Resonance of Fate
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (June 2010)|
|Resonance of Fate|
European cover art
|Engine||ASKA Engine (proprietary)|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
|Distribution||Blu-ray Disc, DVD|
Resonance of Fate, known in Japan as End of Eternity (エンド オブ エタニティ?), is a role-playing video game developed by tri-Ace and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was released on January 28, 2010 in Japan, on March 16, 2010 in North America and on March 26, 2010 in Europe.
Resonance of Fate uses what is known as the tri-Attack Battle system. The battle system is a mixture of real-time and turn-based controls. The game consists of battle elements such as command battles and action battles. Players start the battle by selecting one of the player's characters to control, following which the player takes direct control over the character. The player can then move the character around and attack targets. The character's turn ends when the player's attack is over or his action points are all used up. Enemies are also able to move while the player's character is moving and will usually attack only the character being controlled by the player. Players can restart any enemy encounter if they are defeated during battle, and for a hefty fee can replenish health or even an important resource called bezel energy. Players are also able to suspend and save the game at any time.
Each character's turn is limited by action points, during which players can keep moving and switching weapons until the action points run out. However during each turn, players are only allowed to make a single attack, after which, even if action points remains, the character's turn ends. Attacking an enemy uses a charging system where the player selects a target. The attack charges up, and the attack can be carried out when the charge meter is full. Players can also choose to charge up the attack multiple times, for a more powerful attack, when the character has a higher proficiency level with his equipped weapon(s). The time needed to charge up is also dependent on the proximity of the enemy. The closer the enemy the shorter the time needed to charge up, though it renders the player more vulnerable to attack. Enemy charge meters can be observed, and enemies will attack a character automatically on their turn if their charge meter is completely red (all enemies' turns are in between the characters' turns). There are two damage types in the game. The first is "scratch" damage, which is only dealt by sub-machine guns. Scratch damage accumulates quickly, but can't actually kill anything. Killing things with scratch damage requires that the scratch damage be converted into "direct damage", which can be done by using pistols and grenades on an enemy with scratch damage.
Players are able to move about the battlefield freely, but they have the choice to create predefined paths for their character to follow. While moving along the predefined path, characters gain access to Hero action, which makes the character immune to damage and speeds up charge times. However, the use of these Hero actions requires the use of containers known as Bezels; the item is an essential element in battle and is recharged through a variety of methods, such as destroying portions of an enemy’s weapons and armor, or killing an enemy. Characters using hero mode can attack while jumping in the air, and are also able to unleash special attacks which play out as stylish firearm actions. Weapons in the game can also be easily customized, and any firearm in the game can attach at least 15 augments. Items earned by defeating enemies or obtained through side quests can be crafted into weapon attachments for pistols and sub-machine guns, such as a sniper scope, an extended barrel, or an extended ammunition clip.
In addition to fueling the Hero actions, Bezels act as a safeguard to character defeat. Characters will not receive any direct damage as long as there is at least one full, unused Bezel. If there are enough Bezels remaining, dealing a net sum of scratch damage equal to a character's Health point causes the character to be whacked into the air, only to recover with induced regeneration (restores all scratch damage, but not direct damage), while the containers for the Bezels, Bezel Shards, fly in different directions around said character. The number of Bezels used and smashed depends on the enemy attack that whacked the character's Health point to zero, and more importantly, the amount of total scratch damage dealt before the Bezel Shards exploded. If the player does not have any Bezels remaining, the characters go into critical mode. Critical mode causes the characters to become extremely scared, leaving them unable to shoot quickly, unable to use hero mode, and taking direct damage from every attack. Four Bezel Shards must be recollected by the characters in order to regain Bezels and replenish their power, and enemies can even pick up Bezel Shards to regenerate health and shields. Game Over occurs if any character is killed in Critical Mode, which was called "Danger Mode" in the Japanese version (or if all playable characters are frozen).
