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Video Game / Battle Chasers: Nightwar

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Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a Western RPG Sequel to Battle Chasers, the brain-child of artist Joe Madureira. Originally campaigned on Kickstarter for $500,000 and funded for more than $850,000, the game is developed by Airship Syndicate, a studio co-founded by Madureira and ex-Vigil Games employees, the makers behind the Darksiders series, and published by THQ Nordic. The game was released on October 3, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC platforms and on the Nintendo Switchnote  in May 2018.

Set sometime after the original comic run, Battle Chasers: Nightwar continues to follow Gully, Garrison, Knolan, Calibretto and Red Monika as they crash-land on the Crescent Isles after their airship is attacked by pirates. Heavily inspired by game-play from Eastern RPGs and Turn-Based Combat systems, Nightwar takes cues from Japanese-developed video games such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy, while adding in western-influenced mechanics, like Randomly Generated Levels and equipment loot.

Mechanically speaking, one of the main focuses of the combat in the game is on buffs and debuffs. Almost every move in the game from both heroes and enemies inflicts one or more of these effects, and it's managing them efficiently that makes up much of the combat strategy.

Tropes for Battle Chasers: Nightwar include:

  • Action Bomb: Enemy Lycelot Bombers have a chance that, when struck, will ignite the bombs on its backpack, exploding and damaging the party and surviving enemies. Simultaneously, these Bombers might take the initiative to turn themselves into one if they take enough damage without their Hit Points reaching zero, damaging only the party.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Depending on the perks selected for characters or effects from accessories, armor or weapons equipped, the active party can regain Hit Points post-battle.
  • All in a Row: On the overworld map, the current party will be shown as this; in dungeons and exploration maps, only the lead character is shown and the rest are not.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Treasure chests in dungeons might be hidden behind breakable walls - one of Gully's dungeon-clearing manuveurs involve smashing these walls apart to reveal paths leading to these chests. Likewise, some enemies may hide in the darkness, but are sensitive to light sources; snuffing out torches, for example, might reveal them.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Each of the characters fulfill very specific roles.
    • Combat Medic: Calibretto, who has the most health restoration abilities in the party, but can still hold its own.
    • Fragile Speedster: Red Monika, thanks to her actions increasing evasion for herself, which she can take advantage of if enemy attacks miss. She can be specced to draw enemy fire like Gully, making her a viable, if risky dodgetank.
    • Glass Cannon: Garrison; his abilities are geared towards dealing as much damage as possible, yet inevitably has the poorest physical and magic defense.
    • Jack of All Stats: Alumon is workable as a Tank, Healer, or Damage dealer, although not as well as a specialist.
    • Red Mage: Knolan, due to abilities tailored to all areas of defensive, healing, offensive and support magic spells.
    • Stone Wall: Gully, as her actions rely on constantly defending herself and ensuring enemies single her out as their primary target.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Shortly before every boss battle is a "boss crystal," which heals the party and refills their mana. If you lose the battle, the party respawn at the boss crystal; with the choice of either trying again, or leaving and training up a bit.
  • Anti-Grinding: Enforced - to prevent the party from becoming too overpowered, members at higher Character Levels than enemies will not receive any Experience Points.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Played with - players can have upwards to three party members; likewise, the same applies to enemies, but there can be more fought if the battle is one with additional waves of them.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: All items in the game (accessoriesnote , armor, consumables and weapons) are tiered using colors - white (common), green (uncommon), blue (rare), purple (epic) and orange (legendary).
  • Combatant Cooldown System: Combat is mostly turn based. When it is a character's turn, you have the choice of either Actions, which are usually less powerful but happen immediately and generate mana, or Abilities, which are usually more powerful, but cost mana and push the character down the Visual Initiative Queue. Note that the wait is for the Ability to trigger, not for you to act again after it triggers.
  • Continuing is Painful: Getting knocked out in dungeons at the highest difficulty resets the entire dungeon.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Characters who reach zero HP are officially unconscious, and can be revived with items during combat. If one or two of them are down at the end of the battle, then they revive on low HP. If all of the party fall, then they respawn back at Harm's Way, minus some gold. The amount of gold is equal to two or three nights in the Trauma Inn, and is described as being dropped in your rush to escape.
