Two weeks ago Nippon Ichi unveiled the PS3 exclusive side-scrolling JRPG Battle Princess of Arcadias and today they sent in another large batch of info, screenshots and artwork for us to enjoy. Incidentally, the game is rather important for the historical Japanese softco, as it’ll mark the 20th anniversary of its activity in the industry.
Today we get to meet three new characters that will accompany the protagonist, Princess Plum, in her adventures.
Ratsu is a gentle and earnest boy that meets Plum during a battle against a giant monster. He suddenly declares himself her servant and becomes her squire. He fights with a bow and can often offer valuable advice due to the common sense he learned by growing between the commoners of the kingdom. He’s voiced by Atsushi Abe.
Uni is the craft master of castle Okakae and a calm and reassuring girl. Despite that she hides a sharp tongue that often contrasts with her cute appearance. She’s also an old friend of Plum. When she sees Ratsu joining the princess as her squire she decides to follow suit. She fights with a staff and she’s voiced by Hiromi Igarashi.
Shigt, King Goose of Schuvert: he’s Plum’s brother and the king of Schuvert. he’s also a goose. Yes, you read it correctly. Of course he used to be human, but he’s been turned into his current feathered self by an unspecified event. He gets along well with Plum and they have a good brotherly relationship. Despite his condition, he’s a natural optimist. His voice is performed by Junji Majima (that happens to be the Japanese voice of Prinny).
We also learn more about the battle system under the hood of the game: players can create parties of up to three characters between the many included in the cast (you get a glimpse of them in the key art at the top of the the gallery below) and dynamically switch between them in order to adapt to the enemies and clear each stage.
Each character has a completely different way of fighting: for instance Plum is a close combat specialist capable of delivering powerful combos, Ratsu can use his bow to attack enemies from afar and those high above, Uni can hit whole ranks of enemies in front of her with her magical attacks.
Characters will earn experience by defeating monsters and level up in typical RPG fashion. Leveling up will unlock abilities like follow-up moves, double jumps and special attacks like Plum’s “I’ll go with a bang!”, Ratsu’s “Omega/Roof” and Uni’s “Heaven Rise”. It’s also possible to learn collaborative special moves that will involve more than one character.
Like Plum, Uni and Ratsu can also use a large variety of weapons that vary in design and powers.
Below you can see the full gallery with all the artwork and screenshots released today, including the key art, logo and a render of the soundtrack CD that will be distributed as a preorder bonus in Japan. Hopefully the game will get a western release as well, but considering Nippon Ichi’s awesome track record in the localization field, I’m quite confident that we’ll hear something about it soon enough.