Okay, some first-offs. First off, the main character in the original Arcus is JEDAH CHAFF; he’s the knight dude from Arcus Odyssey. You’ll meet a warrior woman in the bar; her name is ERIN GASHUNA, and she’s the chain weapon chick in Arcus Odyssey. By the end of this quickstart guide, you’ll run into VIED, also known as “the old wizard from Arcus Odyssey“. The elven archer shows up later. This disc is three games linked back-to-back. The first, Arcus, was Wolf Team’s second self-published title. They pretty much overhauled the game for this release — for example, the characters look totally different from the original PC version. Arcus 2: Silent Symphony had a great name and was ported to half a dozen consoles, but it sucked (until the Mega CD version, which rocks). No one talks about Arcus 3 because no one played it — the game was only released on this disc (print run of around 5000) and on the PC-98. But both versions are great.
Sometimes when you’re doing something, like saving or spending money or leaving a dungeon, a quick choice will come up. It’s asking — “are you sure?” The top answer is yes, the bottom one is no.
A — Camp Menu
B — Cancel
C — Confirm (in dungeons, Auto-Map)
Alright, here we go. Start the game, skip past the cinemas, and you’re in town. You’ll notice a row of portraits across the top, except that there’s only one (of Jedah), because no one likes you yet. The commands run down like this:
|Move||moves to a different spot|
|Talk||talks to random people in town|
Be sure to jot down the important kanji and what it means for reference, because some options aren’t always available, so it will change the order in which stuff appears. Whenever you see this TALK option (or rather the kanji for it) I suggest talking until messages start repeating, but you should know those RPG basics by now.
|Bar||go to the bar and TALK (top) or LEAVE (bottom)|
|Inn||SLEEP and SAVE (top) or LEAVE (bottom)|
|Weapons Shop||they have armor, too|
|General Store||buy medicine and crap here|
|Leave Town||this takes you to the Overworld map|
There are three freaks in the bar — some buddy of yours, some whore, and some warrior chick. (If you’ve cheated and looked at the instructions, you already know the warrior chick is Erin). Talk to all of them if you like, although there’s really not much point to it right now. What you wanna do is press A to open up the CAMP MENU.
|Status||press left and right to see status of characters|
|Items||brings up the item menu|
|Magic||brings up the magic menu|
|Equipment||lets you remove/add equipment|
|Order||change the placement of party members in battle|
|Setup||various commands. on message speed, 1 is slow, 4 is fast|
|Use||use an item|
|Give||move an item from one character to another|
|Discard||get rid of an item forever|
|Inquire||provides info about an item|
|Lineup||switch where items appear on the list|
|Use||cast a spell|
|Inquire||provides info about a spell|
|Lineup||switch where spells appear on the list|
Once you’re done with that, you can check out the shops.
|Buy||blow some money on stuff|
|Sell||empty your backpacks for some coin|
|Leave||get the hell outta there|
There isn’t anything useful for you to buy in the Weapons Shop — certainly nothing you can afford, anyways. BUT in the General Store, you’ll notice there’s an item for 5000 gold! Well we don’t care about that, but right underneath is an item for 10 gold. Buy a bunch of it, as it’s a healing item (heals 7 HP). You’ll notice you also have WP (willpower), which affects how well you fight. Don’t worry about that right now.
So from the main town screen, pick MOVE (top option) and LEAVE TOWN (bottom option). Once you’re on the overworld map, you can move the pointer around. It’ll only go to one place right now though, which is the Tree of Life. Go there. In the future, visiting the tree will replenish all your HP and WP. But there’s nothing else to do here. Pick the one option (which is LEAVE) and you’re back at the overworld map.
From here, move the pointer to the spot on the left (to the right is the town you just came from) and go to the ruins. This is your first dungeon! Learn to love the C button, it’s gonna be your auto-map. The first floor of the dungeon is pretty straightforward, but you’re gonna get in a fight, so you’ll need to know how to fight!
