Pixel'd: Trapped In A 16-Bit RPG

by midnightrainbow

Alex has played every game ever made...except one...for good reason...
When Alex Lombardi receives an SNES game console out of the blue, it appears that Nintendo Gods do exist. A huge fan of pixel art and retro games, Alex has been dying to replay some of the best titles of all time: Contra, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy, the list goes on. But what awaits the hardcore gamer isn't a trip down memory lane; it's a trip to the 16-bit world.
Schedule: New chapters released Mon-Fri at random times in November. I may cut back in December, but if there's a lot of interest, I will write more. 

Pixel'd is my first attempt at a LitRPG. It's my FIRST DRAFT, so expect plot holes and other mistakes :) Please give feedback on how to improve it. Very much appreciated!

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: The Shards of Zephyria ago
Chapter 2: A Pixelated World ago
Chapter 3: The Inner Soul ago
A New Story ago
Chapter 4: A Lesson In Gameplay ago
Chapter 5: The Trail Of Ascension ago
Chapter 6: The Tower Of Destiny ago
Chapter 7: New Adventures ago
Chapter 8: Rivals ago
Chapter 9: The Ancient Cipher ago
Chapter 10: The Village Chief's Request ago
Chapter 11: Through The Moaning Valley ago
Chapter 12: The Secret Chamber ago
Chapter 13: Guidance ago
Chapter 14: Chaos Aboard A Ship ago
Chapter 15: On The Run ago
Chapter 16: The Champions Of Freespeech ago
Chapter 17: Crab Hunting ago
Chapter 18: The Marubo Dunes ago
Chapter 19: The Speaker ago
Chapter 20: Escape ago
Chapter 21: Through The Desert ago
Chapter 22: Childhood Friends ago
Chapter 23: Trouble On The Royal Trail ago
Chapter 24: Asentus ago
Chapter 25: The Meeting ago
Chapter 26: Party Decisions ago
Chapter 27: The Bridge Of Unity ago
Chapter 28: Mother Bunny ago
Chapter 29: Oren's Sin ago
Chapter 30: The Confession ago
Chapter 31: Mahegrab ago
Chapter 32: The Brew Battle ago
Chapter 33: The Tower Of Knowledge ago
Chapter 34: The Wandering Woods ago
Chapter 35: Melisande ago
Chapter 36: The Kamaraka Tombs ago
Chapter 37: Lost ago
Chapter 38: The Last Seal ago
Chapter 39: The Eluso Plains ago
Chapter 40: The Eluso Dunes ago
Chapter 41: The Search ago
Chapter 42: Captain Morgan ago
Chapter 43: Adventure Island ago
Chapter 44: Sungam ago
Chapter 45: The End? ago

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This story is simple but quite enjoyable. The story takes place in an old school style RPG and does a surprisingly good job of capturing the feel of those games (I was having Final Fantasy 4 flashbacks, which were quite nostalgic). The simplicity of such games, and therefore this story, does mean our characters feel a little less organic, but also means that the system mechanics don't bog down the story. Characters are likable, the setting has a good sense of humor that rings true to the game type, and the plot has been picking up. I'm more invested than I thought I'd be when I started, and looking forward to seeing what's next!


Chock full of references for retro gamers

Reviewed at: Chapter 18: The Marubo Dunes

The biggest draw of this story is that it does a wonderfully unique take on the LitRPG genre by utilizing retro gaming tropes. It’s a pretty fantastic concept. It’s basically the opposite of Sword Art Online or any other story that are based on hyper real game worlds. The great benefit of this is that if you've played any of the games that the story references, you'll get that nostalgic vibe as you read. It's like, what would it be like if you entered into one of those worlds of the games that you played as a kid?

The writing is style strightfoward and to the point. I’m a personal fan of short sentences and it appears this writer is too. This makes the writing read quickly, giving it a punchy feel, even if it does feel a little choppy at times.

Also extra points for making me laugh out loud with some of the descriptions and reactions of the pixelated characters. The humor in this story is definitely on point, and I say this as someone who is prideful of my own humor writing.

I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes and how the concept will be expanded upon :)


Cute, high-effort gaming story!

Reviewed at: Chapter 15: On The Run

What a cute RPG adventure this is! I’m just going to go right out and say at that this is the most ‘gamey’ of the game stories I’ve read on this site. The author’s attention to detail in how the world works and is representative of classic fantasy RPG gaming is immaculate. From the very first time we’re in town, talking to NPC, looting chests you can just feel it being a game. Game dialogue, game actions. It’s perfectly on the mark and if you’re looking for something gamified than you are in the right place for sure.

The characters are interesting and fun to follow, especially our protagonist who is mute like most rpg characters and the so-far main side character Cassis who is a very bold front-line type.  They retain a strong personality, while also allowing the ‘game universe’ to dictate their prose and flow in a sense. It’s very interesting how the author manages to tread such a fine line between clunky retro RPG dialogue and ‘real’ fluid conversations in a way that is believable!

I’m not too familiar with menu systems and tables, but in my opinion the ones here are done very well. As an outsider to the genre I was able to immediately decipher the information that was supposed to be shown to me. They’re done cleanly and professionally and if I saw them inside of, say, an old final fantasy game I wouldn’t blink twice.

The grammar and prose is right on the mark, I found no significant errors or mistakes. The flow of the writing is strong and there is a very strong humor especially in the first chapters that I really enjoyed. The author has a good sense of comedy for sure.

Such a cute story that deserves more love. Give it a look, I think you’ll like it! =)


Quite a bit of effort has gone to establish that stuck in game feel and it works decently well. The world actually seems to work by game rules, rather than just have some blue stat boxes for flavor. From combat to movement to dialogue much of the world behaves like an RPG from 20+ years ago. 

Even most of the NPCs/ natives usualy act very rigid and scripted-like. But when it comes to pary members and characters, they tend to feel really weird as to story progresses, one moment they feel like natural human beings: conversing, planning, building relationships etc, the other moment it feels like some (a certain theif) just keep failing some hidden INT roll, or suddenly remembered that they need to be dumb to stay in character. 

The nobody can "truly speak" , except some people can aspect seems not to be well motivated at all. Perhaps a side effect of establishing the MC as being a mute or starting with a text-box based speaking system and then backtracking after realising that other sounds still exist. Despite all this it works decently well and won't detract from the reading unless you stick around to ponder deeply.

Plot wise there is a slight issue with cartoon villains, obvious he-was-evil-all-along setups, and characters just not having any ability to think or form logical conclusions at all. This is perhaps evocative of the genre and vinatage of game that inspired this book, but if I didn't care about story and just wanted the most authentic game experience I might just go back and fire up some of these old games themselves. (or their less clunky to control modern counterparts or reboots)