It’s Been Quite a Journey
With Rune Factory 5 on the horizon, XSEED Games is taking a moment out of its busy schedule to celebrate the series’ history. Rune Factory started out as a simple RPG spin-off of the Story of Seasons franchise, but it’s come a long way since then.
This video features a brief summary of every Rune Factory game that’s been released as of writing, complete with a look at each title’s protagonists, gameplay, and unique hooks. In the years since the first title was released in Japan on August 24th, 2006, Rune Factory has taken the farming sim template to territory that could only be reached in a fantasy game.
The original Rune Factory game laid down what would go on to become the series’ foundation: a mixture of farming and dungeon exploration, which future games would build off of. It also established the series’ cute and fantastical art style.
Rune Factory 2 came out in 2008 and featured two protagonists, not in the sense that players can pick between multiple characters, but in the sense that you play as one character for the first half and his child for the second half. This particular style of shifting protagonists has been used in multiple RPG franchises over the years, including Fire Emblem.
Also in 2008–or 2009, for North American fans–came Rune Factory Frontier, the series home console debut. It was followed in 2009 or 2010 in North America by Rune Factory 3, which presented fans with a protagonist who could shapeshift between human and monster forms.
Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny arrived in 2011 and allowed players to explore sunken islands and travel across the ocean. It was also the first game to let players pick between male and female protagonists. 2013’s Rune Factory 4 and its 2020 remaster, Rune Factory 4 Special, turned players into royalty. Now Rune Factory 5 is on its way, bringing a wide array of cute monsters and new rune-related mysteries.
Rune Factory 5 will be available on Nintendo Switch in 2022.