A cult RPG series by Media Vision
and published by XSEED Games
, Wild ARMs
combines classic RPG gameplay with a wild west/Steam Punk setting and influence
. Take the best parts of Final Fantasy
and The Legend of Zelda
and toss in some The Good The Bad And The Ugly
for good measure and you've got most installments of Wild ARMs
. The series currently has seven installments. The ARM in the title refers to the guns used by various characters. The reason it is capitalized is because it is an acronym that means something different in each game
The current games in the series are:
The games often deal with themes of self-discovery and growing up
. Other important themes involve rebuilding the world, since each game takes place on the barren wasteland known as Filgaia. While a traditional RPG in the sense of battling, Wild ARMS also introduces tool-based exploration and puzzle-solving, giving it some minor action RPG elements.
In addition to the game series, there has been a manga adaptation for each installment, as well as an original manga know as Wild ARMs: Hananushubito / Wild ARMs: Flower Thieves
. The series has also had its own anime, which is called Wild ARMs: Twilight Venom
While the franchise hasn't enjoyed the massive success of Square-Enix's RPGs
, it has managed to build up a loyal fanbase, especially in Japan where the first five games have all managed to become part of the "Playstation The Best", which is similar to the Greatest Hits and Platinum Range labels.
This videogame series provides examples of:
- Ability Required to Proceed: The various tools that you get throughout your adventure are used to solve various puzzles. In particular, expect to use said ability a great deal in the dungeon in which you find the item.
- Action Commands
- After the End: Planet Hiades that the Metal Demons come from is implied to be Earth...after the humans all became robots.
- All There in the Manual
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The way the first three games opened.
- Anime Theme Song
- Artificial Human: Rudy Roughknight in Wild ARMs and Jet Enduro in Wild ARMs 3
- Bait-and-Switch Credits
- Barrier Warrior: Asgard.
- Battle Butler: Todd in Wild ARMs 3 & Magdalen in Alter Code F
- The Battle Didn't Count: A natural result of RecurringBosses.
- Bittersweet Ending: Most of the games end with the heroes saving the day, but Filgaia worse off than it was before. It's more bitter than sweet in 5 and XF, especially.
- Black Market: They sell healing items!!
- Block Puzzle
- Bonus Boss: Ragu O Ragla in every game, and bunches of others that vary from game to game.
- Bonus Dungeon: The Abyss in many of the games, and a few others.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Hayonkonton/Hyulkonton/Creeping Chaos
- Bragging Rights Reward: The Sheriff Star, for the most part. It's almost always given as a reward for beating the hardest Bonus Boss, but of course, by that point, you don't need the tremendous stat boosts it gives you. Recent games have begun to allow you to carry over accumulated Sheriff Stars via New Game+, making this a little more feasible.
- Braids, Beads and Buckskins: The Baskars in most incarnations, especially in 3.
- Canis Major: Luceid, the Guardian of Desire, takes the form of a wolf (or wolf-like dog).
- Character Level
- Chest Monster: The mimics and the Black Box boss, which can only be fought if you open every single chest in the game.
- Combination Attack: In all the games from 4 on.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Wild ARMs: Flower Thieves
- Desert Punk: especially Wild ARMs 2 and 3.
- The Dragon
- Dual Wielding: Virginia in Wild ARMs 3 dual-wields pistols; Dean in Wild ARMs 5 dual-wields guns with tonfa-like ammo clips.
- Duel Boss: Usually several per game, not counting prologue bosses.
- Edge Gravity
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors
- Empathic Weapon: The titular ARMs, usually.
- Emote Animation
- Enemy Scan: The Analyze spell.
- Evolving Credits: The opening animation generally changes based on how far into the game you've gotten.
- Fake Difficulty: Wild ARMs 2, 3, and Alter Code F don't allow you to buy healing items in shops. This is justified in that healing items are fruits or berries, and you're living in a wasteland. There are sidequest that allows you to grow your own fruits and berries, but they do not usually come in until about halfway through the game.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture The setting is generally Desert Punk, but there are random terms and cultural elements from many different sources scattered throughout. The Baskars are a mix of Native American and a hippie-ish religious commune.
- Four Is Death: Cocytus in Wild ARMs 2 is comprised of four members. There is also the Quarter Knights from the original game.
- The Four Gods: The guardians Grudiev (the Azure Dragon), Moor Gault (the Vermillion Phoenix), Fengalon (the White Tiger), and Schturdark (the Black Turtle).
- Fun with Acronyms: The eponymous ARM stands for something different every game.
- There's also the EMMA Motor, which appears in the first two games, but Marivel from 2 claims that the name is an acronym, and that it definitely is NOT named after its inventor. In reality, she's got it backwards (it's still a nice Continuity Nod though).
- Guide Dang It: Finding all the Puzzle Boxes, let alone solving some of the later ones.
- Finding all of the EX File Keys.
- Forget that: Finding all of the treasure chests!
- The Gunslinger: Almost everyone who wields an ARM.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Taking this one step further, practically every spell in some of the games can be renamed and in some games nearly every NPC can be renamed.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted in all of the games except for the original (although not the remake of the original). The main characters use the titular ARMs.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Expect a lot of this in Twilight Venom, the anime series based on the games. Two of those (Wendee Lee and Michelle Ruff) also voiced in Wild ARMs 5.
- Improbable Weapon User: Caina's main weapon is Randolf the magic key. Lilka uses an umbrella. Arnaud has quill-pen-shaped throwing knives, Dean's main attack utilizes the aforementioned tonfa-like ammo clips, and Chuck has a "pilebunker" (a tool that works kind of like a jackhammer).
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Duplicators.
