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Puppet Guardian is a Flash-based MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) created by the Japanese game developer, Cold Breath, Co., Ltd.. The game is operated in the United States through a partnership between Policros, LLC and Artifact, Co., Ltd.. Puppet Guardian was officially released out of beta production on October 1, 2007.

Puppet Guardian
Developer(s)Cold Breath, Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s)Artifact, Co., Ltd. (Japanese Version) and Mirror Realms, LLC (English Version)
Designer(s)Kentaro Ishizaka
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
ReleaseApril 01, 2007 (Japanese Beta Version)
October 01, 2007 (Japanese Version)
January 01, 2009 (English Beta Version)
Genre(s)MMORPG, Board Game

Puppet Guardian was created developed by Kentaro Ishizaka who founded Cold Breath in June 2006.[1] Ishizaka is a game creator of some renown in Japan who also created the successful Livly Island, which won the 2006 Web Money award for most profitable online game.[2] That game is now operated by Sony and is available through its online portal So-net in 2007.[3] Ishizaka also produced Bar Village another online gaming environment.[4] Puppet Guardian is a free-to-play game, with a simple interface that is accessible on most recent versions of those web browsers available for Mac OS X and Windows XP or Windows Vista.[5]

The game combines qualities of two different yet popular game genres: online role playing games and traditional board games.[6] Puppet Guardian takes place in the fantasy-themed Celestial Castle which is divided into eight towers, each representing the memory of a different journey taken by the game's protagonist, Org, and his wife, Yun.[7] Players can travel throughout the Castle on foot or by horse, and—once in the tower scenes, which represent the different lands of the Org's realm—using virtual dice.[8]

Each tower is inhabited by different types of monsters for players to subdue; and each tower makes different materials available for players to obtain. Unlike many other MMORPGs, there is no linear path that must be followed. Players appear on the screen as customizable characters, setting their own objectives. Players can subdue monsters and other creatures they encounter, but there is no combat between players. Neither is there competition between players. Players complete quests by traveling through the towers in a fashion similar to moving around a board game. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, becoming "friends" and forming teams to share resources for their journeys.[9]


Guilds and servicesEdit

There are three guilds in the game and a barbershop / hair salon. The guilds are the Warehouse Guild, where items can be stored for future use, the Ranch Guild, where pets can be bought and lodged, and the Merchant Guild, which is a kind of middle-man for buying and selling items between players. All of these services are available in the tower lobbies in the form of NPC's or non-player characters. This was the result of a game upgrade which moved these services from the "underground marketplace" to the tower lobbies in November 2008.[10]


The barbershop or hair salon is called Basil the Barber and is a service that allows players to change their hair color and style or trim their beards. This is necessary because characters hair does grow over time.

Ranch GuildEdit

In the Ranch Guild players can always obtain horses, dogs, cats, and parrots. Sometimes exotic pets are featured, usually with a seasonal theme. For example, players could acquire a pet reindeer during the Christmas event.[11] A jack-o-lantern pet became available at the Halloween event.

The pets come with their own dice, so they can extend the playing range of a player.[12] Pets also have the ability to help the guardian characters combat monsters.


Puppet Guardian employs basic economic concepts of trade. A player can put an item on the market for sale through the "Merchant Guild". Any other player in the game can use the Merchant Guild to locate an item on sale and purchase it using Gold Coins. Originally the game did not have a Merchant Guild or middle man, and items were sold from player to player in the underground marketplace but an upgrade of the game in December 2008 changed this.[13]

Players are allowed to set their own prices for their items. Theoretically this encourages players to make an "investment" in time to produce or "synthesize" items that would be attractive on the market. In particular, the Japanese game has seen a proliferation of healing items.

Players use their Gold Coins to purchase items. Gold Coins are the Puppet Guardian currency.[14] Players obtain Gold Coins by buying them with real money or by selling items.

Monsters and magicEdit

A player armed with a Long Sword encounters a crocodile in the Golden Jungle

Monsters inhabit the towers of the Castle in the Celestial Sky and provide the only opportunity for players to employ their arms and magic. The game does not allow players to fight each other and there is no competition between them, so monsters provide the game's main excitement. Each monster has its own unique qualities.[15] And each monster, once subdued, confers items that players must have to synthesize new more valuable items. So the point of subduing these creatures is to get more advanced and powerful items. These items, in turn, allow players to subdue ever more powerful monsters. These powerful monsters have rare and valuable items that players covet.

In most cases, the more difficult the monster is to subdue, the rarer and more valuable the item the player will be able to take.

