TGS 08: White Knight Chronicles media event

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Just a few minutes ago, one of the most anticipated games of Tokyo Game Show was formally unveiled to the media: White Knight Chronicles (called Shirokishi here in Japan). I sat in on the session and, um, chronicled it for you here:

Kentaro Motomura, Producer of White Knight Chronicles, first runs down some key points – Level-5 created this RPG especially for the PLAYSTATION 3, with a key differentiating element of a transforming hero. They’re trying to do something new with this mechanic. You can play solo, or in a group of up to 4 online (more on that later).

Motomura-san gives a quick rundown of the story and then plays a trailer detailing these scenes: During the princess of Balandor’s coming of age ceremony, a group known as the “Wizard” raids the kingdom looking for the power of “Knight.”


A young man named Leonard escapes into a cellar and finds a mysterious set of armor, which transforms him into the White Knight, and he defeates the Wizard’s enormous monster. However, the princess was kidnapped during the battle. Leonard sets off with his newfound power to find the kidnapped princess.

The trailer also reveals a number of other characters, huge beastly monsters, even larger armored creatures, and Leonard’s transformation into the titular White Knight (who is clearly a bad ass). The trailer concludes with a bat-winged airship flapping off into the stratosphere.

Motomura-san now describes the concept of the world – an authentic fantasy world created on an enormous scale. One of the characteristics is that there are lot of enormous creatures in the game, such as a monster so large, it has a town on its back.

Next, character transformation designs are shown – the White Knight, the Black Knight, and the Dragon Knight, which has a pair of wings. All are huge (7 meters high).

More details on who these powerful characters are *before* they transform: Leonard is a young man who works for a wine merchant before being drawn into the events detailed above. Cisna is the aforementioned princess. Yulie and Eldore provide support to Leonard. Yulie is a childhood friend of Leonard, while Eldore is a mysterious warrior lending advice to Leonard.

There are many more major foes shown as well.

OK, now what you were really pining for: the Battle System. Players can freely register commands into the “function palettes”. You can create and name your own combos to be used in an active-time battle using simple controls. Many, many combinations are possible.

Motomura-san talks more about the Knights for which the game is named. Sometimes you (and your friends) are going to come face-to-face with incredibly large enemies, impervious to most of your attacks. But you’ll likely want to transform into one of the huge Knight characters. But it’s possible to fight successfully with a mix of small and transformed warriors.

There will be significant character customization in WKC as well. The created avatar will take part in the epic story Leonard’s companion

Character making_Upper body
Online vs offline mode: When offline, Leonard is the main character and plays through the story. When online, up to 4 players cooperate to battle as their created character. A video demonstrates a number of characters traveling together through the countryside, the customization options. Male and female characters are shown, with vastly different looks. The type of character (warrior, magic user, etc) is customizable as well. Players can invite others from within the game, and another joins.

The group is then shown taking on a huge troll with a giant club. More areas are then shown, countryside, towns and castles, and other vistas and landscapes.

Now Motomura-san explains the fusion of offline and online modes. Players share money, items, and levels that are earned in one mode into the other. Motomura-san mentions that there are many more new elements to this that will be revealed later.

During the Q&A, Motomura-san assures “a huge number” of online quests, and reiterates that it’s different from the offline “story” mode. It’s basically 2 RPGs in one title.

Shirokishi hits Japan on Christmas Day. There’s not yet a set release date for North America or Europe, but you can be sure we’ll announce that information on the PlayStation.Blog when it happens. Look for more on White Knight Chronicles throughout TGS – we’ll be sure to link out to the best coverage. In the meantime, we’ve got lots of screens here.

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3 Author Replies

  • This is my most anticipated game of next year (assuming it’s coming in 2009). I’ve been watching all of the TGS videos about it and everything looks phenomenal. The online play was way better than I thought it would be.

    Can’t wait!

  • FINALLY an RPG!!!! How many years has the PS3 been out? …and Folklore doesn’t count…nor do ports of poor Xbox 360 RPGs. but I digress…I’m really excited for this game! If it’s coming out late this year for Japan, we may get it in 09! Whohoo!

  • Patriotsbball5460

    awesome! Thanks Jeff, I want it in america!

  • Too sweet. Thanks soooo much for getting back the RPGs!!!

  • i never played a rpg before, do you think its a good title to begin with a rpg or this title is really for those who have a big background for this kind of game?

  • Looks amazing – a day one buy for me.

  • AMAZING! These are the games we want, more RPG’s please

  • This is Sony’s last hope. May it deliver us from the lack of RPG’s on the console that is supposed to have them all.


  • Great, any word on those ’14 unannounced’ games that were gonna be announced at TGS? Also any word on the new Team Ico project?

  • Finally , except we probably won’t see it until early spring.

  • Wow, it looks amazing. I think this is just the RPG we have been waiting for.

    Dont get me wrong, FF13 looks nice. But Square hasn’t been doing that well since FF10. All these “Spinsoffs”, like “X-2”, “FF11” (Should have been called FF Online, and 12 should of taking 11’s place) and the FF7 spinoffs have damaged the Final Fantasy name IMO.

    It just shows a lot of poor business practices and “money milking”.

    But this game looks like a cool, new, crispt look into the RPG world that we have been waiting for. I’m thinking 13 will be a letdown, even more so since they’re ALREADY planning spinoffs, what ever happened to the pre-FF10 days when once they finished a game, it was FINISHED?

  • Sony have every genre covered in-house, except RPG, but seem to have a good relationship with Level 5. Definitely keep them close!

  • looks and sounds fantastical! do want… now.


  • The game looks sweet.

  • Awesome looking game!

    Thanks for the info.

