Wot I Think: Fortune Summoners

By Brendan Caldwell on February 8th, 2012 at 11:14 pm.

We tasked young master Caldwell with exploring the dungeons of Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone, the latest translated Japanese indie title from Recettear Anglifiers Carpe Fulgur. He returned with these words.

As the son of a shopkeeper in real life I know for a fact that helping out in the storeroom is not a magical experience. So Recettear, while jovial in spirit and generally compelling, didn’t appeal to me in the same way as it did others. In the storerooms of the non-digital world there are lots of cardboard boxes to tear apart and smelly bins to stand on in an effort to crush rubbish and make space. Once, there was a fist-sized hole torn in the wall by an errant RPG of a completely different nature. It was dreadful and there was rubble in the 10p mix-ups. But that’s Northern Ireland for you, and another story altogether.

Fortune Summoners begins with an almost alarming tip-of-the-hat to its shopkeeping predecessor (I say ‘predecessor’ but Fortune Summoners’ original developer is actually Lizsoft – it’s just that their localisation team is the same). Again, you live in an item shop and again you are required to help out. Only this time your father is a responsible and retired adventurer, rather than a neglectful, debt-laden thrill-seeker. But this is a quickly dispersed smoke screen covering the rest of the game, which leaves the comforts of Recettear’s subversive buying and selling mechanic in favour of something much more traditional.

You play mainly as Arche, a pre-teen of the abominably upbeat variety, who has moved towns and is starting at a magic school. At the core it’s a dungeon-crawler presented as a 2D platformer across multiple screens, with monsters to fight in the caves and areas between towns, although the platforming itself is definitely secondary to the combat. Pitfalls are an almost token punishment – fall and you’ll simply reappear on the last solid ledge you were on. And in any case, Arche and her sidekicks can jump ten feet straight up, a well-known attribute of the common eight-year-old.

Aside from the quirky writing, which localisation wizards Carpe Fulgur have a definite knack for, the combat is where most of the satisfaction comes from. Incidentally, that’s where most of the gurn-fuelling frustration comes from too. Like Chatelise before it, it requires a kind of tempered button-bashing and your strikes often need to be meticulously timed. Arche’s reach with her sword is scarily short, so you’ve got to get right up next to every enemy to get the hits in. But even on easier difficulties your enemies have a fighting ability that borders on clairvoyance. In groups, even the ever-present slimes of RPG lore can be over-whelming if you don’t approach the fight in the right manner, combining jumps, rolls and sword strikes with the magical abilities of your computer controlled partners.

Some enemies are downright exasperating. There’s a peculiar type of insect early in the game that puts you to sleep. A band of these barbarous bumblebees (alliteration, ho!) ganged up on me at the edge of the screen at one point. I struggled to get free of their cycle of sleep spells and stinging attacks but in the end I didn’t stand a chance. I vaguely remember Jim demanding more bees in games. Having put up with this particular baddie I am now firmly opposed to this notion. No more bees, please.

I learned to deal with this type of beleaguering enemy eventually (there was much worse to come) and in essence this erratic learning curve grants Fortune Summoners its core fan – anyone looking for Dark Souls Lite. Which is an odd comparison because everything else in the game is so bloody cheerful. However, there were times when it simply felt like the computer was reading my keystrokes and randomly deciding when to intercept my blows and when to “let” me win. Like Chantelise before it, this insistence on proper timing in combat means it’s definitely more suited to a gamepad than keyboard. More so, perhaps, thanks to the underlying platformy feel.

Even though the combat can be sometimes eye-gougingly irksome, that’s not really Fortune Summoners big problem. That honour goes to its traditionalism. Whereas Recettear was humourously self-conscious of this – like watching a piss-take of This Is Your Life dedicated to the JRPG – Fortune Summoners sometimes feels like a retrograde step. It adheres to ye olde RPG principles of yore as strictly as if it was made a decade or two ago. The emphasis is on grind and levelling, dungeons and loot. Numbers go up, and then they go up again. All of this without the same level of self-awareness seen in Recettear.

