The Let's Play Archive

Breath of Fire II

by Scintilla

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Original Thread: Breath of Fire II: The Dragon gave him Power, his Seat, and Great Authority



Breath of Fire II is an RPG released on the SNES in 1994, and later re-released on the Gameboy Advance in North America in 2002. The game is a direct sequel to the first Breath of Fire and takes place many centuries after the events of the previous game. Along with its predecessor, this game is one of the first true RPG’s I ever played back when I first got my Gameboy Advance, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

The Story
The story begins with the main character as a child living a peaceful life in his hometown of Gate. Unfortunately this idyllic existence is shattered when a series of events lead to his father and sister going missing and everyone in the village forgetting who he is. After seeking shelter at the town church and receiving the protection of the priest, the main character is woken during the night by a thief, who convinces him to steal what he can and run away.

Years later, the main character and the thief have made their way to the seaside town of Newhaven, where they enroll in the Ranger’s guild. This humble beginning is the start of a quest that will determine the fate of the world and all the people who live in it.

The Gameplay
The gameplay is similar to the first game, for the most part, although it’s definitely more polished than its predecessor. There’s a World Map, random encounters and pretty much everything you’d expect from a jRPG. One brilliant addition to the game is the ability to develop your own town, which you can control down to the architecture as well as the individual residents who live there.

My Thoughts
This is one of my favorite jRPGs. Not even the atrocious translation can dampen my enjoyment of it. I find every character to be compelling and unique. The music is great – the battle themes are all action-packed and really make you feel the weight of what you’re going up against. The graphics and gameplay are more polished than the first game for the most part, although there are some serious issues with pacing that will become clear as the story progresses.

If the above gushing didn’t make it clear, I really like this game and hope that I can both break the LP curse that surrounds it and do so in a way that does the game itself justice.

Let’s Play Details
When it came to decide how to approach this game, there were two options I was considering. The first was to do the GBA version with the Fresh Fire Mod attached. Fresh Fire changes a number of the game’s mechanics to make the whole thing more interesting and challenging. The other option was to play through the SNES version with Ryusui’s Retranslation Patch. The patch rips out Capcom’s dirty, greasy script and replaces it with a fresh new English one translated from the Japanese version.

In the end I decided that the plot of the game was far more important than the mechanics, so I will be playing through the SNES version. As with my previous Breath of Fire LP, this Let’s Play will be a screenshot Let’s Play with videos for boss battles.

Q & A
Q: Do I need to have played the first Breath of Fire to know what’s going on here?
A: No. The two games share the same world, however, with BoF II taking place centuries after the events of the first. As such there are a number of references to the previous game, some small, some fairly large. I have already LP’d the first game, and it can be found here if you want to take a look.

Q: The translation for this game sucks balls, dude.
A: Yes, and that’s why I’ll be using Ryusui’s patch. The patch has its own problems, of course – the creator seems to have been a huge fan of Breath of Fire III, and this is reflected in his renaming strategy. This leads to oddities where certain items and places are named after similar items and places in Breath of Fire III rather than being a straight translation of the Japanese text. Regardless, it is still a vast improvement over the original.

Q: What about concept art / character art / monster designs? Will you be posting that too?
A: As much as I can find, yes. I’ll occasionally throw in a post full of bonus content in between updates.

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