NIS Talks PS3 RPGs Legasista, Mugen Souls, The Witch and the Hundred Knights

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NIS Talks PS3 RPGs Legasista, Mugen Souls, The Witch and the Hundred Knights

Last night was a big moment for NIS, the developer of fan-favorite tactical RPGs such as Disgaea and Phantom Brave. The publisher’s US arm, NIS America, announced three new PS3-exclusive games set to roll out over the next calendar year: dungeon crawler Legasista, strategy-RPG Mugen Souls, and action-RPG The Witch and the Hundred Knights.

We sat down with NIS America Producer Jack Niida to learn more about each of the new titles. Enjoy, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Legasista for PS3 (PSN)

Legasista for PS3 (PSN)

This post-apocalyptic 2D-styled dungeon crawler — NIS America is describing it as a “survival action-RPG” — takes place in a far-flung future where science has been forgotten and technology is treated with superstitious awe. The gameplay and concept will be familiar to fans of the ClaDun series, but Legasista ups the ante by enabling you to customize your weapon and skills, creating “thousands of attack combos.” This PS3-exclusive RPG is scheduled to release in August 2012 on PSN. Below, we discuss first details with NIS America Producer Jack Niida.

NIS Talks PS3 RPGs Legasista, Mugen Souls, The Witch and the Hundred Knights

PlayStation.Blog: Legasista is set far in the future, after society has somehow forgotten the nuts and bolts of science. What kicks off the story?
Jack Niida, Producer: It’s set a couple of thousand years in the future, after the world mysteriously ends. A structure called the Tower of Ivy is the only remnant of the past, and is filled with artifacts from the high-tech civilization that has since vanished. The main character is an adventurer named Alto, and after his little sister becomes petrified by a curse, he heads to the Tower of Ivy to try to find a cure. Of course, along the way he’ll encounter enemies and rival adventurers, but little by little Alto will build a team and progress through the Tower.

PSB: So far, Legasista’s cast includes an android and, perhaps most intriguingly, an intelligent bean sprout. What’s their deal?
JN: NIS is always known for its weird, quirky characters and comedic elements, and Legasista is partly inspired by NIS games such as the Disgaea series. The bean sprouts are basically part of an experiment that was conducted ages ago…and they just kept evolving and growing as time went on. Now they have a mind of their own! They are a type of NPC that can help you, showing up in the storyline and leading you to a randomly generated dungeon within the Tower of Ivy. So you can focus on the main story, or explore as much as you want – and the rarest, best items are found on these bean sprout stages.

PSB: Poison and cursing also seems to be a big focus, with some poisons even helping you. How does that work?
JN: It can be a little confusing! There are different classes of poison and ailments that you can take on from enemy attacks or traps. You might get a different effect depending on the combination of poisons; some poisons might just kill you quickly, others might put you to sleep or make you take more damage. But some combinations can actually help you; one combination will cause you to hallucinate and see other traps or hidden objects you normally couldn’t see. So in some cases, you may want to deliberately poison yourself.

PSB: There’s also a big emphasis on creating custom characters, including the ability to import your own artwork…
JN: You can actually load up a painting program in the game and create your own artwork pixel-by-pixel, if you want to, and it’ll animate in the game. If you’re not a great artist, you can import images from your PS3’s hard drive and the game will morph the art into a character. A photo of an environment won’t work so well, but a simple cartoon-type image should work well. You can also edit existing photos using the painting program in the game.

Mugen Souls for PS3

NIS Talks PS3 RPGs Legasista, Mugen Souls, The Witch and the Hundred Knights

Mugen Souls for PS3

Due out on Blu-ray Disc this fall, Mugen Souls is notable for combining NIS’s traditional turn-based combat with free-roaming movement (i.e. it’s not grid-based) and for enabling you to seduce enemy characters to your party using “moe kills”, resulting in some 1000 playable potential party members — and even more, if you create your own. The main character is also able to switch between seven different personalities, each with different strengths and weaknesses.

PSB: What’s the general concept of Mugen Souls? Why would I want to play it?
JN: If you’re a fan of strategy RPGs like Disgaea, Makai Kingdom, and Phantom Brave, Mugen Souls is a game you’ll want to pick up. The game itself is heavily inspired by other NIS properties; it uses a turn-based battle system that allows you to roam freely on the battlefield. That means it’s not grid-based, you can move wherever you want when it’s your turn.

