Spectrobes: Origins (化石超進化 スペクトロブス：オリジンズ Kaseki Chōshinka Supekutorobusu: Orijinzu, "Fossil Super-Evolution Spectrobes: Origins") is the third game in Disney's Spectrobes series. The game was developed by Genki, published by Disney Interactive Studios, and released exclusively for the Wii, making it the only game in the series to be released for a home console. However, it is different from its predecessors in terms of gameplay and overall gist, owing largely to Genki developing this game rather than Jupiter and developing the game for the Wii console rather than the Nintendo DS handheld.
Spectrobes: Origins takes place some time after Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals. After the defeat of Krux, the Krawl have regrouped and are destroying entire planets at will. Feeling that the Krawl are able to exploit portals throughout the Nanairo galaxy, Commander Grant issues a maximum force order to guard the portals. Rallen, Jeena, and Komainu are sent to patrol Sector W for possible Krawl activity. when suddenly, a portal opens and roughly draws their ship into itself. Once they have regained consciousness, Rallen and Jeena discover that they have been transported to an entirely new star system called the Kaio System. They intercept an S.O.S. message from the nearby planet Wyterra, and decide to investigate.
Rallen and Jeena soon get caught up in a quest to save the entire Kaio System from impending doom. Because the Krawl are attacking the system, Rallen and Jeena are told to seek out the five Shards of a King, said to be the components of the fossil of the legendary "Beast King" that are hidden on each planet. As the story progresses they encounter individuals who have past ties to Commander Grant (one of whom turning out to be Krux, the leader of the Krawl). They also find that Krux is spreading chaos around the system.
Eventually, Rallen and Jeena learn that the Krux terrorizing Kaio is really Jado, which is when the actual Krux appears. Commander Grant also appears, and reveals the full extent of his past history in the Kaio system: Krux was once a Spectrobe Master of the Kaio system, and was friends with Kamtoga and Grant. However, Krux experimented with attempting to control the Krawl against the wishes of his friends, which led to him being corrupted. Krux is also responsible for the current assault on Kaio; his plan is to crash a Krawlosphere into Wyterra and rule Kaio as his own.
After acquiring the five shards, Rallen and Jeena summon the Ultimate Form Spectrobe Kaio to defeat the Krawl approaching Wyterra. Rallen and Jeena then fly to the Krawlosphere to confront Krux. Rallen defeats Krux in a duel, knocking him into the depths of the Krawlosphere, and then uses the power of the "Beast King" (revealed to be the Ultimate Form Spectrobe named Kaio) to freeze the Krawlosphere's core, destroying it as he and the others escape. Peace returns to Kaio and Rallen, Jeena, and Commander Grant return home to Nanairo.
In a post-credits sequence, it is revealed the Krux is still alive after the destruction of the Krawlosphere.
Gameplay has significantly changed from the previous two titles in terms of controls, but the game has three separate profiles: Non-linear exploration, encounter battles and excavation.
During most parts of the game, players can choose to control Rallen or Jeena by switching between them at save points, with the camera in a third-person perspective. Players can communicate with non-playable characters, use their Child Spectrobes to search for minerals or simply walk around. Players can control their Child Spectrobes with the Wii Remote (flick to search, shake to return) to find minerals, Fossil Blocks, and other objects. Players can also access the Cosmolink menu, allowing them to switch weapons and adjust their current party. On the ship, players can view their Incubator and awaken or excavate Spectrobes, view the Database, use the Card Input system, or fly to a different planet.
Encounter battles become the main element that differs from the past two games, the most notable difference being that battles in this game occur in real-time, rather than taking place inside of a vortex. Whenever a battle is initiated (either by ambush or collecting a black-coloured mineral), the screen darkens and the active Spectrobe Master summons the first Spectrobe assigned at Line Up. Players control either Rallen or Jeena with the buttons on the Wii Remote and Nunchuck and give commands to the Spectrobes using vertical swings to attack or horizontal swings to call them back. By holding C and pressing A over an enemy, the player can target that enemy for the Spectrobe to attack. Rallen can also be healed using a new item, Rice Balls. By having the Spectrobe attack enemies, its CH Gauge fills up, and when it is full the Spectrobe can use its special CH Attack; this will only occur, however, if the Spectrobe is a high enough level to use its CH Attack. If Rallen is defeated at any point, the player receives a game over.
Finally, excavation is done at the lab in the Patrol Cruiser, however players now manipulate fossils differently. Tools are selected and utilised with the Wii Remote which doubles as a cursor, whereas the Nunchuk attachment changes the angle of the fossil, (as fossils are now rendered in 3D rather than being dug up in 2D). 6 tools are available: Scanner, Laser, Drills, Bombs, Hammer and Blower, with each having a different key task. Once successfully excavated, Spectrobes in fossil form can be awakened using Wii Remote and Nunchuk shakes in sequential order, instead of using microphone input like in the previous games.
A major change to the Spectrobes creature system is the reassignment of Properties. While the game still uses a "rock-paper-scissors"-style weakness system, instead of the Corona, Aurora and Flash system system, this game categorises Spectrobes and several Krawl into 5 elemental Properties: mainly Plant, Sky, Earth, Water and Fire. The process of Spectrobe evolution has been greatly simplified; instead of having triple criteria for evolution (levels, minerals and battles), Spectrobes need only achieve a hard-set level and be fed with an Evolve Mineral, LVL 5 for Child Spectrobes and LVL 30 for Adult Spectrobes. In addition, the Kyptos item is added as a element-specific training device for use in the Incubator.
|Battle controls||Exploration controls|
Spectrobes: Origins also features local cooperative play, in which a second player (also using a Wii Remote and Nunchuck) controls the first player's party of Spectrobes, being able to search for items as the Child Spectrobe and attack independently of the first player as the battle Spectrobes.
- Rallen - One of the two main protagonists. A hot-headed, young junior officer of the Nanairo Planetary Patrol and Spectrobe Master.
- Jeena - The main protagonist alongside and partner to Rallen. A mechanical engineer and analytical thinker in contrast to Rallen.
- Commander Grant - The head of the NPP. Acts suspiciously throughout the game, causing Rallen and Jeena to suspect something is going on.
- Kamtoga - The former partner of the previous Spectrobe Master in Kaio.
- Krux - Main antagonist and the cause of the Krawl appearing in Kaio. He appears across the Kaio system, terrorizing each planet, though for reasons unknown.
- Radese - Chief of Haven Village on Wyterra.
- Gretta - Chief of Verdant Village on Doldogo.
- Salia - Young daughter of Gretta.
- Neal - An explorer on Menahat.
- Dyrus - Chief of the mining operation on Menahat.
- Scout and Tidy - Robot caretakers of the Slayso tower.
- Main Article: List of Spectrobes in Spectrobes: Origins
Spectrobes: Origins features a total of 90 unique species of Spectrobes that the player can control. Of these, 60 are new, while 30 return from the previous two games. As stated above, the Property and evolution mechanics for the Spectrobes have been changed.
- Decaton - Mini-bosses on Doldogo, polluting the rivers.
- Savonek - Mini-boss on Menahat, fought when emerging in the desert.
- Grapatar - Mini-boss on the base floor of Slayso, having captured Scout.
- Windorix/Thundorix - Mini-bosses on Slayso when ascending the tower.
- Galgore - Boss Krawl of Wyterra.
- Drilzon - Boss Krawl of Doldogo.
- Gigardos - Boss Krawl of Kogoeria.
- Zabatar - Boss Krawl of Menahat.
- Electrox - Boss Krawl on Slayso
- Gafing - Boss Krawl on Bahmud.
- Jado - Appears as a boss before awakening Kaio.
- Terragan and Krux - The bosses in the Krawlosphere.
- Darkroe - Extra boss during the second game.
