Saturday, June 18, 2011

Legend of Heroes: Song of the Ocean

The Conclusion of the epic Ghargharv Trilogy.
If this series was not a victim of localization from Bandai Namco, Legend of Heroes would deserve more attention from RPG fans. The translation job is pretty terrible but it doesn't prevent me to finish all 3 series. If you played the other 2 Legend of Heroes before getting into this one there will be some satisfaction as you hard work will be repaid during this game. Song of the Ocean is the conclusion of Ghargharv Trilogy which connects Prophecy of moonlight witch and Tear of Vermilion. The story tells about the Legacy of Blue Tribe which shape the Ghargharv history in the past and takes place in the last continent which is known as Weltluna.

The story of this game is the Journey of Troubadour called Mcbain who travels around Weltluna in order to seek Resonance Stone to sing the legendary music known as "Water Melody" created by legendary Musician Leone 50 years prior the game takes place. The main character Forte who is McBain's grandson also travel with him along with his childhood friend Una who apparently had secret crush with Forte. Just like other previous LoH games, the Mcbain company will meet various people throughout the journey and as they travel they will find their journey to seek Resonance Stone will intertwine with a disaster that will try to bring the world of Ghargharv to ruin once again.

In terms of gameplay, Song of the ocean improved abit compared to other game but it still doesn't make the battle less boring. There is a new feature where you can combine 2 different offensive resonance spell in order to create fusion spell which usually deal big damage though not all resonance spell can combine together. In this game you also activate the finishing move during the action which is useful to interrupt enemy attack.

This game explains alot of stuff unexplained in previous 2 games especially prophecy of moonlight witch. Song of the ocean tells the story about Ghargharv when all 3 continents were once together and the cause of the world to split apart into 3 continents that are known as El phildin, Weltluna and Tirasweel. Apparently the cause of the catastrophe was due to Advanced civilization known as Blue Tribe who mastered magic like no one else but due to their abuse of the power it leads to catastrophe which was going to destroy the world but barely prevented in the cost of the world split apart. However the trace of the catastrophe are not completely erased.

Later the main character will learn the disaster that will occur in Weltluna manifested in negative energy known as Dark Sun only can be prevented by Water Melody which can be only played once all resonance stone completed. The main character has to find Leone in the realm known as "Another World" who knows the location of the last Resonance stone. You will also meet the Little girl in Silver Hair who will be know as Gueld the moonlight witch in prophecy of moonlight witch.

You might see Revas in prophecy of moonlight witch before who happens to be the successor of his dad Revas the 13th. He is the Oracle who foresee things happening in the future and happen to be the one who hold the last resonance stone. You will find the fact that in the Another world there is a bigger disaster contained compared to the one in Weltluna which is the reason behind the plots of prophecy of moonlight witch.

You will also find Avin the protagonists of Tears of Vermilion and his friends. Apparently 7 years after his adventure in defeating the God of Darkness he travel again to Weltluna. Mitchell Lap the legendary wizard also appear in this game which make he is the only character appeared in all 3 Ghargharv Trilogy. Both Avin and Mitchell serve as important supporting character near the end of the game.

Probably the last boss is pulled out of nowhere as he only show up in the last chapter without hinting any more appearance in the game. Stigma apparently the mastermind behind the resurrection of the Dark Sun and he tries to control it in order to destroy Another world for his personal reason. In the end the plan backfired and he becomes a mindless monster which serve as final boss.

The only way to prevent the catastrophe is by chanelling the energy from the Water Melody to instrument called Viola Ruhm which is the legacy left behind the water tribe to prevent the catastrophe should it happen once again. The main character went through tough ordeals in order to prevent the Dark Sun from exploding and in the end they managed to prevent the catastrophe which saves the Another world as well.

Since all of the story part is finished now i tell the gameplay part. Compared to other 2 Legend of Heroes this game has more extras compared to it. Throughout your journey you will find tuning fork which warp you to a place which enable you to play extra scenarios which belong to Tears of Vermilion.

These is where your hardwork from the previous two games are rewarded. If you had previous 2 LoH savefiles you will be able to use characters from previous games which is a good news if you happen to have favorite from other LoH. More characters are unlocked as you clear more extra scenario or progress to the chapters in the game.

Another additional feature in this game is Albums which allow you to see character portraits from all 3 games. For Tear of Vermilion and Prophecy of moonlight witch you need to clear an extra scenario with those characters from to series in order to unlock the portrait and as for Song of the Ocean you find the portraits from treasure chests throughout the game. This game also have sound mode which allow you to hear songs from previous LoH and apparently it is harder to acquire compared to character portrait.

Not many people able to bear the poor quality of this series but after i personally finished all of this series i find the story are really good compared to your average RPG game. You will feel a sense of achievement after seeing through the adventure of these 3 games. The series has another sequel which is unrelated to Ghargharv trilogy known as Sora no Kiseki or Trails in the Sky. I have played the game and currently halfway through and it is easily the best modern adaptation of Classic RPG and seriously it is the best RPG game out there. I would strongly recommend to play the Trails in the sky if you can't play Ghargharv trilogy first.

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