The Witch and the Hundred Knights had the rare honor of earning my interest based on name alone. I mean, think about the potential of a name like that. You know there’s going to be a witch involved. Is it a good witch? A bad witch? Do you play as her? And then there are the hundred knights. Are you fighting them? Do they help you? Are you directing them all Pikmin-style? It was time to get to the bottom of this mystery.
In Nippon Ichi Software’s latest action RPG, there are two witches that have been at war for the past 100 years. As the player, you direct Metallia, the swamp witch, as she summons her army of 100 knights and uses them to overthrow the forest witch. While all images of Metallia seem to depict her as something of a mischievous character, your actions and choices that you make throughout the game are what influences whether or not she’s actually good or evil. The story will change at various points as well depending on what your morality is at each step of the game.
During gameplay, you’ll be in direct control of one of the 100 knights, while the others will aid you in becoming weapons like a Tesla cannon or combining together into a monster. You view the action in an overhead perspective not unlike Bastion or Diablo, and will be able to undertake quests in a similar fashion to those games. Of course, if you’re going the evil route and would prefer not to do quests, you can slay the NPC’s that give them to you instead. That will teach them to send you on fetch quests! In addition to the combos at your disposal, the playable knight also has unlockable super moves that can be unleashed, some of them more graphic than those of NISA’s other games (this particular title contains blood).
The art is being done by Takehito Harada, who was also the artist behind the Disgaea and Phantom Brave games, so The Witch and the Hundred Knights should fit in with those games on a graphical level. This game in particular looks much darker than those that came before it, so I’m interested in how this influences the game on an artistic level. The design for Metallia in particular reminds me a bit of the Soul Eater anime, which has a number of plot points that focus on witches.
There is still much to be revealed about the game, which isn’t too surprising considering it’s still in development in Japan. If it stays on the track it’s on, it should be as exciting as the game’s title leads one to believe. The Witch and the Hundred Knights will release sometime early 2013 for PlayStation 3.