Luminous Arc, a strategy RPG for the Nintendo DS released in 2007 in North America, was developer imageepoch's first mainstream success and quickly spawned a sequel in 2008.
The story revolves around Alph and his friends, who have been trained from their youth by the Arc Knight Heath to be a force of witch-slaying soldiers (known as the "Garden Children") operating for the Luminous Church in anticipation of the rebirth of witches into the world. This reappearance of the witches is prophesied (by the Grand Cardinal of the church) to occur a thousand years after a climatic battle between witches and dragons that almost destroyed the planet.
The scriptures of the Luminous Church condemn the witches (and the Garden Children have been instructed to as well), but as the story progresses, the church's nefarious machinations are exposed and the Garden Children join forces with the witches to defeat a higher power.
Players take command of the group in a similar fashion to games such as Final Fantasy Tactics. Gameplay is similar to most turn-based strategy games, and can be controlled either with the stylus or the d-pad and buttons.
There are also gameplay elements unique to the game that add more depth. Flash Drives, which are special attacks performed by each character, are used by expending Flash Points. Every time a character takes an action or defeats an action, the Flash Gauge is filled up slightly, up to a maximum of 3 FP. Additionally, two units which both have the maximum 3 FP, and are within 3 squares of each other can perform a special maneuver referred to as Synergy. Not all pairs of characters can perform Synergy; these combinations are revealed over the course of the game, usually as part of the narrative.
There is a minor crafting system in place, using items called Vitae. Once the a particular place in the story is reached, the player can use Vitae to imbue weapons and armor with additional stats and elemental attributes. One hitch is that money must be paid to "identify" the Vitae, and based on the amount paid, more information (meaning, stat to be increased, elemental level) can be obtained. Particular combinations of items and Vitae can produce rare, particularly potent items.