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Preview -
The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch
Previewed on 6/7/06

As if that subtitle wasn't long enough, let me add this ridiculously long caption!

The Legend of Hereos II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch takes place in Tirasweel, and to answer a question bound to be on the minds of many folks: no, players need not traverse the first game to understand Legend of Heroes II.

The Moonlight Witch is, in fact, a beautiful woman who lived in Tirasweel. She could see the future and the past, but eventually, after being blamed for anything bad that happened, she disappeared. Jurio and Chris set off from their village to visit the shrines nearby, but are soon swept up in an overarching plot that leads them to attempt to discover the mysteries of the Moonlight Witch.

The Legend of Heroes II's gameplay will be similarly to the first installment. Enemies appear on screen, and players can avoid encounters by running from their enemies. In an interesting use of enemy AI, the enemies will either pursue the player's party or flee from it, depending on their strength. Once battle has been initiated, players control their parties in a turn-based affair. Players will have all the standard options available--attack, magic, items--and will also be able to fill up a special attack gauge by performing certain actions. This gauge allows players to unleash their fury in extremely powerful special attacks that generally obliterate enemy parties. The player's battle party will consist of four characters, but these four can freely be switched around with the seven total playable characters.

The game allows players to save at any time, except in battles or during plot events, which is a major plus for players who only play their handhelds for short periods of time. The portability of Legend of Heroes has been emphasized here, which is certainly a plus.

Another returning feature are pets. Players can interact with them by feeding them, playing with them, or scolding them. These pets can help in many ways, so players should take good care of them. Players can only have one pet at a time though, so don't expect to have a flock of puppies trailing the party.

Graphically, The Legend of Heroes II looks like a lot of older RPGs. The graphics are pleasing to the eye and very colorful.

Namco Bandai plans to release The Legend of Hereos II on June 20th.



-Joseph Wartick