Egglia: Legend of the Redcap is a very familiar-looking game, and for good reason. It is developed by Brownies and Powerchord Studio, with Shinichi Kameoka and Kouji Tsuda at the helm. They were the ones behind the Mana series’ iconic look and founders of Brownie Brown. Of course it is going to catch people’s eyes with characters that look like ones they’ve loved before. But it does more than look similar. Many of its gameplay elements are callbacks.
Upon coming to Egglia: Legend of the Redcap, you learn that almost all of the world has been sealed away inside niebel eggs. I suppose you could call them time capsules with an entire piece of land that has characters, materials, and monsters locked away inside. The only character capable of opening these is your avatar, a Redcap, due to goblins being able to break any seal. As you play and complete quests, you acquire new eggs. Placing them unlocks dungeons, with specific arrangements unlocking even more stages. It’s nearly identical to Legend of Mana’s map-building system. There, you found Artifacts and placed them to open up new areas, with certain placements rewarding people with new events.
Worldbuilding and lore lead to other Mana similarities in Egglia: Legend of the Redcap commonalities. The array of fantasy races helps maintain a similar ambiance. In the Mana series, we saw people like Amazons, Beastmen, Dragons, Dwarves, Dudbears, Elves, Faeries, and Jumis, not to mention the occasional anthropomorphic cactus. Egglia: Legend of the Redcap fills its world with the same sorts of species. It seems to relish delivering these characters, offering a diverse population. Why, within your first hour you will have met an anthropomorphic plant, brownie, dwarf, elf, fairy, and goblin. That isn’t even counting the gigantic living mountain and plant who have taken up residence in your hometown. The Mana series felt alive and vibrant because of all the different races there. Even though Egglia: Legend of the Redcap involves a land that has been separated and ripped apart, having such a wide assortment of different people, with different opinions of each other, and forcing them to interact and befriend one another, makes it feel fuller.
Among those races are Spirits. While Mana’s were Mana Spirits and always Dryad, Gnome, Jinn, Luna, Salamander, Shade, Undine, and Wisp, Egglia: Legend of the Redcap is a bit more diverse. The Spirits here are elemental, with the same sorts of types present. Once again, using magic is tied to them. By equipping three of them as supports, offensive, defensive, and supportive skills open up. It uses the same sort of foundation and explanation for special abilities. It reinforces the fantastical themes we’ve come to expect from such a game.
Finally, there are the crafting and farming elements. Egglia: Legend of the Redcap frames them in the sort of way you expect a mobile game would. “Find X items! Come back in Y hours! Want to speed things up?” You know how it goes. While it can be a bit of an annoyance, since it can feel like it is forcing you to revisit areas for materials and constantly come back to acquire items, it too has a basis in the Mana series. Legend of Mana and Secret of Mana both had crafting systems. There’s a sense of needing to do more than just fight to maintain your lifestyle and community in both games, which adds to the immersion.
There’s a comfort that comes from playing Egglia: Legend of the Redcap. Even though this is an entirely new property with some new mechanics that are quite enjoyable and well handled, it is the ones that are familiar that really help pull RPG fans, in particular those who loved the Mana series, into the game. Seeing a diverse world with magical spirits and similar mechanics makes it easy to jump in, adapt to, and enjoy situations.
Egglia: Legend of the Redcap is available for Apple iOS devices.