More Bar Stella Abyss gameplay details revealed [Update: New trailer]

Update (January 25)

Nippon Ichi Software has uploaded the second major promotion trailer for Bar Stella Abyss. The six minutes long trailer shows the gameplay features we have also covered previously in motion. You can watch the Japanese trailer right below:

Original (January 22)

Nippon Ichi Software has published more gameplay details for their upcoming roguelike strategy RPG Bar Stella Abyss. While the initial reveal last November already gave a good gist of the title's gameplay features, these more recent articles delve further into each of them.

We have compiled the details from these Japanese articles, and you can read more after the jump right below.

Character Interactions

As you interact more with a certain character, you will eventually get to see attitudes and behaviors that they would usually hide from strangers. You will also eventually learn from these conversations that a murder had occurred inside the bar in the past, which leads the Master to speculate that one of the bar's visitors could have well been the culprit.

When you enter Yoi no Sekai, you can also encounter the bar patrons and recruit up to 2 of them in a playthrough. While the characters that spawn will be randomized, there will be a higher chance that you can meet the last patron you talked with.

By adventuring together with them and giving Presents obtained from the other world, you can gradually increase Bond levels with each of them. Better Bond levels will either upgrade the patron's Stellas or buff the protagonist Samayoi's stats. However, there are upper limits to the levels, which must be unlocked gradually by successfully completing certain conversations with them.

Stella/Gear/Cocktail Upgrades

Each character can use 3 different attacks—Normal Attack, Wide Range Attack, and Long Range Attack—by default. The equipable Stellas will alter these attacks with these two categories:

  1. Range Stella - Alters the attack's range and damage; only one can be attached to each attack. Powerful Range Stellas may also have drawbacks like nerfing the Skill Stellas below or requiring an exorbitant amount of MP.
  2. Skill Stella - Adds additional effects by consuming more MP, and up to three of them can be attached to an attack. The skills will also trigger based on the order they are placed from top to bottom, with the skills that are triggered later becoming even more powerful based on the effects of previous skills.

You can obtain a random Stella by leveling up a character, defeating a powerful enemy covered with aura, and visiting Observatories inside a dungeon. If you have multiple copies of a Stella, you can merge them to increase its level, which will increase its potential but also the MP costs. It is also encouraged to equip as many Stellas that belong to one of the 13 available Constellations to a character, as they will then be able to receive additional Constellation-based bonuses.

Each equipment gear will have a rarity rating that also determines the amount of upgrade slots. You can then find and visit a Blacksmith inside dungeons to add upgrades to the gear if you also have the required materials.

More cocktail types are gradually unlocked as you progress through the story, and all of the around 300 cocktails in this game are based on real-life drinks. Each of them will also have different gameplay effects. For example, the Screwdriver will add more damage when you attack an enemy with a higher level, while Mojito will let you inflict a stronger Poison ailment, and the Picador will give a massive temporary stat boost only in the first turn of battles.

Dungeons and Battles

The player will generally explore dungeons in Yoi no Sekai with traversable maps, but there is a Dream Energy gauge that they need to be aware of. The energy gauge gradually decreases, and if it reaches zero, then the HP of all party members will start to decrease. The player can circumvent this by using certain items or finding a resting spot inside the map.

However, the game also discourages the player from staying on the same floor for too long, as it will eventually blare an ominous siren that spawns the extremely powerful enemy Buzzer Man. Once that happens, the player is more encouraged to immediately move towards the next floor before this enemy appears in sight.

Enemy symbols will appear in the traversable map as optional battle encounters. If the player can attack the enemy before approaching them, they can start the battle with pre-emptive attacks. But if the enemy symbol contacts the player from behind, the reverse will also happen. Some dungeons may also have a special field called Spirits Hole that hosts many enemies but may also reward a Treasure Box when cleared.

During battles, other ally characters also have a probability to trigger a Combo Attack and add further damage if the attacked enemy is also within their attack range.

And last but not least, while the game initially informed that the player would lose all items on a game over, there is actually a method to retain some of them. You will need to find and check whether a Deposit Box exists in the dungeon. That's where you will be able to store valuable items, and they will still exist when you access the box inside the bar.

Bar Stella Abyss will be available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch in Japan on February 29.