Nippon Ichi Software Dungeon RPG “Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain” Finally Heads West in Fall 2018

NIS America is finally localizing their dungeon RPG Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain.

The game will be released in North America and Europe sometime this fall as Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk via both digital and retail storefronts, for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Switch.

The western release will feature both English and Japanese audio, as well as English and French text. The game originally launched in Japan roughly two years ago. Featured above, you can view the announcement trailer for the game.

A standard retail version is planned alongside a $79.99 limited edition. The limited edition includes:

  • Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk for PS4 or Switch
  • Deck of Tarot Cards
  • 4 Lapel Pin Set
  • Hardcover Art Book and Bookmark
  • 2 Disc Official OST
  • Collector’s Box

Here’s a rundown on the game, via NIS America:

Become the living book, Tractatus de Monstrum, and command a brigade of puppet soldiers as you navigate the twisting passageways of the labyrinth of Refrain.

When at your base, prepare for your journey by upgrading your brigade! Create new puppet soldiers, assign them different squads and formations, synthesize better equipment, take requests from townsfolk, and get assistance from Dronya in the form of Witch Petitions.

Once you’ve entered the labyrinth, be sure to search every nook and cranny as you jump over barricades, solve puzzles, and smash your way through walls to delve further and further downward in search of treasure and rare artifacts. But be careful, the more riches you obtain, the more vicious the dungeon becomes. Can you survive long enough to bring your haul back?

Fight past terrifying monsters by giving orders to your puppet brigade. Change their formation, use special skills, or call for an all-out attack! The battles you face will be challenging, so your success depends on your preparation and your strategy.

Key Features:

  • A Massive Maze – Dive into the miasma-filled labyrinth as the Tractatus de Monstrum along with your brigade of puppet soldiers to smite monsters and uncover dark secrets.
  • Fast-Paced Combat! – Strange creatures and traps of all sorts will stand in your path as you go deeper in the maze. Give orders to your army and crush them with special skills!
  • Build an Undefeatable Army – Create your very own puppet soldiers, grant them a variety of different roles, and assign them to specialized squads to make your own unique brigade!
Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • sanic

    might be cool.


    “Ni-pon-iii-chiiii sOOooft-waaare!”

  • Cats736

    Another game that looks interesting that is going to be tainted by NISA….

  • Mr0303

    Not a fan of the artstyle. This may be best played on the Switch since dungeon crawlers are quite fitted for handhelds.

  • mew

    You’re retarded. It’s NIS game, who else could localize it? Be thankful they’re actually releasing in the west.

  • HAHAHAHAAH! Vita got BTFO again!

  • In your opinion.

  • NoMoreGaijin

    You know who actually get “btfo” ?

    The people who cant into japanese to avoid the absolute mess that is the localization industry

  • NoMoreGaijin

    I’d prefer that nippon games stop being released overseas so they dont get corrupted by gaijins

  • “The western release will feature both English and Japanese audio, as well as English and French text.” Weebs should be happy about this. HAHAHAHA!

  • Well that will never happen kid. HA!

  • mew

    I’d rather not. I want to enjoy the games in English, on Steam.

  • NoMoreGaijin

    Not like I expected the PC users to be any different from the majority of console users of the West, with the same low standards when it comes to localizations. As long as something is in “english”.

    Particularly disappointing for an audience geared towards niche stuff

  • NoMoreGaijin

    では, どこ日本語の本文ですか?w

    Disqus doesnt seem to like japanese characters though. It triggers the anti-spam system everytime

  • NoMoreGaijin

    Well yeah you’re right. The situation (quality of translations, censorship, etc) wont improve at all if you guys keep throwing money at the localization companies regardless.

    Doesnt seem to personally bother you that much however, but from looking at your Steam profile, it’s not like you care about quality whatsoever.

  • mew

    Then stop bitching as you can play it in japanese on steam too.

  • NoMoreGaijin

    Already played it 2 years ago

    If I want to buy it on PC, offer me the possibility to get it through DLSite or the like, without also giving my money to NISA. No point in buying it again on another drm platform

  • Nope Naw

    I feel I’ve seen this before… wait…

  • Feniks

    Thats BS most Japanese games are not censored. And Japan needs the foreign sales.

  • Grahav

    One thing Nisa could do to restore good faith on them is releasing both Criminal Girls uncensored. Yeah, as if they would admit that they screwed up.

