By Andy Kidwell / September 22nd, 2016
|Title||Threads of Fate|
|Publisher||Square Electronic Arts|
|Release Date||July 19, 2000|
|Genre||Action role-playing game, platformer|
|Age Rating||E for Everyone|
I came across Threads of Fate at my local retro game shop when I wanted to find a new, interesting game that I might be able to add to my collection. I had been looking for a different RPG experience – one I might not have played before. That’s when I saw Threads of Fate through a small glass case filled with other classic PlayStation games. Instantly, I knew I wanted to play it. The game’s jewel case displayed that classic Squaresoft character art. Honestly, this game flew under my radar and I would consider myself fairly knowledgeable about Square’s work during this time. So did I get the experience I was looking for? Let’s find out!
Threads of Fate, or known in Japan as Dewprism, was released on October 14th, 1999. It would later come to North America on July 19th, 2000. This game is an action RPG platformer, and plays very similarly to Square’s 1998 release, Brave Fencer Musashi. The Musashi vibes instantly hit me once I started playing. However, that feeling did not take long to pass as Threads of Fate has wonderful personality and charm.
After you brush off your PlayStation and pop in the disc to start a new game, you’ll choose your character. You have the option of Mint, the spunky princess, or Rue, the mysterious boy. This choice really does matter because not only does the gameplay drastically change between the two, but the story does as well. That’s right, this game has two separate stories! Mint has a melee attack and uses magic spells. Her story is really lighthearted, comedic, and fun. Rue mostly uses just a melee attack. However, he has a unique ability to transform into various monsters to solve puzzles or to use as an advantage against other monsters. Rue’s story – whew, let me tell ya – is deep. It’s a serious, low-key tale of self-realization, revenge, and keeping promises. Rue’s story is much like many of Square’s titles from this time period and uses a lot of the same storytelling tropes.
The game’s main stories center around relics. Relics are tools used by ancient magicians known as the Aeons. Both Mint and Rue need to find a relic to obtain a certain goal. Mint, being the bratty princess she is, was dethroned by Maya, her younger sister, for being irresponsible and lazy. Maya possesses a relic called The Book of Cosmos. Mint, as you could imagine, is not too pleased about this and confronts Maya, but it is no use. Mint’s powers against The Book of Cosmos are just too weak, so Mint hilariously gets chased out of the castle by living jack-o-lanterns. It’s a whole thing, trust me. But, by chasing Mint away from the throne, her life gains new purpose. Mint wants to find a relic of her own just so she can rub her sister’s face in it, And not only that, she is vowing world domination!
Rue’s story is much less outrageous. Rue lives with his friend Claire, who rescued him after she found him all alone. Rue has amnesia and has no idea why he has the ability to turn into monsters. In contrast to Mint’s bluntness and bratty behavior, Rue is very reserved, polite, and a really endearing person. While living with Claire, Rue’s days were peaceful but one night, Rue and Claire are attacked. The mysterious person is very intimidating as he sports a large black claw and a jewel in the middle of his head. Rue tries to protect Claire but the mysterious figure takes Claire’s life. Rue, in a fit of rage, attacks the enemy but can still do nothing. With Claire gone and his life in ruins, Rue sets out to find a relic to bring Claire back to life. He will search the entire world until he can fulfill his promise to find answers about himself and that night. Simply heart wrenching!
The actual game takes place two years after the prologue. Mint and Rue are both on a boat headed for Carona, which is rumored to be a town that has secrets of relics. At this point, however, Mint and Rue do not know each other or even speak to each other, but the game clearly hints that both their stories will be intertwined. That, I feel, is the game’s biggest strength. When playing as Mint or Rue, many areas or events will be the same but the dialogue with other characters will be completely different. Mint’s hilarious comedic timing, foul mouth, and overall tenacious attitude will have the other characters riffing jokes off each other while patronizing her. Rue, however, is such a good person that characters always treat him with respect and share very touching moments with him. This makes the game feel very fresh through each playthrough.
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