銀河お嬢様伝説ユナ FINAL EDITION – released originally for Saturn 12/4/1997, developed by Hudson and Red Company, published by Hudson
Two Hudson games in a row. The Galaxy Fraulein Yuna franchise is a magical girl series in the Sailor Moon tradition and clearly draws a lot of inspiration from that series in particular. The franchise consists of a number of games, OVA, and other things. The first two video games were for the PC Engine and are basically visual novel-style adventure games with some light RPG elements. The third game, originally for the Saturn, is a strategy RPG. It was rereleased without the “3” in the title for Playstation. The two games look identical; the rerelease apparently added some optional bonus content and some revisions to the characters’ movesets.
The story sequences are fully voiced and take place with a large number of anime-style pictures like the one above. There are also a small number of animated cutscenes although I don’t think they would be more than 4-5 minutes total aside from the theme song opening.
The main character of course is Yuna, the “savior of light”. She has these little fairy robot type things that are alongside her, and then a few main companions Yuli Tulip and Ria, who is the Tuxedo Mask figure called Polilina.
The rest of the characters you control seem mostly to be made up of enemies that Yuna defeated in the first two games — the “13 Girls of Darkness” and the “Erika Seven”. There are a few more characters that I think were in other Yuna properties but I’m not sure.
The game is divided into 5 chapters and 41 maps (although you don’t do all 41 in a single playthrough). At the beginning, robots appear on Earth and someone calling themselves the Empress of the Machine Kingdom appears in the sky, declaring her intent to attack Earth.
The battle system is relatively simple. Turns are speed based. Each character can move and use one action (in either order). You can attack, use an item, defend, or use a special move (that takes EP). Attacking from the back or side does more damage. Having a difference in levels has a big effect on combat effectiveness. Levelling is very fast if you are fighting people above you in levels, and pretty slow if they are equal or lower than you. Throughout the game you can almost always access some area where you can do training fights and choose between three difficulties, so it’s pretty quick and easy to keep your team caught up in levels.
The goal of the battle is usually beat all enemies, but in some cases you have to beat the boss or reach a certain point on the map. However, in each battle you get a rank depending on what percentage of enemies you beat, and what percentage of your allies survived. This has no effect on the game except for some minor dialogue in the ending.
As the girls level, they gain additional special moves, and also their existing moves get upgrades in AoE. A few characters (including Yuna) get “hit all” moves and a few enemies have those as well — it looks to me like these were added in the PS1 version, and they do have a rather unbalancing effect on the gameplay, particularly at the end.
As is usual for magical girl anime, the main boss has a number of underlings — in this case there are the “rokkasen” (six flower fighters), the “shitenki” (four heavenly machines), and the “three machine sisters” who were apparently in a previous Yuna game but are revived by the Empress.
Chapter 1 takes place on Earth, as we try to find what’s going on with this huge device that came down from the heavens.
In Chapter 2 we head out to space, and decide that we need to go find the Empress herself.
In Chapters 3 and 4, Yuna and the team make their way to the Empress’ planet, defeating the underlings along the way. We also learn the backstory of what happened — at one time the Black Empress was a great scientist, and ruled the planet along with the White Empress. But they disagreed on how to use force against their enemies, and eventually the Black Empress became obsessed with power and started attacking other planets and galaxies. The White Empress sealed her away, but the black Empress was somehow able to escape her confinement with the help of some kind of darkness power.
Chapter 5 is the final series of fights on the machine planet. As usual for magical girls, Yuna wants to convince the Empress to stop fighting rather than kill her.
You can also head back to Earth and visit Yuna’s parents house, where they will give you fan letters that contain actual art sent in by fans.
The last set of fights I found fairly easy because you can just use Yuna’s all attack, have Miki use her copy ability to also use it, and have everyone else restore their EP or revive defeated characters. Even the final boss went down to this technique.
All in all I thought this was an enjoyable game. They captured the feel of a magical girl anime pretty well, and the game is smooth to play. It’s pretty easy to train your characters and so you can get by with pretty much any party — I would recommend not letting anyone fall really far behind in levels because there are a few places in the game where you have to use fixed parties or fixed characters.
It’s not the greatest SRPG ever but it gets a solid B rating for me.
Coincidentally, a fan-translation of this game was released this week, so anyone who doesn’t know Japanese can try this one out. It’s an alright game, but it’s also sorta easy from what I recall, and it’s clearly inspired by Red’s very own Sakura Wars (not surprising, even some voice actresses are the same). In the West we only got the OVAs. The vast majority of characters in this game are from the first two PCE-CD games and/or OVAs, they’re all established there. The PCE-CD game sold decently well for that system as far as I’m aware, so they made more. I think there are only a couple characters in this game that are wholly original. So, this is basically an all-stars Yuna game with all the characters from before, and the final entry in the series.
That is a neat coincidence! I’m glad to see more PS-era games getting patches.
I know it was common for games of this era to have fan art galleries, but it was pretty clever to turn those into in-universe fan letters.