Everything You Need to Know About Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, the follow up to the 2013 release Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, is now upon us. Upon seeing the beautiful art design of the sequel returning, fans will feel like they are in familiar territory, but while Revenant Kingdom maintains many of the elements that made its predecessor so endearing, numerous changes have been made to the gameplay mechanics. Whether you are a returning Ni no Kuni fan or diving straight into the sequel, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started.


Platforms: PlayStation 4 / Microsoft Windows
Release Date: March 23, 2018
PS4 Pro Support: Dynamic 4K with 60 FPS, HDR Mode

Story Synopsis | Combat | Skirmish | Kingdom Development | Tactic Tweaker | Higgledies | Review


Story Synopsis


Set several hundred years after the events of Wrath of the White Witch, the cat kingdom of Ding Dong Dell is about to suffer a coup d’etat from an enemy mouse kingdom, believed to be an ally. Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum is the orphaned prince and successor to the throne of Ding Dong Dell, and his assassination is the goal of Mausinger, ringleader of the coup. Meanwhile in our world, a catastrophic events sends Roland, the president of the United States, into Ding Dong Dell when Mausinger’s plan goes into action. Evan initially greets him as a hostile intruder, but Roland quickly figures out what is going on and is able to get Evan to safety. Evan survives, but does so at the cost of his kingdom. Not being one to give op easily, Evan and Roland set out to get a new Kingmaker so that Evan can reclaim his throne. To make this journey interesting, Evan and Roland will travel far and wide across the world, battling powerful enemies and recruiting new and interesting companions. As the game progresses Evan will assume the role of the king, as building his kingdom is a major part of the story.


Combat


Combat in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom isn’t that unusual for a JRPG, but quite different from Wrath of the White Witch. Combat is action oriented and the player will now directly control one of three active party members. Each character can have up to three melee and one ranged weapon equipped, and switching between weapons and characters is done using the D-Pad. Each character has a regular and strong melee attack, square button and triangle respectively, and can pull off ranged attacks at any time with R1 provided they have sufficient mana. Jumping, blocking and dodging are all crucial parts of battle as well. Party members need to get up close and personal to the enemies, and in battles with flying enemies ranged or jumping attacks are required to bring them to the player’s level. Additionally, each character can have up to four magic attacks equipped at a time that are activated by holding R2 and pressing the assigned button. During battle each weapon’s Zing Meter will fill, and when it is full it can augment special attacks. This drains the Zing Meter, but it automatically moves the active weapon to the next one on the menu, which usually should be close to fully charged if it isn’t already there.

For players that want to really test their combat mettle, throughout the world map there are stationary monsters with a purple aura. These are tainted monsters and they’re incredibly powerful. Taking them on is only advised if you’re at a comparable level and have proper equipment, but besting one of these beasts can yield worthwhile rewards. Capturing monsters to fight your battles for you is a thing of the past, however the critter component hasn’t been completely abandoned. Higgledies are little creatures with special abilities that help out in combat, but we’ll get to them later since those guys are deserving of their own section.


Skirmish


A Skirmish is where Evan leads his forces against an enemy army. To initiate a Skirmish simply walk to the enemy’s standard in the ground and the two armies will engage. Before the battle begins the player will have the option to choose which forces they wish to accompany Evan into battle, after Evan has acquired enough allies of course. There are three different weapon types of units in each Skirmish, and they operate on a Rock Paper Scissors system: Swords are strong against Hammers, Hammers are strong against Spears, Spears are strong against Swords. Evan’s forces will automatically attack their enemies when they encounter them on the battlefield, though the player can rotate the formation to maximum their units against the enemy. Military Might serves as a mana meter during Skirmishes, which can be used to activate a couple important functions and gradually is replenished as the player progresses through battle. When a unit uses all their soldiers they are defeated, and Military Might can prevent this by spending points to call reinforcements, putting Evan back in the fight. The other factor this plays into are special attacks, which can turn the tide of a losing battle if utilized properly.

Like each party member’s special abilities in routine battles, the special attacks available in a Skirmish are dependent on who Evan brings with him. A useful one that is available in the first Skirmish involves summoning air support from the Sky Pirates, and if the player can get enough of the enemy forces together in a cluster this can be a devastating attack. Attacking Shock Tactics when the option arises is highly recommended, as it essentially nullifies the game of Swords Hammers Spears and makes the party strong against everything and greatly reduces the rate at which the player’s might meter decreases. It should be noted that unit levels for Skirmishes are separate from Evan’s actual level.


Kingdom Development


Evan wouldn’t be much of a king without a kingdom, so after he claims the Heartlands and has a working relationship with a Kingmaker, it’s time to sit on the throne and start developing his royal realm. Money accumulates in the royal Coffers as citizens go about their day to day lives. The Coffers are filled with a unique currency, Kingsguilders, and these are used strictly for building and expanding the kingdom. The first part of developing the kingdom is building different facilities. There are a number of different facilities that can be constructed in the kingdom. Weapon and armor shops can be made to outfit the party, breeding and training Higgledies can be done at the local Higglery, spells can be researched and developed but these are only but a few of the different facilities Evan will take charge of.

After a facility is constructed, Evan will need to delegate a citizen to researching and upgrading the location. Each citizen has a different strength measured by their IQ in that area, and the four areas that are relevant to construction skill are War, Ingenuity, Spritecraft and Conjury, so choosing someone with a high IQ in the relevant area will impact how long research time takes. Upgrading the Kingdom itself will expand the borders and basically make Evan’s kingdom a force worthy of fear and respect, depending on which side we’re referring to. Building the kingdom up does require a considerable investment of time and Kingsguilders, but watching the makeshift encampment grow into a flourishing kingdom is a satisfying part of the game.


Tactic Tweaker


The Tactic Tweaker is a device Evan acquires in the game that plays a role in determining his party’s battle parameters. As Evan and his friends gain levels they acquire Battle Points which can be spent in the Tactic Tweaker to level up certain areas. The first area is the Monster Affinities, which allows the amount of damage inflicted on specific types of monsters to be increased. There are three sets of paired monsters, and as Battle Points are spent in this the player can choose which of the two types they want to increase damage against. The pairings are Solidity and Sliminess, Nature and Nobility or Wonder and Wildness. The player can shift which direction they want the bonus to go, so changing this setting often is recommended based on the enemies in an area.

The next area of the Tactic Tweaker is the Spoils Settings, which can influence the bonuses Evan and company receive from combat. This is a square grid where each corner represents a choice in where the bonus is applied. The choices are choosing an increase in experience or gold, rare materials or rare equipment, experience or rare materials, and gold or equipment. Each of these options can be activated at once, so depending on what the player’s individual goals they can tweak this to maximize their goal, for example a character that is finding themselves doing poorly in battle may want to activate both increase in experience options to gain levels more quickly.

Arts of War are six different parameters that influence battle, each one with three different levels. How many or how powerful they are is determined by how many Battle Points a player wishes to spend in this grid. The six parameters are Durability, which is how much damage reduction comes with blocking. Untouchability is how long the player is invulnerable after evading. Fleet-Footedness decreases the amount of time it takes to escape from battle. Dynamism increases the amount of MP restored by taking damage and using items. Eagle-Eyedness reduces the amount of time it takes to charge up a ranged attack. Brutality increases the damage increased by heavy melee attacks, or triangle button attacks. This section can be changed whenever the player desires, but naturally it should mesh up with the individual’s play style. Someone who is fights with reckless abandon and never blocks or retreats probably wouldn’t see much benefit to using Fleet-Footedness or Durability.

Elements and Ailments grants resistance to elemental damage and status ailments. This is set up like the Monster Affinities, but kind of in reverse since this is about defensive tactics and there are four pairings. The pairings here are Blaze Vs. Befuddlement, so choosing between fire protection or confusion resistance. Puddle Vs. Poisoning is water damage and poisoning. Bedazzlement Vs. Blackness is resistance against either light or dark damage, and the first pairing in this section that actually makes sense. Scirocco Vs. Sleep is protection against either wind or sleep. So these pairings are bit odd but making sense wouldn’t make it any more useful. A good general rule for the Tactic Tweaker is to constantly adjust the settings to make them more relevant to the monsters in the area.


Higgledies


Higgledies are those tiny cute bipedal critters that follow Evan’s party into battle. The party selection menu has one hundred spots for Higgledies, but only four can be taken into battle at a time, and rumors exist that special bonuses can be unlocked if Higgledies with certain commonalities are paired together. Higgledies have two basic stat parameters, feistiness and hardiness, which are essentially attack and defense power respectively. Like just about everything in an RPG these attributes will increase as they increase in level, but simply taking them into battle won’t cut it, they need a special facility constructed (see Kingdom Development) and a special someone has to be recruited to care for them, which when you get to that point of the game it should be an obvious choice. Higgledies are kind of like pets where each one has their own personality and trying to get a well-balanced group should be taken into account when selecting a Higgledy team, so pairing up a shy one with an aggressive one can help balance each other out. Each Higgledy has their own set of skills, which include the actions they automatically take in battle to ones the player can trigger when the Higgledy group has a circle around them, to awakening specific ones that are triggered when the player is in the special awakening state. Also, each Higgledy costs a set amount of points to be added to the party, and the total number of points can’t exceed ten so that also factors into choosing which Higgledies to take into battle.

Since you asked, the awakening state is what occurs when Evan’s NPC companion Lofty throws a golden ball into combat which activates this state. This allows the effected character to absorb nearby Higgledies, which causes them to trigger their awakening skills as well as imbuing the player’s attacks with high octane Higgledy power. The MP gauge also turns into the awakening gauge, and until that runs out, the player will have unlimited use of spells and special abilities with no MP cost.