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Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
15,802 backers pledged $1,014,600 to help bring this project to life.

Very first look into the characters of Project Phoenix

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)

Today's Kickstarter and Paypal total

Kickstarter $589,634
Paypal $5,306

Total $594,940

More friends!

As Project Phoenix continues to take form, we continue to add more people to the team whose experience and expertise match the project’s scope and scale. The two people we're proud to introduce today are Asami Hagiwara and Koji Moriga!

Asami Hagiwara’s work can be prominently seen in MOGRA Paper, the monthly newspaper released by the famous club in Akihabara of the same name that’s known for hosting DJs spinning video game, anime, and doujin music. Hagiwara will be hard at work, bringing her delightful “chibi” designs unto our characters. 

And then there’s Koji Moriga, whose name might raise an eyebrow, but whose work should be familiar to many of you. Titles like the Starship Troopers animated movie and Space Pirate Captain Harlock are but mild samplings of what he has done. This guy knows his monsters, having done many of the monster designs for Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin and will contribute that expertise and much much more as he populates Azuregard in all its monstrous glory!

Marcus and his band

Here is the very first look into the characters of Project Phoenix. These are obviously rough sketches and WIP based on the description GONTARO received from Yoko Enoki and not reflective of the final design/quality.

Until we finalise the designs and touch up on the quality, we'll not announce who they are and what they do, but we will tell you we are missing two more characters. This is not your usual modern day JRPG, and I hope you see why from this art.

If you want to download a bigger version of the art, please visit the link below.

  • Image 314378 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
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    1. Christian on

      It's great to see so many female characters. And one of them is even dressed!

    2. Skyl--- on

      The dwarf is cool. He looks a lot like my D&D (pen & paper) character.

    3. Missing avatar

      Paul Kwon on

      I'm a character designer for another video game.
      I'm extremely excited for this game and the aesthetic direction its going.
      I know some people are saying it needs to look practical like no high heels in battle.
      Keep in mind, these developers are making a FANTASY GAME. It's a VIDEO GAME not a movie. There are orcs, elves, and plenty of physique defying characters. Maybe she prefers to use heels to poke people's eyes out. Maybe she just wants to look good in battle and it doesn't bother her at all since she's an elf and physically superior. As long as it helps capture the fantasy of who the character is it's fine! stop the nip pickiness about a FANTASY game.

    4. Jonathan Cook on

      I didn't realize the samurai was a woman; I'm actually glad to see I was wrong about that. :-)

      I still have to add my voice to some of the others here and say that battle stilettos aren't the best idea, though.

    5. Kytana on

      fantasy or not, high heels in fight are out. ;)
      And about child works... is it allowed in japan?
      Or while always play kids a role in JPRPGs. I dont understand.
      I mean it seriously... one hit and... ok sorry...
      I love it. Really.
      But high heels is a no go.

    6. Missing avatar


      I think we all need to remember (myself included considering there are two characters we haven't seen) that this is a 'J'-RPG not a western, D&D influenced RPG. J-RPG's are known for having character designs that aren't as 'sensible' as your typical western RPG but instead seem to focus on unique and interesting characters. Now it doesn't bother me, to take one example, if Princess Sylrianah loses the heels or gains chunkier ones during the process of refinement, but equally I am happy for them to stay. It is a fantasy, and a J-RPG at that. Her heels fit well within the bounds of typical J-RPG design - in fact I would describe the characters shown so far as even being on the conservative side of J-RPG character design! Case in point, compare Princess Sylrianah to Fran from Final Fantasy XII... :-)

    7. Boris on

      I love the designs and the extra silliness of the dwarf. He offset the too serious mood of the other getups a bit.
      Have to agree though, thinking of where an elf archer would spend her time (forest, soft ground, maybe some tree branches) the heels seem utterly wrong. Now, if in the game she'll be mostly walking around cities and palaces...

    8. hemmer on

      The heels totally throw me off. In addition to just completely making no sense they make her posture look wrong somehow.

      Other than that I really admire the art. You really do have quite the dream team going there. Very exited.

    9. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Maria ~Goat of the Obsidian Order~,

      I'm sorry to disappoint you with Ruffles but she's kind of like a priest and a unique character. The whole point of the game would be to protect her most of the time.


    10. Kristan Alicesun on

      Love the art style so far!