Common RPG sins are continually noticeable, right down to the point where you find yourself gallivanting all over town, chatting hurriedly to every NPC until someone gives you a clue as to where to go or provides the ‘trigger’ for progress. There’s a disagreeable amount of back-tracking which seems designed to strengthen your characters while deliberately stringing out the game’s lifespan, rather than introducing new areas to explore. And it takes a long time to get control over the final key character, a snotty rich girl called Stella Mayberk.

Actually, let’s talk about Stella.

There’s one sequence where you finally get control of her and it becomes clear she’s to join Arche and her friend Sana on their little quest to seek out some special stones and perhaps gain the magic of the elements (even though everyone knows the ultimate magic is friendship). Alone, you fight your way across valleys and drag her disgustingly wealthy curls all the way through a dungeon you’ve already been through, taking her from useless china doll impersonator to fire-wielding badass and using all your healing goods in the process. Then the story decides to give you back control of Arche and pits you against the newly anointed Stella ‘I Give Povvos Third Degree Burns’ Mayberk. The resulting fight wasn’t very fun for me, not least because I was constantly chiding myself for not seeing this RPG trope coming.

In this instance, I had to go buy a stack of new herbs by quitting the dungeon, which penalises you by taking 10% of your money. But there were also times I had to quit a dungeon whenever a sidekick snuffed it. In these cases, Sana and Stella will continue to follow you around but you can’t take direct control over them unless you have a revival drink to resuscitate them. Considering you need their elemental abilities to complete many of the dungeon’s puzzles it’s a major pain to find yourself unable to control the necessary character even though they are standing right there in front of you. “Stella!” you scream, “Set fire to that fucking rose bush!” But Stella does not heed you. Back to the last town you go.

Despite these capitulations to genre, there is clearly still some of that jocular Japanophile spirit in Fortune Summoners. Dialogue goes between cringey ‘lets-all-be-fweinds-foweva’ fare to being fairly chucklesome. There were times I just couldn’t tell when the narrative was being genuine and when it was lapsing into parody. Among the characters there’s a teacher who is a typical finger-wagging pedagogue for the most part but who is scarily blasé when considering the safety of her over-adventurous class. “Be careful on the way home, children,” she says summarily. “There are many monsters.” Indeed there are. There are vicious bees with infinite projectile stings that are bigger than your students, Ms Sophia. Would it be too much trouble to organise a school bus, or something? But then, this is just another absurdly wonderful RPG trope in full swing – grown-ups so disinterested in the activities of their children that it borders on the criminally negligible.

As if this wasn’t Japanese enough for you, the whole story takes place in the fashion-conscious realm of Scotsholm. Arche’s new hometown, Tonkiness, is a sort of Jacobean Inverness via Tokyo, with all the batshit fashion accessories that would come from such a mad chimera-town. Among the item shops, weapon shops, inns and bakeries of the many settlements of Scotsholm, there is also the odd Boutique. In these you can buy from collections of coloured outfits for your three wee lassies to wear. None of these clothes give you a stats-boost like the other items. They’re purely superficial and – although you can go the whole game without ever equipping them – there’s a nagging feeling like you’re expected to play a bit of dress-up on the side.
I was fond of blue ribbons and matching socks myself.

I recognise that the arguments against traditionalism can only go so far. Even if it did (sort of) reverse the roles of adventurer and shop-keeper, Recettear itself stuck to a lot of genre conventions and was no stranger to grind and repetition. With that in mind, it’s not hard to recommend Fortune Summoners to anyone who has adored Carpe Fulgur’s previous efforts. But ultimately it feels like the games coming out of said localisation kings are going backwards in terms of novel mechanics, even if the dialogue and characters haven’t lost any of their linguistic charm or paradoxical quirks.

Put simply, Fortune Summoners isn’t bad. The combat is strong and challenging and it’s often as characterful as its precursors. But it’s also tied to the immovable customs of its genre, when what I expected was something more explosive – an RPG of a completely different nature.

