The Arc the Lad series is one of the hottest selling series in Japan, with its own cult following of fans. The series spawned numerous web sites, trading cards, mangas, collectibles, and even an Anime series based off the first two games. For a while, it would seem that this series would not make it stateside, and over the years there were countless petitions that proved almost fruitless.
However, what the fans didn’t know was that Working Designs had approached Sony for the rights to Arc the Lad I during its time, but nothing came out of that deal. The same resulted when Working Designs wanted to do Arc the Lad II. Then, Arc the Lad III was released, and Working Designs gave Sony a proposal too hard to resist: an attempt to localize all 3 Arc the Lad games, as well as Arena.
The project was and is Working Design’s largest project ever. Victor Ireland himself admits it, explaining jokingly what he got himself into when he took on the project. The first game was easy, it was relatively short and didn’t contain that much text, but the second game was loaded with text and the third game contained and unearthly amount of text.
Originally, a CD containing tunes from the game was planned for the package, but it had to be scrapped, probably to reduce costs or because working on the games was time consuming enough. This really isn’t too much of a loss, but maybe some fans are griping right now because of it. Even so, the current package itself is worthwhile. The set includes:
Arc the Lad
Arc the Lad II
Arc the Lad Monster Arena
Arc the Lad III [2 discs]
Making of Arc the Lad Collection Disc
150+ Page Leatherette Hardbound Artbook/Instruction Manual
Arc the Lad Analog Thumb Button Covers
Arc the Lad Memory Card Holder
Arc the Lad Mini Character Standees
A most welcome package, though in my opinion there’s no chance in hell am I ever going to use the Thumb Button Covers and let them wear out. I am a collector, in a sense. No matter though, this is Working Design’s greatest gift to the gaming public, and unlike some of their games, they seem to have kept mostly to the script this time round; aside from some well-hidden jokes and those with reference to the Lunar games, the script is generally intact.
Well, I’m certain by now that most of you want to jump to the individual reviews of each of the games, so thanks for reading this little introduction and start hopping to your choice games: