Fans of strategy RPGs have yet another reason to keep their venerable PlayStations with Namco's upcoming release of Volfoss. Volfoss is an orthodox strategy RPG featuring the stylistic artwork of Nirasawa Yasushi. Volfoss is set in a strange new world populated by hundreds of Creatures (part human, part monster) drawn from Nirasawa's imagination.
The player's goal in Volfoss is to become the captain of the strongest Trooper (catch phrase for a "mercenary brigade"). Along the way, the player must overcome countless rivals while striving to raise the brigade's "Trooper Ranking" by completing increasingly challenging missions. Each mission takes place on one of over a hundred isometric maps. During missions, the player must effectively use the talents of each member of the Trooper to succeed. Each member of the Trooper is a Creature, chosen from one of countless species and augmented with one of ten personality types. Dialogue scenes are scattered throughout the various missions, and after each mission, Creatures may be upgraded in the Trooper headquarters.
In all, there are more than 200 missions to complete, including subjugating Creatures, spying, assassination or escort services, serving as a guerilla unit, and directly participating in the war. The player has some say in which missions to take, and these choices in turn determine how the storyline will progress, in accordance with the new "March Story System." By the end of the game, the player can become the "hero who saves the country from a national life-or-death crisis," the "saint most popular with the common people who has stepped down from power," or the "emperor of darkness who plots to cloud all countries with the shadow of war."
Namco has scheduled the PlayStation release of Volfoss for February 22, 2001 at a suggested retail price of 5800 yen. In the mean time, you can take a peak at Nirasawa's unique Volfoss World by looking at our 13 screen shots and 36 pieces of artwork. My direct translation of Namco's site can be found offsite here.