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Video Game / Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals

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A series of four gods that call themselves the Sinistrals have come to the world and named themselves rulers of the world. They seek to subjugate the human race and eventually destroy the world. The only thing standing against them is a group of ragtag heroes led by the red-haired monster hunter Maxim.

Sound familiar?

Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, the fifth game in the Lufia series, is a remake of the game Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. Developed by Neverland, published by Square Enix in Japan and by Natsume in America, Curse of the Sinistrals is a very different beast from the original. Though the basics of the plot remain the same, the way in which the plot unravels is different. Characters too have been slightly altered or expanded upon personality and background wise. And boy, is the art style different. The biggest change is the gameplay however. The original was a turn-based RPG that made heavy use of puzzles in dungeons. This re-imagining of the cult classic is instead an action RPG. While the dungeons are still filled to the brim with puzzles the player now directly controls one of the six heroes in combat and can switch between them by clicking on their character portraits thanks to the Nintendo DS's touch screen. Yes, six heroes. Tia and Dekar who originally left the party for their own reasons are now permanent members of your party. Lexis has taken to being the group's transportation expert and plays no role in combat.


Obviously Curse of the Sinistrals is very, very different from the original. Despite this it is still very much a familiar experience and it does pay quite a bit of homage to the original game and its sequel (story wise anyway). The soundtrack in particular is worth noting as it is composed of new variations on the pieces found in the first and second game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Selan once again takes on this role. Tia gets in on the act this time around too!
  • Action Mom: Again Selan retakes this role.
  • Affably Evil: Berty and Betty. They're thieves, and proud of it, but they joke around constantly, are larger than life and actually help Maxim out when he really needs a hand.
  • Artifact Title: There is no Lufia in this game. There was in the first game, though!
  • Backtracking: You go through Soma Temple's upper sector three times, and late in-game, you need to keep revisiting cities to achieve similar events again and again.
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  • Badass Normal: Guy again isn't magically adept in any form. He doesn't need to be though.
  • Batman Gambit: How the alternate ending is set up in a New Game+.
  • Battle Couple: Maxim and Selan.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Though if one plays through the New Game+ Maxim and Selan will survive the end.
  • Block Puzzle
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Guy and Dekar.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Ancient Cave is back again as per tradition.
  • Character Development: Tia goes through a surprising amount of it, becoming much more tolerant and accepting of Selan. Likewise, Selan learns to loosen up.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Tia is one of the Unlucky kind, though she starts dating Dekar this time around.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Dual Blade's entirety towards the series. While Curse looks like a remake of Lufia II, the Dual Blade is revealed to rewind time, as shown in both the regular ending and alternate ending. It has been communicating with Arek the Absolute all along. In the regular ending, Arek summons the Dual Blade in front of Iris after noticing Iris' spiritual connection with humans, most notably feelings for Maxim. Iris' energies react to the Dual Blade and realizes that time is rewinding back, giving her a chance for her true resolve she tried to hide from Arek and the Dual Blade, thus a New Game Plus occurs. In the altered ending, the Dual Blade revealed her true resolve: She intentionall forced Maxim o battle her at his full strength to change the course of the castle crash while secretly allowing herself to be sacrifice so that Maxim and Selan survive unlike in the regular ending. Arek was fascinated with the realization that gods communicating with humans and will ensure that Iris' sacrifice does not go in vain. The Dual Blade is then revealed to want an endless adventure towards the future, hinting that it may have rewinded time after Lufia III and any future sequels that may be planned.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "We will create our own future, ourselves." Maxim states this to Daos after that boss fight.
  • Escaped from Hell: When Idura threatens to pull the party through a portal into a hellish dimension, Dekar makes an Heroic Sacrifice and pulls Idura along with him. Dekar not only fights his way out, but destroys the entire dimension while doing so and shows up just when Bound Kingdom needs him the most.
  • Flower From The Mountain Top: One that is a monster, another that is an actual flower they're looking for.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Dekar saves Tia. The mourning lasts only a few minutes. Dekar gets better, though.
  • Four Is Death: The Sinistrals.
  • Gender Flip: Berty's partner in the original was a man named Bart; in this game, it's a woman named Betty.
  • Genius Ditz: Dekar is very proficient in combat, but seemingly lacks skill in everything else.
  • Global Airship: Your only form of transportation in the game. The days of map walking are gone.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the puzzles can get to be this.
    • You can win a weapon from Gades the first time you fight him if you beat him fast enough, but typically it's too hard to accomplish without New Game+ unless you really level grind.
    • You can also win dragon eggs if you beat certain bosses fast enough or survive the unwinnable battle without taking damage in Erim's case, but it's not stated which bosses. There's the matter of finding Egg Dragon itself which the game gives absolutely no clue of.
  • The Hero Dies: His wife goes with him too, though beating the New Game+ changes this.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Maxim is this for actual stats, while Dekar can use every weapon, though without the special moves their main users have.
  • Large Ham: Berty and Betty are extremely over-the-top, and Gades gets in on the action too.
  • Level Drain: Your party's levels drop to level one while in the Ancient Cave.
  • King of All Cosmos: Arek the Absolute.
  • Magic Knight: Since magic spells are tied to weapons in this game, everyone can be this.
  • New Game+
  • Noble Demon: Iris/Erim.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Logismos is regarded as this even within the game's story
  • Party in My Pocket: Only the character currently being controlled is actually shown.
  • Physical God: Four of them.
  • Puzzle Reset: The Reset spell is now a time travel device made by Lexis.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Berty and Betty though they are more like a quirky miniboss duo.
  • Random Drop: The Ancient Cave blue chests.
  • The Reveal: The Dual Blade. See Cosmic Retcon section.
  • Rogue Like: The Ancient Cave.
  • Running Gag: Guy's annoyed being called a Dumb Muscle, Dekar doesn't get a clue being called an idiot.
  • Sequel Hook: In the ending, Lexis mentions that the Fortress of Doom landed in the ocean near the town of Arus in Westland. This is referencing its location in the original Lufia & The Fortress of Doom.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Comparing Iris and Erim.
  • Shout-Out: Natsume's localization team clearly noticed Lexis's resemblance to Doc Brown from Back to the Future and has Maxim referring to him as "Doc" and Lexis himself exclaiming "Great Scott!" occasionally.
  • Skyward Scream: IRIIIIS!!!
  • Sinister Minister: Idura becomes this.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Why walking across platforms while carrying a box makes a key that opens doors, we will never know.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Keep striking a dead enemy before it disappears and it nets you more EXP and gold, so why not?
  • Token Romance: Selan and Maxim. Tia and Dekar could be considered this as well.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Tia
  • Violation of Common Sense: One of the challenges required to face a certain Bonus Boss is to survive Erim's Beam Spam without suffering damage. The easiest way to achieve this is to equip yourself with gear and gems that negate fall damage, and repeatedly jump off the edge of the arena exploiting the heck out of your Mercy Invincibility.
  • Weapon of Choice
  • Wedding Smashers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Artea's backstory and love for Karyn.