Arc the Lad Collection

A battle

   The ratio of role-playing games released in Japan to those that receive English conversions has always been massively weighted on the Japanese side, which means there are some series that are wrongly overlooked when it comes time for the various translation houses to choose their next project. Sony's Arc the Lad series has perennially fallen into this category, despite a moderately widespread fanbase.

   No more. Working Designs recently announced plans not to port just the recently released third game in the series, but the entire trilogy at once as the Arc the Lad Collection. This is significant not just because Arc the Lad features a story that continues across games, but also because saved game data from the first is usable on the second title, and data from the second is usable on the third.

Fly by wire

   As for the story, the heroes are--brace yourselves--idealistic youths whose destiny is to lead the forces of light and save the world from destruction. This may be nothing new, but Working Designs has proved their ability in the past to save run-of-the-mill plots with sharp characterization and witty dialogue. And for those who have already imported the game, Working Designs is, as usual sweetening the pot with extras like a soundtrack CD, "making of" disc, Monster Collection game, and hardbound manual in addition to the four main game CDs. The Arc the Lad Collection will undoubtedly be one of the most polished and enjoyable RPG experiences of the year, but it's anyone's guess as to which year that will be.

   For more details on individual titles in the collection, check out the GIA's coverage of Arc the Lad, Arc the Lad II, and Arc the Lad III.

Preview by Nich Maragos, GIA.
Arc the Lad Collection
Developer Arc Productions
Publisher Working Designs
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium CD-ROM (6)
Platform PlayStation
Release Date  N/A
 Q4 2001
E3: Arc the Lad Collection nears release
36 Arc Arena screenshots