Flight-Plan 『フライト･プラン』 was a Japanese game developer established 30th September 1989. They made mostly Strategy RPGs and had two flagship game series of that genre (Black/Matrix and Summon Night). The company closed down sometime in August 2010. Most of its members went on to form Apollosoft and have worked with fellow SRPG developer Nippon Ichi to create the PSP game Blue Roses ~Yousei to Aoi Hitomi no Senshitachi~, with another PSP game, Ragnarok ~Hikari to Yami no Koujo~ to follow after that.Not to be confused with the film Flightplan.
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Games developed by Flight-Plan:
(release dates and platforms given are those of the first Japanese release)
- Black/Matrix (Sega Saturn; 27th August 1998)
- Black/Matrix AD (Sega Dreamcast; 30th September 1999)
- Black/Matrix Cross (Sony PlayStation; 14th December 2000)
- Black/Matrix II (Sony PlayStation 2; 28th March 2002)
- Black/Matrix Zero (Nintendo Game Boy Advance; 30th August 2002)
- Black/Matrix 00 (Sony PlayStation; 13th May 2004) note
Summon Night Series
- Summon Night (Sony PlayStation; 6th January 2000)
- Summon Night 2 (Sony PlayStation 2; 2nd August 2001)
- Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari (Nintendo Game Boy Advance; 25th April 2003)
- Summon Night 3 (Sony PlayStation 2; 7th August 2003)
- Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari 2 (Nintendo Game Boy Advance; 20th August 2004)
- Summon Night Ex-These: Yoake no Tsubasa (Sony PlayStation 2; 4th August 2005)
- Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi (Nintendo Game Boy Advance; 8th December 2005)
- Summon Night 4 (Sony PlayStation 2; 30th November 2006)
- Summon Night Twin Age: Seireitachi no Kyoumei (Koe) (Nintendo DS; 30th August 2007)
- Summon Night X: Tears Crown (Nintendo DS; 5th November 2009)
- Summon Night Gran-These: Horobi no Ken to Yakusoku no Kishi (Sony PlayStation 2; 11th March 2010) note
With the exception of Chiki Chiki Boys, these are cleaned-up eroge.
- Chiki Chiki Boys (PC-Engine; 15th July 1994) note
- Dōkyūsei (PC-Engine; 23rd November 1995)
- Dōkyūsei 2 (PC-FX; 9th August 1996)
- Utawarerumono (Sony PlayStation 2; 26th October 2006)
Tropes that are commonly found in Flight-Plan games:
- Antidote Effect: Items are useless in story battles if you're going for an S-Rank clear (or Brave Clear in the Summon Night games) since using items lowers your rank (and completely disqualifies you from a Brave Clear in the Summon Night games). Summon Night 3 had a partial aversion where it allowed you to use the fishing bait items and the "Pirate Bentō" item without being disqualified for a Brave Clear. The lure items weren't exactly great when used as healing items though. With the exception of the Golden Lure (the rare Infinity Plus One Bait) which removed all abnormal status effects, they were laughable as since they healed for no more than 10 HP.
- Anti-Grinding: Free battles don't give as much experience or money as story battles.
- Cap: The level cap in most games is 50. You'll generally reach the end of most games at about level 25.
- Daddy System: Flight-Plan was well known for continuing to make games for older consoles late into their life-cycles.
- Black/Matrix 00 was the last PS1 game released in Japan that was not a re-release. It came out in May 2004, four years after the launch of the PS2.
- Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi was released on the GBA, one year after the launch of the NDS.
- Their last game was a PS2 game in March 2010, four years after the launch of the PS3.
- Dating Sim: Many of Flight-Plan's games contain elements of this as a result of their earlier work doing console ports of such games.
- Good Bad Bugs: Earlier games checked wait stance during counterattacks. This meant a player could set a unit to the defend wait stance before attacking and later change to counterattack after if so desired. This was eventually fixed in later games.
- Gratuitous English:
- Black/Matrix games like to put this in the intro screen of a story battle.
- Summon Night games like to put this into the intro screen of a chapter.
- Flight-Plan's general love of this mostly averts Spell My Name with an "S" as most characters will have a Latinised transliteration.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Most heroes will be using a sword of some kind unless they're spellcasters. Millet of Summon Night Gran-These is a notable exception.
- Hub Level: Most of games will have a map with a couple of points on it to go to.
- Multiple Endings: Again, as a result of porting dating sims in their early days. And like some dating sims, some of the endings might only be available on a subsequent playthrough.
- New Game+: Exactly how much gets carried over depends on the game. Character levels tend not to get carried over. Some games even feature new dialogue after the first playthrough.
- Nintendo Hard: Particularly if you're going for an S-Rank grade.
- No Export for You: Very few of Flight-Plan's games made it beyond the domestic market despite them very much wanting to. Flight-Plan's tendency to make games late in a game system's life-span in their native Japan, which tend to have longer life-spans than their overseas counterparts, didn't help things. Ironically, for a developer known for making mostly SRPGs, only one of their SRPGs managed to make the jump. And it wasn't from either of their flagship series and only made it to North America. In the end, Flight-Plan managed to get four of their games to North America and a whopping zero to Europe. Their successor, Apollosoft, is 0 for 1 with regards to both NA and EU as of 2011. Made all the more strange that their first game was done with Nippon Ichi, who does have some overseas distribution capabilities.
- Rank Inflation: Player performance in story battles are graded from C -> B -> A -> S.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: Flight-Plan's fanbase prefers their games to be Nintendo Hard. After fans were disappointed with the relatively short and easy Black/Matrix II, Flight-Plan responded with this in Black/Matrix 00 and Summon Night 3, both of which are generally considered to be the best games in their respective series.
- Sliding Scale of Turn Realism: Flight-Plan's games tend to be either "Action by Action" or "Turn by Turn".
- Something Completely Different: The final battle in most games have something that makes it different from normal battles. The Final Boss tends to have his/her/its stats and abilities partially or completely hidden.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Due to Gratuitous English, most characters in Flight-Plan's games have an official spelling (usually found in the respective game's official website). Place names, minor characters, and last names (where applicable) in general aren't as lucky. The tendency of Flight-Plan's games to not make it out of the domestic market both helps (no multiple transliterations) and hinders (minor stuff don't get an official spelling) against this.