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Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (Working Title) is an upcoming Strategy RPG from Square Enix. Touted as the next entry in the "HD-2D" series following the success of Octopath Traveler, the game is scheduled to release on the Nintendo Switch in 2022. A preliminary "Debut Demo" was released on the Switch's eShop the same day of the game's reveal, February 17th, 2021. Similar to Octopath Traveler, feedback from this demo will be used to shape the game during the rest of its development.

The game is centered on the continent of Norzelia, ruled over by three nations: Glenbrook, which controls the continent's river, Aesfrost, which controls the continent's supply of iron, and Hyzante, which controls the continent's supply of salt. The continent's limited resources led to the three nations becoming embroiled in a gruesome conflict known as the Saltiron War that was only brought to an end by a truce between the nations.

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However, after decades of fragile peace, war threatens to engulf Norzelia once again. Serenoa Wolffort, heir to the House Wolffort and ally of Glenbrook, sets out with his allies, Childhood Friend Prince Roland of Glenbrook, his betrothed Frederica Aesfrost, and loyal advisor Benedict Pascal, to protect Glenbrook and save the continent from another era of bloodshed, in the process becoming entangled in a dark web of political intrigue and deceit.

The game's key mechanic is "conviction", a three-sided Karma Meter (hence the working title) based around three factors: Utility, Morality, and Liberty. Responses to other characters via a Dialogue Tree can influence Serenoa's disposition towards a specific factor, which can alter the story's progress and what kinds of characters will join the party. In addition, at critical turning points the party will vote on major decisions using the Scales of Conviction, during which Serenoa can gather information and use it to attempt to influence his allies' decisions, potentially causing a drastic turn in how events unfold.

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The game's reveal trailer can be found here.


This game and its demo provide examples of:

  • Actually Four Mooks: Somehow inverted in the demo for both the heroes and the villains. Chapter VII clearly states that House Wolffort and Aesfrost both sport substantial and powerful armies; however, in actual gameplay, the player's "army" consists solely of the playable cast, and the Aesfrosti forces are just Avlora and a manageable number of mooks. Even more bizarre is that Wolffort is stated to have suffered heavy losses as a result of the battle regardless of how many units you actually lose.
  • All-Loving Hero: The trailer introduces Frederica with the line "Those who respect the liberty of all." Also, in the demo, she tends to respond to Sadistic Choices by wanting to find another way instead of making sacrifices. She's notably one of two people who by default refuses to hand over Roland, the other being Hughette.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: While the demo leaves the Karma Meter invisible to dissuade players from "gaming" the meter, making any decision that has an effect on the meter plays a unique "scales" animation to alert the player that their actions have resulted in a change, rather than simply making the player guess which actions have an effect and which don't.
  • Arc Words:
    • The word "conviction" recurs often in both the reveal trailer and the demo.
    • The phrase "chosen path" comes up often in the demo as well, reflecting the Story Branching aspect of the game.
  • Arranged Marriage: Serenoa and Frederica were betrothed some time before the demo begins, and some dialog indicates that the invasion happens on the day their wedding was supposed to be held.
  • Back Stab: In the demo, attacking a unit from behind always deals a Critical Hit and awards a Kudos bonus for doing so.
  • Background Music Override: If you choose to fight Aesfrost in the demo's Chapter VII, you'll come face to face with their top general, Avlora. At the start of the fight, she'll simply stand in the back and let the mooks have their way with you. However, if a unit gets close enough to rile her, she'll start going on the offensive and the music will change from the usual triumphant battle theme to a very tense and urgent theme. Quite fitting, considering it's basically impossible for any of your units to best her in single-man combat as she'll rip your units to shreds if given the chance.
  • Badass Boast: In the demo, if the vote decides to fight back against Aesfrost, Serenoa declares that "We surrender Prince Roland to no one! The Aesfrosti shall get our blades between their ribs, and thank us for the honor!"
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Defeat Avlora in combat during the second battle of the demo, and she still manages to retreat. Thankfully, this trope also works in your favor, as the game averts <Hero> Must Survive regarding Roland.
  • Bring Help Back: At the end of the demo, if the player chose to protect Roland, Benedict has Anna go to Hyzante to request aid.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Before the second fight in the demo, House Falkes gets a Rousing Speech and declare that they're marching off to fight at House Wolffort. They don't show up to help if you fight the Aesfrosti. In fact, they only do appear if you decide to fight them.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: In the demo, Serenoa must be deployed for all battles.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The demo has grid squares colored differently if an enemy unit can attack that unit while it's on that square. Blue squares mean that the unit is safe from harm, while purple squares mean that it can be damaged.
