Arc Rise Fantasia
|Arc Rise Fantasia|
|Designer(s)||Hiroyuki Kanemaru (director)
Kenichi Yoshida (character designer)
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
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.
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.
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.
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; a third faction is Olquina, a devoutly-followed coalition at war with the Republic and the Empire. 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. Also, both Real and Imaginal have Divas, who are the priestesses of their religions.
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 (where which Ryfia's mothers dying wish was for her to go there and L'Arc escorts her as Jada is on his way), during which they re-meet L'Arc's friend, Prince Alfonse ("Alf") of the Empire. They also come across and recruit Niko Bennex, a grunt member of the army, and assistance is provided to them by 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 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 afterwards.
Unfortunately, as Jada's army general Clyde tells the party, Simmah was a key energy supply to the Meridian Empire; in the Meridian Capital of Diamant, the emperor Sir Weiss (Alf's brother) pardons them of punishment under the condition they sabotage an Olquinian ray stream that siphons the empire's energy. While in the city, L'Arc re-meets his mother Elena and his mentor Zamuel; the party also meetss Adele, L'Arc and Alf's childhood friend as well as Zamuels non-biological granddaughter. L'Arc's plan to travel to Olquina disguised as an Olquinian is circumvented by how the Deathchanter is on the ship and will spot them. As Zamuel's martial arts school is attacked, an energetic young girl named Cecille delivers a message to Elena that Zamuel's friend "Leon" has tracked an old enemy on a coastline (Leon and L'Arc's deceased father Rex were members of the 4-person team, the legendary "Lord Knights"). Zamuel and Adele chased the thieves. The party finds Zamuel's wounded body on the course; Rastan appears and alongside Cecille escorts it back to Diamant. In the coastline cave, the group finds the corpses of many bandits killed by Paula/Luna, assassins working under "Ignacy" (the "old enemy" mentioned in the message). The duo, upon their attempt to execute Adele, are countered by L'Arc's party; however, thanks to the efforts of Serge (the last surviving bandit and a rather kind-hearted man), they are all able to escape the cave safely.
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 after escaping a dangerous nearby jungle. Fortunately, this chain of events has led L'Arc to being closer to Olquina to before, so he continues with his mission as planned; on his way there, the group encounters a provocative young woman named Leslie, who hints to being a future alliance. Apparently, the Olquinian Diva (Ms Rafil) was killed by an unknown assassin (leaving the current Diva to be her unknown daughter). The party infiltrates the Skywalk and disables it; the Deathchanter appears and unsuccessfully attempts to counterattack the group. Shortly afterwards, the party allies with Leslie as Adele is kidnapped by Olquinian forces. The group fights through to catch up with her.
Once they do so, they discover that in reality, Adele has now become the Real Diva as her mother was Ms Rafil (the 4 "Lord Knights", including Zamuel, were entrusted to caring for Adele until such time she was ready to learn her true fate) and can control Rogress. The deatchanter is also there overlooking her. As tensions begin to climb, they spark once Weiss brutally attacks Olquina; in the rage following this, it is revealed that Alf is also a Child of Eesa capable of controlling Rogress. Girtab, the Rogress protective of Olquina, begins to obey Alf and Adele; Weiss attempts to kill Adele, but is countered by Alf; L'Arc breaks up the fight. Alf commits to staying with Adele, abandoning L'Arc, Weiss and the Empire (infuriated at the latter's reckless invasion). Serge and Leslie also migrate, revealed to be mercenaries hired to protect the diva. Alf, Adele, the Deathchanter, Serge and Leslie all flee with Girtab (leaving L'Arc with Ryfia and Niko).
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; L'Arc chose Imaginal, and Adele chooses Real. 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 the Deathchanter revealed to be 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. After bypassing a border between Meridia and the Republic, the party then battles Alf, Adele and Leslie over control of the Rogress Rufunga (this battle can be won or lost by the player, winning rewards the player much EXP and grants the player Rufunga). Upon returning to Jada to get the Lightship, 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. Up to 2 Rogress can be obtained of these 4 (which the player may or may not get based on certain scenarios set in place such as map-implemented conditions or conditions against the Rogress battle). 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, as well as Ignacy (with Paula/Luna) unsuccessfully attacking the groups once more. The player can now hunt down 1 more of the 3 remaining wild Rogress. Afterwards, Niko leaves the party incapable of the mercenary lifestyle, his role replaced by Leslie (this finalizes the party as L'Arc, Ryfia, Cecille, Rastan, Serge and Leslie). In the scenes that follow, 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. In the scenes that follow, Weiss reveals himself to be L'Arc's half-brother (Weiss shares L'Arc's mother and Alfs' father) as he is killed upon a standoff between L'Arc and Alf's groups. Eventually, 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 (each law will cause some people's deaths).
