The Let's Play Archive

Lunar: The Silver Star

by Camel Pimp

Part 1: The Call to Adventure

First off, take a gander at the game awesomely 90's anime intro. It's gloriously cheesy.

“He arose during a time of trial and saved the world. That hero, called Dyne, was a Dragonmaster...”

“And it's here that a young boy named Alex visited the memorial to his fallen hero every day...”

Right after this short intro, we hear an incredibly high-pitched voice call Alex from offscreen.

:Oh Alex, oh Aleeeexxx…. There you are Alex! I’ve been looking all over for you! What are you doing back here again?

Meet Nall! He's our talking flying cat. Of course. More importantly, he's our mascot and "comic relief." Specifically, our dose of 90's era "attitude."

:Listen, I know you really look up to Dragonmaster Dyne, but this is ridiculous! If Dyne were still alive today, I’m certain he’d tell you to stop jimmying about his exciting quest, get off your butt, and set out on your own fantastic adventures. I know you have the courage to be a great hero, just like Dyne, so what’s holding you back?

Gives good advice though.

But first apparently Alex has to go meet up with his ladyfriend Luna to make music. That's... not as exciting as you think it is.

: the Dragonmaster. Rest peacefully, Dyne.'

We'll find out a bit later who these Four Heroes are, but I'd like to mention that in the remake Dyne's memorial has a sword stuck in it. You never remove the sword a la Excalibur. Why would you ask? That's just disrespectful!

But anyway, let's take a look at our menu.

The menu's a little bit different from the PSX Lunar games, but familiar enough. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory, except for "AI." Unfortunately, it'll be a couple of updates before we look at that.

Most of our stats are pretty self-explanatory. For some odd reason magic power doesn't show up on the status screen. It's not because he doesn't have any spells (he doesn't, by the way) but it just doesn't show up. The stat certainly exists, as there are items that can permanently increase it. I have no idea why it doesn't show.

Those of you familiar with the PSX games may be a bit puzzled by the "Number of Moves." It's pretty much "Range" from the other games. Battles in the original Lunars and the PSX remakes aren't stationary; you have to move up to the enemy to attack them with melee weapons. Range is simply how far you can move. In the other games Range has a far wider range of integers, and it does increase slightly as you level up. In the original game, however, number of moves only spans from 1 to 4, and it's completely static. Number of attacks is also static in this game, with one exception.

Alex obviously doesn't start off with much equipment. He does start with a harp though, which you can guess is what he contributes to his and Luna's jam session. In the remakes, he plays an ocarina instead (in the PSX version, it functioned as a music gallery, with spoilers and everything!)

Nall gets his own commands! He's not actually a party member, he's more of our... inventory/mobile save point. All Lunar games let you save everywhere with no penalties. (With the exception of the original American release of Lunar 2, but that's another story...) Order determines how party members position themselves in battle. It functions a bit differently from the other games, but we'll look at that when we've got more party members.

Now that we've got the basics covered, we can move on.

But before we can head out, another one of Alex's friends come by.

In the PSX version, Ramus actually gets a voiced intro here, but in the original, most characters just get a splash graphic with some text. There's not many voiced cutscenes; there are actually only 5 voiced roles in the entire game.

: Someone said that the dragon in the cave has a huge diamond! You always wanted to go on a quest! Let’s make this our first big adventure! Anyway, I’ve decided. I’m going to go, with or without you. I’ll just stop by my house first to get a few snacks for the trip...

Apparently that's all he came to say. Huge diamond, adventure, let's go bro! Ah, old school JRPGs...

: Alright! An adventure! Alex, I can hardly wait! But, I bet Luna will be upset!

And without any input from our protagonist, it's official! We are going to head into a dangerous cave with a fucking dragon in it for a shiny thing because we are seriously that goddamned bored. Considering that they live in a small, rural town... sounds about right.

Speaking of, welcome to Burg; it's very brown. Alex's house is close by Dyne's monument, so let's swing by.

Meet Alex's mom and dad. Yes, he in fact has parents and both of them are quite alive and well. I honestly can't think of too many JRPGs outside of the Mother series where the protagonist doesn't have at least one dead or missing parent.

“Dyne was a great man. I can’t blame you for admiring him so much!”

You know, most parents would think their kid was a bit... morbid if he spent time every day to hang out at what is essentially a grave. Or at least a bit weird. Nope, guess it just means the kid's a bit of a misty-eyed dreamer!

“Luna went to the spring on the outskirts of town. Aren’t you two going to practice your song for the Goddess’ Festival?”

Our ladyfriend Luna here actually lives with Alex. Townsfolk actually will mention that his parents adopted her when she was very young and she and Alex grew up together.

So there's not much else in Alex's house except a basement-

-with a chest we can't open. Damn.

Anyway, let's go see what Ramus is up to. I'm not actually going to explore much of the town yet. NPC dialogue is going to be a separate update; it's a GameArts game that's translated by Working Designs, so townsfolk can get a bit chatty.

“Ramus came flying by here babbling about it... He’s so lazy. If his dad wasn’t the village leader, I’d take him over my knee!”

