If you were in charge of the remake of Lunar DS...

For discussion of Lunar: Dragon Song (Lunar: Genesis), the only Lunar game on the DS
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Angelalex242
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If you were in charge of the remake of Lunar DS...

Postby Angelalex242 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:25 pm

What would you do to it?

Everyone wants a remake, of course, as the original was...not up to par.

So. What would YOU do with the remake if they hired you?
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DaWrestla
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Postby DaWrestla » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:07 pm

1) A lot of minor changes to the story to make it seem less recycled, plus a lot of added on new things to greatly EXPAND the story.

2) Traditional Lunar battle system.

3) A lot of small plot point would be fixed (color of Lucia's hair, dragonmaster armor and althena's sword, Vane, etc)
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Postby Shiva Indis » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:20 pm

All the characters will do more in both combat and plot categories.

Jian needs to be less of a turd, Lucia less of a ditz, Flora will need some reason for tagging along other than just out of the goodness of her heart, and Rufus, Ignatius, Zethos and especially Peres need backstory desperately. I think Gabi has a pretty good character, she just needs more opportunity to display it.

I think I'd leave the basic framework of the battles alone. However, I'd shorten enemy attack animations (and just try my damnedest to get it as streamlined as possible), make targets selectable, and provide a greater variety of techniques that damage different parts of the enemy formation (vertical and horizontal rows, primarily). Number of attacks per turn would be a function of level like it is in the old games, and more characters would have it. Possibly I'd allow 4 character parties.

More camera positions in battle. I hated that there were front views for the PCs, but we never saw them because the camera was always behind them.

Greater variety in battle backgrounds. Greater variety in beastfolk appearance. Greater variety in the character's text portraits.

Did you noticed that there were no characters under the age of 14 in this game AT ALL? We need some little kids in the towns.

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Postby Alunissage » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:54 pm

Wasn't Flora 13? :o

Titus needs more backstory too.

Timeframe needs to match other Lunar backstory better. Either Althena's sleepwalking state needs spelling out or her character and everything about what she does needs revision. Higher ratio of music to ambient sounds. Actual exploration, especially if we're talking console. (And if so, then range in the battles, of course; if still with the DS constraints then Shiva's revisions would be sufficient.) More character designs, especially more Beastman variety. Trickier dungeons...the ones in the game weren't a bad start but could be way better. Less fetch questing, or at least less obvious fetch questing. I'm okay with the dual battle system and courier stuff, but tune up so that you get at least a little money in virtue mode and a little exp in normal mode, so it's not a total waste of time. Courier missions that actually mean something, akin to the hunter missions in Arc II and III, so they're entertaining in themselves. Don't have weapons you just bought in the next dungeon's chests (though EB was at least as bad and probably worse in this regard). Get rid of the item breakage and theft or make both undoable via recovery after battle or repair, as if that had to be said. An actual role for Rufus.

And, of course, all the plot stuff Mia and I concocted in another thread afterward to reconcile this game's events with the backstories of the other games. :P

Which reminds me, early Vane (hah, could even have early Iyen, I guess). More mystery in the eastern continent. Fix the geography, dammit! Just switching the Frontier and the eastern continent would solve a lot of it, or at least bring it into the same level of (in)consistency as the other games.

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Postby phyco126 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:14 am

First thing I would do: Bribe WD to freaking to the damned thing. Uh, at least the translation part. As people have said before, if WD had translated it, they probably would have fixed alot of issues, therefore, no real need to remake it, depending on how much they change and fix.
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Postby GhaleonOne » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:53 am

Um, no. WD wouldn't have been able to salvage the issues in the game. They could have fixed some translation issues (specifically some NPCs having two different names), but they can't totally revamp a story, completely do a new battle system, and fix the money system.

Either way, I'll post my thoughts later on how a remake would work.
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Postby Shiva Indis » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:58 am

Alunissage wrote:Wasn't Flora 13? :o


Crap, I guess I didn't hedge my bet enough. :P I'm just weirded out by the absence of NPCs in the 4-10 age range. An RPG without little kids that make silly comments is... odd. Little kids factored in to EB a fair bit, especially in the remake.

Oh, and two important things I forgot. 1) More cutscenes. Since I seem to be going in a handheld sort of direction they needn't be FMV, but the S/MegaCD version did pretty well without compressed video-type animation, and it's probably possible to recreate that. 2) As Alun mentioned, an extended ending so that the game ties in, damnit! :o
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Postby segaboy7 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 4:22 am

hummm a remake of DS theres quite a few things I would do on this one. First off I would trash the gads express and dual battle system idea. Then I would give it the Lunar 2 battle system with MP points won after every battle for saving and upgrading magic. Second Add some actually magic to the game, not the exact same animation for the attack spells just with different names. Added and rename cities in towns so it fits into the Lunar timeline. Some story changes so it didn't seem so recycled. An actual boss fight and make a bad guy that actually lives up to his name and unmatched power, one that doesn't die [spoiler] buy falling off something [/spoiler]. Plus added things like dragon armor and such. Thats the kinda stuff I would change.

