All is not well in Ding Dong Dell. Tensions between cat and mouse have escalated: in a sudden coup d’etat, the cunning, verminous Otto Mausinger has stolen the crown from incumbent child king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum. In Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, it is up to us to help Evan and his new pal Roland win back his crown.
After scrabbling to make our escape, the enormity of the task ahead dawns on the duo: becoming king of the world with nothing but the clothes on your back and a couple of weapons is quite the task. To help Evan win back what was once his, you are going to need help, and that is where we come in.
Into Ni no Kuni II’s art style? Here are more of the best anime games on PC.
On the plus side, it gives us an excuse to explore Ni no Kuni II’s wonderful anime world, a place that retains its endearing charm despite the loss of Studio Ghibli. We might have roguish sky pirates and casino towns run by a holy pug to see, but we have a kingdom to save, too. Here are the ways in which you can win back Evan’s throne in Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom:
Befriend some higgledies
Higgledies are cute little sprites that replace the Pokemon-esque familiars from the first game. They might be the size of a small dog and have whimsical names such as Runcible the Righteous and Wiff-Waff the Wafty, but do not underestimate their potency in battle.
Where the original game featured turn-based combat, Ni no Kuni II moves all the swipes and slaps into real-time. Now, as you move freely around the battlefield, your new pals snap at your heels, eager to lend a magical hand. You get to choose four sets of higgledies - unless their total cost exceeds ten - that come in three different flavours: greens are healers, whites use offensive weaponry, and purples deal in magic. When they are ready to unleash their ability, a circle will form on the ground in which you need to stand to activate them.
There are many of these diminutive little blighters to collect and we are going to need as many as we can get to reclaim Evan’s rightful place on the throne of Ding Dong Dell. You will find them dotted throughout the world in distinctly-shaped rocks, but you will have to persuade them to join you first. If you are packing what they want - such as a dollop of single cream - you will have a cheeky new friend for your journey. Yes, they are easily pleased, very much like ourselves.
Catch up with your people
Distracted boyfriends and memes that people caption with the phrase “I’m crying” have long proved that social media is an incorrigible ill that blights our society. However, if you are trying to be a king in Ni no Kuni, it is an essential tool for keeping tabs on and engaging with your soon-to-be subjects. Our top tip: once you become king of the world once more, make sure you keep all that data safe, it will be worth a fortune one day.
Leafbook is a tool with which the local population - including your party - can share fun photos and chat with fellow users, until their parents start using it and make it uncool, we assume. You will get updates on the thoughts and feelings of your people outside of combat and as you progress through the story, most of which are expressed in a surprisingly pleasant manner. This is a fantasy game, after all.
Retell stories atop a puzzle board
To be king again, you will need a Kingmaker, a powerful being with which to assert your hereditary authority over your bewhiskered usurper. To get one of those you will have to best the Kingmaker Trials. First of these is the Trial of Knowledge.
Here, you start by approaching a glowing lectern that tells you a story. At which point a grid-based map is illuminated with a selection of the characters featured in the tale dotted around various locations. The nature and order of the narrative’s events will determine in which way you will need to cross each checkpoint in the trial. For instance, if the wizard casts a spell before the soldier makes an attack, you have to pass the grid’s checkpoint in that order.
If you progress correctly, the corresponding section of story will be played back to you but, if you are wrong, you will be forced back to the beginning of the trial. Oh, and most grids will fall away as you step over them, adding a tense, strategic layer to the trial. Succeed in following each story in puzzle form and you will be one step closer to having that fetching crown back on your bonce.
Marshal your troops in a Skirmish
Most fights you encounter will be enclosed scraps between a merry band of human and higgledies against a few beasts. However, few kingdoms are won in such small arenas; Evan and co will need to wage war on a wider scale. Trust us, beneath that naive, childish exterior lies a bloodthirsty, battle-hardened military genius.
In Skirmishes, you and your cavalier band of royalists take to the open world RTS-style to reclaim little Tildrum’s kingdom. After surveying the lay of the land in the ‘Briefing’ screen, you will need to organise your forces so that each unit is battling the opposing unit they are most effective against in order to minimise losses. You can track your army’s strength in depth and compare it to your foe’s in the top-left of the window, indicated by ‘Military Might’ and ‘Enemy Military Might’. If you are getting short on bodies you can draw reinforcements from your Military Might, something you can increase as Evan bolsters his crop of allies.
Build a new one
We will readily admit that we are quite forgetful, so you can go with us on this: when you lose something, just get another one. If that can apply to earphones, why not a kingdom? It can’t be that hard to just make a fresh dominion.
Evermore is the result of Evan’s markedly understanding response to Mausinger’s mutinous band of mice. As the site of Evan’s new township, you will be developing Evermore throughout your time in the game, devoting hard-earned resources to construct useful buildings and kickstart research projects to help further your goals.
You claim the site of this burgeoning settlement after your first Skirmish, but it will start out as little more than a collection of tents. But, with a smart allocation of resources, Evermore will be a bustling place replete with weapons workshops and outfitters to strengthen Evan’s grip on power.
So those are five ways in which you can reclaim your kingdom from those pesky mice in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Let us know what you make of the game in the comments below.