- Limit Break: The Force Point system. How it works is slightly different in each game, but in every game there are special moves you can perform by spending 25, 50, 75, or 100 Force Points. In some games, you must build your Force Points up before you can access some of your other spells and abilities.
- Typical moves are Extension and Mystic(which expand the range of Magic and Items respectively), Accelerator, which makes you go first in the round, and Aim, which makes your attack hit without fail. Summons also use Force Points.
- Limited Sound Effects: exactly one block-pushing sound, multiple floor surfaces the blocks are on.
- Ley Line: The Ley Line is referenced in 1 and 3. Ley points also appear in 4, 5, and XF.
- Lost Technology: The Holmcross, the Golems, the Dragons, the Metal Demons, ARMS, etc. etc.
- Lost Colony: The human population of Filgaia are revealed to be colonists from Earth in the third game, and this is also referenced in the fifth. The planet's tumultuous history has meant this is largely forgotten.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service
- Magitek, Magic from Technology, Magic Versus Science, Doing In the Wizard: Depends on which game, pretty much every combination possible throughout.
- Malevolent Architecture: And how!
- Metal Slime: Grow Apples, Mega Apples, Melchoms, and Creeping Chaoses.
- Mordor: Filgaea has been this at various points in its history, usually set after the disaster that made it that way.
- Musical Nod: "Into the Wilderness" from the first game has been remixed and used in most of the rest.
- Nanomachines: seen frequently in the series, especially in 3 and 4.
- New Game+: The EX Keys unlock bonus content after you have completed the game including this.
- Nigh Invulnerable: One of Recurring Boss Trask's central traits is his absurdly high defense.
- Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits
- Non-Linear Sequel: Think of a Multiverse, each having their Filgaia of their own. Each have their own "Mothers" and such.
- Numbered Sequels: All of the sequels except XF are numbered in their North American releases. Their names contain those numbers in the Japanese releases, but are named much more colorfully.
- Our Elves Are Better: The Elw, native inhabitants of Filgaia, are immortal (versus natural causes), highly spiritual, and far better than humans in terms of Functional Magic and Magitek. They have the "thin and pretty" part of the traditional elf image, but their ears are vaguely rabbit-ish rather than simply pointy.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're biomechanical extradimensional creatures who can turn into airships.
- Their bones are also made into weapons, such as the titular ARMs.
- Our Demons Are Different: The Metal Demons of the first and third games are humans turned into living metal by alchemical Nanotech. The demons of the second game (and one in the third) are some mix of Anthropomorphic Personification and Eldritch Abomination.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Crimson Nobles are powerful long-lived blood-drinkers who take damage from direct sunlight, but they are born normally, not by being bitten, and are not really "undead".
- Pimped-Out Dress: Quite a few character designs, like Virginia and Alexia.
- Puzzle Boss: Sort of. Many bosses can be made much easier by using specific trick methods, including Vinsfield's ghost: a Bonus Boss in the second game who can repeatedly take off most of your party's health on each of his turns, but can be killed instantly, before he acts, with absolute certainty, by casting one spell.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad (Liz and Ard in Wild ARMs 2, Maya and the Schrodinger family in Wild ARMs 3)
- Rare Candy: apples
- Recurring Boss: Trask, a Nigh Invulnerable turtle...thing that debuted in Wild ARMs 2 and has appeared in most games since.
- Recurring Element: Take place on a world called Filgaia, with money called gella, usually star a blue-haired hero, and have a victory music track called "Condition Green!". The party frequently includes a Cyborg or ArtificialHuman. Additionally, the Guardians, the Baskar and an often sentient robot/golem named Asgard.
- Each game's soundtrack includes a song titled From Anxiety to Impatience. The songs are different, but this particular title is always used.
- Sand Is Water: Especially in 3, but present in 1 and 4 as well.
- Saving the World: It's an RPG.
- Scavenger World: Varies with each game, but technology is usually on a decline.
- Schizo Tech
- Shout-Out: Siegfried might as well have been called Nightmare in Wild Arms 3. There are also many recurring names and events throughout the series, and every single playable character is seen as an NPC in 5.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Ultimately fairly idealistic, though some games (particularly 2 and 3) tend towards cynicism a bit more then the others.
- Space Amish: The Baskars are a religious community who live a simple life "in harmony with nature", despite having a better-than-average knowledge of the setting's Magitek. Elw have a bit of this too.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: In the first two games.
- Stuck Items
- Summon Magic: The Guardians in the games before 5.
- Super Title 64 Advance: Averted so far, as all games in the series have appeared on MIPS-powered consoles, not the ARM-powered PlayStation Vita.
- Swiss Army Weapon: Wild ARMs 4 has the main character's gun turn into a sword when out of ammo. Wild ARMs 5's lead has, again, guns with tonfas for ammo clips.
- Temple of Doom: A staple of the series, packed with traps and puzzles that can be conveniently bypassed and solved with the tools the party has picked up along the way.
- Time Stands Still: Summoning Dan Dariam.
- Walking the Earth: Those who call themselves Drifters. Can be anything from heroes to outlaws to neutral mercenaries.
- Word of God: According to the companion volume for the series (never released outside of Japan, of course), the planet Filgaia is the same planet in every game. Apparently, it's just really unlucky.
- Flip Flop of God: This is in contrast to an earlier companion volume for the series released during the third game which said that they were different Filgaias that generally followed the same rules. Either different people are now in charge of the mythos or the people behind the mythos simply decided that the one Filgaia version was cooler.
- A World Half Full: Filgaia in almost all its incarnations. (It's much more of a Death World in 3, though...)
- The World Is Always Doomed: Filgaia may be the most unlucky planet in the history of fiction. At least planets that blow up stop having problems.