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Blue Dragon speaks American

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The first in-game footage of Blue Dragon's North American localization has hit the web. GameTrailers.com has posted three brief video sequences depicting the turn-based battles and in-game voice acting found in the upcoming Mistwalker RPG. Listening to the dialog, you may recognize a voice or two, as the character actors are veterans of such Square titles as Final Fantasy X, Advent Children, and Brave Fencer Musashi.

The village town where Shu, Kluke, and Jiro make their home is plagued once a year by the appearance of pestilential purple clouds. The clouds bring with them an army of rampaging metal soldiers, known to the townsfolk as the Fin. The children are helpless against the threat, until one day they are beckoned by a mysterious voice which leads them to discover three radiant blue orbs. These magic orbs transform their shadows into powerful allies in the fight against the nefarious robot menace.

Blue Dragon is Mistwalker's debut role-playing game for the Microsoft XBox 360. The first video clips of the English-language version of the game have appeared on GameTrailers.com, featuring protagonists Shu, Jiro, and Kluke, as they sprint through the murky depths of a dimly lit cavern. It's not long before they encounter a strange purple enemy: a cross between a coiled snake and a pile of excrement. To makes matters worse, it wields a spear. Alas: being in the early stages of his quest, Shu is armed only with a kitchen knife and cannot inflict more than a mere three points of damage. His abilities are destined to level up dramatically, however, after he discovers the magic orb that will morph his shadow into the powerful Blue Dragon.

Those who have imported the game's soundtrack from Japan will recognize Nobuo Uematsu's "A Mysterious Village" playing in the background during the dungeon crawling segment of the first clip. The song evokes an unsettling, suspenseful atmosphere, though not without the signature Blue Dragon touch of quirkiness. As the party engages the Poo Snake, the music shifts to "Dragon Fight!", a theme of heroism rendered in classic rock. Even as the children take turns inflicting miniscule amounts of damage on their bizarre foe, they do so with reckless courage, reflecting the intensity of the battle theme.

The fledgling company behind Blue Dragon has had some serious success with their rookie RPG, prompting a follow-up console sequel and even an anime series. Mistwalker's founder is Final Fantasy's former executive producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, and he pioneered the game alongside a slice of the legendary Chrono Trigger "Dream Team": music composer Nobuo Uematsu, and Dragon Quest character designer Akira Toriyama. As for the English-language release, a few Square vets will be lending a hand as well. Tara Strong, the voice of Final Fantasy X's Rikku, is taking on the role of Kluke. Mona Marshall, the voice of Brave Fencer Musashi, is playing Shu. Steve Stanley, who played Kadaj in Advent Children will be voicing Jiro.

Blue Dragon hit the Japanese shelves in December of last year and took the country by storm. Come August 28, North American XBox 360 players will have the chance to try the game for themselves. ESRB has graced the title with a T rating (for containing unprecedented amounts of Toriyama). A September release is scheduled for European territories.

Battle versus the Poo Snake

Magical Orbs cutscene

Blue Dragon shadow gameplay


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