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Dungeon Encounters: Square Enix single-player dungeon exploration RPG

Bullet Club

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Square Enix announces single-player dungeon exploration RPG Dungeon Encounters, set to release on October 14 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC​

During the Toyko Game Show Square Enix Presents live stream, Square Enix announced Dungeon Encounters, a single-player dungeon exploration RPG set to release for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Steam) on October 14. The game will be priced at $29.99, with a 20% launch window discount until late October.

Developed by Cattle Call, Dungeon Encounters looks to take dungeon RPG mechanics to their basics, where you take a group of explorers into a 100-floor simplified grid-based dungeon, using ATB-style battles to take on various foes along the way.

The game has several Final Fantasy veteran developers leading its production, as follows.
  • Director: Hiroyuki Ito (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XII)
  • Producer: Hiroaki Kato (Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age)
  • Character Design: Ryoma Ito (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Heroes of Mana)
  • Music: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey, Fantasian)
The announcement trailer, press release, and screenshot/artwork set can be found below via Square Enix. The official English website is here, and the Japanese website is here.



Square Enix today announced, as part of their Square Enix Presents livestream at Tokyo Games Show, that Dungeon Encounters, a new single-player dungeon exploration RPG, will be available digitally for the Nintendo Switch system, PlayStation 4 console and PC via Steam from October 14, 2021.

Directed by Final Fantasy series’ veteran Hiroyuki Ito and produced by Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age’s Hiroaki Kato, Dungeon Encounters challenges players to test their strategic skills with 100 levels of thought-provoking challenges. Using 2D grid-based movements, players are invited to lead an expedition charting the depths of an otherworldly labyrinth. Plan and prepare to overcome numerous obstacles, battles, and defeat monsters in a bid to outwit the formidable game system and reach the deepest level of the Dungeon. Strategize to survive!

Players can enjoy a newly polished and refined iteration of Final Fantasy’s classic Active Time Battle (ATB) system brought to you by original creator, Hiroyuki Ito. Dungeon Encounters features an expansive range of fantasy inspired characters by character designer Ryoma Ito, offering players a unique take on the dungeon crawler genre, and the ability to customize their team in order to complete the challenges and obstacles effectively. Fans can also enjoy a soundtrack overseen by musical director Nobuo Uematsu, featuring a modern take on classical tracks, as they put their minds to the test and venture through the many levels of Dungeon Encounters.

Pre-orders are available now for the Nintendo Switch system and Steam® with a 20% discount until late October*. DUNGEON ENCOUNTERS will be available to purchase on the PlayStation®Store from launch on October 14 with a 20% discount for PlayStation®Plus members until October 28.
  • *20% early purchase discount offer for Nintendo Switch ends on October 21 at 8:59pm PDT / 11:59pm EDT; and for PC (via Steam) on October 29 at 8:59am PDT / 11:59am EDT
  • **20% discount offer for PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation®4 console is available from launch on October 14 until October 28 at 8:59pm PDT / 11:59pm EDT.




Source: RPG Site
 

Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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Im intrigued. I like that sqex is trying out some experimental stuff like this and Voice of Cards.

The sale price is valid for a week after release so I'm just going to wait for some reviews since there's no demo. The fact that its so plain and barebones makes me think they're somewhat confident in the actual gameplay.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I'll wait for a Game Pass version by end of year or early 2022. Not a bad casual indie style game.

But no way I'd pay $30 US for that (that'll be about $40 cdn).
 
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Nozz-A-La

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Im intrigued. I like that sqex is trying out some experimental stuff like this and Voice of Cards.

The sale price is valid for a week after release so I'm just going to wait for some reviews since there's no demo. The fact that its so plain and barebones makes me think they're somewhat confident in the actual gameplay.
Same. I loved the demo for Voice of Cards and this is also different enough that it definitely has me curious.
 

