Arc the Lad: Twilight of Spirits
PlayStation 2
Reviewed: 08/03/2003


The whole Arc the Lad series missed the boat a while back due to bad timing and stubborn people. In Japan, this series was a big hit, but here in North America at that time, period people where like, “Arc who wha?” For years, publishers were not sure if it was a good plan to release the series into the states. Working Designs finally decided to release a bundle called Arc the Lad Collection for PlayStation. This collection had parts I, II, III, a bonus battle arena Arc game and a “making of” CD. Fans of the series had reason to get excited when Sony decided to continue the tradition by bringing over the PS2 sequel.

Twilight of the Spirits tells a story that takes place a couple years after Arc the Lad III, but with new characters and new environments. In this tale, there are two sides battling for supremacy, Humans and Deimos. This tale puts you through the life of two brothers, Kharg (the Human) and Darc (the Deimos). As you play though the game you learn more about the brothers’ lives and you switch back and forth between playing each main character as each chapter passes. Both Kharg and Darc meet up with allies that help them out on their quests as you determine the fate of their world and watch how their fates intertwine.

ARC Screenshot

Twilights of the Spirits is a strategic RPG, with elements very similar to such games like Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. The main thing about this games battle system that makes it score so high is because of its simplicity. Even non-RPG players can quickly pick up and get use to its system. Depending on your characters’ stats, there is a blue area which indicates where you can walk and then when you select an attack action, the red area indicates the range of your attack, making for some very strategic matches. The great thing about this system is the fact that you are free to run around anywhere within the boundaries indicated and you can change your mind at anytime before going a head with an attack.

Another cool feature in this game is a “tension meter” that allows for a huge amount of damage to be unleashed. When a character is “emotionally charged” (ticked off) and positioned right, you can execute a team attack with the other person that in most cases (when it’s not an ending boss) will kill the foe instantly.

But what’s an RPG without magic? Well in this game, spirit stones make it possible. They are magical stones that let the characters perform magic attacks. There is also “summoning” type attacks that lend a hand to your heroes and dish out destruction in the process. Kharg has his ship called, Big Owl and Darc has his pet pyron. When you receive these “summons,” you can level up the strength of their attacks, the amount of times they strike and their status with appropriate items.

Sceen Shot
Team attacks are cool!

Okay so that’s how the game plays in battle, but what about outside of battle? Twilight looks and plays very similar to games like Final Fantasy Tactics because the game has you controlling the main character (whether it is Darc or Kharg) on a map that is very linear. You go from point A to B and that’s it. The only cool thing about the linear map is the fact that you get to travel back and forth between locales on the fly.

The most recognizable thing about Twilight of the Spirits is the attention to detail in its environments. The landscapes are very comparable to games like Final Fantasy X. Even though this game only has in-game story scenes and not CG cinemas, it still looks very pleasing. The characters themselves, however, don’t match the quality that the background has, which is a problem, but doesn’t hurt the game’s overall look too much. In battles, the special attacks have good graphic effects like Kharg’s “Wind Blade Waltz” and “Wind Blade Fury.” Also Bebedora’s “Dark Extreme” has a pretty nice visual presentation to it. The soundtrack is nice to listen to and changes as the pace of the game changes. From climatic to soft and soothing. this game is a gem to listen to.

Twilight of the Spirits is a good game that carries the Arc the Lad series proudly into the new era. If you don’t buy it, it’s worth a good rental. The game is packed with a lot of extras like hidden characters, and items in the arena’s that will keep you playing well after its dramatic conclusion.

-Q Jets

Score Breakdown
Very Good
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Great
Story Very Good
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Very Good
Replay Value Average
The Verdict: 7