Dungeon RPGs Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal and Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings will launch for PC via Johren (Dungeon Travelers 2, Dungeon Travelers 2-2) in English and Chinese on June 9, publisher Shiravune announced.
All of each game’s original downloadable content will also be available, including collaboration dungeons with other Aquaplus titles such as the Utawarerumono and White Album series. The full list of downloadable content is as follows:
Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings Downloadable Content
- “Dungeon: Hojo Prep feat. White Album 2“ – Adds a dungeon themed around White Album 2 to Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. Featured characters include Setsuna and Kazusa.
- “Dungeon: Imperial Capital feat. Utawarerumono“ – Adds a dungeon themed around Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth to Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. Featured characters include Nekone and Anju.
- “Dungeon: Fortress City of Tartessos feat. Tears to Tiara 2“ – Adds a dungeon themed around Tears to Tiara 2 to Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. Featured characters include Kleito and Tarte.
- “Dungeon: Tsurugiya feat. Kizuato“ – Adds a dungeon themed around Kizuato to Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. Featured characters include Hatsune and Chizuru.
- “Costumes: Swimsuit Set + Bonus Double EXP Membership Card” – Adds new costumes for all characters to the Clothes Shop in Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. These costumes consist of swimsuits and beachwear.
- Bonus Item: “Double EXP Membership Card Platinum” – Membership card which grants double experience points.
- “Costumes: Alt Class Set + Bonus Great Luck Fortune” – Adds new costumes for all characters to the Clothes Shop in Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. These costumes include an alternate class outfit for everyone. What if Irena were a fighter instead of a magic user?
- Bonus Item: “Great Luck Fortune” – Fortune that says you’ll be more likely to collect equipment.
- “Costumes: Fallen Set + Bonus Double EXP VIP Card” – Adds new costumes for all characters to the Clothes Shop in Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings. These costumes are based on the “dark” version of each character.
- Bonus Item: “Double EXP VIP Card” – Even more exclusive experience-doubling membership card.
Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal Downloadable Content
- “To Heart 2 Character Pack” – This bundle set contains the following items for Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal:
- “To Heart 2 Character: Fighter Tamaki”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Fighter Sasara”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Fighter Ruri”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Maid Haruka”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Nanako”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Maid Ma-ryan”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Konomi”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Fighter Yocchi”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Scout Ikuno”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Charu”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Manaka”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Scout Yuma”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Maid Yuki”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Spieler Mio”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Lu”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Magic User Sango”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Scout Karin”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Scout Ilfa”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Maid Silfa”
- “To Heart 2 Character: Fighter Harumi”
- *Items in this set are also available separately.
Shiravune also published a new interview with Tsutomu Washimi, who leads development at Aquaplus’ Tokyo studio. He has been involved in many of the company’s releases, starting with Comic Party and including To Heart 2, Utawarerumono, and Aquapazza. He currently serves as the director of the Dungeon Travelers series.
Here is the full interview:
Interview with Dungeon Travelers Series Director Tsutomu Washimi
■ A Bold, Challenging Dungeon Crawler to Grab Fans Old and New
Please tell us about the development history of the Dungeon Travelers series.
Washimi: “Dungeon Travelers originated from one of the games included in Manaka de Ikuno!!, a spinoff title to To Heart 2. It was a dungeon crawler where the cast from To Heart 2 were trapped inside the world of a video game. Encouraged by the positive reception that this got, we decided to work on another dungeon crawler concept that would become Dungeon Travelers: To Heart 2 in Another World, released on PlayStation Portable in Japan in 2011.”
Why did you go with a dungeon crawler?
Washimi: “I had always played a lot of dungeon crawlers, and many members of the development team were big fans of the genre, too. We also thought fans would like to see the cast of To Heart 2 wearing fantasy costumes in an isekai setting.
“There was actually some opposition to the idea at first, because designing all the monsters and the different costumes for each character class was going to be a big undertaking, but once we got started on development, everybody got invested in the challenge of tackling a new gameplay genre and setting, and we ended up completing development much faster than I’d expected—and with a better game.”
What was the reception to the game like from fans at the time?
Washimi: “It was the biggest spinoff project we’d done for the series, so it garnered a lot of attention prior to release. To our surprise, not only did To Heart 2 fans enjoy it even more than we’d hoped, but dungeon crawler fans did, too. Players praised how underneath its cute, light-hearted aesthetic, the game itself was actually tough, and had all the appeal of a hardcore dungeon crawler.
