Weltorv Estleia - Preview

Can Hudson get it right?

By Drew Cosner

For all of those who liked SaGa Frontier's nonlinearity, but were disappointed with the game's actual execution of total freedom, Hudson Soft's upcoming RPG, Weltorv Estleia, should be an interesting prospect. With Weltorv Estleia, Hudson has attempted to make a completely nonlinear and free roaming world for the player to adventure in and interact with. To begin, you are able to specify just about every detail of your character, such as hair color, physical appearance, height, weight, strength, and even intellectual prowess. Once you have created your ideal character, you can even select from an extensive costume list to cloth your him or her in any fashion you see fit. Hudson wants the player to feel as though he or she is the main character and is himself participating in the game.

Where SaGa Frontier fell flat was in the fact that the player rarely knew what to do next, and this lead to the frustration of wandering around aimlessly. Hudson hopes to remedy this situation with it's specialized Scenario System. You are still free to wander the world of Estleia at your leisure, and no scenario is imposed upon you, but in order to have any fun you have to accomplish something, right? Well, here's how the Scenario System works:
  • First you recieve a key word or phrase from various people that give you a hint about a quest or adventure.
  • Once you have an idea of what to do from the given clues, you proceed to the scenario point where your adventure will take place.
  • Now if you have followed the clues appropriately, you will have discovered a Scenario to enjoy.
In order to avoid the potential boredom and difficulty in having to find a scenario, Hudson has included around 103 scenarios to discover. Some of these are relatively easy, giving you something to do right off the bat, while others are more difficult to find, but if completed will reward you with special items.

In one scenario, aptly titled "Hell's Garden", You are asked by the horsemen of the Imperial Palace to free the spirit of their King, which has been captured by the members of an opposing royal family. When you enter the household of this family, you will meet a woman who is gradually transforming into a monster.

Another example involves saving a woman who is being harrassed in a bar by a large, drunken man. In all cases the outcome of the scenario is entirely up to you as the player, depending on how you choose to handle the situation. Will you just ignore the woman and keep on your way, avoiding a potentially dangerous conflict, or will you try to help her?

Of course, in writing this all sounds fine and good. Actually pulling off such a tall order is difficult, and has rarely been done to satisfaction. Hopefully Hudson can give gamers a rich and exciting world to experience without being too loose and aimless.
You can specify the appearance of your character.
Here you are requested to save the captured spirit of an Imperial King
Will you help this woman, or carry on in your own business?
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