Brave Fencer Musashi is an action-adventure developed and published by Square for the PlayStation. It was released in Japan in the summer of 1998, and worldwide later that year. A PSOne Classics version was released on the Japanese PSN in 2008.
The game's executive producer was Hironobu Sakaguchi, and its characters were illustrated by Tetsuya Nomura, both of Final Fantasy fame.
Brave Fencer Musashi is a 3D action-RPG that uses various 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 won't be controllable for several in game hours until he regains consciousness. 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 available 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 Thirstquencher 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 Lumina's powers once obtained.
Release and Reception
North American Version
Some In the Japanese version, the Thirstquencher Empire was called the Liquor Empire, and most of its officers were named after alcoholic beverages. For example, Flatski was originally called Tequila, his assassins Bubbles and Gingerelle were named Brandy and Liqueur, and Colonel Capricciola was Jean Walker (a reference to Johnnie Walker whiskey).
The North American release also included a separate disc containing a playable demo of Final Fantasy VIII.
In Japan Brave Fencer Musashi sold a total of 648,803 copies for the year of 1998.
The game was quite positively received by most critics. Gamespot rated it a 7.7, IGN an 8.5, and Famitsu a 32/40.
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 game's original score by Tsuyoshi Sekito consists of a box set including 78 tracks on two compact discs and a mini artbook.