Oninaki Has Chrono Trigger's Director as Creative Producer; Story, Battle System Details [Updated]
Live A Live, Chrono Trigger, and Parasite Eve's Director Takashi Tokita is working on Oninaki, Tokyo RPG Factory's latest action RPG.
Square Enix and Tokyo RPG Factory revealed in this week’s Famitsu magazine new information on Oninaki, the newest JRPG of the studio behind I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. In particular, it was revealed that Oninaki‘s Creative Producer is Takashi Tokita, the Director of Chrono Trigger, Live A Live, Parasite Eve, and of The Bouncer, best game with Nomura character designs. Tokita was also the Lead Game Designer on Final Fantasy IV.
Oninaki‘s scenario is handled by Hirotaka Inaba, who also wrote I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. Comments in Famitsu also indicate Oninaki’s story will be “disturbing and shocking”. Multiple developers on the game have also worked on Action RPGs in the past.
I personally think this is a bit reassuring as I’m far from being a fan of Tokyo RPG Factory’s previous games I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. They aren’t particularly bad, but they are far from being great games either. The most irritating thing with them though is how, especially with I Am Setsuna, Square Enix’s promotion was really pompous. They basically kept claiming the game will bring back some kind of golden era and be just as good as some of the best JRPGs on Snes, while I personally think it failed pretty badly at that and just blindly copied Chrono Trigger.
Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece, and is often remembered along with Final Fantasy VI as the best RPG on Super Nintendo, but multiple RPGs on Snes, like Ogre Battle, Super Robot Wars 4, Tactics Ogre, Seiken Densetsu 3, Fire Emblem 4 and 5, and of course Live A Live are actually just as good if not better. Hopefully, Oninaki will end up better than I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. I wouldn’t put too many hopes on the presence of only one person though, even if Tokita is “fully invested in Oninaki” according to the interview in Famitsu.
Oninaki, or “the country of weeping demons” as one could translate the game’ Japanese title, will be launching on an undetermined date this summer, for Switch, PS4, and PC via Steam. You can watch the game’s announcement trailer here.
Update: Here are the new details on Oninaki. New screenshots can be found in the gallery below too.
Here’s the story pitch:
Reincarnation is the foundation of our way of life. We celebrate the lives we’ve been given, and offer up prayers for the next. It is grief of death which shackles the living, and causes the dead to stray. Indeed, there is no greater affront to reincarnation. So do we turn our grief to joy as we send off the dead. But the souls of those who held back their tears in life still need salvation in death. A duty that falls to the Watchers. Their task is to guide the wandering souls known as the Lost, and serve as keepers of the Living World and the Beyond. The Watchers sever the bonds that tie the Lost to this world, and send them on to the next. They navigate the emotions of the living and the dead. They prize life above all else. This is the story of one Watcher.
In other terms, the Living World has rules and ethics all related to reincarnation. Mourning the loss of someone is taboo, and so is explicitly showing sadness or anger because of their death. It’s believed doing so will exclude you from the cycle of reincarnation. The Lost are people who didn’t manage to hold back these emotions and whose souls are trapped. They need to be purified by a Watcher or they’ll turn into monsters and won’t be able to reincarnate. And if Watchers can’t purify a soul, they need to destroy them or defeat the monsters which appeared.
Oninaki’s main character is Kagachi, a young man who strongly believes in his world’s rules and never questions his job as a Watcher, ready to even take lives for it. His fate changes one day after meeting a mysterious girl.
As they control Kagachi, players will explore both the Living World and The Beyond, and the same place may have a completely different topography in the two worlds. Players will need to go back and forth between the world to help the Lost reincarnate.
Square Enix also explained the Onibito system, which are the Stands/Personas behind Kagachi. They’re basically like Jobs in a traditional RPG. They each give you different weapons and skills to use, and you can switch at any time to adapt to new situations. All Onibito each have a skill tree too, and they published a screenshot of the skill tree of a Onibito called Aisha.