Ninety-Nine Nights II is the sequel to the decently received Ninety-Nine Nights. As with its predecessor, the game takes place in a Tolkien inspired fantasy world that once was peaceful, but turned sour. This is due to the Lord of Night who ascended from the darkness with legions of dark minions. As their campaign progressed, they took down many, destroyed all, leaving villages as burning messes, and leaving civilizations extinct. Their terrible conquest lasted for ninety-nine nights, and during these events, the game takes place. As five heroes are destined to stop the dark lord and vanquish his destructive armies before the world is lost. The game puts the player in control of these warriors, especially Galen, as the story progresses.
The gameplay has been described by Tak Fujii, manager of Konami, as 'extreeeeme'. He said that one of the main objectives of the developers was to keep a flow of high and low intensity, as well as vary the levels up by throwing in huge boss battles that take up the entire screen. The engine is capable of doing this, all the while rendering the enemies to a respectable degree of detail and keep a steady frame rate, this is done by truly pushing the Xbox 360's hardware to its edge.
Gameplay is designed with huge epic battles in mind, and your character running into the battlefield, and wrecking mass acts of havoc and destruction. A character can perform a mix of power attacks, quick attacks, and special character attacks. Additionally, a meter is charged by performing combos, and once this meter charges, a character can perform different super attacks which deal massive damage, but also drain power.
The game puts emphasis on mobs instead of the individual enemy. Typical attacks have a very large area of effect, designed to hit as many people as possible. Additionally, most foes have low health, relying more on mob tactics of surrounding and swarming the player. However, there are also super enemies which are harder to kill, but come in smaller quantities. This may range of a regular soldier with bigger armor, or a massive behemoth. There are also very large boss monsters that do take up the entire screen, and are very hard to kill. Throughout regular battles there are objectives/missions assigned for the player, this may be something as simple as "kill everyone" or be something different as "destroy these structures" or "make sure these people don't die." Additionally, friendly soldiers accompany and fight with the player character, which may become useful when a boss comes and you need a distraction.
Characters can also upgrade their stats via the collecting and spending of red orbs which are gained throughout the missions. They can also acquire and equip new weapons and armour that effects performance. Red orbs can be spent to level up either the character's hit points, or to boost the power of their collected weapons and accessories. Characters have 8 accessory slots in total: four active and four passive.
Additionally, there are areas of battles which one character can access and another can't, because of the special abilities assigned to every character that make them unique and are designed for different situations.
The campaign follows the story of five heroes, one of which is Galen, who is the first character and the real main character. The other four characters are playable and have a different personal story of what else was going on during what Galen is doing, providing multiple perspectives of the war, as most characters were in different places at the same time.
Co-Op mode takes place on special stages designed specifically for Co-Op, this is because, as Tak Fujii explained, they don't want the same stages to be significantly less difficult because there is a sudden extra guy, and then the campaign becomes very easy and boring for the player. Co-Op mode also features specific puzzles that are special to the mode, and significantly tougher enemies that you just can't beat alone.
There are five different characters to play as in the game. Each one is unlocked by completing missions in Galen's story.
Galen is the main character in the game. After having lost his home and his family to the invading Armies of the Night, he heads to the castle of Orphea to help protect the last bastion of humanity. His special attack can destroy huge boulders, that are blocking off many different roads.
Sephia is the princess of Orphea. She fights alongside her people to stop the Armies of the Night from advancing and she eventually becomes the rightful wielder of the Orb of Light. Her special attack can douse various fires and fire barrieres, that are blocking off many different roads.
Maggni is a thief, that has been imprisoned for over a year in Orphea castle because of his crimes. He is released by Sephia, on the condition of him helping in their battle against the Armies of the Night. His special attack lets him move around boulders.
Zazi is a Surveillant, in charge of chronicling the history of the world. As the Armies of the Night advance, she comes to aid Sephia in the battle, but also has her own secret goals. Her special attack lets her wield a bow, that can be used to activate various switches, but also to battle her enemies.
Levv is a goblin, who got sent to aid Orphea in their battle, by orders of the late king of the goblins. He is very mistrustful of the other races, but comes to respect them eventually. His special attack lets him wield a grappling hook, which he can use to get to various places others can't.