Eiyuden Chronicle

Review: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a game that pays homage to the Suikoden series, first released in 1995. In this game, developed by Rabbit and Bear Studios and published by 505 Games, you will follow the adventures of three heroes – Nowa, Seign, and Marisa – as they fight against the Galdea Empire. You’ll have to overcome various challenges and recruit up to 100 allies to build your army and defend yourself against the Empire’s attempts to conquer everything.
You might be wondering why Eiyuden Chronicle looks so much like Suikoden. The answer is simple: the game was directed by Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of Suikoden I and II when he was at Konami. Unfortunately, Murayama passed away in February 2024, leaving us with this game as his last work to honour the JRPG serieIt’ss’ss worth noting that Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the most funded JRPG on Kickstarter to date. With over 46,000 backers, the game raised $4.5 million, making it the third most funded video game in history, after Shenmue 3 and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

A war for the destiny of the continent of Allran

The Galdea Empire has outstripped other nations and discovered technology that amplifies the magic of rune lenses. Today, the Empire scours the continent, searching for artifacts to increase its power further. During one of these expeditions, Seign Kesling, a young and talented Imperial officer, and Nowa, a boy from an isolated village, meet and become friends. However, a twist of fate will soon draw them into the fires of war and force them to re-examine everything they believe to prop. It’s an entirely standard JRPG, but they don’t have time to get bored with many different activities. With many mini-games such as Begoma, a strategic card battle game, races and training of egg monsters, fishing and farming, culinary battles and so on. Not to mention the main thing: trying to recruit 100 heroes to build your army.

Not only will you be able to do all of this, but you will also have to manage your finances in different ways, such as combat or trading posts, to do economic trade. You will also have to build your castle using the necessary resources and recruit the correct characters to manage your needed facilities.

Through it all, you will discover a perfect storyline of political conflicts, betrayal and friendship with many little cutscenes and dialogues.

Your main task is recruiting as many allies as possible; you must travel a lot. Not only will you discover new regions throughout your story, but you will also have to retrace your steps often because you will have characters who will appear later in areas that you have already explored, whether it is the first village or even an area of ​​no genuine interest like a simple passage in a mountain. You will also have to walk everywhere because, on some occasions, a corridor that may seem innocuous and which we are not obliged to pass can hide a cutscene with a possible ally.

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Fortunately, the areas are not very big when exploring; we don’t spend much time walking for nothing. On the other hand, you must keep your eyes open because it is easy to miss details, which may mean you find specific characters. Everything takes place in 2.5D and is orchestrated in an utterly magnificent way.

The positioning of your allies is essential depending on the type of weapon they use, according to three specific types of weapons.

You have short weapons that can only attack the first line if placed in front. Then, medium-range weapons can either attack the 1st line by being placed behind or the two lines if placed in front. Finally, you have long-range weapons that can strike anywhere, even from behind.

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Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a fun spiritual successor

You will, therefore, need to build your team well to have optimal training. You also have the character status and help menu for various information. Finally, you have the strategies menu to manage how your characters will act when you use the Auto command during battles.

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It would be best to manage your strategies well so your characters do not shamelessly overuse their MP or items. You can also manually operate the priority of actions for each character according to your playing style. I prefer that the group not use any objects or magic in Auto mode, leaving only their unique abilities, which consume SP.

For the fights, everything takes place on a turn-based basis. The action turn of the characters and enemies is displayed at the top of the screen. What’s convenient is that when you select an action for your character, you will see that its positioning in the order of actions will change. If you use an item, it may act first, whereas if you take a spell, it will cause it to act last.

From there, several choices are available to you: you can either use the Auto command, which will make your characters act according to the strategy used in the strategies menu, or use the Fight command, which will allow you to execute the commands manually for each of your allies or you can Flee.

In manual control, you can use either an Attack or a straightforward attack on your target. Then, you have the Rune Lens command, which allows you to use spells or special abilities. You also have the defensive choice, which is different for each character. There are several types of defence, depending on who is using it.

