Legend warns that the Dark Prince, who is the servant of the Angel Calamity, will return to plunge the world into darkness. However, the prophecy also states once the Dark Prince arrives, so will the Maiden of Light, who is the servant of the Goddess Poitreene. What sounds like a typical RPG storyline soon snowballs into a very compelling and interesting story. While not as well written as Disgaea
, there's still enough humor and sarcasm to keep you playing just to see what happens next. Those who can stick through the clich and almost 'kiddy' setup of the story will find a much more mature and dark plot in the end.
La Pucelle: Tactics follows in the footsteps of other Strategy RPGs, but also manages to put its own spin on the genre. You begin the game with only thee characters. Prier and Culotte are students at La Pucelle, which is the church's demon-slaying Special Forces unit. Prier is the hothead of the group who is always looking towards the next big thing and hopes to one day become the Maiden of Light. Culotte, who despite appearance is a guy, is Prier's timid younger brother who can be a little over-sensitive at times. The two are joined by Alouette, their stuffy teacher whose past is a complete mystery -- even to her.
As the game progresses, you'll gain more soldiers in your army. How you go about recruiting allies is one of the game's more interesting twists. During battles you'll have to convince enemies to join your side by 'purifying' them. This leads to a whole new level of strategy since purifying takes more than one turn to do and counts as your character's move for that turn. Should you make a run at trying to recruit that monster right off the bat? Or should you take out other enemies first and hope he doesn't kill you in the process?
After a monster joins your team, you can train it to be a better soldier. Doing so plays out in a manner similar to something like Poke'mon or a digital pet, at least in a sense. While in the training dialog box you can feed your monster, make them do exercise and other activities. The trick is to find out what makes each monster happy so they will remain on your team. Another interesting aspect of the system is that you can trade in your allies to a Dark Recruiter for the Dark World for rewards. The better the recruit you give him, the better a reward you get.
Dark Portals also play a role in the game's strategy. Each battlefield contains colored squares which make up rows, similar to the Geo Panels in Disgaea. These rows not only produce new enemies, but can also provide benefits during battle if you can purify them. After a character purifies a dark portal, it will close and start a chain reaction destroying the rest of the row. Depending on the color of the square, a different effect will occur. Red squares cause fire damage while blue ones heal. The flow and direction of the rows is controlled by who is standing on it. When your character (or an enemy) stands on the square, it will create a flow in the direction that person is standing. This unlocks more strategic depth since you can try and aim the portal energies towards far-away enemies. You can even unlock miracles, which are similar to summons, by trapping enemies within a giant square created by the energy from one portal and purifying it.