Gallant is a knight of the Kingdom of Solance whose reputation for personal combat prowess and feats of valor performed in defense of his peers is reflected in his meteoric rise through the ranks. His distinguished service eventually earned him a position in the Sunguard, serving as Princess Leila’s second-in-command at Laramore Castle. His promotions have not dampened his enthusiasm or drive: indeed, even now, there are few chivalric pursuits that—once he has put his mind to—Gallant has not excelled in.
It may be that Gallant’s drive can be traced to his greener years as a recruit, when his then-superior (a notoriously unpleasable knight) instilled in Gallant an ambition to strive for chivalric perfection. Nowadays, Gallant’s meticulous perfectionism extends to his treatment of his fellow knights, much to their chagrin. Unfortunately for them, Gallant sees the immense pressure of his demands as a motivating factor, rather than a burden. Still, none can dismiss Gallant as anything but earnest, and though he is prideful, this courteous, powerful, courageous knight has much to be proud of.
Gallant is a mounted lance-wielder with very high Resistance, excellent Strength, and dependable HP and Defense, making him well-suited for the vanguard in battle. This role is further emphasized by his ability to passively grant extra Movement to allies who are adjacent to him when the player’s turn starts, encouraging thoughtful but aggressive positioning with Gallant at the forefront of battle. Like other mounted units, Gallant can use his leftover Movement when he finishes attacking to move without being forced to end his turn, allowing him to strike at enemies and then reposition himself such that as many allies as possible can benefit from his mobility-boosting aura.
Gallant’s initial Combat Arts are further representative of his role as the pace-setter of the party. One of these is Veteran Spike, which has high base damage but is unable to bring a foe to zero health and cannot deal critical hits. While this might not seem terribly useful at first glance, Veteran Spike gives Gallant the ability to weaken enemies without defeating them himself so that other units can do so easily, easing the growth of units who have fallen behind or struggle to gain KOs in battle themselves.
The mirror of this is Honorable Charge, which has strong initial damage but reduces Gallant’s effective Avoid until combat ends. This gives Gallant a chance to eliminate foes with a single strike, but should his target survive, he is much more likely to be retaliated against.
Leila is one of the many daughters of King Eder, the Bulwark of Light and current ruler of the Kingdom of Solance. Like all of his children, she was expected to give some service to the state in preparation for assisting whomever would inherit his title, and to this end, she was enrolled as a commissioned officer in the Sunguard, defending Solance’s eastern border. Despite her background, Leila refused to be given any special treatment, and rose through the ranks on her own merits, never ceasing her pursuit of greater strength and tenacity.
Her achievements, rather than her royal lineage, earned her an appointment as the garrison commander of Fort Laramore, a castle on the eastern border of Solance, which had been constructed to shore up the one gap in the natural barrier that the mountain range provided to her homeland. It was a role she accepted from her father with pride and an avowed oath to defend until her dying breath.
That promise may soon be tested. After years of distinguished service directing the defense against monsters and brigands large and united enough to be called “armies,” her aptitude as a commander and knight must stand strong against incursions more coordinated and threatening than she has yet seen. She is not called “The Aegis of Laramore” without reason, but if she wishes to continue to protect her homeland from insidious threats which only grow bolder and more organized by the day, Leila shall have to steel herself and her comrades for the battles to come.
Leila is a sword-wielding armoured unit with high Health and Strength. However, Leila also has the ability to wield greatswords, a subclass of swords which have increased Might but are less accurate, lower the Speed of the wielder, and are unable to make follow-up attacks. Leila can alleviate these drawbacks, in part, through the use of her Two-Handed Swing Combat Art, which grants bonus accuracy in combat but can only be used with greatswords, allowing her to deal high singular instances of damage with greater consistency.
Leila’s incredible power also manifests in her ability to alter the environment to the benefit of the party. If Leila is deployed, she can destroy certain terrain obstacles, such as walls and doors, that would otherwise be immutable fixtures on the battlefield. This allows her to open up pathways to engage enemies, find escape routes from troublesome situations, or simply bypass dangers such as environmental hazards or ambushes.
