[email protected] posted a detailed report of Dengeki PlayStation’s reveal article for Nippon Ichi’s new PlayStation 3 fantasy RPG, The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers (previously reported as The Witch and the Hundred Cavalrymen).
The game is set in a forest where the marsh witch and forest witch are at war. One day, the marsh witch comes across the legendary Hyakkihei and summons it into battle. She hopes to rid of her long time rival, the forest witch, and fill the world with marshland.
The marsh witch, whose name is Metallica, is the main character and the story’s central focus. You don’t control her, through. You control a Hyakkihei, one of the legendary “Hundred Soldiers.” Metallica can physically summon only one of these soldiers for a long period, but can also summon other soldiers for brief periods. The main Hyakkihei is meant to be a reflection of the player, so he won’t speak. He is small in frame but wields a large sword. He has lost both his ability to cast magic and his sense of morality. Though summoned by Metallica, he does not fully accept her as his master.
The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers is an action RPG set in a seamlessly connected open-world, where enemies are pursued in hack-and-slash style combat. NIS is aiming to create a game with a refreshing, smooth action feel and balanced difficulty level. It’s progression is stage-based, but once cleared you can go back and find paths to new stages.
Dengeki detailed five gameplay systems:
GIGAcal is the magic power Metallica must drain to summon the Hyakkihei soldier. This is restored by eating food.
Metallica’s house is your safe point and base of operations. Leaving the house opens up a massive world filled with enemies and quests. Some areas are engulfed in darkness; using GIGAcal, you can rid the darkness and expand the world. When you leave Metallica’s house, you can not turn back until you’ve reached a save point. Dying will result in the loss of your items, though, since your soldier is undead, there is no game over.
The other 99 Hyakkihei soldiers can be summoned for brief periods of time. Tochika, who deploys slime-like creatures onto the field, is one example.
Aside from story, there are also side-quests. You can accept or deny quests from residents, and even attack them, if you want. But be careful: the world residents have tribe-level instinct; become hated and the whole town will treat you like an enemy.
Boss battles, some giant, and a variety of special attacks, are also mentioned.
The Witch and the Hundred Soldiers is being developed by Nippon Ichi’s Prinny team. It will around 30 hours of story gameplay, not including side-quests. Downloadable content is being considered. It will release in spring 2012 for PlayStation 3 in both standard and limited forms. The limited edition includes an art book, sountrack, and Metallicac Nenodroid Puch figure with removable hat.