Paladin's Quest (known as Lennus in Japan) is an RPG for SNES. Its most notable features are its unusual magic system and the mercenaries you can hire to pad out your party. It was also noteable for being very, very weird.
Chezni is a 13-year-old boy in a magic school who accidentally activates an ancient weapon of mass destruction and then finds himself Walking the Earth on a quest to defeat it and save the world. Chezni soon meets with a girl called Midia, also a spiritualist, who becomes the only permanent companion on his quest. The plot is complicated by the world-conquering ambitions of the Evil Overlord Zaygos who already rules the southern continent and is eyeing the northern one.
A sequel, Lennus II, was released in Japan in 1996, unfortunately, it was never localized. The fact that it was released a month after the Nintendo 64 in Japan and the obscurity of the original in North America were probably significant factors.
Do not confuse it with the hero shooter Paladins, or the trope The Paladin, which, despite the name, this game doesn't use said trope outside of mercenaries having healing magic (which doesn't fully fit the definition of a Paladin).
This game contains examples of:
- 100% Completion: Every mercenary you recruit will appear in the big party at the end of the game. To get everyone to appear, you have to recruit every single mercenary (some of whom may be unobtainable if you didn't recruit them the first time you go through the area they're in). While this doesn't actually unlock anything special, it does add a bit to the ending since every merc has something unique to say to the party.
- The Ace: Mouth, an old swordsman who is one of the late-game mercenaries, is referred to in-game a few times as the greatest of all mercenaries. He lives up to his reputation. He's also one of the few Mercs who has an attack that's capable of doing any real damage to the Final Boss.
- Apocalyptic Log: The first hint you have that Gabnid was the Big Bad of his generation is when you come across an ancient laboratory deep underground and find some of these left by Sophie.
- Aerith and Bob: The three immortals who founded civilization on Lennus are named Gabnid, Kormu, and... Sophie.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only ever have up to four playable characters in your party.
- Bizarrchitecture: Several, including a continent full of people who live in egg-like houses and a town early in the game built entirely on kites.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: One undead enemy is called a "spilit."
- Boss Remix: The final battle music includes remixed portions of the main battle theme and Zaygos' theme. Likewise, the fight with Zaygos is a remixed version of his main theme.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Once you get your method of flight, and the map reveals the half of the world you didn't know existed, you can clearly see things that were put in there by the devs for laughs, like an island shaped like googly eyes.
- Cast From Hitpoints: The entire magic system is based on this.
- Commonplace Rare: There is a limited amount of bottles you can acquire in the game, especially of the bigger varieties.
- Crutch Character: Nails the ancient robot. He's one of the strongest mercenaries when you meet him in the Underworld thanks to his missile attack. However, he can only heal by draining enemy hit points (and for a pitiful amount), can't level up, disappears from the party if destroyed, and can only be re-recruited by going all the way back to the Underworld. He's also completely useless during the final boss fight, as none of his abilities do anything to either harm the boss or buff/support party members.
- Difficulty Spike: Once you reach the southern continent. Medicine suddenly costs four times as much, most enemies are now highly resistant to fire (which is your best element), and the mercenaries available tend to be few in number, often with severe drawbacks.
- Elemental Powers: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Sky, Lightning, Sphere, and Heart. And no, Heart is far from useless.
- Enemy Without / The Heartless: Suggested to be the true nature of the Monsters of Dal Gran and Noi Gren.
- Evil Over Lord: Zaygos is a ruthless dictator who has turned the Southern Continent into an authoritarian police state.
- Faceless Eye: Doth.
- Heroic Mime: Chezni.
- History Repeats: It's shown during the time travel episode that the conflict between Chezni, Midia, and Zaygos over Dal Gren is a repetition of the events that happened between Kormu, Sophie, and Gabnid 1000 years ago. Chezni and Midia are explicitly indicated to be the successors to Kormu and Sophie, and Zaygos claims to be the reincarnation of Gabnid; he and Gabnid even share the same attack pattern as bosses.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: No less than three different ones, but probably many more total for most players if they finish the game.
- Idiot Ball: Zaygos gets handed one right after an episode of surprising competence.
- Kid Hero: Chezni and Midia are both 13.
- Lethal Joke Item: The "bib" is actually a very strong body armor.
- Load-Bearing Boss / Synchronization: Dal Gren, Noi Gren and their monsters Strabo, Kaymat and Lokiarn.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are a total of 28 mercenaries that can be recruited into your party; a couple are plot-related for certain sections of the game, but most are completely optional. The flip side is that most of them have little or no interactivity with the story.
- Lost Technology: At one point in the game, you have to go on a quest for some ancient, powerful weapons that will let you defeat a dangerous enemy. One of them turns out to be a rocket launcher.
- Magic Knight: Several characters, including the main hero.
- Massive Race Selection: The main two characters are both part of the race most similar to human, but the other party slots can be filled with mercenaries from the dozen various races of the world.
- The Maze: The crystal world.
- Money Spider: In particular, the Gold Gubos drop a lot of gold if you can defeat them.
- Musical Spoiler: There is a particularly obvious one when you first enter Joyce's baker's shop.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: Characters who fall in battle are back to 1 hp after the battle if the party wins.
- Optional Party Member: The mercenaries. Some of them want money while others'll join for free if you let them.
- Retraux: One house is done in the style of the original Dragon Quest I, complete with priest sprite.
- Stable Time Loop: The undead-looking dragon you meet early on in the game, who woke up when you removed the Sword of Kormu from his body and carries you to the southern continent before dying? He recognized you because you were the one to seal him in the past, ten-thousand years ago. With the Sword of Kormu, of course.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Sword of Kormu. Twice. And you ultimately don't get to use it for the purpose you originally intended, since it breaks the first time you fight Zaygos with it.
- Stat Grinding: Your affinities with the spirits that determine how powerful your spells are grow by casting spells related to those spirits.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Crystal Maze, which is also That One Level. There the game changes from an RPG into a puzzle game, a very hard puzzle game.
- Useless Useful Spell: Partially averted and even inverted. The monsters' attempts to hit the players with status effects and instant death have a miserable rate of success. The instant death spells cast by the players at the monsters don't fare any better than that, but a fully leveled-up Freeze has a decent rate of success in player hands and makes some early boss fights much easier.
- Villain with Good Publicity: At the start of the game, Gabnid is worshiped along with the other two founders as the one who brought wisdom to Lennus. Sort of, but that leaves off the important detail where he went insane with power and tried to murder everyone.
- We Will Meet Again: Strabo says this after you seal him using the sword of Kormu in the past. Because of the Stable Time Loop involved, you already met him again in gameplay by the time this happens.
- Wizarding School: You start the game in one of these. It doesn't last long, though.
- Womb Level: You get to explore the insides of a dragon. The entrance looks like a typical cave entrance and the dungeon is a fairly straight tunnel. The dragon's mouth is the exit.
- You Have Failed Me: Zaygos proves himself quite savvy by predicting and preparing for your entry into his temple. However despite having using it to his advantage he shows himself as a major Bad Boss by having the entire town massacred as punishment for allowing you to sneak in. Despite having made it part of his plans in the first place.