The Let's Play Archive

Lunar: The Silver Star

by Camel Pimp

Part 2: It's Gameplay Time!

"You'd better say here..."

God, thanks for the encouragement, dad!

"Oh well, it can't be much if you're going along Ramus..."

Hey look, it's our first grammar error, albeit a minor one. I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a comma, or if they forgot the word "with."

But I've farted around long enough. Let's get going with some actual gameplay!

On our way to the dragon cave, we run into our first encounter. Unlike the remakes, the original Lunars had encounters on the world map. The remakes also allowed you to see the enemies on the dungeon map and avoid them. The original games are entirely random encounters.

Combat in most Lunar games is a run-of-the-mill turn-based system. The other two commands are pretty obvious, but the Nall command is unique to the very first game. If you select it, Nall gives you the name of the enemy and tells you (roughly) how strong it is.

And I do mean roughly. Now, we are level one and Alex will take two hits to kill them, but that's true of everything at this point. Dung beetles aren't anything special. I honestly think this command is bugged or random; I've had Nall call the exact same enemy placement easy one battle and hard the next. In any case, it's not as though Nall gives any advice how to fight them or why they're easy or hard (And you can't select it during boss battles). It's only useful if you're doing an LP and want an easy way to display enemy names.

Here are your attack commands. In other Lunar games, the AI command, well, puts your character under the control of the AI. And the computer is really stupid and wasteful, so it's completely useless. Here, however, it's actually just the attack command. The only difference is that AI will automatically target the enemy closest to you, and Attack lets you target any enemy. Weirdly, the AI command actually is actually kind of useful against fast enemies that swarm you.

Flee is just the "defend" command from other games, and all it entails is that your character takes up a defensive position and moves. In the remakes, you can choose where they move to, but in the original games sadly the game automatically moves your character. Usually they'll run away from the enemies, but I've had the game make some pretty bad decisions (and it makes one fight later on hell).

Run is what you think it is, but you can have characters run individually if you want to. The only advantage is if you wanted all the experience to go to one person, or if you think you might die. If you fall in battle but at least one person got away, it's not a game over.

Also, please mark Ramus's position.

That is how far Ramus can move. He is slow.

This is Luna's song Cascade looks like. At this point it is a huge boost; with it Alex can one-shot every enemy in this section with one exception. At only 2 MP (which is the same price as her Healing song) you can pretty much use it every battle and never fear running out of MP.

The other enemies on the world map are these Baboons and Flytrappers. They're slightly tougher than the beetles and they do more damage, but again Cascade can make short work of them.

Also, the Flytrappers poison you! I was caught off guard (I legitimately forgot they did that) so I didn't get a screenshot, but one of those plants poisoned Ramus before kicking it. (It's a little hard to tell, but if you look carefully you can see the "pson" under his name at the bottom and the fact that his sprite looks a little different.) So... now I would bust out Luna's poison-healing spell?

Nope, status ailments don't carry after battle (this includes death). Hell, the battle was over before Ramus took one HP in poison damage. Which, by the way, is as much as it'll do anyway. So yeah... poison is pathetic.

Speaking of status ailments, I did try out the Good Luck spell.

And it does work! The baboon quite kindly took out the other monster for us. The spell seems to work for about two rounds, because he stood there for a turn picking his nose before deciding to attack me (they can't attack themselves). At only 4 MP, I suppose it could be useful, but it does only target one enemy.

Right before the cave, there's a shrine to Althena. Althena is our resident goddess of the Lunar world, and you'll be hearing more about her as we go on. For us right now, her name simply means free healing.

Weirdly enough, you can also donate money there as well. If you donate 10 times, she sings for you. That's it. Kind of pointless.

Anyway, now that we're topped off, let's tackle the first dungeon!

Or not.

: There’s just no way we’re gonna get past this ball of ice!
: Wait! Maybe there is… Yeah… the ring! In a drawer at my house, there’s an old ring with the magic of heat! It’s worth a shot!

Yeah, we have to run back to Burg. We've barely started and there's a fetch quest! But this painless, so don't worry.

: Let's try the Dragon's Cave again, but this time with this ring, okay Alex?

But, you know, funny thing. You don't actually have to backtrack. You can, in fact, grab the ring before actually leaving Burg.

Yeap, Ramus seems to have enough brains to realize that a magically enchanted ring might be useful. I guess it's nice that you can prevent the inconvenience if you know about it beforehand, but there had to have been a better way to prevent sequence breaking (must have been, because none of this iceblock or ring shit is in the remakes).

Of course, before we go we need to meet our asshole quota.

Actually, we haven't taken a look at the stores. Let's take a look.

We couldn't actually look at the weapon store earlier as it was closed. The weapon store sells the Dagger that we already have, as well as Short Swords and Slingshots. The sword is way outside out means at the moment, but we could afford the slingshot as it's only 100 silver. We could get it for Luna and give her an actual means of attack (long range, no less!) but there's no real need to. Actually, Ramus would benefit the most from it considering his lack of movement and spells. But the hell with that. Money's tight in this game and I'm not wasting it on dead weight.

And for completion's sake, here's the item shop. The item you see selected is the Herb, which as you can imagine heals a small amount of HP for a single person. It's also stupidly overpriced for how shitty it is, but there's not much else for healing items at the moment. The next one down is the Meal Rations, which heals a very small amount of HP for the whole party. It's a very paltry amount of HP, but the item is only 30 silver. The final item is the Holy Water which cures poison. Ha ha ha.

All right, all right. Let's finally go and explore the first dungeon in the game.