    • In the demo's world map, territory controlled by Glenbrook is highlighted green, territory controlled by Aesfrost is highlighted red, and territory controlled by Hyzante is colored purple.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: In the demo, whichever boss you fight in Chapter VII has this. Avlora is totally immune to all status effects (but can still be insta-killed by the booby traps in Wolffort), while Landroi is immune to blindness and provocation (but can still be put to sleep and paralyzed).
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When fighting in a cutscene, Avlora has a powerful technique complete with a pillar of glowing fire. She does not use it in gameplay, where she just has a high attack and Contractual Boss Immunity.
  • Darker and Edgier: The trailer and demo make it clear the game is more grim and serious than any previous game made by the team. The demo itself has several important characters die, and the main character is forced to make a Sadistic Choice almost right away.
  • Decided by One Vote: In the demo, if you only change one person's mind from "surrender Roland" to "protect Roland", and then vote to protect Roland yourself, this will cause the Scales of Conviction vote to become a 4-to-4 tie. However, since you're playing as Serenoa, the lord of House Wolffort, you'll be chosen to cast the "tiebreaker vote", which you can then use to make the votes 5 to 4 in favor of whichever you choose.
  • Deus Angst Machina: For how short the demo is, the story really shits on Roland. Aesfrosti forces invade his home and murder his entire family except his sister, his loyal friend Ser Maxwell falls in battle and appears dead, and he's forced to flee with Aesfrosti forces coming to kill him. It gets worse if the heroes decide to surrender him to Aesfrost in Chapter VII, as he is forced by the Archduke to send his own friends to kill their allies, and ends up in gaol with the Archduke intending to order his execution.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the demo, if you successfully convinced a character to change their opinion on what to do about Roland, only to then pick the option they would have chosen originally, the characters you spoke to will react to your decision both in text and in flavor audio lines, in most cases being confused or annoyed by your seemingly inconsistent choices. Benedict, for example, will outright express his disappointment if you convinced him to reconsider only to then decide to hand Roland over anyway. In particular, Erador is rightfully upset at you for doing so, being the only member to start off undecided, and he accuses you of setting him up for failure.
    • In the demo, if you decide to not use the traps laid out in the Wolffort city after bringing it up as a way to even the odds, the cutscene after will have the characters acknowledge their victory without having to sacrifice any of the city to do so, with Serenoa expressing relief he was not forced to use a Godzilla Threshold.
    • In the demo, if you somehow end up in a situation where the votes are evenly split, the game will account for this by invoking Decided by One Vote, since as the ruler of House Wolffort, Serenoa has the authority to decide.
  • Dialogue Tree: In the demo, characters with "!" icons over their heads can be given one of three responses; depending on what kind of answer Serenoa gives, it will influence the Karma Meter and potentially alter the game's story. During the Chapter VII Persuasion Phase, you can persuade characters toward a specific decision in much the same way; two generic responses are available by default, but sleuthing around to gather intel can unlock an additional 3rd option that can potentially — but not always — have a much greater influence on your allies. For example, Frederica's unlocked option will fail to make her consider surrendering Roland whatsoever; only insisting The Needs of the Many will do so.
  • Dirty Coward: The demo's narrative notes House Telliore to be quick to bend to higher authority if it means saving the skin on their backs, a stark contrast to House Falkes who is loyal to Glenbrook to the bitter end. If the party chooses to surrender Roland in Chapter VII, Telliore surrenders itself to Aesfrost as well, and the narrator notes that Telliore has their heads buried so deep in the sand that they politely ignore that the Falkes countryside was razed by their own men in the wake of battle with House Wolffort.
  • Domino Mask: Ser Maxwell is seen wearing one in the demo. The bloodstained mask is later found by Wolffort scouts and handed over to Serenoa and Roland as proof that even The Dawnspear has fallen in battle.
  • Downer Beginning: The demo begins with Glenbrook's capital already having fallen to Aesfrost's surprise invasion.
  • Draw Aggro: In the demo, Erador's Provoke ability allows him to force enemies to attack him above all else.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the demo, various units are weak to different types of damage, including Fire, Ice, Thunder, and physical damage. Exploiting a weakness deals more damage than usual and earns free Kudos.
