Finally beat it.

For discussion of Lunar: Dragon Song (Lunar: Genesis), the only Lunar game on the DS
User avatar
LunarRaptor
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Keokuk, Iowa

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby LunarRaptor » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:58 pm

So Ubi improved the localization of the game. Okay, noted. Concerning the pink hair, though... I guess it can make sense for the big reveal scene, but then why does Luna look so much like the traditional image of Althena in her human form prior to being restored at all? What decided the difference between Luna and Lucia's appearances? I think this warrants an explanation.

I don't mind how different the dragons look, myself, since they're not always the same dragons, anyway.

Personally speaking, I can't ignore the story. The stories of SS, EB, and WS might not have been ground-breaking, but at least they were (mostly) well-written and enjoyable. DS failed to live up to "pretty standard, but solidly done". Also regarding Lunar: DS, I think I recall hearing once that the final game only had half of the story the developers had written, but they found a good cut off point for the sake of making a second one down the line (snicker).
Oh, I think anyone who plays any version of this game has plenty to complain about considering how much better all the prior titles in the franchise were. That said, the version you speak of sounds absolutely terrible. I'm shocked that it received a localization at all if it was that bad.

Now that we've mentioned the fantastic racism, I'm more curious than ever to see how it even started despite the fact that I'm sure Althena had to have tried to dissuade her children from starting to hate each other over petty differences like outward appearances. That's right, we've only ever seen a human Dragonmaster, haven't we?

Wait, someone would willingly live out in the Frontier? How can the Vile Tribe of DS even be able to experiment with Black Magic out there if its away from the life-giving influence of Althena? There's no magical energy at all, was there? In Silver Star, we see several members of that Vile Tribe having to live in cocoons because they're so weak and the area is so lacking in the needed life-giving essence of the goddess that they would die if they stepped out. The Frontier is depicted in all prior entries of the series as a barren and terrible place.
"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you." -Gandalf the Gray

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7009
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Alunissage » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:31 am

To be honest, I've never been quite certain about how literally to take the Frontier being away from Althena's or the Blue Star's light. I mean, it's spelled out in SSSC, what with the craters and the cocoon people, but not in TSS, where the Cadin person who says "The light of Althena doesn't shine here" could be referring to her influence, not the literal extent of her powers. Though there's actually a statue or two of Althena in SSSC in the Frontier, while TSS has no comparable concrete manifestation of Althena's presence or power.

I think in this regard DS fits in better with TSS's frontier, which had regular people but was essentially in an information blackout because Ghaleon had deactivated the Spring of Transmission, giving him a secret base to plan his conquest from. I'd see the DS Vile Tribe doing the same thing, voluntarily getting out of the way. (Not to mention that there's a bit of a physical resemblance in the areas; I have no trouble seeing the DS Frontier as a somewhat upgraded TSS frontier, with the desert and then the acid pits.)

It could also be that the Frontier's hazards were a gradual thing. The land could've weakened and poisoned the Vile Tribe over generations, to the point of some of them requiring life support by the time of SSSC.

I could kind of see a rationale for the bridge, if I squint hard enough. There are mines in the first part of the Frontier. Perhaps the bridge and the mines were originally for general use, and then the Viles decided that'd be a good hiding place (I suddenly have Wild West visions of black hats and outlaw "justice") and took the place over, perhaps enslaving the human miners there. The mines and the town, whatever it was, could be just on the habitable edge, with the desert as the boundary of the actual poisonous Frontier.

I can't ignore the story either, by the way. It was just far more easy to disregard it when I couldn't actually read it (and I could still hope that there was something really incredible that I was just missing, sigh). I'm not very good at just writing things off though and have to try to make them fit. It's a puzzle-solving thing. Oh, and it was localized and developed in parallel, so presumably the localizers couldn't really back out when they saw how bad the whole thing was.

Probably the difference between Luna and Lucia's appearances were simply to try to make Lucia an original character. I do wish they'd stuck with the blue hair, but I'm willing to let that go. (My personal theory is that Emma, the blue-haired school nurse in Magic School, is another incarnation of Althena who's just an "average", no-special-occasion reincarnation.)

Re the racism, part of it is probably just the general "othering" that people are prone to. Maybe it happened while Althena was doing whatever else she does when she's not being a human. We start getting into where the other races come from at that point, though... were there beastmen on the Blue Star, or did they only come into existence as a race as part of the relocation and/or the events leading to it? I have various theories, but nothing from the actual games. Also, Althena probably doesn't address her people full-on much, and her priests might well be as prone to bigotry as anyone else.

...this is reminding me of the sheer WTFery of Titus at the end of DS. That one has eluded even my dogged attempts to rationalize. I just don't even.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4551
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Sonic# » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:38 am

LunarRaptor wrote:The problem with that theory is that the Vile Tribe is already banished there before the start of this game. Even if the world of Lunar changes to some degree between Silver Star and Eternal Blue, I can't see this as anything but a contradiction on L:DS's part.


