- Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
North American box art
Developer(s) Capcom Production Studio 3 Publisher(s) Capcom Designer(s) Makoto Ikehara Artist(s) Tatsuya Yoshikawa Writer(s) Yukio Andoh Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto Series Breath of Fire Platform(s) PlayStation 2 Release date(s) Genre(s) Role-playing Mode(s) Single-player Rating(s) Media/distribution 1 DVD
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, known in Japan as Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter (ブレス オブ ファイアV ドラゴンクォーター Buresu obu Faia Faibu Doragon Kwōtā ), is a PlayStation 2 (PS2) game originally released on November 14, 2002. It is the fifth role-playing game (RPG) in the Breath of Fire series.
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is a role-playing video game that takes drastic deviations from previous games in the series, and is the first to be presented using fully three-dimensional graphics for both characters and environments. Players control their characters from a third-person perspective as they navigate through a number of different environments including dangerous areas such as dungeons and towns were they may interact with non-player characters. While previous Breath of Fire games took place in fantasy environments containing open areas, Dragon Quarter features a distinct science fiction motif that sets the game in a series of underground bunkers 1000m below the surface in an industrialized, post-apocalyptic environment. As players progress through the game, they must travel upward through a network of tunnels while battling enemies and collecting keys in order to advance. The game uses a map system that alerts players to the location of nearby doors, treasures, and enemies to aid them in navigation.
Rather than experiencing the entire game in a single play-through, Dragon Quarter is designed to encourage the player to play through the title multiple times in order to experience the whole story. Using the Scenario Overlay (SOL) System, certain plot points and areas of the game are only accessible if the player's D-Ratio number is high enough. When players begin the game, their D-Ratio is represented as the fraction 1/8192, and can only be lowered by continually re-starting the game and using the SOL: Restore function, which allows them to begin a brand-new game while carrying over all accumulated items, equipment, and skills found up until that point. Progress is saved to the PlayStation 2's memory card using limited Save Tokens found during gameplay. Players may also suspend their game as many times as they wish by creating a temporary save at certain areas in the game, which are deleted as soon as they are loaded.
When a player reaches a certain point in the game, they obtain the ability to use powerful dragon abilities and receive a D-Counter at the top of the screen represented as a percentage. When the D-Counter reaches 100 percent, the game ends and the player is sent back to their last permanent save. The meter raises continually as the player uses these abilities in or out of battle and can only be lowered by re-starting using SOL: Restore.
Battles in Dragon Quarter use the Positive Encounter and Tactics System (PETS), which is described by Capcom as a "combined real-time and turn-based combat". A battle begins when a character comes in contact with an on-screen enemy creature, with the player gaining a pre-emptive strike advantage if they strike the enemy with their weapon beforehand. Players may also avoid combat by setting traps to slow down or stop enemies from approaching, or by leaving food to attract them to it. While in the battle screen, each character and enemy present take action by order of their "agility" statistic, with each participant allowed free movement around the battle area during their turn. Characters are given an allocation of Active Points (AP) at the start of each turn, with the number decreasing with each step and attack they make. Attacks are divided into three levels, with higher level attacks costing more AP to use but dealing more damage, and may be strung together into combination attacks. A character may learn new attacks by equipping new weapons and by finding Attack Skills scattered throughout the game. A battle is won either when all enemies are defeated or have fled the battle area, with victories earning the player experience points that allow characters to gain levels and become stronger, along bonus Party Experience awarded based on combat performance.
