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Charting the Journey of SOUL COVENANT: A New Frontier in VR JRPGs

As we edge closer to unveiling SOUL COVENANT to the world, it’s crucial to reflect on the path that brought us here—a journey marked by innovation and a passion for defining the VR landscape.

Masaru Ohnogi

April 15, 2024

4 Min Read

As we edge closer to unveiling SOUL COVENANT to the world, it’s crucial to reflect on the path that brought us here—a journey marked by innovation and a passion for defining the VR landscape. SOUL COVENANT, conceived as the spiritual successor to the cherished SOUL SACRIFICE, is more than just a game; it's a testament to the evolution of interactive storytelling within the virtual realm.


The Genesis and Evolution of SOUL COVENANT

The inception of SOUL COVENANT was guided by a singular vision: to leverage VR technology in crafting a JRPG that offers an emotional experience, centered around the profound theme of “death.” This ambition set the stage for a collaboration that drew together the original creators of SOUL SACRIFICE and our team at Thirdverse. Members of the original SOUL SACRIFICE team who came together, including SOUL SACRIFICE Producer Teruyuki Toriyama, Director and Scenario writer Teruhiro Shimogawa, Event Director Koh Okamura and Composer Yasunori Mitsuda.

Our goal was to infuse SOUL COVENANT with the spiritual essence of its predecessor while exploring the capabilities of VR to enhance narrative depth and gameplay immersion.


Embracing Challenges, Changes and Technological Innovation

Transitioning the rich narrative and complex gameplay of traditional JRPGs into the immersive world of VR presented a unique set of challenges. From character design to creating a sound system that envelops players in the game's universe, every element was designed to ensure SOUL COVENANT delivers a profound immersive experience. This required not only technical innovation but also a creative synergy among the team, many of whom brought their expertise from working on SOUL SACRIFICE, which launched globally in 2013 for the PlayStation Vita and achieved great success with fans worldwide.

Building SOUL COVENANT has been about holding on to what players loved about SOUL SACRIFICE while stepping into new ground with VR. The game's world keeps the tough and serious tone that players expect, and you'll see that in familiar features, like the spine-themed swords. These take inspiration from SOUL SACRIFICE's idea where death turns into magical power. But here, in SOUL COVENANT, we've got the Scapegoat system, where players make weapons from the remains of fallen friends, giving a new spin on the whole concept of sacrifice and loss.

We've put a lot of effort into making the game's story a big deal. The way you move through the game by looking back at past events is something we brought over from SOUL SACRIFICE. Players who like to dig into the game's backstory will find plenty of details scattered throughout the world. Bosses also talk to you during fights, which adds more to the story as you play.

In SOUL SACRIFICE, we depicted death, including the sacrifices of allies or oneself, in the form of sacrificial magic. Now, with VR in SOUL COVENANT, we're able to make those moments even more real and powerful. We want players to really feel what's happening in the game.

We want players to feel like they are the main character. Seeing your weapon change right before your eyes makes everything feel more direct and exciting. We've made sure that these changes look cool and make the fights fun in different ways.

The way we tell the story is also new. We show it to you like a paper play that you can look at from all around, like sitting in the middle of a planetarium. The story comes to life around you, and you can look at it from any angle, making it a really hands-on kind of storytelling.

In short, we're keeping what was great about SOUL SACRIFICE and adding a fresh twist with VR in SOUL COVENANT. We're excited to give players new ways to get into the story and the world we've created.


Forging Ahead: The Future of SOUL COVENANT and VR JRPGs

As SOUL COVENANT nears completion, our anticipation grows not just for the game's release but for the potential it represents. This project is the first VR JRPG, showcasing the power of virtual reality to enrich storytelling and engage players in totally new ways. We believe this new gameplay experience in VR will captivate players, offering a new dimension of emotional depth and interactive storytelling. We look forward to seeing how fans react to the VR JRPG experience and hopefully SOUL SACRIFICE will pave the way for future VR JRPGs.

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