  • Can you confirm that there are going to be more game being announced through out TGS So far 2 were announce if im right and is there going to be a sony conference?

  • This game looks really impressive. About time to see some RPG for the PS3. Looong over due. Hope you are having fun there Jeff? ;-]

  • Yes jeff. we love JRPGs! let’s NOT Forget that again!

    btw! will anyone from Level-5 come here for Q&A or will that happen when the game is ready to come to NA?

    Also i have a problem with the text chat. why are develops still using the old virtual keyboard? possible to tell them to make sure it supports the full VKB or at least the real keyboard and voice chat if possible?!

    anyways. thanks for the news! this is what I wanted to hear!

    • When we get closer to a NA release (still no details), we\’ll absolutely be bringing the people who work on the game into the fold.

  • Yeys!! I loves me some RPGs and I’ve definitely been watching White Knight since three days before forever. Thanks for this- it’s just what I needed! :D

  • OH! I forgot! Will it support player invite for online? where I can easily just send a message to my friend on my PSN list and they can automatically join?

    • An invite system was shown when you\’re playing in the online mode, though the finer details of that haven\’t yet been clarified.

  • Woa!!! This game looks so much better than their last showings. The wait was worth it definitately!

    Just hope it’s coming in 2009. I’m not really into RPG’s anymore but this one definitately caught my interest. 4-player co-op? Makes me think of Instances/Dungeons in MMOs. Which is totally awsome to me.

  • Why does the game look worse than the 2006 TGS video? It’s been two years and the graphics are now worse. Well, we can’t expect much from the developers of Rogue Galaxy. Gameplay will suck just like every one of their games.

  • Well Jeff, I must say I am very impressed by this. It’ll be nice to finally have a really solid-looking RPG on the PS3. The multiplayer really strikes me as awesome though, I think that’s something my friends and I have been pining for in an RPG for quite some time now. Story seems a bit on the generic side, but honestly, what’s wrong with just saving a princess every once in a while?

  • Quick Question! US release: when?

  • It’s good but the PS3 still needs a lot more EXCLUSIVE RPGs.

  • It’s just sad that we don’t have more RPG’s ’cause this looks amazing. 4 player online co-op? 100+ hours of gameplay? 1080p native? GOTY of 2009 for me. Doesn’t Sony ever listen to us? We want RPG’s! Enough with the shooters! :(

  • Awesome, thanks for the news Jeff!

  • Yes I agree with DNAgent

    but Looks So Awesome and well polish

    I definitely want this RPG

    sweet update Jeff

  • Sounds promising. Definitely going to buy this game.

  • Does the online have voice chat?.

  • Thanks Jeff! Can’t wait to see more. We really need more games like WKC.

  • @glitch321:

    Yes it does. 16 players / 4 player co-op / 100+ hours of gameplay / 1080p native support / Voice chat / Trade items with your friends.

  • Jeff Rubenstein, you always have the best news.

    Looks a little bit like Oblivion, in that it looks amazing!

  • Sweet! just what the doctor ordered… now bring it to the states!

  • rpgs!! rpgs!!

  • lets try to keep MS away from this one eh..

    sad that the only hope they have is to steal..

    But it is about time to bring variety eh… i love shooters but even I am getting sick of them..

  • Looks great cant wait.

  • @BulletToothTony:

    White Knight is published by Sony. Microsoft can’t lay their dirty hands on this one even if they tried. They don’t get along with Level-5 anyway. Not after what happened back in 2003 but I won’t get into that here. Lets just say Level-5 wasn’t very happy about it.

  • Jeff, you are awesome! THANK YOU so much for bringing us those great news! I can’t wait to play this game. Level 5 totally registered my soul to them. Finally, a game with 2 RPGs (online / offline).

  • FINALLY, an in-depth preview on this game from someone on the inside who has seen a lot about it.

    Question for you guys though! What is Sony planning on doing about the flood of RPG games that Microsoft is getting? The 360 is really picking up steam in Japan, and thus causing Japanese gamers to flock to the 360, instead of the PS3. The PlayStation brand used to be synonymous with quality RPG games, but it seems that Sony is really just content with letting them all slip away from the system this generation.

  • Awesome! Can’t wait for this!

  • Looks FANTASTIC! This just became my most wanted game of 2009! I hope we get it stateside in 09!

  • Looks incredible

    cant believe the havoc it will unleash in Japan

    wont be surprised if it sells 1m copies at launch in Japan

    100 hours
    4 player co-op

    Certainly the best RPG ever made

  • yes i been waiting for this jeff thank you.can we get an interview with Motomura-san?

  • Can’t wait for this game!

  • The quicker this comes to America the better. You guys are getting crushed in the JRPG market. Sony don’t take too long with the translation!

  • Thank you for this blog posting. Definitely been looking forward to this game since it was announced and this news just makes the wait that much harder. Hopefully we’re looking at a quick localization and can get the game around March 2009.

  • looks great. this was actually the first ps3 title i got interested in before i bought my first ps3.

    then i completely forgot about it until just a few weeks ago when the release date rumors started.

    please localize this in the states fast.

    please make more.

    please publish these titles and keep them exclusive.

    hey sony… dont you think level 5 would be a nice addition into the sony family? huh.. dontcha..

  • game looks and sound great and yes sony , level 5 would be a nice addiction to the ps family

  • AWESOME! Thanks for supplying us with some RPG goodness…we’ve been begging for RPG’s for quite a while…hopefully more of the genre will be revealed down the line *fingers crossed*… Cant wait till it comes to the U.S…thanks for keeping us posted Jeff!

    • You\’re all very welcome, though *they* are the ones doing all the hard work :-)

      I\’m super excited for this game, so you can bet that we\’ll be squeezing every bit of info for you guys that we can.

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