NIS America’s The Witch and the Hundred Knight is something of a tease. You’re presented with Metallia, an interesting character that gradually transforms from a jerk villain to an antihero, yet you never get the opportunity to use her. The game teases you with this Swamp Witch’s strength, but the original release never gave people a hands-on opportunity to explore that. With the PlayStation 4’s The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition, we get a Tower of Illusion. Here, Metallia takes the time to make a cameo appearance in her own game. It may not be exactly what people wanted or expected, but there are reasons why her fleeting appearances make sense.
Metallia is The Witch and the Hundred Knight’s swamp witch, one of many witches that exist within her world. However, there is a limitation on her that doesn’t exist on the others. She’s a black sheep, trapped within her own swamp. Her villainous goal is to spread her swamp throughout the world, though people who play will find her reasons for doing so may be selfish, but not as malicious as they originally seem. She summons the Hundred Knight to tear down the pillars keeping her trapped. It’s a perfect explanation for why she can’t leave the swamp and be playable, even if people would want her to be.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition lifts this restriction, but not in the way people would expect. Promotional materials made it sound as if the edition’s new Tower of Illusion would give people the freedom to be Metallia all the time, once they sacrificed a weapon to enter this new area. In practice, it doesn’t exactly work that way. The Tower of Illusion is a randomized, roguelike dungeon, but primarily for the Hundred Knight. Metallia acts as something of a limit break or special attack. You have to fill a gauge to use her and, once you do, she’s only playable for that one floor.
It’s disappointing, to be sure. Some would even call it a tease. Here’s a character people have come to like. She’s established as some powerful figure. Once we get the chance to employ her in the field, we only get a taste. There’s no opportunity to enjoy an entire extra mode where she’s the only playable person. It’s her own game, and she’s the black sheep. She’s forced to sit at home while the cool kid, the Hundred Knight, gets to enjoy an adventure.
Yet, it also makes sense. People who have played The Witch and the Hundred Knight before will know that there’s more than one way to interpret the title. There’s the obvious reference to the two main characters, but also one that foreshadows future events. As we go through the adventure, we see what happens to Metallia’s abilities. It’s understandable why she wouldn’t be as prominent, even in her own Tower of Illusion, as we would expect.
In addition, the Tower of Illusion acts as a callback to the game’s tutorial. As we go through the first fifteen minutes, where Metallia is summoning the Hundred Knight to act as her familiar, we see her bail the minion out repeatedly. When enemies come to attack, she uses her magic to ward them off. Her acting as a pinch hitter in The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition makes sense. She may have no problem getting her hands dirty when it comes to handling things, but she isn’t going to do things she believes her servant should. The Hundred Knight is her agent, traversing the Tower of Illusion to improve himself and get better equipment is his responsibility, and she’s only going to show up when he earns it to offer an assist.
Would it have been nice if Metallia had a larger playable role in The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition? Of course it would. She’s an interesting character and we see firsthand how powerful she is in the story. But that same story also shows the path her life takes. We know what happens to her. Giving us free reign, when she’s going through the struggles and situation she is, wouldn’t make sense. Not getting more time with her in the Tower of Illusion may be a cop out, but at least it’s one that’s explainable when you look at the game as a whole.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition is immediately available for the PlayStation 4.