Fortune Summoners is out now
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59 Comments »

  1. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    i couldnt comment earlier in the day so:

    what a shame.

  2. Turkey says:

    *Clackle*!

  3. JackDandy says:

    Guess I should be buying this sometime.

  4. iwem.xo says:

    You missed an n in Chantelise, and your bees link is broken.

    Think I’ll skip this one though. I have yet to complete both of the other Carpe Fulgur games I have anyway.

  5. Kaira- says:

    “I vaguely remember Jim demanding more bees in games. ”

    No! Not the bees!

  6. hap says:

    I thought this was a fantastic game beginning to end, although I do wish it hadn’t ended with so many unfinished plot hooks as it did. It’s clear they were leaving plenty of room for a sequel but as far as I know Lizsoft never made one.

    It’s also worth pointing out that except for a few in-game “photos” (anime-style artwork) the entire game – story, programming, graphics, audio, etc – was all made by one person.

    • Spengbab says:

      I wanted to enjoy this, but between the godaweful controls (Even when using a Xbox pad) and the horrible solo parts I cannot get myself to finish this game.

      For example, during the 2nd dungeon in the windmill village, you don’t have access to your healing sidekick, so I stocked up on healing items and went to the dungeon with my infant. Along the way I proceeded to get my ass kicked by chocolate rats, slimes (staple enemies of JRPGs) and kobolds. Still, using my vast supply of healing gear I worked my way through, until I got to an extremely infuriating part. I felt like smashing my (overpriced) controller against the wall, but opted to alt-F4 out of this PoS and cool off a bit. Only then did I realize that I have to play that horrible section ALL OVER AGAIN. And from I read, its not even the worst part, as you also have to solo with the haughty fire baby

      So in short, fuck this game. I wonder how far Brendan took this game to write his review, for although its clearly meant to be loved, it didnt get enough love from its single-parent household

  7. HoosTrax says:

    Looks a bit similar to Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.

  8. Bhazor says:

    “Once, there was a fist-sized hole torn in the wall by an errant RPG of a completely different nature. It was dreadful and there was rubble in the 10p mix-ups. But that’s Northern Ireland for you, and another story altogether.”

    Yeah my mum has a few stories like that from when she was a teenager in Belfast.
    That ess was effed up.

  9. PleasingFungus says:

    You keep referring to Recettear as Fortune Summoner’s predecessor, but they have no relation aside from the localization team – they were made by unrelated devs, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Fortune Summoners had come out (in Japanese) well before Recettear.

    You were probably aware of that, but your phrasing annoyed me throughout the interview.

    Anyway, on the substance of the review itself, you’re more-or-less dead-on. I’ve enjoyed the game, on the whole, partially because I find the combat difficulty to be more “high skill curve” rather than “computer cheats and hates you”. (Though I agree with you on mothbees. Just wait until you run into the poison mothbees!) It is very traditional, which means being very poorly signposted in places, but it’s fun enough if you can suffer through it.

    For anyone on the fence, check out the demo. It’s about an hour long, and pretty representative of the full game. (You get another character later, and much fancier spells, but the core of the game remains the same.)

    • Brendy_C says:

      I mentioned that near the start of the review, yeah. But I agree with you about the demo, it’s a lengthy indicator of the full game’s merits.

      Those poison mothbees… nnnnnrrrrg. At least you have everyone in your party by that point.

    • Premium User Badge bglamb says:

      I think it’s fair (even necessary) to consider this in light of the other work from the localisation team.

      They’re like a promoter putting on a night. They are hand picking games from a sea of Japanese titles and putting them on a stage for us. Their judgement here is what will determine the success of their ‘series’, and they are what makes this game worth reviewing, next to the thousands of other Japanese RPGs out there.

    • Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

      There is really no reason to not play the demo before buying, since you can save at the end of the demo, and continue from there in the full game.

  10. Suits says:

    I couldn’t bother to learn the controls in the demo :|

    • ZenoDLC says:

      Don’t they have the option in the main menu for configuring those?

