|Publisher(s)||Netmarble, Asiasoft, Nexon, Gamania, SG Interactive, Level Up! Games, Megaxus, Kill3rCombo, Axeso5|
Grand Chase (Korean: 그랜드체이스, lit. Grand Chase) was a free-to-play, two-dimensional side-scrolling MMORPG developed by the South Korean company KOG Studios. Alternative names for Grand Chase include 3小俠 (Chinese: lit. Three Young Heroes) used on the Taiwan server; however, it has now been changed to 永恆冒險 (Eternal Adventures). Another name used was 彩虹骑士 (Rainbow Warriors) on the Mainland Chinese server; the reopening of the server also used the name of the Taiwan and Hong Kong server. The main game has also spawned several mobile spin-off games, with the remaining active one as of 2016 being Grand Chase M.
As of April 15, the game ceased development and terminated its service worldwide, with the North American server being the last to close. As of 2017, all official Grand Chase servers have been shut down. Elsword, another game developed by KOG, but hosted by Nexon (KR version), was created as the spiritual successor to Grand Chase, having subtle references within the story, such as using a Grand Chase character as a new character in Elsword.
The story focuses on the adventure of the Grand Chase group originally by Elesis, Lire, and Arme, who depart from the region of Bermesiah to hunt down the evil queen Kaze'aze who was cause of a civil war between two of Bermesiah's kingdoms, Serdin and Kanavan.
Initially, there were 3 main characters available, the knight Elesis, the magician Arme, and the elven archer Lire. As updates to the game increased, more characters were added to the available roster, each adding a different playstyle from the rest, and unlockable by performing difficult free missions or by buying the character with real money. The final version of Grand Chase included 20 playable characters.
Due to the combos and special attacks, the game had a feel that is similar to side-scrolling fighting games such as Double Dragon, while the appearance and design of the backdrops, as well as the characters and monster, puts the game in an anime-esque setting. While it is an action game, the designers took care to not make a "button masher".
The game was free-to-play, where players need to earn currency known as Game Points (GP) from completing dungeon quests, individual missions, or defeating other players to buy better equipment and items, but there were some items that could only be purchased with real-world currency. In Grand Chase, players would start off role-playing as one character of their choosing and can make three other characters. Players were able to make more than four characters but are required to buy additional character slots. However, the player might freely switch among the characters he or she had unlocked before entering combat, each with their own specific equipment, skills and experience level.
There were multiple playable characters to use and players could switch characters between dungeons. Each character is leveled and equipped separately. Equipment was character-specific, but not all accessories are character-specific and the choice of character was similar to class choice in most games. These were characters which the players might play, and advance their classes and developed their skills accordingly.
After each expedition into a dungeon, characters would gain experience points. While the amount of experience gained was partially dependent on the player's performance in a dungeon, and the player's character's level, every player would gain some experience. The player's character was also given additional experience upon the completion of every mission. When sufficient experience is obtained, the player's character will advance by one level. Higher levels improve statistics and grant access to better equipment. Experience could also be gained through player versus player.
When entering a dungeon, a player might form a group of players, to complete it. When choosing a dungeon to play, the player was given the option to create a party of their own or join one created by another player. Each dungeon consisted of a certain number of floors, or levels, usually with a boss on the final floor.
Items needed to complete quests would automatically be given to the player at a certain rate after the monster was defeated by any member of the party. All other items were distributed to different party members by a "dice" system. When an item was picked up by any party member, each member of the party rolls their own set of dice; the player with the highest number won the item. The size of the inventory could be increased, which could be acquired by purchasing with Cash or through some Events. To encourage group play, there was a slight experience boost when working together. Because each party had a maximum limit of four players, and each player might freely choose whichever character he or she wanted to use.
The Relay Dungeon could be entered the same way as a normal dungeon. Up to 4 players might form a party and attempt the Relay Dungeon together. In the Relay Dungeon the player fought through every boss on the Continent in order. The bosses in the Relay Dungeon had increased statistics, making them harder to defeat. After a boss was defeated, a chest opened, which contained many valuable items, including Cash items. Any boss that had been released in a dungeon could be chosen. This mode was only available during certain events.
Player versus player
Players could also compete against each other in combat. There were two types of player versus player combat in Grand Chase, Team Battles and Survival, with additional options of choosing between Tag and Fight, No Item and Item Mode. Win/loss statistics were recorded for these matches.
Team battles consisted of two, four, or six players and can be played in one-, two-, and three-a-side formations. Each player was given the option to join either the Serdin Team or Kanavan Team, although they could not change sides during a match. Team battles encouraged players to plan their attack strategies and co-operate with one another to defeat the opposing team.
Survival was a mode where anywhere between two and six players battled with the other players until only one player is left alive. The surviving player, once a match is over, was given first place and then it iwas ordered based on whoever has the most kills. The top ranked half of the Players in the room would get a win (if there is an odd number of players then the number of winners is rounded down). This was done to encourage players to fight instead of hide and run from the others until he or she was the only player left alive aside from the actual winner (the person who fought and survived against all others - the winner in terms of fair play).
Honor Guard was essentially a team battle where one member of each team was randomly selected as a 'Warlord' upon the start of the match, shown by a red/blue marker. The aim of the game was to successfully defeat the opposing team's Warlord twice before your own is beaten. Warlords were given double regular stats to help defend themselves from the opposing team, while other players had stats equal to each other. Furthermore, a Warlord had only two lives, whereas other players could respawn after defeat endlessly. Should a Warlord be defeated once, the other team's Warlord suffered from a drastically lowered level of defense for 10 seconds. As well, warlords could not regenerate health.
Tag Match allowed players to play with two characters of their choice. By pressing a button, they could switch characters during the course of a fight. However, if one of the characters was killed, the player could no longer switch to that character. Then the player was automatically switched to their other character.
When Item Mode was turned on, power ups would be dropped onto the battlefield at regular intervals throughout the match and can be used by the player that picked them up. These power ups granted the player special abilities, such as invisibility or invincibility, for a short duration of time. Each player could store up to three power ups at any time and use them in any order they wish. If a player was killed while holding items, the items were dropped and available to be picked up by another player.
From 2013 to 2015, all of the Grand Chase servers ceased operations; the North American server was shut down on April 15, 2015 after eight years of operations.
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