  • Falling Damage: In the demo, using skills that have a knock-back attack while on a high enough spot will cause the person to fall off and take extra damage.
  • False Flag Operation:
    • Gustadolph invades Glenbrook under the pretext that Glenbrook is responsible for the murder of his cousin Dragan, thus breaking the truce. The heroes claim they saw Gustadolph arrange the death of Dragan instead, but decide not to reveal this publicly because it would be useless with the war already started.
    • If the party agrees to surrender Prince Roland, they will attempt to parlay with House Falkes in an attempt to avoid a battle. Unfortunately, right before Serenoa can meet with the House, Aesfrost's army shows up at Falkes's doorstep. The Lord interprets this as a dirty trick by Wolffort and attacks the party before deliberations can even take place.
  • Fight Fire with Fire: In the demo, Hughette has a passive debuff called Hawk's Bane that increases the damage she takes from Bows despite being a Bow user herself.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The demo has the elements of fire, ice and lightning form a Geo Effects combo. You either use fire magic to set the land ablaze and then ice magic to cool the fire into puddles of water, or use ice magic to freeze the land and then fire magic to melt the ice into water. You then use lightning magic to fry anyone standing in the water.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Zigzagged in the demo. Your basic magic attacks will not strike allies; using lightning magic on water, however, will.
  • From Bad to Worse: The demo gives you the option of choosing whether or not to surrender Roland to Aesfrost. Doing so has severe consequences; Aesfrost captures both the Prince and two of the three High Houses, then the Archduke forces Roland to send Wolffort to attack House Falkes. Falkes destroys the entire countryside in the ensuing battle, and promptly after the party discovers that the Archduke intends to have Roland executed for his "crimes".
  • Geo Effects:
    • The game's trailer places emphasis on manipulating the environment to your advantage, such as igniting dry grass with fire magic, casting ice magic to have the fire melt the ice into water, then casting lightning magic to electrify the water and deal Area of Effect damage to all enemies standing in the resulting puddle. Another instance involves using fire magic to burn down a house on the field to clear a path.
    • The demo places heavy emphasis on height as an advantageous property. Units with ranged weapons like Bows can gain additional range while attacking from a tile higher than other targets. Serenoa's Hawk Dive ability gains a scaling damage boost depending on the height of the tile he's standing on relative to that of the target's, and Anna's Surmount allows her to expend an action to move to an adjacent tile no higher or lower than 15 height units from her current tile.
    • The demo also has Corentin, whose passive ability "TP+ on Ice" gives him an additional TP every turn if he's standing on a Frozen tile.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the demo's Chapter VII, during the chapter's Persuasion Phase you can learn from a guard about House Wolffort's "secret weapon", a special attribute of the mountain that has the power to repel any attacker. If you want to avoid surrendering Roland to Aesfrost, you can use this knowledge to greatly sway most party members over to your side. If the party chooses to fight back, Benedict reveals that the "secret weapon" involves flooding the mountain's channels with oil and setting it alight, causing mass destruction and harming both friend and foe alike. Frederica and Roland are understandably horrified that their backup option is destroying the land of innocent people and putting their lives at risk, but Benedict and Serenoa remind them that this is the choice they've made. Can be subverted, as you don't have to make use of this in order to beat the scenario, and the characters will show relief that they didn't need to resort to this if you manage to do so.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Ser Maxwell in Chapter VI is AI-controlled, focused on attacking enemies that spawn in behind the rest of the party during their retreat.
  • Hero Antagonist: In the demo, if you choose to capitulate to Aesfrost, Lord Landroi Falkes takes this role. He is just a loyal subject of the king who is opposing you because you buckled the knee to save your own hide and are now serving invading marauders.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • At the end of the demo's Chapter VI, Maxwell decides to stay back to hold off Aesfrost's troops while Serenoa and his party escape down the river on a boat. He is seemingly struck down by Avlora, though the game invokes Never Found the Body shortly after.
    • Later on in Chapter VII, Roland wants to give himself up to Aesfrost to protect House Wolffort and his friends from further bloodshed. While a majority of the party is in agreement, if Serenoa gathers the right intel, he can make Roland buckle and choose to fight back.
  • High Priest: Sorsley Ende, one of the Sainty Seven, Guardian of Salt is a very influential political figure of the Holy State of Hyzante. He is planning to use the situation in Glenbrook for his own gains.
