Arcana Heart

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Arcana Heart
Genres Fighting game
Developers Examu Inc.
Publishers Examu Inc., AQ Interactive, Atlus, Arc System Works, Aksys Games, Zen United, NIS America
Platforms Arcade, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
First release Arcana Heart
December 22, 2006
Latest release Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!
May 8, 2013
Promotion at the TGS 2010

Arcana Heart (アルカナハート Arukana Hāto?) is a 2D arcade fighting game series developed by Examu Inc. (formerly Yuki Enterprise). The first edition was released to arcades (mostly in Japan, but a few in other countries) in late 2006. The games feature an original all-female cast (each a variation of the moe archetype), and after choosing a character, the player chooses an "elemental alignment," or Arcana, which determines the character's special moves.

Arcana Heart[edit]

Arcana Heart
Arcana Heart JP.jpg
Developer(s) Examu
Arcade
Yuki Enterprise
Atrativa Japan (FULL!)
PlayStation 2
Ecole Software
Publisher(s) Arcade
  • JP Examu (FULL!)

PlayStation 2

Designer(s) Sakuraitooru
Series Arcana Heart
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 2
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP December 22, 2006
  • JP April 17, 2007 (FULL!)

PlayStation 2

  • JP October 11, 2007
  • NA April 10, 2008
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Distribution 1 DVD-ROM (PS2)
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Original

In mid-April 2007, a patch was released for Arcana Heart called "Arcana Heart FULL!". The patch fixed a variety of issues, toning down overly-powerful characters and "buffing up" weaker characters. However, a controversy arose when Examu priced the patch, which was physically housed on a single custom chip, at ¥78,000 each, whereas similar patches for similar games have been released for free (such as the patch for Melty Blood: Act Cadenza).

Console version[edit]

On July 4, 2007, it was announced that a console version of the game would be slated for release on PlayStation 2 in Japan on October 11, 2007.[1]

The home version allows the option of playing individual characters in "Original" or "Full," reflecting the original and patched versions of characters from the arcade version. Voice acting was also added to all story segments.

On April 11, 2008, the game was released in North America. A notable difference between Arcana Heart and most other US PlayStation 2 titles is that the game has only Japanese voiceovers and no English voiceovers. Atlus removed the voices present in the Japanese console version's story mode as well as pre-battle and victory screens, but kept the voices used in battle.

Arcana Heart 2[edit]

Arcana Heart 2
Developer(s) Examu, Inc.
Publisher(s) Examu, Inc.
Designer(s) Sakuraitooru
Series Arcana Heart
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s)
  • JP March 21, 2008
  • JP April 28, 2008 (Ver. 2.1)
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system eX-BOARD

Arcana Heart 2 is the sequel to Arcana Heart. It was the first game in the series to be developed and published by Examu after the rights of the franchise had been transferred to the company from Yuki Enterprise. It was also the first game for Examu's proprietary eX-BOARD, an arcade board based on Windows XP Embedded that would become the standard platform for the rest of the series and other arcade games published by Examu. The game was unveiled at the AOU2008 Amusement Expo.[2]

The game features 6 new fighters, each with their own unique Arcana. New techniques were also included, such as the Arcana Blast, allowing the player to become temporarily invulnerable; Arcana Homing, a feature allowing the player to simultaneously close the distance between them and the opponent while homing in on them; and the Critical Heart, a devastating special attack unique to each character.

Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2[edit]

Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2
Developer(s) Arcade
Examu, Inc.
PlayStation 2
Ecole Software
Publisher(s) Arcade
PlayStation 2
Designer(s) Sakuraitooru
Series Arcana Heart
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 2
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP October 30, 2008
  • JP February 27, 2009 (Ver. 2.6)
PlayStation 2
  • JP April 9, 2009
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Distribution 1 DVD-ROM (PS2)
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system eX-BOARD

On October 30, 2008, Examu released a major update to Arcana Heart 2 called Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2. This version further balanced the game and fixed some bugs. It also featured some design changes, such as new character illustrations and a red redesign for Kaya Hirotaka. New additions included an additional stage; three new characters including Nazuna Inuwaka, Akane Inuwaka, and Parace L'Sia; their respective Arcana, Kayatsuhime (Flower), Fenex (Sound), Parace L'sia (Life); new color palettes for each character, available by pressing the Start button on the character select screen; and an additional training mode. Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 was further updated to version 2.6 on February 27, 2009.

AQ Interactive handled the PlayStation 2 port of Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2, which was released only in Japan on April 9, 2009. It was planned for a worldwide release but was cancelled due to low sales of the first one, as well as poor performance and slowdown in gameplay, making the port weaker than the arcade perfect port of the first one.

Arcana Heart 3[edit]

Main article: Arcana Heart 3
Arcana Heart 3
Developer(s) Examu, Inc.
Publisher(s) Arcade
  • JP Examu, Inc.
Console Versions
Designer(s) Sakuraitooru
Series Arcana Heart
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP December 22, 2009
  • JP April 20, 2010 (Ver. 3.01)
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • JP January 13, 2011
  • EU August 19, 2011
PlayStation Network
  • NA April 19, 2011
Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!
Arcade:
  • JP May 8, 2013

PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita:
  • JP May 29, 2014
  • NA September 23, 2014
  • EU November 21, 2014
Genre(s) 2D Versus fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Distribution BD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system eX-BOARD

A second sequel to Arcana Heart was announced by Examu via their blog in August 2009. According to the creators, the blog entry stated that the game was still in development and that it would be released in the eX-BOARD Arcade machines in December 2009.[3]

An August 2009 issue of Famitsu and the opening of the official game website revealed the new official main character of the series, Weiß, as well as another character named Eko. Over the next several months, Famitsu's website ran a feature detailing the return of all of the characters from the previous games and included interviews with each of their respective voice actresses.[4] During that time, the official Arcana Heart 3 website also revealed more information about the full cast, detailed the game's background story, and revealed mid-boss character Scharlachrot.

Arcana Heart: Card of Glory[edit]

A spin-off of the series for mobile phones, Arcana Heart: Card of Glory, was jointly developed between Examu Inc. and Cave Co., Ltd. It is only available for NTT docomo phones through its i-mode service.

Characters[edit]

Adaptations and merchandise[edit]

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation based on the video game was serialized on the March 2008 issue of Comp Ace magazine. It was written and illustrated by Bermuda Saimaru and was published on January 26, 2008.[5]

Audio drama[edit]

The "Arcana Heart Fan Disc" was sold on August 17, 2007 at Comiket 72. The package included a DVD containing 3 audio dramas and interviews, and a CD containing 3 character songs and instrumental songs.

A drama CD was included with the limited release of the Japanese PS2 game.

Arcana Heart Drama CD Heartful Situation was published by TEAM Entertainment. Episodes were released on October 24, 2007 and November 21, 2007.

Soundtracks[edit]

Arcana Heart Heartful Sound Collection was released on March 21, 2007, Arcana Heart 2 Heartful Sound Collection was released on April 9, 2008, Arcana Heart 2 Suggoi! Remix was released on February 5, 2009, and Arcana Heart 3 Heartful Sound Collection was released on January 13, 2010.

Each soundtrack has been primarily composed by Motoharu Yoshihira. Arcana Heart 2 Suggoi! Remix featured arrangements from a variety of composers, including Nobuyoshi Sano, Atsushi Ohara, Ayako Saso, Shinji Hosoe, Raito, and Takayuki Aihara.

The soundtracks for the series have been published by TEAM Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, with the exception of Arcana Heart 2 Suggoi! Remix, which was published by SuperSweep.

Arcade sticks[edit]

Japanese peripheral manufacturer Hori produced two limited edition arcade sticks for the series following the PlayStation 2 releases of Arcana Heart and Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2. The Arcana Heart arcade stick was released on October 11, 2007, and the Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 arcade stick was released on April 9, 2009. A promotional campaign following the release of the Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 arcade stick featured other goods such as postcards and beverage coasters.[6][7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Arcana Heart[edit]

Arcana Heart 2[edit]

Arcana Heart 3[edit]

Arcana Heart: Card of Glory[edit]