Get to know the classic JRPG LIVE A LIVE
If you’re on the prowl for your next JRPG, you may want to look no further than the LIVE A LIVE™ game!
Now, you may be thinking, “How do you pronounce that?” or “I don’t know what a LIVE A LIVE is...” Both are valid thoughts! First, say “five,” then replace the F sound with an L sound. Ok, now times that by two. Boom. Second, if you’ve never heard of LIVE A LIVE, that’s understandable. Since this classic RPG was never released outside of Japan, lots of folks have never had the opportunity to enjoy the game…until now!
To make sure you feel comfortable stepping into so many robust worlds, we’ve gathered a bit of info to help you get a better idea of what you can expect in LIVE A LIVE.
So…what is LIVE A LIVE exactly?
If you’re a fan of classic Japanese role-playing games, you may be surprised to know that Takashi Tokita (known for his work on CHRONO TRIGGER and FINAL FANTASY IV) and Yoko Shimomura (known for her work on FINAL FANTASY XV and the KINGDOM HEARTS series) worked on this game.
In the game, you have the option to choose between seven different characters at the start of the game, each living in a different time period with their own distinct gameplay and story.
You may notice that LIVE A LIVE looks different from its 1994 original release. With a stylish makeover, this remake allows you to explore each era in a HD-2D visual style that blends 3D environments and modern effects with pixel art.
Additionally, each story features rearranged versions of its soundtrack—created by the original composer, Yoko Shimomura!
In LIVE A LIVE, there are many protagonists, each with their own story, abilities, and mechanics. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect in each story, shall we?
The Wild West: As the Sundown Kid, help a frontier town take a stand and defend itself against outlaws.
Twilight of Edo Japan: Engage or elude your enemies to carry out a secret mission as Oboromaru, a humble shinobi who keeps to the shadows.
Present Day: As Masaru Takahara, you’ll try to master new skills to become the world’s greatest warrior.
The Near Future: A rebel with the extraordinary gift of reading people’s minds, Akira must work with his friends to unravel a dark conspiracy.
The Distant Future: You are Cube, a robot brought to life on a cargo spaceship. Try to discover the truth of a tragedy aboard the ship.
Imperial China: The Earthen Heart Shifu is in search of a worthy successor. As the kung fu master, you must entrust your kung fu legacy to young disciples.
Prehistory: In an age without words, a young man named Pogo is eager to prove his worth. Try to save an innocent woman…and survive in the process.
As you discover a series of tales stretching throughout time, you’ll find the truth behind their shared history.
Wait…you can jump in and out of each story?
Yup! While you can play each story in whatever order you choose, you can also stop playing one and move to a different story. For example, say you started playing The Near Future and decided you wanted to take a break from that story. All you’d have to do is go to “Settings”, save your progress, then choose “Return to Chapter Select”. You can then return to your place in that story at any time.
If you weren’t exactly happy with some of the choices you made in that chapter, you could also replay the chapter from the beginning.
Prepare for the battle (system)!
While all the characters in LIVE A LIVE seemingly don’t share a lot in common, one common component you’ll find is the battle system! Each character uses the same grid-based battlefield, but in different ways based on their objective. For example, in the Imperial China chapter, you’ll probably find yourself in a few scraps and will have to defeat enemies to level up. However, in the Twilight of Edo Japan chapter, you can choose to fight, but you can also use your superior shinobi skills to veil yourself in shadows during battles. Where’d you go? Who knows! You ARE the shadow.
Try before you buy
Now, you may be wondering if this classic JRPG is right for you. Luckily, you can get a taste of the adventure that awaits by downloading the free demo which features three chapters: Imperial China, Twilight of Edo Japan, and The Distant Future. And, if you like the game and choose to buy it, your saved progress can be carried over to the full version of the game. You can pick up from where you left off, so consider taking the game out for a spin. You can even get a feel for the battle system by playing the Imperial China chapter!