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Video Game / Paladin's Quest

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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.
  • All in a Row: Your party members follow you around this way. This gets a bit of a chuckle during a sequence where you're leading a parade and have far more than your typical 4-person limit around.
  • 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: There are 28 playable characters spread throughout the game who aren't Chezni and Midia. Despite this, you can only ever have up to four playable characters in your party, and you'll only ever be able to have two of those mercenaries in your group through the vast majority of the game as Midia is only ever removed from your party a couple of times, for very brief periods.
  • Bishōnen:
  • 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.
  • Broken Bridge: As is typical for an RPG of this generation, some areas are inaccessible until you complete a certain task.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The entire magic system is based on this. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this doesn't leave a lot of room for direct healing magic.
  • 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.
  • Degraded Boss: Just about every boss has a palette-swap that you've either fought prior to their appearance or will be fighting later on. Some of the 'degraded' bosses are anything but.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Magic Academy will not be long for this world upon starting your game.
    • Addtionally, Chezni's home town (which you oddly don't reach until late-game) doesn't fare well against an assault from Zaygos's forces.
  • Elemental Powers: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Sky, Lightning, Sphere, and Heart. And no, Heart is far from useless.
  • Encounter Repellant: Either the spell "Peace" or the "Pro Ball" item can keep weaker enemies away from you for a while.
  • Enemy Without / The Heartless: Suggested to be the true nature of the Monsters of Dal Gren 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. Though funnily, he has a face in his eye when he attacks.
  • Fantastic Racism: Naskuot and Saskuot are NOT on good terms with each other, to the point where your mere scent pisses off the people of Saskuot once you make it there. You eventually find a way around this.
  • Final Boss Preview: A damn early one; you come face-to-top-of-face with Kaymat as soon as you activate Dal Gren at the start of the game. Unsurprisingly, this preview does not go well for you.
  • Global Airship: You get your hands on a flying machine late in the game. Unlike most of your other modes of controllable transport, you don't have to deal with the local random encounters while you're in the air.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: A few party members join you for certain plot beats and can't be recruited again once you're past the plot areas in question. One in particular may be holding himself back a tad, for sinister reasons.
  • Heroic Mime: Chezni doesn't say a word through the entire game.
  • 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: your first meet-up with Kaymat, your first meet-up with Lokiarn, and Doth should you screw up the Crystal Labyrinth. Plenty more bosses merely FEEL hopeless.
  • Idiot Ball: Zaygos gets handed one right after an episode of surprising competence.
  • Kid Hero: Chezni and Midia are both 13.
  • Lampshade Hanging: As mentioned, one of this game's unique features is that spells are cast from HP, not MP. Early in the game, someone comments on this, saying "MP? Where did you hear such superstitious nonsense?"
  • 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.
  • 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. Its only inhabitant doesn't like intruders very much.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Once you starting running into the Lost Technology present in the world, you'll find quite a selection of combat-ready robots out for blood.
  • Money Spider: In particular, the Gold Gubos drop a lot of gold if you can defeat them.
  • Musical Spoiler: Your very first step inside Joyce's bakery will make very clear that she's one of the few people in Saskuot that's on your side.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Right at the beginning, you end up activating the Dal Gren by accident, unleashing a horror that threatens the world.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Characters who fall in battle are back to 1 hp after the battle if the party wins.
  • One-Winged Angel: Zaygos powers himself up once you've knocked off about half his HP. He powers himself up by fusing with Kaymat once you've knocked off the other half.
  • Optional Party Member: The mercenaries. Some of them want money, some of them want equipment, some have other oddball conditions for their employment, and still others will join for free if you let them. One of them will steal half your money if you enter a town with him once he's hired, Destry, you prick.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: By itself, Dal Gren is harmless. Stick your hand on its control panel and something will emerge that is far, far less harmless.
  • 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. Rather strangely, given that he's a product of Dal Gren and you're directly responsible for that whole 'stabbed him in the back and left him to rot for 10,000 years' thing, he doesn't seem to hold it against you at all.
  • 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 once you've used it to kill Lokiarn.
  • Stat Grinding: Your affinities with the spirits that determine how powerful your spells are grow by casting spells related to those spirits.
  • Took a Level in Badass: G Rasav is an utter weakling when you first get him and a liability that tags along with his much stronger brother, J Rasav, but he becomes much more powerful later in the game, far more so than his brother. Keep them around long enough for Zaygos to take away your non-Midia party members.
  • Underground Monkey: Palette swaps ahoy throughout the entire game, and this includes bosses (on both a boss-to-mook basis AND one boss-to-later-boss basis).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Crystal Maze, which is also That One Level. There, the game briefly changes from an RPG into a puzzle game, and it's not an easy puzzle.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Chezni enters and activates Dal Gren at the start of the game, having no idea what it is and being dared to go inside by some of his classmates. "Duke" knew exactly what would happen upon its activation and set him up.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Partially averted, and sometimes 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.
    • Also, a few shots of AT Back will reflect half of the considerable damage the final bosses can cause to you, without the massive damage reduction that any offensive spell that isn't 'Spirit' suffers.
  • 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. This isn't strictly false, but it does leaves out the important detail where he one day 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've technically 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 what turns out to be 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 proves himself to be an extremely Bad Boss by having the entire town massacred as punishment for allowing you to sneak in. You know, despite having made it part of his plans in the first place.