In early May we first posted about Crescent Moon Games getting involved in the development of Aralon: Sword and Shadow, an RPG by Galoobeth Games that had been in development long before Crescent Moon even started on their previous RPG, Ravensword: The Fallen King [$4.99 / Free]. In essence, Aralon had been the project of two developers who were extremely passionate about building an immersive RPG with levels of detail seldom seen on mobile platforms... But neither of them were artists. Aralon was filled with what amounted to mediocre character animations, place holder art, and 3D models that were beyond basic.

Crescent Moon saw the potential this game had if the graphical front-end could be brought up to par with all of the various subsystems powering the game world that Galoobeth had spent so much time working on. With artist Mark Jones, Aralon had the last piece of the puzzle it was missing to be the game it needed to be.

This is what the world of Aralon was going to look like:

And this is what Aralon will look like now, running at the Retina Display resolution of the iPhone 4:

The night and day difference continues through the rest of the screenshots we were provided:

The time that's being put in to the complete artistic makeover of the game has allowed Galoobeth to add even more to Aralon than they were originally even planning on launching with. For instance, the game now has a complete pet system where any NPC (even a human) can be charmed and serve as your pet. The game now includes well over 30 hours of gameplay, what has been described to us as a "massive" world that players can completely explore, hundreds of items, mounts, four playable classes across three races, and other gameplay mechanics such as faction systems, herb gathering, crafting, and more.

Aralon: Sword and Shadow is planned for a fall release, and if they manage to deliver on the things they're promising, Crescent Moon and Galoobeth games will likely have a hit on their hands. For more on Aralon, take a look at our previous post on the game or the thread on our forums. If you like seeing these kind of drastic before and after shots, swing on by this thread on our forums where other developers are posting shots of their placeholder art compared to their final release art as well.

  • backtothis

    oh my goodnes...this looks just amazing.
    and 30 hours?..
    wow i cant that long!!
    getting it the hour it hits the appstore no doubt.

    great job guys

    • Rick

      Ok,so they showed 6 pictures, three with bad, terrible graphics, then below the pictures with bad graphics they show the same picture with amazing graphics, I do not have an iphone 4, so when if I was to play this game would the graphics look like the upper pictures or the lower ones?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        They would look like the lower ones, but with less resolution.

  • Noman

    Wow, when is this coming out?

  • cifuang

    holy crap... CM is doing a great job. Will gladly wait for this awesome game.

  • Gregory

    I don't often anticipate games for my iPhone, but this is surely one whose release I am excited about.

  • araczynski

    more importantly, will it support the ipad fully?

  • Cameron

    I'm going to need an iPhone 4 to play this now? :(

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      No, but you will definitely need an iPod Touch 2G or better (as Josh noted in the Upcoming Games thread).

  • Jindo Fox

    Ha ha ha - impressive improvements! Though I confess I still kinda like the simplistic, bright Nintendo 64 look instead of all the brown in some ways, especially on a small screen.

    • Novaro

      There may be others like you who like it that way,but most gamers love the high end graphics and would be repelled by the looks of the old graphics.

  • Michael

    Wow, this is going to be even better than Ravensword. I can't imagine that...

    RETINA DISPLAY CAPABILITIES?!?! AUUGGGHHHH! GIMME iPOD TOUCH 4G!!!!!!!!!

  • Acidbottle

    lol am pretty sure it was always going to look slick regardless of retina displays or not! the before and after pics are to give this a bit more wow factor i feel ;)

    call me cynical!

    • Mediocre

      You're cynical.

      • eev

        u r mediocre

  • Chaytup

    It looks better than something my PC could run :p

  • dumas1000

    I don't know. A lot of investment here. Certainly something like this would deserve premium pricing. I wouldn't argue that. But Indie games rarely, if ever, sell well if premiumly priced. Before plunging this level of effort into the game, CM should asks themselves if they can afford to turn around and sell something like this for 1.99. They will try to sell it much higher, and I agree that they should try to sell it much higher. Fact of the matter is that it may not sell for anything above, say, 4.99. It may be worth more than 4.99, but people may not be willing to pay more than that. Without brand/name/IP/Developer recognition, a premium priced Indie game is a tough sell to a casual base.

