Live A Live
Raibu A Raibu

Developer(s): Square Co.
Publisher(s): Square Co
Release date(s): JP September 2, 1994
Genre: Role-playing game
Game modes: Single-player
Ratings {{{ratings}}}
Platform(s): Super Famicom

Producer: {{{producer}}}
Director: Takashi Tokita(director, scenario)
Nobuyuki Inoue(battle design)
Scenario writer: Takashi Tokita
Nobuyuki Inoue
Character designer: Yoshinori Kobayashi (Prehistoric chapter)
Yoshihide Fujiwara (Kung Fu chapter)
Gosho Aoyama (Bakumatsu chapter)
Osamu Ishiwata (Old West chapter)
Ryoji Minagawa (Present Day chapter)
Kazuhiko Shimamoto (Near Future chapter)
Yumi Tamura (Science Fiction chapter)
Kazuyuki Kurashima (character and monster designs)
Composer(s): Yoko Shimomura

Live A Live (ライブ・ア・ライブ ,Raibu A Raibu, LIVE A ヨVI」<EVIL>) is one of Square's many RPGs, developed and published for the Super Famicom. Its release date was September 2nd, 1994. While it was exclusive in Japan, it was unofficially translated into English on December 25th, 2001, with a new version released on May 28th, 2008, both projects done by ROM translation group Aeon Genesis.

Box SummaryEdit

Throughout the history of Mankind, from the prehistoric ages, to the distant future, there has always been heroes who have valiantly fought for that which is right and just. From a ninja on the most important of missions in Feudal Japan, to a professional fighter who dreams of being the world's strongest in the present, to even a simple caveman in the Prehistoric who discovers the wonder of love, Live-A-Live is a breathtaking experience from the company that brought you Final Fantasy and Secret of Mana.


Note: The names are based on fan translations, and may or may not be correct.

  • Pogo - Hero of the Prehistoric Chapter. A young caveman who has come of age in his tribe, he begins to learn their ways of life and responsibilities, before stumbling upon the maiden Bel.
  • Xin Shan Quan - Hero of the Ancient China Chapter. An elderly master living in the mountains of China, he hopes to find a successor worthy of carrying on the traditions and leadership of the Xin Shan Quan martial arts school to the next generation.
  • Oboro - Hero of the Feudal Japan Chapter. An elite shinobi from the Enma Ninja Clan, Oboro-maru is tasked with assassination of a warlord with dark plans for the nation of Japan.
  • Sundown - Hero of the Old American West Chapter. A mysterious wanderer and prodigious gunslinger with a bounty of more than one million dollars on his head.
  • Masaru - Hero of the Present Day Chapter. A hot blooded and competitive new challenger in the modern day world of professional fighting, Masaru Takahara's goal is to attain the title of "The World's Strongest".
  • Akira - Hero of the Near Future Chapter. A young juvenile left orphaned with his younger sister Kaori, he eventually discovers innate psychic powers within himself that lead him onto an adventure.
  • Cube - Hero of the Far Future Chapter. A robot created by the mechanic Kato, he is also sentient, boasting abilities of emotion and learning. Can't talk, only makes a robotic "beep" sound.
  • Oersted - Hero of the Medieval Chapter. A knight from the Kingdom of Lucretia, who won the hand of Alicia in a tournament, but she gets kidnapped by the Demon King in the night. After swearing to save her, he embarks with his friends on a quest to save her. Later turns into the main antagonist of the game.


Rather than having an automated step-by-step plot, Live-A-Live allows players to choose a certain scenario similar to Mega Man. After the selected chapter is finished, the player can choose another chapter of their choice or can redo an previously chosen scenario again, until the final chapter.

A team can only hold four characters at a time.

Battle, while not unlike RPGs where they take place on another screen, has a whole different setup, akin to a fast paced tactical RPG battle. Set on a 7x7 grid, the player character can move around, and when satisfied, can open a Command Menu to perform a desired action. When attacking, certain attacks have a specific area of effect that is required to reach the target. There is no MP, but certain attacks will require a charge time, and while there is HP and the penalty of KO when HP is depleted, KO'ed characters can be revived by any regular recovery item and technique, and when are hit while KO'd, they will disappear from battle permanently, with a No EXP penalty.


Live A Live has a total of 9 chapters. 7 are available from the start, while the last two must be unlocked by going through all of the previous 7.

All chapters are set in a specific period in time and certain place, with many of them alluding to genres like Martial Arts, Mecha Anime, Westerns and even Ninja themed Jidaigeki.

