Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (ルーンファクトリー オーシャンズ Rūn Fakutorī Ōshanzu, lit. Rune Factory Oceans) or Rune Factory Oceans in Europe, is a Wii and PlayStation 3 role-playing game developed by Neverland Co. and published by Marvelous Entertainment.
Players control a male and female character in one; the male protagonist, whose name is Aden, and the female protagonist, whose name is Sonja, as they traverse the seas on a giant plant golem named Ymir, with whom they will be able to raise islands, ships, and other things to explore from the sea. Players will be able to farm, fight using a real-time battle system, and form relationships. The game was released on February 24, 2011 in Japan.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game supports the PlayStation Move motion controller, and is the first instance of a Rune Factory game appearing on a Sony home system. The North American publisher Natsume picked up the localization rights to the game. The game was set to be released on September 27, 2011, but was pushed back to October 7th.
Rising Star Games Europe picked up the rights and released the European version on May 25, 2012, with an Australian version being released on June 13, 2012. However, it was only released for the PlayStation 3 in those territories due to the Wii version being cancelled.
The brash Aden and cheerful Sonja are two childhood friends enjoying life in their peaceful town, Fenith Island, until they're struck by a mysterious curse: they awaken to find that they've been transported to a strange new island, and that both of their souls are now trapped in the same body.
Thankfully, after the initial confusion, Aden and Sonja manage to meet Odette, the friendly cook of the Three Sisters Inn. She gives the two a tour of the island, which she explains is also named Fenith Island! Our two protagonists protest that they, too, live on Fenith Island. However, their Fenith is very different; a completely different layout, completely different shops, completely different people. And, perhaps the largest difference, Aden and Sonja's Fenith Island had lots of Arch-Dragon's clouding the sky, whereas Odette's has only one named Talynn.
The sudden and drastic change of scenery stun Aden and Sonja, but they manage to recover quickly. Odette offers them a house by the Three Sisters Inn, which she and her sisters own, completely for free. They happily accept and begin their new life on the new and foreign Fenith Island.
After Aden and Sonja introduce themselves, they, along with Odette, go to their new home. At the entrance, Sonja finds a mysterious seed. She insists on planting it behind their new home, which Aden begrudgingly does. The next morning, Aden and Sonja wake to a great surprise: the mysterious seed that they planted the day before has grown... into a great golem! The three sisters have also been awoken by the commotion, and stare at the golem in awe. Not long after, Elena, the resident golem expert, rushes to the scene. She, excited into animation, explains to Aden and Sonja that they have grew a Plant Golem, and that the golem will be in their command. Aden and Sonja decide to make use of their new plant golem, and name it Ymir.
Amazed, Aden and Sonja decide to get on Ymir. After they have had their fill of the beautiful view, they get off the great Golem again and proceed with the day. After Ymir has been awakened, the inn posts the news.At some point, Aden and Sonja decide to board Ymir again. They notice an island close to them - Verde Island. They decide to take a quick trip there, considering its short distance from Fenith.
The trip doesn't turn out to be quick, though. Verde Island is home to monsters. Aden and Sonja, thankfully, manage to find a chest full of weapons. Aden chooses his favorite and proceeds to mash up some monsters. After exploring for a while, Aden and Sonja find a treasure chest. They inspect it, and are about to open it, but are suddenly disturbed by the Goblin Pirate Crew. The crew of monsters demand they hand the chest over, but Aden and Sonja refuse. Aden manages to fight them off, and the Pirate Captain vows he will not forget them.
Done with the chaos they created, Aden and Sonja continue to explore until they reach the highest point of Verde Island. A glowing green monument stands there. As soon as they inspect it, a crowd of monsters appear to battle with them - again! Aden once again manages to fight them off and get another treasure chest. Finally, Aden and Sonja get their first island quest from Maerwen. She tells them to raise an island called Spring Island. After successfully raising the island using Ymir's strength, one of the doors in the monster barn on Ymir opens. The door leads to Spring Island, much to Aden and Sonja's delight.
After getting rid of some boulders for Elena and raising a "ghostly" island for Sierra, Aden and Sonja get another quest from Lily; she has a sea chart for them. Excited, they go and raise the island and find a mysterious key on it. They are unsure of what to do with it, but the key's purpose becomes clear after accepting Odette's "If you're going out to sea..." quest. Aden and Sonja, with map-marking Odette's help, find the locked Earth Spirit Shrine. They do not enter, but return to Fenith Island first to complete Odette's quest. After doing so, they gather their courage and use the key to unlock the doors to the Shrine.
