Arc the Lad Collection


Arc the Lad Collection

Infobox VG| title = Arc the Lad Collection


developer = SCEI
publisher = Working Designs
released = April 18, 2002
genre = Tactical RPG
series="Arc the Lad"
modes = Single Player, Multiplayer
ratings = ESRB: Teen
platforms = PlayStation
media = 6 CD-ROM

The Arc the Lad Collection is a compilation of the Arc the Lad RPG games for the PlayStation. The games were localized by Working Designs, which closed in December 2005. Plans to localize the games had been fostered by Working Designs since the late 1990’s, however it wasn’t till the new millennium that the plans came to fruition. The releases of ', and ', known for the quality of not only the localization but also the quality of the packaging itself, preceded Arc the Lad.

Background

On April 18, 2002, after a series of unmet release dates, the Arc the Lad Collection was released in North America. This was the first time North American gamers were able to play the extremely popular Japanese RPG series.

The collection encompasses six discs, and four games. Arc the Lad 1; which was released on June 30, 1995 in Japan, set the stage for the series, and pioneered such features as computer generated videos, and orchestrated music. A first for RPGs of the time, which are now commonplace. The second game featured in the compilation is Arc the Lad 2; released less than 5 months after Arc 1, on November 1, 1995. Originally both games were intended to be one, however due to time constraints and deadlines, Arc 1 was released ahead of time. Both games were extremely commercially successful in Japan, due to the unique features such as computer generated video and orchestral music, as well as an intriguing storyline that enthralled fans. An additional innovative feature in console role-playing games is present in Arc 2. This is the ability to import saved game data from Arc 1 at the beginning of Arc 2. Items, character levels, and other bonuses can be included in Arc 2.

Continuing the compilation is Arc Arena: Monster Tournament. This further builds on the concept of data transfer and allows players to trade items and weapons with other players by importing their respective saved games. Monsters, who can be captured and controlled in Arc 2, can also be used in this game to fight tournament-style matches. Arc the Lad 3, which was released on October 28, 1999, is the last game featured in the collection. This game features an updated battle and graphics system, while still staying true to its roots.

The collection also features the documentary disc Making of Arc the Lad, which includes exclusive interviews with Victor Ireland, the former president of Working Designs. It comes with a leather-bound, 150-page, full-colour instruction booklet. It also includes the Omake(O-Ma-kay)Box (Omake is the Japanese word for extra). The Omake Box features cardboard miniature standees of all 22 characters, four analog stick covers - one of Arc, one of Elc, one of Alec and one of the Arc the Lad emblem - and finally a memory card case featuring Arc's face.

Despite the time and effort spent on the collection, it was not the financial smash it should have been. Modern North American RPG fans were not impressed by the graphics and sound effects, which upon North American release seemed dated. This is despite the fact that the effects present in Arc the Lad 1 and 2 revolutionized RPGs when they were originally released. Many potential fans were deterred by the long delays, as well as the price tag, which some considered to be too high, even with four games and a plethora of extras.

Gameplay

Battle

Each game in the Arc the Lad series, up until (known as Generations in Japan), uses a turn-based-strategy RPG style. Each character or enemy is assigned agility points which determines the order in which they receive their turn in battle. The character or enemy with the next highest agility statistic goes next and so on, until the round is finished and a new round begins. Agility can increase as a character’s level increases, can be altered by equipping items, or augmented temporarily with spells and items. When it is a character's turn they may perform several actions. They may move around the battle screen - how far a character moves depends on their Range statistic. The Range stat is set at the beginning of the game, and cannot increase as a character levels up. It can be increased by equipping certain items and can be decreased by using spells. Characters are able to move up to an enemy by jumping over obstacles, which requires a jump statistic of one, or by jumping over allies and enemies, requiring a jump statistic of two. Once characters have an enemy in range, characters can do a number of things. Characters can use a basic attack - how much damage the character's attack deals depends on the character's attack statistic. As a character's point|experience level increases so does this statistic. Further alterations to statistics are accomplished through the equipping of accessory items. Spells and items can also augment statistics temporarily.

