Skies of Arcadia
Description official descriptions
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 warships. During one of their confrontations with a battleship, 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.
Besides 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.).
The 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 advanced the story and received an ability that would grant the player access to unexplored areas. The airship's combat abilities can be improved by customizing it to a degree, and by recruiting crew members in various parts of the world.
- エターナル アルカディア - Japanese spelling
Credits (Dreamcast version)
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Average score: 90% (based on 41 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 61 ratings with 2 reviews)
Skies of Arcadia was developed by Overworks a Sega department with some of the Phantasy Star designers. It is the best rpg of the Dreamcast, and one of the best in general. Everyone assumed that Grandia II would be the killer app rpg for the Dreamcast. In the end however most agreed Skies of Arcadia was the better game.
Skies of Arcadia takes place in a world of floating islands, where the sky is like the sea. In Arcadia much lies uncharted. Civilizations vie for domination and Air Pirates roam the sky. There are two types of pirates on Arcadia, The Black Pirates, and The Blue Rogues. The Pirates are the scum of the sky, whilst the Rogues are the nobler of the two. For example they only rob Imperial Ships. You play Vyse the Blue Rogue, when he and his friend Aika discover a strange young woman being attacked by Imperials, they aid her. Thus begins their epic quest to stop the evils of the Old World from returning. Skies of Arcadia’s plot had me addicted, seriously. No rpg since Phantasy Star IV, had me this enthralled.
The Graphics were amazing. All the various cultures in Arcadia have a unique look. The characters were all well detailed. The spell and Special Moves all look spectacular. But the S. Moves out do the spells. Even Vyse’s level one move looks awesome. Traveling the skies looks sweet. With good view distance, and only scant pop-up. All the towns, dungeons, and ships are incredibly detailed both on the world map and in full size. And unlike many rpg’s every dungeon is a unique experience. You never feel as if you just did this dungeon. Seeing the new weapons in battle is a treat I found myself compulsively going after ever new weapon just to see it in battle!
The Gameplay is unique in many ways. As I mentioned every single dungeon is unique. And unlike most rpg’s in Skies you start the game with an airship, instead of getting it at the end. There are also ship to ship battles which are some of the coolest segments of the entire game. You fire cannons and build up energy until you can unleash a super move that devastates the enemy! There are traditional character battles, which are made more interesting due to the S. Moves. However like most console rpgs they can get tedious. The boss battles are all good, fortunately.
The Sound and Music. First the sound all the weapon sounds, guns, swords, cannons, etc are convincing, the voice samples are poor, thankfully they are brief. The Music shines, more than making up for the questionable voices. Few rpg’s have a score this good, as few would I own, Skies of Arcadia is one of those few. I cannot think of a track in this game that I do not like.
The voices are poor. The character battles can get tedious and feel drawn out. And the random encounter rate is way to high.
The Bottom Line
If you own a Dreamcast and haven’t played this one, you owe it to yourself to do so. Don’t miss one of the DC’s best games, and one of the best ever!
Dreamcast · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006
* Amazing graphics! The world is quite beautiful and all the graphic cut scenes for magic and special attacks are phenomenal!
Moving story! You begin to really care about the characters, with a multitude of dialogue and interaction!
Six different schools of magic, each representing one of the colors of the moonstones! Great variety of spells, plus an innovative way to gain magic abilities based on what color of magic you apply to your melee weapon in battle.
Ship-to-ship battles! Not only do you fight in standard man-to-man fights ala Final Fantasy, you can take your ship and blow away another ship (or very large creature) using a fairly simple turn-based combat system.
Very large enemies! It's intense to be taking on a creature the size of a skyscraper (the Gigas) in your tiny, but powerful ship.
* Random encounters. It's very annoying to search an outdoor area or a dungeon when you keep getting caught in a battle. Sure, it's fun at first, but after a while it gets old and tired real fast.
Rough linearity. Although the world is laid out so that you theoretically could explore whatever area you want, you can't reach certain areas until you plow through the main plot points, thereby hurting the freedom that an RPG could bring. You have to obtain the moonstones in a pre-set order, rather than choosing which one you could go after.
Pre-set save points. You constantly worry how much farther it is to the next save point in a dungeon. At least you could save at any time while you're in your ship.
The Bottom Line
You take on the role of Vyse, an air pirate who is struggling against the Valuan Empire with his friend Aika, as well as his father. Vyse rescues an enigmatic girl named Fina from the clutches of the Valuans. In time, he learns that she came to Arcadia from a floating space station built by a long lost Silver Civilization. Her charge was to collect six color-coded moonstones that had the power to revitalize the Gigas, golem-like creatures left by the elitist Silvites to destroy the world if they felt that the world was too unfit to exist. A member of the Valuans, Galcian, is in league with Fina's traitor Silvite brother, Ramirez, to capture the moonstones and revive the Gigas in order to control the world. Throughout his adventures, Vyse meets a conglomerate of characters who join up with him in his battles, including LOTS of NPCs. Lots of spells and items, standard level gaining and ship-to-ship battles! At the end, the party must fight Galcian, Ramirez and the Super Giga Zelos in a battle royale!
Overall, an excellent RPG with only minor flaws; probably one of the best games on Dreamcast!
Dreamcast · by lado (25) · 2006
1001 Video Games
Skies of Arcadia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
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).
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.
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.
Skies of Arcadia was the first Overworks-developed title to make it to the US.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- 2001– Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
Related 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.
- MobyGames ID: 4052
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Rogee.
Game added May 11th, 2001. Last modified December 4th, 2023.