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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (英雄伝説 ガガーブトリロジー 白き魔女)

First, before I can talk about "Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch", let me first write a dissertation explaining the Legend of Heroes (英雄伝説) series. If you are already familiar with the series, feel free to skip this section.

Falcom (aka the company that makes at least 12 different versions of every game) for some reason put like every RPG they ever made under the single meta-series known as Legend of Heroes. It's like Final Fantasy, except, you would have something like FF XIII-4-2 the revenge of Lightning after she left, after that time she returned again Win 10 evolution remastered edition.

The LOH series graph. See? It's not so confusing once you create a FUCKING GRAPH for it.
Now that you have an an idea of how the series as a whole look (OR NOT), let's now talk about "The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch", otherwise known as Legend of Heroes III, otherwise known as the first entry in the Garghav trilogy, otherwise known as HOW FUCKING HARD CAN IT BE TO NUMBER SHIT?

You see, released in '94 for the PC98, this was the 3rd game in the Legend of Heroes series so it made sense to call it 3 in a series that only had 2 other games. However, this game has no relation to LOH 1&2 (I STILL haven't really figured out that Dragon Slayer shit yet). So really, it was the first part of the Garghav trilogy (3-1 if you will). As per Falcom's MO, it was then remade like a million times (ok ok, just 4 - Win, PS1, Saturn, and PSP) and by the time it came out for the PSP, there was so much shit in the LOH series, it was renamed to "Legend of Heroes Garghav Trilogy White Witch", dropping the III label. Ok, problem solved right? WRONG!

For some reason, the localizers decided to release the SECOND entry FIRST (maybe because it's a better game?). Then they released this game as a "sequel" with probably the worst possible name EVAR: "The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch". It's not the two of anything really except as maybe the second screw-up by the boneheads who published this game outside of Japan.

Now that we got THAT out of the way, let's talk about the game itself. It was.... ummm... OK? I guess it was a decent port from MiCROViSion whom I have never heard of before. The backgrounds sure look better than the Saturn version even though they removed the nice anime cut scenes and replaced it with lame and now totally outdated 3D stuff.

 
This is totally NOT in the PSP version

I dunno, I think my main issue with this game is that Julio and Chris were like the two most boring characters I've ever seen in a video game. They have zero backstory, no character development, and pretty much every other character in the game is way more interesting. Their whole pilgrimage was just SO BORING. You know what would make a great Hero's Journey? The story of the White Witch seemed to have potential for a great narrative. However, you only hear her story in bits and pieces while you're stuck with these two boring characters that have zero chemistry throughout the entire game.

The art looks fine but the two main characters have as much personality as a bag of bricks
The battle system is a weird real-time ATB kinda system where the characters just kinda walk around to attack and you can input commands at any time. There is no clear ATB bar or anything so you just kind of wait around for the characters to do their move. It was kind of challenging on the last boss because there are so many moves that are queued up, it's hard to get the characters to do what you want at the right time.

But beside the obligatory difficulty spike on the last dungeon and boss, this game was so easy that I was really glad it wasn't traditional turn-based. At some point in the game, I discovered that you can just cancel out of the first menu and the characters would just start walking around and attacking automatically. Most battles literally took one button press and some healing afterwards, a nice bonus for what is totally a multitask game.

There are some summon spells that Julio learns that have cool effects but there was absolutely no need to ever use them except to check out the neato graphics once in a while.

Score: 1.5 dunno why but it's just so damn mediocre points out of 5

I mean, the game tried to be interesting. There's some scenes that try to be funny, you meet a large cast of characters, and the land has some history and backstory. But at the end of the day, personally, Chris and Julio just wasn't cutting it for me. As a game that originally came out in 1994, I guess I can't be too harsh on it. But at least MiCROViSion (who??) could've made the gameplay a bit more interesting in the PSP remake. Maybe the Saturn or PC98 version is better but when it comes to the gameplay, story, and music, this game is as mediocre as they come.

Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

2 comments:

  1. I think you would like either of the sequels a little more, 4 is especially good in my opinion, and much more if a game with some actual challenge and more than a couple of bosses. Still, this is a cool story and a great setup to the Gagharv region, the Saturn and Windows versions are the way to go if you ever feel like giving the game a second chance.

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    1. Vermillion eh? I thought it was OK. Still need to start ocean song. Wow, you played multiple versions of this?? Crazy as usual.

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