  11. InsanityBringer says:

    Sounds a bit weird, but regardless it has a place in my “things to check out” list now. Guess I’ll give the demo a go in the meantime.

  12. Fox89 says:

    “even though everyone knows the ultimate magic is friendship” – I love you, Brendan ;)

    This looks…kinda like my sort of thing. Although I can get frustrated easily so I’m caught in two minds. Best course of action: wait until it’s half off in a Steam sale. I picked up Recettear and Chantelise over the christmas period, and they’re good value for that.

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    If you’re on the fence about this game, try the demo. It’s a pretty good benchmark for whether you’ll like the full game or not. It’s also a great example of precisely how much game should be put in a demo, developers!

    Edit: huh, I got ninja’d a few times. That’ll teach me not to read the whole article and then not refresh the comments before posting.

  14. Radiant says:

    I really enjoy brendan’s writing.
    He’s pretty good.

  15. ScorpionWasp says:

    Things are getting so niche nowadays there’s even people making games for pedos.

    • JackShandy says:

      I like that JRPG’s take it for granted that once you’re 13 you have to leave the house and go have adventures. Maybe Medieval times were actually like that. “You’re 13, son, it’s time to go to war.”

    • Shih Tzu says:

      ScorpionWasp: Inasmuch as fans of Modern Warfare 3 play it because they’re attracted to sweaty American men in camouflage, sure!

    • Brendy_C says:

      You have no idea how many inappropriate innuendos are in this game to that end. It’s absurd.

    • Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

      Yeah, I think they could have made the characters at least older teenagers or yound adults. Those still go to school, and can also have adventures and stuff. But age has always been a bit strange in japanese videogames…

    • Qwibbles says:

      *sigh* This argument again?!
      Just because a game has you play as a 13 year old girl does not mean that you are in anyway attracted to her.
      Using your logic I must be a homosexual for playing Half Life 2 because I play as a man.

    • Elsy says:

      hey, if they’re gonna make games like dead or alive beach volley ball to cater to horny straight-normal men, why not make games full of loli’s to cater to pedos? I’m a pedo, and I bought this game cuz I like playing as small girls beating the crap out of everything. got a problem?

  16. Nickless_One says:

    I’ve quite enjoyed this one. Definitely better than Chantelise in my book…

  17. Skusey says:

    I realise that I’m a moron for having nothing better to say than this, but I love how the fullstop at the end is all on it’s own, like it’s fed up of ending distances and now it wants to grow up into a letter and start forging it’s own destiny, but it’s Dad is like” No fullstop son, our family has always been fullstops and you’re going to carry on that tradition.” but by the end of the film he realises that as long as his son is happy nothing else really matters.

    It’s late.

  18. Strife212 says:

    “None of these clothes give you a stats-boost like the other items. They’re purely superficial and – although you can go the whole game without ever equipping them – there’s a nagging feeling like you’re expected to play a bit of dress-up on the side.
    I was fond of blue ribbons and matching socks myself.”

    brb downloading

  19. Magus44 says:

    Dont forget to mention the bizarre inventory management. You only have like 60 slots for items, INCLUDING the 12 that you will use for your girls equipment. Those cosmetic items take these slots. Some healing items come in stacks of 3… other in ones. But you cant make them into more than one if they came that way. Also it counts healing items stored in your stash against some healing item limit.
    Then there’s the fact that it takes about 10 Hours to even get a full party. It teases you so much. Start with one.. get a second. NO SHES GONE…
    There’s no map either. so I have awesome drawn ones littering my desk. Oh and the revival drink and MP restoring items you need so desperately… Not until the second and third towns.
    Then again.. One Guy made it..
    And I do love it… but there’s some crazy stuff in here.

    • Tacroy says:

      There’s a Japanese wiki with maps of all the dungeons; the surrounding text is even somewhat legible if you run it through a translator, like the one built in to Chrome.