      But what purpose do the high heels serve for the archer? They seem like they'd be a hindrance.

    11. Kytana on

      BTW: Sry for bad english.

    12. Kytana on

      I hate the kid in the middle, all other characters are good. But the girl...without armor... looks like a nightdress. I think a adult(men or women) with a long robe or dress are even better.
      But ok the other are better, only little bit too stereotyped.

    13. Missing avatar

      Rink on

      Characterdesigns look solid. Armor looks realistic and still u are able to tell the gender of the characters by looking at them.
      I would have loved them to show more about the story of the characters or what makes them special. Would have loved for the far left one to have a pet-bunny or something like that (You would expect a pet-bat, but I love characters that have things that make them anti-stereotypical) and for the dwarf to show that he is afraid of that bunny), etc.. But I realise it is probably too early for any of that, right?
      The other two characters: I would guess the old male veteran fighter is missing, that looks like he can barely hold a sword but then acts like a master in combat while being very forgetful and confused and the other one that is missing is the genderless animal-creature with big eyes that will show weird social behaviour, barely will be able to talk and will be both adorable and very funny.
      My first thought was: Is that really a prerequisite for any jRPG to put very short skirts on any female child characters? :D

    14. Brenton on

      Sweet ! there all kickass characters, love the dwarf.

    15. Missing avatar


      Wow, I am impressed! I think every single character design is awesome, and I hope they don't change much at all. Can't recall the last time I thought like that! Well done!
      Assuming they don't really change then I can tick this off my list of concerns along with music. Just waiting for more info on gameplay and story and the balance between the two! This game is looking more like a winner every update!

    16. Vince Vazquez

      Damn, Koji Moriga worked on the CG Starship Troopers & Captain Harlock movies? Sh** - that's pretty impressive :) Captain Harlock especially looks killer every time I see it. Sounds like some more awesome talent added to this extremely promising project - I'm always happy to hear that:)

      And thanks for the bigger versions of the art too! It's looking pretty great :D

    17. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    18. Sirio Martini on

      I'm loving the samurai girl.

    19. Jamie Dutton on

      Nice update! Btw, I really like and appreciate your comment on women in skimpy "clothes" in rpgs. These look great even if it's still work in progress.

    20. Jesse Richmond on

      Really beautiful character designs! I love Marcus' suit of armor, the dwarf is perfectly short and stocky, and I'm particularly partial to Ruffles! She has so much potential to be a great, complex main character.

    21. 7suna on

      As long as there is an archer, I'm happy xD (except that I hate elfs...)
      The others characters have a nice feeling =)
      I just hope Ruffles won't be in a love story, I see her more like a little sister/mascot who need to be protected or protect the others.

    22. Ale on

      they're gonna be on my desktop background so i can look at them some :P

    23. John GT

      "Ranger...Barbarian...Magician, Thief...Cavalier...and Acrobat!" Any children of the 80s out there?

      Absolutely LOVE the stocky dwarf! And I'm always partial to the personalities of female rogues, so I'm looking forward to meeting the girl on the far left.

    24. Richard on

      Absolutely love the character designs!
      I hope we'll be able to see them like that in-game as well.

    25. Dustin E. Veesart on

      Ok, thanks Olivier. I don't think hitting 650k will be an issue with this Kickstarter.

    26. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      @Dustin E. Veesart

      If I remember right, those are your "heroes" but you will be able to hire/recruit generic (Customisables if we hit $650k ?) characters to form up your squad.

    27. lae on

      @Jonathan Cook
      Well, Sylrianah is ranged so I can understand the light armor - and I'm not sure Ruffles is meant to be fighting. The girl on the left looks to be another light armor class, too - but it also looks like it needs some more work before it's finalized, so who knows how it might turn out. I wonder how what the two remaining characters will turn out.

      That said, I'm really liking these designs. ruffles3cute5me

    28. Dustin E. Veesart on

      The designs look fantastic. Quick question though, are these the only characters available for play or are these just the main characters? Sorry if this has already been answered elsewhere, thanks.

    29. Rednal on

      I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the other two characters are the ones from the Phoenix - PC tier and just haven't been developed enough quite yet. XD I have to admit that I'm very curious about them, though... what sorts of things will our backers be interested in?

