Wednesday, July 6, 2011

THEPLAYGAMER3: Legaia 2 Duel Sage










Legaia 2: Duel Saga (known as Legaia: Duel Saga in Japan) is a 2001 console role-playing game developed by Prokion and published by Sony in Japan and Eidos Interactive's Fresh Games label in other regions. It was released for the PlayStation 2 as the sequel to the 1998 title Legend of Legaia.

Gameplay

Legaia 2: Duel Saga continues its predecessor's approach to turn-based battles, the "Tactical Arts System".

The game also does away with traditional magical Abilities; with the exception of Ayne and Maya (whom is a magician who can cast elemental magic), all other party members can only access magic through items, or their "Origins."

Also featured in the game are a large amount of mini-games, quests and optional challenges to take on. A guild is present at the town of Kravia, from which players can choose to undertake quests; there's a casino at paradise isle Phorchoon; minor characters in several towns challenge Lang with small dares, such as planting rice and side-jumping.

Another feature is Camping; accessible at predetermined spots in dungeons and anywhere on the world map after a certain event, characters will set-up camp to rest. Here, it's possible to get to know characters more and even watch interactions between them. It's also possible to prepare meals, provided they've been learned by characters and there's a stock of needed ingredients. The crafting of more powerful weapons, armor and accessories is also possible here.

Hidden bosses in the game are not hidden like the hidden boss of the original. In mini games such as Centurion Challenge and Battle Arena are bosses more powerful than the last boss, Avalon. Additionally, the player can meet and fight Avalon before the last battle in the Battle Arena in the semifinal round.

First featured in Legend of Legaia, the "Tactical Arts System" is present in this game.

The similarities are immediately known and seen. For one, you have to input button commands. Combining these button commands unlock moves called "Arts".

Therefore, the Arts system makes the Legend of Legaia system feel more like a fighting game and not a typical RPG battle system.

Once you unlock an art move, the combination of buttons is put into a menu. If the combination is valid and unlocked an Art, you can select it by pushing the triangle button when you are inputting your button commands.

Inputting battle commands is limited to the number of "Art Blocks" a character has; the total maximum for all characters are 15. Fortunately, it's possible to combine attacks together if the last button of the combination matches the initial one of the next you want to chain.

There are several types of arts moves: NORMAL ARTS are basic moves that do a decent amount of damage, and gain you AP. HYPER ARTS are more powerful, but you lose AP from doing them. MYSTIC ARTS are combinations of a Character's finest attack with his/her Origin's powers; they require 100 AP, more than 50% of Max MP and the character must possess half HP or less to do them, but they compensate with their sheer damage potential. VARIABLE ARTS are impressive double team moves, executable by any combination of two party members, but each must execute a different half of the VARIABLE ART.


Combining

One of the features in this game is combining. To combine, you need one item to combine with another item. Doing this will increase the strength of that item. You can do this with weapons, armor, and tools. To reach the final result of an item you need to combine the previous item with a heaven's secret.

Accessory combination in Legaia 2 is a very complicated process that is not documented sufficiently online. While there is tons of information on how to create specific accessories, there is very little on the passing of specific abilities from accessory to accessory.

For instance, the Tireless Ribbon contains the ability 'Max AP'. Debatably this is the best offensive ability in the game; however, a default Tireless Ribbon has other abilities that are less than ideal. This is where the passing of abilities from accessory to accessory becomes important. Once a Tireless Ribbon is properly leveled, it is possible to use it to create lower-level accessories with Max AP as an extra abilitiy. Using this new lower-level accessory, it is then possible to create other accessories which sometimes include Max AP as an extra ability that does not appear normally on the given accessory. Using trial and error it is entirely possible to create custom accessories with extremely useful abilities. Sadly there is little to no information on specific accessory recipes that will yield incredible accessories.

Plot

This game doesn't follow the story to the first Legaia game, but instead creates a fresh, new legend simply built on the world of Legaia.

Story

Legaia 2: Duel Saga is centered around a group of people known as "Mystics"; these people are outcasts, usually shunned by the rest of the common folk who mistake them for monsters. It is not without reason, though, since they can summon nature spirits called "Origin".

One of these Mystics is Lang, a youth adopted by the militia leader of the small village of Nohl and recruited into its defense force to protect the Sacred Azure Stone, a mysterious crystal which supplies the town with endless water.

The game begins on Lang's first day at work, which sets a series of events into motion that ultimately put the fate of the world in danger. Started with the ambition of a Mystic to creating a new world by destroying the current one, Lang teams up with his fellow adventurers to save the world.

Characters

Lang, a youth swordsman from the village of Nohl. Lang is one of the main protagonists, and is the main character of the game. Lang is a member of the "Vigilante Corps" a sort of militia that works to protect Nohl. During his second day of work he encounters Avalon, who takes from his mind the location of the Aqualith, which he then steals. As the Aqualith is necessary to life in Nohl for its ability to generate water sources, Lang vows to reclaim it from Avalon. Lang was found by Galvan, the captain of the Corps, and raised by him. Lang is a star shaper, a mystic chosen by the Source Forge, the source of life, to have the ability to control it and the three sacred stones. The spirit Reym hints at the possibility that he was created directly by the Source Forge. Lang eventually learns to summon and control his origin, Galea, the origin of fire.

Maya, a girl with a troubled past. She is of descent from an ancient and ruined kingdom named Kabel that consisted of magicians, and so Maya can utilize Magic. At a young age she lost control of her powers, which resulted in the death of her parents, the shock of which caused her to lose her voice. Lang meets her early in his journey, after he is taken to prison. When Lang breaks out, he takes Maya with him. At first, she is mute and cannot attack. Maya is only 14 years old, and so she is naive and often irritates Sharon at her lack of understanding of Male-Female relationships. She also strives to win at anything she does, and ends up becoming a rival with Nancy over cooking, and with Sharon over Lang. If the player is nice to Maya during conversations, she ends up displaying a crush on Lang. Maya demonstrates her ability to use Magic when she again loses control of it during the party's first encounter with Doplin's pet demon Slogar. This act isn't enough to kill Slogar, but it render him vulnerable to attacks, allowing Lang and Kazan to defeat. In the aftermath of the battle she recovers her voice. During the party's second encounter with Slogar (this time under the name Zoan Stoara) she finally manages to control her magic, again making Slogar vulnerable and allowing her to finally attack. Maya's origin is Rivas, the origin of life.

Kazan, a 60 year old martial artist who is a master of the Sky Fang arts. Maya directs Lang to meet with Kazan early in the game, at which point Kazan joins Lang as an ally. Kazan teaches him more advanced techniques throughout the game, becoming the boy's teacher and master through the game. Kazan also helps Lang to finally awaken Galea. Kazan has a number of regrets from his past. Originally Kazan went by the name "Nazak" (his default name backwards) and served with Sharon's father Alphis aboard his pirate ship. After he was forced to kill his pupil Rause he abandoned the group. Kazan also knew Maya's parents, and felt responsible for not acting in time to prevent Maya from accidentally killing them. Kazan's origin is Deva, the origin of earth.

Sharon Blade, captain of her pirate ship, she meets Lang's party and helps them. Sharon's origin is Arrode, the origin of thunder. She comes off as slightly haughty, possessing many servants, and loyal followers. She also has a pet parrot.

Ayne, the only non-Mystic hero. He's a giant and helps the party with his great strength. He is the strongest in his tribe and joins the party under the direct order of his village's chief.

Avalon, the main antagonist of the story. When he was a child, the people in his village killed all the Mystics living among them. Angered by their actions and in great danger, his Origin was awakened with an explosion, killing several villagers. This made the crater in Kravia. He hates humans and decides to make a new world. He has the origin Igohl who is the greatest of all Origins and holds ultimate power. He also has great powers of his own, such as telekinesis to name only one. Where exactly these powers derive from is uncertain. Like Lang, Avalon is a Star Shaper, however his hatred of the world drives him to cause imbalance within the Source Forge bringing about the destruction of the world.

Igohl, the "Supreme" Origin. Igohl takes the form of an orange energy-like being similar to most Origins. Igohl nearly kills Lang early in the game simply by driving one of its fingers through his chest. Igohl frequently questions Avalon as to why he takes certain actions. Ultimately Igohl fuses with Avalon to form the final boss of the game.

Velna, a female Mystic who follows Avalon throughout the game. She claims to be a hundred years old. Her Origin is Vestra, which is unique in that it takes a physical shape where most Origins seem to be made more of energy. (she refers to Vestra as "The Celestial Origin" though its attacks seems to relate to death powers.) Her attacks are similar to Maya's, as they both are from the same bloodline. Velna was born in the kingdom of Kabel before its destruction and survived its fall through the powers of her Origin, which prevents her from dying as long as it is still alive. She hates normal humans for their part in her old home's destruction.

Rauss, former apprentice of Kazan. He is a swordsman of the Tenga Ryu style, the same style Kazan teaches Lang. Prolonged use of its ultimate technique drove him to insanity, which forced Kazan to face and kill him. Velna later revived him and bound his life to the dark armor he now wears. Since then, he works for Avalon.

Doplin, ruler of Darakin castle. He looks innocent, but is quite evil. As he is a bishop he frequently makes reference to God, or religious items. He believes Mystics to be Soldiers of God, and attempts to use both the remaining power of Kabel (mostly demonstrated by Velna) and the sacred stones to achieve godhood. He is the foster parent of Elliot and Marienne. He wants to rule in Avalon's new world. Despite Doplin's position in Avalon's forces and his general reverence of Mystics and scorn of normal humans, Doplin was confirmed by Velna as being a regular human shortly before his ironic death at the hands of his mutant monster Slogar. Shortly before the party's final battle with Slogar in which Doplin dies halfway through, Doplin confirms he cares little for Elliot or Marriene, thinking of them as simply tools for his use.

Elliott, a mystic abandoned by his parents and taken in by Doplin. He is narcissistic and feminine. He is Marianne's older brother. During the second battle with Elliott it is found out that he carries the "pitch black" Origin, Raskia. It affects your party with Spellbind in addition to damaging the entire party.

Marienne, a short, extremely fat and ugly mystic and Elliot's younger sister. She is short-tempered, narcissistic, and likes to torture people. She is extremely bossy and seems to dislike everyone except her big brother Elliott and Bishop Doplin. She carries the "pure white" Origin, Alvadis, which is able to inflict 'Venom' status on the entire party in addition to damage.

Bubba, a brutish human with great strength. He is a servant to Elliot and Marianne and is often bullied by the two, since he doesn't have mystic powers. He was originally imprisoned by Doplin for an unspecified reason but as freed on the condition he serve Elliot and Marianne. He attempts to take revenge on Lang and his allies about halfway through the game, but claims he plans to become a drifter after being defeated. In reality he just traveled to the arena at Phorchoon and began to fight there.

Elfin, a female yeti, who is a pet and a friend to Bubba. She attacks Lang early in the game while Elliot, Marianne and Bubba were looking for Mystics. Lang kills her in self-defence, earning him the hatred and vengeance of Bubba.

Nancy, Lang's childhood friend. Growing up with men, she has become quite tomboyish. She argues with Lang quite a lot but all the while, she has feelings for him. She is apparently a good cook, as she reveals Lang often complements her cooking and asks for extra helpings.

Galvan, the head of the Nohl's defense force and Lang's guardian. He treats Lang like a son and Nancy is his daughter. He joins the party early on as a temporary character, and fights similar to Lang, although he is stuck at level 4, cannot change his equipment, and has access to only two arts. On the up side he automatically returns to full HP after each of the few battles he participates in.

Hawke, father of Galvan and apparent head of Nohl. He was once a doctor. He assists Lang in convincing the town that Lang needs the Aqualith to restore the world.

Reym, a spirit living in a great tree in Yuno. The party meets with Reym to learn why the sun turned black. Reym explains much of the secrets behind the world's creation and of Avalon's plan. He vanishes shortly after as the Black Sun drained the life force from the tree he inhabits.

Dein, a member of Vigilante Corps with arrogant and egoistic attitude. He seems to despise Lang, despite the fact that Lang saves his life early in the game. After the player defeats him in a sidejumping match, he becomes much friendlier with Lang. He is quite proud of his sidejumping title "Crab Legs"

Joe, a pirate and informant for the player. From the very first time the player meets him until the late in the game, he stays at the Darakin's inn. He has an unusual relationship with Sharon, as the two are frequently seen arguing and yet they appear to be friendly with each other. He is not shown having any job, as commented by Maya, and likes to drink.

Stiel, a swordsman who came from netherworld, he cannot die of old age and is currently trapped in the human world. He wishes to go back with the crystal key, as shown in the guild's hardest quest, but unable to do so as the key itself is a fake. He is ultimately one of the most powerful enemies in the game, as shown in the Phorchoon dream match where he has over one million hit points.

Phanta, a hunter working for the guild in Kravia. She and her partner Balzac frequently appear during Guild missions, and often the duo come to embarrassing failures. Though she frequently displays open irritation at Balzac for his brainless ways she does manage to reconcile with him during one of the final guild quests.

Balzac, a cocky sidejump player and eco macho good at nothing particularly. Sometimes he joins on guild mission only to be defeated by Lang. However, the player can have an alternative plot by losing Lang to him. The failure of the guild mission cannot be changed. He frequently replaces various words with "muscle" and indeed has an obsession with muscles. He does seem to care for his partner Phanta.

Origin

Galea -Origin of Fire
Rivas -Origin of Life/Water
Deva -Origin of Earth
Arrode -Origin of Thunder


Development

Legaia 2 was developed by Prokion after Contrail lost their rights to develop the sequel. The soundtrack was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Michiru Oshima.


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