Rogue Galaxy[a] is an action role-playing video game developed by Level-5 and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. The game was released in Japan in December 2005, in North America in January 2007, and in most European countries and Australia in September the same year. A director's cut of the game was released in Japan in March 2007, which includes all of the added features and improvements made for the North American and European localizations.
The game follows the adventures of Jaster Rogue, a young agricultural worker living on an isolated planet, who becomes involved in a galactic conflict, and learns the fate of the entire galaxy lies in his hands. At the time of its release, Rogue Galaxy was the largest game Level-5 had ever developed, both in terms of the number of staff working on it and the length of production (over three years). Both Level-5 and Sony had strong expectations for the game, hoping it would challenge the RPG market dominance of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises.
Rogue Galaxy received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the graphics, range of side quests and scope of the game. Some, however, were critical of the plot and character development. Although the game went on to win several gaming awards, it did not sell as well as had been hoped, failing to meet Sony's expectations of selling one million units.
Rogue Galaxy is an action role-playing game played from a third-person perspective in which the player moves through a continuous environment, with no load time between overworld exploration and combat. Battles occur as random encounters, a la traditional role-playing video games such as Square's Final Fantasy X or Level-5's own Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. However, unlike such games, which feature turn-based combat, Rogue Galaxy uses a real-time hack and slash combat system in which the player fights with a party of three characters. The player has direct control over only one character, although which character this is can be changed at any time. The two NPCs fight independently of the player character, based on the strategy selected prior to the battle. Available strategies include fighting very aggressively, targeting a specific enemy, or not fighting at all. The strategy can also be changed at any time during the battle. Additionally, the player can issue specific orders to the NPCs during combat, such as having them use an item or activate one of their special abilities. NPC allies will also offer advice to the player character, such as suggesting they perform a special move or use a particular item. The player is given a choice of either ignoring the advice, or picking one of the available options. NPCs will not perform any special moves or use items unless the player tells them to, or has selected a particular strategy prior to the battle.
When the game begins, the storyline follows a linear path, but at a certain point, the game world opens up, and the player is free to move from planet to planet using the pirate ship, Dorgenark. In the overworld, the player can move around by walking, but can also transport from any activated save point on the map to any other activated point on that planet, although they cannot transport to a save point on another planet.
The game features a "Weapon Synthesis" system similar to Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle, which allows the player to combine weapons. For every victory in battle, each weapon carried by active characters gains experience points. When a weapon has gained a certain amount of experience, it becomes "Maxed". After a weapon is maxed, it continues to gain additional experience in specific elemental categories - fire, ice, lightning, wind, and holy. When the experience and the elemental damage are both at maximum, a weapon is "Mastered" and cannot be improved any further. Once a weapon is maxed, it becomes available for synthesis with another maxed weapon of the same type. When two maxed weapons are synthesized, a stronger weapon is created, and must be maxed again to become available for subsequent synthesis.
Synthesis is carried out by a character within the game called "Toady", a frog who can swallow two weapons and then regurgitate a new weapon. Toady can also analyze maxed weapons and make suggestions for synthesis combinations. These suggestions are recorded in the "Frog Log". Toady will also warn the player if an attempted combination is going to result in a decrease in stats, or with a weapon for which the player's level is not yet high enough.
The game features numerous optional gameplay elements beyond the main storyline. For example, early in the game, the player can begin to compete in the "Insectron Tournament". Similar to Dark Chronicle's fishing mini-game, the player must capture and breed Insectrons (bugs), which can then be entered into a tournament where they fight other Insectrons, in a manner similar to a game of chess. Once an Insectron has been captured, the player can increase its stats by feeding it certain food or breeding it with another Insectron of the opposite sex. The Insectron Tournament awards prizes as the player move through the various ranks.
Another sidequest is "Factory". At a later point in the game, the player gains access to a reconfigurable factory. By talking to specific characters in the overworld, the player can acquire blueprints, which can be used to assemble specific equipment and raw materials so as to make new items, which then become available for purchase in the various shops throughout the game.
A further sidequest is "Challenge battles", which occur randomly throughout the game. In these battles, specific conditions must be met, such as finishing the battle without taking damage, finishing within a certain time limit, using only one character, or not using any items or abilities. If the player wins the battle and fulfills the condition, they receive a "Hunter Coin". These coins can be used to purchase different levels of "Hunter Licenses", which are required in some shops to purchase certain items. Additionally, the higher the player's license, the lower the prices for general items.
The game also includes a "Hunter Ranking" system whereby the player is awarded "Hunter Points" for killing a specific number of particular enemies. As the player's rank increases, prizes are awarded. Tied into the hunter system are "Quarries" - mini-bosses which award a lot of hunter points. Unlike standard monsters, quarries must be purchased before they become available. Once the player has purchased the quarry, they must locate it on the map and then use a specific item to initiate the battle.
The game also features a completion chart, which records the player's progress through various aspects of gameplay; "Hunter Ranking" (the goal is to top the league of hunters), "Rare Items" (collect all nine rare items in the game), "Quarries" (successfully defeat all available quarries), "Hunting Record" (attain maximum hunter points by killing all of the specified enemies), "Insectron" (win the highest tournament rank), "Revelation Flow" (complete every character's Revelation Flow), "Frog Log" (have Toady analyze at least one-hundred weapons and produce at least fifty), and "Factory" (produce all forty items available in the factory). When any single aspect is completed to 100%, an award is given, usually in the form of a new costume for one of the characters.
Voiced by: Hiroshi Tamaki (Japanese); Will Friedle (English)The game's protagonist and the main playable character. Jaster is seventeen years old, and has a distinctive birthmark on his cheek. He lives on the planet of Rosa with his adoptive father, Raul (Peter Renaday), where he works in the agricultural sector. Resentful of the presence on the planet of the Longardian army, he yearns to leave and explore space. He is given just such an opportunity when he encounters the crew of the intergalactic pirate ship Dorgenark.
The game begins with Jaster foraging in the desert outside his home town of Salgin on the planet Rosa. Meanwhile, Simon and Steve arrive in Salgin looking for Desert Claw. As Jaster returns, he complains to his adopted father, Raul, about the presence of the Longardian Federation on the planet, who are ostensibly there to protect it from the Draxian Empire. As they talk, a beast attacks the town. Jaster rushes outside and is attacked by a group of smaller beasts. With the help of a stranger, he fights them off, and they head to face the main beast. Upon seeing Steve and Simon, the stranger leaves Jaster, giving him his sword. Steve recognizes the sword as Desert Claw's sword, "Desert Seeker - one of the Seven Sacred Galactic Swords" and concludes that Jaster is Desert Claw. As such, they join him in fighting the beast. They defeat it, and Steve tells Jaster their boss wants to hire him. When Jaster learns they are space pirates working for the legendary Dorgengoa, he decides to join, maintaining the ruse that he is Desert Claw.
Mariglenn returns to its former self, and Kisala says goodbye to Freidias. When they return to their own galaxy, the group finds Mariglenn has reappeared. They visit and the Mariglenndians appoint Kisala as their new queen, much to the disappointment of Dorgengoa and Jaster. As Jaster and Monsha discuss the newly established galactic peace, Kisala is inaugurated as the new queen. Meanwhile, Simon returns to his family, Lilika returns to Bukaqua, Deego reunites with Angela, Steve returns to work with Dr. Pocacchio, Jupis resumes his scientific research, and Zegram remains on the Dorgenark. Later, Dorgenoa tells Jaster they are returning to Mariglenn to get back Kisala. The game ends with a narration saying the crew made off with their "ultimate treasure" in what was their very last heist, implying that they succeeded in getting Kisala, but are on the run from Mariglenn. 2b1af7f3a8