    30. Varit on

      IMO, female character can wear anything, including skimpy clothes, in battle field as long as it make her look good.
      The reason is because I lik...*aham*...because it's a fantasy game. :P

    31. Trypetide on

      They're very good drafts, per se.

      That's reminds me of the mix of character types you see in Valkyrie Profile, kind of.
      (mind you, I love character like "Ibuki" from Street Fighters series , or "Hibiki" from Last Blade fame , or "Jun" from Valkyrie Profile, "bakumatsu style" . And "Tenchu", of course)

      Why not having a more "fresh" approach with their design, like with the "Asian" type for example. Getting something a little bit different that the average stereotypes of the Samourai & Kunoichi. Maybe with a fantasy twist to get some homogeneity with the rest of the inhabitants of Azuregard? (it's not a critic, I'm just curious)

      Hypothetical talk of course, because I didn't their stories nor see (yet) their type of places, the scales, or if they really will all come from Azuregard. Just a little interested about the design.

    32. Juan Esponera on

      I just can't stop looking at that little piece of art. Sylrianah, Rafel and Marcus really stand out

    33. Missing avatar

      Alexander on

      Very interesting band of heroes here!
      Can't wait to see the other two.
      Btw Thank you, everyone at CIA, for the music samples and artwork.
      It's updates like these that make me keep checking this site every day!

    34. Richard on

      These designs are amazing! I especially like the one on the left. She looks ready for battle to me. No one really expects the ninja/rogue to be wearing full plate armor do they?

    35. Lostman on

      I'm really liking the character designs!

    36. Shiru XIII on

      Wohh !! I really like the chara-design !!
      Awesome :) !

    37. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Jonathan Cook,

      I personally don't like the concept of having women in skimpy clothes in "combat" without a valid reason. And usually there are no reason. Sylrianah is also wearing hardened leather boots too fyi


    38. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Jonathan Cook,

      Really? The samurai is a women and the kunoichi is pretty solidly based on the armor used by the ninjas.

    39. Marcos Nijborg on

      @Olivier Lebeau-Paradis
      It seems to me that the samurai it's indeed a woman.

      The team looks really good and balanced, there's stealth, swiftness, brute strength, white magic?, strategy and archery. Maybe the two missing characters are a black mage and blue mage (or a summoner!).

      Either way, I'm looking with emotion the project, every day it get better. I hope more people get in the train soon and back it up to get all the goals.

    40. Nathan Sanchez on

      While I would love for Ruffles to be holding a bag of chips, I don't think it would be consistent with the current artwork.

    41. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    42. Jonathan Cook on

      I feel like The men are equipped for battle, but the women and Ruffles aren't allowed to wear even a full pair of pants. :-/

    43. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      A Kunoichi (I guess?), Samurai, Big Dwarf, Cute Little Mage, Decent Looking Knight and an Elven Archer.
      Pretty Solid team, I like it.

      Oh and is it me or is that Samurai a woman? Looks like a pretty small shape and some breasts. (Might only be the lack of armor.) Pretty uncommon but if it's the case I like the idea.

    44. Missing avatar

      Alexander Collins on

      I also meant "monk or ninja". Man, I really wish there was an edit button for garbage typos like mine. :x

    45. Missing avatar

      Alexander Collins on

      I meant girl on the far left. I can be dumb sometimes, I swear...

    46. Missing avatar

      Alexander Collins on

      Oh... I like the girl on the far right. A monk on ninja, perhaps?

    47. Raül Meroño Pericas on

      Cool art!!! Warriors, dwarfs, elven archers, samurais... it seems to me like at least one of the two missing characters will be a mage, but I will also appreciate to have someone with an unexpected profile.

      Nice update and good to know a bit more from the people involved in this. Space Pirate Captain Harlock??? Koji Moriga has more than all my respects for this. Looking forward to watch the film at the end of the year near Barcelona.

    48. Skal on

      Agree with StrangeCat, I'm hoping for this game to take a more serious stance in the artwork! :D

    49. Missing avatar

      StrangeCat on

      Wow That look looks fantastic! It's not to cute looking which is good. One thing I notice about games coming out of Japan lately is there way to Anime looking and not serious enough.
      If you look back to say Final Fantasy VIII you will see a very mature game.

      Love the look and your project will be a very huge Success!