To my memory it's not that easy. Lunar: DS happened a thousand years before SS, and the exile of the Vile Tribe happened five hundred years before SS.

Image
So as you're alleging they can't be banished in DS the same way they were in SS. They can be there for another reason though, like in voluntary isolation to work their magic.

This is plausible. It's evident that magic is available in the Frontier, or in the relative privation of Althena's light. Taben certainly works with magic in the Frontier when he's making the Grindery,* and Zophar's powers are inimical to Althena's. The party can certainly sustain themselves out there, and a statue even exists out there.

And magic is still available to everyone, albeit in a form too weak to sustain much growth for those who need it:

Image

The statements in that scene suggest that strong people like the party, Taben, Ghaleon, and the Vile Tribe sorceresses can survive just fine, but that weaker members require a protective enclosure to focus Althena's life-sustaining power. I'd assume any members of the Vile Tribe voluntarily withdrawing to the Frontier to experiment with magic would be able to withstand its effects. Also, because their entire population isn't banished, they can return at will to more pleasant environs. Weaker members of the tribe would not voluntarily go to dwell in a cocoon.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7009
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Alunissage » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:40 am

By the way, this thread had some interesting discussion about the beastman/human conflict and also the dragonmasters:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3676

I had totally forgotten that one of the novels does in fact mention a beastwoman Dragonmaster, by name. Granted, there's a lot in the novels that is even more unrelated to the series than DS (really!), but little bits of throwaway backstory are things I'm happy to latch onto.

There's some talk about stuff in the original design docs that were lost in the final here:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5215

That's probably where I got the idea that the Vile Tribe went to the Frontier deliberately. Most of my Lunar resources are on another computer, though, so it's harder to look up.

User avatar
Leo
BANNED
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Leo » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:51 am

Given the harsh nature of the frontier and the hopeless attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if some chose to be in a cocoon to sleep away the remainder of their existence.

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7009
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Alunissage » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:35 am

Perhaps so. It's hard to get much of a snapshot of what they're like when not being whipped into an army to fight someone else's war. It's been waaay too long since I've played that part though.

User avatar
LunarRaptor
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Keokuk, Iowa

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby LunarRaptor » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:54 pm

Alunis and Sonic both make very interesting observations about the Frontier and its place in Lunar history. It would be very interesting to see handled it in the series. Too bad Lunar: DS couldn't be bothered to do so. I really doubt much thought went into the inclusion of the Viles and Frontier beyond just being able to have them.
I will relent somewhat, though. With what you've said in mind, the presence and portrayal of the Viles and Frontuer can be excused. However, I have another issue with them. We've seen all this before in another Lunar game. After a decade of no new entries into the series, the best the developers could do is to retread what the first game did, right up to Althena being under some clod's mind control?
Don't even get me started on the piles of storytelling issues surrounding Ignatius.

Alunissage wrote:I could kind of see a rationale for the bridge, if I squint hard enough. There are mines in the first part of the Frontier. Perhaps the bridge and the mines were originally for general use, and then the Viles decided that'd be a good hiding place (I suddenly have Wild West visions of black hats and outlaw "justice") and took the place over, perhaps enslaving the human miners there. The mines and the town, whatever it was, could be just on the habitable edge, with the desert as the boundary of the actual poisonous Frontier.

I don't think you should have to squint at all. In my mind, the exact purpose of the bridge, mines, and how the Viles relate to all this should have been something the game covered, itself.

Alunissage wrote:I can't ignore the story either, by the way. It was just far more easy to disregard it when I couldn't actually read it (and I could still hope that there was something really incredible that I was just missing, sigh). I'm not very good at just writing things off though and have to try to make them fit. It's a puzzle-solving thing. Oh, and it was localized and developed in parallel, so presumably the localizers couldn't really back out when they saw how bad the whole thing was.

Fair enough.
Personally, I wouldn't even bother trying to reconcile Lunar: DS with the rest of the series. It is not up to the fans to do the storyteller's work for them in my opinion. If I'd been making this game, I'd have had every bit of material pertaining to the series mythos in hand that I could get and I'd have gone over it with a fine comb to make sure everything matched up. No Lucasian screw-ups from me!

Alunissage wrote:Probably the difference between Luna and Lucia's appearances were simply to try to make Lucia an original character. I do wish they'd stuck with the blue hair, but I'm willing to let that go. (My personal theory is that Emma, the blue-haired school nurse in Magic School, is another incarnation of Althena who's just an "average", no-special-occasion reincarnation.)

But Lucia isn't an original character. She's basically just Luna, minus anything that ever made Luna interesting.

Alunissage wrote:Re the racism, part of it is probably just the general "othering" that people are prone to. Maybe it happened while Althena was doing whatever else she does when she's not being a human. We start getting into where the other races come from at that point, though... were there beastmen on the Blue Star, or did they only come into existence as a race as part of the relocation and/or the events leading to it? I have various theories, but nothing from the actual games. Also, Althena probably doesn't address her people full-on much, and her priests might well be as prone to bigotry as anyone else.

It'd still be nice to see how it happened. The early parts of the game make it out to be such a big deal and they build it up like it is going to be a big plot point. And then it culminates in Jian getting a curse put on him that prevents people from standing on their head. Did... the beastmen also have it in for circus performers? What is this? I don't even... Bottom line, I still feel cheated that the racism plotline goes nowhere interesting.

Alunissage wrote:...this is reminding me of the sheer WTFery of Titus at the end of DS. That one has eluded even my dogged attempts to rationalize. I just don't even.

Are you referring to the bit with Lucia turning up restored to her mortal self out of nowhere?

Personally, I'd have opted not to start a fight with a diety to begin with. Annnnnnnnd another thing this game could have done: explained why the Viles mistrusted and rebelled to begin with.
"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you." -Gandalf the Gray

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7009
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Alunissage » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:43 am

I think we're discussing slightly at cross-purposes here. I don't disagree that the game should've done things better (obviously!), but even if it had fleshed out stuff adequately I'd still be pondering fitting minutiae into existing and sometimes contradictory backstory. It's just kind of what we do here. It's been commented more than once that the Japanese devs -- by which I mean Shigema et al, not this game specifically -- tend to prefer to leave things not said in the games and other material deliberately vague. So there's always going to be stuff to work out, if that's one's thing... as it is mine. That's why I'm willing to consider things where I have to figuratively squint at them rather than just say, well, I shouldn't have to. Yeah, I probably shouldn't have to -- no argument there -- but I still want to, because that's part of how I personally enjoy this series.

Re Lucia as an original character, I was thinking of her visual design, not her personality and backstory. She does look fairly different from Luna, including hair color.

I can actually see the spell of 'lost equilibrium' as being a reasonable thing, just one that, like everything else in this game, turns ludicrous when paired with another game element (Jian being an acrobat rather than a traditional fighter). My husband has occasional BPV, benign positional vertigo. Something in his inner ear will slosh around and literally make him lose his balance just from ordinary motion. It seriously sucks. I have no trouble imagining that screwing up any fighter. (Cue visual of Kyle with his boxing gloves in Lunar Legend aiming a swing and missing and spinning around and then falling flat on his face.) And in the Lunar of the time, when almost no one has any magic to speak of (one of those things in the design docs), it'd probably be a legendary spell simply due to rarity.

Rereading one of the threads I linked earlier, I think the motivation for the Viles to self-exile to clandestinely study black magic was in the design docs as yet another idea that didn't actually get mentioned in the game.

The WTFery I was referring to at the end is... is there any point in marking spoilers? Probably not... is that Titus literally turns into a fairy and flies off. As in, one of the fairies that Ghaleon puts in his gardens. No explanation, not a word of text, nothing. Compared to that, Lucia turning up out of nowhere just as she was at the beginning of the game is positively reasonable.

User avatar
LunarRaptor
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Keokuk, Iowa

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby LunarRaptor » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:56 am

I don't mind open-ended story-telling, myself, that requires the reader/watcher/player to work some things out themselves. However, this is hardly clever, intriguing story-telling here. The old Lunar games did a much better job of leaving around vague details that are interesting to flesh out in your own imagination. To me, this felt less like 'being thrown some tidbits to fill in myself', but rather, 'did they just take the script to the chopping block?'

Re Lucia, I would argue that she's not even original in terms of appearance. Pink-haired, pigtailed anime girls are a dime-a-dozen. Luna is at least instantly recognizable. If you just showed me an image of Lucia without any context, I'd assume she was Madoka Kaname.

Alright, so the 'lost equilibrium' spell can be a reasonable thing. It still comes out of a left field for no adequately explained reason. Okay, we do get an explanation, eventually, but only after many hours of gameplay rendered even more difficult and annoying because Jian had lost the use of his full combo. There was no build-up or mention of such a spell anywhere prior in the game that I found. I damn near gave-up at that point. It wasn't the kind of added difficulty that left me feeling "Challenge Accepted". It was more "OH GOD WHEN WILL THIS PART BE OVER?!"

"Rereading one of the threads I linked earlier, I think the motivation for the Viles to self-exile to clandestinely study black magic was in the design docs as yet another idea that didn't actually get mentioned in the game."
So vital information ended up on the cutting room floor? I'm reminded of the Dungeons and Dragons movie now.