Moochi

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Oct 17, 2018
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Square has embraced the most generic naming conventions recently. No more Final Fantisia Disembowlia Exvis Neo. Has the pendulum swung completely toward a naming things exactly what they appear to be? What's next? Project Rectangular Stat Menu Manager? Smashingly Dressed Swordswinger Boys? Giant Plushy Bird Racers?
 
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TurnOneYeti

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Jun 28, 2021
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Square has embraced the most generic naming conventions recently. No more Final Fantisia Disembowlia Exvis Neo. Has the pendulum swung completely toward a naming things exactly what they appear to be? What's next? Project Rectangular Stat Menu Manager? Smashingly Dressed Swordswinger Boys? Giant Plushy Bird Racers?

Square next game will be called Convoluted Story With Random Encounters.
 

AJUMP23

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Is it going to be like that ultima game in a dungeon. Because that would be good.
 

Saber

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After watching the video it looks...lamish.

They could take the route from that Atlus rpg game for PSP(already forgot the name). This one looks blandish.
 

CatLady

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Jun 12, 2018
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This looks boring as hell.

In the gameplay vs graphics thread a lot of people were saying "why not both". It looks like this game took the opposite approach: why have either. It offers dull as dirt gameplay and graphics that aren't quite up to original NES standards.
 

Azurro

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Jun 11, 2018
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Looks like someone at SE wanted to figure what's the lowest budget they can possibly get away with to create a game, and came up with that.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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For me the biggest dissapointment is the EXECUTION of the aesthetic,

the trailer opening actually shows an achievable but still simple look that the game could have had instead of being totally flat and borin.


Yeah, my main issue with Square-Enix is that they sometimes have some decent ideas and concepts, but they ALWAYS underfund those projects, so they have to cut a lot of corners here and there.

The combat's presentation is also pretty underwhelming.
 
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purvispisgah

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I think this might be the largest discrepancy between my emotions reading about a game and actually watching the trailer. Immediately clicked the thread title, thought things were sounding pretty good and then....


...seriously? Like they are charging money for this?

I know people worked hard on it and all...but...man. I can't believe people could make a finished game look so boring.
 
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Handel

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Jun 9, 2017
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Ito using his lived experience in SE's dungeon to create this masterpiece...fans have pleaded with SE for years to give Ito legitimate work only to get this shit costing $30...

 

Fictive

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Really wanted this guy to be on a AAA project. All this time they got guy locked away on this mobile stuff?
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I'm bigger fan of Voice of Card's art direction and character design and not to mention music.



This game looks much better than Dungeon Encounters. Although it's $10 more too.

Two similar kinds of games 2 weeks part by SE??? They trying to corner the market on RPG card games this year? DE is $10 cheaper and more cartoony. VoC has better production values and costs more?
 
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Danjin44

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This game looks much better than Dungeon Encounters. Although it's $10 more too.

Two similar kinds of games 2 weeks part by SE??? They trying to corner the market on RPG card games this year? DE is $10 cheaper and more cartoony. VoC has better production values and costs more?
VoC does much better job using its aesthetics to set up its environments while DE's environments kind of plain in comparison.
 

justAjohn

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Apr 27, 2020
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For all the -2 people that might be interested
Now I’ve read more about this in a preview I’ve gone from curious to looking forward to it. I realise the aesthetics aren’t that exciting, but I really like the sound of the gameplay. Looking forward to reading some reviews.

https://www.ign.com/articles/dungeon-encounters-hands-on-preview-tokyo-game-show-2021
I was actually a bit underwhelmed at first, but then again I have never been disappointed by Ito´s games so to give him a fair shake I went info scavenging with google translator.

And then I preordered it. It is my first ever preorder, that´s how thrilled I was.

You see the first thing that intrigued me was that on some pictures you can see a tail of a dragon above the dungeon floors, which may mean whatever at this point, but it was above the dungeon screen where only the player party model was seen at this point. Why is the party model the only one non simple thing in the game so far (okay the pitfalls are also 3D animated)?

