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Seven Heroes for Seven Runes
King Lemele has assembled a motley crew of seven of the toughest beings he could find. You can play as any one of them -- from a beautiful Elven sorceress to a strange Predator-like alien from another planet -- in a quest to recover the seven mighty Runes of Magic. The other six characters you'll meet later during your journeys.
The character you choose has significant impact on the game play and plot. Some characters are likeable and will have no problem interacting with townsfolk, while other characters, like the demon character, will not be trusted and therefore threatened at every turn!
Sinister Sights and Sounds
Graphics is one of the Saga's highest points, especially in combat. Although the viewing modes are from a standard overhead-view in Movement Mode and from a first-person view in Combat Mode, the quality in both is above average. Instead of cartoony images, Saga shows characters and monsters in a large, realistic style. The animation of the monsters is truly disturbing.
ProTip: Combining a warrior's and mage's skills, Lejes has devastating offensive power and is a good character to choose.
The haunting music sets off the graphics well, too. Although not quite up to the quality of Final Fantasy II, both the music and the sound effects are unusual and distinctive.
Don't take Esuna, the elf sorceress, as your character. Unable to wear armor, she is extremely vulnerable, even at the 25th level.
For all its originality in looks, sound and premise Saga's game play is very reminiscent of other games, like Phantasy Star. You wander the world fighting monsters and talking to people in towns and castles.
The movement is somewhat innovative. Unlike other RPGs where you're ambushed without warning, you can actually see the monsters on a radar map as they sneak up on you. This adds an intriguing real-time element to the game play. The interface is the standard two-button, yes/no type and presents no problems.
- Beware of the Cave of Earth, a dangerous dungeon easily accessible at the start of the game. Stick to the open desert for level-building.
- If you have a choice, don't challenge the other heroes. The computer gives them almost unlimited Magic Points, and the rewards just aren't worth the risk.
- When first mapping a dungeon, it's not worth the risk to open Treasure Chests. Most don't contain treasure, but a hideous creature known as a Trick, instead.
While not spectacular, the plot line changes from a straightforward story to a nonlinear situation best suited for experts. Many puzzles will linger for some time until you find the right person to talk to or the right item to use. Conversation is very limited, which may be a letdown for fans of the high-drama RPGs, such as Final Fantasy II.
Unfortunately, the frequent, simplistic combat does not live up to the rest of the game. Basically, you slug it out. Your choice of Spells or Weapons is immaterial. The monsters are tactically too similar from one another.
Since you will be ambushed every 5 to 10 seconds, combat quickly becomes a chore.
If you're a connoisseur of RPGs and don't mind incessant combat, you'll want to have this game in your collection. However, Enix may want to think twice before creating an Eighth Saga.
Download 7th Saga
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed
The Japanese turn-based RPG phenomenon was sweeping the globe during the early 90’s. Final Fantasy was flourishing along with Dragon Quest, and Chrono Trigger were in their prime. Despite these giants of the gaming and JRPG industry, a smaller game by the name of The 7th Saga would try its hand t rising to fame with some serious competition. When the game was released, the verdict was pretty straightforward: the combat was difficult and overwhelmingly tedious/bland in design, though the rest of the experience had its high points. The 7th Saga may not be a household name today, nor was it particularly groundbreaking or popular during its run, but presented an innovative experience in terms of story, character design, and some unique sound and graphical aspects too.
The 7th Saga’s story is not one that is incredibly complex, known for its heart wrenching and emotional scenes, or even for its wider impact for that matter. In fact, the overarching plot is simple: an evil being, Gorsia, was defeated 5,000 years before the start of the game on the planet of Ticondera by Saro, a divine being. Saro’s ability to stop Gorsia came from seven mystic runes – said runes were then scattered across the planet over time. Saro’s son, Lemele, recruits seven apprentices, one of which you choose to play as, to find them across all parts of the world. From there, the plot is a direct hero’s journey to collect the runes for Lemele as he’s become the ruler of the world. Where the plot falls short, the role-playing aspects pick up the slack.
The seven characters that the player can choose from each have their own backgrounds and abilities that can lead to unique playthroughs each time. Wilme Pelin, LUX TIZER, Olvan Jaess, Kamil Dowonna, Lejes Rimul, Vlasu Saizer, and Esuna Busy are the seven apprentices that don skills from physical strength – Olvan Jaess – to innately powerful magical abilities – Valsu Saizer – though they also have certain weaknesses. This diversity was an enjoyable part of the game because first, other than Wilme Pelin (a weak, all-around character), the other six are well balanced and involve some serious instances of role-playing. The level of RP involved is not for everyone, hence the cult following this game has gathered, but its satisfying and has greater depth than the story.
Retrieve the Runes
7th Saga’s gameplay is interesting to say the least. On one hand, the combative abilities of each character genuinely have some interesting gravity – I found the glass-cannon nature of Lejes Rimul to be the most fun. However, there isn’t a whole lot in the name of strategizing when playing this game. Despite being a turn-based RPG, and due to the weird difficulty balancing, you’ll either decimate your enemies or be decimated. There’s no real in-between which can be off-putting to players today (cult followers aren’t above disliking it either), and you’re far more likely to be destroyed by enemies since your stats go up at a snail’s pace – at least in localizations outside of Japan. Still, the rest of the game plays exactly as any other JRPG would at the time. Although significant effort was invested in character aspects and some NPCs, The 7th Saga lacks a major, unique and defining gameplay feature that sets it apart.
The 7th Saga is the perfect game for any die-hard JRPG fans who just can’t get enough of the genre. It has all the basic elements going for it that makes it worthwhile and the world of Ticondera was clearly meticulously crafted lore-wise. Like previously mentioned, its just that: a JRPG and not much else.
- Unique characters
- Creative lore and overworld
- Some neat weapons and spells
- Insanely difficult in localization versions
- Overall story is plain
- Heavily RPG-based but without any defining aspects
The best thing about this RPG is you can play it repeatedly and never get the same game twice! The non-linear game play and excellent Mode 7 sequences make this the RPG to get. Soul Blazer fans should take a look.