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Thread: Breath of Fire MegaThread!

  1. #1
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    Default Breath of Fire MegaThread!

    We've been having a lot of these lately, haven't we! Well, recently Wolf Kanno's top 100 reminded me of how much I love this little gem of a series and it even made me start a brand new playthrough of Dragon Quarter, even though I have other things to do

    In any case, let's celebrate this series! What are your favorites?

    Favorite game:
    Favorite soundtrack:
    Favorite overall cast:
    Favorite villain:
    Favorite Ryu:
    Favorite Nina:
    Favorite cat-person (Woren, if you want to get technical) party member:
    Favorite "big guy" party member (there's always one):
    Favorite race and favorite member of that race:
    Favorite world:
    Favorite town-building minigame:
    Favorite dragon transformations:

    Imma start with mine!

    Favorite game: Dragon Quarter! Controversial, I know
    Favorite soundtrack: IV - love how Eastern-inspired it is
    Favorite overall cast: II
    Favorite villain: (SPOILER)Bosch
    Favorite Ryu: Probably IV. He just feels like such a clueless goof.
    Favorite Nina: II. Always liked the black wings.
    Favorite cat-person (Woren, if you want to get technical) party member: Katt!
    Favorite "big guy" party member (there's always one): Garr. It helps that he's The Heavy, narrative-wise.
    Favorite race and favorite member of that race: Grassrunner, and my favorite is definitely Scias. There's something incredibly endearig about this weird tall stuttering dog person.
    Favorite world: IV. Some people say lke it's a bad thing that it's heavily inspired by real-life China, Korea, and the Far East in general. I think it's a huge asset.
    Favorite town-building minigame: II. You get a town that can eventually fly and that's awesome. Shout out to DQ for having huge antz!
    Favorite dragon transformations: Dragon Quarter. Yes, the one where you die if you use them like, five times. Because they actually feel meaningful. Becoming a dragon is pretty much a guaranteed win for you but it comes at a steep cost and thats incredible. This is really the only game in the series where the dragon really feels like the near omnipotent force it's described as in the lore.

  2. #2
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

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    Favorite game: Breath of Fire III
    Favorite soundtrack: Breath of Fire IV, with III and V tied for second.
    Favorite overall cast: Breath of Fire III with II as a close second.
    Favorite villain: Myria
    Favorite Ryu: III's, he had some great idle animations and I love watching him grow up.
    Favorite Nina: II, it's hard to beat the only Nina who wasn't glued to Ryu's side. Though V is my second choice.
    Favorite cat-person (Woren, if you want to get technical) party member: Katt, Followed by Rei.
    Favorite "big guy" party member (there's always one): Garr, cause he changes the course of the plot and he's usually the guy most likely to have horrible things happen to him liking getting the crap beaten out of him by a naked Deis.
    Favorite race and favorite member of that race: The Woren are my favorites with Katt being my obvious fave. Grassrunners are cool too with Ursala.
    Favorite world: V, cause I love dystopian worlds and it has everything you need from corrupt corporations, secret cabals that rule everything, caste systems, and some nice cyberpunk influences.
    Favorite town-building minigame: II, just because you have unprecedented control on how to shape it from both it's look to who could stay there.
    Favorite dragon transformations: Dragon Gene all the way, the sheer variety of forms and the experimentation made this one stand out for me.

    Favorite Bosch/Bow:
    Favorite Wyndia:
    Favorite Fishing Minigame:
    Favorite Final Dungeon:
    Favorite Secondary Antagonist:
    Favorite recurring enemy:
    Favorite Dark Dragon (Jade, Ray, Teepo, Fou Lu, Bosch):

  3. #3
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    Favorite Bow: II. Pretty useless in battle but he was still a big load of fun. I found it particularly amusing that pretty much the whole plot happens because he gets in trouble.
    Favorite Wyndia: IV. It's the music. I also like the family drama in this game and how it gets resolved. (if you haven't played it, it gets resolved very, very panfully)
    Favorite fishing: IV. Can;t recall it too much though since I was never a fan, but I enjoyed it more than III's, though I'm pretty sure they were similar.
    Favorite final dungeon: II, I think. But that's mostly because the other four weren't that memorable.
    Favorite secondary antagonist: Yuna!!!
    Favorite recurring enemy: I honestly can't think of anything right now. Imma need to replay the series.
    Favorie Dark Dragon: Fou Lu, definitely, though he's followed very closely by Teepo

  4. #4
    Untalented Game Designer FFNut's Avatar
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    Nutty Eoff (Sargatanas)

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    Favourite Game: Breath of Fire II
    The Dragon God versus the Church of St Eva. It was the game that got me into the series and spent years enjoying and unraveling the secrets within.

    Favourite Soundtrack Breath of Fire III
    Dont know why, it just is.

    Favourite Cast: Breath of Fire II
    Especially the comedy of Jean. Who doesn’t enjoy winning a cook off with the golden fly.

    Favourite Villian: Fake Jean in Breath of Fire II
    Like I said before. The cook off sealed it.

    Favourite Ryu: Breath of Fire III.
    He seemed like he meant well but always bumbled everything up.

    Favourite Nina: Breath of Fire II
    Got to love those black wings of burden folks.

    Favourite Cat: toss up of Katt and Rei. Loved them both.

    Favourite Big Guy: Rand Breath of Fire II
    The Rand Ball express is the fun way to get around the map.

    Favourite Race and member: What ever Jean is??? Ya that and Jean.

    Favourite World: Breath of Fire II
    Still remember finding monster Island on Grandpa whale and getting creamed for the first time.

    Favourite town building Mini game: Breath of Fire II
    Still remember going around interviewing who I wanted to let in.

    Favourite Dragon Transformation: All of them!
    Who doesn’t want the ultimate power of dragons!

    Favourite Bosch/Bow: None of them.
    Just found them all annoying.

    Favourite Windia: Breath of Fire II.
    I just loved the layout of the town.

    Favourite Fishing Minigame: Breath of Fire II
    Equip Lod and Reel. The huge spelling mistake makes me laugh every play through.

    Favourite Final Dungeon: Breath of Fire II
    It was just an epic feeling when you got past the dragon and entered.

    Favouite Dark Dragon: Teepo Breath of Fire III
    Dont want to give a spoiler but when I first played it I remember really liking Teepo at first and wished he was a main stay. Of course that can’t be.

  5. #5
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    So how would you guys rank the games overall? What are the pros and cons of each one in your opinion?

  6. #6
    Untalented Game Designer FFNut's Avatar
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    Nutty Eoff (Sargatanas)

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    I have only played up to three.

    II was the best. Great world Map. Innovated ways to get around the map, great team. Plus the city you build. I enjoyed the first one but it was kinda the run of the Mill RPG for the time. Only played it to see those Chun Lee kicks.

    Three was good too. Didn’t like the world map but respected what they tried to do.

  7. #7
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    For me, it goes like this:

    #5: Breath of Fire

    I consider the first game the weakest in the series, and that's really a good sign! Because this game was good in its own right and the few things holding it back were pretty much all addressed in later games.

    Pros:
    +nice, colorful graphics
    +varied cast of characters with unique abilities
    +the field abilities are a really nice touch
    +dungeons are pretty interesting what with the presence of some environmental puzzles

    Cons:
    -plot is pretty basic
    -the game drags on a bit - it's one of the few RPGs that I think could've used a cut or two to make it shorter and more tight
    -the battle system is also pretty barebones
    -the music is - and I know I'll get slammed for this - pretty terrible. The compositions themselves are fine and the tunes would be pretty catchy, if it weren't for the horrendous synth used. The problem is that there must have been something off on the technical side of things, because all the tracks, especially those with bigger instrumentations, are ever so slightly off-tune. It's a really minor thing that isn't really noticeable to most, but it grates on me horribly every time I listen to it, to the point of making me feel uncomfortable. It's one of the reasons I actually prefer the GBA version. Though the handheld usually butchers SNES sound chips, at least this time they aren't smurfing off-tune!

    #4: Breath of Fire II

    II is the perfect sequel, IMO. It does everything the first game did right, only better. It's a really fantastic game that gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

    Pros:
    +incredible cast of characters with rich backstories that heavily play into the main plot
    +hands-down, best Nina
    +the shaman system effectively doubles your party count
    +very intriguing main story with one of the few Corrupt Church plots in JRPG to be handled really well (it helps that it wasn't that overdone at that point)
    +gorgeous colorful graphics
    +incredible sprite animation quality for the time
    +some actually fantastic music this time around, although...

