Lost Sphear is the second title from Square Enix studio Tokyo RPG Factory. The game follows young impressionable Kanata and his merry band who are trying to save the world from becoming lost.
When this phenomenon occurs, buildings, islands, and people disappear from the world. Thankfully Kanata has an ability that allows him to bring everything back from the brink of oblivion. He does so by collecting the memories that encompass the thing or person he’s trying to bring back.
At first the game is simple enough with its execution. You collect various types of memories that make up people and places. However, as the game moves forward and more people are lost, players have to find more complex memories. You have to learn not just about their past, but also what people feel about those places and people. It’s touching to see that this is a world where people are defined by their actions and the kind of impact they have left on the world.
Players don’t just go looking for random memories. The game goes out of its way to make sure you select key memories. These are always memories that have impacted many people, with tangible emotions involved, and you the player have to find as many as possible.
What Lost Sphear teaches its players is to celebrate and remember the past but not to be defined by it. You’re reminded almost constantly of what makes up this world and of course what make up our world, memories. Memories are a form of immortality. They are your legacy, and you should always be moving forward in your life so you’re making more memories to enjoy with those you love.
The inverse of this is seen in Lost Sphear in the form of Krom. Krom wants to control this power of making everything lost so that he can reshape the world and essentially reshape history as well. It’s a clichéd take, but it clearly spells out the value and significance of memories.
One particular individual, Dianto, is a being formed by the memories of a whole village. He holds within him the memories of countless experiences and lives. So when the village gets wiped out by a doomsday-style weapon, ensuring that the village can never be restored, he decides that he will go on living so that the village will live on in him.
Again, its message is on the nose, but it’s a symbol of what memories signify for people. Dianto’s not bogged down by these lives within him. Instead, he wants to move on and in a sense keep everyone alive through his actions. It’s what all people wish to do with their loved ones. As stories are passed onto us and we pass our stories onto the next generation, we are ensuring that our memories are giving power to those who come after.
Lost Sphear encourages us to embrace our memories rather than just dwell on them, to use them to improve the world. In a sense, Lost Sphear is a fable that can help teach people to be better. The lessons learned are similar to the fairy tales we tell our children.
Games like this and Shadow of the Colossus help the medium rise above prejudices some people have. It is also what good art is, when you can take from it multiple themes and messages from your time with it. This is just one particular lesson I took from Lost Sphear.