Chatting with Silent Hope’s Localization Producer at PAX West 2023!
This action RPG is one to look out for this fall!
We had an opportunity to visit the XSeed booth at PAX 2023 and sample various games, including the upcoming action RPG Silent Hope. The game is developed by Marvelous, who are best known for their flagship Story of Seasons and Rune Factory series. During our play session, we chatted with XSeed’s localization producer Anthony “Dino” Dinoffria about the game.
Silent Hopewill be released on the Nintendo Switch and Steam on October 3rd. The Switch version will have a Day One edition with various goodies for collectors. Be sure to check out this game if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing action RPG with a compelling gameplay loop!
Can you tell us a little bit about Silent Hope?
Silent Hope is an action RPG with a top down isometric viewpoint and dungeon crawler type gameplay loop. So you will go into the dungeons and battle as much as you can. Then you’ll go back to base camp, which is above ground, and there you have seven heroes who have seven unique jobs. So you’ll be doing farming, crafting, rearing animals, and then you can customize your equipment, create new equipment, create new dishes through cooking for buffs, and there’s a lot of customization for your equipment as well. So that way you can play any way that you want to. It’ll be coming to Nintendo Switch and Steam on October 3rd.
Any possibility of Xbox and PlayStation versions?
Not at this time, sorry.
We noticed the game has some familiar aspects from other Marvelous games like the cow Story of Seasons. Is there any connections between this game and Story of Seasons or Rune Factory
So there are some little hidden connections to those games. So if you’re a fan of our games, you’ll definitely notice some connections.
Is this primarily a solo experience?
It’s a single player experience with a relaxing game play loop despite being an action RPG. So it lends itself very well to portable play on Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch. It is also a budget title. So it is only $40 digital. We also have a launch discount and we also have a premium physical edition that comes with a large art book soundtrack that is only $50.
Oh that’s nice; we could use more games at that price point.
We need more of those in the industry.
What do you say is the ratio between the action segments and the crafting aspects?
Personally I’d say it’s about 60% action RPG dungeon crawling. Then it’s 40%, crafting and being on your base camp base. It depends on your play style, so you could be doing the action more, so it could be more 70/30 depending on the player.
So, crafting is a required part of the game?
I would say there is a bare minimum required. It’s just your base camp. It’s just your seven heroes and the princess who is behind you in this personal teardrop. There’s not too much to manage if you’re kind of adverse to farming or crafting.
Which character is your personal favorite?
I love the caster. He’s great. He’s got a great aesthetic. First off, I would wear what he’s wearing. He is a really fun, long range character. Then the second favorite might be the warrior. She’s got a huge axe type weapon. She loves huge weapons. She’s a very slow fighter but deals tons of damage. Okay. Lots of the characters in this game utilize buffs and debuffs. There’s a big emphasis on that. Let’s say you’re playing as the farmer, she’ll eat a turnip, and then becomes more speedy. Or you play as the wanderer and who has a shield bash which stuns enemies briefly.
So the premise is that none of these characters can speak?
The game’s story is that the king of this kingdom stole the ability to speak from the entire populace. He found the ability to speak to be the source of evil. So he stole that and then hurled himself into this abyss. We don’t exactly know why. There are so many mysteries behind this. So the princess cried for 100 years straight. Her tears increased her in a crystal teardrop. That’s why she and why she speaks to you telepathically. You’re trying to figure out those mysteries and why he did this. You’re chasing after him, and there’s a lot to unravel there. There’s a lot of lore for each character and for the backstory of this kingdom.
I was very curious about the part with them not speaking. It must be a challenge to tell a story where the main characters don’t speak.
Well, so thankfully we have the princess who can be a wonderful narrator. We do have a lot of items and item descriptions that have a lot of lore,
The art style looks rather charming and welcoming.
It’s a very, very inviting art style with lots of primary colors, very cute. Lots of little touches, too, that you don’t really expect to see in a lot of games or you might not notice right away. There’s are bushes in the dungeon and they wobble back and forth like jello. it has like a clear like sway, that starts slow, then goes fast rather than just a little simple nudge or something. There’s a lot of love put into the little details in this and it’s very polished.
Is there a feature you’re most excited for players to experience?
I really want them to get into the customization because the enemies are super cool and there’s lots of really big bosses to face off against. There’s so much customization you can do and many weapons have slots that you can add little buffs to or little status effects.
Are the levels pre-made or randomly generated?
The floors are randomly generated. So once you explore a floor, then that floor is established. It exists as it is. But so there’s a bit of roguelike elements to it. It’s a narrative-driven story and does have an ending. So it doesn’t go on and on forever. There is post-game content, of course. If you started a brand new game, you would have brand new dungeon layouts.
The crystal teardrop will allow you to swap your characters in the dungeon or return to base camp.
Each character levels up individually, I’m assuming?
Correct. Everybody levels up on their own. Everybody has a facility back at base camp, so they will also level that up. You gain points as you battle through the abyss.
Can you give a rough estimate on how long the game is?
I would say for like the very main part of the game, you can do it within 10 hours, I think, but that’s only on normal difficulty, and I don’t think that’s even doing like, the entire first part of the game. But as you can see here in the base camp, everybody’s doing their own job. And whenever you switch out someone’s job, the wanderer there, he takes over for anybody. So someone’s always doing work, don’t worry about that. He really is a jack of all trades, master of none.
Visually the the game reminds me of Fantasy Life on the 3DS.
Yeah, yeah! It has that kind of cute Fantasy Life aesthetic, kind of like an HD 3DS game.
How long does it take to clear a floor in these dungeons?
They get longer and more complex as you go in. So initially you can get through a floor in a minute if you’re just going quickly through it. It also depends on what types of enemies you’re encountering and what level you’re at, how long it takes you to defeat them, and what types of things appear on the floors. So you’ll get little areas that you get trapped in, and then you have to defeat a certain amount of enemies before it lets you leave. Some floors have like special, backend areas that you can go to where there are even stronger enemies. You’ll probably want to challenge yourself to get better loot.
I ask about the length and gameplay loop because you mentioned this is well-suited for playing on a handheld.
Yes. It’s wonderful for handheld gaming. The text size is pretty good, too, for handheld gaming, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that. Sometimes that’s an issue with games.
Is there a difficulty toggle in this game, or is there one standard difficulty?
I believe there’s a difficulty toggle.
I think you guys mentioned there’s an opening song performed by a certain Japanese band (KAMI WA SAIKORO WO FURANAI).
Correct. Yeah. We have an opening animated intro that plays in the full game. You can also see it on YouTube. We’ve uploaded it there with the whole song as well.
Is the game fully voice voiced or is it just the princess?
So the characters who speak are voice acted. The objective of Silent Hope is to find the king who stole the speech. Maybe if you can find him, something good will happen. Both the English and Japanese voice cast are full of very talented people.
Are there a lot of cutscenes in this game?
The story is mostly told through narration, but there are some in-game cut scenes. While in the dungeons you’ll find pillars of light where the princess can speak to you directly. There’s lots of really cute things with her dialogue in certain areas. She’ll try and tell you a story and then you move away from it because you’re in full control. Then she’ll say, Hey, what, what are you doing? Like, can you come back?
For more info about the check out the official website here! The game can be purchased digitally on the Nintendo eShop and Steam. The aforementioned Day One Edition can be purchased at participating retailers.