Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel, is an action role-playing game developed by Racjin and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console and is the first ever Fullmetal Alchemist video game released. The game features an original story by Hiromu Arakawa. The game was released in Japan on December 25th, 2003 and in North America on January 18, 2005.
Edward Elric: A 15-year-old prodigy, who at age 12, became the youngest State Alchemist in history. His alias, "Fullmetal," derives from the fact that his right arm and left leg are metallic, artificial limbs known as automail. "Fullmetal" is sometimes also used to describe a person who is stubborn. He and his younger brother Alphonse are on a journey to find the Philosopher's Stone, which may hold the power for them to regain their bodies.
Alphonse Elric: Inside a giant suit of armor is a soul of a fourteen-year-old boy with a gentle heart. He journeys with his older brother Edward in hope that both of them will regain their original bodies. Always calm and stable in character, Al is the one who chides Ed, who is quick to lose his cool. Al is Ed's perfect companion. Al is the younger brother of Edward Elric, but is often confused to be older than Ed because he is trapped in a suit of armor twice as large as he is.
Roy Mustang: A military colonel who goes by the nickname "The Flame Alchemist." His gloves are made of pyrotex, which he uses to create alchemy-controlled flames.
Riza Hawkeye: A military lieutenant, and a close aide to the Colonel. A woman highly capable in any assignment, she is secretly feared by her peers for her imperturbable manner. She assumed the identity of Margott Orange Peko to infiltrate the Eiselstein estate in order to gather info on Wilhelm's work.
Alex Louis Armstrong: A major in the military. He is capable of fancy footwork despite his burly physique. His giant knuckles enable him to perform powerful alchemy, for which this State Alchemist has been given the alias "The Strong-Arm Alchemist."
Armony Eiselstein: The daughter of Professor Eiselstein, she believes her father is cold to her because she is inept in the art of alchemy and has been forbidden to learn alchemy as a result. However, it is actually because of the Philosopher's Catalyst she contains in her own body. He is afraid that if she uses alchemy, it may have some effect on the alchemic amplifier, which she has no knowledge of having. She becomes Edward’s student in hopes of becoming proficient in the ancient science. She has a cheerful disposition and is a hard worker with a love for flowers, especially the Etherflower.
Professor Wilhelm Eiselstein: One of ten famous Alchemists and considered a world authority on catalytics – the study of making efficient alchemy. He was researching the “Philosopher’s Catalyst,” a legendary material that has powers comparable to the Philosopher’s Stone. When the town of Hiessgart (where he and his daughter resided) came under attack of chimeras, he brought the refugees to safety and led the efforts in building New Hiessgart.
Selene Eiselstein: The true daughter of Professor Eiselstein, she is no longer of this world. Selene used to help her father with his alchemic experiments as he tried to obtain the legendary amplifier: the Philosopher's Catalyst. However, she got caught in a rebound from one of his attempts to create a prototype of the Catalyst, and her body mutated. As a result, the Catalyst, taking the form of a glowing white wing, fused with her and she became the girl Wilhelm now calls Armony. Armony however, having memories of playing with Selene as a child, has no knowledge of the fact that she (in a sense) is Selene, and believes that Selene was her older sister who had died. There is a grave for Selene at the church near Hiessgart that Armony often visits and leaves behind an Etherflower for her, but Armony does not know that the grave holds no body of her "sister". Edward and Alphonse, when they had visited the Professor with their teacher in the past, hadn't gotten to see Selene before they had left. Before the Professor informs them of what had happened to Selene, Edward believes that she was just being cold,
but Al thinks that perhaps it was just too hard for her to say good-bye. Selene was always quiet, yet very intelligent and an alchemic prodigy.
