Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes review

by on April 21, 2024
Release Date

April 22, 2024


If you’re a gamer of a certain age, or even just a fan of retro JRPGs, you may remember the Suikoden series. The first game, which, along with its sequel, was created by Yoshitaka Murayama for Konami, and released in the ancient year of 1995, and was a success both in Japan and the West. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is the spiritual successor to the multiversal Suikoden series, created once again by Murayama-san and Rabbit & Bear Studios. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year without getting to see the full release of his labour of love, but it’s fair to say that he has left behind a legacy of incredible creativity and a legion of fans who won’t be disappointed by his final work.

The story follows Nowa, the awkwardly-named newest recruit of the Watch, a kind of mercenary guild that does odd jobs for the people of this fantasy world ranging from finding lost pets to slaying ravenous monsters. When his main character status elevates him to acting captain of the Watch within six months, Nowa also becomes the de facto leader of a resistance movement against an invading super-nation.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

The story of Eiyuden Chronicle therefore requires some serious suspension of disbelief. Early on, Nowa is given the task of recruiting followers, first to the Watch and then to his burgeoning army, and the amount of random strangers ready to lay down their lives for a little fella they just met is admirable. A large percentage of the dizzyingly huge cast join because you ask them to, while others come around to you. One guy is just chilling at a castle, another hanging around what may or may not be his house with nothing but his massive samurai sword for company. Sometimes you’ll blunder into direct contact with people from Nowa’s past, who at least have some emotional investment, but a lot of the time he seems to win them over with just his exceptional hairdo and small-town smile.

And yet the other side to this coin is a genuinely compelling plot about an underdog resistance fighting an invasion, where all the dialogue is fully voiced (aside random, non-critical interactions with people in the hub), which is no mean feat for a cast of well over 100 characters. And this isn’t just people with the same voice and different personalities; everyone feels unique, with noble swordsmen, courageous warriors, a generous smattering of waifus and even a burly blonde fella who appears to be from Lancashire.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

As in Suikoden, some of these characters are fighters and can join your party as active members. Most have unique or at least rare gifts, while you can equip Runes to give them magical powers and abilities such as heals. Keep two characters in your party who share an affinity and you can use Hero Combos for devastating damage. Battle animations are great, as is combat itself.

It’s turn-based, with priority given to whichever character or enemy has the highest speed stat, so there’s a huge tactical element whereby you’ll need to analyse the turn order to maximise heals, buffs, and damage. In some cases for example, you might take out an enemy before it has a chance to attack at all. While some spells use MP as a resource, most attacks require Skill Points, which accumulate throughout the battle. Combat is fast and feels dynamic. Characters don’t even fully wait their turn, attacking together or with barely a pause, giving the impression that everyone is working together. Random encounters mean you’ll be engaging in combat a lot, which is handy as you’ll often want to level up new characters when you unlock them – or at the very least try them out.

Boss battles in Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes are particularly interesting, often introducing a “Gimmick” around the half-way point that alters the battlefield or gives you an advantage – if you’re lucky. One enables you to hide characters behind cover to avoid a heavy attack from the boss; another lets you operate a crane to drop rocks on your enemies. Some rely on luck or shrewd judgement, but they add an extra dimension to their encounters. In most fights there’s a row system similar to Suikoden’s, that determines how far a character’s reach extends on the battlefield, with party members designated as Short, Medium or Long range. Short range fighters can’t reach an enemy’s back row, for example. With six characters to a party and the ability to change them around regularly there’s no reason not to try everyone.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

As hinted previously, though, only some characters are fighters, and the others join your entourage as craftspeople or service providers. Quite early on you’ll move into a hub (again something that’ll be familiar to fans of Suikoden) which you’ll need to rebuild and transform into a town. Some party members will become shopkeepers or otherwise improve your hub, again largely because you ask them nicely.

But I cannot stress enough how impressed I am by the character roster. It’s quite simply staggering how much effort has gone into crafting these people and imbuing them with unique personalities. There are standouts, obviously, with healer Francesca being one of my absolute favourites. Ostensibly a very feminine and docile character, her sudden outbursts of violent rage are hilariously disturbing, and her in-battle one-liners are incredible. But that’s literally one character out of a cast of well over a hundred.

If Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is guilty of anything it’s that it sometimes seems to forget that we’re not all familiar with its world. It doesn’t explain all its systems very well (the battle row system being one example), and the difficulty can have quite sudden spikes that you just aren’t ready for. You can, thankfully, go off and grind up levels or try different combinations of heroes and runes. If you have party members that must be along for story reasons, you can assign them as Adjutants and let them tag along without having them fight, which is a very gamey rule, but there you go.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

There’s also a lot going on mechanically. One major element taken from Suikoden but refined here is the pitched battle system. At several moments throughout the story you’ll be forced to defend your hub or a town or city by fielding your companions as generals in a large-scale fight between armies. These too are turn-based, asking you to direct your units to harry or repel the enemy. They’re surprisingly fun, usually story-related and therefore feel important, and are always a welcome if not wholly necessary change of pace from the more traditional RPG elements.

I don’t often find myself talking about the music in a game. Stand out scores like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth‘s battle theme notwithstanding, I usually don’t really pay much attention, but Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes has some fantastic music. Funnily enough, the battle music is exceptionally good, to the point that I want to listen to it even when not playing. But the real stars of the sound design here are the character voices. The level of personality and direction in the dialogue and exchanges, even from characters who wouldn’t be in the scene if not for your party composition, adds layers to this that you wouldn’t expect.

It’s a big game to fill with so much story, and there are plenty of distractions along the way. The runtime is filled out with minigames, such as the addictive Beigoma, which you may well lose yourself in. Also, many of the non story-related characters have small sidequests attached, such as the previously mentioned Northern lad asking you to defeat three boars out in the world.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

A series of overworld maps connect hubs such as cities, towns, and dungeons, allowing you to move freely between points of interest. It’s a while before you unlock the ability to fast travel anywhere, by which point you may not mind avoiding so many random battles. That being said, Eiyuiden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes rewards exploration with weapons, accessories, consumables, and mini quests you might otherwise miss. Making sure your party is equipped with upgraded gear and the best Runes is essential.

Played on PC or Steam Deck, there are no technical issues beyond the occasional long loading screen, and the environmental lighting rivals, though perhaps doesn’t quite eclipse, Octopath Traveler 2. The locations are vibrant, the characters colourful and decked out in unique attire that accentuates their personalities. It’s simply a gorgeous game.


If there’s anything the game struggles with a little, it’s pacing. The nature of the game is to let you explore and find new characters, but there are times when the story simply throttles you and forces you to play its way – although these moments aren’t common. Occasionally I found myself unclear of exactly where it wanted me to go, but I never felt fully lost.

Like last year’s Sea of Stars, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes feels like so much more than just a throwback JRPG. It’s a modern game through and through, injected with the elements and mechanics that helped make the genre so phenomenally successful in the earlier years of console gaming. The abundance of heroes simply means there’s an abundance of different playstyles and party builds to mess around with, and the music and storytelling combine to create a truly memorable experience that absolutely will stick with you when it’s over. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is simply a wonderful way to underline Yoshitaka Murayama’s life’s work.


Wonderful cast of characters
Interesting story
Looks beautiful
Great soundtrack


Some difficulty spikes
Occasionally uneven pacing

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is a truly memorable experience that absolutely will stick with you when it's over.