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ITT We Dust Off Our SNES and Play Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

thestopsign

Member
Jun 2, 2005
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So after reading through the Top 5 JRPGs thread on the front page I came away with two conclusions. 1. I really, really need to play through Lufia II again and 2. Everyone else really, really needs to either try it for the first time or replay it with me.

Looking back in my thread history I have made a similar topic a few times to spread the gospel about this game, as it is something special for me and my gaming history. It was close to the first game I ever remember seeing or playing when I was a young tot. Since then I have revisited it many a time for another run through. I even made it a yearly tradition for myself for 5 or so years. I think I am around ten or so completions. The game may not seem like much at first, but once you get past that initial foray, the game will bless you with some of the best music on the SNES, an interesting battle system, amazing dungeon design, simple, but lovable characters, and of course the Ancient Cave.

Battle System: The battle system is standard fare at first, but once you advance farther into the game you can acquire magical items that have a second use. They can attack, heal, or buff your characters. This makes it sometimes more profitable to use the slightly weaker weapon, to get the better secondary ability. The catch is that these abilities use a third meter during battle called IP that only fills up if you take damage. Of course, there is the standard attack, defend, magic, and items components to the system as well. There is also a monster pet system thrown in for good measure. You can find new monsters scattered throughout the world map and in dungeons and feed them different items and weapons to get them to evolve into better forms.

Music: The music is phenomenal all the way through. The castle theme, the normal boss music, the Sinistral Theme and the ending theme are some of the standouts shown below.

Boss Theme
Sinistral Theme
Ending Theme (just warning this video shows the ending)
Castle Theme

Dungeons: The dungeons are really where this game remains unique in the pantheon of JRPGs. It held a unique blend of puzzle solving and visible enemies that really hasn't been replicated fully since. The puzzles range from simple to incredibly intricate. Each dungeon is laden with secrets behind optional puzzles or hidden passage ways that makes checking every corner, pot, or bush worth the extra effort.

Ancient Cave: The Ancient Cave is a 100 floor, randomly generated dungeon that plays out much like a rogue-like. The cave starts your party at level 1 with no weapons or items, and as you go you can find equipment, items, and magic to help out your cause. The catch is that you can't take any of this equipment out of the dungeon. There is an exception to this rule though, there are blue treasure chests that tend to have rare and extremely powerful items in them. You can also take these back into the cave with you if you restart. The cave is simple, yet very addicting, and will take you many hours to complete, but finding blue treasures and beating the cave is immensely satisfying, and I at least recommend you try it out.

Characters/Plot: It's hard to describe, but Lufia has one of the most lovable casts of all time. It has a wonderful balance of personalities and a few character moments will surprise you. The plot itself isn't very intricate, but it does have heartfelt moments and a very surprising ending.

I will be documenting my play through over the course of the next few weeks and I welcome you all to join along. This is a game that really deserves all the praise you here about it. It might have been lost under the sea of other wonderful RPGs in that era, but those who have had the pleasure of playing almost unanimously sing its praise.

*Just a note, Lufia II is a fine place to start the series, it actually serves as a prequel to the original. Lufia is perfectly serviceable game, but I believe that Lufia II surpasses it in most facets.
 

flintstryker

Banned
Jan 11, 2008
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One of the best games ever, really love the mixture of Zelda style dungeons with general jrpg mechanics, I also really enjoy the connection with Lufia 1.
 

thestopsign

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Jun 2, 2005
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One of the best games ever, really love the mixture of Zelda style dungeons with general jrpg mechanics, I also really enjoy the connection with Lufia 1.
It has always saddened me that not many other games in the genre have taken this approach. I have heard Wild Arms sort of satisfies a similar niche, but I have never checked it out.
 

flintstryker

Banned
Jan 11, 2008
8,549
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It has always saddened me that not many other games in the genre have taken this approach. I have heard Wild Arms sort of satisfies a similar niche, but I have never checked it out.
Yeah I have to wonder if it is a general lack of creativity by developers why they don't go this route as it made the dungeons a lot more memorable for me.
 

lucablight

Member
Jun 10, 2008
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One of the best games ever made. Fantastic art, soundtrack,story and characters. The complete package. The sinistral battle theme is really quite something. I really wish we could have gotten a worthy sequel to this.
 

