Phantom Brave is a tactical role-playing game for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console and Sony PSP developed and published by Nippon Ichi Software. It was released on January 22, 2004 in Japan, on August 31, 2004 in North America and on February 4, 2005 in Europe. The game shipped in two "editions"—Normal and Special—the Special edition coming with a free soundtrack and shortened instruction manual.
A port for Nintendo's Wii console, titled Phantom Brave: We Meet Again was released on August 14, 2009. NIS America also confirmed that they will be releasing the port in the US, giving it the subtitle "We Meet Again". In addition to the Wii game disc, NIS America has also included a DVD which contains various art work, and both animated and non-animated sprites.
Shortly after the release of the Wii version, NIS confirmed that they planned on releasing an additional port on PSP . This version not only contained the new features from the Wii port, but also included brand-new PSP-exclusive content. This second port was released digitally in Western markets - however, North America also received a physical UMD release of the game as well.
A game compilation including Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Remastered and Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, titled Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1: Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Remastered/Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, was announced on March 4, 2021, and released on August 31, 2021 for Nintendo Switch and Steam.
The game follows a young girl named Marona. She lives on an island called Phantom Isle, located in a world called Ivoire and works as a Chroma, a mercenary of sorts who accepts odd jobs from people such as fighting monsters, searching for lost items and people, delivering packages and so on. She needs to do so because she lives by herself on her island due to her parents Haze and Jasmine having been killed on the Island of Evil while doing a Chroma job. She is however accompanied by her friend Ash who used to work with her parents. The catch? Ash is a Phantom, a ghost of sorts which cannot be seen by normal people unless they wish to be seen (which is extremely rare). Marona however CAN see him due to her Chartreuse Gale ability, which not only lets her see Phantoms but also Confine them to random objects, turning that object into a temporary body for the Phantom. However, due to these abilities, the people of Ivoire fear her and call her "possessed". As such, she receives little money in exchange for her Chroma work and is treated like trash. However, Marona keeps on working to help people because her parents told her that one day, if she works to make people happy, everyone will learn to like her.
All is relatively peaceful in Ivoire (apart from the mistreatment of Marona) but this peace is slowly deteriorating due to several Monstrous creatures appearing in areas and bizarre geological and climate conditions. This is caused by a Demon known as Sulphur, a skeletal monster bent on conquering Ivoire and turning it into a Netherworld where his rule is law. Sulphur was stopped by Scarlet the Brave during his last attempt to do so but Scarlet disappeared after that.
Now Marona and Ash must step up to the plate and help fight against Sulphur and his demons before Ivoire becomes engulfed in darkness forever.
The gameplay of Phantom Brave is different from Disgaea. In it, players go to maps and try to clear out all hostile units. The movement is free range, meaning there is no grid like in Disgaea so characters can move anywhere within a red circle (the size is determined by how much DM they have).
To summon a unit, Marona has to find a nearby object and "Confine" the unit to it. Each object has Confine Stats, showing what Bonuses and Hindrances the item gives. A unit like a Warrior is best suited to be confined to an item like a Rock while a Mage is best suited to be confined to an item like Flowers (a similar Confine system would later be incorporated into Makai Kingdom). From there, units and then move and fight the enemy units. You can only summon 15 units (Marona counts as a unit so that's 16 units total) and items also count as a unit so if a character is equipped with an item, the unit summon count goes down by 2 instead of 1.
Also, similar to the Final Fantasy Tactics franchise, each character has their own turn. How frequent the turn comes is based on the character's speed stat. After a unit has had a certain number of turns pass, that unit is removed from the field. However, the unit summon count goes back up by 1 (the unit drops their weapon so it's still on the field) so you can summon another unit afterwards. Also, once a unit disappears, there is a chance that the item they were confined to will be sent back to Phantom Isle.