      Part 1
      Part 2

  20. Tacroy says:

    One thing Brendan doesn’t mention about the Stella segment:

    Stella is completely outclassed by the enemies she has to face, has no self-heal spell, and shares inventory with the other two characters. This makes for a ridiculous combination, because any self-respecting min-maxer will stash all the Arche and Sana specific items, stuff the shared inventory to the gills with healing items, and race through the dungeon.

    What happens at the end of the Stella segment, when you’re fighting Stella herself? Surprise! All that equipment you stashed away in order to bring enough herbs to drag Stella’s weak ass through the dungeon stays locked up in the storage chest, so you end up fighting her with default weapons and armor. All those herbs you used as Stella stay used, so you might not have much healing available besides Sana’s spells. And, of course, Stella gets a gigantic HP boost to smack you around with.

    It was irritating, let me tell you.

    • bromelain says:

      The Stella segment actually isn’t too bad if you spam fire wall and are careful about keeping enemies on the outside of it since most will kill themselves trying to attack you (and those that don’t will wait right next to it; giving you ample time to line it up so the pillar is right on top of them). Once you get the chaser spell it’s just a matter of keeping distance from everything and stocking up on magic candy before you leave town.

      Edit: Also the 10% penalty to your copper gets recouped pretty fast so it’s not too bad using it to head back to town to buy supplies. Well except going through the whole dungeon again takes forever. Blech backtracking.

    • ZenoDLC says:

      Stella is a mage
      Mages are weak in close combat
      do close combat

      I don’t get Stella’s gameplay, so while I don’t hate her, I’m not good at using her….. (wow, that kinda sounds as if I’m a pervert pedophile…..), but a bit of grinding and a LOT of training can fix that, now as of the fight against her, I’m the kind of guy that keep all needed equipment inside if the inventory is shared, so I don’t get to the fight with the default equipment, but if you did, shucks to be you, in any and all cases, don’t let her have a single attack in, try doing everything you can to keep her at your sword’s range, and don’t stop slashing, keep yourself on the ground and pound her until she faints……… (I need to clean up my mind after this……)

  21. bromelain says:

    Literally just finished this a few minutes ago.

    Overall enjoyed the crap out of it but definitely agree with the bit about the bees (more because of how hard they are to hit with Arche than their sleep spells) and backtracking.

    Conclusion: bees are terrible. Always.

    • Skabooga says:

      Agreed. Bees are an excuse to have an enemy with flying, poison, or that attacks in swarms. Or sometimes all three. Bees are bad news, and the less I see of them, the better.

  22. kud13 says:

    I never understood the hate English-speakers have for bees

    you know they don’t sting you unless you steal their honey, right? because they die otherwise.

    now wasps… those are some mean $%^&ers. and THEY don’t die after stinging.

    • Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

      They also sting when the feel threatened. Like the one that crawled into my sandal one day, and made my foot not fit into my shoe for a week.

    • ZenoDLC says:

      Well, the bees in games are aggressive, get close enough and they are sure to sting you without dying, and if that’s not bad enough, this particular game has Mothbees that can spray down sleep powder

  23. Wolvaroo says:

    Just finished this and enjoyed every minute of it. It’s hard for sure (Played on Normal), and I wish more games were nowadays.

    I’ve been seeing many people complain that the fighting system is too clunky, but the movement and attacking are all very fluid to me. It’s just not a button masher. You have to go in to it playing very techincally. Lots of blocking and counter-attacks. Most difficult situations can be easily passed just by spamming Stella’s Chaser spell as soon as you see the off-screen enemy indicator if you start having trouble.

    As for the items, I went through the entire game and only started using MP and revival items in the last dungeon, which I could have avoided if I wasn’t always lost looking for the “save” rooms. I feel playing with magic users set to “minimal usage” help you become a better swordsman and lets you really let loose some major spellpower on the bosses.

    If you are even remotely interested in the game, do yourself a favour and play the demo (which is a very good chunk of gameplay and your save carries over).