NOTE: Not all options in the Combat Menu are available to all characters.
|Combat||pick this to bring up the combat menu|
|Run Away||the whole party tries to run|
|Prepare||this brings up the CAMP menu so you can equip stuff or heal|
|Attack||swing your weapon at an enemy|
|Magic||cast a spell|
|Defend||protect yourself from enemy blows|
|Item||use an item or equipment ability|
|Encourage||boosts Willpower during battle|
|Hide||thieves can try to avoid combat entirely|
Level one is pretty straightforward. Explore around to make sure you find the chest (or two, I can’t remember) for some quick cash. There’s a door at the end — when you get there, you’ll run into TORON. He’s a hobbit (he looks more like a dwarf, but he’s smoking that pipe that hobbits all seem to love) and he’s a thief. A really old thief, but he’ll do. Seems that he’s been searching for the SILVER RING, so you’re gonna help him out, since you’ve got some exploring to do, too.
Now, Toron will actually come in pretty handy. Every now and then while walking through the dungeon, this “scary music” will start and enemies show up. Those guys, you fight. Toron’s not very good at that. BUT! Sometimes “scary music” kicks in, and no enemies appear. And then there’s an option on the screen. What this is — it means you’ve detected a trap, and it’s asking who should try to disarm it. Unless you enjoy pain, pick the bottom option (TORON’s name). The trap will then harmlessly go away.
You might want to leave the dungeon and go back to town and visit the inn to save your game. Or you might not want to. Whatever the case, you end up back at this door where you found Toron. Go through and go to the staircase, which leads down to level two of the dungeon.
This one is a little more complex, though still pretty simple once you know what needs to be done. There are a couple treasure chests, a couple traps, and a couple doors. The western door WILL NOT OPEN. And it won’t be open after you beat this dungeon, either (but perhaps later in the game? I don’t know). The northern door is also locked — but there’s a trick. Explore around, and in two dead-ends you’ll find these weird-looking stones. You want to push the stone (the top option). You’ll know that you pushed it, because it won’t be sticking out anymore. Once you’ve done that to both stones, then you can go through the northern door.
Walk to the north and into a dead-end. You won’t see a chest there from a distance — just walk and you’ll trigger a special event. Namely, you will find the SILVER RING (making Toron happy) and a super-badass sword called TIAMAT (which should damn well make you happy, it boosts your attack power up from the 20′s into the 80′s). Unfortunately, before you can do anything, this crazy-awesome music will kick in (must be a boss) and this freakish blob beast will attack! Here’s a tip, and it’s a BIG ONE: from the initial Battle Menu, pick the bottom option (prepare) and equip your friggin’ Tiamat sword. Then the fight should be a snap — just target and destroy each part of the beast’s body. Once you’ve won, you’ll be teleported back to the Overworld map.
Go back to the Tree of Life, then go back to the town. You’ll talk for a bit, before visiting the Bar. And the bar has been TRASHED.
TORON: “Who did this? Was it thugs? Bandits?”
FRIGHTENED MEN: “No, that’s not it…”
[Jedah checks on the warrior chick and sees that she's okay]
JEDAH: “Thank goodness you’re safe!”
Then she looks up at him and glares.
FRIGHTENED MEN: “It was her! SHE did this!!!”
After a bit of blabbering, you carry the inebriated warrior chick out of the bar (she joins your party) and then there’s a ton of talking with the Wizard VIED and the KING and this freaky GOLDEN DRAGON named RIG VEDA. Just cycle through all that crap and now you’ve got a party of four people!
From here, leave town and go back to the Overworld map. You can visit the Castle now, but there’s no point. Instead, go back to the Tree. From there, you can then go back to the Overworld map and move to the Ardor Forest (it’s to the north). And now you’re in the second dungeon, with an honest-to-goodness band of heroes, and you’re on your own from here!