“In a world filled with Remnants – mysterious artifacts from an ancient era – the journey of one young man begins…”
Back in 2007 I browsed through a few videos on YouTube and found this interesting E3 Trailer for an upcoming fantasy game developed by Square Enix. “Wow,” I thought. “This one looks cool, I’d like to play it someday.” And so did I, exactly in September 2009, when I managed to play The Last Remnant on PC thanks to a friend who lent me her copy for a few months.
When the game was firstly announced for Xbox 360 I was a bit disappointed because I didn’t have any console at my disposal. In 2009, however, I could finally replace my very old computer with a better one and I thought it was the right time to finally look for a bunch of interesting games that I could eventually play. I found this very long list with titles available for PC and The Last Remnant was included in it, just to make things even more exciting it turned out this friend of mine already had it on her shelf and I almost screamed when I saw it there, in all its glory.
“Oh it’s a cool game indeed! You can try it if you want,” she told me, transorming a 22 year old woman into a happy baby girl.
I didn’t waste time and immediatly installed it on my PC as soon as I came home, waiting impatiently for it to be finally ready to play.
In a world where everything relies around ancient artifacts called Remnants, the young Rush Sykes is desperately looking for his sister Irina, kidnapped for no apparent reason by a strange hoodied man who escaped through the sky with a flying monster. During his research the boy will meet David Nassau, Marquis of Athlum, accompanied by his trusted four generals and battle troops.
Rush and his new allies will soon discover that behind Irina’s disappearance there may be a specific plan, concocted by a mysterious mage dressed in white and a dangerous, enigmatic man called The Conqueror. Who is this powerful stranger and why Rush seems to be somehow connected to him?
I’m not going to spoil you the end, just know that the entire story captivated me until the very last minutes and is probably one of the most interesting I ever played.
When I started this game I read a few reviews written by people who basically compared The Last Remnant with Final Fantasy, since they both came from the same sofware house.
Most of those comments were highly negative, criticizing the automatic battlesystem that deprives you from any kind of freedom.
Now, it is true that once you select your actions the whole combat proceeds on its own while you can just sit there and watch. BUT! What many people seemed to ignore is the strategy the game actually requires; if you pick a wrong tactic from the first selection, your parties might end up terminated in a few rounds, no matter how high your battle rank is. You of course have more chances against a weaker opponent or someone of equal strength at least, but if you activate a bad attack you will be forced to reload the game and start your fight once more.
Personally I had a lot of fun playing this game. Even if I’m now used to the melee style and all those gameplays where you have to press keys over and over again to win, I still appreciate TLR and I already spent more than 60 hours in it after a long break.
Another thing I noticed the first time is that TLR is also quite challenging. Certain bosses are particularly frustrating, to the point that if you accidentally overwrite a previous save (without being strong enough that is) then you’re definitely screwed.
Yeeeees, that actually happened to me…
In my defense I can say that before 2009 I haven’t played a single RPG, thus I lacked the knowledge a gamer should have when it comes to explorations and side quests to increase a character’s level. I was mainly concentrating over the main story and I got tragically stuck with a destructive boss without being able to go back because the door was locked. Oh joy!
I think I pulled and tear some hair thinking about the possibility of re-doing everything from the start, until I decided to seek help on a forum and someone came to the rescue suggesting a trainer (little cheat program that usually allows you to get unlimited health or to kill your enemy with just one hit). Don’t think that made me happy, but if I had to choose between using a cheat only once and throw away the many days spent in that game, I definitely had to pick the easiest way. Can you guys blame me? 😛
I killed the boss, activated a new cutscene and continued with my playthrough as if nothing happened. Needless to say I learned from my mistake.
I’m telling you this embarrassing story about my initial noobness in terms of videogames mainly to highlight the difficulty Remnant has. I believe there is a lot of superficiality nowadays and a few gamers seem to be very selective and stay away from an installment for bias.
Just to quote what I mentioned above:
“Final Fantasy is so much better, this type of gameplay looks terrible.”
In case you didn’t notice, The Last Remnant is not Final Fantasy, it MUST be different or it would be a simple copycat. I’ve read a lot of similar comments and although everyone is completely free to like or dislike something (because yes, it’s a matter of tastes indeed), I invite you to at least TRY before sharing your negative opinion based on nothing. Honestly, if you simply do not like the style of combat in general and truly think this game is not for you, I wouldn’t force you to get something you’re not interested in. Just do not compare two games from the same company please, they are supposed to be different from one another 🙂
With that said, let’s get into the battlesystem’s details a little bit more.
You basically have three main types of arts; combat, mystic and item.
