Earlier this week, it was announced that Nippon Ichi Software and Vanillaware would be releasing a remaster of 2007’s GrimGrimoire under the title GrimGrimoire OnceMore. Yes, it’s a super-fun title to say ten times fast, but the original title was actually a pretty nifty 2D magical fantasy real-time strategy game; it was actually the first game created under Vanillaware’s current label. It’s about a young wizard trying to avoid reliving the same five days (and the same impending doom).
I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes this morning when I saw that a trailer had gone up overnight (well, Canada’s overnight, during the day on the other side of the world) and knew that I had to share it. So without further delay, here is the first trailer for GrimGrimoire OnceMore:
This updated version includes remastered graphics, yes, but also new systems to make the game more enjoyable (including Great Magic and a Skill Tree). There are also new features, such as a gallery with 90+ illustrations, a Fast-Forward function for battle and story, and a Mid-Battle Save function. One last bonus for those who like their games difficult: hard mode is harder than ever.
The game begins with a happy Lillet, who has been invited to enroll in a magic academy. Students there are all personally recruited, so you know they’re going to be good at what they do. The school is led by Gaminel Dore, who once defeated the Archmage; the campus actually sits where the Archmage’s castle once stood. Lillet eagerly begins studying her first grimoire, but five days later a disaster claims the lives of everyone at the academy. Everyone except Lillet. She travels back in time to the beginning of those five days, repeating them until she can hopefully end the disaster leading to mass casualty. The theme of time-looping fits well with current trends, but knowing that this game is 15 years old makes it just a little more special.
Some information about the game was also released, including character descriptions (and voice-over actors) and information on the game’s systems (both old and new). Let’s start with the characters, shall we?
We already know a bit about Lillet Blan, voiced by Iori Saeki. She’s studious and hard-working with some serious magical skills. She wants to become a great magician to aid her younger brothers. When faced with disaster, time-loops, and mystery, she faces the circumstances with daring acts and calm judgement. She even surprises herself.
Margarita Surprise, voiced by Miharu Hanai, is a super-cute red headed student at the academy. She quickly befriends Lillet. Margarita is from a town that persecutes magicians claiming they’re hunting witches, but she is still carefree. The best part of her? She carries her frog familiar on top of her bonnet. Seriously, how sweet is that?!
I have already briefly mentioned Gaminel Dore, voiced by Teruo Seki, the academy’s headmaster. His claim to fame is defeating the Archmage and sealing the devil that made a pact with him. He founded the academy and invited youths to educate the next generation. Sure, students go missing every now and then, but every magician still dreams of studying under his tutelage.
Finally, we have Advocat, voices by Hiromichi Tezuka. He’s a devil who teachers sorcery. The details of why and how he’s managed to teach at the academy is unknown. Generally a gentleman, his devilish nature does come out from time to time. While not actively collections souls on campus, he will gladly accept any who happen to jump into his hands.
The goal of the game, aside from preventing destruction, is to clear each stage by using various forms of magic. There are four types of magic: Glamour, Necromancy, Sorcery, and Alchemy; each summons its own units. Lillet will summon familiars with the power of the grimoires and protect her own party while defeating the enemies. Familiars come in many forms, like a fairy or a golem, and each has unique abilities. There are two types of familiar, Substance and Astral. Astral familiars are weak to magic attacks but unaffected by physical attacks, making them the perfect companion against physical attack users. Battles are in real-time.
Developed by Vanillaware and published by Nippon Ichi Software, GrimGrimoire OnceMore will be released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 28 in Japan. Our fingers (and toes) are crossed hoping for a western release!