By Spencer . February 17, 2010 . 1:38pm
The forces of life and death are in discord. Formival, the god that grants life, is on a soul reviving binge and created a ton of monsters called Belzeds. People pray to Meiktilia, the god of death, to restore balance. Blades, swordsmen with the mission to take life, and Sealers, magicians with the power to seal souls, were born out of the chaos.
Nine, the male lead, is a Blade and killed in the opening sequence. His younger brother and fellow Blade, Alfred, murders Nine and their adoptive father, the King of Lorvin. Aisha witnessed Nine’s death and revived him… sort of. Thanks to a powerful spell Aisha, ties Nine’s soul to her body. Both characters share a single body now, each with their own personality and goals. Nine is on a quest for revenge and Aisha needs Nine to protect her as she investigates her past. All of this is presented with static art, pretty character art, but still pictures and voice acting akin to a visual novel.
While story sequences are in 2D, Last Rebellion takes place in a 3D world with long corridors and a barren open field. There are no towns in the Last Rebellion, just a giant dungeon crawl with respawning treasure chests. Nine/Aisha procure healing items and weapons by opening them with key collected from enemies. Those act like the game’s currency, except you don’t know what you’re buying. Might be a good idea to save before using precious keys just in case you open a chest and find something unnecessary.
Hit Maker originally planned for the Last Rebellion with an action oriented combat, but converted it into a turn based RPG in the middle of development. The system they ended up making is, well, different from any RPG out there. Since Nine/Aisha share a single body all of their stats — HP, MP and Chain Points used to initiate attacks — are shared. You still have two turns, though. The first thing you want to do is stamp and attack. This damages the enemy and marks limbs for stamp magic. See, each monster has different body parts to target such as their head, arms, abdomen, horns, etc. and you want to hit each appendage in the right order. What’s the right order? You have to figure that out by trial and error. (A notepad helps here.) Getting the right order makes stamps stick longer and nets extra experience points. Messing it up wastes chain points and could aggravate a monster if you hit a red rage point in the wrong sequence.
After attacking, usually with Nine leading, you can use stamp magic. These spells hit all of the body parts Nine just stamped. So, if you only stamp an eye, the spell strikes once. Stamp an eye, leg, arm, head, and horn for five hits. Stamp magic also hits every stamp on every enemy. If you want to conserve MP you can stamp dozens of parts and cast one spell to hit all of them. Stamp magic is your main way of hurting Belzeds, but they don’t die after they run out of HP. They just lay there, unconscious waiting for Nine to use his absorb skill to recover MP or Aisha to seal them, which finally erases them. Once all of the Belzeds are sealed you (finally) win. Nine and Aisha are like yin and yang. One kills, the other seals.
1.) Stamp and attack
2.) Use stamp magic, this is your main way of damaging monsters
3.) Absorb to restore MP
The system is as slow and taxing as it sounds. Seeing Nine/Aisha using the same battle animations and fighting monster color swaps makes fights seem even more tedious. Recovery is equally cumbersome since there aren’t any inns. Healing items are hard to come by too, you really want to save them for emergencies. Fortunately, Aisha/Nine have limited regeneration. If Aisha is on the field you restore a bit of HP. Nine recovers MP. You can switch characters with the square button, but you still have to wait for them to heal. It took about ten minutes of Nine standing in place to fully recover MP and that was during the beginning of the game. You can cast healing spells with MP so you don’t have to wait for both meters to refill. Still, it takes way too long to get back into fighting condition. Since you don’t have any other party members you have to be careful. The game ends when Nine or Aisha falls in battle and there isn’t an option to retry the last battle.
There are some tricks to make battles flow faster. First, you want to restore chain points with a spell instead of passing turns by defending. Second, buff/debuff bosses. Third, you’re better off with a few maxed out stamp spells than a whole bunch of weak ones. Fourth, avoid fights when possible. Encounters aren’t random.
Monsters are just about all you’ll see in Last Rebellion. Without party members or towns and little to explore, the Last Rebellion is set in a lonely world. This may have worked as an action RPG with a character switching system and fluid combat. As a traditional RPG, Hit Maker’s game drags from one dungeon crawl to the next only to see the plot unfold.