It’s somewhat old school compared to real-time strategy games, but turn-based games have that chess game element — it gives you time to think. If you want to sit down and take your time, Mugen Souls is definitely the one. It’s also got an amazing list of characters and a lot of comedy.

PSB: The lead character seems interesting, especially since she has seven different personalities. What’s her story?
JN: The main character is a little girl, a demonic little brat who wants to take over the seven different universes in the game. She has seven different personalities, and every time she changes into a different personality, her appearance totally changes — think Sailor Moon and you’re not too far off. You can transform whenever you want, and her stats and the way she fights changes. Depending on your team, you may want to change personalities accordingly.

PSB: You can also enslave enemies. How do I know how to enslave different enemy types?
JN: Once you begin to weaken an enemy, you can charm them instead of killing them. If you see an enemy who may benefit you, there’s an option to make them a teammate. You do this by uttering a series of seductive phrases; if those phrases matches the enemy’s personality, they’ll get charmed and they’ll join your side. So against a more aggressive, hyper enemy, you might want to use softer, kinder, praising phrases. Other enemies prefer to be overpowered or dominated a little, so you can choose those phrases too.

The Witch and the Hundred Knights for PS3The Witch and the Hundred Knights for PS3

The Witch and the Hundred Knights

From the team behind the Prinny games and the designer behind Disgaea and Phantom Brave comes this intriguing action-RPG set for Blu-ray release in early 2013. In a major departure to NIS’s RPG tradition, the game is set in a fully 3D environment and features real-time RPG combat. What’s more, the darker, mature presentation is a serious deviation from the silliness of Disgaea.

The Witch and the Hundred Knights for PS3

The Witch and the Hundred Knights for PS3The Witch and the Hundred Knights for PS3

PSB: This game is a serious departure for NIS. Why make an action-RPG when the company’s legacy resides in more traditional JRPG design?
JN: NIS is definitely known for its RPGs and strategy RPGs, but our team wanted to try something new. Compared to a full-blown action game, an action-RPG is a smaller leap for us; NIS is always going to be known for our RPG expertise, so we didn’t want to hop into a first-person shooter or anything! It’s probably better to build on what we’re good at instead of doing something completely different. So that led to the premise of The Witch and the Hundred Knights.

But we wanted to make it unique, so rather than focusing on a single character or a traditional RPG party, why not have 100 units and see what we can do? So that’s where the 100 knights come from. They’re a bit like the T-1000, they don’t have a true body and can morph into anything they wish. You can morph a knight into a tesla coil to zap enemies, or into a weapon, or a shield, and other objects and characters. So that’s how the 100 knights help you.

PSB: The storyline premise sounds interesting. Can you touch on this war between the Swamp Witch and the Forest Witch?
JN: There are two witches that have been going at each other for hundreds of years. The Swamp Witch, who is seriously evil, decides to destroy the Forest Witch once and for all. She stumbles upon the remains of a legendary dark knight who died hundreds of years before, resurrects him and enslaves him. So the Swamp Witch is your master and you have to follow what she says.

PSB: Are there wrinkles in that story? Do you have to work for here, or can you turn against her?
JN: That’s all up to the player. You can be as evil as you want by pillaging villages and killing innocent NPCs, or try to help them and solve their problems. There are two different paths, and it’s all up to the player.

PSB: Is this part of a bigger push for NIS to try new and different things?
JN: Absolutely. We’re known for our RPGs, but there are a lot of gamers out there who love different styles of games. So we want to listen to what they’re saying and cater to these different audiences. Action-RPGs seems like a good place to start!

So, NIS fans — what’s the verdict? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are closed.


5 Author Replies

  • New Nisa stuff for my PS3 ??? SOLD!!

  • Ugh! Why is legasista not for vita?! I absolutely loved cladun and cladun x2. The game looks great but it is a game I like taking with me! Still a must buy for me. The action rpg looks solid too!

  • Really looking forward to Legasista and on PSN is a bonus and SOLD for me. Getting all three but was hoping for a vid for The Witch and the Hundred Knights but I’m sold on it as well already so no worries there. Very good to see NIS bringing the love to the PS3 and NA audiences. I like the idea of NIS doing action rpgs, the more the merrier imo. Great read Sid, looking forward to all three of these games!!

    (Now moar, <~see what I did there, PS2 classics on the PSN!! Sorry I had to, wouldn't be a comment from me without saying that once a week)

  • seems interesting. hoping though that the Vita will get either these games, or original games like this soon.

