Bahamut Lagoon's gameplay blends 2D RPG grid-based combat with turn based combat. Players have the ability to raise and battle dragons to fight alongside a player's other characters. A player has a squadron of four characters in combat, and players have six different squadron leaders they can choose from. Each squad leader has a dragon which can be evolved into different types by feeding it weapons, armor, accessories, and items. Feeding dragons foods they like will increase their loyalty, and food they don’t like will decrease loyalty, but players can still use foods dragons do not like to make a dragon more powerful. Dragons are not controlled by the player, but are given general guidelines such as “Go!” or “Wait!”.
In the world of Orelus, continents called “lagoons” float in the sky, and war is threatened when the kingdom of Kahna is invaded by the Granbelos Empire. This leads Captain Byuu of the Dragon Squad to fight to repel this invasion, but after the initial victory, Kahna is overrun, and Byuu, the game's silent protagonist, leads a continued campaign against the Granbelos Empire. In dialogue, players can choose between earnest and sarcastic responses when speaking as Byuu.
The game's development staff included many key members from the Final Fantasy series of video games, including Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi as a supervisor, Kazushige Nojima as director, and Motomu Toriyama as story event planner.
Bahamut Lagoon was released in Japan toward the end of the Super Famicom's lifespan. It was released on February 9, 1996. Bahamut Lagoon sold 474,680 copies in Japan in 1996, making it the 17th best selling game of the year. The game was re-released on Nintendo's Virtual Console; on September 29, 2009 for the Wii, and again on February 5, 2014, for the Wii U.
Upon release, four reviewers from Famitsu gave it a score of 29/40.
In a retro review, Hardcore Gaming 101 praised the game highly, calling it a part of Squares “renaissance” in the mid-1990s, with charming characters, a cohesive plot, and details graphics that are “a real treat”. Nintendo Life also called the game a “lost treasure”, and bemoaned that there has never been an official English language localization. Siliconera has noted that an unofficial English fan translation was done years later for the game. 1Up.com called the game one of the top six “must play” titles to import, citing its nuanced story, lush graphics and extensive amounts of gameplay.
- "バハムート ラグーン [スーパーファミコン] / ファミ通.com". www.famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Siliconera Staff (September 4, 2008). "Is Square Enix working on a Bahamut Lagoon remake?". Siliconera. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
- Bivens, Danny (February 5, 2014). "Japan eShop Round-Up". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
- Rolando (February 11, 2007). "RPG In Memoriam: Bahamut Lagoon". Siliconera. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
- Taylor, Brandon (July 28, 2017). "Bahamut Lagoon". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "1996 Top 30 Best Selling Japanese Console Games". The-MagicBox.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- Spencer (August 28, 2009). "Bahamut Lagoon Leads September's Virtual Console Lineup". Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
- "Matters of Import: Bahamut Lagoon Roars Onto The Japanese Wii U eShop - Nintendo Life". nintendolife.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
- "バハムート ラグーン [スーパーファミコン] / ファミ通.com". www.famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- Brunskill, Kerry (February 5, 2014). "Matters of Import: Bahamut Lagoon Roars Onto the Japanese Wii U eShop". Nintendo Life. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Mackey, Bob (August 19, 2011). "Six Must-Play Super Nintendo Imports". 1UP. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2020.