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Threads Of Fate

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Released: 1999

Genre: RPG

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: Square

Developer: Square

Submitted by: Craig Hawkins

It's still impossible to choose between the SNES and PlayStation when it comes to determining Square's golden age. Threads of Fate (known as Dewprism in its native Japan) is one of the überdeveloper's lesser known PSX games, getting lost as it did in the 1999 flurry of big name sequels to Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. It is, however, my most cherished Square release on any format.

Threads is an action RPG in the style of Zelda. Those who fear random battles should find this a perfect introduction to Square's games. It plays more like a 3D hack and slash or platformer, all in real time, but still with the added depth of hit points and all that jazz.

It didn't carry the massive reputations or expectations of its stablemates, but Square lavished just as much love on it. It's attractive and often outright gorgeous for a PSX title, all run on the in-game engine with no lengthy FMVs to flesh things out. The localised dialogue is particularly worthy of praise, especially that of the unforgettable Mint, whose character suits the Americanisms for once.

Mint is a sassy, selfish, ruthless spoilt brat of a princess who curses and schemes her way through life. All the more impressive, then, that she is perhaps Square's most charismatic creation. She's one of two characters you can play through the game as. The other is Rue, an altogether more heroic young man whose story is considered by most to be the main quest. Both are after an ancient relic. Rue needs it to save his friend, Mint wants it for world domination to spite her sister.

It's Mint all the way for me. She can cast magic spells with her rings and brings balletic poise to combat, while Rue is stronger and can transform into other creatures. Their 'fates' are 'threaded' and they regularly appear in the other's branching narrative along with a wonderfully eccentric cast of supporting characters.

Perhaps it lacks the depth some hardy gamers crave. For me it's absolutely the most enjoyable and faultless game Square ever made. An unforgettable adventure.