Threads of Fate: A Treasure Forgotten in Time

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With so many different titles, the golden age of the PS1 served as a gateway for an entire generation of gamers and fans of all types of games. Among all the successes, let's review a diamond produced by Square in the late 90s that deserved more attention than it ended up getting.

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When Square Enix was still Squaresoft, at the end of the 90s, a specific JRPG title was made with an interesting proposal: letting the player choose between two characters whose paths eventually cross during their campaigns and show, each, their own perspective: Dewprism, launched in 99 in Japan and in 2000 in the United States with the localized name of Threads of Fate for PlayStation.

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With the classic colorful and polygonal graphics of the time, the visuals stand out and brings with it an immersive and mesmerizing, happy and dramatic soundtrack, to match a story worthy of a release from the renowned company responsible for franchises such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and NieR, often seen as revolutionary and ahead of their time.

Today, UmGamer is going to take a look at how good Threads of Fate really is, its strengths and most interesting points and why it didn't grow in popularity to become more iconic and influential like other games of the same genre that came out around the same time - although it deserved it.

Story and Gameplay

As mentioned, the strongest point of Threads of Fate's gameplay is following two different campaigns that intersect with each other and show their perspectives. The first decision the player must make as soon as they start a New Game is to choose between Rue, an adventurer with a mysterious past, and Mint, a mage exiled from her kingdom. Depending on the choice made, the game's first cutscene reveals the reason why the chosen character decided to go searching for the Dewprism, the most powerful magical Relic, that can grant any wish.

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Equipped with a cutting weapon similar to an axe, the Arc Edge, Rue is a boy with a young appearance and an unknown past, who had few memories when he was rescued by Claire, a peasant woman who offered to shelter the mysterious boy, developing a family bond with him over time.

However, the cabin where they lived was attacked by a powerful, monstrous man with an immense hand attached to one of his arms. To protect Claire, Rue faces the enemy who ends up easily subduing him, making the young woman his last victim before disappearing.

Months passed by and Rue is now traveling the world searching for a Relic that could bring Claire back to life.


In the distant kingdom of East Heaven, the King's eldest daughter and successor to the throne, Mint, longed for the day when she would finally become a powerful Queen. With her selfish, spoiled and often violent behavior, her family did not see her as a good successor and tried to force her to become more modest and suitable for her future position.

Her plans, in any case, are interrupted by the betrayal of her younger sister, Maya, who with the help of the powerful Book of Cosmos, another ancient Relic of this world, becomes the new successor and expels Mint from the Kingdom of once for all.

Angry and revolted, Mint spent months looking for clues that led her to the same boat in which Rue was in, after all she also wants to find the Relic that would fulfill her desire to become Queen not only of East Heaven, but of the entire world.

Crossed Paths

The boat in question was heading to the port city of Carona, which serves as the player's base and where a good portion of the campaign takes place. The small town has a church, a central square, a luxurious hotel, an inn, an item store, some resident houses and surrounding areas, such as an alley which provides access to a tavern and an antique store, a field near a river and the Docks, where the player disembarks and begins their story. Each of these places has its own importance, unique characters with different interactions at each point in the game, hidden items and NPCs so charismatic that you want to make friends with them.


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Investigating the beautiful forest on the outskirts of the city, the player rescues Elena, a young woman who was being attacked by the bandits Blood & Smokey, villains who serve more as comic relief and return at different points in the story with the same comically frustrated attempts at committing crimes.

Elena reveals that she is worried about her parents, who had disappeared some time ago after leaving to do research in the Carona forest for their studies. Accompanying Elena, the protagonist helps rescue her missing parents Klaus and Mira, the first claiming to be a researcher who was looking for a certain clue about the most powerful of all Relics. The protagonist agrees to help them and, using these clues, gains access to a mysterious Atelier - a term used in this game to refer to the “laboratories” and magical offices where the great wise men of old kept their secrets.

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Up to this point, the player will only have seen the perspective of the selected character, and it’s here that they will meet the other protagonist for the first time. If you chose Rue, Mint will have arrived shortly after and hid in the Atelier, revealing herself when Klaus begins to decipher some scriptures. If you chose Mint, Rue will just arrive as a traveler who had previously helped Klaus. At this point, connections are made, and the stories become one, with few differences between them until the final sequences of the game.

Both characters have similar skill kits: a jump button, one for the attack sequence, an extra attack and, in the fourth button on the Play1 controller, a special power. Rue can transform into any monster he has defeated to use their special powers and complete puzzles, while Mint collects magical elements throughout the campaign to increase her arsenal of spells.

Rue's mysterious power of transformation draws the attention of the other characters, revealing that his campaign has more depth, more closely related to the universe of this game, to the ancient sages and wizards and ends up having as its peak the moral debate about whether it is correct to bring dead people back to life, even if they are victims of injustice.

Mint's journey involves her maturation, from a spoiled and brutish princess to a powerful witch, still with some suspect behavior, but who develops emotions and objectives that are much fairer and more correct than simply “World Domination”. Her great connection with the rich universe of Threads of Fate also happens since Maya, her younger sister and the reason behind her exile, is working with a group of powerful wizards who also want to find the Relic, which eventually turns out to be Dewprism.

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In addition to Rue, Mint, Klaus, Mira and Elena, many other characters join the main cast and team, as well as excellent villains, monsters, arcs and adventures presented during the story. Rod, for example, is a skilled fighter and inventor, who uses his forging skills to create his own weapons. Challenging and defeating Rod, at some points in the game, can give the player specific rewards or even release specific sequences necessary to continue the game, such as the moment when he reveals his incredible superfast boat, “Pulsar Inferno Typhoon Omega” (affectionately nicknamed “P.In.T.O” by Mint), required to access certain mid-game missions.


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The owner of the Inn allows you to stay there for free as retribution for saving Klaus and Elena, and this becomes the Save point for the player. Both in your room at the Inn and in the room at the luxurious Hotel that you need to pay for to spend the night, cutscenes sometimes happen revealing game secrets or parts of the story, both as direct interactions and even in dreams.

The game does not have a linear and numbered Level Up system, only giving reward points to the player for defeating enemies, which are automatically added to the player's HP, Mana, Attack and Defense little by little after the fighting. The player can buy items and rarities in the city's stores which give them more attributes, powers and even key artifacts to progress in the campaign. It is also possible to consume meals and drinks in the tavern that give Buffs, some temporary and others permanent.

With each mission completed, the game changes the chapter whose name is displayed at the moment of Saving. With each chapter, new areas outside the city are released for more missions, puzzles, cutscenes and combat, and in them all the story progression and character development are apparent and involve the player even more with everything that happens around them.

A Masterpiece in Storytelling

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The technical aspects of Threads of Fate also contributed to its story and campaign being so well told. The gameplay is easy, quick to learn and beginner-friendly, and has often been mentioned as a great “RPG for those who are eager to learn how to play RPGs”. The characters interact differently in each period of the game, and everyone seems to be alive in some way, even though they are NPCs. This involvement of the environment with the player is essential in a game so highly driven by narrative, which becomes equally easy and simple to understand. In just a few hours of gameplay, you already feel like a resident of the city of Carona.

The soundtrack composed and produced by renowned composer Junya Nakano is equally hypnotic. Even with the synthesized instruments from the PS1's golden age, the songs connect and share a wide range of strings and percussions, fitting into the theme of slightly medieval aesthetics with steampunk and technomancy aspects, where magic and technology are equals in the work of fantasy.

Several times in the game, it’s possible to identify melodies that are the same or similar to each other, as if it were a single song with emotionally different parts as it progresses. Instead of being repetitive, this actually gives the universe its own sound, a light and pleasant ambiance that never clashes with what it is intended to be part of.

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This involvement designed by the production to the storytelling means that the player ends up agreeing with Mint in her plans for World domination, learning and growing with her and feeling more and more the desire to overthrow the evil clan that ruined her family; just as it makes us feel Rue's pain over the loss of Claire and his insecurities about who he is, what he is and what he could have done differently to save his companion.


