Introduction(You can read the old thread here if you want! It requires archives, most of the images are dead, and it wasn't any good to begin with, but if you want to know.)
A long time ago, a certain someone tried to let's play the Sega CD game Lunar: The Silver Star. It... didn't go well, to say the least. But today, I'm going to right that wrong. Come with me on this magical journey of nostalgia, won't you?
Lunar: The Silver Star was a 1992 RPG developed by Game Arts and translated by Working Designs. It's notable for largely two things. One, it has voiced anime-style animated cutscenes. In 1992, the era of the FMV craze, this was a big deal. Cutscenes, voiced ones no less, simply weren't viable on most consoles. Also, keep in mind that in the early 90's, anime really hadn't made it's way into popular American culture. A game so pervasively defined by an anime aesthetic was fairly unique at the time.
The second thing that made Lunar stand out was its translation, done by sometimes loved, sometimes hated Working Designs. They were known for their lively, humor-filled but not terribly... faithful translations. Of course, this was in the era of "you spoony bard." Horrible, awkward translations in video games were just the norm at the time. To see a translation not only largely free of spelling errors (but not grammar/formatting errors...), but also written in natural English was a real delight at the time. This translation, coupled with the game's sense of charm and likable characters, are what make this game a lot of fun. It's simple, kitschy, and wonderful.
However, the reason many of you are not familiar with this game (or least this version) is because of the aforementioned cutscenes. Most consoles at the time couldn't have voiced cutscenes, except for CD-based consoles like the Sega-CD. And if you know much about the Sega-CD, you may know that it sold somewhere in-between fuck and all. Probably because, counting the two Lunar games, there are a grand total of 5 worthwhile games on the system.
Lunar was by no means a failure (it got a sequel, after all) but it wasn't a widely known game, especially in America, and that can pretty much be attributed to the poor choice of platform. But the story doesn't end here, as not too long after it got a remake. This time, Game Arts decided to release this game on a far more successful platform, the Sega Saturn-
Anyway, this remake eventually got ported to the Playstation, and Working Designs finally released the English version in 1999. A bit overdue, but it was worth it. It's a pretty damn good remake. The battle system is more in the style of Lunar 2, the graphics, while still 2-d sprite based, are more colorful and better animated, and the story had sweeping re-writes and is overall a little better paced. On the other hand, the difficulty curve was a bit lopsided and the re-writes introduced some plot holes, but on the whole it was a success.
In 2002, a Gameboy Advance version of it was released as Lunar: Legend. As it was on the GBA, the cutscenes had to be dialed back a bit, but otherwise as I understand it Lunar Legend is pretty similar to the PSX version. The main difference is that the English version was actually released by Ubisoft, as at the time Working Designs was... it wasn't dead yet, but it wasn't too healthy, either. I haven't actually played it, but from what I've heard it's... not very good.
But then we got another remake, this time for the PSP in 2010. This version is called Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, translated by XSEED. I've actually heard it's pretty good, but sadly I haven't had the opportunity to play this version yet.
If you're thinking that four different version of the same game sounds like we're veering into Square-Enix territories, it's worse than you think. In-between the release of Lunar Legend and Silver Star Harmony, there was only one Lunar game released. It was called Lunar Dragon Song, and to this day I try to convince myself it doesn't exist. Before that game's 2005 release, the last non-remake Lunar game was Lunar Walking School for the Game Gear in 1995. (Or, if you're only counting English-language releases, Lunar 2 on the same year)
It's a damn shame this series never went anywhere substantive. But let's not dwell on what could have been, but instead focus on the fun games that already exist. We're going to right to the very beginning and look the original Sega-CD game that started it: Lunar: The Silver Story. I hope you enjoy this Let's Play!
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The Call to Adventure
- Chapter 2: It's Gameplay Time!
- Chapter 3: The Most Underwhelming Spooky Forest Ever.
- Odds and Ends #1
- Chapter 4: Two Fetch Quests for the Price of One.
- Chapter 5: Life in the Big City
- Odds and Ends: #2
- Chapter 6: Entrance Exams are Tough
- Chapter 7: Talking Talking Talking...
- Odds and Ends #3
- Chapter 8: Something Fishy's Going On!
- Chapter 9: (She's in a) Bad Mood
- Chapter 10: Scandal at 20,000 Feet
- Chapter 11: Faffin' About
- Chapter 12: Homecoming
- Chapter 13: The Gang's Back Together
- Odds and Ends #4
- Chapter 14: Do Thieves' Guilds Ever Exist in Real Life?
- Chapter 15: Oh God Let It End
- Chapter 16: Actual Gameplay. Finally!
- Chapter 17: The Red Dragon Cave
- Odds and Ends #5
- Chapter 18: They'll Sing Any Song but Randy Newman's
- Chapter 19: Questionable Alliances and Smelly Old Men
- Chapter 20: The Demon of a Thousand Names
- Chapter 21: The Frontier.
- Chapter 22: Black Dragon Cave
- Chapter 23: Black Dragon Cave (For Real This Time!)
- Chapter 24: Let's Ruin Ruid.
- Chapter 25: Holy Buffalo Wings!
- Chapter 26: This Ended Up Longer than I Expected
- Chapter 27: In Which I Desperately Try to Stay Awake
- Chapter 28: Apparently Metamorphosis is a More Common Ability Than I Thought
- Chapter 29: Let's Call it Love
- Jenner and Lunar-net tell us the difference between the English and Japanese versions:
- Differences #1 (Covers chapters 1 & 2)
- Differences #2 (covers chapters 3 through 5)
- Differences #3 (covers chapter 7)
- Differences #4 (BOOK READIN' TIME!)
- Differences #5 (The many names of Carol)