Kinki no Magna (Forbidden Magna) is a very interesting game, not only the game itself, but the history behind its development. Nevertheless, an intriguing one! I could not ask for a better title to make the debut of my new “New Nintendo 3DS”. So, LET’S GO!
Luchs Edward is the manager of “Familie”, an old Inn owned by his family for generations. In the past, Luchs father always told him about how their family have built that Inn in order to keep an old promise to “receive very special guests who are sure to arrive someday, and to treat them as our own family”. For this reason, Luchs’ ancestors never left their small nation located on the Stern Island. Not like this would be a problem for the young manager, since he takes pride in continuing the family’s tradition and enjoys living a peaceful life together with his two childhood friends who help him run the Inn.Since they hardly get any clients, Luchs need to search for “Crystals”, which are mysterious ores used as currency and main energy source in their current society. However, to properly acquire those, it’s necessary to have the right techniques and materials. People like Luchs – who possess neither – needs to venture into caves whenever there’s an earthquake, since crystals often get released from the ground during such occasions.One fateful day, while searching for crystals, Luchs come across a strange altar with a sphere of light floating above it and a giant crystal with a young girl trapped inside. By getting closer to the crystal, three gargoyles suddenly attack him, but after hearing a voice inside his head, the sphere of light flies towards his arm and becomes a bracelet.He uses the power of the bracelet unconsciously to awake the crystalized girl, who glows a number on her forehead and identify him as her master. She easily slay the monsters, but loses conscious shortly after.Feeling it was the work of fate, Luchs brings the girl to his house, but when she regain conscious, she loses all of her memories and starts to get weaker by the second. As it wasn’t enough, monsters start to appear nearby, putting Luchs and his friends in danger.In a desperate attempt to help his savior, Luchs decides to explore even deeper at the same cave. It’s when he finds another girl with a glowing number on her forehead who also identifies him as her master. She also had only fragments of her memories, but she knew how Luchs’s bracelet releases a special type of energy very similar to the energy from crystals, which is the energy she needs to live.By releasing this energy, Luchs is able to cure the two mysterious girls, and by resonating with each other, they are able to remember they actually are 2 of a 7 sisters family.At this point, Luchs didn’t have any doubts that this was the time to fulfil that important promise. Not only he offered those girls to live with him at the Inn, but he also insisted to help them in the search for their sisters. After all, they were already part of his family. However, as it turns out, he was much more involved in this matter than he could ever expect…
Luchs Edward is a very easy-going and kind person who rarely gets angry. Being a very humble man, he insists the girls should not call him “master” and simply call him by his first name instead. He’s infamous for caring so much for his friends to the point where he often gets himself in trouble. This is no different for the case with the mysterious girls, but Luchs knew he just could not leave them alone. For a change, the main character is not a fighter, being probably the weakest in the party, without mentioning his range is very limited. His real strength comes from the many support magic he’s able to cast by using his bracelet.
Charlotte is the first mysterious girl found by Luchs. She likes to be called “Charl”. At first, she is often referred as a “spirit”, but it’s revealed later she is of a unique species known as “Artemis”, being the Artemis No. III. She’s very naïve and is probably the most childish among the 7 sisters as well, but her bright personality give her a strong charisma, and she easily befriends everyone around her. Charl envies and admires Beatrice for how elegant, mature and smart she is, and she wishes to learn how to cook like her, which never ends well. She wields the giant sword “Ten-i-Muhou” to fight, and is among the strongest Artemis.
Beatrice is the Artemis No. II and the second one found by Luchs, being often called “Trice” by her friends and family. A very serious, intelligent and organized girl with great culinary skills. She develops great respect and admiration for Luchs by seeing how dedicated he is with everything he does, which is also why she usually scolds Charlotte, since she thinks her sister causes too much trouble for their master, while she actually envies her for being so honest and charismatic. In battle, she uses the “Stellar Bow-gun”, which gives her the longest range in the group.
Elfriede, nicknamed as “Elfy”, is the Artemis No. V. She is a genius who saves the group many times with her inventions. She was the one who made the weapons used by her sisters, even though she hate weapons. She only made them after a certain occasion when they failed to protect themselves and the people they loved. She loves children and she prefers to use her talents to make toys for them. Elfy has an unexplainable Kansai dialect and fights with the Gatling gun OP4 Vulcan, with which she can easily deal heavy damage.
Gabriele (or just “Riele” for friends) is the Artemis No. VII, which means she is the youngest of the sisters, although she is not nearly as naïve or childish as Charl. Instead, she is a very cocky prankster, although she has an exceptional respect and admiration for her two older sisters. She also comes to acknowledge Luchs not much later, after she notices how much he cares for them. Gabriele fights with a weird suitcase called “Pandora Box” to throw bombs at her enemies.
Diana is the Artemis No. IV and her nickname is “Dia”. She has the spirit of an honorable warrior, which makes her behave very seriously for everything, but she DOES have a feminine side, as she has a passion for stuffed animals, specially bears! Which is why her best friend is Saburo – the bear, with whom she always talks whenever she feels down (Naturally, she also has to play the part of Saburo). She seems to have a bit of anachronism, specially when it comes to female underwear. Diana’s weapon of choice is the spear Kirin, which gives her a pretty long piecing range, but poor horizontal range.
Francesca, or just “Fran” for shorts, is the Artemis No. VI. A tomboy who enjoys fights and pranks. She becomes Gabriele’s arch-nemesis, as she is seen often bullying the poor girl. During battles, she uses special claws called “Scar of Gott”. She has the poorliest attack range among her sisters, but she compensates it with pure strength.
Adelheid’s nick name is “Ade” and she is the oldest Artermis sister, which means she is the No. I. She is considered the leader of the Artemis sisters and is a very responsible person. Adelheid is believed to be the strongest among her sisters, which is a big lie! She isn’t that strong, but her giant sniper cannon “Scooton Absolute” grants her a good advantage with the largest horizontal range in the group.
Amelia is Luchs’ childhood friend. She helps the Inn by providing vegetables from her own farm, and she’s often responsible for the coocking as well. She clearly has feelings for Luchs, but is too shy to make a confession. Everything gets much more complicated with the arrival of the Artemis sisters, since Luchs’ attention starts to focus on them. She knew the sisters would eventually bring trouble for her beloved one, but she couldn’t bring herself to make them leave, since she knew they were not bad people. She knows full well how deeply jealous she is, and she feels disgusted with herself.
Bart is Luchs’ best friend. He’s responsible for selling the crystals Luchs gather at Elenam – the nearby city. A happy-go-lucky simpleton who loves girls of any age or personality. That’s why he becomes infatuated with the Artemis sisters, and he decides to include them on his “Maid-in-Heaven” plan. Nothing can stop this hot-blooded idiot when he’s fired up, since he gets the strength to swim much faster than a ship could sail. Bart is also surprisingly skilled at making clothes, as he was the one who made Maid uniforms for every single Artemis, being even able to finish a uniform in just one night, and always getting the right size! Additionally, Bart is arguably a lolicon, since Riele is the only one who gets a “revealing” uniform.
The main theme is Kinki no Magna is “fate”, as the plot’s structure is built around a series of promises, prophecies and legends. The game starts with a narration asking if someone possesses “the necessary powers and qualifications”. This particular question will be repeated every chapter, and it’s only at the very end of the game when this phrase finally comes into play.There’s also the “Nightmare with Gargoyles”, which refers to a nightmare seen by the protagonist, which involves a great tragedy. And also a popular urban legend at the nearby city mentions that “outsiders shall bring disaster to the city”, which influences the town’s folk to treat the heroines badly.In a sense, one could say this game is not trying to make any plot twist, as the story is constantly giving itself away with all those prophecies. Even so, the game still manages to pull out some surprises, but since the story is not hiding much from you, they don’t make that big of a deal with each big reveal in the plot.Surprisingly, this game is not that much of a slice-of-life, which goes against all expectations, as this was developed by the same team behind Rune Factory. Nobody would expect a story so straightforward and so focused in battles. I could even say this is a case of Crapsaccharine World, since people get killed in this game, and villains die without any chance to redeem themselves. Still, I am a big fan of Summon Night, so I see no problems here!Also: Nicknames for every heroine! Because Japanese people are too stupid to learn 7 different western names! No! That’s is just too much! Their brains would simply explode!
Kinki no Magna had an interesting development circle, since it was in the makings for a long period, until it was almost canceled when Neverland – the studio behind it – filed for bankruptcy. If it wasn’t for Marvelous insisting on finishing the project by hiring the main developers to work at their “head-quarters”, this game might have never seen the light of day.But, if you’re familiar with the Rune Factory series, when you play the finished version of this game, it’s very likely to feel it is not quite “finished”. There are many oddities in the game that give clues to it being originally conceived as something closer to the “life simulation” style from Harvest Moon.There is a huge bulletin board in the Inn’s dinner room, which was probably meant to be used to accept quests from the people staying at “Familie” or the town’s citizens. But wait! What town?As it is, you cannot explore or visit different places, except during battles. But Aside from it, the only field where you can run freely and talk with NPCs is the Familie Inn, but there’s an entire city with many different areas, detailed objects and even NPCs walking around. This city is only used on some few cut-scenes, which is a waste!On the subject, the NPCs from the city are not used too often, and it’s possible to play through the whole game without seeing some of them! Maybe they would have a bigger role if this game had you running around the city to take requests and items that would trigger special events. Events that you would need to use your farm to fulfil.Talking about farms, there’s a giant map you can gain access through the StreetPass function. It’s a really huge field where items sprout from the ground when you met with someone who owns the game.However, there are many things that seem unused here. Like this NPC who is only used in this field and doesn’t appear during any other event through the game.There’s also some curious areas in the same map that could be used for other events or gameplay, like this dock, which would be perfect for a fishing mini game!Maybe in the future, when people become able to open 3DS ROMs, we might find evidences showing how this game was originally meant to be. Until them, I will just keep my speculations…
As stated before, the game is a very straightforward tactics RPG that plays similarly to some Shining Force titles or Phantom Brave in the way how you move your units through the battlefield. The main difference is how enemies can hit each other when they get pushed back by your attacks, making them fall like domino pieces. And since you get an extra action every time you defeat 10 or more enemies with one attack, you get encouraged to defeat them like they were bowling pins! This gimmick is lots of fun! It’s dynamic enough to provide new challenges just by giving enemies with different sizes or new obstacles in the field, and defeating a bunch of peons feels REALLY GOOD!
Luckily, enemies are always summoning weaker versions of themselves that will usually deal only 1 damage point to your characters, they exist only to help you scoring that 10 hits combo!The battle is fast, since you just need to press one button to attack, while special attacks are found inside a special menu.There are few things to do outside of battles. The main thing to do are special events known as “ETR” (EnTRainment), which are a type of “Social Link” with the main heroines, but those are not really optional, as they are connected with the main plot, and there are just a few of them available for each chapter.There are 7 different endings, one for each Artemis. To get an ending, you need to see 3 “ETR” events with a specific heroine, which are triggered by talking with a heroine who got a heart symbol over her head during particular moments in the main campaign.
Since some of those events are only available much later in the game, some endings become impossible to be seen in the first playthrough. But unfortunately, there are very few differences between each ending, as the dialogs and aftermath is basically the same for all of them, which doesn’t give too much replayability.Another thing you can do aside of battles is to take a bath! This will raise your stats temporally for the next battle depending of the type of bath you choose.But depending on certain conditions, you can run into some interesting surprises!Here is some fine examples of the high quality service you can receive in here!
The game uses SD graphics for the most part. Those look like pre-rendered models for me, but it also looks like real-time 3D models with cell-shading effects sometimes. Nevertheless, it’s far from being impressive, but it’s decent enough! Instead of using a text describing the action during events, the SD models are always used, and there are many detailed animations for specific events!The character design is by Ototsugu Konoe, who is now famous for his works with TYPE-MOON. I like his designs! Each character looks distinct from each other, and each one have their own special traits!Something really nice is the animation in the characters portraits! They are always moving! Even inside the status menu, which add life and personality to events. For instance, Beatrice’s animation shows how she compulsively touches her bangs!There is a good variety of backgrounds, it’s just the enough to keep you from getting tired to see the same field during battles or events! Those backgrounds even look to be hand-drawn, and while I know it’s not the case, it still looks darn gorgeous! It even reminds me the hand-drawn backgrounds from the classic Marl Kingdom series!
Unfortunately, this game is very weak in the “voice department”, since this game have very few voices. You will hear characters talking regularly during battles, but during events, you will usually hear only one word being voiced for each phrase, leaving the rest of the sentence in total silence. This takes some impact and atmosphere from events, but it was to be expected, since the same was also true for the Rune Factory games, even on the PS3!
The Music is so great! I really love the main theme “Into the Sky” by Joe Rinoie. It feels kinda romantic as it also makes you ready for some cool magic battles at the same time. The scenes in the opening fit really well, too!The composer is Morita Tomoko, who worked on nearly all Rune Factory games and even some Shining Force games as well! Most of her songs go from enjoyable to excellent! I really want this game soundtrack!
Hey! Do you know what sucks about taking screenshots on the 3DS? You need to use the Miiverse to do it, because it’s the only way! But not everything about the Miiverse is annoying! You can even find some really cute fan-art there! It’s impressive to see how much they can do with the 3DS stylus!Beatrice by capBeatrice & Charlotte by ナギペタFrancesca by ししょー(コーヒー)Sarina by みさわん
I love this game! It sure was really short since I finished it in less than one week, and if I wasn’t as busy as I am, recently, I could have finished it even sooner! However, the little this game gave me was SO GOOD! It made me wanting to play even more! I would love to have optional farming and social stuff to do during my gameplay, just so I could play more of that amusing battle system while learning more about all the characters.By the way: When I play a Dating Sim, I usually find Harems full of heroines I despise, except for one or two. But I love every single character in this game! This is not something that happens too often…But everything ended so abruptly. Well, I guess it can’t be helped, giving the nature of this title’s development. I really wish this could get a sequel in the future, but I think there’s no future for this game, since the studio that originally developed it just died. I don’t even know if this will ever get localized…That’s so sad!Anyway, this was the first game I bought for my New Nintendo 3DS, was it worth? Of course it was! Every single yen paid for it! I recommend this game! It’s great!