Saturday August 6, 2022

Live A Live gives players the ability to experience its eight chapters in any order they desire. However, there is an optimal order we recommend depending on whether you want a gradual increase in difficulty or narrative complexity.

Some stories in Live A Live are difficult and do not give you any prior training or grinding to get a feeling for the battle system before throwing you into combat, so, it’s not recommended that you start with these.

Live A Live: Best Play Order in Increasing Difficulty

Live A Live Present Day Fighter SelectLive A Live Present Day Fighter Select
  1. The Wild West: The Easiest and shortest chapter. The enemy number can be cut down to four or less and it only involves one battle. You have a lot of long-ranged skills and so you can eliminate the enemies from a safe distance.
  2. The Distant Future: Also no side trips, and one final boss battle. However, here you can use a secret arcade machine to go into a virtual area and train until you perfectly learn the Grid Based strategies of Live A Live. You can access the game by using the memory card you got from Kirk’s room.
  3. Present Day: No going left or right. Just six boss battles and a seventh final one. You can choose how to fight the six in any order, however, the advice here is to avoid going against Tula Han first because his movies can lock away your own moves, and also avoid Seishi Moriabe because his celestial palm can give you a lot of detrimental status effects.
  4. Imperial China: This chapter actually involves many boss fights, but the good news is you have the chance to prepare your fighter accordingly and spend all your training points and chances on one single character. Also for the final fight, you get a one-time use super attack that cuts out the boss’s health, making your life easier.
  5. Prehistory: Though usually recommended earlier, I preferred to include it here because you go through many fights without your healer, and you might also need to craft items to gain an advantage in battle, which can be confusing if you don’t know what to make.
  6. The Near Future: The crafting here is a bit random, and it has some really hard boss fights, in addition to a fully open world where enemies roam every corner. You might also need to grind a bit in that one and unlock many of Akira’s techniques since your companion turtle doesn’t exactly gain any levels or new techniques as you go.
  7. Twilight of Edo Japan: One of the most difficult and confusing scenarios no matter how you want to go about it. Whether you want to kill all NPCs or leave them unharmed, you will still need to grind. There are no shops or craft locations so you have to gather all the material and healing items by yourself. It can also be really hard to understand how to complete the dungeon as the maps and the Rader are both not clear enough.
  8. The Middle Ages: Only unlocks after the 7 main chapters. It isn’t really hard but some of your strongest party members will leave you mid-way and so you still need to grind the main character a bit to keep up with the random encounters exclusive to this chapter.
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In each chapter, you will need to level up your character appropriately because you will be using all of them in the final dungeon. The characters in the earlier chapters we have chosen get automatic story upgrades, so they don’t need much work from the player. Starting from prehistory and sticking it out through the grind, you will have to not only level up your characters but gather the best weapons and items for them, as there are not many chances to do so in the grand finale. This guide also keeps the final dungeon in mind and arranges the earlier chapters accordingly.

Best Play Order in Narrative Complexity

Live A Live The Distant Future Warp DriveLive A Live The Distant Future Warp Drive

Some stories, despite involving the same main theme of ‘Ending the Cycle of Vengeance’, are more subtle and vague about telling this story than others. Players wanting to experience the game in a way that gradually introduces the game’s main theme, they should play in the order listed below.

  1. Prehistory: The least complex narrative because simply it does not contain any written lines. It’s easy to understand and recognize what the chapter wants to convey by looking at how the final battle went.
  2. The Wild West: This chapter basically puts the message of the game on a silver plate. Ending the cycle and transcending your fear and your old self. Once you help the townspeople defend themselves from the raiders, you will also understand how you should live as a human.
  3. Present Day: Another easy one that only involves the question of whether killing your opponents or leaving them unharmed is the right way to go about things. Acts as a good setup for the next chapter.
  4. Twilight of Edo Japan: A chapter where you have to put the lessons you have learned from the previous chapter into practice since you here have an actual choice to kill your enemies (and the innocent) or leave everyone in peace. Despite having a choice, the game actually takes one answer into account as implied by the last scene.
  5. The Near Future: A bit harder to digest because you don’t really have any guidance as an orphan. It also involves scientific lingo, inhuman experiments, and riot police vs street gangs which were all raging topics in the 90s of Japan, so it might be a lot of taking in if you are just starting and don’t know what are you supposed to get from all that.
  6. Imperial China: A typical martial artist movie-inspired chapter but more than just conquering your own self, you also have to help your disciples overcome their flaws and become the perfect versions of themselves. The Chinese Master (Shifu) is a man of few words, and so the context of the earlier chapters will help you see this scenario in a new light.
  7. The Distant Future: A mysterious and horrifying chapter where nothing really makes much sense. You are a robot left with the final sentiments of humanity in a place where all humanness is lost. It will give you a fresh perspective on everything you have been through so far, and the context of everything you know will help deliver the maximum intended impact from both this chapter and what’s after it.
  8. The Middle Ages: The pre-final chapter explains the cause of everything, and at the same time, shows you why you have been training and fighting in the first place. This chapter is what makes the message, and how it’s presented in video game form truly unique.
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In the final dungeon, you will also get a chance to start the chapter with any character you desire, the significance of this is that only the character you choose in the finale will get the chance to converse with the villain and deliver a small speech that acts as a payoff for the growth you have experienced during your journey. If you want to see the answer to your character’s arc verbalized, make sure to start the final dungeon with him, gather the rest of the team and unlock the true ending. This way, everything regarding the character you chose will come a full circle.

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