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Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast)

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Developed by
Released
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89
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Arcadia is a world where continents float high above, and people travel by airships. Among the countries of this world, the most powerful one is the Empire of Valua. Guided by its greedy admirals, Valua strives to possess all the power in Arcadia. The boy Vyse and the girl Aika are members of the Blue Rogues - noble pirates who attack only Valuan war ships. During one of their confrontations with a battle ship, they encounter a girl named Fina, who is on an important mission whose secret she cannot tell yet. Involved in the conflict with the Empire of Valua, the trio of the heroes must explore the whole world of Arcadia in order to defeat the admirals.

Skies of Arcadia is a traditional Japanese role-playing game with turn-based combat and randomly appearing enemies. Player-controlled party contains up to four active combatants. During battles, characters attack physically, use items, or cast magic spells, which deplete magic points as well as spirit points (SP). Each character is also able to "focus", which restores spirit points. Once the common spirit bar is filled, characters can unleash powerful special attacks. Enemies may be resilient or vulnerable to particular elements; elemental affinities of weapons can be switched at any time during battles.

Beside the usual party-based combat, there are also airship battles in the game. These usually occur at specific plot points and involve the player-controlled airship fighting another ship or a giant creature. These battles are round-based, with the player planning several turns ahead, using various kinds of ship weapons (cannons, torpedoes, etc.).

Airship is available to the player since the beginning of the game and can be navigated physically; the game's "world map" consists entirely of air space, with islands that can be accessed only by airship. Most locations, however, can only be explored after having advancing the story and received an ability that would grant the player access to unexplored areas. The airship can also be customized to a degree, and crew members in various parts of the world recruited, improving its combat abilities.

Screenshots

Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast "We won, we won!" :)
Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast Shop interface.
Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast Vyse executes one of his special moves
Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast Boss battle. Vyse attacks!

Alternate Titles

  • "Project Ares" -- Early development name
  • "Eternal Arcadia" -- Japanese title
  • "エターナル アルカディア" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Ye bilge rats respect traditions too much! Arrr!.. אולג 小奥 (169089) 3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars
Not only is it the best DC rpg but the best rpg in a while. MasterMegid (897) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Beautifully rendered sky pirate RPG! Arrrrrrrrr matey!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lado (28) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

The Press Says

Gaming since 198x Nov 23, 2009 5 out of 5 100
RPGamer Nov 11, 2004 10 out of 10 100
Gameplay RPG Dec, 2000 98 out of 100 98
RPGFan Nov 13, 2001 93 out of 100 93
GameSpot Oct 16, 2000 9.2 out of 10 92
Defunct Games Apr 24, 2005 92 out of 100 92
RPGFan Feb 16, 2001 91 out of 100 91
Eurogamer.net (UK) Jan 09, 2001 9 out of 10 90
Jeuxvideo.com Apr 10, 2001 18 out of 20 90
Meristation Apr 16, 2001 9 out of 10 90

Forums

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Skies of Arcadia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Censorship

Skies of Arcadia was censored in its U.S. version. Some changes include Gilder's little smoking habit (he used to pop a cigarette into his mouth in some of his victory poses), making Loqua a juice instead of an alcoholic drink, changing Belleza's dancer disguise (it was semi-transparent in some of the more *AHEM*...conspicuous places...), and making Vigoro less of a filthy sex fiend in his passes to Aika (he was REALLY perverted in the Japanese version).

Development Team

The development team behind Skies of Arcadia was OverWorks, a Sega development team best known for producing the Phantasy Star series on the Sega Master System and Genesis. In fact, Skies of Arcadia was produced by Reiko Kodama, who helped produce and co-create the first Phantasy Star.

Loading

The graphic information for an area's battle graphics and enemies is not stored in memory. The Dreamcast fetches this information individually for each battle you encounter. Depending on the condition of the Dreamcast, the loading effect is sometimes quite audible as a soft 'squeeking' noise (not uncommon among cd-roms and players). Why this is important is because it's quite possible to "hear" a random battle being loaded up (sometimes up to 10 seconds before the actual event) from the game's cd... letting the player quickly access the menu screen beforehand to use items, or maybe to just get the player prepared.

Milestone

Skies of Arcadia was the first Overworks-developed title to make it to the US.

References

Skies of Arcadia contains some interesting references to some well known novels:
  • References to Moby Dick include Captain Drachma, whose entire life is dedicated to exterminating the Archwhale, is an obvious parallel to Captain Ahab. Also note that one of your crew members' name is Ismael.
  • References to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea include The Giant Squid.
  • References to Robinson Crusoe include the crew member that is shipwrecked being named Robinson.

Rumble effect

This game has an odd "rumble effect". It was not uncommon to have a mild effect during air battles only to have it rumble at earthquake levels when opening a normal-looking door.

Wallpaper

Normally whenever you insert a Dreamcast game into the CD-ROM drive of your computer, you cannot access any of the data that is on it (this is because Dreamcast games are GD-ROMs). However, if you insert either Disc One or Disc Two of Skies of Arcadia into your computer, you can save to your hard drive a wallpaper of Vyse, Aika and Fina.

Yui Horie

Seiyuu Yui Horie, who played Fina in the Japanese version of Skies of Arcadia, can also be heard as the hot-headed Naru Narusegawa in the anime series Love Hina. Talk about a vast contrast!

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2001– Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
Information also contributed by אולג 小奥, J. Michael Bottorff, MasterMegid, Sciere, and WildKard

Related Web Sites

  • Skies of Arcadia World (A fansite totally dedicated to Skies of Arcadia. We have everything you would want, and even stuff that you wouldn't even expect.)
Rogee (506) added Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast) on May 10, 2001