Bravely Default: For the Sequel Completion Time Lowered From 70 To 30 Hours

By Ishaan . October 9, 2013 . 1:06pm

Last month, Square Enix filed trademarks for “Bravely Second” and “Bravely Third” in Japan, but it turns out that these aren’t for new games—they’re for new gameplay systems in Bravely Default: For the Sequel.


Bravely Second is a new feature that allows one to pause time in the middle of battles, using SP, and attack their opponent, according to a report in this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine. SP is gained while your Nintendo 3DS is in sleep mode. Alternatively, you can buy SP drinks in the form of DLC via the Nintendo eShop.


Normally, the maximum amount of damage you can inflict on a foe is 9,999. While using Bravely Second, however, it is possible for an attack to do over 10,000 damage.


Additionally, over on the official Bravely Default Twitter account, Square Enix note that, while the original version of Bravely Default would take about 70 hours to clear, For the Sequel’s completion time has been “shortened” to around 30 hours, as part of the game’s improvements.


This doesn’t mean that any content from Bravely Default has been cut, however, Square Enix clarify. (For the Sequel actually has additional story events and content.) Instead, Square say that you’ll get more enjoyment out of the game in half the time. This streamlining is likely a result of new options such as being able to adjust the game’s encounter rate and more. If you prefer, of course, you could take your time to complete the game as you wish.


Streamlining the game and shortening completion time sounds like a move in everyone’s best interests, however. As we reported last month, Bravely Default producer Tomoya Asano revealed that only 20% of people in Japan actually reached the game’s true ending, and one of the development team’s goals was to allow more people to complete the game.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • TheExile285

    Must be for casuals and/or those who don’t like grinding.

    I like spending 40+ hours in games like this because I view that as getting my moneys worth

    • FitzpatrickPhillips

      Grinding is not getting your money’s worth. Its the most boring thing on earth. Better balance is a good thing, not endless grinding.

      • TheExile285

        Depends on the game. If the battle system is fun and engaging, It doesn’t bother me.

        • Zeik56

          It does depend on the game, but it also often depends on how mandatory the grinding is. I often don’t mind grinding in games, but only when I have the choice to do it when I want to. When a game basically just puts a wall in front of you that can’t be passed without going out of your way to do hours of grinding that’s not fun.

        • Arrei

          Still, I’d much rather that time be spent simultaneously enjoying the fun, engaging combat system and moving forward within the story, with the option to grind if I prefer.

        • Andar

          While grinding is an approach that some people are okay with, I think that there are better approaches to stretching out a game.

          The gold standard of content in a game for me is The Last Story. For a game with a relatively simple battle system, no matter what you are doing, it feels unique, due in part to the way the game forces you into new situations with different characters, and adds some life with the chatter between them.

          With regards to grinding, The Last Story has all of its encounters scripted, but you can manually trigger some repeatable encounters if you’re lacking in levels or need materials, and getting up to speed takes very little time.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            TLS has too much reused content and the arena is largely meh.

            They should have used whatever time they spent on multiplayer expanding on the side game material and making even more bosses for it. I really like replaying the game.

            Radiant Historia is the gold standard for shorter RPG’s imo. Just give me more difficult side quests to enjoy and what not.

          • Zeik56

            Radiant Historia is short? I’m pretty sure I had like 40-50 hours by the time I finished that game.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Its as long as Golden Sun so that sounds about right

            I tend to play all my games for 80+ hours.

            Even the Visual novels.

          • Andar

            Radiant Historia is certainly an excellent game. When I mentioned gold standard for content, I meant quantity, quality, and the pacing of the content, and in general a variety of metrics, but Radiant Historia does a pretty good job of meeting these as well (and is in general a greatly underappreciated game).

            A number of Radiant Historia’s sidequests either contribute to enhancing the ending, or fleshing out the world by showing alternate endings, and it’s battle system is very intricate yet easy to work with.

