Piggyback Rides Have Healing Powers In Knights Contract

By Spencer . February 8, 2011 . 2:03pm

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I played through the opening of Knights Contract, Game Republic’s take on the brutal action game. The story begins with Heinrich thrown into a tutorial fight with monsters. He has your usual mix of swift scythe slashes, heavy attacks, and grabs where he impales undead monstrosities. One strange thing about Heinrich is he can’t jump, which may be an unsaid tradeoff for immortality.


Gretchen, a witch skilled with piercing ice magic, and Heinrich are paired very early in the game. For the most part, the computer controls Gretchen, but you can command her to cast magic. One attack makes ice spikes pop out of the ground, which seemed like defense against crowds. Another entangles an enemy in an icy prison. This seemed better suited for a small groups of heavily armored knight-like foes. Each spell has a refresh time, but Gretchen will attack enemies on her own when she isn’t channeling a spell.


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In the intro level, both characters chase Straeggele who isn’t shy about showing her insides. The battle takes place on village ruins where Straeggele darts around in the air. Her fixed pattern fakes players out before flying like a banshee towards them. Heinrich can dodge roll out of danger, but sometimes Gretchen got caught in her path. This attack knocked Gretchen back to the lower level, which was now populated by undead hordes. Since Heinrich can’t jump I had to wade through the monster masses and climb up a ramp back to the boss fight. The key to keeping Gretchen safe is carrying her and then dodging. Picking up Gretchen has another bonus – her life bar and Heinrich’s refill faster while she’s in Heinrich’s arms.


Yes, even though Heinrich is immortal he can still take damage. As a test, I "killed" Heinrich by putting him in a corner surrounded by the knight enemies. Heinrich lost some of his limbs when his life meter emptied out and I had to mash a button to revive him.


The build of Knights Contract I played was fully localized in English. It seems like Game Republic’s title is ready for its February 22 launch date in North America.

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  • So, Mr. Spencer, from what you played of it, if the game worth getting on day 1? The game sounds interesting.

    • I think I’ve said this here before, but I don’t like telling people what they should and should not buy (or do, for that matter!). My goal is to give readers as much information as they can do decide for themselves rather than stamp games with a Spencer seal of approval.

  • malek86

    Uhm, so it’s a sort of puzzle-cooperative game like Majin? I dig the art, as usual per Game Republic titles.

    But you know, after the bombing of Majin, Bamco still wants to work with GR. Uhm, maybe they conceded it was actually their own fault. Good.

    I hope this one will fare a little better. It seems GR just can’t catch a break in terms of sales. Part of me wishes they would just go back to working with Sony (although,admittedly, they weren’t selling much even back then).

    • They have to give new IP’s a chance to make it, not everything can be a successful new property during the busy Fall season. I think this game seems more approachable than say Majin was (yuck)

      • malek86

        Majin was pretty good for itself. The real problems were the kinda crappy story and dialogue. Also it was a bit on the easy side.

    • At least for the part I played it was all action. Like an action meets escort game.

      • malek86

        Uhm. I’m not a fan of escort games, but I guess I wouldn’t mind if the IA is ok and doesn’t simply go and get itself killed. How was it here?

        • I think that’s where the piggyback rides come into play. When you’re holding Gretchen you can’t attack, but can pull her out of harms way. You still have a dodge roll-like sidestep too.

    • Guest

      Game Republic made Dragonball Kai Ultimate Butouden for Nintendo DS for Bamco and it rocks

      • malek86

        You tried it? I’m definitely interested in some info about DBZ:UB. How does it play compared to the old SNES games? Is there enough content to keep single players busy for a long time? Also what about the framerate? That’s the one thing that usually worries me in 3D DS games.

  • “You shall be immortal, so that you can wander this godless lands forever, but know that you lost your ability to jump!!”
    Would be awesome if that was the case xD

    I like the sound of him losing limbs when he “dies” if I remember correctly Lost Odyssey had immortality in it’s plot too, was quite interesting, though there they just stand up after a few turns.

    • The main character was indeed immortal in Lost Odyssey.

  • Guest

    I keep thinking this should just be a Berserk game though…. : /

  • PrinceHeir

    will see how this turns out.

    it could be tedious if the AI always get;s killer for stupid reasons(see RE5)

    hopefully they balance it out ^^

  • Liking the sound of the game though the lack of jump seems like a dumb move.

    • malek86

      Could be there for puzzles reason (like the Majin in the titular game, which couldn’t jump so you had to extend bridges for him) or maybe you just never need to jump anyway (like in Folklore).

      • Well it makes sense for Majin not being able to jump.

        I just think it could take away from the combat as this sentence potentially shows:

        “Sometimes Gretchen got caught in her path. This attack knocked Gretchen back to the lower level, which was now populated by undead hordes. Since Heinrich can’t jump I had to wade through the monster masses and climb up a ramp back to the boss fight”

        Now to me that sounds needlessly fustrating and could make the gameplay feel less special. Still I’m hope a gameplay trailer will prove me serverly wrong and this game is still on my “to buy” list.

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