: Hmmm... well, let's try using the ring I got from the house. It's better than trying to chip away at this ice ball forever!

You actually do get slightly different dialogue depending on if you got the ring before find the ice blockade. It's neat.

Anyway, pressing A just automatically uses the item and melts the ice. It also destroys the ring in the process. Let's hope that ring wasn't actually a cherished family heirloom or something.

Off to the left of the entrance is a nice new shield. It's superior to the Trash Can Lid, so Ramus can get his shield back (Luna can't equip it anyway). Alex is keeping the gloves though. Never know when a dinner party might spring up on you.

For once Nall is right. Slimes are really easy and can be one-shotted if you're lucky. But their attack animation is kind of funny.

"Oh, well, hello, how are you?"

Less trivial are the Escargotgo (wait, really?) They can't be one-shotted even with Cascade cast. I didn't manage to capture it, but they attack you by flashing their eyes at you. You know, like real snails.

Along the way, Luna hit level 4 and learned Temptation. It casts sleep on all enemies. Yeah, Good Luck confuses and Temptation sleeps. Try keeping that straight without a guide. Anyway, it's 10 MP so fuck that, but it does seem to work okay. Unfortunately in this game they don't give you many indicators to tell you that your status spell actually worked, so it's hard to judge the effectiveness of status spells.

Anyway, this dungeon is only 3 floors deep, and each floor is quite small, so it's otherwise uneventful. The other two chests in the cave are both Herbs.

In the remake, this dungeon's a little bigger and more involved, with the main gimmick of ice pillars that you have to goad certain enemies into breaking. It's also a far bit harder; in the original it's a quick, easy journey but in the remake it takes a bit of grinding to get through.

On the third basement floor, there are two little alcoves. The one on the left:

It doesn't look like there are any dragons here.

And that doesn't look like a diamond, unless Ramus feels like hauling that thing out of here.

: Alex, I don't think we should be here...

Indeed, there's nothing to do here. Yet. So let's head to the right.

This is certainly foreboding.

I'm not going to lie, my inner child is screeching in terror right now.

Wait, that's not a scary dragon at all!

: My friends... You are the first adventurers to visit me in a long time. I am Quark, tetrarch of the Dragon Tribe. You have journeyed far, and now you have arrived at my lair. It’s a journey few have survived. Your mission must be urgent.

: When last I gazed upon eyes like these, it was the shining face of Dyne I beheld. Here... take this ring. If the desire to be a Dragonmaster burns in your soul, then cross over to the mainland and seek out your destiny. Return to me with this ring once you’ve attained the prize of manhood.

So, yeah, instead of a big scary monster we get this cuddly grandpa who gives us a little trinket for stopping by and some general advice. What a nice dragon. Well, it was nice stopping by-

: Come near to me and keep me company.

Uh... okay... (Also, unnecessary comma!)

: You... you over there. You look very familiar. I seem to know you...
: Are... are you talking t.. to me?
: Yes... it's so strange. I feel that somehow our souls are intertwined. It must by my age.

Oh, I guess he just wanted to drop some foreshadowing on us. Had to get it out of his system, I suppose. Well, let's get goi-

: We didn't get the diamond we came here to get! We'd better ask him about it before we leave...

Oh right, the whole reason we made this trip...

: Diamond? What diamond?

It's pretty much impossible to screenshot, but the screen shakes at this point. I guess the question somehow pissed grandpa off, or maybe it was just something he ate.

: I think you know what I’m talking about.
: Why is it you humans prize those things?

: Oh, what's the use! Here... take a look. This is the diamond!

I'm... I'm not sure we want that anymore.

: I don’t believe it! That’s the dragon diamond!

Or maybe we do.

For our brave feat of... fighting snails to retrieve a shiny dragon turd, everyone gets 20 experience points a piece. For whatever reason there's a couple of occasions of event-based experience like this. No other Lunar game does this.

: I’ll be waiting for you to return as a man.

And so now we can finally leave. In the remake Quark makes you go through a little trial to earn the ring, but in the original all we had to do is stop by and say hi.

As far as I can tell, this Dragon Ring doesn't do anything. Alex (and only him, natch) can equip it, but it doesn't effect his stats, at least as far as I can see.

While I'm here, I'd like to add a note about the inventory.

In Lunar 2 and Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, each character has fixed equipment slots and a separate inventory for items that they can bring into battle. In the original Lunar, however, that's all the same inventory. Alex, with six pieces of equipment on, can only carry two herbs into battle.

Luna, on the other hand, can carry all three and has plenty of room for more. On the whole the number of items you can bring into battle is pretty restrictive, but generally I've never run into too many problems.

Here are our stats by the end of it. You may notice Ramus has not gained a damn thing except two hit points. I am not going to stop harping on how useless he is.

: I can almost taste the money we’re gonna get!

Back in town, Ramus is eager to sell this diamond to... the local shops?

"I can't possibly afford to buy this!"

“You’ll have to go to a big city like Meribia to unload this baby! Wow, that is a great rock...”

Apparently the small shops in a backward, rural town can't afford a gem of immense value. Who'd have thunk it?

: Meribia is the port town on the main continent. I’m sure we can sell it there! The boat to Meribia takes off from Saith... let’s go!

But it's okay, because it gives our main character an excuse to leave their tiny mountain village. It seems like we've got our impetus to continue the adventure. Well, let's go everyone!

"I can't visit my friend in Saith. Can you help us get the bridge fixed?"

I can almost smell the fetch quest that we'll be forced to endure.

I think I'll need a bigger sword.

Next time: Fetch quest!