Episode 22: Vagrant Story

Vagrant Story is one of the dark horses of the JRPG genre. Its exposition-light storytelling is rooted in Shakespearean dialogue rather than adolescent chosen ones. Its RPG systems are complex, but you have essentially zero control over character customisation. A rhythm mini-game forms the heart of its combat, but you’ll spend the majority of your time playing sorting through menus. This is Vagrant Story, a mish-mash of genres and ideas, another game that defies easy explanation.

But does this all come together into an enjoyable whole? Are Vagrant Story’s individual parts strong, and do they complement one another? Has Vagrant Story stood the test of time, or was it a botched experiment, best left in the dungeons of the city of Lea Monde?

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On this episode, we discuss:

  • Vagrant Story’s plot is confusing and poorly explained. Its characters rarely give useful exposition dumps to the player. But is this a bad thing? Is the story more sophisticated and interesting when told in this way, or does it just lead to plot holes?

  • The gameplay on display here is enormously complex. There are many different damage systems that require deep analysis to even begin to understand. You spend most of your time in menus trying to figure out what the most effective way to proceed is. But doe complexity equal depth? Is Vagrant story a deep and interesting experience, or just a hard to understand one?

  • Can James trick Pat into admitting that his dislike of Vagrant Story’s box puzzles means that Stephen’s Sausage Roll , the greatest game ever made (according to Pat) also sucks?

If you enjoyed the episode then be sure to hop on over to Discord for more great Videogame discussion!

Intro Music: KieLoBot - Tanzen K
Outro Music: Rockit Maxx - One point to another
Vagrant Story OST: Hitoshi Sakimoto