Children of Zodiarcs – Collective Memories

Reclaim your legacy
By Jakub "Koobs" Klitenik

For this week’s Collective Memories, we are looking at Children of Zodiarcs from Cardboard Utopia. It’s time to forge your dice, assemble your card deck and get ready to lay waste to your enemies in this modern throwback to classic tactical RPG games.

What is a Zodiarc?

Long ago, in a past long forgotten, the realm of Lumus enjoyed a golden age thanks to a technology known as Zodiarcs. No one knows the true purpose of the Zodiarcs, to some they were a technological miracle, a fountain of unlimited energy and a gateway to solving mysteries unknown. To others the Zodiarcs presence was much more sinister, a corrupting influence and a weapon to lay waste to one’s enemies. The Zodiarcs bought about an age of prosperity and changes to the world that no one would be able to predict. But with great change comes greater uncertainty; and uncertainty leads to war. A war so terrible that everything, including the Zodiarcs, was lost to the sands of time. Fast forward a couple of centuries and civilisation has rebuilt itself and slowly scraps of Lumus’ history are being revealed. Including the mysterious Zodiarcs. Lumus is about to embark on a new golden age, a new Zodiarc Age.

Thrown in at the deep end

Welcome to Torus, an ancient city in Lumus; where the divide between the poor and rich is ever present. Zirchhoff’s idea was simple: break into a noble’s house, steal a priceless Zodiarc relic… and split. At least, that was what Nahmi wanted to happen, the infamous Ebony Flame preferred it when a heist goes to plan. However, the dice roll of fate was in neither Zirchhoff’s or Nahmi’s favour. Separated, Nahmi is now pursued by the city guards. She is forced to guide the rest of her motley crew in an escape through the gilded palaces of the rich and upper classes to seek refuge in the city’s shanty towns. But there is never peace for the notorious Ebony Flame, as she must also face off with rival gangs in the slums and try to sneak passed psychotic clans deep in the subterranean crypts.

Time to make that lifesaving roll

When you jump into your first battle in Children of Zodiarcs you are greeted by the familiar grid system of a Tactical Role-Playing Game. Characters can travel a certain distance; you are able to choose who moves first and what their actions are. But this is where Children of Zodiarcs diverges from your typical tactical RPG; each character has a unique deck of cards, of which they can hold up to seven in their hand at one time. From these cards you can choose their next action, be it healing themselves, buffing an ally’s dice set (more on that in a second) or attacking an opponent that is trying to flank you. Once your action has been set, get ready to roll your set of dice to see what extra effects you can gain. This can range from additional damage, triggering special effects for certain cards or even negating any counter-attack damage you may incur. Unhappy with your current roll? Then you have one extra chance to re-roll your choice of the dice on the table. Worried that you’re going to run out of cards? Then you can choose one of the other two options open to you in a turn. Draw; gain two more cards for your hand or Guard; help reduce the damage of incoming attacks. As you continue with Nahmi’s adventure you unlock the options to change your card decks as you see fit and upgrade the dice you use. You are in control of how your characters will play. Will you make a card deck that throws debuffs left, right and centre while also helping to maintain your team’s health? How about making them chain attack assassins and use loaded dice that favour upping damage and sparking extra effects? The choice is yours.

Collective Memories

Once a week we look back at previous titles published by Square Enix Collective. Children of Zodiarcs is available to buy here and we’d love for you to lay your cards down on the table and tell us about your decks and dice builds. Keep in touch with us with #CollectiveMemories