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Knights in the Nightmare is a strategy-shooter role-playing game hybrid from Sting Entertainment, and the fourth episode in the Dept. Heaven saga. It was released by Atlus in North America on June 2, 2009.
Sting released a special edition version of Knights in the Nightmare, called the "Knights in the Nightmare DHE Series Special Pack", and it includes a copy of Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone for the Game Boy Advance.
Battles take place in real time on an isometric grid. The wisp, controlled via the touchscreen, moves around and is how the player gives orders to allied units. When the wisp comes into contact with a unit that can act, the attack must be aimed by moving around the wisp. However, the wisp will be under constant enemy fire. The player must guide the wisp to dodge the shots as well as order the allied units to attack. Normal attacks generate Gems which recharge the Magic Point meter; items can be used to generate Skill Attacks which can actually kill monsters or destroy objects.
Despite having a timer, time is only deducted for charging attacks and when the player's wisp takes damage. Thus the player has "unlimited" time to plan strategies and in this manner resembles other strategy role-playing games.
Permadeath exists as characters have a vitality stat which decreases when they use skills and other special circumstances. Vitality is replenished through leveling up, the Transoul System, and other special circumstances.
The story in Knights is told in both a forward and reverse fashion, with the revelation of past events - what happened at castle Aventheim - being used to decide and explain the events of the present. The plot follows the player's wisp and a Valkyrie, the former of whom recruits fallen knights as allies to battle against monsters. These allies' pre-death stories are shown as glimpses of the Before Crisis events.
- Wisp: The player controlled character. The soul of the recently deceased King Willmgard.
- Maria: A mysterious armor-clad warrior whom the Wisp runs into often over the course of the story.
- Melissa: A fallen angel under Zolgonark's command. She has some relation to Maria.
- Mellia: The counterpart of Maria, met in the second playthrough of the game. (Blue Mode)
- Marietta: The counterpart of Melissa, met in the second playthrough of the game. (Blue Mode)
Sting claims the game has over 200 characters. The vast majority are met during battle and recruited by using items obtained from previous levels.
Screenshots, artwork and music clips for Knights were revealed over two years prior to the game's release on the blog of JaJa, one of the developers.
Satoko Kiyuduki reprises her design role from Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone. Sunaho Tobe, having worked on the first two Dept. Heaven titles, and Yoshinori Iwanaga, having done the monster designs for the initial release of Riviera also return for Knights' illustrations. Shigeki Hayashi, having composed music for both Riviera and Yggdra Union returned to compose the soundtrack for Knights.
Reception to the game has been generally positive, with Famitsu giving the game a 32/40. The game reached sixteenth place in sales in its release week. Knights was also nominated for an excellence award at the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2008. IGN's Mark Bozon awarded the game an 8.8/10, praising the game's depth and complexity. The most common complaint among the reviewers was the tutorial, which is almost an hour long, and its very steep learning curve.
- ↑ Press release confirming release date push-back. Retrieved September 10, 2010
- ↑ Sting Announcement for the Knights in the Nightmare DHE Series Special Pack. Retrieved May 19, 2008
- ↑ Famitsu Scores Archive, retrieved October 26, 2008
- ↑ Media Create Sales. Retrieved October 26, 2008
- ↑ Siliconera Games Recognized As Media Art Advancements In Japan. Retrieved May 29, 2009