UPDATE: Silicon Era reports that the game is seeking funding through Kickstarter, though no Kickstarter campaign page exists as of this time of writing.
The Kickstarter will reportedly launch on July 27th, aiming to bring it to PCs with consoles as stretch goals. Silicon Era also report more details about the 2.5D JRPG.
Firstly, the development team also includes Osamu Komuta (Suikoden Tactics, Suikoden Tierkreis). Murayama will write the story (as he did for Suikoden and Suikoden II), Komuta is handling “system design and direction,” while Kawano is in charge of character design (as she was on Suikoden I and Suikoden IV).
Players are able to recruit 100 heroes, build and develop a fortress, manage a guild; in addition to turn-based JRPG battles using six characters you have recruited. The way Silicon Era describes there being seven main characters casts doubt on if players can any of the 100 heroes in battle, or if they serve another purpose.
The other main characters include Garr, Lian, Marisa, Melridge, and Mio. You can find screenshots of the characters and early in-game screenshots (all via Silicon Era) below.
Editor’s Note: The characters below are in the order of Seign, Nowa, Garr, Lian, Marisa, Melridge, and Mio.
The Kickstarter will launch July 27th, and end August 28th. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is aiming to launch Fall 2022 for Windows PC, with other platforms as stretch goals.
An interview with Murayama by Silicon Era also reveals a little more about the game. The project was born from him meeting with Kawano at others and conventions and events, reminiscing about the past.
A common notion that came up was “Isn’t it about time we make a game for ourselves? Something we really want to make? Something we can make for the fans?” This eventually lead to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.
When asked what game- such Suikoden or other games he had worked on- Eiyuden Chronicle was closest to, Murayama stated it was “really and [sic] evolution of my many design experiences. The many games I’ve made have helped create the foundation for this title. Since I draw my experience from previous games I’ve worked on, of course you will see a little bit of those elements in Eiyuden Chronicle.”
However, Murayama did relent that Nowa and Seign have a similar appearance and relationship dynamic to Riou and Jowy from Suikoden II. “I just find it fascinating how war and conflict can sometimes end up destroying even the strongest of friendships. It’s one of the common themes I use. So I guess that’s one of the similarities between Genso Suikoden and this game.”
Silicon Era asked “Past games created by your team have regularly included troublesome and ill-informed race representation. What consulting and hiring are you doing to ensure your team has diverse voices and that Marisa (and other characters of color that are presumably in the game) are not given a similar treatment?”
Murayama explained that no such choices were ever made intentionally, and explained that “Marisa will play a major role in the game and represents a third important power on the same level as Seign and Nowa. Story-wise, she has a very important role in the game and is one of the only characters capable of harnessing the raw power of the runes.”
Despite this, Silicon Era continued to press. They asked “The only Black character revealed so far is Marisa, a young woman who is described as a member of a Guardian clan that seems to live in the forest and isn’t as technologically advanced as other groups (though still will occasionally use their tech). Are you concerned about how her depiction could come across?”
They also included the above image, likely from a press release about all the game’s characters. This appears to be the only one made public. Murayama corrected Silicon Era on several factors they were mistaken about.
“Marisa’s clan doesn’t live in the forest, they protect the forest and nature. And they are the only group in the game world that has the strongest technology capable of utilizing some powerful rune-lenses. That’s why Marisa is on equal footing with both Nowa’s group and the empire. The technological advances give her clan an edge. We feel confident that when people play as Marisa they will see we are not falling into tropes that would depict her as tribal; instead this is closer to how Wakanda is depicted in Marvel movies.”
Murayama explained more about rune-lenses. “In the world of Eiyuden Chronicle, rune-lenses are representative of magic power. However, in order to hone that power a magic ritual involving an ancient vessel is necessary.”
“As with anything that has power, many people have tried to manually manufacture these lenses. This ends up being one of the core conflicts in the game and something that is unique to the Eiyuden Chronicle story.”
