- Arc the Lad (series)
"Arc the Lad" is a series of RPGs that were mainly released for the
PlayStationand more recently the PlayStation 2. Most of the games were published by SCEIin Japan. The games never reached the west until " Arc the Lad Collection" was released, by Working Designsin 2002. An anime, based on " Arc the Lad II", was also made.
Most of the games in the series are tactical RPGs, aside from "", which still features RPG elements. Each of the games also feature recurring characters, such as the main character, Arc, who appears in several of the games.
Arc the Lad
"Arc the Lad" was the original game in the series. It was developed by
G-Craftand published by SCEI in Japan June 30, 1995. For its US release, Working Designspublished the game as part of a compilation of Arc games ( Arc the Lad Collection) on April 18, 2002. The collection as a whole is known for its good localization and extras included.cite web | author= | year=2002 | title=Arc the Lad Collection at GameStats | url=http://www.gamestats.com/objects/013/013919/| work= | accessdate=Oct 9 | accessyear=2007]
The game features
tactical role-playing gamebattle elements (which becomes a staple for the series).cite web | author=Thom Moyles | year=2002 | title=Arc theLad Collection at GameCritic | url=http://www.gamecritics.com/review/arcladcollection/main.php| work= | accessdate=Oct 9 | accessyear=2007] Another staple of the series (although it progresses from each game) is the world map, where the player chooses destinations without actually having to walk there. Arc the Lad is known for its short play time.
Arc the Lad introduces several characters that appear in all three games in the collection. Arc, the lead, is a boy from the small town of Touvil who is fated to fight corruption. Characters like Kukuru, Iga, Poco, Tosh, and Chongara also make future appearances.
Arc the Lad II
"Arc the Lad II" is the second game in the series. It was published by SCEI in Japan on
November 1, 1996 and was re-released twice, which is common in Japan. "Arc the Lad II" was featured in the collection as well. ARC Entertainmentdeveloped the game.
This game continues to use the tactics style battles, although features much more complex statistics than its predecessor. The world maps are more complex as well, now allowing the player to walk on the map from location to location. Several new areas are added, which extends play time greatly. A new feature are the guilds, which allow the player to take jobs as side quests.
The second installment to the Arc story introduces a whole new cast, as well as brings back the old cast. Elk, a young hunter, joins the fight against the corrupt government. He and his friend Shu, meet up with several other characters wound up in the mess, including Arc and his friends, and bring Andel and his followers down.
Arc the Lad III
"Arc the Lad III" is the third and final Arc game for the
PlayStation. It was released on October 28, 1999, developed by ARC Entertainment and published by SCEI in Japan. The game was then released in the Working Design collection. It was the only game in the collection to feature two discs.Similarly to the first two, this Arc game uses tactics battles and basic RPG elements. The explorable maps of Arc II return. Unlike the first two however, the game is strictly job driven, meaning the story only progresses through taking and completing jobs from the guilds.
This game introduces Alec and Lutz, two small town boys looking to become great Hunters (Lutz mainly in it for the fame and treasure). They meet a new set of characters that accompany them as they learn of a new corruption- the Academy. Characters from previous games appear from time to time and occasionally fight alongside Alec.
Arc the Lad: Kijin Fukkatsu
"Arc the Lad: Kijin Fukkatsu" ("Arc the Lad: Resurrection of the Machine God") is a
Wonderswan Colorgame developed by Bandaiand released in 2002 in Japan. [cite web | author= | year=2007 | title=Kijin Fukkatsu at RETROBASE.NET | url=http://www.retrobase.net/pages/show.php?platform=bandai_wonderswan_color&title=Arc+The+Lad+-+Kijin+Fukkatsu | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007] Set after the main series, this game features similar combat and gameplay to the previous installments.
Elc, from "Arc the Lad II", returns as the main character as he discovers a girl sent from the past to his time because of a hostile robot takeover. Finia, the girl, Elc, and several of his friends return once again to save humanity. [cite web | author= | year=2002 | title=Anime Digital News | url=http://www.digital.anime.org.uk/news/20020104.html | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007]
Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
"" was the first
PlayStation 2game in the Arc series. It was developed by a group called Cattle Call, and published by SCEI. It was released in Japan on March 20, 2003 and in North America on June 25of the same year by SCEA. This was also the first Arc game to come out in Europe, released by SCEEthe following year. The battle system in this installment allows characters to move freely in circular ranges across fields during their turns as opposed to the grid-based fields of its predecessors.
Arc the Lad: End of Darkness
"" is the final Arc game and the second to be released on the PS2. Developed by Cattle Call and published by SCEI, the game was released in Japan on
November 3, 2004. Namcothen published the game for its North American release.cite web | author=Christian Nutt | year=2005 | title=Arc the Lad EoD preview | url=http://ps2.gamespy.com/playstation-2/arc-the-lad-generations/610591p1.html | work= | accessdate=Oct 9 | accessyear=2007]
This game does not follow the tactics battle style of the previous games. It instead uses real-time combat, along the lines of the .hack video games. Another new function is the ability to go Online and play with or against other players.
When the "Arc" games were originally released in Japan years before a North American release, SCEA hardly considered bringing them to the U.S., thinking that the RPG market was not an important one.cite web | author=David Smith | year=2001 | title=Arc the Lad Collection preview | url=http://psx.ign.com/articles/133/133919p1.html | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007] Working Designs, then known in the U.S. for publishing RPGs, actually tried to license "Arc the Lad", but Sony of America turned them down. Years later, SCEA came under new management, and with the popularity of other RPGs like "
Final Fantasy VII", Working Designs was able to publish all three games at once with the Japanese release of "Arc the Lad III".
"Arc the Lad Collection" was released in 2002 and boasted four separate games--"Arc the Lad I, II, III" and "Monster Arena", a side-game that allows players to take captured monsters from "Arc the Lad II" and use them in combat. The collection also featured a making of CD, Dual Shock controller thumb pads, a memory card holder, character standees, a hardcover instruction booklet, and a glossy box (omake box) to hold it all.cite web | author=Mickey Shannon | year=2003 | title=Arc the Lad Collection review | url=http://www.gamesarefun.com/gamesdb/review.php?reviewid=72 | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007]
Each of the "Arc" games has received fairly decent reception. "Arc the Lad Collection" has a 7.8 out of 10 on GameStats.com. The compilation is often praised for its ambitious packaging and game content, which could last over 150 hours.cite web | author= | year=2003 | title=Arc the Lad Collection review | url=http://www.gamepro.com/sony/psx/games/reviews/22848.shtml | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007] When the collection was released, the first two games' graphics seemed a bit outdated, although some critics find the graphics acceptable. Critics mostly agree that the take on tactical battles was refreshing because the battles are generally fast-paced. Although the first game in the series is much shorter than the other two, it is believed to be only a prologue to the second game.
"Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits" also received similar reviews. It has a 75% on GameRankings.com. [cite web | author= | year=2007 | title=Twilight Spirits at GameRankings.com | url=http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/582273.asp | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007] "Arc the Lad: End of Darkness", the second "Arc" game for the PS2, is generally rated much lower than the other games, receiving a 57% on GameRankings.com. [cite web | author= | year=2007 | title=End of Darkness at GameRankings.com | url=http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/921496.asp | work= | accessdate=Oct 10 | accessyear=2007]
The Arc the Lad anime ran from
April 5 1999– October 11 1999in Japan. The series had 26 episodes and ran on the WOWOWnetwork. It was directed by Itsuro Kawasaki. A North American release was produced by ADV Filmsand aired on the Anime Network.
The story follows the story of Arc the Lad II, the second game in the series. Elk, Lieza, and Shu, along with the rest of the cast fight to save a corrupt world.
* [http://www.rpgdreamer.com/arc/arc1/ RPG Dreamer]
* [http://www.tv.com/arc-the-lad/show/14886/summary.html Arc the Lad at TV.com]
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