Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection announced for E3!

Discussion in 'Zwei Series' started by Wyrdwad, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    Falcom's "Zwei II Plus" has been announced for Western release on Windows PC as "Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection," AND we're going to be showing it at E3 this year (making it our first ever PC-exclusive E3 showing!).

    This is a Falcom action RPG from 2008 that's been one of my favorites since it first came out. Think of it kind of like the '90s anime "Slayers" in action RPG form -- it's irreverent, snarky, funny, and over-the-top, but also really charming due to its awesome characters, snappy dialogue, and surprisingly great story (a story that I've always said sounds kind of ludicrous on paper, but somehow really works due to the extreme care taken in its writing).

    Basically, it's about a biplane pilot-come-adventurer named Ragna Valentine and an ousted vampire princess named Alwen du Moonbria (along with her fairy sidekick, Rue) going on a quest to retake her stolen castle and possibly save the world. Maybe.

    Back in the day, I captured the prologue from the game and translated/subtitled it (click the "CC" captions button on YouTube to see my translations), if you're interested in getting an idea of what you're in for. It's easily one of the most intriguing openings I've ever seen in a Falcom game -- I dare anyone not to be interested after watching this!



    The gameplay is very Ys-like, but the experience system is fairly unique: you only gain experience by eating the food dropped by enemies. If you instead save that food, however, you can take it to the Chinese restaurant in town (and yes, it's totally a Chinese restaurant for some reason) and exchange 10 of one type of food for 1 of an exponentially better type of food.

    So for example, if you have 10 pieces of cheese that give you 10 experience each, you can either eat all 10 of them and gain 100 total experience, or trade them in at the restaurant for 1 pizza that gives you 1,000 experience. (Note: These are not the actual food items and experience values; I'm merely using cheese and pizza to provide a generic example of how the system works.)

    This encourages you to stay low-level as long as possible, since the longer you're able to hold out at lower levels, the faster you'll ultimately be able to level-up.

    And there's no difficulty select -- instead, you make your own challenge by seeing how long you can remain underleveled. Theoretically, it *is* possible to beat this game at level 1, so if you're super-hardcore, you can totally attempt that! Which makes this the ultimate "anti-grind" game.

    Other details about this release will have to wait for E3, but suffice it to say, we have plenty more to announce here.

    The one thing I will say is, if you're worried about playing Zwei 2 before playing the first game, don't be: The two games are related, but they take place on different continents and with different casts of characters. The heroes of Zwei 1 do make cameo appearances in Zwei 2, but this works just as well in the reverse order -- Zwei 2 was very much intended to be a standalone experience, and playing it may even make Zwei 1 more enjoyable somewhere down the line (like playing a later Ys game before playing Ys I & II).

    -Tom
     
  2. PasokonDeacon

    PasokonDeacon Member

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    What's the difficulty generally like vs. Xanadu Next or Ys Origin? I'm fine with controlling the pace of leveling to make things a challenge, but I wonder if most retries will come from boss fights, which incidentally seem to match Gurumin and Nayuta no Kiseki in most ways.

    I'm really glad you guys have licensed the fan translation and seem to be salvaging this game just like Xanadu Next, and I think Illvard Insurrection can do much better for you than Xanadu Next. Major props to Nick for getting back to this after that project, and to Tancients for keeping the fan translation effort for this and the original Zwei!! alive for so long.
     
  3. Paiguy

    Paiguy Member

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    Super excited for this
     
  4. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    Zwei:II (see what we did with that acronym?) is generally easier than either Xanadu Next or Ys Origin, honestly (the first Zwei, on the other hand, is a different story!). If you maintain the recommended level for each stage (which is fairly easy to do), you should only find yourself retrying each boss battle maybe once or twice, if at all. This largely comes down to the fact that healing items are so plentiful, and can be taken with you into boss battles, so you can pretty easily spam-heal your way through most fights if you really want to (with some exceptions, since the game does have its fair share of really involved boss fights that require mastery of certain gimmicks to conquer -- many of which I've uploaded to YouTube, but they ARE spoilers, so I'm not going to link them here just yet).

    The charm of Zwei:II comes less from its INTENSE CHALLENGE, and more from the cool story and characters, the fast-paced and super-fun (oftentimes chaotic, but in the best possible way) gameplay, and the sheer amount of things there are to do, as this is a game with a LOT of hidden stuff in it. Hidden items, hidden scenes, hidden dialogue... even hidden bosses! Additionally, each and every NPC in the game (with the exception of a small handful of ninja) has a name, a distinctive personality, and exactly three facts you can learn about them. And no matter what point in the story you're at, each NPC will be *somewhere* -- if not in his/her usual spot, then maybe hanging out in a dungeon clearing or something! A lot of times, you'll need to track these NPCs down at these unusual spots in order to learn particular facts about them and fill out your character notebook.

