Ahh, this is looking really sweet!
Lately I've been putting together the stats and "leveling" system for the game. Despite the many MUD influences, I'm diverting from many of the usual RPG tropes. Notably, there are no experience points and no magic system. Instead, I've settled on an alternate history world with technology roughly equivalent to that of early 20th century, late 19th century, with some technology exaggerated or removed.
I have three character stats: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence. Intelligence mainly affects what a skills you can learn, what books you can read, and how many clues Marika gives you (through speech bubbles) about what she is observing. I might not stick with the speech bubbles. Those came from one of my LD games (Evolution Dungeon).
In effect, intelligence replaces "experience points", as Marika can learn from her experiences.
Speaking of which, I've added a couple more stages to gain experience in. Below are some scenes from an outdoor area. Some graphics from the original Temple of Idosra game are still placeholders. The area is tougher than I originally intended. On narrow bridges, a single strike can knock you into the water--which is instant death. There are multiple routes to get to this area, though. One route which I haven't finished yet will let you pick up a bow and arrow--allowing you to kill the floating black/orange things that are the most likely to knock you off.
One last thing I settled on is replacing Box2D with simple physics. I only need Box2D to use the raycast feature--so if I can write my own raycast routine, I can get rid of Box2D. The main issue isn't lag in-game, but loading time. When you switch scenes, the loading time can take up to a minute. This issue seems to correct itself the longer the game has been running. The culprit is garbage collection... namely, on the order of a million (!!) instances of vector class being created and destroyed.