Actraiser Renaissance is a remake of ActRaiser, released on September 23, 2021. It remasters the original game and introduces a new area after the main campaign is finished with the floating island of Alcaleone.
As a remake, Renaissance stays to the original's format while changing, adding to, and expanding much of the content of the original. For example, each area now follows a rigid story structure that flows like this in every area:
- Increase population, or remove a population roadblock (such as providing Wool to the people of Northwall).
- Townsfolk gain the ability to purge one (and only one!) lair of the Master's choice.
- Survive a Settlement Raid.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 (with some variation) until the last lair is cleared, interspersed with story segments regarding the resident Hero (which may also result in a Settlement Raid). There's typically another settlement raid before the second Act is available. Note that the Angel must declare that the townsfolk are ready before a lair can be purged and the second Act becomes available.
- A new Settlement Raid mode, which are 'tower defense'-style segments which play out in Sim Mode.
- Monster Lairs cannot be attacked until the townsfolk are ready, and even then only one lair can be cleared. Also, clearing a Monster Lair now involves a side-scrolling Act Mode in a small environment, wherein the Master must destroy a monster Spawner in a limited amount of time.
- Each area now has a resident Hero, revealed and expanded during the area's plotline. After completing story quests in their native area, these heroes can be summoned into other realms during Settlement Raids.
- A new Quest system delivers the much-expanded story beats, including side quests.
- Nearly all secrets that were revealed through Miracles in Sim mode are now quests, or have been removed entirely.
- Major graphics and music overhaul. Each area has its own town theme, in addition to completely new music. This includes retro Super Nintendo-era versions of the new music featured in Renaissance.
- The Angel's role is expanded, making them a primary factor in story quests.
- The Bomb! and Strength of Angel arrows have been removed. Instead, the Angel's arrows are automatically homing (to a degree), more can be fired at once, and the Angel can charge their attacks for a triple shot.
- Nearly all Offerings have been removed. Legendary Chronicles now take their place as quest rewards, each for a specific hero. Every realm now develops Bridges and Rice (Renaissance 's version of Wheat) on their own as a part of civilization growth. Some items, like the Compass, Ancient Tablet, and Herb are now a part of story quests.
- The Master's melee combat in Act Mode is greatly expanded, with more sword moves and spells. However, some items like Crush and Flame Sword have been removed.
- The Master no longer gains SP when the timer ticks over. SP recovery is now governed by magic potions that appear in fields. SP is restored before and after Settlement Raids and when a Monster Lair is cleared.
- Fortifications can now be built (and subsequently upgraded) in Sim Mode. Careful placement is necessary for Settlement Raids.
- Origin of Magic upgrades (dropped from golden Light Orbs) found in Act mode are now permanent. Each Act has 2-3 of them squirreled away somewhere.
It's important to note that Renaissance is a much slower game experience than the original, that seems to be geared towards newer players. Veterans may need to temper their muscle memory, as trying to speedrun this by rushing the Monster Lairs and going straight for the secrets aren't a viable strategy here.