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aka: Blazing Souls

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Shape the revival of the world. From left to right: Nguyen, Duja, Aria, Zelos, Adelle, Liza and Naiz. Top: Little Snow.
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Blazing Souls is a Strategy RPG developed and published by Idea Factory in Japan and brought to the West by Aksys Games. It's a game from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 that was never localized until its second update for the PSP. It's the third game of the Spectral Souls subseries, and it's related to a good deal of games of the same franchise, with referrences harkening all the way back to the first Spectral Force.

Nearly twenty years after the Seven-Years War (And following its True Ending), the world starts to recover from the massive chain of wars and both man and demonkind in Neverland seem to be finally reaching peace. However, a shady team of Artificial Humans known as Human Genomes have very different plans: They desire to supplant and replace humans and demons alike as the dominant species.

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The story begins with Zelos, the protagonist, who makes his living as an independent contractor. After being assigned to a weird job and getting stuck with a team of his own and an amnesiac girl, he takes on different jobs and eventually comes in contact with the Elemental Cores, stones that give him immense power when implanted onto his prosthetic arms. On his travels, he also begins to encounter the Human Genomes, and is led to face events that are linked to both their creators and, unknowingly, his own past.

Zelos also appears in the crossover games Chaos Wars and Cross Edge.

Has a Character Page on the works.