  • Home Field Advantage: Depending on what you decide to do with Roland in the demo:
    • The House Wolffort field gives a slight upper hand to the player; they start on higher ground and have access to House Wolffort's secret weapon. However, enemy archers start on rooftops that are otherwise difficult to access for grounded units.
    • The House Falkes field is substantially tougher; the enemies have the height advantage this time, and the bulk of their forces consists of archers and battlemages who can wittle away at your units with very little in the way of counterplay. Not to mention the boss is also an archer who will not hesitate to tear holes through your team once he gets going.
  • A House Divided: Downplayed. In the demo, the cast are divided on what to do about Roland, causing tension between more or less everyone present. However, the presence of the Scales of Conviction allows them to mostly settle their differences.
  • An Ice Person: In the demo, Corentin and Aesfrosti mage units.
  • In Medias Res: The Debut Demo starts at Chapter VI, with Aesfrost launching a surprise attack on Glenbrook and forcing the protagonists to flee with the last remaining heir to the throne, Prince Roland.
  • Info Dump: Due to the whole In Medias Res bit in the demo, the demo's introductory cutscene comprises a relatively lengthy explanation about the game's setting, the backstory, and the events immediately leading up to Chapter VI, where the demo picks up.
  • Isometric Projection: In the trailer and demo, the default view is isometric, but players have free camera control and can even swap to a top-down view.
  • I Want Them Alive!: In the demo, Gustadolf wants Roland surrendered to him alive, and Serenoa can use this as an argument to convince his companions to capitulate.
  • Karma Meter: The trailer explains that the game uses an unconventional variant; instead of a traditional "good/evil" or "law/chaos" meter, TRIANGLE STRATEGY features a meter with three ends: morality, liberty, and utility, none of which are inherently good or bad choices. Decisions made at various points in the game contribute points to an invisible meter that can influence progress later on.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the demo, the proponents of surrendering Roland point out Aesfrost's significant military advantage and claim that to try to fight back would only get them and the civilians they have a duty to protect killed.
  • Logical Weakness: In the demo, the Aesfrosti units, who come from a land of ice and snow, are weak to fire damage.
  • Mana Meter: The demo has TP. At the start of every turn, a unit gains 1 TP; for a unit to use most of its abilities beyond its normal attack, it must have TP to burn as a cost. Some units have the ability to gain back additional TP conditionally, such as Frederica, who gains a TP after defeating an enemy, or Corentin, who gains an additional TP at the start of his turn if he's standing on a Frozen tile.
  • Meanwhile Scene: In the demo, Side Stories are small cutscenes that occur in other locations that the party currently are not at. They provide world building to show how the rest of the world is being affected.
  • Nintendo Hard: Much like Square Enix's prior Bravely Default II demos, Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY's demo difficulty is higher than what players can expect in the final version of the game.
  • Never Found the Body: Maxwell is seemingly struck down by Avlora. However, his spear and body are not found later by one of the Wolffort scouts.
  • Off with His Head!: In the demo, King Regna is executed by beheading.
  • Optional Party Member: In the demo, you can optionally recruit Julio, Medina, and Ezana by viewing side stories. Which side stories are unlocked for viewing are wholly dependent on the invisible karma meter, but it is possible to unlock all three of them in a single playthrough. Corentin is also implied to be planned to be an optional party member in the main game (not in the demo, though, where he is mandatory) as he does not take part in main story events and can be found with other optional recruits (but not main characters) in the Encampment.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Downplayed in the demo. Crown Prince Frani predeceases his father King Regna by a few days.
  • Out of Focus: In the demo, any of the optional characters, and Corentin, have no involvement in the main story and simply are there after you recruit them. They can be spoken to in the Encampment, but have no story relevance.
  • Pragmatic Hero: The trailer introduces Benedict as a representative of "those who pursue pragmatic utility". In the demo, he is perfectly willing to advocate ruthless actions that he believes will serve the greater good such as throwing Roland under the bus to protect the Wolffort demesne or lighting the castle town on fire to slow the enemy advance.
  • Pretext for War: In the demo, Gustadolph claims that King Regna attempted to steal the riches of the Grand Norzelian Mines and murdered his cousin Dragan as a pretext for his invasion.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Ser Maxwell in Chapter VI isn't invincible but he's far stronger than the rest of the party, serving as the rearguard while the others retreat toward the bridge.
  • The Quisling:
    • The Royal Advisor Patriatte is extremely quick to suck up to the Aesfrosti, acting more as their personal servant than an actual advisor.