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 former killed by Alf following defeat and 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.
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. Before he does, L'Arc revists Doctor Carlisle -- she acknowledges that saving the world is possible, but advises L'Arc that he would need to be put to a 500-year time-stopping sleep in order to do so. The party defeats Eesa, and fter her defeat, the story ends with L'Arc going to sleep for centuries and waking up that long later; receiving messages from all of his (now-deceased) friends, he finds that Ryfia went to sleep with him for that same length to be able to meet him again. The game ends as L'Arc and Ryfia exit into the world.
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.
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.
|2.||"Meridian 2nd Hikoutei Squad"||3:02|
|4.||"Imaginal Song"||Yui Makino||0:46|
|5.||"A Signpost in the Shades of Trees"||3:15|
|7.||"War Results Within the Heart"||1:05|
|9.||"The Northernmost of the Empire, Topazion"||2:55|
|10.||"Everyday With Peace"||3:39|
|11.||"Moment of Rest"||0:12|
|14.||"Signs of Dark Clouds"||2:07|
|17.||"The Imperial City of Diamant"||3:17|
|19.||"Friends, Smiles and Joy"||2:06|
|21.||"Taking the Road Through the Wilderness"||3:11|
|23.||"Fighting Spirit Baring the Fangs"||1:56|
|3.||"Darkness Spreading Underground"||3:03|
|5.||"Exposed by the Authority"||3:57|
|6.||"A Decision in the Midst of Sadness"||3:54|
|7.||"People Looking Up to a Small Hope"||2:27|
|9.||"The Town of Freedom, Carbunculus"||2:08|
|10.||"Making Fortunes, Dream Casino"||2:00|
|15.||"Witch Army ~Luminous Arc Medley~"||3:49|
|16.||"The Holy City, Benetnasch"||2:39|
|18.||"The Voice of a Vanishing Life"||2:56|
|19.||"A Street of Sand and Wind"||2:20|
|21.||"Before The Strong One"||2:48|
|22.||"Light of Purification"||Yui Makino||0:13|
|1.||"Chance Meeting with the Rogress"||2:02|
|4.||"Seeking the Rogress"||3:01|
|5.||"Braves, Take Action"||3:02|
|6.||"Confrontation! Those Breaking their Will"||3:34|
|7.||"Song of Ruin"||Emiri Kato||0:18|
|8.||"At The End of Despair"||2:21|
|9.||"Snowdrops Blooming, Opalus"||3:16|
|10.||"Scorching Village, Ferris"||2:53|
|12.||"Burning in Fighting Spirit"||3:16|
|15.||"Real Song"||Emiri Kato||0:51|
|16.||"Chasing a Sworn Enemy"||2:17|
|17.||"Heaven's Tears"||Yui Makino||0:14|
|19.||"What Awaits at the Farthest Ends"||3:01|
|20.||"Now is the Time of Conclusion"||3:45|
|21.||"The Prayer of Noire"||3:31|
|22.||"In Order to Know the Conclusion"||Yui Makino||3:21|
|23.||"Tenshi no Hashigo ~crepuscular rays~"||Yui Makino||7:25|
|24.||"Awakening, To A World Protected"||1:32|
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.
The game had previously been titled as Project Ray, and was known to exist as early as September 4, 2007. As Project Ray, it was also shown to exist with Sands of Destruction for the Nintendo DS.
The game was unveiled on June 25, 2008 in the popular Japanese magazine Famitsū. 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.
Reception and sales
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. Proponents of the game, such as Nintendo Power, cited that the game's strong points overshadowed its faults.
The English localization of the game received criticism directed towards its technical problems, but it is somewhat infamous for its voice acting which is criticized by many as being lazy.
Arc Rise Fantasia was the fourth best-selling game in Japan during the week of its release at 26,000 copies. Approximately 21,000 copies were sold in the first week following its North American release.
- ARC Rise Fantasia Relieves Wii RPG Drought news from 1UP.com
- C3 Reviews :: Nintendo News | Original Japanese RPGs coming to DS & Wii
- Spencer (2010-01-20). "Nintendo Channel Voters Pick Budget Wii Games". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- Nintendo Power, July 2010 issue , p.84
- Graft, Kris (2009-06-11). "Japanese Charts: Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Leads For Second Week". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- Official website (Japanese)