|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
Infinite Undiscovery (インフィニット アンディスカバリー Infinitto Andisukabarī?) is an action role-playing game developed by tri-Ace and published by Square Enix for the Xbox 360 in September 2008. It tells the story of the main character Capell and his journey to sever the chains that are holding the moon, with the help of the Liberation Force. The game received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
Infinite Undiscovery is based on the player making real-time decisions that can affect the outcome of the story. These decisions can occur at any time, even while the player is going through inventory in the menu.
The player controls the main character, Capell, from a third-person perspective while three other characters are controlled by AI. The player fights battles with this team of four, or sometimes with multiple teams formed from a possible 18 characters. In battle, Capell has the ability to use connect actions, which give him access to other team members' skills.
The game was originally meant to transition between day and night every 10 minutes, giving the player different opportunities; for instance, stealth would be easier at night. However, this system was later removed. Director Hiroshi Ogawa explained that other forms of stealth remained in the game: “As an example, when you’re running away from a hunting dog, you can distract him by dropping apples from the trees. However, the guards may catch you when they hear the thud of the apples.”
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- Capell (カペル Kaperu?) (voiced by Jason Liebrecht) is the main protagonist and the character that the player controls throughout the game. He is often uninterested in helping others, until urged to by his companions. Born on the night of a total lunar eclipse, Capell did not receive a lunaglyph, the powerful magical symbol that allows most humans to use magic. As a result, he was abandoned as an infant and remains "Unblessed". At the beginning of the game, Capell, now age 17, is rescued from a secret prison by Aya, a member of the Liberation Force. He has an uncanny resemblance to Sigmund the Liberator, the Liberation Force's leader. Capell can cut the chains binding the moon, possibly due to his lack of a lunaglyph, an ability that only Sigmund is known to have. They later find out that Capell is Sigmund's son. Capell and Aya form a relationship. They journey to the moon to sever the Onyx Chain, fighting many battles along the way. While Capell is apparently trapped on the moon following the severing of the chain, during the epilogue he is shown entertaining children with his flute, and is reunited with Aya.
- Aya (アーヤ Āya?) (voiced by Caitlin Glass) age 16, is the next of the five central characters in the game. Strong-willed and aggressive, Aya's constant prodding is often the only thing capable of motivating Capell to action. Aya worships Sigmund, but gradually becomes interested in Capell. She is the princess of the emirate of Fayel, although her position in the Liberation Force is not in any official capacity. Aya and her father are not on friendly terms, as Aya would rather fight alongside Sigmund than act as a ruler. At the age of 16 she meets Capell and assists him in his attempt to destroy the Onyx chain. She later professes her love for him, and blames herself for Capell having to remain on the moon. In the game's epilogue, Aya is Queen of Fayel and overseeing the rebuilding of Sapran when she reunites with Capell.
- Sigmund (シグムント Shigumundo?) (voiced by Kyle Hebert), referred to as "The Liberator", was the first person to demonstrate the ability to sever the chains binding the moon. He was raised by Svala, the Empress of Halgita, and grew up in the Halgita palace alongside Eugene, Touma and Komachi. Even as a child Sigmund's personality was one of perpetual calm. He does not appear to be an effective motivational speaker, but he is an excellent leader of the Liberation Force. Sigmund was originally known as Volsung, the King of Casandra, but when his son was born Unblessed he underwent a ritual to remove his own lunaglyph, which reverted his age back to the day of his birth, making him age 17 during the events of the game.
- Edward (エドアルド Edoarudo?) (voiced by David Vincent) views himself as Sigmund's right-hand man, and feels challenged by Capell. Edward constantly trains out of a desire to reach Sigmund's level. At age 17, he is short-tempered and does not tolerate people questioning him, but when the party's life is on the line, he makes a capable leader. After nearly becoming a Vermiform, he grudgingly accepts Capell as Sigmund's successor, and sees him as a friend.
- Eugene (ユージン Yūjin?) (voiced by Taliesin Jaffe) is the last of the five core members of the Liberation Force. He was one of the original members, growing up with Sigmund in Halgita, and is currently 26 years old. He is the most knowledgeable member of the group, as well as the one possessing the most common sense. In the immediate aftermath of Sigmund's death, Eugene's logic and counseling is all that keeps the group together. Eugene is generally a kind person, although he is more than willing to make and carry out difficult decisions if the need arises.
- Balbagan (バルバガン Barubagan?) (voiced by Michael McConnohie) is 35-year-old man who wields a battle axe, but has the personality of a child rather than a brute. He accompanies the Liberation Army out of respect for Sigmund, the only person to best him in combat. Sigmund promised Balbagan a rematch after the chains were destroyed. Balbagan abandons the group upon Sigmund's death, which crushed his wit and sapped his motivation to fight.
- Rico (ロカ Ruka?) (voiced by Samuel Wallace) is the son of the priest of a small village. He is a beast tamer, although not a particularly effective one. After the death of his father when he is 10 years old, Rico and his twin sister join the Liberation Force take down the Order of Chains and avenge their father's death. He is the only character capable of speaking to animals, and several optional quests make use of this ability.
- Rucha (ロカ Roka?) is Rico's twin sister. She is a summoner, although the vast majority of her spells do not truly involve summoning. After the death of her father when she is 10 years old, Rucha joins the Liberation Force with her brother to take down the Order of Chains and avenge her father.
- Michelle (ミルシェ Mirushe?), age 21, is a beautiful woman who loves Sigmund tremendously, to the point where it becomes a detriment to the group. Extremely strong-willed, but with a loving personality and a kind heart, Michelle frequently puts her life at risk to heal others. Upon learning of Capell's tragic past, she calls herself his big sister.
- Gustav is a giant red bear of a rare and possibly endangered species. He is Aya's longtime pet and protects Aya fervently. Gustav is so powerful that he takes up two slots in the party selection, the only character to do so. In the game's epilogue, Gustav is the one who hears Capell playing his flute for the children and leads Aya to him.
- Komachi, age 15, is a female ninja in the service of Halgita. She is the daughter of Genma. It appears that she deeply loves Touma, her superior, which often leads to her making a fool of herself in conversations.
- Touma, age 15, is the head of the Nightwhisper Guild, ninjas in service to Halgita. He is an Aristo, placing him in the highest social strata. Touma is an old friend of Sigmund and one of the few people who knows that Sigmund does not have a lunaglyph. He acts in a dignified manner and has a strong moral compass, but is somewhat naive. Touma has no idea that Komachi has feelings for him, even though it is apparent to everyone else. In the game's epilogue, Touma, along with every other Aristo, falls into a deep sleep.
- Vic, age 12, is a young information seller living on the streets of Kolton. Over the course of the game, Capell gradually comes to realize that Vic is a girl, despite her mannerisms. She claims that she joined the Liberation Force for profit, but the truth is that her brother died from a lunaglyph overload, much like what Edward suffered.
- Leonid (レオニード Reonīdo?) (voiced by Rylan McPhee) is the game's foremost antagonist. He is known as the Dreadknight and created the Order of Chains, enslaving the moon with chains. He is deeply devoted to Veros, the moon god, and vies to be his faithful servant for eternity. He was the son of Empress Svala. When Volsung went through the ceremony to remove his lunaglyph, all of his power was transferred into a ten-year-old Leonid. Instead of being overcome by the massive amount of power he was able to control it, leading him to believe that he was chosen by the gods.
Infinite Undiscovery was announced in September 2006 by Famitsu. Initially it was believed that Microsoft would publish the game, but at TGS 2007, Hajime Kojima and Hiroshi Ogawa stated that Square Enix would take over publishing duties because they have more "know-how" with RPGs. However, since Microsoft was the original publisher, it holds the trademark for the game and shares the copyright with Square Enix.
According to tri-Ace co-founder and R&D programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda, the game is set to contain 10 years' worth of ideas that can finally be realized with the Xbox 360, and with it, role-playing video games "will undergo a true evolution." Tri-Ace wished to achieve this by putting the player through "situational battles" that would lead to "unknown discoveries" and cause permanent changes to the world.
The game was directed by Hiroshi Ogawa and produced by Hajime Kojima, both of whom are also credited in the tri-Ace titles Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. Tri-Ace president Yoshiharu Gotanda signed on as the game's lead programmer. Scenario was handled by ORG Ltd., including Ryo Mizuno and Shoji Gatoh. The game's characters were designed by Yukihiro Kajimoto.
The English dub was the first title released from New Generation Pictures's Shanghai Studios. As such it features voice actors from Texas and Los Angeles, as well as a large helping of new talent from Shanghai.
By September 30, 2008, Infinite Undiscovery had shipped 120,000 copies in Japan, 200,000 copies in North America, and 90,000 copies in Europe. In Japan, the game sold 96,000 copies by its third week.
In Japan, Famitsu gave Infinite Undiscovery a total score of 32 out of 40 from four reviewers (9, 8, 8, 7). Internationally, Infinite Undiscovery has received mixed to positive reviews from the critics, with an average of 67.70% on GameRankings and 68/100 on Metacritic. IGN gave it a 7.1, saying, "This isn't a game marred with horrendous bugs or unplayable combat. And it's not boring. It's just misguided. The story is intriguing enough that RPG fanatics should at least give this a rental." 1UP.com gave it a B, saying, "Undiscovery is absolutely worth playing through at least once, with the regrettable caveat that it really could've been so much more." GamePro gave it a 3 out of 5, saying, "In the end, Undiscovery isn't a bad game but it is seriously flawed. I'd recommend renting it before you invest your hard earned cash on a purchase, especially if you're new to the RPG genre." GameSpot awarded the score of 6.5 ("Fair"), but felt it was too flawed to reach its potential. GamesRadar gave it a 7 out of 10, saying "When it’s acting like a run-of-the-mill JRPG, it feels clichéd, but reasonably enjoyable. When it tries to be innovative, however, its unsatisfying combat, superfluous subsystems and wasted ensemble cast make the whole experience feel half-hearted." X-Play gave the game a 4 out of 5, praising its addictive and fast paced action and multi-party battles, while criticizing its "ridiculous" name, its annoying protagonist, and slow story line; the review went on to explain that while the story is slow at the start of the game, once you push through for a few hours, the game and story are actually very entertaining.
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© 2008 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. / Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Developed by tri-Ace Inc. (back of case for Infinite Undiscovery)
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