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Skies of Arcadia. Released in 2000 for the Dreamcast, the game was a complete commercial flop. This is an absolute travesty because it scored astoundingly well in every major review and was one of the best game of the year, if not the decade. The encounter rate was ridiculously high but there really were no other real complaints leveled at it
Then the Gamecube happened. Like a lot of the Dreamcast library Skies of Arcadia was ported to the Gamecube with new features, upgraded graphics and a new title. Now known as Skies of Arcadia: Legends, the game went on to become a complete commercial flop. Again.
This is an even bigger travesty because it's even better than the original. The random encounter rate was toned down, the character models are higher quality and there's a boatload of new content, characters and sidequests. This is the version I'll be playing through.
So, what exactly IS Skies of Arcadia? Essentially, it's a JRPG, but it was a huge departure from the JRPGs of the time. Followed the success of FF7 pretty much all JRPGs had deep storylines and a moody teenage protagonist. By contrast, the characters of Skies of Arcadia are optimistic even when the storyline gets pretty damn dark. So let's take a look at our cast.
Table of Contents
- Update 1 Air Pirates
- Update 2 Pirate Isle
- Update 3 - Shrine Island
- Update 4 Drachma
- Update 5 - Valua
- Update 6 The Coliseum
- Update 7 Escape from Valua
- Update 8 part 1 Flying the Nest
- Update 8 Part 2 Angel of Death
- Update 9 Bellena
- Update 10 part 1 Dungeon of Searing Heat
- Update 10 part 2 - Recumen
- Update 11 Fuck South Ocean
- Update 12 The Chameleon
- Update 13 - Moon Stone Mountain
- Update 14 A Fistful of Rupees
- Update 15 City of Gold
- Update 16 Green Giant
- Update 17 Gordo the Round
- Update 18 Little Jack
- Update 19 For Hate's Sake
- Update 20 Calamity Clara
- Update 21 The Unfettered
- Update 22 A Comedy of Errors
- Update 23 - Legendary Air Pirate Machine
- Update 24 - Jailbreak
- Update 25 - So long and thanks for all the fish
- Update 26 Crescent Island
- Update 27 Meet the Crew
- Update 28 Prophecy
- Update 29 Admiral Ironwall
- Update 30 - The Dark Rift
- Update 31 Yafutoma
- Update 32 Mount Kazai
- Update 33 The Battle of Yafutoma
- Update 34 Two Princes
- Update 35 The World is Round
- Update 36 Blue Rogues
- Update 37 Vengeance
- Update 38 The Lands of Ice
- Update 39 Discovorymania
- Update 40 Yeligar
- Update 41 Pimp My Island
- Update 42 Tyrant
- Update 43 Family
- Update 44 Beneath the Clouds
- Update 45 Defeat
- Update 46 Rebuilding
- Update 47 Who the hell do you think you are!?
- Update 48 I am the Night
- Update 49 It Gets Worse
- Update 50 - Skies of Ar Tonelico
- Update 51 Let's Make History
- Update 51-and-a-bit Odds and Ends
- Update 52 The End
- Update 53 Legend
- Game Mechanics Chat!
Weapon: Twin cutlass
The main character of the game sort of. Vyse is a young air pirate, the son of the famous Captain Dyne. When we first meet him he's serving on his dad's (sorry, captain's) ship, but Vyse isn't the sort to just sit tight and stay where he is. He wants to see the world and it's only a matter of time before he sets out by himself to do it.
Vyse's best friend and the second main character of the game. Like Vyse, she works on Captain Dyne's ship and lives on Pirate Isle. She was orphaned at an early age and was raised by Vyse's parents, but she's long over it by now. She loves her job as an air pirate possibly a little too much, but as a Blue Rogue helping people always comes before treasure just.
A mysterious girl rescued by the Dyne pirates during her abduction by the Valuan Armada. She may look every inch the frail princess, but she's as determined as any swashbuckler.
Weapon: Mechanical arm
A grizzled old sea dog with a short fuse and no time for fools. His beloved ship the Little Jack is suspiciously well-armed for a fishing boat, and Drachma is always on the lookout for more firepower.
With his trenchcoat and parrot, Gilder is a pirate's pirate. He's swashbuckled his way around the block more than a few times in search of money, drink and women and really wants nothing more out of life but the next great adventure - and to stay away from Clara.
Prince of the Valuan Empire, Enrique is nevertheless an honourable soul who opposes his mother's policies on world domination. When she finally went too far, Enrique fled Valua in search of a way to bring peace to the world and Valua.
Vyse's dad and captain of the Dyne pirates. If you want to know how Vyse has avoided Orphaned Protagonist Syndrome, look no further Dyne is a badass. He's been at the pirating business a long time and his crew, including Vyse and Aika, trust him with their lives.
Don't think Vyse gets any special treatment on the ship, by the way. While they're on board it's captain, not dad, got it?
A travelling doctor who offers free treatment to anyone who needs it. He does his best to raise Maria, but try as he might he can do nothing to bring her out of her shell.
A little girl being raised by Doc on his ship, Maria is so completely withdrawn as to be totally silent - she hasn't spoken even to Doc in over two years. If only there was something the party could do to help her...
An exotic dancer from Maramba, her parents were killed in the Valua/Nasr war years ago, and so she offers to help the party in an effort to stop further killing.
Don't be fooled by her appearence - Clara is a proud Blue Rogue, and in her ship The Primrose she sails the skies in search of people to help. Mostly, though, she spends her time stalking Gilder across the world.
A kindly Blue Rogue who spends his time taking in orphans and raising them as his own. A genius with mechanisms, many of his children also grow up to be skilled engineers. His ship the Ironclad may not look like much, but with Centime to repair it you can be sure it'll never stay broken for long.
Prince of the Yafutoman empire, Daigo was exiled for shunning his princely duties in favour of a life of thrills and adventure. With the Valuan Empire on the prowl, it won't be long before his duties come a-knocking again.
A pair of identical twin brothers and leaders of the Tenkou Air Pirates. They have a quest to collect 1000 swords by way of their bare hands, but have a habit of biting off more than they can chew.
Skies of Arcadia has a pretty sizable crew, and while they're all pretty distinctive it's still a lot to remember if you've never played the game. Plus, every crew member has official artwork, so a crew roster update is a great way to show them off!
Originally a Valuan soldier, Don's ship was destroyed and his crew lost in the Dark Rift, leaving him stranded in Esperanza. As Valua realised that expanding their empire through the rift was impossible, Esperanza was abandoned, leaving the remaining inhabitants utterly without hope and with the Dark Rift on the horizon serving as a reminder of their failures. Years spent in Esperanza drowning his sorrows left Don a bitter and twisted shell of his former self, until a certain captain drifted into town and laid a verbal smackdown on him. With the flames of adventure rekindled, Don now serves as the Helmsman of the Delphinus, steering her towards fresh skies and new adventures.
The sole member of the crew who didn't join up for the adventure, or for the cause, or just to join the crew, Lawrence is in it for cold hard cash. As a mercenary, all he cares about is finishing his job as quickly as possible and getting paid. That's not to say he isn't reliable, but you'd be a fool to expect more than you paid for from him.
Brabham calls himself the greatest engineer who ever lived, and he's certainly got the skills the back it up. He knows every engine ever made like the back of his hand, and decades of experience have done nothing to dull his enthusiasm for all things mechanical - just show him a clever new engine design and he'll be giddy as a schoolgirl.
One of the many adopted sons of Centime the Tinkerer, Hans takes after his father in a lot of ways - while he still has a lot to learn, he's an expert mechanic with a brilliant mind. He looks up to Vyse both as a friend and captain, and was eager to join the crew of Vyse's ship from the moment they first met in Horteka, even before Vyse had a ship to call his own.
Originally the crack shot gunner from Nasrad, Khazim waited his whole life to let loose a volley from his cannon at the Valuan Armada, but during the destruction of Nasrad he was unable to fire a single shot. "Angry" being the base state of being for Khazim, his response was to try to fly to Valua by himself and retaliate, but fortunately for him he ran into Vyse before setting off. He now serves as the gunner of the Delphinus, and woe betide anyone who gets on the wrong side of his cannons.
Originally a member of Calamity Clara's crew on board the Primrose, Belle mysteriously showed up in the newly constructed base at Crescent Island under instructions to join the crew and train with them as a gunner. Why she could train along with the rets of Clara's crew is a mystery, but one suspects Clara was just too nice to use the phrase "danger to herself and everyone around her". It's not that Belle is incompetent or stupid, it's just that clumsiness, absent-mindedness and gunpowder tend not to mix, or rather mix altogether too well. Still, she makes up for it with boundless enthusiasm and eagerness to please, to the point that Vyse decided to let her in as a full member of the crew.
Domingo claims to be the greatest treasure hunter in the world, but the rest of the world has its doubts. Not doubts that he's good at what he does, but when the entire Sailor's Guiuld Discovery Registry is taken up by Vyse's discoveries it's a little hard to take his claims seriously. With Vyse hoovering up all the discoveries in the world, Domingo was finally forced to admit that the good captain is the better treasure hunter, and joined the crew for a taste of that sweet success.
