I’ve been busy this week so I haven’t been able to make as much progress as I had hoped. But I did manage to complete a few more quests and I feel like I am moving forward.
My current party is Katarina, Grey, and Shif. I’ve been trying to outfit them with the best stuff I can find — generally the best buyable armor and weapons are “Garral”, with one additional more powerful type you get by some other means. One really annoying facet of this game is the way money works. 9999 money is the maximum you can hold. The only way to go beyond that is to sell something that puts your money over 9999, and then you’ll get a Jewel worth 10,000. I don’t understand why they did this at all. It surely is not a technical limitation, but I don’t see what they wanted to accomplish by setting that limit. I’m now at the point where the enemies are giving me more money, so I’m usually at 9999 by the time I finish a dungeon.
I did two major quests this time. The first involved curing a sick Emperor. We find out that he can be healed by the Moonstone, but this requires getting several symbols. Annoyingly you need Hawk to start this quest so you have to go around until you find him in a pub. But from there it’s smooth sailing. One of the symbols is back at Katarina’s forest, where a mystical stag appears:
Now that we have the symbols we can go to an ancient temple in the jungle. I actually had a tough time with this dungeon. This was my situation when I finished it:
|9999 money, of course.|
Fortunately the dungeons usually give you exits at the end so you don’t have to climb all the way back through the dungeon.
Initially I had a lot of trouble with this fight:
|Wind and fire “fandams”|
The enemies can cast spells that hurt all your guys. I had to go back and upgrade my armor; after that they only did 1 a piece. You can also use several weapon techniques that hit multiple enemies — the second Iron Sword technique hits a whole row, which is useful.
I always got the impression that the SaGa games tried really hard to be different from the established (console) RPG standards, only for the sake of being different. Maybe I'm not doing them justice, although this game so far gives me that impression, too…
That said, my only first-hand experience with the series is via the Game Boy games (FF Legend 1 & 2) and Unlimited SaGa. I might just have been too young to fully appreciate the GB games, but even at age 16 I couldn't make heads or tails of Unlimited SaGa. The fancy box and manual full of great artwork promised a fantastic experience, and I really wanted to love it – but I just couldn't understand how to actually play it. I should really give it a go again sometime…
Anyway, I'm looking forward to your final assessment of this game – and its sequels, eventually. I always root for those who dare to stray off the beaten path and try new things, and I really wish they were able to make the result a game that is fun to play, as well.
I tried Unlimited Saga as well and could never get into it. I know there are diehard fans who consider it one of the best RPGs ever made, but there's so much unusual stuff in it that I don't think most people were able to get that far. There's a pretty good FAQ on GameFAQs.