Next, during the TGS playthrough digests it was seen that party abilities had to be unlocked for the party to use - like Escaping from battle, or jump to a tile in a Knight-like fashion, or scramble fight tiles. Some are unlimited (zooming out to see more of a map, fleeing) and some are limited in use (changing the floor even though you havent found the floor exit, ), which also begs the question if the ability uses can be refreshed (having only 8 uses of scrambling foe tile for 99 floors seems kinda tough). These abilities were on a separate list which was very big meaning there may be a lot of abilities to choose from. One of the ways to get ability points was completely charting the floor and since there were pitfalls and no guarantee that you can always go back up, then that is a bit thrilling.

The exploration incorporates some puzzle solving and apparently that´s going across multiple floors - X marks the spot, or deduce numbers in a series which gives you coordinations for something - floor, x coord, y coord. Hidden rooms are also given. The things go into event tab and these can be accessed anytime once unlocked for referrence. Even floor size is recorded as I saw some floors of more that 1000 tiles (around floor 30)

The encounters are on white number tiles. These encounters can be shops, healing, going up or down a floor and more. What each number does can be accessed from the menu once you encounter it once. Apparently some might be bad and the total number of them I havent seen but the list looks pretty long (realistically though, most of it is info on the monsters IMO - ´cuz the bestiary had a big-ass list too).

Battling is done through ATB system and fought on Battle tiles which are black and in order to see them in the field you have to equip the party ability. You can have 4 members in the battlefield and you can probably switch them outside the battle (I havent seen that done, only that upon finding one, it gives you reminder to select party composition, and considering how you have to get and equip party abilities to see or do things, it might not be a given at the start). There are 24 members and interestingly enough, on the floor 00 (Academy floor) you can recruit only some of them and see status of others (like on which floor are they, where exactly in terms of coordinates and their status - petrified etc...). I don´t know what happens if your party gets wiped out and you still have members in reserve. All the TGS footage I have seen so far shows roughly the same members, so it is unclear whether the starting selection is fixed or randomized (I hope it is, since it adds to replayability). On similar note I also don´t know if the dungeon is randomized for the playthough or not (again I hope it is, because only one dungeon of 99 floors would be very dull, especially since in the quoted article the man went in 19 floors of 99, which for a preview kinda thing is a lot if it were only one dungeon).

Members have five equipment slots and each equipment item has a certain "cost" for the character to equip. The equip capacity - so to speak - goes up with levelups, there was a time where a low level party found a somewhat high level gear (it was in Japanese, I couldn´t tell the effect, but characters had 22 capacity and the accessory had 20 cost, meaning you had to forego all equipment to equip this one). One can equip two attack "methods" - either weapons (with stable/ predictable, or unstable/oscillating damage - like axes in FF12, melee or ranged) which do physical damage or spells which do magical damage (you seemingly cannot choose to cast on one or all with one spell, you have to buy the appropriate variant), if none is equipped you get bare hands - this seems to bypass defenses but hits really small (skeleton types seem to be dreadnoughts, but thanks to this ...), if there are more distinct types I don´t know. One neat thing was the number x1- probably meaning you attack once, which implies that you can get multiple attack weapons. There doesnt seem to be any job system in place

So far I havent seen curing spells or the command ITEM in the battle, but my guess is that you can choose the party abilities in the battle, since once you unlock and equip Fleeing from battle, you can choose that ability in battle. Enemies inflict statuses, and because it was made a big deal that you cannot heal Hp easily, I think prevention of those might be more crucial than ever, since I don´t remember seeing basic items like antidotes (so far I confirmed statuses Gradual Petrify, Petrify, Guinea Pig/ Cavied, Eaten, something about being unable to see map, and more).
BATTLE DO
I think it is Battle D0 (as in battle D - zero) hexadecimals or similar methinks.

