Summon Night: Swordcraft Story is an action role-playing game in the Summon Night series. The game follows either a female (Pratty) or male (Cleru) protagonist, and their quest to become the Craftlord of Iron, a prestigious title in the in-game world. Swordcraft Story was released on July 26, 2006 in North America (three years after the Japanese release) by Atlus (Banpresto in Japan), and was developed by Flight-Plan. The game, and its sequel, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2, was released exclusively for the Game Boy Advance.
There are several aspects of Swordcraft Story that makes it different from a traditional action role-playing game. The game consists of three aspects: smithing weapons, exploring the overworld, or fighting battles.
Smithing is the primary focus of the action in Swordcraft Story. There are several variations in weapon crafting, including weapon type and elemental enchantment. There are five different type of weapons that can be crafted: swords, axes, spears, knuckles, and drills. Each of these have their specific advantages and disadvantages. Swords are the "all-around" weapon, axes are the power focused weapon, spears are based more on long range hits, knuckles are quick and fast-paced, and drills are automatic, hitting the enemy multiple times while holding down the attack button.
Weapon enchantments are handled using "Mystic Ores," which can be found scattered throughout the game. Mystic Ores imbue weapons with one of four elements: fire, water, wind, and lightning. This is also dependent on the player's Guardian Beast, whose elemental attributes influence the weapons that the player can craft.
Other types of accessories can also be equipped that are outside of the crafting process, such as shoes, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. These influence the player's fighting abilities, contributing to a variety of stats.
Battling is based on random encounters. When a battle is initiated, the game goes away from the top-down perspective used in the overworld, and switches to a side-scrolling arena. Before a battle, the player has the option to equip up to three weapons (if none are available, the player uses a default hammer in battle), and then four items (consumables, stat-boosting, etc.) or spells (special attacks) can be equipped to the Guardian Beast. During battle, the player can freely switch between their weapons, and freely use the Guardian Beast's attached items and attributes.
There are several statistics that influence a battle, both on the player and the weapon being used. A key part of the battle is a weapon's duration, which goes down each time the weapon is used. If the weapon's duration hits zero during a battle, it breaks and is rendered unusable and cannot be restored. After each battle, all weapon duration is reset, however, so the player simply has to avoid using a weak weapon until the battle comes to a close. Weapon duration can also be increased by using the weapon more, upgrading its TEC statistic.
The player also has four different statistics that influence the flow of the battle. Attack, defense, agility, and hit points are all a part of this. Attack determines how powerful the player is, defense determines how much damage enemies inflict, agility determines jumping ability and speed, and hit points determine how many hits the player can take.
In the overworld, the player can do a variety of things, including purchasing weapon materials, completing side-quests, progressing the main storyline (which consists of ten different "days"), conversing with non-player characters, and exploring the main town of Wystern.
The land of Wystern was saved three years ago by Shintetsu, the Craftlord of Iron. But not without a high cost- the Craftlord's own life. Three years later, the other Craftlords began to hold a tournament to determine his replacement. Shintetsu's only child decides to enter the tournament in order to follow in his/her father's footsteps. The gender of the child is determined at the start of the game- the default names are Cleru or Pratty.
In order to enter the tournament in earnest, the child must acquire a Guardian Beast. There are four to choose from, selected through a small questionnaire a summoner asks the player prior to actually summoning the Beast. Regardless of which one is actually summoned, the Beast is declared the same one used by the player's father.
- Kutty: Plucked from Maetropa, the world of the Phantom Beasts. Doesn't speak English, instead speaking only his name.
- Sugar: Actually named Sugarette, and the princess of Sapureth (the 'spirit world'). Insistent on marrying the player character regardless of gender, claiming Shintetsu promised she'd marry the player.
- Rasho: The 'demon king' of Silturn. Quite shy, and overcompensates with a rude demeanor.
- Zantek: A machine Beast from Loreilal. Despite speaking illegible gibberish, the player character can fully understand what Zantek is saying.
After summoning the Beast, the player is left to his or her own devices to acquire materials, craft weapons, and win the tournament.