            My gold standard, however, is a personal one, and what I want most is depth to the characters, and a focus on keeping them relevant to the plot. The Last Story may reuse a number of its resources (but let’s be honest, so does Radiant Historia and every game ever, GUST are masters of this), but from a narrative perspective, I feel that it does a very good job of keeping the entire experience feeling fresh with the character development leading to a natural evolution of interactions between them (which even happens during combat of all things, such as the competition to kill lizardmen near the end).

            I don’t know what Bravely Default has in store for us, and I’m not expecting it to be the next The Last Story (or anything for that matter, it should hopefully stand on its own) but as long as there’s an effort to change things up as the game moves along, I’ll be content. And with having a ‘classic’ styled job system, I think I will be.

          • yomachaser

            All this talk of gold standards for content and whatnot and no mention of SaGa Frontier 1. I’ve yet to find a game with more content for your dollar.

          • Andar

            While I won’t disagree with your statement as it’s made (it certainly is a wonderful amount of content), I just wish the game wasn’t so slow. And I don’t necessarily mean in pacing of the story; it’s mechanically slow, especially during battle.

          • yomachaser

            At the time it flowed well but yeah I guess by todays standards it’s a bit slow.

            Still any game where with the rights choices you can get a back alley surgeon to join your party AND he turns out to be a magic based warrior who can (did) suck up dragons into his shoes to makes dragon shoes..I mean come on!

          • bykfiend42

            Reused content is much worse than grinding. I hated going back through the same mazes in White Knight Chronicles.

        • Sergio Briceño

          Also, if every once in a while you get wow moments or are rewarded for grinding aside from experience (like job level ups in FF or shadow level ups in BD).

        • TheFoolArcana

          Endless grinding is never a good thing, no matter how fun and engaging the battle system is.

        • bykfiend42

          I like grinding in Megaten games like Nocturne and Devil Survivor because you unlock new demon fusions as you level. Endless grinding does suck, but I still like grinding if it accomplishes a goal.

      • Pockystix

        I might just be really into the idea of working hard to accomplish big things, stat wise.

        But I like the idea that it’s optional. Though if you’re really good at these kinda of games, you CAN go through them with minimal grinding anyway.

        • FitzpatrickPhillips

          You view mindlessly grinding on enemies to be “working hard”? I view working hard as learning the game’s systems and struggling against well balanced enemies as you grow accustomed, and strategizing your approach – not hitting easy things until you’re lvl 99 so you can one shot the hard things.

          • Pockystix

            well, that’s insulting. I don’t consider planning out a grinding session all that mindless. Usually I look for the best options for the quickest grind. 1. What gives the best EXP per kill, 2. what is the easiest to kill and requires the least amount of effort, 3. If I should need more resources for said grind. ETC.

            unless you literally run around in an area grinding mindlessly, that’s on you; Though I tend to actually use a little mind power in a grinding session.

            I also mentioned that most people who do this method, also know how to play the game without having to grind.

        • I’m okay with post-game grind like the recent Disgaea entries employ; you’ve finished the main story, and can continue to challenge yourself and press on for an obscene amount of time afterwards, but only need to do so if that’s what you want. In terms of just finishing a plotline, though, 40 hours is becoming a lot to ask of most people on consoles, never mind a handheld device. Some people have that kind of free time, but a good segment of RPG fans simply don’t anymore, and that really limits our options.

      • I cannot possibly upvote this enough.

      • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

        it depends from player to player. you call it boring ~ we call it effort~ you call it waste of time~ we call it time well spent

    • Pedro Furtado

      Just keep the encouter rate high then :)

    • sd28

      pff grinding is for noobs experts power level XD

      • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

        i think you got that backwards… Grinding is for pros while power level is for noobs

        Grinding your way to a specific goal needs time, planning, strategy, and proper attention. its not just kill x 10000 time of this to get that

        and there is nothing to describe noobs like “I WANT TO GET THERE FAST! CARRY ME!”

