Today Nippon Ichi Software revealed an amazing amount of details about the upcoming action JRPG Meikyu Toro Legasista. Together with the information they also released a large number of screenshots and artwork pieces, including the key art (featured above) and the main character design artwork.
An official transliteration of the title in roman letters still hasn’t been provided: it could also be read “Regasister“, for instance. I’m using “Legasista” because that’s what Nippon Ichi used in the url of the official website, but that’s normally not a determining factor.
Meikyu Toro Legasista will be released exclusively for the PS3 on March the 15th (in Japan) and will cost 6,800 yen (87 dollars, even if, as usual, we have to consider that prices in Japan are higher than in the west). The producer for the title is Shogo Kozaki, while Shinichi Ikeda (that already directed Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories and Phantom Brave) will have the role of Game Director. Airi Hori will handle the character design.
The game will be developed by System Prisma (that developed Classic Dungeon, Classic Dungeon X2 and Dot Defense) and the soundtrack will be composed and produced by ZIZZ Studio (that worked on the score of numerous successful PC visual novels).
Nippon Ichi describes Legasista as a “Survival Action RPG” and the graphics are completely 2D enriched by a rather cute character design, mirroring old style RPGs in which the exploration of dungeons and ancient ruins while fighting monsters and avoiding traps was the central focus.
The story is set in a fantasy world in which the science and technology of the past era have been forgotten, and their relics are watched with fear and defined “magic” and “curses”. Most of those relics rest in the ancient ruins of the Ivy Tower. Over the millennia no one dared to enter the ruins, until now.
The young Alto, desperate to revive his sister that has been turned into a crystal, decided to enter the Ivy Tower, that is actually an ancient research facility used by the now dead and forgotten civilization of the past. At the base of the Tower there’s a place named “Rail Yard” by it’s creators. Alto hopes to explore it and find some magic that could help him dispel the curse that has been cast upon his sister.
As he gets deeper and deeper into the Rail Yard, overcoming dangers and puzzles, Alto finally finds the best result that the ancient science ever produced: the weapon named “Meliease” (even here, the transliteration isn’t final, but the katakana is the same used for a popular Japanese line of skin care products, so I’m going to go with it). You’d think that such a weapon could be a sword or an axe, but you would be wrong. Meliease has the form of a beautiful girl.
Four of the characters have been introduced:
Alto Streiter: He’s the protagonist of the game and a 17 years old explorer. He heard information about the hidden magic sleeping in the Ivy Tower, and decided to explore it in order to save his sister, turned into a crystal by a curse.
In the past he traveled by himself a lot in order to pursue his goal, and has never been afraid to work hard in order to achieve it. His research led him to learn the ancient language without any help from others.
His favorite quote is: “You should always act on what you believe, that’s all there’s to it”
Meliease: She’s a humanoid weapon produced by the science and technology of an ancient civilization. Her personality mimics that of a human girl, but she has a wider range of abilities. She slept for millennia deep in the Rail yard, but she was awakened when Alto found her.
Since she’s not made of flesh and blood, but has been created by an ancient crystal technology, she has abilities that modern humans can’t even imagine, she’s immune to all kinds of poison and she’s extremely strong.
Alto’s Sister: her name has not been revealed. She has been turned into a magical blue crystal by a curse. She used to be a very feminine girl, gentle and nice.
Alto occasionally speaks to her by pressing his ear against the crystal, but he doesn’t know for sure if his voice reaches her or not.
Dungeon-san (it irks me, but you could translate it as Miss Dungeon): She’s the management android in charge of the Rail Yard. She can provide meals and other services to those exploring the place.
She always works and acts at her own pace, and she has an elusive nature. Dungeon-san is just a nickname: her real name is T48R-β. She takes pride in being a veteran in her facility management job: after all she has done it well for more than a thousand years.
Moyashi: they are the mascots of the game. A race of sentient bean sprouts native of the Ivy Tower. They have a will of their own, they can speak and, as most mascots, they do so in an extremely petulant way, mostly with silly catchphrases.
A lot of information was also shared on the environments of the game and on the gameplay.
The Rail Yard: at the roots of the Ivy Tower explorers can find the ruins of the Rail Yard, a facility that was used in ancient times by those visiting the laboratory and working in it. At the moment the place is ruined by the erosion of time and overgrown with plants, but it’s still efficently managed by Dungeon-san.
Alto and the others that will challenge the Ivy Tower will visit the Rail Yard several times in order to rest and gather supplies.
The Rail Yard offers a plethora of automatic services that include the complete recovery of HP and removal of any abnormal status. Equipment will also be restored to it’s maximum durability value.
On top of that, free self-service features are offered like equipment change, party organization, character makeup (players will actually be able to modify the look of their character), class change, name change, character change and acquisition of new skills by spending skill points.
The Moyashi support team: At the Rail Yard Alto will meet the Moyashi. They provide hand cooked meals made with vegetables they grow by themselves, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Moyapi, one of them, provides the tutorial at the very beginning of the game. In addition to this the Moyashi can recover valuable items and antidotes to help Alto during his adventures.
Climbing the Ivy Tower: The Ivy Tower is made of several floors. As soon as Alto leaves the safety of the Rail Yard he enters a mercyless environment full of monsters that will challenge his tactical abilities. Each floor is different and each monster will require different tactics to be killed. Different weapons will also lead to different results and be less effective against some enemies and more against others.
Changing Characters: while exploring the tower Alto can’t do everything by himself. Often he’ll be badly wounded or will have negative aliments. In that case the player will be able to change character and to get a fresh one into the action. It will be important to strategize on where and when to use each character, as they complement each other’s abilities and some could be better suited to face a challenge than the others. For instance in an area where the risk to be poisoned is high Meliease will be a better choice than Alto
Using items: there are several items scattered around the dungeon. Characters will be able to eat them, use them or throw them. Often unexpected uses of a familiar items will save the party from a difficult situation.
Many items will be edible and will have several effects. Some may remove poison, but others may be poisonous themselves. Other items, like Molotov cocktails and poisonous mushrooms can be thrown at enemies to cause damage.
Some items will have to be identified through a dedicated skill, and some of those may hide rare treasure that will be revealed once identified. It’ll be important to hunt for treasure.
Throwing food at the monsters might also help, as they might stop in order to eat, opening an opportunity for an attack. Different monsters have different tastes, though, so using the right kind of food will be determining.
Equipment and Loot: While exploring the dungeons, you will find powerful pieces of equipment labeled “Gem” and “Masterpiece”, while those are very valuable, they’re also fragile.
Every time you get hit, the durability of your equipment will decrease, and once it reaches zero, the piece of equipment will temporarily be unusable. Going back to the Rail Yard will restore damaged equipment to it’s original conditions.
Gem and Masterpiece equipment will follow a slightly different rule: if it’s durability reaches zero before it’s brought back to repair at the Rail Yard, it’ll break and be lost forever.
This means that the player will have to carefully balance risks and rewards when using that kind of equipment, making sure to avoid losing it and going back to the Rail Yard when necessary.
Poison: In the dungeons of Legasista being poisoned is quite easy. There are different kinds of poison, distinguished by color: green, yellow, black and so forth. Every poison has different effects (four in total), and those effects can also stack and combine if the character is poisoned multiple times. When all four effects are in place, if the character gets poisoned again, he will be instantly killed, so it’s better to replace him or to heal him before it’s too late.
While poisons have disadvantages, they also have secret advantages, working as some sort of poisonous drugs. For instance green poison will also allow the character to see invisible enemies. This combination of negative and positive effects opens a lot of tactical possibilities, effectively prompting the player to poison his characters intentionally, within reason.
Consumable items in the form of antidotes will be available to cure poison, but of course they don’t just remove the negative effect, but also the positive one.
That’s it, and it’s for sure a lot to take in all at once. While it’s definitely a niche title due to it’s peculiar visual style, Meikyu Toro Legasista seems an extremely interesting title, especially for those wanting to relive the good old times of 2D dungeon crawling on a more modern platform. You can check out all the artwork and screenshots released today in the gallery below.