    I'm just saying. I hope CM doesn't over-invest in this game. Seems like they are shooting very high here, and there's a lot of risk in doing that.

    • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

      I don't know if you remember, but Ravensword was priced at 6.99 when it came out and it was the #1 RPG for one month straight. It was obviously an indie title. Sure we have a lot riding on Aralon - but its a much bigger RPG than Ravensword was. I don't consider that much of a risk.

      • Mediocre

        No matter what the price, you are guaranteed to have my cash the first day this goes live.

        Except if it is my first born, you will need to give me some time to work on that one.

  • Mark

    Glad people seem to like it. Working on the inn interiors now. :0
    Mark

    • Der-Kleine

      I have the feeling the inside of buildings will be even more impressive with before - after screenshots, because that was one place that was really bad before.

  • Mark

    Think "prancing Pony" and "The Green Dragon"

  • darwiniandude

    Awesome. Loved Ravensword. Can't wait.

  • Gamer.

    Is this Torque game engine? The "before" screenshots definitely look like it.

  • WilhelmR

    I generally don't play this kind of rpgs on the iphone (i'm more of a pc guy) but this one looks extremely well done, and the evolution of the game seems pretty inspiring :)

    I do hope they make a launch day sale though... :P

  • Exhibit A

    Hey, does any 1 know if this game will work for iphone 1rst gen users...or are the devs leaving us in the dark here. I hope it will be compatible w/ my old device. It's just too expensive for me 2 get a newer device. A game this good should b available to all.

  • Gregory

    It's going to take 3G to run it poorly. 3GS will probably do alright. 4 is your best bet. Just like a PC, you need to update to play the newest games. You can't play Crysis on a Pentium III.

    • says:

      I think it will run the same on both the iPhone 4 and 3G S.

      • RhythmMan

        Hmmm, idk. My games run much faster and look better on iPhone 4

      • eev

        game without new display support can not look better than on 3gs, taking in account that u are not going to see much difference in colors between very good tn matrix in older phones and isp in new one.

  • RhythmMan

    This is great to see, taking advantage of the new iPhone 4 hardware! Congrats for raising the bar...keep up the good work.

  • JB

    My most anticipated game by far.

  • GaloobethGames

    Thanks all! We are aiming pretty high with Aralon and have been since its very first inception. It's been a a challenge creating an comprehensive RPG and a 3D world from the ground up, but we've had a lot of fun along the way. The guys from Crescent Moon have been great to work with over the last 6 weeks.
    For those wondering, Aralon was created using Unity3D. I think its the best iPhone development tool available.

  • Howard

    Gosh, that's simply stunning!!! Is it scalable at all for say.....3G owners??? :)

  • http://www.deviouslabs.net Parappa

    Wow running this on iphone 4 with the retina dislpay suddenly desaturated the colors, gave better art direction, magically put armor on the character and added more artistically painted textures....come on folks...if you get creative you can make the lesser powered hardware sing!

  • K

    Can't wait!!! Instant buy! And to the comment complaining that it'll be at a "premium price" of *gasp* $4.99 .....are you serious? Man, there are some cheap people out there (or too many kids). You pay $30 for a DS game, yet we struggle to pay $5 for the same quality on the iPhone? I'd pay $15 for this game, by the sound of improvement made over Ravensword (which was $8.99AUD)....good work, devs and artists! :)

  • JCat

    Zzz...

    Squish it to 2D....

  • PahnCrd

    Man, I wonder what the performance is for AF, because that would really make this game look a lot better.

  • Cyggie

    Waiting for the scene with the armless legless knight saying, "None shall pass!"

    BTW $5 says this comes out before Reckless Racing or Hoth TD.

  • squirpe

    Definitely looking forward to this, looks great! Been waiting for just such a game for ages - it's a must-buy for me.

  • Ashraf

    Damn nice, i will buy it...This game is worth for my money.
    Great jobs guys.

