Square Enix Designed A Puzzle RPG Battle System

By Spencer . March 19, 2009 . 1:39pm

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Whether you choose fight, magic or “instrument” combat in RPGs involves a lot of watching and not much action. Square Enix acknowledges this and says in a patent application registered in June 2007 “due to a selected attack being more or less determined, a player’s degree of skill has been little reflected in a result of the game.” Tetsuya Nomura and Crisis Core director Hajime Tabata’s solution to the skill issue is puzzle magic.


In this theoretical system a puzzle battle starts whenever a player selects magic. See the tree outline? It’s called a magic army. You need to configure the falling blocks to fit the frame before time runs out to cast the spell. Like Tetris blocks can be rotated and stacked. Magic effectiveness is determined by overlapping and extra blocks sticking outside of the frame. While this spell’s frame is a tree another attack like cometeo can have a meteor frame.



These are examples of falling block pieces Square Enix plans to use with the system.


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And here’s a detailed look at the battle loop. Figure five outlines the combat system in great detail. Figure 6 focuses on puzzle battles. In this design puzzle battles are only used for magic so if you’re not a fan of them you could ignore them by only choosing fight and instrument.


What do you think about Square Enix’s idea? Do you want an RPG with puzzle battles? What existing franchise and system would work well with this?

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  • Spencer you should check out EA’s “Henry Hatsworth” for the DS. Lots of folks are saying that it’s the perfect mix between Puzzle League and Castlevania (haven’t tried it myself).

    Website BTW: http://www.henryhatsworth.com/en_us/home.action

  • I would DEFINITELY enjoy something like this. Like a more refined and japanese adaption of Puzzle Quest just as an additional battle element. Interesting with new ideas!

    Good post

  • This would be cool to see happen, if Square-Enix decides to use it. I think it’ll benefit a new series than an existing one, as spinoffs usually get ignored and the idea might be too risky for a sequel.

  • It seems pretty good and interesting to me.. :)

  • This would be interesting. For some reason, I’m reminded of Rudra’s Treasure. I have no idea why, but it was neat to have spell effectiveness based on what you named the spell. Thowing a giant “MOO!” at enemies was endless fun.

    Slightly more on topic, though it’s not a Square license, puzzle battles might fit into the Atelier games since their based on synthesis… mixing parts to make the whole. Would be kind of neat to try to craft a bomb mid-battle only to end up with a healing potion thanks to the puzzle’s outcome. *shrug*

  • I’d play it. :D

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