Announcing the JRPGL

RPGamer is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the JRPGL, a contest where teams of four aim to navigate a punishing divisional stage and subsequent playoffs and emerge as champion. Inspired entirely by recent draft news in American sports leagues the JRPGL sees sixteen RPGamer staff members drafting their choice of JRPG characters to form their own parties before facing off in a reader-decided contest.

The Basic Rules

The draft rules as determined by the competition committee and the JRPGL commissioner are as follows:

  • Participants will create a four-person party made up of characters from any JRPG.
  • The draft order is randomly-determined and will be a serpentine draft. Participants should attempt to create a balanced party; readers will be asked to take party balance into account in the contest proper.
  • The only rules for eligibility are that the game must be a JRPG and have a party in it, with the character being a permanent party member. Said JRPG can be tactical/turn-based/action.
  • For sanity purposes, monsters/demons from collecting games are not included (e.g. Pokémon, SMT demons).
  • Guest characters who appear for a brief time before disappearing are not permitted (e.g. Beatrix in Final Fantasy IX, Larsa in Final Fantasy XII).
  • Permanent party members who die during the game are permitted.
  • Once a party member has been selected (those who appear in multiple games are considered a single party member, so if someone takes Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, they can’t select her from Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Lightning Returns).
  • Some rules were selectively ignored at certain points in the draft for the purposes of enjoyment.

Following the draft, the teams are to be divided into four divisions of four teams each for the competition itself. Each division will run for between two days and the winner will be determine by who gets the most votes of the reader poll. Readers will be ask to consider party balance as part of their voting decisions but other than that it will be a free vote, and readers are welcome to use whatever criteria they wish to determine who is deserving of their vote.

After each division has been run, the four winners will go into the final division, where another vote will be held to determine the champion. Those wishing to discuss the JRPGL are invited to join the RPGamer Discord server, where we have a special channel devoted to the contest.

The Teams

We are pleased to introduce those teams and party members participating in the first edition of the JRPGL. The introductions have been written by the GM of each team in question and help give an oversight into why they selected the party members they did.

Insomnia Insomniacs

GM: Alice Wilkinson
Pick #1 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #16 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Noctis Lucis Caelum (Final Fantasy XV)
  • KOS-MOS (Xenosaga)
  • Saber, aka Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Fate/EXTRA)
  • Fina (Skies of Arcadia)

The Insomina Insomniacs is proud to present the team lineup for the 2019 JPRGL!

It is no secret that I really liked FFXV, and the role that Noctis and his merry men played in that enjoyment cannot be understated. With the teamsize of the JRPGL set to four, Noctis is a perfect lynchpin to tie the team together, much as he did in FFXV. While his ability to hold a team together makes him perfect for the position of team captain and playmaker, Noctis is also no slouch in the combat department.

With the Power of Kings, Noctis is able to bestow extra abilities to his party members, from warping to magical empowerment. Not only that, Noctis has a sweet ride to transport everyone, not just on land, but across the sky as well. Who can turn down a flying car? Nobody, that’s who.

For this draft, several other promising candidates for the position of “damage dealer” were reviewed, but none matched the raw firepower provided by Xenosaga’s resident anti-Gnosis combat android. Sure, Xenosaga was extremely confusing at the best of times, but you can’t argue with lots and lots of guns. There’s also something labelled “Phase Transfer Cannon”; we’re not sure what it does, but it sounds powerful.

While Noctis’ Regalia isn’t combat capable, KOS-MOS brings her own vehicle, which happens to be a giant robot. Overkill? Not in our vocabulary.

Nero is the Queen to Noctis’ King and the wall that the team stands behind. Something of an unconventional choice for “tank”, with Invictus Spiritus, she can stand again after being downed. She also has the ability to learn extra abilities for a short time at a whim, very useful when other party members are bringing unconventional weapons to the fray, be they giant shurikens or gatling cannons.

Nero does not bring her own transport, sadly, but can summon her magnificent Roman theatre where everything turns to her advantage. Makes home games rather easy.