    My single regret is that I’m now upset that I will probably never see a sequel, and I was perfectly content with that beforehand.

  24. Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

    I’m four hours into the game, and I enjoyed quite a bit it so far. I even like the main character, finding her more adorable than annoying (which would be my usual reaction to a child character). That rabbit creature that starts to follow you around after the first dungeon is a bit much though. It took a while to get used to the controls, but now I’m able to beat most enemies without looking like I’m just wildly flailing around whenever something unfriendly comes near.

  25. bill says:

    So they are just going to translate endless JRPGs into English – with a little added humor?
    Well, they sure have a lot to choose from, but i can see it getting repetitive…

    • Shih Tzu says:

      It’s true, all JRPGs are the exact same, while every Western-developed FPS or indie platformer is a unique, precious snowflake.

      • ZenoDLC says:

        Seeing from a design perspective, this might seems like it, but JRPG aren’t focused on gameplay, they are a story driven interactive medium, and calling all western games unique is quite oblivious, I can’t remember how many clones are there, I’m not sure about Indies, but let’s take an example, how many CoD clones are there? Not to mention CoD being the same thing everytime, not to mention on how it’s too focused on getting much variety over one good solid gameplay… Yet, something is missing from current JRPG, what was it…. Oh, I dunno…. THE STORY QUALITY!? People that develop games in Japan are a bit too worried over getting good looks or profit that they sometimes sacrifice what their games are truly about (Later Final Fantasy series, Megaman, Breath of Fire on the iPhones….), and JRPGs are good because of their story, yet that’s the missing this in those lately, back in the days, those were used to be good, the games might have boring actualy “game” but the story is what makes the players keep going, nowadays, it’s mostly cash-ins after cash-ins

  26. kafiend says:

    I wanted to love it but gave up when:
    I went a little bit into a cave had to go home. Went a little further into the same cave with my friend – had to go home. Back to the same cave again? Fuck off…..

  27. Zepp says:

    Can you play some badass character or you’re stuck with this little girl? :/

  28. wererogue says:

    MOAR BEES

  29. Cantisque says:

    This game is hard to recommend because there just isn’t much to it for the amount you’re paying. For comparison, it’s significantly pricier than Dungeon Defenders and not nearly as good in any aspect.
    The main problem is how repetitive it is.
    Dungeons? They all look the same, just slightly different colour variations of “cave”, “temple”, “tower” and “crypt”, none of which are very creatively designed.
    Monsters? You’ll be seeing re-coloured variants of the same monsters only a short while in.
    Characters? You get three, two of which come with a bewildering number of skills you’ll never use and another that has none but does different sword skills based on key combo’s.

    And oh the backtracking! This game is around 25 hours long, but I promise you the majority of that you will be playing through areas you’ve already done before.
    It’s not THAT bad a game and I hate to talk down about it, but the price they’re asking for it is atrocious! When you consider that it’s “closest living relative”, MapleStory, is not only free to play but also has a much bigger world, a lot more content, the price for Fortune Summoners doesn’t seem justified, adding that it’s not exactly a brand new game either.

    PS, notice how I didn’t complain about the controls? That’s because that discussion is too redundant, you either hate them or tolerate them.

  30. ZenoDLC says:

    Is it just me who doesn’t have problems with the Carpe Fulgur’s games battle systems? Sure they got steep learning curve, but try playing Sonic Riders first……
    If I have to say the problems about them then…… Lessee…….
    Reccetear : I don’t know how to unlock the other fighters, but I’m content with what I have, played Zelda a lot and got used to top-down battle view, the swings being actual swings instead of just a one sprite swing got me from time to time, and the MP system needs more MP for my preference, as a side note, I find the Ice Trap (where the whole floor turns slippery) is fun, handy, and is a fast mean of near-effortless travel, instead of Ice Physics, I think it uses a low-friction physics instead…..