The battle system is, however, not all melee-based. Each character has a plethora of abilities available, ranging from magic spells to special techniques that either deal damage to enemies, heal ally characters, or augment statistics. These abilities are selectable though the ability wheel in Arc the Lad, however in later titles, a list interface was created for easier use. As in most RPGs, abilities and spells require MP to use. If the character does not have enough MP, certain techniques become unusable. However, MP can also be absorbed, restored and depleted using spells or items. The power of a character’s spell depends on a character’s magic statistic, and higher experience levels increase this statistic. As the magic statistic increases so will the effectiveness characters spells.

Other options in battle include the use of items. The range a character can throw the item depends on the character’s throw level. As this ability increases, so does the distance the character can throw an item.

Characters may also equip items during battle, or the player may check a character's status in the status menu. Once it is the enemy's turn to attack they may perform actions similar to those of the player’s characters. How much damage a character takes from the enemy depends on the character's defense rating; the higher the defense, the less damage the character will receive. When the player’s characters are attacked, they have a chance to counter the enemy. The chance of a successful counter increases as the character's counterattack level increases. When an enemy uses an item against a character, there is a chance the character may catch it and keep it or throw it back. This chance increases as the character's catch level increases. When a character is hit his or her HP will decrease. Once the hit points of a certain character reach zero, the character is removed from combat. No characters are permanently lost by being felled in battle.

Equipment

In every RPG, how characters use and equip items, weapons and armor is very important. Throughout the Arc the Lad series, the equipment system changes from its very simple beginnings to a full-blown equipment system in later titles. In Arc the Lad, only accessories can be equipped, and can only be chosen at the start of battle. Accessories boost statistics in various ways, and can be dropped by defeated enemies, received from opening chests in battle, received from NPCs, or found in the few explorable areas the game presents. Unlike most RPGs, the weapons and armor a character uses cannot be changed. Despite some accessories bearing weapon- or armor-like names, such as the Phantom Set of items (gauntlet, ring, shield, and sword), there are no weapon or armor systems.

Arc the Lad 2 boosts the gameplay by including a revamped weapon system. Weapons, armor, items, and accessories can now be equipped on characters. Items, armor, and weapons can be bought in stores, found in battle, found in explorable areas or created in the combination shop. The combination shop requires that ingredients be brought and assembled. Each character has several types of equipable weapons. For example, Shu can equip battle shoes or fire arms such as assault rifles and shotguns. Weapons can also be improved, and can gain a +1 beside their name to indicate their increased parameters. This new equipment system also improves the battle system, as some weapons, such as guns and spears, have further range than swords and other short-range melee weapons.

Lieza, one of the principle characters in Arc the Lad 2, can also tame monsters, which can sometimes use human equipment. These monsters can be used in battle as well, as party selection is variable in Arc the Lad 2, based on the amount of characters the player has recruited and whether certain characters are usable at certain times in the game.

A similar system is found in Arc the Lad 3, however the synthesis guild replaces the combination shop, and, to many fans, the synthesis guild is far more indepth than the combination shop. Recipes must be found by the players, unlike in Arc the Lad 2 where the shop would tell you exactly what to use. The monster system is limited to a card system, where monsters can be trapped in cards and later used for attacks.

Exploration

Exploration is very simple in the beginning. In Arc the Lad, the world is only explored in a limited capacity. The player selects an area on a world map and then proceeds through the events and battles present in that area. Sometimes after a battle is fought, the player can explore the area in a limited capacity.

By contrast, Arc the Lad 2 has a fully explorable world. The world map is richly coloured and details, where characters can roam freely, instead of having a simple overhead view map. Cities and dungeons also allow the player to freely explore, though some battle maps are only for combat, and nothing else.

