Friday, 3 May 2013

Pandora's Tower: Game Design Assignment

When we begin to think about new ideas and ‘daydreams’ for our own personal game, we have to take into consideration about the target audience we plan to sell our idea to and how to tempt them into buying our product. One of the easiest ways without having to start loads of interviews or surveys is by looking at other game’s successes and what people enjoyed about them; which would be secondary research. On the other hand we could also take on a primary investigation of what our personal favourites in our video-game selection are and ponder on the questions -why was it good or amazing?
The image used as the front cover on the Wii game box. Elena is featured left grabbing onto to the Oraclos chain and Aeron is right; holding his precious sword.

As a person creating a game, we tend to think of our preferred genre and apply that to the ideas. Personally I’m an action-adventure/platform/RPG gamer which reflects through most of my games. For this assignment I plan to use one of my favourites that haven’t gained much recognition in England but was a huge success in Japan, fitting between the action-adventure/RPG style known as: Pandora’s Tower. It released in the year 2012 on April 13th, despite it being one of my favourites I haven’t got very far in the game because of other reasons. Recently though, I’ve been playing it and thought about analysing something no one really knows or has heard about.

The game starts off with a long cut  scene where we see Elena, a girl from Kingdom of Elyria, singing at a harvest festival where we also see a couple of glimpses of Aeron, who watches her intently from the ground. Suddenly monsters assault the city during the middle of the festival, Elena is instantly cursed transforming into a hideous beast.  Luckily Aeron finds her and the two escape the city with the help of a Vestra merchant named Mavda , who are now hunted down by the Elyria Army who have killed other helpless victims that were tainted by the curse; later said by Mavda. They reach a tower called the Observatory in the wastelands of Okanos near thirteen towers known as Pandora’s Tower and is placed in the middle of the Scar. Mavda begins to discuss about Elena’s curse signalling that in order to lift it, Aeron must use the Oraclos Chain to obtain the Master Flesh of the beasts that live within the 13 towers. Elena is also known to be strict about the believing and the following of Aios, this religion of Elyria states meat is forbidden to consume which when Aeron presents the flesh to Elena, and Mavda finally reveals the poor girl has to eat this, Elena instantly goes into shock having to mentally debate between not eating the flesh and never having a happy ending with Aeron and becoming a monster, or to consume the meat and hopefully lift the curse.

Elena singing in the Harvest Festival, this is shown in the opening cut scene before the curse appears.

Visual Style of Pandora’s Tower
Its visual style set is to be as realistic as possible in a slight cel-shaded way. The style closely resembles that of Final Fantasy and its supposed prequel: Xenoblade Chronicles and its sequel: The Last Story. As an added note, many fans of the game have compared Pandora’s Tower with not only the games mentioned above but Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword from Legend of Zelda.

-Pandora’s Tower
This game follows a realistic style based largely on fantasy whilst the people are created like anime characters.

-Xenoblade Chronicles
Xenoblade is supposed to be Pandora’s prequel and follows a similar style, once again it’s an RPG fantasy based game.

-The Last Story

Last Story is the sequel to Pandora’s Tower and same as its other two prequels the styles of the game is the same, as well as the genre. It has been said though that The Last Story is supposedly more ‘adult’ than the other two.

-Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is not a sequel or a prequel to the other games, however it’s another RPG genre game that competes with the other three games and is one of the best RPG game franchise on the market and has been for years. Again a big fantasy element is featured ( hence part of the title name), but it uses more weapons including fire arms compared to something like Pandora’s Tower giving the target audience more of a ‘modern’ feel.

-The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Twilight Princess has been known for a more adult theme compared to some of the other games in the franchise, but it does share some style similarities with Pandora’s Tower- especially with both game’s protagonists Link and Aeron. Despite this series not being an RPG, we still see an anime influence on the style of humans so it attracts children and more of a teenage audience and we have the whimsical side as well where creative creatures and enemies appear from everywhere.

Other Visual Styles

Okami visual style of Japanese Chinese watercolour art known otherwise as: Sumi-e style. Clover Studios wanted to influence the game with as much Japanese folklore and culture they decided on this art style, as well as if they went for a realistic version then there would be PS2 rendering limitations

Much like its prequel, the same Sumi-e art style is used but because the other game was aimed at an older audience, Capcom wanted to create new generations of the original characters but symbolising this making the Okamiden characters ‘Chibi’ style. In modern Japanese art, ‘Chibi’ is usual considered a very cute and simple design which would tempt a younger audience into playing the game; hopefully leading them into playing the original Okami.

-Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker
Wind Waker uses a cel-shaded visual style that incorporates a younger protagonist Link as more of a cartoon, comedy compared to other Zelda titles like Ocarina Of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.
Unless older people are previous Zelda fans, then Wind Waker would again be able at the younger audience, not just for the art style but the colours as well because they’re really bright and plain instead of containing -shading- once again appealing to younger children.

-Professor Layton: Miracle Mask
Throughout all the Professor Layton games, the same visual style appears during gameplay and in cut scenes. Compared to other games that uses a strong manga/anime style, this game’s series and other’s like Bleach and Naruto Ninja Storm do truly follow this art; hence why there’s plenty of anime dvds on Professor Layton and many other franchises. At the time when Layton was being developed they wanted to create something different compared to all the other games on the market, being strong admirers of anime and manga they decided to use this style in their game. It paid off though because the game instantly gained many fans. This style of art is quite simplistic going slightly into the ‘Chibi’ type at times, yet the colour palette is quite sophisticated and shows what could be a realistic scene- just in an anime approach though.
-          Darksiders
Darksiders visual style is realistic holding a strong fantasy influence across the game, however it’s noted that it represents a gothic and ‘deathly’ flair across the game where we would expect to see demons, zombies and horrific creatures. What gives this idea away despite looking at the creatures in this image is the colours, grey, pallid white and especially black all sum up to a Dark Age or time in life. This will be aimed at older viewers consisting of elder teenagers and adults.

The first character I want to analyse is Aeron; he’s the main protagonist in Pandora’s Tower which is an RPG/ action-adventure genre game. It starts off where Aeron, an Athosian soldier faces a personal and emotional mission along with his friend Elena, who’s bound by fate which causes her to mutate into a monstrous abomination. The only way to reverse the curse is to slay 13 monsters and bring back the flesh of each creature, so that Elena will be saved. Enemies are attacked in two ways, one with a bladed weapon offering hard-hitting results up close and the other,  with a magical chain possessing the uses that extend far beyond overcoming opponents; known as the Oraclos Chain.
In my opinion Aeron is stereotypically portrayed as the protagonist, or someone protecting a kingdom because if we look at what he is as a being, he doesn’t resemble anything abnormal and looks like an ordinary person with no scary intentions. With what he’s wearing we can see there’s some armour which would suggest he’s a knight or a fighter of some sort, plus looking at the trousers you can just make out a golden cross. By having a cross that’s golden the creators could be trying to communicate with the target audience that this character is very faithful to the games main religion and is a fighter of their god. Then you have the colours gold and crimson which represent royalty backing up the idea he’s a knight and the colour ashen which would suggest purity and innocence meaning Aeron could have been forced into the army. With this it proves that Aeron was designed for his purpose as the protagonist.
I think Pandora’s Tower was based towards and older teen/young adult audience that enjoy RPGs and action-adventure genre games. Aeron was created this way for the audience, even though he seems quite young (resembling the elder teens) he’s dressed as someone older which can tempt people into questioning his back story plus it makes him seem more adult. So what gives him away as a fantasy character than anything else despite the clothes? His sword is completely different to a normal and simple style, at the top it contains possibly runes from the games religion and is attached to the Oraclos Chain which is something that you don’t see in everyday life.
Aeron personally reminds me of Legend Of Zelda’s protagonist Link, especially in the game Twilight Princess as the characters share many similarities, as I’ll now explain.  Link is always the protagonist in any Zelda series and the concept art here is based off the Twilight Princess game. Without playing any Zelda games we have an idea that this character is on the good side. For example the colours aren’t dark bold colours they’re quite relaxed. Verdant could be symbolised with for yes or go because these words are usually in this colour giving us the clue yes he’s a hero, but he could be one of the main hero’s as he has the get up and ‘go’. Green could also be associated with meadows, fields and life meaning Link gives people life or gives people a better chance at living which he does. For the meadows idea you could think he lives somewhere in the countryside, possibly a farm boy or someone shoved into conflict perhaps?
In the actual Twilight Princess video game Link does start off as a teenage boy who owns a horse and helps herd up goats in a close knit village, then from out of nowhere Twilight creatures are thrown into his village where they kidnap his friends so he has to save them- ultimately causing conflict. Throughout the game he saves people and creatures throughout the whole of Hyrule.
This is the kind of thing target audience who’ve never played this game could pick up; another representation is his clothes and their design. If we look at the chainmail that would represent someone who fights to save something like a knight of some kind, on the other hand that’s the only protection he has (besides his weapons) which could also suggest again he’s a character thrown into a war he never wished to be in because most guardians or knights in games, are piled high in heavy armor like War from Darksiders for example.

