Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts creators announce Double Kickstarter for spiritual successors Armed Fantasia & Penny Blood
The core creators behind the Wild Arms series and the Shadow Hearts series have teamed up to launch a "Double Kickstarter" campaign aimed at creating spiritual successors for each of the classic JRPG franchises.
The double Kickstarter campaign will open on August 29 at noon EDT / 9:00 AM PDT, seeking a funding goal of $750,000 to fund both game projects.
The first title is Armed Fantasia - a spiritual successor to the Wild Arms series. The development team is Wild Bunch Productions, comprised of key staff from the Wild Arms series, including creator Akifumi Kaneko, character designer Tomomi Sasaki (Wild Arms 5, Wild Arms XF), composer Michiko Naruke (Wild Arms, Wild Arms 2, Wild Arms 3, Wild Arms 4), and composer Noriyasu Agematsu (Wild Arms 5, Wild Arms XF) [spelled Noriyasu Uematsu in the press release]. The official website is here.
The second title is Penny Blood - a spiritual successor to the Shadow Hearts series. The development team is Yukikaze, comprised of key staff from the Shadow Hearts series, including creator Matsuzo Machida, character designer Miyako Kato, and composer Yoshitaka Hirota - all veterans of the Shadow Hearts trilogy. Additionally, former Capcom composer Akari Kaida (Breath of Fire III) has also joined on to compose. The official website is here.
There are a lot of details regarding the development staff, crowdfunding campaign, and each game below. You can also find initial screenshots & artwork for both Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood in their respective galleries.
The key creators behind the Wild Arms series and Shadow Hearts series have announced they will be running an unprecedented “Double Kickstarter” campaign starting on August 29, 2022 aimed at creating two new, large scale JRPGs inspired by their previous work.
The first title is Armed Fantasia, a dramatic story about a group of Pathfinders and their trusted ARMs who embark on a perilous journey across an expansive Westernpunk world hurtling towards destruction. Lead game design and scenario writing will be handled by Akifumi Kaneko, creator of the Wild Arms series, along with character design by Tomomi Sasaki, and music by Michiko Naruke, Noriyasu Uematsu and Elements Garden, also veterans of the Wild Arms series.
The second title is Penny Blood, a dark and horrific tale set in the shadows of the turbulent 1920s, about an investigator who confronts the threat of evil during the height of international unrest. Lead game design and scenario writing will be handled by Matsuzo Machida, creator of the Shadow Hearts series, along with character design by Miyako Kato, and music by legendary composer Yoshitaka Hirota, also both veterans of the Shadow Hearts series. Additionally, Akari Kaida, formerly of Capcom and now freelance, will be contributing music to Penny Blood.
The two teams will join forces to bring together fans of JRPGs in one, massive “Double Kickstarter.” Through this campaign, both teams will support each other’s projects, help establish new opportunities, and attempt to reach the largest number of fans possible. Backers will have the choice of funding Penny Blood, Armed Fantasia, or both titles to receive rewards from a wide array of choices. Further, the two titles will share a new Combo Meter that will unlock new content for both games – a feature never before seen in a Kickstarter game campaign.
Armed Fantasia tells a dramatic story that unfolds in a world hurtling towards destruction. Players take the role of a group of Pathfinders and, with trusted ARMs in hand, embark on a perilous journey across a sprawling Westernpunk wilderness.
In a far flung corner of this world lies the land of Londenium, where a young man named Ingram loses his grandfather; the final tether binding him to his hometown. With no other reason to stay, and in hopes of reconnecting with his childhood friend, Ingram sets out on a new adventure as a Pathfinder, a branch of adventurers that utilize the powerful ARM (Aether Reaction Maximizer) weaponry to dispose of Anomalies that ravage the land.
Ingram’s journey will lead him to cross destinies with many a new friend and foe, and become embroiled in a monumental battle that’ll strike through Londenium’s past and its future.
Armed Fantasia allows players to experience the spirit of a large-scale party-based JRPG adventure – crossing the great expanse and using their wits to overcome any obstacle in their path.
Featuring a gigantic World Map, players will race, leap, solve puzzles, and feel the momentum of crossing the land, sea and air in high-speed vehicles as they explore and follow the story. The World Map of Armed Fantasia will be packed with things for players to do, rendered with a unique look not seen in other titles.
Dungeon exploration focuses on utilizing each party member's unique Gadget. Players must switch between Gadgets to solve obstacles standing in their way, embracing the sense of victory when they finally open a particularly tricky path. Traps and treasures lie in wait across both the World Map and its dungeons, requiring both the characters’ skills and the player’s wits to solve and escape in one piece.
Battles in Armed Fantasia will be turn-based but maintain a quick tempo, based on the Cross Order Tactics system. Successive character actions play a key role in the Chain Order, and disruptive Force Breaks interrupt enemy turn order, creating engagements filled with tension and suspense that will push players to carefully consider their battle strategy.
