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Saturday, June 01, 2013

[Game] Eiyuu Densetsu IV: Sora no Kiseki FC

So I'll be starting on a series of role-playing games in the next few posts :DD Eiyuu Densetsu IV (The Legend of Heroes IV) is my favourite game series from Nihon Falcom Corporation. Originally released for the PC and later the PSP in 2006, Interwise (TW) has taken it on, translated it into Traditional Chinese \o/ They left the voices alone, so you would hear all of them speak in Japanese (limited to within-battle only). Yay!

Cover artwork, from HCG101.
The main character is Estelle Bright, daughter of Cassius Bright who is a legend within the kingdom. When she was at a young age, her father was assaulted by a young child of amazing combat abilities but loses his memory in the fight and becomes adopted by Cassius (shown in the prologue). This child was named Joshua Bright and is the main male character of the story. The story in the game begins on the day when Estelle is going to join the Bracer's guild with Joshua.

After the prologue, you watch a 2 minute long opening which is simply a wonderful animation of what and who you will get to see later in the game. It is very light-hearted, which sets the mood for the game pretty well. 

In-game animation of Joshua playing the harmonica.
The game consists of two different sorts of maps: field maps and town maps. In both maps, you can a mini-map on the top-right that can be expanded to show where you are. Town maps are loaded with NPCs and shops. 

An ! appears when you can learn more about something/talk to someone. 
On field maps, you get to meet monsters! You also get to find treasure chests, that may not be easy to spot at times. 

A healing point in the field map. 
The cooler the chest looks, the more valuable the item inside. This one is just meh.
Cooler looking chest plus a monster guarding it = valuable loot.
Once head to head with a monster, you get transported to the battle screen.  Each character and enemy takes their turn when their AT bar is full (on the left of combat screen). Options for characters are: Move, Attack, Arts, Craft, Item and Retreat.

A combat screen.

What I like about this game is that the combat controls are very easy to learn XD This gives me more time to explore maps and complete the main plot line and other mini-quests the game has in store! Mini-games are available, such as fishing, that coincides with the hobbies of Estelle.

The only time you ever fish in the game.
Side quests include cooking/discovering recipes (Estelle's not-so-favourite) and collecting books (Estelle's sleeping magic)! Finishing these collections usually give you some benefit, such as gaining the most powerful weapon in the game O: The game makes collecting these tricky by only allowing each item to appear for a limited period of time, which means a lot of save/reload is needed. XD

You can also collect recipes, which mainly refill your HP and remove statuses.

As you complete normal Bracer's guild quests, they unveil the dark side of the government, a faction of the army that decides to overthrow the old queen. They are also optional and hidden quests, which are like the collections above, will disappear after a period of time. Completing these quests will earn you additional Bracer Points (BP) and unlock special bonuses at the end of the game. PLUS, if you use this save file to continue the Second Chapter of the trilogy, you get additional benefits!! Character dialogue in SC will also change to reflect past events you unlocked in FC.

Quests appear on a board, and have time limits to be completed, or they will vanish!
Another thing I find really neat about this game is that everybody's dialogue including the NPCs, will change whenever the main characters decide to do something or something happens. Some NPCs have their own mini-plot, or their dialogue changed to reflect what has happened. It just makes you want to run everywhere and talk to everybody XD

Choices you make in the game do matter! Make the correct choice and gain extra BP. 
At the end, it turns out that the commander of the army faction was just being used by a mastermind who's an adept at controlling people's minds. This also leads on to the second story, with Joshua's past unveiling in the ending. No screenshot spoilers here, watch it for yourself :P

Attention to detail: check out Estelle's and Joshua's orange juices while everyone else has red wine.
If you are looking for the English version, XSEED Games has plans to bring over the Sora no Kiseki trilogy as The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky starting with the release of the first game in 2011. However, sales have not been looking good, thus the release of the 2nd game has been delayed. )): Thankfully, my games have been faithfully released in Chinese and on the PC platform (don't own a PSP). 

Ending off this post with one of my favourite cosplays from this game! Cosplayers are 果实 (Joshua) & 零一 (Estelle). \o/

Photo by 迦兰工作室. Image from costop.com.

Signing off,