MOGSPECTIVE: LEGEND OF LEGAIA

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Ah, here's an interesting one.



Legend of Legaia is one of my favorite RPGs, and it's unique for a few different ways. It was one of the RPG's released during PS1's RPG 'Golden Age' by Contrail, one of Sony's internal development studios. It was pretty dope for a few reasons, mainly its battle system and interesting story setup.

Basically, humanity uses and wears living magical tools/creatures called 'Seru', but one day the world is covered in Mist that turns people wearing Seru into mindless zombies, and the rest of unworn Seru into homicidal beasts, and also invites monsters to roam around Mist(y) areas, because why not?

Our three heroes come into what's called 'Ra-Seru', a sort of super Seru that they wear around their arms that are immune to the effects of the Mist, and they go around reviving Genesis Trees, holy trees that can banish the Mist from an area around it.

Let's dive in.

WHY I LIKE IT

Honestly, a big part of the reason I like Legend of Legaia is just that it's a very structurally sound game. The music direction is nice, dungeons are structured well enough, the graphics have aged okay, and the plot is different enough to keep me engaged and it isn't very predictable. There's nothing about it that frustrates me except for the random encounters, which is a beast I'm willing to tolerate.



What Legend of Legaia really does right, where it really shines, however, is its battle system, and moreso it's challenge. It's battle system is interesting enough where instead of 'pressing X', different 'movements' done by a character chain together and 'spark' special moves. Then, special moves can be done on command by performing that same chain again.




But let's talk about the difficulty.



Fuck around and find out;
Legend of Legaia will wreck you if you mess around and don't take it seriously. The game by no means starts off difficult, nor is it designed to be frustrating (or even inherently difficult like Dark Souls), but it does expect you to pay attention, and if you slack or think that you can just meander along and take your good graces (like items, MP, and resource management) for granted, one of its infamous boss fights will come and fuck your fucking shit the fuck up. To those who have played before, the Berzerker boss may come to mind.

Legend of Legaia will always remain in my mind for having a challenge level that demands you take dungeons, combat, and bosses seriously. It's one of the RPGs that actually command respect on this measure.



WHY YOU SHOULD PLAY IT

Why not? It's fun! Legend of Legaia isn't a game that 'sticks out' in a lot of players mind, because it doesn't have many sharp edges. It doesn't have the complexity of plot like Xenogears or the raw charm of Chrono Trigger, but it's generally a good time.

There's something about it, a certain je ne sais pas that Legaia has that I wish stuck around for more games like it, and I personally think its challenge level is a sight for sore eyes. It certainly is different enough to make it distinct, but familiar enough to be a solid good time. I'm not sure where you can nab it (I'm not sure if its sold on PSN), but hell, emulate it. Play it!
unity
You're magical to me.
12203
Another one that I very much enjoyed. The oppressive fog, and how you would lift it from place to place and expand where you could explore, the neat story with the corrupted beings and the Ra-Seru that would bind with humans, the super-cool battle system... There was a kind of Wild-ARMs feel mixed with a lot of cool unique elements. I also have a lot of nostalgia for the music from this game.

I never played the sequel, though. Was it any good?
I actually liked 2 better - it made the balancing a bit better, added in a ton of sidequests and had some pretty awesome puzzles that built apon past puzzles to teach the player how to solve them. The only bad thing about it was that one character's VA. >.<

That said, 1 had a pretty amazing atmosphere. I got legit chills with the fog and the wall and the monster. ;^;


2 and Lufia are the two games that I will always look at when it comes to designing puzzles - they both build off the past puzzles in order to teach the player and keep making them harder.
i've yet to play 2, but damn the first game dID SCARE THE FUCK OUT OF ME A LOT OF TIMES.
Or rather, creep me. I used to get really creeped out. It had this thick atmosphere, as thick as the in game fog. The soundtrack also while not really making it into my (now broken ;_;) phone did reeeeally work in setting up the mood.

Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
It's too bad I missed out on all these PSone RPGs back in the day.
You can always go back and play 'em!
I always enjoyed the way monsters defeated became spells - linking all of the magic in the game directly to characters in a cool fashion.
unity
You're magical to me.
12203
author=Enker
I always enjoyed the way monsters defeated became spells - linking all of the magic in the game directly to characters in a cool fashion.

Yeah, totally! I thought that was a super cool way to do magic! :DDDD

author=JosephSeraph
i've yet to play 2, but damn the first game dID SCARE THE FUCK OUT OF ME A LOT OF TIMES.
Or rather, creep me. I used to get really creeped out. It had this thick atmosphere, as thick as the in game fog. The soundtrack also while not really making it into my (now broken ;_;) phone did reeeeally work in setting up the mood.


I loved how creepy everything was! The mood for that game was the perfect mix of strange, dark and oppressive!
oh yeah managing to creep me out is definitely a big plus for any game bahahahahahaha~

it and parasite eve were the two non-horror games that managed to make me look behind while playing. an atmosphere as thick as to be cut with a butter knife C:

and i really like the magic system too! I tried to do something similar once but it didn't work out. But it's an idea for the future.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13829
How does the magi system work? I've never played this but it sounds like a better version of ff8's drawing.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
author=Ratty524
It's too bad I missed out on all these PSone RPGs back in the day.

and also PS2 RPGs for me! I didn't own a PS1 or 2.
author=Craze
How does the magi system work? I've never played this but it sounds like a better version of ff8's drawing.

Basically, you obtain magic by defeating Seru-type enemies.

To expand, there are two types of enemies; regular monsters and beasts (that you can find anywhere), and mad Seru found only in areas with the Mist. You gain magic by a character defeating a Seru, that Seru then has a chance to be 'absorbed' into that character's Ra-Seru to be summoned at will, which is basically a magic spell.

This is good and bad; you fight enough Seru frequently enough to never really be without magic, and the only magic you really need is healing magic. However, given the challenge level of the game, magic does help a great deal, and some magic is so helpful that it would be silly to pass up on.

The issue lies with several things.

1. Magic spells are tied to particular Seru, and Seru are only found where there's Mist. The game is about clearing Mist from the world region by region. Get where I'm going for this? You can permanently miss magic spells, but this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Seru enemies often have stronger palette swaps of each other throughout the game. If you miss a Seru, you're almost certainly bound to see it again somewhere later.

2. You have a chance to absorb Seru enemies upon defeating them. A chance. It's a pretty reasonable chance mind you, but if there's a Seru you're itching to absorb with a certain character (and different spells are better for each of the 3 characters for one reason or another, tactical or statwise), and the RNG is fucking with you, it can be a pain in the ass.

All in all, it's not really a big deal. There's only a few magic spells that are worth stressing about, and you fight Seru monsters frequently enough to obtain the spells you need. The game's challenge is reasonably balanced enough to where you're not really going to find yourself screwed without a particular magic spell. I used a lot of words breaking it down, but it's only bothersome if you're a completionist.

Just make sure you grab those healing spells, and that one with the dog that shoots out that giant spike, and you're good.
So to put it short it has nothing to no with ff8 and the game remains as unique as ever. XD

Vera was a pretty important spell i remember
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
author=kentona
author=Ratty524
It's too bad I missed out on all these PSone RPGs back in the day.
and also PS2 RPGs for me! I didn't own a PS1 or 2.

PSone is the only playstation I own. I was pretty much Nintendo and PC all the way (still am).
Man, I didn't really love Legend of Legaia. I don't remember it being awful or anything--just really forgettable. As in: I don't remember much of anything about it. Here are my memories:

-The battle system. I remember liking it when I was younger, but don't you generally just put in the "best" combo every time you do a physical attack? What that is changes throughout the game as your little input bar gets longer, but I don't recall there being much depth. I didn't remember the magic system at all, but it just sounds kind of passable at best.

-The fog. The world did have an oppressive vibe, which was probably the coolest part of the game. What I remember most about the fog is the tower people live on that is built up so that the higher levels are above the fog. It was a cool aspect of the world.

-I'm pretty sure there was a secret boss in a bee hive in the first town. I'm guessing bees.

Like, that's about it. I don't remember the central antagonist really having any gravitas, and the characters didn't have much in terms of depth or nuance to make me care about them. The game mechanics weren't interesting enough for me to overlook that, either. It just felt like a really average game to me.
author=House
-The battle system. I remember liking it when I was younger, but don't you generally just put in the "best" combo every time you do a physical attack? What that is changes throughout the game as your little input bar gets longer, but I don't recall there being much depth.


The biggest thing stopping you from spamming your best combo is the fact that you have to balance your input bar with defense; you have to 'charge' your input bar via defending, and your input bar length diminishes as you put in different combos.

It's a pretty cool game of tug of war as you balance defending (which you actually need to defense, as some boss moves will outright kill you if you don't) to increase your input bar with simultaneously balancing the need to offense as well.

Given the fact that you can chain lesser combinations together to make new moves give it another layer as well; do you want to go all out after a few rounds of heavy defense or do you want to end the fight quickly to minimize damage but risk yourself to it backfiring? It has more depth than you're remembering!

author=House
Like, that's about it. I don't remember the central antagonist really having any gravitas, and the characters didn't have much in terms of depth or nuance to make me care about them.


The game has a few antagonists of note, but it's not really a character study (or even really a villain study), while there are 'bad guys', namely those who are responsible for the mist, I think Legaia is really a game about exploration and solving the mysteries of the world than it is about its characters. The main characters are also aided by the fact that their Ra-Seru's are sentiment and they're characters as well!

I think it's a pretty cool game; like I said, it doesn't have any huge factors to it that make it WOAH, but it's definitely worth a play. The challenge alone makes it refreshing.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
author=Ratty524
author=kentona
author=Ratty524
It's too bad I missed out on all these PSone RPGs back in the day.
and also PS2 RPGs for me! I didn't own a PS1 or 2.
PSone is the only playstation I own. I was pretty much Nintendo and PC all the way (still am).

I have a PS3, but only used it for Rock Band and blurays
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
I never played this game growing up (I didn't get into the PSX until 2001), but what struck me first about the screenshots is how much it seemed to have inspired Legend of Vanadia. Like alarmingly so.

If only Aten were still here, I'm sure he'd have something to say about this.
Deltree
doesn't live here anymore
4556
I loved the heck out of this game, even though I recall it's an incredible slog to play.

I'm not sure why I love it so much (much less played through it more than once) - the combat turns into "nothin' but miracle arts" about halfway through, which you have to charge up for first, so there's a whole lot of waiting around before and during attacks. I always ended up getting that dog-monster-that-vomits-up-a-huge-spear magic attack for every character and using that for the majority of my attacks.

I guess I liked it for the rather bleak and oppressive setting that still gave itself room to breathe from time to time. I distinctly remember there being a dialog option to explain what a pimp is to a little girl.

I've got the disc somewhere around here. Maybe I'll try it again this summer!
So we had a good convo going, but the downtime that RMN had sort of disrupted things. Are you guys enjoying these Mogspectives? I get a kick out of writing them, do you guys like reading them and participating?
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