Live A Live

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Live A Live
Original logo
Developer(s) Square
Publisher(s) Square
Director(s) Takashi Tokita
Designer(s) Nobuyuki Inoue
Artist(s) Yoshihide Fujiwara
Yoshinori Kobayashi
Osamu Ishiwata
Yumi Tamura
Ryōji Minagawa
Gosho Aoyama
Kazuhiko Shimamoto
Writer(s) Takashi Tokita
Nobuyuki Inoue
Composer(s) Yoko Shimomura
Platform(s) Super Famicom
  • JP: September 2, 1994
Genre(s) Role-playing video game, turn-based tactics
Mode(s) Single-player

Live A Live(ライブ・ア・ライブ,Raibu A Raibu, stylized as, LIVE A LIVE) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Famicom, and released on September 2, 1994. It was never released outside Japan, but it has been unofficially translated into English. It was released on the Virtual Console for Nintendo Wii U on June 24, 2015 and New Nintendo 3DS on November 28, 2016 in Japan.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Square Co., Ltd. was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games, and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".

Super Nintendo Entertainment System home video game console developed by Nintendo and first released in 1990 in Japan

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.


Live A Live's story begins with a series of seven seemingly unrelated chapters that can be played in any order, based on popular genres such as Western, science fiction, and mecha. Each chapter has its own plot, setting, and characters. Although the basic gameplay is the same throughout the game, every chapter has its own unique gimmick, such as the stealth elements in the ninja chapter. [1] After the first seven chapters are completed, the game's final sequence plays out, linking the previous chapters together and resolving the story.

Western (genre) multimedia genre of stories set primarily in the American Old West

Western is a genre of various arts which tell stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, often centering on the life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle who rides a horse. Cowboys and gunslingers typically wear Stetson hats, neckerchief bandannas, vests, spurs, cowboy boots and buckskins. Recurring characters include the aforementioned cowboys, Native Americans, bandits, lawmen, bounty hunters, outlaws, gamblers, soldiers, and settlers. The ambience is usually punctuated with a Western music score, including American and Mexican folk music such as country, Native American music, New Mexico music, and rancheras.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Mecha fictional walking vehicle

The term mecha may refer to both scientific ideas and science fiction genres that center on giant robots or machines (mechs) controlled by people. Mechas are typically depicted as humanoid mobile robots. The term was first used in Japanese (meka) after shortening the English loanword mekanikaru ('mechanical'), but the meaning in Japanese is more inclusive, and "robot" (robotto) or "giant robot" is the narrower term.


Akira and Matsu battle Crusaders in the "Flow" chapter. Characters can move around a grid during battles, however, attacks are turn-based. LiveALiveBattle.png
Akira and Matsu battle Crusaders in the "Flow" chapter. Characters can move around a grid during battles, however, attacks are turn-based.

Live A Live contains the basic elements of a role-playing video game. The characters explore dungeons, towns, or similar areas, fight enemies, and gain experience points to level up. However, the game eschews some elements typical of the genre, such as magic points and money.

The game has turn-based, tactical battles that play out on a grid. Certain attacks can change tiles into damage zones. More powerful skills often have long charge times, which commits the character to that single attack for a long time, and gives the enemy an opportunity to interrupt them. Characters can be inflicted with status ailments, and certain items, attacks, and skills can raise or lower a character or enemy's stats while in battle. When a character's hit points reach zero, they collapse and are unable to move, but can be revived by using a healing item or spell. However, if they are hit when in the knocked-out state, they permanently disappear from the battle.

Turn-based tactics (TBT), or tactical turn-based (TTB), is a computer and video game genre of strategy video games that through stop-action simulates the considerations and circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics in generally small-scale confrontations as opposed to more strategic considerations of turn-based strategy (TBS) games.

In addition to these basic gameplay mechanics, each chapter contains some variations on the standard formula.


Live A Live has a large number of characters. The main character of the prehistoric chapter, Pogo (ポゴ), is a young caveman who has just come of age, who is only capable of saying the word "love". Master Xin Shan Quan (心山拳老師, Shinzanken-roushi, Xīn Shān Quán-lǎoshī) is an old kung-fu master seeking to pass on his art before he dies; his three pupils are an obese yet agile man named Sammo Hakka (サモ・ハッカ Samo Hakka), a female bandit named Li Kuugo (レイ・クウゴ Rei Kuugo), and a boy named Yuan Jou (ユン・ジョウ Yun Jou) who stood up to the local gangsters. Oboro-maru (おぼろ丸) is a ninja of the Enma with great potential sent on an important mission. The Sundown Kid (サンダウン・キッド Sandaun Kiddo) is a wandering cowboy famous for his skill with a gun. Masaru Takahara (高原 日勝 Takahara Masaru) is a wrestler with the dream of being the strongest fighter in the world who possesses a strong sense of justice. Akira Tadokoro (田所 晃 Tadokoro Akira) is an orphan in the near future with psychic powers. Cube (キューブ Kyūbu) is a self-aware robot created by the mechanic Kato (カトゥー Katū) aboard the spaceship Cogito Ergosum. Oersted (オルステッド Orusuteddo) is a famous knight in the realm of Lucretia, betrothed to the King's only daughter. Odio (オディオ Odio), whose name is Latin for hate, is the Demon King and the main antagonist of the game.

Psychic person who claims to use extrasensory perception to identify information hidden from the normal senses

A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses, particularly involving telepathy or clairvoyance, or who performs acts that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws. Although many people believe in psychic abilities, the scientific consensus is that there is no proof of the existence of such powers, and describe the practice as pseudoscience. The word "psychic" is also used as an adjective to describe such abilities. In this sense, this word has two synonyms, which are metapsychic and parapsychic.

Self-awareness capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one's environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness. Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. There are two broad categories of self-awareness: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.


The first seven chapters can be played in any order, and the final two chapters open up after they are completed.


In prehistoric times, a tribe of cavemen prepares to sacrifice a woman named Bel (べる Beru) to their deity, a living Tyrannosaurus rex named O-D-O (おーでぃーおー Ōdīō). She escapes to the south and hides in a cave belonging to another tribe, stealing their food to survive. She is discovered by a young caveman named Pogo, who falls in love with her and decides to help her hide from the rest of the tribe. The northern tribe attacks to retrieve her, but Pogo repels them. However, Bel is discovered in the process, and the elder exiles them. Eventually, Pogo is forced to fight O-D-O, and is assisted by a warrior of the northern tribe named Zaki (ざき). After the beast is defeated, peace is established between the two tribes and the first word, "Love", is said.


In ancient China, an old kung-fu master of the Xin Shan Quan tradition takes on three students to pass on his art before he dies. While the master is away one day, the dojo is attacked by a rival dojo seeking revenge for an insult. Two of the students are killed (the surviving student being the one the player trained the most), prompting the master and the surviving student to avenge their deaths. The rival school, led by Odi Wang Lee (オディワン・リー Odiwan Rī), is defeated, but the master dies afterward, having used the last of his strength in the fight. The student succeeds him as master of the tradition and takes a new generation of students.

Secret Orders

In feudal Japan, a mysterious figure named Ode Iou (尾手 院王 Ode Iō) is trying to throw Japan into chaos. The ninja clan Enma sends one of their ninja named Oboro-maru to rescue a prisoner who can stabilize Japan, then kill Ode Iou. After being rescued, the prisoner joins Oboro in the battle with Ode Iou. After Ode Iou is slain, the prisoner reveals that he is Sakamoto Ryōma. Oboro is then given the choice of returning to the Enma or joining Ryōma in his plans to rebuild Japan.


This chapter takes place in the American Old West. An outlaw called the Sundown Kid and his rival, a bounty hunter named Mad Dog (マッド・ドッグ Maddo Doggu), arrive in Success Town, a place terrorized by a group of bandits called the Crazy Bunch (クレイジー・バンチ Kureijī Banchi), led by O. Dio (O・ディオ O Dio), the last remaining survivor of the 7th Cavalry. Sundown stands up to the bandits, and they decide to raze the town in retaliation. Mad Dog agrees to help Sundown and the townsfolk prepare the town's defenses. After the town emerges from the battle victorious, Mad Dog challenges Sundown to one final duel. The player has the option of killing Mad Dog or running away.

The Strongest

The Strongest is set in the present day. Masaru Takahara strives to become the strongest fighter in the world by fighting the masters of different fighting disciplines to learn their techniques. However, another fighter, Odie Oldbright (オディ・オブライト Odi Oburaito), has the same idea, but deliberately kills each of his opponents during the fight. He then challenges Masaru, who defeats him.

Blood Flow

In the near future in Japan, a biker gang called the Crusaders has been kidnapping people with unknown intentions. A young orphan with psychic powers named Akira Tadokoro grows up in an orphanage with his sister. One day, the Crusaders kidnap one of the children from the orphanage, so Akira and his friend Matsu (無法松 Muhoumatsu) set out to rescue him. Akira learns the location of the Crusaders' base, and discovers a plot by the Japanese government to liquefy people and use them to power a giant idol named Odeo (御出居). Matsu then sacrifices himself to power an ancient mech called Buriki Daioh (ブリキ大王 Buriki Daiō, "Tin-Plated Great King"), which Akira uses to destroy Odeo.

Mechanical Heart

In the distant future, a space ship called Cogito Ergosum is returning to earth carrying a dangerous alien called the Behemoth (ベヒーモス Behīmosu). The mechanic, Kato, creates a spherical robot and gives it the ironic name of Cube. The player takes the role of Cube as it explores the ship and meets the crew. However, things begin to go wrong as the ship malfunctions and a crew member named Kirk (カーク Kāku) dies in a freak accident. Soon, the Behemoth is released, and it kills more crew members. The remaining crew members continue to blame and mistrust one another, but it is finally revealed that the culprit is the ship's computer, OD-10. Cube hacks into the computer and defeats it.

King of Demons

After completing the first seven chapters, the medieval chapter is unlocked. A brave knight named Oersted, a hero beloved by the people, defeats his best friend, the wizard Straybow (ストレイボウ Sutoreibou), in the final round of a fighting tournament, winning the right to marry Princess Alicia (アリシア Arishia) of Lucretia (ルクレツィア Rukuretsia). That night, she is kidnapped by the Demon King (魔王 Maō). The next day, Oersted and Straybow set out to rescue her. First, they find the heroes who defeated the Demon King thirty years prior, the knight Hash (ハッシュ Hasshu) and the priest Uranus (ウラヌス Uranusu), and convince them to join. They fight and defeat the Demon King, but Hash dies due to a plague, Alicia is nowhere to be found, and Straybow is seemingly killed by falling rocks. Oersted and Uranus return to Lucretia in defeat. That night, Oersted is tricked into slaying the King of Lucretia by an apparition of the Demon King after seeing what looks like Straybow exit his room. He is accused of being the Demon King himself, and he is later imprisoned. Uranus, who is also imprisoned for being a "demon ally", uses the last of his strength to help him escape. Oersted returns to the mountain of the Demon King and finds Straybow alive, having faked his own death. Straybow reveals that, out of jealousy for Oersted, he sold his soul to become the next Demon King, and tricked Oersted into killing the King. Oersted is forced to kill him. He then rescues Alicia, but she confesses her love for Straybow and blames Oersted's heroism for Straybow's fall to evil, before killing herself. Oersted is driven insane by his rage and grief, sacrifices his soul to become the next Demon King, and names himself Odio, deciding to teach humans "the folly of their selfishness". He then takes revenge on all of Lucretia, killing everything.

Final Chapter

In the final chapter, Oersted summons the protagonists of the first seven chapters to Lucretia, which is now colorless and depopulated, for a final battle. The player's chosen hero meets and recruits the other six heroes. During their exploration of Lucretia, they can encounter Straybow, who laments what his jealousy had caused. Once ready, the group confronts Odio, who questions the heroes' motives, and then transforms into a monster to fight them. Once defeated, he reverts to his human form, and asks the hero to kill him. The hero refuses, so Oersted attacks again, forcing each hero to fight the incarnation of Odio from their chapter. After the heroes win again, Oersted is unable to understand why he cannot win. The hero explains what he or she fights for to Oersted—each one having a different reason. He is finally moved, and so agrees to return them all to where they came from. He warns the heroes that anyone can become a demon with enough hatred before dying, and Lucretia is restored.

If the player chooses Oersted as the final chapter's lead character, he will take control of the seven different incarnations of Odio in each chapter in turn. If he defeats each of the heroes, he is left to wander in an empty Lucretia. Alternately, he can choose to cause armageddon once an incarnation becomes low on health, destroying all of space-time instantly.


The characters of each of the game's chapters were illustrated by a group of different manga artists involving Yoshihide Fujiwara, Yoshinori Kobayashi, Osamu Ishiwata, Yumi Tamura, Ryōji Minagawa, Gosho Aoyama and Kazuhiko Shimamoto.


Live A Live's soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura. The Live A Live Original Sound Version, a single CD containing 41 songs, was released on August 25, 1994. [2] A promotional Mini CD was included with the "Live A Live Perfect Strategy Guide Book." It contained two arranged medley tracks, and was released on October 21, 1994. [3] Both items were published by NTT Publishing. In 2008, the tracks "The Bird Flies in the Sky, the Fish Swims in the River" and "Forgotten Wings" were included on Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura, a compilation of the composer's work at Square Enix. [4]


On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 29 out of 40. [5] In 2011, GamePro included it on the list of the 14 best JRPGs that were not released in English, adding that "rumor has it the game was originally slated for a US release, making its absence here sting all the more." [6]

Other Appearances

The songs "Birds in the Sky, Fish in the River" and "Megalomania" appear in the rhythm action game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call , as playable songs through downloadable content. When playing "Megalomania", the music stage features the Demon King's mountain, with Oersted and Straybow confronting each other in the background.

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  4. "Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura". Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
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