Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken (ライトニングレジェンド 大悟の大冒険 Raitoningu Rejendo Daigo no Daibouken, lit. "Lightning Legend: Daigo's Great Adventure") is Konami's first 3D Fighting Game, released on PlayStation 1 on December 1996, in Japan only.
The setting takes place in the Japan-inspired Kingdom of Japone, where, around 450 years before the story starts, the Demon King Dragless rampaged through the lands until a young hero defeated and sealed him away. After centuries of slumber, Dragless is now showing signs of awakening, and it's now up to the 14-years old Daigo Raioh, descendant of the young hero, to defeat the monster once and for all. Meanwhile, other talented fighters will set out, some for reasons related to Dragless (like Terrific Forelock, the bodyguard and childhood friend of Princess Mirona, who's out to save her after she has been kidnapped by the Demon King), others not at all (like Misa Atago, who goes on a trip to ease the pain of her break-up with her boyfriend). In the end, all of them will learn about Dragless and realize how serious the situation is.
The title's fighting engine and gameplay are heavily inspired from Namco's smash hits of the time Tekken and Soul Edge, with its special features distinguishing itself over those titles being its colourful anime cast, and its RPG-like 100% Completion Item Collection system.
The characters are very original and feel very different from each other; you'll rarely get to play a creature such as Mokomoko for example, a blazingly fast and strong big furball-like giant rabbit.
As for the Item Collection system, during the game, in each round you defeat an opponent, you'll get a different item depending on the opponent and the way you defeated him (like with a Perfect, a throw, or a Super Move, for example). There are around 200 items to collect, and most of those items, when inspected closely in the game's options, reveal interesting tidbits about the game like concept artwork, character profiles, the story's chronology and authors' notes. The game is also rife with other unlockables, with several secret characters, stages, alternate outfits, and game modes.
Despite those attracting traits and a voice acting cast comprising several well-known seiyuu of the time, the game remained obscure because, Lightning Legend being Konami's first 3D Fighting Game, and Fighters other than Beat Em Ups not being their forte to start with, its hampered by several flaws in the fighting engine (a few hit detection problems, some cheap moves, and an auto-block system by just staying still that severly limits attacking options). The No Export for You factor didn't help either. Still, this game exudes a certain charm and Needs More Love.
This game provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: As mentioned in the description, there's quite a bit of unlockables.
- All There in the Manual: Story Mode only scratches the characters' background: you'll learn a ton more about them, as well as about the world's very rich setting and history, in the Item Collection Viewer. There's even trivia tidbit about some of the characters' relatives only findable in the game's manual.
- Anime Theme Song / Ending Theme: Lightning Legend has both of them, both sung by Yurica Nagasawa. They have a catchy 90s J-Pop feel fitting for the game's mood, but actually are passionate love songs unrelated to the game's story: see for example the translated lyrics of the opening, "Shinkirou" ("Mirage").
- Battle Intro: All characters will say a little quote and have a pose before a battle. The quote and/or pose vary depending on if the characters know each other, and/or are in friendly (or not) terms between each others. For example, Yuki will say "Here I come!" with Mokomoko as she's actually playing with him, while saying "You made me angry!" to Misa who offended her by calling her "a kid".
- Berserk Button: Several characters (Daigo, Mayu, Yuki, Misa) have one, and will often be the reason why a fight starts between two characters. See the Character Sheet for more details.
- Bilingual Bonus: The Kingdom of Japone is written as ジャポーネ, which can be read as either the Italian "Giappone" or the French "Japonais", both meaning "Japanese" in English.
- Bonus Boss: Two of them, only accessible if you finish Story Mode with all characters, then complete Story Mode with any character without continuing once. And for the second Bonus Boss, you need to have played the game for a total of one hour, and have defeated the first Bonus Boss without continuing. Defeat them, and they'll become playable in Versus and Collection Modes.
- Calling Your Attacks: At least half of the cast is guilty of this for at least one of their special moves.