Unlike in other Nippon Ichi games, a unit has individual SP Stats. What this means is that a unit has SP for each type of weapon skill instead of 1 universal unit of SP for all skills. There are Physical Attacks, Energy Attacks, Elemental Magic, Physical Magic, Space-Time Attacks, Stats-Altering Skills and Healing Skills. Physical and Energy are usually associated with weapons like Swords, Daggers, Spears and Axes, Elemental Magic is usually associated with Scrolls and Books, Physical Magic is usually associated with objects like trees, rocks, grass, driftwood and so on while Space-Time, Stats-Altering and Healing Skills are usually associated with staffs, books and scrolls. A unit can get more SP for each type of skill by using skills of the desired type. However, much like Disgaea's Weapon Mastery, a unit is good at gaining SP for some skill types and terrible at others. Example: a Fighter is Excellent at getting Physical Attack SP and is decent at getting Energy Attack SP while a Valkyrie is Excellent at getting Energy Attack SP and is decent at getting Physical Attack SP. However both units are terrible at getting Elemental Magic SP, something that a unit like a Witch, Titlist or Cerberus is better at.
In between levels, you control Ash and Marona and walk around Phantom Isle. While there, your characters act as interactable NPCs and all acquired Items appear there as well until you store them away. While there, various characters act like shops for you to use. You can fuse items by using a Fusionist character. Fusing items makes them stronger, increases their level capacity, and the amount of skills the weapon has. You can also fuse items to characters to increase their level cap and give them more Skills and abilities. Weapons can be leveled up by using a Blacksmith to convert a weapon's acquired Mana into levels for a weapon. You can also purchase skills there. You can also change the title of a character or item to alter their abilities and stats by using a Titlist character. The Dungeonmonk can create a Random Dungeon (similar to the Item World) for training your characters and getting high grade items. Each Dungeon also has a title, which you acquire after clearing all the Dungeon's floors.
The Wii Version also has a bonus side story (much like Etna Mode, Axel Mode or Raspberyl Mode except that you still play as Marona and Ash) called "Another Marona". In it, the world has recently been consumed by darkness with the people of Ivoire disappearing left and right, leaving Marona and Ash the only ones left. Soon, the stronger people of the world come to Marona as Phantoms and soon a young girl who looks exactly like Marona also appears. This girl is called Carona, a Marona from another dimension. Marona, Ash, Carona and the other Phantoms then set out to find the cause of what happened. There are fewer levels in this mode than in the regular mode but the final boss is still the same level as in the regular mode. You can also unlock certain classes much sooner than in the regular mode.
A PSP version has also been announced. The PSP version will contain everything the Wii version has (such as Another Marona mode) and a few addition features, such as new characters.
Playable Story Characters
These characters are playable in the main story.
- Marona: A young Chroma. Marona is kindhearted and brave, willing to help even those who hate her and call her "Possessed". In battle she can summon Phantoms with her "Chartreuse Gale" ability and is adept in Healing, Stats Altering and Space-Time Skills.
- Ash: Marona's Phantom Guardian. He tries to protect Marona at all costs but is worried that being with her is what has caused the people of Ivoire to hate her. In battle he excels in Physical and Energy attacks and learns attacks like Flying Bomb and his signature move "Rising Dragon".
Non-Playable Story Characters
These characters show up in the main story but are not playable.
- Haze: Marona's Father. He worked as a Chroma before being killed on the Island of Evil. Not much is known about him but it is known that he has the "Miracle Chartreuse" ability which is what saved Ash from destruction.
- Jasmine: Marona's Mother. She worked as a Chroma before being killed on the Island of Evil. Not much is known about her.
- Castile: Marona's bedridden friend. Castile is a very ill girl who can't walk. Because of her disability, she feels like she is cause her parents nothing but trouble. She is also Marona's first friend apart from Ash.
- Saffron: Castile's father. He has spent countless amounts of Bordeaux (the game's currency) on Castile's Medicine and treatments.
- Joan: Castile's Mother. Not much is known about her but she does care greatly about Castile.
- Persimmon: Walnut's manager. He often looks for Chroma Jobs for Walnut to do to help him earn money.
- Canary: A self proclaimed "Human Activist for Rare Monsters" who goes around helping monsters in need but is quite a hypocrite at times. Marona helps show him the error of his ways.
- Mocha: A Putty that Marona met while on a job for Canary. Eventually Mocha comes into her house and soon is left under the care of Castile to keep her company.
- Ringmaster Hamm: The Ringmaster of a traveling circus.
- President Hogg: The president of Bamboo Company, a large medication manufacturing company.