  • Defend Command: Every party member has at least one action that's defensive in nature, blocking the next enemy attack that will lower damage dealt; additional effects, such as gaining Overcharge, might be applied defending on that character's defend-based action.
  • Devour the Dragon: C'drall does this to the Dark Lady near the end, forcibly turning her into his host.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: In an interview included in the Gameumentary documentary video funded by the Kickstarter, Joe Madueira admits that Nightwar started life as an original project. However, early on in the project, he decided that the Battle Chasers characters and setting were similar enough to the ideas and concepts he wanted to use to be worth including in the game. Nevertheless, the game's setting, the Crescent Isles, are mostly isolated from the original setting and events from the comic book.
  • Door to Before: If you win a boss battle, the boss crystal can teleport you out of the dungeon.
  • Experience Booster: Not only does one effect of fountains grant this temporarily for the next three battles, but good performance in combat rewards players with extra Experience Points, such as "Overkill", defeating two or more enemies using one action/ability/Burst, finishing battles as quickly as possible and taking no damage at all.
  • Fight Woosh: Of the shattering glass type.
  • Fishing Minigame: Fishing spots appear in every dungeon, and there are a few non-dungeon areas in the world where the player can fish as well. Fishing usually grants the player with meat that can be traded for Shadow Coins, which can be spent for unique rewards.
  • Gamebook: You can find a magic one in the Deadheart dungeon. It has a small choice of routes for confronting an evil sorceress, and your choices determine your loot. You can only play it once per attempt on the dungeon.
  • Guide Dang It!: Finding the special parts for ultimate weapons. Here's Red Monika as an example. Step one: complete a maze within a demanding time limit, to get the first map in a chain which leads to one part. Step two: go fishing in a unique spot and catch a special fish, which drops the other part. This isn't even the worst one: some characters' weapons require parts from random drops.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Tackling dungeons and completing them at the highest difficulty will reward players with better items and loot.
  • Hub City: The town of "Harm's Way"; not only is it the First Town in the game, but it's the only town; justified since Nightwar takes place on the entirety of a large island.
  • Item Crafting: Like most RPGs, a certain number of materials are necessary to craft equipment and items. However, its success is based on a percentage of materials used; it's entirely possible to craft something at low percentages by not using the mandatory number of materials required. Simulataneously, using more materials than needed will raise the crafting success beyond 100%, upwards to 300%. Doing so will turn the equipment or item into an epic-tier.
  • Jiggle Physics: Varies depending on Red Monika's model and outfit.
    • She doesn't jiggle during battles when wearing her default outfit. However, she has a much more detailed model for special attacks, and in the animation for "Assassinate" her breasts sway from side to side in her bikini top.
    • Her unlockable "Dark Lady" outfit shows underboobs, and she jiggles very noticeably in that. Oddly, there is less movement during the special animations.
  • Lazy Backup: You can only have three heroes in the active party. You can change the party when you enter a dungeon for the first time, which implies that all six are out together, but the other three disappear until you either restart the dungeon or go back to base.
  • Leaked Experience: Characters who join the party join at a similar level to existing characters, but only the active party gain XP, so if you want to keep all characters at the same level, you'll have to do a lot of grinding.
  • Limit Break: The "Burst" gauge can reach up to three levels; it can be increased by the party performing actions and abilities, with each character having a specific Burst technique at level one, two and three.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Styled as Battle Chasers Nigh†war (with a dagger) on the cover art.
  • Mirror Match: The party meet Shadow versions of themselves as the final boss of The Manarifts.
  • Monster Compendium: Defeating enough enemies of one type will unlock their respective abilities, item/loot drops and stats in the bestiary. There is also a separate "Fishiary" for fish caught in the Fishing Mini Game.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Red Monika. She goes into battle in an outfit that leaves very little to the imagination.
  • New Game Plus: Characters lose all of their gear, but keep learned abilities and perk points. The characters who are found over the course of the first run are available as soon as you reach the inn in Harm's Way. The general difficulty level is higher, and there is a new "Mythic" difficulty for dungeons.
  • No Stat Atrophy: Averted; it's possible to achieve stats below zero into negative values by equipping accessories, armor and weapons that decrease them.
