Things that don't suck about Lunar: Dragon Song.

For discussion of Lunar: Dragon Song (Lunar: Genesis), the only Lunar game on the DS
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ilovemyguitar
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Things that don't suck about Lunar: Dragon Song.

Postby ilovemyguitar » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:43 pm

*There are Lunar: Dragon Song spoilers in this post*

I think it's safe to say that this isn't the best game in the Lunar series. However, I just started a second playthrough, and I'm finding that the most frustrating aspect of the game isn't the things the developers did wrong, but the things that they did extremely well but are completely overshadowed by the game's flaws. So, in the spirit of positive thinking, I figured I'd start a topic about things that people like about Lunar: Dragon Song.

First off, the speeding up of battle animations by holding the shoulder buttons is awesome. Try playing this game and then immediately playing Final Fantasy III. You will be begging for that speed-up function. Every turn-based RPG should have this feature.

Also, if you can get past the awkward translation and a few plot holes, there's a great story in there that fits nicely within the Lunar series. I mean, sure, we've seen Althena in human form and a former-hero-turned-villain before, but beyond those two similarities, this is a distinct story with its own narrative. Where Ghaleon was presented as a bit of a tragic hero, Ignatius is more akin to a cautionary tale; Ignatius is a dangerous man who intends to do horrible things, but the real danger presented is that if Jian (a loner by nature) doesn't learn to trust in other people, he will become just as dangerous as Ignatius himself. In the beginning of the game we see Jian wishing to charge into Vile Castle by himself, believing that having other people with him will only slow him down. Throughout the story Jian learns to rely on other people for help and guidance, and the message is nailed home in the final Dragon Trial, in which Jian must admit that he can only be effectual if he has companions in whom he trusts. It's a continuation of the concept of the "power of humanity" that Althena extolled on in Lunar 1 and post mortem in Lunar 2, but told with a very different slant, this time focusing on humanity's dual nature for good and evil and the ways in which these two natures can come to fruition. Ayn Rand would probably argue with the message, but it's damn fine storytelling.

And finally, to get really shallow, the game looks and sounds great. The scenery is colorful and evocative, the music is just as catchy and fun as anything found in the Lunar series so far (I strongly suggest wearing headphones while you play it... the tiny DS speakers simply aren't going to cut it), and the general art direction of this game is spot-on exactly what I'd want out of a Lunar title. The menu screen looking like the inside of a traveler's suitcase is one particularly charming bit that adds definate character to the feel of the game. And not to mention, I really feel like the sprites were drawn in a way that stays true to the Lunar series while still being contemporary.

Lunar: Dragon Song really is a bit of a strange title. It has a few aspects that are dreadful, but it also has some aspects that are truly inspired. I just wanted to sound off on the aspects that I like about it. Other people are welcome to share their positive thoughts on the game. (Please, don't respond to -Borgan- about the game's shortcomings.)
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Postby Benevolent_Ghaleon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:46 pm

I don't know about you, but i generally win the average battle in one or two turns in FF3.

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Postby LuNaRtIc » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:55 pm

The fact that it is a completely new Lunar game and not a remake rocks too. Proof that the Lunar franchise hasn't died out yet! xD
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Postby Silver Phoenix » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:57 pm

Now we just need more of the series to follow up on the real magic of the story pre-Silver Star and post Eternal Blue on a console and not a hand-held!!

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Postby Kizyr » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:42 am

Why not between Silver Star and Eternal Blue?

But yes, a true post-Eternal Blue sequel on a proper console would be good. And I'm confident that if they seriously put effort into making it a good game, it'd turn out incredible.

I was one of the more vociferous ones discounting all the talk of a DS Lunar as just rumors, and it turned out to be true. So, at least, DS proves that there's no reason to just write off the series for good. KF

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Postby Silver Phoenix » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:01 am

While I can understand your interest in a midstory game it could really only connect to The Silver Star as the history would predate the present time of a game between SSS and EB. Logically I'd prefer a post Eternal Blue game myself along with the Four Heroes Prequel. All I have to say is let's pray they come to fruition and are beyond amazing. I want Lunar as it should be, damnit!

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Postby Kizyr » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:21 pm

Silver Phoenix wrote:While I can understand your interest in a midstory game it could really only connect to The Silver Star as the history would predate the present time of a game between SSS and EB. Logically I'd prefer a post Eternal Blue game myself along with the Four Heroes Prequel. All I have to say is let's pray they come to fruition and are beyond amazing. I want Lunar as it should be, damnit!


I'm not sure I follow the first part... A mid-story game would also connect to Eternal Blue, as it could give background information on the world leading up to EB. Of course, most of the interesting things in EB are more recent history (the Cult of Althena isn't more than a few decades old), but I don't think it'd be completely disconnected from EB.

The most probable scenarios are either a Four Heroes prequel, or a post-Eternal Blue game. I really can't see why GA would put out another non-Four Heroes prequel at this stage. The only reason would be for 'testing the waters', which they already did with Genesis/DS. KF

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Postby ilovemyguitar » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:52 pm

A post-EB Lunar game would be the most interesting to me. We know a lot about Lunar's history, and I suppose it would be entirely possible to have a whole string of games focusing on adventurers who helped shape that history, but I'm ready to find out what NEW events would happen on Lunar. How does Lunar develop with the knowledge that there is no goddess watching over them? What sort of new threats will come along? I think we know enough about the history of Lunar for now, I'm ready for things to move forward.
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Postby Silver Phoenix » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:32 pm

Kizyr, of course there could be a game between SSS and EB but I don't know if the story would be as impactful and epic because within that time no Goddess can be reborn because the Silver Star Story has to connect the issue of the Goddess into Eternal Blue. I know the people of Lunar could still believe that there is a goddess throughout that time period but I just think it would complicate the history.

As for post-EB I think Lucia is now the goddess after reclaiming Althena's power in Eternal Blue. She didn't give it up as Luna did and becoming the goddess enabled the Blue Star to begin regeneration. Lunar lacks a goddess but the Blue Star has the Goddess Lucia.

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Postby ilovemyguitar » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:34 pm

Silver Phoenix wrote:As for post-EB I think Lucia is now the goddess after reclaiming Althena's power in Eternal Blue. She didn't give it up as Luna did and becoming the goddess enabled the Blue Star to begin regeneration. Lunar lacks a goddess but the Blue Star has the Goddess Lucia.


This is something we don't know for sure, though. Your proposed scenario is entirely likely, but it's also possible that Althena's power died with Zophar. It also could have reverted to wherever it was before Lucia claimed it. Any one of these scenarios would have major ramifications for the future of Lunar, and these are the questions I want to have answered.

A four heroes game could be fun, but I don't see it providing any sort of big revelations that would effect the world of Lunar in the long run, other than showing us Althena turning human again. If anything bigger than that happened in the game, it would look really strange for it not to have been mentioned in Lunar 1 or 2.
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Postby Silver Phoenix » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:37 pm

I'm going off of what has been said regarding the Lunar novels or manga. I think one or both state that Lucia is a goddess or goddess of the Blue Star. I assume Kizyr or Alunissage have that answer.

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Postby ilovemyguitar » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:22 am

Silver Phoenix wrote:I'm going off of what has been said regarding the Lunar novels or manga. I think one or both state that Lucia is a goddess or goddess of the Blue Star. I assume Kizyr or Alunissage have that answer.


Whether Lucia is a goddess or not doesn't really explain what happened to Althena's power after EB, though.
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Postby Silver Phoenix » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:27 pm

By all accounts Lucia wields the power after the defeat of Zophar. She didn't give up Althena's power afterwards.

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Postby ilovemyguitar » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:37 pm

But Zophar stole it from her during the final battle, remember? He was all, "The time has come to play my trump card!" and all that.
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Postby Kizyr » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:15 am

ilovemyguitar wrote:
Silver Phoenix wrote:I'm going off of what has been said regarding the Lunar novels or manga. I think one or both state that Lucia is a goddess or goddess of the Blue Star. I assume Kizyr or Alunissage have that answer.


Whether Lucia is a goddess or not doesn't really explain what happened to Althena's power after EB, though.


Yeah, Lucia is a goddess, but she's always been weaker than Althena. Even when she had Althena's power, she was too weak to control it properly--and too soft to use it--and got nabbed by Zophar (which, to Zophar's credit, is precisely what he was counting on).

There's nothing that directly says whether or not Lucia held onto that power after she was released by Zophar, but I think it's implicit in Lucia's attitude when she left. Zophar seemed more upset that he lost Lucia than that he lost any power. Then, when Lucia learned to trust in humanity's power, it seemed like she let go of Althena's power and let it go back to humanity.

Also, if she'd held onto Althena's power, then she could've simply regenerated the Blue Star (though at what cost). At the very least, there'd be no need to go somewhere to wait and regenerate. KF

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Postby Alunissage » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:56 am

Kizyr wrote:Also, if she'd held onto Althena's power, then she could've simply regenerated the Blue Star (though at what cost). At the very least, there'd be no need to go somewhere to wait and regenerate.

I dunno about that; if Althena couldn't do that herself at the outset then it doesn't seem likely that it could be done that way at all. That's assuming Althena's power is more or less finite (that is, that she had the same power at the time of the migration to Lunar that she did when she became human), rather than, say, she used up so much power destroying the Blue Star that she didn't have enough to restore it at that time but would have had enough to restore it by the time of the events of EB.

Just to throw a wrench into the works, remember the de-crystallization of Hiro in EB. At that point Lucia explains that the Blue Spire's function is to collect power/energy/magic from Lunar to be used for the Blue Star's revival. (Of course, she then uses some of it, perhaps even all of it, to restore Hiro instead, lengthening the waiting period before the revival.) It doesn't seem likely to me that that's the same reservoir as Althena's power, and may not even be the right "type" of power. I get the feeling that the power (e.g., of humanity) to defeat Zophar is different from what would be required to revive the Blue Star; psychological vs physical or something like that.

I need to think about this more when I'm more coherent and awake; I've started to write several sentences in which I've forgotten the point I was planning to make by the time I'm halfway through them. :P

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Postby Silver Phoenix » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:15 pm

I think you summarized your thoughts well in your pseudo-coherent state, Alun. I believe Lucia retained Althena's power and took it with her back to the Blue Star to begin regeneration while she slept in crystalis. I wouldn't think Althena would leave Lucia on the Blue Star as simply a gatekeeper knowing full well that Lucia would become the goddess of the blue star and bring the planet back to life. The power of humanity was regarded as soulful will on the part of the inhabitants of Lunar which enriched Lucia and gave her the strength of character to accomplish her task. She wouldn't have been able to retrieve Althena's power otherwise. Hiro and Lucia's love wasn't what regenerated the Blue Star, Althena's power was needed but it was a metaphor for thawing the ice considering Lucia's themesong about herself.


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