  • Everytime I pick up my Vita I feel as though I just cheated on my PS3..idk why that is..meh, mores the worse.

  • NIS is by far my favorite developer/publisher. Thus I am VERY happy about 3 more games and potential NIS plats =D (Just got the plat trophy on Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 yesterday)

  • Excited for all 3. But they look more suited for the PSVita. Don’t mind them coming out on PS3, but they should be coming out on the Vita as well. To be honest, I’d like to see them be cross-play games. Where you purchase one for the PS3 and can play it on the vita as well without an additional purchase. IF all three were that way, I’d def make all 3 purchases.

  • Just Hurry and Take my Money!
    Atelier Meruru Grand Finale Set already pre-ordered can’t wait for these to come out.


  • Hoping for some Vita releases as well, since there is no RPG for it right now…

  • I know I’m not the only one who thinks these would be great on Vita.
    Please make Vita ports!
    Thanks for always showing so much love to my Sony consoles, NIS!

  • not to be a troll or anything but none of the titles shown above interests me.i woulda be kind of interested in mugen souls but the the almost shota-loli factor disturbs me alot.also,i’m not a big fan of idea factory or compile heart games with the exception of neptunia mk2 which is the better title released so far….the witch game looks pretty but its an action game and i’m not a big fan of those either…i just hope that you guys have a better lineup for fall/winter :0

  • OMG! I loved the Legasista video! Must have for me! Please release it on PSVita too! It would be perfect! And I’d like to see a video of The Witch and the Hundred Knights! Looks good too in the pics =).

  • Definitely looking forward to the last two. I’m going to have to try Legasista out first though, as I’m not the biggest fan of the ClaDun series. Two games made by NIS themselves rather than Idea Factory sound good to me.

    I agree with those who want Vita versions of these, though NISa will probably have to forward those requests to the Japanese branch of NIS…

  • All 3 of them look beautiful! I heard about The Witch and The Hundred Knights a few months ago but I wasn’t sure if we were getting it or not. Glad to see that we’ll be able to get our hands on it. NIS, you never cease to amaze me <3

  • Legasista an Mugen Souls are interesting.. end the withch and the hundred knigts are MUST BUY!…

    BTW: The song on Legasista trailer is sung by Itou kanako, rigth? I would love to see all these game with the original voices and themes…

  • Yay! More sleepless nights to look forward to from the people who brought me so many hours with the Neptunia games (I want to meet Compa some day), Trinity Universe, all of those Ateliers, of course Disgaea (though the first one was published by Atlus, to be fair). I don’t have the stack in front of me right now, so I can’t name them all. Do I seem compulsive? Maybe it’s because of the chronic lack of sleep enabled by NISA, Compile Heart, IF, CRIWare, etc, etc … Keep up the good work and keep them coming. I’m not sleeping any time soon.

  • Wait, what? Legasista for Vita could be an awesome follow-up to Cladun’s legacy on the PSP. Why not?
    Hey, you guys could post somewhere on the Mugen Souls’ official website some kind of disclaimer about what got cut in the game and how this affects in terms of gameplay.
    Other than that, consider a copy of each BOUGHT. I love you guys. <3
    don't worry, look at this: "NIS America’s release of the game will be censored. Due to the sensitive nature of some content, certain aspects of the US/EU versions of the game will be edited." This is being discussed in all your favorite gaming news websites!

    • Thanks for the reminder: Yes, NIS did mention at the showing that there would be some content edits to the US version of Mugen Souls.

  • I want all 3, though all 3 seem better suited for PS Vita then PS3, plus it needs RPGs, but either way I want all 3 but the first 2 mainly!

  • I love NIS America. they always feed jRPGs to the west. even though some of them are not so good but still better than nothing.

  • This is a great Line-up! Wow NIS this a fantastic way to start the 2012. Will be buying these all DAY ONE.

  • Really looking forward to The Witch and a Hundred Knights. I remember seeing that revealed, and never thought it’d see the light of day in the US.

    • I’ll confess that I’m not an expert on JRPGs or even NIS’s games, but The Witch looks like my kind of game!

