|“||Humans vs. Monsters!
The final clash that decides it all!
|Rance X: Showdown|
|Ransu 10 -Kessen-|
(c)アリスソフト Box art
|Genre / Rating||Great War RPG / R-18|
|Character Cards & Skills|
Rance X: Showdown is the 13th and final game in Alicesoft's flagship Rance Series, marking the conclusion of the 28-year-old series. It was released on February 23, 2018.
Set around a year after the events of Rance IX, Rance X depicts war for control of The Continent breaking out between the unified forces of the Human Realm led by Rance and the forces of the Monster Realm led by the Dark Lord Kayblis. As the last installment of the Rance series, it places a particular emphasis on capturing the sprawling scope of the setting by incorporating as many details relating to it as possible. In particular, it features a tremendous cast of characters both new and old, and boasts well over 300 unique character portraits in total. For this reason, 3D models were not used as they had been in Rance Quest and Rance IX to accommodate the enormous number of playable characters that needed to be portrayed. Kichikuou Rance, the representative game in the Rance series, was used as a direct influence for its tone and aesthetic, with an aim of expanding on the grand scale established in the predecessor title.
Development for Rance X began toward the end of Rance IX's production, with an initial design pitch being completed in late 2013. While this pitch projected a spring 2016 release date, work on the game was repeatedly put on hold as TADA, the director of the Rance series, assisted in the development of Rance 03 and Evenicle. Formal work on Rance X did not start until production had finished for Evenicle in late 2015, pushing its release date back to 2018. Basic design structures also shifted significantly throughout development, with the combat system beginning as a deck-building card game in the style of Dominion before changing into an entirely unique one coined as a "Great War RPG" by the staff.
Rance X is notably the final game developed by the Rance series' creator TADA, who publicly announced his retirement as a manager and developer at Alicesoft in June of 2018 after the release of the game's fourth major update patch. TADA had expressed interest in ending the Rance series at ten mainline entries as early as the release of Kichikuou Rance in 1996, but remained cautious that the waning popularity of the eroge industry would prevent him from doing so throughout its production. Health concerns also served as a major motivating factor in TADA's decision to retire from active game development after the release of Rance X, with him describing the worsening physical strength that came as he aged as a second time limit that drove the game's creation. TADA personally designed all of Rance X's internal processes with the intention of making it easy for himself to implement additional content into it even after his retirement, but complications involving formula processing ultimately prevented him from doing so without the assistance of other programmers, significantly reducing the amount of post-release additions that could be made. Coincidentally, Rance X's release date also happened to closely align with the end of the Heisei era of Japanese history, which began in 1989: the year the original Rance game was released.
An official English translation by MangaGamer was announced on July 9th, 2018 alongside a translation of Rance IX. Rance X is notably the only game in the Rance series to have had its English translation announced in the same year as its release.
Described as a "Great War RPG", Rance X places the player in the role of the brutal warrior Rance as he takes command of the forces of the United Human Army to combat an all-out invasion by the Monster Army. The odds are overwhelmingly stacked against humanity as the mortality rate soars into the tens of thousands in each of the invaded regions, requiring Rance to carefully coordinate defensive measures in time to devise a miraculous strategy to turn the tables of the war. The overall difficulty is intended to be very high, with the player experiencing an oppressive air of urgency and frustration as they are forced to make the same difficult decisions that Rance is. There are multiple potential endings that can be obtained depending on how well the player performs, which are ranked on a scale of A through C based on how beneficially the conflict concludes for humanity. While it is possible to achieve an A-rank ending on a first playthrough, doing so becomes significantly easier on additional runs as points that can be used to purchase various useful perks are rewarded for each new ending attained.
As the leader of the United Human Army, Rance is placed in command of an elite combat unit known as the Dark Lord Extermination Squad to support the armies of the Continent's major human superpowers on the battlefield. The Dark Lord Extermination Squad is divided into ten distinct units based on its members' national or racial affiliation, with up to seven being capable of deploying into battle at once. In order for a unit to participate in battle, a single character must be selected from among its members to lead it. Every new character recruited into a unit contributes their power to its overall strength, with each unit growing exponentially in power as it recruits more members. Over 200 party members are available to be recruited, each with their own strengths and skills when assigned as their unit's leader.
