There will be spoilers for Arc the lad all over this post. It’s time for me to talk about some of the details of the Arc the Lad series that are really more for the people who have already played the games. The following is an assortment of random thoughts.
Velhart gets the most character development of any character in the third game. Really, he and Tosh are the only characters in all the games with much in the way of character development. Oh, other characters change, but it’s only with them that we really see anything.
Velhart looks less manly than I expected. He’s very, well, effeminate looking. I don’t think it works well with his character concept. The appearance doesn’t evoke the desperate self-esteem issues of the character. He just looks… well, pretty. And in a game where most of the characters have really cool designs, Velhart’s just looks strange. Or maybe the artist just sucks at drawing androgynous guys.
Choko got a bum deal in the third game. Mini-game mascot status isn’t a good sign.
Did Andel’s plan make any sense? I like to think that he was stringing along the heroes the whole time and fully expected he’d need to sacrifice himself at the end. I’m not sure. Some of his actions don’t make much sense in light of that theory.
Seriously, they give you an opportunity to time travel in the second game, and they go back like, what, ten years? Man, I wanted to go back 3,000 years – meet the original Braves.
Chongara. Oh man, that guy gets a bum deal. Emaciated, mentally ill, and I don’t think he’s fully recovered by the end of the third game.
Lutz talks a lot about how awesome his items are. You know what? He sucks. He never really uses items throughout the game. He talks big, and there’s some mini-games where he’s all about that, but… they don’t show a stunning display of confidence.
Do we ever find out what Cheryl’s past is? I guess she was orphaned, but it sounds like she was really hurt by someone.
Poco… oh man, he drove me crazy in the first game, talking about food all the time. Give it a rest, man.
I hate the designs of the four Guardians. They look just terribly ugly. The light guardian looks like some kind of mutated frog. And they never fixed it, in any of the games. Hell, I thought they were going somewhere when the second game featured that really badass looking version of the Fire Guardian. Sadly, no.
“Arc the Lad”. What kind of title is “the Lad”? It’s a terrible title. I wouldn’t want to be known as “the Lad”. And isn’t that what you’d really call a child. I mean, Arc is in his teens in the first game, and he doesn’t come across as especially naïve.
Iga’s temple doesn’t accept women. Why not? I’m surprised he didn’t get more worldly after traveling with female companions for two games.
Okay, you know that cave that Madame Claire’s in? The one that you have to send monsters through? That cave is some BS. “Too dangerous for humans”, right. I’m not going to believe that a few cave bats will slow down the Seven Braves.
Was Odon ever any good?
What’s my vote for saddest moment in AtL 2? It’s hard to say. I’m going to go with the ending. “We didn’t stop the end of the world. We survived it.” The corpses floating in water was pretty fucked up. A close second is the part where Elc has to kill his best friend. Tosh killing zombie dad isn’t sad – it’s awesome.
At the end of AtL 3, I stopped caring about treasure. I just ran rampant through dungeons because I had the best equipment.
I was hoping for more with Diekbeck. His story in AtL 2 is… eh. I’m glad he gets his own dungeon at the end, but it’s not quite enough.
The reveal at the end of AtL3, about the hunter who rescued Alec was… underwhelming. “Oh, hey, we fought once, and I used to be a hunter and hi, and now we fight, okay, I’m dead, cya x.x”
I regret doing the 1,000 battles in the Arena. Not worth it.
Choko’s asura form is cool, but I wish she could keep using her other special moves. Also, Stimulant is a weird name for transforming.
Why did AtL2 think it was a good idea to still have chests you have to jump to get to? It’s used so rarely that it becomes strange.
Speaking of chests, it wasn’t worth it to pick up chests in the first game.
I do kinda miss the way speed worked in AtL1. Extra turns up the wazoo.
My favorite Chongara outfit is in AtL 2. He looks good in blue and dark glasses. Definitely a costume change for a better.
Really, Elc is astoundingly competent. In the second game, I’m pretty sure he’s a teenager. But he’s cool, collected, confident, and he flies a badass little airship. Hell, he’s driven enough to nearly kill himself trying to catch Arc when he thinks Arc is a villain. I really felt for the guy. And in the third game, he’s even cooler: he’s like a god of fire, slagging anything that stands in his way.
Of course, Alec comes pretty far too. He starts out as a nobody from a little village at the beginning of the game, and by the end he is giving commands to guilds across the world.
But you know who doesn’t develop much? Arc. The guy the series is named after. I mean, the game implies that he’s grown, but we don’t really know much about him other than he wants to do good and he loves Kukuru (which I insist comes out of nowhere).
Shu, combining everything that is good about ninjas and machine guns.
Diekbeck is kind of an ass in the third game. Then again, it’s still better than “I am generic helper bot”, which was his personality in the second game.
Don’t you wish Paundit counted as a first tier cast member?
I’m really uncomfortable with how things leave off with Anriette in the third game. Sure, she’s a stuck-up brat, but I don’t feel like there’s a satisfying moral lesson with her: you can take her with you, in which case she’s a brat who gets what she wants. Or you can leave her behind, and she talks about how it’s her proper place in the world and, well…
Also, the lady at the orphanage, refusing Anriette’s charity. I get that Anriette’s motives for being charitable were questionable, but the caretaker’s response is along the lines of, “it’s not fair to take money we didn’t earn for ourselves”. I get the moral lesson there, but this isn’t the kind of situation where you refuse a handout: you’re living in a postapocalyptic world, in its worst city, trying to care for half a dozen children. I think the childrens’ immediate welfare is the bigger concern.
Coming back to it ten years later, the Arc the Lad Bible (i.e. the 500+ page strategy guide) is not as funny as I remember. The same goes for lots of the writing in Working Designs’ instruction manuals and strategy guides. I mean, it’s all still kinda funny, but it’s not the comedy gold I thought it was when I was younger.
I wish I could reorganize Diekbeck’s skills in the second game. Because they’re tied to units, the game won’t let the player do that.
Despite how creepy Spicy is as a character, I do think the final mission involving him is pretty funny: the triplets thing caught me by surprise.
So what exactly was the weapon that the King of Romalia used in the second game? The third game seems to imply that it was the Dark Lord, but I’m not certain.
Speaking of which, the Dark Lord is… a dead king? Honestly, the series’ ancient mythology is fundamentally important to understanding the nature of the modern world, but it gets glossed over so badly.
I wish the Beast Lord stuff had been tied more into the games’ plot.
Seriously, this is a good example of a game that would have benefitted from at least an in-game journal explaining bits of history about the world that the player might want to know.
I call the villain the dark lord, because subconsciously, I don’t’ want to admit that his name is the Dark One. It’s a terribly stupid name on the level of The Bad Guy.
Remember that plan where Tosh wanted to take the townsfolk north to Gislem? That was a stupid plan. Three reasons: 1) They have to go through a dangerous cave; 2) Gislem is the most dangerous city in the world; 3) there is literally another city just south of them.
I don’t think we ever learned how Yoshua managed to delay the end of the world by 10 years.
I was a little weirded out when I saw Andel’s hair for the first time. I guess I’d always assumed he’d be gray or bald.
I don’t understand why they had to unseal the arc at the end of the first game. Which is important; that was a big deal.
When I got to the house of endless treasures in AtL2, I was surprised to find some treasure chests were empty. I suspect they are filled only if you didn’t import data from AtL1.
I don’t know why the team didn’t fight back at AtL 1. Sure, there were a lot of enemy soldiers there. But they’re the Seven Braves, and they just fought demons. This is the fate of the world we’re talking about.
Most developed character in AtL 2: Gruga.