There also seems to be some kind of japanese stream on 12th so I will watch that. My Japanese is so advanced that I can totally understand a lady explaining to her non blood sibling the movement of her parts are truly involuntary without a problem so I will be all right... probably.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
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For all the -2 people that might be interested

I was actually a bit underwhelmed at first, but then again I have never been disappointed by Ito´s games so to give him a fair shake I went info scavenging with google translator.

And then I preordered it. It is my first ever preorder, that´s how thrilled I was.

You see the first thing that intrigued me was that on some pictures you can see a tail of a dragon above the dungeon floors, which may mean whatever at this point, but it was above the dungeon screen where only the player party model was seen at this point. Why is the party model the only one non simple thing in the game so far (okay the pitfalls are also 3D animated)?

Next, during the TGS playthrough digests it was seen that party abilities had to be unlocked for the party to use - like Escaping from battle, or jump to a tile in a Knight-like fashion, or scramble fight tiles. Some are unlimited (zooming out to see more of a map, fleeing) and some are limited in use (changing the floor even though you havent found the floor exit, ), which also begs the question if the ability uses can be refreshed (having only 8 uses of scrambling foe tile for 99 floors seems kinda tough). These abilities were on a separate list which was very big meaning there may be a lot of abilities to choose from. One of the ways to get ability points was completely charting the floor and since there were pitfalls and no guarantee that you can always go back up, then that is a bit thrilling.

The exploration incorporates some puzzle solving and apparently that´s going across multiple floors - X marks the spot, or deduce numbers in a series which gives you coordinations for something - floor, x coord, y coord. Hidden rooms are also given. The things go into event tab and these can be accessed anytime once unlocked for referrence. Even floor size is recorded as I saw some floors of more that 1000 tiles (around floor 30)

The encounters are on white number tiles. These encounters can be shops, healing, going up or down a floor and more. What each number does can be accessed from the menu once you encounter it once. Apparently some might be bad and the total number of them I havent seen but the list looks pretty long (realistically though, most of it is info on the monsters IMO - ´cuz the bestiary had a big-ass list too).

Battling is done through ATB system and fought on Battle tiles which are black and in order to see them in the field you have to equip the party ability. You can have 4 members in the battlefield and you can probably switch them outside the battle (I havent seen that done, only that upon finding one, it gives you reminder to select party composition, and considering how you have to get and equip party abilities to see or do things, it might not be a given at the start). There are 24 members and interestingly enough, on the floor 00 (Academy floor) you can recruit only some of them and see status of others (like on which floor are they, where exactly in terms of coordinates and their status - petrified etc...). I don´t know what happens if your party gets wiped out and you still have members in reserve. All the TGS footage I have seen so far shows roughly the same members, so it is unclear whether the starting selection is fixed or randomized (I hope it is, since it adds to replayability). On similar note I also don´t know if the dungeon is randomized for the playthough or not (again I hope it is, because only one dungeon of 99 floors would be very dull, especially since in the quoted article the man went in 19 floors of 99, which for a preview kinda thing is a lot if it were only one dungeon).

Members have five equipment slots and each equipment item has a certain "cost" for the character to equip. The equip capacity - so to speak - goes up with levelups, there was a time where a low level party found a somewhat high level gear (it was in Japanese, I couldn´t tell the effect, but characters had 22 capacity and the accessory had 20 cost, meaning you had to forego all equipment to equip this one). One can equip two attack "methods" - either weapons (with stable/ predictable, or unstable/oscillating damage - like axes in FF12, melee or ranged) which do physical damage or spells which do magical damage (you seemingly cannot choose to cast on one or all with one spell, you have to buy the appropriate variant), if none is equipped you get bare hands - this seems to bypass defenses but hits really small (skeleton types seem to be dreadnoughts, but thanks to this ...), if there are more distinct types I don´t know. One neat thing was the number x1- probably meaning you attack once, which implies that you can get multiple attack weapons. There doesnt seem to be any job system in place

So far I havent seen curing spells or the command ITEM in the battle, but my guess is that you can choose the party abilities in the battle, since once you unlock and equip Fleeing from battle, you can choose that ability in battle. Enemies inflict statuses, and because it was made a big deal that you cannot heal Hp easily, I think prevention of those might be more crucial than ever, since I don´t remember seeing basic items like antidotes (so far I confirmed statuses Gradual Petrify, Petrify, Guinea Pig/ Cavied, Eaten, something about being unable to see map, and more).