Bringing up the rear, Fina was drafted from my favourite RPG to fill the healer role. She’s a powerful mage in her own right, and with her own lump of sentient mercury, she’s still able to fend off attackers. However, her real strength lies in her powerful healing S-Moves; including the rare full heal/full revive/full status cure combo. With the other three team members defending her, Fina’s healing power is hard to stop. For those trickier encounters, there’s an area-of-effect dispel in her arsenal too.

She also has a convenient vehicle to bring along, for when the party needs to attend away games at the edge of the atmosphere.



GM: Sam Wachter
Pick #2 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #15 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Sylvando (Dragon Quest XI)
  • Prompto Argentum (Final Fantasy XV)
  • Goro Majima (Yakuza)
  • Zaveid (Tales of Zestiria)

We are the Heliodor HEYAAAAS and we are here to sing you a song, and charm your pants off. Whether its showing you our soulful side or be taken home to mom, the boys of the HEYAAAAS want you to know girl, that we are so very, very into you.

Roll call!

Sylvando — The Entertainer and Talented One!
Zaveid — The Shirtless One!
Prompto — The Sweet One Who Moms 100% Approve of!
Majima — The… Crazy One? Since when do boy bands have the crazy one? Eh, whatever, let’s roll with it.

The Heliodor HEYAAAAS will be the heartthrobs to beat during this JRPGL.


Toad Town Townies

GM: Zack Webster
Pick #3 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #14 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Bowser (Super Mario RPG)
  • The Demi-fiend (Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne)
  • Minwu (Final Fantasy II)
  • Aya Brea (Parasite Eve)

The Toad Town Townies are called as such because they are led by King Bowser, presumably after a hostile takeover of Mushroom Kingdom since walking mushrooms with no arms and turtles easily dispatched by jumping on their backs make for a poor team composition. Bowser himself is a powerhouse, able to simultaneously deal and sustain punishment while doing what is absolutely necessary for victory: throwing allies in harm’s way. Any Chess Master knows it’s all about sacrificing the right pieces at the right time and what better way than throwing more competent people at the problem until it is solved? For starters, that competent person could be more invulnerable than yourself. Enter the Demi-fiend, a near god-like figure that can not only persuade mythological forces to his side, but can ingest special Magatama that grant him special powers. One of these Magatama, Masakados, makes him immune to all types of damage except for Almighty. Only the literal power of gods can touch him. Combine this with a wide berth of abilities gained through other Magatama and you have the perfect first wave to throw into battle.

Now, let’s say for some reason your Demi-fiend is hurt. A white mage could patch that right up. But how many white mages are willing to die in the line of duty and can actually back it up? Enter Minwu, the oft-forgotten mage of Final Fantasy II who both has sacrificed for his friends and obtained the powerful Ultima spell in the afterlife on top of his extensive healing magic. Plus, getting hit by your allies in Final Fantasy II is almost essential for health and defense increases, so Bowser’s desire to throw his buddies only serves to make Minwu more resilient.

But Bowser only has two arms and can only throw at most two people at once. This is why the third should be able to shoot at some enemies before her turn is up and who better than the NYPD’s Aya Brea, a cop with access to the nonsensical powers of Mitochondria. Besides being an ace shot, Aya is entirely self-reliant with her Parasite Energy abilities which include healing, haste, and augmenting her own bullets with additional power. Finally, when her turn is up to join the fray, her Liberate ability transforms her into an all-destructive force. Don’t worry about why these people will allow themselves to be thrown by an oversized turtle and just accept that it will work out. Probably. At least Bowser’s got persistence on his side.


Balamb Garden Breakfast Club

GM: Lucas Tahiruzzaman Syed
Pick #4 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #13 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Joachim Valentine (Shadow Hearts: Covenant)
  • Lezard Valeth (Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria)
  • Alice Elliot (Shadow Hearts)
  • Ulala Serizawa (Persona 2: Eternal Punishment)

They are an unlikely ensemble of deviants bound together by impulsive dispositions, morally ambiguous behavior, and… alternative lifestyles. Additionally, none of them have any explicit relationship to their own team name. What could be more punk than that?!

