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Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen Hands-On Impressions from E3 2019

I only just recently finally finished Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and played through Utwarerumono: Mask of Truth, and not having done so before our Game of the Year 2017 podcast might just be one of my biggest regrets. If you haven’t played those two titles, I’d tell you to play them right away — but they do depend quite heavily on references to this game, that (at the time of our original reviews) seemed like it had little chance at being localized, and so watching the anime adaptation seemed to be the next best option. That was before Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen, of course. Now that we do know we’ll be getting this remake localized, it makes it just a little bit harder to suggest that players get into the series right now with it on the horizon.

If you’re not familiar with Utwarerumono — it’s a Tactical RPG, but it might be better to call it a Visual Novel with Tactical RPG battles punctuating key parts of the story. For the most part, the focus of the game is that narrative. Dialogue, world-building, the budding and waning relationships between characters, and more specifically the political tensions of the surrounding world. The countries that inhabit this world, and the cultures that they embody. The story is definitely the main reason to play Utwarerumono, although the combat itself is no slouch, especially once you reach later battles in the story and the Dream Arena.

The main draw of Prelude to the Fallen as a remake is that it brings the original release up to par both technically and mechanically, with Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth. Instead of just using sprites, characters are all 3D models in battle and are fully animated as one would expect. You’ve got all of your skills, Final Strikes, and every mechanic you’d have grown accustomed to using in battle in Mask of Truth. Of course, this all doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone not already familiar with the original mid-2000s PC release. Really it’s just not a downgrade, which should be more than enough for players either starting the series with this one, or players looking to go back to it after having played Haku’s story in Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth.

Probably one of the most interesting things about Prelude to the Fallen’s Early 2020 release (which NIS America actually confirmed to me is the «official» release window) has to be the release platforms. Not only is the title releasing on PlayStation 4 as one would expect, but even the PlayStation Vita release will be coming over to our shores, albeit in a digital-only state. I asked NIS America why they opted to bring that version over when they’ve skipped Vita versions of titles in the past, most recently with Labyrinth of Refrain, and I was told that these platform decisions are made on a case by case basis, and they just thought it made sense for Utawarerumono. Similarly, it was mentioned that skipping Labyrinth of Refrain boiled down to it being a slightly different SKU than the PlayStation 4 release that they ported to Switch and PC, making it harder to consolidate the releases and ultimately making it more effort than would’ve been worth pursuing.

During our time with the game, we got the chance to check out the game in full 3D and tackle the first battle in the game. We saw Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth’s active battle system translated to the first game’s framework, and although nothing was translated we did manage to hear some of the Japanese voice acting and admire the CGs. The story, while untranslated, was — as expected — the same as the original release and its anime adaptation. Until we see the translation, there really isn’t much more to say other than the translation is in progress.

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Ultimately our session with the game was very short. I could see it was in development, though they were still months away from being able to show the translation. Nonetheless — progress is progress, and I continue to await seeing the game’s eventual release. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see more of the title during next year’s press event, when it should be ready to show off in English, assuming everything goes to plan.


Limited Edition

This Limited Edition Includes:
• Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen for PS4™
• Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen Hardcover Art Book
• Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen Soundtrack
• Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen Metal Keychain
• Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen Poster
• Collector’s Box

Origins Edition

Digital Edition

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen will be available digitally for the PS4в„ў and «PS Vita».

In a certain land in a certain world, many tribes of people have beast-like ears and tails. They formed their own settlements and lived rural lives long before nations began to take shape. Yamayura Village was located on the northeastern outskirts of one such nation. There, a young girl named Eruruu carried a young man, who was on the brink of death, back to her village. Though he was gravely injured, her family was able to nurse him back to health. However, he lost all of his memories. Needing something to call him, Eruruu’s grandmother named him Hakuowlo. After recovering, he quickly adapted to life in the village. While struggling with the mysteries of his past, he used his knowledge to help the village prosper. Perhaps thanks to his kind personality and diligent work ethic, everyone around him began to depend on «Hakuowlo.» Before long, it was time for the harvest, which—thanks to everyone’s hard work—was unexpectedly bountiful. Rumors of their success reached the ears of the feudal lord, who sent troops to Yamayura to seize the fruits of their labor. A single incident on the outskirts of a rural land served as the prelude to a conflict that would reverberate across the entire world.

Game Flow

Like the games «Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception» and «Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth», this game features two distinct parts: story and battle. These parts alternate as the story advances.

Story

Read through the scenes to progress the story. At various times, the player will be asked to make decisions, which may lead to alternate events.