  • Cats736

    Be thankful that’s it’s going to have random crap added into the translation and have game breaking bugs? I will absolutely not be thankful.

  • mew

    You’re retarded because you just bitch like a manchild for no reason. The game is not going to be censored, so stfu for once.

  • Sean Sharpe

    You’re likely the sort of person that would keep honorifics in the localization of a European-inspired setting because of Glorious Nippon, aren’t you?

  • 雷人

    considering NISA’s background so far, yeah i doubt that wouldn’t happen

  • Sean Sharpe

    For most NIS, games, I genuinely don’t understand why people get so upset about their localizations. It isn’t like most of the franchises they do are heavy, dramatic affairs. Their most popular franchise is about war between demon lords in the underworld, where the souls of the damned become… penguins.

    If names and personalities are changed, it’s usually because their localization staff thinks would be funnier to Western JRPG audiences, and of course, everyone’s mileage may vary.

    Censorship, I can get people upset with… But considering the one that gets the most flack, Criminal Girls, you’re absolutely naive if you don’t know why the censored them. Personally, I don’t know why they even bothered to localize them in the first place… But they did.

    Bugs are total bullshit, though. That’s really the biggest issue with NISA.

  • Cats736

    For no reason? Do I need to bring up The Witch and the Hundred Knight and the other games they’ve fucked?

    You seem like a fanboi that’s just butthurt that I have the gall to complain about NISA.

  • Sean Sharpe

    The only thing worthwhile that XSeed works on are Story of Seasons (and its meh compared to classic Harvest Moon) and Falcom game. Both of which have good localizations.

  • iswear12

    Reminder that this dude is a NISA shill (who is probably EXTREMELY BUTTHURT THEY DID NOT GET COLD STEEL 3 AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA). He got into it with me the last time I shat on them.

    Fucking WEW.

  • iswear12

    Were you in the Falcom threads too? There was a poster there who sounds eerily similar to your own.


    Yeah, I couldn’t live in a world where Prinnies don’t say “dood”, dood.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Homie. If you screenshot over comment sections, even if the dude is an idiot, you take this whole internet thing a little bit too seriously. I mean… It’s a comment section.

  • iswear12

    M8, I don’t see why you have a problem with me calling out a blatant shill and offering up some guaranteed, conclusive proof that he’s a shill. It takes 5 seconds to post a screenshot and call this dude out, so I will. What’s the problem here?

  • iswear12

    You forgot their most well-known franchise: Senran Kagura.

    They also handle a variety of other games as well. Corpse Party, Fate Extella, Rune Factory 4, and some other RPGs I can’t be assed to look up right now but they turned out well.

  • Pilebunker
    Here you go friend. Now you too can understand how a company can consistently fuck over games, never learn from their mistakes, and ruin everything they touch. This is not even counting horrible anime translations.

  • mew

    You’re the one who is a salty retard. And I care more about Coven than CS3 anyway. And remember you’re the one who got btfo last time. However I do hope NISA get CS3 just to see your delicious tears :)

  • mew

    Why should I give a damn about what they did to console peasants exactly?

  • mew

    There’s nothing to censor though, NISA is not Atlus or Nintendo.

  • Chili

    Bruh it was on the Vita originally.
    Imagine all the people who were waiting for it to be localized only to get shafted once it finally did. It’d be cool if the game was on the Vita just for those Vita fans who had been waiting so long for it.

  • VersVlees

    Remember the list in this picture is getting longer because NISA keeps fucking up.

  • They could always import as most are super weebs and know Japanese anyway.

  • Pilebunker

    “This game is not going to be censored.”
    What makes you think that? NISA gives zero shits about the otaku audience this game is obviously aimed at and they censor based on what is upsetting the editor at the moment. Here in this image you can clearly see how they feel about it. They realize their terrible translations piss off people but bank on the knowledge that many don’t know what they’re actually doing as “good feedback”. They could not censor and piss off no one and they know this but they personally have problems with the content provided so they censor it. And in case of the first Mugen Souls, they lied to customer’s faces saying it was the ESRB that made them censor when the ESRB doesn’t do that at all.