Joachim is a free-loving man-tank who is able to restore his own health while also damaging enemies; Ulala is a reckless pugilist constantly on the offensive with swift punches and a constant barrage of disorienting profanity. Lezard Valeth dishes out ruthless magic damage of all elements, cackling madly all the way.

But how did Alice Elliot fall in with such a bad crowd? Perhaps her experiences with the occult in her own journey have sparked her curiosity; perhaps she believes that to fight evil she must be intimate with its many faces; perhaps the party just needed a healer who fit the gothic lewk. We may never know.


Figaro Flywheels

GM: Kelley Ryan
Pick #5 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #12 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Auron (Final Fantasy X)
  • Cecilia Adlehyde (Wild Arms)
  • Rena Lanford (Star Ocean: The Second Story)
  • Laguna Loire (Final Fantasy VIII)

For my RPG League team, I wanted a traditional tank, healer, and double damage dealing setup.

Auron was my #1 draft pick and the clear winner for the tank spot. The man can take a beating, and anyone who’s played Final Fantasy X knows why. He’s also great at dishing out the pain. This is the man that told Hades himself off after all.

For my magic damage dealer, I went with Cecilia Adlehyde from Wild Arms. The ability to craft her own magic gives her a versatile edge. She also gets the ability to dual cast, making her even more powerful. Her guardian summoning abilities also make her a powerhouse for tough fights.

There was no shortage of healers to pick from. I ultimately went with Rena Lanford from Star Ocean 2 because of her vast spell range. She gets a nice mix of healing and damage spells, and paired with Cecilia’s spell pool, I thought it would be nice to have the versatility of dual healing and damage.

Finally, I needed a ranged damage dealer. At first I thought I was going to have to go with one of the many Fire Emblem archers, but then I realized that guns could get the job done too. It was then that “Man with the Machine Gun” popped in my head, and my choice was clear. Laguna Loire would be my choice for ranged damage. OK, so he doesn’t get much of a chance to shine in Final Fantasy VIII. I know for a fact, though, that his theme song is stuck in your head right now. With a song like that, maybe Laguna is secretly sub-classed as a bard? Either way, his song rules, and he’s on my team now.

I am happy with my team synergy, and I hope to do well in the battles ahead.


Zenobia White Wolves

GM: Ryan Radcliff
Pick #6 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #11 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Chris Lightfellow (Suikoden III)
  • Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile)
  • 2B (NieR: Automata)
  • Jane Maxwell (Wild Arms Alter Code F)

The Zenobia White Wolves are a formidable bunch and it starts with team captain Chris Lightfellow from Suikoden III. The Silver Maiden is able to control the tide of battle with her unstoppable Silent Lake spell, which immediately halts any magic from being used in the battle. If the White Wolves face an imposing mage, Silent Lake will neuter them. If the opponents don’t rely on magic, she can use her True Water Rune to help heal her allies. Chris also brings to the table top end physical damage and is a reliable frontline fighter with many victories under her belt. A truly ferocious formidable female fighter.

Backing up Chris is Lenneth Valkyrie from the Valkyrie Profile series. Being the goddess of fate and present, this battle maiden was tasked with searching out worthy humans to help out in Ragnarok. She is a frontline fighter who has no weakness and her sword Levantine only fuels her strength the more damage she soaks up. Being a fighter that relies on physical damage, the lack of magic caused by Silent Lake will not slow her down one bit.

The wild card on the team is YoRHa No.2 Type B from NieR: Automata. Better known as 2B, this battle android is equipped with close- and long-range physical capabilities. Equipped with the game-breaking Auto Evade support chip, she is nigh untouchable. 2B is a combo specialist and loves to juggle foes in an array of stylish acrobatic finesse. Just don’t make her execute her self-destruct mode, that sort of fan service is not needed in the tournament.

