Final Fantasy Legend - Retroview  

The Stuff That Dreams are Made of, eh?
by Rachel 'DekaRed' Steiner

3-4 Weeks


Rating definitions 

   Some people say that legends are the stuff that dreams are made of. Sometimes this is true and sometimes not. I recently decided to look through my video game collection and see what I could dig up for nostalgia's sake. I found laying in my collection a game known as Final Fantasy Legend.

   The story is quite simple. The player creates a party of four mutants, monsters, or humans or any combination thereof. The party is just trying to get to the top of the Tower of Paradise. Everyone dreams of a life in paradise, however many have not returned from facing the trials of the tower. There are many puzzles you face and get little clue as to where to head next.

   The gameplay is where things get a little bit difficult. If you have a monster in your party, things get even harder. While monsters can learn powerful attacks, it involves mastering the transformation grid. Sometimes after a battle, a monster leaves behind its meat and your monster can eat it. The meat causes the monster to transform into a different type, with different attacks.

Caption o/` Take me down to the Paradise City! o/`

   Wandering around the map, the party will encounter random battles. Unless you have the best equipment available, or have mastered the monster transformation grid then things will be quite hard. The characters themselves do not really say much and are all silent protagonists. The people in towns, castles, and villages are the ones who do the speaking.

   The battle system is a simple menu and turn based system. Many weapons have limited use before they are worn out. This posed an interesting challenge when you have to fight in order to get gold to buy weapons and equipment. Many weapons and spells could be used anywhere from twenty to fifty times before either wearing out or your character needing to stay at an inn. Too many times, the party can be left in a difficult situation where all of your party members are either low in HP or cannot attack.

   The visuals were nothing new for the Gameboy as was the music. The battle music tended to grate on the nerves a bit. The localization was not bad compared to many of the games that had come out at the time. Names were in tact and grammar was in proper English for the most part. Overall, the game was just average in the areas of visuals and localization. It was nothing horrible but nothing substantial either.

Caption I bite CHU!

   The difficulty was excessively hard on this game. For something with such little storyline, it is easy to be fed up and walk away from the game. Is Paradise really worth suffering through numerous difficult battles, weapons wearing out, and having to start out where you last saved? You cannot save anywhere you want and therefore when you die, the frustration level goes up. The monster morphing is also too difficult to bother with. Just start off with humans and mutants, it will make life easier.

   Originality is something that is average at best. While the monster morphing is something that can keep some players entertained, it is difficult to get the hang of. The battles are random and menu based with the non-animated enemies on the screen in front of you. The world map is top down with sprites, and the towns look the same on the map no matter where you are in that world.

   While the game itself is average, many aspects are not. The game is a bit too challenging and there are little clues to point you where to go next. The battle system is nothing that has not been seen before even when the game had come out and the monster mutation grid is extremely hard to figure out without looking at a guide. People with patience may be able to sit through this game however be prepared to set it down for a while and then come back to it.

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