Video Game: Bahamut Lagoon
Bahamut, looking good on the cover.
An early Strategy RPG
made by Squaresoft (now Square Enix
) released only in Japan
. It includes much of the Final Fantasy
feel and characteristics, including spell names and the names of the dragons: Bahamut, Alexander, Leviathan, and Valefor, to name a few. The battle system is an early example of a Tactics-style game, and is well-loved for being practical yet Nintendo Hard
The game is set in the sky world of Orelus, and follows Heroic Mime
Byuu as he leads the The Resistance
against the Granbelos Empire
. Along the way, he rescues his childhood sweetheart, Princess Yoyo. The princess, a summoner, has the ability to communicate with the Holy Dragons and use their powers in battle. The heroes attempt to collect their power to use against the empire, while Emperor Sauzer attempts to gather them for himself. Their battle against the Empire and the greater threat it unleashes range all across the sky and even into the world of origin for the dragons themselves. And Yoyo's experiences with the Empire weren't all negative...Bahamut Lagoon
is notable for having very pretty graphics, being one of the last Squaresoft games to be released for the Super Nintendo. It's also
notable for having quite explicit sexual content (though primarily in dialogue) and an openly gay old wizard as one of its main characters.
A translation patch is available here
Compare Rudra No Hihou
and Live A Live
, two similar Japan-only games released by Square Soft
near the end of their SNES era.
The game directly influenced Final Fantasy X
: the plot structures and several key characters of the two games are very similar.
This game contains examples of:
- Abduction Is Love: Palpaleos kidnaps Princess Yoyo, and then they fall in love.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Fahrenheit's main function besides being an HQ, just replace Aircraft with Dragons.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Poor Byuu.
- Another Dimension: Altair.
- Anti-Villain: Both Sauzer and Palpaleos.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The number of units allowed on the field is determined by how many dragons are under your control, with four humans being assigned to each dragon.
- Artificial Stupidity: Don't expect your dragons to differentiate between a switch and normal floor. Even if that switch will trigger a trapdoor that instantly kills four of your characters.
- The enemy falls victim to this as well—they will always attack the unit that's dealt the most damage to them, even if that unit happens to be invincible or if there's a helpless healing party not too far from it. It also has a compulsion to always attack a single character, never next to a character, so you can easily exploit that to prevent splash damage.
- Assassin Outclassin': When you recruit Sajin and Zeroshin into your army, they also give you a free assassination as a bonus. You can choose the target to be either the Rebellious Princess, a Mighty Glacier or a Red Shirt. No prizes for guessing which target is the only one they actually succeed in killing.
- Back from the Brink: Set to liberate all of the Orelus years after it was completely conquered by The Empire.
- Bittersweet Ending: The game ends with Palpaleos apparently dead, and Byuu wandering the sky alone.
- Black and White Magic
- Bonus Boss: The game has special "side quests" - essentially single battles - available throughout the game. One of them, appropriately named Hard Dungeon, is only available in the last seven chapters and is far more difficult than the final boss.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Melodia.
- The Caligula: Gudolf, oh so much.
- Camp Gay: Sendak.
- Character Development: A surprising amount. Mostly for Yoyo.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Byuu, of the Unlucky kind. Yoyo ends up choosing Palpaleos over him.
- Matelite, in a way, is the Unlucky one as well.
- Then again, Palpaleos end up dead and Byuu wandering the sky on Bahamut's back, so Matelite still has his chances, thanks to the competition being gone (who said that thick headed loyalty did not pay?)
- The Chosen One: The Dragnar.
- Cognizant Limbs: The Final Boss, a five-headed dragon. Sadly, the engine doesn't handle it nearly as well as it could have.
- Console RPG Cliches: Bahamut Lagoon is notable for averting or subverting a great number of them.
- Cool Ship: An entire floating continent.
- Damsel in Distress: Yoyo. A good part of the game is spent attempting to rescue her from the Empire. Associated tropes are subverted, though, in that she falls for her kidnapper and is actually the one of most powerful characters in the game, in terms of both story and gameplay.
- Did Not Get the Girl: See Childhood Friend Romance above.
- The Dragon: Palpaleos to Emperor Sauzer.
- Dragon Rider: Every squad of up to four characters rides a single dragon which gives them powers based on its abilities, and the ability to command that dragon in combat.
- Dual Wielding: Byuu and Palpaleos.
- Element Number Five: Earth, Light and Dark aren't visible in your dragons' stats. Earth is the first extra element, a dragon who knows Fire, Ice and Lightning magic can use Earth at the same level as its worst element. Then, a dragon with maxed out Earth, Healing, Poison, Strength and Defense will gain access to the Light and Dark elements. Very few monsters resist these elements, and finishing off enemies with them gives a chance to drop the best items in the game. Unfortunately, they also cost a lot of MP to cast.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors
- The Empire: Granbelos. Subverted in ending - Kahna itself becomes an empire from La Résistance's work in-game, but is obviously not evil.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Subverted - Yoyo becomes the queen of Kahna after its liberation.