    • Lord Telliore wavers on this once he hears of the Aesfrosti invasion. He willingly joins the Aesfrosti if House Wolffort capitulates but remains on the fence if House Wolffort resists the Aesfrosti army, though the demo ends before his plan at the end is revealed.
    • Serenoa himself can choose to be this by handing over Prince Roland to Aesfrost without a fight, even if he does so reluctantly, justifying it to himself that he's doing it to prevent more harm from coming to Glenbrook. However, the Aesfrosti are more than happy to force House Wolffort to do their dirty work like ordering them to put down their own countrymen in the rebellious House Falkes.
  • Red Baron: In the demo, Ser Maxwell is known as the Dawnspear for his prowess in battle.
  • Required Party Member: In Chapter VI of the demo, Roland must be deployed.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Frederica is the daughter of the royal family of Aesfrost and in the demo happens to double as a well-trained mage who specializes in fire magic.
    • Likewise, Roland is the second prince of the royal family of Glenbrook and the nation's last surviving heir. The demo also shows that he's very skilled on a horse and packs a damn wallop with a lance.
  • Sadistic Choice: The demo's Chapter VII has the party facing a particularly cruel dilemma: hand Roland, Serenoa's Childhood Friend and last heir to the throne, over to Aesfrost to protect House Wolffort and in the process submit to the enemy's rule, or protect Roland against nigh-insurmountable odds and put both their own lives and the lives of everyone in House Wolffort at risk for the sake of honor and vengeance.
  • Salt the Earth: If you choose to capitulate to Aesfrost, Landroi orders the Falkes demesne burned to the ground rather than see Aesfrost take it over.
  • Scenery Porn: Just like Octopath, the game's "HD-2D" artstyle does an amazing job creating lush visuals that emulate SNES and PS1 era RPGs.
  • Spare to the Throne: In the trailer, Roland is introduced as the second son to Glenbrook's royal family. This gives him relatively high leeway as a prince since he is not succeeding the throne, but this later comes back to haunt him after Aesfrost kills off most of the royal family and puts a lot of pressure on him as the last surviving heir.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The "HD-2D" aesthetic of Octopath returns, with 16-bit sprites backed by 3D-modeled settings and modern visual effects.
  • Squishy Wizard: Enemy Military Mage units in the demo are weak to physical attacks and have low HP. The playable casters are also rather low on HP, though they lack the physical vulnerability.
  • Story Branching: The trailer promotes player choice as a vital influence over the game's plot. The demo gives a taste of this in various ways, such as your Dialogue Tree choices influencing the invisible Karma Meter to determine what optional characters can join you right before the Chapter VII fight, a major vote in Chapter VII where the party decides whether or not to turn Prince Roland over to their enemies, and the drastically different consequences of the result.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: Apparently the reserve divisions with which Avlora is making a three-pronged attack in the demo consist of about three men each.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The Scales of Conviction in the demo allows the player to hand over Roland, and you can Kick the Dog by convincing him or other people to not do so. If you say the right things, you can even make said vote an unanimous decision.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In Chapter VI of the demo, if Roland bites it, it's an immediate Game Over.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: This comes strangely from Avlora if you defeat her by using the secret traps against her forces. She will call you and your allies bastards for going so far to win the fight.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In the demo, if you persuade your allies to vote one way during the Scales of Conviction vote only to vote against them, they will castigate you; either appalled that you toyed with them or questioning the strength of your own convictions.
  • The Window or the Stairs: In the demo, when faced with the Sadistic Choice of whether or not to surrender Roland, most of the characters think it'll be easier to capitulate to the Aesfrosti. It also seems like the chance to avoid fighting Avlora. Doing so means you lose Serenoa's childhood friend, you have to fight the army of a former ally, and the country is devastated. Fighting to defend Roland gives a much more hopeful outcome.
  • The Worf Effect: In the demo, Ser Maxwell is known in Glenbrook as one of the most powerful warriors in Norzelia, worthy of the nickname "The Dawnspear". At the end of Chapter VI, he launches a mighty attack against Avlora's elite squadron, wiping out most of them in a single blow. Unfortunately, Avlora herself still stands, and smites Maxwell with an even stronger attack that gravely wounds him, though it's ambiguous if he is killed.
  • You Have Failed Me: Gustadolph's siblings threaten Avlora with this in the demo, but the Archduke averts it if she loses - he just tells her to calm down and try again. Then again, it is implied that he adopted her or in some other way handpicked her.

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