- Sienna: The owner of Clutter Haven, an island where they manufacture and send out Bottle Mails. She also owns Phantom Isle during the time the Marona is renting it. Sienna also has an injured leg so she can't walk easily.
- Count Malt: A regal Scrabbit. He is looking for the legendary Scarlet the Brave to help stop Sulphur but is having no luck. He soon relies on Marona for several jobs.
- Cauldron: An Island Collector. He tried to acquire Phantom Isle when Marona came to buy it from Sienna. Shortly after Marona succeeds to buy Phantom Isle, Cauldron gains huge respect for Marona and treats her nicely, often calling her "Maronakins". Marona also calls him "Papa Cauldron"
- Wraith: A shadow of Sulphur. Wraith looks similar to Sulphur however he is smaller, has a dangling heart in the lower half of his body and his hands are steaked with bones. His signature attack is Soul Burn.
- Sulphur: A massive skeletal demon who attacked Ivoire 30 years ago and was defeated by Scarlet the Brave and the Nine Swords of Ivoire. Sulphur gained power over his 30 years of imprisonment and soon began to send out his Summons and copies of Wraith to cause chaos until he could break free from his dimensional prison. His signature attack is Annihilate. He also has access to high level magic attacks.
Another Marona Characters
These characters are playable in Another Marona mode. Most appear in the main story but are not playable until they are acquired in Another Marona.
- Carona: A Marona from another dimension. She came to Ivoire to get Marona and the others to help stop Sulphur. Her past is shrouded in mystery and she is much stronger than Marona. Gameplay wise, Carona acts as a Phantom and can be summoned but once summoned, she can use Chartreuse Gale just like Marona and summon additional Phantoms. Unlike Marona however, she excels in using Physical and Energy attacks as well as Healing Skills.
- Walnut: A Chroma Oxide who acts as a Rival in the main story. As an Oxide, Walnut attacks other Chromas and steals their jobs and rewards. He is convinced that Money is all that matters in the world. It is revealed that Walnut is Castile's older brother and he became a Chroma Oxide so he could get the money needed to help cure Castile. He can also use a powerful attack called "Psycho Burgundy", a power that the legendary Scarlet the Brave has. In the battles against him, he is unarmed. As a playable character, he excels in Energy Attacks since his Psycho Burgundy is an Energy Attack as well.
- Raphael: Leader of the White Wolf Army Raven Guild, one of the Nine Swords of Ivoire and also known as "Raphael the Invincible". He is a chivalrous knight who fights with honor and bravery. He is armed with a holy sword called Heliotrope. "Heliotrope" is also the name of his Signature attack. You can acquire Heliotrope by stealing it from him or by getting it from him after defeating him late in the story. As a character, Raphael excels greatly in Physical Attacks.
- Sprout: One of the Nine Swords of Ivoire and Raphael's teacher. Sprout used to be a virtuous man known as "Sprout of the Sacred Sword" but after Sulphur's attack 30 years ago, he became a darker version of his former self. The reason for this is that his family was killed by Sulphur 30 years ago and Sprout became obsessed with revenge. He began gathering Dark Power to increase his own power by using his dreaded Shiva Sword and his signature move "Dark Eboreus". As a character, Sprout excels in Energy Attacks.
- Bijou: A werewolf who impersonates Raphael in order to cause trouble. He is defeated by Marona but returns sometime later after being infected by Sulphur. During this time, he has been driven insane and truly thinks he is Raphael. After being defeated again, he starts to turn to the side of good, joining the Fighting Beasts Raven Guild and also feeling indebted to Marona for saving him. As a character, he functions much like a normal Werewolf character.
- Milon: A Zombie with a Flame Shaped birthmark on his face. He lives in the Jungle with several Zombies and a Lady Zombie. Marona battled Milon so she could get him to come with her because she believed him to be Scarlet the Brave. As a character, Milon plays much like a normal Zombie character.
- Drab: The leader of the Fighting Beast Raven Guild. He is a boar with an enormous Muscular physique, giving him the name of Drab the Burly. As a character, Drab plays much like a Boar character except he can use his signature attack "Mega Crocus".
- Flame: The leader of the Amazon Raven Guild. She is a powerful woman with great physical strength. As a character, Flame plays much like a Amazon character except she can use her signature attack "Cobalt Blues".
