Rogue Galaxy was developed by Level 5, the same studio that developed Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King and Jeanne d'Arc. Developed for the PS2, it was released in Japan on December 8, 2005, and in North America on January 30, 2007. It was the last game reviewed by former GameSpot editor in chief Greg Kasavin before he departed GameSpot to pursue a career in videogame development.
Chapter I - Departure
The story begins on the desert planet Rosa. It centers around a teenager named Jaster Rogue, who was abandoned on the planet at a very young age. He was raised by a priest named Raul who became like a father to him. Ever since he was young, Jaster dreamed of exploring the galaxy. That wish is fulfilled when a giant creature attacks his village. Jaster goes off to fight the creature, with an unknown ally at his side.
This unknown ally turns out to be Desert Claw, a famous hunter. He entrusts Jaster with his sword, the Desert Seeker, and leaves him to be discovered by a bumbling pair of space pirates. Believing that Jaster is in fact Desert Claw, the two ask him to join them on their journey throughout the galaxy. Jaster refuses at first, but then the two sides agree on destroying the monster before any talk about space travel.
After destroying the large monster, Jaster decides to accept the two pirates' offer, and the next day manages to get aboard the ship with the help of a beautiful pirate girl before they are all swallowed by a giant sand beast.
Chapter II - The Jungle Planet
Jaster is given a quick tour of the Dorgenark and its crew: the pudgy Simon, the helpful robot Steve, a gruff one-eyed hunter named Zegram, a talking cat first mate, and the girl who saved him back on Rosa named Kisala. She also reveals that she is Captain Dorgengoa's daughter. Suddenly, the ship is attacked by flying space-beasts and is forced to make a crash landing on the jungle planet Juraika.
After surviving the crash, Steve and Simon discover that they are stuck unless they can get their hands on a special oil that is not sold on the planet. Zegram points out that the oil comes from a special "Fire Fruit" native to Juraika, so he goes topside with Jaster and Kisala to find some Fire Fruit while the others make what repairs they can. As they venture through the jungle, Zegram notices that the Fire Fruit are strangely absent from the trees. Also, that they are heading near the territory of the Burkaqua Tribe native to Juraika, and are said to be hostile to outsiders. Nonetheless, Jaster decides to go seek their help, as they are out of other options.
The trio of pirates soon run into a Burkaqua tribeswoman talking with her sister, when a giant mutant frog attacks them all. Kisala manages to save the younger Burkaqua, but gets captured herself. After a grueling battle, the party defeats the beast and frees Kisala. As thanks the tribeswoman grants them access to her people's village. Also along the way, the pirates meet a strange tiny frog who hitches a ride with them in exchange for merging and improving their weapons.
As they reach the entrance to the village, the pirates discover that it has been shaken by a strange calamity, as one Burkaqua man dies right in front of them with strange dark lesions on his back.
Chapter III - The Star God's Altar
Jaster, Zegram and Kisala listen in on the village chief's council as he discusses the fate of their village. They have chosen to sacrifice Lilika's sister Iria to the "Star God" in order to stop the "Dark Fruit" that has been poisoning their people recently. Though Lilika has regrets about it, she decides to escort her sister to the altar the next morning. Zegram tells his comrades that they should be focusing on finding the Fire Fruit so they can repair their ship and escape Juraika, but Kisala and Jaster decide to stop the sacrifice instead, so Zegram grudgingly goes with them.
After a long trek and the discovery of some salvaged Zerardan technology, the party manages to reach the Altar of the Star God. However, Zegram disappears from the scene to communicate with an unknown party, so Jaster and Kisala continue ahead to rescue Iria. They find that the "Star God" is actually a giant beast, and Lilika soon recognizes that beast as the same one that killed her mother and blinded her sister. Enraged, she joins in attacking the beast until they manage to kill it.
For her actions against the Star God, the village chief banishes her from the tribe. Even though he knows the truth about the Star God, the council claims that the myth must remain even if the beast is dead. After leaving the village, Zegram returns to reveal that he acquired a canister full of the oil they need to finish repairing the Dorgenark. Lilika then appears on the path back to the ship and asks Jaster if she can go with them, to which he accepts.
Chapter IV - The Great Escape
With the Dorgenark repaired, the crew sets off for Zerard, the most technologically-advanced planet in the galaxy and home to the Longardia. The first mate gives Jaster a simple mission, to renew the Dorgenark's galactic travel visa. He sets out to reach the Galactic Headquarters with Simon and Lilika. However, upon arriving there, they find themselves blunted by the popular desk clerk Mio, when an explosion rocks the building. The guards immediately think that Jaster, Simon and Lilika are Draxian spies who planted the bomb, and throw them in Rosencaster Prison. Elsewhere, Zegram goes to work on his own personal mission, implying that he planted the bomb to frame his crewmates so they wouldn't interfere.
