A closer look at SaGa Emerald Beyond! Plus release date revealedWhat is SaGa Emerald Beyond’s release date? What can you expect from the characters and combat? Read this to find out.
Here’s the news we know some of you have been waiting for: SaGa Emerald Beyond will release April 25, 2024 for Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, PC via Steam, iOS, and Android.
The date was revealed as part of the SaGa Glimmerfest 2023 35th Anniversary Livestream, in which members of the development team offered up your best look at the game yet.
In the stream, SaGa series Producer Masanori Ichikawa, Executive Producer and SaGa series General Director Akitoshi Kawazu, and Localization Director Neil Broadley showed two key SaGa Emerald Beyond characters: Tsunanori Mido and Ameya Aisling.
It’s well worth a watch.
First, let us introduce a couple of the characters, the stories they'll experience and some of the people they'll meet along the way.
A man who can manipulate kugutsu, and is tasked with protecting the barrier around his city.
Tsunanori comes from the long lineage of the important Mido family of Miyako City, a world filled with traditional, old-fashioned city streets that sprawl out from the central Gokakudo Temple. He can control kugutsu, or animated puppets, which bear their own will.
The last great war destroyed the old societal and spiritual orders alike. Ever since, Miyako City has been plagued with all kinds of supernatural phenomena. Tsunanori is selected for the Cathedral Project to investigate other worlds and restore order to the spiritual realm. With the kugutsu accompanying him, he sets out on a journey to other worlds to find four elemental spirits to accomplish his task.
What Are Kugutsu?
Kugutsu are puppet-like humanoid figures. They become operational once they have been imbued with a spirit. Because kugutsu merge with the spirits that inhabit them, they develop their own unique personalities, and talk with their master as though they were normal humans.
But not just anybody can become a kugutsu master. Anybody wishing to use kugutsu must first prove to them that they are up to the task. They must also build a human-like trust relationship with their kugutsu. As they have existed for ages past, their use of language is completely contemporary and up-to-date.
Let's meet a few:
Musashi was a legendary swordsman who wielded a pair of blades.
Perhaps a member of the Mido family who was alive in the day of Musashi imbued a kugutsu with his spirit. He is the strongest fighter of all of Tsunanori’s kugutsu.
A singer of legend, it is said that Komachi could bend the power of words to her will, and captured the hearts of the people of her day.
Perhaps a member of the Mido family who was alive in the day of Komachi imbued a kugustu with her spirit. It is thought that this kugutsu came into being during the golden era of the Mido family, as she possesses far more knowledge about the past than any of the current members of the Mido family.
Sukune, known as the founder of the martial art of sumo, is said to have swept his foes aside and trampled them to death with just his legs and feet.
At the time of his inception, the Mido family had not yet come to power, so how Sukune’s spirit came to inhabit a kugutsu is a total mystery.
In fact, Sukune is the most shrouded in mystery of all of the Mido family’s kugutsu.
Boh was apparently a famed gunslinger, somehow making a living as a sniper despite the limitations of the guns of old.
It is said that many warriors met their fate at the tip of Boh’s gun, but since such a death would besmirch a warrior’s honour, barely any records of Boh’s feats remain.
Boh was ultimately executed for a failed assassination attempt on a powerful figure of his time. On the brink of death, his spirit was harvested, and transplanted into a kugutsu.
Even with such a history as this behind him, Boh’s kugutsu is a cheerful soul.
An up-and-coming witch who has hidden her true form under the guise of an elementary school girl.
Ameya visits Miyako City from the Witchdom Pulchra, a world ruled by witches, as part of her witchterms.
While in Miyako City, she assumes the identity of an 11-year-old schoolgirl named Yumeha Izumi and lives with her cat familiar, LoLo. But after being attacked by an unknown man, she loses her magic powers completely.
Will Ameya be able to get her magical powers back and pass her witchterms?
Ameya’s Servants and Allies
Ameya is supported by some friendly faces, including:
Ameya’s familiar. LoLo was assigned to Ameya for the purposes of her witchterms. In reality, LoLo has been in Ameya’s family since her mother’s day — if not even longer than that.
LoLo possesses a great magical strength all of his own, allowing him to converse with beings other than his mistress. But he is careful not to reveal his powers unless absolutely necessary.
Since arriving in Miyako City, LoLo has started to pick up some of the quirks of the local feline population, and has become very sensitive to all kinds of different stimuli.
A squire dispatched from Pulchra to protect and observe Ameya.
He will obey any order given to him by a witch, without question. Shinobu Kato is actually an assumed name used while in Miyako City. In Pulchra, he is known as Squire 15413837.
The name Shinobu was apparently chosen due to his affinity for ninjas.
Ameya’s Savior: Macha (Alter Ego)
Macha is a mysterious figure who claims to be the Goddess of Magic.
Macha saves Ameya when she finds herself in distress, and grants her the power to see the emerald waves. She is apparently fighting to preserve the magic balance of the Conjoined Worlds, but her true identity is a mystery.
It seems that this version is a copy of Macha. As a copy, her powers fall short of the true Macha by a fair margin, but she does show herself to be capable of powers befitting a Goddess of Magic. However, there is nothing in the least bit divine about her personality. It seems that this aspect of the copy was way off the mark.
Characters Who Can Join the Retinue
A number of fascinating characters can join your retinue, including the following:
A blue witch from the Witchdom Pulchra. She is strong-willed and haughty.
There are reports that Lita was spotted in Capitol City, the capital of the allied nations. Supposedly she is masquerading as a journalist by the name of Shungiku Hanabusa, but it isn’t clear whether this is Lita in disguise for her final exam, or somebody else entirely.
Willma, The Yellow Witch
A yellow witch from the Witchdom Pulchra.
Willma has a very placid demeanor, but deep down, she is deeply worried that she may be a golem.
She has a very idiosyncratic way of speaking.
Characters Who Can Join the Retinue: The Red Squire
A squire who serves the Red Witch. The Red Squire is an expert assassin.
He can be a little scatterbrained at times, but his skills as an assassin are undeniable.
A first-year student at Miyako University. Tsunanori is her senior. She is the daughter of the esteemed Shinko merchant family.
However, her family lives by the rule that one has to earn the things that they want, and so she spends every day working hard at her part-time job to earn some extra pocket money. It is partly due to this that her outward appearance is so plain.
The son of Tope, who looks after the protagonist. He is a spirited mole-like creature with a cheeky streak and a penchant for delicious food.
The Worlds of SaGa Emerald Beyond
Next up, let's introduce some of the places you may get to visit during the game:
Historic Miyako City
An ancient city, steeped in history.
An unseen crisis draws ever closer.
Yet, unbeknownst to the residents of Miyako City, there are some who continue to fight.
Pulchra, Home of the Witches
The Land of the Witches.
In Pulchra, witches use their magic to lead an unfettered existence. However, the world demands balance. In exchange for their freedom, the witches are required to face a cruel fate.
The Subterranean Haven of Cordycep
Living underground isn’t so bad. And if you’ve got your family with you, even better!
The children of Cordycep spend their days waiting patiently for their dads to bring home a big, juicy earthworms.
SaGa Emerald Beyond features a combat system that includes a wide variety of Races, Weapons, Skills and Abilities.
Humans are the most conventional of the races. They can use almost any equipment, and can handle most techs and abilities.
Humans progress by taking part in combat, and learn new techs via the “glimmer” system that fans will recognise from previous entries in the series.
Humans can also glimmer and use “custom techs”, a type of skill that is exclusive to them.
Like humans, Kugutsu can equip a variety of gear, but unlike humans, they can only equip one weapon, and they cannot glimmer techs.
Instead, they can copy and learn techs used by others in battle, using the “mimic” ability.
They can also equip the Souls acquired from defeated enemies, and if the Soul contains a Soul tech, they will be able to use it themselves.
Unlike the other races, monsters are born with weapons and armor already equipped, such as their claws and hides, so the only changeable gear that they can equip is their accessories.
Monsters can use the weapons and armor that they were born with to extract techs from fallen monsters and use them themselves.
Monsters can only absorb one tech into each item of equipment, but they can “unleash” techs to free up space for them to learn another one in its place. If they unleash a tech in battle, they will lose some HP but the tech will be empowered.
There is also a particular type of equipment known as “monster gear” that allows other races to absorb techs from fallen monsters in the same way that monsters can. However, it can only be used by special “monster gear wielders”, who exist across all the different races.
Weapon type: Single-Handed Blades
Single-handed blades are divided into longswords, shortswords, daggers and axes, all of which allow the wielder to use general single-handed blade techs. In addition, each type of single-handed blade has its own set of techs associated with it: longsword techs shortsword techs, dagger techs and axe techs.
Each tech set has its own unique characteristics: longsword techs generally allow the player to move nimbly, shortsword techs feature a wide variety of elemental attacks, dagger techs make it less likely that the user is targeted through slower enmity accrual, and axes feature higher attack power, but lower accuracy.
Players have a large degree of freedom to pick and choose from a variety of single-handed blades to suit their own preferences, strategies and plans for character growth. Under certain conditions, it is also possible to use special dual-wield attacks that use two single-handed blades or a combination of a single-handed blade and a gun.
All races apart from mechs can use spells. Spells have one of five elemental properties (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), and include devastating all-enemy attacks that cost an extra turn to cast, and spells that impart status ailments more easily.
To learn spells for a particular element, a character first needs to use spells of that same element, so a character with no spells will need to equip an item that allows them to use a spell, and then use that spell in order to learn more.
Techs that are used in response to enemy or ally abilities or spells are called conditional techs. There are five different types of conditional tech: Interrupts, Counterattacks, Protects, Chains, and Pursuits.
Conditional techs readied by enemies appear in the timeline as three question marks: “???”. When an enemy displays the three-question-mark symbol, watch out for conditional techs.
Enemy conditional techs can be stymied by using techs with the “quell” characteristic, allowing you to fight without hindrance.
Interrupt techs interrupt an enemy action before it can take place. Each interrupt tech can only be used in response to attacks of a particular element.
Interrupt techs can be used when an enemy selects an action with an elemental property that corresponds to that interrupt tech, and they take place before the enemy action, regardless of the player retinue’s turn order.
Counterattacks are powerful actions that combine attack and defense. They nullify an enemy action while also unleashing a powerful attack.
However, counterattacks also have some disadvantages: since they require a retinue character to take an attack from an enemy, they can end up with the retinue character doing nothing for a whole turn if they aren’t actually attacked.
Counterattacks also aren’t guaranteed to trigger following an attack, and they also can’t be used against attacks that target the whole retinue or quell techs.
Protect techs can be used to lower the damage received when certain allies are attacked, and for another character to take that damage in their place
Using a Protect tech when an ally is close to death, or against an attack that targets the whole retinue, can also reduce the amount of allies that take damage.
Protect techs also act like a parry, nullifying attacks received by whoever uses the tech.
SaGa Emerald Beyond launches April 25, 2024, for Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, PC via Steam, iOS, and Android. If you’re eager to join this beautiful new adventure, be sure to wishlist the game on your platform of choice.
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