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In Live a Live, the player controls seven main characters and plays through seven different chapters set in seven different time periods: prehistoric age, old China, feudal Japan, American Old West, modern-day environment, near future on the Earth, and a sci-fi space scenario.

These stories appear to have no common points at first; each one has its own protagonists and goals: the prehistoric chapter is dedicated to love and friendship that existed before humans invented language; the Chinese chapter is a tale of an old master who must choose a perfect apprentice; the Japanese (Bakumatsu period) episode stars a ninja that infiltrates a warlord's castle; the Old West scenario is a classic tale of rivalry and revenge; modern-day story is a simple recounting of a fighting tournament; near future chapter deals with urban life and psychic abilities; finally, the space episode is a horror story in which a robot must investigate mysterious deaths of the crew members.

The player can choose to play the scenarios in any order, but must complete them all in order to unlock the eighth scenario, and eventually the final chapter - both of which explain the connections between the separate stories and deliver the grand finale.

The main gameplay system in Live a Live is that of a Japanese-style role-playing game with turn-based battles. Unlike most games of its kind, the battles take place on a single-screen field, on which the player can freely navigate the characters. Positioning the characters is crucial in many battles, as enemy attacks often have area effects; weapon range also plays a role in combat.

The chapters may vary drastically in gameplay. For example, the ninja chapter is mostly based on stealth; finding ways to avoid the enemies is preferable to engaging them in battles. The near future chapter features mind-reading and other puzzle-solving elements. The sci-fi chapter is unique gameplay-wise, having no battles at all, the gameplay focusing entirely on exploration and gradually solving the mystery.


Live a Live SNES Wild West chapter
Live a Live SNES Modern chapter: training
Live a Live SNES As the great kung-fu master Roshi, you've finally found your way to the enemy's castle...
Live a Live SNES Near future chapter: intro

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Live Alive" -- Alternate spelling
  • "liveAevil" -- Title Screen title
  • "ライブ・ア・ライブ" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

A very original and unique RPG SNES Bregalad (967)

Critic Reviews SNES Dec 20, 2011 19 out of 20 95
Legendra SNES Aug 06, 2008 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40


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  • The Bakumatsu (ninja) chapter is based on a real historical event.
  • The old master in kung-fu chapter is called Roshi; this is the Japanese pronunciation of the name of the great Chinese philosopher Lao Zi (Lao-tse).
  • While starting a new Captain Square's game in the sci-fi chapter, it's written (c) 2099 Arumat Soft If you reverse the word "Arumat" you'll found "Taruma" which is an actual corporation (


  • Live a Live contains some references to Latin language. The space ship in sci-fi chapter is called "Cogito Ergo Sum"; it is a famous phrase of the French philosopher René Descartes, and it means "I think, therefore I am".
  • Odio (the name of the Demon King) is a Latin word, meaning "hate".
  • The final boss of each chapter has in Japanese a variant spelling of the name of the last boss of the game, Odio, even trough it's less evident to notice that in the English fan translation of the game.


Most RPGs typically either a silent protagonist (who never speaks, only the player have to select 'Yes' or 'No' or equivalent answers) or normal protagonists where the hero have dialogue with other characters. Live A Live is the only known game to that actually have mixed bag of both : The ninja, Sunset, Cube and Orsted are silent protagonists, while the other playable characters are regular protagonists. (there is also Pogo who speaks with jests and images instead of text, but that's still having an interactive dialogue so it doesn't count as a silent protagonist)

Information also contributed by Bregalad

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Contributed to by Michael Cassidy (21142) and Unicorn Lynx (181614)