I may have become just a tiny bit addicted to Fantasy Life. Through the 100+ hours I’ve spent on my 3DS, I have honed a very fine appreciation for the nature of various jobs (“Lives”). I’ve reached Legendary rank (that is to say, I’ve done every possible quest in the game for these particular professions so I know them inside out) of the Woodcutter life, the Paladin life and the Angler’s life. I reached Heroic rank in the Carpenter life before I was limited by resources that I needed other high-level professions to access. I’ve since started a Miner’s life, in which I somehow reached the rank of Adept despite only doing the introductory quest. (The game appeared to glitch and gave me kudos for mining a bunch of gemstones I apparently gained from bounties.)
Of the various Lives, I have this to say: each of them is appealing in its own way. I know it’s obvious, cheesy even, but the twelve Lives are so distinct that they each have their own charm and flavour. At first the idea of being a woodcutter repelled me: logging ancient forests for profit! But the game won me over by framing it in such a way that it was actually giving new life to old trees, transforming them into furniture. (It certainly helped alleviate my guilt when they all mysteriously grew back the next day.) And speaking of Carpentry, I find something indescribably charming about wearing a headband and sawing wood. The mini-game is pretty dull and simplistic, but it has its own satisfaction. The attitude of the Miner is not to look to the clouds to dream but rather to work hard and toil in the earth to find success. And the Paladin Life! Ohhh, the Life of my heartsong, defending the townfolk as a stalwart shield, slaying monsters as a champion of justice!
Every time I finish one Life, I think about which one I want to take up next. Although the land of Reveria is shared equally, only an Angler takes any notice of the fishing holes, and I find myself looking at the world in new light with each change in profession. Although there are some Lives I would rather avoid (*cough* Tailor *cough*), I can hardly decide between which adventure I want to set on next. (After mining, I’ll use that ore as a Blacksmith. And then perhaps after that I’ll fund my wizardry through becoming an Alchemist, master of potions.)
There is no better expression for the world of Reveria than the introductory movie they play at the start of the game:
Each of the lives are intricately linked, interdependent on one another. And there’s something just so gawsh darned wonderful about the childish message of “Work hard in Life and achieve greatness! Find what your heart wishes for and pursue it in everything you do! Shape the world for the better with the power you claim for yourself!” You just have to do it one tree at a time.
UPDATE: Before I stopped playing due to my crazy hardcore addiction, I became a legendary woodcutter, miner, blacksmith, paladin, carpenter and angler. I was a master tailor, and I was on my way to becoming a legendary mercenary and alchemist as well. I don’t think there was any reward for completing all the lives (apart from Bliss), and I realised that repeating the crafting mini-games for several dozen hours just didn’t appeal to me enough to keep playing.