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Breath of Fire IV Preview by IGN

May 31, 2000 - As the name implies, dragons will play a big part in Capcom's new RPG. Not only can you call up dragons to attack, but you will be able to turn into a dragon yourself. The dragon breath attack is very powerful and can often take out enemies in a single attack. Some of the dragons you will be able to turn into are the Behemoth, or a Dragon Warrior, who looks like a soldier. You can also call up a Tree Dragon who can protect you during the battle.

Battle system Up to six characters will be able to participate in the battles. You have a front and back row. Up to three characters may be put in the front and the same in the back. In addition, characters in the back row will be more difficult for the enemy to hit. Characters in front will be able to attack with weapons while those in back cannot. However, the characters in the back can use magic or special skills. There will be a number of different special skills and you may equip up to eight total. Also, you can pass skills along from one character to another. One skill will even allow you to copy enemy spells and skills as well.

New Combo System There will be a well-developed combo system too. Some attacks may be comical and some MIGHT emulate Capcom's popular Street Fighter series. Whether this will materialize or not is still secret. It is even theoretically possible to get a 100 hit combo. A 24-hit combo in one of the screen shots did 8,587 points worth of damage. What would a 100 hit combo do?

The fourth in the well-liked RPG series from Capcom, Breath of Fire IV is slated for a late summer 2000 release for the PlayStation in North America, Capcom officialy told IGNPSX. The well-liked, on-going saga of the dragon people and their on-going sagas have reached millions of fans on the Super NES and PlayStation in the last 10 years. The new game takes a slightly different approach than the former iterations while maintaining a somewhat traditional Japanese RPG formula.

Breath of Fire IV takes place in a world containing two continents that are separated by an swamp-like ocean of mud and ooze. Breath of Fire IV unfolds the tale of Princess Eriena, who, in the process of trying to comfort the battle-fatigued of her land, disappears. Star characters Cray and Nina set out to find her in this massive game that scopes two continents and the enormous swampland between them. In the game, the player will encounter several dragons named Aura, Nosto, Junar and Ta-Pu and fight ontold epic battles.

Breath of Fire IV uses advanced 3D backgrounds graphics and 2D sprite-based characters. The backgrounds have been made to look like a painting or drawing so that the 2D characters meld seamlessly with them. Each character has over 3,000 animation patterns, making for incredibly detailed and intricate movements. Players will really feel 'in tune' with their character's movements as if they're in it together.

There is a totally new adaptive battle system, allowing you to select your own tactics and use them in the field - meaning that there are as many tactics as players.

As we've previously reported, Breath of Fire IV will incorporate several dragons in its story. Here's a rundown of the main dragons in the game:

Aura dragon - a dragon that is seen in the eastern continent. It has long arms and legs and sharp, keen eyes. It has fairy-like wings and is thought to be a new type of dragon because of its human-like shape and appearance. Ever since this dragon was first spotted, dragon activity seemed to have increased worldwide. There are some unconfirmed reports that a unit of the Imperial Army is out searching for dragons.

Nosto - a tube-shaped mud dragon. Its skin is partially transparent, which allows for its skeletal system to be viewed. It has very kind and quite eyes and is over ten meters in length overall. He resides in the muddy sea in the central area of the continent known as the "Great Mud Ditch." On occasion, this dragon surfaces from the sea and shows its face. It is said that when he appears that bad things are bound to happen. However, its not know whether or not this is fact or fairy tale.

Junar - a tubular sand dragon that lives in the desert located in the central part of the continent. He normally resides beneath the sand, but recently has been seen flying around during full moons. The story that has been passed down over time claims that this dragon is the guardian of deity of a prosperous tribe in the desert. Not much else is really known.

Ta-Pu - a grass dragon that has wings like the leaves of a plant. It lives in a giant grass plain in the southern part of the continent. It appears to have a strange fear of people as it disappears whenever people come near it.

Character Information:
- Princess Nina finds him collapsed in the desert of the Eastern continent. He's lost his memory and doesn't know where he's from. He possesses a strange item called the "Dragon's Eye".

- She's the princess of Windia and a member of the winged race. She's searching for her elder sister who's turned up missing. While she was brought up well, she still has quite a few child-like qualities

- He's a mercenary who was employed by the Eastern side during the great war. He's a thirsty soul who's currently out of work now that the war is over. Because of this, he joins the young heroes on their quest.

- He is a Patriarch with the East side that's under control of the Fuuren family. He's well known for his meritorious services in serving the army in the previous great war.

- He wears a cursed armor that he doesn't even remove when he eats or sleeps. Because of this, nobody has seen his face and his race is not known. He meets the party at a place while under the curse and joins them on their quest.

Douglass Perry and Dave Zdyrko

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