Lagoon is an Action RPG created by Zoom for the Sharp X68000 in 1990 and published for the SNES by KEMCO in 1991. The SNES version is the more widely known, due to the greater popularity of the system and the availability outside Japan. Most of the following pertains to the SNES release.
The game follows the journeys of Nasir, Champion of Light, as he fights to restore peace to Lakeland.
The prologue unfolds in a series of short animated scenes, followed by a briefing by Nasir's long-time mentor Mathias. It seems the water of Lakeland, which flows from Lagoon Castle, has been getting muddy recently. Mathias sends you to Atland, and the adventure begins. Nasir must fight his way through a series of areas defeating the forces of evil while meeting new friends and unlocking the mystery of his origins.
The original X68000 version of the game featured more side-quests than the SNES version, but the SNES version features a more flexible Magic system and additional supporting characters. The music in certain areas was changed between versions as well.
Tropes featured include:
- Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the higher level magic attacks.
- Cain and Abel: Mild variation combined with Luke, I Am Your Father regarding Nasir and Thor.
- Escort Mission: As your first real mission. It's rather sweet, considering how easy it is for you to die... Not that dying is the real problem regarding this escort duty; the person you must find and bring back to town has an injured leg and therefore will move to a painfully slow pace. On the other hand, enemies cannot hurt him.
- Exposition Break: Occurs a few times throughout the story.
- Fake Difficulty: Your sword is the size of a toothpick. The enemies are very difficult to hit thanks to the disjointed hitboxes. Oh, and the first Boss can be nearly impossible because he can jump and trap you in continuous damage. Fun.
- Flash of Pain: For the player as well as the enemies.
- Grimy Water: The water of Lakeland getting muddy kicks off the plot.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: With magic often being Awesome, but Impractical, and downright unusable in boss fights, the sword, stubby though it may be, is the main way to go.
- Informed Equipment: Averted with armor and shields, played straight with swords, rings, magic, and items (Although the last two get icons indicating what is active).
- Invulnerable Civilians: The first major thing you do is explore a dungeon and do an escort mission with a little boy. He can't be hurt at all, but goes at quite a slow pace...
- Irrelevant Importance: Many of the items have only one use, and stay in your inventory once you are done with them.
- Last Episode Theme Reprise: The game's main theme plays during the final form of the final boss.
- Locked Door: Some of which require significant backtracking to unlock.
- Money Spider: Every baddie in the game gives you a certain amount of gold each, depending on type.
- One Steve Limit: Save regular monsters, no NPC is repeated. Also, you can only have one of each item no matter what.
- Only Idiots May Pass: Averted with one of the three tablets to open Philips Castle, but played straight the rest of the game.
- Palette Swap: Averted in the X68000 version, used in the SNES version for Nasir's armor changes.
- Point of No Return: Four of them, in fact.
- Regenerating Health: Speed varies depending on what enemies are about: Fast if none are around, regular if regular baddies are around, none in boss rooms. You must also be stationary to regenerate (although stutter-stepping also counts.)
- Save the Princess / Save the World: In that order, but not by saving the princess.
- Title Theme Drop: For the Final Battle no less...
- Too Awesome to Use: Most of the Healing Items, particularly the Shiny Ball.
- Unwinnable by Mistake:
- It's possible to save virtually anywhere as long as you're not in the middle of a boss fight. Even if you're about to fall down a Bottomless Pit.
- Selecting the option to save while in motion or midair simply causes you to exit the menu without saving. The projectiles and direction moved for enemies do not get saved either, so it's not possible to save oneself into an unwinnable situation, although you can turn the odds unbearably against you. For instance, you can save the game while surrounded by enemies as you cling desperately to those last few hit points.
- Voice Grunting: The beeps variety, complete with varying tones for different characters.