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Video Game / SaGa Scarlet Grace

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SaGa Scarlet Grace is the latest RPG-style game in the SaGa franchise. Originally released exclusively for Play Station Vita in Japan in 2016, an Updated Re-release subtitled Ambitions was made available internationally on December 3rd, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and smartphones. The expansion features enhanced graphics, character voiceovers, new skills, and additional story.

The backstory is thus: the Firebringer, a fallen god and bane of humanity, has wrought havoc on the world since his exile. Mankind constructed an Empire with a singular purpose: engage the Firebringer and his fiends in battle to defend humanity. After a millennia of fighting, the Firebringer has finally been defeated, and the Empire is left without purpose, spurring rebellion.

The player can follow the journey of four different main protagonists (Urpina, Taria, Balmaint, and Leonard) as they call on their might and set out to carve a new future. You can travel the world and engage in events in any order, or skip them entirely if you wish, with your decisions affecting the development of the story. Create a team of up to five capable fighters and engage in strategic turn-based combat, selecting from nine weapon varieties. The composition of your group affects your abilities and impacts your tactics. The choices you make will define your legacy!



  • Aerith and Bob: Of the four main protagonists, Leonard has a fairly ordinary, if not necessarily common, name, and Taria at least sounds kind of normal-ish... at least, compared to Urpina and Balmaint.
  • After-Combat Recovery: As in many other SaGa games, party members' HP are completely replenished after battle. The same is not true of LP, however, which must be restored at an inn.
  • And Then What?: The Empire fell victim to this, once the Firebringer was finally defeated and its collected might no longer had a target to unite against.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Each of the protagonists can bring up to four other characters into battle with them, though there is no limit to how many they can recruit to the party and choose from.
  • An Axe to Grind: One of nine weapon types available in the game. Axe techniques cost more BP (battle points) to use and have a chance to miss, but they deal good damage and can debuff enemies too.
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  • Arc Villain: Each of the four protagonists has a specific goal given to them at their scenario's start, and three of them have a notable foe: Sigfrei for Balmaint, the Earth Serpent for Urpina, and the Phoenix for Taria. The ones not focused on become the Villain of Another Story that the player may or may not deal with before the endgame.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: One of nine weapon types available. Unlike other weapons, martial arts techniques aren't based on the currently equipped weapon, but they're also slower to glimmer compared to other options.
  • Black Market: The ruined capital Azhuacan has one, and it's also where you can recruit the weapons-enthusiast Sabit if you have the right weapons to impress him.
  • Boss Rush: Depending on the choices you make over the game, you could end up with one massive boss marathon before the final boss.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the ends of Urpina's first and second chapters, she and Mondo break the fourth wall to thank you, the player, for helping them on their journey. Taria does the same at the end of her first chapter too.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: The region of Provincia Thracini has an active volcano that's important to a few quests.
  • Combination Attack: Called "United Attacks," they can be used by both allies and enemies alike.
  • Counter-Attack: Several techniques are counters, like Greatswords' Optical Slash or Spears' Windmill, and counters are especially useful if players have only one or two characters left standing in a battle.
  • Dual Wielding: Urpina's brother Antonius and her father Maximius are famous for being able to fight like this. You have the chance to follow in their footsteps on Urpina's path via a side-quest.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: As the characters get stronger, so do the enemies.
  • Early Game Hell: The beginning of the game can be brutal due to lack of techniques, but once your characters start glimmering new techniques the difficulty evens out.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Thanks to the actions of her doppelgänger, Urpina finds herself on the receiving end of Lady's affections. Taria can also become the object of Lady's affections in her own route.
  • The Fair Folk: In the region of Marchiam Ria, outside the influence of the Celestials, there are rumors of faeries and even people trying to hunt them. If you play your cards right, they can teach you about Dual Wielding.
  • Field Power Effect: Each battlefield has one of the five elements, and characters whose attribute match the element will receive a small boost to their stats.
  • Great Offscreen War: The final battle between the Empire and the Firebringer took place 70 years before the game begins.
  • God of Evil: The Firebringer.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some characters, like Adill in Urpina's route, are near impossible to recruit without making very specific decisions throughout the entire game, and some side-quests are easy to lock yourself out with just one tiny mistake.
  • Haunted Castle: The player can encounter a few of these, such as Kreisa's haunted mansion.
  • Idea Bulb: When characters glimmer a new technique.
  • Killed Off for Real: Depending on the player's choices, some characters can die for good, such as Urpina's brother Antonius.
  • Life Energy: Each character has a set amount of LP - life points. Thankfully, if LP drops to zero, the character won't die, but they won't be able to participle in battles until they recover.
  • Level Scaling: Just like every other game in the series, the Battle Rank increases the amount of drops you get after battle, the chances of obtaining new skills and the weapon level of your characters. However, it also increases the game's difficulty by make the monsters more stronger. How the Battle Rank increases depends on what type of scenario you face during the game.note 
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are nearly eighty recruitable characters.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on the players' actions, Urpina and Balmaint have six possible endings, while Leonard and Taria have two.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Some characters are exclusive to specific routes. Other recruitable characters may have palette swaps, and you can't recruit your teammates' palette swaps.
  • Nintendo Hard: SaGa games are known for being difficult, and this one is no exception. Even in battles marked "Easy," one mistake can lead to a total party wipe.
  • No, You: When confronted about his crimes, Sigfrei tends to argue like this, trying to dress up his atrocities in faux-philosophical words.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Unless you're using a guide, it's easy to miss new recruitable characters and events. However, that often leads to alternative events, encouraging multiple playthroughs.
  • Updated Re-release: The Ambitions release added voice acting, additional story, new characters, and other improvements to the original game. Ambitions was also the version released outside of Japan.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The characters you used most in battle receive their own ending card explaining what happened to them after the showdown with the Firebringer, and many of them verge on Bittersweet Ending to full-on Downer Ending.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Since the entire game takes place on the world map, there's plenty of freedom for exploration depending on the route. Leonard's route is the most open, while Balmaint's can be the most limited.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Urpina is forced out of her home until she can rescue her brother and defeat the Earth Serpent.

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