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Page 1:
Final Fantasy Legend
Final Fantasy Legend II
Final Fantasy Legend III

Page 2:
Romancing SaGa
Romancing SaGa 2
Romancing SaGa 3

Page 3:
SaGa Frontier
SaGa Frontier 2

Page 4:
Unlimited Saga
Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song

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Romancing SaGa (ロマンシング サ・ガ) - Super Famicom, WonderSwan Color, mobile phones, Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console (1992)

Japanese Super Famicom Cover

The first in the series not on the Game Boy, and the first in the Super Famicom trilogy, was, unfortunately, also the first to not to be released outside of Japan. Romancing SaGa is the game that really established most of the traits that the series is known for. Discarding the linear style of the previous installments, Romancing SaGa focuses on open-ended adventure, giving you free reign to explore the game world as you please, and accessing quests in any order you chose. The main plot involves the evil god Saruin, who was long ago stripped of his powers and sealed away by the hero Mirsa. Unfortunately, the god's Minions plan to restore him, and thus are seeking the Fatestones, the legendary jewels in which Saurin's powers were placed. Instead of having one main character, there are eight possibilities for you to choose when you start the game. The gorgeous character illustrations are by Tomomi Kobayashi, who went on to supply the artwork for the rest of the SaGa series.

Characters

Albert

Often considered to be the central character, Albert is the son of the lord of Isthmus Keep. When his family home is assaulted and destroyed by monsters, he is separated from his family, and forced to seek refuge with the royal family of the kingdom of Rosalia.

Aisha

Aisha is a member of the nomadic Taralian tribe, who initially leaves her village to explore the world. When the rest of her tribe later disappears, she searches for their whereabouts.

Barbara

Barbara is a carefree dancer, who is part of a traveling troupe of entertainers. A free spirit by nature, she wanders the world, with no particular goal in mind.

Claudia

Claudia is a female ranger, who lives in the woods with her animal companions. She was raised by the mysterious forest witch since birth, and is venturing away from her woodland home for the first time. She soon discovers her unexpected connection to the powerful Bafal Empire.

Gray

A tacit, emotionless mercenary, with magnificent sword skills. Gray travels the world in the pursuit of riches.

Hawke

A powerful pirate, who seeks revenge against his rival, the villainous pirate known as Butcher. Unlike most people in the world, Hawke gets along quite well with the lizard-like Geckling race.

Jamil

A young thief who lives in the slums of South Estamir with his childhood friends. Despite his meager living, he dreams of making a better life for himself and his compatriots.

Sif

A powerful, female warrior from the icy region of Valhalland. Sif is honorable and proud, and seeks to hone her formidable fighting skills.

The Minstrel

Central to Romancing SaGa's plot is the Minstrel, a mysterious, wandering bard who can be found in pubs throughout the world. An identical looking character can be found in both Romancing SaGa 2 and 3, and although the connection between them is never stated, given his role in the first game, it is entirely possible that they are all meant to be the same individual.

In addition to these eight, there are a large number of other characters that can be found in various locations, and you can recruit up to six of them for your party. Although each main character has a specific, linear intro segment, the game soon leaves you to your own devices. By talking to townsfolk, you can learn about new locations which will open up on your world map. You are free to travel to any location that you have heard of, with little restriction. Additionally, talking to various people in the world will give you access to a multitude of quests, which can be undertaken in almost any order and form the meat of the game.

Romancing SaGa was also the first game to fully implement the method of character growth that would become the standard in the series. Similar to the first two Game Boy games, character stats increase sporadically at the conclusion of battles rather than through experience points and level ups. New in this installment are weapon levels. Your party members are able to equip any weapon, and as they continue using it, their skill with it will increase, allowing them to do more damage, and eventually learning up to four weapon-specific attacks. Unfortunately, the skill levels are specific to each individual weapon. You may have high ability in a particular sword, but exchanging it for a stronger sword will force you to start from the beginning, resulting in low damage and no special attacks until you put in the effort of regaining the skill levels.

