One Piece: Birth of Luffy's Dream Pirate Crew! is a tactical RPG for the Game Boy Color console based on the manga and anime series One Piece. Developed by Alpha Unit and published by Banpresto (a future subsidiary of Bandai), it was released on April 27, 2001.
The game primarily adapts the East Blue Saga, chronicling the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates from Foosha Village to Arlong Park. However, the player is free to shuffle canon events out-of-order (such as recruiting Nami before Zoro) and even - in certain conditions - recruit enemies such as Alvida and Kuro as allies.
As in most RPGs, the player directs a party of adventurers across various towns and islands, interacting with non-player characters, collecting items, and battling enemies for experience. Enemies may emerge from random or scripted encounters, with the latter mainly tied to major antagonists ranging from Higuma to Arlong.
Battles are turn-based, taking place on a tiled combat map similar to the adventuring map. There, player and enemy forces may choose from the following actions.
- Move (いどう Idō?): Move to an available tile on the combat map. All characters have a limited movement range, some more than others (i.e. water tiles are inaccessible to Devil Fruit users such as Luffy).
- Attack (こうげき Kōgeki?): Perform an unnamed, "standard" attack that costs no SP and generally inflicts minimal damage. Melee fighters such as Luffy can only perform these on adjacent enemies; ranged fighters such as Usopp can do so from a distance.
- Finisher (ひっさつ Hissatsu?): Perform a named, "special" attack (such as Zoro's Oni Giri or Sanji's Collier Shoot) that costs a set amount of SP. These are usually stronger than most (if not all) standard attacks, and often carry additional effects, such as striking multiple enemies at once.
- Item (アイテム Aitemu?): Access (pre-equipped) items, if any.
- Status (ステータス Sutētasu?): Inspect the attributes of one or more combatants.
- Wait (たいき Taiki?): End turn, moving the next-fastest combatant into action.
A player character will earn experience points with every successful hit on an enemy. Every 100 experience points will advance the character one level, raising combat attributes (a process that automatically refills HP and SP) and sometimes unlocking new attacks.
By winning battles or interacting with specific non-player characters, the player party can acquire a variety of items, from food to weapons to personal effects (such as Koby's glasses). These are automatically placed in a communal inventory, which can be accessed at any time on the adventure map.