- Fan Translation
- Fire, Ice, Lightning
- Fishing Minigame: Very briefly, to catch Donfan, of all things.
- Floating Continent: Every single piece of land in the game.
- Gay Option: You can choose to have Byuu be interested in Sendak instead of Yoyo.
- Geo Effects: Different terrains hurt, heal or protect, and all can be altered with the right elemental attack.
- Grimy Water: The poison swamp Geo Effect, which could be changed to a normal swamp via healing magic.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: The Light Armor ladies tend to drink a lot.
- Heel-Face Turn: Palpaleos.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Byuu actually uses two swords, to establish him as cooler than the stock sword-wielding units.
- Heroic Mime
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sauzer and Palpaleos.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Sajin and Zeroshin.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Sendak's attraction to Byuu.
- Ill Girl: Frederica.
- Improbable Weapon User: While not having specific characters with improbable weapons, it does have various items that all characters can throw to cause damage or status effects. These items include Sweet Memory, Porno Mag, and Botched Cookie.
- Jack of All Stats: Cross Knights Byuu and Palpaleos and to the lesser extent the Knights Rush, Truce and Bikkebakke.
- The Kingdom: Every other nation besides the Granbelos Empire.
- Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Byuu finds quite a number of "drawer things" - things from a drawer in the wink and nudge sense. You can also find "Princess' ???", usually in the suspicious location of Yoyo's bed. However, you can also find "Gunso's ???" by talking to him at pretty much any time...
- La Résistance: The Resistance/Orelus Liberation Army.
- Lady of War: The Light Armors - Lukia, Jeanne, and Mist.
- Magikarp Power: Minidevils and Dancing, paired with an Uni Uni or Black Dragon.
- Magic Knight: Every physical combatant, courtesy of the dragons.
- Neat Freak: Persona.
- NINJA: Assassins Sajin and Zeroshin.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When you liberate Cambell from The Empire 's grip, most of the people (including the queen) are displeased with you doing this. One man says that "If we obeyed [The Imperial Soldiers], they were actually nice guys," and another says that Palpaleos told him he'd grow up to be strong.
- No Name Given: Zora's son. Eventually revealed to be Orelus, the same name as the world. No plot relevance, though.
- Non-Elemental: Uni magic. It's typeless, does double damage, but also has a 50% failure rate.
- Not So Different: Sauzer. He wants to usher in the new age and prevent apocalypse, just with himself as the Dragnar. Given Yoyo's weakness and the other part of the prophecy...
- Loads and Loads of Characters: a total of 32 playable Characters.
- One-Winged Angel: The final boss starts as a giant dragon, and after defeat transforms into a giant, five-headed dragon that takes up the whole map.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Both the dragons and the Holy Dragons.
- Plot Coupon: The Holy Dragons.
- Random Effect Spell: The Mini-Devils' Dances are entirely unpredictable; the pool of effects can be changed based on the dragon associated with them, but there's rarely more than about a 60% chance of getting a positive result. Results can range from various element attacks with varying ranges, healing your party, healing the enemies, healing everyone, putting targets to sleep or poisoning them, etc.
- Rebellious Princess: Yoyo.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Yoyo, again.
- The Sky Is an Ocean
- Small Name, Big Ego: Donfan.
- Summon Magic: The Holy Dragons.
- Talented Princess, Regular Guy: Byuu might be a pretty good knight, but he takes a back seat, both in power and story role, to Princess Yoyo.
- This Is the Final Battle: Subverted. Hornet tells you the final battle is about to begin in chapter 18, but it doesn't actually happen until chapter 23.
- Title Drop: during the ending. Bahamut claims Orelus as his lagoon.
- Token Mini-Moe: Melodia.
- Units Not to Scale: Units, forests, castles, houses - they all take up one square. This even has the added bonus of combining this trope with Party in My Pocket.
- Unsound Effect: The "weird noises" that seem to pop up spontaneously during dialogue seem to indicate arousal (Donfan's trademark "boing" sound, natch), scheming (Ectarina's), and spitefulness (Mist).
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game offers ample opportunities to rudely break poor Sendak's heart over and over and over again. ("I don't need any, you old man!")
- Villainous Friendship: Sauzer and Palpaleos.
- Weather of War: The Sandstorms.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Played for humor (sort of). Byuu gets called out on the torture of an enemy soldier if the player chooses to do so.
- Whip It Good: Barbarella's weapon of choice.
- Womb Level: The Imperial flying giant nautilus.
- Word of Dante: A rumor persists that Bahamut Lagoon was originally developed as Final Fantasy Tactics, as described above, but no Word of God confirms this.
- World in the Sky