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Atlus Unveils Radiant Historia

An all new RPG from some of the key staff behind Square Enix's Radiata Stories.

 
Artwork from Radiata Stories. Aside from the staff, Radiant Historia has nothing to do with the tri-Ace RPG.

Any game with the name "Radiant" in the title will probably make you think of Radiata Stories, a critically acclaimed 2005 PlayStation 2 RPG from tri-Ace and Square Enix. The connection is only half-way warranted for Radiant Historia, a new DS RPG from Atlus.

Historia doesn't have any direct connection with Radiata Stories, but it is coming to us from a couple of that game's primary staffers. The original idea and world setting are attributed to Satoshi Takayashiki who's also credited with the original idea for Radiata Stories. Hiroshi Konishi is heading up character design and artwork on Historia. On Radiata Stories, he oversaw character designs.

Radiant Historia draws talent from a number of other places as well. Serving as director is Mitsuru Hirata, an Atlus employee who served as battle planner on Shin Megamitensei III Noctunre. Historia's music is being headed up by Yoko Shimomura, known for her work on the Kingdom Hearts series.

Famitsu has a four page feature on Historia this week, detailing the game's story, characters and gameplay systems.

Radiant Historia is set in Vancool, a land of man and beasts. This land is split info five countries. Our main character, 19-year-old Stok, serves in the intelligence bureau of one of these countries, Alicetel. Alicetel is in a state of war with with Gran org, a massive country to the West that 's ruled harshly by Queen Protea.

In addition to being at war, Alicetel has another big problem. Its land is slowly turning to desert. People will also on occasion suddenly turn to sand, a disease known as "Sand Person Disease." The ruler of Alicetel, Noah, insists that this worldwide disease is the result of Protea's evil government. The people of Alicetel thus believe they are fighting a holy war against Gran org.

The story of Radiant Historia begins when Stok and his subordinates Renny and Marko are sent out into Gran org to rescue a secret agent. After saving the agent, the group find themselves surrounded by the Gran org army, and Stok is severely wounded. He awakens in Historia, a world where time and space are warped. There, a group of mysterious children give him the ability to travel through time and space. He is told that the world needs his power.

Stok will use his power to travel between the past and future of two parallel worlds. He'll need to create a proper history by in some instances changing the past and in other instances changing the future.

This time and space travel system appears to be directly tied into the gameplay. You can go into the menu to see the current state of your present time and space. The story will branch off into a number of different futures. Screenshots in the magazine show what appears to be a branching timeline.

Even when not traveling through time and space, Stok and his party will have a large world to explore. Famitsu states that in addition to walking through the land of Vancool, you can also select your next location directly from a world map.

Like the story, details on the Radiant Historia original battle system are a bit vague at present.

The game uses a "symbol encounter" system -- that is, you can see enemies on the fields of play, and when you run into them, you enter battle.

The battle system makes use of a positioning system called the "Grid System." Enemies are placed on a 3 x 3 grid, with multiple enemies capable of standing in a single slot, and some large enemies spanning multiple slots. If you attack an enemy who's in a grid space near your character, the enemy will incur greater damage. However, you'll also be open to greater damage.

One strategy for play is to use a skill which changes the position of the enemy. You can get a bunch of enemies in a single grid square, then damage them all with a single attack.

Enemies and allies are shown on a timeline on the top screen. Viewing this, you can see who's going to move next, and strategize accordingly. If two ally characters happen to move in consecutive turns, you'll open up the chance for combo attacks which can deal greater damage to enemies.

Radiant Historia is currently 80% complete and is due for release on November 4 at ¥6,279. An official site will open later this week and will feature some music samples from Shimomura.

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