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Lunar: Eternal Blue

by Camel Pimp

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Original Thread: Not Quite Tilting at Windwills - Let's Play Lunar: Eternal Blue!



I told you that story so I could tell you this story.

Our story is about a young man named Hiro (different Hiro!) and his annoying talking flying cat, Ruby. Our duo mostly concern themselves with desecrating ancient ruins in the name of archeology until one day they find themselves drawn to the plight of a mysterious young woman. They team up with her to find the Goddess Althena so they can halt the arrival of a "Destroyer." Along the way, they pick up a motley crew of misfits and discover that perhaps there's more going on than they think...

I can't lie to ya'll; I love this game. The original Lunar will always hold a special place in my heart, but Lunar: Eternal Blue is something else. It's prettier, it's got more cutscenes, better cutscenes, more voice-acting, a more complex plot, and more varied, difficult gameplay. Much... much more difficult.

Lunar: Eternal Blue was released in Japan in December of 1994 and in America the following year. Like with the first game, Working Designs translated this one. Eternal Blue... might have been Working Designs most "loose" translation. Working Designs also did a bit of tweaking in the gameplay department. Some... unwanted tweaking...

It sold well... as well as a Sega-CD game can sell. It almost sold as well as it's predecessor in Japan, but in the US it had the misfortune of coming out during the death spasms of the Sega CD. Still, it got generally good reviews, even if Working Design's Victor Ireland quibbled about some of the review complaints.

Still, the game was somewhat obscure. So, along with the original, Lunar: Eternal Blue got a Saturn remake in 1998 and got an English release in... 2000. Wow, that took a while, didn't it?

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (it gets a number now!) isn't quite the drastic rehaul that Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete is. The story remains largely the same, with some minor alterations. The number of cutscenes were actually reduced, although mostly small, incidental cutscenes were cut. No, the biggest change comes in gameplay. The remake is easier than the original (which was not true of the first game, at least for the PSX remake) and generally streamlined.

To be honest, I prefer the original. The remake is still a fine game and well worth your while, but I'm not fond of some of the changes it makes. My biggest gripe is that most of the dungeons are far smaller and simpler, making many of them boring. There are also some minor story changes I don't like, but could just be the purist in me talking. There are some things I do like in the remake when compared to the original, and I'll point them out when we get there.

(If you want to see an LP of this version of the game, check out Croweton's fine LP here!)

And... the story stops there. Lunar 2 didn't get the plethora of remakes its older sibling did. Consequently, it's not as well known. It's certainly more expensive; used copies of either version of the sequel seem to start at 40 dollars, or at least that was true last I checked.* I've heard somewhere that XSEED was interested in making a version of Lunar: Eternal Blue, but hell if I know if that's ever going to materialize. It really depends if GameArts (you know, the people who actually owns the rights to these games) wants to make another Lunar 2 remake. Unfortunately, the Working Designs Lunar games seem to be caught in copyright hell, so that faint glimmer is the only hope we have of making this game available to new players.

*I checked again. It seems like you're actually paying a minimum of about 50 dollars.

That's just not fair. I love this game, and I want to show it to all of you.

Minor Spoiler Disclaimer

You don't have to have played the first game to play this one, but this game does continue from the first. There's going to be spoilers for the first game. Don't bother spoiler-tagging things from the first game (do spoiler-tag stuff from this game, stupid.) If you want to discover what happens for yourself, by all means, play the first Lunar! There's an iOS version out now in addition to the readily available GBA and PSP versions; there's no reason you can't play it! (Don't play the GBA version.) Although there are several changes in those versions, most of the big details are the same. There's also my LP of the original Sega-CD game. It's a pretty creaky game, but still a fun title.

(And I'm certain this will confuse people down the line: when I refer to the first game, I'm talking about the original Sega-CD version and not the remakes, unless specified.)

Enough of my blathering, let's get down to business, shall we?

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