Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice

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Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice
Growlanser II - The Sense of Justice Coverart.png
Developer(s) Career Soft
Publisher(s) Atlus
Series Growlanser
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release
Genre(s) Tactical RPG
Mode(s) Single player

Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice is the second game of the Growlanser series developed by Career Soft. It is the first game of the series to be a Tactical role-playing game, and carries on notable features from the first game such as branching storyline points and multiple endings. Due to the nature of these endings dealing with pairing up different characters, the series is often likened to the Dating sim genre. As a direct sequel to the first Growlanser, nearly all of the characters seen in the first game make a returning appearance as both playable and non-playable characters.

On December 7, 2004, Growlanser II, along with Growlanser III: The Dual Darkness, was released under a single title in North America, titled Growlanser Generations.

Story summary[edit]

Growlanser II begins in the middle of the first Growlanser game. The kingdoms of Rolandia and Burnstein are at war while darker powers are at work behind the scenes. While the story in the first game concentrated on the kingdom of Rolandia, Growlanser II focuses on Wein Cruz, an aspiring knight for Burnstein. After Wein and his new comrade-in-arms, Maximillian Schneider, pass their knight entrance exams, the game skips forward one year to the end of the war. Wein and Max, now good friends, discuss their plans for the future. Wein intends to become an Imperial Knight - the highest-ranking knight directly under King Elliote's command. However, Max has developed a distaste for battles and intends to try to attain a position of influence so that he can prevent wars from ever breaking out. Both friends recognize the merit behind the other's choice and part amicably.

Wein, about to begin his career as a commander, reports to his superior to receive the first recruits under his command. The two turn out to be Hans Bearnt, an enthusiastic boy Wein rescued during his practical exams; and Charlone Claudius, a serious girl whose aristocratic father disapproves of her choice to join the military. Wein silently bemoans this turn of events, but decides to make the most of it. The three begin their journey when a corrupt commander who dislikes them sends Wein's unit on a mission that was intended for at least ten soldiers.

Along the way, they are framed for breaking a dam that led to the destruction of a village and are hunted as criminals. They escape to Rolandia where they meet up with Xenos Langley and his sister Karene. Since Wein and company helped Xenos rescue Karene from bandits, Xenos agrees to use his influence to clear their name. Xenos was a companion of Carmaine Fallsmyer (the main character from the previous game) and helped to save the world from the malevolent being Gevas during the last war.

Before they can return to Burnstein, however, they meet up with a figure from Wein's past. When Wein was a young boy, he made friends with an older girl named Arieta, who taught him to play music. Wein, who had developed something of a crush on her, had to say good-bye to her under unusual circumstances. However, when he meets her again, she stills appears the same age she did as before and she is attacking a village mercilessly with her formidable magic powers. The companions save the village with the help of a local mage named Riviera Marius, but Arietta escapes. Confused, Wein and the party continue on to clear their name. After the King pardons them, he assigns them a new mission and appoints Carmaine to aid them. As the Savior of Light, he is a considerable asset.

It is at this point that the most significant branching storyline point occurs. The party meets up with the Mercenary Wolfgang, whose goal is to create a small neutral country so that mercenaries will have a place to be accepted. Wein can choose to either fight against him or aid his cause. In the more likely case of Wein standing against Wolfgang, the events leading up to war between the nations are found out to be the fault of Wolfgang's plotting.

Meanwhile, darker forces are at work, when the party finds out that Wein's old friend Arieta has actually been possessed by Gevas, the dark being who was one of the original inhabitants of the world. Depending on the party's actions, they can either save her or kill her to defeat Gevas. With the party distracted by this, Wolfgang's plans have nearly come to fruition, and war is at hand. Wein's party, along with aid from Max and the soldiers of Burnstein take down the mercenaries and reclaim the powerful artifact Wolfgang was using to hold his new country in captivity.

One final twist occurs when Max, tired of how easily humans jump into wars, decides to use the artifact's power to control the minds of all people and make them enjoy a peaceful existence. Wein can choose to either go along with Max's plan or to stand against him. In the case of the former, Max succeeds in turning the world into a group of mindless puppets, but a new sequence develops in which Wein reconsiders his support of Max and decides to join the resistance led by his former party members. If Wein stands against Max, the world is allowed to quietly continue on rebuilding after the war, and Wein's future is determined by which character he has the highest relationship with. There are eight possible character-endings. Charlone, Riviera, and Arieta's endings must be gotten before the other endings (Hans, Xenos, Carmaine, Ernest, Brett) are available.

Characters[edit]

Wein Cruz (ウェイン・クルーズ)

  • Age: 17
  • Height: 172 cm
  • Ring Weapon: Scythe

A young knight-in-training of Burnstein. His mother dies before the start of the game. He lives alone, occasionally receiving letters from his archeologist father. Wein has a great interest in ruins thanks to his father. However, his dream is to become an Imperial Knight, the most prestigious and highest-ranking knight in Burnstein, who report directly to the King and act as his bodyguards. Wein meets Max while in training and the two become good friends.

Also, Wein met the mysterious Growsian maiden Arieta Lyuis when he was a young boy and developed a small crush on her. Because of their meeting, Wein knows how to play one song on the ocarina she gave him. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Yuka Imai (今井由香) while in the English version he is voiced by Owen McIntosh

Maximillian Schneider (マクシミリアン・シュナイダー/マックス)

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 183 cm
  • Ring Weapon: Sword

Wein's Friend from the academy. Has a serious distaste for war, most likely caused by his father's death and subsequent health loss of his mother. After he and Wein graduated into knighthood, he left to become a diplomat and get into politics. He strongly believes that it can be made possible that the option of war should be made eliminated. Max is one of the good characters except when in his final bid for peace, he tries to turn the world into mindless puppets. He is sick and tired of watching people maim and kill each other so he would want to stop war at any cost. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara (藤原啓治). In the American game, he is voiced by Asa Spade.

Hans Bearnt (ハンス・バート)

  • Ring Weapon: Throwing Knives

He grew up in an orphanage. He has a cheerful, happy-go-lucky attitude and was inspired by Wein and Max to become a powerful fighter. He enrolled in the knight academy and coincidentally became assigned with Wein. He lived in the Starkberg orphanage but visited Clain Village often and looked up to the chief as a grandfather. He loves to help children and dreams of someday having a loving family of his own. There is a running joke of Hans fighting with Charlone for the silliest reasons. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Daisuke Sakaguchi (阪口大助) while in the English version he is voiced by Craig Padilla.

Charlone Claudius (シャルローネ・クラウディオス)

  • Ring Weapon: Bow & Arrow

She is the young daughter of noble standing. Her father, Maxwell Claudius, disapproves of her travelling with Wein as a soldier. She has a strong will with ambitions of becoming an Imperial Knight, and idolizes Julia Douglas for being the only female Imperial Knight. She has a younger brother Pietro who is ill, but refuses to have operation unless Charlone becomes an Imperial Knight. She seems to have a tense friendship with Hans, taking an initial disliking to his nicknaming her "CC", yet accepting him calling her "Charlo" (シャロ). During the course of the game she may fall in love with Wein depending on how the player treats her. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Tomoko Kawakami (川上とも子). In the English version, she is voiced by Megan Niessink.

Xenos Langley (ゼノス・ラングレー)

  • Ring Weapon: Sword

A strong swordsman and former mercenary. When the party looks for Karene, his sister, he is found instead and joins to look for her. After rescuing her, he joins for good to testify in Burnstein that Wein & company were innocent about the dam incident. His hometown is Grandshill and he was a champion at the arena. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Kouichi Touchika (遠近孝一) while in the English version he is voiced by John Haas.

Riviera Marius (リビエラ・マリウス)

  • Ring Weapon: Magic Staff

She is a magic user and Shadow Knight of Burnstein. Shadow Knights are spies for Burnstein and work behind the scenes. She is secretive and tries to keep distance from people in order to protect herself emotionally. This is due to an event in her past. She was on a mission with a man named Karl and they had to split up to evade pursuit. Karl promised to meet up again but he never showed up. Riviera was depressed over this while her sister Olivia, who was Karl's lover, was able to accept his death calmly. Riviera couldn't deal with this kind of pain again and wonders how Olivia can endure it. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Naoko Matsui (松井菜桜子). In the English version, she is voiced by Melissa Gulden.

Carmaine Fallsmyer (カーマイン・フォルスマイヤー)

  • Ring Weapon: Sword

A mysterious swordsman. The main Character in the first game. He is ordered by King Eliotte to accompany you in an important mission. When he was a baby, he was found and taken to the Rolandia court where the Palace Magicians examined him. They saw that he was either a light to save the world or a darkness to destroy it. He was adopted by Sandra, a Palace Magician. She made a homonculus which looks like a fairy named Tippi to watch over him. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Susumu Chiba (千葉進歩). In the American game he is voiced by Forrest Spade.

Brett Varner (ウォーマー・ブルース)
He is a guard in the Space & Time Control Tower. He is a simple and humble guy. Even though he would have been allowed to become a knight and have higher status, he chose to stay a guard in the tower because he believes in this role he is helping out people enough. You only acquire Brett if you fail to recruit Ernest. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Kosuke Okano (岡野浩介). In the American game he is voiced by Snazin Smith.

Sereb (セレブ)
He is a magical wolf and the last of his kind (later revealed to be called the Silverfox Tribe). Long ago he was captured by humans for research but was saved by Arieta. He becomes her loyal companion and protector. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Jurouta Kosugi (小杉十郎太).Carries a sword in his mouth

Ernest Lyell (アーネスト・ライエル)
He was a former Imperial Knight exiled from Burnstein for supporting an impostor, Richard, trying to become King. Four years ago Richard recruited Lyell to become an Imperial Knight. Lyell was talented but unguided and Richard believed becoming a Knight would be the best outlet. Since Lyell was exiled, he is very cold and quiet and has no interest in the world any more. He is reluctant to join Wein until Wein struck the same spot in him that Richard did. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu (置鮎龍太郎).

Arieta Lyuis (アリエータ・リュイス)

  • Age: 17
  • Height: 155 cm
  • Ring Weapon: Magic Spheres

The mysterious Growsian girl Wein met in his childhood. Little is known of her past, but saving her is one of Wein's main goals throughout the game. She like Venzern, is a growsian born on a full solar eclipse. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Hiroko Kasahara (笠原弘子), who also sings the game's closing theme, "Atarashii Kaze" ("New Wind"). American version voiced by Rhonda Gibson, and Adrionah Hodges during the time that she is possessed by Gevas.

Wolfgang (Leonard Cruz) (ウォルフガング)
Leader of the Grandzenschtraum mercenary band, he is a true force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. If the player does a bit of snooping around during the main quest, it will later be revealed that Wolfgang is in fact Wein's older half-brother Leonard Cruz, and is also the man who murdered Wein's father. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Tomoyuki Shimura (志村知幸). In the English version, he is voiced by Keith Lack.

Karene Langley (カレン・ラングレー)
She is the younger sister of Xenos. She works in the hospital in Grandshill and is an expert on medical herbs. She often goes outside to collect herbs for medicines and writes a book about them. She also has a knack for getting kidnapped. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Yuko Mizutani (水谷優子).

Julia Douglas (ジュリア・ダグラス)
An Imperial Knight. In Growlanser 1, her father had high expectations of her since he had been an Imperial Knight. But when her brother was born, her father cast all expectations to the son and ignores her. She felt she had no point in wielding a sword any more until our heroes convinced her that she should still persevere and fight for what she believes in. She was disguised as a man. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Chiharu Tezuka (手塚ちはる).

Wallace (ウォレス)
A former mercenary. He met up with Sandra in the battlefield and the two fell in love. She later gave birth to their child, Louise. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Tesshō Genda (玄田哲章).

Ariost (アリオスト)
He is a student, actually a researcher at the Magic Academy. He is very intelligent and develops technologies. Unfortunately most of his devices, even though they are successful, get declined from the Magic Academy heads for being possibly too dangerous for the public. He doesn't mind this though, since he does science for his own enjoyment and to try to reach his mother, who is a Featherian. He is very kind and gives the money he receives from his research to the villagers of his hometown. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Shinichiro Miki (三木眞一郎). In the English version, he is voiced by T. Owen Smith.

King Eliotte (エリオット王)
Current ruler of Burnstein Kingdom, and younger brother of late King Richard (リシャール). Early in the game, he attempts to escape the palace incognito, but meets up with Wein and decides to return. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Kyoko Tsuruno (鶴野恭子), who also voiced Richard in Growlanser 1.

Kenshin Reaves (オスカー・リーヴス)
An Imperial Knight. He had a friendship with Ernest Lyell. His original name was "Oskar Reeves", but Working Designs changed the first name to Kenshin in honor of one of their long-time fans that died of cancer during the development of the English version of the game. The fan's name on the Working Designs message board was Kenshin. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Yuji Ueda (上田祐司).

Louise Fallsmyer (ルイセ・フォルスマイヤー)

  • Age: 15
  • Height: 154 cm

Carmaine's younger sister. She was born during a complete solar eclipse, which makes her a very potentially powerful Growsian, a being who can wield great magic like in the old world. She is a shy and reserved girl and easily cries. In the Japanese Game, she is voiced by Rika Komatsu (小松里賀).

Misha (ミーシャ)
A clumsy redheaded girl attending the Magic Academy. She is friends with Louise, close enough to be sisters. When she meets Carmaine, she has a crush on him and calls him onii-sama as respect. She considers Louise and Carmaine her sister and brother. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Machiko Toyoshima (豊嶋真千子).

Sandra Fallsmyer (サンドラ・フォルスマイヤー)
Carmaine's adopted mother. When she was young, she dreamed of being a Palace Magician of Rolandia. She achieved that goal, and eventually there she met the abandoned mysterious baby. She adopted him and named him Carmaine. She raised him herself so that he would not fall to the path of evil. Somewhere along the way she met the mercenary Wallace in the battlefield and fell in love. She gave birth to their child, Louise. Her voice actress in the bonus story accompanying the Japanese game is unknown.

Tippi (ティビ)
A mischievous sprite assumed to be a homunculus, and Carmaine's traveling companion during the first Growlanser game. She apparently has a crush on Carmaine, and would attack him with her patented "Tippi-chan Kick" whenever he acted like a pervert (hey, no one's perfect). She does not appear in Growlanser II, but the player can find "Tippi's Diary" at some point in the game. In the Japanese game, she is voiced by Megumi Toyoguchi (豊口めぐみ).

Logan (ローガン)
Wein's commander during his Academy days. He was friends with Maximillian Schneider's father. He blames himself for Schneider's death and feels he must protect and do anything for Maximillian. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Takao Ohyama (大山高男).

Byron (バイロン)
Wein's commander in the Burnstein Army. He seems to hold a dislike for Wein's squadron in particular, once calling them "postules on my posterior." He was also the one who assigned them to carry out Max's mission of hunting down the Rottenbaum marauders. His voice actor in the Japanese game is unknown.

Maxwell Claudius (マックスウェル・クラウディオス)
Charlone's aristocrat father, who pushes her to become an Imperial Knight, then later tries to keep her at home! He distrusts Wein being an officer because Wein has no social standing, so he doesn't want his daughter following Wein. He was a Sleeping Lion Knight. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Jurouta Kosugi (小杉十郎太).

