13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Guide for blind people.

Written by Søren Jensen. Also known as SLJ.

Table of contents.

Introduction
What is 13 Sentinels?
The menus
The title menu.
New game.
Load game.
Main menu.
The story menu.
Event Archive.
Main menu: Battle menu.
Main menu: The pause menu.
Options menu
The pause menu: Story mode.
The pause menu: Cutscenes.
The pause menu: Story mode: Prolog.
The pause menu: Battle mode.
The battle menu.
The Action menu.
Battle menu: Move.
Repair
Defend.
The skills and upgrades menu.
The battle mode.
The story mode.
Sounds Reference.
The Prolog.
Thanks to.

Introduction.

Welcome to my guide for blind and visually impaired gamers of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.

This game is currently released for Playstation 4, which will also work on the Playstation 5.

13 Sentinels is surprisingly accessible to blind gamers. The game is completable without sighted help.

My goal with this guide is to explain how everything works which is accessible, or which are doable by any other workarounds.

If you have any ideas, corrections to the guide, some great information to add, wanna help by correcting spelling or gramma errors or if you just have any comments, then feel free to contact me.

You can leave whatever feedback you might have in this topic on the Audiogames forum:
https://forum.audiogames.net/post/596042/#p596042

OCR:

It is highly recommendable to use OCR by connecting the Playstation to your computer via the Playstation Remote program, and use OCR via your screenreader to read the text in the game. But OCR is not required to play the game.
The only place where OCR is required is in the upgrades menu, and in the Mystery Files, which is not required to complete the game anyway. It is also helpful to use OCR to know where you are going and which area you are in, but it is not required. If you wanna read the result of the battle screens, then OCR is required, but it is not a requirement to read the battle results to play the game.
Please let me know if you want me to add an OCR section to the guide as well.

What is 13 Sentinels?

13 Sentinels is a mix of tower defence battle and a visual novel, where the outcome of your choices changes the story. The game is clearly separated between the battle mode and the story mode in a way so you’ll never wander in which mode you are playing.

In my opinion, this game is a must have for all blind gamers who owns a Playstation 4 or 5. I hope this guide will get more blind gamers interested in the game.

The menus.

Most menus wraps. However, if you hold down the Arrow key on the D pad in most menus, the scrolling stops when you have reached either the top or the bottom of the menu. That means you can count how many menu items there are, which is extremely helpful when it comes to navigating the menus in the game.

The title menu.

When you boot up the game, you’ll first hear the logo, then the intro movie and then you’ll hear the games music like if it was played through a small speaker. When the music plays through a small speaker, you have to press a button to open up the main menu. When you do that, the music will change to normal sound quality.

If you get stuck in the main menu, you can press Circle to go back to the title screen again, where the music plays from a small speaker. This is really a cool feature regarding to how the music changes. Seeing it out from an accessibility stand point, you can use that feature to know exactly where you are.

Title menu

This menu is horizontal.

When you boot up the game for the first time, the cursor is on New game.

If you have one or more games in progress, the cursor is on Load game.

New game.

When you create a new game, the following text appears:

Please select an audio language.
(Audio language can be changed any time in the Options menu.)

This menu is horisontal from left to right, and this menu doesn’t wrap.
The left menuitem is Japanese, and the right menuitem is English

Please note:
If you have an other saved game in progress, then you’ll get the following screen before you choose the language:

Play time in the AutoSave slot is longer than the play time of the current session.
Are you sure you want to AutoSave?

Left: Yes. Right: No.

Load game.

This menu is vertical. The menu does wrap, but the scrolling stops when you reach the top or the bottom if you hold down the Arrow Keys.

Here you can simply select the save slot you wanna load, starting with slot 1 at the top of the screen. The slots are arranged in numbers, like slot 1, slot 2, slot 3 etc.

Please note: This menu is unlocked after you have completed the Prolog.

When you load a saved game, the game puts you in the menu, where you last completed something. That means: If you completed a story last time you played, you will be in the story menu. If you completed a battle last time you played, then you’ll be in the battle menu.

