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Level-5 Teams With Brownie Brown For Something That's Not an RPG

Nobuo Uematsu joins in with the music.


Three powerful forces in RPG gaming are teaming up for an original title. Professor Layton developer and publisher Level-5 announced today at its Level-5 Vision press conference in Tokyo the all new Fantasy Life. Described as a "slow life RPG," the DS title is being developed by Mother 3 developer Brownie Brown and will feature music from Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Fantasy Life is set in the world of Fantazeal, which is marked by a moon, known by the people of the world as Mars, that floats in the sky. A prophet once warned that the destruction of the world would come when a shadow comes to pass over Mars. First signs of the prophesied destruction become apparent, but the people of the Fantazeal continue to lead their free, peaceful lives apparently unaware.

It's not exactly clear at this point what that background story as to do with the game. According to Level-5, Fantasy Life allows players to experience life in a world contained within the DS. The focus of the game isn't on combat, like one would expect of an RPG, but on simply living as you please.

You start the game off by creating your own avatar, going through a character create process which lets you set name, gender, physical appearance, and "Life," the latter being the game's name for your in-game job. Your choice of one of the game's 20 lifes affects how the game plays out for you. Each type of life requires that players undertake certain so-called "Life Quests," which are quests that must be cleared daily. Once you've progressed through the game as one of these lifes, you'll end up seeing what Level-5 refers to as a "small ending."

This is where Uematsu's work comes into play. The legendary composer created the "Life Songs" which serve as ending themes for each of the lifes. Together with the main theme, also from Uematsu, the game includes 21 vocal songs.

As you play through the game, you'll have to keep track of your character's "Rich" and "Happy" levels. Richness is a currency, reflecting your physical wealth. Happiness is a value which reflects how much heart you have. Raise your happiness, and you'll find that you're able to speak to people who might have not spoken to you before.

All this sounds like a new take on games like Animal Crossing and Friend Collection, where the goal is to interact with the world and characters rather than work through a story. You'll also get to interact with other players. The game splits its world into two continents: Tripochi and Minnade. Tripochi is the world where your avatar exists. Minnade is a common area for other players to exist together. Other players can visit your Tripochi world via local wireless. Minnade allows for players to interact over Wi-Fi, meaning you could end up meeting someone you don't know.

Fantasy Life was one of the main surprises at Level-5 Vision, but only little was shown for the game. Not surprisingly, a release is not planned until some time in 2010.

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