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Live Alive Overview

LIVE ALIVE was an RPG that Square released shortly after FFVI, summer 1994. It remained fairly unknown in the west, perhaps because it was released in the shadow of it's massive predesessor. The graphics were not up to FFVI standards, but stayed more in the class of FFIV, and perhaps many thought it looked old because of that. The style differed quite a lot from the FF series, and the quality was very varied. Some parts in the game were quite un-RPGish. Perhaps this was why Live Alive was left behind. Still, despite its rough looks, this game was done with a lot of thought, and it easily beats almost anything else on the market. It was a little experimental, but was without any doubt an RPG fit for 1994.

The special thing with Live Alive is that instead of one massive story, the game is seven small RPGs, utterly different in style, goal and design. The different chapters were set in different ages, and had all different characters. (The character design were made by different manga artists). The fighting scene system is the only thing the seven parts share.

There is also no money in Live Alive. all objects are found or won in battles. Moreover, all characters heal completely after every battle. It is very clear that this RPG was not made to make the players worry about such things.

The seven chapters are: Primal Age, Wild West, Bakumatsu (Japan around 1860), Kung-Fu chapter, Today, Near Future, and Sci-Fi. They can be completed in any order, and have nothing to do with each other. When all are completed, an eight chapter will appear. the Medieval chapter. And when that is finished, it's time for the massive and shocking Epilogue.

The music for Live alive is done by a miss/mrs Yoko Shimomura, and although the number of tunes is not as high as in FFVI, and they have a completely different style, some of my very favourite Square tunes of all time is in the Live Alive soundtrack.

It was unfair yet understandable that Live Alive was not translated. The game was chopped up and the goal was not always clear. It demanded much stubbornness. Still, in my humble opinion, this game deserved more than it got, only FFV beats it in terms of untranslated RPGs.

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