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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 top 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, Red-Headed Hero, 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 weapons. 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.

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


This game provides examples of:

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

Lufia & The Fortress of DoomEastern RPGLufia: Curse of the Sinistrals
Lufia & The Fortress of DoomFantasy Video GamesLufia: the Legend Returns
Lufia & The Fortress of DoomSuper Nintendo Entertainment SystemMagical Drop
The Lost VikingsImageSource/Video GamesBroken Bridge
Liberal Crime SquadRoguelikeMagicite

alternative title(s): Lufia II; Lufia II Rise Of The Sinistrals; Lufia 2 Rise Of The Sinistrals
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