ChaoticBlue

Member
Aug 21, 2007
632
1
855
Lufia 2 was my first RPG I ever owned. I had borrowed FF6 and Chrono Trigger from friends but I wanted my own RPG.

I remembered seeing this game in Nintendo Power. The magazine said it was good so I rushed to Target to buy it for 59.99.

I still have the original cartridge I brought from Target in 1996 today.

Some of the puzzles were straight up brain teasers and it was frustrating for me to figure out but I would say the game was unique in this way.

One thing I don't get is Arek the Absolute from the opening sequence. I thought he was going to be the final boss since he's the leader of the Sinistrals but he's not mentioned at all when you play the game.
 

Zippedpinhead

Member
Jun 27, 2012
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Lufia II is one of my favorite games from the SNES era, the hours I would put into the ancient cave as a child were unparalled.

Seriously, I would buy a game of just the ancient cave. It's amazing. "Gift" mode truly was a gift.


The story and gameplay are pretty awesome too!
 

thestopsign

Member
Jun 2, 2005
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I'd love to play this game, but is it as glitchy as I hear?
I never had too many problems, my battery died in my cartridge though so I can't save anymore on the actual SNES copy.

I think I glitched in the Ancient Cave at one point and lost my progress in it, but that was just one segment of the game.
 

DrROBschiz

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Feb 9, 2013
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One of my favorite games of all time

With a damn addictive roguelike built into the main game that could have been sold as its own game

Also Monster raising

Wtf this game had it all...... Dont play the DS version
 

TatteredHat

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Jun 3, 2013
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The fight against Gades, the awesome battle theme and the realization that you could actually defeat him the first time will always be one of my most precious childhood gaming memories.
 

MrChocolate

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May 9, 2012
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The fight against Gades, the awesome battle theme and the realization that you could actually defeat him the first time will always be one of my most precious childhood gaming memories.
I don't even remember what it dropped, but it was something you could get only later in the game.

Also, I'm going to trigger a lot of folks with this

 

pHand

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Sep 1, 2015
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Borrowed it from my friend when it came out and kept it for way too long. I loved the proto-Pokemon aspects and the puzzles. Ancient Cave was also my first time experiencing procedurally-generated levels. I've stayed away from roguelikes ever since, heh.

Curse of the Sinistrals gets a bad rap for some reason, but I had a lot of fun with it. I actually liked the new character designs (Guy, *swoon*) and the fact that it gave more development to characters that previously got the shaft. Some of the platforming was a bit meh, but I thought the puzzles were clever and I enjoyed the new action RPG system.
 

ChaoticBlue

Member
Aug 21, 2007
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Also, I'm going to trigger a lot of folks with this

This is one of the brain teaser puzzle I was talking about. I almost gave up playing because I spent two days straight trying to figure this out. Eventually had to tell a friend to come over and we figured it out thru trial and error.
 
Dec 7, 2008
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I've finished the original Lufia a few times, but the sequel has never been able to hold my attention. Yes, I'm aware of how backwards this is. Maybe someday when I have an extra $200 laying around I'll grab a copy and try again.

I wish people wouldn't recommend playing things in story order. That's almost never good advice. If someone reading this is interested in playing both, at least try the first one before moving on to Lufia II. It's almost assuredly the inferior game, but I still think it's worth the time.

That Sinistral Battle music, though. So good.
 

