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Take Control of an Undead Soldier in Nippon Ichi's New PS3 Action RPG

Lots of new details on The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers.

 

Sokuho has provided a detailed summary of Dengeki PlayStation's reveal article for Nippon Ichi's new PS3 title The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers, filling in some of the blanks from our earlier report.

First up, some clarification about the characters. As we reported earlier, the main character is a witch named Metallica. You don't control her, though. You control a soldier named "Hyakkihei," a name that translates to Hundred Cavalryman or Soldiers. The Hyakkihei is actually one of 100 Hyakkihei soldiers. Metallica can only physically summon the one, though. The others are used for only brief periods -- see below for details.

The story of The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers is set in a forest where a war is being fought between the beautiful marsh witch and the ugly forest witch. One day, the marsh witch finds the legendary Hiyakkihei, and summons it into battle.

The marsh witch is Metallica, the title witch (she's also the character that Nippon Ichi showed when teasing the game at an Akihabara event a month back). She hopes to get rid of her long time rival, the forest witch, and fill the world with marshland.

The Hyakkihei soldier has a small frame but wields a large sword. It has great power but has lost most of its ability to cast magic. It's also lost the notion of morality and will do brutal things in battle. It seems that it does not fully accept Metallica as its master.

Developed by the Prinny team, The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers is an action RPG that's played from an overhead perspective. Set in an expansive and seamlessly connected world, you'll face off against enemies directly in hack-and-slash style gameplay.

Dengeki details five gameplay systems:

GIGAcal
Metallica must use magic power to call out the Hyakkihei soldier. When this depletes, you restore it by eating, intaking GIGAcal (hint... the "cal" probably is meant to be like calories).
Field
Your base of operations is Metallica's house. Leave the house, and a massive world will expand around you. Its full of enemies and gimmicks that must be solved. You can expand the world by wiping the darkness from areas that are engulfed in darkness, although it appears that this requires a considerable amount of GIGAcal.
Call Upon the Other Hyakkihei Soldiers
You can call upon the 99 other Hyakkihei soldiers for brief periods. One example is Tochika, which sends out slime-like creatures into the surroundings.
Subquests
Take on quests from residents. You can also refuse requests and can even attack residents if you feel like it.
Boss Battles, Special Attacks
You'll face off against giant bosses, making use of a variety of special attacks, some associated with particular Hyakkihei soldiers.

Nippon Ichi CEO Shohei Shinkawa mentioned a number of additional points in an interview with the magazine.

  • They're aiming for a refreshing, smooth action feel. They're also aiming to balance the game so its difficulty isn't too high.
  • The game is stage based, although once you've cleared a stage you can go back to it and find paths to new stages.
  • Once you've exited Metallica's home, you can't return back until you've reached a save point. If you die along the way, you'll lose the items that you've collected (this appears to be where the earlier reports of dungeon crawler elements came from)
  • The Hyakkihei soldier is undead, so there is no game over.
  • Using the 99 other Hyakkihei soldiers is a key to strategy.
  • The game's world is seamless -- there's no loading even when going into a town.
  • The world residents have tribe-level parameters. If one particular tribe hates you, they will treat you like an enemy.
  • The game's main story will have a play time of around 30 hours. This does not include sub quests and other elements.
  • There will be item collection and item synthesis components.
  • The main Hyakkihei soldier is meant to be the player's in-game self, so he won't talk. In terms of story, Metallica is the central figure.
  • The game's monsters are being designed by the Prinny development staff.
  • They're considering releasing download content.

The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers is due for release in Spring 2012. It will be released in standard and limited forms. The limited version includes a visual book, a soundtrack CD, and a Metallica Nendoroid Puchi figure with removable hat.

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