Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata is a PlayStation 2 RPG released in 2004 in South Korea by Softmax, and in Japan by Banpresto. It is the sequel to the 2001 CRPG, Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche, and the second instalment in the Magna Carta series. Sofdec was also associated with the game's development.
The game was released on November 15, 2005, in North America by Atlus, under the name Magna Carta: Tears of Blood.
The game uses a battle system that takes elements from Shadow Hearts
and the Star Ocean
series. Battle consists of up to 3 characters who may move around the battlefield in real time. The player can only control one character at a time and can only attack when the "leadership meter" (which will not fill as long as a character is moving) fills up to an appropriate amount. When that happens, a character initiates an attack by performing a series of 3 timed button presses (known as the Trinity Ring). If successful, the attack initiates, but if not the leadership meter empties and the player must wait for it to refill. There are three modes of combat that are uniquely embedded in this game: Standard, Combo, and Counter. Standard is excellent for offensive and defensive attacks, by continuously perfecting the timing of buttons, characters will learn stronger attacks. Combo attacks lack defence, but generally used to create powerful offensive attacks by combining all attacks in one turn. Counter does what it name implies, not only is the user able to block their enemies attack by predicting their enemies attacks. Players are able to keep their leadership meter without exhausting it like Standard Mode. Characters may attack with various combat "styles" learned in the game, which use different chi (energy) types to increase their utility. There are eight different types off chi present in all area, but in different exhaustible quantities. Through the altering of chi lanterns the player can change which chi is most abundant in an area.
The game takes place in the land of Efferia, where a seemingly endless war has raged between the continent's two species, humans and Yason, who in appearance are like humans only lighter in skin tone and with different shaped ears. The protagonist of the game, Calintz, is a high-ranking leader of the Tears of Blood, a mercenary squad hired out by the human Alliance to deal with problems they otherwise won't, or can't touch. Since they are not part of the official army they aren't well liked by the Alliance soldiers although they are somewhat The core group also consists of Azel, a youthful sword wielder who looks up to Calintz; Eonis, a powerful mage; and Haren, a martial artist. Save for Azel, they all have a heavy grudge against the Yason for the deaths of friends and family. On the other side is the Blast Worms, Yason elite soldiers. They are led by the Four Warriors, who wield great power and magic.
During a flawed battle plan, where the Alliance's use of the forbidden magic fails, Calintz stops an assault of one of the Four Warriors' summoned familiars, Roxy's "Steelheart." After destroying a bridge to prevent enemy advancement, he finds himself in a cavern being healed by an unfamiliar woman. Because of her amnesia, all she remembers is her name, Reith, and that she can use very powerful healing magic. Eventually, they find their way out of the cave, and as a show of thanks for saving him, Calintz offers to take her to Amabat, a city of high-ranking and powerful priestesses, thinking her to be one of them.
As the story progresses, Reith, as well as the Tears of Blood and Blast Worms, learns that she is a much more important piece of the puzzle than anyone had realized.
Tears of Blood
The following section contains Spoilers about the games plot.
- Voiced by: Kim Yeong Seon (Korean)
- When he was young, Calintz's village, Fuget, was destroyed in a Yason attack, although he had unwittingly helped a half-Yason with a vindi shaped like a butterfly (Astal) to get passed Fugets magical defence. During the attack he was saved by the Hero of Wind, the founder of Fuget, who taught him to fight. Seeking revenge, he later became a mercenary. He is currently the captain of the Tears of Blood. He'll do whatever is necessary to complete missions assigned to him, especially when it involves fighting the Yason. However, members of the Alliance Army often see his actions as excessive. Because he usually buries his emotions, he can come across as rather cold and calculating, but he cares for his comrades and is willing to risk his life for them, thus earning their trust.
