I recently came upon a YouTube channel dedicated to reviving Radiata Stories, which was a 2005 PlayStation 2 game produced by Square Enix and Tri-Ace. Specifically, Eli Farmer, who runs the channel, wanted to see the game re-released on the PlayStation store.
I grew up with the game and continued playing it, even after completing it 100%. So, even after selling the game a while ago, I can still remember a lot of the crucial parts of the game.
Why Is It Relevant?
Behind the storybook aesthetics, there lies commentary that is relevant today as it was nearly two decades ago. You need only to open the cover to see it within.
Radiata Stories takes place in a fictional kingdom where a knight’s son, Jack Russell, has to prove himself in order to be accepted within the realm. One relevant theme that would be relevant in an interpersonal level has to do with the fact that Jack encounters many failures throughout his time in the kingdom. The reality is that we all will experience failure, regardless of how plucky or confident we are. Jack definitely embodies this reality.
Another prevalent theme in the game is the issue of war and death. This is especially highlighted by the fact that Jack’s father was a well-respected knight and he has to live up to his name. As far as war is concerned, the kingdom of Radiata is at conflicts with the various non-human kingdoms throughout the realm. This eventually escalates into an all-out war.
What helps starts this conflict is the fact that the kingdom’s dwarf allies mine for iron and other minerals for trade, however the dwarf king had been concerned about the veins drying up. This is another theme, which is the finite nature of the biosphere. Not only is there environmental degradation involved, but also the fact that there is a plague which has been killing many people, both humans and non-humans.
But, one of the most important themes which even Jack is faced with is the difficult choices the characters make. Although these choices are not dialogue-webs, they end up driving the plot of the game.
Of course, there are also choices involved in recruiting characters into your party, whether they would be a common or from among the highest offices of the guilds. It involves negotiating, fighting against enemies, or doing errands for them.
Who Is This For?
This is definitely the perfect game as a gift for anyone’s 13th birthday. This would be their first T-rated game because the game-play is simple, the graphics have a welcoming, storybook-like aesthetic, and it tackles difficult real-world subjects without being overwhelming.
It was definitely perfect for me at the age of 14 when it first came out.
Is It Possible?
I can see that the devotion to an outdated game is not out of the ordinary. There is a YouTuber named Adam Koralik who produces videos about game-collecting. He is also a devotee to the Shenmue series, which was a fighting game originally for the Dreamcast. There was already a huge following to upgrade the Shenmue series and to continue the series, which in 2015 turned out to be successful and Adam was pleased that his devotion paid off. So, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Radiata Stories would follow the same path.
Of course, I do not know if it is within Square Enix’s best interest to re-release the game. Maybe it would come back as a 20th Anniversary re-edition with those deleted scenes and extra battles and DLC. As for whether they want this stand-alone game to become a series, it is undecided. Of course, some of the humor can be outdated. Nonetheless, they would probably be removed without anyone noticing.
As of writing this article, the petition on Change.org has a remaining 133 signatures left until it reaches the 5,000 signature goal. There is plenty of time left until there enough signatures to make news.
- Farmer, Eli. “Bring Radiata Stories To Modern Platforms #ReviveRadiata.” Change.org.
- Koralik, Adam. “SHENMUE III ANNOUNCED AT E3 2015!!!! – Adam Koralik.” Shenmue Videos. Playlist. YouTube. 2015.
- Radiata Stories. Tri-Ace. Square Enix. 2005.
- Revive Radiata. YouTube.