Combat in Citizens of Earth is reminiscent of Earthbound, Dragon Quest, and similar variants. But there are also some fundamental differences that make the combat in Citizens of Earth quite unique, and very exciting!
In case you’re not familiar with the combat in Earthbound or Dragon Quest, here’s a quick run-down. At the start of every turn, you pick an Action for each of your Citizens participating in the battle. Once all of your Actions have been selected, battle commences and your Citizens and the enemies will take turns executing their chosen Action. And that’s pretty much it! It’s straightforward, but there’s a lot of strategy in which Actions you select.
In the screenshot below, you’ll notice that the Player is selecting an Action for the Brother. Actions are divided into Categories, which you can see listed. Clicking on a Category will allow you to select amongst the Actions that a Citizen has available within that Category.
Energy is the fuel that drives your Actions in Citizens of Earth, instead of MP (or its equivalent) that is common in other RPGs. There are two main differences:
- Each Citizen possesses a small amount of total Energy
- Each Citizen has some abilities that generate Energy, and some abilities that consume Energy
As a result of these two facts, a lot of very strategic gameplay emerges. Unlike other RPGs, you can’t continually use your strongest Actions over and over while depleting a large MP pool. Because you have a very limited amount of Power, you’ll only be able to use your powerful abilities a couple times before you’re depleted. But, you can quickly regenerate Energy by using Actions that restore it.
Thus, every Citizen has an internal tug-of-war with Energy based on how he or she is able to generate and consume it. So you’ll never get into the situation that is common in other RPGs where you’re out of MP and are forced into just basic attacks. But you have to be very careful how you decide to utilize your Power. Do you stockpile it in case you need an powerful ability at an unexpected moment in battle? Or do you exhaust it quickly in order to deal with enemies efficiently, relying on the fact that you can generate it again if you need to? There’s a vast strategic landscape involved in how you use your Energy, especially when you consider that some Citizens have the ability to affect the Power of their fellow Citizens.
Through the Power system in Citizens of Earth, the routine battles you’d expect in other RPGs are replaced with much more interesting strategy and choices, and you always have a way to generate Energy ensuring that you always have access to your coolest Actions!
All Actions are good Actions
In most RPGs, as you learn new spells/abilities/etc., old ones become obsolete. Not so in Citizens of Earth! Without diving too deep into the mathematics of it all, it will suffice to say that all of your Actions become stronger as you level up. So instead of being flooded with pages of useless abilities that long-ago stopped being used, every Action in Citizens of Earth remains a valid strategic choice for the entirety of the game.
This idea transfers over to Equipment as well. When you acquire new pieces of Equipment in Citizens of Earth, it is not “better” than something you already have, it’s just different. Thus the familiar loop of “Get to new shop, buy new equipment, sell old equipment” is gone. Instead, each piece of new Equipment represents a different strategic choice for the Citizen that is able to equip it. In this way, you’re able to customize each Citizen the way you want without having to worry about constantly upgrading every Citizen each time you get to a new shop. This also makes switching to new Citizens very easy! You never have to worry that your Citizens don’t have the most up-to-date gear. A certain Citizen may not have all of the possibilities available if you haven’t discovered all of his or her Equipment, but they’ll always be a viable choice to play as.