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MagnaCarta 2 (마그나카르타 2 Mageunakareuta 2, マグナカルタ2 Magunakaruta 2) is a video game developed by South Korean developer Softmax and published by Banpresto exclusively for the Xbox 360 console. It is a follow-up to the role-playing video games Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche released on Windows PC and Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata released on the PlayStation 2.

It was released in Japan on August 6, 2009 and in North America on October 13, 2009. This marks the series' first entry onto a seventh generation console. The game was officially unveiled in the April 2009 edition of Famitsu magazine.

Backstory

1100 years ago, the continent of Lanzheim was invaded by the "Carta", monsters that drain Kan—the world's special energy—from living things and store them in their Kamonds. In the ensuing Great Carta War, the Carta nearly destroyed humanity. Among the heroes who stood against them is the first Magna Carta: Strauss (ストロス Sutorosu), a human born of mixed Carta heritage. He created the Guardians, weapons based on the Carta body structure, to destroy the invaders. However, the war left Lanzheim as a barren land, inhospitable for the remaining races. To save it, Strauss sacrificed himself to the flying warship La Strada, spreading enough Kan to turn Lanzheim into a vibrant paradise. His descendants became the royal family of Lanzheim, set in the continent's capital of Belfort.

A millenia later, in January 1149 of the Lanzheim calenda, shortly after the "Doomseeds" (災禍種 Saikasho)—a recurring phenomena that nullifies Kan wherever it falls—started to fall again, Queen Ibrin of Lanzheim was assassinated by her Prime Minister, Schuenzeit. He imprisoned Zephie, the queen's only daughter, who saw him commit the murder; and took the royal throne, putting all who opposed him to death. Zephie, with help from Rue, managed to escape the castle, fleeing south to the city of Abazet to join forces with its ruler, Count Alex. They formed the Southern Forces to liberate Lanzheim, and rose up against Schuenzeit's Northern Forces.

In 1150, the Lanzheim Civil War begins. At first, the Southern Forces fought their way to Belfort, unaware that Schuenzeit was waiting for them with an army of "living" mechanical weapons known as Sentinels. With no way to resist the Sentinels, the Southern Forces were forced to retreat to Abazet. Zephie founded the elite Counter-Sentinel Unit and took to the battlefield herself, although this brought little change to the odds. Desperate, Zephie sent Rue to Belfort to uncover information on the Sentinels. Rue succeeded, but Elgar the Regicide began to pursue her almost immediately after. Zephie herself set out to Belfort to save Rue. When Elgar intercepted them one last time, Rue tried to defend the Princess, but was quickly defeated. Elgar raised his sword to deal the finishing blow to Rue, but Zephie stepped in to protect her, taking the stab to her stomach. Somehow surviving Elgar's attack, Zephie unleashed a powerful attack on him before escaping with Rue.

Plot

(Note: the game is split into two separate discs.)

Disc 1

Two years later, on Highwind Island, Juto's peaceful life ends when he meets Zephie and Argo, who have come to research an ancient Guardian discovered in the island caverns. They accept Juto's offer to guide them through the caverns, where a squad of elite Northern Forces soldiers made the mistake of activating the Guardian. The monster weapon kills the Northern troops, and proceeds to attack Juto, Melissa, and the others. When he sees the Guardian attack Melissa, Juto flies into a berserker rage, destroying the Guardian with only his wooden sword before falling unconscious.Three days later, Juto comes to; and meets with Zephie, who discusses their different abilities with him.Shortly after, the Northern Forces attack Highwind Island with overwhelming numbers and weaponry. Elgar himself appears, and "kills" Melissa in front of Juto; in response, Juto overcomes his inability to wield a sword and tries to fight Elgar. However, the Northern Forces soon begin to overwhelm the island, and Juto reluctantly escapes with Zephie and Argo to the southern capital of Abazet.

After hearing Count Alex deem Highwind Island as having "no value" to the Southern Forces, Juto initially tries to head north alone to exact revenge on Elgar; Zephie stops him, pointing out his recklessness and inexperience in war. While Crocell disapproves, she proposes that Juto joins the Southern Forces; though initially reluctant, he does so the condition that he joins the Counter-Sentinel Unit, if only to increase his chances of meeting Elgar on the battlefield.

On Juto's first major mission, the Counter-Sentinel Unit breaks through the Northern Forces stationed in Oldfox Canyon. The group manages to defeat a Sentinel, but becomes separated from the Southern Army in the process, and are forced to head to Navyblue Marsh.Arriving in the Mare village of Cota Mare, they meet Celestine, who falls in love with Argo on first sight; and diffuse a hostage situation involving imposter Southern Army soldiers. After defending the village from invading Northern Forces, the Mare chieftain decides to form an alliance with the Southern Forces, and gives them access to a route back to Abazet. The chieftain also allows Celestine to join the Counter-Sentinel Unit.

