In defense of Lunar: Legend...

For discussion of Lunar: Legend, the scaled-down port of Lunar 1 for the Game Boy Advance
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Greco12
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In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Greco12 »

Am I the only one who thinks that despite the game's flaws, it at least feels like the developers had their hearts in the right place?

I feel like some of the changes added to Lunar: Legend are actually quite welcome. Granted, it doesn't fix all of the story problems (there are still lingering plot holes), but it at least felt like they had some good ideas.

I do like that they added in Taben as a boss, since in all other versions of the game he just sort of disappears from the story. And appropriately, he's piloting a large mechanical device.

I'm still not sure how to feel about Nash being the one to comfort Mia after Ghaleon defeats the party, since for me the point of the girls holding out hope while the boys were having their pity party was kind of the point (in the case of MiaxNash, Mia remained strong-hearted while the once-arrogant Nash was displaying cowardice or perhaps weakness). On the other hand, I like how LL handles the KylexJessica part of that scene by allowing the two to share a tender moment together outside the bar. I think it has a better impact than just her berating him for being all-talk-and-no-show.

All-in-all, I feel like LL's attempts at building on or adding to TSS were more admirable than SSH's, which came across as fan-pandering (that terrible prologue with the Four Heroes or Jessica's cooking scene which ended up being a red herring).

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by HiroOne »

Your post inspires me to pick up a copy and play. I've played of course the WD originals as well as Silver Star Harmony but I passed on this version because it was yet ANOTHER re-make of Silver Star where I've been dying to see more of Eternal Blue and beyond.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

I've always liked Lunar Legend well enough for itself, despite some localization hiccups. As I commented in another thread, it has absolutely adorable sprites, especially in battle, and it also has some interesting versions of things such as Nash also looking to be a Dragonmaster (as in the Lunatic Festa CD), the Sub-Vane boss rather than the Trial Cave, and a few other things. We also actually got to see the Festival in Burg rather than just hearing about it. And there were a few fun little secrets (hidden chests, the Protector's Cave, the special sets of equipment, and that one chest in Ramus's shop) that were a bit different from the others. And seeing Alex's mother as more than a sprite. Etc. I think at the time it came out people were kinda fixed on the negatives -- the first non-WD localization (and one needing another edit), range not being part of the battles, the much weaker GBA sound quality, and a few bugs -- and overlooked the positives.

Of course, I never felt that SSH (which didn't have any of those issues aside from a slightly different direction with the localization) was "pandering" with the Four Heroes prologue and the like, and I tend to feel that that that viewpoint is overly purist. I might feel differently after playing the whole thing in English, but my general feeling is that all things that show a bit of backstory not previously known are of interest. (And besides, we're seeing that prologue as a bedtime story told to Alex and Luna, so it could be a bit mythic -- but it DOES at least partially fit in with the backstory in Damon's library in TSS, and shows character interaction between the Heroes that we never see otherwise, so I don't see why it's "terrible".)

Okay, later tonight I'll make the thread I've been meaning to post for a while on Lunar 1 versions. Stay tuned.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Leoriosan »

I have some fondness for it since it was my introduction to Lunar, although I admit it's flawed in terms of both localization and difficulty.

I thought it was cool that they made Taben a boss, complete with his own mechanical device. It makes me wish they had added him in as a boss in SSH.

I also liked the Protector Cave, particularly the parts when the voice would speak to each character and ask them about their goals and aspirations. The voice compliments Alex, Jessica, and Mia for their answers (which amount to using their powers to help their loved ones and others) and more or less tells Kyle and Nash, "Eh, that'll do."

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

Yeah, it's way too easy, what with the arts gauges (especially Mia's MistVeil, which is three times as powerful as White Dragon Protect!). Though I have to say it was fun filling up Mia's gauge by having her attack with her special staff that dropped fish and books and such on enemies.

It really is a shame that the localization was so rushed. In addition to the text needing another round of editing, one save slot was subtracted and the item duplication/deletion glitch was added -- which could make the game unfinishable if you accidentally overwrote a piece of dragon equipment. I also don't remember the import having the graphical glitches I found in the NA game. But it's still just a really cute game.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Kizyr »

Alunissage wrote:Yeah, it's way too easy, what with the arts gauges (especially Mia's MistVeil, which is three times as powerful as White Dragon Protect!). Though I have to say it was fun filling up Mia's gauge by having her attack with her special staff that dropped fish and books and such on enemies.
Once I got that staff, it was all I ever used.
Alunissage wrote:It really is a shame that the localization was so rushed. In addition to the text needing another round of editing, one save slot was subtracted and the item duplication/deletion glitch was added -- which could make the game unfinishable if you accidentally overwrote a piece of dragon equipment. I also don't remember the import having the graphical glitches I found in the NA game. But it's still just a really cute game.
What were the graphical glitches? I don't remember any of them cropping up in the Japanese game. (Also, I've never actually played all of the NA release of Lunar: Legend. It's the one version of the Lunar series I haven't played, in fact.) KF
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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

Let's see, I remember the lower half of each sprite disappearing and a sudden palette swap of the entire screen. I didn't see either in the Japanese game (which I played all of, I think). There may have been others, but those are the two I recall. The first one happened within a couple hours of my starting the game.

There's one script error which I'm pretty sure is in both versions of the game. After Damon's Spire, if you reenter -- or possibly just if you talk to the thieves on the first floor after talking to Damon -- there's dialogue about the guildmaster's granddaughter being kidnapped. But this hasn't happened yet. And the thing is, you can't get back into the spire after it does happen, so there is no point in the game in which that text would be read properly.

This is making me realize that a J->E differences section for this game is sadly lacking. It probably would have a lot fewer text differences since the translation was likely pretty literal (to the point of having someone follow a line with "Foo, foo, foo" rather than "Ha, ha, ha"), but there were enough localization quirks to make it worth listing.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Maus »

I honestly though that the game was perfectly fine for what it was and I didn't allow any of those flaws to throw me off of it (at least, not completely).

I would also like to point out that they did a whole lot with what little could be offer on a GBA cartridge; this and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams remain two of my all-time favorite ports because of how much they add and how many improvements could be seen on a less powerful machine.

I even think that the in-game cutscenes were a fitting replacement for the animated ones.
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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

To be honest, I have a bit of an anti-voice bias, and I'm not much of one for anime, so I was perfectly happy with the sprite scenes. And I liked collecting cards, even if there was an annoying randomness to some of it. I really need to replay this game... along with, like, EVERY Lunar game. Sigh.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Raining51 »

Yes I really agree! I definitely think that Lunar Legend is perhaps most faithful to the original spirit in many ways and I ended up enjoying this one the most.

By comparison I thought Lunar Silver Star Harmony had it's points anyway it's not like this entry should be thrown in the trash at any rate.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

I've replayed the beginning of LL relatively recently, up to Meribia or so, and I think it actually shows more character depth than any of the other versions of Lunar 1, at least in that part. Some examples:

- Both Nash and Alex take the White Dragon Trial, which is some questions posed to them individually (similar to the questions Ghaleon asks Alex on the boat trip back to Saith in SSSC), so Alex is thinking right away about the implications of the role of Dragonmaster.

- Nash and Nall gripe at each other and Ramus points out that they're all tired and getting short-tempered. This is more perceptive than Ramus is usually shown as being.

- Nash gets kidnapped by pirates and is incredulous that Alex and friends charge in to rescue him without an escape plan, and Alex says "We only thought of saving you." Yes, Alex says this, not Nall as a mouthpiece for him. Nash also outright thanks them, realizing internally that his classism has been blinding him to the possibility of friendship with people of different background.

- Alex speaks a lot more for himself in general, including talking to Mel about the theft of the diamond. He and Nall also have a conversation on the boat about what the future holds, in place of the boat song.

- Nall is sad that Ramus is leaving the party after getting the store, and is surprised that Alex takes it so well. Luna explains that Ramus has a dream too, that now he can finally fulfill. (Ramus also independently leaves Burg ahead of the group to go try to sell the diamond; Quark gave it to Alex saying specifically to give it to the boy with glasses, so it's definitely Ramus's.)

- I haven't gotten to this part in my replay yet, but the replacement of the Cave of Trial with Sub-Vane shows Nash doing some interesting deduction about Luna right away, noting that she doesn't overtly have magic power, but is the one most strongly affected by the magical disturbance in Sub-Vane.

All of it makes me sad that it was hamstrung by the need of editing (the story scenes mentioned above are generally better done than miscellaneous NPC dialogue) and the bugs (I honestly can't tell if Saith is truly empty or if the NPC sprites just aren't loading, but I suspect the latter). Granted, this first part of the game is the part that differs the most from the other versions of Lunar 1 so there was the most scope for new writing, and the rest of the game may not have much in the way of differences and revert to Nall talking for Alex most of the time. Looking forward to finding out.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Kizyr »

Honestly reading this thread and the latest comments get me to re-think Lunar: Legend in the grand scheme of the series.

Silver Star Harmony on its own may have been more fleshed out and a more "complete" game, but looking back... You basically have SSS, with the difficulty scaled so far back it's trivially easy, and with a couple of added scenes that are incredibly out-of-place and add almost nothing. You might as well play SSS and get a much fuller experience.

Lunar: Legend may seem almost basic/simplistic by comparison, but it has plenty of differences with the rest of the series, both in gameplay style and story, that it adds something different not seen in any other Lunar game. Sure you might not get a lot out of it on its own, but... if someone had played the main two games (remakes or originals) and was thinking of playing either SSH or LL, I'd actually recommend they play LL first.
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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by frozenyoge »

I swore against this version back in the day solely because the boat song was truncated into non-existence -- not that I would've been able to tell them how to cram it in there -- but I'm starting to come around to this as a casual way to dip into the world! If I fire it up one of these days, I may just return to aid in the Defense.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

I'd love to hear your comments. It really is an underappreciated game.

I really feel for the localizers, though. Not only did they clearly not have enough time (I think only a few months elapsed between the JP and NA games), but they had the same character limit as in the Japanese script -- and 18-20 characters a line is plenty in Japanese but horribly inadequate for English. (For comparison, SSSC has around 35 English characters per line, and SSH has more.)

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Kizyr »

By the way, do we know for sure that they had to do things like change references to alcohol into references to like, apple cider and chocolate, at Nintendo's behest? Or is that apocryphal? I realize I never really did dig into that question back in the day.
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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by Alunissage »

I'm pretty sure they had to, but don't recall if there was an official statement to that effect. But even if NoA was loosening up regarding their console games, the GBA was likely still seen as being primarily for kids. Ubisoft may also have been concerned about the rating; the game came out in NA on December 13 and they were probably hoping parents would buy it for their kids. It was incredibly rushed to make that release date, and I can't think of any other reason besides wanting it out before Christmas.

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Re: In defense of Lunar: Legend...

Post by ShugoHanasaki »

I thought some of the story changes were neat. Same in SSSC. I wish we could get a TRUE COMPLETE version that has all the games intertwined with their quests through each game like the axe/wood/bridge event at the beginning of TSS for example
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