THE AWAKENED FATE ULTIMATUM
By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on March 10, 2015
If you were God would you make the right choices? Would you regret your choices? Could you live with yourself if you made the wrong choices? The Awakened Fate Ultimatum offers you just that: a glimpse of what's it would be like, being "God".
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (TAFU), developed by Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America, is set several years after the story of The Guided Fate Paradox, where Renya affected the fates of people and defeated Satanael. TAFU reveals the aftermath of The Guided Fate Paradox, Angels and Devils are still at war; the Devils are dominant and the Angels seem to be on the losing side, and only you can turn the tide.
You are Shin Kamikaze, a high-school boy who on his way back home wanders around a bit and is attacked by a group of Devils. One of these Devils pierces your heart with a sword. While you're still flabbergasted about this whole event, a pretty and mysterious girl saves you from these Devils. Weakened from your wound, you slowly fade away...
When you wake up, you are in Celestia; a wonderful place where you are welcomed by your beautiful savior and another girl (this just keeps getting better and better!). They introduce themselves as Jupiel and Ariael; Jupiel is a beautiful Angel, and more importantly, the one who saved your life. Ariael is a brilliant scientist and a more serious person. Youíll find out that you arenít saved, you actually died after the attack, Ariael and Jupiel resurrected you by placing "The Awakening Crystal" inside you, you are now "God".
As "God" you have certain duties to fulfill, like saving all the Angels from Devil attacks. You are the one who can finally turn the tide in this ongoing war between Angels and Devils. Shin really doesnít want to be a part of this, and states this very clearly more than once. Still, TAFU would be a very short game if they let him have his way, so he is going to be a part of it, whether he likes it or not. Throughout the game you will form a bond with both Jupiel and Ariael, although the bond with one of them will be stronger. Which one this will be, relies heavily on the choices you make along the way.
A bit later in the story, youíll discover that Ariael is in fact an imprisoned Devil, and this is where the well-told story of TAFU comes rising to the surface, and shows its true colors. Every time I had an encounter with Jupiel and Ariael I always found Jupiel more appealing. After all, sheís an Angel and Iím always trying to do good, so I usually chose to side with her in almost every event. During these events Jupiel was more than often a "Devil"; not physically, but her actions were more becoming someone of the Devilish persuasion. Ariael on the other hand, is a Devil and almost all the time makes me hate her due to her actions and words, but turns out to be a "good" person underneath. In my opinion, the personality of the girls represents the whole setting of the game. Sometimes, something can appear good but actually be evil, and vice versa.
During the course of the story, you are faced with difficult and sometimes even moral choices. It is during these events that you obviously have to choose between good and evil. And seeing as we're all human beings, you will want to make the right choice, right? If you were to ask me my opinion on what is usually the right choice, I can assure you that there are no right choices. Every good choice I made, led to a bad event, and even when I made a "bad" choice there was always a downside to it. This just goes to show that even when you're "God", you just canít do right by everyone.
When faced with the choice between saving Angels that are injured in battle or banishing the Devils that did the damage, I chose to save the Angels because they were hurt and needed aid. Saving these injured Angels while Devils run loose results in even more injured Angels, some even closer to your heart. Clearly, this wasnít the 'good' choice to make, this was bad. As I played on, even more of these choices had to be made: Killing a Devil commander who has loved once back home, saving traitors who tried to kill Jupiel, the list just keeps going and going! There is an ever-continuing conflict raging in your own heart; did I do the right thing? Was it wrong to leave people behind? What would have been the outcome of the other choice? And that, my friends, is the true power of TAFU.
The story is supremely told with well-drawn characters and even better voice acting. But still, seeing as how this is a game, the main goal of playing a game is actually the playing part itself, right? TAFU has got you covered there! It offers a great gameplay experience in a rogue style RPG, albeit with Eastern influences. Youíll play as Shin and have to find your way through various dungeons filled with enemies, Devil and Angel alike.
You can find equipment to boost your Normal stats, varying from weapons and shields to rings. Even better than finding awesome stuff is the upgrading of Deitized forms, both Angel and Devil. You can earn upgrade points by leveling up from the choices you make in events. Points earned through leveling up can be used on both the Devil and Angel side, while points earned through choices are limited to either the Angel or Devil side, depending on the choice you made. Upgrading results in a stats boost and special abilities, which can be very useful in combat.
Your main goal in any dungeon is to reach its upper level while staying alive. However, sometimes dying isnít a bad thing. When you die youíll lose your equipment and items but the experience gained remains yours. And more experience means faster leveling up, which is occasionally needed to clear a dungeon that features too powerful enemies to defeat in your current rank.
TAFU is a great game with an intriguing story and beautifully created characters. The actual time spent playing is relatively short, but definitely worth it. The game features a deeply structured progression system. And while many of the choices you are presented with are really hard to make, they actually are a great feature in this awesome game.