Resonance of Fate, known in Japan as End of Eternity, is a console role-playing game developed by tri-Ace and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was released on January 28, 2010 in Japan, on March 16, 2010 in North America and on March 26, 2010 in Europe.The game is set to receive a 4K/HD Remaster on October 18, 2018.
In the distant future, Earth has undergone a drastic change in the environment. For reasons unknown, poisonous layers of gases permeated the land, causing cancer, which resulted in near extinction for mankind due to humanity's inability to adapt to the new changes. The remaining humans built a gigantic device called Basel, an environment purifier buried deep in the ground, which cleanses the air in the surrounding land, it was called the Zenith system. Civilization began to reform around Basel itself, building a city around the tower. In order to overcome the cancer, human lives were tied to quartz and linked to the Zenith system, making them immune to disease and mutation, but requiring them to remain in the city, and giving them a set shelf-life.
Civilization gradually began to grow around Basel, with people eventually moving inside the machine itself and building up the core, raising it high above the planet’s surface. As centuries went on, people built levels around the core and established various towns, cities, and even theme parks and landmarks for the survivors to enjoy themselves. However, Basel has now existed so long that people have forgotten why they live there, or that there is even a world outside Basel. The Cardinals, who are the political/religious leaders that foster a worship of Basel and its machinery, built their luxurious mansions in the uppermost layers of Basel, in the monster-free “Chandelier”, while the lower classes reside among the many districts built around the base and stem of the tower.
Countless years after the move to the tower, Prelate Frieda dreams of a world where people could live free of this quartz, and enjoy a life on their own terms. She pushed for the idea of a world where people would control their own destiny. Because of this preaching, she attracted the cardinals as followers, with Cardinal Rowen as her closest friend and follower. Her ideas were appealing to people, but also radical, and she was unfortunately killed.
The death of Prelate Frieda drove Cardinal Rowen into a state of despair. He wanted to bring her back, as he loved her dearly. He discovered the truth of Zenith, and its powers over life and death, and wanted to exploit them to bring her back. He commissioned Sullivan to find a way to do this, and the experiments began. They found 20 children, and began using the quartz to experiment on their lifespans and seeing the effects it had, ultimately setting their quartz to cause them to expire on a certain birthday. However Juris, who was in charge of the experiment, took a liking to subject #20 (Leanne), and began to feel guilty over what they had done to the children and so, he gave Leanne her own quartz, putting it in her right hand and saying it's the only thing he can do for her.
With the disease ravaging humanity, some people were left outside to die. Some of them developed mutations to allow them to not only beat off the disease, but become incredibly strong and able to survive in this environment. They became effectively immortal and they hated Basel and the Zenith system for abandoning them. Rebecca, an human who live outside of Basel, attacked the city because of this fury, and slaughtered many of the people, until she got to Vashyron.
Vashyron was a "Knight of Zenith", a person blessed by the Zenith system. When she attacked him, Zenith struck out against her, breaking her mind as well as saving his life. In this state Sullivan found her, and saw an opportunity. Sullivan dreamed of living outside of Basel, and this test subject would be perfect for his research. If he could copy her traits, he could free people from the place once and for all.
Zephyr was angry at having his fate taken from him. He flew into a rage, killing those involved and blowing up the Seminary. He expected to die for what he had done, only to be saved by Zenith itself after Vashyron shot him in the head twice. He decided to live to try to figure out why he was spared, and worked for Vashyron. One year later, Leanne was nearing the time of her appointed death after running away. She attempted to kill herself, wanting to die on her own terms, only to have Zephyr catch her in the air and save her life. In her, he found a reason for living. She became the reason that "God" (Zenith) spared his life, and he had to care for her. Meanwhile, she lived on, despite Cardinal Rowen saying she would not.
Sullivan is taking the research that has been conducted and want to make the ultimate tool, something to control Zenith. He takes Cardinal Rowen's ring, and binds the control system into it, eventually providing him with control over life and death in Basel. With this incredible power coming to him, Cardinal Rowen has a crisis of faith, as he is going from following God to being God himself. If God can be controlled, than his faith is being shaken to the core. Meanwhile, Sullivan is studying Rebecca to find a way for humans to live utterly apart from Zenith, in secret. Their goals are both in line with Prelate Frieda to an extent, but different methods. Cardinal Rowen seeks to control Zenith, while Sullivan seeks to leave it entirely.
Meanwhile, Leanne walks past Cardinal Rowen at Christmas, and he realizes she is alive. This causes his internal issues to come to a head as she shouldn't be if Zenith can be truly controlled as Sullivan has said. He needs to believe that there truly is a God beyond Zenith, and sees her continued existence as proof of that possibility. Or perhaps Sullivan just lied to him about the experiments. He needs to know which one is correct, so he goes to hunt Sullivan down and get answers.