Inside, an abundance of monsters await the duo. They must use their wits and their strength to clear the three floors of the Earth Shrine, with challenges and puzzles along the way. At the base of the fourth floor, Aden hesitates; he senses a strong presence ahead. As soon as he is ready, the two enter the final floor. As soon as they enter the middle of the floor, Moleman pops out of the ground to greet them. The mole monster and our brave duo enter combat. Thankfully, Aden and Sonja are able to prevail.
They go to the room behind their battleground to find a monument with a floating, glowing orb on it. They reach out, but the Goblin Pirate Crew get in their way again. The Pirate Captain grabs the orb - and drops it! The orb shatters, and the Earth Shrine is immediately covered in a deep purple tint. The Pirates run, and Aden and Sonja are left to fight off the dark spirits which have appeared. They battle vigorously, but are unable to fend the spirits off and are forced to flee. At the entrance of the Shrine, Aden and Sonja find a Core. They are unsure what to do with it, but take it anyways and return to Fenith Island.
Back at the island, Aden and Sonja speak to Elena about the Core. Amazed, she tells them that she can upgrade Ymir with the Core. They entrust her with it, and return to their home.The next day, Elena bursts into their home to inform the two protagonists that Ymir's upgrade is done. He can now cross more of the ocean. After the upgrade is done, more quests are available on the bulletin board. They accept one from Joe, which challenges them if they can use their sea chart.
With the four altar's fruit, the new Arch Dragon is able to awaken from his egg at the shrine, hatching into an illustrious white dragon that is perched atop the shrine. He encourages Aden to take each of the three Dragon Priestesses to an altar where they can sing over it and create a seal that will weaken the Legendary Golem further. Once that's done, he's able to bring them to the Legendary Golem for an epic battle to save their world. He takes flight, pulling Ymir and Aden with him in tow. The Arch Dragon flies high into the heavens to a magic platform suspended in the sky where the Legendary Golem waits. All around the battle field are rocks flying at high velocities, four colored portals representing the different altars, and havoc that shows the end of the world is near.
After an intense battle defeating the Legendary Golem, Ymir dazes the behemoth and tries to go in for the finishing blow. Wrestling with the Legendary Golem, they both manage to parry each others attacks, both determined to win. The two of them aim a power punch for the others face, their arms crumbling to rubble in the process.
This is the moment the Masked Man makes his appearance. Aden and Sonja soon discover that though they've defeated the Legendary Golem, the Masked Man has already achieved his objective. He reveals that he's used The Wind Priestesses body as a tool, and that he plans to become the next Legendary Golem; a god. The previously thought male Masked Man strips his cloak and reveals short pink hair and a female body donned in purple garments and battle armor. Using Aden as a warm up for a battle with the Elder Dragons, the Masked Man and our protagonist go head to head into battle.
After a short but intense fight, the mask is cast to the side to reveal... Sonja?! Even Sonja herself, still trapped in Aden's body, is confused. The no longer masked man greets her as the soul of the Wind Priestess, surprised that she hadn't been erased as he had previously thought. He explains cockily that he's inhabiting the Wind Priestess' body which he stole from 200 years in the past.
The entity inhabiting Sonja seems to relish in their confusion, explaining condescendingly that they were summoned from 200 years in the past. Though they were at the summoning ceremony themselves, it had failed and the Wind Priestess fell somewhere else in time. They have a flash back to the exact moment, and everything is more clear. The day they met Odette was the day they were summoned too!
The Masked Man seems to pity them, offering to send them back to their era once he becomes a god instead of losing their lives in a futile battle for a land they don't belong to. Aden is furious. He doesn't care what time period it is, he refuses to turn tail and run just to live in peace while the world they have come to love is destroyed. Sonja joins in, just as upset, telling the antagonist that this is their home. Their voices unite, joining together to say confidently, "Because this is our island. These are the people we love!"
Sonja's body begins to levitate, the entity inhabiting inside explains that they will be destroyed and not bear witness to the recreation of the war with the Elder Dragons that created the world. The battle to defend their world has officially begun.
The Masked Man is able to summon such a powerful attack that it completely wipes out Aden and Sonja. Clinging to life, he is suddenly in a white room. Each of his closest friends within the bachelors and bachelorettes appear there, one at a time, cheering him on and giving him their strength. They're sure he will come back in one piece and save the world. Even the Goblin Pirate and Sonja show up.