If you look closely at the leather arm guard the top half represents a heart. Hearts are known to be symbol of life, dedication or love towards someone or something. Mix that with the fact Link isn’t an adult he’s a teenager which shows he isn’t a hard, intimidating character. Again in the game Link takes care of people’s problems saving the village children, Gorons, Zora’s, Epona (in one case), Midna, Zelda and many others. Finally if you look at the initial sketches of his most used facial expressions you’ll see he’s more of a happy character than an evil one.

 My second character is Elena who’s a teenage girl affected by the monstrous curse. She met Aeron three years previous to where the game begins, as he was unconscious not far from her home. Being a strong believer in Aios (the religion that forbids her to eat meat), her family was concerned for her wellbeing due to Aeron being a solider from Athos in a time of war. However she was allowed to care for him and in the end he survived. At the start of the game Elena is chosen to sing in the Harvest Festival where the curse begins, turning into a monster she tries to defend herself against the army of Elyria and flees before fainting, soon after she’s watched over by Mavda and Aeron comes to her rescue. In the game, Elena’s ending depends on the player’s interaction with her though out the game. If you have a relationship with Elena then you’ll get the good ending and also it makes the game easier as she gives you gifts, however don’t bother with her and there are 5-6 possible deaths she has to endure.
She is supposedly one of the main characters in the game being a slight protagonist, but how she is portrayed in the game some people would at first refer to her as useless. Purely and simply she doesn’t really assist you in the gameplay and always moans about eating the flesh where sometimes you have to coax her to eat it. What I found was the more you built a relationship with her, the more reliable she became in her own little way. During some part of the game you’ll find random texts that Aeron can’t read whereas Elena offers to translate it, if you give her a Dyrad Berry she also makes cakes that revive your health instead of having to pay Mavda for potions and will happily give you tips of advice for the towers or about mystery of the curse (as she sees memoirs after she eats the master flesh)
Instantly though, before we even begin to unravel the story of Pandora’s Tower we instantly see Elena as a vulnerable teenage girl that is usually portrayed in not only games, but in anime and manga as well. She wears nothing that protects her from harm’s way and doesn’t hold any weapons, unlike other female characters such as Lara Croft who despite wears slightly revealing and short clothes, carries firearms and mainly other suitable weapons. Then there’s also Princess Zelda who wears some armour around her shoulders but has proven to wield a sword and control magic- unlike Elena who can’t do this and relies heavily on someone else protecting her.

 Lara Croft from Tomb Raider featured top and Princess Zelda from Legend Of Zelda on the bottom.

We also see the design of her clothes are quite simple compared to some of the character we see in the cut scene, this could give an indication that she’s not from a wealthy background but not to the point where her and her family are poor. Later in the game it’s revealed that her Mum is great seamstress and her Farther is a solider in the Aios Army, meaning Elena has to take control of the household and looking after her two brothers giving us the idea she’s possibly a ‘country-bumpkin’. Having that in mind it would suggest she’s naïve and purely innocent compared to rest of the world, seeing the goodness in people rather than looking at the whole picture-like she did with Aeron. This thought can be backed up with colour scheme in her attire. Once again white represents purity innocence that leads to my point of her being someone from the country who’s quite naïve.
As I was explaining before I don’t think people would see Elena as a main character, despite her being the main character in the story but in the game she plays more of a ‘background’ kind of character. On the other hand it’s how the player plays Pandora’s Tower and how they interact with Elena and make her and Aeron’s bond stronger, because I find the more romance goes on between the two- the more useful Elena actually turns out to be and the story set around the couple is really heart-breaking if you don’t get ending ‘S’

