Friday, August 30, 2013

The 7th Saga, Part 7 - Gods

The 7th Saga concludes with the final episode.

In Japan, this game was called Elnard. And get this, in a complete reversal of how it usually was back then, Enix actually upped the difficulty for the Western version. As legend tells it, Elnard wasn't actually that difficult of a game.

Our heroes arrive in what might be the final dungeon. Welcome to the Hellmouth.

After traversing some lava-filled areas, we arrive at the lair of...

...Gariso. Is this the final battle?

He's quite the badass, even though he kinda looks like a South Park version of a demon.

Esuna backs away slowly, while the brave Olvan stands strong. Actually, he's just too stoned to realize what's going on.

Gariso has 3000 HP, which may be a record up to this point. Ice 2 does about 70 damage. Yeah, this fight takes a while...

Victory is ours.

Here's the very last rune. In a shocking twist, this one does nothing at all.

Wait, what the hell? Who goes there?

....My God. I finally get the seven runes, and... they just break.

King Lemele materializes, and he's all... evil.

Apparently he was the bad guy ALL ALONG. He also pulled an FF1 by warping here from the past. At least, I think that's how it went. FF1's plot still eludes me.

Turns out, Gariso was just a puppet for Gorsia, who has been disguised as King Lemele. He sent us to get the runes, then... just broke all of them. What? No Great Union or anything?

He blasts our heroes, and they wake up in the hospital. That bastard! Actually, we're in another world now. Not sure what the deal is, but it isn't the ...TICONDERA that we know from the rest of the game.

Esuna was in a coma for so long that she grew a beard.

This is all very black and white. Apparently Gorsia, representing the Dark World, is at war with some Light-elemental guy named Saro.

Apparently American mainstream news is the only source of information here in the Other World.

This world looks a lot like the original one.

Ligena, or as the kids call it, "Li-jay-jay"

Old Man: " we know it, and I feel fine!"

Alright. So... this is the original world, but it's 5000 years in the past during the time of Gorsia. he warped to our time to taunt us after the fight with Gariso, then warp back 5000 years with us and put us in a coma? I'm a bit confused. Seems the runes are necessary to defeat Gorsia, but they're all shattered. Unless they... exist in the past, and can be re-recovered. In which case, why the hell did Gorsia bring us here after destroying the present runes?

You get an airship at this point, but much like the aeroplane earlier, this thing can only travel from point A to point B. In this case, the kingdom of Li-Jay-Jay and Melenam, which is still above sea level at this point in time.

Melenam is a bustling metropolis. Still, it's amazing how little the world has changed in 5000 years.

Here's the underground lab, the only part of Melenam still standing in our time.

You know, I get the feeling that we just found out why Melenam sank into the ocean.

So, Melenam is at war with Gorsia. The scientists here are trying to create a super battle droid called Foma, which they'll use to fight Gorsia. The only problem is that the main guy working on the Foma project is DR. FAIL.

Next thing we know, bam, Foma is out of control and wreaking havoc. IT WAS THE MACHINES, SARAH!

And now, we have to battle Foma. SCIENCE DAMN YOU, DR. FAIL! SCIENCE DAMN YOU!

Foma fires missiles that look like catfish.

It also blocks almost all physical attacks, but that said, it isn't all that treacherous of a fight. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been able to defeat Gorsia even if it hadn't gone bad.

Annnnnd there goes Melenam. Thanks, Dr. Fail. Thanks a lot.

The continent proceeds to fall into the ocean, where it would remain for the rest of time. Protip: Don't build a battle droid that can destroy your city... in the middle of your city. There's a reason that the Engineers in Prometheus were trying to make Xenomorphs on a moon in the middle of nowhere.

Somehow, everyone escaped. This is a moment straight out of Dragonball Z's "I can see their parachutes!"
At this point, the overworld battle music changes for the first time all game. The new theme is REALLY good, and I wish it had been the battle theme for the whole game. Time to level Esuna up. I mean really just level her socks off.

Esuna: "Ohhhh God!"

Esuna: "Yes! Yes!"

Esuna: "Mmmm!"

Esuna: "Unf! Ohhhhh! OHHHHH!!"

Olvan: "Arf! Arf!"

Olvan: "Rrrrrruff! Ruff!"

After all of that madness, I find the manservants of Saro.

No kidding, I need to somehow get the runes back.

Here's the reason Esuna got all of those levels. 5000 Years Ago Lux is exhausted.

Enemies from earlier show up in new, shaded forms that are far more powerful. Thing is, they're very vulnerable to instant death spells here. So the largely unreliable Vacuum 2 is suddenly the best spell in my arsenal.

Using Vacuum 2 to obliterate the enemies quickly is the best way to level up at this point, and can quickly get you to where you need to be for the final boss.

The last dungeon has several very nasty bosses. First up...

...Romus. He has returned from the dead as Gold Romus, and he's quite the badass.

I cringe as he dishes out lightning, but he doesn't short out the monitor.

Goron, no relation to the fellows from Ocarina of Time. This was actually a really difficult fight, even after all those level-ups I did. This game is hardcore.

Another boss awaits soon afterwards. Better come prepared.


This one is called "Griffon". Another difficult fight. This one might have the record for most HP of any boss in the game, not sure. It has 3500, more than Gariso or Goron.