    This line should really ring in anyone’s ears, “While some people might think we mishandled the game, (they removed 120 CGs from Mugen Souls Z by disabling the scrubbing minigame. Removing said minigame also ruined the balance of the game which was made to give you certain buffs but now you get every buff at once which ruins the balance. If they really wanted to appeal to multiple audiences, then they would add a skip function with a way to choose a buff. But that would take effort and talent.) as far as we’re concerned it was absolutely a positive result for us. So when people tell us that we need to listen to the most vocal and hardcore minority about how we do localization in favor of doing what we think is best for the overall audience, both current and potential, it’s hard for me to agree when we achieve that kind of success following the philosophy we’ve developed over the years.”. What has this philosophy lead to? A recent example being Ys VIII where fans had to constantly show them examples in mass about how they fucked up the descriptions, scripts and dialogue. They had to re-translate the game and can’t even make a PC port because “we avoided touching the core programming as much as possible and focused on PC performance optimization” despite making PC ports for years now. Or how about how they made it so Disgaea D2 could melt your PS3 if you used a fire element attack? Or how about how they ruined Ar Tonelico 2 so badly that it took fans years to unfuck the damage NISA did? What about the Witch and the Hundred Knight glitch that makes it so you can’t beat the game and, when given a way to fix the patch from fans, they refused to fix it? Is Idea Factory and Compile Heart not partnering up with them anymore (which caused Idea Factory International to come about) a good sign of their philosophy working? Hell here’s a very modern example. How about localizing a Vita Dungeon Crawler on the Switch and PS4 despite the game being most wanted from Vita fans?

    The only way anyone can possibly defend NISA is if:
    A: They don’t give a shit about a game being butchered in both content and translations to the point where important plot points are completely changed. All because someone found the content “distasteful” or “wanted to add some flavor” instead of just translating.
    B: They don’t care about their games being broken or unplayable.
    C: They’re ignorant to what NISA actually does.
    D: They are a shill. At worst, doing it for free.

    You can’t play ignorance here so C isn’t the answer. Remember, NISA doesn’t need to change their ways because of ignorant consumers. And they have no integrity, obligation, or motivation to improve themselves. If we can call out EA on their bullshit, then why not NISA?

  • Sean Sharpe

    It’s not that I really have a problem as much as rampant fanboyism is something on ever website and it feels weird to screenshot it and try to use it in an arguement. Bit that’s just me.

  • Sean Sharpe

    I didn’t forget Senran Kagura. :p I just think the series is garbage, with some of the most annoying anime stereotypes, awful character design, and mediocre gameplay.

  • Cats736

    Was that a serious question? You don’t care about NISA fucking up games because “console peasants”?

    And you call me retarded.

  • iswear12

    Who said I was trying to use it as an argument? Its just straight-up evidence that he’s a shill, nothing more than that. Nothing to get into an argument over if there isn’t an argument to be had, unless you want to argue the point of difference between a fanboy and a shill.

  • iswear12

    Atlus actually ended up translating the first Disgaea iirc which… hilariously enough was also was NIS’s best work, or at least considered by many to be so

  • iswear12

    To each their own. It still seems like something worth mentioning if only because of how well-known and popular it is, It’d be kind of like mentioning NIS’s other games and excluding Disgaea which is basically their flagship

  • Sean Sharpe

    Most of that is bugs.

    It says a few things about localization… But again. Criminal Girls and Mugan Souls were censored for a reason, even if you don’t agree with that reason. Me? I just wouldn’t translate those games because chances are they’d be too controversial in the first place and those that would want them would bitch

    Changing things up for “flavor” is something that every localization company does. If can be something simple, like changing Dude-sama’s name to Lord Dude to rewriting a joke that doesn’t fit, to twerking a characters personality if they have a certain quirk that would be cute to Japanese audience but annoying as hell to a Western one.

    That’s what localization is, after all. If you want absolute purity… Play the Japanese version.

  • Cats736

    Changing things up for “flavor” is something that every localization company does. If can be something simple, like changing Dude-sama’s name to Lord Dude

    Changing Esti Erhard to Esty Dee.

    That’s localization, guys. Haha, so funny.

  • mew

    I find it hilarious that you say that while you suck on Atlus despite them censoring games harder than NISA. I bet you bought both Dungeon Travelers 2 and Utawarerumono despite both of them being butchered to death. Meanwhile you will bitch about games being “potentially censored” when you clearly don’t truly give a damn since you support censored games.

  • Pilebunker

    You completely dodged everything I said just now and had to go through my post history to find a contradiction to what I’m saying instead of actually disproving what I said just now. Glad to see you can’t disprove it because you obviously would have done so if you could. But what you say really falls flat when you are comparing broken games with horrible translations that are also heavily butchered to the point where the gameplay is heavily altered and 120CGs are missing, to 2 games that have 2-4 CGs altered but the context is still there.

