Breath of Fire IV Preview

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Two continents divided by an ocean have been embroiled in wars for centuries; however, a stillness is at hand and a time of peace has arrived. Queen Elena of Windia goes on a humanitarian mission to the other continent and disappears. Due to the recent war, deploying troops to search for the lost queen may cause political trouble, and so it is not possible to send out a search party for the queen. Nina, the queen's sister, takes it upon herself to search for the queen. On her journey, Nina meets a young boy named Ryu. This is where the story begins in Breath of Fire IV, the fourth installment in the role-playing series from Capcom. Similar to the Final Fantasy series, every installment has no relation to the previous episode, except in BoF, the characters have the same names.

Ryu is a young boy who meets Nina near the desert roads. His race and origin are unknown. He holds the Dragon Eye, which is said to have powers to rule the world and cause chaos and confusion, although it is difficult to detect any sign of that from Ryu. Nina is among the winged human race, and current queen of Windia. Though raised with discipline, she is quite naïve and childish and sometimes not too dependable. She looks up to her sister who is the opposite of her own personality. You'll also meet with other characters, including Clay, Master, and Sius.

The game uses 3D polygons for the field map and 2D sprites for the characters. The field map is viewed from a quarter-angle view, but you can rotate the map 360 degrees. The animation routines for each character use about 3000 frames of animation. The battle system is expected to be different from the previous series. Although the details are not known at this time, it is said the battle engine will incorporate combination attacks, which involve more than one character, perhaps similar to the ones you've seen in Chrono Trigger.

The game is expected for a release on April 27 in Japan.

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