Re Titus WTFery Oh, THAT! Under the sheer crushing weight of Lucia turning up human again for no good reason, I'd nearly forgotten that.
"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you." -Gandalf the Gray

User avatar
Werefrog
Dragonmaster
Posts: 2047
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:58 pm
Location: Loch Tess, Winters
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Werefrog » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:51 pm

I don't remember a single concrete detail from Lunar Dragon Song's story. And I am happier for it, I am sure.

User avatar
Leo
BANNED
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Leo » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:46 pm

Werefrog wrote:I don't remember a single concrete detail from Lunar Dragon Song's story. And I am happier for it, I am sure.


Memory loss is a common side effect of experiencing a traumatic event.

User avatar
LunarRaptor
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Keokuk, Iowa

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby LunarRaptor » Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:00 am

Werefrog wrote:I don't remember a single concrete detail from Lunar Dragon Song's story. And I am happier for it, I am sure.

You're really not missing much. Play the other Lunar games.
"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you." -Gandalf the Gray

User avatar
Werefrog
Dragonmaster
Posts: 2047
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:58 pm
Location: Loch Tess, Winters
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Werefrog » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:49 am

Yeah, someday I should replay SSSC and EBC and finally get around to the originals.

User avatar
Leo
BANNED
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Leo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:56 am

Tread carefully if you're going to play the originals with an emulator. Saves like to randomly disappear in Gens and Kega Fusion.

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7009
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Alunissage » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:07 am

Eh? I don't think I had that problem with whatever it was I was using (I think Kega Fusion). Then again, I only played TSS up to Saith because I was working on levelling up Luna. I was also creating lots of RAM carts and constantly putting my saves on those, so if an "internal RAM" save did vanish, I wouldn't lose much.

This is reminding me that my summer game project is supposed to be replaying the Japanese EB, since I lost my save somewhere. (I suspect that I literally lost it, as in forgot what system it was on and checked the wrong one.) I wonder if I took notes when I played it before in about 2003? Anyway, maybe tonight I'll finally crack open the other laptop that's been waiting for me for months and see if I can get stuff to run on it.

User avatar
Kizyr
Keeper of Knowledge (probationary)
Posts: 8066
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2002 7:36 am
Location: Marius Zone
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Kizyr » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:46 pm

I don't have time to review the thread and make specific responses (after a 2-week hiatus...). But I'll comment that I (by way of Jenner) tried to help fill in some of the details on Lunar's background for Camel Pimp in his LP, plus he apparently had many of the same design docs that we did. So, regardless of anyone's thoughts on his writing style, he did do his homework for this one.

I read a lot of parts of the LP way back when it was being written. I rather do like the style of it and think it makes a lot of good, targeted criticisms of the game. He mostly has the same opinion I did (although, I also had a post-release glow that led me to think the game was better than it truly was the first 2-3 months after its release... so that had to wear off first before I could look at it a little less subjectively). KF
~Kizyr
Image

User avatar
Leo
BANNED
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Leo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:49 am

Imagine if people didn't go through that afterglow. The world wouldn't have made a big deal out of Dances With Wolves, Titanic or Cruel Intentions.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4551
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Sonic# » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:26 am

I disagree. Unlike Dragon Song among games, those are films that still receive substantial praise, frequent listing among great films, and many people love them even today. Out of that list, only Cruel Intentions comes close to Dragon Song's ranking on aggregate reviewers' sites.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Leo
BANNED
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Leo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:28 pm

That's amazing since Titanic is just another example of them trying to make a historical movie, realizing most people find those boring and then focusing on a love story over the events. As for Dances With Wolves, I know a few people that it continued to be into it but everyone agrees that it didn't deserve all of the awards it got.

Outside of the Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair kiss, I can't make any sense of why it got so popular. The same goes for Wild Things (1998) with Kevin Bacon, Neve Campbell and Denise Richards... Watch THAT again and see if you don't strain your eyes from rolling them so often. That one also got inexplicably popular for a while.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4551
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Finally beat it.

Postby Sonic# » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:55 pm

"Them" - who? The first sentence strikes me as an inaccurate way to describe the process by which Titanic was made. James Cameron pitched his script as "Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic." The film started as a love story set on the Titanic, and it being a romantic epic was a success.

Anyway, the accolades that the films have collected demonstrate that they earned their reputation. Both it and Dances with Wolves earned the Best Picture Oscar, the equivalent of being the best rated game in the year they were released. And their reputations have continued - Dances with Wolves was one of a select few films archived in the US National Film Registry, and Titanic continues to appear on the American Film Institute's Top 100 list. You may personally feel less enthusiasm for the films since they came out, but they are still well-respected and loved by tons of people.

Lunar: Dragon Song won no awards, has a low metacritic score, and even at the time of release the effects of post-release enthusiasm only allowed Kizyr to claim it was an okay game. I wanted to like it, but pretty soon I had to admit it was bad. That pattern of mild acceptance to dislike does not fit those two films.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time


Return to “Lunar: Dragon Song”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests