Arc Rise Fantasia

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Arc Rise Fantasia
Arf wii.jpg
Developer(s) Imageepoch
Marvelous Entertainment
Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Hiroyuki Kanemaru (director)
Kenichi Yoshida (character designer)
Composer(s) Yasunori Mitsuda
Shunsuke Tsuchiya
Yuki Harada
Yui Makino
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)
  • JP June 4, 2009
  • NA July 20, 2010[1]
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Wii optical disc

Arc Rise Fantasia (アークライズファンタジア Āku Raizu Fantajia?) is a fantasy role-playing video game developed by Imageepoch and published by Marvelous Entertainment for the Wii. Arc Rise Fantasia was released in Japan on June 4, 2009, and in North America on July 20, 2010.

Gameplay[edit]

Much of the game is progressing through the world and dungeons, some of which are puzzle-based, as the player listens to the story told.

But at the game's heart is it's combat system, which is a turn-based role-playing game. The player and the enemy both move and fight during the same phase of battle, but the turn order is determined by the actions taken. Parties consist of three characters who each share a single AP gauge, which empties as various actions are performed. AP is regenerated at the start of each turn, so not using as much AP as possible in one turn is important for strategic reasons. Standard fare for the genre such as items, buffs/debuffs, magical and physical attacks, and special acts are present as well. During certain parts of the game, the active team may be made up of four members instead of three, though the fourth can only be controlled by the AI. Once the player passes a certain point early on in the story, both the player and the enemy will be able to chain together acts under certain conditions to increase power/effect of that move. For the main protagonist, he is capable of using beasts called Rogress to unleash highly powerful effects at a large AP cost.

Plot[edit]

Summary[edit]

Arc Rise Fantasia is set in the world of Fulheim. Creatures called "Feldragons" are causing a lot of trouble as they pass the Meridian Empire in flocks. If one is killed, the resulting explosion poisons the local area. When the empire receives word that a massive horde has its sights on the capital of Diamant, it immediately sends out an army to fight them, including L'Arc, a cool and collected novice mercenary, and his friend Alf, the beloved prince and second in line for the throne.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

The game is set in Fulheim, a fictional large region of Earth. The game is based on political tensions between the Meridian Empire and the Turmelian Republic. Another central plot point is the game's 2 Laws; Real's Law and Imaginal's Law. A Child of Eesa must choose to present one of two laws that will form the building blocks of the world to the god Eesa.

The game opens with the protagonist, Meridian Empire Legionnaire and mercenary L'Arc Bright Lagoon, protecting the army by facing off against a dragon aboard a lightship; the energy of the fight sends him crashing to the Earth, only for him to be saved (and the catalytic explosion of the dragon prevented) by a girl named Ryfia, who is later revealed to be the Imaginal Diva, whose mother was recently assassinated making her the Diva. They proceed to Topazion and later Jada, during which they re-meet L'Arc's friend, Prince Alfonse ("Alf") of the Empire. They also come across Niko Bennex, a grunt member of the army, and a mysterious blue-cloaked man naming himself "Rastan". The town comes under attack by a monster force of undead skulls led by a man known only as the "Deathchanter", whom Ryfia stated was also responsible for killing her mother; the local army branch general, Clyde, rises the defensive efforts. The party of L'Arc, Ryfia, Niko, Alf and Rastan are able to defeat the Deathchanter; but since the latter lured the party to the Dragon Prison, L'Arc is able to bond with Simmah, the first Rogress. Rogress are extremely powerful creatures only a Child of Eesa, whom L'Arc is revealed to be, can bond with. Rastan leaves the party in mystery afterwards.

Unfortunately, Simmah was also responsible for supplying much energy to the Meridian Empire; this causes the empire's leader, Sir Weiss (also Alf's brother) to force L'Arc into attending a journey to disable an energy source for Olquinians upon L'Arc's visit to Diamant Royal City. There, L'Arc re-meets his mother Elena and his mentor Zamuel; the party also recruits Adele, L'Arc and Alf's childhood friend and Zamuel's granddaughter, as well as Cecille, an energetic young girl looking for adventure. The party is indicated by Elena that Zamuel and Adele have gone off to pursue a thieves hideout; as a message to Zamuel reveals, a man known as "Lightning Leon", former commandeer of the 4-person-team of "Lord Knights" (a legendary mercenary group) has told Zamuel that an "old enemy" is on the coast, and Zamuel has gone off to pursue him. Upon arrival, the group briefly re-encounters Rastan as they discover Zamuel's heavily-wounded body, whom he says was attacked by an old nemesis of his, a man named "Ignacy". Investigating the thieves hideout searching for Adele, the party discovers the corpses of many thieves, all of whom were taken out by Paula and Luna, assassins of Ignacy. The assassins are counterattacked by the party upon their attempts to kill Adele and steal her pendant (her only link to her now-deceased mother) from her; Ignacy, Paula and Luna escape the cave as the party is led onto a boat by the last surviving thief, a rather kind-hearted man named Serge.

