Ephemeral Fantasia

Ephemeral Fantasia

released on Aug 10, 2000

Ephemeral Fantasia

released on Aug 10, 2000

In this game, the player controls Mouse, a silent musician who travels with his talking guitar Pattimo. One day Mouse is invited to play at a royal wedding on an island called Pandule. But soon he discovers that the groom Xelpherpolis has put an awful time-looping spell on the island, and intends to destroy this way the entire population. Mouse has to stop the villain and, most importantly, recruit other people to help him break the spell. Ephemeral Fantasia is a Japanese-style role-playing game with turn-based combat. Several characters can be recruited to the party. The game's stand-out feature is the time-looping system, which is somewhat similar to the one implemented in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The game has an internal clock, and the first five days repeat themselves until Mouse finds a way to stop it. Certain events occur only if Mouse travels to a specific location at a specific time.

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This is not an actual review, though one day it will get one, except to say that I saw this in a Let's Play many years ago and could remember aspects of it but never the name and for years I thought it was Threads of Fate but it felt off. Just now happened to find it again. Definitely have to give it a whirl at some point.

A game that desperately needs a remake - a lot of the ideas in this game are extremely creative: a pretty non-linear story, almost every character you can unlock is optional, relatively open exploration on the island, and the time loop. However, the game just mostly doesn't work, the combat feels clunky most of the time, half of the characters are pretty useless, and the game doesn't give you enough guidance to make sense of it - you're basically expected to wander around at random until something happens, but most of the plot triggers are incredibly specific to the point that I have no idea how you would figure them out without a guide. I really want to like this game, but I just... don't.

Reiselied: Ephemeral Fantasia, the PS2's first turn-based RPG, is also notable for devising a countdown/time loop system similar to Majora's Mask. At the same time, Konami's isometric, fully-3D program is the odd game of its genre that not only takes place on a single island, but borrows a page from Romancing SaGa in its largely open, non-linear, exploration-heavy format. Everything from unlocks, side content, dungeons and (incredibly difficult) character-enlistment are as optional and time-dependent as expected. They even recall their own catalog with a GuitarFreaks-style rhythm minigame, and managed to outpace their peers via snappy and cinematic ATB combat. Finally, its story, which plays out over the course of five 'days' (with - needless to say, lots of traveling back in time) involves the player recruiting, leveling, searching and - ultimately, breaking the cycle to face the final boss, while retaining any key items, allies and experience earned after each loop. Its flaws are definitely too much to endure (especially the awful pacing & map layouts), but the concept itself shows promise, one that belongs more to the realm of Shenmue or Valkyrie Profile than to the traditional JRPG realm.

One of the worst JRPGs I have played in my life.
The story is bad, the pacing is horrible, the gameplay is bad, the graphics are horrible, and the characters are stupid in a very bad way and forgettable (the MC's name is... Mouse,not serious, the developers didn't they have a better idea for a good name?) and a very bad game design.

I can understand that this game was released in the first years of the PlayStation 2, but that doesn't justify the horrible quality of the game.

Just play this to learn how NOT to make a JRPG.

Absolute train wreck. First game I can remember being legitimately upset over how bad it was. It's a confusing jumbled mess of concepts that sound cool, but don't function in the slightest.