From Software has wasted no time in establishing itself as the leader of the PlayStation 2 action RPG field. Eternal Ring and Evergrace have already been released, and King's Field IV is in development. One other recently-announced game completes the quartet: the conveniently titled one/fourth.

Evil demon king?

   The peculiar name is derived from the make-up of the party of heroes. Four different characters (selected from a pool of seven or eight) comprise the team at one time, but you actually play as a fairy guiding the four characters into battle. In a system akin to Valkyrie Profile, each "fourth" of the party (i.e., one character) can be selected via a different controller button, then moved into place with the d-pad. Attacks apparently are used automatically; your goal is just to keep the four heroes in the right place at the right time. Up to twelve enemies can appear on screen at once, so expect some large battles.

   one/fourth's plot is standard RPG fare: the characters have been summoned by the king to dispose of the Big Bad Evil Demon King (TM) who has returned after a long imprisonment. The adventure is structured around various missions, with each individual quest taking anywhere from ten to twenty minutes to complete.

Rushing into battle

   In a departure from From's other RPGs, all of which are dark and mostly realistic, one/fourth takes a light-hearted approach to the genre. Most of the game takes place outside in brightly-colored areas. The characters are all super-deformed, and motion blur effects are frequently used to highlight attacks in a comic fashion.

   Now that the PlayStation 2's first wave of titles has come and gone, companies will be readying a second generation with more development time behind it. As a member of this new group, one/fourth looks to offer a change of pace from the PS2's current selection of RPGs. Expect more information on this promising title soon.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Developer From Software
Publisher From Software
Genre Action RPG
Medium CD-ROM (?)
Platform Sony PlayStation 2
Release Date  Winter 2000
1/4 put on indefinite hold
2 screenshots / 15 TGS screenshots