Monday, December 1, 2014

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals Finale - Balder and the Mistletoe

Previously on Lufia II, our heroes killed Gades several times. Unfortunately, he then became more powerful than they can possibly imagine. Also, we learned the truth about Iris: The carpet does not in fact match the drapes.

Daos is flying around in Doom Castle, wreaking havoc. Secret of Mana called, and it wants its endgame back.

At this point we have a sudden peaceful interlude, as everyone hangs out in a town and discusses what to do. Maxim doesn't want Selan to go to the final battle with him, because she has smaller girl-muscles.

You know, their child might be a more persuasive reason for her to stay behind. Wait a minute... oh my God! THEIR CHILD!

"Relax, guy" says Guy.

A bunch of monsters attack the town. My favorite are the giant albino squids. Tentacled AND white? Never before has something been so perfectly-designed for Japanese approval.

Selan looks at the squids with the kind of glee that you normally only see in a Schmitt's Gay Beer commercial.

Wait a minute... is that Dekar?

That's right, Dekar is alive, and he's here. We don't know how he survived, or where he has been all this time, or how any of this is possible, but here he is!

Dekar takes on the horde of monsters while our heroes fly towards Doom Island, dodging laser beams in their airship. I'm getting massive Final Fantasy VI vibes from this...

Finally, they crash-land into Doom Island. Somehow, everyone's okay. The airship is junked, though.

...luckily, everyone who got killed in those two towns earlier suddenly appear to fix it! What a stroke of good luck! Who knew they survived!

Here's the Fortress of Doom. No wall-panels to tell us how to play, even though that would be hilarious.

The first boss here is Gades. Because of course it is. This guy treats death as such a mild annoyance (if not a power-up) that one could mistake him for the Buu Saga in DBZ.

This is the strongest Gades, as it's the final Gades.

...wait a minute. The hell is with the water capsule monster? That fish guy is showing us his ass! I let you into this house and make you a part of this family and you can't even be bothered to put on pants?

The famed Mountain View Hallway makes a return. This really brings things full-circle with the beginning of the first game.

Amon laughs uproariously at this unsurprising news, and the battle is on!

Amon is, of course, a much stronger foe. He still uses lots of status effects. And...that's about it. Stuff happened, there was a battle.

There's a spot in this room where you can walk off the edge of the world. In the top right corner of the pit, you can step off downwards and go right into the void. Once here you can walk all over the place, but you'll bump into a wall if you try to leave said void. Luckily, you can exit by going back to the northeast corner.

What's in the chest, you ask? A Life 2 potion. Actually, every chest in this fortress has a Miracle in it. There are about eight of them altogether and they're very helpful to get.

The downside is that every time you get one, it plays the item jingle; this stops and resets the BGM in this area. As a result, the music is continually restarting as you grab chests, and it never really gets going until you reach the cutscene at the end. It's too bad, because the music here gets amazing as it goes on. It's enough to make me skip the chests here entirely, but I shouldn't have to even consider that. The solution would be to not start the music over every time it gets interrupted. This goes for a lot of games.

Artea seems like a pretty down-to-Earth guy and I've got nothing critical to say about his character... In large part because he isn't in any forced romances. Yep, Artea is, and I quote, "All That".

Not-Iris appears, showing some leg and sporting a hot new title. Mistress of Death? More like Mistress...of my heart.

Jesus H. Christ.


Daos appears, and proceeds to have a borderline-nonsensical discussion with Maxim about good and evil and super-beings. I played this scene twice and I still have no idea what the hell they were saying. I blame the translation again.

::record scratching sound:: Arek the Absolute?


This game really sets Arek up to be the Big Bad in Lufia III. If the intro scene didn't do enough, this scene definitely does. The current Big Bad, Daos, even goes so far as to say that Arek is more powerful than he is and rules over all the Sinistrals.

The possibilities were endless for Lufia III. It could have had not only Arek, but also other Sinistrals that we haven't even heard of, since the four we know weren't the only ones he ruled over. None of this potential got realized, however, as Lufia III ended up confined to a portable (in an era where portables couldn't hold a candle to consoles yet) and had a Lufia 1 rehash for a story.

Here we are, the final battle. Daos does not mess around. I didn't talk about the Erim fight at all because I was too busy wondering how a loincloth and nothing else is proper pants. That fight was a big step up from Amon, though, and Daos here is a slight step up from her. They both use very similar attacks and attack patterns.

Dual Blade's IP ability is Wave Motion, a buff for Maxim that uses up all of his IP. What a buff it is, though. He might as well be going Super Saiyan.

He goes from doing 500 damage per attack to doing around 1500, and with his attack power buffed, I saw him critical hit for 2500ish a couple times. He now totally dwarfs the others in damage output, even Guy.

VICTORY. Maxim's new super-DPS makes these final four Sinistral fights very manageable.

Reminds me of Breath of Fire III and Final Fantasy VII, two other late-90's RPGs that made the main character OP as hell during the endgame.

At this point all four Sinistrals reappear (...again) and have some sort of beam tug-of-war with the four heroes. Of course, the good guys win. Not sure why Daos and company didn't just form up into Guard Daos, especially since they have Erim here. I'm assuming Guard Daos would be considerably more powerful (and less-fugly) if it wasn't missing 25% of the fusion recipe.

Well, technically they couldn't do Guard Daos here because it didn't happen in the intro of the first game, but I still wonder why from a story perspective. Maybe they learned how to fusion dance in the century after this.

Our heroes win the battle, but not the war. Selan takes energy-shrapnel of some sort, and one thing she is not... is alright.

Selan goes quiet, and the glass bridge disappears. This leaves the party divided, and Maxim won't leave Selan's body here. Not sure if she's actually dead yet, but they're doomed regardless because the fortress is coming apart.

Artea teleports Guy to safety, leaving Maxim and Selan alone. Now we get why only Selan and Artea could learn teleport spells. It was all leading to this point, in a nice bit of continuity.

Meanwhile, the ghost of Daos decides to be even more of an asshole. He points the plummeting island towards Maxim's hometown.

Iris appears to talk to Maxim some more. Wait, isn't she Erim now? ...and dead? I'M SO CONFUSED

In any case, her better instincts take over and she sends Maxim to the Doom Island basement, where he can destroy three crystals to crash the exploding fortress into the ocean before it gets to a populated area.

Yep, it's The Dark Knight Rises all over again.

After destroying the last crystal, Maxim takes a moment to find solace before his imminent death.

The fortress crashes into the bottom of the ocean, and two energy balls spiral out. Presumably this is Maxim and Selan, but I have a theory that it's actually Berty and his bro. They snuck onto Doom Island too? THOSE SCAMPS!

In any case, this isn't really the time for jokes. No one knows if Maxim and Selan made it or not, but they throw a party to celebrate the victory regardless.

Guy returns to his redheaded girlfriend and apologizes for being so busy saving the world. They then, presumably, make sweet love.

Everyone talks as if Maxim is totally fine, even though there's no way he could have possibly survived the crash of Doom Island. Maybe he landed on a very soft flower bed, like Cloud Strife.

Tia finally cries for the first time all game, somehow knowing that Maxim is no longer with us. Hopefully at this point she'll let go of that idea and pursue a relationship with Dekar.

Baby Jeros, meanwhile, has to grow up without parents, which is the tragedy of this particular ending. He's likely the great-grandpa of the hero of the first game.

On the other hand, the spirits of his parents loom over the city, so they're with him even if he doesn't know they're there.

We now get a HUGE TIME JUMP. It feels like they're just jumping forward to later in the life of Jeros, but there's supposed to be a 100-year gap between the games. I think a 20-year gap would have made more sense in a lot of ways.

That concludes a GREAT SNES game. It has questionable dialogue and there are way too many dungeons, but it could still be included among the top ten RPGs on the system.

I had fewer deaths than I thought. Of course, Dekar had all of zero defeats over the course of the game, because Dekar is unstoppable.

More stats. Finishing the game unlocks a New Game + where you gain exp and gold at 4x the normal rate. Suffice to say, you'll be overpowered for most of the game, making it a quicker playthrough.

The story may be over, but I'm not done with this game yet. I'll be covering the legendary Ancient Cave in the next post.

Other Lufia II Posts

Other Lufia Series Games


  1. Dekar explained it well enough. One of the many things he's great at is staying alive. ...sadly, this will come back to bite him in the ass as he's still alive for Lufia: The Ruins of Lore.

    I never knew about the void walk. Good point about the chest jingle too.

    In some ways they kind of are trying to go Guard Daos here at the end. Maybe not entirely literally, but they are combining their power.

    Dekar at 0 defeats is perfect!

  2. Dekar rules; him showing up to fight all these dudes is an unforgettable moment.

    I gotta hand it to Gades, for someone so excited about dishing out death he's a really good sport about taking it too.

    I appreciate the levity from this random half-naked fish guy appearance. We'll need some levity soon.

    I too wish the final dungeon here had the instructions from Lufia 1. I can't remember, does it have the statues?

    I never did this moonwalk. Crazy stuff. The code really is getting looser as we approach the end.

    I've listened to the ending music of this game so many times. It's such a great finish, and very different from the usual where everyone survives. Tore me up as a kid but now I see it taught me to live with real-life expectations.

    Dekar at 0 defeats.

    Yep, really great game, and a great one to remember again. Glad you did well by it.