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Rance IX: The Helmanian Revolution, a tactical RPG in which Rance assembles an elite team to take over a nation, is now available for pre-order on MangaGamer.

Rance IX: The Helmanian Revolution is a fantasy tactical RPG that was first released in April of 2014 in Japan. The game is finally receiving an official English release, taking players back to the Continent. Its story will reunite players with the serial rapist and adventurer-for-hire, Rance, on his quest to break the magic seal imprisoning his long-time partner, Sill.

Having heard rumors of powerful magical items within the militant nation of Helman, Rance attempted to infiltrate it but failed numerous times. Things start looking up for him when Patton, the humiliated Helman, asks for his help. Years prior, Patton had to retreat from the public eye after losing a war; since then, his once-proud Empire began deteriorating due to a corrupt regime. Helman is currently threatened by impending invasions from rival kingdoms and brewing internal uprisings. Vowing to save his country, Patton began gathering forces for a coup and agrees to make Rance his commander in exchange for his aid. While Patton projected his uprising to take about three years of warfare, Rance promises to take over the legendary Empire within just two months.

Rance IX: The Helmanian Revolution is much more linear when compared to past entries of the series. The game features several chapters containing multiple story events, which can be selected from a menu. Each story is told in the manner of a visual novel, with tactical combat gameplay sequences strung throughout. In-between events, players can upgrade and equip their party members, as well as spend special tokens for Rance to romance female party members. The latter action increases his relationship with the chosen heroine. Depending on which character’s relationships are maxed by the end of the campaign, the game branches into different routes for its final chapters; however, those side routes only become available in new game plus, with the first playthrough being locked into the true ending route.

The tactical combat gameplay is a new addition to the series. This time, players will distribute their party members on a square grid and take turns moving units and utilizing their skills to fight the opposing forces. The order of action depends on a character’s agility score, with other stats determining the strength of their attacks and defensive capabilities. The game features 24 playable characters to unlock, distributed among 6 different classes.

Rance IX: The Helmanian Revolution is now available for pre-order on MangaGamer for the promotional price of $44.95, where it will later cost $49.95. The game is scheduled for release on February 23rd.

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