SaGa Frontier: November 5th, 2008

NOVEMBER 5TH, 2008: Annie’s combat specialty is swordplay. Liza’s is melee combat.

This game’s superdeformed characters are so cute.

Some of the enemies’ animations are kinda ridiculous.

Some years ago, I kept track of some combos I’d unlocked. I combined all those papers into a less messy list.

The Living Axe is an ax… with wings. Surreal.

This game had lots of weird enemies.

Emelia’s Despair quest has stealth elements! Metal Gear SaGa!

Another really fun thing was learning new techs. It’s tough to explain how it worked, but you needed an open ability slot and to use the same category over and over again.

When a character learned a new tech, a lightbulb would appear over their head and they would automatically use it. I would eventually learn that this was called “sparking”.

Magic was different. You simply bought new spells… after you earned the right to use them.

In the vent shaft, the trio was attacked by a monster.

Oh my God!” yelled Emelia. “What in heaven’s name is that?”

Roufas didn’t tell us about this!!” said Annie.

The poorly-animated Nidheg approached them.

Upon defeat, it… uh… shrank, and fled.

That thing opened the door for us,” revealed Liza.

And beyond that door? The stone.

Touchdown!” declared Annie.

When they touched it, the Freedom Rune appeared.

Congratulations,” said the warden. “You are the first females to make it. You exceeded my expectations…

As promised, I grant you a pardon.”

Click!

They showed a beautiful picture of Emelia and the SF logo.

The game sometimes used Tomomi Kobayashi’s stunningly beautiful illustrations between scenes. Shame that the ingame graphics don’t quite do her art justice.

Emelia returned home. She stared at the house while she stood on the driveway.

…Why am I back here?” she asked. “…Ren’s gone… But, where will I go?… Ren…”

Suddenly, the masked man appeared! He grabbed Emelia, but then a man with cool glasses and long brown hair appeared.

Roufas

You’re certainly bold, attacking her in broad daylight.”

Ha!” laughed the masked man. “Like you’re a law-abiding citizen?” He leaped back. “I’ll get you two next time!”

The man in glasses gave chase, but Emelia fainted.

He took her to a place that resembled a restaurant. Turned out that he had a business at the back of the building.

Hi, there,” greeted Annie. “How’s it going?”

Annie!!” said Emelia. “What are you doing here?”

So you finally made it,” said Liza.

Liza! What is this? Who are you people?”

We are members of the secret society, Gradius,” explained the bespectacled man.

…You’re all criminals?”

We don’t do assassinations, though.”

But, you commit all other crimes. Why are criminals like you hanging around in public?”

We do what the Patrol can’t. I KNOW you know how incompetent they are. An outlaw like Joker can’t be caught by conventional means. That’s why we’re here. What are you going to do?”

They talked about something called Cube, which produced energy greater than nuclear power.

Joker wants this and we want to stop him from getting it,” explained the bespectacled man. “Will you work with us?”

Give me some time to think,” answered Emelia.

This game had a ton of different magic types. Such as…

Shadown, Arcane, Evil, Light, Mind, Mirage, Mystic, Rune, Realm, Shadow, Space, and Time!!

Then there are the hand-to-hand, sword, and gun techs. Vast. Deep.

Some characters have a magic type unique to them. I think that Evil must be one of those types.

I’m not even sure which of the characters has Evil magic.

It must have been in BradyGames’ official strategy guide.

The character design was rather like Yoshitaka Amano’s, but less surreal.

This game had something that even the AAA Top-10 clogging games of today lack: a save system you would actually like. Simply, it let you save anytime, anywhere, and had a Quicksave option. No checkpoints, no ink ribbons, and the ability to save on more than one slot…

Which would ultimately dwindle as you beat more and more sagas.

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