The Witch and the Hundred Knight review
The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a top-down isometric hack n slash RPG developed by Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America. In this game players go from stage to stage as the legendary familiar Hundred Knight killing and pillaging everything in the name of your master, Swamp Witch Metallia.
The story of “The Witch and the Hundred Knight” is a rather simple story. The Swamp Witch Metallia wishes to spread her swamp, but unfortunately she cannot leave her swamp to do it herself. So Metallia summons the legendary Hundred Knight to spread the swamp for her. To spread the swamp you, as the Hundred Knight, must visit various stages via the world map and find each stage’s Pillar of Temperance, defeat its guardian and force the pillar to bloom and release the toxic swamp.
To make the story seem more interesting the beginning of the game focuses on a rivalry between Metallia and the Forest Witch, Malia, but this story is wrapped up pretty quickly and the story goes back to focusing on Metallia looking for more pillars. To make the search for a pillar more bearable each chapter has its own story associated with it. These stories usually focus on teaching players about the creatures that live in the world, Witch society, Metallia and her swamps, and introducing the new characters that join up with Metallia. While these chapters do help improve the quality of the overall story, the game’s story take a sharp dive at the end with its lack luster ending. When I finished the game I received the true ending, there is a total of three endings: bad, good and true, since it was called the true ending I took this ending to be the proper ending and honestly if it is the proper ending I’m incredibly disappointing. The true ending throws a new enemy out of nowhere and the game ends shortly after you fight it. On a final note regarding the game’s story, the game does leaves some of the questions created by the game hanging. Questions answered include why Metallia will die in 100 days, but questions such as what makes Hundred Knight so special goes mostly unanswered.
There are two things that make a game for me, 1) an engaging story and 2) an interesting cast of characters. While the game fails to have an engaging story, the characters are the opposite. The game’s main characters’s each have their own personality and evolve throughout the story. For example when we are introduced to Metallia at the start of the game we are informed that she is regarded as an evil Witch and Metallia confirms this in the story by transforming a fellow witch into a rat and summoning several male rats to rape the newly transformed witch, but as the story progresses we are shown that Metallia has a kinder side that appears every so often, although she doesn’t make her kindness obvious. Each main character that we meet is given a chapter that introduces them and shows the player their personality; this introduction informs us how they will interact with the other main characters. For example: Visco a female inquisitor who was half turned into a dog is shown to be constantly suspicious of Metallia and when Metallia does something evil she isn’t scared to voice her displeasure at Metallia’s actions. Personalities such as Visco’s is great because they aren’t changed for no reason, Visco and each character have their own set of morals and no matter what the story throws at them they stick by them.
While the story isn’t amazing, the use of humour in the game makes it feel better. The humour is equal part dark and light sided. Apart from the above mentioned rat rape, Metallia does show dark humour with her stripping Visco, tying her up and throwing her in the swamp so that she can try and cure her and get a cheap laugh. On the lighter side of things there is a running gag with Arlecchino called Metallia, Lia which gets some slapstick responses from Metallia. There is also an unusual piece of humour in the form of bleeping curse words. I don’t know if this was meant to be funny, but when a game has no problem throwing out a rape joke the very idea that they would sensor curse words is well laughable to me.
While story and characters are important, combat is the meat that separates these two buns, and in the case of The Witch and the Hundred Knight the combat is fast and fun. The ability to equip five weapons and using them to create a chain combo to quickly despatch an enemy is fun and makes you feel powerful. While setting up a great chain combo is the fun, how you order your weapons is just as fun because there are multiple types of weapons that have different effects in combat. For example blunt weapons gives you a chance to interrupt an enemies attack, but blunt weapons are slow so are effective if you put them second or third in your weapon chain. Weapon combos aren’t the only thing on offer for combat as Hundred Knight has an array of special abilities. The first of these abilities is “Mystical dodge”, this ability is triggered when you have at least one AP and use the dodge command just as you are about to be hit by an enemy time will slow down for five seconds making enemies vulnerable to a quick succession of attacks. Another special ability are the “Tochika”, these are a collection of abilities that are unlocked as you progress through the game. Tochika abilities include: dropping time bombs, throwing arrows and scouting. The Tochika skill are incredibly useful in and out of combat as the scout Tochika allows you to explore an area without having to worry about running into enemies and potentially dying, and the throwing arrow Tochika makes potentially challenging boss battles easy by allows you to stay far away from the boss and do damage without any fear of being killed.
