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Video Game / Grand Kingdom

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Grand Kingdom is an 2016 RPG for the PS4 and Playstation Vita, developed by Monochrome and published by Spike Chunsoft and NIS America, and is designed to be a Spiritual Successor to Vanillaware's Grand Knights History.

One hundred years ago, the mighty Uldein Empire fell, splitting the world into the four great nations locked in an endless war:

  • Landerth, the kingdom of Knights, lead by the noble queen Gladius Ringland.
  • Valkyr, the nation of warriors, lead by the mighty warrior-king Graham Berngarde.
  • Fiel, the kingdom of refugees, lead by the gentile forest-queen Precia Teller.
  • Magion, the kingdom of mages, lead by the industrious mage-king Julius Wiseman.

Caught in the middle of these never-ending conflicts, you play as a mercenary captain who has been invited to join The Guild, an organization dedicated to those who have no place to call home, who instead embrace the mercenary way of life. By building your own army of customizable Player Mooks, you can accomplish missions for the Great Nations, wherein you send one of your squads to navigate a board-game like world map, occasionally engaging in turn-based battles with monsters and enemy mercenaries alike. You can also sign a contract with one of the nations, which allows you to fight other players' squads in epic PvP "Operations" for glory and prestige. In addition, there's also a single-player campaign that revolves around Uld, a mysterious fifth faction who claim to be the true heirs to the Uldein Empire.

This game contains examples of the following.

  • An Adventurer Is You: There are more than a dozen classes available to recruit
    • Fighters are balanced sword-and-shield melee combatants, good at both attack and defense.
    • Lancers deal extra damage to mounted units and have a long reach, with good defenses but slightly lower movement.
    • Nobles can perform long damaging combos, at the cost of defense and attack range.
    • Paladins carry a shield and lance, allowing them to tank the enemy's shock assault with high damage and counterattack with strong combos and reaching strikes, but are slowed to a crawl with all that armor.
    • Hammer wielding Blacksmiths excel at damaging fortifications and lowering enemy defenses.
    • Dark Knights dual wield swords dealing high damage, with some spell casting as well, but their berserking nature leaves them prone to attack after spending too much stamina wailing.
    • Valkyries have a varied and effective skillset, but without careful preparation of their confusing attack patterns they generally become the ditz and constantly miss.
    • Rogues can dance across the field with their high movement and can easily take out key units or hinder mobility in the enemy formation, but if they're caught by the enemy they have few defenses.
    • Hunters fight from the back field with long range attacks, damaging and disrupting their targets.
    • Archers make use of support skills in addition to their bow for extra versatility.
    • Gunners attack from range with powerful fire arms, but all their abilities are limited by ammo.
    • Shamans cast powerful spells by draining their own health, and buffing their allies.
    • Arcanists use high accuracy magic attacks, while supporting allies with barriers magic barriers and buffs.
    • Dragon Mages dish out and endure massive amounts of damage with their melee and magic affinities, but they take two slots in a team (one for the mage and one for the dragon), and they're easily routed as they cannot move past obstacles, enemies, and their own allies.
    • Medics aid the party with valuable healing and support abilities, and can create special zones to increase the team's survival defenses. However, they have NO combo abilities and have a hard time attacking at close range.
    • Challengers prepare the field by planting explosive barrels which can be detonated by other units for high damage. They're also borderline-suicidal and have few abilities beyond Kamikaze.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Your troop recovers a given amount of HP after every fight depending on how full the assist gauge was.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Squads can only have 4 members in them, with two additional slots reserved for extra mercenaries that you can hire during Operations.
  • Cleavage Window: Given the fact that this is a JRPG, it's kind of a given that you will see well-endowed females at some point. But special mentions go to Queen Gladius Ringland and the Guild shop owner, Marie Marie.
  • Combat Medic: The Medic class can fight back with acid and poison vials and still support her teammates well.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: A possibly unintentional example; players who have signed up with one of the great nations can vote on where they go to war with next. Since the players are all mercenary captains, naturally they're going to vote for whatever brings them the most profit.
  • Downloadable Content: The Japanese version has extra quests and classes available for purchase, which come included in the overseas release, and items to boost your characters' abilities.
  • Forever War: Enforced; due to the PvP metagame, it's a foregone conclusion that the war is never going to end.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Not the case here. Attacks and skills affect friend and foe alike, so you must be careful where and when you decide to do an action.
    • Averted with the use of the Friendly Fire Support Skill.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Classes in this game are restricted to one gender. For example, the special arrows-based Hunter is male only, and the support-based Archer is female only.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: In the Wars. Each of the four nations is run by honest leaders and is earnestly trying to establish land and resources for its people. They need all their civilian population just to bring in food and resources, meaning they have no choice but to rely on mercenaries in order to field an effective armed force. Conflict is the inevitable result of all four nations being very young and having at least two neighbors in a similar position.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Most of the female classes.
  • Interface Spoiler: The camera stops following enemy units once they've turned invisible. However the movement gauge still indicates how far they are moving, and the health bars of other units still light up when they pass, giving you an idea of where they might be. Its not possible to shift into a lane if theres an invisible unit there either.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Grit. In certain circumstances, the player can use two points of the assist gauge to have a character survive a lethal combo with 2HP (more than 1 because nothing says Epic Fail like accidentally killing your near-dead teammate by throwing a healing potion in their face when it would otherwise just deal quickly-healed 1HP scratch damage). The tutorial for this flat-out warns you that there's every chance they'll just be KOed again with their next action, though, so when the chance happens you're given a few seconds to make up your mind.
  • Metagame: Wars act as this. In addition to being able to participate directly, players who have signed a contract with a nation can donate materials to improve artillery and research better weapons, as well as vote on who to go to war with next.
  • Play Every Day: The game encourages you to check in each day with rewards for hitting certain day targets.
  • Player Versus Player: The online component is an interesting example. While players are the agents in the territory-control style battles, individual players never fight head to head. Even if piece collide on the path, both players will find themselves facing an AI copy of the enemy squad.
  • Power Floats: Shamans hover during the move animation in battle.
  • Regional Bonus: The localized version includes the quest and class DLC from the original for free.
  • Shout-Out: One of the many unlockable flags you can give your squad depicts Monokuma.
  • Socialization Bonus: Engaging with the online War mode can get you a lot of money and supplies.
  • Timed Mission: Outside of exploration missions, every mission has a strict turn limit. PvP Operations are even more strict in this regard, since movement takes place in real time.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: The Medic sisters are all identical to each other.
  • War for Fun and Profit: You're controlling a band of mercenaries: war is how they put food on the table.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: The game has a bright, colorful aesthetic, and the horrors of war tend to be ignored, or at least severely downplayed.