Video Game / Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

Sinistrals are back to being a nuisance, once again plotting to resurface their giant floating fortress (of doom) and bring the world to its knees. And only one hero can stop them: Maxim, swordsman of Elcid!

...Wait, isn't he dead? Oh, right; this is a prequel.

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is the second in the Lufia series and the prequel to Lufia & The Fortress of Doom. The conclusion to this game was known by anyone who had played at least ten minutes of the first one, but the whole story had more to tell. Legendary swordsman and progenitor of heroes Maxim is but a simple monster hunter at the outset, eking out a meager wage with his companion Tia. On a trip to the caves near the town, Maxim encounters a mysterious woman named Iris, who hints at his great destiny. With Tia tagging along behind him, Maxim learns of the Sinistrals, four mighty gods who seek to take over ye world. Now on a quest to stop them, Maxim gradually forms his soon-to-be-legendary party (Guy, Selan, Artea) along with some heretofore unmentioned allies, including Blood Knight Dekar and Dr. Lexis Shaia (of the recurring Shaia clan of mad scientists).

Lufia II threw out the random encounters from the first game, replacing them with monsters you could see on the map. Said monsters react to the movement of the player, adding an element of strategy (a la EarthBound), and can even be frozen with use of a tool. More notably, the game also introduced puzzle dungeons to the series, similar to those seen in the The Legend of Zelda games. With a series of tools (and liberal usage of the Reset spell) at the player's disposal, Lufia II's dungeons are a good deal more memorable than the former's dungeon crawls. Combat is also switched up for the sequel; as characters take damage, their IP increases, allowing them to activate Limit Breaks built into their gear. As if that weren't enough, the player can collect find a series of Mons to raise into formidable assist characters (acting as an AI-controlled fifth party member). These additions would help make Rise of the Sinistrals the agreed-upon high point of the series even today, though not enough to rescue the franchise from obscurity. However, the series' brief revival in 2010, Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, was a loose remake of this game, albeit redesigned as an Action RPG.

