I Am Setsuna’s Wintery Trailer Gives Me Chills

Square Enix is getting back to their ’90s JRPG roots with I Am Setsuna [official site], and its latest trailer is a somber look into the frozen world where a young girl has to make a pretty terrible sacrifice.

Due out on July 19, I Am Setsuna looks like a thoroughly nostalgic romp through the Japanese role-playing games of yesteryear with a battle system “inspired by the timeless JRPG classic, Chrono Trigger.” The story revolves around a young girl, Setsuna, who is chosen to be a sacrifice to a “fiend” in order to appease it, and chronicles that journey as she sets out to become a martyr. That’s bleak.

I Am Setsuna was unveiled at last year’s E3 during Square Enix’s press conference as the first project from Tokyo RPG Factory. It was an intriguing announcement, but at the time was only accompanied by some pretty concept art so half of the planet ‘ooo-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ and then promptly forgot it ever existed.

But with this trailer, which dives deeper into the tragic tale surrounding the game’s protagonist, I Am Setsuna is going to be constantly on my mind over the coming month. If it can truly be a “classic RPG for modern times” — well, we’re in short supply of those at the moment.

There’s been a bit of a renaissance of JRPGs coming to Steam recently, but many of them are just ports games. Getting a new game cognizant of what made JRPGs so fantastic to begin with has me really excited — I just hope the story doesn’t trip over into the realm of melodrama, the trailer certainly seems like it could. Fingers Crossed!

I am Setsuna will be available through Steam for £29.99/35,99€/$39.99. It’s already been released in Japan, so if you absolutely cannot wait you can spoil the first 90 minutes in this video below.

From this site

31 Comments

  1. Slinkusss says:

    I read the article title in an Edward Norton in Fight Club way, ” I am: Setsuna’s wintery tale” lol

  2. Don Reba says:

    I like this narrator. She has this exaggerated expression typical of amateurs, but it feels balanced and controlled.

    • Morgan Joylighter says:

      As someone who used to write for and direct random untrained amateurs in audio dramas and the occasional stage play, this seems to me an insightful comment.

  3. dkfgo says:

    That X-Strike screenshot on Steam sends a pretty clear message. It looks pretty, sounds pretty. I’ll definitelly play this.

    I wish they released a new Chrono game out of something different than the feeling that it would sell like water in the desert. This will probably be the closest thing we’ll get in a while.

    • GameCat says:

      You don’t want a botched sequel of beloved game and Squeenix isn’t a company you can trust anymore.

  4. PsychoWedge says:

    whatever this game is or will turn out to be I fucking love the concept art.

  5. Turkey says:

    Eh, looks a little too traditional for me. I want more weird JRPGs on the PC.

    • Nevard says:

      I love the concept art but have never been terribly in love with traditional menu battler rpg games, so this feels like a kiss to me.

      • Nevard says:

        God damn it that was meant to say “miss” not “kiss”.

  6. theapeofnaples says:

    Reminder: must replay Chrono Trigger…

    I never got around to Chrono Cross though. Youse lot got any opinions on that one?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Play it, frankly.

      I adore it, I really do. Just bear in mind that there’s a reason it’s not called Chrono Trigger 2.

      Chrono Cross is haunting and beautiful, it’s silly and lighthearted, it’s batcrap insane and it’s great fun to play.

    • Aerothorn says:

      I am of the opinion that, from a pure design standpoint, Chrono Cross is pretty much the peak of JRPGs – solving a lot of ongoing problems, albeit solutions that are ignored by future games. I also love the storytelling though that’s more YMMV. It’s a very brave game.

    • dkfgo says:

      In my opinion its the best game on the Playstation library, in spite of its flaws, which arent just a few, and I dont mean it as a jab on the Playstation, its just that what the game gets right outshines what it does poorly.

      The plot is amazing, but it gets a bit convoluted, and things happen too fast toward the ending. Its the kind of game you’re going to want to play again, and talk to people about it afterwards. Character development is very poor though, the game focuses much more on the “macro” aspect of the history, and if you liked Chrono Trigger side stories (like Frog’s redemption) you are going to be disappointed with how Chrono Cross handles its 80+ character cast.

      Soundtrack wise, this is hands down the best game I’ve ever played. Yasunori Mitsuda is a genius. I dont think I can concoct words that make this soundtrack any justice, you have to check it for yourself.

      And its a very pretty game too. The CG segments will probably feel a little dated now, but the actual ingame models and prerendered scenery are still very beautiful.

      The combat system is a bit gimmicky, but there is no grinding (!!!), and it doesnt feel cheap. Anyone that likes good video games should play it, even if its only so you can complain it isnt Chrono Trigger 2.

      • dkfgo says:

        Edit: Its actually 45 playable characters (though at some points it does really feel like 80+).

  7. Freud says:

    Most game genres you can get an idea if a game is good from a few video clips and reading about it. I feel with jRPGs I have no idea. They all look the sameish to me.

    • dethtoll says:

      Ironic because at their root they all hail back to Wizardry and Ultima. In fact Wizardry has persisted in Japan long after W8 closed out the North American development line.

  8. Mirarii says:

    They seem to have spelled “I am Gundam…” wrong.

    • opasnimiki says:

      “Gundam Exia, Setsuna F. Seiei, Clearing a path toward the future!”

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Hah, I was wondering if anybody would make that reference.

  9. Chillicothe says:

    “Square Enix is getting back to their ’90s JRPG roots…”

    “…by putting out games in a timely manner.”

  10. J.C. says:

    They never actually state what, if anything else, they added to Setsuna that is like Chrono Trigger besides the attack techniques. I’d rather like to know if there are multiple endings, and perhaps the “true” ending if you figure things properly – (I.E., stopping Setsuna from having to sacrifice herself).

  11. Kolbex says:

    Character models by Rob Liefeld?

  12. Alasher says:

    Since when JRPG are classic for english-speaking audience

    • dkfgo says:

      Well, its been 25 years since FFIV.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Let’s see now. Final Fantasy IV, VI and VII. Chrono Trigger (and eventually Chrono Cross). Legend of Mana. I played very few JRPGs immediately upon their localized releases, but I played a great many of them in my childhood at one point or another, and I do, by and large, consider several of them classics. I am, in fact, a native English speaker (scottish, so I suppose I bastardize it a little bit, but still…). Your own sentence structure honestly doesn’t give the impression that english is your first language – by which I mean no offense, by the way, just an observation – so I really have to wonder where that comment came from.

  13. Simon_Scott says:

    *Wintry

  14. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    I was a JRPG kid in the 90s, and seeing something like this is refreshing. I hope it’s good! I’ll definitely play it either way.

  15. thekelvingreen says:

    I believe both are acceptable.

  16. Simon_Scott says:

    Not in my heart, it isn’t. :'(