    • I used to be the same way until I grew up and had to cut my gaming time down rather drastically. Not sure how I’ll play anything if I ever have kids. o.o;

      • Guest

        Same. I think cutting the completion time is an excellent idea for us busy-bodies. I’ve spent 100 plus hours on games in the past, but that is just not possible when you have grown up and have sooo many things to worry about.

        • Well, I mean, it’s *possible*, just over several months, on something you like a whooooole damn lot.

      • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

        play with them or along side them~ like most gamer parents

    • Happy Gamer

      Not mocking or anything, but grinding and your profile pic correlates alot.

    • I don’t know if grinding counts as “getting your money’s worth,” but hey, to each their own. Personally, I abhor grinding. That isn’t to say that I don’t like engaging in battles at all. I enjoy seeing different battle systems and learning to get the most out of them.

      However, there are times when you want to indulge in battles and times when you just want to move on with the story, regardless of what level you are or how high your stats are. Most decent JRPGs these days take that second scenario into account, like Fire Emblem, SMTIV and now Bravely Default, and I think that’s an important trend that needs to continue.

      Just as an example, I got about 54 hours of playtime out of Fire Emblem: Awakening. I paid the full $40 for the game and bought it at launch. I also paid money to download the gold maps, which make it much easier for you to buy equipment. It didn’t make me feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth, just because I didn’t spend an extra 10 hours grinding for gold. If anything, I was grateful for the fact that the game respected my time, and that it wowed me in the 50 hours I spent with it, without asking me to waste my time raising numbers.

      That made me feel like I’d gotten my money’s worth.

    • Rogerrmark

      I think its worth as well,IF the system is good.
      Pokémon and Dragon Quest themselves are all about grinding and well…two of the most succesfull jRPG franchises.

      Because,frankly,most people don’t play Pokémon for the story.

    • Lucky Dan

      IF they have a grind dump island like in all Final Fantasies where you can gain levels rather quickly through fighting tougher monster I’m all for it.

  • Yggdr5

    Only siliconera can spin a news story that a major new JRPG features microtransactions for attacks as “a move in everyone’s best interests”.

    • That comment pertained to the shortening of completion time and other improvements made to the game that we’ve reported in the past.

    • Herok♞

      no micro transactions for the patient or people who don’t want to use this optional feature

    • Pedro Furtado

      The biggest advantage of microtransactions being widespread is that in a couple of years (I hope) I won’t read the same repetitive, “microtransactions are evilll”, comments like this one. It’s optional, for heaven’s sake, OPTIONAL. Why limit people’s options?

      • Exkaiser

        I really have to wonder who would bother buying the SP drinks, though. If you get SP just by leaving the 3DS in sleep mode, then there should be no shortage of it at all. Perhaps there will be some other use to SP, but at the moment the Bravely Second feature doesn’t strike me as something I’d feel the desperate need to pay cash to use…

        Maybe SP will also be used to hurry construction of Tiz’s village, as an alternative to Streetpasses. That seems more reasonable and falls more in line with microtransaction models in other games. Otherwise it’s just really misguided and harmless.

        • Impatient people, obviously. A lot of F2P games offer you a choice between paying or waiting for something, but at least here it seems like w relatively minor optional mechanic.

          • Exkaiser

            Yes, but so impatient that you can’t -wait until your next turn-? In a game with a fast-forward button, no less. It seems very strange.

          • It sounds like this SP thing lets you essentially perform a series of special attacks to whale on the enemy beyond the ordinary damage limit without giving it any chance to counterattack, which sounds like it could be useful (but not necessary) in tough battles. Also, it accumulates by leaving your 3DS in sleep mode, not when you’re playing normally.

        • IMO, paying for SP would be useful for people that don’t want to get stuck on boss fights if they haven’t been grinding throughout the game. Almost every RPG is guilty of this horrible design choice, where you can get through regular battles without grinding with a few smart choices, but the moment you reach a boss, you basically realize you have no choice but to go back and grind until you’re strong enough.