If you press Circle, you go back to the actual Main menu.

The main menu is horisontal.

The menu wraps, but you can easily hear what you have chosen because of the background sounds. If you choose the wrong menu option, you can just back out by pressing Circle.

THe menu items is as follows:

Story, Event archive, Battle.
You can also switch between those categories by pressing L2 and R2.

The story menu.

You can choose between the stories by using the Left or Right Arrow keys. You can hear what story you have selected in a very accessible way, because each story previews the ambience sounds from the chosen story.
This menu wraps, and it will continue scrolling if you hold down the arrow key. But it doesn’t matter much because of the preview sounds of the selected story. So you won’t get lost in this menu. When you can’t unlock and play more stories, you have to play more battles.

Event Archive.

The Event archive is an archive, where you can replay all the flashbacks.

The flashbacks are sorted into rows, but I haven’t figured out the layout yet. If someone knows the layout of those flashbacks, then I would like to hear about it so this section of the guide can be improved.

If the selected flashback is unlocked, you can press X on it, and you’ll be asked if you wanna play that part. When you have finished the flashback, you are back in the event archive again.

While a flashback is playing, you can press Pause, and you’ll be asked if you wanna end the flashback.

Things which I need some help to figure out in the Event menu:
1. The layout of the flashbacks.
2. What happens when pressing L1 and R1.

This menu is build up in horisontal rows, going from left to right. You have one wave of battles on each row, meaning the second wave of battles is on the second row etc.

The menu wraps, but the scrolling stops when holding down the left or right Arrow keys.

The scrolling does not stop when holding down the up or down Arrow keys. So you have to count when going up or down.

The first row is the tutorial battles. The next row is the next wave of battles.

Please note: If you are playing a wave of battles and you choose a previous wave of battles or the tutorials, then you’ll be asked if you wanna suspend the current wave, and play the selected wave instead. That means you have to start from the beginning again in the last unlocked wave of battles afterwards.
If you do that by mistake, yOu’ll notice it in the two following ways:
1. You’ll hear the message sound instead the batttle confirmation sound.
2. YOu’ll only have two choices, yes and no, instead the sentinels selection screen. If you do that by mistake, you can just press Circle to back out.

When you can’t unlock and play more battles, you need to complete more stories.

When you have chosen the wave and battle you wanna play, you are on the Sentinels selection screen. That screen works as follows:

The sentinels goes from left to right. The menu wraps, but the scrolling stops when holding down the Arrow keys.

When you have selected a sentinel, you can toggle if the selected sentinel should join the battle. This is completely accessible in the following way:

Pressing the Up arrow makes the sentinel talk, which means the sentinel is ready to join the battle. If the sentinel is hurt and can’t join the battle, he/she will let you know.
Pressing the Down arrow makes a small closing sound. That means the current sentinel has been deselected to join the battle.
The same can be done by pressing X. That’s just an other way to do it.

The very last choice to the right is Start battle.

The menu is vertical. The menu does wrap, but it will stop scrolling if you hold down the Arrow key.

Options menu.

This menu is vertical. It does wrap, but it stops scrolling if you hold down the Arrow key.

Use the Left and Right Arrow keys to adjust the selected option. The menu does not wrap when pressing the Left and the Right Arrows.

On the first line comes the actual option. I’ll mention if it’s a slider. If it’s not a slider, then I’ll mention the settings from left to right on the same line.
On the second line, you’ll find the help text for each option, telling more information about the chosen option.

BGM Volume: Slider.
Adjust music volume.

SE Volume: Slider.
Adjust sound effect volume.

Voice Volume: Slider.
Adjust speech volume.

Auto-Advance: Off, On.
Automatically advances dialogue. (Toggle during gameplay with R2

Dialogue Type: Normal, Quick.
The 1st button press displays the entire line. The 2nd advances the dialogue.

Auto-Advance Wait: Slider.
Adjust the length of pause between auto-advancing dialogue lines.

