Video Game: SaGa 2
aka: Final Fantasy Legend II
mutant espers, robots and monsters? Awesome.
Full Name: SaGa 2: Hihou Densetsu
("Treasure Legend"). The second game in the SaGa
series for the Game Boy
, released in North America as Final Fantasy Legend II
One fateful night, your father wakes you up and explains in vague detail that he has to leave you and your mother behind to go on a mission of great importance involving something called MAGI, which, when combined, will form a statue of the Goddess Isis. As a memento, he leaves you with one MAGI, Prism.
Several years later, you, accompanied by several schoolmates, set out in a search through many different worlds for your missing father and collecting various MAGI around the way. Along the way, you see different and varied worlds, meet helpful allies and powerful enemies, and eventually, save the worlds.
Despite the obtuse gameplay that would characterize the SaGa
series, SaGa 2
, like its predecessor, was one of the original Game Boy's most memorable RPGs, thanks in part to what was at the time a high level of character customization and varied set pieces — one minute you'd be exploring a high-tech metropolis ruled by a beauty-obsessed tyrant queen who has forced two young lovers apart, and the next you'd be in a world inspired by medieval Japan to take part in a detective story.
In 2009, the game was remade
for the Nintendo DS
for the series' 20th anniversary, with upgraded graphics, tweaked gameplay elements, new characters, designs by The World Ends with You
's Gen Kobayashi, and a new name: SaGa 2: Hihou Densetsu: Goddess of Destiny
. Although it will never come out on western shores
, thanks to Unlimited Saga
and Romancing SaGa
bombing hard, a fan translation group has translated it.
SaGa 2 provides examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There's one in Venus' world.
- Affably Evil: Apollo. Venus to a lesser extent, but she's a more obvious Rich Bitch who's full of herself.
- After Combat Recovery: Characters killed in battle are revived with 1 HP afterward. Also counts as something of an Anti Frustration Feature, as this replaces the costly system of hearts and the life house from the previous game.
- All Myths Are True: Subverted twice: first in the Port Town in Apollo's world, where the inhabitants think that an undersea volcano is actually the god Neptune, and the second when it is revealed that the idea that the Statue of Isis/The Goddess was made out of 77 MAGI/Treasures, which had been taken as a given since the beginning of the game, isn't entirely accurate.
- Almighty Janitor: Literally! The Goddess's primary purpose of existence is to maintain and repair the world as necessary.
- And the Adventure Continues
- Anti-Grinding: Done via Breakable Weapons: every useable battle command has a limited number of uses, be it a shield, Spell Book or weapon. As such, every battle costs money... and you might not earn enough of it back to make Level Grinding financially practical. (Of course, this also raised the difficulty level, since if That One Boss was giving you trouble, you just had to bull through it...)
- Arranged Marriage: The thrust of the Mini-Story of Venus' World is the arranged marriage between Flora/Olivia and Nils/Julius, despite the former's love for Leon/Anthony.
- A Taste of Power: Mr. S can one-shot just about any enemy or even group in the first cave you go to, but he leaves after you go through it. Also comes with the Cure spell which should be able to full-heal any of your party members. Some players exhaust all his skills before exiting the cave to earn money.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Seven Sword (or Seven-pronged Sword in the remake). It hits seven times with one swing. The catch? You get only seven swings with it, and you need both a very high Strength to deal significant damage, and a high Agility to score all seven hits with it. And it doesn't even raise those stats if equipped on a Robot.
- And on top of those, the only way to get it is by beating the absurdly powerful enemy, Haniwa. Haniwa only appears in the last dungeon, is arguably as powerful as the Arsenal, if not more so, and it's a slim chance that you will get the Seven Sword anyway!
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Apollo
- Badass Teacher: Mr. S.
- Bag of Sharing: A variation: While there is a shared inventory, it cannot be accessed during combat. To use an item during combat, it must be equipped into each character's personal inventory.
- Big Bad: Apollo. After his defeat, the last challenge in the game is to prevent the entire world from collapsing, and while there are lots of monsters, it is no longer strictly a case of good vs. evil.
- Big Good: The Goddess, called Isis in the 1991 localization. She comes back to life with the assembly of her statue.
- Blackout Basement: Inverted. There's a cave that's so bright that you can't see anything unless you have a certain MAGI.
- Blessed with Suck: Mutants can randomly acquire weaknesses to elements.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Not quite the same depth as Makai Toshi SaGa suffered, but it still needs a rewrite. Spruced up in the Fan Translation.
- Book Ends: The game both begins and ends with the protagonists' father announcing that he will be off to search for a legendary item. During the ending, however, both the protagonist and his/her/its mother decide that they'll be joining him.
- Boring Return Journey
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The Haniwa - a unique enemy in the final area - is definitely challenging enough to be a boss in its own right. It also possesses the elusive Seven Sword. If you're lucky, you'll get it from him as a drop. If you're not, he'll use it on you.
- Bowdlerisation: See the infamous bananas example below. The NA translation also awkwardly glosses over the subplot where the hero thinks Dad walked out on the family to have an affair. As a result, the hero appears to angrily storm out of Lynn's house after the Dunatis boss battle for no good reason.
- Breakable Weapons: One of the series' characteristics. All weapons except for the Xcalibr and spellbooks have a limited number of uses.
- Broken Bridge: You must collect of all the MAGI in a given world before you can open the door to the next.
- Broken Pedestal: At one point, the hero believes (mistakenly) that Dad abandoned the family to play hero and have an affair with Lynn's mother.
- Bubbly Clouds: Valhalla.
- The Cameo: The Death Machine appears as a boss battle in the dungeon south of Final Town. It had also previously appeared as a boss in Makai Toshi Saga. (In SaGa 2, this enemy's depiction is a new illustration including the digit "2" painted on the side of the machine.)
- Captain Ersatz: Dad is a traveling Adventurer Archaeologist who wears a hat and carries a whip (albeit an electric shock whip), and has previously found the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail.
- Chainsaw Good
- Chinese Girl: Lynn/Lin.
- Convection Schmonvection: You walk around the interior of not one, but two volcanoes. Wading through the lava has no ill effects apart from one HP of damage per step.
- Crutch Character: The NPCs who join you are usually stronger than your characters. This can work to your detriment, since relying too heavily on them can cause problems down the line.
- Damsel in Distress: Lynn, a couple times.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist / Reset Button: If you lose a fight, your characters will end up in Valhalla Palace, and Odin will offer to revive you and let you start the battle over. In exchange, though, you have to promise that, if you ever meet him while you are still alive, you will fight him.
- And you eventually do. Death in battle after that point leads straight to a Game Over.
- Death Seeker: Odin.
- Degraded Boss: Some "bosses", especially early on are normal enemies from later worlds.
- Difficulty Spike: After you lose the relics. As with The 7th Saga you've been using Plot Coupons to increase your power; once the plot takes them away things become more difficult.
- Disappeared Dad: What essentially sets the story into motion.
- Lynn has one as well, and who is revealed in the ending (it's Mask).
- Disc One Final Dungeon: Ashura's Tower.
- Disc One Nuke: Dunatis is a class "9" monster, meaning that mutants can recieve far more advanced powers from defeating him than they were meant to have at that point in the game (P-Blast, specifically is pretty much a one-hit kill for everything in the next two worlds).
- You can get *any* power in the game from him, including the stuff from the highest tier of mutant abilities (Flare, O-All, and Recover).
- Additionally, the final use of any of the martial arts skills — even the lowly, inexpensive Punch — does obscene damage. Wanna kill That One Boss? Buy some cheap Punches, burn them down to a single use... and then hang on to them until you're ready to unleash unbelievable damage.
- Earlier in the game, if your monster class started out as the Baby Dragon, eating the first dungeon's boss' meat and then the Ashura's outpost boss' meat will make them into a powerful monster that will wreck everything and resist all damage for the next 3-4 worlds. This also applies to "sub-boss" enemies that have meat drops, including the fixed encounters in the Guardians Base, Sewers and Dragon Races gaining you access to more powerful monsters than you should have at those points in the game.
- With a bit of grinding money in the first world, the SMG from the second town will destroy most enemy groups in one attack until after the Giants' World. Equip it on a robot and it has essentially unlimited use.
- Buying and equipping the complete set of Giants Armor in the 3rd world on a character will give them a ridiculous strength and defense total, so they can hardly be touched by enemies for a while.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The MAGI are pieces of the legendary statue of the goddess Isis.
- Dub Name Change: Among others, Sensei becomes Mr. S, Olivia becomes Flora, Denpachi becomes Kame, and The Goddess becomes Isis.
- Dungeon Town: Sort of. You can encounter random battles outside of buildings in the Desert Town.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Your final NPC is the Goddess Isis herself. With 99 in every stat, one Flare spell can wipe out most enemies in the game.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Guardians' base.
- Elite Tweak: Martial arts moves are deliberately built to not only become more powerful when you use the last use of one, but to increase the power of future uses of said moves when you buy another "batch" of them. Problem is, ordinarily, that you normally have to burn through a huge number of uses (for example, 90 punches, when the cap for uses of other weapons is 50) to get to that point. However, there are tweaks to plow through the uses faster, allowing someone with enough patience and cash (and a robot in the party) to suddenly have fists that could decimate gods in the first few hours of the game.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Desert Town is a town in a desert. The Final Town is, but the Final Dungeon isn't. The Nasty Dungeon very much deserves its name.