Much like Danny Glover at the end of Predator 2, I look around and go "okay, who's next?"

Here's Saro. Or rather, his fading ghost. He lost his battle with Gorsia, and now he's sending us to finish the job.

Saro's manservants now give me the past versions of the seven runes. They seem weaker than the present versions, because none of them do anything for me. A big loss, but hopefully the characters have enough spell variety to make up for it at this point.

Each one has an important one-time use against Gorsia, though. The Wizard Rune breaks Gorsia's invisibility, while the Water Rune cuts his HP from 4000 to 2000. That's huge...and makes him weaker HP-wise than his goons Gariso, Goron, and Griffon. Anyway, you gotta use all of the runes before you can hurt him and win the battle, it seems.

It's kinda like using the crystal at the beginning of FFIV's finale...except there are seven crystals to use.

After a long trek, here's Gorsia's castle.

Average castle...just a normal castle of average persuasion. They did do a World 8-4 thing here, though... you see, World 8-4 of the original Super Mario Bros is full of warp pipes that send you all over the level, and there's only one correct path. It was challenging, no doubt. They did that here with doors.

Here he is... Gorsia. Time to end this game.

Using the Wizard Rune makes Gorsia appear. He may have a mere 2000 HP but he's STILL an unholy badass, and hits with his chains for upwards of 400-500 damage. Obviously, this means he basically just kills in one hit when he does that attack. Luckily I have M Waters saved up to revive people as much as needed, because healing is futile here.


Esuna: "YOU...SHALL...NOT...PASS!"

Ice 2 and Olvan using charged attacks whittle down Gorsia's HP, but make no mistake, the one shot from the Water Rune did most of the damage.

With our heroes out of MP, I use whatever buff items I have in a last ditch effort to finish him off with physical attacks.

Yeah, this one's over.

....except Olvan's next defend-attack not only hits, it criticals. Battle over. One more hit from him and I would have been finished.

Insanely close battle. Wow.

I'd say that fighting him without using any runes would turn him into a true uberboss, but I'm pretty sure you can't actually fight him that way. As in, you can't even start inflicting damage yourself until after all the runes are used.

Gorsia is going to blow up everything and take us with him. Bastard!

Luckily, Saro's voice travels across the ether and assures our heroes that he'll save them.

Next thing we know, a beam of light shines down, transporting Esuna's soul into a new body.

And then...

...a star child appears, ala the end of Highlander: The Source.

"He is The One" says Duncan Macleod when reached for comment.

...what the hell is going on? So Esuna from the present went to the past, defeated Gorsia, got killed and reincarnated as King Lemele, who then became the King Lemele in the present who Gorsia killed and impersonated before the game began? Seems that way
So uh...we're full circle now. What? My God. Also, Fuck The Source

During the credits we see head-on shots of our heroes. Respect The Beard.

There's Esuna. Homina Homina.

With that, a great old RPG ends. I recommend it to anyone who is into the retro or the hardcore. It seems more like a Western RPG to me in terms of design, with a heavy emphasis on dungeon crawling, grinding, and buying equipment rather than on a story. In a way, it's pure.


  1. Again, thanks for the reviews!
    Keep 'em coming!

  2. My new favorite game character is DR. FAIL.

  3. Holy cow so much happened this episode.
    The relative weakness of past monsters against insta-death is awesome. It implies that future monsters built up an immunity to it.

    So does Olvan get reincarnated as a jobber? Is Esuna ok with being reincarnated as a man? I'd say that's a downgrade.
    If they want to make this story make sense, then the reincarnated Lemele would be a new person named in honor of the awesome last Lemele. Because otherwise Esuna would exist twice in the same time period whenever Esuna comes along.
    Gorsia looks like an unholy badass. Fantastic demon design.
    Interesting the game didn't show you the apocalyptic future of Gorsia having all the Seals. I'm guessing Saro warped you back in time because why would Gorsia do that for you? And when they say "you were unconscious for 7 days" they mean "you've been unconscious since we found you," right? Lotsa plot twists here that are "WTF SO COOL" in theory but indeed really out there.
    The game DID do the "build up a bad guy" "wtf here's an even badder guy!" twist quite well.
    Apparently, rune/seal collecting quests of SNES era games should not be completed. It only worked out the way we wanted it to in Earthbound.
    So weird that Saro is a good guy in this, unlike in DQ4.
    One more thing, it's awesome that Gorsia actually killed you in the end. A real bad guy WOULD do that.
    Looking forward to 7th Saga 2 posts!

    1. Great point about future monsters developing immunity. All games that have a section in the past should have the past enemies be super-weak to status effects.

      7th Saga 2 / Mystic Ark is on the way some time in the near future...

    2. Mystic Ark is the next major game on my itinerary. Stay tuned. I'll be starting it as soon as time permits...

  4. They handled the ending weirdly but the next time Lemele will be born he will not be killed by Garsia because Garsia is dead, the first Garsia was still alive because Saro could not kill him but now in the future Lemele will grow up just fine because Esuna and Olvan didn't do a shitty job.

    So when does Mystic Ark happens? Nobody fucking knows, is the blond guy even Lemele? Is he the Lemele that got killed by Garcia or the Lemele that used to be the guy who killed Garcia?

    All of this shit is confusing but still really good plot.