Now earlier I said the scout Tochika is a useful ability to use and the reason why it is useful is because it means you don’t needlessly waste any of Hundred Knight’s limited energy. For you see when it comes to exploring and fighting, Hundred Knight has a finite amount of time thanks to an ever decreasing energy bar called GigaCals, if the bar hits zero you become weakened and eventually die. The rate in which the bar decreases primarily depends on whether you are walking in an explored or unexplored location, so as you can see the scout Tochika is important because using it doesn’t drain GigaCals and reveals more of the map, which means that when you go back to Hundred Knight the amount of GigaCals lost is reduced. If you don’t wish to do the above mentioned method there is no trouble as GigaCal bar can be replaced by spending grade points at mini pillars found throughout each stage or by consuming monsters via a short QTE.
Moving away from combat Nippon Ichi software did throw in some challenging puzzles and non-combat features. The puzzles in the game aren’t overly difficult, but they can be frustrating if you aren’t paying attention. The additional non-combat focused features are self assertion and witch domination. Self assertion allows you to respond to certain statements with one of four options: question, ignore, agree or disagree. Self assertion is a somewhat pointless feature with your answers not having any noticeable influence on the world (well apart from one conversation). Fortunately Witch domination is a lot more fun than self assertion. Witch domination basically allows you to raid NPC houses and steal the owner’s treasure, these treasures range from basic recovery items to weapons and armour. Witch domination can be difficult because to successfully raid a house you need to be a higher level than the owner of the house, for example: if you are level 8 and attempt to raid a level 10 house you will more than likely fail.
Like your traditional RPG, The Witch and the Hundred Knight does have an item shop for buying and selling items, but unlike many RPGs the item shop is useless. There is nearly zero reason to buy anything as recovery items can be easily obtained in any stage either by raiding a house, finding a chest or killing a monster. As you might imagine without the need to buy anything selling items becomes pointless too, especially when there is only one important sellable item and that you need in the game and that item is used to upgrade your weapon level, which is also slightly pointless because your weapons level up when you use them in combat.
For those hoping for a great looking game you might be stuck in two minds, the cartoony style is nice to look at, but for some reasons the game likes to throw in some out of place CG characters that look out of place in the world. Also for those who like full HD you are in for a bit of a disadvantage as the game is set to 720p, but it does run at 60 FPS. Like many Japanese developed games The Witch and the Hundred Knight does have the visual novel style conversation segments, these segments are good to watch as these scenes are the only time you get to see what the character really looks like up close.
Now finally the old question when it comes to Japanese developed media in western markets, how is the English dub. Honestly it is pretty good I had no issue with it, each actor delivered their lines with what sounded like to be the correct tone, Sarah Ann Williams who did the English voice for Metallia was by far my favourite as she had some of the more colourful lines of dialogue. There is one gripe I have with the audio and that is the noises made by Hundred Knight as he moves and the shout he makes every time you hit the sprint button or attack, these noises honestly wanted me to mute the game as they quickly annoyed me and there was very little background music to cover up the sound.
Should you buy The Witch and the Hundred Knight? Try
While The Witch and the Hundred Knight has poor story, the game does offer a unique sense of humour, fleshed out cast of characters and fast flowing combat.
+ Well fleshed out characters
+ Mixture of both light and dark humour
+ Witch domination is a fun additional challenge
+ Fast flowing combat
– Story feels all over the place
– Lackluster ending
– Dialogue options feel like a waste
– No real reason to use the item shop
– Upgrade system is incredibly basic
|Developer||Publisher||Genre||Rating||Platform||Time played||Release date|
|Nippon Ichi Software||NIS America||RPG||16||PS3||33 hours||March 21, 2014|
To learn more about The Witch and the Hundred Knight, visit http://www.nisamerica.com/games/witch100/.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.