- Turn type: Player and enemy take turns moving units of their choice.
- Maps: Medium. Terrain gives bonuses.
- Character Customization: None.
- Character Development: Standard XP level system.
- Party Size: Max 10, with the two main characters required.
- Equipment: Each character can have a weapon and a “wrist” armor.
- Game Flow: There are 12 “areas” which have several battles each; in some cases you can fight additional battles but for the most part it’s a single path.
- Saving: You can save in battle but you start at the beginning of the battle.
- Death: If the two main characters reach 0 hp you get a game over. Otherwise the character is “captured” and you have to spend 3 days rescuing them, which lowers your Libra (see the first post) and may force you to fight additional encounters.
This game has a lot going for it. I think the player/enemy turn system is interesting and I’m surprised more games haven’t done it — it can be unpredictable at times, but so can a speed-based system when it doesn’t show you who will be next.
I like the “libra” system and the alternate goals for each map, even if it doesn’t always make sense (why should the reputation of your liberation army drop if you destroy robots or slime monsters?)
The story is decent, and the voiced story sequences are good even if they are out of sync sometimes — I still don’t know whether this is due to the emulation or the game itself. I have had issues with PC Engine games not being in sync with the pictures also.
Unfortunately there are a lot of problems with the game that ultimately made it hard for me to enjoy it.
One is that the game is very slow. There are unskippable animations that are particularly long for spells, and there are a lot of battles (around 75).
The second is that the game is repetitive. Most of the battles seem to involve basically the same enemies, with a lot of palette swaps. Your characters never gain any new powers (with one or two exceptions), so while you are levelling up you don’t have that feeling of getting more spells or abilities. Money is limited so that you can’t really upgrade your equipment that much.
The third is balance issues that I mentioned before. There are too many enemies that can kill most of your characters in one hit from max HP. The AI mostly goes after Brian and Ain, and you can’t see how far the enemies can move, making it hard to know where to move them.
I would probably recommend the SNES version because you’ll be able to speed up the battles more (and there’s a translation patch).