Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk - Mr. Niikawa, (President of Nippon Ichi Software) Interview Part 2/2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 
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Droyna and Luca are two characters that seem to play a huge part in the world of Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, how would you describe their relationship?

Niikawa-San: Basically, Luca is the apprentice to Dronya. Anything beyond that is kind of spoiler territory.

NISA Europe: Ahhh I see.

When exploring the underground dungeon, are players able to use skills/abilities which allow them to access new areas, destroy obstacles or solve puzzles?

Niikawa-San: Yeah! There are a lot of elements like that. The biggest one is probably the “Wall-Breaking” system. Until now, I don’t think there’s been a system like that in any dungeon-RPG, and it really changes everything in the genre. To compare it to Disgaea, it would be similar to how you’re able to pick up characters and throw them, which really changed a lot of things and was really innovative at the time when Disgaea: Hour of Darkness came out. And for the same reason, I feel that the “Wall-Breaking” mechanic in Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk will do the same thing for dungeon-RPGs.

When you break the walls, it’s really satisfying because you don’t necessarily know what lies beyond; it could be a really high-level enemy, so then you would have to ask yourself “Should I continue on, or should I halt?” since it’s a risk. This is the kind of risk and reward feeling you’ll get from using the “Wall-Breaking” mechanic.

NISA Europe: I’ll be looking forward to using that mechanic.

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk seems to have very deep and complex systems. Was there any influence that your past RPG titles played a part in during the design of its systems?

Niikawa-San: Yes, as mentioned earlier this is kind of the next big thing after Disgaea, so the team looked at the volume and depth of Disgaea when approaching Labyrinth of Refrain; which is represented in the final product.

There’s a wide selection of puppet soldier classes at the player’s disposal in Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk. How does the game encourage experimentation with the puppet soldier classes and their abilities, so players can find which of them is suitable to their preferable playstyle?

Niikawa-San: There are definitely a lot of parts that will challenge the player, which will boil down to how they make their party. Labyrinth of Refrain doesn’t have a one set answer to how you have to approach a dungeon, so players will have a lot of fine tuning to do to their party when looking at all the different abilities each class has. This isn’t something players should take into consideration at the beginning of the game, so make sure you choose characters you think look cool or cute to be in your party. But once it gets difficult you can start worrying about that!

NISA Europe: This leads to my next question.

In battle, puppet soldiers are split into two groups (Attackers & Supporters), how does the battle system balance the use of both?

Niikawa-San: The game has a class-based arrangement in which you have some party members that are more suited to attacking, defending, attacking from afar with magic and defending from afar with magic. These characters are all balanced in a way that you’re able to create a balanced party without one aspect of the groups being greater than the other. This part of the game is designed in a way that players won't have to really worry about it that much.

Translation by: Alan Costa