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Bravely Default: Battle System Demo

Agnes Oblige

Agnes Oblige

A new FF game for 3DS is again trying to bring classic FF into the modern age. This time it’s a flying fairy rather than a final fantasy but for all purposes this is the next old school FF game. Both the Final Fantasy brand and its retro subseries Crystal Chronicles being heavily tainted in name, the obscure title Bravely Default: Flying Fairy seems to be an attempt to distance the new game from the recent failures but inside we find a lot of typical FF elements like phoenix downs or the fan favorite job system from FFV.

Edea Lee

Edea Lee

SE has been supporting this game with a series of now 4 demos, with more to come. A first AR demo with priestess Agnes calling out to the player, Princess Leiah hologramm style, was released last year already. A few months ago a regular series of numbered demos with both gameplay and AR parts started: First we learned more about Agnes, then we got to explore a town setting in beautiful hand-drawn 3D and now today we get a battle demo.

The country where the journey begins...

The country where the journey begins…

This new demo takes up the concepts introduced in the title and makes another FF classic motif the core element of the battles. Like Tellah (in FFIV) and Galuf (in FFV) before they died, the player can burn themselves out and do several turns at once1 Rather than doing several things at once, Tellah used his hit points, i. e. his life, as magic points to cast a powerful spell otherwise sealed to him. So he’s a bit different from Galuf, who must be the direct model for BDFF’s battle system. But the burning out part is the same., using the Brave action. They can either build these extra turns up beforehand by Defaulting and doing nothing, to stock a Brave turn for later, or they can do up to 3 Braves into the minus and be out of action for as many rounds afterwards.

This is great for finishing small fries, as you can beat them in one round, or striking a boss when he is down. Also for comebacks when a fellow party member is down and the remaining one is weakened and maybe also status afflicted, so you have to do several cure actions at once.

Parting with friends in death

Parting with friends in death: Ten fallen comrades in six games (Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania, page 393)

It sounds simple and it is but the strategic potential is fantastic. If you have played SMT 3 Nocturne and the Digital Devil Saga games and know their Press Turn System, you know how simple it is but also how much strategy this system revolving around maximizing one’s turns brings to the table. After being fully explored throughout three games this system left little room for more strategic application and I wasn’t sure if any new system would ever match its simple yet deep beauty but Bravely Default may have found a way to do so. And it does by centering its battle system and narrative around a concept that is linked to some of the most memorable scenes in FF lore, the ones where a main character dies.

Little Tiz and Agnes

Little Tiz and Agnes

Countless friends sacrificed themselves for you throughout the FF series. Yuna did not. And so won’t Agnes, I’m guessing. In Bravely Default the player will learn to measure how much they can sacrifice without vanishing in the process.

More AR screens:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Link: Official site (Japanese)

  1. Rather than doing several things at once, Tellah used his hit points, i. e. his life, as magic points to cast a powerful spell otherwise sealed to him. So he’s a bit different from Galuf, who must be the direct model for BDFF’s battle system. But the burning out part is the same. []
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