As a Dark Elf, Keri hails from the Everdark, in the southernmost point of Norica. There, the sun is a cold, infrequent visitor, its warmth and comfort a distant memory, and the gloom and chill that its absence creates has long since colored the character of its inhabitants. Few who do not call the Everdark home know much of it, and it is not a place which welcomes the curious.
Dark Elves live in underground colonies to avoid the cold of the surface, a subterranean existence that even further isolates them from the world outside of the Everdark, and despite the challenges, they had been content to spend their lives thusly for ages long past. Yet the quietude of their home has recently been disrupted: Bloodlust, a Demoness of obscure origin and motivation, has begun luring Dark Elves to her side, rallying allies as she advocates for aggression against the north.
Those Dark Elves who have grown tired of their underground existence and long for the warmth and light of the sun have been particularly vulnerable to her suggestions, but despite their bitterness, there is far from a universally positive response from the Dark Elves to Bloodlust’s offers. And whispers abound of individuals with affinity for the sorcerous arts vanishing when scouts seeking fresh recruits for the Demoness come upon a Dark Elf community, but the details are scarce, and Bloodlust’s forces are hardly forthcoming about where their recruits are stationed.
It was one such rumored disappearance—that of her younger sister, still but a child, with only the faintest whisper of magical talent—that motivated Keri to offer herself as a Blade to Bloodlust. She hoped that, by advancing within the ranks of Bloodlust’s Dark Elf auxiliaries, she might yet find out whether her sister’s sudden departure was linked to the Demoness, and, if so, how she might come back into contact with her.
But that was years ago, and Keri’s hopes have yet remained unrealized. Her patience is wearing thin…as is her loyalty, already tenuous, to Bloodlust herself.
Keri is a unit with high Speed, Skill and Resistance who uses daggers, preferring to avoid counterattacks while being adept at cleaning up weakened targets. Uniquely, Keri is always able to use her leftover Movement to move after attacking or acting even if she is not a mounted or flying unit: this gives her freedom to reposition herself back to safety after targeting a foe, or after interacting with map objectives such as chests or doors.
Adding to Keri’s mobility and utility options are her ability to access Rogue Tools. These are consumable items only available to classes such as Thieves, among others, which are intended to help units in these classes accomplish secondary objectives or position themselves optimally. Some, such as Smoke Bombs, grant the user a short-range teleport, while others such as the Long Lockpick allow items to be interacted with from further away to avoid risking damage from traps or leaving the user vulnerable to ambushes. When combined with Keri’s ability to move after acting, this gives her incredible mobility, well in excess of flying or mounted units without suffering from any of their vulnerabilities.
As one of the Squirrel Folk who make their home in the Whimsy Grove, Coco had always felt more at home in untouched natural environments. The wariness of her people ensured minimal contact with other species, and even isolated Squirrels from others of their kind who made their homes in other forests across Iuven. Such a philosophy had given her the freedom to live off the forest to help support her community…and find some peace away from her many, many siblings, for to call Coco’s family home “crowded” would have been an understatement to the extreme.
But she had had no cause to complain, especially when a routine, idyllic venture into the woods for medicinal herbs had led Coco to meet her curious neighbours, who had kept careful watch over the people of Iuven from the safety of the forests since ages past.
The Critters—or so they were called—were friendly spirits of the forest, their curiosity and playfulness only matched by their fickle nature and skittishness. They were the subject of many whispered rumor and folktale, even less well-understood than the Squirrel Folk themselves were to those outside their forest villages, and she had suddenly become one of the few to make contact.
Now, as catastrophe threatens Iuven, and Coco’s people retreat deeper into the ever-shrinking safety of their forests, she must balance her care for her fellow Squirrels with the new, motherly desire to protect the Critters who have placed their trust in her. She will not allow them to regret their rare show of vulnerability.
Coco specializes in healing allies and debuffing enemies as she attacks them. Though she can only deal modest damage, she can debuff her targets, increasing their damage vulnerability for future combats, which especially helps weaker allies in battle.
Her above-average physical durability and Avoid help her maintain an active role in battles without needing to retreat when attention turns her way, which is very unique for a healer.
Additionally, as a herbalist, Coco can heal herself in any forest or herb tile by picking herbs. If she’s lucky, she may even find some extra herbs to help her allies, as well.
Coco’s most unique abilities, however, are tied to her ability to summon her Critter ally, Maple. Maple is a relatively durable lance-wielder who can be controlled like any other unit when he’s active, but he’s more than just a temporary summon: he’s a fully-realized unit who can level up, learn skills, and gain stats completely independent of Coco’s own progression. However, he must be summoned by Coco in every battle that you wish to include him in.
Managing and optimizing your inventory and item distribution has always been integral to planning in SRPGs, and Gales of Nayeli is no exception. Each individual unit has seven slots in their personal inventory that they can access at any time: these seven slots can be occupied by any combination of weapons, consumable items, or held items that grant passive bonuses, which you select from your roster-wide convoy when distributing items to your party.
Units can benefit from multiple held items at once: therefore, you should feel free to experiment with diverse and inventive combinations of weapons, consumables, and held items when deploying for battle. Most items can also be traded between adjacent allied units after the battle begins.
Here are three of the held items that you’ll be able to find and make use of:
Swift Ring: Gives the holder 3 bonus Speed and also grants them access to the Leap skill when held. Leap allows the user to reposition themselves to any tile adjacent to an allied unit that they are themselves adjacent to.
The Speed bonus and Leap are powerful, and have a wide variety of applications. For instance, this item can help mobile units shift themselves into even more advantageous positions than were already available to them, or it can help lower-movement units catch up to their faster allies and avoid falling behind. For any unit, the bonus Speed makes them more likely to avoid attacks and be able to perform follow-up attacks on their target, increasing their survivability and attack frequency.
Watchman’s Rope: Allows the wielder to climb up Watchtowers without using their action, if they do not already have the ability to do so.
Watchtowers are common terrain features which increase the damage, accuracy, and range of projectile and ranged magical attacks used by anyone occupying them, but normally take a unit’s action to mount. This item expands your strategic flexibility when Watchtowers are present on a map, enabling you to position units on Watchtowers more aggressively.
Cursed Locket: Increases the holder’s Critical Hit Chance by 15%, but reduces their Critical Hit Avoid by 25%.
The benefits to increased Critical Hit Chance—such as the ability to potentially eliminate worrisome targets in one strike—are obvious, but so too are the risks of being more likely to be critically hit in turn. Clever positioning by the holder, as well as defending them with allied units, can help offset the drawback of this high-risk, high-reward item.
This is just a very small preview of the rich diversity of items that can be found, purchased, and earned as you explore Iuven. Make sure you collect everything you can, and experiment with what you find to test new strategies and refine old ones!
Sawyer is a former knight, one who has long since shed his official duties and the heraldry of his order in favor of the simple life of a wanderer, seeking to exercise his skills in combat in exchange for food or a safe night’s rest. He seems to prefer this simpler life: perhaps he finds the act of assisting locals more rewarding than the glory and grandeur of large-scale battle or service to nobles.
His favorite pastime is to recount old war tales, and every time he gets into the swing of storytelling, he’s easily able to lose himself in the past. Clever or frequent listeners will notice his habit of dropping or rearranging key events, locations, figures and factions with little respect for consistency between retellings, muddying the distinction between exaggeration and lived experience. This makes tracing common elements in his stories difficult, and trying to piece together a coherent past from them impossible, which is just how Sawyer likes it.
Sawyer will always endeavor to support those in need, regardless of whether or not doing so will get him in trouble, or put him in danger, on someone else’s behalf. There is little he enjoys more than being generous to the needy, courteous to the downcast, and protective towards the oppressed, and in this, Sawyer is a marvelous specimen of a knight, one who sincerely seeks to uphold chivalric values in their ideal form. There are few who are displeased to make his acquaintance, and none who regret calling upon him for aid.
Befitting his status as a knight errant, Sawyer specializes in mounted combat, combining durability with high mobility to ride down his opponents aggressively with axe in hand. When initiating combat, Sawyer gains bonuses to his offensive and defensive stats, giving him safer and easier opportunities to charge forth and begin battle with a brutal initial blow to soften enemies up for his allies, or even dispatch weaker enemies outright.