    I definitely disagree with the censorship but you’re comparing a very minor alteration to completely deleting content, game breaking bugs, horrible translations, and alterations to the gameplay due to deleted content. All due to their censorship and their god awful QA.

  • Pilebunker
    Most of them are glitches and bugs. Bugs that were not in the JP version. They’re so bad at QA that they introduce so many game breaking bugs and don’t bother fixing them. Barely any company does this yet we’re supposed to be fine with this level of standards? Is having your game unbeatable due to bugs a standard we should pay for?

    You mention they censored Criminal Girls and Mugen Souls were censored for a reason but didn’t specify why. I can see why because their reasons are never consistent. It’s all personal reasons that’s why. If it was to avoid a certain rating, they would follow a rule set and be consistent in their censorship. If it was because it would be banned in a certain country like Germany or Australia, then they need to handle the localization in the context of those countries specifically. And even if the game wasn’t rated in those countries (which means they can’t be sold there. That’s what they do instead of banning in most cases), that would not effect them because they have their own online store. Their ESRB reasoning is also BS because the ESRB doesn’t demand you to censor anything. It simply gives a rating and tells you the reasoning. If the game was going to be an AO in the first place, then it would have never been on consoles in general. Again, their reasoning is never consistent because it is all personal gripes they have with the content. That content should be up for the consumer to decide if they like it or not.

    “I just wouldn’t translate those games because chances are they’d be too
    controversial in the first place and those that would want them would
    That makes no sense. CG was mage by Imagepooch and MS was made by Compile Heart. They either went to NISA or vice versa to localize the games. People wouldn’t “bitch” that NISA wouldn’t localize them because NISA isn’t the only people that can localize those games. People would complain that a NIS game wasn’t localized. And if you were a business owner, those people “bitching” are potential customers who are saying they will buy your product if you bring it to them. Also controversy over the game’s content matters why? The people who would would complain about the sexual content would never buy the game to begin with and the people who are interested might. The more controversy the more people who are potential buyers will notice it. It’s not like the Battlefront 2 controversy where it was anti-consumer so it pushed everyone away but a controversy that will only push people who didn’t want it in the first place away. Overall, there would be no reason not to translate (it would be your job anyway if you worked at NISA) unless the game personally offends you and you are projecting that potentially others will be offended to justify your disgust.

    Changing things up for flavor is fine as long as the context and message are still the same. Even better if they deliver the impact just as well as the original version. However what NISA does sometimes is going too far. Major plot points in Ar Tonelico 2 and 3 were completely wrong in the english version because they misinterpreted the message or pulled a NoA and just winged it. Turning someone’s name, in a teen rated game, to a sexual transmitted disease joke is joke is going too far. Changing names because they simply didn’t like how it sounded is BS too. Saying someone is a ruler of water when they are the ruler of fire is a huge deal (imagine if Katara in the Avatar kept saying she was a fire tribesman despite bending water. It would change everything.). Also if I don’t mind those Japanese quirks. I play JP games because I like what they do. If I didn’t, I would play western games.

    Now you’re right about playing the JP version for the most pure form but that doesn’t excuse NISA for losing the context in scenes, characters, and the plot. Adding in console destroying bugs that weren’t present in the JP version, (a good localization company will also work with the original devs to remove bugs they find if they were present in the JP version.), and removing content that the people who wanted to play the game for in the first place wanted just because one of the editors personally didn’t care for it. Because as I’ve already said, that will only piss off and push away potential customers while other consumers who didn’t want it still don’t want it. No one says “Wow, now that the game is censored, I’ll buy it!”. But people may say “Damn, I wanted this game but the sole reason I wanted it is now gone.”. Who does censorship help again? Oh yeah, people pushing an agenda.

  • mew

    1) I don’t give a shit what they did before, I don’t buy censored games, but if a game is not censored I will buy it. As simple as that.
    2) What Atlus did was not minor censorship, it is much worse than what NISA did because they’re fucking censoring still CGs because they have SJWs in their company who get offended by loli content. But hey keep defending them and acting as if they’re god while they censor just as much and even worse than NISA.
    3) The fact you actually go and support Atlus censored release is proof you’re completely retarded and are the actual problem with censorship.