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Video Game / Bahamut Lagoon

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Bahamut, looking good on the cover.

An early Strategy RPG made by Squaresoft (now Square Enix) for Super Famicom and released only in Japan in 1996.

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.


The game 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. It directly influenced Final Fantasy X: the plot structures and several key characters of the two games are very similar.

Two fan translations for the game were made over the years. the first one one was done by DeJap in collaboration with Tomato and Neill, and was released on June 16, 2002. The second was made by retired emulator developer Near, taking advantage of technological advancements made since the 2002 translation (including tools that Near themselves developed), and released on February 9th, 2021 to commemorate the game's 25th anniversary; it would mark Near's final project before their death the following June.


Compare Treasure of the Rudra and Live A Live, two similar Japan-only games released by SquareSoft near the end of their SNES era.

This game contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Unlucky Childhood Friend variant. Byuu and Yoyo were childhood friends and there is romantic subtext between them. However, by the time the Resistence rescue Yoyo from the Empire, she had already fallen in love with General Palpaleos.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Final Boss, Alexander, is a four-headed dragon. Sadly, the engine doesn't handle it nearly as well as it could have.
  • Cool Airship: Fahrenheit, which is 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: Byuu don't hook up with Princess Yoyo because she is in love with Palpaleos. However, the ending leaves Palpaleos' fate ambiguous, so she might also have ended up alone.
  • 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 are seen wielding pairs of blades in their battle sprites, regardless of what sword they have equipped.
  • Element No. 5: 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.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three main elemental affinity of your dragons. However, there is other elements, like Earth, Poison and Dark.
  • 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: A soldier from the Emmpire, Palpaleos, joins the resistance midway through the story, in large part due to his love for Princess Yoyo.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Byuu actually uses two swords, to establish him as cooler than the stock sword-wielding units.
  • Heroic Mime: Byuu don't speak and only interact with other characters through choices made by the player.
  • 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.
  • 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. In Japan, a certain female body hair is considered a good luck charm. However, you can also find "Gunso's ???" by talking to him at pretty much any time...
  • Lady of War: The Light Armors - Lukia, Jeanne, and Mist.
  • Magic Knight: Every physical combatant, courtesy of the dragons.
  • Mighty Glacier: Royal Guard Matelite and the Heavy Armor Warriors Taicho, Gunso and Barclay. They are strong and durable, but also slow and miss attacks more than any other class.
  • 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.
  • Summon Magic: Yoyo and Sendak can summon the obtained Holy Dragons in combat.
  • 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.
  • Uncertain Doom: During the ending sequence, Palpaleos is attacked by two ruffians who blame him for the war. However, the next scene shows Yoyo waking up from a nightmare, making Palpaleos' fate ambiguous.
  • 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!")