Vagrant Story is-- it's a video game. No, it's a brilliant video game, that's what it is, and nothing I summarize in the space of a paragraph will be able to convey its fine, fine pedigree of awesome, and possibly even more awesome. |
Imagine the most mind-blowing sex known to mankind condensed into the form of a fancy alcoholic drink with paper umbrella. Now imagine a highly attractive blonde priest ripping the glass out of your hands, smashing it against the wall of a particularly magnificent 13th-century cathedral, and ramming the shards directly into your soul. Snow falls artistically around you. And you're having the best hair day of your life.
That would be Vagrant Story.
So. Vagrant Story is an action/rpg video game that was created and released by Square in 2000. It features the player as a highly capable government agent, Ashley Riot, tracking a rogue religious outfit through the Lea Monde cityscape made of creepy black magic voodoo. There are zombies, and everybody gets to indulge in some sort of crazy time. It's all very wonderful.
Lies and truth, and truth that is a lie, and a lie that is-- half truth? Staged on a medieval fantasy set and filled with politics and religion making dirty deals in the backroom, Vagrant Story plays like an intrigue-- it's not so much telling a story as peeling back the many masks these players all hide behind. Sometimes you get a face. Sometimes you get a monster.
The battle system has a variety of angles related to the weaponry, affinity and combo aspects; it also had very little of a learning curve-- this had a tendency to put off a number of players used to the classic role-playing system of the Final Fantasy series. And with its eerie ambience painted mostly in subtle earthtones, contrary to the bright and lively, Vagrant Story sold very little despite reviews that acclaimed it for its depth of both story and gameplay; the very respected Famitsu magazine gave it a perfect score of 40 points, one of few games ever to garner such.
(Coincidentally, Final Fantasy XII also received a perfect score, making the creative team the only one to ever achieve this twice.)
The graphics are beautiful; the direction is amazing. And for the wear and tear an older game may suffer from innoventions in the field, Vagrant Story holds out on the strength of its elegant presentation, cinematography and sound department's brilliant work. The clinks of armour, the thud of flesh-- they are organic and real and have weight, and only serve to heighten the coiled creepy musical score.
Why yes, Vagrant Story is that awesome.
FOR MORE ON INGAME EVENTS AND THE ENDING, PLEASE REFER TO EITHER CHARACTER PROFILES OR FINAL JUDGEMENT.