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Vagrant Story, one of the greatest JRPGs ever, turns 20

I predict a Riot.

Vagrant Story, one of the greatest Japanese role-playing games of all time, turns 20 today.

It first launched in Japan on PSone on 10th February 2000, right at the tailend of the console's lifecycle and just a month before Sony released the PS2.

Vagrant Story was developed by Squaresoft (what would later become Square Enix). More specifically it was developed by Yasumi Matsuno and the team behind Final Fantasy Tactics, and while it never achieved the same level of success as some of the company's other PSone JRPGs, such as Final Fantasy 7, it is considered by some to be the best of the bunch.

Vagrant Story was praised for its stunning visuals, atmosphere, rewarding combat system and engrossing story. You play Ashley Riot, a member of a peacekeeping force hot on the heels of a cult leader named Sydney Losstarot. The setting is Leá Monde, a beautifully-realised French city-inspired 3D world.

Watch on YouTube

Writing in a Vagrant Story retrospective for Eurogamer, Simon Parkin called the game "a daring, ambitious trek then, one that woos the susceptive mind with its riddle and consequence while confounding the impatient. And more than this, proof of what a talented team can uncover when allowed off the leash, given a chance to create away from the shackles of iteration and influence; to create rather than, Losstarot-style, re-conjure".

There's a superb Twitter thread on Vagrant Story by @dreamboum that's well worth checking out, too. It includes loads of tidbits on its development, and how Matsuno and his team were able to get so much out of the PSone.

So, here's to Vagrant Story, still young at just 20 years old. Cheers!

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