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Threads of Fate


Threads of Fate, known in Japan as Dewprism (デュープリズム, Dyūpurizumu?), is an action role-playing game for the PlayStation console developed and published by Square (now Square Enix). The story revolves around the adventure of two characters, Mint and Rue, and a highlight of the game is that the player is able to play from the perspective of either. Though an official sequel was never released, there exists a fan-made sequel called “DuoPrincess” for the PC in Japanese. It is an action-adventure game that lets you play as Mint or her sister Maya, with other characters from the main game appearing in the story.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple and action-oriented rather than turn-based, playing more like an action platformer than a traditional menu-based RPG such as those in the Final Fantasy series. It is more similar in style to the Mana games by Square or even The Legend of Zelda series by Nintendo. The lead female character, Mint, attacks with a pair of chakrams, known as the Dual Haloes, and is a proficient magic user. The lead male character, Rue, is more physical and attacks with his axe, Arc Edge. He also has the ability to transform into various monsters that he defeats, utilizing their attacks and powers. The ring menu used to select Mint’s magic attacks or Rue’s shape-shifting is reminiscent of the menu system in Secret of Mana.

At the beginning of the game, the player is given the choice of playing through the game as either Mint or Rue. Depending on the selection, the game proceeds with one of two storylines. Though the quests are very similar, the storylines themselves have a branching quality that brings certain scenarios to life in one storyline without remotely mentioning them in the other; completing both games will give the player a holistic storyline to weave together from the two, as well as a ‘true’ ending to the game.

Themes

Threads of Fate has a reasonably uncomplicated story and (save for its rather unexpected plot twist) harbors minimal surprise and suspense, with its greatest story pull being in its character interactions, aided by flawless localization.

The simplicity of the story makes its theme oddly obtuse, however. The game’s storyline is based heavily on the distinction between immutable destiny and choice. This is most obvious in Rue’s storyline, as he gives many speeches near the end of the game about fighting the will of his master and refusing to accept fate, but many of the more important characters also follow through on this theme.

For instance, Mint’s original destiny was to become queen of East Heaven Kingdom. However, she was thrown from her position, casting her out of her high fate. In response to this, she decided to write her own destiny by skipping the formality of ruling a kingdom and instead simply seeking to take over the world. Rod’s fate, too, was written by his father Pleskin, and he expected to be the greatest swordsman of all time, capable of defeating his father, who held the title. Because Pleskin died, Rod was left to wallow in the despair of never being able to surpass his father’s legacy until Lucine helped him realize that he needn’t be tied by his assumed fate. He instead became a swordsmith-fighter-vagrant, determined to surpass his father’s legacy in his own way, by becoming the greatest weapon crafter known to the world.

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