New Game Plus
The game starts on its standard "Normal" difficulty and the player cannot select anything else on the first time playing through the game. Upon completion of the game, the player can start a new game, New Game Plus, with a now unlocked "Hard" mode. With each successful completion of an unlocked difficulty level, further difficulty levels will be unlocked where enemy Health point and Damage is multiplied by a fixed amount. When starting on a new and harder mode, the player only retains access to the post-game bonus dungeon, clothing items, Bestiary List and Game Scores (viewable at the Arena). If an already once beaten difficulty is selected, all items and levels will be retained with the exception of coloured Energy Hexes. There are 10 difficulties in Resonance of Fate.
Resonance of Fate takes place in the distant future where Earth has undergone a drastic change in the environment. For reasons unknown, poisonous layers of gases permeated the land, causing cancer, which resulted in near extinction for mankind due to humanity's inability to adapt to the new changes. The remaining humans built a gigantic device called Basel, an environment purifier buried deep in the ground, which cleanses the air in the surrounding land; it was called the Zenith System. Civilization began to reform around Basel itself, building a city around the tower. In order to overcome the cancer, human lives were tied to quartz and linked to the Zenith system, making them immune to disease and mutation, but requiring them to remain in the city, and giving them a set shelf-life.
Civilization gradually began to grow around Basel, with people eventually moving inside the machine itself and building up the core, raising it high above the planet’s surface. As centuries went on, people built levels around the core and established various towns, cities, and even theme parks and landmarks for the survivors to enjoy themselves. However, Basel has now existed so long that people have forgotten why they live there, or that there is even a world outside Basel. The Cardinals, who are the political/religious leaders that foster a worship of Basel and its machinery, built their luxurious mansions in the uppermost layers of Basel, in the monster-free “Chandelier”, while the lower classes reside among the many districts built around the base and stem of the tower.
Resonance of Fate begins countless years after the move to the tower of Basel. Prelate Frieda dreams of a world where people could live free of their quartz, and enjoy a life on their own terms. She pushes the idea of a world where people would control their own destiny. Because of this preaching, she attracts the cardinals as followers, with Cardinal Rowen as her closest friend and follower. Her radical ideas appeal to people, but she is unfortunately killed.
The death of Prelate Frieda drives Cardinal Rowen into a state of despair. He wants to bring her back, as he loved her dearly. He discovers the truth of Zenith, and its powers over life and death, and wants to exploit them to bring her back. He commissions Sullivan to find a way to do this, and the experiments begin at Aetersyl. They find 20 children, and begin using the quartz to experiment on their lifespans and see the effects it has, ultimately setting their quartz to expire on a certain birthday.
However, Juris, who is in charge of the experiment, takes a liking to subject #20, Leanne, and begins feeling guilty over what they have done to the children. Juris decides to help Leanne escape Aetersyl, but is confronted by Rowen, who eventually allows Leanne to leave despite his initial objections. Before leaving, Leanne learns of her expiration date from Juris' notebook.
With the disease ravaging humanity, some people are left outside to die. Some of them develop mutations to allow them to not only beat off the disease, but become incredibly strong and able to survive in this environment. They become effectively immortal and they grow to hate Basel and the Zenith system for abandoning them. Rebecca, one of the humans who live outside of Basel, attacks the city and slaughters many people until confronting Vashyron.
Vashyron is a "Knight of Zenith", a person blessed by the Zenith system. When she attacks him, Zenith strikes out against her, breaking Rebecca's mind as well as saving Vashyron's life. Sullivan finds Rebecca and sees an opportunity. Sullivan dreams of living outside of Basel, and this test subject is perfect for his research. If he can copy her traits, he can free people from Basel once and for all.
Zephyr is a part of Sullivan's experiment to transfer Rebecca's traits onto the children of Crank Seminary. He becomes the only success of the experiment. However, his transformation causes him to become mentally unstable. He flies into a rage, killing everyone involved in the experiment and blowing up the Seminary. He expected to die for what he had done, but his immortality prevails despite being shot twice in the head by Vashyron. He decides to live to figure out why he was spared, and works for Vashyron.
One year later, Leanne nears the time of her appointed death after running away. She attempts to kill herself, wanting to die on her own terms, only to have Zephyr catch her in the air and save her life. At the moment Leanne's quartz is programmed to fail, Zenith intervenes, and the artificial expiration date on Leanne's quartz is nullified.
