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Wild Arms XF
Wild Arms XF
Japan August 9, 2007
N. America March 11, 2008
Europe November 28, 2008

Wild Arms XF (or Wild Arms Crossfire) is the latest of the series and the first to appear in a Playstation Portable hand-held game unit, made by Media Vision and localized by XSeed, this is a Tactical RPG that comes in a mini UMD Disk. This game differs from the traditional tactical RPG in that battlefields are made out of series of hexagons as opposed to squares.

Plot

(Taken from the official English website:) The once vibrant world of Filgaia is slowly dying, a result of some cataclysmic event lost in the dim, misty reaches of the past. The few pathetic remnants of once mighty nations are caught up in an endless cycle of war, fighting over Filgaia’s ever-dwindling natural resources. Amidst the carnage and slow decay, there is one kingdom that has until recently managed to avoid the chaos and suffering plaguing its neighbors; the kingdom of Elesius.

However, the kingdom is slowly descending into anarchy with the king inflicted with a mysterious illness that has kept him bed-ridden, intensifying the future uncertainty as the heir-apparent disappeared a year earlier and is presumed dead. An opportunistic senate has formed its own police force and is gradually usurping power from the royal family.

It is against this backdrop of political intrigue and social decay that the main character Clarissa Arwin, accompanied by her half-brother and protector, Felius, enter Elesius hot on the trail of Rupert Dandridge, the man who murdered her mother. What started out as a personal vendetta soon turns into an epic battle to not only keep a kingdom from falling, but to save the world of Filgaia from being turned into an uninhabitable wasteland.

Characters

The Heroes:

  • Clarissa Arwin As mentioned above, Clarissa is the leader of Blanquizel. She wields an odd, pistol-like ARM as a weapon. She is the pigtailed girl in the game's logo; her costume changes many times throughout the game.
  • Felius Arwin Clarissa's guardian and brother. A blue-haired man who never leaves Clarissa's side.
  • Labyrinthia Wordsworth Formerly the king's magician and tutor for the royal family, she had been branded a terrorist and is on the run by the time Clarissa and Felius meet her.
  • Tony A white, crossbreed dog/wolf owned by Labrynthia.
  • Levin Brenton A master of blade and magic who has a crush on Clarissa, though she doesn't show any interest in him.

The Council of Elder Statesmen

  • Charlton Blunt He is the head of the Council and runs the kingdom while the king is ill. Methodical and logical.
  • Edna Warren A member of the Council and Head Abbot of the Church of Elesius. Self-centered and power hungry.
  • Rupert Dandridge A mercenary; He is the head of the Martial Guard. Cocky and arrogant. He stole the sword Iskender Bey from Clarissa.
  • Weisheit Known as the Merchant of Death and advisor to Charlton. S/he is enigmatic and androgynous.

The Royal Family and Court

  • King Hrathnir Ill and unable to rule the kingdom. As a ruler he tried to male Elesius less aggressive and more peaceful.
  • Princess Alexia Oldest daughter of the royal family; beloved by the people. Presumed dead.
  • Princess Katrina Younger daughter. Quiet and uncertain. She is unable to understand the concept of fear.
  • Eisen Brenton Leader of the King's Royal Guard and Levin's father. He is bound his own sense of honor and accepts the Council of Elder Statesmen with reluctance.

Other Characters

  • Chelle Aide to Piedras. She understands Piedras and serves as his translator.
  • Melissa Arwin Mother of Clarissa; deceased. She was a researcher searching ancient ruins for methods of restoring Filgaia.
  • Yulia A girl Felius once swore to protect.
  • Kressen A man who is an old advesary of Felius.
  • Asgard A golem under the command of Weisheit.

