Well we worked our way through the 7 levels of the dungeon and found the power supply for the robot. Because we did that, the inventor fixed our airship so we were able to return to the main city, leaving the island and the robot behind. I’m guessing we will run into the robot again at some point.

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Once back at the city I had some options. I could continue the main plot or I could do side quests. I chose to do some side quests which turned out to be a fun choice.

Japanese RPG’s are often criticized for being “too linear” and not offering enough choices for players. This can be a valid complaint as some JRPG’s are a straight line connecting several setpieces and boss battles until the game is done. But more linear RPG’s also have the ability to tell a tighter, more focused story and develop characters more thoroughly.

My initial impression of Arc the Lad is that it seems to straddle the line between the two RPG variants pretty well. I spent maybe an hour or two this past week just doing side quests or “jobs” at the Hunter’s Guild. They are fun to do and seem to be more than just “fight these monsters and retrieve this item.” Most of them have a bit of story or background to them. And they all serve to help increase my characters’ levels and abilities. I like having these side quests and suspect I’ll be spending quite a bit of time doing them, especially as I get a better handle on the game’s levelling system.

One of my last tasks was to eliminate one of the Wanted Monsters in the area: the dreaded Slasher. We found The Slasher in the home of the bad guy Gallarno.

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As it turns out, Elc was kidnapped as a child and taken to a facility which performed secret experiments on him. He managed to escape but one of the young girls he left behind was turned into a monster and sent out to find him. That was The Slasher but unfortunately she wasn’t very difficult to defeat. In fact, the whole game seems a bit on the easy side, moreso than even Arc I.

I’m now about 6 hours into Arc II and liking it a lot. It’s definitely a different sort of game than Final Fantasy VII and Lunar 2.

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