The director for the turn-based JRPG Monark, Fuyuki Hayashi, has participated in an AMA on Reddit in partnership with publisher NIS America. He answered the thread’s top 20 voted questions, providing detailed responses offering more insight into his creative process and what players can expect from the game’s full release.
Without spoiling the contents of these questions, since it’d be best to view them via the archived Reddit thread, I was pretty interested in a few of the answers. Perhaps the most intriguing one for me was the following when Hayashi was inquired by Reddit user eliterun regarding what has influenced his creative work to tackle “psychological darkness.”
Ego exploration and separation from society… might be a pretty accurate analysis.
It may have been due to the influence of all the games I played in the past, or it may have been a result of the problems I dealt with at home and at school when I was a child. Perhaps I became conscious of the concepts of “Ego exploration” and “separation from society” as a result of the many experiences I was denied by my parents and classmates, or of the longing I felt to escape from my family and the groups to which I belonged.
We want players to experience “the pain associated with realizing they are alive, and a sense of freedom that will help them to feel more optimistic.”
You can view all of the questions Hayashi answered during this AMA via the JRPG subreddit.
Monark takes place in Shin Mikado Academy, where the player character has just awoken. The academy lies beyond a barrier separate from the real world and is plagued by a Mist that can mentally overwhelm humans. Luckily, Daemonic powers reside in this world that can allow humans to survive, and you’ve just acquired the Authority of Vanity. From here, the player character and four others create the True Studen Council and fight against the darkness.
The gameplay features a balancing act between Authority and Madness where using Authority will raise your MAD Gauge. When at max, you will attack enemies and allies. Further, players will utilize six characters with a free movement battle system. The academy grounds can be explored to connect to the Otherworld, which leads to solving mysteries.
Monark is releasing for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on February 22, 2022.
If you missed it, check out our impressions of the demo.
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