Returning to influences from other works, Murayama stated that “in working on Genso Suikoden or The Alliance Alive you end up putting a big piece of yourself into them from a creative perspective. It’s therefore no surprise that as a creator grows they carry some of those ideas with them into new titles. We all carry our experience from one job to the next I think.”
When asked about the risks of Japanese Kickstarter games not delivering (such as Mighty No. 9) or not being fully funded despite the support (such as Project Rap Rabbit), Murayama explained that while funding was not a guarantee, he had studied other campaigns to ensure they would be able to deliver their promises.
“As far as managing expectations if the Kickstarter is a success goes, we’ve looked over a wide variety of campaigns. Both the successes and the failures. And we’ve taken our time, not only in preparing the campaign, but also making sure all our design choices, the organization of the team, and the production costs are in line with what we are promising and we are not overpromising too many platform or too many modes in stretch goals that can delay the production.
The 4 key members have all done the equivalent work of director on big projects. We all have tons of experience and know how to navigate production issues. We also are able to scale up the team with the right people for the best results. But more than anything we are being open and honest about some of the tough production choices to the backers.
The Kickstarter clearly outlines some of the difficult problems we’ll have to solve so hopefully that openness can create a strong trusting relationship with our backers.”
When discussing how Eiyuden Chronicle would “call back” to Suikoden while keeping its own identity, Murayama explained that one of his bigger goals were stories showing “how fascinating the interaction between a wide variety of characters can be. And then to have a system that emphasizes those connections.”
“In Eiyuden Chronicle, the guild system will allow you to watch some of your characters perform a wide variety of tasks and missions that help evolve your fortress town.
Some of your choices will also define the visual nature of your fortress town, allowing for a new level of customization.
Additionally, we’ll have some special content that requires the player to carefully select the right members of their party to be able to win, making the multiple characters you can control mean even more for the seasoned player.”
Finally, Murayama explained the details behind what compromises the team would have to make for consoles; and even hypothetical consoles.
“For example if a next-gen Switch comes out, but has worse graphical capability than a PlayStation 4, we’ll have to make some tough resolution adjustments in order to get as close to the baseline as possible. However, one of the advantages of using pixel art mean that we won’t take as big of a hit from different hardware specs as a full 3D game might so we should largely be able to keep the base gameplay intact.”
Yoshitaka Murayama (Suikoden, Suikoden II) and Junko Kawano (Suikoden, Suikoden IV), have announced a new JRPG Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.
The announcement comes via the appearance of a new official Japanese website for the game (complete with its own English translation). The announcement marks the first time developers Murayama and Kawano have worked together in 25 years.
The plot focuses on the land of Allraan, a continent made of humans, beastmen, elves, and “desert people.” The Galdean Empire has discovered a way to magnify the power of Rune-Lenses, and is now seeking out an artifact to grant them more power.
One of these expeditions brings imperial officer Seign Kesling into contact with villager Nowa. The two become friends, but soon after war drags them both headlong into an adventure that will change their world. The game’s official Twitter also describes the game as “A tale of 100 characters. The war they fight. And the bonds that connect them—Eiyuden Chronicle #100heroesstrong.”
The new game also marks the debut of both legendary developers’ new studio; Rabbit & Bear Studios. Comments made by Murayama on the official website would seem to suggest the game is seeking crowd funding. We will keep you informed as we learn more.
“We, at Rabbit & Bear, have recently announced our new title ‘Eiyuden Chronicle’.
It’s a game that the team has put its heart and soul into.
Basically, it was a challenge to ourselves – ‘Can we not make the most interesting game of our lives? No limits. Just following our creative paths as they are’
In all my years of development the number one thing that has made me happy is hearing a fan express enjoyment at playing my games.
So that’s what I’m setting out to do with ‘Eiyuden Chronicle’—To make as many fans happy as possible.
However, we can’t do it alone.
In order to succeed we need your strength, support, and hope.
Right now more than ever, we need heroes to realize this dream.
We hope you’ll join us!”
You can find the announcement trailer (via IGN Japan) below.
You can find the full rundown (via the official website) below (Editor’s Note: We have omitted the Japanese text, for easier reading).
—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 artifact 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.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is coming soon.