I’ve discovered all kinds of wonderful things about Fantasy Life since the last time I checked in with an update. You get different kinds of quests in the game. Some are ones related to your Life, others are ones Butterfly forces you into, and then there up to 30 quests for people around town in need of assistance. Since I wanted to advance the story so I could go to other towns and explore areas beyond the grassy plains, I caved to Butterfly’s demands.
This brought me back to the Guild Hall. It turned out there was a lot of stuff here I’d missed, back when I picked up my Tailor license. One is a Bounty Desk, where I can turn in special items or monsters I happen upon during my usual explorations. Picking up a bounty and dragging it back disables fast travel, and honestly isn’t worth the effort in the beginning. 100-300 dosh is nothing compared to the inconvenience of not being able to fast travel back to the Guild, my current Life master, or my house.
The Guild is also where all the StreetPass and online awesomeness in Fantasy Life kicks in. The first clerk turns on StreetPass, which lets you exchange items and a hello with other players. The last clerk lets you adventure online with people on your friend list. Plus, this visited added a Connect option that lets me see if anyone else I know is online. If they are, I can send a little message. You know, say hi. See if they want to team up. That sort of thing.
Honestly, though? The best part was learning that there’s a screenshot feature in Fantasy Life. This was easily the best part of the visit. I don’t care about playing with other people! I’m too busy trying to level up my jobs—but lemme take pictures of myself as I metamorphose into a legend!
Anyway, I also spend a lot of time at the Guild during my third night of playing, because I’ve realized it was stupid to stick to one job. Allow me to explain one of the best parts about Fantasy Life: once you have a License, you can do the actions associated with it at any time. Progress can even be made towards Life goals to boost that job to the next class. The only thing someone can’t do is report to another Life’s master to upgrade the rank.
In case that was unclear, allow me to provide an example. The second Life I pursued was the way of the forge. I became a Blacksmith, because I wanted an Iron needle for the Tailor without paying for it. Fantasy Life allows you to equip multiple tools at once, though. So I was a Blacksmith, but I had a dagger equipped for fighting and a bronze needle so I could still use the sewing stations. In fact, I even completed another Tailor quest, which I reported on once I sought out the seamstress life again.
But wait, there’s more! Switching to a job gives you some starting bonuses like equipment, money, Bliss, and free experience. If you bypass doing the introductory quest, you still get the goods. So, in about a 5-hour period, I brought the Blacksmith, Carpenter, Mercenary, Miner, and Woodcutter positions up to Apprentice. This, in turn, brought my level up to 12 and allowed me to increase my bag space to 300.
Alas, there was a downside. I uncovered something dark and insidious about Fantasy Life the night of October 17, 2014. It’s something other people won’t tell you, but I can’t bring myself to lie. Fantasy Life is a soul stealer. I started playing that Saturday at about 9pm, and intended to stop after two hours. At 11:36pm, I discovered I could take screenshots.
By 1:14am, I had swapped to the Blacksmith Life, realized I was still playing, and swore I would play for 15 more minutes.
I finally stopped playing Fantasy Life at 2am. It is that kind of game. You will play it, and you will never stop playing it. At first, I thought of it as an offline, solo Mabinogi. Now that I’ve got over 6 hours in it, I feel it is more like Skyrim. You’re no dovahkiin, but there’s that same openness. A player does whatever he or she wants.
I haven’t touched the storyline since completing a quest introducing Doomstones and suggesting that there’s more to Butterfly than being a talking butterfly. Not because it doesn’t captivate me, but because the act of going through these other Lives, assisting people in town with jobs, and gathering everything I need to create things consumes my every moment. Maybe after I hit the 10 hour mark, I’ll finally feel ready to visit other towns and the rest of the in-game world. For now, I’m content with where I am, and delighted to blather on about how happy this game makes me.