Thought Cloud Controls: Left stick, Right stick.
Navigate Thought Cloud with the Left stick or Right stick.

Directional Buttons: Walk, Select.
During Thought Cloud, keywords are selected with

Stop on Unread: Off, On.
When unread dialogue is displayed, fast forwarding automatically stops.

Character Intro: Off, On.
A splash image is displayed when beginning a protagonist’s story .

Camera Zoom Speed: Slider.
Adjust the camera speed of zooming when using L2 and R2 in battle.

Maximum Zoom Out: Slider.
Limits how far the camera can zoom out when using L2 in battle.

Maximum Zoom In: Slider.
Limits how far the camera can zoom in when using R2 in battle.

Tilt-Shift Effect: Off, On.
A blur effect is applied over

AutoSave: Off, On.
At certain moments, automatically

Subtitle Display: Off, On.
plays subtitles for non-conversation volce during bargle

Audio Language: Japanese, English.
Set the audio language to English.

Reset to Default.
Restore all settings to default.

The pause menu: Story mode.

The pause menu: Cutscenes.

Skip story?
Yes, No.

The pause menu: Story mode: Prolog.

The pause menu: Battle mode.

The battle menu.

Please note: More and more things will be unlocked in this menu as you play the game. I will tell you in the prolog section via the tutorials, which menuitems unlocks.

Please note: This menu does wrap, and the scrolling does not stop when holding down the Arrow keys. However, there is a workaround if you get stuck in the battle menu which I’ll explain in a moment.

Pressing the Up or Down arrows, you have the following menuitems, assuming you have completed the Prolog:

By pressing the Left or Right Arrow keys, you can switch between the pilots. This is confirmed in a completely accessible way by the chosen pilots voice which speaks when being selected.

A workaround if you get stuck in the battle menu:
Pressing the Left or the Right Arrow key to switch pilot, makes the cursor jump back to the Actions menuitem.

The Action menu.

In the action menu, you have the list of weapons which are available for the selected pilot. This list will change depending on the pilot, depending on how far you are in the game and maybe also depending on the battle.
Because this menu wraps and the menu won’t stop scrolling when holding down the Arrow keys, it can be tricky to know how many weapons are available to you, especially without using OCR. However, I have a workaround, if you absolutely must know how many and which weapons you have available for each pilot in the battle you are playing, but keep in mind that this workaround might have consequences:

  1. In the Actions menu, press the Down Arrow once, and give the weapon a try to see which weapon it is.
  2. When it’s your turn again, select the same pilot if possible. Then in the Actions menu, now press the Down Arrow twice to select your third weapon.
  3. Keep doing that, but add one extra press to the Down Arrow until you are back to the standard weapon again. In this way, you can count how many weapons each pilot have available, restart the battle if needed and plan your moves if you wish.

When selecting a weapon in the Action menu, you’ll get to the Target screen, which will be explained in the battle section of the guide.

Battle menu: Move.

The Move screen opens up the same target screen as when having selected your weapon. However, you won’t hear any clicks when using the Left analog stick, so there is no accessible way of knowing where to move.

Repair.

The repair screen works like the Move screen. I won’t recommend to use the repair feature, since there are other workarounds, which will be explained in the battle section of the guide.

Defend.

The Defend feature have no menu or screen. It defends as soon as you press X on the menuitem.

The skills and upgrades menu.

You can open the skills and upgrades menu by pressing Triangle.

The last menu item to the left is the upgrade menu. Your unlocked skills are to the right.

Choosing Upgrade asks if you wanna upgrade the next available skill, which gives you a yes no prompt..

You can also press Triangle from the Actions menu, which shows all the available skills, including those you can’t unlock yet.

The battle mode.

The battle mode is turn based, kind of a tower defence battle.

The battle works like this:
1. First the game chooses the pilot. Depending on the battle and the teams, you can switch between the available pilots by using the Left or Right Arrow keys. This is very accessible, because the chosen pilot will speak, so you can identify them by their voice.
2. Choose one of the following by using the Up or Down Arrow keys: Action, Move, Repair or Defend, and then press X.