Among these choices, you will have the simple defence, which absorbs an amount of damage, a defence that focuses on dodging, which can allow you not to receive damage or a defence that boosts your attack and will enable you to counterattack. Depending on the ally in your team, this menu changes. Next, you will have the Item menu and the Hero Combo menu. In the latter, if you have heroes compatible with, for example, Nowa and Seign, you can use a special attack that combines the two heroes. This attack must have the necessary number of SP for both characters and can sometimes be very devastating.

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There are small mechanics that you must pay attention to at certain moments. For example, during ordinary fights, you may notice either in the list of opponents or even during your manual controls that you will have an additional choice. These choices indicate a chest in the combat zone that you can open before eliminating all enemies. It will be lost after the fight if you don’t open it. You will also have unique mechanics during boss fights. These mechanics are not only helpful but even essential in certain fights. Take, for example, the first big boss you beat: you will have the mechanic of hiding behind rocks. When the boss uses ultimate attack, you must use the special command for the targeted characters; otherwise, they risk dying after this single attack.

There is also another type of confrontation: duels. These fights are a bit special because you will only have three command choices and must use the correct command based on the dialogue. If your enemy has a dialogue indicating that he will not attack, you can rush in yourself or defend yourself if he is aggressive. After accumulating enough energy, you will have the opportunity to make an assault. It will, therefore, be essential to trust the dialogues.

Another vital point to validate during combat is the elements and physical attributes. When attacking and defending, you must look at the elements used, like fire, water, wind, etc., to benefit from it. That said, you will also have the physical attributes of the attacks. Depending on the type of attack used, whether bludgeoning, piercing or even ranged, you can either do more damage to flying monsters or break the armour with a bludgeoning attack. Armour is a slightly different statistic because shields or specific objects provide it. This allows you to reduce physical damage, which can be broken by bludgeoning or even cancelled by magical attacks.

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Equipment management is relatively simple: the most significant change will depend on the equipped bauble because this will make the most important difference depending on its properties.

Where there is a change for the characters is in the lenses. These are divided into four types. You have skill lenses, which grant special attacks; magic lenses to be able to use spells; boost lenses, which improve statistics or resistances; and, finally, unique lenses, which cannot be changed and are unique to certain characters. The more your allies progress in levels, the more lenses they can equip. You must look carefully because the places to crimp these lenses are indicated according to the character. For example, a mage can use several magical lenses but no physical ones. You will be able to personalize your allies according to your needs. These famous lenses can only be changed at contact lens stores.

Aside from exploration and turn-based combat, like Suikoden, Eiyuden Chronicle brings large-scale wars. This type of combat will occur on a grid map where your and enemy units will be placed. You can execute commands by using skills or simply moving. The whole thing is very simplistic and perhaps lacks a little love. At first, you will find it quite simple and easy. However, later in the game, you can manage your units by assigning a commander and a sub-commander and then manage your soldiers to have an optimal army according to active and passive skills.

Finally, it would help if you managed your castle once you have acquired it. You will have to construct various buildings and, above all, find an ally to manage them. Not all can handle anything, so you’ll need a specific character for each building. These will be crucial for your development, whether it is shops, a library or even a spa. You will need to find the right allies and the necessary resources. These resources can be found by delving into certain dungeons.

Verdict

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes features drags out at the beginning but manages to interweave the stories of various countries and characters into something inspiring. Its turn-based combat system works smoothly, though its strategy RPG battles may encourage simplistic approaches. Although there are a hundred heroes to collect and experiment with, most of them do not get enough screen time due to the large cast. However, plenty of side quests and castle-building activities keep the players engaged. All in all, Hundred Heroes is a journey that feels worth taking.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

Eiyuden Chronicle
Review: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
Summary
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes features drags out at the beginning but manages to interweave the stories of various countries and characters into something inspiring.
Liked
Fun combat system
Excellent soundtrack
Story starts off slow but delivers
Didn't Like
Glitches and bugs
8