An unspecified amount of time before the game begins, humanity fled the desolated surface world to the underground in order to survive. Now, the world lies in a state of turmoil; polluted and stagnant, only the upper classes are able to escape to higher levels with better air. The game follows Ryu, a low level citizen, who rebels against his government in order to save the life of Nina, who is unable to survive underground, due to an experimental surgery performed on her in order to convert her into an air purification machine. According to Breath of Fire tradition, dragons play a large role in Dragon Quarter, and Ryu himself is able to transform into a dragon. Despite this tradition, however, the main influence of Dragons is felt in the storyline of the game and not the gameplay - unlike every other installment, Ryu can only transform into one Dragon form. The focus of the story is on Ryu's escape to the surface with Nina, accompanied by the ever-watchful Lin. A majority of the game simply focuses on Ryu and company's ascent from over a kilometre(kilometer) below the surface to ground level, traversing dark underground passageways and fending off the encounters they find. On the lowest levels one can find those with low D-ratios; as one ascends the levels, the D-ratio of the inhabitants increases. As the name suggests, D-ratios are expressed as a fraction with a numerator of 1; lower numbers in the denominators indicate a higher D-Ratio. As one can see, D-ratio is the main determinant of social status in the world of Dragon Quarter. The highest D-ratio a human can achieve is 1/4 - this is the Dragon Quarter of the title, which represents a one in four chance of linking with an available dragon.
There are two main subplots in the game; the first one concerns the six mysterious rulers of the entire underground world, who seem to be ubiquitous in their ability to gain information and their ability to act on this information. These rulers also reveal the storyline via a legend passed down that says a boy with the power to become a dragon will bring the world back to the surface. The other subplot is introduced almost at the outset of the game: a rivalry between Ryu and Bosch, the latter of which is portrayed as an entitled, monomaniacal elitist. Bosch initially wishes to use Ryu as his lackey in order to attain a higher rank, due to his (Bosch's) high D-ratio of 1/64. Early on in the story, Bosch inadvertently releases Ryu's ability to become a dragon when he tries to kill Ryu; after he has seen this power, Bosch's will to beat Ryu in battle drives him to undergo experimental dragon fusion, eventually resulting in his ability to become a dragon as well.
Ryu's entire struggle comes to a head as he is forced to invade the upper levels of the underground to lead Nina to the clean air she needs to survive. Three of the five regents which govern the entire world Ryu knows fall beneath his blade before he comes face to face with Elyon, also known as "Origin", the leader of the Regeants and the first host of the dragon Odjn. Elyon acknowledges Ryu's power, noting that none have ever come closer to reclaiming the surface world than he. He then summons two pieces of himself he banished away to extend his life, using his newly rediscovered power to attack Ryu, Nina and Lin. After a fierce battle, Elyon lays defeated and Ryu notes that Elyon was "Odjn's first", heavily alluding to the fact that Elyon was directly responsible for Mankind not reclaiming the sky hundreds of years ago because he feared to push his power to the limit. With their final obstacle out of the way, Ryu, Lin and Nina venture forth to the hatch itself. There Bosch catches up with them, now containing his own true dragon, Chetyre, instead of a mere construct. He and Ryu clash for one final time before Bosch is truly defeated. Seeming to give up, Bosch gives himself over to Chertyre and allows the dragon to manifest himself fully in the world again. Ryu, faced with a true dragon and Odjn's power ready to kill him, is forced to ignore the possibility of death and use his own D-Breath attack to channel Odjn's power against Chertyre. It is important to note that this brings his D-Counter to 100%, something to be avoided at all costs during other points in the game. From this point, which should kill him, Ryu channels more and more of Odjn's power, his D-Counter rising far above 100%, and finally defeats Chertyre and opens the way to the surface. As he lays dying, Ryu tells Lin and Nina to go on ahead, that he'll catch up with them in a moment.
As Nina and Lin walk up the spiral staircase to the surface, Odjn appears, asking if Ryu has any regrets. Ryu replies that he has none, stating that reaching the surface was his only goal. Odjn exhults, telling Ryu that it was not his power which brought Ryu this far, but his own determination. As Lin and Nina grieve, Odjn restores Ryu's life to him. What the three of them would do for the rest of their lives on the now pure, lush and green surface world would remain a mystery.