Action contains the weapons which are available to the selected pilot. When you press X on one of the weapons, you’ll get the Target screen.

You move around on the target screen by using the Left analog stick.
You cannot hear when you have reached the edges of the target screen, which adds some extra patience to navigate.
The target screen is 15 by 15 squares. That means you can navigate the target screen with some patience by tapping the left analog stick and move it like in coordinates like this:
1. Move all the way down by holding the stick down for a few seconds.
2. Move all the way to the left by moving the stick to the left for a few seconds.
3. Tap the stick 15 times to the right, and you should now be at the right side of the target screen.
4. Tap the stick up once.
5. Tap the stick to the left 15 times, and you should now be at the left side of the target screen.
6. Continue like this to make sure you have been everywhere on the target screen.

Selecting a target.

When your weapon points at a target, it makes a small click. In this way, you will know, when you are targeting an enemy. If you target multiple enemies at once, then you’ll hear multiple clicks, which means you can destroy multiple enemies with one shut.

Moving in battles.

The movement works like the targeting screen, accept for it have no clicks. Therefore, you can’t tell where to move, so you have to guess that, and do that successfully by some luck.

Repair.

I haven’t figured out how to do repairs successfully yet. You can’t tell what spot you have selected to be repaired, and you can’t hear by listening to the sounds what spots has been damaged. The sentinel is passive in the battle while being repaired, so you will properly repair the wrong spot, and end up killing the sentinel instead. I will recommend to use defend instead.

Defend.

Defend have no menus. The pilot goes in defend mode, and the turn will switch to the next pilot.
Tip: I’ll recommend to use defend instead of move. Then, the enemies comes to you, instead of you having to make a random guess on where to move to find the enemies.
I’ll also recommend to use Defend instead of repair.

The story mode.

The story mode is all about exploration, talking to people and solving puzzles.

The movement is in 2D, which means you moves left/right, in/out of the screen. You can either move by using the Left Analog Stick or by using the D Pad. I find it easiest by using the DPad, so you don’t accidentally for example move up and to the right at the same time.

You always move in small areas, meaning that you cannot get lost. Your footsteps does not always stop when reaching the wall, but you can hear by the stereo field where you are in the area.

You need to move in and out of the screen, like walking forward and backwards, by pressing the Up or Down arrows, or by moving the Left Analog Stick up or down. You need that to find the objects and people you need to interact with. It’s not as difficult to do than it sounds like.

When you walk into something which you can interact with, you’ll hear a small beep. That means you can press X to interact.

The thought cloud.

The thought cloud is a collection of thoughts you’ll pick up during the story, which you’ll need to solve puzzles.

You open up the thought cloud by pressing Triangle, and switch between the thoughts by using the arrow keys. The thought cloud is fully voiced, meaning it is fully accessible.

If you press Triangle on a thought, you’ll get more information, which might unlock even more stuff regarding the selected thought.

Press X to use the thought on the person you are interacting with, meaning asking about the subject of the thought.

When a thought has been added to the thought cloud, you’ll hear a bleep.

Sometimes you’ll hear the volume of one or more thoughts being louder than normal. That means the thought can be investigated to find out more, or that it can be used on the person or object in front of you.

If you press Triangle on a thought to get more information and then hear a beep afterwards, that means you can press X on the thought to either talk to the person about the subject, or interact with the object with the thought in mind.

Controls.

Left Analog Stick or d pad: Movement.

X: Interact.

Triangle: Thought cloud.

Circle: Hold to run. This can be quite useful to quickly find something to interact with, and then walk normally after passing the object to find it.

Square: Shows a visual progress which is not accessible to blind people.

Hold down R1: Quickly scroll through the conversations if you have played the story or battle before.

R2: Switch between automatic advance story dialog or manually advance. If you set it to manual advance, you have to press X for the next dialog to appear.

Sounds Reference.

Here, I’ll make a sounds reference, so people can listen to each important sounds in the game and get an explanation on what those sounds means.