Aden wakes up, red orbs of his friend's strength and love are circling around him and protecting him. He heads into long and incredibly difficult combat once more. This time, each time he is close to giving up and fainting, his friends save him. The Masked Man's attack to completely wipe him out no longer has power.
The Masked Man finally is without strength to continue. Before his soul perishes, he seems to connect some dots, saying, "Wait... the giant plant golem... the living soul of the Wind Dragon Priestess... And yes, the Dragon Knight! I see now! It was all... HIS doing!" He tells them that they didn't come to the battle field of their own volition. They're mere puppets being controlled by a bigger power they cannot comprehend.
Sonja's body collapses, now without a soul inside. The magical platform is beginning to collapse now that the Legendary Golem is dead.
The night sky is full of falling stars. Aden is protecting the body of his close friend as they fall to earth from the heavens. They talk to each other, grateful they had a chance to fight for their loved ones. Before they can say anything further, they're engulfed in a white bubble of light that slows their descent. Rune spirits in similar orbs circle them and the singing of their friends can be heard from the ground. Their words give the spirits power and they're slowly transported to the ground.
They wake up the next day and meet the three Dragon Priestess Sisters in front of the shrine. They're both thanked deeply by the Arch Dragon, he also offers to transport them back to their era if they wish. They both decline, saying they're going to stay a while longer, at least until they can separate Aden and Sonja. Even the Arch Dragon still hasn't figured out a way to separate them. Sonja is optimistic and is told that Father Gerard is guarding her body within the church.
Life after that is relatively the same. Ymir is now gone, having been killed along with the Legendary Golem. While talking to Elena, she'll mention that she found a rock fragment from Ymir, and that with it, they might be able to restore the golem. The clues as to how are in more rock fragments. She requires 15 rock fragments to attempt to restore him. By talking to each of the townspeople, Aden and Sonja begin to accumulate fragments quickly. It seems like nearly everyone had one!
The next morning Elena makes a surprise village at the house announcing she's a genius. Outside waits Ymir, resurrected and towering above their residency. It even brings Sonja to tears! They're now able to cross the ocean, farm on their islands, and go dungeon crawling once more.
Soon after they've befriended all the bachelors and Bachelorettes, Pandora tells them she has an assignment to give the duo. All she asks is for them to simply deliver an Ancient Tome to Lily. It's contents look complex and are in some foreign tongue. Upon delivery, Lily tells them a story about how, when they first arrived, she had heard a story from a customer at the Inn. The story goes that was a once a little girl who lived all alone, and was so lonely that she split into two people so she would have company. Through becoming friends with many others, they were able to merge back into one person. It's a clue as to how they might be able to separate Sonja and Aden! The girl's friendships were transformed into the power to restore by a Spirit Song. Lily suggests they do the reverse through instructions in the Ancient Tome. Lily confirms by reading the Tome that they need a Friendship Compass. She suggests Bacchus might know it's whereabouts.
When they find him, Bacchus is able to tell them good news! He remembers Joe finding a treasure that baffled him, and that Jocelyn told him it was a Friendship Compass. Joe agrees to hang over his treasure once Sonja and Aden explain it's the key to returning them to normal. The two protagonists let him search for it and return the next day.
Lily is surprised they've found it so quickly, but jumps into explaining how to use it. They're to offer the compass on the altar of the Dragon Shrine, and if their friendships are deep enough, it will shine. All the marks need to light up for it to have enough power. Once they've done that and empowered it with friendship, they're to return it to her. 12 marks on the Compass mean that they need to befriend all the bachelors and bachelorettes!
Once they bring it to Lily again, they rush over to Sonja's body along with Violet, Elena, Odette, and Joe. This is the time where Lily warns them that they have to choose who their items, skills, and powers will go to that they've gathered together. The other will lose them, but retain all their original powers. It's a tough decision that changes the gameplay, but after deciding, the three Dragon Priestesses sing a Spirit Song and Sonja is restored finally! Testing out her body again, she's ecstatic.
Back at home, they realize they have to reconsider their living arrangements. Odette comes in unannounced, inviting Sonja or Aden to live at the inn at no charge except working part-time. After that, life goes back to normal for the two of them. They're free to get married and have families separately.
- Official Website (Japanese)