Did you think we were taking a week off just because Janus died? Nope! Gotta post something on January 23, Odd Number Day. Even though half of all the numbers in this world are odd, why are odd numbers called ‘odd?’ Is it implicating that half of everything in this world is odd?
Previously on Wild Arms 3: Chapter 2 complete!
And now that all the major players have made their appearances…
Back in the day, I always loved strategy guides. It wasn’t just about knowing what was happening/going to happen in a game, it was also about the fact that strategy guides (and their general gaming magazine cousins) were about the only place you could get “official” art of videogame characters outside of a manual. And this was huge when your protagonist was a 16 x 16 block of smeared pixels! Do you know how many different ways I tried to interpret Celes Chere back in 1994? There was Amano art of her with pants! Did her sprite have pants? Could I see them on my chiclet-sized television? A strategy guide might help!
Now, Wild Arms 3 was released in 2002, and that was well past the point that one needed a magnifying glass and guide to figure out what was going on. In fact, as has been noted before, Wild Arms 3 has some extremely detailed and expressive models. However, it never hurts to see what was “intended” by the art department, so let’s take a quick look at some official Wild Arms 3 art.
(Unlike the rest of the LP, click on any of the images in this post for a larger view)
As was the style of the time, our first decent introduction to our team is available in the manual. I appreciate that everyone looks happy, and even Jet seems to be having a good time. Also of note…
- Jet’s age is listed as ????, which is never not a red flag for “mysterious past”
- Gallows is 6’ 3” and 220 lbs. He might be the most jacked mage in all of JRPG history
- Clive is 5’ 8”, and his gun is nearly as tall as he is
- Virginia and Jet are the exact same height. There is something about that that I find adorable
And our villains get a page, too. While the Prophets are clearly implied to be evil, Janus seems to be described as almost heroic. Maybe aspirational? Regardless, he definitely comes off as the bad guy who eventually joins the heroes… But, as we all know now, that is not the fate for this JRPG Janus.
Maya is not mentioned in the manual at all, and that is a crime.
Anywho, that’s it for good stuff in the WA3 manual. Just going to also note that I am not convinced that there are actual screenshots in this manual, but some kind of simulated, labor-intensive art going on. Speaking as someone who has spent the last year taking “real” pictures of Wild Arms 3, these examples do not look actually possible…
Beyond the manual, there was a Wild Arms 3 strategy guide, but I never bought it, because Wild Arms 3 came out at exactly the point in time that I was a poor college student that had to decide between purchasing strategy guides or buffalo wings for the week… And there wasn’t a free website called buffalowingfaqs.com.
There was some free official art released on the Wild Arms website, though.
I have had this nonsense saved as part of my pictures screen saver for the last two decades.
I have always loved this piece…