- Excalibur: One of the game's best weapons, a sword with infinite uses and the ability to attack an entire group.
- Expy: With his leather jacket, fedora, and whip◊, the protagonist's heroic, treasure-hunting father takes more than a couple of cues from Indiana Jones.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Enemies micronize to enter Ki's body, your party does the same in order to save her.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Frequently used in the series as a whole, but the deity lineup in this installment provides a good example: Ashura/Asura (Indian), Venus and Apollo (Roman), and Odin (Nordic). The English translation continues the theme by naming the Goddess Isis (originally Egyptian, which clashes with a her look and mismatched weaponry).
- Fixed Damage Attack: While there is a slight bit of randomness, the Glass sword completely ignores physical defense and the O-Weapon skill (which halves physical damage) and deals about 1000-1050 damage. The Laser gun similarly ignores any defense and skills, always dealing damage in the upper 300s.
- Floating Continent: The entire world is made up of these smaller worlds floating in the sky, connected by Sky Pillars to the Central Temple.
- Gambit Pileup: The Guardians misled Apollo by spreading the misinformation that there were 77 Relics, rather than the 78 there actually were. When Apollo obtains 77 and immediately tries using them to transform into a "true god", the incomplete transformation causes him to melt and then explode instead. But the heroes, the Guardians and Gods were part of Goddess's own Gambit Roulette, as she intentionally divided herself into 78 pieces and scattered them around the world precisely to inspire legends and raise heroes strong enough to help her do regular maintenance on the world, the Sky Pillars and the Central Temple. At the end of the story, she divided herself up again so that the entire process could repeat itself sometime in the distant future.
- Game-Breaking Bug: At certain points (specifically, when your MAGI count is at specific numbers) in the game, using the trashcan as an item will act as permanent stat-raising Power and Speed potions. However, if you overdo it, you may permanently screw up your MAGI counter and be unable to progress.
- Good Morning, Crono: The game begins with the hero being awakened by his/her/its father, who gives him/her/it a piece of MAGI and leaves out the window. Played with in that it happens during the middle of the night.
- Gratuitous English: In the original Japanese version, a student in Nihonbashi, the town Hana is from, tells you "please don't play this game" in katakana English.
- Guide Dang It: Good luck finding out how the leveling up system works and how monsters evolve into the one you want without a strategy guide handy.
- Good luck figuring out how the leveling system works with a strategy guide handy.
- If you don't know how to kill Apollo, you might as well give up the game. He'll die after a few turns, so your main objective is not to dish out everything you've got against him, but to survive.
- Guest Star Party Member: Several join and leave at various points in the game.
- Healing Spring: In the volcanoes, there are tiles that will heal 100 HP to all party members each time they're used. You can just use them multiple times to restore everyone to max.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dad on two occasions, though it's not a permanent loss.
- Hub Level: The Celestial World, which connects to each of the game's independent worlds.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Applies to both the common inventory and each characters' personal one; it's particularly hard to explain, for example, how characters can conceal a Leopard 2 battle tank.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: Due to Nintendo censorship, the opium being smuggled in the Edo World is bananas in the North American version. Lampshaded somewhat, as a townsperson comments on why bananas would be illegal in the first place.
- In the remake it's just called black market goods. Which would also include Opium, but mostly the expensive as hell weapons and armor Echigoya normally sells. And bananas.
- Infinity–1 Sword: The Excalibur mentioned above; it's found in a treasure chest near the end of the game.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Seven Sword, a rare drop from a fairly rare enemy in the final area of the game.
- Item Caddy: The robot halves the number of uses for an item when it goes into his inventory, but the item heals back up to half at the inn.
- Kenji Ito: His first game music composition.
- Lethal Lava Land: Features not one, but two volcanoes.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the first of the SaGa series. Everybody Lives (except a few redshirts) in this game. Well, everybody who wasn't evil and corrupted by the MAGI, anyway.
- Love Triangle: Flora/Nills/Leon (Olivia/Julius/Anthony in Japan).
- Magikarp Power: The martial arts weapons like Punch, Kick, etc. They start out weak, doing little or no damage, but get stronger as they are used up, and the last use will deal a ridiculous amount of damage.
- Macguffin Delivery Service: As part of his plan to collect all of the MAGI, Apollo lets your party find most of it, even helping them along at certain points - then takes it all from them in the final world in a Hostage for MacGuffin ploy.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Magnate, to the bumbling and corrupt Shogun.
- Miyamoto Musashi: The last samurai-style mooks you fight are named after him.
- Nobuo Uematsu: Composed half the soundtrack; Kenji Ito composed the other half. The Japanese version of That Other Wiki lists who composed which songs.
- Noob Cave: To the north of your hometown.
- Offscreen Teleportation: much more Fridge Logicky here than in most other RPGs, since nobody else in the game ever seems to be possibly able to possess enough MAGI to travel from one world to another.
- One-Winged Angel: Apollo, once the MAGI kick in.... but if you play defensively, it turns out to be a Clipped Wing Angel.
- Physical God: Multiple, and many attempting to become such.
- Plot Coupon That Does Something: The MAGI have a variety of gameplay-relevant uses. Many of them raise a particular stat or provide protection against an element, others can teleport you to previous worlds or even be used as a weapon.
- Port Town: Apollo's world has one.
- Public Domain Artifacts: The Square mainstays—Excalibur, Masamune, and Muramasa, are here. Also, the sword-type enemies in the game are all named after legendary weapons.
- In the original version, the Samurai bow is called the Yoichi bow.
- Random Encounters: Frustratingly, (depending on Game Boy model) you can have one right as you load the game, if you're in any non-town area.
- Rare Candy: Body potions raise a character's maximum HP by 40 points. Power, Speed, and Magic potions raise a character's strength, agility, or mana respectively by three points. Can only be used on humans or mutants.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: You can have them in your party, even as the protagonist.
- Samurai: Taro/Ronin.
- Sad Battle Music: The fight with "Ninja" in the world after Guardian Base.
- Save Scumming: Depending on which model Game Boy you're using, may be useful in raising your party's stats quickly.
- Say My Name: F L O R A ! ! !
- Secret Other Family: Lynn turned out to be the daughter in what appeared to be Dad's second family, and the main character assumed the worst of him at first. Turns out that the family was Mask's family, and Dad was helping care for them in Mask's absence.
- Sequence Breaking: See Good Bad Bugs, no longer above, but can be found at sites like GameFAQs under "Mid-Game Warp".
- Ship Level: The Edo world, where you raid Echigoya's ship.
- Shout-Out: The entire Edo world is basically a shout out to Japanese detective and samurai movies.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: You can equip items on your temporary party members, but you can't remove them once you do.
- Left the Background Music On: While your party eavesdrops on Echigoya and the Shogun's evil plan, suitably evil dungeon music plays. It's replaced by a more heroic theme just before the party barges in, and the villains wonder aloud where the music is coming from.
- Sound of No Damage: Metallic "ping" whenever a physical attack is blocked by a shield or otherwise does no damage (the latter accompanied by the text "No damage.")
- Space Elevator: The Pillar of Sky.
- Stat Grinding: The leveling up system is a fairly early version of this...it's complex for a game boy game, but thankfully many games do not function like this anymore...because you are not actually guaranteed stats to increase; only the last two actions mutants and humans make can be leveled; and good luck finding out what weapons level up which stat, because some swords you would think level up your strength but they really level up your agility.
- The game originally came with a reference card that listed all the weapons and what stat they use to deal damage. It didn't help people who bought used copies, though.
- Thankfully the remake tells you flat out what stats and multipliers each weapon uses. The only remaining ones that aren't so clear are bows and maritial arts/taijutsu (which deal fixed damage but increase agility) and whips (which have strength damage multipliers, but increase agility).
- Soup Cans: one may still have to look at a guide to figure out what weapons level up which stat.
- Tank Goodness: Eventually, you can equip(!) a Leopard 2 tank (referred to just as "Tank" in the American version) as a weapon.
- Too Awesome to Use: The Nuclear Bomb and Glass Sword weapons, which are one-time use items which end up being impractical for the final battle, since they take up valuable inventory space.
- The Glass sword actually is pretty practical for the final battle, since it ignores the O-All skill and ridiculous defense that the final boss has.
- There's also the Hyper cannon, which wins any non-boss battle (even mini-boss battles are fine), but it can only be used three times and there's only one in the whole game.
- Turn Undead: The Prayer spell book, which is as powerful as a Flare spell book but only works on undead.
- Unnamed Parent: The protagonist's father.
- Unstable Equilibrium: The fastest characters (those with the highest agility) in your party usually end up only getting further ahead, since they will always get a turn in battle (you have to act in battle to have any chance of a stat gain) and the slower characters might not.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Monsters and robots are every bit as common in town as humans. Not to mention the fact that your main character can be a monster with two human parents, and no one even brings up the matter.
- Useless Useful Spell: Somewhat subverted, as certain bosses are vulnerable to Sleep, Paralysis, and Stone.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Leon/Anthony. The remake gave him a shirt.
- Wicked Cultured: Venus embraces this. Also, Apollo qualifies.
- Wutai: Edo World. Also, Lin's town in the remake.
- You Can't Go Home Again: After you clear the North Cave, Mr. S stays behind to guard your hometown. He stands in the cave for the rest of the game, preventing you from returning.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The party defeats Ashura, who the story appears to set up as the Big Bad, in the second world.
The remake provides examples of:
- Baleful Polymorph: Occurs to your party when you first run into the muse Thaleia.
- Bare Your Midriff: Human Females playable characters; the muses Repsira, Melmene, Leio, and Pollynia; The Goddess.
- Beehive Barrier: Shields which protect the entire party form this effect when activated.
- Bishōnen: Want a male human or male esper character who looks burly or manly? Tough luck — all your possible appearance choices appear impossibly skinny with androgynous faces. Granted, these characters are not quite adults, but a great many teenagers in any country look nothing like this and still look perfectly alright.
- Blood Knight: Repsira, she will award points for fighting while allies have fallen in combat.
- Bonus Boss: The Arena of the Dead; souped up versions of bosses you already fought; the only reason to challenge it is to get an item based on your team status (Using Threads of Fate). All weapons/spellbooks/items and threads consumed during the battle are returned to you afterwards. Extremely easy to exploit given that some bosses are weak to petrification (Ashura Soul for example)
- Book Ends: In addition to the existing bookend, the remake as another one during its pre-title screen cutscene, which shows the protagonist's father as he makes his journey, which mirrors the game's ending which has a journey to the same places, but in reverse.
- Boss Rush: The Soul's Dark Regions features up to five battles in a row. While most of these are just souped up regular monster encounters some of the trials will feature mutiple bosses in a row.
- Combination Attack: One of the bigger gameplay changes is the ability to sometimes link player attacks for additional damage.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Played ludicrously straight during the Dragon Race.
- Disc One Nuke: As long as you can defeat a boss that you're not meant to (hint: use martial arts), the Arena of the Dead can earn you free weapons and armor that you are not supposed to have at that point in the game.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: The Female Humans
- Fetch Quest: Many of the "Free Scenarios".
- Gatling Good: The Vulcan Canon. While it appeared in the first game as well, only in the remake can you see it in all its enemy-killing glory.
- Gay Option: Kinda. There are changing interpersonal relationship dynamics between the party's characters, with bonds like family, love, friendship, hate, strife, etc. The love dynamic can be between any two characters, and gender is irrelevant, as is species or being a robot. Considering the PR schizophrenia over even a hinted gay relationship in a DS game partially marketed at children, one can see how this might have complicated bringing the game to the West.
- Geisha: Erato, complete with Shamisen.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Several of the models for human player characters.
- Horned Hairdo: Venus.
- Kill Sat: The Hyper Cannon/Wave Cannon is shown to be one.
- Laser Sword: The “Laser” sword, which was actually called a lightsaber in Japan, now looks just like one, too.
- Made of Explodium: Every boss: the rhino, Ashura, Dunatis, even a ninja. If it has boss music, it explodes.
- New Game+
- No Export for You: Square-Enix has no plans to bring the game to the English-speaking world, to the eternal dismay of fans of the original.
- Palette Swap: Every available character for your party, and several mooks.
- Preexisting Encounters: Replacing random encounters.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The muses Polynia and Melmene. Polynia will award you points for dealing large amounts of damage while Melmene will award points for taking minimal damage (Defending and Parrying).
- Relationship Values: An important, yet not essential, part of the refitted combat system, which affects your chances of getting different special items.
- Robot Girl: The muse Euter. Complete with online chat speak such as Plz and using the number 4 instead of the word for.
- Sheathe Your Sword: The only way to defeat the muse Repsira.
- Shout-Out: One particular armor in the remake is the "Barrier Jacket", which raises Spirit (Mana) and protects you from magic. Say hi to Nanoha for us.
- Also one of the human female palettes you can have is of Asellus from SaGa Frontier (green hair, pink clothing).
- Too Awesome to Use: Now averted for the most part. Most single-drop weapons from the previous version like the Gungnir, Muramasa, Yoichi Bow (Samurai Bow), Glass Sword and Wave Cannon (Hyper) are now also pre-set drops from the Arena of the Dead or random drops from the Soul's Dark Regions, both of which can be repeated to your heart's content.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Male Espers.
- Video Game Remake
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
- Zettai Ryouiki: Several variations of the Female Espers; Lin.