Gameplay

Wild Arms XF is a 2D turn-based tactical role playing game, creating a gameplay experience somewhere between Dungeons and Dragons and chess. Players are given control of a small squad of characters (six or less) and placed on a grid-based map resembling a geographical location (a swamp, a town, a river), upon which they fight battles to progress through the game. As with most T/RPGs, positional advantage can be critical to victory, and players are encouraged to outmaneuver their enemies as well as outgun them. The game emphasizes positioning and maneuvering by the inclusion of "Formation Arts," which increase attack damage when an enemy is surrounded by your characters in a line, a triangle or a circle. Wild Arms XF is a member of the small subsection of T/RPGs whose battlefields are based around hexagonal tiles instead of squares. "Combination Arts" return from previous Wild ARMs titles, allowing characters to target an enemy in a waiting state and then deliver their attacks simultaneously with the next ally to attack their target. If the player succeeds in executing an uninterrupted series of commands, the damage inflicted upon enemies will increase significantly. On the other hand, the enemy gets the same advantage.

Like most T/RPGs, XF gives the player precision control over the composition and fighting style of their army. The player is given control of several plot-critical characters, and can additionally hire generic "Drifters" to strengthen their ranks. All characters (except one, a dog) have access to the game's "Class system," which allows them to change into different character classes outside of combat; each class comes with various "Skills", which allow them to perform different combat roles (offensive spellcasting, healing, item use, damage-dealing, etc.). Skills consist of a set of "Original Commands," active abilities which require MP to use, followed by a series of passive bonuses which help add character to the class. Drifters have access only to the basic 16 classes, but unique/plot-critical characters also have personal classes. The true depth of the system, however, is that it allows players to mix-and-match Skills. Each battle won provides Experience points and also "Class Skill Points", which allow characters to permanently learn Skills from their current class. The player can then fill each character's Skill Slots with those permanently-learned Skills, no matter what Class that character currently is, allowing (for instance) the item-wielding Gadgeteer to wield an Elementalist's magic spells and/or passive bonuses, or vice versa. The number of available Skill Slots increases with the character's level, allowing a wide variety of customization.

Before battle begins, the player can gather important pieces of information by looking at Labyrinthia's "Direct Event Report". This report informs the player about the current status, the forecast future status, and conditions for victory. Players are allowed to "Give Up" the battle and try again from scratch at any time, and indeed are expected to do so; battles in XF are in some ways more akin to puzzles than straightforward combat, and at least one fan-written game guide provides instruction on a very specific turn-by-turn basis. This is underlined by the addition of a third meter in addition to Hit points and Magic points: "Vitality Points," which are reduced every turn by an amount equal to the "Weight" of the character's equipment and items. Once their VP are expended in this way, the Weight penalty is subtracted from the character's HP instead until only 1 remains. This imposes a time limit on battles, as protracted skirmishes will eventually be reduced to "sudden death" in this way. Furthermore, some battles have turn limits, which yield Game-Overs if the player fails accomplish all objectives within that time; and a few are stealth-based sneaking missions involving pure maneuvering.

Outside of battle, the player can travel around the "world map" of the nation of Elesius, visiting towns and conversing with townsfolk, employing or dismissing Drifters, and purchasing consumable items and weaponry. Existing equipment can be strengthened at "Synthesis" shops, a system which almost entirely replaces the RPG-standard method of the next town conveniently carrying the next-strongest phase of gear. The player can voluntarily fight skirmishes with local monsters for level-grinding purposes. Finally, a New Game Plus feature exists, allowing the player to keep all (non-plot-critical) money, items and equipment; character levels are not retained, but battles yield double their normal amount of Experience points.

Job Class System

Characters in the Wild ARMs main series have usually had their own unique way of fighting in battle that could be described as a character class. In Wild ARMs XF the class system is more formal and structured. Each of the character carries an ARM that can download various job classes and allow that character instant access to each downloaded class. You cannot switch classes during the course of a battle but are given the oppourtunity to change clases on the world map or in the prepreation phase before a battle. Classes will alter the battle parameters of a character but will not have a perminant affect on their parameters or growth.

Each class has up to four Original Commands and a series of personal skills. Original Commands are skills that can be used in the battlefield such as special physical attacks, magic spells, parameter altering abilities, etc.,. Personal Skills are attributes that are automatically activated during the course of battle such as an increased likelyhood of critical attacks or healing MP when guarding. As the character gains more Class Points (CSP) they will be able to use an amount of these original skills and personal skills while being in different classes allowing for diverse and versitile characters.

