Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / SaGa (RPG)

Go To

SaGa is an RPG series created by Square Enix. In North America, the first three games were released as part of the saga-makingly popular Final Fantasy series under the name Final Fantasy Legend. (Similarly, the first World of Mana game was released as Final Fantasy Adventure). Its noted for having unique stat progressions systems in contrast to other RPGs. The series is created and headed by Akitoshi Kawazu, who previously worked on Final Fantasy II and its stat progression system.

It has nothing to do with the comic book Saga.

Character sheet for the franchise here.

The series consists of:

Tropes featured:

  • Breakable Weapons: Weapon durability factors into several of the SaGa games, starting from the very first two Game Boy installments (which also tracked shield and spellbook durability). It vanished from the Romancing trilogy and Frontier but returned with Frontier 2, where the story actually justified it by tying mana use to weapons crafted from earthen elements like wood or stone. Remakes of the third Game Boy game and the first Romancing brought back weapon durability to enforce stronger ties to the franchise as a whole.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The first three games on the Game Boy were titled Final Fantasy Legend in North America. Aside from sharing the same developer, they are In Name Only and completely divorced from Final Fantasy in nearly all aspects. The closest thing SaGa has to Final Fantasy is that its stat progression system is an advanced form of the one found in Final Fantasy II.
  • Hit Points: SaGa has a unique health system that comes with two separate stats: the Health Points, a regular health for characters, and the "Life Points", SaGa's unique health stat that decreases whenever a character's Health Point reaches zero in a battle or takes hit with zero Health Point. While the Health Points are restored after each battle, the Life Points are not, and characters without LPs can no longer participate in battles (or worse, result in Permadeath). The ways to recover the Life Points vary between games (from sleeping somewhere to rare healing items), but they're always more limited than the Health Points and managing the LPs of your party is a big factor in what makes the SaGa games difficult.
  • Level Scaling: Enemies rank up along with the characters. This, however, doesn't apply to bosses.
  • Mutagenic Food: Depending on the game, both monster meat and robot components can either turn your character into a monster/robot OR be a simple way for monsters and robots to get new abilities.
  • Nintendo Hard: The series is infamous for featuring a steep difficulty curve where even the most basic enemies pose a remarkable threat and can/will cause a Total Party Kill to any unprepared gamer.
  • Non-Standard Skill Learning: Generally the player can spark learning new skills (randomly, of course) by spamming abilities lower on the skill tree.
  • Recurring Riff: "Heartful Tears" (sometimes translated as "Wipe Your Tears Away") is a recurring song used in most of the earlier installments in the series and their remakes, either as a prelude or for particularly sad moment. Some versions: Makai Toshi SaGa, GB version (WSC remake), Makai Toshi SaGa 2 (DS remake), Romancing SaGa (Minstrel Song), Romancing SaGa 2
  • Thematic Series: Like Final Fantasy, each game is a standalone title that only shares similar gameplay systems, and sometimes those gameplay systems can change a lot, like SaGa Frontier 2 and Unlimited Saga.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Strongly averted; monsters (including blatantly non-humanoid ones like slimes, tigers, and scorpions) are just another sentient race and you'll find almost as many of them hanging around town peacefully as you will humans and mutants/espers. They can even be party members.