An indie Japanese title, Hyakki Castle is a real-time dungeon-crawler JRPG that has players explore a sinister fictional castle set in the 18th century – during the Edo Period.
The Edo Period is an infamous period in Japanese history known for economic growth, social order, foreign policies, healthy population and heightened enjoyment of arts and culture.
Hyakki Castle is being developed by Asakusa Studios and will be published by Happinet. The game will launch on PC to a global audience, which is a rarity considering the Japanese gaming market is dominated by mobile titles. It’ll release through Steam in winter of this year.
Hyakki Castle – Divide & Conquer!
This is a full-scale JRPG that will have players explore a mysterious and terrifying haunted castle on an exiled island. A defining feature in Hyakki Castle is its’ unique 2-Party System, a new gameplay innovation for dungeon-crawlers from Asakusa Studios. More on this later.
Genre: JRPG – Dungeon Crawler – Adventure
Developed by: Asakusa Studios
Published by: Happinet
Release Date: Winter 2017
Platforms: PC via Steam
- Real-time RPG Action: Become a Samurai or a Ninja, create a party, and venture forth to do battle, solve puzzles, defeat bosses, and explore a mysterious castle to defeat its Lord!
- 2 Party System: Split your party and move independently to solve puzzles and to flank enemies. A new feature that evolves the real-time dungeon-RPG genre!
- Unique Japanese Heritage: Instead of generic fantasy creatures, clash with vivid monsters and supernatural creatures from Japanese literature.
- Twice the Possibilities: Split your party of up to four players for unparalleled strategy and party options.
- Explore Japanese Character Classes and Races: Choose to play as a Samurai, Ninja or Monk with three distinct races on top to add diverse skillsets to your party.
- Unique Soundtrack: The game features traditional Japanese music and ambient sound creating an environment of mystery, suspense and fear to the gameplay experience.
Story & Setting
Hyakki Castle is set on an island of exile where criminals are sent. Doman Kigata, a prodigy sorcerer who schemed to overthrow the Shogunate and placed a death curse on the leader, has been captured and sent to the island. One day decapitated heads were sent to Edo Castle. They were the barely recognizable faces of Hyakki Castle guards and criminals.
“My offering to you, contents: 3 heads – The Lord of Hyakki Castle“
News of the mystical castle appearing on Hyakki Island had already reached the Shogunate’s search team. Iemune, the current Shogun of the time, believed this to be the doing of Doman Kigata. Thus, an investigation of Hyakki Castle and the assassination of Doman Kigata were appointed to 4 secret agents (the player)…
The giant castle situated on Hyakki Island houses not just dangerous criminals, but also rumors of ghosts and demons.
Inspired by Japanese folklore, Hyakki Castle creates an eerie and mysterious environment where the evil supernatural have been summoned by a shadowy figure and it’s up to the player and/or company to strategically make their way through the dark rooms and areas.
Hyakki Castle is heavily influenced by other well known dungeon-crawlers such as The Legend of Grimrock and Dungeons & Dragons.
For those uninitiated, in dungeon-crawlers you get around the dungeon (level/stage) in a first-person perspective, doing battle with monsters in real time, solving puzzles and avoiding traps.
Players can create a party with up to four members and can choose to split them into two, using the Dual-Party System. It enables the flexibility of creating detachments when necessary, opening up new gameplay possibilities and giving players a strategic edge.
- Possible dual-party configurations that can be done at any given time: 2:2 Players or 1:3 Players.
For instance, a player detachment can act as bait to lure a monster while the other three lay in wait for an ambush—or the party can split to flank a monster or to solve a puzzle.
- Divide your team into 2 parties and take out strong enemy monsters with a pincer attack, or lure enemies with 1 party while getting items with the other. New strategies that have never been seen before in real-time dungeon RPGs!
Players can play as traditional Japanese classes such as the Samurai, Ninja or Monk while also choosing from three different races; such as an Oni, a Tengu or the Nekomata, with each having their own special abilities.
The dark and mysterious castle will be full of smart traps, spooky ghosts, Yokai and challenging boss monsters all taken from ancient Japanese literature. This crafts a unique experience for roleplaying fans as they enter the eerie “Fantastical World” of ancient Japan.
Audio & Visual
Hyakki Castle uses the famous “ukiyo-e” art style of the Edo period (1615-1868) that the game is also set in.
The 3D graphics in the game appear to be well modeled, with good shading and are decently textured. The darkness in the distance creates for an anxious approach not knowing if you’ll join the ranks of Hyakki Castle‘s ghosts.
Based on what is shown so far, Hyakki Castle appears to be a well polished game with an interesting mechanic done for the genre. Also, it absolutely nails its theme and aesthetics.
But, we’ll have to wait for when the game fully launches this winter.
Till then we’ll be keeping an eye out. Sleep tight.