Combat Arts are the skills you get using a weapon such as sword, shield, axe and spear. Mystic Arts are essentially magic while Item Arts are used with many different ingredients like herbs (to cure your parties), potions (to add more speed or power), lotions (to cure someone from poisoning etc), explosives (like acid or smoke bombs), shards (to slow down your enemies with blinding explosions of light and so on), and traps.
The more you get into fights, the more your characters will learn and progress. They will randomly ask you what kind of arts they should consider more according to their weapons and your preference. If you tell them to learn Combat Arts specifically they will pretty much ignore the rest, same for Mystic and Item Arts.
Some of them will also get some personal Special Art at some point and the others may learn techniques connected to the weapons they possess.
In other words, YOU get to decide the formations and party you want.
Just like any other RPG you get a ‘backpack’ where you can put all your weapons, accessories, consumables, components, etc. Originally you can only change Rush’s weapons because the other characters use a default configuration and the slot is locked, but since we’re talking about the PC version, you can easily modify that through the main document:
- Find your RushEngine.ini file. It’s normally in My Documents\My Games\The last remnant\RushGame\Config.
- Create a backup copy of this file before you begin working.
- Open RushEngine.ini and find the “bExSettingUseAllMemberEquip=FALSE” line, then change its value to “TRUE“
- Now you should be able to change everyone’s equipment! (note: this will sound funny, but sometimes you could give them a weapon they don’t like at all. If that’s the case you’ll see they got their initial equipment back, but you can still change everything again nonetheless)
For more tweaks visit this Wiki guide.
The cool thing about this inventory is that you can collect and buy as many things as you like!
You definitely have to be prepared because you will find 42 quests on Disc One and 26 on Disc Two, for a total of 68 side missions! Woah, you can tell why it took me months to finish this game, right? 😉
You may think this is too much, because sidequests are boring and too many and you want to proceed with the main story but damn the bosses are too strong… Yes, yes, you’re right… I admittedly thought the same at first. But the more you get into it, the better it becomes. You get the chance to visit many locations that you wouldn’t even unlock if you only played the main plot, not to mention the skills you can get and the weapons you can craft. There also are many rare monsters that, as a gamer, you really don’t want to miss!
I highly recommend this guide for the sidequests, though. Some of them can be unlocked after specific missions and actions, others will be lost once you start the second part of the game and there’s no way for you to get them back.
Differences between Xbox 360 and PC
The Last Remnant was released for the PC in March 2009, several months after its November 2008 launch on the Xbox 360. In that time, the developers made numerous improvements to the PC version in response to many of the criticisms leveled against the original game.
The most notable changes include the addition of a Turbo Mode for battle animations, much more freedom in union creation, a New Game Plus feature, and a major overhaul to the statistics and attributes of most items, characters, and enemies.
Additional bosses have been added too and you can even recruit The Seven (opponents you originally defeat during the main story) if you overcome the battle against their Enlightened form in the Catacombs.
Another thing they apparently introduced in the PC version is the possibility to unlock The Ancient Ruins once you defeat a tough boss called The Fallen, which will drop a special key for that area . On console you can only get this new area by downloading a sort of DLC for it and you can still face The Falen at a later time, which means you can level up your characters in the Ruins for that battle, conveniently.
In fact, the Ruins allow you to increase your level and learn new skills much faster thanks to the many bosses and high ranked monsters you’ll find in there.
I won’t post any image to avoid SPOILERS in case you want to play it, just know that the last cutscene made me cry so hard my eyes almost fell and rolled away. I stayed up until 4 am to complete the final boss and I had to summon all my might not to wake my parents who were sleeping in the next room.
The end credits started, the music in the background. An adventure lasted four months, all of a sudden… nothing. It’s like when you finish a book or watch the last episode of a TV show you enjoyed. The emptiness is real, man!
An then, after that looooong list of names and softwares used, you get a short dialogue in a Marvel style… something that would make you think the story is not over and will continue in a possible sequel.
Sadly they never worked on The Last Remnant 2 and probably they never will. This game is terribly underrated and apparently the number of sales was not enough to even think about developing a second part. A pity, really, because the game has so much potential and a sequel would certainly be extremely interesting to see.
When I returned the box to my friend I felt like I was giving away a part of me. I had TLR installed, yes, but I loved it so much that I absolutely needed it on my shelf as well.
When my best friend texted me one day to know if I had any specific idea for my birthday present, the first thing that crossed my mind was the physical copy of TLR. For some reason I could never find it in stores here, so I looked for it on Amazon and sent her the link.
In case you’re interested you can check it out (available as a new and used copy).
What do you guys think? Did you play this RPG or are you planning to do that soon? 😀