What all chapters have in common, is the recurring antagonist and final boss of each chapter who goes by the name of Odio, regardless of what form Odio may take on and even what anagrams the name may take on.

Caveman Chapter: ContactEdit

"The Stone Age. The day of a free spirited boy and his friend Gori come of age has arrived... In a time before spoken communication, man possessed a keen nose indeed. Through his sense of smell, man could find any beast or avoid lurking danger."
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

While on the field, the Y button makes Pogo hunt out scents, represented by a cloud. When Pogo walks into the cloud, a picture of what it smells like will pop out, vaguely identifying what is giving the scent. It also can be used to check where next random encounter may be within the vicinity of the area.

Various items, like bones and leather, can be handed to a craftsman to create special equipment.


Kung Fu Master Chapter: InheritanceEdit

"In ancient China, an aged martial artist lives atop a windy peak. He has begun to feel the need of a suitable successor for his technique. His disciples will train hard, but only one will come to harness their master's power."
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

After finding the worthy students, the player will engage in a training session period where they will train their chosen successor (in which by beating their chosen student in battle, the student will gain experience points.).

The most trained student will move on to the late part of this chapter.


Ninja Chapter: Secret OrdersEdit

"In the Bakumatsu era of Feudal Japan, the shinobi remain in the shadows even admist the upheaval of societal change. To one such man, secret orders are given. Sneak past countless guards and traps to rescue the hostage! Can he kill 100 men?"
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

Out on the field, pressing and holding the Y button will allow Oboro to sheathe himself in an invisibility cloak, allowing pursuing enemies to cease chase.

Rescuing Goemon from the castle dungeon will result in certain treasure chests throughout the castle to contain special items.

Oboro will keep track of his kills throughout this chapter. While killing human enemies and bystanders will add on, some normal supernatural and demonic enemies will not be added, and certain bosses will instead subtract the kill count. If the kill count is zero by the end of the chapter, the player will receive a special weapon.


Cowboy Chapter: WanderingEdit

"In a time where the West was wild and criminals were many... A haggard traveler with a price on his head wanders into Success Town, the recent target of an notorious outlaw gang. Work quickly to set traps and take down the Crazy Bunch!"
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

During a set point in the chapter, the player will be given approximately 8 minutes to find items and equipment throughout the town that will aid in the final battle. When talked to in this period, the townsfolk will help build traps with items you find.


Wrestler Chapter: The StrongestEdit

"A fierce youth has entered a global fighting tournament to experience and learn the combat styles of the world. He will see many techniques, and will use them to achieve the ultimate goal: The title of "Strongest in the World"!"
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

In this chapter, the player can choose their opponent to face off against via Mega Man style selection.

During each battle, there will be certain special techniques performed by the opponent that can be added into Masaru's skillset.


Mecha Chapter: FlowEdit

"In the not too-distant future lives a boy with the power to read other people's thoughts. His teenage years are troubled, and gets into many fights. And yet over his shoulder silently watches a sleeping giant, the robotic Buriki Daioh..."
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

While on the field and facing a character, pressing Y will allow Akira to read into the mind of said character. This is also used to progress the plot.

During a certain point in the chapter, Akira can give items to his friend Toei to have them be transformed into otherwise unobtainable items.


Robot Chapter: Mechanical HeartEdit

"Behold the transport ship Cogito Ergosum, en route to planet Earth. Inside, a new life form is being created. The robot created by Kato the mechanic will become intimately involved as events spiral out of control on board..."
—In-game description

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

Interestingly, there are no battles within the ship, and only within an in game "video game" minigame, as a series of progressive battles.

There will be many instances where instant death sequences can occur. Cube will also be pursued by malevolent beings in the halls at certain points.


Knight Chapter: King of DemonsEdit

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

While there are no special Y commands, interestingly the chapter plays like a traditional RPG, with random battles and the like.

This chapter holds revelation on the events of the game's story.


Finale ChapterEdit

Gameplay FeaturesEdit

Before the chapter will start, the player will decide to choose which of the eight characters to be the leader of this chapter.

During the chapter, the player will attempt to gain items, recruit other party members and level up in the process, to prepare for the final dungeon and final battle.

The area will also contain seven dungeons, which corresponds with every character and will require a certain character in order to enter and complete the dungeon. By completing the dungeon, the player will receive that character's ultimate weapon, as well as numerous amounts of items, equipment, and sometimes special hints.

If all dungeons are cleared with every character, this will trigger the best ending for the game.

However, if Oersted is chosen, the player will head back into the previous final battles, defeat the protagonists and rewrite history. If the battle takes too long time to win,the player can select an special attack (Armageddon),which will cause the destruction of the world.