- Voiced by: Jeong Mi Sook (Korean)
- An amnesiac young woman that players meet after the failed use of the Forbidden Magic. She heals Calintz as she finds him unconscious on the cave floor. At first, after Calintz comes to, he thinks that she may be a Priestess from Amabat because of her healing abilities. Therefore, he takes her with him after promising that he would take care of her until she recovered her memory. From then on, she travels with him and the other members of the Tears of Blood. During their travels, many people are surprised by her lack of common sense, which is a result of the amnesia. She's always cheerful and speaks her mind directly. She hates fighting and will help anyone in need, without discriminating between humans and Yason. Her primary goal is to get her memory back. During the course of the game, she and Calintz seem to be developing feelings for each other. She is always sought after by the Yason, even by the Four Warriors themselves. It is later revealed that Reith is actually Amila the queen of the Yason who lost her memory protecting the Yason capital against the Alliance who used Forbidden Magic to attack the Yason directly. While she is travelling her sister, Serina, assumes the role of queen unbeknownst to any of the Yason. Due to the capture and assault on Calintz by the Light of Salvation, Amila/Reith uses the Magna Carta once more to protect Calintz at the cost of her life.
- Voiced by: Rhee Jeong Gu (Korean)
- A rude and brutish human who lost his fiancée, Felicia, in a Yason attack on the Maraccatte front, she was presumably killed by Steelheart. He blames himself for her death and fights against the Yason to alleviate his guilt. His weapons are his fists, and can hit with immense power, but he is slow to defend against his opponents' attacks. He bears a deep-rooted hatred for the Yason and will go to any ends to annihilate their entire race. His fighting style is "Geshiko Shinzan."
- Voiced by: Moon Seon Hee (Korean)
- A well-educated mage from Bayer regarded as a prodigy ever since she was a child. She is polite and frequently serves as a counterpoint to Haren's hotheadedness. She lost both her parents in a Yason attack but does not fight for revenge but is rather devoted to stopping the Human-Yason war, and acts accordingly. Her fighting style is "Gyakudo Madoh," which manipulates the elements of fire and lightning to strike at her foes.
- Voiced by: Eom Sang Hyeon (Korean)
- A young swordsman who was saved by Calintz in a fierce blizzard on The Road to Amabat after his village had been destroyed. He always looks forward to return his debt by trying to protect Calintz as best as he could. One of his styles is the "Ryusei Ikko," which uses the movement of stars.
- Voiced by: Son Won Il (Korean)
- Much of a playboy, he is an archer and inventor for the Tears of Blood, and is working on flying machines although most of his machines are a big fiasco leading the other members not to trust his inventions that much. He thinks of himself as a father figure to Maya. His fighting style is "Myourei," which he invented himself.
- Voiced by: Rhee Ji Yeong (Korean)
- At the age of ten, she witnessed her entire family being murdered by the Yason, causing her to become aphasiac. Chris acts as a father figure towards her, even thought they are not related. She was gifted at birth with healing powers which she uses in battle against the Yason.
- Voiced by: Rhee Myeong Seon (Korean)
- She is in charge of running the Tears of Blood headquarters. She is a rational and concise career-woman whose most important things are her job and seeing the Tears of Blood thrive. She looks like she is in a bad mood and normally snaps at people she talks to but she actually cares about her companions since she cannot go to battle with them. She eventually regains her strength and joins the battlefield at Mirna when the Tears of Blood are unable to join. She unfortunately is killed in the battle against the Butcher of Hargen, also known as Sdei, the same man who killed her general in the battle of Hargen.
- Voiced by: Rhee Seon (Korean)
- Native of the Shinen Tribe and queen of all seven tribes of Yason-Roven. She always wears a mask to hide the fact that she isn't a pure Yason. She used the Magna Carta to stop the Forbidden Magic used by the Alliance. A bit later in the game, she was thought to have contracted Rheuma, a deadly disease to the Yason wherein they turn into a tree.
- Voiced by: Seong Wan Gyeong (Korean)
- He is the leader of the Blast Worms, first and strongest of the four Warriors. The one most loyal to the Queen. His familiar is called Death Raven.
- Voiced by: Wooh Jeong Sin (Korean)
- She is a member of the Blast Worm's four Warriors, seems to also express some form of feelings for Orha. Her familiar is named Steelheart, the very creature that killed Haren's fiancée.
- Voiced by: Kang Hee Seon (Korean)
- She is a member of the Blast Worm's four Warriors. She seems to have a distinct dislike for the Queen and is certainly plotting against her along with Azhadi. Her familiar, Serpent Lord, seems to be some sort of hydra with three heads.
