While Lab Zero's previous game, Skullgirls, excelled in creating an interesting cast of characters with unique backstories, their next game takes it to the next level. Lab Zero's upcoming sophomore title Indivisible contains literally dozens of characters, many of whom you can recruit to fight for you in this action RPG.
In Indivisible, you take the role of a girl named Ajna. While Ajna is the main character, the strong cast of party members you meet, such as a fluffy dog named Lanshi and a grizzled gunslinger named Latigo, are just scratching the surface in terms of diversity and combat ability. TechRaptor talked with Mariel Cartwright, creative director at Lab Zero Games, about the first few characters Anja meets on her journey.
Indivisible's Starting Party
In many ways, Ajna is a typical coming-of-age protagonist. Cartwright describes her as a "confident teen with a big heart" but is also naive to the comprehensive, fleshed-out world of Indivisible.
"When Lord Ravannavar takes everything from her," said Cartwright," she's determined to stop him so that no one else suffers like she did, and from there makes it her mission to stop the greater evil in the world."
Cartwright also says that Anja is brash and has a goofy kindness about her, which in turn makes her a very likable person. Many characters you meet during Ajna's journey are drawn to her. Indivisible is party-based, and Ajna cannot achieve her goal alone, after all. The first four members of her party are Dhar, Razmi, and Gingseng and Honey (although the latter two characters act as a single member of the party, gameplay-wise). Ajna can essentially absorb party members in order to be used later; party members are called Incarnations.
"All the Incarnations are real people who have a high amount of 'Iddhi,' which is Indivisible's term for latent power," said Cartwright. "Ajna attunes to these people with high Iddhi, allowing them to be absorbed into her mind. They aren't trapped and can come in and out, but the group chooses to stay together to amplify their powers."
The first of these Incarnations that players meet and use in combat is named Dhar. Dhar is a fearsome warrior clad in black armor and wields a large sword. He is also one of Lord Ravannavar's lieutenants, and led the charge that destroyed Ajna's village. Without delving deep into spoilers, Dhar becomes the first Incarnation that now resides in Ajna's Inner Realm. But what about the other party members?
"Razmi is a reclusive shamaness who tends to keep to herself and her tiger spirit Bom," said Cartwright, "but when her home is destroyed, she joins Ajna's party. While she would much rather study on her own with Bom on her side, she always finds a way to offer a sarcastic remark.
"Ginseng and Honey are earnest botanists and want to do their best in their studies. Fighting isn't their strong suit, but they are always willing to aid a friend. They hope to become the greatest botanists in the world."
Each party member is noticeably different from one another. Razmi is a stark contrast to Dhar's dark armor and giant sword. The shamaness wears a tiger's pelt on her head, a fluffy dress, and a grim expression. She also uses a magical lantern as her weapon of choice, over mundane weaponry. Meanwhile, the child Ginseng and her plantlike companion Honey once more feature imaginative and distinctive designs that Lab Zero has come to be known for. Cartwright admits that it is difficult to devise a large cast of characters like in Indivisible, but drawing from many different sources of real-world inspiration helped with the creation process.
"The biggest challenge was realizing that we couldn't delve into everyone's story equally—that we needed to feature some before others in order to maintain the story wanted to tell," said Cartwright. "Hopefully, though, we'll have the opportunity to explore everyone's story in one way or another."
Battling With the Party in Indivisible
Story is just one element of Indivisible. The whole purpose of the party is to help Ajna in combat, and every Incarnation features a special thematic element in their attacks. Dhar, for instance, controls earth with his massive sword. He can plunge his weapon into the ground, causing a giant stone pillar to rise up as a useful and powerful blunt weapon.
Meanwhile, Razmi uses the spirit within her lantern to set things ablaze with a powerful fire. She has hexes and can even heal party members if the need arises. As far as healing goes though, Ginseng and Honey excel in this skill. They are not fighters, explains Cartwright. They are proficient in the skills of botany, and the duo grinds herbs in a mortar and pestle to heal the rest of the party. They aren't going to be heavy hitters like Dhar or even Razmi, but Cartwright says the botanists can throw a bag at enemies if the need arises.
Here's how an entire combat scenario might play out, according to Cartwright:
Dhar plunges his sword into the ground to gather rocks, making his next strikes much more potent as Ajna dives into the front lines swinging her axe at as many foes as she can reach. Razmi follows up with fire from her lantern, taking out the enemy that was left most weakened by Ajna's assault and Ginseng runs forward and uses their mortar and pestle on a foe to get those herbs ready in case someone will need healing, with Honey's help. The enemy strikes, and the group defends. With their next turn, Ajna once again takes the front lines, this time with Dhar's aid as a sweep of his sword is now imbued with the earth's strength. Razmi launches the foes into the air in a burst of tiger flame as Ginseng and Honey follow up with a thrown item from their bag. The foe strikes again, but this time Ajna was unprepared and gets hit; she needs healing. Ginseng and Honey dispense the healing potion they were mixing to the party as Dhar unleashes his charged earth pillar attack, battering the enemy and finishing them off.
Team fights will change drastically depending on your party; right now, there are over 20 different members we know of, each as different as the last. As far as Lab Zero's favorite character in this large roster, the answer is obvious. Of course, it's the best boy of them all: Lanshi the dog. Look forward to playing with Lanshi and plenty of other fun characters when Indivisible releases on October 8 on Steam, GOG [Affiliate], Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It will launch on the Nintendo Switch at a later date.
Who are you most excited to use in Indivisble? Let us know in the comments below!