Because his role requires him to operate in the vanguard, ahead and away from the rest of the party, Sawyer has Combat Arts that deal additional damage to targets when he is not near allies. Furthemore, as a cavalry unit, Sawyer can disengage and dash away to safety using his leftover movement after initiating combat, allowing him to strike on horseback and quickly make a retreat to avoid any retaliation from his foes once it becomes disadvantageous for him to stick around.
Kitoko hatched alone in the Wyrms’ Grotto, an expansive underground cave system carved by miners that has since been abandoned and is now used by intrepid merchants looking to take a shortcut beneath the mountains to Mariner’s Bay.
Confused, isolated, and desperate, Kitoko grew up alone, perpetually at risk of an early death in the unforgiving tunnels and caves of Wyrms’ Grotto. Her circumstances fostered an acute inner anxiety, but eventually, after seeing more and more travelers fall to the hazards of her home, she worked up the courage to try to reach out to passersby, to warn them of the risks that awaited that…and, potentially, make a connection to the outside world.
Her first few attempts failed horribly, and no matter how hard she tried to appear nonthreatening, those she tried to save fled from her without exception. Kitoko became disheartened, and convinced herself that, if communication was impossible, the best way to help travelers would be to scare them away from her home. Her plan succeeded almost too well, and the terror she inflicts on passersby earned her the moniker “Dragon of the Grotto.”
Now, though she is still lonely, Kitoko is glad that she can continue to steer people away from the true dangers lurking in Wyrms’ Grotto, and she holds out hope that, someday, she can learn about the world beyond her home.
Kitoko primarily wields her bow and arrows for damage, but possesses impressive physical defenses for an archer, and has the unique ability to quickly cure debuffs inflicted on her. This allows her to be positioned more aggressively compared to other archery-oriented units, taking risks that would be untenable for less durable units, or serve as a secondary bulwark to protect weaker units behind the front-liners.
Kitoko can use her serpentine fangs to deal Poison-element physical damage in melee range, as well as spew venom from a distance to deal Poison-element magical damage. She has excellent synergy with Poison weapons, which deal extra nonlethal damage after combat that ignores enemy defensive stats, helping her whittle down durable targets.
The first time Laetitia had seen sailors pull into her harbor hometown, and then cast off again, she’d been awestruck. Everything about ocean travel and ships entranced her, from the scale of larger vessels—and the wealth and planning required to own, maintain, and operate them—to the organization and camaraderie of their crews.
As the daughter of tavern owners on one of the islands that make up the archipelago of Corsair’s Mishap, Laetitia had had frequent contact with seafarers of all sorts. Sailors and even pirates entering her family’s tavern were frequently barraged with questions about the details of sea navigation, so eager was Laetitia to learn more about life on the waves. They were happy to answer her queries, though they turned her down when she begged to come aboard, much to the relief of her parents.
Laetitia vowed that she would take to the seas, one way or another, and make her fortune on the waves, a dream she continued to nurse even as she began helping her family around the inn and bar that had put her in contact with so many mariners.
The opportunity came when, one day, a ship docked at port was left unusually unguarded. She’d always been lucky: now was the chance for her to push it, and see if she could achieve her aspirations. So, with a hastily-written goodbye note to her parents, Laetitia stowed aboard the ship, hiding in the cargo hold before it could cast off, carrying nothing but her wits and a dream: to make it to Mariner’s Bay, and find a ship and crew that might make her a fortune.
As a Swashbuckler, Laetitia possesses the Seawalk ability, which allows her to walk through water tiles. In addition, her class gives her access to unique Pirate weaponry, such as Flintlock Pistols which gain additional damage based off of her Skill and Pirate Cutlasses which deal effective damage against other Pirate-class enemies. Her naturally high Luck and Skill give her excellent Critical Hit Chance, allowing her to deal high single-target damage both at range and in melee combat, while her unusual mobility options let her function as an assassin targeting isolated enemies from unexpected angles.
