Nippon Ichi Software has been very liberal in releasing information on the upcoming Meikyu Toro Legasista (you can read the first large reveal here and the second here), that will hit the Japanese shelves on March the 15th exclusively for the PS3.
Today they did it again, sending over another sizable batch of information, screenshots and artwork of the game for us to enjoy, introducing two new characters, giving us further insight on the gameplay of this complex “Survival Action RPG” (because making up your own genre is cool) and detailing a few crossovers that will bring known characters from other games into this one.
Forks is a thief, but despite his occupation he has a strong sense of justice and came to the tower with a noble mission to accomplish. He’s very weak in battle and has no real fighting skills, but he’s extremely good at running away.
While he’s little more then a liability in combat situations, Forks is the character with the highest speed and has an ability that raises the drop rate of rare items. He can outrun and avoid most enemies, allowing him to search for items efficiently and to bring them back to the rail yards (that works as a home base) undamaged.
Mimiryi is half human and half dragon. Her birth is shrounded by mystery. She’s friendly towards humans and acts with a degree of innocence, but she bears a lot of hostility towards ancient humanoid weapons like Meliease.
She’s a mage that specializes in fire attacks, and can even breathe fire herself. Her attacks have a wide range and a large area of effect. Her abilities can even the attack statistic and create light. She’s normally not exceptional in hand to hand combat, but that can be changed thanks to the Energy Frame.
In Meikyu Toro Legasista characters won’t dare the perils of the dungeons by themselves, but will be able to form parties back at the Rail Yards. A party will include up to three characters and players will be able to devise different combinations. At any given time one of the three selected characters will be the Vanguard and will do most of the fighting. The other two will be the Rear Guard, and will support the Vanguard with their abilities.
Given that the situation in the dungeons will be fluid, it’ll be advisable to bring a balanced party. The Vanguard will be able to pass the torch to one of the characters of the Rear Guard (that will become the Vanguard) to tackle situations that require it. Experience gained during battles will be shared between all the characters in the party.
Characters in the Rear Guard will be able to aid the Vanguard by using spells. For instance by using Mimiryi as Rear Guard the Vanguard will benefit from her attack raising spell. Using Reina will let her heal the Vanguard. Passive abilities will follow the same rule. Placing Forks in the Rear Guard will activate his ability that increases the amount of rare drops.
Characters in the Rear guard won’t be immune to damage. They will be hit by special attacks and they will be damaged by traps (Rear Guard Characters will have a single frame each at the bottom of the energy frame. For an explanation on how the Energy Frame will work you can go here ). This means that, while the Vanguard will normally receive most of the enemy attacks, it will be actually possible for the Rear Guard characters to fall while the Vanguard is still alive. In this case they won’t be able to support him with their abilities and spells anymore.
Each character will have an unique set of traits. While predefined characters have basic traits that cannot be changed, players will be able to freely select the traits for their custom characters. Each trait will give benefits, but it may also have drawbacks. The amount of possible combinations will be almost infinite.
Each time a character will level up, he will receive a JP (Job Point). Job points can be spent to acquire traits unique to that character’s class. There are many class traits like “Equip powerful items”, “Increase the effectiveness of abilities and equipment”, “Increased support to party members” and so forth. Using Job Points characters will become increasingly powerful and unique.
Class traits come in two different kinds: Some are class specific, and will be active only when a character has a certain class. The others, marked as “ALL” will be effective across all classes, but will be weaker. This means that players will be able to create very specialized characters with the class specific traits, or jacks of all trades that enjoy the benefits of multiple classes thanks to the ALL traits.
Another feature introduced today are the Rangeons. The name is a word play that mxes “Random” with “Dungeons” and they will be reachable upon unlocking the “Burrow” special ability on Meliease. The Burrow ability allows her to dig tunnels in the floor of the Rail Yards to reach the Rangeons. The location in which the digging will be done will determine the difficulty of the Rangeon and its scale. Each Rangeon will be completely different from the others and will feature up to 100 levels. Enemies will grow in strenght as players will go deeper.
Braving the rangeons will be extremely rewarding, granting rare items, rare titles and a chance to regenerate lost items or to enhance one’s equipment.
Each floor of a Rangeon will have several gates leading to the next level. By choosing different gates three variables will receive a bonus or a negative modifier. The variables will be “Strenght of the Monsters”, “Item Drop Chance” and “Rare Title Chance”. At each gate players will be tempted to go deeper and deeper to benefit from the cumulative effects on the variables, challenging their ability to survive as difficulty increases.
Upon reaching a gate players will have to chose between leaving the Rangeon, going through the gate and looking for another one. Different type of gates will offer different effects.
Angel Gates will restore the HP and MP of the party, make them stronger temporarily and even recover the durability of damaged equipment. On the other hand the Devil Gates and Hell Gates will raise the level of the enemies significantly and lower the drop rate of rare items and the ability to acquire rare titles. Different kinds of gates will allow players to customize their adventure as they go, choosing the gate that better fits what they want to accomplish with each mission (for instance fighting powerful monsters or getting items safely).
Enhancing Gates are special, as they will give players the only chance in the game to improve the quality of their items. Unfortunately there will also be a chance for the items to be destroyed, tempting players to gamble their equipment in order to improve them greatly, risking to lose them completely. Special effects like the chance to recover lost items will also appear every so often.
As Alexa explained back in December, the game will benefit from the ability to import custom character graphics and portraits from a PC. Thanks to that feature, starting with the release of the game, Nippon Ichi will publish several custom characters on the official site that players will be able to import and use in their adventures, creating multiple crossovers with different games, some of which from other popular Japanese developers.
The characters announced today are Laharl, Flonne and Etna from the Disgaea series, Tio and Misshi from Falcom’s Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki and the female Dwarf and Felpier from Class of Heroes Final: The Freshman is a Princess! by Acquire. An official bullettin board to exchange custom characters with other players will also be available.
You can see all the screenshots and the artwork released today in the gallery below, while I close my eyes and try to recover from the unpleasant effects of all those kanji having a catfight in my brain.