  • Unholy3000

    This is unbelievable, i've been following Aralon from the beginning and i honestly didn't think there would be this much of a difference between the graphics! I just deleted all apps from my iPod and was planning on keeping it that way but NO way am i passing this up:)

    Good job everybody can't wait for this!

  • http://ubb3rgen.com Michael Adams

    It'll look better on an ipad! So get one here! (:

    Ubb3rgen.com

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    Not a very good choice of comparative shots since there is obviously a difference of a lot more than just resolution.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      You obviously did not read the article.

  • http://internetsducinema.wordpress.com Egoyan

    Man, as Jindo Fox said, I love those Nintendo 64-looking screenshots and the Super Mario 64 color palette. I know I'm in the minority here though ;).

    But I also gotta admit, the new graphics do look amazing. I'm not a big RPG gamer, but I'll keep an eye on this one anyway, just in case it ends up being just too good to pass up (and it definitely looks like it might be).

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Trust me, you wouldn't have loved them in the actual game. In fact, they would have struck you as bland, amateurish, and lacking in style. Those PS1/N64 games may look primitive now, but they were designed by masters; the Galoobeth Games folks would be the last people to make that claim for themselves.

  • HistorySchol

    Hope the animation isn't crappy like Ravensword's first couple of builds.

  • Rosh

    Damn, Ravensword was almost unplayable on iPhone 3g... I guess I won't be able to play this one at all:/ And no, I can't afford a new phone right now...

    • Tyler

      3gS is only $99 ...

      • Rosh

        Not in my country:/

    • John

      U can speed a Iphone 3g up easily. Have u tried deleting the history, cache and cookies in the safari settings. I deleted all 3 and it sped my 3g up loads, I had like 5gb of just cache and cookies. Also quitting apps properly is supossed to help, holding down lock until lock screen appears (whilst app running) then holding down home button until it closes down app. This is suppossed to clear the part of ram the app continues to use because pressing the home button alone doesn't close the app completely :) other stuff which helps: closing all safari windows, restricting spotlight search etc.

  • MeDzZ

    Omg this game is being released perfectly till i get my iphone 4 !
    I hope there will be some kind of multiplayer system, that would make everyone buy the game lol !

    • Maztrr

      If it was multiplayer it would be an mmorpg. It kinda reminds me of runescape which I haventplayrs in years. Can't wait to seethis released

  • Zzzzonked

    Instant buy for me too... it looks amazing lets hope it will be executed better than RavenSword.

    It will be interesting to see how smooth the controls are and if it runs okay on an ipod touch 2G...

    Don't rush this game it looks sweet :D

  • E

    looks pretty great, graphically, however will need much better gameplay than ravensword. Let's hope that it won't be more of the same as far as that's concerned, otherwise it will get deleted just as quick as ravensword was off my phone.

    • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

      Can't really compare this to Ravensword, other than the visuals. Its a deep RPG - Ravensword was pretty light on RPG features, more of a hybrid of an adventure game and an RPG.
      If you read the list of features this game has to offer - its truly mind blowing.
      Like for instance you can have pets or become an outlaw, customize your character, different races, skills, etc... on top of that the game world is probably 10x the size of Ravensword.

  • Brandon

    So will this be as "deep" as the Quest but only difference is it's not turn based?

  • Jorlen

    Hrm day 1 purchase for me. Ravensword was awesome. We need more of these real games not no 99c caca I'll play for 5 minutes and then delete.

  • Lloyd

    judging by the two pictures at the top, this game just went from runescape to world of warcraft. WoW, Im getting this game

  • ben

    will this game be releases soon

  • Samutyr

    The old screenshots are what we call Programmers art...

  • nomad

    If you look closeley the polycount doesn't seem to have raised drastically, also the texture resolutions is quite the same (comparing the 2 boat shots), it's just that the polys are used wiser and the textures are a lot better looking an voila, you got a nice looking game =)

  • http://twitter.com/Kronusdark Weston Hanners

    im very impressed with the framerate, weird that the only drops i get are in interiors, must be fancy lighting.

  • Tom Melbourne

    I used to play aralon, then I took an arrow in the knee.