- Ryu is the blue haired, sword wielding protagonist who is a member of the Sheldar Rangers. He has one of the lowest D-Ratios (1/8192) and thus is looked down upon by the other members. Despite this, he's a hard worker. Early on in the story, he gains the ability to utilize dragon powers by bonding with the dragon Odjn. Unlike other Ryus in the BoF series, he is a human, and is not a mute hero.
- Nina is a mysterious "winged" female who can use potent magic. Nina lost her ability to speak during the operation that grafted wing-like air filters to her back, and can only manage to say her name once she meets Ryu. (This, ironically, makes her the "mute heroine" of the game, though she gets additional spoken lines through the SOL system.)
- Lin is an agent of Trinity, a group that is opposed to the current government. Because of this, her D-Ratio number has been erased. She meets Ryu shortly after he rescues Nina and joins him in protecting her as they climb to the surface. She resembles Ursula from Breath of Fire IV, in both appearance and style of play with guns.
- Bosch at first is Ryu's partner and "friend" in the Rangers, but later becomes one of the principal antagonists throughout the game. He comes from a rich family (he is the son of Vexacion, one of the Regents) and has been raised to fight in a manner similar to ancient Spartans (a particularly disturbing SOL sequence shows a prepubescent Bosch killing a Genic five times his size at the demand of his father). This means he possesses a great deal of both political and physical power. He fights Ryu a total of three times in the game, each time growing more and more obsessed with defeating his former partner, bonding with the dragon Chetyre for more power. He has a D-Ratio of 1/64. His trademark move is Twin Wake.
The Regents - Regents are high ranking officials who act like a board of directors to govern the underground world. All of them possess high D-Ratios.They are surrounded by powerful shield-like auras, which guards them from harm. It appears that the power they gain has somehow stopped or slowed down their aging processes as at least two of them are over a hundred years old. They refer to the rest of humanity as mortals.
- Mebeth a former regent, he is the leader of the anti-government organization Trinity. He is apparently one of the few people with the D-Ratio of 1/4. It has been hinted that he is secretly working with Elyon, and that Trinity is nothing more than an outlet for the frustration the people of Shelter feel, to keep them from turning effectively and destructively against the government. He gives Ryu one of the four keys required to leave the underground and tells him he'll need three more to make it.
- Deamoned is the former leader and oldest of the Regents. He met his match when he lost an eye and was defeated by Elyon. It is implied that he killed Odjn. When he learns of Ryu's powers, he leaves the other Reagents to deal with him by himself. He is very skilled in hand to hand combat able to cause a powerful death blow.
- Cupid is the youngest of the Regents, and the one who conveys their orders. He's very skilled with magic and can sense a "good" or "bad" aura amongst people, and beyond this "aura," he can glimpse the future. He also can summon an invincible monster to his aid. (Cupid is male in the Japanese version, but female in the US version)
- Hortensia is a sorceress who is said to be able to manipulate time and space as she pleases. She speaks of a prophecy that "Man will grow wings and reach for the sky". Despite this being her prophecy she refuses to believe Ryu is the one to fullfill it due to her prejudice of Low-Ds. Instead she attempts to tempt him into taking the same path Ellyon did and become a regent. She specializes in magic and dimensional powers. Her battlezone if a board game like arena where the squares she creates can heal or hurt the players standing on them.