In general, novice players will not be able to subdue advanced monsters. It is also the case that some monsters cannot be subdued, even by advanced players. However teams or groups of players can succeed where individual players cannot against the most powerful monsters. The game is explicit about the need for players to form teams and work together.[16] The game design, with its limited life points (10 per day that expire at the end of each day) and dice rolls (6 new dice rolls per day in the Japanese server and 24 new dice rolls per day in the English server which accumulate) appears to force this kind of collaboration by limiting the life and range of a player. The relationship between Monsters and life points is that when players combat monsters, they invariably are damaged and this damage causes the loss of life points.


Players obtain magic points as they get certain items that have magical powers. Items that confer magic points include wands, rods, staffs, magic books, and robes. In general magical items and status are the most difficult to obtain; it follows that magical powers confer the greatest advantage or power in contests with monsters. Titles for characters that have achieved magical status include Warlock, Witch, Wizard, and Sorcerer.


All characters start on the grounds of the Celestial Castle outside of Tower IV where they can read the last of the Stone Monuments, which are the game's mode of presenting the Puppet Guardian back-story.[17] Why the game starts players off in this area of the grounds is not clear.

According to the Stone Monuments, the lands in each tower are a memory of Org, the game's leading character and the ruler of those lands. Using magic, Org has sealed recollections into the towers and they provide a setting for the game. Players travel through lands that are figments of Org's memory, memorialized presumably because the castle is no longer in Org's lands but floating in the Celestial Sky. All towers have their own unique setting, monsters, items, and musical theme.[18]

Towers and courtyardEdit

The grounds of the castle include a courtyard that provides access to the final three towers. It is located between towers 1 and 2. There is also an underground marketplace in front of towers 1 and 2. This was the only place players could buy and sell items originally, but the game design was changed in October 2008 to allow such transactions in each of the tower lobbies at the Merchant Guild and with Basil the Barber. It is now unclear what purpose the underground market serves apart from being an artifact of the original game design.

On the back wall of the courtyard is a stairway that leads to the castle keep. These stairs may be a way of showing the inscribed souls of the Puppet Guardian because the wall is carved with images of Guardians and their weapons and battle accoutrement. Other than that it is not clear what purpose this stairway serves or why it might be important to reach the top. There are Maps available in the game of each of the game's regions.[19]

Titles and statusEdit

Puppet Guardian features a variety of titles and levels of status, which can be attained with the acquisition of certain items. Players attain items by traveling the towers and subduing monsters. Base materials are synthesized into more advanced items, some of which are sufficiently advanced to confer either status or title. There are rare items that only experienced players can find, these help to create higher level items that confer higher-order status or title.

A typical progression of status looks like this: Apprentice → Swordsman→ Master Swordsman→ Conquering Swordsman. These differing levels of status depend on the quality of the item, in this case a long sword, from which the status is derived. So a "Long Sword" might be at the bottom of the item quality hierarchy and a "Paragon Long Sword" at the top, with several levels in between. A player with a Paragon Long Sword would have the status Conquering Swordsman, e.g.; (Player's Character Name) the Conquering Swordsman.

There are also titles in Puppet Guardian which follow a similar pattern of acquisition, but where the Status appears after a player's name, their title appears before. So a combination of status and title might appear: [Player's Character Name], the Beguiling Master Duelist.


  1. ^ Cold Breath."About Cold Breath" Archived 2009-02-04 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-09.
  2. ^ "2006 Web Money Award for Livly Island",, 2006-12-26, Retrieved on 2009-01-08
  3. ^ Burns, Simon,"Sony So-net Spin-off Hits Record Revenues" IT News Australia, 2007-04-02, Retrieved on 2009-01-08
  4. ^ Cold Breath. "Cold Breath Services" Archived 2008-12-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  5. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian Support" Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  6. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian: Getting Started" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  7. ^ The Heart of Puppet Guardian."The Official Puppet Guardian Publisher's Blog". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  8. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian: User Guide" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  9. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian: User Guide" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  10. ^ Artifact."Press Release", 2008-11-17. Retrieved on 2009-01-14.
  11. ^ Artifact."Christmas Event", 2008-12-22. Retrieved on 2009-01-14.
  12. ^ Artifact."FAQ's". Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  13. ^ Artifact."Game Announcement", 2008-12-15, Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  14. ^ "Gold Coins" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  15. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian: User Guide" Archived 2009-03-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  16. ^ Artifact."Getting Started" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-01-13.
  17. ^ The Heart of Puppet Guardian."The Official Puppet Guardian Publisher's Blog". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  18. ^ The Heart of Puppet Guardian."The Official Puppet Guardian Publisher's Blog". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  19. ^ Cold Breath."Puppet Guardian: User Guide" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2009-01-13.

External linksEdit