Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PS1) Playthrough – NintendoComplete

A playthrough of Atlus’s 2000 musical RPG for the Sony PlayStation, Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is a game that has always reminded me of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest on the SNES. It has all of the basic components of a JRPG – turn-based random encounters, an overworld filled with towns and dungeons, and skills that can be learned with level ups, etc. The game play is all very much an “RPG for beginners” experience with its super-low difficulty and short length. Don’t let that put you off if you like the game’s style and vibe though – it still can be fun if you’re in the mood for a game that won’t demand too much from you.

I bought this one when it first came out. I remember reading about it from a couple of game magazines, and though I remember it sounding super corny, it looked so unique that I had to try it out.

The whole game tries to take up the mantle of an old 70s or 80s animated Disney film. You play as Cornet, a girl with a (surprise) cornet. She can talk to puppets, lives in a tiny pastoral village, an focuses entirely on impressing a prince, without whom her life would never be complete nor happy. Yeah, that’s the setup. Okay, so she ends up trying to save the prince, but I still actually laugh when the game gives you objectives like, “wear a beautiful dress” for the competition that decides the prince’s bride-to-be. It features one of the most blatantly misogynist setups that I can recall from the late 90s.

So, besides that, the biggest thing of note in Rhapsody is the music. It labels itself as a musical, and it doesn’t joke. Instead of the typically overblown CGI cutscenes interrupting the action at critical moments, these guys break into song. Seriously. The little 16-bit looking sprites belt out a dozen or so full songs across the course of the game, complete with syrupy lyrics, terrible rhyming lyrics. It certainly gives the game a different feeling from most RPGs.

I do remember when I bought the game, though, that while I was hoping for something epically Disney in terms of quality, I was expecting something significantly less – something that tried to match Disney’s magic, but would probably end up a bit cheap and shallow in comparison. And I’ve got to say, I wasn’t wrong. The music is funny and the sequences are somewhat entertaining, but they’re also a bit painful. None of the singers seem to know how to sing very well (Coronet’s is particularly bad, often going off-key), and the songs have harmonies in them that just don’t work when your male and female vocal leads miss their notes. Combine that with the cringey lyrics, and you’ve got something that to some is probably really endearing, while for others becomes a lesson in ear-torture. I personally find it to be a mix of both.

Rhapsody is a fun and cute little game, but I find that I got most of my entertainment from watching how badly it failed to hit many of its apparent goals. It nails the graphics nicely, though, with it’s hand-painted looked and the funny animations (especially Marjoly… man, she really needs a bra). The music, when it’s not shoehorning vocal performances in, is also quite good. The dungeons are pretty miserable, being loaded with mazes that look identical to one another, but overall, if you have a little kid that you want to give an RPG, or you want to pretend that you’re a Disney princess for a day, you’ll probably get a kick out of this. If you can excuse it’s issues, you too might enjoy it for the beautiful backdrops and the overall sheer novelty of it all.

Finally, I have to give props to Atlus for the localization job here. It reminds me of a Working Designs job – it’s full of jokes, it occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and it keeps everything feeling somewhat fresh and natural – and unlike many of Working Designs’ projects, it doesn’t randomly throw in jokes about Bill Clinton, farting, or Mystery Science Theatre 3000. They actually work in the context of the game, and many of the scenes are legitimately funny. If only Lunar, Vay, or Exile had had this team at the helm..! The quality of the localization is one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed this as much as I did, however insipid the plot might be!
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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  • You do realize I can read

    Michael DeLaughter
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • I used to LOVE this game but I could never get past the worm train

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Kgn nya pke bgt sih sm ni game🥰🥰

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Only sad part I felt in this game was when the frog king ordered the execution of Michael in front of Caroline. Odly enough, Princess Caroline died along with Michael and were resurrected as frogs so bittersweet for those two.

    Russel Tierra
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • man the nostalgia..

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • someday our hearts will beat as the one ♪

    marty elik
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • If Working Designs had brought this adorable RPG to the US instead of Atlus, what changes would Working Designs have made to the US version of this game in particular to the difficulty and the save feature and all that other Working Designs stuff that they do?

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • God Coronet is just too damn cute. Also her name Espoir means hope so i just cant help but feeel sorry for her!

    matt connolly
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Why does this remind me of chrono trigger so much..

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • I played it until the part where you have to go search for fresh fish in the woods for the prince. As I didn’t speak much English at the time, and there was no internet to go find a walkthrough at that time, I never played it again until a few years later. After that I never got stuck again and was able to play it till the end, it’s so much fun!
    And the music is incredible, they went all out, probably one of the best soundtracks ever.

    Fernando Busciglio
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Thank you for uploading this! This brings back so many of my childhood memories, I love this game.

    Dea Valentina
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Biggest tnx for walktrough!

    Daniel Stachek-Mer
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is a game I played the s*** out of back in the day. This brings back a lot of memories for me with its…
    •Colorful Graphics
    •Great Soundtrack (& cringe-worthy vocals)
    •Fun Gameplay
    •Witty Dialogue (doesn't beat Paper Mario's dialogue though…)

    The Dungeons suck horribly as everything looks the same, and they are just not fun to navigate at all. Also, the gameplay itself is a little too easy for my liking. These are flaws that really put a damper on the overall experience factor.

    The DS version is alright and all, it's definitely not a bad remake, but it just falls kind of short in comparison to the PS1 original.

    Final Ratings: PS1 7/10
    DS 5/10

    Dorian Scott
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • love this game! it's so underrated but this is one of my favorite game of all time c':

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Sweet memories, most delightful, adorable game I ever played..

    Tanvir Ahmed
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • This is a beautiful looking game, incredible looking sprites. Sadly, it's also not cheap, though I believe it did get a DS re-release.

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Suikoden 1, Suikoden 2, Final Fantasy, Saiyuki and this game Rhapsody are the few first RPG games that I've ever played ever. My childhood right here.

    Brother Gayhoops
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • They should make a broadway production of this!!!

    Brother Gayhoops
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • JRPGs back then never overdid anything by going into pure weeaboo territor… oh wait, what's this? 😀

    Posted June 18, 2020
  • 35:00

    Keshakk Che
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • The best game ever!! Can’t forget that days since 2000 miss those days..

    Lornss AlNaimi
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • Finally I found it, first and the best game turn based I played, must play again! 🤩🤩

    hayu uu
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • 10 years later and i still can’t defeat Marjoly lol rip but hopefully now i can with this video!! this definitely takes me back cause i remember as a child i would always play this game on my dsi and i’m extremely happy i’ve found it again and hopefully now i can actually finish the game for once :,) ngl tho i watched the whole video and i cried the last 30 minutes ;-; a wonderful and fun game to play and i can’t wait to continue :,)

    Devanne Segura
    Posted June 18, 2020
  • I think they have an anti piracy mechanism where the horn makes no sound and it is completely silent when they sing.

    Wisdom Speaker
    Posted June 18, 2020

    Posted June 18, 2020

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