Known as Bureivu Fensaa Musashiden in Japan, Brave Fencer Musashi was developed and published by Square Ltd. (now Square Enix) for the Sony PlayStation Entertainment System. It was originally released in JP, NA, EU, and AUS in the late summer of 1998. A secondary release in Japan as part of the Millennium Collection in June of 2000. And was also released onto the PlayStation Network marketplace on July 9, 2008. The games executive producer was Hironobu Sakaguchi. The characters were designed by Koji Matsuoka and illustrated by Tetsuya Nomura. The original soundtrack was scored by Tsuyoshi Sekito (formerly of Konami) Musahi was Sekito's first work with Square upon joining the company. One of his more recent works include the Square Enix title The Last Remnant. Although most dialogue is voice acted, there are some text-only dialogue segments.
Brave Fencer Musashi is a 3D action-RPG that uses various fixed and following camera angles.
Musashi has two weapons at his disposal through the main course of the game. The samurai sword Fusion is used for fast light attacks and also has a charge attack that can be used to absorb unique skills and abilities from the various enemies for a short time. His secondary weapon the large broadsword Lumina is used for slower heavy strikes and releasing various kidnapped townsfolk trapped in large crystals. Upon their release the townsfolk will teach Musashi various techniques or provide other usefulness. Lumina's power can be increased by locating five different scrolls of power located throughout the world. The player can also locate several pieces of a "Legendary Armor" set that can be found that unlock various abilities. A day-night cycle that is driven by an in-game clock controls much of the games semi dynamic world. Most of the various enemy types will react in some way to differing times of day or night. A rare creature known as "Minku" can be found at very specific locations throughout the world only appears at night and drop a rare berry that permanently increases the players health bar. Although harmless the Minku are extremely fast and will attempt to evade Musashi until they are struck and drop the berry. The games village is changed dramatically by the time of day. All of the storefronts are closed at night with the exception of the Inn which is always open and the Tavern which is only open at night. The in-game clock also controls Musashi's fatigue level. Over time Musashi will become more and more fatigued and his actions will reflect this. With partial fatigue Musashi will be unable to run and jump, with further fatigue resulting in Musashi only being able to walk slowly and attack times will be greatly reduced. At this point Musashi will pass out and wont be controllable for several in game hours until he regains conciousness. While asleep Musashi is open to attack if in the wilderness. Musashi's fatigue can be reduced by consuming certain foods, sleeping at the village inn, or visiting Musashi's private room inside the castle.
The Village of Allucaneet
Located outside the walls of Castle Allucaneet the small village is Musashi's "base of operations" and contains many valuable resources. A large bakery near the village square sells various breads and pastries that restore health and fatigue. A general store sells various foods and useful goods. The village Inn is open 24 hours a day and is availible if the player does not want to visit Musashi's private room. A large church has a well that cool water can be infinitely retrieved from for free. The village tavern sells various food and drink. As an added bonus a local gambler can be found there that allows the player to play a playing card betting game for in game currency. A toy store near the inn sells "Action Figures" that are essentially the models of the various enemy types and characters found throughout the game that include set animations and audio clips. The player can choose to leave the figures in their original packaging preserving there "mint" values, but the player cannot interact with the figures if they are left packaged. Several other small farmhouses and a windmill are located just outside the main village but players can only visit the occupants by knocking on the front doors and cannot be entered.
The peaceful kingdom of Allucaneet has come under siege from the Thirstquencher Empire. The once peaceful kingdom of Thirstquencher has fallen under the brutal dictatorship of Flatski and his lieutenants. Flatski transformed the nation into a militaristic empire and invaded the kingdom in order to locate the the legendary sword Lumina hidden somewhere within Allucaneet territory. In a desperate attempt to halt the siege princes Fillet attempts to summon the legendary Brave Fencer Musashi who had saved Allucaneet from The Wizard of Darkness 150 years before. Unfortunately she only managed to summon a young boy named Musashi who was reluctant to help Fillet until she promised to return him to his own time if he located the sword Lumina before the Thirstquencher army discovered it. While Musashi is searching for Lumina Fillet attempts once more to summon the true Brave Fencer but only manages to summon Musashi's rival. Refusing to help Fillet he immediately leaves in search of Musashi. Musashi locates the sword and upon returning to the castle he learns that Fillet has been kidnapped and most of the kingdoms population has been sealed in large crystals and scattered throughout the game-world. He quickly realises that the only way to return home is to rescue Fillet and the rest of the missing population before the Thirsquencher Empire destroys everything. In order to defeat the Empire and find Fillet, Musashi must locate five scrolls that will grant Lumina great powers and help defeat Flatski's army. Each scroll corresponds to one of the five elements and has a separate crest guarded by a Crest Guardian that will further increase Luminas powers once obtained.
North American Name Changes
Although having more unique names in the NA version most of the Thristquencher officers are named after alcoholic beverages in the JP version. For example Flatski is known as Tequila and his assassins Bubbles and Gingerelle are named Brandy and Liquer. Strangely Colonel Capricciola is known as Jean Walker in the Japanese release.
Final Fantasy VIII Demo
The North American release version also included an additional disc containing a playable FFVIII demo. Explaining the larger two disc jewel case commonly accommodating the game.
In Japan Brave Fencer Musashi sold a total of 648,803 copies for the year of 1998.
The game received a warm overall reception with critics. Some of the scores included.
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Sequels and Adaptations
In 2005, Square Enix released the indirect sequel Musashi: Samurai Legend for the PlayStation 2 in Japan and North America. A Japanese-only mobile phone game Musashi: Mobile Samurai was also released in 2005. Although the titles share the Musashi franchise namesake, the sequel and mobile phone game both had little to do with the original title.
The games original score by Tsuyoshi Sekito can be found at MusicBrainz and consists of a box set including the games 78 tracks on two compact discs and a mini artbook.