One of the two Ixa'Takan crewmembers, Tikatika didn't join up for revenge against Valua but simply to find someone to make use of his incredible eyes. That, and to find the legendary Village of Women. Tikatika is never happy unless he's balancing precariously on the railing over an enormous drop, the higher the better, and combined with his spectacular eyesight you couldn't ask for a more natural lookout.
Originally a loan shark from Nasrad, Osman was ruined when her shop was destroyed in the Valuan raid and her clerk ran away with all the money. The minute she heard that Vyse had a ship, she muscled her way into the crew, not entirely with the captain's consnt, intending to remake her fortune using the cargo space to trade goods. As an item merchant, she also sells to the crew and captain, but don't expect a discount.
The self-proclaimed Seer of the Red Moon, Kalifa made her living as a fortune teller in Maramba until a dream beckoned her to follow a young man holding a Suiran Blade into the sky. After a quick detour to the other side of the world to actually obtain such a blade, Vyse easily persuarded her to join the crew of his ship, and she now continues her trade in fortunes on Crescent Island. Her predictions are scarily accurate, if not always useful.
The top builder in Yafutoma, until she left on a whim to check out the buildings the rest of the world has to offer. Brash, forthright and outspoken, Kirala is the polar opposite of her sister Urala, but then bricks and mortar are seldom impressed by good manners. As a skilled builder, she's determine to demonstrate her Yafutoman building techniques to the world.
He may be old, but old age in the world of Arcadia is more of a bonus than a liability, and Izmael can usually be found hauling giant bags of cement mix around to whatever he thinks needs building, no matter if you think it needs building or not. Like Brabham, Izmael was pointed in Vyse's direction by Gilder, and is single-handidly responsible for turning Crescent Island into the base it is now.
The younger sister of Kirala the builder, Urala is demure and shy, which served her well in her job as a waitress in a traditional Yafutoman restaurant. Once her sister decided to join the crew of the Delphinus, Urala tagged along as well, determined to make delicious Yafutoman food for the whole crew.
Owner, cook, and barmaid at the pub on Sailor's Island, Polly was hesitant at first about joining the crew but eventually left her daughter Anne in charge of the pub and left in hopes of finding her husband Robinson, who went out sailing one day and never returned. That was many years ago, but Polly never gave up hope of finding her beloved husband.
Polly's beloved husband, shipwrecked and stranded in the Dark Rift for many years. His memory was lost in the crash, anda ll he had to keep him going were vague memories of Polly and Anne, until Vyse broke through the Dark Rift wiht Polly on board and rescued him. the reunited couple now plan to serve aboard the Delphinus until the Moon Crystals are all recovered before retiring back to Sailor's Island together with their daughter Anne.
A street urchin from Lower City in Valua, Marco was the lowest of the low, living in the sewers and scavanging food from the garbage that even Lower City threw away. When Vyse came through Valua he was ready to die, but after a combined verbal smackdown and pep talk from Vyse he found newewed hope and vowed to escape Valua and create a new life for himself. Fortunately for him, the ship he ended up stowing away on was the stolen Delphinus, and he now serves as the first member of its crew.
Not so much a crew member as a crew mascot, Pow is in the crew because the kids of Pirate's Isle demanded we take him with us. Lindsi, Alan and Jimmy wanted to join the crew themselves, but their parents said they were too young, and so Pow joining the crew was the next best thing. In fairness to the little Huskra, he does have more pirating experience than the rest of the crew put together.
The second of the two Ixa'Takan crewmembers, Merida was originally a tavern dancer in Horteka, but when he father was taken away to the Moonstone Mines she wrote a letter to the Ixa'Takan got Quetya pleading for help. That letter was found by Vyse, and now Merida believes him to be the hand of Quetya and joined the crew of the Delphinus. Her father was killed in the mines, and Merida originally joined the crew seeking revenge against Valua, but since meeting the Valuan members of the crew she seems to be rethinking her view. And thus are the cycles of hatred broken.
At only ten years old, Pinta is the youngest member of the crew (apart from Pow), and has the most tragic story of all. In the Dreamcast version he had an entire VMU quest to himself, Pinta's Quest, but due to the lack of a VMU on the Gamecube the entire thing was removed wholesale. Pinta hasn't let it get him down, and joined the crew of the Delphinus because he still dreams of finding ever bigger adventures to go on.
Quiet, shy and demure, Moegi is the very picture of a Yafutoman princess, which just so happens to be exactly what she is. Moegi joined the crew partly for political reasons, partly to see more of the world, but mostly because of Enrique. The two may barely have exchanged a word onscreen, but anyone can see there's a definite chemistry between the two, and what the two get up to when the camera's elsewhere is anyone's guess, but I have my doubts that they spend their time waxing political.
An ancient swordsmith who long ago exiled himself from society to perfect his craft. He would have remained so for the rest of his life had he nto sense a burning spirit within Vyse and agreed to join his crew as a master weaponsmith.
A Valuan alchemist and doctor who despaired of the corruption and greed within the city and left to pursue his dream of creating a medicine that would cure all ills and distributing it to anyone who needed it.
The First Admiral of the Valuan Armada, Alfonso is vain, arrogant and cowardly. In many ways he's the polar opposite of Dyne while Dyne's crew trust him with their lives, Alfonso will happily sacrifice his crew to get out of a scrape. Son of a rich and powerful Valuan noble family, he got his position as First Admiral based on his status rather than any actual talent.
The Second Admiral of the Valuan Armada, Gregorio is nonetheless an honourable man. He is one of the greatest tacticians the world has ever seen, and earned the nickname "Old Ironwall" for his strategy of stonewalling enemies with defensive tactics and waiting for an opening. He never lets an enemy get past.
Third Admiral of the Valuan Armada. Christ, where do you even start with Vigoro? The answer is you don't. He's only interested in oen thing, and he's going to remind you over it every time he shows up.
Fourth Admiral of the Valuan Armada. Belleza prefers to use stealth and blackmail to get what she wants rather than brute force, but when the situation calls for it she's also a masterful tactician, and in her ship the Lynx she'll take on anyone who threatens the Armada.
Fifth Admiral of the Valuan Armada and head of weapons development. Admiral De Loco is neither a strategist nor remotely in touch with sanity, but as far as weapons go he's the best brain Valua has to offer.
Bad news. Very, very bad news. Galcian is the Supreme Commander of the Valuan Armada, second in power only to the royal family. He's cold, ruthless and efficient - The Terminator in human form, basically.
Galcian's vice-captain and possibly the only man alive Galcian trusts.
The Empress of the Valuan Empire, Teodora is vain, ruthless and cruel. She will see Valua rule the world even if it means there's nothing left to rule but smoking ashes.
A Black Pirate who preys on the weak and unarmed in search of an easy fortune. He prefers blasting enemies from his ship The Blackbeard to engaging them in hand-to-hand combat.
Gordo the Round is strange even by Black Pirate standards. He's not out for treasure, but for food. He'll attack any ship he thinks has good food on board, and never uses his cannons for fear of scorching it. He prefers to board and fight hand-to-hand with his entourage of chefs.
Rupee and Barta
Rupee Larso is the head of the notorious Larso clan of Black Pirates since his father died, although he'd much rather stay at home with his mother. His gigantic bodyguard Barta will hear none of it, and so an Air Pirate poor rupee has become, earning the pair of them a spot on the wanted list.
Loose Cannon Lapen is a young punk who's been making a name for himself by destroying towns armed with his massive tank Gunarm, quickly earning himself notoriety and a place on the wanted list.
The richest man in Yafutoma, Daikokuya was inspired by Vyse to leave the city and become an Air Pirate. Something tells me he didn't take away quite the right message though, because he's been attacking unarmed merchant ships and earned himself a place on the wanted list.
The Ixa'ness Demons
The three sisters Tara, Lira and Pera make up the dreaded Ixa'ness Demons, who attack ships in search of a handsome husband for themselves. They may nto be lookign for treasure, but nevertheless they have a spot as wanted Black Pirates.
Vize, Anita and Faina
When your reputation suddenly takes a plunge for the worse, the only explanation can be a troupe of impersonators, and for Vyse & Co that means these three. And to restore their reputation and remove themselves from the wanted list, a little karmic justice is in order.
The leader of the Zivilyn Bane crime syndicate, Lord Bane is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a rather stylish outfit. Nothing is known about the man himself, but his reputation alone is enough to earn himself a spot on the wanted list.
Skies of Arcadia has some fantastic music and I'll be uploading it as it's encountered in the game. Sadly, the music quality was lowered to fit it onto one Gamecube disc, but the OST I'll be uploading is the higher quality Dreamcast versions. Sadly, there are a few tracks not on the OST, one of which is one of my favourite tracks in the game. I'll be recording these from the game itself if I can't find the Dreamcast versions anywhere.
This track is missing from the OST
This track is missing from the OST
So dig out your hook hand, put on your best eyepatch and give me your best "Aye-aye, cap'n!"