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darksnowman

Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend

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There are few things I enjoy more than seeing previously unreleased games eventually getting their turn in the PAL region. Final Fantasy on GBA and DS, Dragon Quest on DS, Chrono Trigger on DS, Mario RPG through the Hanabi Festivals on Wii VC, to name a few of those mythical games that officially came to our shores at a later date, sometimes in their original form, other times upgraded or remade entirely. Amazingly, the well has yet to show any signs of running dry--a month ago, the Final Fantasy Legend trilogy came out on the Switch eShop. 

For further listening, check out the Retronauts episode.

I pre-ordered, preloaded and made plans to play one or all three FF Legends over Christmas. But as with most best-laid Switch plans, an eShop sale came along and lead me astray. This time it was in the form of Tales of Vesperia for a tenner. I still made sure to have a go at FF Legend (1) before forgetting about it until the other day when the Nintendo survey came through. 

Collection of SaGa has some added bells and whistles (such as Super Gameboy-style backgrounds, two zoom settings and the ability to play vertically using a virtual button layout on the Switch touchscreen) but nothing that changes the games themselves beyond a speed-up option. I sent the same feedback via the Nintendo survey as I did for games like moon and Fire Emblem--offered my thanks for releasing the collection in PAL and asked that they consider bringing more previously unreleased games over here, but this time I added the suggestion that they could put in some more borders and perhaps Super Gameboy-style colour palette options. 

Even with Vesperia (which I was "console-locked" out of rather than region-locked) making eyes at me, I thought I was still going to complete FF Legend 1 in the week following its release. How wrong I was. :laughing: 

Not only are these Gameboy RPGs, FF Legend is the first handheld RPG ever so old and archaic is very much the order of the day. Upon starting, you are unceremoniously dumped into the game and charged with creating your guild from humans, mutants and/or monsters. I opted for two humans (a male and female), a mutant and a monster then set about battling for cash to buy some gear. Levelling is an offshoot of Final Fantasy II whereby your stats themselves will increase in place of general level-ups. Except for monsters. At the end of battles a piece of meat might drop which you can choose to let your monster eat. I have allowed it every time, and the monster morphs into a new creature with a new skillset and potentially less HP. I haven't worked out if its random or not. The humans improve differently too--you have to buy stat increases for them! So perhaps it is just the mutants, then, that get their stat-ups from battle. Also, your party members have lives, meaning they can only be revived a couple of times before they're dead forever and you will have to recruit and train up replacements. My humans died a few times in the early going and I just reset because I don't know how valuable those lives will be later.

Well anyway, about the game length. From the starting town, you learn that the central statue needs its armour, sword and shield. After increasing stats and getting some gear (attacks, weapons and spells have limited uses, by the way) I got cracking with world exploration. It's a tiny world--fine for the Gameboys first RPG--so I was able to get the items back to the statue fairly quickly, which I figured was going to open the way to the final two- or three-floored dungeon and boss. Clearly I never paid much attention to the above video and Retronauts podcast because I was totally oblivious to the games scope! Kitting out the statue is only the beginning because that two- or three-floored dungeon is actually a tower to climb that contains its own towns to stop off at. :o  It's really surreal to open a door that opens onto a new world. Makes me wonder if the starting area is really the base of the tower or just another rung on the way up.  

Good job I reset before instead of now being lumbered with trying to limp through the game with my lives depleted, eh?

 

I haven't noticed anyone on my friends list playing this. Buy it and join me on these legendary quests!

 

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Leveling is an off shoot from FFII? That's a hard pass from me. I hated that system. It's one of the two mainline FF games that I never finished.

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13 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Leveling is an off shoot from FFII? That's a hard pass from me. I hated that system. It's one of the two mainline FF games that I never finished.

The entire SAGA series is an offshoot of FF2.  Same director, same kind of anti-Final Fantasy style RPG systems.  The whole series prides itself on throwing a middle finger at typical RPG game systems & structure.

Anywho, I'm gonna get the collection eventually.  Super pleased to see these games finally get re-released! (Especially since the original carts cost an absolute bomb now!).  I need some actual decent time to play them though!

And yes, late localisations/EU releases of games is the best thing ever! We've done really well out of this generation in that regard! Long may it continue! :D 

Edited by Dcubed

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

The entire SAGA series is an offshoot of FF2.  Same director, same kind of anti-Final Fantasy style RPG systems.  The whole series prides itself on throwing a middle finger at typical RPG game systems & structure.

I thought Sakaguchi directed the early FF games?

Whoever it was that worked on the FFII leveling system and then moved to the Saga games can stay there. Not a fan of such systems.

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40 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I thought Sakaguchi directed the early FF games?

Whoever it was that worked on the FFII leveling system and then moved to the Saga games can stay there. Not a fan of such systems.

Ahh, to correct myself, Kawazu was the battle system Director/Lead Designer for Final Fantasy 1&2.  After FF2, he went on to direct Saga/The Final Fantasy Legend, and then stuck with directing the Saga series from there on out (though he also was Producer on FF Crystal Chronicles and Legend of Mana amongst other titles).

Edited by Dcubed
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