Rance X's gameplay is broken up over several turns. Beginning in May of LP0007, each turn represents one half of an in-game month. The damage dealt to the attacking Monster armies and the defending human armies in each of the four major human superpowers is calculated at the end of every turn, with the region being captured by one of the two after the forces of the opposing side reach zero. At the beginning of a turn, the player must decide which of the four countries to send Rance and his allies to support by defeating the Dark Lords and Monster Generals in command of the enemy army. Depending on how successful Rance's efforts are, up to three icons in the shape of the Dark Sword Chaos will light up next to the country, with the damage received by the human army in the area at the end of the turn being greatly reduced for each icon gained. Defeating Dark Lords and monster generals also reduces the strength of the monster army in a region, improving the human army's chances of defeating it. As Rance and his allies can only be sent to assist one country per turn, it is critically important to carefully plan out where and when to lend aid during each turn. In certain instances, characters may die if the player has not accomplished a certain task on the battlefield before a set number of turns passes, preventing them from being used in battle.
When Rance's unit is sent to assist in a region, it begins a quest. Quests take place on a map made up of interconnected squares adorned with icons that denote various events, such as an enemy encounter or story progression, that will trigger when they are landed on. The party progresses through a quest one square at a time, and cannot move backwards once it has advanced forward. Maps have branching pathways that lead to different outcomes when taken, with certain pathways only opening if a prerequisite is met, such as defeating an enemy within an allotted time limit. Depending on the branch taken, a quest may end with resounding success, crushing failure, or a resolution somewhere in-between, making the player's performance during them key to securing victory.
During quests, items known as meal tickets can be acquired. Meal tickets can be given to recruited characters in-between quests to both improve their performance in battle and see up to three special scenes that focus on them. Alternate versions of characters may be unlocked as their meal tickets are completed, potentially substantially strengthening the player's forces.
After the total damages are calculated for each country at the end of a turn, a brief sequence known as the "Hero Phase" plays before the next turn begins. The total percentage of the global mortality rate is calculated during the Hero Phase, with the Guardian Hero of the World Arios Theoman taking action to impede Rance's progress after certain values are reached. Arios' interferences negatively impact the player in a variety of ways and may even end the game prematurely, further reinforcing the importance of minimizing causalities.
For over a thousand years, the Continent has been divided into two sides: the Monster Realm, home of the all-powerful Dark Lords and the monster hoards that they command, and the Human Realm, home of humankind and its kin.
In the year LP0007, the forces of the monster army suddenly invade the Human Realm, striking with both overwhelming strength and ferocity.
The civil war between Dark Lords, which had been locked in a stalemate for several years, had finally ended. Its victor, the Dark Lord Kayblis, was declared ruler of all of monsterkind.
His first decree was to take back the human territories using all of the forces at his disposal.
While the major human nations of the world attempt to fight off the invading threat, the immense power difference between their armies and the united monster army quickly becomes clear.
Humanity's strength steadily begins to waver in the face of the seemingly unstoppable foe.
The Human Realm's major world leaders hold a summit to discuss a means of combating the monsters, but are unable to reach an agreement between each other.
Just as all hope seems lost, the man known as Rance stands up:
"All of you just follow me, okay? I'll smash-up all the monster armies no problem!"
While the summit's attendees are understandably shaken by this bold declaration, they quickly accept it.
It is because of these six women, who have each witnessed Rance's heroism save the world from crisis firsthand, that the agreement is reached.
Under Rance, humanity is united as one.
Thus, the great war to determine the future of the Continent begins.
|Director, Game Assembly, Story Composition||TADA|
|Lead Artist, Assistant Director||Orion|
|Scenario, Story Composition, Assistant Director||Yoidore Dragon|
|Game Layout, Balance Adjustment, Technical Director||Purin|
|System CG, Map||Yūki|
|Artist (Gal Monsters)||MIN-NARAKEN|
|Game Programming, Technical Director||DJC++|
|Event CG Backgrounds||Renren
|Background Layout Coordination||Hirasawa Akihiro
|Music||Minatsu Eru (ASTLYRE)
PK Turtle (ASTLYRE)
|Sound Effects||DJC++ (ASTLYRE)
PK Turtles (ASTLYRE)
Studio Sakura Shuran
|Mosaics, Ethics Check||Takepen
All Alicesoft staff
|Sales, Promotion, Business||Watanabe
|Manufacturing, Sales Management||Shiraking