Hello everyone. Tonight I finished my first playthrough of a game called Aselia the Eternal. I would like to officially submit it as a possible future Squad mission, because it is boss and I feel there are at least a few people here who will genuinely enjoy it. Allow me to elaborate.

The Elevator Pitch

Aselia the Eternal is a hybrid title which combines the rich, narrative-heavy nature of a visual novel with an elegantly simple-to-understand strategy RPG system that features an impressive amount of hidden depth.

Why You Should Play It

Besides just having a strong, interesting story, period, Aselia the Eternal is noteworthy for its interesting approach to blending gameplay and narrative together. The plot can continue unfolding at any time — even in the middle of one of the “strategy game bits” — and frequently does. This has the knock-on effect of meaning that you know exactly who every single one of your units is in terms of personality as well as statistics.

Its strategy RPG mechanics are also unusual and original but simple to understand and very effective. Its combat system rewards players who think carefully and strategically about what they are going to do, and minimises the role of chance so as to be almost non-existent.

It is also noteworthy for featuring one of the most well-realised fantasy worlds I’ve ever seen — and managing to create said world without flashy 3D engines or indeed any kind of “open-world freedom”.

Where To Get It

Here. Aselia the Eternal is published by JAST USA, who also carry a variety of “adults only” visual novel titles, but Aselia the Eternal is an “all-ages” title with no sexual content.

It costs $30 for either a packaged or physical copy, or an extra $5 if you want both.

Time Investment

A single playthrough took me about 54 hours. There are eight endings, but each subsequent playthrough is easier as you are able to keep your levelled-up characters and skip scenes you’ve seen.

Further Reading

I wrote two spoiler-free articles about the game for Games Are Evil’s regular visual novel column:

Aselia the Eternal and the Balance of Story and Game
Aselia the Eternal’s World Made of Words

I also wrote a gushing blog post in which I explain how the combat system works, if you’re curious.