Finally the last main character would be Mavda, she’s a Vestra Merchant that witnessed the same curse over and over again and helps Aeron rescue Elena from her misfortune by giving him the Oraclos Chain. Despite being useful in knowledge, Mavda does remain loyal to her role as Merchant allowing Aeron to buy various things from her ranging from potions to gifts for Elena. You can also upgrade/ repair your weapons, make new ones and sell whatever items you find are useless in your journeys. Another great thing about Mavda is she buys any texts that you come across in the towers for a really good price and lends you newspaper clippings of the Elyria Army’s whereabouts.
With how Ganbarion Studios have designed Mavda I believe in a way they’ve her a slight stereotypical appearance to her being a mysterious merchant, because in a few game merchants are often dressed ‘differently’ to main clothing appearance as the rest of the characters. Mavda clothing style is wearing loads of shawls which would indicate her being quite old and ‘ancient’ adding more mystery, the articles underneath the shawls are quite outdated but elaborately embroidered with gold patterns and coins adding further impressions of her being quite wealthy due to good trades through her travels; plus being a relic character that has seen all and knows all. In most games this is how merchants tend to be and act when they are needed. However the reason why I feel she’s not being fully stereotypically portrayed is because she’s a ‘good’ character in the story, yet when you first see her my first impressions is she’s an evil character that’s only in it for herself so being two-faced in other words.
What gave me this idea would be first of the colours her and her ‘counterpart’ wear. Black we usually associate with death and evil comings that tend to be demonic in certain games, along with the colour gold that would signal her being someone that’s quite wealthy but could that be because she’s stolen or killed people for the money? Then we have her appearance as a being in general. Mavda shares a few similarities with normal people, but if we look at the colour of the skin it’s grey adding more depth to the fact she’s old, on the other hand it’s not humane which people don’t tend to like because it seems they can’t instantly get attached as it’s different, compared to Aeron or Elena. I think what really gives us the idea she’s evil is the creature that Mavda carries on her back, many people tend to think of it and her husband yet in the game she simply dismisses this by saying it’s a creature that Vestra merchants carry with them- the only information we get is that it’s a he and he can talk; just not in English.
Even though we know Mavda’s not evil I think the audience don’t really see her again as a ‘main character’, probably because of her just being a merchant and not really taking on such a big role in the story as Aeron and Elena. Some people would grow to like her being there as she gives useful tips and pays a generous amount of money for texts that will come in useful for buying items- plus you know she watching over Elena so nothing is going to get her whilst in the tower’s. Other than that I don’t think the audience will think much of her. With her being somewhat stereotypically portrayed it allows us to think of possibly anti-heroes in other games, like Shadow The Hedgehog for example.

Shadow The Hedgehog is the main character in which the storyline revolves around Sonic X’s episodes 36 I think. In the game it’s the player’s choice as to whether Shadow should be a villainous traitor or a hero to the city of Metropolis, the game is a third-person shooter, action-adventure and platform type where it starts off as a dark creature called Doom visits Shadow who tries desperately to cling onto his memories aboard the Ark. In exchange for Shadow’s past Doom commands Shadow to collect 8 Chaos Emeralds and return them to him, however he unleashes his army of monsters and it’s then whether you decide to aid the monsters or the G.U.N military.
Shadow is meant to be an upgraded copy of Sonic where he’s the ultimate life-form. In the episodes of Sonic X, Gerald Robotnik (Shadow’s creator) invented him to help the world be a better place, however after the G.U.N military found out about this life-form they were sent to destroy Shadow aboard the Ark. Yet when Shadow was created he befriended Robotnik’s granddaughter Maria and the two became close friends, on the other hand when the military came for Shadow, Maria sacrificed herself and sent Shadow back down to earth.
Yet in the game we hear little about Maria, and the leader of G.U.N military was Robotnik’s grandson who was also aboard the Ark when this hedgehog was created. The twist is the General says Doom was also with his granddad when Shadow first awakened and was supposed to be used, to bring destruction upon the world but again G.U.N military interfered and Shadow was deposited on the earth.
Going back to is the character stereotypically represented? It depends on the player’s choice of Shadow being good or evil. As I said before he’s copy of sonic who’s the blue hedgehog and Shadow has very dark but bold colours. Red and ebony could represent darkness, anger and rage which most villainous characters have, plus he wears the gold rings which could possibly show greed meaning he’s only looking out for himself. This would work if the players makes him a traitor, but then he wears white which again emphasises his innocence to what his real past was, because even in the game he doesn’t know who to trust and is confused at who he is and what he’s on the earth for. Therefore it makes him feel vulnerable, lost and alone so in order to make himself seem something more of a challenge, he puts up barriers so that no one can get close to him thus representing his good side in a way.
The older versions of Sonic were more for a younger target audience than something like Pandora’s Tower, due to their simplistic game line of defeating Dr. Eggman through a series of platforms collecting rings with Tails, Knuckles and sometimes Amy. Yet they need to introduce an older audience hence why they could’ve brought in Shadow because he was supposedly everything Sonic isn’t, and in the game he indulgences into violence using fire arms, acts as a loose cannon and dark horse being mysterious on what side he’s working for.
Again I believe many people including myself would see Shadow as a great character, being torn between two paths where he has to unfortunately blind in conscience to either path between right and wrong, in order to try and retrieve his past so he can link up each little flashback he has into one decent memory. By doing this Sega has given this character depth and thought about the different perceptions people will have on the black, red, gold and white hedgehog again making another brilliant storyline both in and out the game.

