Chill Box: Legend of Legaia

Written by: Jon Castillo

Games | Jan 19, 2017

chill box Legend of Legaia RPG

The good ol' '90s video game industry was in no short supply on heroic adventures. There's a vast number to choose from, but none strikes deeper than Legend of Legaia.

The story sets off pretty straightforward - the world is surrounded by the evil Mist that turns humans into monsters, causing big trouble for everyone. As the chosen one, Vahn, you must free the world from the Mist by lighting up ancient Christmas trees called Genesis Trees. Along your journey, you enter sources of the region's Mist, which are always guarded by dudes in cultish uniforms. Upon beating them, that certain portion of the world is then free from the Mist.

Legend of Legaia is a post-apocalyptic story about fearing the unknown. The Mist shrouds the world, hiding monsters called Seru in them. The last strands of humanity have built massive walls or live in high towers to protect themselves from the Mist. 

The story gets darker as you walk deeper into the fog. You meet new characters, visit fog-ridden villages and forgotten ruins, slowly unlocking story arc after story arc. The game continues to expand even as you banish the Mist, making you realize that Legend of Legaia is more than just a story about fear and heroics - it's a story about how people cope during worst case scenarios.

The world itself is full of lore and ingenuity. One of the best things about '90s RPGs is the ability to talk to every single NPC in the game, thereby giving you hints to secrets or more backstories to uncover. Though the game starts as a heroic fantasy, elements of body horror are dropped onto the story like bombs. It eventually turns to the supernatural and then reveals itself to be science-fiction.

But you know what, the bottom line is that Legend of Legaia is a martial arts game.

The battle system has one of the most unique mechanics I have ever seen in a video game. These days, game developers have stopped trying to innovate, and would rather stick to old formulas with a couple of cosmetic changes. Legend of Legaia is fearless in this regard as you learn skills through pure discovery - acquiring new spells through chance and perseverance.

What I didn't like about the game was its severe lack of secrets. There is little initiative to return to an area because most of its content can be found during your initial visit (but that could just be due to the budget issues).

Legend of Legaia isn't exactly a big franchise and its sequel, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, pretty much ensured that no future Legaia game would see the light of day. (In other words: where Legend of Legaia succeeded, Legaia 2: Duel Saga messed up real bad.)

Legend of Legaia is one of the best '90s RPG released on the PlayStation. I can't speak for the entirety of GameGulp, but this game remains among my top 10 RPGs, with The Legend of Dragoon following it closely.

Chill Box is where we relax and talk about video games and film from the distant past. There's a lot of cool stuff out there the younger generation have yet to experience or even heard about.  

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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