Arc the Lad III expands even farther on this concept and literally every place in the game is explorable on foot, so that any place you see in combat, can be explored during normal gameplay.

tory

"Arc the Lad"

"Arc the Lad II"

Arc the Lad II begins with a flashback of one the last surviving members of the fire tribe. Soldiers fire on a man, killing him. The boy, Elc, screams and cries about his family's deaths and manages to summon fire to attack the killers. Elc eventually passes out and is taken to the "facility" by the soldiers, along with the Fire Guardian. Elc awakens from his nightmare to find his good friend Lynx. Lynx tells Elk to get ready to undertake a job. Elc is a hunter, a person who takes on small jobs for money, who lives in the city of Prodias.

Elc ends up at Aldia Skyport, where a crazed mutant ninja named Alfred takes a woman hostage. Elc busts through the window, and tries to subdue him with his fire abilities, but Alfred ends up running through a plane. While on this cargo plane, Elc hears a noise coming through a room, and there he meets Lieza, a country girl, and her wolf beast, Paundit. She proceeds to explain that she can "talk" to monsters, and not to tell. Elc, then runs off, only interested in capturing his quarry. Albert, upon seeing Elc, summons bats to help him fight off Elc, but Lieza and Paundit have their own ideas, and help the rogue hunter succeed in taking down the crazed mutant. As soon as they do, members of the local mafia, the Cabal, appear, not to pay Elc, but to kidnap Lieza and Paundit. After firing their guns and shooting Lieza, Elc escapes with an injured Lieza and heads to Indigos, to ask his friend and fellow hunter, the wind ninja, Shu, for assistance.

Shu, who is busy doing another job, decides to lend Elc his apartment, and tells him to look up Dr. Lado, a freelance doctor, to give medical assistance to Lieza. Elc finds him in the ruined city, where, Lado is about to meet his demise at the hands of an ex-patient, who somehow has become a mutant. Elc stops him and asks the Doctor to give medical assistance to Lieza. Lado accepts, and heals her. Elc then tells Lieza to get rest, meanwhile, as he sleeps, he has another dream, depicting him in this lab with a girl named Mariel, with powers opposite his, those of ice.

Lieza wakes Elc and he explains his past to her: after the army took him, he has no memories until Shu stumbled upon him in the Aldian Desert five years ago. Lieza and Paundit decide to stay with Elc for protection. After taking on some jobs at the local Hunter's Guild, they meet Shante, who helps them escape the police, Elc and Lieza being fugitives now. Shu also decides to stay with Lieza now, to find out more about the group that tried to kidnap her.

The game cuts to Gallarno's office, the leader of the Cabal who has been trying to catch Lieza and now Elc. The next scene then shows Arc, Poco, and Tosh running through a Romalian lab. A scientist reveals to them how Andel plans to use a mind control device on Prodias. With the Goddess Statue, which is to be revealed to the public of Prodias, Romalia will enact their plan.

The unveiling ceremony is about to start. Elc learns that Lynx has a spare ticket so they travel to his Skyport, which holds the Hien, to get the ticket from Lynx. Just as the threesome get to the ceremony, the statue starts to emit a blue light. Citizens start to feel drowsy, but then the Silver Noah, Arc's airship, appears, and Gogen uses his magic to destroy the statue. Elc recognizes the ship as the one that destroyed his village and goes to get revenge.

Rushing to the Skyport, Elc takes the Hien to pursue the Silver Noah. Elc, however, pushes the Hien to its limits and the ship explodes, throwing the party onto Yagos Island, home of Vilmer, a scientist. Elc has another flashback of him and Mariel and then awakens to find himself in Vilmer's home, with his party, all but Shu. A villager runs in to tell Vilmer that his granddaughter, Lia, went into the nearby Ruins. Elc and Lieza decide to look for her. They find her along with a strange robot-like artifact. In exchange for the robot, Vilmer fixes the Hien. elc has more flashbacks of his childhood at the facility, explaining that children are taken there to be "studied" and are given control medicine. The robot reveals its name to be Diekbeck. Arc gets the robot a power pack and Vilmer begin to fix it.
*The amount listed about Arc II so far reveals probably not even a fourth of the whole story, which could easily take anywhere from 70-100 hours. Would someone dedicated and very knowing of the order and happenings of Arc II please take on the task of finishing this? Thanks!

"Arc the Lad III"

This story starts years after the Great Disaster (years after Arc the Lad II). Alec, a young man from a small farm town, Sasha Village, aspires to become a Hunter, just like the man who saved him during the Great Disaster. When his village is attacked by bandits, he and is quirky friend Lutz must run to the nearest town, Itio, and hire a Hunter to save the village. On the way to the town, they encounter monsters and realize they get a rush when fighting. After the village is saved, Alec decides to leave and become a Hunter; Lutz naturally tags along.

To become a Hunter, Alec must collect the Ghost Dream Crystal in a nearby cave. With Lutz's help, Alec finds the crystal and officially becomes a Hunter. After taking enough jobs, Alec and Lutz eventually take on a job that lets them leave Eteru Island. A boat takes them to the next continent, Forestamore. There they meet Theo, a young Cardist who can turn monsters into cards like his mother. He joins them and together they meet Lieza (from Arc the Lad II), who is now running a monster ranch with Paundit. They also encounter Sharon, a woman from the Academy, who can control monsters with a machine. With Lieza's help, the trio rides a Flying Fire to their next destination, North Sularto.

Upon landing in North Sularto, they meet a spunky gunslinger named Cheryl. They also take note of how destroyed North Sularto became from the Great Disaster, having landed in a giant junk heap. Making their way to Society Village, a town dedicated to restoring the world, Alec completes his job by delivering a strange orb found back in Forestamore. The trio then heads to Gislem, a notoriously poor and equally dangerous city. It seems the Academy has been kidnapping people and it appears Shu (from Arc the Lad II) is helping. After a failed attempt of the kidnapping of Cheryl, Cheryl joins the party. A path to South Sularto opens up.

After taking some jobs in Testa, the group meets Tosh, the protector of the city and its precious Water Orb (Tosh being from Arc the Lad). The Academy steals the Orb from the village and Tosh, shocked from seeing his friend Shu with the enemies, decides to join Alec and crew and get back the Orb. Because of the lack of water in the desert town of Testa, the villagers travel to Gislem, where they temporarily live.

Learning that a secret Academy base is hidden in an old airship, the group makes their way inside, only to find it crawling with enemy robots. Half way through, the group finds Shu, who reveals that he was really trying to infiltrate the Academy's plans. Having taken the Orb, Tosh returns to Testa and Shu joins Alec to get to the bottom of this. After defeating an Academy employee in a giant robot, Shu leaves the group.

Afterwards, a new job opens up: Society Village needs to deliver information to the giant library in Jiharta. Taking the job, Alec and his friends take a boat to Jiharta (an Asia-inspired continent). They quickly learn of an uproar in the Hunter's Guild and investigate: someone has stolen a water controlling scroll from the nearby Amaidar Temple. After speaking to Iga (Arc the Lad character), the party and Marsia, a young spellcaster from the Spell Institute who knows the thief personally, discover the thief, Tikva, is working for the Academy.

Alec and his party find the Academy and Tikva at the Romastor, conducting a water controlling experiment with the scroll and some machinery. After the experiment, the Academy members dismiss Tikva, who becomes angry at not being recognized as helpful. Galdo, a spear wielding Academy member previously seen in the secret base, was watching the experiment and now intervenes. Alec and crew attack, surprising Galdo that they can even scratch him. He teleports away and Tikva is taken bake to Amaidar Temple. As punishment, Iga forces him to join the temple and become a monk, much to the surprise of everyone. Marsia then decides to join Alec on his adventure.

ee also

*Arc the Lad (series)
*Arc The Lad (anime)
*Arc the Lad (video game)

External links

*moby game|id=/arc-the-lad-collection
*GameFAQs|id=196617|name="Arc the Lad Collection"


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