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|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Vantage Master (ヴァンテージ・マスター Vantēji Masutā?) is a tactical RPG game developed and published by Nihon Falcom in 1997. The game was never released outside of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Falcom released a sequel, Vantage Master V2, a few months after the first game's release, featuring new maps and adjusted character balance but unchanged overall game design. The English version of this game was made available as a free download as of 2002 under the title Vantage Master Online. Another sequel called VM Japan was released in 2002.
The player takes on the role of a summoner (known as Natial master or just master). A master can summon spirits known as Natials. All masters and Natials have maximum HP of 10. The object of the game is to reduce the opposing master's HP to 0. The game is played on a hex grid map with different types of terrains which affect the gameplay.
In scenario mode, the player must play through 30 stages, divided into 6 phases each containing 4 to 7 stages, against opposing masters. In expert mode, both the player and the enemy are equipped with all Natials and magics available in the game, but the map design is generally disadvantageous for the player. Expert Mode consists of 8 stages.Free Battle allows the player to configure all settings including masters, stats, Natials, magics and map. Each of human vs human, human vs CPU and CPU vs CPU are available. Secret characters are available in this mode. There are a total of 27 masters in Vantage Master, of which 18 can be accessed normally. There are 24 Natials that can be summoned, each of which belongs to one of four attributes: Earth, Water, Fire and Heavens. Each attribute has dominance and weakness over one another in the following way: Earth beats Water, Water beats Fire, Fire beats Heavens, Heavens beats Earth. A Natial can also be day type or night type, becoming stronger in bright or dark places, respectively. Summoning and maintaining a Natial requires usage of MP. Each attribute has its own "style". For example, Earth units tend to have poor magic resistance with decent attack. They can move very well on land, while some are able to enter water terrain, albeit with penalized movement distance.
Falcom announced the development of Vantage Master Portable for the PSP on December 20, 2007, which was released on April 24, 2008. It features new characters from Sora no Kiseki series of games and multiplayer mode using the PSP's wireless capabilities. The interface is changed slightly for the PSP, and there is no mouse functionality in the PC port. Otherwise, the game is essentially a complete 3D clone of the original Vantage Master with remastered orchestral music and corresponding gameplay mechanics.
- Falcom (2007-12-20). "頭を鍛える脳ゲー「ヴァンテージマスターポータブル」、PSPで発売！" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-12-20.