    Cons:
    -some tracks are a bit too short and repetitive (looking at you, dungeon theme)
    -the grind is pretty big in this game
    -shaman forms wear off after resting; that means if you rest in the final dungeon, you don't get to use them in the final battle which kind of defeats their point if you ask me
    -pretty much the worst English language localization I've seen in a JRPG. Thank God for the fan translation which is pretty damn brilliant

    #3: Breath of Fire III

    Contrary to what I may have led WK to believe, I actually really love this game! It is by all means a great entry into the series and a great example of what an RPG should be. The reason I'm kind of grumpy when talking about it is because of the general trend I see in the fanbase. So many people talking about how this is the greatest game ever and everything that came after (especially V, though I still see considerable IV hate too) is a betrayal and the series is pretty much dead after that. Not only do I like the later parts of the series a whole lot, so listening to them being compared so negatively to this game has made me a bit sour, but I also kind of feel that if the fandom didn't cling to nostalgia and call betrayal and the later games were better received, maybe the series wouldn't be dead by now. But I digress.

    Pros:
    +I'm gonna count the music as a plus, even though I consider it pretty hit and miss. I am definitely a fan of the jazzy influence and Donden and Conflict of Dragons are some of the most epic boss battle tracks I've heard. But for every Donden there is a Peach Engine and other excessively synthy, sickly sweet track that I just cannot get behind. Which is why I can't give the soundtrack a full 10/10. But the highs of this OST are definitely 11/10, so that means something.
    +The sprite animations are jaw-dropping. This game is so nice to look at!
    +Very good cast with clear goals and motivations. The time skip in the middle really helps develop the characters in a unique way, and it's interesting to see how two characters that started pretty similar (Rei and Ryu) go completely different ways later on in life based on their experiences
    +The game has some very cool callbacks to the first game, actually elevating the simple story of that game to something more
    +Speaking of the time skip, the story is pretty stellar. For the most part. The first half especially is really well-paced, with a constant tension behind you in the form of Balio and Sunder, culminating in a really satisfying payoff, soon followed by the mother of all wham episodes. But then...

    Cons:
    -While the rest of the story has a lot of potential, with lost civilizations, an inaccessible continent, and meeting with God, learning what really happened with her and the Brood, I feel it isn't implemented well. The pacing of the latter half left me disappointed, as I was really interested in so many aspects of the plot that at best only get a passing mention or a single scene. It's basically set off by someone telling you to meet God and then the rest of the game you just go there and kill God. And that's it. But maybe I'm just spoiled by the verbosity of things like Xenogears
    -I kinda wish BoF II got more callbacks here, but then again, unlike the first game, II's story stand really well on its own, so I really needed this more
    -This is part of my soundtrack rant, but what the hell- all the other games in the series have two main battle themes, with a change in themes occurring partway through the game. So why does the one game that has the most visible dividing point have only one repetitive battle theme throughout the entire thing?
    -Here's a little pet peeve of mine - I really hate inconsistent art design. All the BoF games have the same artist, but his style evolved in a very unexpected way somewhere along the development of this game, apparently. As a result, portraits are based on new art, which are based on what constitutes the official promotional art for the game, while the sprites are based on the old art, and the difference is very noticeable. This probably bothers me far more than it should, but it really grinds my gears when I see Rei with those weird shoulder pads or Nina with a weird curly bob cut instead of the spiky pixie cut in her portrait. And what's the deal with the wings in her artwork when she's supposed to have none in this game?

    #2: Breath of Fire IV

    This is actually so close to my #1 that I keep flip flopping on which one I consider the best game all around. But Breath of Fire IV is definitely a game that holds a special place in my heart. It helps that me and my now-wife, then-girlfriend were playing it at around the same time!

