Voiceless is a classic JRPG with a stealth-based twist.
All the JRPG staples you're nostalgic for are there: journey through a series of towns, talk up eccentric villagers, buy weapons and armor and spells, level up your party’s abilities, explore every inch of the overworld, complete character-based sidequests, and make drastic, unexpected choices as you uncover the secrets of the world and learn the mysteries of your silent party members.
But also sneak by enemies you don't want to fight, find secret passages that take you into secret chambers, and pull off heists on unsuspecting yet highly deserving mansions. Explore the rich world and find out all there is to know.
In the meantime, perhaps some history is in order...
I quote a scholar here *ahem*: "The demons of the old war weren't the kind of monsters you could cut in half with a sword. The real war was not fought on a battlefield, but upon the face of the soul."
Supposedly the demons were all destroyed, or banished, or never existed at all, depending on who you speak to. Once more the grass is green, the sky is blue, and people cheerily go about their lives.
After the Demon War, shrines to the sun were built in every town at the orders of Sharizaad, the acclaimed and controversial high priest of the realm. His motives were unknown; even the priests in charge of each shrine did not fully understand what or why they worshipped they way they did. But it was under the shroud of the sun goddess, a deity long familiar to the land, and so the new aspects to the institution were accepted.
Some people prayed at these shrines, seeking solace and hope after the demons ravaged the land. But some were bitter, and understandably rejected the religion. Especially because Sharizaad himself was rumored to have had a hand in the mysterious emergence of the demons in the first place.
New rumors have since been swirling, however, of a rising dark presence in Rerebello connected directly to a conspiracy in the heart of the government.
Though my heart may be light, the world I travel is getting a bit too dark for my refined tastes.
And from the outside, the church is receiving its hardest attack yet: a prophet has risen up known only as “the Voice” who challenges Sharizaad in the public square.
The Church of the Sun Goddess is as a frail man, long since grown ancient.
Can't say I disagree. I saw the effects of the old church first-hand. Pretty ugly stuff.
The old religion has floundered. We must leave the antiquated customs that led to the very ruin they warned against. New prayers must be written, new words must be sung, and new rites must be performed.
Otherwise the demons will rise back with all their former strength and the world be overrun.
In this time of renewed turmoil, Castle Rerebello has made a breathtaking announcement: Prince Josiel, who disappeared in the chaos of the Demon War, has returned.
The reason for his disappearance and re-appearance has not been made public, but nonetheless the people rejoice, for yet another wound from the old war is healed.
Foxe, a master thief extraordinaire (as he calls himself), hears the word about Josiel in the middle of a heist. He drops everything and treks back to Rerebello where he hatches a plan to infiltrate the castle. A plan that requires a crew of four, and only four.
Six volunteers for a four man job. I'll pick the four I need and I guess the other two will hang around, or whatever it was they were up to.
The Solar Knight seeks first and foremost to defend the downtrodden and protect the powerless. He is there to provide ideal damage mitigation, and in the event of failure, moderate healing magic. He lives solely to assist others and spread brightness and hope. At his highest levels he may call upon the power of the sun to set his sword ablaze with holy light and rain down justice upon his enemies---damage based on how much damage he has absorbed over the course of his journey.
This offensive powerhouse uses elemental magic to amplify his already potent sword attacks. The Spell Sword’s strength raises with every hit he takes. He is a master of control over his own inner rage and dispenses it back through monstrous attacks. He gains in power when he sees the more vulnerable of his party attacked by enemies.
The assassin is a speedy jack-of-all-trades. She is a master poison-maker, able to brew liquids that can both cause and heal a variety of illnesses and status effects. Her slight form makes striking suddenly from the shadows a simple solution to repetitive fights. If her dagger hits a monster’s weak point, it can kill instantly.
A reformed mercenary proficient in a variety of blades. He has seen much fighting in his time, and so knows how to dispatch enemies quickly and when too much bloodshed has occurred and it is time to protect the innocent. His attacks can be quick and light or slow and strong or focused on one monster or several depending on what weapon he has equipped.
The Healer is trained from adolescence to forget herself and respond instantly at the chime of her bell. She manipulates the energy found already in the body to knit wounds together and leave the body’s defenses stronger than they were before, even able to absorb further attacks for a time. If an ally’s health is catostrophically low, she can put them in a temporary hibernation, disabling them for a time but raising their health rapidly even beyond their usual limits. The highest tier of healers can also invert their healing abilities to use enemies’ own body energy against them.
The Magus wears a hood to hide the damage he once did to his own flesh. He casts great elemental spells to do serious damage and inflict certain status effects. The Magus can target the entire enemy party with his spells but risks some damage to himself in doing so. When charged, he can grant certain status buffs to his fellow party members to increase their strength, rate of attack, defense, and so forth, and also grant counter-spikes to allies that damage any enemy who attacks them.
So which two will be sitting on the bench and most definitely not being left behind to a terrible fate this time?
'Exceptional' Thief you mean... though I may owe a guy or two....
Foxe very much does owe some people some money. A lot, actually. That's where you, the player, come in.
As Foxe, a self-proclaimed master thief, steal items off enemies while the party draws their fire, nab guilders off unsuspecting guards (and perhaps a secret key or two), and steal into mansions of corrupt lords to facilitate some of what Foxe might speciously characterize as “economic justice.”
But with Foxe’s stealth abilities, also feel free to sneak by enemies and avoid fights entirely, deftly circumvent monsters waiting to entrap you, discover secret passages that take you into secret chambers, and escape pursuing guards bent on what Foxe furiously refers to as “monarchal injustice.”
And in the course of your journey as a thief among heroes, discover the predecessor you never knew you had, the thief that once walked and fought and sung among them, the thief that once completed their party who now seems nowhere in sight.
Ooh, cryptic, and not even about mechanics. And yet, not inaccurate either, if I recall the stage directions correctly.