EBC playthrough thread

For discussion of Lunar: Eternal Blue, the remake of Lunar 2 for Saturn/Playstation and all its translations
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Alunissage
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EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:14 am

Here's a thread for the folks who just got the JP EBC on PSN to talk about playing it. Or people like me who haven't yet gotten the JP game but decided yesterday to play through the NA version for probably the first time since 2000-2001. (Yeah, I know. What kind of fan am I? The slow kind, obviously.)

Initial discussion of the PSN release (among other things) here:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=5647&start=20

Key links from that thread:
http://www.gamearts.co.jp/products/game-archives-sp/
http://kotaku.com/5982662/how-to-make-a ... -the-store

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby jay_are » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:41 am

Luckily, I've gotten a bit far! Things I have to say...

1. The part of the intro that's spoken in the English PS1 version is just text in Japanese!

2. Temzin mentioned brutal music slowdown when going in and out of battles? I've not noticed this. Maybe VERY SLIGHT slowdown, which is not the same as brutal. (I'm only after Larpa as of right now).

3. I like Zophar's voice more in Japanese. It was good in English, but gave me more of a Mortal Kombat vibe.
In Japanese, it sounds more unique... maybe more humanly, which would be a wrong voice for a monster, but it's also more understandable and clear even though I can't understand Japanese! In English, it's impossible to understand what he's saying without me reading it.

4. Lucia's voice is a bit lower pitched in Japanese which sounds more natural, but I like both versions equally in this case.

5. That scene in Larpa when Ronfar talks about his past with Mauri, in english, there was voice acting here, and I liked it.
In Japanese, it's just the music and text boxes!

6. I was hoping the crying baby sound wouldn't be as bad, but nope, that part is the exact same as the english version as far as I can remember. :lol:
Last edited by jay_are on Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:47 am

And since I'm apparently unable to copy posts from the other thread rather than moving them, I'll just have to start with my own comments. I started up the NA EBC yesterday evening, after taking a few days to prepare my spreadsheet of info on the game -- lists of equipment and spells and items and stuff, with locations and Japanese names when I can easily produce them. Yeah, this is why it takes me so long to play anything.

I stopped last night just after Leo does his Dragon Cannon rescue outside the Spire. Have already typed up 15 pages of notes (including a lot of dialogue transcription), badly typoed. Eight saves so far. (Playing this on PS3 so I can make as many memcards as I want. I believe when I first played it in 2000-1 I ended with about 77 saves, all of which have been lost since.) Which is nice because I don't have to, say, spend an extra hour or so levelling Hiro up to 14 just to see Solar Bomb again.

One thing I remember from my earlier playthrough (or my sister's, which is still ongoing after several years) is that Gwyn has four different voice clips for running away from battle. I didn't do any running at this time so I haven't heard any of them, but can always reload an earlier save! Likewise, I made an attempt to get Ruby to attack in the Guardian boss battle but didn't pull it off and will do it some other time.

Mostly right now I'm just noticing things that are a bit different from the SegaCD game. Lucia refers to being called to Lunar by someone, who she'd assumed was Althena, but we don't really get a clear motivator for her going to Lunar from the opening sequence of this game. In the SegaCD game she has a dream of Lunar being crushed by hands and exploding in blood, and when she goes outside and finds that she's up early, she looks at the moon, remembers her dream, and says "Oh, no... Lunar!" She doesn't say that in this version. Her dream is of the Blue Star's destruction. But she wonders, "How can I have been brought here without being summoned by the Goddess?"

(Incidentally, this sort of contradicts Hosoe's novelization of Lunar 2, in which Lucia says that she's never met Althena. She and Zophar recognize each other, and she remembers the devastation of the Blue Star, so it seems unlikely that she'd have met Zophar without meeting Althena. But I'm not sure if the novels are based on this version of the game. And it's not like other novelizations stay really close to the games...)

