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Retro: Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals
Posted by Gilgamesh
Posted on 21 March, 2013 at 10:19PM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Retro: Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals

Lufia 2 was one of the last and greatest RPGs released for the Super Nintendo.

Lufia 2 is actually a prequel to the first game in the series: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. The original Lufia was never released in PAL territories and Lufia 2 was released as simply Lufia. Lufia 2 has some noticeable gameplay improvements over the original and is in my opinion a -much- better game.

The gameplay itself is pretty standard for the genre but it has some nice additions that differentiate it enough and I'll mainly be discussing those.

You have a party consisting of up to four members with the addition of a capsule monster. Capsule monsters can be found at various points throughout the world and you can have one selected to help you out in combat at a time. They can be fed items to improve their stats and eventually evolve them into a better form and have a somewhat Pokémon (unreleased at this time) feel to them. Combat is turn based with the player selecting the moves of all his party members (the capsule monster acts independently) at the start of each round.

In addition to the standard HP and MP Lufia 2 introduces a stat known as IP. IP builds up as characters take damage and can be used to unleash special abilities tied to the equipment that you are currently using. Sometimes you'll find an item with better stats on it than the one you're currently using but decide against it as the IP ability it has (if it has one) is less useful. It's nice and adds a bit more depth than choosing gear based solely on stat points. There is also elemental damage to consider but to be honest, Lufia 2 is a pretty easy game combat-wise so you're not going to have to be very strategic or clever to fight your way through.

The game will make you think a fair bit outside of combat however. Inside dungeons there are many puzzles to be found and these range from the very basic to the extremely tricky. The player will find items throughout the journey that can be used inside the dungeons such as arrows and bombs. (Feeling somewhat reminiscent of Zelda.) One of the first items acquired is the hourglass that allows you to reset a room; useful if you've made a mistake that prevents you from solving the puzzle.

On the world map enemies come in the random encounter variety but inside of dungeons enemies are visible and will only initiate combat when the player makes contact with them. Enemies will only move around the dungeon when the player does allowing him to take time to assess the situation.

Honestly, if you like many SNES JRPGs Lufia 2 should be right up your alley. The music is fantastic with the sinistral battle theme and world map music (as well as two that play near the end of the game) being some of my favourite songs made on the console. The graphics aren't as good as some of the later SNES games but stand highly above earlier entries such as Final Fantasy 4. The game also abuses the palette swap tactic for enemies pretty hard. The story is probably the weakest part of the game although it is serviceable enough and answers (or spoils) questions left open from Lufia 1.

As far as I know this game is not legally available outside of the original cartridge releases. There's a remake for the DS called Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals that I have not played but it is quite different (think Castlevania to Super Castlevania) so hit up some... quality rom sites if you're interested in giving this game a go.

Lazlo Falconi
23 March, 2013 at 7:16PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

Never played it before, but I think I'll have to change that. Do you think I should play Lufia 1 first?

24 March, 2013 at 00:51AM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

In all honesty, no. Some of the story will be spoiled either way if you play one before the other but Lufia 2 is so much better than 1 it's not even funny. I actually don't like the original Lufia and would only recommend it if you're -really- curious about what happens next. I haven't really played any of the portable titles (GBC, GBA, DS) so I can't comment on their value other than that the GBA is essentially a spinoff and the DS one (as stated) is a remake of Lufia 2.

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