On the boat, the creature that relayed the message to Zamuel was a Kopin, whom Serge's bandit group had been stealing; via the boat, the party leaves to Kopin Village. The Kopin who came along with the group stays with it. On their way to the local village of Antrax (a Republican city) they also encounter and join forces with Leslie, a provocative flirtatious mercenary. There, they encounter resistance from soldiers who kidnap Adele; upon being caught up with, whilst the town of Antrax is bombed into ruins by an assault from the Meridian Empire, it is revealed that in reality, Adele is the Real Diva who must oppose L'Arc who has chosen Imaginal's Law. Dynos is alongside her too. At this point, most of the party migrates to Adele's side; Alf (revealed to also be a Child of Eesa separate from L'Arc) chooses to stay with Adele, Leslie and Serge were really hired to protect the Real Diva, and General Clyde serves Alf. Weiss appears and attempts to kill Alf; but he, Adele, Dynos, Clyde, Serge and Leslie all flee. This leaves L'Arc with only Niko, Ryfia and Cecille.

Weiss declared the attack on Antrax to attempt to turn it into a military base in an act of aggression. He then explains the story of how Eesa created both Real and Imaginal, with a "Child of Eesa" (either L'Arc or Alf) having to choose which of two laws to present. He orders L'Arc to deliver a message to General Freya in Turmelia, the Senate for the Republic; unfortunately, L'Arc's bad mood is further compounded by the death of Zamuel, who died due to Ignacy's assault on him earlier. Proceeding on his mission to deliver Weiss's message, the party is arrested (falsely believed to be responsible for the attack on Antrax), but re-recruiting Rastan on the way, they escape the prison. Later, L'Arc consults Patriarch Hosea who explains his role in Eesa. The party also confronts Dynos, whom is revealed to be Cecille's brother. Rastan has a vested interest in encountering Serge that he keeps secretive about; the party spots Alf giving a rally raising his popularity in Batrachites.

In Ebur Ruins, where the next Rogress Gula reportedly is, the group re-encounters Alf's group face-to-face; but they all agree to work cooperatively temporarily so that they can locate Maria, a resident of Ebur village missing in the ruins. Upon saving her, Serge breaks away from Alf's group and permits L'Arc (without Alf's approval) to bond with Gula. After Maria is saved, Serge peacefully leaves the village; he tips the party off about how a Lightship (that is extremely efficient for travel) is in Jada. The party then battles Alf, Adele and Leslie; the player need not win this fight to progress the story, though doing so will obtain them the next Rogress, Rufunga. Upon returning to Jada, Alf's brother Weiss attacks the group; he escapes as the party obtains the lightship. Upon it's crash, the party hires a man in Ebur to repair it; on their way to a nearby abandoned church that has repair parts in it, the party re-encounters Serge alone who is investigating atrocities committed by Ignacy's task force, the Aion Unit. He joins the party as Ignacy attacks and defeats the party; they barely escape with the now-repaired lightship. It is now revealed that in reality, Serge (the real "Leon"), Rastan, Zamuel and L'Arc's father Rex were the 4 members of the Lord Knights and that Ignacy killed Rastan's wife and child after forcing Rastan to murder Rex. Rastan offers to kill himself to give Rex's son satisfaction, but L'Arc permits him to live.

Now, the party must race against Alf's to collect all 9 Rogress; the order the player pursues the Rogress can be changed by him/her, and some Rogress are optional. The first of the 4 Rogress are in 4 different parts throughout the map. As the player hunts down the Rogress (which he/she may or may not get based on their successes in battle, certain conditions implemented into the maps and the order they are pursued in. After their first attempt at Rogress, the northern icy city of Opalus is attacked; this chain of events leads to the city being saved with Leslie also abandoning Alf's party and joining L'Arc as Niko, no longer capable of the lifestyle, abandons the party. This is the last change to the party; it finalizes as L'Arc, Serge, Ryfia, Cecille, Rastan and Leslie. The connection to the gods and the laws is made more clear, and after an examination of her conscience, it is revealed that Simmah is Ryfia's father; like the other Rogress, Simmah was actually a human artificially transformed. L'Arc now resolves to not propose either Eesa's or Imaginal's Law to Eesa, and rather to save the world on his own merit.

After allying with a resistance movement (and defeating General Clyde in it's support), the party is shocked to see that Alf, in order to progress his pact with Real by reducing the people in the Earth, is attempting to activate a large volcano; fortunately, the party stops him. Not long afterwards, they are led to Dr Carlisle, who advises them that there might be a way to save both races independent of the laws. During this time, Alf has become an extremely authoritarian empire; in the midst of a battle between his party and L'Arcs, Ignacy warns them to arrive at the Lascarde Skywalk before Niko (took hostage) is killed. There the party defeats both Ignacy and Hosea (the latter revealed to have been cooperating with the former behind L'Arc's back); in this time, Adele sacrifices herself to save Alf from being killed by Ignacy, and Niko sacrifices himself to prevent the Skywalk from launching a deadly blast on the surface world. Carlisle recontacts the party and advises L'Arc individually that the only way he can save the world for all is to use himself as the core of Eesa, requiring he sacrifice himself for 5 centuries.

The party goes to the Verct Skywalk and defeats Dynos (with Cecille choosing to fight him discontent with his motives vs L'Arc's) who then attempts to transform into a dragon to counter the party; Cecille kills Dynos to prevent this. After defeating Clyde and Alf, who agree to unify to defeat Real again and the latter returning to L'Arc all the Rogress, L'Arc goes to the Holy Land of Noire to confront the god Eesa. After her defeat, the story ends with L'Arc going to sleep for centuries and waking up that long later; he finds that Ryfia went to sleep with him for that same length. The two exit the room, and the game ends.

After the epilogue, the game reverts the player back to the point immediately before the final boss (marking the file with a star to note that it has essentially been beaten), with some extra side activities now available.

Music[edit]

The music in the game was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, Shunsuke Tsuchiya and Yuki Harada. The opening theme is Negai Hoshi by Nami Tamaki, and the ending theme is Tenshi no Hashigo ~crepuscular rays~ by Yui Makino.

The soundtrack album is released on 3 March 2010 which contains 3 disk. The soundtracks are composed and arranged by Yasunori Mitsuda, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, Yuki Harada, Yoko Shimomura and also Ryfia's Japanese voice actress, Yui Makino. The album not only contains BGMs in the game, but also the songs that Ryfia and Adele usually sing, which are sung by their voice actresses Yui Makino (Ryfia) and Emiri Kato. The ending song for the game, Tenshi no Hashigo, is also included in the 3rd disk of the album.

Track listing

Track listing

Track listing

At disk 3, a piano piece called Awakening, To A World Protected is the piano version of Tenshi no Hashigo, which was played and composed by Yui Makino. The lyrics and music for Tenshi no Hashigo are composed by Yui Makino as well.

Development[edit]

The game had previously been titled as Project Ray, and was known to exist as early as September 4, 2007.[citation needed] As Project Ray, it was also shown to exist with Sands of Destruction for the Nintendo DS.[3]

The game was unveiled on June 25, 2008 in the popular Japanese magazine Famitsū.[citation needed] Hiroyuki Kanemaru, the director of Fantasia, previously worked at Telenet Japan and later moved to Namco Tales Studio, where he worked as scenario script director and level concept designer on Tales of Symphonia. Kanemaru stated that Project Ray would be influenced by old-school RPGs from systems such as the TurboGrafx-16. It is Imageepoch's first game not developed for a handheld game console.

The game was later released under Nintendo’s "Everyone’s Recommendation Selection" of budget titles in Japan.[4]

Reception and sales[edit]

The game generally received mixed to positive reviews from critics; the game's turn-based battle gameplay (something of a rarity for the Wii) was praised whilst the game's tendency to stick to established JRPG formulas were criticized. The game received an average score of 64 out of 100 at review aggregator Metacritic, based on 26 review scores.[5] Proponents of the game, such as Nintendo Power, cited that the game's strong points overshadowed its faults.[6]

The English localization of the game received criticism directed towards its technical problems, but it is somewhat infamous for it's voice acting which is criticized by many as being lazy.[7]

Arc Rise Fantasia was the fourth best-selling game in Japan during the week of its release at 26,000 copies.[8] Approximately 21,000 copies were sold in the first week following its North American release.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]