By Spencer . April 1, 2010 . 4:28pm
There are two sides to Hexyz Force, a Sting-developed-Atlus-published RPG for the PSP. Cecilia, a teenage girl who loves sleeping leads the Lustrous Berge. Levant von Schweitzer, a knight on the chopping block, is the Dark Berge’s protagonist. Clayton Chan, Project Lead, stopped by to discuss both of them.
Why don’t we start with Cecilia and the Lustrous Berge . Can you tell us about her story and her friends?
Clayton S. Chan, Project Lead: I may not be doing Cecilia’s Tale justice because I didn’t actually edit this side. Devin Curry edited her side. Normally I’d just throw this over to him, but he’s left to ply his masterful craft elsewhere, so if I fudge some of the particulars, please don’t hold it against me.
With that disclaimer out of the way, our female protagonist, Cecilia Armaclite is a Cleric who works in the Great Temple of Palfina. A Cleric’s duties typically include praying, helping the churchgoing populace, and cleaning. Cecilia has apparently decided that she should be a more “relaxing in the sun” style of Cleric, and works hard at it. She’s basically the biggest shirker of duties in the entire Temple, until one day the sky over Lustrous Berge darkens. Monsters start pouring into the Temple and tearing the place apart looking for a Monolith. Cecilia attempts to help when things go all fuzzy and she hears a voice in her head. She winds up with this odd staff, which helps her drive back the invaders. From that point forward, Cecilia is tasked by the Head Cleric, Elda Cryptic, to go and protect these Monoliths all across Berge, because they’re the only ones who can.
On the other side is Levant von Schweitzer. Who is the beastly looking fellow and his allies?
Levant von Schweitzer is part of the famous Schweitzer legacy. His tale begins with the Emperor of Rosenbaum, Axel, asking him to help push toward Human-Halb normalization. Levant’s hesitant, but, after the Emperor and his fiancée convince Levant, he gets on board with the plan. Well, you know what they say about plans… they aft gan agley. Axel’s plan is no exception. You’ll see just how agley the plan runs within the first 15 minutes of the game.
The beastly looking guy is Griek, a fierce Lygarian warrior. He loves battle, and a special Lygar concoction called Lygarwasser. (He also has an awesome voice actor in the US version of Hexyz Force.) He is a member of the Anti-Rosenbaum Resistance Force known as Argent. Included in this loose alliance are the Elves, the Lycans, and the Turtillians. Argent comes to break Levant out of prison the day before he’s set to be executed. So Levant’s got a dilemma. On the one hand, the country he loves is trying to kill him, and the only people trying to help him are working directly against the country he loves. It’s like he’s stuck between a wok and a hot place.
Which storyline did you start with when you played Hexyz Force the first time?
Ah. Good question. We had a debate about this within the team. Most of us, by a slight margin, said that we would have chosen to start the game as Cecilia because you get a male protagonist in an RPG the VAST majority of the time. I’m curious to see what your readers will choose. You’ve seen the art and the recaps, what do YOU think?
How do Levant and Cecila’s stories connect?
If you’ve ever played Suikoden III, it’s kind of similar to that. You have these two groups that are basically running around doing their own thing, but at certain major points, their paths converge. When you play the game as the other side, you’ll get to see certain events through the eyes of the other group. Unlike Suikoden III, Hexyz Force doesn’t make you play through each story in order to get to the end. Each story in Hexyz is effectively a self-contained whole, but when joined together, you’ll get something that is larger than the sum of its parts.
Hexyz Force has dialogue choices. How do these alter the story?
The dialogue choices will have an effect on the balance of the game. If you choose negative things, you’ll tilt the balance of the world one way, if you choose positive things, you’ll tilt the balance towards the other side. However, as Laura found out, that’s not quite enough by itself to overcome other things that you’d done. There are certain side quests that you can complete badly. There are other side quests which will tilt the balance of the world towards Destruction even though they don’t seem so bad on the surface. Even running from combat will have a non-trivial effect on the balance of the world.
The story sounds engrossing. Compared to the other games you localized how much text was there?
We split up the text evenly between Devin and myself, and it was still probably bigger than anything I’ve edited. On top of that, as the deadline neared, we had to call in Scott Strichart to help at the end, too. I’m trying to mentally run through all the projects I’ve done recently, and even the games I edited solo were smaller in terms of text than Hexyz Force. This drove the QA staff nuts, because that just meant they had more places to find errors.
How do the turn based battles work?
If you’ve played a turn-based RPG, you can brute force your way through without using any of the special features. On the surface, it’s going to be pretty easy to pick up. It’s when you decide to start using the more complex strategies that the game starts to make you sweat over turns.
Sting is known for complex battle systems. Do you have any tips that can help us save Berge? What can players do to prevent enemies from stealing the Hexyz charge?
Level up your Ragnafacts, and start fusing and creating stronger stuff once you can. If you don’t want enemies to burn you with the Hexyz Charge you’ve built up, you’re going to have to work the Charge properly, and know your enemy. You’ll learn what attacks they’re likely to throw out, so watch the turn order, and don’t let the Charge sit on an element where the enemy can break it. Or, alternately, just know when to say when. There were a lot of cries of “NOOOOOOOOO” during the pre-editing playthroughs when people got greedy and a boss burned them by breaking the Charge on them first. Greed is good…but only sometimes.
What’s Ralu? Is Ralu the Nall of Hexyz Force?
Ralu and Nall are both unknown flying animal things, but I think that’s about where the similarities end. For those who truly dig into the game, you’ll find out what Ralu and Ulu are. For the rest of you, they’ll just be the weird floaty things that crack wise and fuse Forcefacts for you.