Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
|Solatorobo: Red the Hunter|
European cover art
|Artist(s)||Nobuteru Yūki (character design)
Yoshitake Taniguchi (mecha design)
Kenzi Nagashima (opening theme arrangement)
|Distribution||DSi enhanced cartridge|
Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, also known as Solatorobo -And Then To CODA- (ソラトロボ -それからCODAへ- Soratorobo -Sore Kara Kōda e- ) in Japan and originally known as Solarobo, is a 3D Action RPG game developed by CyberConnect2 and published in Japan by Namco Bandai Games, XSEED Games in North America and Nintendo in Europe and Australia. It is the spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto and the third of the Little Tail Bronx series. It was released on the Nintendo DS on October 28, 2010 in Japan, as well as Europe and Oceania on July 1, 2011 and on North America September 27, 2011.
The gameplay consists of the player controlling the protagonist Red Savarin and his mech, the DAHAK. The player can grab, lift and throw many objects and enemies. When without his mech, Red Savarin can swim, climb ladders, activate many smaller objects such as switches and treasures chests, and stun enemies with his Stungun.
Later in the story, the player activates a secondary feature called "Trance". By defeating enemies, dealing damage and taking damage, the player builds up a meter which they can then activate to force Red Savarin into his "Hybrid" form. Here he is markedly more human in appearance and his mech activates many new abilities. Near the end of the game, the player activates a final form named Septentrion, which consists of a brief "shoot-em up" style combat scene.
The game consists total 80 quests where the player advances his Hunter rank in order to progress the main storylines. The game also has more quests via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection where the player can download many more quests throughout the game. The North American version lacks online-support as it already has all these additional quests available on the Game Card.
The game also has mini-games like fishing and racing games as well.
Solatorobo is set in the same timeline as both Tail Concerto and Mamoru-kun, being in a Post-Apocalyptic Earth setting where humans have gone extinct and beast people started living in floating islands. The story's setting is in Shepherd Republic where two races of people—the dog-like Caninu, and the cat-like Felineko live. The floating islands rest above a sea of Plasma. On such islands, French is the native language. Though many different occupations exist, forming an economy much like ours, a large part of the workforce revolves around Hunters. These freelance laborers are hired by anyone in need to do just about any job, whether it be working as a bodyguard, cleaning sewer systems, exterminating massive bugs, or even just babysitting.
Part 1 of the story focuses on the conspiracy of the Organization Kurvaz. Red Savarin is requested to obtain an important file that has been stolen. To retrieve it, he boards a massive airship called the Hindenburg, deep within which he finds a mysterious medallion. Suddenly, a gigantic creature called Lares rises up through the plasma sea beside the ship and heavily damages it. As Red makes his escape from the burning Hindenburg he runs into a mysterious Felineko child, who has passed out. At risk of his own life, Red carries the child out of the ship onto his personal craft, the Asmodeus, where he learns the child's name to be Elh. Before he knows it, Red finds himself in an epic journey sweeping across the Shepherd Republic to uncover the mysteries of the medallion and stop Bruno from controlling Lares.
The Part 2 of the story focuses on Red's origins as a Hybrid and the mysterious operation known as Operation CODA (known as Continent Orientation Defloat Alignment). Red and his friends first encountered Blanck and Nero, Hybrids who first attacked parts of the Shepherd Republic but despite his efforts, he was no match against the two. Red learned from Merveille that he is like the two, the explanation that he can go into Trance and found out that she created him 9 years ago. Soon as they found out the truth, Baion, a hybrid who was awakened pre-maturely from his sleep and the creator of Blanck and Nero, started to initiate Operation CODA and plunging the world into destruction by summoning Tartaros. Red and his friends must do everything to stop Operation CODA and Baion before the whole world is destroyed.
- Red Savarin (レッド・サハラン Reddo Saharan )
- Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara
- Red Savarin is a 17-year-old Caninu/Hybrid Shiba Inu who is a rather hot-blooded type of guy. He was actually created by Merveille Million only about 9 years ago, as a prototype of the hybrids. When he was considered a "failure" and was commissioned to "discreation", Merveille helped him and his robotic counterpart Dahak escape. He was later taken into an orphanage and met Chocolat, with whom he later became like siblings.