  • Notice This: Barrels and crates in exploration areas will sparkle, denoting that players can search them for gold, loot and/or materials. This also applies to books and parchment scattered in the environment regarding lore entries.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: Each of the Burst animations; they cannot be skipped at all. Thankfully, they don't last more than a few seconds each.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Gully's gauntlets give her the ability to beat the hell out of enemies well over twice her size.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: Enemies appear on the overworld map, situated at designated locations; players can either engage them or not as they see fit. Meanwhile, enemies in dungeons will move around and directly confront the party if detected.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: Zigzagged with "Overcharge" - party members earn Overcharge by performing actions, which increases the Mana gauge beyond its maximum threshold. The more powerful "abilities", on the other hand, consume Overcharge first before using the character's mana. However, Overcharge does not carry over into subsequent battles (unless the current battle involves more than a wave of enemies), thus players are encouraged to use abilities as much as they can when they have enough Overcharge. Complicating this is that a few characters have abilities that allow a portion of Overcharge to persist between combats, or provide bonuses for using it instead of standard mana.
    • Additionally, the standard version of this trope is in effect. Calibretto is the only character who can heal outside of combat with no strings attached, while Alumon can heal a bit if he hits an enemy with one of his dungeon abilities. Other than that, the party must rely on healing items to remove debuffs and heal HP while in a dungeon.
  • Save-Game Limits: There is only one save file per playthrough.
  • Sequel Hook: When the game ends C'drall has been defeated, but Verus is still at large, and the party acknowledge that he must be defeated next. Roll credits!
  • Shout-Out
    • Completing battle with Garrison in the party and he might say "You were unwise to lower your defenses".
    • Fighting the bandit messenger early in the game as he recites dialogue from A New Hope where the disfigured cantina patron threatens Luke.
    • Pre-combat dialogue for Lycelots might include "We shall rend and tear", a reference to the memetic Catchphrase "rip and tear".
    • A caged bandit in the Path of Fangs offers to open a chest in exchange for freeing him, stating "Lycelots hate it when you do this one simple trick," a reference to the "Trainers Hate Him" meme of the 2010's, as well as click bait in general.
    • Before fighting the Sludge Mound under the Harm's Way inn, it will taunt the party by saying "What impudence! Humans, you shall face your trial by the gods!", a better-translated version of one of Gal Agiese's taunts from Magician Lord.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Party members have access to two individual skill trees where players can spend points to unlock perks providing passive stat bonuses or give actions and abilities additional effects. Spending enough points on one tree will unlock "masteries", granting that character more bonuses. Additionally, perks can be unselected on skill trees, allowing players to mix-and-match however they please without the need to "respec" perk points.
  • Status Effects:
    • Arcane Sickness: Target takes more magic damage.
    • Bleed: Affected target loses Hit Points at the beginning (or sometimes end) of its turn; additional Bleed can stack for more damage.
    • Chill: Lower target's Haste rating; can stack for additional effects.
    • Curse: Affected target is dealt damage at the start of its turn; can stack for additional damage. Occasionally has additional effects such as massive damage at the end of a set number of turns.
    • Ignite: Affected target is dealt fire damage at the start of its turn; can stack for additional damage.
    • Poison: Affected target is dealt poison damage at the start of its turn; can stack for additional damage.
    • Stun: Target loses their next spot on the turn order; they cannot be stunned for three more turns.
    • Taunt: Forces a certain number of attacks to focus on the caster.
    • Sunder: Lowers physical defense.
  • Status Buff:
    • Attack Up: Has a bonus to damage.
    • Counter: The next attack (from a limited choice pool) has a huge bonus to damage.
    • Evade: Increases the Evade (miss) chance of attacks.
    • Haste: Increases how often a character gets their turn.
    • Shield: Negates a certain amount of damage to the character.
    • Stealth: Cannot be targeted by single-target attacks while in stealth.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: The ultimate Limit Break of the skeleton W.K. Killington is to launch into a long, long, and wandering speech about the nature of violence. All of the player characters start Catching Some Z's while repeatedly suffering heavy damage while the boss is talking. An unprepared party or player can experience a Total Party Kill before the speech is finished.
  • Turn-Based Combat: Unlike the majority of Role Playing Games, Nightwar displays the turn order of the next party member or enemy, allowing players to plan ahead on what to do next.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: When the party find Knolan:
    Gully: Knolan! You're safe, but you were in a barrel! Do we want to know?
    Knolan: Nope. You don't.