After meeting the titular warden of Rosencaster Prison, Jaster, Simon and Lilika are thrown into a cell on Level 4 when they meet an old cat-person who decides to break out of the cell with them. The group encounters a surprisingly-large amount of beasts within the prison walls as they make their way to the top to escape, including the large Salamander monster that Jaster killed back on Rosa. Eventually they find themselves in a room that shows Rosencaster has been using prisoners to conduct experiments in order to raise clone soldiers for Longardia, but also in hopes of finding a way to revive his dead wife Claudia. After fighting their way through Rosencaster himself, Jaster and his crew finally break free and return to the city, watching as the old cat-person leaves.
Making their way back to Galactic HQ, they discover that the cat-person was actually the Commander-in-Chief of the Longardian army who called for mutual disarmament with Draxia, and got thrown in a cell for his trouble. The party also stumbles across a mother and daughter looking for their missing husband. Simon abruptly decides to head back to the ship after seeing the photo, and subs in the robot Steve. When they go to get their galactic visa renewed, Mio tells them of a terrorist that has just taken over the Daytron mainframe, and no one can process their request until the situation is resolved, so Jaster, Steve and Lilika decide to take down the terrorist themselves.
Chapter V - The Master Hacker
As the party makes their way to the Daytron headquarters, they trick the security into letting them through by passing off Jaster as Desert Claw, letting him name his own reward for the successful capture of the terrorist Jupis Tooki. They enter the starship factory and fight their way through legions of security robots that have been hacked by Jupis to slow the party down. Eventually they rescue Dr. Poccaccio, another researcher who was also Steve's creator. The doctor begs the party to stop Jupis before any more damage is done.
Eventually the party comes face to face with Jupis himself, but Jupis pilots a large robot with an impenetrable barrier. However, Pocaccio shows up to give Jaster a pistol that can break through the barrier, and lets the party destroy Jupis's robot. Jupis finally gives up and explains why he hijacked the Daytron headquarters: he was on the verge of completing some important research project when his assistant stole his notes and sabotaged his computer, letting him take the blame for it. Rather than let himself get captured by Daytron security, Jupis tosses a smoke bomb and escapes. Pocaccio is able to reset the mainframe back to normal, and as thanks, Daytron lets Jaster use Pocaccio's factory to make whatever items he wants.
The party heads back to Galactic Headquarters for one last time, and Mio finally gives them a renewed galactic travel visa along with a membership card to her own fan club. They head back to the Dorgenark having finally accomplished their mission, only to find Jupis himself on board, still hiding from the local authorities. However, both the first mate and Kisala seem untroubled as they munch on some food that Jupis bribed them with, and let him stay.
Captain Dorgengoa himself shows up, an obese man chewing on a turkey leg (that Jupis also provided) to explain his master plan to the crew. He sees through Jaster's thinly-veiled attempt to pass himself off as the Desert Claw, having met the real Desert Claw before, but at his crew's pleading he allows Jaster to stay. He then reveals his plan to find the mythical lost planet of Eden that supposedly contains great treasure and the secret to eternal life, and says that one tablet that can lead to Eden was found on the planet Vedan, in the mining town of Myna.
Chapter VI - The Guide
As Jaster and Kisala head into Myna, they find themselves accosted by henchmen of local crimelord Dax Morarty, the man who supposedly has a lead on the tablet they are looking for. The two make their way to a local bar and find Deego, a muscular dog-person with a cybernetic arm and a former soldier, drinking his sorrows away. He decides to help the two of them find the mine that contains the tablet, but the group is impeded by his former comrade Gale. After picking up an ID card for the mine, the group discovers that someone has burned down the bar where Deego drank, but his girlfriend is fine.
Seeing the lengths that Gale would go to just to escape the planet, Deego decides to venture into the mine with Jaster and Kisala. Eventually, they find Gale waiting for him. Deego defeats him in a 1-on-1 fight, but Daytron manages to take the tablet before they can claim it. Deego decides to say goodbye to his girlfriend one last time before leaving with the crew of the Dorgenark. Meanwhile, Gale confronts Dax Morarty and manages to kill him for his treachery, but shortly after a former subordinate takes revenge on him as well.
