Mahō Gakuen Lunar!

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Mahō Gakuen Lunar!
Magic School Lunar packaging.

Developer(s) Game Arts
Studio Alex
Publisher(s) ESP Software
Kadokawa Shoten
Series Lunar
Platform(s) Sega Saturn
Release date(s)
  • JP November, 1997
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD

Mahō Gakuen Lunar! (魔法学園ルナ! lit. "Magic School Lunar!"?) is a Japanese role-playing video game developed by Studio Alex in association with Game Arts and published by ESP Software and Kadokawa Shoten for the Sega Saturn in 1997. It is an enhanced remake of Lunar: Walking School with updated graphics, newly added anime cutscenes, and a more complex story. Magic School Lunar! was released about the same time as other Lunar remakes, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, and though it was mildly successful it was never made available outside of Japan.

Gameplay[edit]

A battle in Magic School Lunar!

Several enhancements were made to the game that take advantage of the capabilities of modern hardware. While the first game was limited to the hardware restrictions of the Game Gear, the new Saturn version boasted a larger color palette, more sophisticated music and sound effects, and the ability to handle full-motion animated sequences placed sporadically throughout the story. The use of a Saturn Memory Card could also ensure more save slots.

The game handles itself very much like a traditional role-playing video game, with turn-based battles which yield experience points required for leveling up, giving the characters access to new abilities and enhanced statistics. The first-person perspective battle interface of the Game Gear version is replaced by a simplified version of the signature Lunar battle system. Character sprites are visible on the battlefield and animations for spells and attacks have been considerably upgraded. A number of multi-character combination attacks have been added as well.

Plot[edit]

The story for Magic School Lunar! is very similar to its original version: Elie, a girl from the quiet town of Burg, is selected to enroll in a prestigious magic school located on a drifting island called Ien. Together with her best friend Rena, she makes her way to the school and has many adventures while learning magic and exploring new areas to which Ien Island drifts. Gradually, Elie and her friends get caught up in a plot by a villainous sorcerer to unleash an ancient evil on the land.

Though Magic School Lunar! was released after Lunar: The Silver Star, it takes place hundreds of years before it, and although few references exist to tie the two games together, it undoubtedly subscribes itself to the same folklore.

Characters[edit]

Playable characters:

  • 'Elie' (Ellie) (エリー Erī?) (Michiko Neya (根谷美智子?)): The 13-year-old heroine of the story, Elie is a friendly, rather reserved girl from the town of Burg. For most of her life she worked as a farm-hand on her family's estate, spending time with her best friend Rena. However, her family has fallen on hard times, and when the opportunity for free room and board at the magic school arose, her father signed her up right away. New to the remake, Elie has a mysterious ability of flight. She is also skilled in fire magic.
  • Rena (Rena) (レナ Rena?) (Hiroko Konishi (小西寛子?)): Elie's best friend from childhood, also 13 years old. Unlike Elie, she's very vocal, and despite her upbringing she has a penchant for wearing fancy clothes. Food is one of her favorite things - both preparation and consumption. Rena is self-conscious about her height, but won't let anyone push her around about it. She specializes in healing magic.
  • Senia (セニア Senia?) (Yuri Shiratori (白鳥由里?)): A 14-year-old beastwoman who attends the school with Elie and Rena. Naturally athletic and a skilled fighter, she's also quite handy with lightning magic. Senia's brash and outgoing nature makes her fast friends with Rena, but she has a gentler side as well - she is in love with her childhood friend Azu.
  • Blade (ブレード Burēdo?) (Isshin Chiba (千葉一伸?)): A new character introduced for the remake. A strong fighter who is only semi-skilled in magic, Blade makes up for his shortcomings in casting with skilled swordplay. Blade seeks "true manhood" through studying at the magic school, and tends to be stubborn and selfish.
  • Wi (Wing) (ウィン Uin?) (Hiro Yuki (結城比呂?)): A shy, mysterious boy who enrolls in the school after the other characters. He defers to Elie and the other girls despite the fact that, at age 14, he is older than them. Gifted with strong magical abilities, he excels in his studies, yet much about him is unknown. Win has a crush on Rena, but she is often infuriated by his meekness.
  • Azu (アズ Azu?) (Tetsuya Iwanaga (岩永哲哉?)): Senia's childhood friend, newly playable in the final chapter of the remake. He is not a student of magic, but is a strong physical fighter nonetheless. Azu is very protective of Senia.
  • Glen (グレン Guren?) (Mahito Tsujimura (辻村真人?)): The scout for the Ien magic school, he goes out every year in search of promising new students. Glen is one of the most senior members of the magic school faculty. He wields powerful magic, but is playable only for a short while.

Non-playable characters:

  • Anchi (Ant) (アンチ Anchi?) (Satomi Kohrogi (こおろぎさとみ?)): The leader of a group of bullies who attend the school, Anchi is a crafty trickster who relies mostly on his speed and wits. He and his two lackeys are rivals to Elie, Rena and Senia, and often get into shouting matches with them.
  • Kule (クール Kūru?) and Rick'リック (Rikku?) (Miki Narahashi (ならはしみき?) and Konami Yoshida (吉田小奈美?)): Anchi's friends and fellow miscreants.
  • Barua (バルア Barua?) (Yuri Amano (天野由梨?)): A dark-haired woman who is secretly a member of the Vile Tribe, a group of dark magic users banished to the uninhabitable Frontier years ago. Her attractive appearance hides a cruel personality, and she possesses magic that allows her to control humans. Together with Memphis, she plans resurrect an ancient evil.
  • Memphis (メンフィス Menfisu?) (Kaneto Shiozawa (塩沢兼人?)): Power-hungry leader of the Vile Tribe and an extremely accomplished sorcerer. Together with Barua, he is plotting the revival of the Demon Castle D in order to destroy Ien and eventually subdue all of Lunar. Memphis has an expanded backstory in the remake, including a mysterious link to Glen in his past.
  • D (ディー ?): The personification of an ancient, living castle that was sealed away long ago, D resembles a floating mask. Memphis has broken the seal on D, but it has not yet regained its full power.

Development[edit]

Reception[edit]

Development[edit]

External links[edit]