Other flaws exist in the game as well. Romancing SaGa introduces battle formations, which allows you to position your party members in three different rows. Unfortunately, if you're attacked by an enemy from the back or side (which is extremely common), the formation becomes scrambled. Since certain weapons are only usable from specific rows, this can be rather frustrating. Additionally, while random battles have been eliminated, the number of enemies wandering around each area is ridiculously high, and they tend to swarm your position. This results in you being forced continuously into battle after battle, often times with your party formation messed up.

Despite these drawbacks, Romancing SaGa is still a revolutionary console RPG in its method of non-linear exploration, and paved the way for better things to come. The game was later re-released for the WonderSwan Color in 2001, which was essentially a port of the SNES original, and later completely remade for the PS2, which will be discussed later.

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  • Akitoshi Kawazu

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Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa (Super Famicom)


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Romancing SaGa 2 (ロマンシング サ・ガ2) - Super Famicom, mobile phones, Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console (1993)

Japanese Super Famicom Cover

The second game in the Romancing SaGa trilogy is certainly unique in its choice of main character - you play as an entire line of emperors and empresses over a long period of years. The plot recounts the struggles of the royal family of Avalon, as they seek to unite the world against a grave threat. Seven legendary heroes have returned to the world, but instead of the saviors everyone hoped for, they have come back as demons intent on taking out their rage on all in their path. As a generational game, you control the current emperor and empress of each generation. Once several years have passed in each generation, or if your current emperor dies in battle, he is replaced by the next in line, who inherits all of his predecessors' skills and abilities. For the most part, you are able to choose each generation's ruler from any of the character classes that are available to you. However, there are three specific rulers who you will control at certain points.

Characters

Leon

The initial Emperor of Avalon whom you begin the game as. He is the first to attempt to fight against the Seven Heroes, but is killed almost immediately as a result.

Gerard

Gerard is Leon's son. When he is first introduced, he is pathetically weak. However, after inheriting his father's skills upon his death, he gains the power necessary to combat the Heroes.

The Final Emperor/Empress

Although you can name him/her whatever you like, this character always has the same appearance. This is the last ruler of Avalon, who you control during the final battles of the game. As the culmination of generations of skills being passed down, he/she is a force to be reckoned with.


Continuing the style that was introduced in the first Romancing SaGa, Romancing SaGa 2 is highly open ended with numerous quests available. One interesting feature is the ability to increase the size of your empire. Completing certain quests will result in the various minor kingdoms and provinces you assist pledging their allegiance to your throne. The more territory your empire encompasses, the more money the royal treasury will receive in taxes. You can then spend the Empire's capital in building new facilities, and researching new weapons and spells. And, of course, it goes without saying that it is pretty awesome opening the map and seeing that your empire controls most of the known world.

The battle system of Romancing SaGa 2 is very similar to its predecessor. However, there are several improvements that make things infinitely more convenient. For example, each character's weapon abilities now correspond to types of weapons, rather than to specific weapons themselves. Thus, a character who develops a high level using a sword will keep his abilities for ALL swords he equips. Battle formation, which was very basic in the first Romancing SaGa, has been expanded upon immensely. Rather than simply allowing you to position your characters on different rows, you are now given many different formations to choose from. Each one arranges your party members into different shapes and adjusts their stats. New formations are learned by recruiting different characters.

Romancing SaGa 2 not only improves upon pre-existing features, but also introduces several new gimmicks that would prove to be enduring. This id the first game in the series in which the Life Point system was utilized. After each battle, your parties' HP will be automatically refilled, and all negative status ailments will be removed. This may seem overly generous, but there's a catch. Each character has a set number of Life Points which does not replenish after each battle. Anytime their HP drops to zero during combat, and any time they're struck after that, they'll lose a LP. When their LP hits zero, the character is removed from your party, forcing you to finish the area without them. This feature would remain present in all of the following games with little change, with the unique exception of Unlimited Saga. The game also saw the introduction of the famous "Glimmer" system of learning new special attacks.

