Imperial SaGa

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Imperial SaGa
Imperial Saga Logo.png
Developer(s)Think & Feel
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Director(s)Tomotaka Shiroichi
Producer(s)Kei Hirono
Hirohiro Hiroko
Artist(s)Kurahana Chinatsu
Tomomi Kobayashi
Writer(s)Moku Tochibori
Benny Matsuyama
Composer(s)Kenji Ito
SeriesSaGa
Platform(s)Web browser
Release
  • JP: June 18, 2015
Genre(s)Role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Imperial SaGa[a] is a role-playing browser game developed by Think & Feel for web browsers. The eleventh installment in the SaGa series, the game was published by Square Enix in 2015. Designed as part of the series' 25th anniversary celebrations, it was developed with the supervision of series creator Akitoshi Kawazu.

Set in an original world, the player controls an emperor or empress as they maintain their empire against magical and human threats; while there is an original narrative with a final boss, many of the events are based on the plots and characters of previous SaGa games. Gameplay revolves around exploring a world map and successfully completing battles, which enable soldiers and vassals to strengthen. The turn-based mechanics and usage-based growth system of earlier SaGa games is carried over into Imperial SaGa.

The game was developed as a browser-based equivalent to the mobile phone game Emperors SaGa. Regular series composer Kenji Ito returned to compose and arrange music. The original scenario was created by Emperors Saga writer Moku Tochibori, while additional work and later scenarios by Benny Matsuyama; both of whom had worked on game projects and supplementary material for Square Enix. Since its initial release, Matsuyama has continued to contribute new scenarios for content updates.

Gameplay[edit]

A battle in Imperial SaGa; while adjusted for browsers, the basic gameplay is carried over from the mainline SaGa series.

Imperial SaGa is a role-playing browser game in which players take the role of a line of Emperors or Empresses; their goal is the defeat enemies, expanding their territory and defending their people. Navigation takes place on a world map, with battles or story events triggering when the player reaches nodes on the map.[1]

The aim is to defeat enemies and boss opponents on the world map to advance the story and raise a character's experience level; players can fight manually, or enable Auto-battle. Combat uses a turn-based combat system, with each side using group configurations called Formations to attack, which can unlock differing attack strategies or activate passive abilities. In addition, using a special item during a boss battle with all five party members active will trigger a special attack where the entire recruited army deals a single attack, resulting in high damage.[1][2]

Rather than a traditional leveling system, Imperial SaGa uses the usage-based system of earlier SaGa games; actions performed in battle randomly raise a character's statistics, using a skill regularly enough raises the strength of that skill, and new skills are unlocked upon using a similar skill enough times. Each unit has health (HP) and Life Points (LP). LP decreases each time a character is defeated, with LP needing to recharge outside battle. If a character loses all LP, they are unable to take part in combat until their LP is replenished.[1][2][3][4]

Development and release[edit]

Imperial SaGa was developed by Japanese studio Think & Feel, who had previously worked with Square Enix on the Nintendo DS titles Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings and Blood of Bahamut.[5] Imperial SaGa was the first SaGa game developed for PC browser platforms. Development began in 2012 after Square Enix producer Kei Hirono saw the strong positive reception of the mobile game Emperors SaGa; his aim was to create an equivalent experience for browsers and begin a series of similar expansions for the SaGa franchise. Hirono acted as the game's producer, and directed by Tomotaka Shiroichi. Series creator Akitoshi Kawazu acted as executive producer and general supervisor for the project.[6] Work on Imperial SaGa ran parallel to both the continued support for Emperors SaGa and the upcoming SaGa: Scarlet Grace.[7] While Emperors SaGa had been a card-based battle game, Imperial SaGa was designed with gameplay similar to the rest of the SaGa series.[8]

The music was composed by Kenji Ito, who first co-composed the music for Final Fantasy Legend II and was sole composer for the Romancing SaGa games and SaGa Frontier.[9] Ito worked on the project in parallel to creating the soundtrack for Scarlet Grace.[10] When Hirono first contacted Ito, his request was for an original soundtrack which would also honor the series' musical legacy.[8] The original tracks were recorded using a live orchestra. Arrangements were created for the various tracks for different story routes, handled primarily by Noriyuki Kamikura and Noritoshi Narita. The lyrics for vocal tracks were written by Kawazu.[9]

The original scenario was written by Moku Tochibori, who had previously worked on Emperors SaGa, in addition to game titles including Metal Gear Acid and Final Fantasy Type-0. Tochibori was helped in writing the scenario by Benny Matsuyama, who had created supplementary material related to Square Enix's games for publisher Studio BentStuff.[6][11] Matsuyama continued to contribute to later scenarios. Commenting on his work, Matsuyama said that the characters' set personas made the scenarios easy to write.[12] The scenario was generally supervised by Kawazu. The succession of rulers which played a part in the narrative was directly inspired by Romancing SaGa 2.[6] During his work on the game, Tochibori's writing ended up influencing a quest for Emperors SaGa based on Romancing SaGa 2 after his scenario impressed Kawazu.[7] The dark tone was intended to reflect both Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier.[12]