Camilla: A mysterious and beautiful woman dressed in black. Old records describe her as a legendary alchemist who disappeared several years ago. She is now a bounty hunter of sorts seeking out Professor Eiselstein's "Philosopher's Catalyst". Camilla helps the Professor create the true Catalyst by posing as a scientist named Greta Riddel, who he makes his assistant. She eventually reveals herself when she kidnaps Armony in an attempt to take the wing from her to become more powerful. However, Wilhelm interference with an Etherflower and the wing is destroyed as Camilla is presumed dead after attempting to kill the Elrics for her plans being ruined.
Senior Colonel Genz Bresslau: A military policeman who proclaims himself to be "The Armor-Piercing Alchemist" and the strongest in the military. He has no interest in rank or honor; his only pursuit is his own physical strength. He is quick to anger, and shows no mercy for subordinates who fail in their duty.
Brigadier General Mudi Nemda: Chief of the military police in the Hiessgart region. Tenacious in expanding his own power, he has almost completely privatized the army. His ambition is to build his own Nemda Kingdom.
Taking place between episodes 17 and 18 of the anime, the game begins with the Elric brothers (somewhat unwillingly being escorted by Major Alex Louis Armstrong) heading to Central City via train. While Ed moans, Al consoles, and Armstrong flexes, the train is suddenly attacked by terrorists. The skirmish eventually ends with one destroyed train and the brothers in the town of New Heissgart, looking for a ride to Central. There, they meet a girl named Armony and learn more of the Philosopher's Catalyst, an item nearly as powerful as the Philosopher's Stone itself, but used to increase the efficiency of alchemy. The Philosopher's Catalyst seems to be directly linked with the berserk chimeras running about, the rogue military force, and the gathering of alchemists in the town. The Elrics soon find that their simple mission for a train turns into much more as they learn about the Catalyst and the dark mysteries surrounding it.
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel was developed by the Japanese company Racjin and initially produced by Enix, before their merger with Square in April 2003. Development for the game began before that of the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime series. Hiromu Arakawa, the author of the original manga, oversaw the story of the game and designed its characters, while Bones, the studio which would be responsible for the anime series, produced 30 minutes of animation. Themes emphasized during the creation of the game include the bond between Alphonse and Edward, as well as the series' basic concept of Equivalent Exchange, which states that "man cannot gain without sacrifice". The developers looked at other titles for inspiration, particularly Square's action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts, in addition to other games based on manga series, such as Dragon Ball, Naruto or One Piece games. The biggest challenge they had to overcome was to try to make the title a "full-fledged" game rather than a simple "character-based" game. Tomoya Asano, the assistant producer for the game, noted that development spanned more than a year, unlike most character-based games.
In Japan, the game was showcased at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2003, the first time that Square and Enix had appeared at the show as a single company. In the United States, the game was showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo of Los Angeles in May 2004, with the presence of Asano. For the North American version of the game, the developers made the difficulty level more challenging and aggressive.
On July 20th, 2004, a Game-Novel (a Light Novel based on a game) was published with the same name (Hagane No Renkinjutsushi: Tobenai Tenshi) to go along with the game. It was written by Makoto Inoue with Arakawa providing illustrations, but it was only released in Japan, making it the second Light-Novel in the franchise to remain untranslated, the other one being A New Beginning, the sixth volume of the Light-Novel series.
The score for the game was composed by Tomohiko Sato, Makoto Suehiro, Isao Kasai and Kenji Tani. It includes three vocal songs: "Flowers of the Hearts" sung by voice actress Motoko Kumai, "Emotionally" sung by Saori Yamada, and "The Enduring Crime" sung by J-pop singer Nana Kitade. The soundtrack was published in Japan as a copy-protected album by Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.
In Japan, the game had sold 250,000 copies as of 2004.
|Metacritic||56 out of 100|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||5.83 out of 10|
|Famitsu||30 out of 40|
|Game Informer||4.75 out of 10|
|GameSpot||6.2 out of 10|
|GameZone||7.1 out of 10|
|IGN||6.4 out of 10|
|Official PlayStation Magazine (US)||3 out of 5|
|Play Magazine||3 out of 4|
|PSM||5 out of 10|
|X-Play||2 out of 5|