What I’ve Got: Radiant Historia

Set on the fictional continent of Vainqueur, Radiant Historia follows the protagonist Stocke during a great war between the continent’s two powers. While the game draws upon many elements of other Japanese-style RPGs, what sets it apart is its innovative use of branching storylines. In the game, the user must travel forward and backward in time as well as between timelines in order to solve puzzles and complete quests. This gives the game a truly distinct narrative style: storylines intricately unfurl as the player pieces together snippets from various timelines, histories, and futures based on their decisions. Moreover, through the timelines feature, the player is asked to see events in the war from multiple perspectives: victor, conquered, statesmen, soldier, and bystander. This is complemented by several design features. First, the mixture of medieval, steampunk, and fantastical costume design give the game an anachronistic feel, which supports its unique treatment of time. The consistent blue-gray ambiance contrasted with a purple foreground throughout the game give it an insomnia-like feeling, reinforcing the timelessness of the game. Finally, the user interface (above) shows how various timelines are mapped for the player, giving a breathtaking view of the storyline that makes it both accessible and stunningly complex for the player.

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