Wednesday, June 1, 2011


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Legend of Legaia
Developer - Prokion
Publisher - Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date - March 17, 1999

Legend of Legaia is a 1998 Sony PlayStation role-playing video game created by Prokion and produced by Contrail. The game was followed by a 2001 sequel video game, Legaia 2: Duel Saga for the PlayStation 2 which, rather than continuing the first game's storyline, provides an original story set in the eponymous Legaia.


The game takes place in a world called Legaia, populated by humans and objects called Seru, which can join with humans to grant them fantastic powers. While humans and Seru had once peacefully coexisted, about ten years before the game begins the world was covered in a mist which drove Seru mad when it came in contact with them. Seru were transformed into monsters that attacked humans, and human civilization nearly collapsed. At the time the game begins, human survivors have banded together in remote regions to hide from the mist.

The game follows Vahn, the quiet main hero; Noa, an excitable feral child; and Gala, a curt warrior monk, on their quest to revive ten Genesis Trees throughout Legaia in an attempt to vanquish the evil Mist which covers the world. The three heroes join with entities known as Ra-Seru, which grant them powers like Seru but are immune to the effects of the Mist. They travel across three continents, reviving Genesis Trees that push back the Mist over small areas, and destroying the Mist Generators that create it; at times they come into conflict with Songi, Gala's childhood rival, who has joined with a Seru and is progressively mutating into a monster.


Combat in Legend of Legaia is turn-based. At the beginning of each turn, the character inputs a command for each available character, selects appropriate targets, and confirms the selection. This initiates the action phase of the turn, during which each character and opponent perform their actions. The order of action is prescribed by each character's speed, status, and equipment.

Damage is instituted through the game's 'Tactical Arts' battle system. Instead of simply selecting a 'Fight' command in order to initiate a physical attack, the player specifies the location of each attack; 'Right' and 'Left' will strike with the right and left arms, respectively, and 'High' and 'Low' strike at their respective heights. Each direction has its own pros and cons, depending upon the opponent, weapons equipped, and level of the character's Ra-Seru. For example, equipping boots will increase the power of kicks, but 'Low' will not strike a Killer Bee, since it flies above the ground. To attack, the player creates a string of these directional strikes for each character; as the game progresses the length of this string or "action bar" increases, allowing the player to deal more damage each turn. The number of strikes the character can execute is affected by several factors, including level and weapon. Certain weapons can be used by more than one character, such as small axes that can be wielded by both Vahn and Gala. However, Gala's affiliation with axes are better than Vahn, so if Vahn equips the axes, his 'Left' attack will occupy more space in the action bar, and thus he cannot make as many attacks overall.

Certain strings of attacks initiate combos known as "Arts," which deal substantially more damage than would a non-combo string of comparable length. The player can uncover each character's Arts by experimentation, or through non-player characters throughout the game who reveal Arts to the characters. "Arts Points" (AP) is necessary to initiate Arts, which drain AP in quantities which are proportionate to the length and power of the combo. Inputting an Arts sequence without the requisite AP will cause the character to simply perform the string of attacks, without the Arts animation or damage bonus. AP can be earned in three ways; dealing physical damage without performing Arts, taking damage from opponents, or by foregoing actions for one turn in order to charge up using the Spirit command. Arts can also be linked by the last and first inputs. For example, an Art that ends with 'Down' can linked with another Art that starts with 'Down', allowing the player to use two Arts in a row costing fewer inputs.

The Spirit command causes a character to take a defensive stance for a turn, in lieu of attacking. This allows the character to take reduced damage for the turn, increases his/her chance to block an attack, regain AP, and boosting the length of his/her action bar for the next physical attack. Some boss battles involve enemies that do massive damage that the characters can only survive by using Spirit.

Each main character eventually partners himself or herself with a Ra-Seru, who lends its powers to the human. Once bound, a Ra-Seru strengthens its partner's primary arm for use in combat, and allows the human to absorb the powers of Seru defeated in battle. The human can later use the absorbed Seru's powers as spells; consistently calling upon that Seru's power will level it up, making it more powerful and causing additional effects. All Seru possess an elemental affinity which determines what type of attacks it will use in battle. Ra-Seru also possess elemental affinities which influence how effective they are in casting spells of various elemental types.

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