- Jezuit is a smooth talking Regent that specializes in swift hand to hand combat. Since he has the lowest D-Ratio among the Regents, he is opposed to the idea that D-Ratios should be used to determine everything. He is attracted to women who have tails, such as Lin and Hortensia, and doesn't seem to take anything seriously (not even bothering to attend the regent assembly). In reality he is quite taken with Ryu who became linked with a dragon Despite his D-ratio and wants to believe in him (though only mortal kombat will prove to him that Ryu can reach the sky). His specialty is able to transform into an invisible wolf-like monster
- Vexacion is Bosch's father and a master of sword fighting skills called "Beast Skills". He is one of the longest serving Regents rivaling Deamond and Elyon. He has the twins Ryked and Nalaka as his apprentices. He is known as Kensei (or "sword saint"). More than any other Regent, Vexacion deserves the title of Dragon-Slayer. His room is filled with hundreds of swords struck into the ground and each one is a gravestone for a dragon linked human he has killed between the time of Elyon and Ryu. His specialty is using powerful sword attacks such as Kirin Flight, Twin Wake and Quint Wake. He raised his son very harshly, but it was due to fatherly love. Vexacion believed Bosch would become a dragon and be the one who finally kills him and bring light back to the world.
- Elyon is the leader of the Regents. He was the first to be Chosen by Odjn, and as such has the nickname of "Origin". He gave up on opening the gate because he was too worried that he wasn't doing it of his own free will, and that he might be doing something that could risk the lives of all the people in Shelter. Afterwards, since he gave up, he broke the link with Odjn, and decided to become a Regent and waited for the next Chosen. By the time Ryu appears, he has watched numerous Chosen link to dragons and then fail to reach the surface. He's dying, and worrying what will happen to the world if he dies, he gives Ryu one last chance, even though Ryu isn't a Chosen. Elyon was responsible for Odjn linking to Ryu, and it was his command that Nina be surgically altered (probably to help fulfill Hortensia's prophecy). His Alter Ego is his trademark move.
Rangers -The Rangers are the law enforcement of Shelter. They have a variety of tasks including genic hunting, guard duty, and maintaining order in the towns. There are many ranks within the group with the lowest being Grunt and the highest being Regent. As with everything else D-ratios are an important factor in ranking and promotions, but it is not the only factor. Rangers are also judged based on their "scores" in the field and reputations in carrying out high level assignments. But since higher level rangers can be assigned to higher levels of Sheldar, many rangers value their own advancement over the lives of the public.
- Captain Violet Zeno is a high ranking officer of the Shelter Rangers and Ryu's mentor (though its not really shown in the game, Ikehara had stated that they were relatively close). She expects total compliance to all orders and does not accept excuses. She is very skilled with a pair of short swords and has a trademark skill known as "Violet Death". She has a D-Ratio of 1/128. After Bosch reported Trinity's attack on the cargo and Ryu missing, Zeno ordered that the cargo (Nina) be killed. After Ryu fights against the rangers to protect her and Elyon orders his defeat, Zeno takes matters into her own hands. She ambushes Ryu along with Bosch, a whole squad of captain level Rangers, and a Ranger operated Battlesuit called Asimov. Although she knows the true nature of Ryu's new power she lies and attempts to convince him that Odjn was an experimental Genic and that his actions were not off his own will but due to Odjn controlling him (and perhaps she wanted to believe the latter). But when Ryu still refuses to surrender to her she attacks and is killed by Ryu during the battle to bring him to justice and kill Nina. Ryu can then take one of her swords as something of a momento of her.
- Tantra is the pointman of the Dark Rangers (Negative in Japan) a secret sect within the rangers that specializes in assassinations. He has massive absorption capabilities including Drain, Forcacion, and even the bizarre ability to absorb the strength and abilities of the dead. He is thought to have originally been a fairly high-ranking Ranger. Tantra is an erratic and sadistic psycopath who murdered a dozen or so high ranking rangers so they would not interfere with his fight with Ryu. He is also clever as, having witnessed Ryu's strength first hand, he played dead long enough for Ryu to kill his fellow dark rangers so he could absorb them. Depending on the players actions Tantra will absorb either one or both of his subordinants for a total of three possible power levels in his final battle.
- Geegagis and Deegon, are Tantra's subordinants who have undergone treatments - ones using the bodies of Deecs as a base - to increase their strength. Deegon's design is based on DeVogues and he favors high speed and movement. Geegagis' design is based on Armstrongs and he favors high defense and attack power. Although Dark Rangers, they are more like tools to Tantra rather than comrades and he set up their deaths so he absorb their souls and powers.
