Grandia: Parallel Trippers was developed by Game Arts and published by Hudson Soft for the Game Boy Color in 2000.
Parallel Trippers is a spin-off from the Grandia series that takes place in an alternate version of the Grandia world, but still populated with characters from the original Grandia game.
You play a young Japanese boy called Yuuhi who is transported – along with his two friends, Mizuki and Shirou – into this surreal fantasy world, and who must reunite with his friends and find his way home.
Unlike the other Grandia games, Parallel Trippers is presented entirely in 2D, and with the Game Boy Color‘s limited resolution the graphic artists have gone for a ‘chibi’ style of presentation, and it results in a beautifully-looking, colourful, cute game.
Adventuring is not too dissimilar to a Zelda game, but combat is most definitely turn-based. When combat kicks in each character’s turn in the action is determined by an Initiative gauge and this is nicely represented at the bottom of the screen by a kind of ‘track’ that the character sprites move around on. Once it becomes your turn to act you then have to choose between physical attacks or magical attacks. Magical attacks are all determined by choosing playing cards, or “Synthesis Cards” as they’re called in the game. Each one of these gives your character the power to invoke various different magical attacks. Synthesis Cards can also be combined to create new magical effects, or even unlock hidden, special magical attacks.
Grandia: Parallel Trippers is definitely one of the best RPGs on the Game Boy Color. It’s different enough to be alluring, and challenging enough to appeal to the hardcore level-grind fan. Add in the ‘card’ element, and you have something quite special.
Note: Grandia: Parallel Trippers was only released in Japan. The English translation is a fan translation released by Adventurous Translations in 2012.