Chapter VII - Valkog's Ambition
Daytron's CEO Valkog manages to sell the Longardian Empire on a new fleet of massive warships he dubs the Emperor class before returning to continue his plan to unite the tablets. Meanwhile, the Dorgenark has tracked the ship carrying the tablet from Myna back to Jaster's home planet of Rosa, so they land at the spaceport and decide to approach the ship on foot so as not to scare them into escaping again.
The main character of Rogue Galaxy who was raised as an orphan on the desert planet Rosa, which was conquered by the Longardian Empire. He lives with his adoptive father Raul. He later got mistaken for a legendary bounty hunter named Desert Claw, after receiving the Desert Seeker sword from the real one. Jaster is voiced by actor Will Friedle.
His main weapon is a sword and uses a pistol for a sub-weapon.
Kisala is the daughter of Captain Dorgengoa, the infamous pirate, and is Jaster's love interest. She meets Jaster after saving him from being eaten by a giant beast on Rosa. Her main weapons are two twin daggers. She uses special shoes for her sub-weapon.
Zegram shows up early on as a member of the Dorgenark. He is a bounty hunter who was hired by the captain. Unlike most of the other members of the group, Zegram doesn't think that Jaster is really the Desert Claw. His nickname is Black Wolf. Zegram uses a sword as his main and a throwing star as his sub-weapon.
Zegram is voiced by prolific voice actor Steve Blum.
Lilika is a Burkaquan from the planet Juraika. She joined the group after being exiled from her tribe. She is surprisingly quick to get along with the group despite the fact that her people are notoriously hostile to outsiders. Her main weapon is bow and arrow while her subweapon is a hatchet.
Simon is one of the people who first meets up with Jaster on Rosa. He's from Zerard and he speaks in a heavy Scottish accent. Simon wears a large spacesuit and a mask that hides his true identity. Simon uses a flame-thrower for his main weapon and a giant cluster rocket launcher for his sub-weapon.
Steve is an autonomous robot and Simon's cohort, as well as the navigator on the Dorgenark. He was designed by Dr. Pocacchio on the planet Zerard. Steve's main weapons are his fists and uses two tiny satellite cannons as his sub.
Jupis is a great scientist who was fired from his job. After a fight with Jaster and his group, he escaped from Zerard and bribed his way onto the Dorgenark. His main weapon is a spear, and uses a disk launcher for his sub.
Deego is the last person you meet who joins your group. He is a well-built anthropomorphic canine with a robot left arm. He joins your group to gain revenge on the person who burned down the bar he hangs out in. He is an ex-military man. His main weapon is a big double headed axe. His sub-weapon is an arm mounted machine gun.
A temporary party member, you meet Desert Claw in the main tutorial for the game. He comes and helps you learn to fight before leaving when he spots Steve and Simon. He gives Jaster his sword and follows him around.
The game transitions smoothly from running around the game world to getting into a battle. The battle system in Rogue Galaxy is real time, except for the times in battle when you can pause and use items,abilities, or switch your party members. As you fight battles, you gain Experience Points for both the characters and their weapons. When the characters level up they just become stronger all around, and when your weapon is leveled up to the max, you can merge it with another weapon to make an even better weapon. ( See Weapon Customization for more details)
There are six damage forms in Rogue Galaxy: a primary attack, a charged primary attack, a secondary attack, a throwing attack, spell damage, and a combo attack. The primary and secondary attack are the use of the (usually) short range and long range weapons equipped to your player though some characters have differing primary weapon ranges. The charged primary occurs when the player presses and holds the primary attack button until a blue flame surround his character. This charged attack is more powerful and can be used to break through shielded enemies. Secondary attacks are often used to boss specific combat. For example, Jaster obtains a Freeze gun that allows him to make a particular boss fight more manageable. All weapons gain levels with the character and can be used to develop more advanced weapons (See Weapon Customization)
The throwing attack is the use of either background items or smaller enemies to inflict damage by hurling them into either a wall or another enemy. Throwing is the only command that can be done during the non-attack phase.
Spells in Rogue Galaxy are described as Abilities. Each character unlocks abilities by applying components collected throughout the game to a Final Fantasy 12-esque skill map. Abilities either cause damage to enemies, enhance player skills, or provide status bonuses to characters. One unlockable ability is a combo attack that the player can use when a combo meter fills. This attack requires the player to precisely time a series of button presses significant damage to the enemy.
Part way into the game, you obtain a little animal called 'Toady' who has magically gained the ability to speak and also combine two matured weapons into a third more usually more powerful weapon. When he joins your team (as a usable item in your items menu) you will gain the ability to perform this synthesis. A weapon synthesis can only occur for a primary or secondary weapon that has been completely leveled up. Toady gives two options when selected: "Analyze" and "Combine". Analyzing lets you determine the appropriate combination of matured weapons needed while combining actually performs the synthesis. Some of the time when you try to combine two weapons that are too similar, toady will give you a warning message, letting you re-think what you did.