“I like to think that since we had fans of the genre working on the game, we were able to cut to the core of what makes dungeon crawlers so much fun. The whole team was very honored by the high praise for the game.”
What aspects of the game systems did you focus on the most?
Washimi: “There was a lot of trial and error involved in balancing the game and adjusting the difficulty to keep that core dungeon crawler fun alive. For example, there’s the tension of delving deeper into a dungeon, maintaining your party’s HP and MP, managing items and so on. You can’t make it too easy or too difficult. The true essence of a dungeon crawler lives in that moment when you think, “this is getting dicey, but I can go just a little deeper,” so we were fine-tuning the game balance right until the very end.
“By the way, every game in the series includes extra dungeons after you beat the game. Not only are they tough, but they’re packed with our most brutal tricks, so players who relish a challenge should find plenty of ways to extend their enjoyment.”
The sequel, Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal, was released for the PSP in 2013, but unlike the previous game, this one wasn’t another spinoff to To Heart 2, but a completely original standalone title.
Washimi: “That’s right. As the first game was well received by players beyond the To Heart 2 fandom, we began planning for a sequel that would appeal even more to fans of dungeon crawlers. To do so, we decided that the sequel would focus on an all-new cast of characters.
“Although this was now a new IP, we still founded it on Aquaplus’ strengths—attractive character designs, stories and world-building—and built on them with even more refined dungeon crawling gameplay mechanics. As with the previous title, the sequel was a huge hit with the fans.”
—Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal Screenshots
■ The Shocking Inception and Loving Creation of Dungeon Travelers 2-2
In 2017, you released a sequel to Dungeon Travelers 2 for the PlayStation Vita in Japan, Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maidens & the Book of Beginnings. It starts with a surprising twist, where the cast from Dungeon Travelers 2 are defeated by the Demon God and fall to the darkness.
Washimi: “From the beginning of development, we decided to start the story of Dungeon Travelers 2-2 with Fried (the main character) and co. falling to the darkness. By the time you reach the final boss of Dungeon Travelers 2, naturally, your characters are high-level and powerful. But in order to start a sequel from that position, we needed a premise where the characters would have to start over from zero, for gameplay’s sake.
“That’s why we came up with the idea of the cast being defeated and falling to the darkness. That way, it made sense for the characters to need to level up all over again, and justified Fried needing to rescue each of the heroines again one by one.”
The drastic shift from the previous game was fresh and surprising.
Washimi: “One interesting thing is that, with this premise, we were able to adjust the order in which the characters join your party. When we looked into which characters players tend to use in their parties in Dungeon Travelers 2, we noticed that most people stick to the initial characters that join your team at the beginning of the game—the main reason being that those are the characters they’ve leveled up the longest, have grown fond of and find easy to use. Then, an additional gulf develops in levels between them and the characters who join later on, and most players end up sticking with their party from the first half forever.
“That’s why, for Dungeon Travelers 2-2, we jumbled up the order in which you encounter characters. We thought it would give players of Dungeon Travelers 2 a chance to try out some party members they might never have used much, and also help to make the story feel fresh.
“The development team has a fondness for the game’s whole cast. Not only are the character designs great, but all the heroines have unique costumes for each and every class, so we really hope that players will check out all the various illustrations. We also hope that Dungeon Travelers 2-2 will encourage players to discover each character’s distinct appeal, and form all kinds of different party combinations.”
It seems like Dungeon Travelers 2-2 was born out of the dev team’s love for all the characters.
Washimi: “That’s right. As Dungeon Travelers 2 featured an all-new cast of characters, we weren’t sure how players would respond to them, but once we unveiled them, they became extremely popular. Our team also wanted to make another game with these characters, so instead of titling it Dungeon Travelers 3, we felt Dungeon Travelers 2-2 was more appropriate.”
The PC release of Dungeon Travelers 2-2 will be the first time this game is released overseas.
Washimi: “Yes, this PC release will be the first time that international players get their hands on Dungeon Travelers 2-2. I hope the story will surprise you, and that you’ll find new charms in characters that you may have overlooked before through the gameplay. As I mentioned before, the different order in which the party comes together could even lead to some unexpected characters becoming new fan favorites.”