- His speech isn't exactly refined, but he's honest, kind, caring and good at taking care of others; the classic "leader kid". Along with his level-headed younger sister, he makes a living as a Hunter.
- Elh Melizée (エル・メリゼ Eru Merize )
- Voiced by: Saori Goto
- Elh Melizée is a 14-year (technically 314, due to the curse of Eternal Youth) Felineko-girl American Shorthair breed, who Red found in the burning Hindenburg while escaping. She's one of the last surviving of Paladin Clan along with Beluga Damiens, both of them were born in Ragroll. In the first half of the story, Elh was trying to keep Red on an emotional distance because she believed that she would have to sacrifice him to stop Lares. She is extremely surprised when she learns that the Medallion and Crystal Stones didn't kill him. For the rest of the first story, she thinks Red should hate her for trying to kill him and almost sacrifices herself to save him. When the heroes first confront Baion and his hybrids, he reveal to them that he was the one who destroyed Ragdoll. Elh changed much at the end of the game, with her immortality gone and starts to work with Red and Chocolat.
- Elh is known to use powerful magic, a strong shield spell for example and some others. She always seems calm and in control and does not like to get emotionally involved more than necessary. She also seems to have an intense fear of bugs. Red tends to enjoy her little freakout moments, saying it makes her more "ladylike." She was initially mistaken to be a boy by Red until he accidentally saw her in the shower.
- Chocolat Gelato (ショコラ・ジェラート Shokora Jerāto )
- Voiced by: Kana Asumi
- Chocolat Gelato is Red's adoptive little sister; a 13-year-old Pomeranian breed Caninu who's always willing to help those in need. She was an orphan and adopted Red to be her brother when she found him wandering around alone. She loves all things mechanical and pilots the small airship Asmodeus, which serves as a home to Red and herself. She supports Red over the comm system, and is very particular when it comes to money. She is known to boss Red around when he gets too reckless.
- Béluga Damiens (ベルーガ・ダミアン Berūga Damian )
- Voiced by: Satoshi Katougi
- Béluga Damiens is a 18-year (technically 318, due the curse of Eternal Youth) old Felineko Eurasian Lynx breed who works as a bounty hunter. Beluga is an old friend of Elh's, helping her throughout their Eternal Youth to seal Lares away. Beluga was born in Ragdoll and had an elder sister, who died when the village was destroyed by Baion. Beluga is the only remaining Paladin except Elh. He works with Merveille Million throughout the game, usually on projects to stop Lares. He is known to be a very strong opponent piloting his mech, Salamander. He is strong enough to fight off an army of Lares' antibodies alone. Elh explains that he is not a "people person," having bad charisma about him when he talks to strangers. He's a lone ranger and his mech reminds of the gunsligers of old, utilizing revolver-like guns.
- Opéra Kranz (オペラ・クランツ Opera Kurantsu )
- Voiced by: Ryoka Yuzuki
- Opéra Kranz is the head of the Kurvaz's Special Office Elite Unit. She might appear a bit older but she's a twenty year-old Felineko of Russian Blue breed. Always optimistic and rather dominating, she speaks with an imperious drawl or sugestive undertone. Usually seen with her subordinates, Calua and Gren. Opera later becomes the boss of the Kurvaz after Bruno's death. It is revealed by Gren that when she was young, her parents went missing in an accident. She pilots the powerful mech Tiamat.
- Calua Napage (カルア・ナパージュ Karua Napāju )
- Voiced by: Taisuke Yamamoto
- Calua Napage is a member of the Kurvaz's Special Office Elite Unit and Opéra's subordinate. A natural airhead, who sometimes doesn't take things too seriously. He also enjoys fightning with strong opponents such as Red. He looks up to Opéra, and considers Gren a valuable partner, almost a brother. Has the strange verbal tic of qualifying everything with a "might" or a "maybe," and practices liberal use of the word "dude". He is a 17-year old Ocelot Breed Felineko and pilots a modified Mech called the HyperMephisto (or OverMephisto).
- Gren Sacher (グレン・ザッハー Guren Sahhā )
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Tsuchida
- Gren Sacher is a member of the Kurvaz's Special Office Elite Unit and Opéra's subordinate. Straight-faced and incredibly serious as he is, he is always having to struggle with Opera's and Calua's impulsive nature. He acts as the big brother of the group and is s 19 year-old Kishu breed Caninu and pilots a mech called Mephisto.
