Although most people would agree with me that a sequel can never give you the same experience as the original, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete compares very well with the first Lunar, and in some ways it's better. Lunar 2 has a wonderful story, great gameplay, and a beautiful soundtrack, but due to the nature of the graphics and the fact that most RPGers of today came to us during the wonderful age of the Playstation, people may overlook this amazing piece of RPG gaming.
The story revolves the adventure of Hiro, the hero of this story (please hold in the laughter), and Ruby, our new little flying kitty friend who thinks she's a red dragon. Hiro and Ruby are exploring the Dragon Cave to get a Dragon Eye Jewel, but of course once they get the jewel, something goes wrong and the two heroes are next seen running from monsters. When they finally escape the monsters' sights, they meet White Dragon Knight Leo of Althena's Chosen, a cult of Lunar devoted to ripping off the cash of the poor citizens who only wish to worship a goddess.
When Hiro finally returns home, he finds his grandfather, Gywn, and his new friend Leo talking about the Blue Spire, an excavation site which has never been opened, and someone called the Destroyer. Leo runs out of the little shack and like most country folk who want a cheap thrill and don't have a clue about impending danger, Hiro, Ruby and Gywn decide to truck on towards the Blue Spire. Once they get there, Hiro hands over their dragon eye to Gywn, who right now can't think of a decent punishment for the two trespassing raiders of the ruins. They climb the ruins and find a strange looking artifact. Hiro and Ruby play with it only to be transported into the room where Lucia, our naive and lovely heroine, appears before Hiro in all her babe-a-licous splendor. After Ruby wakes Hiro up, Hiro, Ruby, Gywn, and their new friend Lucia take their time watching Lucia make quick work of the monsters.
Now here comes the good part. At the midpoint of the spire, Lucia and the evil Zophar get into a small tiff which curses Lucia and zaps her wonderful abilities away and puts the hurt on her. Gywn, who is obviously a super sleuth, notes that Lucia is in pain (gee she was only screaming at the top of her lungs a few seconds ago) and will die if she isn't treated right away. Hiro and the
others return home where Gywn makes preparations for Hiro to journey to Larpa where a great priest named Ronfar resides. Ronfar may be the only person capable of lifting this curse. Hiro and Ruby carry Lucia off to Larpa and our true adventure begins.
The story gets a 100%. Why? Because it wasn't the usual boy knows girl and realizes true passion for her after she is kidnapped. In a nutshell, the story is boy finds artifact, explores ruins with his grandpa to find a beautiful intercelestial gal named Lucia, and falls in love at first sight.
Boy wants to protect her and ends up finding out that she can handle things herself. Curse is placed on girl, and boy with girl minus old fart head off to find a priest who may be able to lift the curse.
The other thing that is absolutely great about this game is characters personality and development. Hiro, like Alex, is the boy with a cause, but unlike Alex, Hiro actually gets involved in conversations about things other than saving his little crush! Lucia has the personality of someone realizing and discovering everything that the planet she has to protect truly has more
than life to offer. Ronfar, a priest you meet in Larpa, is the RPG cliche of the notorious gambling and carefree womanizer who also has a love lost is the past. Jean, a dancer/martial artist of Carnival, a traveling circus, is troubled from when she was a child trained to be an assassin, and knows she now has to use those same powers for the greater good. Lemina is a girl who seems at first to only care about how fat her purse is, but later on we discover that she wants to restore Vane to please her ancestors and who deeply cares for others as well as her funds. Ruby, though a pain in everyone's side at first, learns that she has to accept the fact that she'll be around a lot longer than her friends and won't be able to travel with them forever.
Ahh, the graphics. Although I couldn't care less, nowadays graphics are a major factor for video games today. In Lunar 2, it is quite noticeable that the characters suffer from eternal walking in place on maps, which is rather annoying at times. Although the backgrounds are colored and detailed, nothing is going to truly make you gasp for air. Spell effects are decent, but they remind me of the great days of SNES RPG's with cute little flashes to make them seem better than they actually are. I know that I shouldn't really gripe about the graphics this much because Lunar 2 is a remake, but it would have been cool to see a game like this get a great looking facelift. But when the folks who remade Lunar 2 decided to put in anime sequences, it's nothing but the best, with around 90 minutes of beautiful anime.
The music featured is Lunar 2 is great, but the sound effects are usually only found in battle, when you press a switch, or in movies, so I had to dock a few points for that. Little things like that get to me. I would have been satisfied even if they added a dashing sound in the dungeons when you use the run feature, but alas, there is no such sound. And sounds they did put in are really tacky, sort of bland, a little too high pitched, drowned out, and a bit loud for my tastes. Battle cries are decent and the voice acting is great compared to other games.
The singing tracks are great and the music is awesome! The music can really put you in a different mood at times and you'll find yourself humming along with some of the tracks. I had to dock a few points here as well because they featured this one track, Lucia's Theme, about 30% of the time in the world map or in a town, and they didn't have any of the old tracks from the first Lunar except for Luna's Theme and the original dungeon music.
This game has a battle system which is great for beginners and refreshingly easier for RPG veterans. Like the first Lunar, in Lunar 2 you input commands for your whole party before the round starts up. The enemy also has a special animation before an attack, so if you know that when he/she/it breathes fire in and out of his/her/it's nose it going to cast a fire spells that attacks one ally from previous turns, you know how you have heal and restore beforehand. You can also tell how effective an attack will be by checking the color of the monster with your cursor. Green means effective, yellow means normal damage, and red means crappy damage. This makes it easier so you don't waste MP to find out that an element or physical attack doesn't work well against an enemy.
Another great thing about this system is the way you gain abilities and magic spells. Each character in Lunar has his or her own set of spells. Skills and spells are learned by gaining levels, which is a great way to learn spells because it gives you an extra reason to build characters levels up. You can also gain skills by equipping elemental crests. The crests give sets of spells of a certain element. The water crest gives you water spells and the mute crest gives you muting spells. Combining certain crest can also give you new spells, higher stats, and better combinations.
If anyone knows or is one of those RPG skeptics who doesn't truly appreciate an awesome story instead of graphics, you should inform them about the Lunar series or give Lunar 2 a chance. Although the graphics look like those you'd see on the old NES systems, the wonderful story, fun gameplay, cool music, and great anime sequences are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to take your time to fully explore the world of Lunar. If you
haven't played this yet, you'll be glad you did.