Scheduled to hit PSPs next week, Kingdom of Paradise is a new Eastern-themed action RPG that will boost the handheld platform's sagging role-playing lineup, as well as deliver some intense, combo-driven sword combat. We recently went hands-on with a fairly complete build of Kingdom of Paradise, and now we bring you the first part of our look at the dramatis personae that will populate the game's fantastic Eastern world. Come back tomorrow for the second and final installment in our profile series.
Eastern Seiryu Clan
Appearance: 5' 7"
Birthplace: Chikuan, Eastern Seiryu, Ouka
Shinbu is the story's main character. He currently works as a bodyguard for travelers and merchants, but he was once an Eastern Seiryu disciple. However, compared to the other disciples, he had a hard time learning the clan's martial arts. So Shinbu takes it upon himself, with inspiration from the land's ancient monument, to learn Eastern Seiryu's chi arts. Because of this he is kicked out of the clan. Though, in his mind, martial art training is a way of life, and thus he continues his studies on his own.
After saving Sui Lin, another disciple of Eastern Seiryu, he embarks on a journey to restore the clan and the San'yuan of heaven, earth, and humanity. After the death of his mother and martial artist father, he lives with his father's friend Seidatsu. Since his father was of Hokusai, Shinbu got his name from a different name for Genbu, "Shinbu Taitei," which means "The Great Empire of True Martial Arts." He has the blood of Seima from his mother.
Shinbu appears to be an outcast, but he is a kind young warrior who prefers to train by himself. In fact, he is so kindhearted that he is sometimes easily deceived. However, he believes that people are honest, and even if he is deceived it is better than not trusting anyone. Throughout the story he is taken advantage of for his kindness, which causes trouble for him and Sui Lin.
Weapon: Ginmei Sword
Its appearance is that of a normal double-edged sword, however, it is extremely flexible, and the blade can be bent nearly to the hilt without breaking. The name "Ginmei" comes from the almost musiclike sound that is made when the blade is touched. The weapon was received from Seidatsu, who received it from his father. Rumor is that the sword was found close to Seidatsu's mother's dead body. Apparently the sword has the inscription "New Moon Sword" on it, and it is one of the Twin Moon clan's treasured swords. Another sword with the inscription "Full Moon Sword" also exists, and if the two are combined they are called the "Twin Moon Swords." With the sound produced from these two swords, the moon palace of the Twin Moon clan can be reached. Also, a very beautiful sound is produced if the two swords are struck together. The sword has no scabbard and is merely wrapped in cloth. The blade is a deep black color that has no luster and seems to swallow light itself.
Appearance: 5 feet tall
Birthplace: Ryuga, Eastern Seiryu, Ouka
Weapon: A thin, flexible, black sword.
Sui Lin is an Eastern Seiryu disciple. The main character treats her as his elder. She survived Central Kirin's attack, thanks to Lord Kobo's cleverness. When the Western Byakko disciples disguise themselves as Central Kirin, they chase her, attempting to finish off the Seiryu clan. As luck would have it, Shinbu saves her. After the incident, she tells Shinbu about the death of the clan lord and the disciples, and she asks for help to revive the clan. Lord Kobo decides that she will become the next clan lord. She will accompany Shinbu on his adventure to reunite the five clans and bring total peace to the land of Ouka.
Sui Lin is normally strong spirited, but she can sometimes be a crybaby. Because of her upbringing as a spoiled child, a part of her will always be selfish.
Northern Genbu Clan
Appearance: 5' 2"
Birthplace: Ouka, Northern Genbu, Hokusai (Northern Genbu clan)
Weapon: Sword with a thin silver blade
The successor to the throne of Northern Genbu, Eigen's real name is Eikoku. After Genra betrayed the clan lord and went missing, Eigen was accepted as a new disciple. Because he is so young, he has not yet been able to master all of Northern Genbu's techniques. In order to assist in the fight between Genra and the clan lord, he borrows Shinbu's Bugei Scrolls without permission. However, with the death of his clan lord at the hands of Genra, Eigen realizes that he is still too weak to take on Genra himself.
Eigen is full of curiosity, and if he has an interest in something he cannot keep away. Eigen is spontaneous and feels that he must do whatever pops into his mind, which occasionally leads to some very daring actions at times. Since he was raised by a clan lord, Eigen has excellent manners.
Southern Suzaku Clan
Appearance: About 140 cm tall
Birthplace: Ouka - Southern Suzaku - Jurakunan (Southern Suzaku clan)
Weapon: A light sword with a curved, blue blade
Yui Min is a disciple of the Southern Suzaku clan. She is the most recent disciple to join the clan, but because she has practiced swordsmanship since she was a girl, her skills are quite good. While serving Xiuk Yu, she came to realize that she was not the true clan lord. But, because she understands Xiuk Yu's position and feelings, she will never reveal the secret to anyone else.
Yui Min tends to act older than she is, but she still retains the limited perspective of a child and sometimes forgets her manners. Even toward her clan lord, Xiuk Yu, she is unafraid to speak her mind.
Appearance: About 164 cm tall
Birthplace: Ouka - Southern Suzaku - Rakuhoku (Southern Suzaku clan)
Weapon: Suzaku Sword
Xiuk Yu is the clan lord of the all-female Southern Suzaku. She has kept it a secret that she has never undergone the proper ritual to succeed in power, since the previous clan lord died before choosing a successor. As the top disciple, Xiuk Yu took it upon herself to act as the next lord and to ensure that the Suzaku clan proceeds to run smoothly. Because of her duty, she is still unable to fully utilize the true powers of the Suzaku sword. After the fight with Yen Lan, she became unable to contain her sense of shame at having deceived the rest of the clan, and finally came clean about the truth. After spending only one day with Lei Gai, the man she loves, she is forced to give him up in order to undergo her Living Funeral and become the clan lord.
Xiuk Yu is a bit of an introvert who always tries to solve problems on her own. She has an incredibly strong sense of responsibility, as well as an inner strength that allows her to be secure and stable even while in situations akin to self-sacrifice.