■ The Artistic Freedom Behind the Series’ Character Designs
Could you tell us how you went about producing the character art?
Washimi: “The illustrations for the first Dungeon Travelers game were handled, not only by our main internal artists at Aquaplus, but with a full staff effort. For Dungeon Travelers 2, we wanted to step things up even further, so we had many external artists helping out on the project, too. I don’t know exactly how many illustrations we ended up with off the top of my head, but if we include all the color variations, we must have over a thousand different pieces of art in the series.”
What kind of details or specifications did you give to the internal and external illustrators when you requested their help on the game?
Washimi: “I didn’t actually give any special orders. All the artists were very comfortable with the genre, so when it came to the character designs, they fully understood our intentions, and work went really smoothly. With the monsters, all I’d say is ‘this general vibe, with these kinds of attributes,’ and gave them the freedom to interpret that how they wanted in their design.”
So you didn’t say, ‘You can’t do this or that’?
Washimi: “No, not really. It wouldn’t be any fun if we laid out all these restrictions and all we got back were cliche designs. We trusted in the illustrators’ creativity, which is how we ended up with such richly varied visuals. Though we did have to draw the line occasionally with illustrations that came out a little too risque. (Laughs.)”
Are there any characters or monsters that are particular favorites of the development team?
Washimi: “The series has a whole lot of lovable characters, but the Therian characters are particularly popular, especially the comedy duo of Peggy (a penguin) and Beard (a bear), who are favorites among the dev team and fans alike. They pop up as you explore the series’ many dungeons and give gameplay hints via their conversations, so first-time players should keep their ears open.”
—Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maiden & the Book of Beginnings Screenshots
■ Venturing into High-Def on PC: Glorious Fan Service in Intricate Detail
Now Dungeon Travelers 2 and Dungeon Travelers 2-2 will be coming to PC in June 2023. In Japan, they will be releasing on the DMM GAMES storefront, but could you tell us about the process of porting the games to PC?
Washimi: “We have had a long relationship with DMM GAMES, and have released numerous Aquaplus titles (as well as Leaf titles) on their platform.
“Development on these PC versions began with the person in charge on the DMM GAMES side, who was a really big fan of Utawarerumono. We released three titles in the series (Prelude to the Fallen, Mask of Deception, and Mask of Truth), and when we were considering where to go from there, we proposed porting the Dungeon Travelers series.”
Have there been any changes made for the PC version?
Washimi: “We haven’t made any significant changes, so you’ll still be able to enjoy the games the same way you did back when they first released. Because Dungeon Travelers 2 and Dungeon Travelers 2-2 originally came out on PSP and Vita respectively, those versions did run at a lower resolution. However, the assets were all drawn in a much higher resolution to begin with, so in porting the games to PC, we haven’t needed to upscale the art—just present it in its original glory. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing all the intricacies of the illustrations (fan service included) in high definition.”
You can see a lot more detail in the art than before. I’m sure people who played the original releases will be delighted to hear that too.
Washimi: “Yes. Apart from a few things like store-exclusive promos, please rest assured that everything else, including the downloadable content, has been preserved.”
What sort of player would you recommend Dungeon Travelers to?
Washimi: “Aquaplus fans will enjoy these games, of course, but dungeon crawler fans are going to have a great time too. We’ve crafted some pretty challenging dungeons that might even test dungeon-crawling veterans, especially if they want to 100 percent everything, so by all means, please come put your skills to the test.
“I should also mention that the first Dungeon Travelers has no connection story-wise to Dungeon Travelers 2, so you won’t be lost if you haven’t played the first game. Feel free to jump into the series with Dungeon Travelers 2 on PC. As for Dungeon Travelers 2-2, it opens with a synopsis of the events of Dungeon Travelers 2, so if you want to start from Dungeon Travelers 2-2, you’ll still be able to follow along. But if you want to enjoy the story and events to the fullest extent, then I recommend you play Dungeon Travelers 2 beforehand.”
I wonder where the Dungeon Travelers series is headed.
Washimi: “First, we hope players will enjoy the new PC versions of Dungeon Travelers 2 and Dungeon Travelers 2-2. In order for us to make Dungeon Travelers 3 a reality, please support the Dungeon Travelers series.”
Read more about each game here.