about the game

cover Vagrant Story was released internationally in 2000 for the original Playstation. Published by Square (now Square-Enix), it tells the story of Ashley Riot, a Riskbreaker, an elite agent of the Valendia Knights of Peace (VKP). Ashley is tasked with seeking out Syndey Losstarot, leader of the cult Müllenkamp, who kidnapped a duke's son, and follows him to the fallen city of Leá Monde. Unfortunately, his partner, Callo, is taken captive by Sydney soon after he enters the city, and Ashley soon finds that he's not the only one after the cult leader. The Crimson Blades, a group under the orders of the Cardinal and led by Romeo Guildenstern, are also in the city and after Sydney. There's also another Riskbreaker in the mix, Jan Rosencrantz — which is odd, because Riskbreakers always work alone...

Vagrant Story has no cutscenes: the entire game is rendered in-engine, a rarity for games at the time. Ashley is the sole playable character, and the game follows his journey through the labyrinthine city of Leá Monde, allowing the player to experience a dungeon crawler, RPG, and action game in one. Crafting is a huge component of the game, as upgrading Ashley's weapons and armor, as well as working on specific status bonuses against the different enemy classes, is the only way to make any headway.

As Vagrant Story was produced by Yasumi Matsuno, known for his work on Final Fantasy Tactics, there are some connections between it and the world of Ivalice. The game does begin with a quote from A. J. Durai, a key character in FFT, and there are numerous references to Valendia in FFXII, Matsuno's other FF title. In recent years Matsuno has cited this connection as merely fanservice, but I prefer to ignore that in favor of considering VS part of the greater history of Ivalice. (It's more fun that way.)

These days, the easiest way to play Vagrant Story is to get it off the Playstation Network. In the US, it's only $6, an absolute steal for such an incredible game, and you'll be able to play it on the PS3 or PSP. Physical copies of the original Playstation release are going to run you more, particularly if you want a new copy (where do you even get a new copy of a 23-year-old game), but keep in mind that the game is only one disc. It was originally shipped with a second disc, and the box does say it's two discs, but the second one only had demos for other games. The game itself is a single disc.

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