Class of Heroes Final: Her Majesty the Freshman! comes out this week for PSP and it closes a chapter on Acquire’s dungeon crawler. While the Class of Heroes games have their roots in Wizardry, the setting is lighthearted with its share of unique classes like nurses, nuns, and tsundere fighters. Producer Luke Rideout talks about what’s new in the last PSP game and why Acquire decided to end the series here.
Is this really a finale to the Class of Heroes series?
Luke Rideout, Producer: This episode in the Class of Heroes canon does indeed mark an end to the series. Like a four-year school, Class of Heroes Final: Her Majesty the Freshman! marks a graduation from the 3D first-person dungeon crawling RPG series that users have come to know and love. I can’t say for sure that the game will be the last you hear of the Class of Heroes universe, but it is the end of "Totomono"1 as we know it.
1Totomono is the abbreviated Japanese name for the series.
It seems like one of Acquire’s strong properties so I was surprised this could be the end of the series.
It is one of our more profitable game series, that is certainly the truth, but we also feel that it’s come to just the right spot that it can retire with grace, and we can go out with a bang, as Final is, in my opinion, the best game in the series – story, gameplay, everything has been honed over the course of the last three games, and we’re happy with what we’ve done with it.
What new features and interesting classes are there in Final?
Feature-wise, aside from streamlining and smoothing which I’ll answer below, we’ve expanded the character customization beyond that of Totomono 3D, which used the Totomono 3 character graphics, by adding a school uniform for Mordial Adventurer’s Academy, raising the number of graphical combinations to upwards of 100,000 possible characters. The game also has taken the "Around View", Pet and character trade systems of 3D and adapted them for the PSP, as well as offering downloadable content and rewarding users with existing Totomono save files from previous games with a few special items.
As you mentioned, Totomono also has definitely got a reputation for unique, even weird classes. As Totomono Final shares a story and most of its system with Totomono 3D, the classes remain the same with its Nintendo counterpart: The usual suspects are still there – Fighter, White/Black mages, ranger, thief – and it also has some more esoteric classes, like the Big Brother/Sister and Little Brother/Sister, Maniac and the ever-popular "Tsundere" class, which employs Ice-based magic attacks and healing.
How have the gameplay systems been refined?
Totomono Final takes what we’ve done in the other games and improves upon those items. The combat system has been streamlined to offer a lot more speed and ease of use with two types of auto-battle and a ‘skip’ function that allows players to blaze through the fights in seconds instead of minutes – particularly handy against large groups of enemies. We’ve also added the option to improve movement speed in the dungeon, for the users who dislike the more deliberate pace of grid-based dungeon crawlers.
Do you think we’ll see the Class of Heroes games get picked up again?
At the end of the day, that’s largely in the hands of the players. I’d love to bring Totomono Final over to the West given the opportunity, but it’s a matter of demand. If enough users express an interest in seeing Class of Heroes on western shores once again, I’d say it’s a definite possibility.