The promotional and original character artwork was created by series artist Tomomi Kobayashi, who was brought in to appeal to long-time fans of the SaGa series.[6] Other new characters and redesigns of earlier protagonists being handled by Kurahana Chinatsu, noted for her work on Uta no Prince-sama.[6][13] Chinatsu was brought on board the project to bring in players new to the series. Despite the contrasting styles of Kobayashi and Chinatsu, Hirono did not want to force Chinatsu to mimic the older art style, and Kawazu was pleased that her designs remained original while fitting into the SaGa series. The character sprites were created using a modern form of the "dot graphic" pixel art used in early SaGa titles.[6]

Imperial SaGa was first announced during a special livestream alongside SaGa: Scarlet Grace; the two games were announced as part of the series' 25th anniversary celebrations.[14] Pre-registration for the game opened in May 2015, offering rewards of characters themed after Romancing SaGa 2.[15] The game released on multiple browser platforms on June 18, 2015, with later versions launching for new browser servers in 2016.[16][17] Following its initial release, general feedback was positive, with future updates addressing complaints about LP recovery rates.[8] Later updates also added new difficulty settings and gameplay adjustments, and an official guidebook was released on December 17, 2017.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Inperiaru Saga (Japanese: インペリアル サガ)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c インペリアル サガ - System (in Japanese). Imperial SaGa website. Archived from the original on 2017-09-11. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  2. ^ a b 河津秋敏、伊藤賢治、小林智美…創造神たちによるブラウザーゲーム『インペリアル サガ』サービス開始 (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. 2015-06-18. Archived from the original on 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  3. ^ 超本格RPG『インペリアル サガ』 DMM GAMESにてサービス開始! (in Japanese). Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  4. ^ インペリアル サガ - 戦闘 (in Japanese). Imperial SaGa website. Archived from the original on 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  5. ^ Think and Feel - Projects (in Japanese). Think and Feel. Archived from the original on 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  6. ^ a b c d e f もう一度、皇位継承したい『サガ』ファン注目! 『インぺリアル サガ』開発スタッフインタビュー (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2015-05-29. Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  7. ^ a b 『エンサガ』河津秋敏さんが七英雄やシナリオを語る。『SAGA2015(仮)』の開発状況も (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. 2015-08-31. Archived from the original on 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  8. ^ a b c 『インペリアル サガ』今後配信の闇の最終皇帝ルートでは『サガフロ』キャラが多数登場! 妖魔など種族の追加も (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. 2015-07-28. Archived from the original on 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  9. ^ a b 『インペリアル サガ』サントラ発売記念インタビュー 伊藤賢治氏らキーパーソンに、曲への思いや「いざゆけ!怪傑ロビン」制作秘話を聞いた (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2015-09-16. Archived from the original on 2017-11-24. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  10. ^ 『サガ スカーレット グレイス』オーケストラの豪華な生演奏に大興奮!! 楽曲収録現場に潜入 (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. 2016-10-31. Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  11. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (2017-01-04). "Main Visual for "Romancing SaGa" Stage Play Posted for April 2017 Opening". CrunchyRoll. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  12. ^ a b 『サガ』オールスターが勢揃い! 『インペリアル サガ』2周年記念公開生放送の模様をお届け!! (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2017-06-12. Archived from the original on 2017-12-27. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  13. ^ 『インペリアル サガ』闇ルートの新皇帝(男)は倉花千夏さんがデザイン【TGS2015】 (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. 2015-09-20. Archived from the original on 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  14. ^ Ike, Sato (2014-12-14). "Square Enix Announce Imperial SaGa For PC". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  15. ^ 「インペリアル サガ」の事前登録がスタート。登録者全員に「ロマンシング サ・ガ」のグレイがプレゼントされる (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. 2015-05-28. Archived from the original on 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  16. ^ 「インペリアル サガ」のサービスがスタート。さまざまなアイテムがもらえるログインキャンペーンも開催中 (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. 2015-06-18. Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  17. ^ ブラウザゲーム『インペリアル サガ』がDMM GAMESにて配信決定、事前登録が開始! (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2016-08-31. Archived from the original on 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  18. ^ 『インペリアル サガ』公式生放送での発表内容をまとめて紹介! ミルリク以外の最終皇帝も仲間に【PR】 (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2017-12-06. Archived from the original on 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-27.

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