Today Nippon Ichi Software came bearing gifts for JRPG fans as it sent in another wave of information, screenshots and artwork for the PS3 exclusive side-scrolling JRPG Battle Princess of Arcadias, that will hit the Japanese shelves on September the 26th to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. You can find the information previously published about the game here and here, and the first trailer here.
We get to learn more about the setting of the game: the continent of Welltex is under threat by armies of monsters, and in order to protect the people of the kingdom of Shuvert the military is divided in Guardian Corps and Princess’ Corps.
The Guardian Corps are sent to the north, east, west and south to defend the borders, while the Princess Corps are based in the capital and are sent where needed as ground and flying squadrons. Their base is at the Gates of Aizen Castle that function as the primary defense of the royal palace. Sometimes they hold mock battles and special training during peace time.
At the head of the Princess’ Corps there’s the strongest between the Battle Princesses of the Shuvert Kingdom; many soldiers in the realm strive to be chosen to fight under her. In fact they can be promoted from the guardian corps depending on their success on the battlefield. The origin and affiliation of each of the Guardian corps varies.
Unfortunately the Princess’ Corps were recently decimated by the attack of a massive monster and are now restructuring their ranks. The presence of monsters has also risen in the past few years and resources are strained. There are also rumors coming from a neighboring country that one of the Guardian corps is behaving strangely, so the restoration of the Princess’ Corps to full battle-ready conditions is top priority for the defense of the kingdom.
We also meet a few new characters:
Rodjif is the commander of the Princess’ Corps under the leadership of the protagonist Plum. He acts like a big brother, caring and easily stirred. Due to this he earned Plum’s trust. He excels in training his soldiers. Rodjif fights with a large axe and his slower and more unbalanced than other characters, but when he hits he deals great damage. His special attack is Ultra Burst, with which he throws his enemies into the air using the Axe.
Odette is the second in command of the Eastern Guardian Corps and she protects the Eastern side of the Kingdom. She’s extremely strong despite her cute appearance. Normally she’s gentle and easygoing, but in battle her personality changes and she becomes extremely aggressive. She’s Ratsu’s brother’s sister-in-law. Odette fights with a greatsword, that can hit a wide area. Her special attack is Exciting Rebellion Attack that causes an aura to appear around her as she slices the enemy in half with her sword.
Havuerka is a young soldier of the Western Guardian Corps. Normally he’s quite serious, but some times the brashness of youth gets the best of him, even if he ends up regretting it. He seems to share a connection with Plum, and for some reason he calls her “Goddess of Destruction from the Abyss”. He uses an agile one handed sword and he has the highest speed among his peers. He can use a variety of attacks made of quick trusts and rotating slashes. His special attack is Dark Heaven-Song, that binds all the surrounding enemies and then wipes them out.
Violon is a quiet and emotionally detached apprentice soldier that decides to work under Plum after a certain event. As she interacts with her fellow soldiers she starts to open up gradually. She fights with a spear and her attacks have great reach. She can attack enemies far away and in the air. She can also toss them around. Her special attack is God Collision, with which she makes her spear rotate at high speed creating a tornado that greatly damages everything in its path.
In addition to the four characters above we see the silhouettes of two more characters that are labeled as “coming from other countries”, and that will be introduced together with giant boss battles with the next press release (mind you, this is some tease, as it’s very easy to recognize them in the key art published two weeks ago, try to squint and see if you can find them).
Nippon Ichi also introduced the Super Melee battle mode, where allied and enemy corps battle against each other in real time. The victory condition is to annihilate the enemy corps. There’s a morale gauge for both allies and enemies, and it’s influenced by various factors. Morale can be used to trigger special skills like “Mystery Trigger” or “Military Formation”, and players will have to use it strategically to win. Morale can raise depending on how characters are used to kill enemies, and an incredibly well done kill can give it a huge boost.
Players will be prompted to create their own army from various soldier types like sword and axe wielders. Each soldier has a different affinity to certain weapons, so it’s important to chose carefully which soldiers to send in each battle.
The Mistery Trigger mentioned above consumes the whole morale gauge and wipes out all the enemies in range when used. Launched at the right moment it can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Progressing in the game players will encounter enemy corps of increasing strength, to overcome them they’ll have to strengthen their soldiers with dedicated facilities that level their abilities up. Those facilities not only increases a soldier’s stats, but they also increase the power of the Mystery Trigger. Facilities will also be detailed in the next press release.
While we wait for further information on that, you can enjoy the full gallery of the artwork and screenshots released today below including quite a few of the cutesy sprites used for the newly introduced characters and some of their weapons. One thing is for sure: the more I hear about this game, the better it sounds.