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Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Still a staple among Idea Factory games. While your level goes only up to 100, this doesn't stop you from keep leveling up. Good thing, because the endgame enemies tend to have very high stats.
  • Aerith and Bob: Zelos, Naiz, Jadore, Sciorra, Zelena... And Adelle, Liza, Nguyen, Carla, Edward, Hermes... Actually, normal names seem far more common in Neverland. The "Aerith" part easily applies to villains, though: Brumeia, Ouedraogo, Sexton, Etelo...
  • All There in the Manual: The in-game gallery provides biographies for all the characters, and detailed clues to the story.
  • Alternative Calendar: Given it's nearly twenty years after the end of the Seven-Years War, the game occurs supposedly around Magic Age 1080.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 3a seems to be in the Genomes' plan for Neverland and no Man or Demon seem to be safe.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You are limited to six, sometimes five units in the field.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI will go for the nearest target, regardless of who it is, and attack it regardless of its resistance to physical/magical damage or even elements. Not only that, enemies will also look to explode their AP and SP gauge on their best moves regardless of how prepared you are for it.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Aksys Games managed to fuck it up big on this one. The previous game, Spectral Souls Ressurrection Of The Ethereal Empires, was the first one from the Neverland Franchise to see a western release and had better luck with the translation (done by NIS America) than this one. Names estabilished for the western audience in Spectral Souls II ended up mistranslated (Leeza for returning character Liza is a glaring example), and in one dialogue, Isaac's name gets exchanged for that of another party member, Carla. And let's not get into the amount of Guide Dang It! caused by the mistranslation...
    • It's actually funny that Hiro, a recurring character in the Neverland franchise, got her name translated the right way, which didn't exactly happen in her previous appearance.
    • Also, while many things went with wrong names, some others were worded way better than in Spectral Souls II, especially when it comes to the Original Skills and Potentials' names. For example, returning character Naiz's Triple Haze, correctly translated against SSII's "Kasumi III"...
  • Block Puzzle: Yes, this game has this when you're in Action Mode. Some titles (most notably the first twenty of the list) give you abilities to solve these puzzles and traverse the maps to access other areas and get important items, such as Core Fragments.
  • Break Meter: The first in the franchise to include this. Every enemy has, along with its HP, a green gauge that will only take damage from a specific of three types of attack: Destroy, Impact or Penetrate. Depleting the gauge with the correct type of attack will cause the enemy to enter "Over Break" status, making them susceptible to attacks as if they had no stats, and some skills even get extra hits from this. Needless to say, breaking that gauge is also the key to defeating bosses and benefitting from the Surplus Damage Bonus. This is not explained on the manuals, however.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Spectral Tower becomes this if you forgo the option to go through a New Game+. Doppelganger versions of your characters and the Final Boss litter the place and give the highest challenge the game has to offer. You can get copies of the best gear of the game from them... Not that you'll need it by that point.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Most characters upon unleashing their SP4 moves will do a Badass Creed and then pull that trope.
  • Combos: Continuing the tradition from Spectral Souls, you can chain skills together and combine them into more powerful attacks. As an improvement from Spectral Souls II, if you performed a successful skill combination before, the game will now let you know when you are performing it.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Some maps on this game are copies of each other. Also, all floors of Abyssal Gate have you visiting every of the game's maps on a more generic background and texture.
  • Easy Amnesia: Aria and Zelos.
  • Elemental Absorption: You can find enemies that will get healed by certain elements, and you can set this up on your team with the right armor.
  • Fake Difficulty: The game would be so much easier if things were just explained better. Also, the "Blind Idiot" Translation for some cases doesn't help.
  • Five-Man Band: The game's five main characters fit the bill.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: For some damn reason, the PSP version, after you get equipped enough and start fiddling with Auto Skills and/or Clays, has a glaring bug when changing equipment that may freeze the PSP and force you to restart the console. It's alleviated if you do it on the battle sorting screen, along with de-equipping all of your gear and skills and going on a specific order of gearing for changing equipment. Nonetheless, it's quite glaring that this bug ended up in the final version, as both the PS2 and X360 versions don't have it (Then again, Accelate also fixes some other glaring bugs...). If done in an emulator, the bug will crash the emulator instead. The Android/Windows Phone version, made on a better engine just like Spectral Souls II before it, doesn't have this bug, however.
  • Guide Dang It!: There is very little explanation on what to do in the game. So if you want to complete all the title collections, solve the puzzles, gain all the characters and earn the True Ending, you need a guide.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The first battle of the game has Zelos teaching you the Charge/Hold system (and how it has gotten better from Spectral Souls II. After the second battle, a series of scenes between the main five explain to you a good chunk of the battle mechanics. Good thing they actually have something akin to a tutorial this time, as you will need to master its lessons to survive to the end.
  • Kill and Replace: The modus operandi of the game's villains: replacing a race with another.
  • Level Grinding: Of course Idea Factory encourages this on you, like always. Makes it easier to skip/complete some puzzles. Can be made easier as described on the Video Game Cruelty Potential example below. Or then you can just overgear a particular party member and solo the battlefield for the grinding. It's quite feasible.
    • Level Scaling: It follows the strongest character you deploy on field, sending more vicious variants of the monsters if you're overleveled. Better level your team more equally if you want to stand a chance in earlier stages of the game. Most places, however, have a limit on how powerful the enemies are, so there's space for you to make a party member catch up with the rest. Abyssal Gate floors also have fixed encounters regardless of your team's level.
    • Anti-Grinding: Mostly any battle that's not on the last floors of Abyssal Gate has a 200-turn limit. Get past that, and you'll get booted to the world map as if you've lost the battle. In Abyssal Gate this can get worse, as getting past turn 200 will spawn Nothingness, an Elite Mook with big stats... which you eventually will have to kill to acquire Zelos' personal gun.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The original Playstation 2 version already had a big team of eighteen characters. Blazing Infinity for the Xbox 360 adds Jadore and Snow, links them to the main story, and makes Zelena, Edward and Hermes playable as part of your team near the end. Accelate on top of that adds Hiro, Roze and Yunellia as bonus characters, but these three don't have any effect on the story, however.
    • A massive shame for Hiro's case, as she's Jadore's younger sister and is still around by the time of this game. Also, her personal weapon can be crafted, but it can also be used by other Scythe users. Also, Roze, as Jadore is her half-brother and he doesn't even know that.
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: Some titles will have you hunting specific monsters.
  • Monster Allies: With the Capture Skill, you can bring monsters to fight for you for three turns. You can also mix and match them to get stronger ones or use them to get new skills.
  • New Game+: After finishing the game, you have the option of keep playing on the old playthrough, or start a new one.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Vitality. While the other stats are important depending on a character's build, VIT is basically a necessity if you are to survive the toughest fights. It doesn't just increase defense; it also increases how much HP a character gains per level. Now let's just remember Agarest Senki drinks a real lot from Blazing Souls...
  • Optional Party Member: On Accelate, you can recruit Hiro, Roze and Yunellia as they were in ''Spectral Souls II''.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Liza, since Spectral Souls II.
  • Permanently Missable Content: In true Idea Factory fashion. Zelos and Noel are required to lose some solo fights, in some of the Dual Boss fights you must defeat both at the same time or even only a specific one of them, and of course, there are the massive amounts of Guide Dang It! to get some members, especially Fairuza.
    • Al's Infinity +1 Sword is also missable, if you don't steal one of its components from a boss in Abyssal Gate late on the game.
  • Point Build System: In true Idea Factory fashion, you can give characters the stats you want. You can, however, follow their stat caps and learn how their true builds work.
  • Post-End Game Content: Should you choose not to go the New Game+ way, you'll be able to tackle the Spectral Tower, which is now a gauntlet full of Superboss versions of your team and then some.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: There is no other way to describe Team Zelos.
  • Randomly Drops: Unless you overkill an enemy, all booty is random. Then again, you can just steal it with Nguyen or Fairuza and be done with it. Well, except for Overkill-exclusive looting, of course.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Zelos on the cover for the PSP version.
  • Superbosses: When the True Ending is enabled, Doppelganger versions of the Genomes appear around Neverland. They're not necessary for the True Ending, but they net great rewards on both stealing and killing them, and winning those fights are necessary for some of the Titles.
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: As per usual with Idea Factory's Tactical RPG games, you can Overkill enemies by doing much more damage to them than their maximum HP in a combo, and get an exclusive drop in addition to their random drops.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kaye, and only her partners know that she's a girl. Zelos manages to catch her changing clothes.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Expect a good lot of the Titles to demand you a specific amount of enemy drops or enemy kills. Some of them are even needed to advance the game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Since you can use physical attacks on your own teammates, you can kill your own teammates for extra experience. The game doesn't penalize you for this if you remember to resuscitate all your characters before you clear the stage.
    • However, some of the ultimate weapons, along with breakers and scythes in general, will not allow you to hit your allies. Which makes things harder for users of those weapons. note 
  • Video Game Stealing: There's the basic Steal skill, and then there's Nguyen's Item Hunt and Fairuza's Seductive Eyes, which take more unique items and equipment from enemies.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: Carrying over from Spectral Souls II.

Alternative Title(s): Blazing Souls

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