World and Environments
Elyria is one kingdom divided into different parts, each with their own religion-hence why there was once a war before Pandora’s Tower begins.  In one of the places named Okanos lies a tremendous hole held together by 13 chains where in the middle lays the 13 towers of Pandora, where the master monsters are withheld for the kingdom’s safety. Inside each tower they reflect on the boss you face later. For example the first boss is covered heavily in trees and plants, so in the tower the interior was quite decayed with moss overrunning the design, with random bee, plant and abnormal guardians all rushing in to kill you. There was one tree that you had to walk around in an upwards spiral in order to get to the master door, what seemed to be garden furniture lay dormant in place eventually becoming useful when you have to exterminate a rose abomination that keeps trying to escape your clutches every time you go near it.
In Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time the first three temples you visit to collect the spiritual stones also copy that of Pandora’s Tower. Each dungeon interior that contains all the guardians reflect on the mini-boss/boss’s nature or element such as fire, water, earth. I believe the developers chose this design so as a player you have a pretty good idea about what you’re going up against and what you can prepare for- especially if Mavda has certain ailments that can be used in certain tower elements. In the end it can lure the gamer into a false sense of security where they think they can overpower the end enemy, where in fact a twist appears and it throws the player off-guard making it even more challenging, on the other hand if it’s for a younger target audience then it will help the younger children have an idea of what to do, instead of panicking half way through the dungeon because they’re continuously dying or getting worried for the final boss.

The first image show’s Aeron in front of the Master Door in the first tower which is covered in vegetation, below is inside the Great Deku Tree from Legend Of Zelda where Link gets ready to face the boss- Gohma.

The heads-up-display focuses more on the gameplay and doesn’t include any maps of the towers, meaning you have to remember your way, however in the bottom left-hand corner is two gauges. The top shows Aeron’s health and below that is how much Elena is transforming into a beast during your time in each tower; in a way it’s also a time limit because you have to get as much beast flesh as possible before the curse takes her over completely. Then on the bottom right-hand corner you have three shortcut icons that you can use to quickly get medicine, potions or weapons. I think the reason why they’ve added very little on the HUD is down to the fact they want to challenge the gamer, by making them remember the route they came as well as allow them to focus on Elena’s monster progression so you don’t skip the Master’s guardians in order to defeat the Master of a certain tower; otherwise you fail in keeping Elena human without a lot of beast flesh. This then would let the gamer further engage into the narration of Pandora’s Tower.

Perspective and Camera Movement
The perspective in Pandora’s Tower is third person so you can see and plan how to take down enemies that approach you. However this can change to a first person perspective when you have to focus your Wii remote to the sensor bar, when Aeron is ready to kill one of the enemies with the Oraclos Chain otherwise they get back up ready to kill you, even though it’s still slight third person perspective the camera does slightly zoom out, so it’s more like a bird’s eye view when Aeron is scaling dangerous and tricky walls within the towers; other than that the camera movement can’t be changed unlike that of Spyro or even the Legend Of Zelda series.

Loading Screens and Cut Scenes
For the loading screens it shows a misty grey and black backdrop where a title of the place you’re visiting, Observatory for example, is in a styled typography with colour silver that appears throughout the whole game. Despite me not playing all the way through the game the cut scenes are very similar to Final Fantasy featuring top-notch CGI animation of the characters, whereas during some of Elena’s mental scenes the style of the cut scene is set in a Victorian tea-stained colour scheme, whilst the pictures of characters and places are set in a manga style- very similar to some of the prequels of Spyro The Dragon game cut scenes almost giving a Victorian ‘steam-punk’ edge, giving the game some unique qualities but also a recent edge as ‘steam-punk’ styles were popular in Japan at that time when the game was created.

 Spyro: Dawn Of The Dragon tea-stained cut scene.

Feedback Interface
The inventory is quite simple to understand. First off you get two options one being what your currently carrying with you on your missions, and the other being what items are stored in the trunk back at the observatory. Once you’ve clicked onto either section a few more sub-headings appear where you find the items are categorised, the first sub-heading though shows all your items but as you move on to the right, you’ll get medicine only, potions, weapons, presents or Elena only sections.

During some parts in the game play you’re likely to pick up some sort of weapon from the ground or an enemy, when it comes to putting that weapon in collaboration with the Oraclos Chain and the sword, an inventory menu will appear that’s divided into boxes. You have to rotate and re-arrange your weapons so they can all fit in these multiple boxes , the only way to obtain more boxes giving you more space for extra weapons is by working through the game and doing side-quests along the way. It gives a player a choice of what weapons they want to use the most and an incentive to get more boxes for extra weapons so Aeron has the upper-hand in the game, allowing the player to have an extra motive.
Items in the dungeon are represented by an insignificant ashen, diamond flash that appears random on the floor. However you have no idea what the item is until you press the ‘C’ button on the Wii remote pick it up and find out what it is. Frequently the objects range from a simple Dyrad Berry to heavy silver coins or rare parchments, in a way it can be tormenting if the gamer really needs a potion or cleared a hoard of enemies for useless piece of junk. In Pokemon though they usually do the same by using a Pokemon as an image to show there’s item on the ground, however in the Emerald game and it’s sequels they tend to now show berries, texts and diamonds proving quite helpful and more time efficient .
In some games enemies are often shown to the player by an arrow above their heads, a ring beneath them giving an opportunity to the gamer to plan ahead their series of attacks. In Pandora’s Tower however, the enemies just come as they please and you have no time to reflect on your actions for combat or consumption of items.  Personally because this game is aimed at an older target audience, I believe Ganbarion wanted to challenge the public by not giving them, hints or a lot of time to battle foes or at least plan ahead. In other games like TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) they would commonly represent challengers to the turtles with a violet ring beneath them symbolising how many people or stone creatures they have to face. Then again TMNT was aimed at a younger audience or die-hard fans because the movie was released later that year, if for a younger audience this would make it easier for them to take part in combat instead of instantly failing.

Interaction Model
During the gameplay the only interaction model is Aeron who would be classed as an avatar, due to the fact no one is narrating the story and you don’t control other characters that join as a group, like you would in Disgaea or Final Fantasy: Four Heroes Of Light. In the game Aeron reacts differently to his comrades Elena and Mavda. With Elena, despite the fact he doesn’t speak, through his actions you can clearly see he loves her by rescuing her from the Elyria Army and always catching her when she’s ready faint from eating the flesh. Plus if he wasn’t dedicated to her, then after she healed him Aeron could’ve left and gone back to Athos instead of roaming the towers in search for flesh. Then there’s Mavda, you as a player get to interact personally with this merchant by an RPG talk box that allows you to ask Mavda a series of questions that you would personally ask. Other than that and buying/selling him to and from her Aeron doesn’t really speak to the Vestra merchant but does follow everything she says in order to rescue Elena. As an added note despite the fact you can Mavda a series of questions, the RPG talk box for Elena always stays the same which is quite weird in a way as your expected to interact more with Elena, but then I it adds more of a challenge to  ‘romance’ her.
In the towers Aeron’s reaction to his environment is neutral as he seems more focused on Elena, when defeating guardian enemies he seems a little more concentrated especially when using the Oraclos Chain, because it can be such a hard weapon to use despite the fact you have to use it in every battle. When coming to defeat the bosses his first reaction to the ‘forest’ boss is a shock of surprise in the cut scene which is expected from someone who has never seen something this big. Yet in the battle he doesn’t seem to freeze or mess up even if the gamer is playing the game correctly, whereas sometimes to add more complexity the developers will incorporate when an enemy does something like scream, the hero freezes or trembles in terror much like Link when he comes across the Re-dead in Ocarina Of Time, or for a younger audience Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase.

