Zwei II (ツヴァイ 2 Tsuvai 2 ) is an action role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom Corporation. It is a direct sequel to Zwei!! and is one of the latest next generation titles created by Falcom. Currently the game is only available for Windows. A new Windows 7-compatible version called Zwei II Plus, containing additional features, will be released on 24 December 2009.
Players alternate between two main characters Ragna and Alwen, with two other supporting characters replacing Alwen at certain points in the game. Ragna is adept in physical attacks, fighting with his unique Anchor Gear weapon, which receives numerous technical upgrades as the game progresses. Alwen is proficient in magic and is able to harness powerful elemental spells. The game starts with Ragna delivering cargo to the floating continent of Irrbard, when he is shot down from his airplane. Alwen, a vampire princess bonds with him to save his life and Ragna promises to reclaim Alwen's stolen castle to repay her.
The game plays similar to the 3D Ys series games, also produced by Falcom, with real time battles and a fixed camera that follows the main character from a medium distance. One major difference is the presence of an inactive secondary character who follows the player's character for most of the game, usually either Alwen or Ragna, depending on who the player isn't controlling at that point in time. Initialising a physical attack forces the player to control Ragna, while initialising a magical attack causes Alwen to fight. Both characters are controlled in the same way, although they have different offensive and defensive stats.
The game features a variety of villages, where players can converse with NPC characters in typical RPG fashion. Travel between locations occurs via Irrbard's overworld map. The majority of the game takes place in dungeons filled with traps and monsters. A dungeon is composed of a few stages, which are split into three floors each. Each stage contains many small puzzle elements, which need to be solved to earn rare treasures or to simply progress. There are many mini-bosses and a dungeon boss, with the dungeon bosses requiring specific strategies to defeat, such as waiting for their weak spot to open.
One of the unique aspects of the Zwei!! series is that defeating enemies does not award experience points, needed to level up, unlike in other RPGs. Instead enemies may drop food or coins when defeated. Food is very important as not only does it restore health, but it is the only commodity that awards experience points. Ten types of the same food can also be combined in the restaurant, found at the main village, to create a higher tier food item that awards more experience in comparison to the individual items.
To assist with item collection, players can buy pets from a pet store, such as a cat and dog. Pets automatically collect spoils, do minor damage to foes and can learn special abilities as they level up. There are also numerous gadget items, bought from shops or found in dungeons, which are applied as attachments to the game screen. These include tools to aid dungeon exploration such as a dungeon map navigator, and more obscure items, such as a text notifier and a music player.
Five hundred years ago, the world of Granvallen was rocked by the Great Sorcery War. The Six Demon Lords, fallen angels who betrayed the twin goddesses Aplyes and Espina, attacked Granvallen and caused much destruction. Eventually they were defeated by the Holy Kingdom of Valence, who allied with the fairies and the great dragons. Afterwards magic was sealed; the magic gates linking the floating continents no longer worked and the continents lost contact with each other. In recent years, machinery has prospered and now the people of Granvallen can move freely using aircraft.
Ragna Valentine is a treasure hunter who journeys to the north-western continent of Irrbard to fulfil a job contract. As he enters Irrbard's airspace, he is shot down by a mysterious group and plunges to an imminent death. Fortunately he is rescued by Alwen, a vampire princess who performs a blood contract with him. Ragna becomes Alwen's Blood Warrior and instantly recovers from his fatal injuries due to his newly gained supernatural strength. When they meet again, Alwen explains that her home castle and magic were stolen from her by an unknown enemy and requests Ragna to help her reclaim them.
- Ragna Valentine - The main hero of the game. He is a treasure hunter who travels the world aboard his beloved airplace, the Tristan. He is forced to become Alwen's Blood Warrior, when he suffers fatal injuries from crashing his airplane, and travels around Irrbard to help her. He has a strong passion for aircraft, which earns him the nickname "aeromaniac".
- Alwen Du Moonbria - The main heroine of the game. She is a princess of the vampires, the mightiest of the demon tribe, and the owner of Moonbria Castle. She has a proud and almighty personality, but is not narrow-minded at all. She saves Ragna's life by signing a Blood Contract with him. Originally a powerful user of magic, she lost over half of her magical power when her castle was attacked. After spending all her life in the castle, she is largely unaware of the outside world.
- Ruu - Alwen's servant. Worships Alwen and hates Ragna for traveling along with Alwen because of the Blood Contract. A dark fairy who can utilise teleportation magic and also strengthen weapons.
- Subaru - A little boy (or so it seems) ninja who Ragna befriends along his travels. He was impressed by Ragna's treasure hunting skills and persuaded Ragna to accept him as his pupil. Cheery and vigorous, he follows Ragna almost like a puppy. He is skilled with shurikens and moves around swiftly and stealthily. It seems he is also good with cooking.
- Montblanc - A cat demon plotting mayhem across Irrbard. A cunning villain who attempts to put an end to Ragna several times. He possesses powerful magic, but doesn't fight himself, instead relying on friendly demons and humongous summons. It seems he serves a strong master and is just a mere underling.
- Exmachina - One of Montblanc's companions, a young female magician who appears as an enemy. She normally hides her face with her hood and doesn't show any signs of emotion. With the mystical "Rainbow Orb" in hand, she travels across Irrbard performing various rituals. She refers to herself as a "puppet".
- Odessa - A female treasure hunter who Ragna encounters during his adventure. She is also known as the "Hungry Wolf Hunter", a bounty hunter feared by many criminals. She fights with a large boomerang, but since she is incredibly agile, she is good at dog fights. News of a huge bounty leads her to Irrbard.
- Fiona El Valence - A young lady who travels to Irrbard to vanquish the vampires. She is a descendant of the Valence royal family and acts to uphold her family's mission of protecting Granvallen. Usually lovely and graceful, she dons her family's holy sword and armour during battle and fights furiously.
- Claude - Fiona's caretaker, a youthful male who wears glasses. Honest and polite, he is a skilled martial artist, serving as Fiona's bodyguard, as well as acting as her general support. Privy to various sources of information, he notices Ragna and Alwen's suspicious activities and immediately begins investigating them.
Zwei II Plus
Zwei II Plus is a re-release of the original game that is compatible with Windows 7 (also compatible with 64-bit OS) and introduces some new items and features:
- New costumes for Ragna (Punk Rock) and Alwen (Bunny).
- New Anchor Gear weapon, the Muscle Gear, which fires Gallandou to attack.
- The Penguin character from the G Colosseo can now become a pet.
- The G Colosseo includes a survival mode that lets you consecutively battle opponents.
- New high difficulty dungeon, "Dream Maze II".
- Paid service to make the Kappa skiing mini-game easier.
- Vending machines now stock trading figures and there are more reward items.
- Fast-forwarding of events (accessible from the 2nd playthrough) and ability to skip movies.
- Dungeon level plates are re-adjusted and enemies rebalanced.
- More efficient food exchange.