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First look at The Last Story

When Mistwalker and Nintendo collaborate on an RPG, anyone with even the slightest interest in stats and sweeping epics should sit up and take notice. That’s because Mistwalker was founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. His latest project is The Last Story, a game only announced a couple of months ago and, frustratingly, a game that we’re only just starting to learn about. Details are very thin on the ground.

We do know that The Last Story takes place on the island of Ruri. It’s a focal point for an empire as it’s the last line of defence for the realm and the first port of call for traders. It’s a prosperous place and a stark contrast to the crumbling empire back on the mainland.

The surrounding sea has an important role in The Last Story, as does water in general. Canals are the life-blood of the city and traversing them will be an important element of the game. Much of the concept art we’ve seen so far is based around ships, and Sakaguchi has stressed their importance, so the likelihood of using them to get around the world is no stretch of the imagination.

Little is known about the characters in the game. Only one has been referenced directly, Count Arganon, a man with ambitions of power and an understanding that it can be achieved through the use of magic. He sounds like perfect bad guy material to us.

What’s more, even though we don’t know the name of the lead character, we know he comes from an underclass of Mercenaries – poor soldiers who are badly treated by the general populous. Just to add fuel to the fires of RPG cliche, these Mercenaries “know the sadness of losing loved ones and” (wait for it!) “having their villages burned down!” On the other side of the fence sit the Knights. These are more privileged soldiers who have little to do but soak up the love of the people and master their skills. Again, perfect bad guy material.

Hopefully we won’t have too long to wait until specific gameplay facts emerge. “Production is nearing the final phase,” said Sakaguchi earlier this year, with the dev team working on “balancing the battle system” which means Japan could be getting this earlier than previously thought. As for us? Well, let’s just hope Nintendo’s team of translators is working overtime, eh?

Apr 30, 2010