Contains one of the saddest video game endings ever devised. Proceed with caution.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Selan in the first half.
  • Action Mom: Selan in the second half.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Pulled off by the Sinistrals.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Though the first game made it clear Artea was male, the second was a bit more fuzzy on this matter. Official artwork didn't help much either.
  • An Ice Person: Gale, Blizzard and Ice Valk spells.
  • Arrows on Fire: One of skill items available. Aside from hitting normal switches like normal arrow, it an also be used to burn faraway grasses and hushes.
  • Artifact Title: This game has no Lufia or anything to even do with her, except in The Stinger, which contains dialogue from its predecessor.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The game is noticeably rushed in the end.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Played with when it comes to cursed equipment. After having a priest remove the curse, the item can be freely equipped and often ends up boasting even better stats than when it was cursed.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: There are several scenes where Amon overpowers your party as part of a cutscene even you're strong enough to beat him (if you could take Gades the first time you likely are).
  • Degraded Boss: The Lizardmen.
  • Dungeon-Based Economy: The town of Gruberirk is built around this, as most of the economy comes and deals with items found in the dungeon. Basically it is where the Ancient Cave lies.
  • Elemental Powers: Because of this game's spell system, everyone who can use magic will be able to learn almost available spells, although several spells are exclusive to several characters only. Uniquely, several elemental moves can only be accessed by certain capsule monsters and IP moves.
  • End Game Results Screen: After the ending finishes there's a statistics screen, and one of them displays X out 164 chests you have opened in the main game. (Ancient cave chests are counted separately in its own page)
  • Fill It with Flowers: Lexis does this for a little girl in his hometown, and leaves the party in order to do so.
  • First Girl Wins: Averted. Maxim spends the first part of his journey with Tia, and it seems as if they're obvious love interests. He ends up with Selan in the end though.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: The origin of Priphea.
  • Foregone Conclusion: If you've played the first game, you know how this will end, since you've already played it.
  • Four is Death: The four Sinistrals. Bonus points for Erim, who is the Sinistral of Death and is fourth in the group.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: If you Press Left on the Stereo/Mono setting it affects your stats giving you 999+ to almost everything and it takes in inordinate amount of time to display the battle results and save/load...assuming it doesn't glitch Maxim's name or kill your party first. In the American version, the Submarine Shrine and the final floor of the Ancient Cave are graphically trashed.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: No explanation is ever given as to why every dungeon, building and even natural cave contains numerous convoluted puzzles.
  • Genius Ditz: Dekar.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Guy does alright when coming up with impressive titles for most of the party, but Selan is rather annoyed that the best he could come up with for her was "Magical Wife Selan". Even moreso when the villains start calling her that.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Tia, Dekar, and Shaia do receive all the good perks that come from being a controllable party member, but they all eventually are dropped out in favor of the main four. Particularly jarring for Tia, who had a close connection with Maxim before Selan came into the picture.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Asashins (Assassins), Gorems (Golems), and a few other monster names.
  • King of All Cosmos: Arek.
  • Klotski: The "World's Most Difficult Trick" is a standard Klotski puzzle.
  • Making a Splash: Droplet, Vortex and Dragon spells.
  • Metal Slime: Cube/Core enemies.
  • Minigame Zone: Forfeit Island.
  • Mock Guffin: Ruby Apple. After painstaking battle with the giant spider, it was revealed that Ruby Apple inside the Ruby Cave was indeed fake and it was local glass sculptor's creation. The treasure didn't exist all along, it was just a rumor spread and the glass creastion somehow end up in the Giant Tarantulla possession in the deepest part of the cave.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Accessed through IP skills which reduce enemies' HP to 1/2 (Fatal Blow) or 1/4 (Battle Fury).
  • Summon Magic: Ice Valk, Firebird, Dragon, and Thunder are treated as normal spells, but their animations involve summoning monsters to attack enemies.
  • Teleportation Rescue: Maxim was fated to die in the Ancient Tower after defeating Gades, but Iris warped in to save him by sending him back to Parcelyte.
  • Together in Death: Maxim and Selan. Expanded on from the original version of the scene at the start of the previous game, with Maxim having to leave Selan's body to go and prevent Doom Island from falling on Parcelyte. He collapses after expending his energy and Selan's ghost comes to his side as he dies.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Tia, due to her name sounding like "tear", was constantly teased as a child because she easily cried. Because Maxim always rescued her, she eventually tried so hard to stop crying that she eventually became Unable to Cry.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Dekar.

The Ancient Cave provides examples of...

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Your party's levels drop to 1 every time you enter the Ancient Cave. Your inventory is replaced with a brand new one (which contains 10 potions and your previous blue chest equipment), capsule monster evolutions are reset, play time resets to 0:00, and money resets to 0 as well. When you exit the Ancient Cave, all of these return to normal.
  • Anti-Grinding: Each floor has a finite number of enemies, which limits experience and item acquisition.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: In Gift mode, you can choose which characters to be in your Ancient Cave party. There are 6 characters to choose from, and you can take at most 3 of them.
    • Can't Drop the Hero: It is impossible to drop Maxim out of your party (unless you use a cheating device).
  • Check Point Starvation: There are no save points in the Ancient Cave at all! It will take at least 10 hours to reach the bottom floor in a single sitting. This is assuming everyone in your party is already geared completely with blue chest items at the beginning of the run. And hope you don't get wiped on the 98th floor...
    • Depending on your viewpoint of what "Ancient Cave" is, you might consider Providence a form of checkpoint, since nobody beats Ancient Cave in one run. There are many checkpoints and it takes a long time. Spatially the Ancient Cave contains no checkpoints, but Ancient Cave transcends space as a dungeon that requires multiple entries over time.
  • Disc One Nuke: Depending on your luck, you can get equipment from the blue chests that far outstrips what you can find when you first tackle the Ancient Cave. Particularly lucky players may even get the Gades Sword, which can make several early dungeons easy.
  • Money for Nothing: Despite all the monsters inside being Money Spiders, you can't take any money you earned inside the Ancient Cave outside.
  • New Game+: You can begin a new Ancient Cave run with all blue chest equipment you previously acquired, either in the main game or previous Ancient Cave runs (provided you exited the dungeon alive using a Providence).
  • Random Drop
  • Roguelike

Alternative Title(s): Lufia 2 Rise Of The Sinistrals