Also, it's probably Shiva Indis's influence, but I'm finding myself rather more critical of the animation than I tend to be.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:52 am

I remember Vic mentioning that they decided to record the opening text with John Truitt narrating rather than keeping it text. I generally prefer text myself because it's hard for me not to pick apart the voice acting.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby jay_are » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:18 am

I like text, because that way I make sure not to miss ANY words at all.
But a voice acting addition is nice. John Truitt did a good job too.

As for being critical on animation ... for a 1998 production, the animation successfully stands the test of time.
It's 2015, and the quality in anime has hardly increased, besides in resolution.
DragonBall and Pokémon animes today don't look better than they did in the 90s, for example.
Sure, there are mistakes here and there in Lunar 2 Sat/PS1 movies, but if redone today, you'd be surprised how bad it could go.
I don't have the slightiest doubt that Lunar 2 has high quality animation even today, minus the overly separated eyes of the characters sometimes of course, which could have been avoided. The overall quality could only be defeated by the highest budget animes today.

Same for voice acting. I played Legend of Legacy (demo) the other day for example, and the spoken dialogue was as bland and boring as could be. In comparison, John Truitt is a godsend.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:05 am

Well, what I'm thinking of is largely in the design. Like all of the chins being really pointy. And Shiva has pointed out various points of carelessness, like the line of Lucia's pendant being treated as a neckline, or her hair being way short in one scene. That's not an artifact of age or technology. There are certainly some places where it's grainier than I'd expect too, though... and as I said, I'm rarely critical of animation, because it's not something that interests me much. In games it's more likely to put me off, actually; Chrono Trigger comes to mind.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Temzin » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:14 am

Yesss. Sadly, if you've played the MCD version, the remake animation just can't hold up on repeat playthroughs. Compared with anything else but Lunar, the remake's cinemas would be great, but Gonzo did such a slipshod job---the EB remake cinemas are pretty infamous in the few corners of the Japanese internet where Lunar is still discussed, and I recall even Funato Akari herself saying something along the lines of "After SSS, I remember seeing EB [remake] and thinking, 'what the hell is this?'" While we've discussed the pros and cons of the other changes in EB (missing characters and cinemas, etc.) over the years, the animation issues have always struck me most. Ironically, while the remake has more fluid animation, the drawing is objectively better in the MCD version. Shiva has covered this in-depth on the boards before. But for some more examples:

1. SSS - animations perfectly adapt the smooth beauty of Kubooka's art:
Art: http://lunar-net.com/sssc/artwork/game-us-manual3.jpg
Cinema: http://lunar-net.com/sssc/screens/42/im ... 316.56.jpg

2. EB - identical scenes, horrifyingly different facial structures:
MCD: http://lunar-net.com/eb/screens/4/image ... UE_180.jpg
SS/PS: http://lunar-net.com/ebc/screens/9/EBC3216.JPG

3. EB - from smooth to blocky:
MCD: http://lunar-net.com/eb/screens/4/image ... UE_114.jpg
SS/PS: http://lunar-net.com/ebc/screens/9/EBC3261.JPG

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:27 am

Yes, Funato had some very sharp things to say about the EB remake animation. I think it's in one of her sketchbooks, and I know it's in one of the PDFs she released. Shiva Indis used to have that page as her user icon here.

That last example, of Hiro driving the Destiny, is making me think of Chrono Trigger. You know something is horribly wrong when a Lunar scene is suggesting Toriyama art.

While I wouldn't go as far as some have in calling this remake crappy, I can agree with your calling it sloppy. There are a number of things I really like about it -- the multiplicity of character portraits alone redeem it to me, since it's such a character-driven story -- but there are whole areas that were just skimped on. Beautiful dungeon graphics and boring, simple dungeons. Interesting five-element system and almost no enemies that have weaknesses and strengths more complicated than elemental vs physical. And, of course, the potential of the animation vs the reality. Sigh.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby jay_are » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:18 am

What anime today looks like what Lunar 2's animation should look like if remade?
I can't think of much at the moment, a lot of animes are looking plainly colored, as in, much less shadows and just plain colors. (Tales of games come to mind)

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/ima ... o5fjpg.jpg

Alunissage wrote: Interesting five-element system

Speaking of this, during my playthrough, I noticed a difference.
In the USA version, the enemy would change color when selected to indicate the attack is weak or strong against this enemy.
In the Japanese version, this was indicated by just a little O or X on top of the enemy when selected, O being good, X being bad.
I like the USA version more in this case!

