In a clear attempt to test my sanity as I work late into the night this evening, Sega has kindly put out a really long press release for Shining Resonance that didn’t at all just take the last three hours of my life to translate. Major goodies include a profile on imperial princess Escera, as well as almost more details than I can personally handle on the game’s Personality, Bond, and Dating systems, among myriad other things. Catch it all below while I kick back and recover now.
Ecsera Noa Aura (voiced by Nana Mizuki)
Class: Dragon Master
Weapon: Magic Dragon Flute Grabinett
Main Magic: Gravitational
“One way or another, you will join my side, as will all dragons.”
Although best known for being the imperial princess, Ecsera is also a top-tier dragon knight, having attained the title of Dragon Master. She appears before Yuuma and the others as an enemy Song Maiden and wielder of the “Seventh Armonic.” Thanks to these powers as both as Song Maiden and Dragoner, she’s able to take control of the Drag Machina, a group of artificial dragons made long ago used as weapons. Their loyalty to her unwavering, these three dragons are also known as “The Princess’ Three Spears” and can always be seen accompanying her.
In addition, Ecsera is also commander-in-chief of the imperial army and with the help of Beowulf, she goes on the hunt for Yuuma to have him as her own. Their meeting, however, doesn’t go quite so smoothly for her, her fate thrown into disarray. Nevertheless, her grace and ability to quell the civil war that plagued her nation in the past have won her great favor with her people.
In the opening segments of the game’s story, players meet Ecsera when Sonia and Yuuma await a rendezvous with Kirika so that they can all escape Geilritz Prison together and make the rescue mission to break Yuuma out a success. However, amidst the twilight, Lonbardia’s princess can be heard singing, calling out to the Drag Machina. Appearing by her side is Trishula, the Red Lotus Spear. Ecsera, keen on doing away with the Astorian knights that trespass her land, sets the dragon’s sights on Yuuma and Sonia. While the latter can certainly hold her own against Ecsera as a fellow princess, the question still remains whether she and Yuuma can make it out of there in one piece.
The Three Spears: The Drag Machina
As it was mentioned earlier, the Drag Machina are three legendary dragons that were brought back to life artificially with the help of the imperial army’s research. Each of the the princess’ so-called “Three Spears” has the name of a legendary name affixed to them. Highly intelligent, the dragons are capable of speaking to humans and are highly prideful. Deeply trusting of Ecsera, they follow her of their own free will, going so far as to even offer her advice from time to time. Let’s take a brief look at the trio:
Red Lotus Spear Trishula (voiced by Tetsu Inada)
Trishula is a dragon with scorching hot flames for a mane. Ecsera’s preferred dragon to bring along when it comes to offense operations, his flames are readily able to burn anything and everything to the ground. While rough around the edges personality-wise, he nevertheless is a highly courageous creature.
Ice Spear Gae Bulg (voiced by Yasunori Masutani)
Gae Bulg is an ice dragon whose body is covered from top to bottom with hard crystals that act as his armor. A calm, sincere dragon, he’s the most intelligent of the bunch whose primary purpose in the trio is to protects Ecsera.
Lightning Halberd Gungnir (voiced by Masaya Takatsuka)
Gungnir is a lightning-element dragon, possessing a body that has electricity running throughout it. As a dragon with a strong sense of duty, he’s quiet compared to the other two and goes about his work in an unassuming manner. Able to move as quickly as a flash of lightning, he often works with Beatrice as she goes about her intelligence gathering work.
Personality and Relationship Diagram Systems
Each of the main characters in your party has their own Personality attributed to them, as well as special characteristics noted about them. In turn, these Personalities help characters form Bonds with each other, which are visualized in the game by way of Relationship Diagrams. Naturally, the longer Bonds between characters are forged, the stronger they become. In the grand scheme of things, characters’ personalities and relationship dynamics affect their battle prospects in a variety of ways, a point we’ll touch upon more in a little bit.
Let’s use Kirka as our first example. At the start of the game, her Personality is dubbed “Mother Nature’s Song Maiden,” but as the plot advances and her ties to the other characters deepen, her disposition changes, unlocking new Personalities. You can freely swap out character Personalities as you like, which is how Bonds between formulate, as symbolized by the orbs between characters that are mapped out on the Relationship Diagram.
Agnam is a good example of what can happen when you change out Personality types. Initially, because his personality is set to “Explosive Flame Magician” and Yuuma’s is set to “Protector,” the Bond manifests as a red orb, specifically one called “Negative Power.” But when Agnam’s Personality is changed to “Dependable Big Brother,” the Bond between him and Yuuma changes to “Brothers from Other Mothers,” a yellow orb. This shift will greatly influence their ability to pull of Resonances in combat, which will be covered in the next major section.
Bonds and Personalities aren’t important to pay attention to solely with respect to Yuuma as the protagonist; they also affect how the other characters feel about each other, as well. For example, if you change Rinna’s personality from “Tumultuous Spirit User” to “Elven Attendant,” her Bond with Kirika will transform into “Maiden and Patron.”
The positions of characters within the Relationship Diagram can also be decided at your discretion. You can separate them by gender, make harems or reverse harems, whatever you like. Just don’t forget that these decisions also affect your party’s performance in battle. Indeed, broadly speaking, Bonds are split into two types, Friend and Rival. Friendly Bonds prioritize support-type Resonances, whereas Rival Bonds are mostly concerned with offensive Resonances. As such, the color of each individual Bond orb on the Relationship Diagram signifies the general nature of the Resonance that they can perform together. There are also Bonds that can adversely affect both sides. What the effects of such Bonds entail shall, for now, remain a secret….
During combat, friendly characters can have what’s called a “Resonance” triggered between them at random. As described in the previous section, the nature of Resonances is different depending on the nature of characters’ Bonds with one another, resulting in them either doing offensive or support actions. Resonances have a chance of occurring when you do things such as attack, take damage, or forcibly cause a Break, among other things. When a Resonance does take place, a cut-in portrait will appear on screen and the voiced line that they dispense will give an idea of the extent of their support they’re about to provide. For instance, when Yuuma and Agnam have a Bond that makes them “Eternal Rivals,” their Resonance will manifest as “Rival Break.”
While roaming about the game’s world, your party members will sometimes talk amongst themselves. Sometimes it’ll be advice about the task at hands and other times it’ll just be a more casual affair, but regardless, engaging in such conversations enables them to deepen their ties to one another. You’ll also be occasionally asked to interject and provide your own response, which can be done with the L1 and R1 buttons.
Dotted all along the world of Alfheim are remnants of bonfires, which can be used to take a rest, camp out for the night, and save your progress. Doing so will also restore your HP and MP completely.
Night Events and Dating
If a character in particular happens to catch your eye, you can choose to gaze at them while in town or at a campsite, which can trigger a “Night Event,” whereby you have a special opportunity to deepen your relationship with them. Should you get especially close to them, you’ll also see sides of them that they often don’t show to other characters. This system isn’t limited to female characters; you can also engage in this with male ones, should you choose to do so. In the event that you’re initially spurned while trying to trigger one of these events, take solace in knowing that your likability with them can be raised during your journey by satisfying various conditions and then once you’ve reached a certain threshold, you’ll be met with success, which you’ll know if you see a moon-shaped icon above their heads prior to talking to them.
Night Events commence once the other characters have drifted off to sleep, allowing you two to talk about all sorts of matters, including potentially ones you wouldn’t necessarily dare raise under normal circumstances. However, as you engage in conversations with characters during Night Events, your responses can have a time limit imposed upon them, a mechanic known as MOES, or “Mind Over Emotion System.” Answer wisely under these constraints and you’ll find your relationship deepen; of course, you’re free to choose to not answer anything at all and let the timer expire when MOES is in effect.
At the end of Night Events, you may be able to set up Dates, which are your ticket to getting especially close with other party members. Should this happen, you’ll head out to Malga, your home turf, when it’s time to go out. Characters that you’ve promised to go out with will have a heart icon over their heads and, as can be seen in screenshots, this can once again include guys as well as girls. Gazing at them will then begin the date in earnest and you’ll be able to walk around the town together, in contrast to hoofing it alone as you normally would, and while out and about, you’ll find a variety of Dating Spots that you can visit. The date will end after you visit some of them.
Let’s give you an example so you have a better idea of what to expect. If you ask Kirika out on a date, at one point, she’ll point out a spot where cats gather and you two will proceed to play around with them for a little while. These sorts of scenes provide all sorts of unique insight into characters that you won’t see just in the main storyline. Dates can also result in characters acquiring unusual new Personalities, but just what they entail, you’ll have to find out for yourself!
Shining Resonance is set to arrive in Japan on December 11. As usual, you can look at a new set of screenshots and artwork at the gallery here.