Finally, the team needs someone that can heal without relying on using magic to dish out cures. Enter one Calamity Jane Maxwell from Wild Arms: Alter Code F. She is a quick fighter who can boost and buff the team while also using her recovery items to keep the squad’s health in the green. Luck is always on this sharpshooter’s side, so watch out or she will steal your heart as well as your wallet.


Mist Summoners

GM: Phil Willis
Pick #7 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #10 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Rydia (Final Fantasy IV)
  • Torneko Taloon (Dragon Quest IV)
  • Liete (Grandia)
  • Oswald (Odin Sphere)

I created a team consisting of characters from my favorite JRPGs. It makes sense that if one chooses the best of the best, they have a shot to win.

Of course, to make sure they rise above, they need to function well as a team. This group covers all of the bases. Oswald not only hits hard with massive combos fueled by darkness, but holds down the front line. Rydia backs him up with powerful spells and summons. Liete keeps the party healed, and contributes additional firepower as needed. And Torneko makes sure that the party has the best equipment and items available at the best prices. After all, a hero may possess great skill, but that matters little if she goes into battle with cheaply made armor and weapons.

Together, they form an unstoppable quartet that will decimate all would-be challengers!


Treno Troublemakers

GM: Shannon Harle
Pick #8 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #9 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Stocke (Radiant Historia)
  • Snow Villiers (Final Fantasy XIII)
  • Yukiko Amagi (Persona 4)
  • Nina (Breath of Fire)

They’ve been to jail; they’re not afraid to go back! These players have all been trouble in each of their games, and together, they are the Treno Troublemakers!

Snow Villiers breaks the law and all rules of society by becoming a l’Cie to save his one love. Nina is a pariah in Windia, cast out by even her own father and mother because of her black wings. Yukiko Amagi takes things into her own hands and foils the police at their own game in her investigations with her friends. And Stocke betrays kin and country in order to bring a deadly war to an end to save both the world and all of time.

With their forces combined, the quartet is going make you hope you prepared for trouble and will make it double!


Terra’s Terrors

GM: Johnathan Stringer
Pick #9 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #8 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Terra Branford (Final Fantasy VI)
  • Canopus Wolph (Tactics Ogre)
  • Cidolfus Orlandeau (Final Fantasy Tactics)
  • Sarah (Shining Force II)

For the Terra’s Terrors, I wanted a mixed team of well rounded yet still powerful characters from some of my favorite RPGs. If one goes down, I have a backup that can fill that void. First pick and team leader Terra Branford from Final Fantasy VI is part esper and part human, and that heritage gives her innate powerful magical abilities. She is a force with offensive magic, and will be the party’s primary magic attacker. She becomes even more potent when put in a trance, and can unleash even more devastating magical strikes. That being said, she is no slouch with a sword and can stand toe-to-toe when the need calls. She can even be called in to heal in a pinch to support Sarah if she goes down.

Canopus, aka the Wind Caller, from Tactics Ogre is a versatile attacker and is the closest the game has to an over-powerful character. Canopus is a Hawk-man, and his ability to fly makes him a mobile striker from range, be it with a spear or bow, hitting vital targets and getting crits. His natural agility also makes him a difficult target, and very difficult to kill. Many enemies will waste attacks trying to pin Canopus down, which will save the party from taking damage and be less of a strain on the healers.

Thunder God Cid, Cidolfus Orlandeau from Final Fantasy Tactics, needs little introduction. His nickname is fitting, as he is truly the closest one can get to a “god character” in an RPG. Cid, with his Excalibur sword, has the special abilities of the Holy Knight, Dark Knight, and Divine Knight all in one, and each of those other 3 classes belong to powerful characters in their own right. Not only can Cid destroy enemies with high damage output, his attacks can further cripple enemies by destroying their equipment, or status effects like Stop or Silence. To top it all off, Cid wears armor and can absorb a lot of punishment before going down. One could make the argument he doesn’t even need his other teammates, and could be a one-man juggernaut on his own.

Sarah from Shining Force II may be the most unassuming member of the party, but don’t let her demure appearance fool you. For the first half of Shining Force II, Sarah is the main and only healer for the team, and she is very competent. However, she truly comes into her own once she promotes into a Master Monk. In between throwing heals on the rest of the team, Sarah pummels her enemies with kicks and punches that would make even Cid flinch. By the end of Shining Force II, Sarah is one of the highest damage dealers in the party while also being able to fully heal her teammates.

This team is fully able to complement each other, and can out damage anything else while also being able to heal, tank, dodge, and apply debilitating status effects. If one goes down, all is not lost, as another can step up and cover their loss. However, with their ability to unleash hell upon their enemies, the Terrors should be able to kill anything before them without one going down.


River City Rollers

GM: Zach Welhouse
Pick #10 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #7 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Eiko Carol (Final Fantasy IX)
  • Cornet Espoir (Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure)
  • Nei (Suikoden III)
  • Mamori Minamoto (Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE)

Gonna keep on dancing
with the rocs and trolls
and keeping it light, keeping it light;
Dancin’ to the rhythm
In our heart and soul
And keeping it light, keeping it light

Cornet is her name and she’s a puppeteer, too! With her singing friends there’s nothing that she can’t do! Fresh out of Marl Kingdom, Cornet Espoir and the rest of the River City Rollers are ready to bring the noise to the JRPGL. While other musical acts may fall back on slick moves and non-threatening sap, the Rollers lay down polyharmonic soundscapes to amaze and delight. Their lyrics are bright and incisive, touching on young love, socioeconomic inequality, and the importance of dancing.

Following a licensing dispute with the River City Chamber of Commerce (“Only the smiles are free”), Cornet took her gig on the road. In addition to her musical talents and weaponized dessert-summoning horn, Cornet’s showings in Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure and La Pucelle Ragnarok demonstrate her keen tactical mind and experience with crossover situations.

Strengths: Horn, vocals, support, tactics, craft services

Eiko Carol lights up the stage with a trill of her flute and blast of holy radiance. Her lilting melodies keep her friends on her feet and the dead off the dancefloor. When the tour van breaks down and hecklers are on the rise, she puts in a call to the Rollers’ very own instant fan club: Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Strengths: Flute, backup vocals, visual effects, summon magic, white magic

Making music is all about teamwork. It’s also about shrugging off the haters, whether they’re slinging harsh words or hellfire blades. When the River City Rollers need someone to deflect criticism or sing a heartfelt ballad, it’s Mamori Minamoto’s time to shine. In deepest dungeon or pop-up promotion, the Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE idol is always ready to put on a show.

Strengths: Vocals, dance, giant axe, defense, team-ups

Suikoden III’s Nei joined the Rollers thanks to a generous travel grant from Haud Arts Council. As an elf, she lends a mature, worldly spark to the River City sound. Casual listeners credit the band’s success to her more exuberant bandmates, but true fans know Nei’s support bouzouki and backup vocals keep everything running smooth. Her custom blend of shield, water, and jongleur runes have a little something for everybody.

Strengths: Strings, backup vocals, support, healing

Don’t forget to stop by the merch table before you leave.


Alrest Flamebringers

GM: Alex Fuller
Pick #11 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #6 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)
  • Mòrag Ladair (Xenoblade Chronicles 2)
  • Estelle Bright (The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky)
  • Adelbert Steiner (Final Fantasy IX)

Every party needs at least one member to be the hero, and Shulk fills this role with aplomb. Going out of his way to help loved ones and fight for those in danger, while never losing his sense of understanding and love for everyone around him, he makes the perfect focus point of the Alrest Flamebringers.

