Arc The Lad (アークザラッド Ākuzaraddo) is a 1995 tactical role-playing game released for the Sony PlayStation. It was developed by G-Craft and Sony Computer Entertainment it was also published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It would be the first installment of the series and the first game to appear on the PlayStation platform. It was originally released exclusively in Japan on June 30, 1995. The game would eventually release in the United States included in the Arc The Lad Collection on April 18, 2002. The game wouldn't see a European release until much later on October 5, 2011. The game would spawn a direct sequel Arc The Lad II.
The games takes place in a post-apocalyptic world 300 years following a war with a being known as The Dark One. It follows the protagonist a boy named Arc and his friends who are sent on a quest by the Kingdom Of Pallencia, however, in a twist of fate end up having to save the world from The Dark One once again. The game game ends after the destruction of the Pallencia Kingdom and continues in Arc The Lad II.
Arc The Lad was a groundbreaking game at the time of release. With the advantage of the then new PlayStation hardware, the game used smoother animations than RPG's of that time. It was also one of the first major RPG's to use full FMV cut scenes.
The game was a success in Japan upon launch it would sell 1 million copies. Arc The Lad would be released in the United States in 2002 in the Arc The Lad Collection which was published by Working Designs where it proved to be a moderate success It had a re-release on the PlayStation Network in all regions.
The game begins with a girl named Kukuru who is a member of the Sacred Clan in Seirya, a clan that protects the Flame Cion. She is sent by the mayor of her town to extinguish this flame, but once she does, a monster called an Ark Ghoul appears and Kukuru flees. Meanwhile, a boy named Arc prepares to look for his father Yoshua, who has been missing for ten years. He stumbles upon Kukuru and they both defeat the pursuing monsters. Arc makes a promise to Kukuru to re-ignite the flame for her, but he is quickly struck down by the powerful Ark Ghoul. As he lays defeated, Arc hears a voice call out to him. The voice is a Guardian, who revives Arc and tells him to re-ignite the flame. The Guardian also tells Arc that he will return here later to extinguish the flame so that he may retrieve the Ark, a mystical box that will aid him in protecting the world; the Guardian finally adds that Arc's father made an agreement with the Guardians of the planet to protect humanity by the fore-coming darkness. After hearing this, Arc re-ignites the fire and resealing the Ark Ghoul before it could kill Kukuru.
Days later, after hearing of Arc's abilities, the king of Seirya summons him to Palencia Castle. As Arc heads to Palencia, Kukuru decides that it is her destiny to help him. Arc explains to the king that the guardian at the mountain had granted him power. In order to see if Arc truly is blessed by the guardians, the king's minister, Andel, insisted that they tests him. The two were sent to battle some monsters where the party meets Poco of the drum corps, who was the only survivor from their latest patrol. After Arc returns, the king tells him that he must seek out the Ark in order to save humankind. The king recounts how his own brother, the former king, believed this story and has disappeared to find the Ark. He then tells Arc to seek an audience with the Forest Spirit of Toyoke Forest in Millmana.
Given a ride to Millmana on the king's airship, Arc meets with the current ruler, General Yagun. The arrogant general tells them the forest has become very dangerous and that he doesn't believe that "sniveling children" should be sent there. After passing Yagun's test (and trap) of strength, Arc and company seek out the Forest Spirit. The spirit tells them that Arc's father, the crown prince of Seirya, had seen her ten years ago and vowed to protect humankind, also that Arc will be the key to saving humankind and the world. The Forest Spirit gives Arc the hero's crest before departing, saying to Arc to return home to await word from his father.
In Palencia, a warrior and former guard, Tosh, is being escorted to a prison for treason; Tosh tried to stop his fellow guards from slaughtering innocent people who were his clan. Arc prepares to report to the king regarding Millmana, but the king has grown ill. Tosh meanwhile breaks out of his cell and attacks some guards, who have transformed into monsters. Arc, Kukuru, and Poco help him, and after the battle, Tosh thanks them and leaves before more guards arrived. Arc returns to the king and with the hero's crest proves that the king's brother is Arc's father. Arc says that he must wait for correspondence from his father to seek out the rest of the Guardians, so the king tells him that he will help Arc in any way possible.
They return to Arc's house in Touvil only to find that the town has been pillaged and ruined. A courier delivers a message from Arc's father, telling him to find the book in the Ancient Monolith, which will guide him to the Guardians and their Stones. At the Monolith, an old man named Gogen appears and reveals himself to be the "book" that Arc had been told to find. Gogen is an ancient wizard who had been imprisoned in the illusion world for over 3,000 years. He tells Arc that the first Guardian is in Alatos.
The four go to the king for transportation to Alatos, and he gives them his airship, the Silver Noah. As the party heads to the Silver Noah, Tosh is mourning at his father's grave. Suddenly, Tosh's sword reveals its spirit and speaks to him. The spirit tells Tosh to accompany Arc on his quest.
In Alatos, the party meets a merchant named Chongara, who was instructed by Yoshua to guide them to the Guardian of Light. He wanted them to get him the Summon Pot in exchange for the information. After speaking with the Guardian of Light and getting the Light Stone, Gogen tells them the location of the next Guardian in Greyshinne. Before departing, Chongara boards the Silver Noah, telling Arc and company that he feels besieged to assist them in their quest.