Cardinal Rowen overhears Sullivan telling the heroes that he has Leanne quartz, and if he is killed her quartz will be destroyed and she will die. Cardinal Rowen shoots Sullivan, expecting Leanne to die shortly after due to this, and prove that there is no God, or live, and validate the existence of God. This sets Zephyr on a rampage of revenge, as his reason for existence has just been effectively killed in front of his eyes, and he swears to hunt Cardinal Rowen down and kill him.
Cardinal Rowen then gathers his forces into the Basilica, waits for the heroes to come kill him, and speak about how if God wants to stop it to step in and do so. He is attempting to force God's hand, and validate his faith. The heroes fights their way to him, confronts him, and ultimately defeats him, with Zephyr putting a bullet through his heart. But he lives due to his own control of Zenith. He realizes that the experiment was a success, due to his survival, and uses the power of Zenith to ensure the survival of the other Cardinals. Vashyron recognizes the symbol, and has the party just leave, realizing that fighting is futile given the power Cardinal Rowen wields.
After the fight Rebecca destroys the quartz she was given by Sullivan. Cardinal Rowen realizes that his faith was misplaced and discards the ring. Sullivan somehow obtained immortality through his hidden experiment, and join Rebecca in the outside world. The story ends with Leanne looking into the sky, with Zephyr and Vashyron at her side, outside of Basel.
The game utilizes what is known as the tri-Attack Battle system. The battle system is a mixture of a real-time and turn-based. The game consists of battle elements such as command battles and action battles. Players start the battle by selecting one of the player's characters to control, following which the player takes direct control over the character. The player can then move the character around and attack targets, the character's move ends when the player's attack is over. Enemies are also able to move while the player's character is moving and will usually attack only the character being controlled by the player.
Each character's turn is limited by action points, during which player's can keep moving and switching weapons until the action points runs out. However during each turn, players are only allowed to make a single attack, after which, even if action points remains, the character's turn ends. Attacking an enemy uses a charging system where the player selects a target. The attack charges up, and the attack is carried out when the charge meter is full. Players can also choose to charge up the attack multiple times, for a more powerful attack. The time needed to charge up is also dependent on the proximity of the enemy. The closer the enemy the shorter the time needed to charge up though it renders the player more vulnerable to attack. Enemy charge meters can be observed. There are two damage types in the game. The first is "scratch" damage, which is only dealt by machine guns. Scratch damage accumulates quickly, but can't actually kill anything. Killing things requires that the scratch damage be converted to "direct damage", which can be done by pistols and grenades.
Players are able to move about the battlefield freely, though they have the choice to create predefined paths for their character to follow. While moving along the predefined path, characters gain access to Hero action, which slow down time and speed up charge times. However the use of these Hero actions requires the use of an item known as Bezel, the item is an essential element in battle and is earned through a variety of methods such as destroying an enemy’s defensive barrier, or killing an enemy. Characters can also attacks while jumping in the air, they are then able to unleash a special attack which may result in certain stylish actions. Weapons in the game can also be easily customized by using items earned by defeating enemies, or obtained through side quests, these items can be further developed into an enhancement item such as a scope or additional ammunition for the weapon.
Players can restart any enemy encounter if they are defeated during battle. Players are also able to suspend and save the game at any time.
Vashyron - Makes a living as leader of a squad of Hunters taking on a variety of contract missions for reward money. He was the only survivor on the losing side of a large scale assault under the command of a Cardinal. He is voiced by Ken Narita in the Japanese version and Nolan North in the English version.
Zephyr - Brought up in a seminary from an early age. Several years ago he was involved in an incident, which resulted in him meeting Vashyron, who had been contracted to subdue him. He now makes a living as a member of Vashyron's squad. He is voiced by Hiro Shimono in the Japanese version and Scott Menville in the English version.
Leanne - A young lady that lives together with Zephyr and Vashyron. She met Zephyr when she tried to take her life, and has since joined Vashyron's Hunter squad. She is voiced by Aya Endou in the Japanese version and Jessica DiCicco in the English version.
Rowen - Rowen is a man who has taken leadership reins of the Cardinal organization after the Prelate died. Rowen holds great worry and conflict over the future of Basel and prays for the prosperity and happiness of its people. He is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version and Jim Ward in the English version.
Antourion - He is the oldest living Cardinal. He thirsts for knowledge, and is known to others as the "Enquirer of Knowledge". He investigates the bizarre phenomena occurring around Basel. He is voiced by Masaharu Satō in the Japanese version and Tom Kane in the English version.
Garigliano - A man who researches on beauty, and is responsible for fashion and the arts in Basel. He is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in the Japanese version and Dave B. Mitchell in the English version.
Sullivan - After Prelate Frieda dies, this mysterious man appears to Rowen and claims to help him bring his ideals to fruition. With Rowen's permission, Sullivan begins a project at a research facility called Aetersyl that is linked to the future of Basel. He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in the Japanese version and Chris Edgerly in the English version.
Veronique - A woman who is the right-hand man of Rowen. She provides support for her leader and is entirely trusted by him. She is voiced by Wakana Yamazaki in the Japanese version and April Stewart in the English version.
Promotion for Resonance of Fate began on April 1, 2009, when tri-Ace unveiled a teaser website with a countdown timer leading to the next week, with the game slated to consoles PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 under the title of a new "RPG Project". Before the timer ended however, leaked scans of Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu revealed the game to be named End of Eternity. The game's Japanese title is a reference to Isaac Asimov's novel of the same name. The project is a first-time collaboration between tri-Ace and Sega.
Directing was handled by Takayuki Suguro, who has previously worked on tri-Ace game Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, and planner for Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. Resonance of Fate uses tri-Ace's own ASKA game engine, which was previously used in Infinite Undiscovery, and Star Ocean: The Last Hope, modified specifically for the game. The music tracks were composed by Motoi Sakuraba who has worked on many tri-Ace games, and Kōhei Tanaka who is known for his work in Sakura Taisen.
The developers set the game in a steampunk environment. Suguro explained this choice over a sci-fi look, "I don't feel that Sci-Fi look really allows for a sense of reality and imminence of the world around the characters", "so in going for the gears and rustic metal setting, we managed to add a uniqueness to the visuals that I hope will make it stand out."
In an interview, Suguro talked about the choice of firearms as weapons in Resonance of Fate : "We have opted to go with a battle system where guns are the main weapons. One of the reasons for this is that we felt swords and magic, which are something you find frequently in Japanese Role-playing games, have lost their novelty. One of the others reasons was that we wanted to create impressive cinematic-battle scenes."
A playable trial version called "End of Eternity t.A.B. Demo" was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on December 22, 2009 in Japan. On October, 10, 2009, Sega announced that End of Eternity would be released on January 28 in Japan. On February 13, 2010, tri-Ace announced that Resonance of Fate would be released on March 16 in North America and March 26 for the European version.
Resonance of Fate was met with an overall positive reception as it retains an average of 75% on review aggregate websites GameRankings and Metacritics.
The story received mixed reviews. Gamespot wrote that "The story in Resonance of Fate is told in a drawn-out, stilted way that only reveals its agenda dozens of hours into your quest." Destructoid noted that "Resonance of Fate builds its world mostly through inference and implication rather than exposition" and added "the main plot being somewhat threadbare, it never really ascends to the kind of epic scale one would expect from the genre."
Critics also gave mixed reviews about the game's graphics. Destructoid stated that "While detailed, most environments alternate between concrete gray and brick red." Gamespot also noted the "Lack of visual variety." IGN added that "The world map and dungeons are crying for more detail." But some critics added that "The colorful clothing helps offset the game's otherwise limited palette."
Eurogamer praised its innovative gameplay mechanics and calling it "one of the most inspired approaches to the JRPG seen in a decade." IGN stated that "The battle system in Resonance of Fate is strong enough to hold everything together" and added "the unique combat system steps up to be the star of the show." Gamespot noted that "The cinematography used during hero actions is so over-the-top and exciting to watch that it makes battles a joy to take part in." But some critics noted that "The flow of combat in Resonance of Fate is initially confusing, especially if you don't take the optional tutorial."
Outside of the battle system, Gamespot stated about the world map that "The sparsely detailed overhead view gives the impression of a board game, and you need to employ a puzzle-game mind-set to effectively use your limited pieces to clear the appropriate number of tiles. It's an interesting way to open up new places to explore, and it even ties in to the combat". Critics also praised the weapon customization system, "The weapon upgrade system puts a unique spin on traditional standards. Although you do earn the occasional new gun, you spend more time enhancing your current firearm."
Some critics disliked the fact that "Large difficulty spikes are interjected every now and then" and "Resonance of Fate is built for those that enjoy the grind." While others critics liked this aspect of the game "You need to use every trick you have learned, and a few you may not have even realized yet, to tackle these treacherous monsters, but there is nothing quite as sweet as toppling something that has tormented you for so long."
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- Resonance of Fate Destructoid Review
- Resonance of Fate Battle Guide
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- SEGA Announces Nolan North in Resonance of Fate
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- End Of Eternity: Sega / tri-Ace Collaboration On PS3 & 360 Revealed
- Is The New Multi-Platform tri-Ace RPG - Famitsu
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- Interviews - Resonance of Fate: Producer Takayuki Suguro
- End of Eternity Free Playable Demo
- Resonance of Fate Gets Japanese Release Date
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