Every hero needs some support and Mòrag Ladair provides this in multiple ways. The Flamebringers’ namesake constantly shows why she fulfills such a trusted role, acting as a mature force. Her role as Special Inquisitor, with access to crack Blade squadrons, also gives the Alrest Flamebringers a leg up in fact-finding. Villains hiding in the shadows will not escape the gaze of the Alrest Flamebringers.

But sometimes, miscreants and other jerks simply need to be shouted out at and, if that fails, hit with a large stick. Estelle Bright excels at both of these. She also fulfills a strong support role and ensures that any wavering from the other party members will be quickly snuffed out. If nothing else, the Alrest Flamebringers offers the very best in strength of character.

While there was temptation to artificially slide in some magic for the purposes of balance, it’s really not my style so instead the Alrest Flamebringers play to their strength of hitting things really hard with the addition of Adelbert Steiner. A tank who will not stop in his goals, he is loyal and will go through thick and thin for those he deems deserving of his trust. His loyalty may have blinded him to evil in the past, but that’s hardly going to be an issue in the Flamebringers considering who his teammates are.


Narshe Novas

GM: Pascal Tekaia
Pick #12 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #5 in rounds 2 and 4

  • chaos (Xenosaga)
  • Kaim Argonar (Lost Odyssey)
  • Vivi Ornitier (Final Fantasy IX)
  • Robbins (The Alliance Alive)

The Narshe Novas place value in exhibiting a more quiet, dignified sort of strength, the false calm before a devastating storm. Rather than sheer brute strength and martial prowess, the team’s combatants prefer to achieve victory through calculated might.

The team’s mentality takes its inspiration from the deep mines and subterranean cave systems of its namesake town, nestled beneath a snow-covered mountain range. Like Narshe, the Novas may seem unassuming, but there’s a steadfast surety in what lies beneath the surface that is more than a match for any opponent.

Though there’s no clear-cut team captain, Xenosaga‘s chaos and Lost Odyssey‘s Kaim Argonar share the responsibility of the leader role. The former having been around for millennia, with potential divine background, the latter being an immortal, the pair have the experience and wisdom to look any challenge in the face. Oh, and Kaim knows his way around a blade, as anyone who’s ever seen the Highlands of Wohl opening scene from Lost Odyssey can attest to, while chaos’ ether abilities can be used to both damage and heal the party in a pinch.

The little black mage Vivi has got the arcane side of things covered, with access to everything from basic-level offensive spells to devastating magical attacks. Lacking the grace of his teammates, and due to his diminutive size, he prefers to stay on the back lines.

Rounding out the team is a left-field draft pick, The Alliance Alive‘s penguin powder keg, Robbins. Like Vivi, his stature belies the world of pain he is capable of delivering to his enemies, courtesy of his flipper-style martial arts ability. Plus, he doubles as a cute and cuddly team mascot in a pinch. A stabby one.


Rabanastre Rats

GM: Ryan McCarthy
Pick #13 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #4 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)
  • Lulu (Final Fantasy X)
  • Kanji Tatsumi (Persona 4)
  • Melia Antiqua (Xenoblade Chronicles)

We have a, shall we say, eclectic set of players for the Ranbanastre Rats. First up is Balthier, who likes to declare himself the hero and show off on what a lovable rogue he is. His specialties are being able to have the opponents focus on him so as to ignore the other members of the team.

Next up, we have the black mage, Lulu, who will not hesitate to ice you if you get on her bad side. She is sharp-tongued and is a lot tougher than she appears. Her magic can be used to exploit enemy weaknesses.

And that brings up to our third member, Kanji Tatsumi. He is a high school student from the rural town of Inaba, Japan. He likes sewing and other activities that are thought of as being for girls but can still pulverize you if you ever cross them.

And finally, there’s the healer, Melia Antiqua, who can heal the other teammates as well as use status effects to hinder the opposing team. She may not seem like much but she always comes prepared for any given situation.

In this game, they all hope to win the grand prize and will not be stopped by anyone who gets in their way.


Alltrades Abbey Apollos

GM: Matt Masem
Pick #14 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #3 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Psaro the Manslayer (Dragon Quest IV)
  • Serena (Dragon Quest XI)
  • Kiefer (Dragon Quest VII)
  • Alena (Dragon Quest IV)

The Alltrades Abbey Apollos is a Dragon Quest group ready to take on any opponent in the JRPG multiverse with mainly heavy physical attacks backed up with some powerful magic attacks and support skills and healing. The Apollos are led by the royal physical powerhouse pair of Dragon Quest VII’s Prince Kiefer, son of Donald, and Dragon Quest IV’s Tsarina Alena. Dragon Quest IV’s antagonist-turned-hero Psaro the Manslayer provides more offensive firepower, and the team is rounded out by Dragon Quest XI’s sage, Serena.

Prince Kiefer is a physical powerhouse that learns skills such as adding elemental damage to his sword attacks and focusing his power to double his attack skill. He’s a bit of a roguish character prone to overindulging in women and wine, but his love of adventure and his need to help those in need make him the perfect prince to propel the Apollos to victory in any situation. Standing equally tall next to Kiefer is Tsarina Alena, master of hand-to-hand combat. Her natural speed augmented with some falcon blade earrings have her dealing critical hits to the enemy at an alarming rate. Her determined personality and need for exploring the world around her make her qualified to lead a group of adventurers wherever they need to go.

With a title like “The Manslayer,” one wouldn’t expect Psaro to simply stand in the background casting buffs to increase attack power and fling his dark magic at the enemy. No, he’s a physical powerhouse in his own right and can call upon the power of evolution to change into a monstrous five-eyed, laser-beam-shooting beast when the need arises as well as having access to single and multi-character healing spells. He’s the complete package! That can almost be said of sage-like Serena. Due to story reasons, the Serena of Dragon Quest XI Act 2 not only has a full range of debuff and healing spells at her disposal, but a wide range of powerful elemental and light light-based spells as well. There are very few types of situations she’s not prepared to take on and support her party members with her deep pool of magic and her calm demeanor keeping her focused on what’s most important at all times.


Unova Unison

GM: Cassandra Ramos
Pick #15 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #2 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Lucina (Fire Emblem: Awakening)
  • Neku Sakuraba (The World Ends with You)
  • Xelha (Baten Kaitos)
  • Yew Geneolgia (Bravely Second: End Layer)

The Unova region in the Pokémon world is known for its variety and unity, so I wanted to give that ideal to this eclectic team. These four are balanced, admittedly through use of Yew’s Asterisks, allowing him to change jobs and fill any role needed in a battle. Mainly, I brought them together because I like them as individuals and I think it would be amazing to have them come together in unison. They have the strength, intellect, and skills to get through just about anything. I imagine they would get along swimmingly, even if Neku would be standoffish at first.

Xelha of Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean would be the de facto leader of the group. She’s amiable and understanding, but can focus on what needs to be done. She can act like the glue holding the team together, as she does with both her own party and the nations of the world of Baten Kaitos. She has her wings of the heart, which allow her to fly for short distances and would be useful for scouting and getting past obstacles. She’s a powerful witch and surprisingly fast, meaning she’ll be able to shoot off powerful spells quickly as well as use healing Magnus cards.

Lucina of Fire Emblem: Awakening is a skilled swordswoman and also a good leader with a lot of determination. She can be serious to the point of unintentional goofiness, but she does have a good head on her shoulders. She values her friends and comrades, so I can see her being protective of the others. Lucina brings her excellent sword abilities along with the Parallel Falchion, a blade that can cut down any dragon as well as powerful skills like Aether.

Neku Sakuraba of The World Ends with You is more trusting of people by the end of the game, but he may be at the very least a little wary around the group. He may not be outright friendly, but he wouldn’t be abrasive, and maybe even genuinely like them. Neku is probably the oddest of the bunch in terms of combat ability. He has a wide variety of psyches to use, such as using telekinesis to throw objects and shoot bullets of light. He even has limited healing. How exactly his abilities can be used outside of the UG is probably best left unsaid.

Yew Geneolgia of Bravely Second: End Layer is a cheerful, quirky young man who is both braver than he believes and more cowardly than he lets on. Despite being one of the Three Cavaliers and trained with a sword, he’s a scholar at heart, and his intelligence and deductive skills can really help out. He can take on 30 jobs using the Asterisks available in Bravely Second. With this party, though, he’d probably mostly use defensive classes like the Templar, Knight, and Guardian to support the others, and perhaps more dedicated healer jobs. He has excellent magic, so when needed, he can use powerful spells as well.


Celadon City Gamblers

GM: Robert Sinclair
Pick #16 in rounds 1 and 3; Pick #1 in rounds 2 and 4

  • Setzer Gabbiani (Final Fantasy VI)
  • Rei (Breath of Fire III)
  • Joker (Persona 5)
  • Sara Valestein (The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel)

Much like our name suggests, the Celadon City Gamblers aren’t afraid to play against the odds. It’s no risk, no reward. Go big or go home. You’re playing their game and the house always wins. Mostly.

When it comes to gambling, no one puts more in than our main man Setzer. Willing to risk his life and his livelihood on something as simple as a coin toss, he shows no fear and there’s no hesitation. He also taxies the team around in his airship.

Rei is a different kind of gamble. He’s something of a highwayman, strikes quick and leaves the targets confused and defeated. But it’s his hidden side, the weretiger form, where he becomes the powerhouse this team is known for. The gamble here, though, is the longer Rei stays in this form, the more out of control he gets. Fast, brutal, uncontrollable violence while hoping for quick wins.

Next we have Joker, our wildcard. He’s powerful and able to adapt to any situation and fill any role on the fly. Need some heals? Persona. Need some big damage? Persona. No one can match the flexibility of Joker.

Finally, we have the Purple Lightning herself, Sara Valestein. Powerful, experienced, and a natural born leader. She’s the rock, the anvil, and hammer all in one. She’s a sure bet and always one to watch out for.


The Schedule

Previous contests of its ilk have run over the course of a month but were a bit too long to hold interest. Instead, the JRPGL is designed to be run over less than two weeks, ending just before the weekend prior to E3. This does mean that it there will be a limited time to get votes in, so we are posting the planned schedule below to that readers know when to check into the site to vote. Each division will get its own post on the RPGamer front page, or can be found through the JRPGL tag.

Please note that times may be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances or practicality purposes.

Division 1
  • River City Rollers
  • Alltrades Abbey Apollos
  • Heliodor HEYAAAAS
  • Toad Town Townies

Start time: 7am Eastern on Monday May 27, 2019

End time: 7am Eastern on Wednesday May 29, 2019


Division 2
  • Celadon City Gamblers
  • Insomnia Insomniacs
  • Terra’s Terrors
  • Figaro Flywheels

Start time: 7am Eastern on Wednesday May 29, 2019

End time: 7am Eastern on Friday May 31, 2019


Division 3
  • Rabanastre Rats
  • Unova Unison
  • Zenobia White Wolves
  • Balamb Garden Breakfast Club

Start time: 7am Eastern on Friday May 31, 2019

End time: 7am Eastern on Sunday June 2, 2019


Division 4
  • Alrest Flamebringers
  • Mist Summoners
  • Treno Troublemakers
  • Narshe Novas

Start time: 7am Eastern on Sunday June 2, 2019

End time: 7am Eastern on Tuesday June 4, 2019



Start time: 7am Eastern on Wednesday June 5, 2019

End time: 7pm Eastern on Friday June 7, 2019


We hope that everyone enjoys the JRPGL and best of luck to those competing!


Alex Fuller

Alex joined RPGamer in 2011 as a Previewer before moving onto Reviews, News Director, and Managing Editor. Became Acting Editor-in-Chief in 2018.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply