Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lennus II, Part 1 - The Legend of the Nude Hero

This game is one of many Japanese RPGs from the Super NES era that didn't make it to the states. It's the sequel to Lennus, a game that DID make it stateside as Paladin's Quest. The advanced difficulty of these games relative to most RPGs of the time ensured that they were marginalized by the major publishing companies. After all, American gamers had the stigma of being "too dumb" to play complicated Japanese RPGs. Luckily, Americans would completely dispel this stigma years later by being able to clearly tell the difference between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.

As this is the sequel to Paladin's Quest, check out that series if you're planning on reading this one. Lennus 2 isn't a direct continuation of the story, but it follows up on a lot of the general premises of that cult classic.

 I'm playing this on (shhhh) emulator, thanks to these fellows here who did a GREAT job translating the game. It's a shame that it fell to the gamer community to translate so many classics from this era, if only because the lack of Americanized RPGs in the 90's was such a missed opportunity for everyone involved.

The main character in this game is Farus, who has no relation to Faris of FF5 fame. He also has no relation to Chezni, the hero of the first game, contrary to popular belief.

 We get some backstory of how Farus got beamed down from above in a crystal. This game takes place on Raiga, the moon of Lennus, which was only spoken of in the first game. Farus is some sort of "super-Raigan" destined to save Raiga.

This game is full of people with oddly-shaped heads, just like the original game.

Farus sleeps in a big gold crystal. This is as far as I ever got when I tried to play the untranslated version of this game back in like 1999, because I couldn't get anything else to happen past this screen.

Farus breaks out of his crystal, sporting a cape, and flutters down through the temple.

After he lands, the monks in the temple all go ballistic at the sight of their hero finally awakening. Let's just get out of the way right now that this game is cliched as hell.

My first question: Can I haz equipment?

My God. Farus has been asleep as long as The Guardian, of Highlander: The Source fame.

 "I'm the Guardian!"

And, of course, it falls to our hero to find these four treasures so that he can bring about "The Great Union" for these monks. I'm calling it now: the monks are bad. This "Great Union" of theirs sounds a lot like bringing together the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper of Gozer, and we all know how that ended.


Big shout-out to the translators for their fine work in this game. The dialogue is funnier than you'd expect. I chose yes, because Farus is a man who likes to be kept apprised of all hot poop in question.

Yes. Yes it does.

The overworld. Yep, this is definitely the sequel to Paladin's Quest. That starting area looks a bit malevolent, and I wonder if it'll end up being the final dungeon like the similarly-ominous first town in PQ.

 Farus gets into a battle! Unfortunately, he's completely unequipped. That's right, none of the monks who WORSHIP HIM in the temple see fit to even give him so much as a club before he sets out into the world. I'm not sure how much sense that makes, but either way his epic battle with these rhino-frog Island of Dr. Moreau refugees does not go his way.

 I can't say I've gotten game overed in the first battle of an RPG since... uh... well, possibly ever.

 Next go, I avoid fights and make it to the first town. I'm looking to recruit a party, Dragon Quest 3 style. I like the way when you arrive in the first town, the people there celebrate your arrival as a hero. Give me weapons plz?

Also noteworthy... the town music in this game is pretty great. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=s15Wbgvzgec#t=108s

Farus: The Barack Obama of Raiga. He's awake for one day and people are giving him a hard time for not fixing the mess of the Bush Years yet.


I presume this monk is actually Midia, best known for being Chezni's obsessive shadow in the first game.

Here's a critically important and easily missed room. This is where you recruit non-Farus characters. There are five to choose from (to fill three slots). None of them are particularly distinct from one another, save that they attack with different elements and some are a little bit stronger physically than others. Nowhere near the differentiation of the classes in, say, Final Fantasy.

Good God, man! You just met her!

With a name like Zock, he'll be a fixture in the party for some time to come. It's a good idea to go for the fire-casters in the early going. This game is big on elemental vulnerabilities, and fire seems to be the most common vulnerability over. I go for three fire-casters and one air-elemental character in case I run into a fire-resistant foe. Though physical attacks would suffice in that situation.

Suddenly, I'm winning battles like a champ despite the continuing nudeness of the hero.

Everyone starts leveling up together since they were all recruited at the same time. It's weird when this happens in an RPG. It's like when women who live in close proximity to one another all start having their periods at the same time. Except it doesn't cause nearby sharks to lose their minds.

The game guilt-trips you if you switch your mercs out for different ones. Sorry, Chest. We're taking this company in a new direction.

Yes, this game has a character named Chest.

This is the equivalent of a return spell. It reminds me of when I got internet installed at my apartment and the guy set the router up as "HomePad", which quickly became the butt of many jokes until I changed it to "Bananaphone".

The dungeon gives you a dire warning... in like the second to last room. If you actually got this far alone you're clearly way overpowered already and could probably beat the boss.

Speaking of... the boss is a giant iguana-beast.

It's a ferocious opponent, but it isn't too difficult to take down. Having four party members with slightly-leveled spells makes all the difference in this game. Like the original game, using spells of a certain element strengthens that element for that character.

A mysterious face appears as Farus finds the first of the four artifacts to bring about The Great Union. Who is that mysterious face? I'm betting it's the ghost of Chezni. Either way, a warning is issued before the face fizzles out. Is this an ill omen of story developments to come? Given the ominousness of the first town and the weirdo monks within, I'd be shocked if it DIDN'T turn out that Farus is working for the bad guys.

One down, three to go.

Gwanji the flying turtle gets hatched, and our heroes take flight for the next continent.

...at least, I think that's a flying turtle. Looks like another Island of Dr. Moreau escapee. Seriously, what the hell is that thing?

It carries Farus and company off to the next continent. I'm not sure, but it seems like these continents are all floating in the sky. Is Raiga a gas giant type planet? Now that'd be an interesting twist. Can gas giants even BE moons for other planets?

The Complete Lennus 2 Archive:

Part 1 - The Legend of the Nude Hero

Part 2 - Ric Flair

Part 3 - The Hoodwinking of Farus

Part 4 - Dragon, Dragon, Rock the Dragon

Part 5 - Smoky Hellscape

Part 6 - Meridian

Part 7 - E. Honda's Commie Paradise

Finale - Immortals


  1. Do the other characters look as cool in battle as the hero, or do their weirdass heads ruin that? I want to see more battle screens.

    1. Unfortunately, for the first quarter of the game all of the other characters are pretty weirdass-looking. It gets better, though.

  2. I wonder if this is going to get more pastel and facial hair or whether the ears on the NPCs are enough weirdness for one game. And how many thousands of years the monks were planning to hoodwink the legendary hero when he woke up. And if the heroes being hoodwinked in every PQ game is meant to teach us not to trust authority.

    Judging by us when Y2K happened, if this guy woke up after exactly 10,000 years, I bet a large contingent of people were betting on exactly that. It's astounding they kept their society and his tank in one piece for that long, which is twice as long as the most generous estimate for when Chinese civilization started...LOL on the Obama parallels. Looking forward to seeing where this game goes.

  3. Here's a trick : You can recruit all the characters, take out their items and sell them.

  4. I can see the appeal of "you're a god waking up after a 10,000 year old sleep!" but it seems you're a god with amnesia, too, because you never hear a thing about his past experiences.

  5. This is the most underrated game I have ever played. Nobody played it but Dynamic Design did a fantastic job and fuck this is the sequel to Paladin's Quest, one of my favorite SNES Rpg. Once you are done with the big guns like FF BOF and LUFIA you learn to love a game like Paladin'S Quest. Also I didn't know if you played them but the Brandish games (first one is kinda a bad adaptation on the SNES because it has no minimap so it's hard to play) are pretty rad, they're like Zelda but with a lot of mobs and there's no town in the first game, it gets the feeling of you alone against tons of badass monsters really well.