As the story progresses, we are introduced to Belle and Duke, two mercenary partners who antagonize much of the campaign until they become anti-heroes. While Belle develops a rivalry relationship with Mint, Duke does the same with Rue in a more friendly and fun way, being an important piece in the relationship between the four, in the end.

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With the participation of the strange witch who lives in the middle of clouds filled with candies and cute animals, Fancy Mel, the player unlocks the end-game sequences by rescuing Prima, an automaton created by Valen to be the key that leads to his last Relic, the Dewprism.

Even Prima reveals that he has his own personality and ends up becoming a character that is not only important, but charismatic and a good addition to the plot. There is not even a small plot hole or anything that doesn't connect, being a real lesson in how to tell a good story through a good game.

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End of the Game and Extras

In this section, we will review the final part of Threads of Fate, and it will contain spoilers for those who do not know of or have never played the game.

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With more mysteries and pieces of the great puzzle being unraveled, Rue and Mint realize that their greatest enemies are the same: the Clan of wizards that convinced Maya to dominate East Heaven. This group led by four Masters (Mode Master, Trap Master, Psycho Master and Doll Master) is also after Dewprism and working together with the new princess of the distant and powerful Kingdom.

The goals of Doll Master and his three associates, however, were so dark that even Maya is eventually sidelined and loses her Book of Cosmos, leaving it to Mint to ensure that East Heaven is not at the mercy of the great villain. Meanwhile, Rue discovers that his past is connected to the Doll Master himself, as he is also an automaton doll created by Valen, just like Prima.

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The more the stories cross with each other at different points, the name Threads of Fate makes even more sense. The entire narrative was intertwined between several different characters, and not just two playable protagonists and their personal goals.

The game's final major mission is a long stage filled with references to the rest of the game, puzzles that demand patience and wit, breathtaking battles and a final clash between the protagonist and Doll Master, who shows his grotesque right hand revealing himself to be Claire's killer.

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Killing the villain, however, starts off the true final battle of the game against Valen himself, creator of Dewprism, reincarnated in two different forms that need to be defeated using as many different skills and powers as possible, proving to be a combat for those who paid attention to the game and learned how to do everything.


If you play as Mint, the princess will eventually return to the East Kingdom and promise to become a more responsible person for her position - while also showing that she has never left her grand plans for World Domination fully aside.

With Rue, the ending is more on the sad side, with the adventurer saying goodbye to Claire a second time, since Valen prevented his wish from coming true correctly. After also saying goodbye to his new friends from Carona, he promises to continue traveling the world in search of another Relic to save his partner.

However, after completing both characters, regardless of who you choose for a third gameplay, it will reveal a happier ending in which Mint still grows and matures and returns to East Heaven, but Rue manages to undo the injustice done to Claire, returning with she to her cabin where they lived and giving a happier ending even to Prima and his new family: Elena, Klaus and Mira.

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The game was somewhat of a hit in Japan and a few other specific countries, but it never became big enough of one to earn a sequel or any other media. A manga appears to have been conceptualized in partnership with Ken Akamatsu, author of Love Hina and Negima!, and some pages can be found on the internet showing, perhaps, the idea of ​​a continuation or reunion between the characters, but it never got to be published.

It’s Worth it to Go After

Even with the graphical and hardware limitations of the time, Squaresoft brought a masterpiece that is not long or tiring at all, has a dynamic and engaging atmosphere, beautiful and well set, with beautiful songs and deep characters full of details that tell an incredible story intersecting and entwining with several lives that are connected by several different ties in a fantastic world full of Relics and great dangers.

With simple combat and gameplay mechanics, easy to learn and access, a script that guides the player at a pleasant pace, Threads of Fate is a must-play for any JRPG fan who hasn’t played it yet, and definitely to be replayed by those who already know its value.

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Even today, it’s difficult to find games, regardless of genre, style or platform, that know how to tell each part of the story as well as this title did. Especially with the care with which it was made and produced, it’s a recommendation for all players who are looking for something more Vintage, but of high quality.