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  • Akitoshi Kawazu

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Romancing SaGa 2 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 2 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 2 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 2 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 2 (Super Famicom)


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Romancing Saga 3 (ロマンシング サ・ガ3) - Super Famicom, Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console (1995)

Japanese Super Famicom Cover

Romancing SaGa, released in 1995, is the final SaGa game to appear on the Super Famicom. This time, the plot focuses on the mysterious event known as the "Death Eclipse". Every 300 years, this occurs, and all new born life on the planet dies. However, rarely, a single child will be spared, and will grow to have great powers. Taking place sixteen years after the most recent Death Eclipse, the game stars a group of adventurers, as they seek out the legacies of the powerful Devil King and Divine King, previous survivors of the Eclipse. Like the first Romancing SaGa, there are eight characters to choose from, who initially band together to prevent a rebellion before going their separate ways.

Characters

Julian

A green haired swordsman who lives in a small frontier village. The Marquis of Loanne hires him as a royal guard after seeing his skills.

Thomas

Thomas is an intellectual merchant. Although he initially lives in a small village with his friends, he is actually the heir to a sizable fortune. As a merchant, he is the only character that has access to a business-oriented minigame.

Elen

A tough young frontiers woman who is skilled at wielding an axe. She is the childhood friend of Julian, although she rebuffs his romantic attempts.

Sarah

Elen's sixteen year old sister. Although she seems frail and meek, she possesses an unexpected destiny.

Harid

A famed mercenary, whose battle skills are world renown. He is seen by others as being rather greedy, as he rarely assists people without being paid for it.

Michael

The arrogant Marquis of Loanne who, early in the game, is forced to suppress a rebellion with the help of the other seven main characters. He also has sole access to a minigame, this one being a kingdom simulator.

Katharina

The bodyguard of the Loanne royal family. When the Masquerade, an heirloom sword in her keeping, is stolen, she places herself in self-imposed exile until she can reclaim it.

Monica

The princess of Loanne, and Michael's sister. After hearing word of a planned coup against her brother, she flees Loanne to seek help, finding the frontier village where Julian and his friends live.

Identical the previous two games, Romancing SaGa 3 also features a larger cast of dozens of other characters whom you can recruit into your party. This time, however, the possible party members are much more varied and unique than the rather generic warriors of the past games. The oddballs that can join you include a superhero, a giant lobster, and even a living snowman. The mysterious Minstrel returns once again as well, and for the first time can actually join your party.

The graphics this time around have gone through a noticeable upgrade, putting it on par with Square's other titles released around the same time such as Final Fantasy VI. There are some rather visually impressive attack and spell animations, and the enemies' battle sprites are large and detailed. The basic gameplay, though, is nothing new, taking elements from the first two Romancing SaGas. The method of exploring the world and taking on quests is identical to the first Romancing SaGa. And while the kingdom building elements of Romancing SaGa 2 may be gone, its battle system returns, complete with glimmers, party formations and life points. Formations have been slightly tweaked further this time around, though, and play a large part in allowing your party to unleash powerful, and often times flashy, multi-tech attacks. One interesting new feature is the war game. At various points in the quest, you have the option of taking command of an army, and using them in a mini strategy game. While these are very rarely important, and not overly fun due to its lack of refinement, it's still an interesting attempt to try something new in the series.

While Romancing SaGa 3 doesn't offer too many new and exciting elements, it does greatly improve and refine the systems that were introduced in Romancing SaGa and 2. With a slightly easier learning curve than its predecessors, it is one of the games in the series that is most easy to get into. Combine this with an excellent soundtrack, once again scored by Kenji Ito, and you have a game that's well worth trying out.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Akitoshi Kawazu

Genre:

Themes:


Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)

Romancing SaGa 3 (Super Famicom)


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<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Final Fantasy Legend
Final Fantasy Legend II
Final Fantasy Legend III

Page 2:
Romancing SaGa
Romancing SaGa 2
Romancing SaGa 3

Page 3:
SaGa Frontier
SaGa Frontier 2

Page 4:
Unlimited Saga
Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song

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