While the long-running Langrisser series of strategy-RPGs is taking a new branch in its sixth chapter, Langrisser Millennium, the creators of the original five Langrisser games are hard at work on their own rival RPG, Growlanser. Already 70% complete, the game is due to be published by Atlus this fall.
Status screen

   Growlanser's claim to be fame may be its character designs by well-known anime artist Satoshi Urushihara (a long-time member of the original Langrisser team). Large character portraits pop up whenever characters speak, and voice clips accompany all the key events and anime cutscenes. The game also features an extensive backstory revolving around a special type of magic known as "Growsey"; a spoiler-free translation tells the complete tale.

Magic attack

   Another puzzling and interesting aspect is the battle system, said to be somewhat of a cross between an action RPG and a traditional RPG. Up to five different characters can join the party, though you control only two. Varying mission objectives, generally seen only in strategy RPGs, appear as well. Sometimes fights can't be won by killing all the enemies; you'll have to manuever your party to a specific point or take out a specific target.

   Growlanser's developers certainly have a respected history behind them, and Langrisser fans disappointed by the series' current direction may want to await Growlanser instead -- though the gameplay is different, the quality should remain. And with Atlus increasing its U.S. presence, the title is likely candidate for English release.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Developer Career Soft
Publisher Atlus
Genre Action RPG
Medium CD (1)
Platform PlayStation
Release Date  11.21.99
TGS: Growlanser impressions, release date
2 intro movies
7 character designs
Japanese packaging