Item Creation (Factory Mini-Game)
Item unlocking in Rogue Galaxy is handled through a Factory mini-game. Throughout the game players collect or purchase odd components used to level their character skills up (new spells, added status effects, etc). These same components are also used in the factory item creation mini-game. Before playing this mini-game the player must receive blueprints these are basically item recipes. A given recipes will call for a specified quantity of components. The "game" component applies in the manufacturing of the final item. Each component is given a specific category (metal, mineral, alchemy, etc) these components must be processed in special ways. For example, minerals must go through smelting, compressing, and cooling before they can be used. Each of the components are placed on a different assembly line path and the player must construct the appropriate processes before all the components are combined. The challenge comes in the timing of each process. Each process (e.g. smelting) takes a certain number of time units. The challenge with this game is to construct each assembly line such that all the required blueprint components will reach the final manufacturing stage simultaneously. This generally requires the use of special piping to slow the quicker processes down while the other components are going through their stages. After successfully completing a given blueprint, the item is purchasable at stores in the game. Several powerful in-game items are unlocked through this process.
Over the course of the game you can obtain a party of up to 8 characters, 3 of which that can be in your party at 1 time. While in Battle you can switch characters on the fly, issue commands to AI controlled party members, and use items without a wait time, making healing mid-battle quite a bit easier. During the game, while the characters in your immediate party gain the most experience, the ones that are on standby still gain experience, so you don't have to worry about anybody falling behind.
The save system in Rogue Galaxy is basically like any other JRPG, you can save at the points, and they heal your health. But in Rogue Galaxy, you can teleport from one save point to any other save point on that planet. This is especially useful during long dungeons, where you have to back track to get healing items to help beat the super-tough boss.
Rogue Galaxy features an impressive English voice cast including Will Friedle who played Eric Matthews on Boy Meets World. Will does the voice of main character Jaster. The score was composed by Level-5's chief composer Tomohito Nishiura.
|Disc 1||t||Disc 2||t|
|The Theme of Rogue Galaxy||2:21||The King of Legend||1:24|
|The Sandy Town||1:29||A Masked Man||1:22|
|The Crisis||2:12||The Misty Town||1:41|
|The Church||1:33||The Bar "Angela"||1:00|
|Brave Heart||1:46||Overcome the Sorrow||1:21|
|A Hasty Man||1:09||The Cave of a Mine||1:35|
|Hazardous Desert||1:34||Insectron (Strategy)||1:06|
|Timeless Town||1:44||Insectron (Battle)||1:40|
|Severe Voyage||2:52||The Watery Relic||1:42|
|The Jungle of Jyuraika||1:55||Wandering Way||1:56|
|The Ruined Castle||1:26||The Labyrinth||2:21|
|A Road to the Ruined Castle||2:24||Le Marie Glennecia||2:08|
|Shadow of the Sun||1:14||Enormous Threat||1:39|
|Swinging!!||2:00||The Castle in the Air||1:59|
|Planet Zerard||2:00||A Disquieting Atmosphere||2:16|
|Two Horns||1:44||The Mystery Forest||2:29|
|Sweet Memories||1:09||History Tells||1:52|
|The Galaxy Public Corporation||1:57||The Holy Valley||2:19|
|Factory (In Editing)||1:19||Blue Tears||1:27|
|Factory (In Production)||1:02||The Valley of the Evil Lava||1:48|
|A Peaceful Moment||1:09||The Mother||2:37|
|A Hidden Insanity||1:58||The Relic's Song||5:07|
|The Prison||1:57||The Beast Battleship||2:42|
|The Lost Gene||1:28||A Wish for Tomorrow||2:51|
|Exploder1||1:26||The Ghost Ship||2:18|
|A Childhood Memory||1:42||Escape to the Victory||3:18|
|Starship Factory||2:19||Dreaming My Way Home ~Ending Theme||5:32|
|Open the World||0:55||Dreaming My Way Home ~Unrecorded Vers.||5:31|
Reviews for the game were generally positive with an 82% average on Game Rankings and 83/100 on Metacritic. Reviews generally praised the visuals, strong voice acting, fun gameplay, and its depth. However, they also criticized the cliched story, underdeveloped characters, and the overly lengthy dungeons. RPGFan in particular also criticized the poorly written dialogue that the otherwise solid voice actors had to act out.