- The Lieutenants are a trio of mid level rangers who overheard Zeno and Bosch discuss Ryu and planned to kill him to increase their reputations. In order to match his strength they set a trap in lowsector and opened a toxic gas tank in order to weaken him (while they wore gas masks). They did not care about the fact that this would kill all the people living in the town as the towns people were all low-Ds.
Dragons - In this version of Breath of Fire Dragons are man-made in origin, the results of ultimate technology. The dragons in the game are weaker than the originals, however and are known as dragon halves (their D-ratio is 1/2). They speak in Russian and can only activate their full power by bounding with a human. However that power is too great and it will inevitably consume the human.
- Odjn is Ryu's linked dragon and is nicknamed "The Thousand Year Destroyer", to indicate that he'd destroy the underground world of oppression and bring humans to freedom. First encountered as a rotting corpse early in the game, he is revealed to have previously linked with Elyon. He is named after a form of the Russian word for the number one.
- Chetyre is Bosch's dragon and is malevolent, wanting the sky for himself and to keep the humans out of it. He appears to either be enemies or rivals with Odjn. He's named for the Russian word for the number four.
- Dover (Dva in Japan) is an extremely old dragon that lives at the bottom of Kokon Horray. He is dubbed "The Anti-Dragon" for his ability to easily defeat anyone with a D-Link (anyone who is linked with a Dragon). Although he's not a part of the story, he is placed in the game as a hidden boss. His proper Japanese name is the Russian word for the number two.
- The Originals are not present in the game but were an important factor in its setting. They were created by an extremely advanced civilazation. But that civilization stupidly misused their power and ended up destroying themselves, the dragons, and made the world unliveble a thousand years before the events of the game. This forced what was left of humanity to burrow underground in order to survive. But that same technology was still needed in order to sustain the new underground world hence the dragon halves were created based on the original's design. The original's D-ratios were 1/1 (or just one)
- The Biocorp Scientist is never named but very important to the story. He is the one who turned Nina's body into a human air filtration system prototype. Nina is the only known survivor of the experiments with the bodies of other victems kept in storage for study. Although he felt guilt about what he was doing, he was steadfast in his belief that it was right as cleansing the air was a serious issue in shelter. In order to ease his guilt he put himself into a mindset where he saw Nina as a tool rather than a person. To make her more like a tool he referred to Nina as his Genic creation, branded a symbol-like serial number to her forehead, and cut her vocal cords so she couldnt talk. But when he displayed this attitude in front of Ryu (who he assumed was Nina's new owner) he was in for a rude awakening. Ryu smashed his face in and would have killed him if Nina has not calmed him down. The scientist's revelation that Nina would die without clean air cemented Ryu's decision to take Nina to the Sky. The Scientist would later reluctantly graph Genic technology into Bosch's body.
- Sevru is a high ranking member of Trinity. He is friends with Lin but is extremely distrustful of Ryu and does not understand what she and Mebeth see in him. On Mebeth's orders he leads several trinity members on the attack on Nina. But when Ryu and Lin interrupt it he declares that he won't let them take the only proof of the government's misdeeds and attacks them. Tragically Lin does not realize it is him until after he has been killed.
- Fairies are butterfly-human like creatures who preside over the game's minigame: the ant colony. They talk with an accent (pronouncing "you" as "yoo"). Ryu "saves" the fairy leader from being trapped in a room (she actually just didnt realize you need to pull open a door one way if you pushed the other). As a "reward" the fairy makes him the leader of her colony, as soon as he builds it for her. The game requires hiring genic ants to dig through various areas to unlock more rooms and then assign roles to each room. Each room is then controlled by a named fairy and run by ants. Partaking in this mini game can afford the player rare items, tons of money and special game challenges depending on how the rooms are used. It is also the only way to access Kokon Horay, the secret optional dungeon where Dover resides, as the entrance is at the bottom of the colony.