I have no idea who this random douche who offers unsolicited parenting tips is or why he hangs right outside Ramus's house. I like to think the occupants are kind of creeped out by it, and hope if they don't acknowledge him he'll go away.

“’I will grow up to be a great man!’ or ‘I will grow up to be a rich man!’ he always says. He never wants to work hard like you, Alex! I don’t understand it…”

I have never seen any evidence of Alex doing any sort of farm work. Or any kind of work. But then again, it's an RPG. The fact that he doesn't walk in place muttering the same 3 sentences to any passerby who will listen already qualifies him as an overachiever.

: I’ve almost got everything I need for the trip!

Obviously we're not leaving with Ramus just yet. What on earth is he gathering from the curio cabinet anyway?

: Do you always search houses without permission?

Fine, Chaz.

In any case we've dilly-dallied enough. Let's head to the springs and meet up with Luna.

And she's not here.

-But suddenly, there's a rustle in the bushes-

A wild Luna appears!

: Good morning Alex, you’re late again. *giggle* Did Ramus ever find you? You know, he seemed really anxious to track you down. But then, he probably hatched another hare-brained scheme. Well, anyway, let’s just practice our song for the festival.

I would recommend watching the video so you can hear the little song they play here. It's actually kind of nice, even if Luna could stand to work on the lyrics.

: What happened? Alex, your harp! You’re playing so strange. Is something bothering you? You can tell me. Alex, please tell me what’s wrong.

: Luna, Alex wants to go to the Dragon Cave with Ramus!
: The Dragon Cave! Please don't go there, Alex! It's just too dangerous!

Some of the more astute among you may have noticed that Alex has not spoken a peep this entire time. In the remakes Alex does speak, albeit sparingly. In the original, however, he is more or less a silent protagonist. I say more or less because he does get a line or two much later on for whatever reason.

: Well, I've never been able to stop you from doing what you wanted to do before, so I guess all I can do is go along and make sure you stay out of trouble!

However, I guess he doesn't need to speak because she pretty much gives up right away and decides to tag along. Maybe he gave her the puppy-dog eyes or something.

: You know Alex... There’s that old chest in the basement. Maybe there’s something we can use in it!

With that heavy-handed hint, we know what to do next. But first let's look at our new party member.

She has only 46 HP to Alex's 75, so you can guess she's not a melee fighter. Also, notice that instead of magic she has songs.

Healing restores a small amount of HP for the whole party, Cascade increases attack for the whole party, Good Luck confuses one enemy (I think), and Purification cures poison for the whole party. I don't even know if Good Luck works and poison is pathetic in this game, but we're going to get a lot of mileage from her other two songs.

And here are her stats, just for completion's sake. She also doesn't have much in the way of equipment, just the Peasant Clothes and that's it. I'm actually not going to worry about getting her a weapon any time soon, since her role isn't going to involve fighting at all. But we still need some decent equipment for Alex.

Despite the fact we already know the chest is locked, we can't just ask for the key until we check it out again.

“Luna cleans her room, and I don’t even have to remind her... right, Luna?”

Luna also gets the really nice room. Seriously, she gets a fireplace and Alex doesn't?

: What are you doing searching my bed? My bed’s made! Have you made yours?

So of course we have to go mess with her stuff before we move on. It's required.

...I have nothing to add to that.

: Perhaps we should ask around, folks.

So now we can finally ask about the damn key.

“Okay, here you go. There’s nothing important in it…”

That was easy. So what was so important that it had to be kept under lock and key?

: Well, Alex, put on the battle clothes and grab that sword.

Some musty old clothes and a shitty dagger. I'm failing to see why they needed to safeguard that or protect the children from unlaundered clothes and a dull knife. Eh, but it's free equipment, and you take what you can get.

Opening this chest actually changes Alex's sprite. He's now brown, just like Burg! Let's show off our new duds!

“What... an adventure? We'll see what your father has to say about this little stunt!”

And what does he say?

“What? Going to the dragon cave?! Son, you’re nuts! There are monsters in it!”

Pretty much the same thing. However-

“I probably would have been killed! It’s probably better if you didn’t go, son.”

He doesn't really feel like exerting the effort to really stop you.

And neither does mom. So I guess that means... they approve? Or at least fail to disapprove. That's good enough! Let's go!

Once you've done everything, Ramus stands by the town exit waiting to go. But... really, how much use is someone like Ramus going to be, really? I mean, Luna's got magic song healing! I think we're covered.

: Is Luna going along too? Well, I guess that’s okay. Let’s get going... the dragon cave awaits!

Yeah, you can't really ditch him; at most you can just be a bit of an ass.

Ramus actually comes a bit more prepared. When you're heading out on an adventure, don't forget your garbage can lid and white gloves!

Although, it's kind of wasted on Ramus. While his HP is pretty high and his attack power is decent, he's slow, has no magic, and has the same number of attacks and moves as Luna does. This means that he's going to be desperately trying to do anything while Alex and Luna do all the work. I can see why he was enthusiastic on getting Alex to come along.

Next time: Adventure!