The development staff behind Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts is in the process of two new large-scale JRPG projects: Pennyblood and Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Wilderness. The team has used its past works as inspiration for both. Armed Fantasia has clear elements of Wild Arms, while Pennyblood draws influence from Shadow Hearts. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
They are both Kickstarter projects, with donations opening on August 30, 2022 in Japan. Akifumi Kaneko from Wild Arms returns to write and design Armed Fantasia. He has also gathered the same staff, such as character designer Tomomi Sasaki. Armed Fantasia combines elements of a western with fantasy and punk elements. In the world, there are huge mechanical weapons, ARMs (Aether Reaction Maximizer). These are absolutely necessary to survive in the dangerous wilderness. ARMs can react to and enhance its user’s aether, or magical energy.
The story of Armed Fantasia follows Ingram, who wanders in a world that is slowly but surely turning into a desert. Not only is the environment treacherous, but there are kaiju attacking the land as well. Ingram reunites with his childhood friend and decides to wander the world as an adventurer. But through his journey, he finds out the world’s hidden secrets.
Armed Fantasia will place emphasis on solving puzzles. You will need to combine your skill as a player (through reflexes and character control) and your wits to get through the dungeons and massive world map. It will have a turn-based battle system.
If Armed Fantasia was a western punk, then Pennyblood is a gothic horror JRPG. It takes place during the 1920s, and follows agent Matthew as he tries to solve a gruesome mystery. Like Shadow Hearts, the story will take Matthew from America to Asia, and then Europe. The story starts with private detective Matthew Pharrell being hired to investigate a bizarre incident at a New York mental hospital. When he got there, he saw a group of rampaging monsters, and when Matthew was about to be killed, he transforms into a monster himself. In order to find out the truth of the case, Matthew goes on a long journey across the world and meets friends he can trust.
Like Armed Fantasia, Pennyblood has a turn-based battle system. However, you will need to combine strategy with fast reflexes and actions. Similar to Shadow Hearts, there is a SP (sanity point) system. If you lose all your SP, your character will go berserk and you can’t control them. But as a result, their attack greatly increases.
Armed Fantasia and Pennyblood are in development. To guarantee that the projects will happen, they must reach their goal of $750,000. There is a “combo meter,” which means that even if you donate to one project, you will help fund the other one as well.