Arc The Lad (アークザラッド) 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. The engine used in Arc The Lad would be later modified for use in 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 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.
The game was a success in Japan upon launch it would sell 2 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 Playstaion Network in 2006. All versions have received generally positive critical reviews.
Arc The Lad is a strategy tactical role-playing game on a grid. The player controls the party leader Arc and the rest of his party members as they must use attacks, abilities, and items during in game battles. Each turn the party members are allowed to move in a certain pattern on the grid and then attack or use abilities the goal is to kill all enemies on the grid. When all enemies have been killed the battle ends and the party members are rewarded with a victory sequence.
During battles all party members gain experience points from taking an action. Attacking, using an ability or item and even completing a turn provides the party members with experience. When the party gains enough experience they will level up and gain stats that will make them more powerful in certain areas leveling up is the primary way of improving the parties strength.
Arc The Lad has very minor excursions of exploration provided fro the player often allowing them to simply just walk around a small room and talk to NPC characters later games in the franchise allow much more open and expansive exploration.
Arc The Lad contains a variety of side quests and objectives. Side quests are given by NPC characters or by entering new locations Arc The Lad is known for it's large expansive dungeons often consisting of multiple dozens of floors proving as a sort of endurance run for the player. Ruins to explore are another common side quest in Arc The Lad along with Arenas with many new opponents to face.
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 however, time was cust short in order to meet the PlayStation launch date so a sequel was planned that would include Elc's story as well it would release one year later as Arc The Lad II.
English Release Edit
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.