    Pros:
    +Gorgeous art style with phenomenal sprite animations that hold up today
    +The art direction in general is pretty fantastic - everything is consistent this time around, and is heavily sylized to evoke a very Far Eastern feel that I really don't see done enough in JRPGs
    +Complimenting that is the insanely good soundtrack composed by Yoshino Aoki. The standouts here are the very Eastern melodies in the Fou Lu scenario, with God of War being an incredible boss theme. But it's the mix of that, traditional orchestra tracks for the Eastern continent locales, as well as some invigorating electronica that really makes this stand out. It's one of my absolute favorite soundtracks of all time
    +Fou Lu is an incredible antagonist thanks to the fact that we spend a lot of time playing as him and we get something that's rare and that Capcom proves they can do amazingly with the next game - humanizing their villains. An incredibly overlooked but very powerful narrative tool. It goes beyond moral ambiguity - for all his deity, Fou Lu is really interesting because his arc is clear, understandable, and relatable, and through his tragedy you get to really feel the impact of the events that occur.
    +Some of my favorite casts. None of the characters are grating, though I expected Ershin to be. She/it/they wasn't/weren't.
    +The plot itself is delightfully dark and serious despite its colorful aesthetic, and that's a combination I'm a big fan of. Some of the most smurfed up things in the series happen here, and the political angle is also fairly well done. It's how it explores the more humanist themes - most importantly, what man is capable of doing, taken to both logical extremes, and how that relates to the presence of actual physical gods - in a way that is neither hamfisted or gratuitous. That angle of the story is done in a great, satisfying way that I wanted III to deliver.

    Cons:
    -The game is ridiculously easy, rendering many interesting mechanics, like the new combo system and returning masters, as pretty pointless and gimmicky
    -Ryu's path may still be interesting, but it definitely isn't as tight and well-paced as Fou Lu's
    -There are some baffling localization choices that really impact the message of the game at some points. This is sad because this got released in an era when we were really going away from bowdlerizing Japanese media and got some games that really pushed the limits - e.g. Xenogears. So it's sad that they chickened out here.
    -For how nice the art direction is in general, the choice to replace hand-drawn sprites with clunky 3D models for bosses is just downright baffling


    #1: Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter

    An incredibly risky experiment that, in the end, failed. The franchise killer to end all franchise killers. And yet, I love it so much. It took risks that were incredibly forward thinking, making for a game that is truly one of a kind.

    Pros:
    +The game is short, and I mean this in the best way possible. The plot takes just as much time as it needs to make its point. You have a clear goal from start to finish and because of the narrative (both textual and gameplay-based) you really feel the drive to go where you need to go
    +The atmosphere is intense, better than many horror games out there. The drab, dark, claustrophobic rooms really drive the point home that this isn't a nice place to be. This is even more impactful thanks to the D-counter, which constantly goes up as you progress and there's no way for you to lower it. It's an incredible use of gameplay and story integration to fully immerse you in the situation and tell you "you really need to get to the surface, ASAP"
    +Incredibly fun and strategic battle system. The use of the environment to plant traps and generally strategize is done incredibly well, rivaling many SPRGs in just how fun and tactical it is
    +The game is very challenging, but in a fair way. Proper resource management is key and as you progress and get more familiar with the game, it becomes much more manageable, but always keeps you on your toes. In a way, I'd describe it as a Survival RPG, which is a definition I'd stick on only one other game: Vagrant Story.
    +It's definitely unique. From the D-counter to the SOL system and how it treats multiple playthroughs, this game is really the only one of its kind, and I really wish we could have seen what more could be done with this series in the future...
    +Hitoshi Sakimoto brings in his standard level of excellence. Though a lot of his tracks here are much more electronic than his usual orchestral fair, it's still unmistakably him. And he's awesome.

    Cons:
    -The fact that many of the antagonists' personalities and motivations are fleshed out in scenes that only play on subsequent playthroughs may be a good replay factor, but it doesn't feel too fair
    -It does stray a lot from the BoF formula, so if you're looking for something more standard-fare, you probably don't want this game
    -The three party members we do get are all cool and compliment each other in battle and in the field perfectly, but I kinda wish we had more. Of course, there isn't really time for more, what with the game's brevity, but I kinda wish there was. We also need more of the less humanoid races (male grassrunners please? The female ones are basically humans with weird ears. I want a full on dog guy in my party again)
    -Why the hell did they remove the quick save feature in the PAL version?



    Also, another question: what's your favorite Deis moment? Mine is definitely her first appearance in IV, where she's surrounded by a harem of beefed up butlers to do her bidding.


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