Ever since its release, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has held a special place in the hearts of JPRG fans. With its gorgeous animation style, classic JRPG mechanics and a beautifully vibrant world inspired by Studio Ghibli, the PS3 adventure proved a memorable experience for all those who played it. This is all equally true with the next entry in the series, Revenant Kingdom (out 23rd March).
Newcomers needn’t worry: Revenant Kingdom is a self-contained story. A few surprises, however, will greet returning players. At a recent event I spent an evening familiarising myself with the brand new Kingdom Builder mode. This mode lets Evan have direct control over the growth of his new flourishing Kingdom. But ruling in Ni No Kuni II isn’t just sitting on your throne and issuing orders: even royalty has to go hands-on. Here’s how the mode works.
1. Castle-keeping doesn’t come free
A prosperous Kingdom isn’t a cheap affair! First of all, to grow you Kingdom you will need to collect Kingsguilders. You can earn these by accomplishing side quests for your citizens, helping them with their day-to-day problems. As your Kingdom starts to take shape, your stock of Kingsguilders will also grow on its own as your citizens run their businesses. You can see how many Kingsguilders you have in your coffers from the main menu, next to a shiny golden coin icon.
2. You’re building Evermore from scratch
Now your newly acquired Kingsguilders can finally be put to good use for your Kingdom. The first time you’ll sit on your throne all you’ll have is the main Castle – but you can get started right away and begin by building ministries around it. Outfitters, Spellworks, Weapon Workshops… a whole variety of facilities will be available for you to build across Evermore, each with different effects on your Kingdom and your party’s adventures. Pick the ones you want to build from “Manage Your Kingdom” in the main menu.
Some of the facilities you can build will allow you to gather materials for your adventures. Farms, ranches and mines, for example, will regularly provide you with your kingly share of the realm’s produce! Be wary of your stores’ capacity, however. Space is limited and you’ll need to collect the goods regularly so nothing goes to waste!
3. Don’t forget to upgrade when you can
Once built, facilities can also be upgraded in exchange for a few of your hard-earned Kingsguilders. Doing so will improve the unique effects of each of the facilities and will help you even further in your adventures.
As the core of your Kingdom, your castle can also be upgraded. Upgrading it early on will benefit you and expand the space available to build more facilities for your citizens.
4. Assigning the right personnel might be a puzzle of its own
Once your facilities are built, they’ll need personnel to take care of them. As the king, you get to assign your citizens to the different facilities but you’ll need to take into account their own personality!
Each of your citizens is suited to different things, and will be given a rating in each of the four categories – War, Ingenuity, Spritecraft and Conjury. This rating is called IQ. The higher the IQ in a specific category, the more suited your citizen is to run that kind of business. For the Weapons Workshop for example, you’ll want someone with a high IQ in War, and so on…
5. Each of your citizens have their own talents
The IQ indicator will surely help you pick the right personnel for each kind of facility, but there is a little more out there to influence your choice! Each citizen has a unique talent and sometimes even their own aspirations.
During my time with the demo, one of my citizens asked me specifically to work in Evermore’s Cookshop, promising me delicious foods and expert cooking in exchange. He thanked me when I assigned him to the restaurant, and offered to cook for my party any ingredients I would bring him. Each of your subjects also have their own talent. You can check this unique skill in their profile – they will trigger different effects if assigned to the right place!
6. Research will keep Evermore ahead
On top of running their daily business, each facility can work on researching new technologies for specific fields. This will allow your kingdom to discover new items or help Evan with new beneficial effects.
To research a particular topic, you will need to pay attention to the facility’s total IQ (the sum of the individual IQ rating of each character assigned to the facility). The higher the IQ the quicker the research.
Of course, you’ll also need to spend a few kingsguilder to pay for the work. Research takes real life time, and the longer it takes, the bigger the benefit Maxing out IQ or spending a few extra kingsguilders can also speed up the process if you’re in a hurry to reap the rewards!