Battles happen in seamless transitions with no loading screens and the action happens in the map you are exploring. No random battles will be present. The gameplay at first seems remarkably similar to Final Fantasy XII's, but employs self programmable combos and team assists. These combos rely on Action Chips which are built up by performing basic attacks or receiving damage. Any attack aside from divine and elemental magic can be built into these combos, but since each has an associated Action Chip cost one cannot simply place all of their attacks into one combo. After enough Action Chips are accrued, certain plot-specific characters will be able to turn into a very large Knight that towers over the battlefield. When not in a narrow space, transformation can be activated; while mostly used to expedite boss battles, transformations can be used on weaker enemies as well.
The story begins in a fantasy kingdom called Balandor, where the citizens were prepared to celebrated Princess Cisna's 18th birthday. Along with the occasion, the king decides to make progress towards peace with Faria, the kingdom which murdered his wife. The party was a joyful moment, consisting of a ball, nighttime celebrations and a traveling circus. Leonard, a worker for the local wine merchant, delivers wine to the castle with his friend Yulie and he decides to sneak into the festivities unnoticed.
Eventually Cisna is kidnapped by an evil organization called the Magi, who successfully murder her father and the ambassador of Faria to cause chaos more chaos amongst the two warring nations. Leonard grabs Cisna and are ushered into the sewers by a mysterious man named Eldore. In the sewers, Leonard and Cisna stumble across an enormous, ancient suit of magical armor, a powerful weapon known as the White Knight. Leonard gains the ability to take control of the White Knight and goes on a journey to save the princess from the Magi. The Magi are lead by Dragias, who has the ability to turn into the Black Knight, which possesses powers comparable to the White Knight's.
The main character, the adopted son of a wine merchant, who gains the ability to transform into the White Knight.
Princess of Balandor who took a vow of silence after witnessing her mother's death. On the occasion of her 18th birthday, she broke her silence after witnessing her father's death at the hands of the Black Knight.
Leader of the castle guard who harbors a deep hatred for the Kingdom of Faria. During his childhood, he was commended for retrieving the queen's stolen necklace and was made a vassal and honorary son of the king. From that day forth, he swore to protect Balandor at any cost. After the king's death, he leaves Balandor on a journey to Faria. At the game's conclusion, he has not reached Faria nor are his intentions made clear. He is voiced by Nolan North
A girl who comes from the same village as Leonard. Accompanies Leonard on his journey after the incident in the Balandor. While she is aware of Leonard's infatuation with Princess Cisna, several plot points hint at a deep affection she has for Leonard (which he dismisses). Screenshots of the game's sequel hint at her potential to become a pactmaker like Leonard or Caesar, but nothing is confirmed at the time of this article's writing.
An old aged warrior later confirmed to come from the Dogma Age, an ancient time when the five Knights were unsealed.
A dancer from the desert city of Albana who was commissioned to assassinate Leonard upon his arrival. After she was resuscitated by Leonard, she joins the group in hopes of getting her sister back from the Magi. However, the Belcitane sacrifices her sister to form a Gigas and Kara situates herself in the group on a quest for vengeance. Later confirmed to General Dragias and the Black Knight's pactmaker.
A feckless boy from the Free City of Greede who has a peculiar connection with dragons. After accompanying Leonard, he shortly gains the ability to transform into the Dragon Knight.
A seven-meter-tall magical weapon from a time where such devices almost destroyed mankind.
An evil counterpart to the White Knight in abilities and attributes.
A stout, quizzical villain who directly serves General Dragias. He is voiced by Dana Snyder
White Knight Chronicles will feature 4 player co-op play. It will use gestures and text chat to communicate with your party. White Knight features a character creator in which the player will be able to change hairstyle, facial hair, skin color, etc. The quests from the single player game are different from the multiplayer quests but the single player will tie into the multiplayer and vice versa. The character designed by the player is the protagonist of the multiplayer mode, but he or she also appears in the singleplayer campaign, as a supporting character in Leonard's party. Changes made to the character transfer back and forth, so if the player learns a new ability or levels up while playing multiplayer, their custom character will have that ability or another level the next time they load their singleplayer game.
The overall multiplayer lobby for White Knight Chronicles is called Geonet. Players will be able to create and customize towns called Georamas that are connected to Geonet. Other players can come and visit your Georama and are encouraged to, as there are rare items that are only available in the player-created Georamas. Georamas can be upgraded up to ten levels, with each gradation sporting expanded territory. However, to limit rapid growth, expansion relies on large fees paid in Guilder (the game's currency) and a high guild ranking. Downloadable items are available for purchase directly in the game, ranging in price from .99 to 5.99 USD; the cheapest items being purely decorative whilst the most expensive being alternate settings.
According to Famitsu White Knight Chronicles sold 203,000 copies sold in its first three days. White Knight Chronicles debuted number one on the Famitsu charts 12/1-12/28. According to Famitsu, after three weeks, White Knight Chronicles has sold about 300,000.
Localization on White Knight Chronicles was finished in early 2009 but not released until a year later in February 2010; the process was also done under the employ of localization studio, 8-4 Ltd. Dana Snyder
said that his character's original Japanese voice-over was deep and menacing while his interpretation was high pitched and sneering. The head of localization said that his voice was exactly what they were looking for which surprised Snyder.