How did you first discover the Breath of Fire series?

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How did you first discover the Breath of Fire series?

Postby CoolHandLuke » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:26 pm

For me, this is something that I still remember vividly. Growing up I was really close to some of my cousins, my family got a Super NES the year I was in fourth grade, and one of my cousins in particular (who was also my parents go-to choice whenever they needed a babysitter) introduced me to a steady stream of RPG's. I was bummed out because I couldn't find most of them at the local stores (this was back when Toys R' Us and Kaybee Toys were the go to places to find large selections of video games. Wal-Mart and even Target weren't nearly as ubiquitious as they are now, and the stores they did have were considerably smaller and had little in terms of toy or game selections, and stores like GameStop or GameCrazy didn't even exist yet). So my cousin let me in on the secret that this kind of obscure local Minigolf/bowling place also rented and sold video games. You could rent any game for $5 for 5 days, or you could buy it outright according to the FuncoLand catalogue price (anybody else remember that? It was basically a mail order catalogue for hard-to-find games, especially those from previous generation consoles and imports) Anyway, for whatever reason, this bowling place had a huge selection of video games, especially more obscure ones, and they had an entire shelf full of Super NES RPG's. The first "real RPG" (this is non-Zelda) that my cousin introduced me to was Chrono Trigger, and I think, if I remember right I ended up going to this bowling place over summer vacation to rent Chrono Trigger, but they didn't have it in stock, so I ended up picking Breath of Fire 1, since I had also heard my cousin mention it (she subscribed to GamePro, so she seemingly knew about tons of games in this awesome genre that I hadn't even known existed). I was about 10 at the time, and BoF1 was way too hard for me. I remember being ecstatic when I beat the Frog, and thinking that I was actually pretty good... but then I got to the point where you switch to Nina and the Wyndian soldiers and stuff got real. I think I died like two or three times during the forest, and then finally, miraculously had a day where I got through both the woods and Morte, but couldn't make it past Mortea before I had to return the game (this was also back when my Mom enforced a strict "two hours of video games a day" limit). A couple of weeks later, I went to rent the game again, but they had sold it! I was bummed, but not too bummed, because Super Mario RPG, Yoshi's Island, and the Donkey Kong Country sequels all came out around that time and I fell in love with each of those.

Anyway, about a year later my cousin and her siblings (both me and my siblings and my cousin's younger siblings were all super into RPG's by that pint) introduced me to Secret of Mana, which I was absolutely floored by. I went to the trusty ol' bowling alley to rent it a couple of times, and they only had the one copy so it was always kind of a crapshoot to see if they'd have it in stock or if my cousins would already have it. Anyway, one of the times I went in and they didn't have it so I finally rented Breath of Fire II -- I had seen it on the shelf before, but after my brief brush with the first game (and with how hard it felt at the time) I hadn't ever gotten around to the sequel, because there were just so many other games already on my mental list. Anyway, this time I decided to give it a shot.. and oh my heck. I think I was 11, or maybe even 12 by this point, and had already worked my way through A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger about ten times a piece (my mom had given up on even trying to enforce the two hour a day limit by then), as well as Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana, probably Final Fantasy II and Lufia II by this point, and maybe a couple of others. Anyway, I had liked the first game well enough, but I was absolutely floored by this one. I think I ended up renting it back-to-back a couple of times and I got all the way to Infinity, but for the life of me I couldn't beat Barubary. I ended up having to return the game. Anyway, by this time I had told my young cousins (the little siblings of the one who had babysat us when we were younger) about it and they wanted to play it, so I let them rent it before I rented it again... and when I did, to my absolute horror, those little stinkers had erased my file! I was so bummed. I just couldn't muster the strength to do all that work over again, and I think I even convinced my mom to immediately take me back to the bowling alley so I could return it for a different game. I think I eventually might have made a token attempt or two to beat it, and later, when I was in middle school and we got a Playstation I rented Breath of Fire IV and loved that one too (I actually didn't play BoFIII until I was in college, and I loved that one as well), but it wasn't until the BoFII GBA remake came out that I finally buckled down, played it all the way through again and finally beat it. And shortly afterward I bought the BOFI remake and beat that too. If I had played through BoFIII when I was younger, I think that would've been my favorite, because that game is just so dang charming, but as it is I didn't discover it until I was already grown up and my prime nostalgia days were behind me. So, instead Breath of Fire II is and probably always will be my favorite, I have such fond memories of those few weeks and by younger brother and I swapping off so that we could both get through the game on our respective files, more or less at the same pace. Even though, I thought that the battles were a little bland compared to the battle system in some other games and there were some super frustrating "good luck figuring out what the heck to do if you don't have the player's guide" moments (talking to Gedd on Mt. Maori and having Katt break down the gate so that you can get inside the whale or two examples I remember) but the characters and world were so engaging and the story was so rich, emotionally pcked and thematically deep compared to a lot of other games I had played that it more than made up for those repetetive fights. So now, about twenty years after I first rented it, it remains one of my all-time favorite games, and my appreciation has only continued to grow for it over time, whereas thereas are a lot of other games I discovered during that same era that I haven't even thought about in years.

Anyway, that's my story of how I discovered the series, what's yours?
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Re: How did you first discover the Breath of Fire series?

Postby aett » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:29 pm

Simply put, it was Nintendo Power. I was really into anthropomorphic animal characters at the time, having watched TMNT in the late eighties/early nineties (and then moving on to the comics) as well as any number of other kids' shows like those on the Disney Afternoon or Looney Tunes or whatever. My friends and I would create our own TMNT-style mutant animals and draw comics with them, so a JRPG with anthropomorphic animal characters looked amazing. The fantastic art style didn't hurt, either.

I ended up never playing the original BoF for several years, when I could emulate it. I did play BoF2, but it didn't really click for me right away. BoF3, however, absolutely did, and I played the hell out of that game in high school. I was really looking forward to 4, and I loved it even more.
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Re: How did you first discover the Breath of Fire series?

Postby Ejdeha » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:32 am

When I was a wee lass, 1998-99ish, my mom's friend lent me BoF III for Playstation, and we wound up keeping it after some adult fallout drama, but I fell in love with the game and I till have that old copy. But it was my first introduction into Breath of Fire.
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Re: How did you first discover the Breath of Fire series?

Postby MrBaba » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:01 pm

To put it simply, I found it purely by reading about a walkthrough of the GBA version of BoF2 in an issue of Nintendo Power and later on in the Nintendo Power Advance issue 3.

And curiosity and some fan art later, welp, here I am.
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