Sullivan takes the research to make the ultimate tool, something to control Zenith. He takes Cardinal Rowen's ring and binds the Zenith control system to it, providing Rowen with control over life and death in Basel. With his newfound power, Cardinal Rowen goes from following God to being God himself, throwing Rowen into a crisis of faith. If God can be controlled, then his faith is groundless. Meanwhile, Sullivan secretly studies Rebecca further to find a way for humans to live separately from Zenith. Their goals are both in line with Prelate Frieda to an extent, but through different methods. Cardinal Rowen seeks to control Zenith, while Sullivan seeks to depart from it.
Cardinal Lagerfeld, who was in charge of the Crank Seminary when Zephyr destroyed it and killed everyone inside, goes to the heroes' base and openly challenges Zephyr to a duel to avenge the victims of Zephyr's massacre. Cardinal Lagerfeld is defeated. Following the fight, however, Cardinal Lagerfeld reveals that Zephyr had a sister among the children at the Crank Seminary and that Zephyr had unknowingly killed her. Filled with guilt and wanting to die, Zephyr allows himself to be knocked to the ground by the faltering Cardinal Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld is about to impale Zephyr on his staff when he is shot and killed by Leanne. Despite knowing Zephyr's past, Leanne consoles him and convinces him to continue living for her sake.
On Christmas, Leanne walks past Cardinal Rowen at the Basilica, and Rowen realizes that Leanne is alive. This causes his internal issues to come to a head as, according to Juris' notes, she should not be alive, and Zenith cannot be controlled as Sullivan had promised. He needs to believe that there truly is a God beyond Zenith, and sees her continued existence as proof of that possibility. Or perhaps Sullivan lied to him about the experiments. He goes to find Sullivan for answers.
Cardinal Rowen overhears Sullivan telling the heroes that he has Leanne's quartz, and if he is killed, her quartz will be destroyed, and she will die. Cardinal Rowen shoots Sullivan, expecting Leanne to either die, proving that there is no God, or to live, validating the existence of God. This sets Zephyr on a rampage of revenge, as his reason for existence has just been destroyed by Rowen in front of him, and he swears to hunt down and kill Cardinal Rowen.
Cardinal Rowen then gathers his forces into the Basilica, waiting for the heroes to come kill him. He says that if God wants to stop it, he should step in and do so. He attempts to force God's hand and validate his faith. The heroes fight their way to him, and ultimately defeat him, with Zephyr putting a bullet through his heart. The bullet passes through Rowen's heart and into a portrait of Prelate Frieda, leaving a symbol. Vashyron recognizes the symbol as the mark of Zenith bestowing immortality, and has the party leave.
After the fight, Rebecca destroys the quartz she was given by Sullivan. Cardinal Rowen realizes that his faith was misplaced and leaves the ring behind on Prelate Frieda's final resting place. Sullivan, also resurrected, joins Rebecca in the outside world. The quartz that Rebecca destroyed was Sullivan's, proving his plan a success, that humans can be successfully separated from Zenith and their quartz lifespans. The story ends with Leanne looking into the sky. It is shown that her quartz has actually been in her possession for some time, safely embedded within her hand. She stands outside of Basel in a grass field with Zephyr and Vashyron at her side, revealing that the world outside of Basel is no longer filled with poisonous gas.
In the bonus dungeon "Neverland", the party explores a twisted, abandoned theme park filled with unreasonably high-tier enemies. At the final stage they accidentally find Sullivan, and battle him and Rebecca as the Secret Bosses. Even if the player defeats him, Sullivan claims that he is immortal, and that the "theories" of the world are now see-through to him. Zephyr claims he will keep killing Sullivan until he dies permanently, to which Sullivan says he looks forward to it.
Zephyr (ゼファー Zefā?) - Brought up in a seminary from an early age. Several years ago he was involved in an incident, which resulted in him meeting Vashyron, who had been contracted to subdue him. He now makes a living as a member of Vashyron's squad. He is voiced by Hiro Shimono in the Japanese version and Scott Menville in the English version.
Vashyron (ヴァシュロン Vashuron?) - Makes a living as leader of a squad of Hunters taking on a variety of contract missions for reward money. He was the only survivor on the losing side of a large scale military assault under the command of a Cardinal. He is voiced by Ken Narita in the Japanese version and Nolan North in the English version.
Leanne (リーンベル Rīnberu?, Reanbell in the Japanese version) - A young lady that lives together with Zephyr and Vashyron. She met Zephyr when she tried to take her own life, and has since joined Vashyron's Hunter squad. She is voiced by Aya Endou in the Japanese version and Jessica DiCicco in the English version.
Rowen (ロエン Roen?) - Rowen is a man who has taken leadership reins of the Cardinal organization after the Prelate died. Rowen holds great worry and conflict over the future of Basel and prays for the prosperity and happiness of its people. He is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version and Jim Ward in the English version.
Antourion (アントリオン Antorion?) - He is the oldest living Cardinal. He thirsts for knowledge, and is known to others as the "Enquirer of Knowledge". He investigates the bizarre phenomena occurring around Basel. He is voiced by Masaharu Satō in the Japanese version and Tom Kane in the English version.
Garigliano (ガリジャーノン Garijānon?) - A man who researches on beauty, and is responsible for fashion and the arts in Basel. He is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in the Japanese version and Dave B. Mitchell in the English version.
Jean-Paulet (ジャンポーレ Janpōre?) - His narcissism sometimes get in the way when performing his duties. He is voiced by Takuma Terashima in the Japanese version and Sam Riegel in the English version.
Sullivan (サリヴァン Sarivan?) - After Prelate Frieda dies, this mysterious man appears to Rowen and claims to help him bring his ideals to fruition. With Rowen's permission, Sullivan begins a project at a research facility called Aetersyl that is linked to the future of Basel. He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in the Japanese version and Chris Edgerly in the English version.
Juris (ユリス Yurisu?) - A researcher working in the Aetersyl facility in Basel, who had a special relationship with Leanne. He gave her her quartz. He is voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi in the Japanese version and Kirk Thornton in the English version.
Veronique (ヴェロニク Veroniku?) - A woman who is the right-hand man of Rowen. She provides support for her leader and is entirely trusted by him. She is voiced by Wakana Yamazaki in the Japanese version and April Stewart in the English version.
Cochet - Zephyr's little sister, who was unknowningly killed by him during his massacre at the seminary. She is voiced by Kari Wahlgren in the English version.
Victor - Vashyron's best friend, who was killed in the past, and had a connection with Sullivan and Antourion. He is voiced by James Arnold Taylor in the English version.
Gelsey - A former soldier and now a maniac, who is completely obsessed with God and immortality. He also likes mentioning his grandma for some silly reason. Like Antourion, he too remembers Vashyron as Victor's friend. He is voiced by Dwight Schultz in the English Version.
Promotion for Resonance of Fate began on April 1, 2009, when tri-Ace unveiled a teaser website with a countdown timer leading to the next week, with the game slated to consoles PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 under the title of a new "RPG Project". Before the timer ended however, leaked scans of Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu revealed the game to be named End of Eternity. The game's Japanese title is a reference to Isaac Asimov's novel of the same name. The project is a first-time collaboration between tri-Ace and Sega.
Directing was handled by Takayuki Suguro, who has previously worked on tri-Ace game Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, and planner for Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. Resonance of Fate uses tri-Ace's own ASKA game engine, which was previously used in Infinite Undiscovery, and Star Ocean: The Last Hope, modified specifically for the game. The music tracks were composed by Motoi Sakuraba who has worked on many tri-Ace games, and Kōhei Tanaka who is known for his work in Sakura Taisen and One Piece.
The developers set the game in a steampunk environment. Suguro explained this choice over a sci-fi look, "I don't feel that Sci-Fi look really allows for a sense of reality and imminence of the world around the characters", "so in going for the gears and rustic metal setting, we managed to add a uniqueness to the visuals that I hope will make it stand out."
In an interview, Suguro talked about the choice of firearms as weapons in Resonance of Fate : "We have opted to go with a battle system where guns are the main weapons. One of the reasons for this is that we felt swords and magic, which are something you find frequently in Japanese RPGs, have lost their novelty. One of the others reasons was that we wanted to create impressive cinematic-battle scenes."
