We analyze the remastered version of the first game in the Utawarerumono series, which chronicles the adventures of Hakuowlo with the young Eruuru and Aruuru.
The origins of the Utawarerumono series date back to 2002 when the original game for Windows was launched in Japanese territory, being distributed by the Aquaplus company and programmed by the Sting studio, known for previous titles such as Baroque, Riviera: The Promised Land or Evolution Worlds among others. Curiously, the game was originally intended as an eroge title for adult players, later being adapted to console platforms such as PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable in later years, eliminating suggestive content. The success of the game led to it receiving adaptations to manga and animated series.
Years later in the fight title Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match, appeared on PlayStation 3 in Japanese territory in 2012 and in the United States the following year, which would include characters from different company franchises, including Utawarerumono, To Heart, Tears to Tiara, Comic Party or White Album among others, being until then the only glimpse of what would be seen from the saga at the moment. It would not be until 2016 that the saga would return to the current scene with the appearance of Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception that focused the story on the same world of the original game but with a new cast of characters, having a continuation and end of the series with its sequel, Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth, appeared in Japan in 2018, both games being the starting point for the saga to appear in western lands. Today we finally get the remastering of the first game in the series under the subtitle Prelude to the Fallen, which offers us this “lost chapter” to finally complete the history of the saga and learn about its origin.
The game’s story begins with the game’s protagonist, Hakuowlo, receiving the care of an elderly woman, Tuskur, and her two granddaughters, Eruruu and Aruruu, to heal the serious wounds that she has on her body. When trying to talk to her, they discover that she suffers from amnesia, unable to remember who she is and where she came from, at the same time that she wears a mysterious mask that covers her face and that she cannot remove. Over time, Hakuowlo is accepted by the inhabitants of the village who consider him to be another member of the village, apart from helping them to get more benefit through his knowledge, which translates into an improvement in the prosperity of the village and its inhabitants.
However this well-being is soon overshadowed by the ambitions of the emperor who imposes abusive conditions on the village in order to survive, which, after a series of unfortunate events, will result in the uprising of the villagers with Hakuowlo at the head leading them to finish with your ambitions and get your freedom. However, Hakuowlo is aware that this is only the beginning and that his actions will lead him and his new allies into a battle in which they will face various enemies who seek to destroy and subjugate them.
The game takes place in two different facets. On the one hand there is the narrative part, which follows a traditional novel visual court scheme through static 2D-style illustrations together with strings of texts that will detail both the conversations between each of the characters at each moment and the descriptions of the situation. or inner thoughts from Hakuowlo’s perspective. This part will be the most likely part of the game, covering a high percentage of the game time dedicated to watching both events of the main plot and other secondary ones. On the other hand, there are the combat phases, which take place in a tactical RPG environment with 3D modeling and graphic environments in which to control the different units that will be offered in each of them to defeat the enemies and comply the objectives set to achieve victory.
The narrative development will focus on reading text sequences, either by pressing a button or automatically, to know the details of the story, but in turn having intermissions in which a menu of options will be offered in which to choose other additional aspects, both system configuration, including saving the game as well as other additional options that will be detailed later. When it comes to proceeding, you may be given a choice between several locations to visit in order to see different events, in certain cases with some relevance to delve into characters or, failing that, other more casual with comic-style situations that offer a counterpoint to the regular tone offered by the game, mostly dramatic.
The combat phases follow the classic scheme of other tactical games, using allied units through a system of movement through cachairs to defeat enemies while meeting victory conditions and trying to avoid defeat conditions. Before each combat scenario, the units that will participate can be chosen while configuring their equipment and the objects that they will carry. In the first instance there will only be two units, Hakuowlo and Teoro, but through the development of the game new units will be added to the total, including some with different weapons or even using mounts to attack, affecting their attack power, range and also in their mobility, as well as having additional skills. Although the majority will be attack units, there will also be others, as in the case of Eruruu, that will fulfill a different role, in this case as a healer, supporting other units that require it in times of need or others, Urutori, who They can use magic techniques to attack.