I think it is Battle D0 (as in battle D - zero) hexadecimals or similar methinks.

There also seems to be some kind of japanese stream on 12th so I will watch that. My Japanese is so advanced that I can totally understand a lady explaining to her non blood sibling the movement of her parts are truly involuntary without a problem so I will be all right... probably.
I actually pre-ordered it as well. Downloaded yesterday on Switch.

I'm still not entirely sold on the visuals, but I'm pretty much down for the rest. I think I was riding on substantial SQEX good will that drove me to purchase it (just got 100% in Actraiser, lasted 30 hrs so it felt like money well spent. Voice of Cards demo was great. It's an Ito game and is focused on gameplay.). Hopefully I don't end up regretting my purchase, but I'll be trying it out on the 14th and post whatever impressions I can.
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2018
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I was into this from the start - I mean the presentation is sparse but it doesn't seem much less than an old school Wizardry game, and those are still great to play.

But I am happy that impressions have been good. $30 is steep but with 20% off I think it's an easy buy for me.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
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I was into this from the start - I mean the presentation is sparse but it doesn't seem much less than an old school Wizardry game, and those are still great to play.

But I am happy that impressions have been good. $30 is steep but with 20% off I think it's an easy buy for me.
Yeah, pretty similar to Wizardry. Good comparison.
 

Danjin44

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Mar 22, 2017
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If it wasn’t coming close to Voice of Cards release date, I was willing give a chance but most my time will be spend playing Voice of Cards and later on SMT5.
 

Nozz-A-La

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Sep 15, 2020
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For all the -2 people that might be interested

I was actually a bit underwhelmed at first, but then again I have never been disappointed by Ito´s games so to give him a fair shake I went info scavenging with google translator.

And then I preordered it. It is my first ever preorder, that´s how thrilled I was.

You see the first thing that intrigued me was that on some pictures you can see a tail of a dragon above the dungeon floors, which may mean whatever at this point, but it was above the dungeon screen where only the player party model was seen at this point. Why is the party model the only one non simple thing in the game so far (okay the pitfalls are also 3D animated)?

Next, during the TGS playthrough digests it was seen that party abilities had to be unlocked for the party to use - like Escaping from battle, or jump to a tile in a Knight-like fashion, or scramble fight tiles. Some are unlimited (zooming out to see more of a map, fleeing) and some are limited in use (changing the floor even though you havent found the floor exit, ), which also begs the question if the ability uses can be refreshed (having only 8 uses of scrambling foe tile for 99 floors seems kinda tough). These abilities were on a separate list which was very big meaning there may be a lot of abilities to choose from. One of the ways to get ability points was completely charting the floor and since there were pitfalls and no guarantee that you can always go back up, then that is a bit thrilling.

The exploration incorporates some puzzle solving and apparently that´s going across multiple floors - X marks the spot, or deduce numbers in a series which gives you coordinations for something - floor, x coord, y coord. Hidden rooms are also given. The things go into event tab and these can be accessed anytime once unlocked for referrence. Even floor size is recorded as I saw some floors of more that 1000 tiles (around floor 30)

The encounters are on white number tiles. These encounters can be shops, healing, going up or down a floor and more. What each number does can be accessed from the menu once you encounter it once. Apparently some might be bad and the total number of them I havent seen but the list looks pretty long (realistically though, most of it is info on the monsters IMO - ´cuz the bestiary had a big-ass list too).

