Arc the Lad Series Headed to US!
When Working Designs revamped their release dates section a few weeks ago, they added a mystery RPG to the list, as usual, to be released this fall. Up until today, it was shrouded in secret except for a select few people in the know (ahem). The latest mystery RPG has been revealed to be Arc Collection, a compilation of all 3 Arc the Lad games.
Arc the Lad was the first RPG to be released on the Playstation in Japan, by Sony (or SCEI to be technical). Although a relatively short game, and it lacked some aspects of most RPGs (like a world map to explore, towns, or shops to buy items), it was still a good RPG. So much so, in fact, that SCEI followed up on it over the years with two sequels, the latest of which, aptly titled Arc the Lad III, was just released in Japan this past October.
None of the three games in the series have been released outside of Japan. Considering the recent surge of popularity of RPGs in the US of late, it was assumed Arc the Lad III may be released here by SCEA, or maybe another company. Of course, SCEA is busy localizing Wild ARMs: 2nd Ignition and The Legend of Dragoon currently, so they wouldn't be able to undertake Arc III. Not to mention, many people in the US may not be so interested in merely playing the third game in a series. So what's a publisher to do?
Release the entire series as a collection, of course. This will be Working Design's most grand localization effort ever. Along with Arc the Lad I, II, and III, will be (in what seems to be tradition with them) a making-of CD, and a music CD. In total, this brings the total CD count of Arc Collection to 6. One would assume the packaging for this trilogy will be more amazing than even that of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. (As a side note, Lunar 2, to be released this summer, will have similar packaging, and a total of 5 CDs.)
With Vanguard Bandits scheduled for release around April, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue this summer, and Arc Collection this fall, Working Designs is looking to have their best year ever for RPGs. Of course, knowing WD's desire to achieve perfection in its releases, these dates will most likely change. If you thought Magic Knight Rayearth was delayed a lot, consider that this is 3 games, where MKR was one... :)
Stay tuned to RPGFan for more details on this amazing collection when more information becomes available. Thanks in part to Gamer's Republic.
January 26th, 2000
Arc the Lad III Screen Shots
Vanguard Bandits Screen Shots
Lunar 2 Screen Shots