- Allegretto: "Okay, you gotta watch yourself, Beat. It's not gonna be the same as fighting the rats in Ritardando."
- Beat: "I know. Don't worry, I'll take some good pictures."
- Allegretto: "Pictures?! Come on, don't waste time on that stuff. You need to help me fight."
- Beat: "Hey, that's not nice. Don't say things like that! Taking pictures isn't a waste of time."
- — Allegretto and Beat argue over Beat's tendency to take pictures of things.
Photos is a gameplay feature in Eternal Sonata in battle that allows the playable character Beat to take photos of opponents using his camera. Photos may be taken using the light Special Attack Vivid Shot, or beginning at Level 12 with the dark Special Attack Night Shot. Photos sell for Gold at shops, with photos that meet certain conditions fetching large amounts of Gold well beyond what is dropped by most monsters. For example, since the Peach Cookie item can be purchased for only 20 Gold, a couple of photos at a thousand Gold each are enough to purchase the maximum of Peach Cookies.
- "The detail is just amazing!"
- —Beat, sometimes, when taking Photos.
Photos are graded by a system of points and ranks. Photos with low point values are assigned Rank C, with mid-level photos given Rank B and the best photos at Rank A. Photos can be sold at any shop using the "Sell Photo" option. When selling photos, Rank C photos will generally sell for a better rate if the player receives the message "Welcome! Please allow us to assess your works," with Rank B and A photos fetching a premium with the message "Welcome! We have a photographer in our shop today." There does not seem to be any particular pattern to when these messages appear, with the photographer sometimes being in the shop the very first time the player attempts to sell photos at a particular shop. In other instances, the player may have to enter and exit the "Sell Photos" screen numerous times before this option will be presented.
The actual process of taking photos in battle is done by using Vivid Shot or Night Shot Special Attacks. The player must first hit the Special Attack button using one of these options in order to "activate" the camera. Once the camera is activated, the player can use the left analog stick to focus on a particular target, and then press either the attack or Special Attack button to take photos. Either button can be pressed repeatedly to take multiple photos, though only twelve photos can be carried at any given time. If the player is already carrying the maximum, then Beat will still go through the motions of taking photos, but no additional photos will actually be taken. Photos can be examine in the menu and can be disposed of, allowing the player to get rid of poor-quality photos and replace them with better ones before the next shop.
Photos take time to develop and once fully developed, will be assessed with a rank. Photos are developed throughout battles, while watching cutscenes and while exploring in the field. Photos that have not been fully developed can still be sold, but at only a fraction of the price that the player would receive were they fully developed. As such, it is better to wait for the photos to develop completely in order to get the best value.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Once the player has mastered the use of Photos, they can easily acquire large amounts of Gold, usually enough to easily stock up on large amounts of healing items.
- The conditions for obtaining Rank A photos seem to be stricter in the PlayStation 3 version than in Xbox 360, though neither version of the game actually provides an explanation of what criteria are used to grade photos. Despite this, the art of taking good photos can generally be mastered in either version with a little practice. Favorable conditions generally include taking photos of enemies at close-range (but not too close) and taking shots in profile.
- In the Xbox 360 version of Eternal Sonata, even Rank C photos of most bosses will net thousands of Gold per shot. In the PlayStation 3 version, Rank A photos of the same bosses will not even earn nearly as much Gold as Xbox 360 Rank C counterparts.
- While taking photos can prove to be a very beneficial sidequest, it is entirely optional and the player need not take a single photo in the game if they do not wish to spend time on it. Photos are, however, part of the second trading quest in Encore Mode. The Agogo Boy asks Allegretto to bring him photos of twenty different monsters, in exchange for Agogo Droppings, which are needed to make a Magic Candy.