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Vagrant Story (PlayStation)

93
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Valendia is a land that had undergone civil war, the end of which had birthed the parliament and several organizations to control the balance of power. Ashley Riot is a Riskbreaker, an elite agent for the Valendia Knights of Peace (VKP) who is investigating some strange occurrences. A cult of religious fanatics known as Müllenkamp and their leader Sydney Losstarot have seized the manor of Duke Bardorba of Valendia Kingdom. The events at the manor have sent Ashley on a quest to get to the bottom of events, and travel into the catacombs that lead to the destroyed, yet magical city of Leá Monde. However Ashley is not the only person interested in the city, and other factions of the government, including parliament assigned Knights of the Crimson Blade and other VKP agents are pursuing their own agenda.

Vagrant Story is a role-playing game with several distinguishing characteristics. The entire game (including the numerous cutscenes that advance the plot) is rendered in 3D. The game focuses on exploration of large, complex dungeon-like areas and combat; there are no "friendly" areas, NPC interaction, or monetary system. Dungeons contain many optional rooms and environmental puzzles that mostly involve pushing, destroying, and re-arranging different types of crates to access higher areas. Ashley can also jump and grab ledges of higher platforms during exploration.

The game runs in real time, with visible enemies and no separate battle screens. When entering combat and attacking an enemy, the game is paused, allowing the player to choose targets and access the menu for other actions. A wireframe sphere displays the range of the currently selected weapon and detailed statistics on different body parts of the enemies within range.

Ashley does not receive experience points from defeating regular enemies; he randomly gains bonuses to his attributes after defeating bosses, but in general the focus of the customization in the game is on weapons. Ashley can equip a wide variety of weapons and armor made out of different materials. Each weapon possesses, besides detailed damage statistics, parameters in one of the three categories (edged, blunt, and piercing), as well as affinity to any of the six enemy types encountered in the game. Damage in battle is calculated according to the weapon's and the enemy's particular strengths and weaknesses in any of these categories. Weapons used constantly against the same type of enemy improve in power against them. Each weapon can also be disassembled in workshops scattered throughout the game, and new weapons can be forged by combining blades with grips. Gems can be attached to some grips, usually increasing the weapon's affinity with an enemy category.

Ashley can also make use of Magic, Chain Abilities and Break Arts. Magic is broken into four groups, namely defense, combat, healing and status. Chain Abilities allow Ashley to "chain together" consecutive hits against enemies. The player can assign various offensive and defensive effects to buttons that need to be pressed at the right time to execute a chain. These effects include inflicting status ailments on the enemy, reflecting damage, etc. Using chains, however, raises Ashley's Risk Meter, making his attacks less precise and himself more vulnerable. Break Arts are special skills learnt after repetitive use of a weapon type. Sacrificing some of the player's health, Break Arts can perform a high damage attack on an enemy.

Screenshots

Vagrant Story PlayStation Several levels take place on town streets. They are built, however, just like the rest of the game's dungeons, and are populated by human enemies
Vagrant Story PlayStation Beside the in-game mini-map, you can check every corner in detail of already explored areas on a bigger one.
Vagrant Story PlayStation In this dark room undead have trapped me - this ghost is casting a mind-controlling spell!
Vagrant Story PlayStation Overcompensating, much? Posing with a huge weapon

Alternate Titles

  • "Medieval Gear Solid" -- Informal title
  • "ベイグラントストーリー" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Lo, play this game, lest it be forgotten by naysayers אולג 小奥 (168863) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
Imaginative and Under-rated game! Oblio (109) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
One of the better console RPGs. SharkD (415) 3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars

The Press Says

Game industry News (GiN) 2000 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
GamesFirst! Jun 26, 2000 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
GamePro (US) Nov 24, 2000 5 out of 5 100
GameSpot Feb 15, 2000 9.6 out of 10 96
Gameplay RPG 2000 95 out of 100 95
Jeuxvideo.com Jun 21, 2000 19 out of 20 95
Legendra Oct 21, 2007 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
RPGFan May 05, 2000 83 out of 100 83
PSM Jun, 2000 4 out of 5 80
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Jun 13, 2004 8 out of 10 80

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
That opening cutscene 2 אולג 小奥 (168863)
Aug 31, 2014
A rare dungeon-crawler with substance AND style 3 Lain Crowley (5410)
May 19, 2012

Trivia

Vagrant Story, despite being a commercial failure (due to low advertising), is considered a "perfect" game by Famitsu (a Japanese gaming magazine), and is one of its legendary five "greatest ever games". It is the third game ever to reach this status, and the first game by SquareSoft, now named Square-Enix, to earn this rating.

Related Web Sites

Macintrash (2511) added Vagrant Story (PlayStation) on Apr 06, 2001
Other platforms contributed by Charly2.0 (30547) and GTramp (32288)