Live A Live, a Square Enix RPG made up of several smaller RPGs, was recently remastered in HD-2D style for a new generation. Its distinctive premise spans a wide spectrum of time periods and settings, each one featuring different gameplay mechanics.
Although such a wide variety in gameplay is usually a joy to observe, the unusual nature of the game can sometimes confuse players, leading to mistakes that can result in significant loss of progress. Here are a few tips for novice players.
10 Prehistory: Not Training Beru
In several chapters, the player discovers additional teammates who may join the team temporarily or permanently. In the Prehistory chapter, one of these is Beru, who joins the party to fight at a specific point in the story. It's a good idea to earn her a level or two before progressing much farther.
She learns "Sing Heal," a useful recovery skill that works against the chapter boss, while reaching Level 3 without having access to dangerous physical assaults.
9 Twilight Of Edo Japan: Walking Off The Edge
Ode Castle is packed with traps to ensnare infiltrators, many of which may result in the player being sent to the castle prison, but also one more subtle mechanism: the lack of safety rails. In this chapter, walking to the edge of certain platforms will allow the player to fall off.
JRPGs are rare in that they can walk off without realizing it. This is the only time in the game when it occurs. As long as the player is extremely cautious in the rooftop crawl spaces, there will be no issue.
8 Edo Japan: Trying For A Special Ending On First Play
The Twilight of Edo Japan scenario is one of the most detailed in the game. It includes a pair of unique routes (which would later inspire Undertale): zero kills and 100 kills. Players might be tempted to try one of these routes early on, especially since each path rewards the player with a unique weapon at the end.
Both ways are difficult to complete without prior knowledge. The zero kill path in particular is rather easy to fail without realizing. New players may easily find themselves stuck by a confusing challenge on the way to a second playthrough.
7 Wild West: Taking Too Long To Set Traps
The Wild West chapter's unique feature is the ambush, in which the player sets traps to deplete the enemy's forces before a final confrontation. Both stages take place in real-time, so the player may run out of time.
The issue with the trap setting is that it's a bit cumbersome. Each person takes a different amount of time to complete the trapping process. For example, gathering supplies with only two bells left might leave the player with no traps left and a nearly unwinnable battle.
6 Near Future: Not Using Robotic Upgrades
In the Near Future chapter, the player allies with a robotic teammate. This ally is unusual in that he does not gain experience from battle, unlike human party members. There is one way to increase the robot's strength: the Robotic Enhancement item.
There is no tutorial on how to boost the robot's stats, so players would only know to do this once they've checked their inventory to see what items they're finding. It's also important to do this here.
Captain Square's 5 Future: Losing On Earth Stage
This is an optional challenge, but it is worth mentioning as a common error players make. In the third stage, "Earth," players all do the same thing: use Supernova to kill all the blue flame enemies on screen.
The red flame in this puzzle is nearly unwinnable, since it engulfs the ground and continues to heal. The objective is to allow the blue flames to live long enough to kill the red flame with their own tile effects before using Supernova. It's a puzzle designed to teach the player the importance of waiting before attacking.
4 Not Checking The Radar
The SNES remake of Live A Live includes several features that were absent from the original. One of these is a radar in the bottom-right corner that monitors exits and points of interest, as well as a highlight on the player's next objective.
Several times, the game will not progress unless the player goes to an unrelated room to trigger another scene. Occasionally, the player is supposed to leave a room and return to it. It's not always clear, and the radar can reduce a lot of confusion.
3 Not Saving
Another new feature in the remake is an autosave feature, which is used when a player moves to another room. This was never implemented in the original game, although it may be quite painful for players who don't have the habit of saving.
Although the autosave feature prevents a lot of lost time, it doesn't always solve everything. In large open world areas, losing in battle can set the player back a great deal. In a particularly nasty section in the Trial of Time, the autosave can lock the player into an unwinnable conflict.
2 Neglecting Enemies' Position
Live A Live's battle system is a little different from other JRPGs. It's a grid game with directional-based moves similar to chess. There are also a few other factors that influence combat that aren't immediately apparent. For example, enemies use lower defense values when struck in the side or in the back.
On top of that, enemy attack range is determined by their position and facing both. This means that approaching an adversary head-on is more dangerous and less effective than attacking from a blind side. Against dangerous enemies, proper positioning can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
1 Going Straight To The Final Boss
The radar is a handy new feature included in the remake. It does however, have a drawback: Players who only follow the orange mark to the next scene will miss a lot of optional content. This is especially true in the last chapter, in which the player is led straight to the last boss, and the ending of the game.
The player who rushes to the end of the last chapter misses out on the Trials, has difficulties concealing each character's strongest weapon, and may be unable to recruit one or more characters, which prevents him from getting the true conclusion. Free exploration can bring significant advantages.
The Nintendo Switch remake of Live A Live is now available.