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Video Game / Lagoon

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Lagoon is an Action RPG created by ZOOM Inc. 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.

Lagoon plays like a hybrid between the Ys series and The Legend of Zelda series, using a similar leveling and control system to the former with the pseudo top-down perspective of the latter.

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:

  • Adaptation Deviation: The story in the X68000 and SNES versions takes you through the same areas in the same order and hits roughly the same notes, but is WILDLY different in many ways. Notably, in the X68000 version, Nasir has a sister who you can interact with on a few occasions throughout the game, Ella doesn't exist at all, when Mathias and Zerah meet and end up fighting, it's ZERAH who dies, Thor is a straight-up villain from start to finish, and in the end-game boss rush, Phoenix-Thor is the final boss instead of the second-to-last.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the higher level magic attacks. They fill the screen and look impressive... but also take way more MP to cast, and can somehow miss opponents on a regular basis.
  • Boss Rush: The final sequence of both the X68000 and SNES versions see you fighting several boss-level enemies in sequence, some with multiple forms each, though the bosses are mostly different and aren't fought in the same order between versions.
  • Cain and Abel: Mild variation combined with Luke, I Am Your Father... well, brother, regarding Nasir and Thor.
  • Collision Damage: A number of enemies have projectiles, but both they and bosses also have this as their typical form of attack. It tends to be far more effective at killing you.
  • Escort Mission: The basis of the second half of your first dungeon run. Despite how your follower can't be hurt at all, it still manages to be a massive annoyance because his injured leg forces him to move at a painfully slow pace - this comes after you gave him a Healing Pot, no less, and yes, you MUST do this to get him to follow you, but at least you still have Regenerating Health... which you'll get plenty of use out of as you wait for his lackadaisical ass to badly path over to your location. At least enemies don't spawn in constantly as you're trying to deal with this...?
    • Oh, and while you still have to make it to the injured person in the X68000 version? The escort mission part is unique to the SNES version - the injured person in the X68000 version stays behind to catch his breath, let the potion do its thing, and presumably get through the cave on his own later.
  • Exposition Break: Occurs a few times throughout the story, and a few additional times in the X68000 version.
  • Fake Difficulty: Lots in the SNES version. You're no longer fighting under Ys rules but your sword remains the size of a toothpick, which you now have to TIME to avoid Collision Damage to the face. The enemies are very difficult to hit thanks to the disjointed hitboxes combined with the ultra-close-range combat. Your magic has so many downsides that there's no way around using the sword, and the game straight-up locks out magic use for bosses anyway. Oh, speaking of the bosses, the first boss alone is a giant pain in the ass because he can jump and trap you in continuous damage basically whenever he feels like it, and most of the bosses don't improve on this. 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, but 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.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Present, but it lasts exactly as long as the knockback you receive along with your damage, so it might as well be subverted. Woe betide any player who ends up getting pulled up through an enemy or boss and stunlocked to death this way.
  • 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, but 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, since the game's actually checking whether you're standing still during the frame the regeneration is permitted to take place.)
  • Save-Game Limits: None, with some minor caveats: It's possible to save virtually anywhere as long as you're not in the middle of a boss fight. However, while the game is nice enough to also not permit you to save if you're either in motion (or worse, in mid-air and about to have a nice long fall down a Bottomless Pit), and enemy projectiles will be cleared out upon a reload, if you, say, feel like saving while cornered by fast-moving enemies and you're down to your last few hit points, the game won't stop you. Have fun getting out of that!