The Counter-Sentinel Unit is next deployed to Dunan Hill, where they make two shocking discoveries: Melissa, still alive but now allied with the Northern Forces; and the Sentinel creation machines, which use people and monsters being fused together. Later, Rue returns to Abazet from an espionage mission in Belfort, with information on the Sentinel manufacturing process, and news that the Northern Forces have withdraw most of their troops from Highwind Island. With this, Zephie finally pressures Alex to allow the Counter-Sentinel Unit to retake the island. After doing so, Zephie privately talks with Juto, asking him to leave the unit so he won't have to fight Melissa. Although initially unsure, Juto decides to stay in the unit after learning of Elgar's involvement in turning some of the villagers into Sentinels.

Disc 2

After returning to Abazet, the Counter-Sentinel Unit is redeployed to the Ruhalt region, where they rescue Igton and encounter Melissa again. After failing to persuade Melissa, a giant Sentinel appears and attacks them. Juto's group defeats the monster weapon, but its body begins to self-destruct; Juto protects everyone from the explosion, while Zephie instinctively saves Juto with her wizardry. Returning to Dunan Hill, they discover Schuenzeit and Elgar waiting for them. Schuenzeit takes control of Juto, revealing him to be Elgar the Regicide as well. As Schuenzeit and Elgar kidnap Zephie, taking her to Belfort, the remaining Counter-Sentinel Unit members manage to snap Juto out of it before pursuing. Mid-way, the group is attacked by Southern Forces soldiers, claiming to be acting on Alex's orders to "arrest the traitors" responsible for having Zephie kidnapped; Raud, however, appears and dismisses the soldiers, and reveals to the Counter-Sentinel Unit that Alex himself is working with Schuenzeit in this war.

In Belfort, Juto and the others infiltrate the Sentinel Laboratory underneath the castle. There, they encounter Nix, a researcher under arrest, who recognizes Juto as "First Elgar". He explains to them that Elgar is a "humanoid Sentinel"; and that Nix was forced to create multiple Elgar vessels in case the current Elgar (at this point, "Second Elgar") died somehow. While Nix works to destroy the research data in the labs, the Counter-Sentinel Unit locates Zephie, held hostage by Schuenzeit. To their dismay, Zephie reluctantly disbands the Counter-Sentinel Unit, claiming that the war is over; and Schuenzeit sends Second Elgar to attack the group before leaving, claiming that Zephie—or as he calls her, the "Magna Carta"—has an important task ahead of her. Regardless, Juto's group succeeds in killing Elgar, and escapes the palace with Nix.

After having Nix escape to Cota Mare, Juto and the others witness Schuenzeit and Alex declaring a cease-fire agreement, and are shocked to see Zephie restrained above them. Schuenzeit tells the gathered civilians that by sacrificing Zephie—the Magna Carta—the "Paradise" of Lanzheim will be saved from destruction, claiming that she started the civil war to run from her "fate". With both Northern and Southern Forces united against them, Juto and the others fight their way to Zephie, this time with Juto able to blatantly disobey Schuenzeit's orders. Although Juto manages to save her, an upset Zephie confirms that she is the Magna Carta; however, Juto dismisses the claim that sacrificing the Magna Carta will save the world, saying that they must find another way. Having become "the enemies of the world", the group escapes Belfort to Cota Mare.

Arriving at Cota Mare, Juto collapses and falls into a coma. Examining him, Nix realizes that by disobeying Schuenzeit, Juto's Kamond—which acts as the Sentinel's "heart"—is about to shatter. To save Juto's life, Zephie and the others retrieve a special Kamond to replace the broken one. Zephie then re-imprints Juto with the Blood Pact, which takes her into Juto's mind, where they fight past versions of himself; an imaginary Schuenzeit; and finally, Juto himself. The process is successful: Zephie replaces Schuenzeit as Juto's master, saving his life. Before waking up, Juto makes Zephie promise not to give up on herself. Around the same time, Melissa leaves the Northern Forces to find Juto, having made a horrible discovery.

The next day, the group studies various Mare documents from the past millennium. There, they discover many "strange similarities" that two preceding wars—the Avid War and the Ruhalt Civil War—have with the Lanzheim Civil War. The similarities include: two previous "Schuenzeits" who used Guardian-like weapons to kill thousands; their fixation on certain individuals considered as true Magna Cartas; and that once the Magna Carta was captured, the "Schuenzeit" of the corresponding war would disappear without a trace, and the Doomseeds would stop shortly after. While still thinking about this, Melissa arrives in Cota Mare. She explains to the group that sacrificing the Magna Carta was to maintain La Strada, not to "save" Lanzheim. The "Schuenzeit" who caused each war used the Guardian-based weapons to gather enough Kan to feed into La Strada, using the Magna Carta as the Kan's vessel. Melissa also explains that Strauss had killed all the Carta, draining all their Kan into his own Kamond before sacrificing himself to La Strada—the real reason the Carta became extinct, covered up in a thousand-year-old lie. Realizing that this "Paradise" is a sham paid with the blood of thousands, the group decides to take back the real world by destroying La Strada.

Igton then arrives, revealing that he can build a device to transport Juto's group to La Strada. While working to gather the materials, Melissa suddenly transforms into a horrible monster, due to Claire's doing; after defeating the monster, Melissa falls out and abruptly dies with Juto by her side. When Igton finishes building the machine, the group heads to Ruhalt Plateau, defeating the newly formed United Forces, led by Raud and Alex, in their path. Once at a prime location to use the machine, Igton sends Juto and the others to La Strada "in [his] place", as only he can operate the machine and bring them back to earth.

After entering La Strada and defeating Huaren and Claire, Juto's group arrives in the battleship's core. There, they discover Schenzeit and Strauss' corpse, who share the same face. Schuenzeit reveals that he is Strauss' exact duplicate; and claims to be like a god to Lanzheim. Juto and the group reject this, and defeat him, then the revived Strauss, in battle. Afterward, Strauss warns them about the consequences of destroying La Strada, including the Sentinels' ceasing to function. Juto accepts this, and begins attacking Strauss' Kamond—disobeying Zephie's orders to stop, fearing for his life. Eventually accepting his stubbornness, Zephie allows Juto to do whatever he wants, as long as he does not die; Juto promises this to her, and destroys the Kamond. As La Strada begins to fall toward the earth, Zephie and the others return to earth. Juto gives one final narrative to Zephie, promising that they will meet again.

In the epilogue, three years later, Zephie narrates how Lanzheim lost the miracle of Kan, with humans forced to till the earth for their food and deal with other problems without wizardry. The Mare have begun welcoming more outsiders, having become a go-to place for medicinal herbs; and the Avis, including Igton, have begun engineering land- and air-based transport to replace their Kan-fueled counterparts. Zephie comments that while most people hate them for their actions, she hopes that they understand that they did the right thing one day. After the credits, Zephie is seen running towards the wreckage of La Strada, the Blood Pact marking on her hand pulsing like a heartbeat. Juto is heard saying "Zephie"; and Zephie stops running and smiles, saying "Good morning", implying that Juto is alive.

Cast

Character Japanese voice English voice
Juto / Elgar Jun Fukuyama[106] Johnny Yong Bosch[2]
Zephie Aya Hirano[106] Michelle Ruff[2]
Rue Ayako Kawasumi[106] Kate Higgins[2]
Crocell Noriaki Sugiyama[106] Yuri Lowenthal[2]
Argo Ryōtarō Okiayu[106] Jamieson Price[2]
Celestine Rie Kugimiya[106] Stephanie Sheh[2]
Igton Kappei Yamaguchi[106] Dave Wittenberg[2]
Alex Ken Narita[106] Crispin Freeman[2]
Raud Fumihiko Tachiki[106] Travis Willingham[2]
Schuenzeit Jōji Nakata[106] Steve Blum[2]
Claire Michiko Neya[106] Laura Bailey[2]
Huaren Yōsuke Akimoto[106] Liam O'Brien[2]
Melissa Takako Honda[106] Wendee Lee[2]
Nix n.a. Kirk Thornton[2]

Reception

After its release, MagnaCarta 2 received generally mixed reviews from fans and crtics. Although it was praised for its high-quality graphics, fully voice dialogue and many reviewers agree that it is considered an improvement over Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, criticism has been made for its artifical intelligence, storyline, gameplay and camera angles.

As of 2015, Magna Carta 2 has sold over 290,000 copies. http://www.vgchartz.com/game/33696/magna-carta-2/

Trivia

  • Despite its name, MagnaCarta 2 is not a direct sequel to Tears of Blood or The Phantom of Avalanche. It features an entirely new cast of characters and various species not seen in the previous installments and there has been no mention of any characters or events seen in the previous games.