Lunar Knights (called Boktai DS in Japan), is the spiritual successor to the Game Boy Advance action RPG franchise Boktai
. It was developed by Kojima Productions
and released for the Nintendo DS. Much like its predecessors, Lunar Knights is set in a world where vampires and humans are engaged in a long war with each other, with the player taking control of a character able to harness the power of the sun. Unlike Boktai, however, Lunar Knights does not come with a built-in solar sensor and instead focuses on an automated day/night system.
For countless years, humans and vampires have been engaged in a war for supremacy. When a group of mysterious aliens visit the warring planet, they offer the vampires strange new technology that would give them the ability to block the harmful effects of the sun and begin an age of darkness. With the human race at a disadvantage, the vampires would go on to slowly gain control of the majority of the planet. The humans had little time to decide a strategy - it was either to hunt or be hunted.
The story picks up a little while after the vampires had gotten ahold of their new Casket Armour technology from the aliens. The story begins with Lucian, a dark and mysterious swordsman who wields the legendary sword Vanargand, storming a mansion and single-handedly destroying the powerful vampire Rymer. Word soon spreads about Lucien's incredible feat and the humans quickly become intrigued about the swordsman. It's not until a small amount of time later that Lucien crosses paths with Aaron, an apprentice sharp-shooter wielding a solar gun. Soon, the two decide to travel together and engage in a dangerous battle against the vampires.
The main sections of the game focus on a typical hack 'n' slash action formula where the player must venture through dungeons that progressively become more and more difficult. All maps and areas during this section of the game are shown through an isometric view. The game features the standard features in an action game, such as hit points, increasable statistics and an energy bar.
One of the more important aspects of the Boktai/Lunar Knights franchise is the day/night system. In Lunar Knights, the game will automatically switch from day to night after a certain amount of time. One character requires the power of the sun, the other requires the moon to restore their energy, so it's up to the player to decide which character to use and when.
Players also have a certain degree of control of the weather. By accessing an area early on in the game, the climate can easily be changed so that, for example, hot weather is more frequent or snow is more likely to occur. Switching the climate is necessary for some of the game's puzzles or to reach previously inaccessible areas. There are also collectible allies called Terrennials, which the player can use to change the element of their weapons and so forth.
After his father was killed by the vampires, Aaron began training hard to become a sharpshooter and was eventually accepted as an apprentice in the Acuna guild. To his frustration, the gun that was given to him couldn't fire meaning he spent most of his training time just aiming at objects.
Overall, Aaron can be quite naive and often frustrates Lucien. His excitable nature and curiosity can often lead to Lucien not taking him seriously, which is something Aaron strives to change.Lucien
Travelling with only his Terrennial companion, Nero, Lucien is a serious and cold man with a deep desire to hunt down the leader of the vampires. He's often very confident with his abilities, often storming into situations that can considered as somewhat reckless. As the plot progresses, it is explained that Dumas, the leader of the vampires killed the woman Lucien loved, which is why Lucien is so keen to seek revenge against him.
It is revealed halfway through the game that he used to be known as Sartana, who apparently died several years prior. It isn't explained whether he is either human or vampire.
A powerful vampire wearing a protective casket armour imbued with the powers of Ursula, the fire Terrennial. When Bea tries to fight him in the hunting mansion, she is almost defeated before Lucien jumps in the way holding his shield up. Rymer transforms into what seems to resemble a centaur during the battle against Lucien, but is met with a swift defeat. His element is flame.
One of the vampires wearing casket armour, Edgar only ever appears in the game with the viscountess, Virginia. They both seem to share some kind of bond with each other which is never explained but mentioned. Edgar controls a small mechanical robot that's completely immune to Aaron's weapons. His element is cloud.
The only female antagonist in the game, Virginia wears casket armour filled with the earth Terrennial's power. She is first introduced into the story when Aaron is ambushed by both her and Edgar. Aaron luckily manages to retreat after two guild members fight them instead. Later, Aaron and Lucien meet up with Virginia and Edgar in a battle later on, where they both eventually combine their powers and ultimately are defeated by the two protagonists. Her element is earth.
Referred to as a "mad scientist" by Virginia, Baron Stoker spends time trying to find ways to use the technology given to the vampires by the immortals. It is said that Stoker was the man who created the casket armour, which he himself wears. When Aaron and Lucien encounter him on the armed train Irving, he fights using a large insect-like casket armour that uses the power of the sun, where is eventually defeated. His element is frost.
The self-assured leader of the vampires, Dumas has seemingly formed an alliance with both the immortals and a Terrennial. Both Polidori and Perrault stand by his side, with Perrault eventually combining powers with him during their battle with Aaron and Lucien. He resides in the castle Auguste just north of New Culiacan. Naturally, his element is dark.
From a race of aliens called the immortals, Polidori's motives for helping the vampires seem to be mysterious and very suspicious. He explains during his first meeting with Aaron and Lucien that he is simply "an observer", but his plans are forced to change when the protagonists defeat the Duke on top of Auguste. He, along with the immortals, gave the vampires the technology to create the casket armour and the paraSOL so they could take control of the planet , which the immortals would then consume for themselves using the paraSOL.
There are a total of eight Terrennials shown in the game, with one non-playable, and one Japan-only. Nero - The dark Terrennial
Nero is a black cat with small bat wings. He travels alongside Lucien and grants him the power of darkness. It is hinted that he may have had a dark past during his conversation with Toasty in the castle Auguste and that he shares some kind of relation to Perrault. Nero is available from the very beginning of the game. Toasty - The light Terrennial
Much like Otenko from the previous Boktai games, Toasty is a floating sunflower that holds the power of the sun. He first appears when Aaron finds a girl being attacked by a skeleton. Even though Aaron's gun had never been able to fire before, Toasty's voice came out of nowhere telling Aaron to aim his solar gun at the sun. Eventually, it is discovered that Toasty was blocking the solar gun from the inside, which is why the weapon couldn't fire. He is called "Master Toasty" by Ernest and used to fight alongside Aaron's father. Ursula - The fire Terrennial
Ursula's power is being used by Margrave Rymer for his casket armour. He has long, stringy hair and a pair of large guns for arms. His burst attack can activate a powerful eruption of "firebombs" that damages all enemies on-screen. When he is released after defeating Rymer, the Arid Desert climate is available at Sheridan's mansion. Alexander - The wind Terrennial
Alexander resembles an armoured bird with thin legs and short wings. He is released after defeating Edgar. In battle, he can be used to summon a tornado with his burst attack. He will also unlock the Humid Continental climate at Sheridan's mansion. Tove - The earth Terrennial
Similar to a mole wearing a cape, Tove is the earth Terrennial and is being used by Virginia to power her casket armour. Using his burst attack will summon an earthquake that can damage everyone within its radius. After defeating Virginia, the Tropical Rainforest climate is also available at Sheridan's mansion. Ezra - The ice Terrennial
Ezra is quite a graceful creature, both in her looks and her personality. She seems to resemble a feline, possibly a fox, covered in blue and white fur with four long tails. Her power is being used by Baron Stoker for his casket armour and upon releasing her, the Frigid Arctic climate is available at Sheridan's mansion. War Rock - The null-elemental Terrennial
Only available in the Japanese version of the game, War Rock is obtainable via a secret boss from Mega Man Star Force. Perrault
Perrault is the only Terrennial featured in Lunar Knights that doesn't ally with the protagonists. Instead, she chooses to assist Dumas often to the point of blind loyalty. She often appears at the end of the casket rocket stages in her giant mech called Schrodinger. She also appears in the castle Auguste and during the optional stage Vambery.
A gunslinger working for the Acuna guild. In the hunting mansion, Lucien frequently runs into her as she tries to release the prisoners trapped in the mansion by the vampires.
Her confrontation with Margrave Rymer almost sees her defeat, before Lucien jumps in to deflect Rymer's finishing blow. She spends most of the time afterwards in the guild. Her weapon is called the Witch, which is able to fire target-seeking missiles.
A gunslinger who seems to be a dog-like creature working for the Acuna guild. Kay is usually seen with his fellow gunslinger Ernest. When Aaron is ambushed by Edgar and Virginia near the beginning of the game, Kay and Ernest appear just in time and tell Aaron to retreat to safety. Both Kay and Ernest are captured and taken to the train station. Aaron and Lucien manage to help free Kay, who then gives Aaron his spare gun, the Ninja.
The boss of the Acuna guild and also a gunslinger. Ernest is captured and taken aboard the armed train Irving, where he is used for Baron Stoker's new casket armour. Eventually he is set free by Aaron and Lucien after a fight on top of the train. When they meet up back at the guild again, Ernest gives Aaron a new weapon, the Dragoon.
Although most of her character remains a total mystery, Alice provides constant cooperation with Aaron and Lucien. She is able to contact them both via a special device and whenever they are on board the Laplace. Although she is often cheeky, she actually seems to have a lot of knowledge about the vampires, the paraSOL and possibly the immortals.
An intelligent, yet somewhat frail looking man. He is able to hack the paraSOL and change the weather to Lucien and Aaron's liking. It is mentioned that Baron Stoker was his student, which questions why he was working alongside a vampire. Sheridan offers many helpful services other than being able to change the weather. By talking to Sheridan, the player is able to replay boss fights and casket rocket stages and also upgrade weapons.
Compatibility with Previous Boktai Games
Connecting either Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand
, Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
or the Japan-only Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack
into the GameBoy Advance slot of the DS will give the player access to a special "solar sensor", which actually uses the solar sensor on the connected Boktai game whilst Lunar Knights is being played.
Connecting the original Boktai will restore the character's ENE (energy) bar slowly. Boktai 2 will restore the character's LIFE bar slowly and Boktai 3 will fill up the TRC (trance) bar. All three games will also increase the amount stored in the solar bank depending on how much sunlight is hitting the solar sensor.