    Chantelise : The buttons are unreconfigurable, I have no problems with the jump and normal attack, but the magic and camera button sometimes get in the way, I watched a review of this game, the reviewer says that using arrow keys to move is dumb, and so is the letters being the action buttons, I think it’s of no trouble, if the magic preparation don’t mess with my jumping that is….. for some reason, I never have a situation where an enemy attacked me while I can’t see because it’s not on the camera, my biggest gripe with this thing is the dash system, pressing both attack and jump activates it, but the time gap is a bit on the unforgiving side, I think sometimes it just doesn’t register, and the magic system is just wrong, I don’t use them much if I don’t need to, if I use them at all, but the automatic stacking that also doubles as the throw-away rune system, paired with how you need to add certain stones in certain order for certain magics, topped with the numerous number of combinations possible and the number of possible rune in one spell can screw people up quite a lot. The slipperiness of this game might make the enemies kinda hard to approach, especially the ones that fly, like the bees…… Oh the bees…. How hard would it be to break a hive with a sword? As a side note, the site says that Elise’s sword is a greatsword, I have to say, that doesn’t look like a greatsword to me, it’s more like a shortsword with wide hilt guard and hollow middle, also, the church, I can’t forget the first time the sisters got in there, a burly black bald grown man that says he is a priest saying to a little girl with a fairy and a blade that she has to pay with her body for information, comparing sizes, I think Elise is about preteen to teen…… Are there any police there?

    Fortune Summoners : Why can’t Carpe Fulgur stick with games that has the same style of battling? They can stick with artstyle that seems similar enough, so what gives? Anyway, putting that aside the battle in here are hard, I can handle Arche as long as I’m not being juggled by slimes (No seriously, that happened once, two slimes are just juggling Arche until she is dead, granted it’s the yellow ones), most enemies at stunned by your attacks a bit, try following what people suggest, sometimes it helps a lot, her weakness is that range, until you learn unison and the other spells that comes with it, you need to get up close and personal with any and all enemies, which is not too bad since the kids are quite fast, pulling a hit and run is not recommended, instead, bash them relentlessly, next is Stella, she is a glass tank, her firepower (pun half-intended) is quite good at the beginning, and it just gets stronger from there, however, even if you take all the Tough Drops you can find at any point before this, her defense is just low, her HP is not that thick, and she doesn’t have any healing spells, you can hit HARD with her, but you also get hit HARD, next one is Sana, I don’t suggest using her for battles until you get Barrier spell, she is the kind of person you want on the back, supporting you, not on the front lines, in enemy-ridden areas that has underwater puzzle, you need to either bait the enemies into somewhere where Arche can slice their head open, just run around like crazy while solving it, or use Mermaid Robe, Sana is weak, but given enough time for her spells, she can render enemies useless, until you get Stella, most enemies are knocked out cold in one hit by her Diamond Dust, when it’s not deadly, it’s cold enough to freeze things, when you still have MP, refresh people with Heal Water, Barrier is useful for preparing spells when alone, and more just so you know, most of Sana’s magic is usable by the enemy (In particular, Diamond Dust (Damage and freeze), Heal Water(Heals target), and the Stardust Rain (Defense debuff)), although the effect isn’t as deadly, Sana is very situational, but shines at those situations, I won’t deny the enemies having clairvoyance, they might do, but as Arche, bash the good with a relentless combo, as Sana or Stella, gain some range and magically beat them, as a side note, one has to wonder if any girls without magic elemental can swim at all and don’t try getting the legendary sword if you are going after hard attacks, the thing is about the same level as a rusty sword, the plus side is that you might cast sleep with it and while I’m at this, where the heck is the continuation? seriously, the level cap has weird number, the plot still has a continue hole, the items are not impressive enough for endgame-type items, the number of skill is very few, considering the number of books (quickslots) given, and the map is quite small (compared to most RPGs anyway)

  31. ZenoDLC says:

    When reading through the comments, I noticed that the people call the controls bad, just so you know, you can configure most of the controls if you want to……. Although the platforming might get some people killed (on has to wonder how Arche can still slide on the ground after lodging a metal sword with her whole weight into the ground and is holding to said sword