Club Retro 2018: Sacnoth September Aug 28, 2018 10:36:23 GMT -5
Post by Exhuminator on Aug 28, 2018 10:36:23 GMT -5
We had been talking about doing a "Shadow Hearts September" community event, but I thought it might be better to expand the scope a tad. The company that created Shadow Hearts, Sacnoth, also created a handful of other games. Sacnoth changed their company name to "Nautilus" for the production of Covenant and From the New World, but they were still Sacnoth in spirit. So the point of this one month HRG community event, is to beat at least one Sacnoth (AKA Nautilus) game this September.
Sacnoth was created in 1997 by Hiroki Kikuta. The name "Sacnoth" was taken from a supposed magical weapon in a short story by Lord Dunsany, The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth, published in 1908 in the collection The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories. Hiroki Kikuta was best known for composing the music to Secret of Mana series while working at Square. Sacnoth the company was set up with funding from the video game company SNK. Sacnoth suffered after their first major project, the PS1 RPG Koudelka, received mixed critical reviews and little word of mouth. It was also soon revealed that internal quarrels within Sacnoth had led to a compromised product. Kikuta had wanted to develop an action-based battle system, citing Resident Evil as a source of inspiration. However, his employees were adamant about releasing something closer to the kind of games that Square had been making. Most people agreed that the game showed some promise, but had serious flaws, particularly in the combat system. Disheartened by the political friction within Sacnoth, as well as the financial condition of SNK, Kikuta resigned from the company he started.
Aruze Entertainment took control of Sacnoth after SNK folded in 2000. Sacnoth created Shadow Hearts, a sequel to Koudelka, and then changed their name to "Nautilus" for the two sequels to Shadow Hearts. However, in early 2007 Aruze publicly announced dissolving Nautilus and various creative members have since left the company and had joined AQ Interactive subsidiary feelplus (now merged into Marvelous AQL).
Dive Alert | NeoGeo Pocket Color | 1999
These games are set in the future, and the world is primarily surrounded by water. There is a small patch of land called Terra. Terra is the only land. The player must prove their worth to be accepted on to Terra. They do this by showing their skill as a submarine commander and destroying enemy vessels. The two different versions have variations on plot, enemies, and such. These games were released in Japan, Europe, and USA.
Faselei! | NeoGeo Pocket Color | 1999
Heavily story driven, this SRPG takes place in a time when mechs known as TS are the weapon of choice for combat. Gameplay revolves around the battles and customizing your TS between those battles. Battles are part turn based and partly realtime. The player inputs their actions (pre-programs) at the beginning of the turn. The amount of actions they can input is dependant on their type of TS. Once they have finished their selection, everything is played out in realtime for the duration of the turn. This makes thinking about what your opponents and allies will do in advance essential before taking your turn. I have personally beaten this game and it is excellent. It was released in Japan and Europe.
Koudelka | PlayStation | 1999
Koudelka is a role-playing game with elements of survival horror. Players take the role of Koudelka as she explores the monastery, gathering clues and solving puzzles (along with two partners). This aspect of the gameplay is therefore similar to a survival horror game; however, the combat is strategic and turn-based. During battles, players can position and move the party members freely on the battle field. The amount of actions that can performed during a turn depends on the dexterity of the character. There are also various support and attack spells to cast. Koudelka is an excellent RPG, I have beaten it myself personally. This game was released in Japan, Europe, and USA.
Shadow Hearts | PlayStation 2 | 2001
A dark and foreboding JRPG. Yuri Hyuga is a young harmonixer: a man who possesses the power of transforming into demons. He meets Alice Elliot, a young British girl whose father was brutally murdered, and who is chased by a mysterious warlock who calls himself Roger Bacon. Yuri and Alice travel through the pre-war China, dealing with demons, evil magicians, and Japanese occupation army. The journey eventually takes them and their friends to Europe, where they have to confront their ultimate enemy, but also uncover the truth about their own pasts. I have beaten Shadow Hearts myself twice, it is an amazing JRPG, highly recommended. This game was released in Japan, Europe, and USA.
Shadow Hearts: Covenant | PlayStation 2 | 2004
The year is 1915. War has raised its ugly head to greet the nations of Europe. A year and a half after the events described in Shadow Hearts, the French town of Domremy resists German invasion, rumored to be protected by a demon. The German army sends Lieutenant Karin Koenig along with a man named Nicolas, allegedly an inquisitor from the Vatican, whose task is to exorcise the demon. When the two arrive in Domremy, events take an unexpected turn. Karin meets the young harmonixer Yuri Hyuga, who is afflicted with a curse that gradually saps the life out of him. Yuri travels across Europe and through Russia to the Far East, trying to find a cure before it is too late, and stop a secret society from dominating the world by political and magical means. This JRPG was released in Japan, Europe, and the USA.
Shadow Hearts: From the New World | PlayStation 2 | 2005
The year is 1929. America is threatened by a mysterious evil power. Pale green distortions in the sky, called "windows", spawn vicious monsters. Johnny Garland is a young man who has lost his family and his memory in a terrible accident. It turns out that he inherited a fortune from his father, but he is not interested in money, but in re-discovering his own past. For that reason, Johnny becomes a private investigator. He receives an assignment which involves capturing an escaped convict. During the investigation, Johnny meets Shania, a native American woman who works as a monster-hunter. From that point on, the destinies of the two are linked together. This game was released in Japan, Europe, and USA.
I will be beating Shadow Hearts: Convenant in September for this community event. Anyone else plan to join in? Even if you're not interested in the PS2 JRPGs, the NGPC games are easy to find, and even easier to emulate.