Throughout the game, players explore seven planets within the Kaio system as they travel to find the Shards of a King, solve past mysteries, and defeat the Krawl. Most of the planets are themed after one of the five elements in the game (for example, Doldogo is the Plant planet).
|Name of planet||Image||Description|
|Wyterra||A planet covered in grassy plains, and fifth planet in the Kaio system. As the capital planet of the Kaio system, it houses the planet's largest cities, among them Haven Village where Rallen and Jeena land.|
|Doldogo||The fourth planet, a small planet covered in dense jungles. The rivers near Verdant Village where the player lands have been polluted by Krawl invaders, causing damage to the Tree of Life.|
|Kogoeria||The final and largest planet in the system, covered with ice and snow. Rallen and Jeena land near an explorer's camp headed by Kamtoga.|
|Menahat||The second planet in Kaio, covered by deserts and canyons. Rallen and Jeena land near the mining camp headed by Dyrus, which is being terrorized by a massive Krawl out in the desert.|
|Slayso||A small planet covered by stormy clouds and the third planet. Its most notable feature is the ancient, massive tower extending beyond the clouds.|
|Bahmud||The first planet in the Kaio system, covered with volcanoes and volcanic rock.|
|Krawlosphere||A massive, planet-sized conglomeration of Krawl sent by Krux to destroy the Kaio system.|
Development of Spectrobes: Origins began when series producer Kentaro Hisai saw the potential for a battle and excavation system using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, and he went to Genki's office in Tokyo to have them start development. Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals was nearing the end of development at the time, and Jupiter had given Genki information on the series before development started, allowing the team at Genki to "quickly immerse itself in the Spectrobes universe." The team first spent two months developing a prototype excavation minigame, but it was scrapped after Hisai played their demo and did not think it felt like a proper excavation. Afterward, Genki spent another month experimenting with how many polygons the Wii was capable of displaying and creating complex calculations within the system's limitations to create a more immersive excavation system.
For Spectrobes: Origins, the team decided to develop the game as an action-adventure title rather than an RPG, while still using RPG elements that would benefit gameplay, the primary focus being to properly create a system in which the player controls the human character and a Spectrobe simultaneously, which was difficult to create on the Nintendo DS hardware. The developers tested a variety of control schemes throughout development, eventually coming up with the idea of controlling the human characters with one hand (the Nunchuk), while the Spectrobes would use the other hand (the Wii Remote); when testing the two control schemes, however, it was decided that Rallen and Jeena would attack with the Wii Remote's A button (according to Kentaro Hisai, "the primary 'go-to' or 'action' button") rather than the Nunchuk's C or Z buttons.
With the movement of series development from a handheld to a home console, Genki saw fit to modify several aspects from the previous games, such as revamping the Property system and redesigning certain aspects of some existing Spectrobes as they saw fit. The creation of larger environments thanks to the more powerful Wii console compared to the Nintendo DS handheld also led to streamlining the excavation system, since the developers figured that "it would be quite a chore for the player to scan each section of the map for hidden objects to excavate." The Wii hardware also allowed the developers to include Jeena as a fully playable character alongside Rallen, something that the developers of the Nintendo DS games had wanted to do but couldn't due to a variety of factors (namely hardware limitations and deadlines). When creating the game's cutscenes, the voices were recorded before the animation, with the English voice cast basing their performances on the Japanese voice recordings; the cutscenes were then animated based on the audio.
During development many options were considered for cooperative multiplayer, including online co-op, though local two-player co-op was ultimately decided on. The developers also experimented with connecting Origins to the Nintendo DS games, but it was not feasible in the development cycle.
- For videos, see this video page.
- Some copies of Spectrobes: Origins came in a boxed set with the Spectrobes: Origins book included.
- Spectrobes_Origins (August 17, 2009). Breaking Through Rock with Willpower. IGN Boards. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Localizing Spectrobes: Origins. IGN Boards. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Hisai Talks Spectrobes. IGN (February 19, 2009). Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- DiMola, Francesca (February 20, 2009). Kentaro Hisai Discusses Spectrobes: Origins. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- Gann, Patrick. Kentaro Hisai E3 2009 Interview, Regarding Spectrobes: Origins. RPGFan. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- Available Now and Taking Your Questions. IGN Boards. Retrieved April 16, 2015
- Spectrobes_Origins (August 14, 2009) Raising Spectrobes. IGN Boards. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Localizing Spectrobes: Origins. IGN Boards. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- Spectrobes_Origins (July 16, 2009). Welcome to the Spectrobes: Origins blog! IGN Boards. Retrieved April 16, 2015.