“I was charmed by the fact that something like a Double Kickstarter could be a new option for game development, so I decided to lead a new team. But in order for us to pave our way forward, we need everyone’s support!” says lead game designer, Akifumi Kaneko.
With a team of veteran creators from the Wild Arms series, Armed Fantasia aims for an expansive Westernpunk RPG experience with a modern look…and whistling!
Penny Blood presents a world twisted in gothic horror and nightmarish imagery rarely seen in JRPGs. In Penny Blood, players follow the story of Matthew, an investigator who embarks on a dark international probe through the iconic Roaring Twenties, amassing allies and confronting trauma in a world twisted by cosmic horror, malice and mayhem.
Players will circumnavigate the globe, from the USA to Europe and Asia, and explore nations either recovering or basking in the wake of one of history’s bloodiest conflicts, oblivious to the turmoil that brews beneath the surface.
Penny Blood’s story begins with Matthew Farrell, a lone wolf private detective in New York working for the Bureau of Investigation. Despite hating the accursed powers he inherited from his father, he utilizes his fusion transformation abilities to hunt down monsters at the behest of the Bureau.
One day, Matthew is tasked with investigating a strange incident that occurred at a mental asylum in New York. After rushing to the asylum, he finds it teeming with grotesque, rampaging creatures. Utilizing his hidden power, Matthew manages to achieve a narrow victory.
In order to unearth the truth behind the bizarre incident, Matthew's investigation will take him from America to the distant continent of Asia, including Japan and China, as well as to the far corners of Europe. Along the way, he will encounter those who fight for vengeance, those who seek to utilize the aberrant horrors for their own gain, and those who simply wish to destroy. Penny Blood tells the tale of a man who must become that which he seeks to vanquish.
Penny Blood’s overworld maps give a bird’s-eye view of cityscapes and towns that will teleport players to the 1920s, where they will experience the world as it was, unaware of the gruesome events soon to unfold.
From busy streets to haunting sanitariums, players will delve into carefully detailed field maps as they purchase items paramount to their quest, investigate supernatural happenings, and battle stygian monstrosities.
The easy to learn, difficult to master Psycho Sigil battle system combines traditional turn-based JRPG strategy with twitch-trigger reaction time in order to maximize the potential of attacks, keeping players on their toes with every encounter. Players can embrace the darkness within by using Fusion to call upon the abyss and fight fire with fire, harnessing the power of the darkness to hurl demons back from whence they came.
Interactions with the demonic will affect the heroes’ Sanity Points. If players lose too many Sanity Points, their allies will succumb to madness, gaining strength and losing composure. However, that boost in power might be just what is needed to turn the tide in battle.
Returning to the helm as composer is Hirota Yoshitaka (of Shadows Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant fame) to inject a sense of dread and eerie unease befitting of the atmosphere. And accompanying him is Akari Kaida of Breath of Fire 3, infusing a heavy dose of jazz into the Roaring Twenties setting.
“This is my second chance. Chances to make another game like this are rare, so please give me your support,” says lead game designer, Matsuzo Machida.
With direction from Matsuzo Machida, character design by Miyako Kato and music and sound composed by Yoshitaka Hirota and Akari Kaida, Penny Blood promises to sink its claws into players as it revives the darker side of Japanese RPGs.
The Combo Meter
Armed Fantasia and Penny Blood will share a mutual minimum goal of $750,000 that will fund both game projects. However, the campaign will incorporate a never-before-seen “Combo Meter'' that affects stretch goals across both games. Pledges for one game will contribute to that game’s specific stretch goal meter, unlocking new content similar to normal campaigns. But unlike other campaigns, the pledge amount will also contribute to the shared Combo Meter for the same value, meaning the Combo Meter will fill up with support from both games.
As the Combo Meter fills up, backers unlock content that will affect both games. Pledges for one title will not only support the game chosen, but will also help to add exclusive “Combo Meter Content” to not only their chosen game, but also its counterpart. By backing one or both of the games, backers will help build both titles and support other backers too. Clearing goals will share content and talent into the other game and vice-versa.
Each week one of the valiant heroes from each game will face off against a monster. Campaign followers will see five different social media-based goals that relate to an attack, special move, or block. Each monster will have a different number of hits they can take before being defeated. Defeating a monster clears that community stretch goal and upgrades the rewards chosen during pledges.
This cooperative community game spans across both games. If one team is unable to clear its goal by not doing enough hits (i.e. not completing enough community challenges) any hits or cleared goals from the other game carry over and get added to that challenge. This means one community can save the other in a pinch.
The Early-bird Combo reward will allow early backers to pledge for both games at a highly discounted price.