|Vagrant Story is quite a
departure from the Square's former set of RPGs. More of a blend of adventure
elements that a purebred
of either genre, the game uses a darkly shaded brown and reddish color
fights, and cartoon-style
text bubbles to stand out from the crowd of RPGs in a stylish new way.
In Vagrant Story,
Matsuno-san delivers true
Square goodness from the Middle Ages of Europe. The central character of
the drama is
a first-class criminal-handling
agent by the name of Ashley Riot. Starting out from Valendia, Ashley investigates
suspicious death of the
Marquis Bardorba, and traces the clues back to the suspected murderer.
Although it's not
certain how battles are
handled just yet, from the looks of the screen-shots, it appears they are
handled in realtime,
with characters battling
it out in hand to hand combat. Ashley and many other characters in the
game also take on
just like the characters in Final Fantasy VIII.
But Matsuno is not alone
on Vagrant Story. He has exquisite help in the name of Akihiko Yoshida,
designer for Final Fantasy
Tactics and Ogre Battle. The new information on the other characters in
the story seems
more and more to play out
like a game of Clue. First is Sydney Losstarot, who is the most likely
suspect in the
murder of Marquis Bardorba.
Square went back to great theater with its nod to Shakespearean characters
Guildenstern, who is the
leader of the knights of Valendia. And then there's Duke Bardoroa, a veteran
and former civil
war hero, and finally, Callo
Merlose, the central female, who's also a VKP information analysis specialist.
What separates this mostly
action-based game unique from others is the way in which characters take
the newly created Target
Dom system. With the status window up, six separate status gauges appear.
shows a different part of
the body: right arm, left arm, head, neck, body and legs. Each gauge demonstrates
different parts are affected.
An accumulation of damages will affect the player's movement, such as heavy
arm movement or an inability
to run. This system will also apply to the monsters and enemies. In some
monsters may have body parts
that are noticeably weaker than others, providing a hint as to where to
players choose to attack
various parts of the enemy's body. Each part reacts differently and with
a range of damage.
In some cases, if the enemy
is extremely weak in say, his chest area, players can pinpoint that specific
often dish out a fatal blow.
Along with the new character
info are weapon details. Three styles of weapons make up the core of the
system, Swords, Short Swords,
and Guns. The real difference is the in the range of each. Called WT (Wait
weapons each have a specific
length of time before they can attack. The longer the range of the weapon,
the longer the
charge, the longer the WT.
Along with WTs are RP, i.e. Risk Points. Longer range weapons are less
accurate but more
critical or fatal, and therefore
have more RPs. Short and medium range weapons, following this logic, have
less RPs and
Another interesting note
is that each weapon and piece of armor accumulates levels of power. With
more use, they
become specialized and extremely
powerful against individualized types of enemies.
Another unique feature to
Vagrant Story is its weapon system. In Vagrant Story, every weapon consists
of different parts.
For example, a sword is
an assembly of parts, such as the blade, the grip, and a power stone.Assembling
will make unique weapons.
Furthermore, weapons can accrue ""experience"" each time your player uses
them to kill a
monster, as seen in many
RPGs. The last few details are that the entire game is polygonal and texture-mapped,
will be no multi-ending.
We'll have more in the upcoming weeks. but for now, here are a load screenshots
and a movie of the
entire trailer... it's worth
Last, the characters in Vagrant
Story are capable of casting spells. Inside the houses and dungeons, players
for books, in which spells
reside, waiting to be called out. Spells each have individual ranges and
some require special items
to attain new levels.
Another system in the game,
called the Craft system, administers the way in which players attack, according
to Magic Box.
During a fight, players
have access to a Break, Chain, or Defense Craft. Break Crafts are a straight
conduit for direct attacks.
Chain Crafts increase attack
power or provide poison or paralyzing variations, and Defense Crafts help
to strategize how to take
damage, such as reducing
damage. Also, characters will learn new Crafts as they gain experience.