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Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (PlayStation 2)

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Description

The world is called Deep Earth. The world is a huge underground complex of cities and labyrinths. The world is populated by people who have never seen the sky and the sun in their lives. The world is dark and hostile, and knows no mercy. Technology is well developed in this world, but the society is ruled by a cruel law, dividing all the citizens into classes, depending on the their D-ratio - a form of identifying people and assigning to them a social status at the same time. This is the reality of mankind somewhere in a fantasy universe, where the hero Ryu is thrown into.

Ryu is a simple guard, a ranger with a low D-ratio - his job is to help to protect the citizens from genics - artificial monsters who have gone wild. During one of such routine patrols, Ryu runs into a mysterious silent girl named Nina, and saves her from a monster. Willing to protect her, Ryu discovers in himself a devastating power. He is now determined to do something for the people of Deep Earth, and perhaps even guide them to the surface of the planet.

Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter is a radical departure from the previous titles of the Breath of Fire series, and in some ways from standard Japanese-style role-playing games in general. The game is built like a huge dungeon crawler, with no overworld map. The combat is tactical: each character has action points (AP), which can be used to move around the screen during an enemy encounter, and perform a variety of combo attacks. There is no magic in the game, and many of the items found in dungeons are random. All the enemies are visible on screen. Depending on who first initiated a physical contact, the party or the enemies get an extra turn in battles.

The game allows (and even encourages) the player to restart it from the beginning, keeping the items and the party experience. The game also features a special counter - Ryu can use his traditional dragon transformation abilities, but the counter raises with each such transformation, and when the counter reaches 100, the game is over. Raising the D-ratio allows characters to access new areas every time the game is replayed.

Screenshots

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter PlayStation 2 The intro, showing a heavily wandering Ryu, reflects well the game's grim atmosphere
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter PlayStation 2 Selecting traps to use
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter PlayStation 2 Attacks are zoomed on during combat - see Lin shooting the monster
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter PlayStation 2 This mini-game involves managing an ant colony

Alternate Titles

  • "Breath of Fire V" -- Informal name
  • "ブレスオブファイアV ドラゴンクォーター" -- Japanese spelling

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The Press Says

Pixel-Heroes.de Dec 21, 2008 9 out of 10 90
Game Informer Magazine Mar, 2003 8.5 out of 10 85
Jeuxvideo.com Dec 15, 2003 17 out of 20 85
JustPressPlay Sep 05, 2006 8.5 out of 10 85
The Next Level Apr 03, 2003 B+ 83
GamesFirst! Apr 02, 2002 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Christ Centered Game Reviews Jun 01, 2005 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameSpot Feb 25, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Game Informer Magazine Mar, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Yiya Feb 21, 2004 9 out of 15 60

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Trivia

Dragons

Three of the dragons in the Japanese version had the names Odin, Dva, and Chetyre. Those names means, respectively, one, two, and four in Russian. The name of the dragon Dva was mistranslated and became Dover in the US version.

Elyon

When you fight Elyon, the dragonized ruler of Deep Earth, he takes several shapes (which are called "worlds"): Beria Yuga, Yetsira Yuga, etc. Those are combination of Hindu and Jewish mythology: the yugas are the huge time periods (epochs), according to an ancient Hindu teaching; on the other hands, the words beria and yetsira both mean "creation" and refer to the aspects of the creation of the world in the mystical Jewish teaching Kabbala.

By the way, the word elyon itself is also Hebrew, meaning "the highest", "superior".

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – Breakout Game of the Year (PS2)

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MA17 (193) added Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (PlayStation 2) on Feb 20, 2003