IntroductionSo, once again we come back to the Lunar series. To recap: the Lunar Series started with two JRPGs released on the Sega CD in the early to mid nineties, Lunar the Silver Star and Lunar Eternal Blue. These games gathered a cult following, they both had a remake on the Saturn which got ported to the Playstation, and then... the series never went anywhere. After the Lunar 2 remake, pretty much every single Lunar game made after that was a remake of Lunar 1. Remakes outnumber the non-remake games of the series. It's kind of sad.
But we're not talking about that today. While there are only two "main" games in the Lunar series, there are actually four Lunar games that are not remakes. In addition to Silver Star and Eternal Blue there's Lunar Dragon Song, the only non-remake Lunar game released after the Lunar 2 remake (and the only Lunar game without a remake.) And then there's the game we will be discussing today, Lunar: Samposuru Gakuen or Lunar: Walking School.
Lunar Walking School was released on the Game Gear in 1995. Unlike nearly every other Lunar game, it never saw an official English language release, making this easily the most obscure Lunar game. And let's get this out of the way; Lunar Walking School is not a forgotten masterpiece. Working Designs chose not to bring this game over, and it was the right choice. Why? Well... there's not much to this game. It's pretty much just the stories of two girls, a quiet redhead named Ellie and a saucy blonde named Lena, and their misadventures at school. A plot does eventually show up, but... it's no epic yarn. Low-key would be a kind way of describing Lunar Walking School.
So why LP it? Well, for one, it is a game that very few English speaking fans know about, much less played. Until 2009, when the fan translation came out, there was no way to play the game in English. Secondly, I'd like to be able to claim that I've LPed all the non-remake Lunar games, because I'm an egotist like that. And finally, for as much as I may rag on Walking School, it has its charm. It's a short, pleasant enough diversion. And if nothing else, it understands the series that it's part of better than Dragon Song did.
I realize that's not high praise.
Oh, but let's not forget that like Lunar TSS and Lunar EB, Walking School also got a remake on the Sega Saturn. Magic School Lunar might be an even bigger re-haul than Lunar 1's remake was. For one, Magic School Lunar has voice acting and animated cutscenes, something that Walking School lacks.* Magic School Lunar also changed some gameplay mechanics, added a completely new playable character, inserted completely new subplots, and several other changes.
*(Walking School of course has an excuse, as it's a Game Gear game. Dragon Song does not have that excuse...)
Unfortunately, like Walking School, Magic School didn't get a US release, or a Playstation port. There's also no fan translation for it. Since I've never played Magic School Lunar, and I'm not going to since I don't know Japanese, all my knowledge comes second-hand from LunarNET or whatever videos I find on Youtube. I'll bring up the differences when I see them, but if you've played Magic School yourself, don't hesitate to bring it up, as long as it won't spoil the plot of this game. Admittedly, it's sometimes a bit hard to tell what is a spoiler for this game but not for the remake, and vice versa, but if you're unsure, err on the side of caution and use spoiler tags please.
Hey, did you know that there's a Lunar anime?! I didn't!
Well, actually, it's a 10 minute short based on Magic School. It's not an adaptation of anything, it's just a goofy (even for Walking/Magic School) little side story with these characters. It's pretty obscure, but you can find it on Youtube, and LunarNet has a section on it. This short doesn't really spoil anything that happens in the game, but it does have characters that don't show up until much later.
Thanks to SorataYuy for pointing this out to me!
Other Lunar LPs
Lunar: the Silver Star (1993, Sega CD)
Lunar: Eternal Blue (1995, Sega CD)
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete by Crowetron (2000, PSX)
Lunar: Dragon Song (warning: terrible fucking game) (2005, NDS)
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Time to Go to School
- Chapter 2: The Truth About Cats and Dogs
- Chapter 3: Boys Suck
- Chapter 4: The Lord of the Flies Experiment
- Chapter 5: Settling In
- Chapter 6: A Like-Minded Soul
- Chapter 7: Butterflies
- Chapter 8: It's Art; You Wouldn't Understand
- Chapter 9: Fuck Art
- Chapter 10: Oh Hello Plot Didn't See You There
- Chapter 11: This is an Update About Love
- Chapter 12: How Not to Make Friends
- Chapter 13: Don't be a Creep
- Chapter 14: Padding
- Chapter 15: Lessons About Self-Esteem
- Chapter 16: You Know What They Say About Assuming
- Chapter 17: Blue (Da Ba Dee)
- Chapter 18: The Drama You've Been Craving
- Chapter 19: Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
- Chapter 20: Another One Bites the Dust
- Chapter 21: The Day I Went Away
Cast(in order of appearance)
Our lead gal! She and Lena hail from Burg, which is incidentally the same town that the main character from Lunar 1 came from. In the actual game she's pretty quiet and bland, but I've elected to make her my snarky mouthpiece. Specializes in fire magic and not flight.
The main character's best friend. She's our volatile foil to the protagonist. She's also the healer, because Lunar never did the "traditional" healer type.
The weird old man who recruited Ellie and Lena. As a wizened old man in a JRPG, he's obviously WAY more important than he lets on.
The "rival" to our main characters. In that he's a massive blowhard who mostly exists to get in over his head or beat up for comic relief. Kind of a twerp.
Kule and Rick
Ant's two friends. They don't really matter.
The school's counselor. Probably one of the saner characters. She also teaches healing magic.
The school principal. Seems responsible and level headed, but he is in charge of this mess so take that as you will. Still he teaches you some pretty swank magic, so he's not all bad.
Leader of the Student Council. Pretty useless, but doesn't get kidnapped all the time.
Gets kidnapped all the time.
The librarian. He's about as exciting as he sounds, but surprisingly he does teach some magic. Unsurprisingly, it's some of the worst spells in the game.
Runs the herb shop and doesn't teach you magic. You have no reason to ever talk to him except once.
Runs the item shop. Possibly even more useless than Brune.
The music teacher. She will teach you magic, but once again, it's usually pretty bad.
A MAN who is interested in MAN stuff like exercise and fighting and stuff. He teaches you some pretty good spells.
The professor of "cosmetic magic" (whatever that is). The main characters are supposedly his students, but Dadis's memory is so bad that the game itself forgot about him partway through.
A sassy beast-girl. She specializes in lightning magic. For the most part she's like Lena, but more excitable and a bit dimmer. She's not terrifically dedicated to her education.
That one crazy NPC
No one really knows what his deal is.
She doesn't really do anything in the plot, but Stella has no time to get involved with magic shenanigans. She's got a school full of kids to feed! The real hero of the story.
The annoying rich bitch with ridiculous hair. So punchable.
Has a character portrait and a name but is barely a character in this game. I don't know either.
An eccentric artist. Has a bit of a creeper face going on there.
Our main bad guy for most of the game. That's pretty much all there is to the guy. Isn't very good as judging his limits.
Senia's boyfriend. In the remake he's a party member at the end of the game, but here he's just an excuse for a dungeon.
Last minute newbie. He's shy and timid, but has a vast amount of untapped power. Is in love with Lena, the poor bastard.
Memphis's henchwoman. She's also obsessed with Winn in a very unwholesome way. Thanks for that Game Arts.
The Castle. The Face. The Legend.
Wants to make a star. Sure, why not?
Wayne has a very important reminder for us all:
And also a special message from a special guest: