Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review


The term “apparitions” refers to “a remarkable or unexpected appearance of someone or something.” When Rabbit & Bear announced Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes in 2020, and that it was being penned by Suikoden series creator Yoshitaka Murayama, there was huge excitement from fans of the long-gone series. Suikoden fans would finally be able to get lost in one of Murayama’s worlds again, even if it wasn’t Suikoden VI. The problem for Eiyuden Chronicle is that it is the ghost of a series long gone, and while it attempts to stand on its own, it’s hard not to recognize the similarities it possesses to the classic RPG series it pays homage to. However, knowing this, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is an old-school experience chock full of interesting storytelling, adorable weirdos, and tons of content to explore. Where it falters comes from needing just a bit more time in the oven and a few more modern conveniences.

In the world of Allraan, there is the League of Nations and the Galdean Empire. With the possibility of a unique power being hidden amongst the Runebarrows, both nations send delegates to investigate. Our main protagonists are Nowa, a member of the League-affiliated mercenary group Eltisweiss Watch, and Seign Kesling, a young noble from the Galdean Empire. During the expedition, they forge an unlikely friendship while fate unfortunately puts them on opposing sides. Both parties were able to coexist, but the discovery of a Primal Lens during Nowa and Seign’s expeditions, which supposedly offers limitless power, sets the conflict in motion.

Six months after its discovery, Dux Alderic of the Galdean Empire begins his invasion of League lands, starting with Eltisweiss. With the Watch in shambles, Nowa and his companions escape, finding an old dilapidated castle, and forming the Alliance to restore League lands and stop the Galdean Empire’s expansion. To do this, Nowa must find comrades to aid his cause, though convincing other members of the League is a daunting task. Meanwhile, in the hidden forest of Yarnaan hides a group known as the Guardians, whose main goal is to protect the Great Forest and the Runebarrows from falling into the wrong hands.


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has a fantastic setup and story, even if it’s been told before. The game offers players a story with tons of political intrigue, backstabbing, and red herrings to keep them guessing throughout. It moves at a great pace with very little downtime, and when those moments are offered, it allows the player to go back to other areas of the game, whether it is to collect resources to build their castle or recruit new comrades. While the game has three protagonists in Nowa, Seign, and the Guardian Marisa, the story does struggle to make each person’s plotline feel equal, as it’s very clear from the get-go that Nowa is the protagonist that players will be spending the most time with. Still, every lead has a great cast of characters accompanying them, and each of the protagonist’s solo goals is important and integral to the story.

Where Eiyuden Chronicle also shines is in its characters. There are so many loveable weirdos to encounter, and recruitment is an addictive process. Some characters might require players to find a specific item, or beat them in a race, while others simply join because they want to. Part of the fun is encountering someone new and seeing how they fit into the overall world. The Shi’arcs are an adorable race of pirate sharks, who easily steal every scene they are in. There is a foul-mouthed doctor, a necromancer obsessed with making everyone her thrall, and even an artist who is convinced that “Art is Explosion!” With one hundred and twenty different characters to collect, each with their own personalized sprite and personality, there’s a lot of joy in meeting new faces and seeing where the characters fit in the overall world and their position within the Alliance Army.

The turn-based combat in Eiyuden Chronicle is a mixed bag. Players have six party members for whom they select actions. Each character can either attack, defend, use a Rune-Lens (magic), or use a combo providing they have enough skill points to do so and the correct characters in the party. This is entirely stripped from Suikoden, right down to how important it is to have the short-range characters in the front and the long-ranged ones in the back. What makes it hard to love is that battles are slow, with no way of speeding them up. While the basics of battle are simple and intuitive, the positives come from the fact that having over a hundred heroes allows the player to have a variety of different characters and types on the field. Mixing and matching allows players to find new combo skills or unique Rune-Lenses. Additionally, as characters level up they will open more skill slots that allows for even more customization, which helps in the long run.

Never underestimate the power of a magical girl!

Eiyuden Chronicle introduces players to war battles that also exist throughout the story. These battles pit the Alliance Army against the Empire and, depending on the number of characters that have been recruited, players can mix and match characters that have been recruited, with up to three leaders in a unit, each with two subunits under them. Once players have set up who they wish to send out to battle, they can then begin to move forward and assault the enemy. While each character has a unique skill they can use, some are more useful than others. The problem with many of these war battles is that they are incredibly slow, not very challenging, and there’s no way to speed up the process. What should be a unique element to the combat system is unfortunately underwhelming.

Another element that doesn’t quite hit the mark are the game’s one-on-one duels. These battles appear in critical moments of the story, and the duels are as much with blades as they are with words. During each turn, the player will need to carefully look at the enemy’s dialogue and then interpret what potential action they may take, be it an attack or counter. Some breaks can be used once a character’s tension bar has been filled, and they are used to move the story battle along, either to a new location or signal to the player that the enemy is at their halfway point. While these moments often display flashy moves and a dynamic camera, they struggle to telegraph to the player what is the best option to use, thus requiring a lot of trial and error. They are interesting from a story standpoint, but in actual practice, they aren’t particularly engaging.

Despite the weaknesses in combat, the amount of addictive side content in Eiyuden Chronicle is astonishing. Once players have access to their headquarters, they are tasked with growing the population and adding amenities. This is such a fantastic feature, as collecting resources while out in dungeons allows players to return home and build new spaces for their residents to flourish. Some of the amenities allow access to excellent and fun minigame content, such as egg races and cooking battles. A personal favourite is when players craft the theater and then force their allies to perform popular plays such as “Romeo and Juliet” or “Little Red Riding Hood.” There is nothing more hilarious than sharks reciting lines from a Shakespeare classic with a pirate accent. The game also has its own take on Beyblade, which has no right to be as fun as it is. There is so much side content to explore and all of it is a blast to play.

Lian is always stealing every scene she is in!

Visually, there are plenty of stunning moments in Eiyuden Chronicle, particularly in the boss and monster designs. Every recruitable character has its own striking and unique character model, as well as multiple expressive character portraits. Where the visuals fumble is the constant use of a blur technique where any object that is far away is blurred until the character model gets closer. This is overused and it muddles a lot of the town and dungeon environments. The overworld also lacks beauty, as many of the wide open spaces just feel empty and less lived-in. Some areas are just downright ugly, and it makes for a weird lack of consistency on Rabbit & Bear’s part. While the PlayStation 5 version runs well, there are instances of graphical clipping that does occur in particular dungeon locations that are fairly noticeable. Equally annoying is that the game also only autosaves on the world map, meaning that if a player dies during a long story sequence, there’s no autosave to back them up. Adding even a consistent autosave would have modernized the game just enough from feeling old-school and restrictive.

The soundtrack is stunning, particularly from the powerful opening theme, to the catchy and hummable battle music. However, the voice acting doesn’t offer that same consistency. A lot of the English voice acting is decent, particularly from our heroes, though some of the characters with accents are not well done. There are also moments where text and voice acting do not align, with a character saying something completely different than what is on screen. Again, a bit more TLC would have helped the audiovisual department in the long run.

Playing through Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes was an addictive and wonderful experience. When I stopped playing, I was constantly thinking about the characters, story, and the world-building that Rabbit & Bear has created. The game is very much a love letter to JRPG and Suikoden fans, and while there are a lot of similarities, I personally didn’t find that detracting. After putting more than fifty hours into the game, it reminded me of both the joy of being in one of Murayama’s worlds, and the sadness that he will never pen another game in this series. While there are elements of the game that needed more time in the oven, I cannot deny the happiness I felt every time I booted up the game.

Disclosure: This review is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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'Great' -- 4.0/5
40-60 HOURS

Strong political narrative

Over one hundred loveable weirdos to recruit

Addictive side content

Stunning soundtrack

War battles and duels are underwhelming

No way to speed up battles

Some elements need more time in the oven

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