- Fox: A Raven Guild leader and master puppeteer of the dead. He is a rather creepy man who prefers to be alone. As a character, he plays like a improved version of a Titlist character except he can use his signature attack "Viridian Copper".
- Lierre: The leader of the Zephyr Wings Raven Guild. He is a green owl who is wise and fast. As a character, he plays much like an Owl Knight except he can use his signature attack "Myosotis".
All Phantoms acquired in this mode start at Level 1. Sprout and Raphael come with their signature weapons (Shiva and Heliotrope respectively) while the rest don't come with weapons. Carona is playable once the mode has been completed, also joining at level 1.
Post Game Characters
These characters you encounter in the post game.
- Scarlet the Brave: The legendary warrior who stopped Sulphur before. She is armed with the ability to use Psycho Burgundy.
- EX-Sulphur: A stronger form of Sulphur. Returned to Ivoire due to unknown circumstances (explained in Soul Nomad).
- Myao: A young witch who works for the sorceress Marjoly.
- Laharl: The main character from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.
- Etna: Laharl's vassal. She was the one responsible for Laharl appearing in Phantom Brave.
- Flonne: Laharl's vassal and fallen angel. She's a kind girl and a massive Otaku.
- Vyers: An aristocratic demon and the rival from Hour of Darkness. Hates to be called Mid-Boss.
- Baal: The legendary Tyrant Overlord. Is a Funguy in this game because his original body is in a state of recovery.
- Pringer X: A Prinny themed Super Robot and the game's strongest boss.
Five additional characters will appear in the upcoming PSP version of the game.
- Hero Prinny: Etna's servant and the main character of Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?.
- Zetta: The most badass freaking overlord and main character of Makai Kingdom.
- Unlosing Ranger: A super hero and main character of Zettai Hero Project. Marona and Ash instantly mistake him for a pervert, initiating combat. After his defeat he gets repeatedly struck down by Ash, only to rise up every time reflecting his actions in his native game. He proves his innocence by saving Marona from a monster behind her, and collapses in the process. Etranger however comes in, restores the Unlosing Ranger and takes him away, leaving a keepsake (the Unlosing Ranger unique character) as 'extra training' for said hero.
- Castile: A future form of Marona's friend from after the events of Makai Kingdom, where Castile is stranded in Zetta's netherworld. She abandons her body in order to cross over to Ivore in the form of a phantom, but wound up going back in time. Marona attempts to console Castile, but this only enraged her, leading her to blame Marona for her predicament and attack the chroma girl. Defeating her causes Castile to return to her senses and rekindles her friendship with Marona.
- Asagi: A young girl who just wants to be a main character but can’t. First appeared in Makai Kingdom.
The game's Generic Classes.
- Bottle Mail
- Dungeon Monk
- Giga Beast
- Hell Corgi
- Lady Zombie
- Old Man
- Owl Knight
- Owl Mage
- Owl Ninja
- Owl Sage
- Owl Sentry
- Putty Mage
- Putty Monk
- Putty Shaman
- Putty Smith
- Saber Kitty
- Summon (Non-Playable)
Human units are unlocked simply by defeating them. Monster Units such as Zombies, Dragons, Golems and Werewolves must be defeated roughly 20 times before they can be unlocked.
A remake of this game, titled Phantom Brave: We Meet Again was released for the Wii which comes with a bonus art disc. A PSP remake, titled Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle was released March 8, 2011 with a new story and characters. A new port of the PSP version was released on Steam on July 25, 2016.
- Both Marona and Ash have appeared as characters in Disgaea games. Marona has appeared in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice as a bonus character, and as a DLC character in Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, and Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. Ash has appeared in the latter three titles as a DLC Character.
- Castile has also appeared in the game Makai Kingdom as a playable bonus character.
- Walnut appears in Soul Nomad and the World Eaters as the character Endorph.
- This is the second game where Baal has been an unlockable character, the first being La Pucelle: Tactics.
- Marona is also the boss of the DLC "Marona of Phantom Isle" in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?.
- Phantom Brave Official Japanese Site
- Phantom Brave: We Meet Again Official Japanese Site
- Phantom Brave Official English Site
- Phantom Brave: We Meet Again Official English Site
- Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Official English Site