Skies of Arcadia Legends

<img src=“”> Well, I just finished the game. First time in a loooooooong time that I actually finished a game, so I thought I’d might as well give you my thoughts on it.

Well, the story is pretty basic. The world Arcadia consists of various islands, which mysteriously hover around in a big amount of sky. So, naturally, there’s a lot of air travel going on. This is all done in an Age of Discoveries kind of way, with pirates and merchant ships and stuff like that. Of course, the main hero, Vyse, and his best friend Aika are both Air Pirates. Basically, pirates can be put into two classes. Black Pirates, who just mob, pillage, and are generally not nice guys. And then there’s Blue Rogues, who act more like Robin Hood-esque outlaws. You know, help the innocent, do good things, steal from the rich, keep for yourself, stuff like that. Vyse and Aika are Blue Rogues. So one day, when pillaging a Valuan ship (Valua is the big evil empire thingy) they end up saving a mysterious young girl who goes by the name of Fina, and is rather quiet. Pretty basic stuff so far, done before. Of course an entire quest starts up involving the three main characters, but just play the game to find out what. The story isn’t jaw-droppingly awesome, but it’s still neat, since it constantly makes references to the Age of Discoveries and whatnot. 984 has a list with all references he found, I hope he’ll post it in here.

Well, a game about being a pirate is of course cool. But then there’s the battlesystem. Basically, there are two kinds of battles: normal battles and ship battles. First, normal battles. They take place in traditional turn-based order. However, there are some neat elements. Your weapons can take on certain elemental colors. This makes them do more damage against enemies of one element, and less against another, etc. However, it also affects your experience from the fight. See, you get normal exp, used to level up, and magic exp, used to learn magic spells. Depending on how much people have a specific color equipped at the end of the fight, the magic exp you get for that color is multiplied by so many times. It’s confusing, but meh. Spells cost a set amount of MP, namely 1. But they also cost another amount of points, namely Spirit Points, which varies with each spell. You start each battle with a set amount of SP. With every additional round, you get more SP. But you can also give up your turn by using the Focus command, so that you generate twice as much exp for one round. Besides spells, you also need SP for Special Attacks. They usually cost more SP than spells, but are much stronger. You also aquire them differently. There are rare items in the world, called “moonberries.” You need a certain amount of Moonberries to learn a Special Move. But you can only learn them in order, so you can’t just save up berries and get the strongest move in the game early, you have to get that character’s earlier Special Moves first. Also, each character has different Special Moves.

Then there’s Ship Battles, which are way more interesting, and require more tactics. Well, near the end of the game you pretty much blow up everything without effort, but that doesn’t count. In order to attack with your cannons, you need SP. So you really can’t do anything without SP. There are different kinds of cannons, namely Main Cannons, which are your main attack thing, hitting on the same round as you fire them for a pretty strong amount of damage. Then there’s Secondary Cannons, which are the same as Main Cannons, only weaker, and you can fire them multiple rounds in succession. Also, there’s Torpedoes. These take off on the round that you fire them, and can land up to 3 rounds away. They do really high damage, but have low accuracy. And finally, there’s your Special Cannon. You can’t change your Special Cannon, it depends on what ship you are on. This can only be used on specific rounds, which the game will alert you to. They cost a lot of SP, but do a LOT of damage. Now, all this talk about rounds might have been confusing. Basically, each turn is divided into 4 rounds. During these rounds, you can have each party member do one thing, like fire a cannon or cast a spell. But they can only act once a turn, so be careful what you make them do. With the different kinds of cannons, you can make people fire different cannons at different rounds, so that you can combine attacks to hit at the same time, doing a lot of damage. This all sounds very confusing, you just have to play it to find out how to play. It’s pretty intuitive.

At a certain point of the game, you get your own ship and base. Of course, you need a crew for that. So you randomly fly around the world, recruiting people and adding them to your crew. Each active crewmember improves your ship in some way, like increasing your Dodge rating or giving you the option to max out your SP once a battle. But they also end up living on your base. You’ll get to build your base yourself, by telling one of your two builders (one “sailor” builder, and one japanese architect builder girl) to modify a building. Depending on which one you choose, the buildings end up looking differently. This is a pretty neat system, especially since random crewmembers also add upgrading possibilities, like having animals etc. You’ll also get shops on your island, which also need upgrading etc. All in all, pretty fun to do. Especially since each of your crewmembers have a distinct personality, and will voice their opinions about what’s new when you talk to them.

Then there’s Discoveries. Basically, you get to fly around the worldmap, and look for undiscovered stuff. Like a statue of a sun god from some old civilisation, or a new animal, or a gigantic chessgame. Anyway, when you discover something, you should hurry to the nearest port. When you get there, you can sell your discoveries for hard cash at the local Sailor’s Guild. But you have to be fast, the value of each discovery decreases as time passes after you’ve discovered it. And you have a rival, who also tries to discover things, and can steal them out from under your nose. It adds a nice element of exploration to the game, especially since this should be your main source of income.

All in all, it’s a pretty fun RPG, about 60 hours long. There’s tonnes of subquests and optional stuff to do, over 100 discoveries to be found, and pretty nice for when you feel like a bit of a light story. I highly suggest you pick it up, or at least give it a rental. Although it’s a DC -> GC port, it’s a pretty damn good one.

Since I don’t have the system, I probably won’t be playing the game anytime soon. However, it sounds like a lot of fun, and everyone knows I like games about pirates.

What the hell? SoAL sounds like Chrono Cross mixed up with Unchartered Waters : New Horizons.

I must play that game.

I play SoA on the DC, and it was definitely a great game. From your review, it sounds even better. One thing that nagged me in the original was the massive amounts of random encounters. I’ll give it a rent to check it out.

<img src=“”> Yeah, the encounter rating got turned down. But they removed Pinta’s quest and nerfed Final Cupil >< (strongest weapon in game, gotten after a looooooooong sidequest, for the mage, dropped from 500 ATK to 300 ATK.)

Not like much peps gonna miss PInata’s Quest.

And Skies of Arcadia is just one of the best RPG. Ever.

Can’t wait that they make anoter in the series. I mean, they /MUST/ do one.

Here are the references TD asked for. Mind you, these are just from SoA, and I don’t think I even have all of them. There are some discovery references I missed. Mind you, it’s a little spoiler heavy.

Oh, and Lun, I’ll miss Pinta’s Quest. It wouldn’t have been that hard to port it to GC. Besides, I like getting C Items that turn out to be 1000 Gold Hamahai Fish.

Speaking of reviewing… Merlin is gonna murder me…

I got the game, but for some reason I just stopped playing it. I guess when I stopped to get discoveries, it kept annoying me to have my search interrupted by the random battles, which I found very boring.