- Genics are the monsters of Dragon Quarter. When mankind fled to the undeground, they created the genics to be food. Later more kinds of genics were created for different uses including construction, transportation and war. There are many different kinds and a certain number of family types (such the elemental blob "Goos" and Piglike "Dukes"). However, the process that created them is not perfect and a certain number of Genics become feral. They inhabit the tunnels and pathways that connect the towns and will instantly attack any human they see. As a result Genic-Hunting became one of the Rangers' primary duties, and the battle system of the game, PETS (Positive Encounter and Tactics System), was developed to help strategize in fighting them. Ryu was well versed in fighting Genics by the beginning of the game. Going through any passage that is not a town in the game will require the party to face the genics.
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter was first announced by Capcom at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles as the first game in the series to appear on the PlayStation 2 console. The project was headed by series veteran Makoto Ikehara, who served as director, and was inspired to create the game's dystopian setting after reading the 1994 alternate history novel Gofungo no Sekai (五分後の世界, lit. The World Five Minutes From Now) by Ryū Murakami. The game's unique gameplay elements and high challenge were added to differentiate it from previous entries in the series, which Ikehara felt were "too easy" when compared to other role-playing titles, with the level of difficulty gradually increasing as development went on. Character design was handled by Tatsuya Yoshikawa, who had provided official artwork for all previous Breath of Fire games, and who specifically designed the character Elyon after the main antagonist of the previous game, Fou-Lu, because he "wanted to use the character again". In order to give the dragons Odjn, Dover, and Chetyre their own distinct identity, they were made to speak Russian during cutscenes and were named after the Russian numbers one (один, adeen), two (два, dva), and four (четыре, chyetirye), respectively. Unlike the protagonists of previous Breath of Fire games, each also named Ryu, the Ryu in this game is a normal human being characterized by Yoshikawa as "an average person like you might find anywhere" with his only extraordinary ability being his strong will and sense of justice. In November 2002, the game was released in Japan under its regional title, Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter, and was dedicated to the memory of Capcom employee Yasuhito Okada.
A number of intended features were cut from the final version of the game, including an online mode which was dropped early in development that would have made use of the PlayStation 2's internet capabilities, as well as a fishing minigame similar to earlier titles in the series. The dragon Odjn was originally conceived as a "cutesy" companion to Ryu and his team before becoming large and menacing, with his early design instead going to Cupid's pet Oncotte. Certain story points that the development team deemed too "shocking" were also removed before the game was completed, including a locked room in the Biocorp Labs that contained headless duplicate bodies of Nina, and the scientist who performed Nina's operation resembling Adolf Hitler. Ikehara noted that he also originally wanted to include a cutscene in the game showing how the surface world became uninhabitable, but was ultimately unable to do so.
One week before the game's release in Japan, Capcom USA announced that it would be releasing Dragon Quarter in North America in February 2003. This version would later appear at the 2003 Game Developers Conference under its official English title that excluded the numeral "V". The game would be released in Europe in November 2003. For unknown reasons however this version featured a few changes in the game's mechanics. Both SOL: Restore and Re-start have been removed in this version meaning that the only way to keep any progress made like one's D-Ratio, experience points and items when re-starting is through the New Game+ mode available only after completing the entire game once. To compensate for this the player can find find roughly twice as many save tokens throughout the game.
The music of Dragon Quarter was composed by series newcomer Hitoshi Sakimoto, who had previously contributed the soundtracks for other role-playing titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics and the Ogre Battle series, along with sound producer Yasunori Mitsuda who oversaw the development of each track. A special five-song promotional album called the Breath of Fire V Dragon Quarter Mini Image Soundtrack was given away to attendees of the 2002 Tokyo Game Show and sold on Capcom's online store to promote the title, with a full commercial soundtrack for the game released in December 2002 by Capcom's music label Suleputer across two discs. Dragon Quarter features the vocal song "Castle・imitation" by J-pop performer Chihiro Onitsuka as the game's ending theme, which was later included on her 2002 album "Sugar High". In 2006, the game's soundtrack was re-printed as part of the 11-disc Breath of Fire Original Soundtrack Special Box, which contains music from every game in the series.