- Merveille Million (メルヴェーユ・ミリオン Meruvēyu Mirion )
- Voiced by: Emi Shinohara
- Merveille Million is an 29 year-old Collie breed Caninu who works as an Officer and as the Development Chief of the Kurvaz. She's also Bruno's personal secretary. A few years before the game, Merveille worked with Baion and created the three hybrids Red, Blanck and Nero. She helped Red escape when he was supposed to be "destroyed" for being a failure. Baion later betrayed her when tried he used Nero & Blanck to revert the world to its former glory, Earth. Merville is known for her genius throughout the Shepherd Republic, she has put her skills to work in many different fields. She is particularly brilliant when it comes to mech designs, and is personally responsible for creating the standard Kurvaz machines and the Mark 2 upgrades of the Dahak. When she created the hybrids, he used her own genetic material, so she technically is their mother. Later in the game, she also mocks Red a few times by calling him her son.
- Bruno Dondurma (ブルーノ・ドンドルマ Burūno Dondoruma )
- Voiced by: Shigenori Soya
- Bruno Dondurma is the leader of the Kurvaz and the major antagoinst of the first half of the game. Has proactively made a public name for himself, never breaking the law outright, but taking advantage of loopholes to execute his schemes. He never kills innocents, but achieves results through intimidation, threats and blackmail. He's haughty and arrogant.
- Baion (バイオン)
- Voiced by: Tomohiro Tsuboi
- Baion is the leading group of Hybrids, and the main antagonist in the second half of the game. He was awakened pre-maturely to begin Operation CODA (Continent Orientation Defloat Alignment), and has been seen along with his subordinates, Nero and Blanck. Baion is probably the last survivor of the humanity of Earth. Before the game, Baion was the one for destroying Elh and Beluga's village Ragdoll. Baion worked with Merville Million 9 years before the game and created the three hybrids with her. He uses Blanck and Nero to summon Tartatus in order to reset Earth with Operation CODA. Baion was defeated at the end of the game by Red when he activated Operation CODA. After defeating Baion, Red replaced the Operation with RE-Coda and stopped it with that, causing Tartarus to vanish back into its dimension. Baion was trapped inside Tartatus and is presumed to be vaporized. Baion is revealed to be Red's biological father, when he says "Farewell... Farewell, My son".
- Blanck (ブランク Buranku )
- Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki
- Blacnk is 16-year old hybird, a subordinate to Baion. He's one of the hybrids designed by Merville Millon. Blanck has Grey Hair and wore a blue-white suit. In a short equence, he is shown to have a Caninu form, looking much like his biological mother Merveille.
- Nero (ネロ)
- Voiced by: Kae Araki
- Nero is 16-year old hybird girl, a subordinate to Baion. Nero is the only female hybrid created by Merveille Millon. Nero has blonde hair and wore a red-black suit. In a short equence, she is shown to have a Caninu form, looking much like her biological mother Merveille.
- Yurlungur (ユルルングル Yururunguru )
- Voiced by: Mari Todo
- Yurlungur is the last remaining Juno on Earth who is seen in a hologram conversing with Red and his friends. It is said the Juno used to live on earth by the thousands, they all left to assist in the reset of Earth using Operation CODA. She was told to wait on Earth until Operation CODA was put into effect. She explains about the origin of humanity, the world and how the it came to be that the islands float in the sky.
- Captain Grumpf (ガレット Garreto )
- Voiced by: Kenta Miyake
- Seen in the beginning of the game by Red on the Hindenburg, Captain Grumpf is a fearless captain who works under Lord Bruno of the Kurvaz. Heartless, he would kill his own men to finish his missions. But his arrogance is what caused him to lose twice to Red Savarin during the story.
- Flo Financier (フロマージュ・フィナンシェ Furomāju Finanshe )
Solatorobo's music is composed by Chikayo Fukuda and Seizo Nakata under the group LeiN. Both Opening and Ending songs were performed by Tomoyo Mitani. Its entire soundtrack was bundled exclusively with the North American release of the game on a music CD. In Japan, it was included with a separate limited edition bundle. The Part 1 of the ending song is instrumental while the Part 2 of the game is fully vocalized.
