This is a fairly short game, so I was able to finish it up in two posts.
The three party system makes the random battles a little more interesting than the usual “mash attack” — trying to level up the mercenaries and jinzos is fun, and they can act as meat shields in the battles as long as you don’t let the mercenaries get killed. I was pretty successful until the very end. My very first hired person, Elmina, died on the last dungeon and I had to replace her. Sniff sniff.
Last time Kurisu had become the Hero of Light. The next major task is to find Milfa, who was one of Kairal’s original companions — we’ll never reach the final dungeon without her. Unfortunately she was sunk along with the city of Olotria, so the first task is to head up north into the snowy fields to find Endra, one of the other warriors who traveled with Kairal. Since Arlaw has already joined us, that will be the complete party (I guess maybe these 3 were in Silva Saga 1?)
|The snow sled|
The enemies in this part of the game taken a sudden leap in difficulty, but I actually found it doable without grinding — they give a lot of XP, and with judicious switching between the parties I was high enough level by the end of this dungeon to be able to beat the boss. One odd quirk of this game is that all the bosses, even the final boss, can be poisoned. They only lose 50 hp per turn max but every little bit helps.
Now Endra joins the party along with underwater gear that will enable us to reach Olotria. Only one thing left — we need a ship! Fortunately the mayor of a nearby town is happy to grant one to the Hero of Light. Now we can reach Olotria, but before that, let’s go back to Kurisu’s home town and find out what’s his deal.
|The destruction of Dolun|
Actually there’s really no story there — Kurisu left Dolun to try to defeat Zolde but his ship was destroyed. What is helpful here is an old man who tells us that we can’t real Zolde’s castle without going to four towers and beating the bosses there. But Milfa’s power is necessary, so Olotria is next.
|Sunken city Olotria|
With Milfa joining the team, the final party is complete. Now that Milfa is with us, the old man in Dolun will give us the Black Key, to open the first of the four towers. Here it’s just four dungeons in a row — each one has a boss, the key to the next tower, and some of the ultimate equipment for our heroes. None of it is especially hard.
|One of the towers|
I used the same strategy on all these bosses — Power Powder to increase attack, and Arlaw’s defense spells, then poison. Then just attack and heal when necessary. The final dungeon is quite short, with a few sub-bosses that aren’t very difficult, and then Zolde himself. He has three forms, but none of them are very hard.
After being defeated, Zolde vows to come back some day as all stereotype villains do, and the game is over.
This is pretty much the definition of an average RPG — it’s easy to pick up and play, has a few innovative features, an uninspired plot, and cookie cutter characters. Nothing special, but if you’re looking for old school RPGs it’s worth a go, and it has a translation patch.
The color palette looks kind of pale or washed-out to me, I'm not sure if that's one of the reasons I never felt interested to try this one, besides the genericness. There were no interesting sidequests, right?
Final Fantasy IV/V's style influenced a lot of games from this period, up to 1994 roughly when more detailed graphics and larger character sprites started being much more common.
There are a few optional jinzo statues you can get from sidequests, but they may not be very interesting.
Yeah with the graphics I still think this is basically NES graphics with better resolution and more colors — there have been a few games like Elfaria that used a later-period SFC graphics, but there are still a number of games to come that look like Silva Saga.
And basic linear questing format. Soul & sword coming up soon is a rare "open world" game for the system much like romancing saga, with less awkward features and gameplay concepts.