A playable trial version called End of Eternity t.A.B. Demo was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on December 22, 2009 in Japan. On October 10, 2009, Sega announced that End of Eternity would be released on January 28 in Japan. On February 13, 2010, tri-Ace announced that Resonance of Fate would be released on March 16 in North America and March 26 for the European version.
Resonance of Fate was met with a moderately positive reception.
The story received generally positive to mixed reviews. GameSpot wrote that "the story in Resonance of Fate is told in a drawn-out, stilted way that only reveals its agenda dozens of hours into your quest" but that's what "makes this story engaging even before your ultimate goal becomes clear is that the characters are well-developed and easy to relate to," concluding that the "quirky story provides laughs and drama." Destructoid noted that "Resonance of Fate builds its world mostly through inference and implication rather than exposition" and added "the main plot being somewhat threadbare, it never really ascends to the kind of epic scale one would expect from the genre." RPGamer praised the storytelling, stating that it uses "a futuristic sci-fi setting as a backdrop to tell the story of its main characters" who are "trying to survive in a futuristic world gone mad." It chose the game as the runner-up for its Best Script award, for bringing the "characters to life" and "doing an amazing job with the localization." The game was also the runner-up for RPGamer's Best Voice Acting award.
Critics gave mixed reviews about the game's graphics. Destructoid stated that "while detailed, most environments alternate between concrete gray and brick red." GameSpot also noted the "lack of visual variety." IGN added that "the world map and dungeons are crying for more detail." But some critics added that "the colorful clothing helps offset the game's otherwise limited palette."
Eurogamer praised its innovative gameplay mechanics and calling it "one of the most inspired approaches to the role-playing video game seen in a decade." IGN stated that "the battle system in Resonance of Fate is strong enough to hold everything together" and added "the unique combat system steps up to be the star of the show." GameSpot noted that "the cinematography used during hero actions is so over-the-top and exciting to watch that it makes battles a joy to take part in." But some critics noted that "the flow of combat in Resonance of Fate is initially confusing, especially if you don't take the optional tutorial." The game was the runner-up for RPGamer's Best Battle System award.
Outside of the battle system, GameSpot stated about the world map that "the sparsely detailed overhead view gives the impression of a board game, and you need to employ a puzzle-game mind-set to effectively use your limited pieces to clear the appropriate number of tiles. It's an interesting way to open up new places to explore, and it even ties in to the combat". Critics also praised the weapon customization system, "the weapon upgrade system puts a unique spin on traditional standards. Although you do earn the occasional new gun, you spend more time enhancing your current firearm." RPGamer gave the game its Most Original award, for presenting "a gaming experience unlike any this past year", including a "unique battle system" emphasizing strategic combat, the strategic way in which "the world map was opened up", the ability to "modify almost every aspect of the characters' appearances", and "the way that its story is told." The game was also the second runner-up for RPGamer's Best Console RPG and Most Overlooked awards.
IGN disliked the fact that "large difficulty spikes are interjected every now and then" and "Resonance of Fate is built for those that enjoy the grind." While other critics liked this aspect of the game, "You need to use every trick you have learned, and a few you may not have even realized yet, to tackle these treacherous monsters, but there is nothing quite as sweet as toppling something that has tormented you for so long."
An artbook named End of Eternity Design Works was released on June 11, 2010 in Japan. Published by Enterbrain, Inc., this 176 pages artbook is divided in four chapters : Character, Enemy, World view and Benefits.
In 2012, Jostein Johnsen of 1UP.com credited the game with redefining the turn-based battle system, attempting to turn it "into an interactive animated film." According to Johnsen, what "we are really seeing here is a proto-attempt at a live and interactive animated sequence. A sequence where the player decides what happened, and what attacks were used to slay the cardboard cutouts on the left." He credited the game for "saving the JRPG" and "truly renewing it for more advanced technology."
Zephyr, Vashyron, and Leanne are the three characters representing Resonance of Fate in Project X Zone, a Namco-Capcom-Sega mega-crossover video game for the Nintendo 3DS. Zephyr and Leanne are a Pair Unit while Vashyron is a Solo Unit. Various enemies from "Resonance of Fate" also appear as enemy units.
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