Lothar

Banned
Aug 31, 2011
8,820
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I've finished the original Lufia a few times, but the sequel has never been able to hold my attention. Yes, I'm aware of how backwards this is.
I wasn't going to say anything but I agree. I greatly preferred the original Lufia. Part of it is because I already knew how the story would go. Part of it is because I really liked the character of Lufia. Part of it is because I liked the music better. For example I think the overworld music was much nicer in the 1st. I also remember getting stuck and really annoyed at some of the puzzles.
 

Worldshaker

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Nov 6, 2014
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I replay this game every few years, and it still holds up flawlessly. Yes it can be a little bit glitchy, but nothing game breaking or even noticeable to most people.

The Ancient Cave is still one of the best "mini games" in any JRPG. Hell its not even a mini game, its a full fledged game mode. Not many RPGs can come close to having a game within a game. I remember buying this game from Funcoland back in 96 and loving the world map/poster/booklet that it came in. I had beaten Lufia 1 a year or so prior, so I knew what to expect. Still cried at the ending, but I was like 11 years old!

I'm happy to own a complete copy and it sits on my shelf getting played every other year. I love opening up the box from time to time to read the manual/world map. It makes me really happy and most importantly this game takes me back to a special time in my life.
 

Inidet

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Jul 3, 2014
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It's pretty high up on my list to play. But I can't pay $80+ usd to buy an actual cartridge right now.
 

thestopsign

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Jun 2, 2005
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It remains pretty unlikely that we will ever see another game in this series, and probably even more unlikely... a quality game in the series.
 

Worldshaker

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It remains pretty unlikely that we will ever see another game in this series, and probably even more unlikely... a quality game in the series.
The DS remake sold terribly, so its very likely we'll never get another Lufia. The series went downhill after the Gameboy Color version. I think its for the best that it stays dead. If the DS reboot was the best they could do.....

I do hope they re-release 2 at some point though. A straight port to the 3DS or even a VC release would be wonderful. My cart won't last forever!
 

super-famicom

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Nov 21, 2012
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My only experience of this game is when I rented it for a weekend when I was around 11. For some reason, the copy I rented was defective or something, since the saves didn't work properly. I always had to start from the beginning and was never able to make it far into the game at all D:
 

Yoshi

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May 4, 2005
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One of the best RPGs ever. Easily beats all those boring work-RPGs that are being sold nowadays under the moniker "open world". Everyone who likes RPGs should play this. Or not, in order to protect the enjoyment of contemporary work from a too strong competitor.
 

thestopsign

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Jun 2, 2005
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One of the best RPGs ever. Easily beats all those boring work-RPGs that are being sold nowadays under the moniker "open world". Everyone who likes RPGs should play this. Or not, in order to protect the enjoyment of contemporary work from a too strong competitor.
I really prefer having a more linear game that has open world aspects. It feels more focused and refined. It makes it easier to have unique locales and dungeons.
 

zashga

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Jul 28, 2011
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Love Lufia II! One of those amazing, tragically overlooked games from the tail end of the SNES era.

The worst thing about it is that it never got a proper sequel. The various portable games that came after were all mediocre at best.
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
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I'd love to play this game, but is it as glitchy as I hear?
There's a bug in the NA version that occasionally crops up where one of the maps is completely garbled. There's a patch to fix it (mentioned above), and the issue doesn't exist in the European version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yuHS3oswY


It's a graphics-only glitch so if you fumble around you'll eventually find the way out. Or if you look at a map of the room.
 

rsniper59

Neo Member
Sep 3, 2015
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Lufia 2 is, and likely will always be my favorite game. So glad to see an appreciation thread here!

I loved the cast of characters. The banter between them really made it feel like a group of warriors grew to become friends. Maxim and Sean are wonderful characters at the heart of the story, and the villains were memorable.

The Ancient Cave is also an amazing game within a game!

Time to replay I think!
 
Jun 18, 2010
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I just played this for the first time a few months back. Awesome fucking game. I didn't much care for the first, but this one was pretty great. The only real downside that stuck with me is that it is crazy easy. Like, I think I spammed normal attacks for the final boss fights.