RPG Battles

As you progress through the story, you will need to win battles to continue.

Chain Attacks

Each unit has its own unique chain attack, and they aren’t all just physical attacks. Some units’ chain attacks can heal allies. As units level up, their chain attacks gain additional attacks and become more powerful. A ring is displayed on the screen during chain attacks.

The ring gradually becomes smaller. Hitting the attack button before it disappears links it to the next attack in the chain. Pressing the attack button just before the ring disappears will earn you bonus zeal.

Auto-Success

Once a chain attack begins, hold L1 (or L on the PlayStation Vita) to automatically link your chain attacks. This is recommended for players who do not have good timing.

Final Strike

Once a unit levels up to a certain point, they will acquire their final strike. In order to activate their final strike, they must have maximum zeal. Final strikes are unleashed at the end of a chain attack, so all chain attacks must be successfully linked. If all chain attacks are successful, the final strike will activate with a special attack animation.

Co-op Chain

As you progress through the game, you will be able to use co-op chains, which are attacks coordinated between specific units. The major feature of co-op chains is their wide target area. They are extremely powerful techniques.

Healing Arts

After progressing through the game, Eruruu will gain access to these skills. There are a variety of skills, such as healing allies, curing status ailments, or even inflicting status ailments on enemies.

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Magecraft

Mages can use these skills, which have various ranges and target areas. Each magecraft spell has a limited number of uses. As a mage unit levels up, they learn new spells, and increase the number of times they can use them.

Items

The items you acquire in battle are listed on the battle results screen. Battle rewards are earned by defeating specific units during a battle, and stage clear bonuses are earned by clearing stages. Items must be equipped before they can be used.

Abilities

Abilities are unique to each unit, and some abilities can be used from the very beginning. Units may learn new abilities by leveling up. Learned abilities are constantly active during battles.

Training

As you progress through the game, you will gain access to the training option at the base. Challenge these training stages to earn experience points and battle rewards.

Special Extended

Includes many songs from «Prelude to the Fallen,» «Mask of Deception,» and «The Two Hakuowlos.» This mode enhances the excitement of the story with new arrangements of the BGM.

Cross-Save

You can share your game data and quicksave data between your PlayStationВ®4 and PlayStationВ®Vita systems.
※ To use Cross-Save, you must sign in to your PlayStation™Network account.

*Screenshots are from the Japanese build of the game.

Hakuowlo

Voice Actor: Rikiya Koyama

A young man who was gravely injured and collapsed. He was found and saved by a girl named Eruruu, who took him to Yamayura Village to recover. He is intelligent, and mild-mannered, but strict on himself. The mask he wears cannot be removed, and because he lost his memory, the details surrounding it are unknown. He was given the name Hakuowlo, and after recovering, he strove to help make the village prosper. His actions would have a great impact on the entire world.

Eruruu

Voice Actor: RyЕЌka Yuzuki

The girl who rescued the collapsed protagonist and carried him to Yamayura Village. She possesses beast-like ears and a tail. Though she’s still in training, she is an adept healer. She’s also very caring, and is skilled at doing general housework. The villagers adore her for her gentle and cheerful personality. Her only downside is her intense jealousy. She cherishes her little sister, Aruruu.

Aruruu

Voice Actor: Miyuki Sawashiro

In stark contrast with her older sister, she suffers from stranger anxiety and rarely speaks to people. Though at first glance she may seem a little gruff, her child-like innocence permeates from within her. She has a knack for communicating with animals.

Yuzuha

Voice Actor: Mai Nakahara

She is Oboro’s younger sister. She was born sickly, and went blind at a young age. Though she had support from everyone around her growing up, her brother was extremely overprotective, so she is somewhat ignorant of the ways of the world. She is mostly pure and innocent.

Oboro

Voice Actor: Daisuke Kirii

He is a young thief by trade, who lives by a code of honor. He’s straight-forward to the core, and is very passionate and intense. He dotes on his little sister, Yuzuha, to the point that he treats anyone who approaches her as an enemy.

Dorry & Guraa

Voice Actor: Akeno Watanabe

They are twins who work for Oboro. They always act in perfect harmony, and have nearly identical ways of thinking. If not for the color of their eyes, it would be impossible to tell them apart. They are expert archers, and hold Oboro in the utmost esteem.

Tuskur

Voice Actor: Hisako KyЕЌda

She is the chief of Yamayura Village. She is a skilled healer, and was the one who treated the protagonist when he was brought to the village. She is the grandmother of Eruruu and Aruruu. Though she treats them kindly, she is also strict, and can even be scary when she gets mad.

Teoro

Voice Actor: Hiroaki Ishikawa

He lives in Yamayura Village. He is known for being nice, muscular, and his wife says he’s a bit simple-minded. Thanks to his larger-than-life personality and the fact that he’s not one to keep score, many of the villagers have come to rely on his help.

Sopoku

Voice Actor: Satsuki Yukino

She is Teoro’s wife. She is generous and dependable, and loves people whose names end with «ruruu» like family.

Camyu

Voice Actor: Rie Kugimiya

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She is the princess who is second in line to the throne of the religious-based nation, Onkamiyamukai. She has dark wings, and—like her sister—is revered by the people. Those who have met her in person have found that she is very personable and friendly with everyone.

Ulthury

Voice Actor: Sayaka Ohara

She is the princess who is first in line to the throne of the religious-based nation, Onkamiyamukai. Her white wings are a stark contrast to her younger sister Camyu’s dark wings. With unmatched grace and compassion, she is touted as being a quintessential princess. She worries about Camyu, whose status leaves her prone to loneliness.

Karulau

Voice Actor: Atsuko Tanaka

She is a female Giriyagina who is an exceptional fighter. Thanks to her great strength, she can easily heft her enormous sword. Though she has refined tastes, she has a carefree personality and has a habit of teasing people who act seriously.

Touka

Voice Actor: Kaya Miyake

She is an honorable warrior from Evenkuruga. She roams the land, hiring herself out as a mercenary. Her combat skills are undeniable, but she often takes things too seriously.

Benawi

Voice Actor: Daisuke Namikawa

He is the samurai who serves as the General of Kenashikourupe, a nation that is west of Yamayura. He places great importance on honor, and is quite calm, cool, and collected for a young man. Though he is best known for his aptitude with a spear, he is well-versed in matters of state and is solemnly loyal to his sovereign.

Kurou

Voice Actor: Tsuyoshi Koyama

He is an officer from Kenashikourupe. He is second-in-command of Benawi’s cavalry forces. Though he is unrefined when it comes to social graces, he shines on the battlefield, has a good heart, and possesses an uncanny understanding of human nature.

Nuwangi

Voice Actor: Hiroyuki Yoshino

Eruruu’s childhood friend. He hasn’t lived in Yamayura Village for quite a while. He has become cocky and smug.

Sasante

Voice Actor: TЕЌru ЕЊkawa

Nuwangi’s father. The feudal lord who rules Yamayura Village and the surrounding area. He is tyrannical and belittles the plight of the people. He imposes heavy taxes on poor villages.

Kamuchataal

Voice Actor: Hiroko Taguchi

A female proprietress who runs a bar in the red-light district. She is beautiful and her employees adore her as a reliable older sister. Apparently, she used to be an acquaintance of Kurou and Benawi.

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen coming west in early 2020

(The PS Vita version, too!)

Sal Romano Mar 11, 2019 at 1:02 PM EDT 0 Comment 0

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen will be released in North America and Europe both physically and digitally for PlayStation 4, and digitally for PS Vita in early 2020, publisher NIS America announced. It will have Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The strategy RPG, a remake of the original Utawarerumono, was first released for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita as Utawarerumono: Chiriyuku Mono he no Komoriuta in Japan in April 2018.

The launch “Origins Edition” of Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen includes a copy of the game, “Hymns for the Fallen” soundtrack CD, and “Archives of Yamayura” softcover art book. The $79.99 limited edition includes a copy of the game, hardcover art book, soundtrack CD, metal key chain, poster, and a collector’s box. It is available for pre-order now at the NIS America Online Store.

Here is an overview of the game, via NIS America:

About

For the first time ever, the origins of the Utawarerumono saga are coming overseas! Prelude to the Fallen follows the story of a man with no memories who awakens in a strange world, and is taken in by a tribe of kindhearted villagers. He is raised as one of their own, eventually receiving the name “Hakuoro.” When neighboring nations begin to encroach on his village, Hakuoro rises up against the tyrannical invaders, setting off on an unforgettable journey that lives on in the songs of legend.

Key Features

  • An Epic Tale – Become immersed in a turbulent story of love, war, and destiny.
  • Heroes of Myth – Unravel the tale of a diverse cast of characters, and watch how their fates intertwine.
  • Art of War – Claim victory through the use of tactics, elemental advantages, and the unique strengths of your party members.

Watch the announcement trailer below. View a set of screenshots at the gallery. Visit the official website here.

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