Pandora’s Tower is one of those titles that took us completely by surprise when its existence was announced at a recent investors’ meeting. Of course, since then we’ve learned that it’s not a first-party venture after all, but instead a third-party venture by Ganbarion that Nintendo is helping to publish and likely distribute as well.
At first we weren’t quite sure what kind of game it would be, although the dramatic reveal just screamed “RPG.” Now we know it’s going to be an action-RPG, and thanks to the trailer above we have our first glimpses at what the story is going to be like. It’s all in Japanese, of course, but thanks to the power of the Internet that isn’t necessarily a problem.
The premise goes something like this: at a festival in the Elysium kingdom, a young girl named Ceres gets attacked by vicious demonic beasts and falls victim to a curse that will transform her into a demon. Her friend Ende hopes to break the curse using an Orichalcum Chain given to him by a merchant named Graiai to defeat monsters in the twelve towers. He’ll need to fetch demon flesh from the monsters in the towers and bring it to Ceres for her to consume to mitigate the effects of the curse. (Turns out her tribe doesn’t eat meat.)
This story mechanic works itself into the gameplay as well with a time system that sounds similar to the one in Majora’s Mask – run out of time and Ceres’ transformation will progress. You can monitor your time left by watching a meter at the lower-left corner of the screen It’s unknown if this triggers some kind of game over or actually gets worked into the story progression, but it’s definitely one of the central driving features of the game.
Ende can fight enemies using both the chain and his sword. The chain can be used in a similar manner to Zelda‘s Hookshot, grappling enemies and pulling Ende towards objects (or vice-versa). You’ll use it by aiming the Wii Remote – but there’s also an option to use the Classic Controller. There are a lot of combat elements mixed with exploration and puzzle-solving – kind of par for the course when it comes to action RPGs.
The game looks pretty nice, too – no stunning HD, of course, and it seems to even be pretty far from the best Wii can do, but the visuals still hold up. Check out the screen gallery below if you want to take a look. Of course, this one will probably get tossed in the pile of “Nintendo-exclusive RPGs that never make it to the West,” but hey, can’t hurt to be curious, can it?