- Voiced by: Jang Gwang (Korean)
- He is a member of the Blast Worm's four Warriors. It is rumoured that he is either as strong as or stronger than Orha himself. His familiar is called Succubus, which deals a devastating blow to male members of the party with weak HP.
- Voiced by: Rhee Kyoo Hwa (Korean)
- The general of the Alliance. He is thought to be the son of the Great Priestess of Amabat, Mistress Ladrinne. He grew up in Fuget, the same village that Calintz lived in when he was a child. He was actually Calintz friend and rival-in-sword training. As children Agreian and Calintz gave its other their most important items, Agreian giving a dagger and Calintz giving a bracelet that belonged to his parents. This later turned out to be a trick which allowed Agreian assume to role of Ladrinne's son and gain the role of General in the Alliance. Calintz used to call him Hugo, and later in the game, he continues to call him like that in private places. He is actually a Half-Yason.
- Voiced by: Son Jeong Ah (Korean)
- The great priestess that leads the Amabat nation. She thinks she is the mother of Agreian but her actual son is Calintz. She is a kind person that does not wish for the war with the Yason and it pains her deeply to see her son so directly involved with the war. She mentions in the game that Reith is much more powerful in healing then her and that she wants Reith to be her next successor.
- Voiced by: Pyo Yeong Jae (Korean)
- A vagabond swordsman who doesn't like getting involved with dangerous situations, unless he is paid the right amount or fed. He is an optimist and is always joking around and seems absent-minded, although he is quite educated. He also doesn't have hatred or grudges against the Yason; but only want human and Yason to live peacefully without war. He is actually the Celestial Hero, one of the eight heroes who stole the Light of Salvation from the Yason and sealed the Three of Light.
- Voiced by: Ji Mi Ae (Korean)
- A priestess of Amabat who cares for the weak and the sick. She is trusted greatly by the great priestess Mistress Ladrinne who she deeply respects and look up to her as a mother figure. She may seem to be rude but is normally that she just is looking out for her friends or love ones. She received her priestess nomination in less time than normal. She accompanies Reith later in the game, to help Reith get her memory back. Her fighting style is the same as Reith's.
- Voiced by: Rhee Seon Joo (Korean)
- A strong former mercenary looking for her husband, Astal, and who left her mercenary life to travel. She is lively but impatient and argues easily. She sometimes suprises other people because she is married, especially when Chris try to talk to her.
- Voiced by: Oh In Seong (Korean)
- He is one of the Dark Yason who burned Fuget, whom Calintz is searching for to seek his revenge. He is also Rianna's husband, whom she thinks is actually a researcher studying Chi and Carta. He, however, dies when Rianna stabbed him with a knife behind his back while almost finishing a blow on Calintz.
- A mysterious woman who has known Calintz for a long time. They both grew up in Fuget and she taught Calintz several fighting moves that Calintz used to try and beat Agreian when they were children. She has always harboured feelings for Calintz. She is also the sister of Amila and not a pure Yason, thus indistinguishable from a human. She assumed the role of Queen of the Yason when her sister Amila/Reith loses her memory, she is actually the one who contracted Rheuma. She is seen at the ending with Calintz after being saved or cured from Rheuma.
- A girl who knows something about the Light of Salvation. Later, it is revealed that she is actually the Hero of Water, the one of Eight that stole the Light of Salvation from the Yason. She is the one that Raul last words were when he was stabbed or pierced with a light beam and felled off Amabat's building.
The opening theme song Tears of Blood is written and produced by William Anderson and performed by Gabriela Moreno.
Reviews of Magna Carta: Tears of Blood
were mixed, the game averaging a 67% on Gamerankings.com.
Critics generally praised the game's story, musical score, and "beautiful environments and fantastic character designs."
However, its core gameplay elements were less well received. Gamespot
gave the game a 7.1 out of 10, claiming the "well-developed cast of characters keeps the story interesting" but its "extremely linear campaign feels restrictive at times." IGN
's review stated that "the poorly-executed battle system [...] runs into too many problems for its own good," scoring the game a 6.1/10.
The game's voice acting in particular was heavily criticized, with negative comments ranging from "the performances are really uninspired"
to "Ill-timed, badly-acted, and poorly cast."
Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche