Famous people throughout history spanning countries become female heroines in Eiyuu Senki. A Servant of Heaven seemingly falls from the sky and saves Himiko from a group of bandits. Himiko reveals that her divining has revealed to her a vision of a dystopian future ruled by darkness, where countries turmoil in evil. He proceeds to lead Jipang to conquer countries, unify the world and attain world peace, before the forces of darkness breeds.
Eiyuu Senki: Background
Eiyuu Senki is not one of a few, but one of many games which have taken historical figures to be readapted into characters of their own. From games as serious as the strategy RPG Romance of the Three Kingdoms series or Fate Stay Night to something as silly as Osananajimi wa Daitouryou: My Girlfriend is President based loosely off Putin and Obama, it is clear that adapting famous people is one of many ways to give instant familiarity and likeability of a game’s characters to the player.
Players will enjoy being able to battle using their favourite historical figures, with their skills being characteristics of their history and legacy. Nonetheless, this throws a spanner in the works with the H-scenes in Eiyuu Senki. Supposedly, since the famous people have been gender converted to female in the game, it would be appealing to the general male population. But reading lines of “Beethoven: A-ah, ah, ah!” or professing your love to Oda Nobunaga may come off as weird the more you know of their real-life historical backgrounds, and the fact that they are male.
H-scenes aside, the story goes quite linearly and the plot as a whole becomes a little repetitive. The main story goes that the main character conquers this region, then is alerted to another reason why the next region should be conquered, for example, influenced by darkness, pirates attacking, ectera. So the next course of action is to conquer it, or help fend of pirates and gain free land. The overarching plot also does a rather clichéd manoeuver, in that your first ally becomes one of the final enemies to defeat. It would have worked better if we have seen more of the allies’ time with Himiko, to feel the pain of the betrayal.
All is not lost, definitely, since the main attraction of Eiyuu Senki lies not in its main story, but in its mini stories! It has amusing short stories that showcase each historical character’s special traits parodied or exaggerated. For example, Nostradamus was known to write books on his predictions, but in Eiyuu Senki we see her writing, or drawing to be exact, Boy’s Love Manga about the protagonist and other heroines turned as guys. Ironically, that is the ‘original’ gender. We also read of Caesar, who somehow spends so lavishly yet manages to pay off all expenses, of Benkei, who collects 100 weapons to fulfill a wish, and of Yoshitsune’s flat chest curse. Of Billy the Kid’s wildheaded tendencies, of Columbus’ gambling tendencies, and of Tutankhamun’s shy tendency to hide in her coffin. Even the exploration quests without battles that give gold are interesting at times, when you haven’t been to the country before or haven’t heard much about it. Eiyuu Senki manages to excel in this aspect where many others have failed.
Eiyuu Senki: Gameplay
Another plus point for Eiyuu Senki is its battle system. It is very tactical based, with characters laid on a 6×3, 3×3 on the left for your battlers while 3×3 on the right for the opponents. Each character’s class has an appropriate range that it can hit, be it only the row in front of it (Axe) or two (Sword), or only the opponent’s last two rows (Cannons). There are also Magic, Throw, Gun classes, and each skill has its own range. The stats are simplified in single digit numbers, and the item slots allow for just enough tweaking. What I love about this battle system is the lack of levels and exp. Characters gain troops when they win, and troops are both HP and take the place of levels. This means a character that has been wounded previously has lesser troops and thus less damage it can deal. This brings in room for tactical planning. Positioning out of reach of the opponent, using a character at the front line as bait, using weapon type weakness to deal bigger damage, and when to use a strong skill to wipe out foes.
Eiyuu Senki: Ending Remarks
In terms of gaming, yes, this is a game more than a visual novel in the sense that battling takes up as much of an attraction as the mini stories. TENCO does well in combining both in Eiyuu Senki, providing a good gaming experience and well-adapted historical characters that brings humour and likeability in their own characteristic ways. 8/10
P.S.: Eiyuu Senki GOLD is an expanded version with more heroines and updated stats. It’s also a rather good play, but unfortunately there is no English release. Going through walls of Japanese text is a little too tough for me right now, so I’m just letting it rest, peace out.
REASON WHY EIYUU SENKI >>>> FATE universe:
More girls. Hell, ALL girls.
Oh yeah and there’s that blob that is Merlin.
Obligatory Cutest Girl:
Drake. Sailor fuku is the best~