Each character listed in the "Hero" section has a unique class that only they can access in addition to the general classes. Drifters hired at bars and inns can only choose from general classes. At the beginning of the game there are only four general classes avalible but many more are obtained over the course of the game.

Character Exclusive Classes.

For full details on a class please see their corresponding pages.

  • Dandelion Shot Clarissa only. A class with an unlimited straight-line attack range. Generally better suited to support than attacking, but has attack skills that can prove formidable at times.
  • Halberdier Felius only. A class with high attack power and endurance. Dishes out counterattacks more frequently when surrounded by enemies.
  • Arcanist Labrynthia only. A class with magic spells useful in a variety of situations. Weak on physical attacks, but has skills to counterbalence that deficit.
  • Crossbreed Tony only. Cannot use Originals, equipment or items, but has decent attack, life, and high movement.
  • Martial MageLevin only. An agile class capable of moving rapidly about the battlefield. Has Originals which can be highly useful against certain opponents.
  • Stormrider Ragnar only. A class suited to battle in wide-open areas. Can easily dodge enemy attacks, and has the ability to attack several times in a row.
  • Royal Fencer A class capable of landing powerful hits with certainty, aided by a high rate of skill activation.

General Character Classes

  • Secutor A class suited to physical attacks, with high ATK (attack power) rating. Can equip swords, axes and shields.
  • Elementalist A class suited to magic attacks, with high MAG (magic power) rating. Can use elemental attack spells.
  • Fantastica A class suited to battle support, with the ability to raise allies' and lower enemies' parameters when adjacent. Can use support magic.
  • Gadgeteer A class suited to item use. Can equip more items than other classes, and can use items on a wider area.
  • Sentinel A class suited to defence against physical attacks, with a high DEF (defence power) rating. Can reduce the movement range of enemies, and has its own special attack abilities.
  • Sacred Slayer A class suited to defence against magic attacks, with a hight RES (magic resistance) rating. Can use healing spells and skills that damage undead enemies.
  • Excavator A class with the ability to find hidden itesm. Including one in your party can help fill out your item list.
  • Geomancer A class that can see ley points (HEXes with elemental properties) and use skills that affect units' positions and elemental properties. Can move without guard to the movement cost of different land types.
  • Berserker A class that can use spears to attack two HEXes in a row. Limited to straight-line movement, but has a high MOV (movement range) rating and can charge rapidly into battle.
  • Enigmancer A class with high MP that can use wide-area attack magic as well as support spells. Has the ability to prevent allies from being damaged by wide-area attack skills.
  • Strider A class with high AIM (accuracy) and CLM (climbing) ratings, which uses bows and arrows for attack. Has the ability to see and disarm traps.
  • Grappler A class with high VP that can surivve even drawn-out battles. Can use throwing attacks that gain strength based on the enemey's WGT rating.
  • Nightstalker A class with a high RFX (speed) rating, giving it frequent turns in battle. Has counterattack and avoidance skills that can thwart an enemy's attack plan.
  • Emulator A class that can download enemy abilities, which can then be used freely. Also has skills with mitigate the high MP cost of enemy abilities.
  • Extremist A class suited to evading enemy attacks, with a high EVA (evasion) rating. Has skills that can be used for various effects in battle.
  • High Cavalier A class with high HP that can survive almost any battle. Has skills and Orininals that are useful in many circumstances.

Merchandise

(See Wild Arms XF OST)

A five-chapter manga was released, drawn by Karin Suzuragi[1] and containing epilogue of a 11-year time skip and reunion of the members of Chevalet Blanc, including Felius Arwin whose fate was left ambiguous in the game's ending.[2]

Notes

  • Chevalet Blanc was known as "Blank Easel" in the original Japanese.

References

  1. http://www.jp.playstation.com/goods/other_goods/book/9978.html
  2. http://www.mangahere.co/manga/wild_arms_xf/v01/c005/

External links

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