A new Fairy Fencer F game is not something gamers expected from Idea Factory since it’s not one of their high-profile series. The original Fairy Fencer F released in 2013, and an expanded, enhanced version called Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force came out in 2016. Those games featured a traditional turn-based battle system similar to those in the Mugen Souls and Hyperdimension Neptunia games, where characters could freely move around the battlefield before executing an action. This made otherwise traditional battling feel more dynamic and less stiff.
Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord may be a direct sequel where Fang, Eryn, Tiara, Harley, and friends make a dramatic return, but it takes a different approach to combat. Rather than utilizing the free-roaming turn-based battle system, it’s a full-on strategy RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. This is not new territory for Idea Factory, as some of their earlier games, like Record of Agarest War, were SRPGs. Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord appears far more refined than their previous strategy RPG efforts and aims to please both SRPG fans and the Fairy Fencer F faithful, with a multitude of gameplay systems, special attacks, and more. Today, we have some exclusive footage that highlights a few of these elements, both new and returning to the series: Fairize, Fairy Aura, terrain and positioning in battle, and powerful Avalanche attacks.
Fairize & Fairy Aura
Series fans will be glad to see that Fairize (where a Fencer character and their fairy partner temporarily merge into a superpowered form) is back, with the familiar (and very cool) vocal theme music to boot. This is fitting, as music is a powerful force wielded by new beings called Muses in Refrain Chord. They perform songs called Fairy Arias that provide temporary modifiers like buffs and debuffs to a portion of the battlefield and are accompanied by new vocal themes when in effect. But watch out, because if another Muse has a Fairy Aria active and both Muses’ areas of influence overlap, it creates a Dramatic Resonance where multiple boosts are active in the Resonance Area, and anyone in that area reaps the benefit.
Another notable mechanic is Avalanche. During combat, a shared meter builds up, and all characters within a certain radius can dogpile an enemy with an Avalanche Rush once it’s full, similar to the All Out attacks in Persona 3. When Avalanche happens within a Fairy Aria or Dramatic Resonance, it supercharges into Avalanche Harmonics that not only boost attack power but can inflict nasty statuses on enemies. As you can see in the video above, these attacks are also incredibly flashy, as befits their nature.
Terrain & Positioning
As with many SRPGs, height and terrain play a role. For example, the unit with the higher ground deals more damage to those below it. Greater damage also occurs when attacking a unit from behind or from the side. Besides height and positioning, the type of terrain characters are standing on can also affect them. For example, a unit in tall grass will have reduced accuracy.
Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord looks to be an enjoyable SRPG with solid gameplay mechanics, great tunes, and Idea Factory’s distinctly vibrant visual style. Fairy Fencer fans will be glad to reunite with Fang and his friends in what truly feels like a new adventure thanks to a new combat system that promises plenty of strateg-i-licious enjoyment. Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord comes out for PS4/5 and Switch on April 25th and Steam on May 23rd. Look for more coverage of Idea Factory’s latest here on RPGFan!