Battling is done through ATB system and fought on Battle tiles which are black and in order to see them in the field you have to equip the party ability. You can have 4 members in the battlefield and you can probably switch them outside the battle (I havent seen that done, only that upon finding one, it gives you reminder to select party composition, and considering how you have to get and equip party abilities to see or do things, it might not be a given at the start). There are 24 members and interestingly enough, on the floor 00 (Academy floor) you can recruit only some of them and see status of others (like on which floor are they, where exactly in terms of coordinates and their status - petrified etc...). I don´t know what happens if your party gets wiped out and you still have members in reserve. All the TGS footage I have seen so far shows roughly the same members, so it is unclear whether the starting selection is fixed or randomized (I hope it is, since it adds to replayability). On similar note I also don´t know if the dungeon is randomized for the playthough or not (again I hope it is, because only one dungeon of 99 floors would be very dull, especially since in the quoted article the man went in 19 floors of 99, which for a preview kinda thing is a lot if it were only one dungeon).

Members have five equipment slots and each equipment item has a certain "cost" for the character to equip. The equip capacity - so to speak - goes up with levelups, there was a time where a low level party found a somewhat high level gear (it was in Japanese, I couldn´t tell the effect, but characters had 22 capacity and the accessory had 20 cost, meaning you had to forego all equipment to equip this one). One can equip two attack "methods" - either weapons (with stable/ predictable, or unstable/oscillating damage - like axes in FF12, melee or ranged) which do physical damage or spells which do magical damage (you seemingly cannot choose to cast on one or all with one spell, you have to buy the appropriate variant), if none is equipped you get bare hands - this seems to bypass defenses but hits really small (skeleton types seem to be dreadnoughts, but thanks to this ...), if there are more distinct types I don´t know. One neat thing was the number x1- probably meaning you attack once, which implies that you can get multiple attack weapons. There doesnt seem to be any job system in place

So far I havent seen curing spells or the command ITEM in the battle, but my guess is that you can choose the party abilities in the battle, since once you unlock and equip Fleeing from battle, you can choose that ability in battle. Enemies inflict statuses, and because it was made a big deal that you cannot heal Hp easily, I think prevention of those might be more crucial than ever, since I don´t remember seeing basic items like antidotes (so far I confirmed statuses Gradual Petrify, Petrify, Guinea Pig/ Cavied, Eaten, something about being unable to see map, and more).

I think it is Battle D0 (as in battle D - zero) hexadecimals or similar methinks.

There also seems to be some kind of japanese stream on 12th so I will watch that. My Japanese is so advanced that I can totally understand a lady explaining to her non blood sibling the movement of her parts are truly involuntary without a problem so I will be all right... probably.
Great post, and also thank you for making me even more hyped for this game.
 

justAjohn

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Apr 27, 2020
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Several long streams popped up but I have seen only one (the Famitsu one) and I jotted down some details just as a stream of consciousness

Story is shortly introduced, the town is threatened and townfolk are asking the academy for help. You form a party to investigate.

Heavy armour lowers your speed, the white events are mostly retriggerable (especially useful for healing), monsters respawn after leaving the floor but differently, the log of events has FF events (255 in decimal), changing the leader (1st position) changes on map model (NangaPahr has kinda Guildenstern-esque skirt).

I have seen an encounter with 6 enemies at once, when you are defeated, the remaining party members form a party and you try again, if they die, it is game over, rescuing party members means switching them into party and coming back with them to heal them. Money and unequipped items are inherited by the second party. You do not get special notifications when you are on the spot as the dead party, you need to check and switch.

on the floor 10 there was a shortcut to floor 1.

I spotted an ability to heal in battle (5 uses), on floor 12 there was some dungeon village full of different vendors than on floor 0. You cannot buy 99 of everything, you can only buy available things (e.g. the chimera vendor only offers 3 broad swords or 2 javelins, then that is what you can buy - meaning you cannot grind for equipment).

The famitsu person died when on floor 13 i think he encountered enemy of level 43 while he was level 6 ish. Which means this is some great shit.

even the person says that you should step on every tile on the floor (as that is how you get ability points) EVENTUALLY, but not immediately.

Game saves automatically.