          Smart decisions have an impact on bosses, too, of course. Figuring out their weaknesses, choosing the right party members etc. But even in those cases, ultimately there’s still grinding involved, in the event that you realize that you need a specific party member to effectively fight a boss, and they just so happen to be the one you’ve barely used.

          So, if SP can boost your damage to such great degrees, it could effectively be a great way for your average player with not a lot of time on their hands to just go, “OK, you know what? I’ll give you a dollar. Just let me breeze past this.”

          One might argue that they could simply have left this option in the game free of cost, and sure, they could have. But if they have an opportunity to make money off of something, of course they’re going to want to do it. It’s up to people to decide whether or not the feature is worth it to them.

          This isn’t some horrid F2P micro-transaction riddled game. A lot of JRPGs have similar options now. Fire Emblem had the gold and weapons maps, Tales of Xillia had money DLC, SMTIV had level assists. It’s just part of the industry today, imo. As long as it’s optional and not horribly in your face (hello, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), I think there’s an audience for it.

      • bykfiend42

        When microstransactions are universally accepted they’ll just be “optional” in all games. I’m not looking forward to that.

  • Prinnydoom

    Will these features be in the europe and american release? I think i read somewhere that the localised versions were meant to be based on for the sequel.

    • TheExile285

      Yes this is the version we are getting

    • British_Otaku

      If you are European, you can look forward to a limited edition, physical pre-order bonus artbook and release on December 6th.

  • Aldorr

    I don’t like where this is going :(

    • AuraGuyChris

      This doesn’t mean the game is shorter or worse than before.
      The encounter rate in the original version was so bad it took an average of 70 hours to reach the final boss. Now that you can manipulate the encounter rate, you can cut that to a half IF you’re that good at low level runs.

      • That depends somewhat; perhaps they adjusted EXP gain or something of that nature as well to allow things to move along briskly? Between that and Bravely Second, there’s a lot of potential in de-padding the game down to a more manageable length.

    • 하세요

      It just said no content was cut. How is this a bad thing? I’d rather have a 30 hour game that’s fun than a 70 hour grind/encounterfest of tediousness.

  • ragingmerifes

    Yay! Shorter!

    • British_Otaku

      Yep, it’s one of the odd times where a shorter game is definitely worth celebration. Technically, it applies to WindWaker HD which lowered the tedious factors and basically compressed itself down to pure fun with extras.

  • This makes me want the game even more as I have other games I have yet to complete and won’t have to spend a ton of time on just Bravely Default =^_^=

  • Necr0naut

    Bravely Second uh? Never gonna use it. Good to know though that they are not gonna needlessly drag on the game.

  • Exkaiser

    So Bravely Second lets you interrupt the turn sequence to add more turns, basically?

  • MrTyrant

    But it was not 70 hours of story right? just encounter rates? I am fine either way I just don’t want to see less plot events than before.

  • komiko12

    Only 20% reached the True Ending?
    I guess that implies that the grinding in this game is tedious prompting them to make it shorter.

    • Guest

      With 70 hours I’m not surprised at all that only 20% completed it fully. You literally have to have lots of free time.

  • epy

    Adjusting the encounter rate should be an option in every game with random encounters. Sometimes I want to fight a lot and level up/get loot, sometimes I just want to get the hell out of there! Wild Arms had system for this on the later games that never really caught on.

    • I liked how WA5 handled it, honestly; if you can overcome a certain (rather strong) monster, you’ve proven you don’t *need* the encounters any more to prepare for what’s immediately coming, and gain the ability to switch them on or off entirely whenever you want for that area.

      • epy

        WA5, such a great game. Damn that ending…

    • Suicunesol

      I like the way Earthbound did it. When you’re a high enough level, monsters actually run away from you when you approach them. And when you do attack them at a high enough level, you can quick-press A and beat them instantly without entering battle.

    • Rogerrmark

      All those BD:FF features instantly made me remember about WA as well.Such nice mechanics.Plus option to change difficult la Tales of,and voilà, awesome game.