  • NISA thank you for bring more PS3 games! i will keep on supporting them as long as you keep on bringing more PS3 games :)

  • You’ll always have my support NISA ^_^

    As a huge fan of Disgaea and Action-RPGs in general, The Witch and the Hundred Knights fits right up my alley. Love how the game is shaping up so far and i look forward to seeing more of these ARPG experiments :)

  • ‘PS3 Exclusive Games’

    Those few words are the ‘BEST’ words this Gen! ! ! :P :P :P ;)

  • Grabbing EVERY one of these. How about some more PS3 full game downloads btw? I’d love having my NISA stuff on HDD not just bluray. Gives me more leeway for what game to have in the tray. Digital only is also a great option for niche titles, less overhead, less risk more profit.

    And now that SEGA is hurting, how about snatching away publishing rights to Valkyria or the Shining series? :) Some companies just let their niche IPs waste away, then bemoan how tough the Western market is to crack and how badly they’re hurting from investing in it. I ADORE companies like NISA, XSEED and Atlus who know they’ll never be EA or Activision (and bless them for that), and cater/ nourish their fanbases instead. The world has far too many FPSes and its nice to see a publisher who supports one of the greatest genres of all time (JRPGs).

    Wishing you folks at NISA and NIS all the best! Keep the JRPGs rollin’!

  • Now I have to decide if I want to import and get the Nendo Petits, or wait for the NISA’s release 6-12 months later and pay $30 less a title… hmmmm…

  • @GrimLink

    Oddly enough, even the official JP site has yet to have a trailer for The Witch.

    • Yep, they explained that they had hoped to be able to show it, but some issues had prevented it so they stuck with screens. Looking forward to seeing the game in action

  • This year just got brighter!

  • NIS please port these to the VIta. They look very well suited for on-the-go experiences. The first one definitely reminds me of Cladun but with NIS style. Nonetheless im excited for all of them. NIS, Xseed, Atlus are all my favorite devs and publishers.

  • Yes, more NISA love. I will get all three. :)

    One question about Legasista. It was a disc release in Japan. Might there be a possibility of a Premium Edition exclusive to the NIS America Store that would have a disc release maybe? I’m fine with it being a digital download if that’s what it takes to release the game over here, but I prefer physical media whenever possible so I was just curious. Thanks. :)

  • OMG yes!! year of action and jrpg 4 me!!

  • NISA Best of the Best PS3 publisher! really awesome looking line-up especially The Witch and the Hundred knights looks amazing!

  • NISA, a plea to you. get some off your older (2011)games on psn. having a hard time finding some of them (and your own site doesent have them.. still need to get both Hyperdimension Neptunia games, disgaea 4 (i know..) atelier Totori (lovede rorona) and Ar tonelico qoga…
    get them on psn – just for me dood!

    need to play them before the witch and the 100 knights :)

  • Thanks for the love NISA. Will preorder both physical copies when they’re up on the NISA store, hope for some LE/CE or a preorder bonus there. And will pick up the downloadable title to support you guys too when it comes out.

    Love you guys, keep bringing those great Japanese titles.

  • get Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance on the Vita!!!! DO IT!! Spend money Sony come on!!! …. and Birth by Sleep needs to get a Vita release :)

  • Nice. Glad one is coming to PSN. Now get some more of titles on PSN. Or issue a few reprints.

    Legasista look awesome. Just hope it has a decent price.

  • I’ll have to pass on this. Not my type of rpg anymore. I can only take so much anime.

  • I really want that Witch and the Hundred Knights portrait on Gliclee :D

  • I can’t wait to get Mugen Souls. It looks like so much fun.

  • @9
    Disgaea 3 Vita comes out April 17th.

    Glad you had a video of Mugen Souls PSBlog, NISA’s press releases did not include a trailer for it.
    Since Harada Takehito(Disgaea’s lead artist) is working on The Witch, I am very excited to play a new Disgaea-esque spin-off.

    Remember to order directly from the NISA Webstore for exclusive bonuses! Excluding Legasita of course.

  • Definitely looking forward to Witch and 100 Knights, but it looks PERFECT for Vita. Hoping for some cross-play, or the whole game itself on Vita

  • Knowing that they are censoring it, I will end up importing it. Sorry NISA, I am against censoring of any kind.

  • It, as in Mugen Souls…

  • Marisa? Is that you? What are you doing with Eve’s hat?

  • Three new gaming IPs announced all at once?! Isn’t that some sort of record?
    I love NIS’s stuff, and I’m most intrigued by The Witch and the Hundred Knights, though all will probably get my money.

  • They look like good games but seem more like failed PSP/Vita games that were pushed onto PS3.

  • I do want Mugen Souls:)

  • Want Mugen Souls!!

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