Physical Environment
Despite this being an amazing game, there’s nothing really unique about the physical environments apart from the towers reflecting the boss’s strength in elements. Other than that nothing seems that unique when in other games similar set ups have been created. In the temples though compared to many games where you have to battle hoards of monsters off a series of floors or gain certain items/ keys to get to the final monster, in Pandora’s Tower you simply have to find the Master Chain that starts from the door sealing away the monstrosity and then follow it to a mysterious alcove and destroy the end of it, so that the final door can be opened in order to defeat one of the villains. To break the chain, you can only use your sword and not the Oraclos chain because it’s too weak.

Player Actions
As the protagonist, when talking to others you will get a box pop up with questions that Aeron may ask. It’s you choice as to what option you pick, sometimes the question may not lead to the information that you need for the next part of the mission, so instead of the conversation ending straight away the box re-appears and you can choose another option until you get the information needed. If talking to someone like Elena you can request her to bake cakes using Dyrad berries, translate old texts or give her presents by going through your inventory.
In battle your main weapons are a sword which you press ‘A’ in order to demonstrate a series of repetitive attacks, or for a stronger slashes you hold down ‘A’ until the sword light up. This will release a devastating attack on the enemy but at the same time it leaves you defenceless, yet you can’t kill a monster using just your sword. The Oraclos chain can be very useful in a number of situations and reminds many players of Link’s Hook shot/Longshot in Legend Of Zelda games. To finish off monsters you have to target your wii remote at the enemy on the screen and press ‘C’ for the chain to wrap around your victim, it’s then and there you can shake the wii remote to cut them up, or pull back the monster by pressing the joystick on the nunchuk downwards. In the game you will come across objects that need to be pulled backwards to reach a new entrance, just like you would point the Wii-remote at the screen wait until a yellow icon appears meaning it’s possible to use the Oraclos chain and once it’s connected start pulling back on it, this can also be used to collect small objects from a great distance or allow Aeron to climb up dangerous slopes. 

Rules/ Goals/Challenges and Rewards
There are no real rules in Pandora’s Tower which means you can kill as many abominations as you want, the only true goal in the game is to rescue Elena from the curse by destroying the thirteen monsters, for a side-goal/ challenge you can make Elena fall in love with you which will reward your perseverance as she gives you helpful items and tips during your adventure. One of the greatest rewards though if you manage to make that bond with Elena is getting ending ‘S’ where everything between Aeron, Elena and the curse is explained allowing them both to live a happy life, otherwise Elena is always doomed in the other six possible endings depending on how strong your relationship is with her. The other challenge would be to collect as much ‘beast’ and ‘master’ flesh in the towers.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the images below.
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:07 for Pandora’s Tower image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:14 for Elena at the Harvest Festival image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:16 for another Pandora’s Tower image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:27 for Final Fantasy image featuring Cloud)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:36 for The Last Story image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 21:37 for Xenoblade Chronicles image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 22:07 for Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 22:23 for Okami image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 22:25 for Okamiden image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 22:28 for Wind Waker image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 10:20am for Darksiders image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 10:24 for Professor Layton image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 12:42 for Aeron’s image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 12:50 for Link’s image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 12:50 for Elena’s image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 12:55 for War’s image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 12:57 for Lara Croft’s image)
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 13:03 for Princess Zelda’s images
(Accessed on 30/01/13 at 13:05 for Mavda’s image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:06 for Shadow’s image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:09 for Pandora’s first tower image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:18 for Deku Tree image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:22 for gameplay image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:24 for Observatory image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:33 for Dawn Of The Dragon image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:40 for Pandora’s Tower menu image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:48 for RPG talking box image)
(Accessed on 31/1/13 at 13:55 for Oraclos chain image)

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