  • So what is Bravely Third?

  • Awesome. Someone tell Nintendo to do something like this to Skyward Sword instead of bragging that it’s the “longest Zelda to date” [thanks to a whole lot of padding]. I want this concept to catch on.

  • Samsara09

    wow,70 hours…shit,that is quite an…exquisite number.the 40 hours were definitely “useless” content that was only there to inflate.Fat,if you will,and perhaps not necessarily because of the flexible encounter rate.Well,I heard the original rate was hell,yeah.That must have removed 10 hours or so.Still,30 hours is impressive for a handheld game.

    • It might not be content removal, though; by the sounds of it, there’s actually more. There’s a lot you can do besides just altering encounter frequency to speed up a game; speeding up combat in general, character progression, difficulty curves, etc., or even just field movement speed can have a huge effect over time.

      • Nanashrew
        • That’s covered here, though. The gauge is also filled while the 3DS is in sleep mode and powers an optional attack option that helps speed the game along. In less words, you’ll only be buying that if you’re impatient.

      • Samsara09

        well,I heard that in this game…you will be looping many times.Well,I won’t say more about it.The loops are full of useless and repetitive content.But yeah,even though I play RPGs for 10 years,I still can’t say for sure how much time does the battles add to the playtime.Rather noobish of me.

  • foopy

    It sounds to me like I will still be able to finish the game at its original dificulty/complexity. And that’s just fine by me.

  • fireemblembeast

    I always take twice as long as everyone else to finish games, so….I guess I’ll only take around 60 hours now! ^_^;

    • kthanxyousuck

      Me too! I play RPG’s really slow, sometimes get totally lost, go off to try to find other stuff ect.

  • LustEnvy

    I beat Xillia in 85 hours, I dunno why, I tend to take forever beating JRPGs…

    • kthanxyousuck

      YES! It took me about 65 hours to beat Graces F and the average time was considered 30-40 and I’m nowhere near a completionist.

    • s07195

      Same here, but with over 50 hours to beat Radiant Mythology 3.

    • Andar

      I *tried* taking it slow in beating Xillia, including a lot of exp and mat farming in the Tatalian Abyss, but still completed everything I could find in the game (entire arena and orb sidequest included) in about 50 hours. Unless you meant that time for both characters, in which case I should be par for the course.

  • kthanxyousuck

    I really hate random enounters when you have to backtrack through areas. Yeah it’s quicker because one move can obliterate the opponent but you hardly gain anything from it, so why waste the time?

    It’s more important to balance it and I normally take a little longer with RPG’s so I’ll probably still be at 70 hours with this lol. Sometimes grinding is essential though and you don’t even know it. You’ll battle the random encounters and do great but that boss will completely destroy your entire party with two hits and you realize you weren’t as strong as you thought >_< lol

    I think the average time being 70 hours seems like just too much and either the story would get lost or you spend most of your time moving 3 inches before getting randomly attacked.

  • HansKisaragi

    So… They just tweaked the experience table? This can ruin a game for me. hope it wont

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      i think you’re given the option to tweak it yourself.

  • bL4Ck

    This might be perfect for me, since i start losing interest in a game after reaching 30hrs, well if it becomes repetitive and needs farming or doesn’t get interesting.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    lol @ social gaming aspects

  • Ståle Laastad

    IAP purchases in games like this is just wrong.
    i get it on freemium games, but stop doing it with full price games.

  • s07195

    Um, did they explain what Bravely Third was, then?

  • Göran Isacson

    Sounds great: anything that cuts grinding down is a big plus in my book. I quite enjoy this new SE who actually listens to the gamers, I must say!

  • LogicIncarnate

    Will they include these extra features in the American/European version is the question. Square Enix never intended for this game to leave Japan and Nintendo is handling the localization.

  • Hairee Pothead

    I think they just reduced endless grinding to make the characters stronger to defeat later bosses.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos