Note: I am not skipping Dragon Ball Z. I’m going to have to start the game over but rather than do that immediately I’m going to start the next game and come back to this either during RS or after it.
Romancing Saga (ロマンシング サ・ガ)
Apparently the final boss’s strength is also based on your number of battles. I was seeing some English stuff about this game where people were saying the final boss was nearly impossible and required savefile hex editing to even stand a chance; I can’t imagine this is true, so it must be some aspect of the game that was lost in translation or without access to the instruction manual.
|The female choices
I went with the female hunter (the second choice), who was raised in the Lost Forest by a witch. The game gives no default name so I named her Katarina; evidently her “real” name is Claudia but I don’t know if this is in the instruction booklet or in other materials. I didn’t know at the time that in the PS2 remake she’s played by Minaguchi Yuko, who is one of my favorite seiyuu.
|A beary good friend
You start off with two animal companions: Silven the wolf and Brau the bear.
|Cutest starting party in any RPG?
The only character-specific event for Katarina happens right at the beginning, when you have to save Jean from Orcs, thus giving you your first fight.
|The Tolkien estate can’t sue if they can’t read the text
As you can see, the battles look a lot like the Final Fantasy tradition, and especially like IV. There are some important differences, though. There are three lines for both the enemies and allies. Only certain weapons or spells can hit to and from different rows, and spells may target an entire row. You can move back and forth in the rows. You can also equip multiple weapons and choose between them — fortunately they got rid of the system from the GB games where weapons only have a limited number of uses before they break.
|If you can read Japanese you know how annoying this text is
So far I’ve accomplished two things: I got a second party member (Grey) and went to a mining town, killing some monsters who were trying to steal the gold. Back in town, I recovered some money that had been stolen by thieves (which I had a chance to take for myself), and also defeated some cultists under the town that had captured a girl for sacrifice. That seems to have exhausted everything I can do in the first town at least for now, so I took a boat to several other places but haven’t found much of interest yet.
|One of the maps
Travel works by leaving a location, and then being presented with a map. You can only go to places once you hear about them from a person or party member — this does limit the freedom that the game gives you quite a bit. Also the boats to different areas cost a lot of money. I suppose they had to make the choice between this and aimless wandering in an outside wilderness.
|Brau, don’t sleep!
If anyone has general tips for this game, I would welcome them. I feel like knowing that fighting battles advances events helped me out a lot — even if I’m just wandering aimlessly at least I will eventually cause some new events or characters to appear.