In Greyshinne, the party heads to Amaidar Temple (ラマだ寺, Ramada Temple). The Archmonk of the temple instructs the monk, Iga, to deal with Arc. The party pleads with Iga until Gogen suggests that he and Arc duel in order to gain permission to access the mountain. After Arc wins, Iga and the party speak with the Archmonk. Kukuru senses with her magic mirror that the Archmonk is a monster, which then causes the Archmonk to flee into the fighting grounds. Arc and team give chase and defeat the Archmonk. On Mt. Amaidar, the Earth Guardian gives them the Earth Stone. When they return to the temple, Iga asks them if he may help them in their quest.
In Niedel, the party hears that a tournament is being held where the winner wins a Wind Orb. Believing this is related to the Wind Guardian, one member of the party enlists in the tournament. Once that person wins the tournament, the party discovers that the winners of each tournament are later killed by the organizers so that they can retain the Wind Orb. After defeating the crooked announcer, the party frees the Wind Guardian from the Wind Orb and received the Wind Stone.
The Water Guardian lies in Zariban, a desert land once fertile but rendered arid by the over-processing of energy stones. The party meet a clansman of the Saryu Tribe who by Yoshua's request leads them to his village. The village was suddenly destroyed by an attack by Kasadoll, a general and ruler of Zariban. He is after the Water Guardian and destroyed the village as the Saryu Tribe are holding the key to entering the Water Shrine. They manage to defeat him and gain the Water Stone. From the stone, they've learned that the last guardian is in Seirya.
When the group returns to Palencia, they find a police state run by Andel. Sneaking into the castle basement, they find the Fire Guardian held captive under Andel's command for energy experimentations. They free the Fire Guardian, who after much convincing, grants them the Fire Stone. However, a dying engineer set the basement and the castle above to self-destruct. They then find the king, who is dying as Andel flees. The king tells them that Andel was sent by Romalia to gain control of Seirya so he could retrieve the Ark for Romalia's plans of world conquest. After confessing his regrets to his nephew about having stolen the crown and throne from Yoshua, the king then dies, and the group escapes on the Silver Noah before the explosion brought out the whole castle.
Andel branded Arc and friends as criminals for the king's death and the castle's destruction and puts a bounty on the party. They disguise themselves when returning to Seirya to extinguish the Flame Cion. Arc and Kukuru extinguish the flame. The Ark Ghoul reappears and flees to the Ark, and Arc and Kukuru chase after him. The other party members join them and head to Sabatico Falls. Inside Sabatico Falls, they find the Ark, which tests their power first by having them fight a doppelganger form of the party. After the Ark and the Guardians reveal that mankind's only saving grace will be their ability to love one another, Arc and Kukuru are given The Power of Bravery and Divine Power respectively.
As the party leaves, Andel appears and seizes the Ark. Arc and his party were forced to be captured as Andel revealed that he's holding Arc's people captive, including his mother. The ground soon begins to split and the falls turns into the Sabatico Shrine as it emerges up high from the ground; the group use the quake to escape Andel's guards. Gogen tells them that the shrine has appeared as the seal against the Dark One, the world's entity of darkness, grows weaker. Arc tells Kukuru to go to the Sabatico Shrine, who now has the power to strengthen the seal as the last means of protection from the Dark One. The rest of the party return to the Silver Noah to set off and Kukuru watches them as they fly away to continue their mission of saving the world.
Arc The Lad is a tactical strategy game. Most of the game takes place in battles, the goal is for the player and their party member allies to defeat all of the opposing Artificial Intelligence. The player must use attacks, abilities and items to damage their enemies. Battle's take place on blue grids that determine each turn's movement. Strategy is an important consideration in victory, the player and their party members will level up and improve their stats throughout the game making them more effective. During battle different characters can have separate roles, usage of attack and magic make certain characters more useful in specific situations. Mostly all characters can learn to counter enemy attacks and can use skills such as throw, to throw back projectiles such as rocks or bombs. Unlike most other traditional tactical role playing games up to this point, Arc The Lad emphasized speed. This speed was implemented into the core battle system in order to help combat feel more smooth, the game also features several options to further increase its speed.
The game takes place in mostly linear events. Each plot event usually has a corresponding battle that the player must succeed in to continue in the story and travel to different areas. The game offers very few open segments allowing the player to explore, in theses cases the player is allowed to investigate an area to search for potential secrets or speak with NPC characters. Although, the games plot is typically linear it does often allow the player to back track and explore previous areas.
One feature that becomes a recurring one for future installments in the series is the inclusion of multiple side quests and dungeons.
Arc The Lad offers a unique feature allowing save data to transfer over to Arc The Lad II. The transfer will include all of the characters current levels and the items in the players inventory.
Leading up to the Japanese launch of the PlayStation, Sony was actively pursing development on a role-playing game for the new platform as RPG games were such a hit in Japan. Sony pursued developer G-Craft who had released the successful Front Mission on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.The two teams worked together to develop Arc The Lad, they created a new cutting edge engine that showcased better animations and complex FMV sequences that would improve the scale and allure of the new game.
The original story was intended to follow the adventures of both Arc and Elc using the plot from Arc The Lad II. The game was originally intended to be a launch title on the PlayStation however, the team did not meet the launch deadline. In order to have the game release in a timely manner its plot was cut down and extended into Arc The Lad II.
With the success of Arc The Lad in Japan Working Designs seeked to release a English translation in the United States. Sony was reluctant to offer the license as they felt the the game wouldn't be a success in the west. After many attempts and rejections Working Designs was finally successful in convincing Sony to grant them the license after suggesting the idea of releasing all three games in a box set. On April 18, 2002 Arc The Lad was released in the United States included in the Arc The Lad Collection.
See Also Edit
- Arc The Lad Walkthrough
- Arc The Lad Charcters
- Arc The Lad Items
- Arc The Lad Locations
- Arc The Lad Side Quests
External Links Edit