‘Anti-RPG’ Hero Must Die Again is out this month

Masuda Shōji’s “anti-RPG” Hero must die. again will release on February 26 for Steam and PlayStation 4, and February 27 for Nintendo Switch, publisher Degica Games announced today.

Hero must die. again begins where typical RPGs end: with the hero defeating the final boss and saving the world. In this case, though, the hero died in the process, but as a reward for his good deeds, the gods award him another five days to get his affairs in order.

How you use those last days is up to you. In the wake of the Demon King’s demise, old conflicts reappear between people who no longer have a common enemy and could use some heroic intervention. And with his memories from before the boss lost, the hero will also want to piece together how he got there and reconnect with the special someone he was trying to protect. The catch is that the hero gets weaker over time, inverting the usual RPG power fantasy—each day closer to death means lower stats.

This will be the first time Hero must die will be available outside Japan, where it’s been kicking around in various forms since 2007. It was originally released as a DoCoMo mobile game in 2007, before getting a Director’s Cut release in 2009 and a full remake for PS Vita in 2016. Hero must die. again is a “brush-up” of the Vita version.

In the West, Masuda Shōji is best known for Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines, a PS Vita JRPG that used a generation system to tell the bittersweet story of a clan cursed to live a full human life in the span of a few years. Hero must die. again looks to explore similar themes, albeit with a very different tone, and to see it finally get a worldwide release is great news indeed.

Matthew Codd

Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.