Bahamut Lagoon

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Bahamut Lagoon
Bahamut Lagoon Coverart.png
Developer(s)Square
Publisher(s)Square
Director(s)Kazushige Nojima
Producer(s)Tadashi Nomura
Writer(s)Motomu Toriyama
Composer(s)Noriko Matsueda
Platform(s)Super Famicom
ReleaseSuper Famicom
  • JP: February 9, 1996
Wii Virtual Console
  • JP: September 29, 2009
Wii U Virtual Console
  • JP: February 5, 2014
Genre(s)Tactical role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Bahamut Lagoon (バハムート ラグーン) is a Japanese tactical role-playing game developed and published by Square for the Super Famicom and released on February 9, 1996.[1]

Bahamut Lagoon was released on the Virtual Console in Japan on September 29, 2009 for the Wii and on February 5, 2014 for the Wii U.

Gameplay[edit]

Bahamut Lagoon combines RPG mechanics with squad-based combat. Characters have HP, MP (SP for fighter characters), EXP, equipment, stats and class-specific, SP-draining special elemental abilities very much like traditional console RPGs. The player can explore his surroundings, talk to people and visit shops when not in battle, though to a limited degree as there is no world map and no way to leave the current area.

The game's core is its turn-based battles fought on a 2d grid. Characters are assembled into parties of four and the player allowed a maximum of six parties, which are usually well outnumbered. The two opposing sides act in alternating turns so that each party can move once and/or attack once a turn. Attacks are divided into distant and close-up combat. In the former, a party uses a special ability (e.g. casting fireballs, throwing lightning, healing allies) of one of its members at a distance. The range and possible area of effect damage vary per ability. If the attacking party has two or more characters with the same ability, they join in the action to multiply its effectiveness. Distant combat results in less money and generally less damage, but the target cannot retaliate. Distant attacks can also affect the field; fire and ice ignite or extinguish forests and melt or freeze ice, etc. Close-up, each unit in two adjacent opposing parties can act once. Very much like Final Fantasy SNES combat, they can attack an enemy, use an item or a special ability (though these can't be combined and most only affect one target instead of all) or defend.

Dragons have their own stats and gain experience like normal characters do. In battle, each party has a dragon attached to it and draws a large portion of its strength from that of its dragon: if a party's dragon is slain, the party will lose the ability to use special attacks and class-specific abilities for the remainder of the map. The beast acts as a very powerful autonomous unit that moves after its party does and it cannot be controlled beyond very simple commands, e.g. "Come!" Out of battle, dragons will eat anything and raising them by feeding them items is an important part of the game. Feeding can improve their stats as well as affect their behavior on the field, and the dragons develop into new forms as they grow.

The player can change the characters in each of the parties, their formation as well as what dragon represents them at will.

Plot[edit]

The story takes place in the sky world called Orelus. It begins at the prologue, a world being consumed by war and the skies turning to the purple color of sadness following the downfall of the Kingdom of Kahna. The Kingdom of Kahna gets conquered by the Granbelos Empire, headed by Emperor Sauzer, taking Princess Yoyo captive and forcing the defenders of the kingdom to withdraw in defeat. After the prologue, the horrible war has come to an end with the Granbelos Empire victorious over all the Lagoons of Orelus. Chapter 1 begins, with the rebel alliance called The Resistance, headed by Byuu, with backup from the former captain of the Kahna's Royal Guard, Matelite, and Sendak, magician and wise man from Kahna, being shaped up with the help of many other heroes from around the other kingdoms (Lagoons) also conquered by the empire, notably the great warrior Taicho from the kingdom of Mahal and his allies among others. As their first act they reclaim the former flagship from the Kahna Dragon Squad, called the Farnheit (Fahrenheit) and with this vessel, they set out on a journey to liberate the skies of Orelus, Lagoon by Lagoon from the clutches of the Granbelos Empire.

If the Resistance fails to win that war, the Granbelos Empire will oppress Orelus. In the fierce battles that follow, The Resistance manage to rescue Princess Yoyo from the Empire, thus claiming its first greater victory, yet, the time spent in captivity has made her heart change. Although she tries to hide it at first, her feelings for Byuu have now turned for the Imperial General Satha Palpaleos, who also seems to be in love with her in turn. Reflecting upon the fact that Kahna was conquered by the Empire as its guardian, The Holy Dragon, Bahamut (Apparently all major Lagoons across Orelus are home to an ancient holy dragon each), never woke up to defend it despite the previous king's attempts, they come then to the conclusion that in order to defeat Emperor Sauzer, they must gather the powers of the Holy Dragons to their side. Princess Yoyo seems to hold the power to communicate with the dragons and harness their powers. The legend of this is that the chosen one, the Dragnar, must control them and usher in a new era of prosperity. Should the person fail, calamities will wrack the world of Orelus. Emperor Sauzer at the same time has somehow acquired this power himself, and wishes to claim the power of the dragons for the empire. The Resistance continues to wage war across the skies of Orelus, liberating its Lagoons one at a time and gaining new allies of both their inhabitants and Holy Dragons, and soon the Empire begins losing its conquered dominions and begins to fracture as some of its most prominent generals, headed by Gudolf, begin plotting against their own emperor, whom they judge weak. Upon their contacting the Holy Dragons, both Yoyo and Emperor Sauzer begin falling ill, as it seems this act drains those linked to them of their spiritual energy. Yoyo, constantly accused by the Holy Dragons of being weak-minded endures, however, while Emperor Sauzer becomes gradually more ill. The awakening of the dragons cause the gates to another dimension, Altair, to open, and demonic creatures begin an invasion of the kingdoms of Orelus. On the eve of this, The Resistance finally arrives on Kahna and upon fighting an army of demons, they gain the alliance of General Palpaleos, secretly ordered to join by Emperor Sauzer himself, who has foreseen a great coming disaster which he feels only The Resistance can stop, even if that means waging war on the very empire he once served with zeal. Reunited with his love, Princess Yoyo, he assists in repelling an Imperial assault of massive proportions, thus, restoring Kahna her lost freedom on a battle in which many of the characters reflect upon their own emotions and motives.

The former resistance now becomes the Orelus Liberation Army and heads straight towards the hearth of the Empire, to end the war once and for all. After a great victory over the Imperial Flagship "Trafalgar", they find Emperor Sauzer, his illness advancing further, and take him in. Here he reveals with great courtesy that in order to obtain the ability to speak with the Holy Dragons he had done a pact with the demons from the other dimension. After admitting this, following a long period of agony, he finally dies, and his body is left to drift away in the never-ending skies of Orelus by Palpaleos, his closest friend. A different situation unfolds on the Granbelos Empire however, as the people witness the "official" burial ceremony of their beloved emperor and Gudolf climbs to the throne as the new ruler while a giant gate with the other dimensions opens itself over the skies of Granbelos. After a great battle, the Liberation Army defeats the Imperial Armies and penetrates deep into the imperial palace, where they defeat Gudolf, thus, claiming the final victory over the empire. Still, the greatest of all threats still looms over Orelus as the gates of Altair remain open. The brave Liberation Army, now with the help from all the Holy Dragons, including mighty Bahamut, fly the Farnheit inside the superior dimension, where they fight hordes of demons and their master, the most powerful of all dragons, Alexander. Alexander seeks to claim the powers of the other Holy Dragons in order to become unstoppable and rule over all worlds. The epic battle, on which the very survival of Orelus is to be decided, follows, and as Alexander is defeated, order is restored. Byuu and all of his friends make their farewells as they all return to their kingdoms to rebuild them under the newly restored order of peace, leaving Byuu along with Bahamut as the wandering guardians of the skies of Orelus.

Development[edit]

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.

Release[edit]

Bahamut Lagoon was released in Japan toward the end of the Super Famicom's lifespan. It was released on February 9, 1996.[1] It had been advertised that it was to be released in North America but was cancelled along with Front Mission due to Nintendo moving their focus towards the Nintendo 64.[citation needed] The game was re-released on Nintendo's Virtual Console; in 2009 for the Wii,[2] and again in 2014, for the Wii U.[3]

Reception[edit]

Bahamut Lagoon sold 474,680 copies in Japan in 1996, making it the 17th best selling game of the year.[4] In a retrospective review, Hardcore Gaming 101 called the game "a true classic", comparing it favorably to Fire Emblem and Tactics Ogre.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "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. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  2. ^ Spencer (August 28, 2009). "Bahamut Lagoon Leads September's Virtual Console Lineup". Siliconera.com. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  3. ^ "Matters of Import: Bahamut Lagoon Roars Onto The Japanese Wii U eShop - Nintendo Life". nintendolife.com. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  4. ^ "1996 Top 30 Best Selling Japanese Console Games". The-MagicBox.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  5. ^ http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/bahamut-lagoon/

External links[edit]