Description99 Spirits is a Japanese RPG with strong puzzle elements. The story is based on the Japanese folklore of Tsukumogami where everyday objects come alive on their 100th birthday. The protagonist is Hanabusa, a girl who lives in the Heian capital of medieval Japan. When her mother Oyatsu, a shrine maiden, is slain by the Tsukumogami spirits, Hanabusa turns her life into a quest of vengeance to destroy all those spirits. The god of the mountain had Oyatsu's husband Hidetada made a craftsman forge the Gokon sword able to identify and defeat the spirits. Oyatsu sends it away through a man disguised as a white fox, a servant of the mountain god, who is able to deliver it to Hanabusa ten years later. Next to the spirits Hanabusa also has to deal with a man who infiltrated as her father's apprentice to obtain the sword. Soon after obtaining the sword, a spirit that claims to be her father breaks the sword and leaves Hanabusa powerless with the pieces. She has to unravel the mystery and mend the sword.
The environment is displayed as small grids shown from an almost top-down view. Hanabusa has to navigate the grid and solve puzzles to progress. Some cells trigger events, providing items or leading her into a fight. When the end of the grid is reached a next location can be entered. She has access to an inventory where items are stored to trade or to use. Battles are shown from a first-person view. It consists of attacking and defending in turns combined with timed actions resembling quick time events. Actions are performed automatically when a choice has been made. By defending, incoming attacks can be fended off and through a quick reflex it is also possible to counter.
More advanced techniques are performed through a gem system at the bottom of the screen where up to five gems can be used, built up through attacks. The first gem called Soul Split reveals a part of the identity of the shapeless Tsukumogami. Lower case words provide information about the type of spirit while uppercase letters provide a part of their name. Through the second gem called Soul Blind Hanabusa has to input the spirit's name after receiving enough letters to call out its name so it is forced to reveal itself and can be destroyed or captured. The other gem mechanics are introduced in later parts of the game. Hanabusa can capture enemies, use their skills in battle and use their abilities to solve puzzles on the field. The game contains 40 characters and over 100 monsters. This leads to multiple endings based on the player's actions.
The Steam version of the game contains full localization (audio and text) for both English and Japanese. It also offers the original Japanese version Tsukumogami as a separate game in the library. People who bought the game elsewhere, prior to the Steam release, through an official distributor, received a Steam key for free.
- "九十九神" -- Japanese spelling
- "Tsukumogami" -- Japanese title
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Related Web Sites
- 99 Spirits (official website)
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