Her reliance on luck and dexterity carry over to one of her Combat Arts, Spray n’ Pray, which fires three times in a single combat round, with each strike having slightly reduced accuracy. If multiple shots connect, Laetitia can easily obliterate foes before they have any opportunity to damage her, but if luck is not on her side, some or all of the shots can miss, leaving Laetitia vulnerable and the enemy almost completely unscathed.
Weapons are the primary means by which units fight on the battlefield: if they’re striking an enemy in some form, they’re almost always using their equipped weapon as the basis for their attacks. To ensure that terminology is consistent, and that references to weapon types and character abilities makes sense, we’ll be going over the weapons in Gales of Nayeli today!
Basics of Weapons
As characters use weapons of a specific type more, they will gain Weapon Experience (WEXP), increasing their proficiency with those types of weapons. As a character’s WEXP raises, they gain the ability to equip higher-quality and more specialized weapons in that class.
When weapons are used to attack, they lose durability. Each individual attack takes one durability. Combat Arts will use additional durability. When a weapon’s durability reaches zero, the weapon will break, and have significantly reduced performance until repaired with a Grindstone.
Most weapons have additional effects, and very few have nothing more than their Might (MT), Hit, and Critical Hit Chance: however, before we discuss more specific weapon interactions and effectiveness, it’s important to go through the weapon types and their general attributes. These are, as follows:
Swords: Light and accurate, but deal modest damage at best.
Greatswords: Deal more damage than regular swords, but are less accurate and heavier, and cannot make follow-ups. Share WEXP with regular swords.
Axes: Stronger than swords, but less accurate.
Lances: Balanced damage and accuracy in comparison to swords and axes.
Daggers: Low damage but very high accuracy, able to hit twice consecutively before follow-up attacks.
Melee: Variable characteristics that vary depending on type and user, typically equipped by monsters or brawlers.
Gauntlets: Typically hit twice consecutively. Shares WEXP with Melee weapon type.
Talons: Accurate, but lower damage compared to other Unarmed types. Exclusive to Harpies, and the only Unarmed weapon they can use. Shares WEXP with Melee weapon type.
Bows: Typically have two to three range. Deal effective damage against Flying units.
Firearms: Variable range. Often gain extra damage modifiers or unique mechanics.
Staves: A unique weapon type that can heal or buff allies or debuff enemies, but cannot be used to enter combat. Healing potency is affected by the quality of the staff, as well as the user’s Magic stat.
These are the basic weapon types, and their usual characteristics, that the majority of enemies and playable units will rely on.
Tomes and Trinkets
When a character casts an offensive spell, their “equipped weapon” is considered to be a “Tome” or a “Trinket” bearing that spell’s name. These are considered Magical Weapons.
The three types of Magical Weapons are:
Elemental: All spells that deal Fire, Thunder, Ice, Wind, or Earth damage are considered to be Elemental Tome weapons.
Dark: All spells that deal Dark damage are considered to be Dark Tome or Trinket weapons.
Light: All spells that deal Light damage are considered to be Light Tome weapons.
Magical Weapons generally factor the user’s Magic stat against the opponent’s appropriate elemental resistance and Resistance stat, and typically cannot perform follow-up attacks.
Now that the foundations are out of the way, we can get into some of the more specific details embedded in the use of weapons, including their interactions and the concept of effective damage.
When an attack is effective against a target, the attacker’s Attack, including STR or MAG and Weapon MT, is increased by fifty percent when damage calculations begin. This damage is calculated before any applicable mitigations from the target’s Defense, Resistance, or Elemental Resistance.
Effective damage comes into play when a unit has a specific effective weapon and targets an enemy whose class, or other characteristics make them vulnerable to that weapon. However, effective damage can also be tied to particular Combat Arts.
Exploiting such vulnerabilities is a common tactic in SRPGs, but Gales of Nayeli does not have a traditional weapon triangle, wherein all weapons of a specific type are vulnerable to weapons of another type and advantageous against weapons of a third type.
There are, however, specific weapons that can replicate this dynamic, albeit in a different fashion. Some examples include the Deft Sword, which gives the wielder bonus Avoid against axe attacks; the Stout Lance, which prevents follow-up attacks and guarantees follow-ups against sword users; and the Bearded Axe, which increases Critical Hit Chance against lance users.
Having access to multiple weapon types is still very valuable, as some types of effective weaponry, or some specialized weapon interactions, are only available to specific weapon types. These are intended to allow for some specific weapons to create opportunities for weapon-class based counterplay, but without rigidly enforcing a rock-paper-scissors dynamic that controls all cross-weapon interactions. There’s much more to discuss on the topic, such as specific bonuses and elementally-imbued armaments, but given that this is already a very mechanical and information-laden update, we’ll spare you those details for now. We hope that this has equipped you with some of the knowledge you’ll need to best make use of the great variety of weapons to be found in Gales of Nayeli!
Navigating difficulty, progression, and the learning curve is crucial to balancing challenge in SRPGs, and to this end, we’re pleased to offer some tangible insight on how Gales of Nayeli approaches difficulty modes.
The game has two main difficulty modes: Normal and Veteran. However, Veteran has two derivative modes: Madman Mode and Cursed Mode.
There are no story events or extra rewards locked behind higher difficulties.
Normal Mode is intended to be in line with the standards of difficulty commonly associated with SRPGs. Regular enemies have easily manageable stat spreads, appear in groups, and have abilities and skills intended to emphasize their strengths or compensate for their weaknesses, while bosses or other unique foes are appropriately kitted-out so that they can still pose a challenge.
However, when some units join you in Normal Mode, they are equipped with extra held items. This is intended to smooth out some of the challenge in the early game when quality gear is rarer and resources are scarcer. This is the baseline difficulty recommended for first-time SRPG players or those looking for a less intense experience.
Veteran Mode adds a number of elements to elevate the difficulty above Normal Mode. The first, and most basic, is that most enemies will have more optimally-distributed stats, increasing the need for players to find clever use of the tools at their disposal. In addition, chapters and battles will have higher enemy counts at key locations as well as more enemy reinforcements. For example, a comparatively safe route on Normal Mode may be blocked off on Veteran Mode by an enemy able to conjure a magic wall, forcing you to plan around defeating them.
Veteran Mode is recommended for those more familiar with SRPGs, as well as anyone who desires a more intense challenge.
Madman Mode and Cursed Mode are considered mutually exclusive modifiers to Veteran Mode that can be enabled to spice up subsequent playthroughs.
In Madman Mode, when playable units level up, they gain no stat points: thus, your units will have to go through the entire game with their starting stats. This means that a great deal more planning is required to achieve victory!
Keep in mind, however, that units will still gain skills and combat arts tied to leveling up, and they will gain stat and skill bonuses tied to classes and promotions. Stat-boosting consumables are still usable, making these already-valuable items even more crucial. Any growth-modifying items will be altered to directly increase stats instead.
This modifier is only recommended to those who have experience completing “challenge runs” in SRPGs, or otherwise want the most brutally difficult experience possible.
In Cursed Mode, all non-mandatory droppable items are replaced by Cursed items. Cursed items often have powerful abilities, and can easily be the cornerstone of a particular unit’s build and progression. However, they also have very obvious downsides that push players to use them in creative ways, but clever character builds can work around and sometimes even benefit from these downsides.
Let’s take a look at two Cursed items:
Peculiar Bulwark: Halves damage taken, but also halves damage dealt.
This might be useful on a unit who intends to spend most of their time tanking or healing, or who plans on being useful indirectly through their abilities, items or debuffs.
Full Assault Badge: Increases damage dealt by 50% of Speed, but Speed counts as 0 in battle.
This could give a unit a very serious boost to their damage…but since Speed is tied to a unit’s ability to make or prevent follow-up attacks, as well as their Avoidance, having functionally zero Speed could be a very risky ordeal, albeit one with big payoffs!
These are just two of the Cursed items that you might find: we’re planning on having well over thirty Cursed items in the final build, which should provide you ample opportunity for experimentation! On non-Cursed Mode playthroughs, you can still acquire Cursed items through Cursed shops, so Cursed items are not locked to Cursed Mode.
Cursed Mode adds a large level of randomness and spontaneity, and is meant to spice things up for repeat playthroughs by forcing you to adjust the playstyles of your units according to the Cursed items you acquire.