‘I Am Setsuna’ creators modify battle system for new RPG ‘Lost Sphear’

Tokyo RPG Factory, the minds behind the delightful I Am Setsuna, announced Lost Sphear, a new RPG launching in early 2018. Yes, it is pronounced “sphere,” and yes, Sphear is the correct spelling.

At the outset of Lost Sphear, the protagonist Kanata wakes from a terrible dream to discover that his secluded hometown is disappearing before his eyes. Kanata and his “comrades” embark on an adventure to stop the world from vanishing completely. In order to save the world, they have to use “the power of Memory by manifesting thoughts into matter.”

As shown in the reveal trailer above, it’s not just land that begins to fade away, but loved ones, too. For those who played I Am Setsuna, the art style, character models, and general aesthetic of Lost Sphear will be very familiar.

The combat, however, has been modified. I Am Setsuna featured an active time battle system, an offshoot of turn-based combat popularized by the middle entries in the Final Fantasy franchise. In I Am Setsuna, characters were not fixed in one spot, but you also did not have control over where they wound up after attacking or getting attacked. In Lost Sphear, players will have direct control over their party, giving them the freedom to move characters mid-battle. Lost Sphear also promises “seamless environments,” meaning that the transition between battles and the overworld will be more natural than in I Am Setsuna.

Lost Sphear will launch as a digital title on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam for $50. A limited run of physical editions for PS4 and Switch are available for pre-order exclusively from the Square Enix online store. Those who pre-order will receive two songs, which will be available to download on launch day.

While a firm launch date was not provided, the early 2018 window is a quick turnaround for Tokyo RPG Factory. I Am Setsuna launched less than a year ago for PS4 and PC and was ported to Switch in March.