|Toukiden: The Age of Demons|
|Developer(s):||Omega Force, Team NINJA, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan|
|Release date:||: June 27, 2013|
/: February 14, 2014
|Genre:||Action role-playing game|
|Game modes:||Single player, Multi player|
|Platform(s):||PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable|
Toukiden: The Age of Demons (討鬼伝, Toukiden) is Koei's collaboration title with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ). It is the newest Omega Force IP to be conceptualized in years. Hisashi Koinuma and SCEJ's president, Hiroshi Kawano, are the general producers of this product, and the game's setting was conceptualized between them. Toukiden's main themes are "Japanese", "history", and "demon slaying" in an original fantasy world. This game is Japanese voice overs only for overseas ports. According to Koei-Tecmo's financial report, the game has sold at least 4.5 million copies in Japan and Asia alone.
The producer is Kenichi Ogasawara and the director is Takashi Morinaka. Nobuo Miyoshi is the CG director. The character designer and main character illustrator for the game is Hidari. Music is composed by Hideki Sakamoto.
The game was originally planned just for the PSP, but Kawano was the one who pushed for the game to be on the PS Vita. He specifically wanted a new IP from Koei on the console. Both developers are excited about the cross platform connections for the game, as it requires the SCEJ staff's input for its development. According to Koinuma, the look and feel of the game currently shares no parallels with the Warriors franchises. He thinks Warriors fans will be pleasantly surprised with this title.
Ogasawara wishes to use his experience working with Nobunaga no Yabou Online and Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce to visualize a world and system which best fits the game's motifs. Core developers who worked in the Strikeforce titles returned for this title. He has stated that Toukiden will be "an outstanding IP which demonstrates the company's true potential". Team NINJA's involvement, Hidari's character designs (for the Gust side), and the gameplay changes made based on fan feedback from the trial versions are meant to reflect this concept. Hidari's illustrations were used and kept within the game to avoid drawing too many comparisons to the Warriors series.
Players who pre-order the PS Vita Onigara set can obtain a special decorative case and a downloadable serial for the soul, Issun Boushi. The double pre-order Mitama set includes downloadable codes for Momotaro and Yae Niijima's souls. Gamecity shoppers can obtain an additional cell phone strap with their purchase. Other pre-order bonuses are planned for various Japanese stores. Players of the trial versions can transfer their data into the final product and obtain a pink Tenko mask as a bonus. Players who have purchased the downloadable version can invite other players to buy the game to obtain a code for Hatsuho's demon mask.
The setting is Nakatsu Kuni which has been protected since ancient times by "mononofu" (a pun of "mononobu" or "warriors"). These warriors have banded together to purge demons and other forces of darkness for one thousand years, thus earning their title as "demon slayers".
Eight years before the main story, time and the heavens distorted and the underworld emerged into the land of man. A great demon rose from its gap and plunged the land into an age of calamity. The mononofu fought tooth and nail against the demon and its army for seven grueling days; they barely succeeded in their mission to save humanity. The great conflict was later called the "Oomagadoki", and the mononofu whom fought in it were appointed to help restore the land's political realm.
The protagonist is a part of the new wave of mononofu who rise to deal with the land's never-ending demonic forces. They reside at Utakata Village, one of the last lines of defense in the war between demons and humanity.
Players can play and swap information between the two hand-held consoles at any time.
The main story progresses by speaking with people or objects labeled with exclamation points around Utakata Village, listening to their dialogue, and engaging in the quests they offer. Missions often demand that the protagonist search the map for items or exterminate demons. Main story missions (highlighted in red) may lead to larger prey, which is covered in the combat section.
If they should so desire, the player can revisit previously unlocked missions to farm for loot or change their current equipment before each hunt. The player can pay a small fee and prayer at the shrine near the village exit. If they are lucky, they might receive a special skill to help them on their hunt.
Requests can be unlocked throughout the story; these tend to be miniature fetch quests or hunts the player can finish during missions. Haku (the game's currency) is the common reward for completing them, but these side objectives can be used to boost the protagonist's affinity levels with NPCs. Being friendly with them may offer various rewards which depend on the character. Intimacy ratings can be checked with Shuusui.
Utakata village acts as the home base for the protagonist, meaning it offers various facilities for the player to use. Aside from a shop and blacksmith, the village temple run by Shikimi is imperative for leveling up their earned souls (mitama) from hunts. The village hot springs is unlocked by completing its associated request line. It offers special one-time skills and special fanservice with NPCs who have high affinity ratings with the protagonist.
The protagonist's personal home offers the save point, an overview of their inventory, an in-game movie gallery, and a pet fox named Tenko. As time passes, the player can send Tenko away to search for treasure within unlocked hunting grounds. Letters from NPCs can be read at their desk, which can be read to check intimacy levels with NPCs. Players can choose to edit their protagonist's hair and equipment here.
Next to the protagonist's house is a pathway to a small divine tree. The player can raise it by feeding it haku and be rewarded parts for their efforts. Like Tenko's treasure searches, the protagonist can revisit and feed it once after every completed mission to obtain their prize. Rarer items can be gained from it as it matures.
The main story is told in five chapters and can be beaten within 32 hours. After the main story is cleared, players can continue playing from their save to collect additional souls, tinker their equipment, or boost character bonding. Chapters six and seven are advanced hunting missions to help the player achieve these goals without the main story's restrictions.
Multiplayer stages are wireless collaborative four-man missions which anyone of any expertise can join via wireless co-op. Rewards exclusive to the co-op missions have been hinted. Teams can only fight in missions that members have completed within the main story. Players can switch to multiplayer mode by selecting the shining stone seen near the village exit. PlayStation Portable-1000 users are the only ones exempt from this mode. In-game text chat, emotes, and spoken text bubbles are available to players within their start menu.
Life (blue) and stamina (green) gauges are located at the upper left hand corner during hunts. Stamina is expended for every action the protagonist can perform; it limits constant attacking or running (hold R while moving) in the map. It can be restored by either standing still or by running towards restorative points. This system is devised so that players must carefully judge their actions in combat.
Players can attack by using the , , or buttons; is evade. Their protagonist's currently equipped weapon determines the protagonist's fighting style, and each demon has their respective strengths and weakness to each weapon attack property. L can be used to reset the camera (tap) or lock onto a specific target (held).
Regardless of a demon's size, it's recommended to purify their defeated corpse (hold R while standing still). If their body is within the purification's range, they can be used back in Utakata Village to strengthen a character's weaponry and equipment. It's encouraged to collect as many parts as possible as they are the primary means of increasing character attributes within the game. Once a part has been obtained or found as treasure, it is cataloged by location within the village start menu. If demons are severely damaged by players on the final blow, they might obtain rare souls from the demon's body (tamahami).
Larger demons normally have high defenses against characters' attacks. Mononofu must gradually chip away at their defenses by first dismantling their weak points —such as an arm or a leg— and purifying them. Players can use the Demon Eyes skill, a skill which locates a demon's weak spots at the cost of their protagonist's stamina, by tapping the lower right screen (Vita) or by using the select button (PSP). Colors highlight each body part's durability, white being the most resilient and red being the weakest. Demon Eyes can also be used to locate hidden treasure, restorative points, or rare demons which may release rare souls or treasure when found and defeated.
Once a demon is weakened (magatsuhi), their life points can be attacked directly for a limited time for massive damage. If players destroy a demon's body parts but neglects to purify them, it's possible for the demon to regenerate them during the course of the battle. Large demons change their attack behavior as they lose more life points or body parts, often morphing into a secondary form once their health is halved or critical. These secondary forms may include new parts for the party to break. Players can earn a special bonus if they completely purify every part of a demon before its defeat.
Restorative points are scattered across an area's map and can be used by wounded players by pressing . Fallen party members can be resurrected by standing adjacent to them and holding R. They will rise again once the timer over their body is filled. Players can chose to accept defeat by holding in their fallen state or continue the fight by allowing the timer to be depleted. The latter option will bring players back to the starting point with full health, though this may only occur up to three times per mission.
Load from a previous save. There are a total of three save slots available.
Allows the player to adjust the speed of the camera, gives the option to invert controls, and to turn off auto-save. Volume adjustments for sound effects and music are available. If these settings are changed before starting a new game, they will automatically be in effect.
Installs a digital copy of the game.
Place to input serial codes and gain downloadable content. Downloadable content includes souls, quests, armor sets, and variations of the game's existing weapons.
- Yamato no Nushi
- Tokoyo no Ou
These are the hunting grounds available for players. In the game's canon, they are distortions of time frozen in a parallel world.
The first public trial was a closed and took place on March 30th. Accepted participants received a T-shirt and poster in return for their time and input. The action only trial which followed was open for opinions, complaints, and inquiries at PlayCommu; players who wrote a reply could obtain an original avatar for answering their questionnaire. Based on comments, a revised action trial was made available in May. The third and current trial includes the much requested character customization and a small taste of the main story.
A press event to celebrate the game's completion was held and broadcast live at Niconico Live. Yoshimoto Group comedians Slim Club and Punk Booboo were accompanied by Minami Akina for the conference's on stage co-op demonstration; the trio stayed and posed for after-ceremony photos.
Interested visitors with a PlayStation account could participate in a poll for their favorite soul at PlayCommu. Thirty souls were selectable; many of them were publicly revealed in name only by the time of the poll's creation. The top five souls can be viewed at high resolution at PlayCommu's post. Visitors who state their favorite weapon in another poll have a chance of winning a mug signed by the director. Famitsu is holding a limited time survey players for opinions and 4Gamer is a part of the company's questionnaire giveaway campaign; answering the questions in the second link may reward players a free PS Vita or T-shirts.
A Minna to Isshou collaboration will be available in the PlayStation Store on June 20th. The collaboration community, Torokiden, offers various bonuses available for members who join it, such as decorations for their avatar's homes, a parody of the game using the Sony mascots, and Toro and Kuro souls. Toukiden is one of the four PSVita titles included in Sony's Kyoutou-sensei Project, a media campaign to promote the console's co-op titles. It was featured in the project's online and TV broadcasts throughout June. A summer campaign may reward players who download the game's DLC. PlayStation 3 users can download the project's free "PSVita introductory experience", adhoc Party, through the PlayStation store. A Toukiden world is available with icons and wallpapers for earning.
One of the events for celebrating 30 years of Nobunaga's Ambition includes hosting an all Nobunaga event in Hyaku-man nin no Nobunaga no Yabou. One of the sixteen different Nobunagas available for earning is his Toukiden persona.
A&G GAME MASTER GT-R, a radio show hosted by Masaya Onosaka, held a special mini program for this title called, Toukiden ~Mononofu Radio~, every Friday 22:00 (JST). These segments were recorded and uploaded by Koei onto the official website's movie section. This game's main theme was performed by TEKARU at JAPAN Game Music Festival 2013. The band's version of the song will be included as a bonus track for the game's soundtrack.
An illustration contest was held at August 30th up to September 30th. Participants were given a list of possible souls to choose from and create an artwork that adhered to the requirements presented at Niconico. Entries that placed first or second would have their entries implemented in Toukiden along with voice acting. Other notable artworks would earn participants a copy of the game and an original printed T-shirt as their consolation prize. The winning entries are Hanbei Takenaka and Ejima. Those ranked below them are Kakuma Yamamoto, Okikurumi, Hieda no Are, Konohanasakuya-hime, Hachikatsuki, Tōdō Heisuke, Ama-no-Uzume, and Happyaku Bikuni.
A special prologue comic created by Ayano Urasuke will be appearing in Samurai Ace and Reader Store; Toukiden Woniuchi is the artist's professional debut into comics. The story follows the adventures of an original male protagonist named Sako. Previews of the comic appeared in the game's Sony mooks. Other purchasable merchandise can be checked at Gamecity Shopping.
Utakata no Himitsu, another web comic available for viewing on Nico Nico Seiga, will feature six humorous side stories of the NPCs found within the game. This comic is written by Nanatsu Muronchi and illustrated by Toshiko Machida. It began on June 27, 2013 and will update biweekly on Fridays.
- Ouka and Ibuki are given a job request to search for a young boy. He ran away from his home during the night to kill a demon by himself, hoping to look brave for his soon-to-be-born younger sibling. While Ibuki bellyaches over the request, a spider crawls onto Ouka's hand. She uncharacteristically screams with fright, Ibuki remaining quiet about the discovery when their comrades rush in to investigate. Nagi reports the boy's rough location and shows Ouka that he is surrounded by spider-like demons. Ouka, Ibuki, and two young recruits leave to retrieve the boy, although Ouka is still too scared to fight. After they rescue the boy, a Mifuchi (giant spider demon) attacks and reduces the nearby shrine to rubble. Ouka would've been crushed if the boy hadn't shoved her to safety. The boy is ashamed by his fear, as it prevented him from killing a single demon. Inspired by his honesty, Ouka regains her composure to protect him and defeats the giant spider demon with Ibuki's aid. The boy aspires to be a fisherman when he is returned to his mother. Ouka swears to never fear again, but her resolve soon falls apart when she is scared by the live crabs the boy had caught for her.
- Fugaku, Ibuki, Nagi, and a mononofu are hunting a Kazekiri. It eludes their weapons and flees, leaving behind the ruins of a village it had destroyed. Fugaku prays to a grave and swears to avenge them, which provokes Ibuki's sarcasm. Before a fight ensues, the mononofu and Nagi decide to search another area. Fugaku and Ibuki make camp at the village and are surrounded by demons at nightfall. Once they realize that they are feasting on the souls of the departed, Ibuki tries to hold Fugaku back and endure since the Kazekiri hasn't arrived yet. Fugaku fights anyways, and the duo slay smaller demons until their target returns. Although they bicker throughout the hunt, the duo work together to defeat the giant demon. Fugaku blocks its charge and Ibuki hops from his back to attack Kazekiri's vulnerable back. When the ladies return the following morning, the men are dead asleep. Nagi views it as a sign that they're bonding and enthusiastically writes how close the pair are in her report, which mortifies Ouka as she reads it.
- Nagi and Hatsuho have a meeting to plan their next hunt, but the bookworm is enthusiastic in her lecturing and goes overboard. Fed up with Nagi's explanations and feeling as though she is being treated like a child, Hatsuho bluntly says that she is annoying her. The young girl's crass remark greatly lowers Nagi's spirits, and she realizes from the villagers' commentary that she had hurt the archer's feelings. After mulling over it in her bed, Hatsuho decides to make amends. A Tenko delivers parts for her, so she uses them to have a new bow forged for her apology. Since demons attack the village around the same time, Hatsuho hurries to the center of the conflict in the belief that a dispirited Nagi is fighting, using tips from her earlier lecture to speed her way through. It turns out that Nagi had the same idea as Hatsuho and was searching for her. The archer gives the young girl a new kusarigama as a present and smiles for the first time in days. With the awkwardness dispelled between them, Nagi decides to celebrate by explaining the properties of their weapons in lengthy detail. This time, Hatsuho sucks it up with feigned exuberance.
- Hayatori, Hatsuho and two other mononofu accept a mission to exterminate a Kueyama. She asks the former shinobi to sync with his Soul and create an opening for their attack. Before he decides to act alone, Jiraiya holds a spiritual chat within his soul and shows Hayatori the possible outcomes of the hunt. If Hayatori charges in by himself, his attack will fail. If he doesn't rely on Jiraiya or his comrades, Hatsuho will exert herself and be devoured. Jiraiya shows these visions as a means of teaching the importance of trust to the shinobi. Realizing that he should at least attempt to overcome the shadows of his past, Hayatori finally agrees to borrow Jiraiya's powers for the hunt. He surprises his party by agreeing with Hatsuho's order yet they swiftly slay their objective. Hatsuho asks the reasons for his change of heart on their way back to base. Jiraiya and Hayatori passively warn her of a weak board on the bridge, but she still slips into it.
- This episode is a parody of the prologue sequence of the game, in which the souls of devoured heroes (mitama) submit mononofu within Utakata Village to their harsh test of courage in the world of dreams. Small references to each soul's common perception in folklore or history are made throughout the comic, but the souls generally agree that none of their candidates seem worthy enough (the named characters within the game either failed it or were too distracted playing with the other souls to try). Their disturbances within the dream world becomes powerful enough to generate a collective fabrication of reality, or Utakata Village's dream as Shikimi lazily explains. The souls explore the duplicate village and experience the honest lives and hopes of its residents, happy to see some facets of peace left within Nakatsu Kuni. The priestess sends them back to their rightful place once it is dawn, and the mononofu vaguely recount their strange dreams in the morning. Ibuki, Nagi, and Hayatori are humorously still reeling in ecstasy from their respective soul dreams.
- Kikka wants to be useful to her sister and comrades, trying to do small chores around the village. Ibuki stops her and casually gives her the "important task" of circling the shrine grounds as a patrol. While Kikka does so, she notices a doppleganger of herself and decides to follow it. The mononofu meanwhile investigate strange ghost sightings –which normally wouldn't be possible with Kikka's barrier– and slay the demons which managed to break past a gap in the barrier. As Kikka approaches her duo self, it confronts her with her anxieties about being helpless and reasons that barrier's small collapse can give her purpose again. Inspired by her knowledge of the mononofus' previous adventures, Kikka bravely absorbs the darkness within her heart and reconstructs the gap. Her spiritual double was generated by a Mizuchime; the priestess pushes the giant demon from outside the barrier before she collapses in exhaustion. The souls commend her courage and assure her that a brave warrior will soon come to the village. The male protagonist slays the Mizuchime himself and is introduced to the villagers the next day. After Kikka explains her story and the reasons for her cold to her overly concerned sister, Ouka expresses her pride in her sibling's actions before returning to her job of greeting the protagonist.
- Official Japanese site, Official Twitter, Official Youtube playlist, Twitter icons and character banners
- Official PlayStation product page, Music comparison between trial and final, PSVita and PSP gameplay comparison video, PlayCommu play impression
- PS Vita Kyoutou-Sensei CM 1, Kyoutou-Sensei Toukiden CM 1, Kyoutou-Sensei Toukiden CM 2, Making of Kyoutou-Sensei commercials, Minna to Isshou Toukiden, Toro Station introduction
- Dengeki Online and Aoi Eir's play report
- E3 trailer
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