Rabbit & Bear Studios, a Tokyo-based studio formed by key creators of the Suikoden series, has announced Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, an ambitious new RPG planned for release in fall 2022. A Kickstarter campaign seeking $500,000 USD in funding for a PC release—with a single stretch goal to unlock PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Switch versions (or next-gen Switch, if one is available)—will run from July 27 at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET to August 28. A trailer will also debut when the campaign launches.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is led by Suikoden I and II veteran scenario writer Yoshitaka Murayama, alongside series veterans Junko Kawano, Osamu Komuta, and Junichi Murakami. The project marks the first time these four creators have worked on a game together, as well as the first time Murayama and Kawano have collaborated in 25 years.
“The first thing we decided when our members came together was, ‘It’s about time we made a really interesting game that we ourselves want to make,'” project lead Murayama said in a press release. “We chose Kickstarter in order to make an interesting game with the players in mind, hold the rights to the planning, world, and story of the game, all while keeping the fun of the project. Please lend us your support in this new challenge of ours! We promise to create something that heeds the call of your voices.”
Speaking to Gematsu, Murayama shared more information on the game’s similarities to Suikoden and what elements of the series will carry over.
“Eiyuden Chronicle is about war, or more importantly, the intention and feelings of the 100 heroes who fight that war from a variety of perspectives and for a variety of different reasons,” Murayama told Gematsu. “And of course the drama that can only occur when a group of different people from different walks of life come together and must wage a war of life and death.”
Murayama continued, “And the many characters that participate in this war aren’t just pawns added in as ‘war fodder,’ they have a living breathing soul and begrudgingly must fight to protect the things they believe in. Additionally, there are non-combat specialists, researchers, and other ‘heroes’ on the periphery that can help win battles or lose them. Each and every one of them is a living breathing character that the player gives life to through their choices.”
Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses that can be leveraged to help the player form a balanced team.
“Some characters are good are some things and bad at others,” Murayama explained. “But if you combine them with other characters that can strengthen their weaknesses, you can end up with a really balanced team. And based on that delicate balance your team make be more apt at mining or adventuring which will affect the overall game progression loop. One of the core game loops in Eiyuden is to experience the wide variety of different characters and personalities in your 100 person army.
“With each new character your ‘fortress town’ grows in size and ability. It is a key system in the game. As you increase your teammates, some members will be blacksmiths, some chefs and whether on the battlefield or not, each character will play a role in strengthening your resolve as an army. There are guilds that you can join which will largely change the visual make-up of your fortress town and grant different abilities. The more people you recruit, the stronger the snowball effect. As you level up, new trade options appear along with enemies and thieves that randomly attack your town in an effort to impede your progress. You need to make choices whether to strengthen your walls or hasten your progress. Each choice will make every play session feel different and have its own consequences.”
According to Murayama, all of this is “just the tip of the iceberg,” meaning that fans can expect much more to come.
Here is an overview of the game, via Rabbit & Bear Studios:
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is an ode to the classic Japanese RPG genre from the PlayStation era that will feature classic Japanese RPG exploration and battles in high-resolution 2.5D graphics, pixel-based characters, a story of war and friendship, a diverse cast of 100 unique heroes to join the protagonist’s endeavor, and a fortress building system to grow their army.
The game will feature a guild system that allows players to change their fortress attributes based on the guild they join. Battles will be turn-based with parties of up to six members and feature dynamic boss battles that change camera angle and rotate depending on the environment.
■ Studio and Staff
Rabbit & Bear Studios
Founded March 26th, 2020 by Yoshitaka Murayama, Rabbit & Bear Studios asks the age old question, what do gamers really want? It’s something we must never forget as creators. To continually focus on giving the fans the experience they really want.
We have created Rabbit & Bear Studios as the first step in realizing that dream and to have the responsibility that comes with it. That’s our core philosophy and we plan to lead by our actions.
- Story: Yoshitaka Murayama (Suikoden, Suikoden II, The Alliance Alive)
- Character Design: Junko Kawano (Suikoden, Suikoden IV, Arca Last)
- System Design and Direction: Osamu Komuta (Suikoden Tierkreis, Suikoden Tactics, Arca Last)
- Art Direction and Production: Junichi Murakami (Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, OZ)
- Composers: Michiko Naruke (Wild Arms series), Motoi Sakuraba (Tales of series), and more.
Welcome to the Continent of Allraan
“Our story begins in one corner of Allraan, a tapestry of nations with diverse cultures and values.
By dint of sword, and by way of magical objects known as “rune-lenses,” the land’s history has been shaped by the alliances and aggressions of the humans, beastmen, elves, and desert people who live there.
The Galdean Empire has edged out other nations and discovered a technology that amplifies the rune-lenses’ magic. Now, the Empire is scouring the continent for an artefact that will expand their power even further.
It is on one such expedition that Seign Kesling, a young and gifted imperial officer, and Nowa, a boy from a remote village, meet each other and become friends.
However, a twist of fate will soon drag them into the fires of war, and force them both to reexamine everything they believe to be right and true.”
Nowa (Default Name)
- Sex: Male
- Age: 17 years old
- Home: A remote village in the League of Nations
- Favorite Food: Anything with meat in it
“That’s who I am. A meddler. Always will be—just ask Leene. So don’t tell me to do nothing. I may not be able to help them, but I have to at least try.”
When the League of Nations recruits warriors to assist in a joint expedition with the Galdean Empire, our protagonist answers the call and leaves his remote village to test his skills. On the mission, he finds an ancient rune-lens, unaware that the discovery will spark a war between the League and the Empire. After the conflict begins, he joins a unit in the League’s border guard.
The protagonist is the “leap before you look” type. He doesn’t always weigh the pros and cons before springing to action, and while his constant need to involve himself in other people’s problems sometimes creates headaches for his companions, they like him for it and know his heart is in the right place. After all, if they ever got into trouble, he’d be the first person there.
- Sex: Male
- Age: 18 years old
- Home: A noble house in the Galdean Empire
- Favorite Food: Poached eggs
“I can dream all I want, but it won’t change a thing. The world is not that kind. So if the only way to achieve my ideals is to betray them first, then I will do that—unflinchingly. You have my word.”
The second-born son to House Kesling, a powerful imperial family. His older brother died on the battlefield. Seign is exceptionally gifted; after achieving outstanding grades at military academy, he was placed in command of a company of his peers and sent on the expedition to find the ancient rune-lens. During the mission, he meets the protagonist. The two warm to each other as they overcome adversity, and they learn of one another’s ambitions.
Seign’s strategic mind allows him to analyze things from a broad perspective and make sound decisions. People often confuse his clear mind for a cold heart, but he is guided by strong ideals and a deep passion to fulfill them.
After his brother’s death during a border rebellion, Seign began to think long and hard about what it means to fight.
- Sex: Female
- Age: 16 years old
- Profession: One of the Guardians who watches over the forest
- Favorite Food: Herbed chicken
“You just leave the forest to me. I know where the water springs, where the rabbits burrow—and most importantly, where your enemies will try to hide.”
A young member of the Guardians, a clan that hallows and protects the forest. Since Marisa was very little, her family has instilled their ways and traditions in her. She has a warm, affable smile—except on the battlefield, where she wears the countenance of a warrior.
Although the Guardians live as one with the forest, they have respect for the outside world’s culture and technology, and they are not against integrating the parts of it that make sense to them. Marisa is particularly forward-thinking in this regard, and loves new things—especially cute things.
Over the generations, the Guardians have developed a unique method of wielding the rune-lenses. For that reason, both the Empire and the protagonist try to win them over to their camp. Whom the Guardians choose will prove to be a major turning point in history.
- Sex: Male
- Age: 27 years old
- Profession: A scholar of natural history
- Favorite Food: Duck soup
“You should lay down arms and surrender. That’s the quickest way to end this… No? Very well. Then I suppose I’ll provide you with the next best thing: a winning strategy.”
A young scholar who specializes in natural history. He yearns to know of every last thing in the world, and exactly how it got there. He also happens to be a genius tactician, and will be a valuable asset to the protagonist.
That said, he views warfare as the most pointless of all human endeavors, and any personal contributions to it as a complete waste of time.
- Sex: Male
- Age: 32 years old
- Profession: Warrior in a clan of mercenaries
- Favorite Food: Pancakes slathered with whipped cream
“Only a soft-brained leader runs headlong into danger. Anyone who knows what’s good for him will tell you you’ve lost it, kid. But not me. If blaze-of-glory’s your thing, count me in. We all die in the end. Might as well make it interesting.”
A veteran beastman warrior. He and his clan make their living as mercenaries, and their vast experience and sheer brutality put them in high demand. War is all Garr has known, and to him life is one battlefield after the other until you die.
When a conflict breaks out, every army wants as many beastmen as they can afford. Because mercenary contracts are made with individuals and not the entire clan, it is not uncommon for Garr and his fellow beastmen to face each other as enemies in the field.
- Sex: Female
- Age: 16 years old
- Home: A martial arts dojo
- Favorite Food: Super-spicy ramen
“Uhh, maybe I’m dumbing this down a little, but—like—if a bunch of arrogant swine strut into YOUR home and started acting like they owned the place, what would YOU do? ‘Cause there’s your answer.”
After the Empire’s forces invade League lands, Lian is infuriated and runs away from home…without even the slightest semblance of a plan. She decides the first thing to do is hoof it to the biggest town she can find, and luckily that’s where she meets the protagonist and his companions.
Lian was born in a dojo, and her father wasted no time in teaching her. She was doing roundhouse kicks before she even learned to walk properly.
- Sex: Female
- Age: 27 years old
- Home: The Far East
- Favorite Food: Bamboo-wrapped sasa dumplings
“The road you walk is one, and yet its endpoints are myriad. You can still choose where the road takes you.”
A swordswoman who is journeying to perfect the way of the blade. She has a stoic personality and rarely speaks, unless it’s to challenge someone she views as a worthy opponent.
When she does open her mouth to say something, it’s straight to the point and usually dripping with wisdom, so the people around her have taken to calling her “sensei.” However, even the greatest of senseis do have the occasional brain fart…
The Waterstead of Quinja
The Seaside Cavern