Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paladin's Quest, Part 1: Whiskey Dick

A Game For The Ages

Paladin's Quest is a 1993 RPG for the Super NES. Originally called "Lennus" in Japan, this is a fairly underrated classic with a unique world. They made a second game, Lennus 2, but it was never released outside of Japan. This series is similar to Dragon Quest in terms of how it plays, with a higher than average difficulty that is, at times, brutal. Join me for this look at a game that almost no one played. For these posts, I'll be calling the game "Lennus" - the original name of the game. The one that means something.

This game has an incredibly minimalist, bare-bones title screen. I'd like to think that Enix did this on purpose to give the game a dramatic edge.

This game has an odd translation. Some pretty serious things happen in the game, but it's hard to tell from the script that it's anything more than a fun adventure.

The intro tells us of the dire straits that Lennus is currently in. Towns are burning up and stuff...

...but wait! That actually happened thirteen years ago, but due to the translation it's unclear at first.

Daicant? Who the hell? Well, he's the resident oldster of the town where the story begins. He is very unimportant, so his appearance here is... odd.

Now here is an important character. The villain of the game makes his first appearance here, as the music changes to something considerably more bad-ass.

"...attempted before in the history of Lennus."

Zaygos is unstoppable, essentially. So our villain is clearly defined right from the outset. It's interesting that Lennus is a largely tribal world, with the only real united country being the one that Zaygos rules over. That'd be basically the entire south part of Lennus, with the north still being largely free.

The north part of Lennus is also home to giant pink flowers. Presumably Zaygos doesn't allow giant pink flowers in his empire.

Read: The ruler of the southern hemisphere is beginning preparations to invade the northern hemisphere. Our protagonists live in the northern hemisphere.

Wait, the world is 10,000 years old? I really wish this game had a better translation. Either way, we know something huge is about to happen.

Our main character is the aptly-named Chezni. He's a 13 year old goofball with little personality, and legend foretells that he's the only one who can defeat the godlike Zaygos. Yep. It's an RPG from 1993, what do you want?

I really don't like this line, because it completely sucks the foreboding out of the intro in one fell swoop.

Chezni is a student at the magic school, which is like a vastly less cool Hogwarts.

I'm not sure if Chezni is being bullied or not here.

Either way, the slightly-creepy Duke invites Chezni to go to the tower with him. "It's a great place to make out!" he says. I don't know, dude.

Oh, geez. Look at this guy. This game really needed a better protagonist.

Yeah? What's up? Give me the skinny, bro! town over, there is a hottie (well, for this game).

The Master = the old guy from the intro. ...eww.

Alright, this is a little weird.

Keep wondering, sir.

What is WITH this guy? LEAVE MIDIA ALONE!

Duke is all set for exploring the tower. Which apparently no one sets foot in, despite that it sits in the middle of a town full of middle schoolers with nothing interesting to do. Yeah.

Chezni and Duke climb the tower. Is Duke supposed to be a toddler?

At the top, Chezni accidentally activates an ancient war machine that now threatens the world with annihilation. How did this not happen sooner? This is like a country leaving their sole nuclear missile silo unguarded.

Duke proves to be more than useless as he flees. Well, there's more to Duke than meets the eye.

Dragon Silhouette!

Chezni attacks the beast he just awakened and does 1 damage. At least he tried. The boy has balls! There is hope for him yet!

The dragon takes a deep breath...

...and then blasts Chezni with fire for SLIGHTLY more damage than Chezni has HP. It was a close fight, but By God, my noble foe got the better of me.

Chezni wakes up in the dirt with the warmth of the sun as his alarm clock. This is romanticizing homelessness, but that is neither here nor there.

Chezni's town lay in ruins from the havoc wrought by the dragon. Wait, what the hell is that thing? It looks like a giant news camera.

Daicant appears and explains everything. Now we know why this guy exists.

That's a hell of a lot to put on a weird-looking 13 year old. Wow.

And here we have the real title screen. The cool games wait to give you their true title screen, fo sho.

The game begins, as Chezni does battle with... stray cats? I don't fuckin' know.

Arriving in the second town, Chezni hears about The First Town. Unfortunately, he is a mute, so he can't tell people about it.

My first visit to a magic shop. This game has a really cool magic system, I'll give it that. There are some aspects of this game that are pretty awesome and other aspects that completely suck.

Lennus is full of blue trees. Namek 'Ho!

I'm handed my first of many losses here. I guess the stray cats got overwhelming. This game isn't all.

The zip line operator is a real Debbie Downer. Ease up, champ!

Midia again? Well, it figures that the big goal of the early game is to rescue Midia, since she's the other main character.

There are basically three gods on Lennus: Sophie, Kormu, and Gabnid.

Gabnid is the "evil" one. This is similar to the holders of the Triforce in Zelda. Gabnid = Ganon, while Sophie and Kormu are Zelda and Link. Yeah.

I somehow glossed over Fritz joining the party. Fritz is a bad-ass mercenary who joins Chezni for a short time. He's... a lot stronger than Chezni, and if it weren't for him Chezni would be six feet under before his journey even begins. When your mythical hero succeeds only by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, well... your game sucks.

I kid, this game is okay. In any case, the bad guys love fire in this game - they seem to set fire to EVERYTHING.

Battling snakes. Fritz fights with a bow, which is pretty cool.

The first dungeon of the game soon follows. This would be a major challenge if Chezni were alone, but Fritz pretty much mows over everything in their path.

Yes, yes you are. By the way, Lennus is a far away planet, which is why everyone is so...strange looking. Evolution took some twists and turns out there.

Our heroes encounter one of Zaygos' officers here. He's got a point. Is it too much to ask that we play as adults in our games? I mean, really?

Alongo attacks! Er... Alornso. I don't know. This is the first major battle of the game.

Our heroes dish out fire spells. This would be a good time to mention that Paladin's Quest doesn't have MP. Spells actually use up HP. That's just wild!

Chezni gets taken out quickly, and Fritz essentially ends up soloing the first boss. Way to build up the protagonist, game!

He admits defeat. Zaygos doesn't forgive, though.

 Felling the first boss means our heroes have rescued Midia, apparently. That was quick. Why did Zaygos' minions kidnap her in the first place? Who knows. In any case, this is Paladin's Quest. More installments to come, where I will expound upon the positives and negatives of this sexy-ass game.


  1. This is the most pastel game ever.

  2. It's just an incredible game, at first glance it may seem that it's very simple, but it's not at all like that. I remember how I could play it for hours and at the same time I did not get tired of it. A couple of days ago I decided to play it again, I download here and I may say that it works well.

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  4. I know I'm 8 years late, but man it's frustrating seeing people die so much in the early game. If you just use magic at every opportunity instead of avoiding it (which is understandable because of the HP cost), you actually never/rarely die and become a powerhouse really quickly. Those early enemies die to 1 spell cast, but trying to kill them with the knife/dagger results in losing MORE HP than casting a spell costs, and using the spells make you stronger over time. The negativity around this game being difficult is totally unwarranted.

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