

I am conflicted on the final scene because the Merry = Yukari equivalency is such well-trod ground that I find it a little disappointing (personal bias here), but on the other hand, the scene hints at a vision for it I haven't seen before and effectively recontextualizes the rest of the game leading up to it, so I'm still curious to see where you go with it.

I'm also very interested to see the development of Renko and Merry's relationship in the waking world vis-a-vis her decision in the face of the gap-woman's speech.


Very excited for the full game!

(+1)

Honestly it makes me very happy to read your review. Thanks for such a detailed opinion. The finished game will change a few things, polish a few others, but overall the idea will stay the same. Hopefully you will like the finished product even more. 

The story presentation is so good I can't wait for the full version now.
Stay determined!

(1 edit)

Hi, I livestreamed your game to my friends and I love how it is written.


I should have asked this before I do it, but is it allowed to do so? I didn't do it before because I saw some videos are already made, but after finishing the game, I think that I should ask for your permission. If it isn't allowed, I'll remove it from my channel.


Anyway, I'm looking forward to the full version. Great work! :)

It's perfectly allowed. Thanks for sharing and your comment. hope you and your friends enjoyed it

(1 edit)

Thanks for allowing the stream! Yeah, I and my friend are enjoying the game. You can see me giggling and my friend screaming (their sound is put on lower volume so they won't disturb the stream when talking or in this case screaming, but it's noticeable) on some part of the game in the stream below.

I really enjoyed this. It was well written and the story was very interesting. I can't wait to see what you do with it next. Keep up the good work! 

Thank you very much!

(+1)

I like the game and the premise. I love your reinterpretation of a Gensokyo with that type of monsters, is really scary.

You can assume that I will follow the development because I really want to know more about those youkais and,also, about Maribel and Renko. Speaking of that, I really love the last interaction between those two 🥺 They are soooooo cute and I want to know more about the type of relationship they have.

I wish we can see more of it all in the future

Good luck with the development!

(+1)

thank you very much! I hope we can make something you all love.

(4 edits) (+1)

Just completed the demo. Words alone cannot describe how much I love what I've experienced. If only I could show how I roll around and screams and bend myself when reading the dialogues...

I'm not familiar with English hifuu works, I mostly read chinese and translated japanese doujin. 

So I am really surprised to see a story told from Merry's POV, and the thought put into Merry's character is just amazing, the way she juggles herself between dream and reality, the way she cherished every moment with Renko, how perceptive she is toward Renko and mostly how she acts. YES. And prior to this I've only seen this 'level' of Merry in 鳥居すみ's works (mostly in なにもない夜). It might be weird to say this, but even in dream sequences, even when Merry is getting attacked, I enjoy reading them because I enjoy second-guessing what Merry is thinking at the moment. (and then Koishi read my mind outloud)

But Renko's character is simply outstanding. I've never seen... and I never imagined a Renko with a sense of humour, AND this Renko is capable of flirt (even if it's just a little)?!!! OMG yes. I could imagine why Renko says those dumb jokes and I love it more when Merry seems to notice this too. YES. 

I have no idea what the full game will be, but even as it is Renko's character is making me rethink the whole hifuu relationship. If there is a Renko POV down the line, I couldn't even imagine how good Renko's character could gets... For years I could only grasp and appreciate Merry's character, never once feeling anything toward Renko's character. I would even question myself (and to my imaginary Merry) "Why Renko ?". This is the first time I feel Renko is actually interesting and cute and smart and caring and brave .... and yes, thank you. 

---

Gameplay wise (i mean the puzzles), I have been stuck with the hospital one for a while. I guess I was getting used to 'objects I could interact with will glow brightly' and I starts ignoring decorations, thus I ignored the clock and run around interact with everything for around 10 minutes. Once I notice there is a clock then it's quite easy.

You might ask, how I solve the first puzzle in scarlet mansion... well I didn't, I ran into the solution by accident, back then I was thinking 'lets first try interacting with anything obvious to see if there is more dialog' and the puzzle solution stands out from the whole scene.

Also in Myourenji's puzzle my first reaction was imputting 5 character, not realizing the game was asking for 7.

And music is good. I want to stay in main menu and in Occult Club scene for more. Bamboo forest and Scarlet mansion is inviting, I almost feel a playful mood. Myourenji is calm and a little boring (too much walking perhaps? ). Hospital simply makes my gut twist in agony (and I love it).

During exploration Merry feels clunky because she often gets stuck by invisible walls despite it seems that  (judging from the background) she could go through. Some objects also have a bigger collision than their art shows. Of course this is not a big deal, just what I noticed.

---

I think I said enough... Please continue the work ! I'm looking forward to game's official release !

(edit) also it would be nice to have a log feature !

thank you very much for your replay! and there are plans to use Renko later in the game. 

I Really Enjoyed The Sprites For The Characters, The History Seems Interesting (Picking Up With The Maribel Yakumo Theory)But Some Dialogues Just Goes Around And Around Over The Same Topic Don't Adding That Much For The Conversation  Or It's Just Extremely Detailed Over Some Simples Things. They Can Still Be Very Enjoable With Some Jokes And Reactions And Even Some Theories They Put Up In The Table, So Is Not That Bad Of A Problem.

My Real Problem Comes With The Puzzles, Like That Chair One, I Really Liked That One, But You Can Literally Just Interact With Every Single Chair In The Room And Find What You Need Without Getting Punished For Choosing The Wrong One.
If They Can Be More Difficult Like Something You Really Need To Think About A Little (Like The Clock One) To Pass The Puzzle Without The Possibility Of Just Spamming And Finding What You Want Would Be More Gratifying.

I'm Really Hoping To See The Full Game, You Did A Really Good Job On This Demo, The OST Picking Up With The Lore It's Just Genius (Really Liked That Song In The Hospital With The Heian Alien)
Thanks For The Demo!

thank you very much for your comment. honestly we had a bit of trouble with the puzzles since this is our fist time making a game like this, also we didn't want to make it too hard.

That's such a crazy game.

Exquisite writing, gorgeous art style, and the great ambition behind it, with these elements I think the group is trying to make the best hifu doujin game.

Lets talk about the story. Though english is not my native tongue and there are many gorgeous  but obscure words  in the text, I can still feel the author's efforts in elaborating  words.  Graywords sensai try his best to show hifu's patterns of relating and do a great job. Their Serious discussion, peaceful daily and a bit sweet words --these conversations are consistent with my imagination of the secret seal . What's more, those  American style jokes in the dialogue are refreshing and impressive.

The story is about merry's adventure in dream world(XD). I'm looking forword to be told that if Merry will recognize herself and change herself. How will hifu club and Merry's relationship be like is also unpredictable. 

Beautiful characters, amazing cg displays and grand maps, Shii sensai also make so many impressive art works which are necessary to the game. Blushing Melly is so cute !!!

It's hard to describe how the music makes me feel. Though the music is very beautiful, sometimes it sounds so weird. It helps to exaggerate the atmosphere of terror but a  timid man like me cant afford this...😂

The only pity is that the puzzle design is too brief,which does not make the best use of everything in the map. A good puzzle design needs not only the difficulty, but also the complexity that allows players to invest in it. Sorry but i just compare the game with her excellent elders like Mad Father,IB, and so on.

Please tell us when can we play the full version  ? I also wonder if  the game  will be realsed on steam? Please,I can't wait to play the full version TAT

What's more, i hope the game can be translated into chinese -- In China there are also many touhou and hifu fans .I know some friends who can help doing this work if you are interested on this. They help making the chinese version of 【Hifu Fragement】not long ago.

(+1)

thank you very much. Sadly the full game is still far, but hopefully you will enjoy it as much. I do would love for the game to be translated in other languages, but for now finishing it is our priority. 

(+1)

I like how you show the world of Gensokyo from the eyes of an outsider. It really shows how dangerous that world is. Apart from that, I think a quick one screen tutorial on what button did what since it took me the longest time just to find the menu/save button. Other then that, I look forward to seeing how you develop this game.

Note: I played the v1.0.

Here's my channel for other games I have played. https://www.youtube.com/c/Levont