- Cherry Blossoms: Mayu's stage is a park filled with blossoming cherry trees. It's also Mayu's Flower Motif in her In the Name of the Moon speech, her Limit Break, and her victory poses.
- Console Cameo: One of the unlockable artworks has Mayu with a Playstation 1 controller in hand.
- Counter-Attack: All characters, when thrown, can perform a quick recover and counter-attack.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: When completing Story Mode, the character you were playing with will will leave an audio comment of your performance at the "Thank you for playing!" screen. Depending on the character's personnality, if you played at lower levels they'll either congratulate you for completing the game, but encourage you to try the next difficulty level (for the nice chars), or outright taunt you or be angry towards you (for the meaner chars).
- Cute Kitten: The game's Loading Screen shows kittens of different colors walking in a row. Outside of this instance, kittens aren't seen in the game.
- Fanservice: Misa and Risa. How the hell do Misa's Gag Boobs stay inside that tiny cloth with all the Jiggle Physics she does in battle?!
- Fighting Game
- For Great Justice / Justice Will Prevail: The game mercilessly and affectionately parodies these tropes, along with the whole Toku genre, with the resident self-proclaimed Allies of Justice Mayu, Forelock and Adolf. To the point that Rankerk lampshades this in Forelock's storyline:Rankerk: Who are you?Forelock: Me? I'm a Hero of Justice!Rankerk: I've been running into a lot of these lately...
- Hitbox Dissonance: A problem plaguing the game in a few instances, the worst offenders being Mayu's Flurry of Kicks, and trying to use a Throw on Dragless.
- Limit Break: Each fighter has at least one (some have two of them), unleashable once the Power gauge is full. It can also be used without restriction when the fighter's Life gauge is very low and flashing.
- Meaningful Name: At least half of the cast have those, some more obvious than others (Terrific Forelock, anyone?). See the Character Sheet for more details.
- Mirror Match: The game goes out of its ways to give a justification to this: with all characters save for Misa, you're actually fighting against Disguiser, a monster henchman of Dragless from the Transformation race, able to take the form of any fighter he meets. As for Misa, her Mirror Match is against her twin sister, Risa.
- Palmtree Panic: Girigiri Island, one of the unlockable stages.
- Parental Abandonment: The game shows via its unlockables character profiles, that most of the characters avoid this trope, having parents and families; however, most of them are just mentioned in passing, only a rare few of them are actually relevant to the storyline and have portraits (like Daigo and Yuki's fathers, Rankerk's mother, or Mokomoko's family. Daigo's mother has a portait and quick profile too, but isn't shown in his storyline and doesn't have a role in there.)
- Ring Out: Averted. The game plays on Fixed Floor Fighting stages with no limits in size.
- Secret Character: Several of them, four to be precise. All of them need to be defeated to become playable. Unfortunately, that only counts for Versus and Collection Modes: they're not playable in Story Mode.
- Shout Out: One of Misa's items, the Love Letter, has the following description:For conveying towards you, my dear one, my feelings for you. A letter filled with the wish of being Forever with you~.
- The All There in the Manual national fighting tournament, is named the "King Of Japone" tournament. Its current champion, Yuki's father Hiroo Shirogane, In Series Nicknamed K.O.J., can be seen in various artworks and be playable as a Secret Character.
- And there's Mayu's special moves. Her Uzaka Flurry of Kicks? The same as Chun-Li's. Her Uzaka Upper? A Shoryuken, no less. And her Uzaka Punch? The same as Terry Bogard's Burning Knuckle.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Zehgo 1, aka Yuki's Stage.
- Time Trial: The game has an unlockable Time Attack Mode, in which you have to defeat all opponents up to the Final Boss in record time.
- Victory Pose / Victory Quote: Each fighter has several of them, depending on the state of his/her Life Gauge upon winning the fight. For example, finishing with a Perfect has them boastful or overjoyed; while finishing with a flashing red low gauge has them visibly tired, and either commenting on how close the fight was, or complimenting the opponent's strength.