- "And Then, to CODA" (それからCODAへ Sore Kara CODA e )
- Composer: Chikayo Fukuda (LieN)
- Arrangement: Kenzi Nagashima
- Performed by: Tomoyo Mitani
- Composer: Chikayo Fukuda (LieN)
- Arrangement: Seizo Nakata
- Performed by: Tomoyo Mitani
A light novel adaptation named Red Data Children is published in Dragon Magazine. The novel is a prequel of the main game, taking place seven years before the game's main storyline. The story is written by Daishi Kitayama and illustrated by Dmyo.
Solatorobo was first implied in 2007 by an artwork on CyberConnect2's website. The game was later revealed March 2010 under the title "Solarobo" by the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu and the release will coincide with the 15th anniversary of the studio. The title was changed into "Solatorobo" later. Part of the staff working in the game, and any stuff who worked or Tail Concerto, includes Hiroshi Matsuyama and Takayuki Isobe as the directors, Nobuteru Yūki,who previously worked for Tail Concerto, for both Human and Anthromorpic character design, Yoshitake Taniguchi of Super Robot Wars fame for the mecha designs, Yoshiki Yamakawa for the Opening movie direction and Madhouse for the opening movie. The game was presented at Japan Expo 2010 in France under the title "Project Coda", the demo was translated in French, which have rumored a western release. A release for Europe (including Russia and Turkey) and other countries (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) was confirmed by Nintendo on April 2011 and it was released on 1 July 2011, named Solatorobo: Red The Hunter. The game was released on October 28, 2010 in Japan with a normal and a collector's edition, the collector's edition will include an artbook, a soundtrack CD and a "Prelude disc" DVD for the purchase of the game. Namco Bandai aired 100 commercials of Solatorobo the 21 October on the TV channel Tokyo MX in an attempt at challenging a Guinness World Record.
XSeed Games confirmed on IGN that they were going to release the game in North America. It was released November 24, 2011.
Solatorobo was given mostly positive ratings by critics. Famitsu gave it a total score of 33/40 (9/8/8/8). The Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game 81% saying it was "spirited, full of life and packed with ideas, this is one-of-a-kind". Techtroid gave Solatorobo 9/10, praising its soundtrack and art style stating that "It's a excellent experience that can be enjoyed by everyone." Nintendo Power gave Solatorobo a 9.0 out of 10, praising its development values. Gaming Bus awarded the game a B, citing pretty graphics and music, mostly optional tutorials that mesh well with gameplay, cute extras that keep the game interesting and reward exploration, and a more interesting second half. Negatives included different commands being linked to the B button, awkward flying mechanics, failing quests leading to having to redo the entire quest, and that the first half of the game was a bit slow.
Allistair Pinsof of Destructoid stated that the combat system was very repetitive and that the game was too easy. However, he praised the cutscenes and said that this could have been the foundation of a great movie if the interactive parts of this game were stripped out.
CyberConnect2's president and CEO, Hiroshi Matsuyama, has revealed at a Namco Bandai event in Barcelona that his company is interested in developing a sequel to Solatorobo: Red the Hunter. Although he confirms they already have a story ready for a supposed sequel, he also stated that there is no platform or release period planned for it yet.
- Newton, James (2011-04-12). "Nintendo to Release Solatorobo: Red the Hunter in Europe". NintendoLife. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
- "XSeed to publish Solatorobo". ign. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
- Daniel Vuckovic (20 October 2011). "Nintendo Australia outlines Wii and DS line-up for the rest of 2011". Vooks.net. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- "Project CODA at Japan Expo". aussie-nintendo.com. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- "Nintendo signs distribution deal with NAMCO BANDAI Games for Solatorobo: Red the Hunter in Europe". nintendo.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- "Solarobo Gets a Date, Name and Limited Edition". andriasang.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Solatorobo Challenges Guinness Record with Commercial Campaign". andriasang.com. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- IGN review
- ONM review
- Pinsof, Allistair (2011-10-02). "Review: Solatorobo: Red the Hunter". Destructoid. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Review: Solatorobo: Red the Hunter". Gaming Bus. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
- Hillier, Brenna (2012-11-05). "Solatorobo follow up in the works at CyberConnect2". VG 24/7. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "CyberConnect 2 is working in a new Solatorobo installment (in spanish)". koi-nya.net. Retrieved 2012-11-05.