|Title: The 7th Saga
Rom Player: snes9x
Synopsis: Surely there has to be someone else out there that was absolutely frustrated with this game.
The 7th Saga provides basic RPG fare. You have a character, you go around leveling up, you save the world and some shit. Some fun, eh?
The game starts off with King Lemele sending you seven apprentices out on a grand quest: to collect the seven runes which could give the holder immense powers. Much of the initial game is geared towards getting these seven runes. And I do mean much. Hours and hours of no plot besides “go to town, save town, maybe get rune, go to town, save town, maybe get rune, etc, etc”. Only when you do manage to get all seven runes will you be treated to a DRAMATIC PLOT TWIST and thrown into the past! Exciting!
And now you have to save the world from evil in the past!
All these exclamation marks might be misleading, since it’s not as fun as it sounds. There are some nice things that are explained, like how that one island civilization sunk and...other shit, I guess. There’s evil robots and evil people and people trying to fight evil with evil and failing miserably because they’re stupid fuckers.
You could pick up another character to join you in your magic quest, but the game obviously cannot understand that. After he joins, the game treats him as just a second head of yours. No mention is made of your teammate as everyone focuses their attention on you, the main character. Even in the ending, when the evil bad guy does a dramatic finishing move that kills you, main character (omg spoilers wtf), you are reborn as King Lemele. And your teammate? I bet he’s having fun languishing in the past. It’s not like anyone cares about poor old Lejes the demon warlock. That’s the kind of shit that breeds evil, dammit.
First thing you see when you venture out into the world map, is the handy dandy circle that tells your location, where all the monsters are, towns/caves, and if there’s any Runes nearby. You’ll notice that these monsters will converge quickly onto your location, and kind of swarm you so it’s hard to escape if you’re dying. And then...battle!
The irritating sound effect plays and the screen kind of rotates, and you see the monsters you have to fight. Okay. One special thing that 7th Saga has is the defend/attack sequence, where if you defend, your attack power is temporarily boosted so you’ll do more damage on the next turn. It’s very special.
Another thing is that monsters have a very high dodging rate, compared to games like, y’know, Final Fantasy. Magic will miss a lot, especially Vacuum and absorbing magic. It’s fucking irritating. But do you know what else is fucking irritating? The ability of some monsters to, not only completely heal themselves, but revive dead monsters with FULL LIFE. This is especially spammed towards the end of the game, where you’re attacked by monsters that can not only wipe out your entire party with one attack and dodge like half of your attacks, but can heal themselves and do that reviving thing. And no, you don’t get any extra exp or gold if you kill them. Toss in that end castle with the floors that look exactly the same with lots of doors, most doors looping upon themselves so you go fucking nowhere and might not know it, and you find yourself contemplating suicide or at least mass murder upon those Enix execs.
7th Saga is hard and very, very frustrating. The beginning of the game will be hard since you only have one guy and level 1 and all the enemies hate you and kill you. Once you pick up your second character (if you want to, because that would make the game twice as long with the halving of experience and everything), the game gets easier and you’re at a decent level. But before you get all 7 runes, you probably run into some apprentice fights.
Apprentice fights are a big fucking joy. Not only are they always at the same level as you, but they seem to always have a bigger growth rate. They’re stronger, faster, tougher, and fucking better than you, proved by the fact that they can kill you with one hit with a fucking normal attack. And you fight them with only your main character. Without any runes, it’s fucking difficult to beat them, and you’ll probably be depending on luck and save states.
The runes are nifty things when used in battles. They can heal HP/MP, double your attack/defense, raise your magic power, and shit. Having all seven (or, really, 6 since important plot twist occurs at 7) makes the game a whole lot easier. However, the aforementioned plot twist completely screws you over by destroying the runes so you’re forced once again to wander helpless without your free healing. And then the game just throws in that final bit with the fucking monsters that I hate.
So you’ll fight a lot. Thank god for the Turbo function.
As a saving throw, the graphics are kind of nice. The sprites are decent, though the so-called “dwarves” and the regular people look the same to my inexperienced eyes. There’s that whole 3D thing with the battles and the battle animations. I suppose that’s good, since if you want to survive in this game, you’ll have to fight a whole fucking lot. Might as well have dancing crabs to go with it.
The music is also decent. There’s a lot of variety, and you’ll hear different world map themes depending on your location, different battle music if you’re fighting outside or in a cave/castle. There’s only one boss theme, though, so the end battle was a bit disappointing.
The sound has some nice touches, like if you’re hitting a guy with armor or metal, it’ll make a clink sound instead of an un-clink sound. What I found most annoying was that fucking piercing hellish Vacuum 2 sound. Vacuum 2 is the spell that can wipe out your enemies/party members, and the end monsters love it like cheese on pie. The noise makes you want to kill.
Originality in an RPG? Surely you jest.
The game is even too lazy to name your monsters differently, or correctly. You have V. Moon and P. Moon and Serpint (because changing a vowel makes a difference! And Serpent was already taken), Demon, Red Demon, G. Demon, B Knight, D Knight, etc. And to accompany these varied names, the sprites are splashed on with a different color. Hooray.
Overall Rating: 5
7th Saga is one of those average RPGs with decent music/graphics, but a high difficulty level. If you want to play this, be prepared to spend a lot of time. A _lot_ of time.
Game Play: 5
Overall Rating: 5
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