The Ultimate Classic RPG Guide for New Gamers: Legend of Legaia
Legend of Legaia
Let's be honest, 'Legend of Legaia' isn't the most iconic game ever made, in fact, it's a title that very few have probably heard of. However, 'Legend of Legaia' is actually something very special, something that I've never seen before. By combining the intricacy of an RPG and the intensity of a fighting game, 'Legend of Legaia' creates an unusual genre hybrid that defies all rules. Surprisingly, this combination feeds off each others unique qualities to make one nicely blended adventure.
'Legend of Legaia' is based in a world blanketed by a devilish mist. A mysterious vapor which can turn even the most innocent civilians into blood thirsty beasts. Some towns surrendered, allowing themselves to be overtaken by the mist. While others built high walls to keep the mist out. Some survivors were lucky enough to find hiding places where they couldn't be touched by the icy clutches of the mist, others were lost trying to escape. The only glimmer of hope exists in a glorious tree known as the Genesis Tree. The Genesis Tree has a natural glow which seems to repel the mist naturally. So any towns which holds such a miracle, are truly among the lucky. Except that humankind has yet to discover how to harness the powers of the Genesis Trees to stop the mists plague.
You begin this adventure as noble Vahn, who steps up to save his recluse village when the mist penetrates their protective city walls. While Vahn desperately fights to save the lives of the villagers, he fortunately encounters a mystical creature known as a Ra Seru. This is a magical creature that gives Vahn incredible power and the ability to traverse mist covered lands unharmed. Along the way you'll meet feral but sweet Noa. A young girl who survives by living on the peak of a mountain that rises above the mist. Raised by a lone wolf, Noa decides to join Vahn to discover her origins. Gala, a disciplined warrior monk, has spent his life sequestered in a secret monastery. As a monk, Gala has developed his skills in hopes of one day fighting the mist and whomever is responsible for this global crisis. He decides to join Vahn when he discovers a fellow disciple has betrayed his order and given himself to the mercy of the mist. Both warriors will help Vahn on his quest to save the world.
The Opening Sequence
Battle is what makes the game interesting. You have your standard RPG menu selections: attack, magic, item etc. but when you decide to fight you'll be able to customize your attack. Being able to choose between high and low kicks and right or left punches can make each battle a unique experience. Enter the correct strikes and discover powerful combo attacks that will really give your team an edge in a fight. Even your equipped weapon, armor and battle shoes change the dynamic of how your strikes land on your enemies and whether or not they can be blocked. For example: throwing a low kick on a flying enemy will most likely miss. Although, equipping a certain battle boot on Gala will change his low kick from a sweep to a devastating knee spike which will hit almost any flying enemy. Magic is another story, your trusty Ra Seru friend can absorb the powers of monsters that have elemental affiliations. You can then call upon these powers to either heal of harm depending on how you use them. The problem is that power absorption is sporadic and has no rhyme or reason when or how spells can be acquired. In other words, a character can fight a monster twenty times before successfully absorbing it.
There are only two real downfalls for 'Legend of Legaia'. The first being its graphics. Battle graphics are great, but the graphics used on the field are blocky and uneven.In all honesty, it looks like something that a young child drew. Usually I can get past blocky... but I just feel that so much effort could have been put into the overall look. I could just imagine how great the game could look on future consoles. Second, the game gets a little repetitive. Go to a town, find someone in dire need, carry out a mission, restore the town then find the mist lair. It's a pretty straight equation, but a little side mission here and there would be a nice addition. While there are a few extras that the player can take on, there isn't enough to keep the game feeling fresh.
Otherwise, plug in your mp3 player, find a comfy chair and enjoy the trip though Legaia. While it isn't the most visually or audibly pleasing title, it's innovative features make it one that shouldn't be missed.
This is the one and only Legend of Legaia. Definitely worth giving this one a try. The rare RPG/Fighting game hybrid is one of the most interesting combos created. While I can't say that the game goes without flaw, I wish that this was a format that more developers had experimented with.