Level Select Thursdays: The End of The World
For this installment of Level Select Thursdays, I want to strictly talk to the JRPG fans only. Do y’all remember what game made you fall in love with the genre of JRPG’s? If you’re my age, chances are you had plenty of choices, and my game of choice was Grandia for Playstation 1. As far as I can remember this was the first JRPG I played, and while I didn’t understand the idea behind role playing games, I loved the games theme of adventure. This game beats the idea of adventuring to death, but as a young kid I swallowed it up. So I wanted to look at a level that captures it perfectly. So with that in my, I bring you The End of The World.
Having not played this game since 1999 my memory isn’t as strong as I remember it. If there is one thing that The End of The World is lacking are the enemies themselves. It makes sense giving how tall this wall actually is, I was just shocked on how few enemies there were. You do fight some sentient bird statues that I can only assume are guardians of said wall but it’s never said.
So instead of piling this section with enemies, Game Arts went the route of immersion instead of waves and waves of enemies. This is the longest section in the game at this point, you will go on and on and on and on. Through out the early part of the game several NPC’s as well as characters you play as proclaim how tall this wall is.
Game Arts went so far as to add clouds indicating how high you’ve climb. Most players probably won’t notice this design choice, but I did and it made this section that much cooler.
A nifty feature that Grandia had was that there were resting sequences which basically serves as the cut scenes for this game instead of the typical VMV’s that PS1 games were famous for. So at certain segments your attitude of climbing this long wall. I know I asked myself, when is this damn wall going to end.
The music is simply awesome, it feels upbeat with it’s set of trumpets. The music gives the player the extra push to climb and climb.
Finally when you do get to the top, the game’s wonderful art style comes into play. You see a new horizon that was wonderfully painted with a setting sun. That one image screams adventure and accomplishment to me. Finally you see the light at the end of the tunnel and the exit is full of unknown possibilities.
I can’t confirm this but this sequence at the end was the developers way of telling them that this is where the real game begins. Having played beyond this point it certainly feels like that. Grandia will always hold a special place in my heart and while it isn’t considered the best JRPG of it’s time, it’s the one that introduce to the genre and made me a fan for life.