Regalia of Men and Monarchs is a tactical RPG in the same vein as classic JRPGs. The story is Prince Kay inherits an old rundown kingdom which is also suffering from a huge debt stretching back through the generations. It falls to Prince Kay to rebuild the kingdom and settle this debt one way or another. There are a variety of activities which the player can engage in to progress the game which adds a layer of replayability and also helps Regalia avoid being too repetitive. This is our Regalia Of Monarchs & Men review.
There is an in game calendar around which the entire game revolves, and everything which can be done in game will expend at least one day. For example while at the castle a day can be spent with your companions, constructing/upgrading buildings, or fishing. Each chapter ends with a deadline by which certain tasks and quests must be completed. Failure to complete these tasks will result in failing the chapter and the game.
During the first chapter I realized even if I finished all the tasks early the chapter didn’t complete until the whole timeframe had elapsed. Because of this it’s difficult to speed through Regalia. I could do various things to burn days randomly but there’s no way to just skip ahead to the end of the chapter. However, even though I accomplished tasks in each chapter quickly the extra progress I made on other things did count towards the completion of the next chapter. As a result I never really felt pressed for time even when I was in the later chapters that had more things I needed to do by the deadline.
As with most RPGs Regalia does have dungeons and they are one of the most obvious ways to progress the game. Every dungeon has a specific number of days it will take in game to clear. Additionally days are expended traveling to and from dungeons which also makes them an effective way to burn days at the end of a chapter. It’s worth noting if you don’t’ have enough days left to complete a dungeon before the deadline you will not be able to start it. There are three types of nodes within dungeons which must be completed to clear a dungeon: Combat, Camp, and Adventure.
Combat nodes are where the tactical aspect of the Regalia really comes into play. Everything is done on a grid map and is turn based. You get one action per turn and each character can move a certain number of squares. Movement doesn’t have to be continuous and can be done at any point during the character’s turn. One of the more interesting aspects is there is no way to heal during a fight whatsoever. Because of this keeping track of the shields on characters and their status effects is incredibly important. If a character is KO’d they are removed from combat but do not die permanently.
One of the really smart aspects of Regalia is the characters all earn experience as a group instead of individual characters gaining XP when they are used. Because of this there’s no real pressure to take certain characters just to keep them leveled up with everyone else. I generally always picked whomever I thought would be the most useful, though the large assortment of enemies and variation in their abilities pretty much ensured I always took a well-balanced group with me. Also the way the talent selection works really forced me to think about what would likely be the most useful and to make the best use of each point. Talents can be completely redone at any time (outside of combat) so if you make selections which aren’t working you can make changes.
Camp nodes are the only place in dungeons where you can save and where KO’d characters will be revived. The other really important thing to know about camps is each one can only be visited once in a dungeon so planning when to use them is an important part of clearing the dungeon. The difficulty of a dungeon is also determined by the ratio of camps to combat zones. The hardest dungeons will have three or four combat nodes and only one camp so making the best use of your characters and not going to the camp too early is really important.
The last type of node in a dungeon is the Adventure node. These nodes are text based stories where you will make choices about how the story progresses. Some of these adventures are really straight forward and will have fairly obvious solutions while others are a bit murky. Depending on choices made in these adventures there could be extra combat, you might find some rewards, and/or you might lose or gain Reputation Points with the other characters in your party depending on how they feel about your choices.
Reputation Points (RP) are something which can also be earned through spending time with each character individually. There is a master calendar which lists the schedule of every character and where you can find them in your town. Spending a day with a character will of course cost a day but it is also the most effective way to increase your rep with the character. Sometimes you’ll just see an animated scene of you spending time with them, other times you will have to engage in an actual conversation and make choices which will affect how much RP you earn. As you reach higher levels of rep with a character you’ll unlock new bonuses with that character.
Each character also has a personal story arc which you experience as you get to know them. Some of these arcs even intersect with each other and can show some really interesting and unexpected sides to the characters. Most characters also have a personal quest which will have to be completed before you can attain the highest level of Rep with them. These quests range from super easy to quite difficult and offer another interesting thread in the story and are often quite funny.
The final way of advancing the storyline is through rebuilding the town itself by constructing and upgrading buildings. For the tradesmen who will join you this is an integral part of gaining rep with them because various rep levels will be locked until their building is finished. Every construction effort (building or upgrading) costs one day from the calendar and also has material costs which are gathered through clearing dungeons. Crafting and fishing is another activity which is opened up through the construction and upgrading of various buildings. Both are pretty straight forward in how they work and offer another way to acquire various goods and equipment.
Overall I really enjoyed the story of Regalia and found the writing to be both fun and amusing. All of the characters are written very well and have some great VO that really sells them as people quite well. One issue I did notice was as I got into the backend of the game there were a few points where the VO and the written text were not the same. Also, during one negotiations scene your siblings are supposed to be giving you advice, and for the most part this happened no problem. Unfortunately one of Gwen’s comments didn’t get loaded in and there was placeholder text where her advice should have been. These few issues were minor though and caused no real issues, but they were very noticeable.
For fans of tactical RPGs Regalia of Men and Monarchs is a must buy. The combat can be challenging and frustrating at times though there is a story mode available for people who would like a bit of a simpler game experience. Regalia had far more story and content in general than I was expecting going into the game and everything is executed really well.