    In that sense, it very much follows in the footsteps of games like Ys and Trails, even inasmuch as the "extended lore" is optional here. So if you want to really get to know the land and its people, you can, but if you'd rather just go about adventuring, you can do that too. And you could either have an easy time with it all, or torture yourself mercilessly by fasting your way to success. ;)

    -Tom
     
  5. joakkar

    joakkar Member

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    I don't know if this is just a port or a remaster for the west but I seriosuly hope the system requirements are the same from back when it came out so I can actually play it. Xseed + Falcom is a a combination I have to always buy no matter what and this one looks great.
     
  6. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    I mean, it was a PC game originally, and while it actually required some reeeeelatively decent specs back in 2008 to run smoothly (nothing super-high, but higher than usual for Falcom, on account of the fact that this was their very last original PC title they ever made, and easily their most technically advanced PC title by far), that was nine years ago. Chances are, your computer can run it just fine -- and while yes, Sara is making the standard improvements to it, she's not rewriting the source code wholesale or anything, so it should still be pretty resource-light by 2017 standards.

    -Tom
     
  7. Fuepepe

    Fuepepe Active Member

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    Definitely purchasing this day one. Zwei is a gem.
     
  8. nivora

    nivora Active Member

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    What is being done with the voice acting?
    I'm excited for this despite not liking the action combat Falcom does (especially not on PC). But like Xanadu Next i buy this because i have been raving the soundtracks fro years and want to know their context
     
  9. RegalStar

    RegalStar New Member

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    Oooh, now this is another something to really look forward to.
     
  10. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    Stay tuned.

    -Tom
     
    nivora likes this.
  11. nivora

    nivora Active Member

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    announced at e3 i assume? i'm curious what you guys managed to do since the most recent falcom games are not having off-limits jap dub apparently
     
  12. xakdrex

    xakdrex New Member

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    All the more reason to want a "Catastrophe Mode" like in Ys VI haha.
    Been waiting for this ever since the fan translation was announced.
    Really liking the name change as well.
     
  13. Chaosblade77

    Chaosblade77 Well-Known Member

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    I'm up for this one. So far Falcom has demonstrated an inability to do wrong through most of the aughts so another game from that golden era sounds good to me.
     
  14. Cryrobinson

    Cryrobinson Active Member

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    This is why XSEED is my favorite, giving me all this Falcom to enjoy! ;)
     
  15. tofl

    tofl New Member

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    This one looks interesting.
     
  16. Wani!

    Wani! New Member

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    I'm super excited for this. I played the first Zwei game for PSP last year and it was super fun and extremely charming. Definitely my favorite Falcom game after the TLoH games and before Gurumin, any Ys game, Brandish, and Xanadu Next. I've actually just thought about starting Zwei II+ a couple of days ago, but then this surprising announcement came, so I'll wait for the localized version.
     
  17. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    You shan't be disappointed! Zwei:II is a great sequel. Its music isn't quite as catchy, its challenge level not quite as high, and its NPCs not quite as over-the-top ridiculous (with some very notable exceptions!), but its dungeons and character abilities are more varied, its bosses more interesting, its story deeper and more involved (Zwei 1 definitely feels more dungeon-crawler in many ways, while Zwei:II is more action RPG), and its pets more badass (pet robot, anyone?!). ;)

    Both games are wonderful, though. It really is an underrated series -- and both games set the stage for there to be up to SIX ENTRIES, yet we only ever got these two. Definitely a shame the series didn't continue, as I'd've loved to see what they might have done in the remaining four. (I can always pretend Gurumin and Nayuta no Kiseki count as two of them, but that's kind of a stretch -- and besides, I don't much care for Nayuta's story, whereas I *quite* like both Zwei games' stories, so I'd rather not lump that one in there! Heheh.)

    -Tom
     
  18. Fuepepe

    Fuepepe Active Member

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    I wasn't that much of a fan of Nayuta's story either, but I thought the gameplay was still solid enough for me to not regret playing it.
     
  19. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    Same. The soundtrack, too!

    -Tom
     
  20. Chaosblade77

    Chaosblade77 Well-Known Member

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    I never put a lot of time into Nayuta but with that fan "translation" I'm not even sure I'd have deciphered whatever story they were trying to tell.
     

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