Pietro Claudius (ピエトロ・クラウディオス)
Charlone's younger brother with an illness. He misses his sister when she is away. He refuses to have operation unless Charlone becomes an Imperial Knight. His voice actor in the Japanese game is unknown.

Elroy (エルロイ)
He acted as Maximillian's messenger but he was really working for Wolfgang. In his position as messenger he was able to carry out the plot of framing Wein and causing war between Burnstein and Rolandia. His voice actor in the Japanese game is unknown.

Patrick (パトリック)
A man who looks exactly like Max, and the real culprit who destroyed Arias Dam. In the Japanese game, he is played by Keiji Fujiwara (藤原啓治). In the American Game, he is voiced by Asa Spade.

Storm#3/Lucia (ルーシア)
A catgirl who was captured by a xenobiologist at the Magic Academy. She hated being treated like an animal there and escaped. She held bitter distrust for humans and picked fights with Wein & company with her new monster friends. Through several optional events Wein may befriend her and even reunite her with her parents. Then we learn that her father was a human though her mother from the cat tribe. Because of this, they were cast out of the tribe, and not easily accepted by humans either.

Gevas (ゲーヴァス)
The entity responsible for controlling the bioweapon Gevel (ゲヴェル), who interrupted the war between Burnstein and Rolandia in the first Growlanser. Gevas' soul had been confined to the bodies of the two most powerful Growsians alive at the time: Arieta and Venzern. However, somehow his soul is manifesting in the now-awakened Arieta, and seeks to revive Gevel. In the Japanese game, he is voiced by Jiro Saito (斉藤次郎) while in the English version he is voiced by John Truitt.

Venzern (ヴェンツェル)
The Growsian wizard responsible for the plotline of the first Growlanser. In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Hisao Egawa (江川央生).

Battle system[edit]

Growlanser II utilizes a free-range movement tactical RPG battle system. Unlike grid-based TRPGs, a character's movement range is represented by a circular area in which the character can move anywhere within its confines. In addition, your movement speed is based on the amount of MOV points you have in the game. Another unusual aspect of Growlanser II's system is that it is active-time based rather than strictly turn-based. Instead of each side taking its turn in waves, both sides move and act based on individual units' speed stats. Physical attackers must move towards the enemy to connect the blow within its range while magical attackers must take the time to chant their spells in exchange for being able to hit much farther ranges.

Growlanser II does not have many random encounters due to the point-based world map, but each of the major events in the story have unique battle scenarios which range from trying to escape from a surrounded encounter without killing too many units to rescuing a character before attacking to just plain 'defeat all enemies'. Reinforcement enemy forces often show up in battle, making it prudent to plan for such contingencies before rushing in.

The equipment system in the game is markedly different from most. Characters can equip two pieces of armor, one being a Ring Weapon. In the story, a Ring weapon is a new technology where magic rings take the shape of different weapons depending on the user's self. Players find these rings often after the defeat of an enemy and can equip different ones for different stats and different gem-equip slots.

The gems are one of the most interesting aspects, with over 100 types of gems that cause various beneficial effects such as adding extra attacks or more elemental defenses or increasing range or adding spells to the character's repertoire. These gems all have an innate level and that level must match or be lower than the slot available in the Ring weapon to be equipped. Each Ring Weapon only has 3 gem-slots with a level of 0-9 for each slot to equip the respective level gems.

For example, if Wein equips a Ring Weapon with gem-slots of 9-4-1, then he can equip any gem in the first slot. But he can only equip gems of level 4 or lower in the second slot; and only level 1 gems in the final slot. If a Ring Weapon has a 0 slot, then no gem can be equipped there. Gems range from level 1 through 9.

Reception[edit]

On release, Famitsu magazine scored the game a 30 out of 40.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps2/data/582129.html
  2. ^ プレイステーション2 - グローランサーII. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.88. 30 June 2006.

External links[edit]