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:33 am

Yes, I remember Vic mentioning that too. I forget not everyone has this little catalog of changes mentioned back in 1999-2000 in their heads. :P

Anyway, it'd be ideal if the EBC animation were remade to actually look like the EB character designs.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby jay_are » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:22 am

Hehe I think most of these little differences were present in the USA demo too. I just had forgotten cause it's been a while.
But I'm posting it here for others to see.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:52 am

I'll have to check. I can tell you that the save system and the spell names were not done in the demo. The save system especially: it required TWO blocks of memory for all of THREE saves total. Ken did a great job expanding that to two saves per block. But I don't remember if the text boxes and voiced scenes were done, or the color-coding the weaknesses and resistances. And the level 14 vacuuming spell was called Atomic Burn (not to be confused with her other Atomic Burn, which was a single attack...)

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:15 am

36 pages of notes. My hands are giving out. But I've gotten all the way to Dalton!

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby brit » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:20 pm

I just finished up in Dalton as well as the Star Tower area and am on my way to the Illusion Woods.
So far most of the differences I have noticed Jay_Are's already mentioned above in his first post so I won't repeat them. ^^

There was a scene in Larpa right after Lucia leaves where I felt Hiro had a different expression in the English version. However, I don't remember it too well- even though I just played it 2 weeks ago. I think it was in the third panel though. If you want to see the Japanese
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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Temzin » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:04 pm

Edit: Oooh, you meant a different expression on Hiero's character portrait rather than the dialogue. I just watched the same sequence on Youtube, and you're right: he has his puzzled expression in the original but a sad expression in the WD version, which matches the more expansive dialogue WD game him ("She's gone, Ronfar. That's what she told us..." rather than, "Actually..." and letting Rong-fa state the same thing in his next dialogue.). That's some memory you have!

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:51 pm

Nice catch, brit! I'll have to make a note of it... and to flesh out my notes before I play the import!

Good grief, the bartender at the Blue Note in Dalton has a lot to say, if you tell him you don't mind hearing the pointless ramblings of an old man...

Really, now? Well, that’s good to hear! Everyone else in this tavern tells me to shut up! Until a few years ago, Dalton was just a tiny fishing village. Most folks didn't even know it existed. But that was just how we liked it. Everyone knew everyone else, and everyone helped everyone else. And at the end of each day, they came here, to laugh together and cry together. It was wonderful.
- The fishermen who lived in Dalton were fearless, but they always had respect for the sea. Whenever the weather would get ugly, their wives would come here and drink to mask their fear. And whenever a ship returned to port safely, a wave of joy would sweep through the town. I felt that joy as much as anyone...and when a ship didn’t come back, I felt sorrow as much as anyone.
- Whether the catch was bountiful or terrible, the fishermen and their wives came here to celebrate. This tavern would be bursting with burly men, beautiful women, and raucous laughter. They ate and drank and fought and made the loudest racket you’ve ever heard in your life! My favorite memories are when the lot of them would burst out into drunken chanties. Heh, heh!
- Dalton changed forever when Althena’s Guard built a port for the Dragonship Destiny here. Althena’s Chosen followed the Guard to Dalton, and our town has been growing rapidly ever since. All my old friends are gone now, and none of The Chosen drink, so this tavern is a lonely place. If business doesn’t pick up soon, I’ll have to close down. But I’m already thinking about retirement...
- Dalton is a bustling harbor town these days, but I remember when it was just a tiny fishing village.
Ruby: I’d like Dalton more if it was a fishing village, because I’m suddenly very hungry!
Bartender: Heh, heh! No need to worry, my flying friend! There are still plenty of fish to be had here! The fish in the waters off Dalton are the tastiest you’ll ever have, and that’s a promise!
- I’ve always lived in Dalton, and I’m sure I’ll die here. I’ve watched it change so much over the years... ...but there are many times when I wish Dalton hadn’t changed at all. Althena’s Chosen turned this town into a place I don’t recognize anymore. That’s why I stay in here. This tavern is my only link to the Dalton that used to be, and to the friends I used to have.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Temzin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:39 am

Alun, this is so wonderful. For all the woes of the remake, the unpretentious, "lived-in" feel of the world persists, and it's one of the greatest draws of the Game Arts of old. People often assume that this is Working Designs talking, but it's true in the originals as well (even if some of the stranger townspeople were modified, like the dude freaking out in Althena's Shrine in TSS, of course). Theirs are some of the very few RPGs where I can remember specific townspeople and their lives.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:53 am

It really is, isn't it? I like how many of the NPCs are fleshed out into more than a one-liner, even if they still have their obvious gag. Here's one from the Dalton Sanctuary:
Woman near entrance: Many of Dalton’s people have been coming here lately. The Sanctuary has never been so crowded! The donations have been piling up at a rate I’ve never seen before. It’s wonderful, but... ...it’s only because the statue of Althena at the town entrance was recently vandalized. I can’t be happy when almost everyone else in Dalton is upset.
- Well, I admit I’m a LITTLE happy about what happened to the statue. We’re receiving huge donations and adding to the numbers of the Chosen every day. Perhaps...perhaps we should use some of those donations to hire a craftsman to repair the statue.
- I wonder who could have smashed the statue of Althena. A group of bored teenagers, perhaps... ...or one of The Chosen, who knew that the townspeople would start coming here to pray? No, that couldn’t be. A servant of the Goddess would never willingly destroy her sacred image!


There are still plenty of one-dimensional NPCs, of course, but there are a lot that convey this sort of thoughtfulness in an unsimple world. The Chosen aren't uniformly money-grubbers; besides the above, another Dalton townsperson says that the Chosen are "even taking the time to help repair and improve many of the town’s buildings!" It seems to me that the Cult in EB was more unified in greed.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Alunissage » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:08 am

ARGH LUCIA'S LEVELS DON'T MAP TO HIRO'S IN THIS GAME

...by which I mean, she apparently has her own EXP and level counter rather than just levelling up when Hiro does (as she does in EB). Which means it'll be a lot harder to track her level information, because I'll have to notice when her max HP goes up and then check her stats (by going to a shop) and magic (by using Calm Litany). And keeping track of approx amount of EXP between levels will be...argh.

This is probably why my husband says that there are easier ways to get this information than by playing the game and recording it... but I don't wanna dig into the guts of it rather than playing it directly. Whine.

Edit: Okay, it's not nearly as bad as it seems. Though it would've been faster to figure this out if I hadn't been rather obtuse. Lucia appears to gain levels at the same amounts of experience as Hiro and Ronfar (and probably the other three -- but Gwyn is on his own schedule), but that's hard to track early on because after she's cursed she tends to get knocked out, and after she's uncursed, she tends to run away now and again. For some reason I forgot to take these into account, especially the former, when checking her levelling -- probably because everyone DOES get the EXP from the Guardian, even if knocked out (both Gwyn and Hiro levelled up when I had Ruby finish off the Guardian). I was probably thinking of SSSC and SSH, where Nall revives people who were knocked out so they all get EXP.

So, when Lucia gets cursed she starts at level 12. When she rejoins the party after Dalton (the first time she can be in battle after being uncursed), she starts at level 14. I wonder if she also rejoins after the avalanche at a specific level.

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Re: EBC playthrough thread

Postby Ηiro » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:50 pm

Alunissage wrote:36 pages of notes. My hands are giving out. But I've gotten all the way to Dalton!


Following along with this thread after a long week has been such a joy!!! Thank you for the work you're putting in. I just had a chance to skim before starting some work.. I'm excited to hear about more intricate little changes. :)
Avatar by Brit! :3


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