Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes breaks $1.5 million in first 24 hours on Kickstarter
It’s time for another story of a Konami IP being rescued by Kickstarter. Rabbit and Bear studios, made up of industry vets known for their work on the Suikoden, Tales, Castlevania, and other franchises, are coming together to create a brand new spiritual-successor to the Suikoden series after Konami… well… decided to be the Konami that we know today.
The game’s name is Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and it is classic Suikoden modernized for the new age of JRPGs. What’s that mean?
The original Suikoden was an interesting JRPG formula that put you in the middle of a military conflict. You, being the plucky JRPG protagonist that you are, eventually find a base and it’s up to you to fortify that base and build yourself up to become a competent military power. To do that, you need to recruit 108 characters, each that lends something else to your base. You’d gain blacksmiths, item sellers, specialists in boats and cavalry, and of course the all-important elevator. As you recruited characters you would see your base flourish into a fortress town, as you became a more important figure in the war.
The other notable thing about Suikoden is its gameplay. For the most part it played like a turn-based JRPG with six characters, dual techs, and an interesting “spell slot” style battle system. However, every so often you would have to take place in military battles which were a little bit more like grid-based strategy games, or duels which were very simplistic Rock-Paper-Scissors style fighting games. All these different styles of battle were linked to how well you recruited different characters.
Eiyuden Chronicle takes this formula and modernizing it by giving it the Octopath Traveler treatment. By that I mean that the game converts preprinted backgrounds into 3D environments, and uses dynamic lighting against sprites in those environments to create a sense of atmosphere. The sprites are much higher definition than the ones you’d see in Octopath Traveler or even the original Suikoden.
In particular, it seems like this project is taking a lot of inspiration from Suikoden II. Many characters (considering there are going to be 100 of them) have been detailed on the game’s official Kickstarter page, and it seems like we are getting the same sort of red and blue, spunky child versus reserved noble duality we got in that game.
Of course, there are many other characters from many other parts of the world, including a country of beastmen, and afro-futurist society the creators said was modeled after Wakanda in the MCU, and plenty of places that are almost but not quite fantasy Japan. The team has said that they are striving to include all sorts of characters of different cultures, genders, and sexualities in their cast of 100.
Eiyuden Chronicle’s Kickstarter opened yesterday. At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter is just about ready to wrap up its first 24 hours, and it has already raised about $1.8 million, even though it was only asking for around $500,000 to begin with. It has blown through eight stretch goals, adding several mini-games like fishing and cooking to the game, expanding it to other platforms, and even introducing new characters to recruit.
It’s worth noting that the dev team of Rabbit and Bear isn’t just going to use this money to develop the game. They are also seeking help from publishing partners. However, the amount of backing it gets will enable them to show the interest that this sort of game has in the market. As you might imagine, it’s hard to get a modern sprite-based RPG published now that everyone is talking about next-gen consoles and graphics.
If you’d like to contribute to the Eiyuden Chronicle Kickstarter, head on over to their official Kickstarter page. There are plenty of reward tiers yet, and you can even get your pet in the game if you really want to.