|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2010)|
|Publisher(s)||Nihon Falcom (PC, PSP)
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
Zwei!! (ツヴァイ!! Tsuvai!!?) is an action role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom Corporation. It has been released on three platforms so far: Windows, PS2 and the PSP. The title itself is derived from the German word "zwei" meaning "two". An online version called Zwei!! Online, developed by Korean developer Neonsoft Corporation, was announced on August 2, 2007. A sequel Zwei II was released for Windows on September 25, 2008.
In reference to the game's title, gameplay consists of alternating between two main characters, Pipiro and Pokkle. Pipiro is able to perform magical spells and techniques, while Pokkle executes only physical attacks. The game's plot centers around Pokkle and Pipiro and their quest to track down six goddess statues stolen from their village.
The game is reminiscent of dungeon crawlers, but includes a larger focus on RPG elements and puzzles. Players control two characters, Pipiro and Pokkle, and can swap between them at any time. Pipiro launches magic at enemies, while Pokkle fights with a drill-like weapon. Both characters can utilise elemental attacks to target enemy weaknesses, with Pipiro's elemental spells also allowing access to new dungeon areas. Scoring multiple hits on enemies increase the drop rate of spoils and earns combo badges, which lets the player initiate combo attacks that damage the entire screen.
Players begin their adventure at Puck Village, where they can converse with NPC characters to gain clues to progress in their adventure. Immediately outside the village is the overworld of Arshes, where dungeons and other locations can be accessed. Dungeons are divided into several stages, with each stage possessing three floors. Many stages can be completed in different orders, although each stage offers a hint plate outside that shows the recommended Level to challenge it. At the end of each dungeon is a powerful dungeon boss who guards one of the goddess statues.
Instead of defeating enemies to level up like in most RPGs, experience points are gained by consuming food items, which are dropped by monsters and obtained through other methods. Ten of the same food item can be combined, at Puck Village's restaurant, to create a higher tier food item that awards more experience than the invidual items. Early on, players can obtain a pet, ranging from various species of cats and dogs, who will follow the main characters, assisting in collecting items dropped by enemies. Letting pets tag along also unlocks the highest level combo attacks.
Beyond the main game, there are a number of special items that serve as desktop accessories and can operate while the main game is closed. The first accessory, obtained automatically, is the "Pet Monitor", a basic adventure game that stars the pet from the main game. Users can select one of two choices at various intervals, which can lead to the pet's level increasing or reward items in the main game. By default the game randomly makes choices and can progress without the user's influence. Other accessories include a calendar, clock, calculator, puzzle game "Mona Mona" and typing tutor "Typing with Ys". A shooting game called "Zwei!! Shooting" can also be accessed from the main game itself.
Granvallen is a mysterious world of floating continents, where magic once prospered. Everything changed one thousand years ago, when mankind and demons fought in the Great Sorcery War. The war was instigated by the six demon lords, who opposed the twin goddesses Aplyes and Espina and attacked the world of Granvallen. After a period of five hundred years, the curtains of strife closed when Tiara, the Priestess Princess of the Holy Kingdom of Valence, and the heroic Crusader Paradys defeated Demon Lord Vesper at the floating continent of Arshes. Granvallen suffered many losses and the magical civilisation quickly faded away.
Five hundred years after the devastating battle, the world of Granvallen ushers in an age of peace and those who can wield magic are a rare sight to behold. Pipiro and Pokkle are two children, both 14 years of age, who live at the village of Puck, situated in the remote island continent of Arshes. One day, they spot a mysterious masked man enter the village's temple and decide to follow him. The man steals six Goddess statues, the village's treasures, with Pipiro and Pokkle unable to stop him. The pair decide to leave the village to retrieve the statues for their own reasons and thus their journey begins.
- Pipiro - A young girl who lives with Pokkle at Puck Village. Adoptive sister of Pokkle. A prodigical magician said to be the second coming of the legendary Priestess Princess, but her own motivation is non-existent. The only thing that interests her are wondrous clothes and delicacies. She is a little older than Pokkle and often acts with an air of superiority, which is about the only time she resembles his older sister.
- Pokkle - A young boy who lives together with Pipiro and who admires the Crusader of legends. Adoptive brother of Pipiro. He learned martial arts from a former treasure hunter, although he hasn't had any practical experience. A reliable figure who can manage all the housework at once, he is also a bit of a wisecraker and can not resist pretty women. He regularly receives cold glares from Pipiro.
- Raspberry - The sister of Puck Village's church. She is very popular amongst the villagers and an important counsellor. She regular teaches the children and is fully trusted as an educator. Pipiro and Pokkle live under her guardianship.
- Kite - A former treasure hunter who resides at Puck Village. He has masses of experience as an adventurer and is an eminent treasure hunter of Granvallen. Currently he lives with his family at Puck Village and taught Pokkle in the skills of martial arts. He gives much advice to the pair during their journey.
- Pyote - The elder of Puck Village, as well as the village doctor. He operates with his granddaughter Peachum and two nurses, and has become a dependable asset to the citizens of Arshes. The village is run by him, with help from Sister Raspberry.
- Martial Arts Master - A mysterious man who appears before Pipiro and Pokkle during their journey. He teaches the pair various skills to aid with their adventuring. He appears to be a reliable man, but seems to know about events in too much detail.
- Corvette - A curious magician who frequently appears all over Arshes. He resembles a cat, but gets upset when he is called a cat or meets other cats. He is adept in summoning arts and calls forth gigantic monsters to obstruct Pipiro and Pokkle. It seems he is working with the mysterious masked man to fulfil some sort of grand objective.
- Mysterious Masked Man - A mysterious figure who appeared at Puck Village one day for some reason. It seems he has some connection to the cat magician. His visit to the Aplyes Temple outside the village triggered Pipiro and Pokkle's adventure.
- Tiara El Valence - Known as the Legendary Priestess Princess. Long ago, she was the princess of the Holy Kingdom of Valence and possessed great magical power. It is said that she used her power to help countless people. Apparently she died in the middle of the Great Sorcery War, but nobody saw her final moments.
Zwei!! originated as a Windows game and was later ported to the PS2 and PSP. The PS2 port was handled by Taito and is largely faithful to the original, but doesn't contain the "Typing of Ys" mini-game or any of the desktop applications. Furthermore, the sequence leading up to the final dungeon was modified, with the player required to complete four previously optional stages, now with reduced difficulty, before progressing. The PSP port by Falcom omits another mini-game, "Mona Mona", but includes character artwork during conversations, additional voice snippets and a re-arranged soundtrack option. The character artwork was also redone to fit in with the sequel's style.
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