Imageepoch Planned A Devious System To Keep Players Honest About Permadeath

By Spencer . December 16, 2010 . 12:02pm

imageTale of the Last Promise has permadeath, so if you lose a character in battle they’re gone for good. Well, until you reset your game. Producer Yousuke Uda realizes players will do this, in fact he likened resetting to a trump card.


Early in development, Uda had an idea to keep players honest. He planned to add a reset counter to Tale of the Last Promise. If you made it through the whole game without resetting you would get a reward at the end. Unfortunately, due to hardware limitations this system was scrapped.


While Tale of the Last Promise sounds like its going to be a challenging game, there is an easy mode too. Uda says you’ll see the same ending with either difficulty setting so pick which ever one you would enjoy more.


Tale of the Last Promise is for PSP and slated for release on April 28.

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  • Alrai

    It’s probably for the best. I’ve had resets before because of bad weather or just somebody tripping over the power cord, so I’d be furious if I missed out on the super duper awesome reward because of something out of my control.

  • Ereek

    Is there any way you can turn the characters coming back to life after a reset off? Because I don’t want to have my “dead” character come back after I turn the game off for the night.

    Well, I suppose this will make the game more playable for those who dislike permadeath. More accessibility isn’t really a bad thing. I mean, you might lose someone mid-dungeon, but when you go back after/before completing your goal and save, then reset, you’ll still have made progress in the end. That doesn’t seem too bad to me. That seems more lenient than most roguelikes.

    • Alrai

      I don’t think that’ll be a problem. The way I read it, you can reset and go through a battle as often as you like to try to get a more optimal result (a rare drop, Bob not dying, stealing a certain thing, etc.) but once you save the results are set in stone regardless of how often you hit the power button after that.

    • Code

      Yeah I read it more that, they just couldn’t implement a reset counter, from the sounds of it permadeath is still in the game.

    • Permadeath is in, but if you reset (without saving) you can wind back time and start again just like Fire Emblem.

      The reset counter was just an idea IE wanted to do, but couldn’t.

    • They wanted to implement a way for the gamer to try to beat the game with no resets, but failed at it xD, they only put easy mode. So yeah, we will be able to reset the psp, and be back in shape with no downsides

  • Phew…. I thought it was for real… Lucky the system is not “that” advance yet… On a side note, I will probably loose 2 of the characters, if they have literally a reset counter that prevents you from reseting..I wonder how am I suppose to finish the game? I definitely am not hardcore enough to replay it again on that very moment! However, if its a reward… I will hate the fact that I miss it but, I will play it again after some time to get it..

  • PrinceHeir

    does this mean the game is over quickly? can’t say i blame them since portable gaming is for quick plays only but then again monster hunter and pokemon prove to us that portable gaming can be addicting and time consuming.

    • Umm, i dont think that, it will surely be long enough, ive never had any problem in lenght with imageepoch’s games

  • Well, i will try to beat the game without resetting, i dont think it will be much of a problem, the only deads i have in rpgs are mostly in bosses, and im sure the permadeath is if the character is death at the end of the battle, so i will just use revive on them, or revive powder or w/e.

    I would reset only depending on who dies though xD

  • doomspeller10

    Okay… the permadeath idea seems nice (not that is new but still), and I guess that if they couldn’t use that anti-cheating system they might have thought of something to discourage people from resetting… like having different endings according to the number of people in your party that are dead by the end of the game, or something . What could go wrong with that? The game would have much higher replayability value… oh wait, it’s just a PSP game, so why spending more money on the writing staff? I see wasted potential. I’ll still play this game… if it gets a western release.

    • I don’t agree. Having to decide on how many of your players to keep alive in order to see an ending could become tedious. It also kind of stupid imo, if the only playability happened in seeing who dies in your party.

      • doomspeller10

        Well that’s what pretty much happened in FFV, they just implemented it for the final battle. It may sound basic only taking into account who survives up to the end of the game, but a very similar approach is what they took for the many endings in Chrono Trigger, and it worked pretty well because it was intrinsically related to the plot of the game. I mean, what’s the purpose of the permadeath system if it’s not meaningful to the story? It would be just a gameplay gimmick.
        Now if the game has too many characters, of course it wouldn’t be feasible. The auto-save feature mentioned by Stachewicz would obviously be the most flawless anti-cheating measure.

  • They could implement an auto-save, feature. Maybe it’s the dark passenger in me but this kind of masochism could make for some really fun and challenging gameplay.

    • OneOkami

      I was thinking the same. An autosave immediately upon death would dodge the reset trick. It sounds kinda evil, but players would have no choice but to accept death when it happens or risk memory corruption (either that or they would have to try and anticipate impending death).

      Also, like you, I like the idea of permadeath. Thats the kind of challenge that demands that you remain attentive, focused, and often on the edge of your seat. You legitimately put strong effort into playing as best you can because death is meaningful. Its do or die… literally.

      • Exkaiser

        My thoughts exactly.

      • When selling a game to the general public it’s pretty much a rule that not everyone is a “Hardcore gamer”, and so, this is the better route. If I want the death of pixels to be more “meaningful” than I won’t reset my game. This way, the game conforms a bit more to people who like permadeath and those, like myself, who aren’t in love with the idea.

        • I dunno, I don’t think they’re really entertaining the idea of ‘the general public’ if they’re even thinking about having permadeath in the game. This only makes sense.

          • If they didn’t have the general public in mind there would be an auto-save feature and they wouldn’t have a difficulty setting.

      • glemtvapen

        An auto-save can be overcome with a separate save file; by copying a backup save to a PC. There’s always a way…

        • Code

          A slow boring way! rar, let me caress the face of death, anything else is not living!

  • d19xx

    Imageepoch Planned A Devious System To Keep Players Honest About Permadeath

    “When you die, you die for real…..”

    • “People die when they are killed.”

      • Exkaiser

        “That guy wouldn’t die, even if you killed him”?

  • Guest

    “Tale of the Last Promise”? I liked “Final Promise Story” better

  • Go for an autosave. The second one of your characters dies, it should autosave so that even if they reset, they lose the character.

  • Roanoke834

    So does that mean no perma-death in easy mode? I hope so. I can’t stand perma-death. I get too attached to my little death machines.

    • I hope so too. I reset my Fire Emblem games all the time to avoid perma-death, even if its a character I don’t like and rarely use that’s about to die.

      • This is why they need an autosave! To prevent what you’re doing. In fact, it should corrupt your save if you try to reset when it is autosaving

        • raymk

          yeah that’s what i want as well. They should force an autosave on the game to prevent people from taking the easy way out. Of course they could make an easy mode were characters die in battle but they come back next map.

  • Sounds like something I can get to. I have NO problem with permadeath.

  • Chow

    A reset counter (if done the obvious way) can easily be avoided by avoiding software shutdown and using hardware shutdown.

    They could take it a step further and do it the sadistic way that Way of the Samurai 1 on the PS2 handled its saves: by deleting your save file every time you loaded it, forcing you to play until you get to a save point.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. A simple flag in the save file could indicate if a game is reset in any way, if done correctly. Just raise one when the save file is loaded, and lower it if the game hadn’t been saved after that, so if the next time it’s loaded, a raised flag would mean possible reset. It’s not an entirely fair idea, given glitches or power outtages, but… I lost my train of thought already. :(

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