Reception Aggregate scores Aggregator Score GameRankings 78% Metacritic 78% Review scores Publication Score 1UP.com B+ Edge 7 / 10 Electronic Gaming Monthly 7.7 / 10 Famitsu 32 / 40 Game Informer 8 / 10 GamePro 4 / 5 GameSpot 8 / 10 IGN 8.2 / 10 Play Magazine 8 / 10 PSM 7 / 10
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter was the top-selling game in Japan during the week of its release in November 2002 at 80,059 copies. It would go on to sell a total of 140,073 copies by the end of that year, enough to qualify the title for a re-release in July 2003 under Sony's "PlayStation the Best" label at a lower price. The game was given a 8.5 out of 10 average by Japanese Hyper PlayStation 2 magazine, and a 32 out of 40 score by Weekly Famitsu, earning it the magazine's silver award.
Many North American reviewers would comment on the drastic changes made between Dragon Quarter and earlier games in the Breath of Fire series, with Game Informer claiming that "If anything, Dragon Quarter will likely tear the Breath of Fire fan base apart...it's unlike anything you've experienced before" and IGN calling it "a tough pill to swallow for returning fans." IGN would praise the title's "enormous" combat strategy, steam punk atmosphere, and soundtrack, calling the game's musical score "pure genius", but found its playtime of roughly ten hours to be low, calling it the "perfect RPG rental." GameSpot conversely felt that, while Dragon Quarter's combat system was enjoyable at first, it became less tactical as the game progressed, and that it "devolves into the sorts of slugfests typical of RPGs." The website would commend the title's graphics, however, calling the character designs "inspired" and that the characters themselves "express realistic emotions" which accentuate the game's serious tone. Electronic Gaming Monthly would also call attention to the game's new battle system, stating that "[we] don't think [we]'ve ever had as much fun with RPG battles before," but felt that the game's pacing hindered its story. GamePro called the game "an RPG sequel that couldn't be more different if it tried", commending its new "astonishing" combat, but felt that the forced repetition of the Scenario Overlay system and likely having the play through the game several times to see all the content was its biggest downfall. TechTV similarly felt that the game's restart mechanics will either "inspire you or drive you mad", but found its "unique combat" and "attractive visuals" to all be positive factors.
European reviewers would similarly comment on the game's deviation from role-playing game standards. Play magazine found most of the changes to be beneficial, stating that "[we] wanted something different too, but what [we] got instead is marvelous." Others such as Edge, however, found its innovations to be mixed, but overall good, saying "Such bastard generic cross-pollination will be of keen interest to those who have pigeonholed the console RPG as yesterday's bread, as Dragon Quarter variously succeeds in its misfit marriage." The title would ultimately receive mostly positive reviews, with a 78% average score from the aggregate review websites Game Rankings and Metacritic. Dragon Quarter would later be nominated for "Best Original Music in a Game" during GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2003 awards, and in 2004, IGN ranked the game 6th on its list of the "Top 12 Hidden Gems for the PlayStation 2", which included games that sold less than 135,000 copies in North America, or less than half of one percent of the console's user base, stating that "For one of the most popular role-playing franchises in the entire 32-bit era, the lackluster performance of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is nothing short of surprising.".
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- Official website (Japanese)
Breath of Fire series Main series Spin-offsCategories:
- 2002 video games
- Breath of Fire
- PlayStation 2 games
- PlayStation 2-only games
- Post-apocalyptic video games
- Role-playing video games
- Science fiction video games
- Video games with cel-shaded graphics
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