Aldo, the main character of Sword of Elpisia, starts out cold and obstinate but quickly warms up to Alice, a lonely young girl who just wants to live a normal life. Aldo works as a repairman, but instead of fixing things around the house, he specializes in Magitools, such as the swords known as Magiswords, that a mysterious force is changing humans into.
You probably already know where this is headed, and you’ll be right: Aldo will use and improve Alice’s transformation into a Magisword to turn her into the fabled Sword of Elpisia. Meeting new enemies and allies is interesting, especially when you team up with a warrior named Ariel, who is seeking redemption, and a carefree drifter named Nate, who is attempting to resurrect his lover, who has become a Magisword. Of course, some people want the Magiswords for sinister reasons. Undoubtedly, the cast is fascinating and diverse.
Fortunately, the character art is excellent, and the same can be said for the sprites, which are animated from 8 different angles and come to life while you’re dashing around. They also look fantastic in combat, with weapons corresponding to what they are currently wearing and gratifying motions for assaulting foes.
Despite all of this, most of the dungeons have dull overall textures and palettes that wear out quickly, however, the battle scenes seem much more stunning. False walls that are readily apparent serve as the primary standout feature in the dungeons that stimulate exploration.
The battle system in Sword of Elpisia is straightforward and understandable, but there are a few additions that make battles unexpectedly fun. You can start by casting a number of MP-demanding spells as well as AP-using skills that require a turn to charge.
All of that is very straightforward, but when you add summonable dogs that are utterly cute and attack your enemies while giving you bonuses, you have a formula that is incredibly enjoyable. In addition, Alice may occasionally rush in at random to heal or boost your party, which is adorable, and her triumph animation is the cherry on top. The overall result is a fun battle system.
Sword of Elpisia keeps things straightforward when it comes to party setup since you only really need to optimize your gear and occasionally equip new pets if you so choose. It usually takes two steps to optimize your weapons and armor: first, you equip the best gear, and second, you combine all surplus equipment pieces to improve them. This process can be quite rewarding, especially when you level up a competent sword to +78 or something to give it a significant increase in attack power.