That section will take some time to add, since I have to record the sounds, edit them, and then explain what they mean.

This section will be added in the future.

The Prolog.

Here you have all the tutorials from the Prolog, and all other information you need to know to play through the Prolog.

For longer text from the game, you’ll see “Game screen.” In this way, you’ll know that it’s some text from the game.
I have tried to set some of the text in block quotes, which may or may not be supported, depending on your web browser and screenreader.

This section does not contain any spoilers at all, accept for the tutorials, and how many stories you play through.

As soon as you choose “New Game,” the following screen appears:

Game screen:
Please select an audio language.
(Audio language can be changed any time in the Options menu.)
This menu is horisontal from left to right, and this menu doesn’t wrap.
The left menuitem is Japanese, and the right menuitem is English

Game screen:

Tutorial: Attack
To control your pilots, move the cursor over a pilot and select with X.
Once the menu’s open, press X to select Action and destroy the enemy using Arm-Mounted Machine Cannons.
Press X to continue.

See more in the battle section of the guide to read how the battles work. Keep in mind that not all the battle menus are unlocked yet. The tutorial text will tell when you have to use the different battle features.

Game screen:

Select Action and destroy the enemy using Multi Rocket Launchers.
Adjust the attack range with to target as many enemies as possible.

Select Action, then select Heavy Knuckles. Use to attack the enemies in front of you while moving around.

Here you have to select the other weapon in the Action menu.

Game screen:

Juro Kurabe’s story is now available.

Game screen:

Basic Controls
Use Left analog stick to move, and press X to talk to people.

Game screen:

Kyuta Shiba has been added to the Thought Cloud.

Game screen:

Thought Cloud
Sometimes, when you learn about a specific person or thing, it will be added as a keyword.

Game screen:

Kyuta Shiba has been added to the Thought Cloud.
DELOREN
Press Triangle to open the Thought Cloud
DPad to select and contemplate keywords.

Select Kyuta Shiba in the Thought Cloud with Triangle.

Video Tape has been added to the Thought Cloud.
Thought Cloud
Some keywords can be used on other characters.

Video Tape has been added to the Thought Cloud.
When this option is available, Triangle will appear above their head.

Additional Controls
Hold R1 to fast-forward text.
Fast-forwarding will automatically pause on unread text.
Press R2 to view the text log.

Press OPTioNs to open the Pause Menu and select Manual to view the controls.

Game screen:

Location:
The location menu have two options. The first option is go to the actual location you have interacted with, and the other option is “Not yet.”

ori Fuyusaka’s story is now available.

Battle.

Beginning of the End

Game screen:

Make your way toward the terminal, which is the invaders’ target.
Tutorial: Move
Choose a Sentinel and select Move from the menu.

Use Left Analog Stick to move the cursor to where you want to go, then press X to start moving.

You only have to move once in the Prolog. There might be multiple ways of doing that successfully, but here is one way to do it, which works for me all the time:

  1. Choose Move from the battle menu.
  2. Tap the Left Analog Stick up once, and then right once.
  3. Press X to continue.

Do that two or three times, and you will make it successfully. You will know when you have moved successfully, because the announcer will let you know. So, you aren’t in the right spot until you have been told so.

Game screen:

Tutorial: Loss Condition
You must protect the terminal until the self-defense system Aegis is activated.

Damage to the terminal is shown in the top left of the screen. If this defense gauge is depleted, or if even one of your pilots dies, it’s game over.

Tutorial: Switching Pilots
You can switch the pilots you control with Change up pilots depending on the situation.

Takatoshi Hijiyama’s story is now available.

Takatoshi Hijiyama

Battle:

SEATBEL
Victory Condition -
Destroy all kaiju
Loss Condition
Terminal destroyed

Tutorial: EP
Using powerful armaments will consume Energy (EP).
EP is gradually replenished by defeating enemies, but you can replenish it faster by using Defend (Charge EP).

When you use Defend (Charge EP), you’ll be unable to move temporarily. Make use of it strategically.
Try using the armament Leap Attack, which consumes EP.

Tutorial: Meta-Skills
By gathering Meta-Chips from defeating enemies, your Meta-Gauge in the bottom left of the screen will increase.

You can use Meta-Skills when the Meta-Gauge is filled up.
Open the menu with Triangle and use the Meta-Skill Phase Plasma EMP.

The only Meta-Skill you can currently use in battle is Phase Plasma EMP, and you can only use it once.

Once Terminal Enhancements are available, you’ll be able to unlock and enhance various skills. You can also increase the number of uses.

On the pilots menu in the battle menu, press Triangle. For now, you only have the defence choice unlocked, so press X to activate the defence mode for the terminal.
The battle continue, and the defence mode speaks for itself.

Natsuno Minami’s story is now available.

Natsuno Minami

Battle.

Pierce through packs of kaiju straight ahead with the Main Battery Heavy Railgun.

Victory Condition - Destroy all kaiju
Loss Condition • Terminal destroyed

Tutorial: Support Units
The 2nd-generation model Fuyusaka pilots comes with support units, which are armaments that can be positioned.
Once positioned, each support unit automatically takes action until the enemies are destroyed.

Select Fuyusaka with Triangle enter the Action menu and choose Sentry Gun.

Here, you have to open up the Actions menu, and then press Triangle. Again, only one item is unlocked so far, so press X to activate the gun.

Game screen:

Tutorial: Intercepting Missiles
Certain enemies, like Twintails, attack from a distance using missiles.
Missiles can be evaded by moving or intercepted with attacks.
Deal with them in a way that best suits the situation.

Megumi Yakushifl’s story is now available.

Megumi Yakushiji

Game screen:

The cat’s contract…
Accept
Decline
Please note:

  1. This menu wraps.
  2. Pressing Circle declines.

I learned that the hard way on my second playthrough while working on this guide. So please, be careful here. I don’t know how to accept the contract later on, but if someone figure that out, then please let me know, and I’ll add that information to the guide.

Battle.

Victory Condition -
Destroy all kaiju
- Loss Condition
Terminal destroyed

Game screen:

Tutorial: Repairs
When a Sentinel’s HP reaches O, it will be immobilized, and the pilot will be ejected onto the battlefield.
Immobilized Sentinels automatically retreat and begin repairing, but they’ll be temporarily inoperable.
Without the protection of the Sentinel, any pilots on the field can easily be killed by a mere explosion.
Avoid this by moving to a safe location and performing the Repair function.

  1. Choose Repair from the battles menu.
  2. Move by using the Left Analog Stick to a random location and then press X.

Shu Amiguchi’s story is now available.

Shu Amiguchi

Battle.

Victory Condition •
Destroy all kaiju
Loss Condition.
Terminal destroyed

El Sekigahara’s story is now available.

Ei Sekigahara

Battle.

Victory Condition
Activate Aegis or destroy all kaiju
Loss Condition
Terminal destroyed or any pilot killed

Tutorial: Victory Condition
The time remaining until the self-defense system Aegis activates
is displayed on the top of the screen.

Clear the stage by either protecting the terminal until the system activates, or destroy the enemies until their assault ends.

BATTLE STYLE SELECT
Select the battle style that best suits you
*This can be changed at any time.

Left: NORMAL. Right: CASUAL

Mode Selection unlocked.
Play through the story in Remembrance, engage in battles

Prolog completed.

Thanks to.

Here, I’ll list all the people who have helped by giving any useful information, or helped directly with the guide. A lot of people have already helped without knowing, and I couldn’t make this guide without your great help.

  1. A huge thanks goes to Brandon Cole. Both for answering a ton of questions, but also for hosting the guide on this website.
  2. Thanks to Assault_freak from the Audiogames forum, for being the originally poster about this game and it’s accessibility and playability, which he heard about from the Japanese blind community.
  3. Thanks to Stirlock from the Audiogames forum, who was the first blind gamer who announced on the forum that he have beaten the game, and it’s beatable without sighted help at all.