The one and only one-winged angel of JRPGs is making a comeback. That’s right, an HD remaster of Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is in development for Nintendo Switch, Bandai Namco announced today during Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct. The Baten Kaitos remaster will also include a remaster of its prequel, Baten Kaitos Origins.
Released in 2003 for Nintendo GameCube, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a both a true cult classic and also a veritable Mad Libs of JRPG tropes. It’s set in the wake of a devastating apocalypse, where humanity has emigrated to the clouds and now lives among a series of floating islands.
You have to band together a party of Final Fantasy archetypes (grizzled fisherman, straight-laced bureaucrat, rebellious young woman who’s maybe royalty) on a quest about sealing five whatchamacallits so God doesn’t destroy the world again. Twists and betrayals abound — and no, many of those twists don’t make sense. But the sheer bonkers nature of Baten Kaitos is precisely why it’s stuck for so many fans.
Baten Kaitos also folded a card-game mechanic into its turn-based battles. Similar to the battle mechanic seen in Marvel’s Midnight Suns (secretly the most JRPG game of 2022), the cards you drew from a deck dictated which moves you could make on a given turn. But the system stood out thanks to its gimmick: Cards would “age” in real time. So if you had a milk card in your deck, it would eventually become a yogurt card, which would then eventually become a cheese card. (You definitely don’t want to check on what those cards from your mid-2000s save file look like today.)
Baten Kaitos I and II HD Remaster are planned for a summer 2023 on Nintendo Switch.