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Postby Angelalex242 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:04 am

As for the Dragon Armor and Althena's Sword...I would've visibly put that stuff on you know who, so he's recognizeable as what he is to the players on sight, even before he says anything. It makes him scarier, in my opinion.
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Postby phyco126 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:19 pm

Well, I never played DS, so I still wouldn't know most of the issues. However, I figured that since WD could still fix some bugs by doing some twinking, or making a way to bypass a bug, they could easily just make monsters targetable and any other small thing. That's why I said WD. :)
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Postby Shiva Indis » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:04 pm

WD is rather notorious for tweaking games in favor of greater difficulty/inconvenience (Silhoutte Mirage, SegaCD Lunar 2, and Elemental Gearbolt spring to mind) and trust me, that's the last thing Lunar DS needs. The game mostly suffers from unrealized potential, IMO.
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Postby Alunissage » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:57 pm

Actually, Borgan seems to be easier in the US EB than the Japanese; he cast Gravity Bomb considerably more frequently in the import. Spell, item, and statue costs were generally made higher, though. As far as I know they haven't done anything to the difficulty of more recent games (though I don't play shooters and wouldn't know about, say, RayCrisis), even though a tester recommended very strongly that the final boss of Arc II be toned down. Grow II and presumably III had convenience added in the form of shortcut buttons and queuing up the menu but I've found no numeric changes. I think overall they took a much freer hand with things several years ago than they have since, and so their reputation has stuck but isn't all that accurate now.

As I recall, SM had what amounted to an extra game dynamic added, or at least a detail that it didn't make sense not to have from the viewpoint of someone who only played a bit of the US one, and given DS's battle system that approach might be a good thing.

Do other localizers have the same reputation? Does Atlus's omission of the Snow Queen part from Persona 2 still rule fan impressions of the company? Do people realize how much was changed in Zelda 2 and even a bit of Zelda 1? Or are these alterations just thought of as small and insignificant next to WD's?

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Postby Kizyr » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:04 pm

Shiva Indis wrote:WD is rather notorious for tweaking games in favor of greater difficulty/inconvenience (Silhoutte Mirage, SegaCD Lunar 2, and Elemental Gearbolt spring to mind) and trust me, that's the last thing Lunar DS needs. The game mostly suffers from unrealized potential, IMO.


Besides what Alun pointed out with Lunar 2, they also lowered the encounter rate in Vay (and increased XP bonuses to compensate, I think). Used to be an even higher encounter rate than it was. Although, I think they increased the MP costs for spells too much.

The one game that could really use WD's tweaking is Lunar: Magic School. The game is great all-around, except for it's atrocious encounter rate. The battles are even fun, you just end up in so many of them that it gets annoying going through any dungeon, and it's literally the only thing holding the game back. KF

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Postby Alunissage » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:44 pm

Yeah, I remember in the one chapter I played going into a forest to find one of the teachers, and standing right next to her in the clearing I got into a battle. That was annoying; you'd think you'd have a break when you find the person you need to talk to. As I recall, though, both MS and Vay refilled HP/MP at level-up, so at least you got some auto-healing to compensate for all the battles you were getting into.

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Postby Shiva Indis » Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:02 am

I was actually playing Mahou Gakuen recently, and I was swiftly reminded of why I had so little interest in playing it again. The fact that it would be fun if not for getting into a fight every two steps makes it even harder to play. I might add that the game's heavy emphasis on magic, while novel, tends to make the fights drag-ey too. But not only are your characters healed on level up, they regenerate while walking to help compensate for all the MP use.
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Postby Kizyr » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:05 am

I didn't find the fights themselves tedious at all. The fact that you were encouraged to use magic (and able to regenerate MP very easily to make up for its frequent use) made them really interesting and quick to get through. Much better than having to save all your magic until the bosses. It made the fights a lot more enjoyable than your average RPG.

If only I didn't have to go through one of them every other step. KF

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Postby Rune Lai » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:09 am

Alunissage wrote:Do other localizers have the same reputation? Does Atlus's omission of the Snow Queen part from Persona 2 still rule fan impressions of the company? Do people realize how much was changed in Zelda 2 and even a bit of Zelda 1? Or are these alterations just thought of as small and insignificant next to WD's?


I don't know about the Zeldas, but I know that people were pretty peeved over the removal of the Snow Queen in Persona 1. They did more than that too. Aside from cutting the Snow Queen, they changed the ethnicities of the characters so we now had an African American and everybody else was presumably white (artwork was changed to give three of the black-haired characters red, brown, and blond hair, and of course that one Japanese character became black through new artwork). Persona 1 is probably the most butchered RPG I have.

But I think that difference is fans are under the impression that Atlus doesn't do it anymore. Atlus has released a lot of games since, and I haven't heard any complaints about things being changed or cut from the game.

WD hasn't released nearly as many games so it may be taking them comparatively longer to shake it off. I think it may also be that WD hasn't sucked up any attention-grabbing titles that would really give people a reason to look at their latest offering (and thus give people something to compare against their memories from a long time ago and see how WD has improved--or not).
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Postby Alunissage » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:04 am

D'oh, I knew I'd get which Persona it was wrong. >_< I do remember the black character in 1 from the all of five minutes or so I saw of it, and heard later about how ludicrous that was.

Zelda 1 just had one change to make things easier, I found from playing the mini-Famicom version: the Pols Voice enemies, the bouncing rabbit heads, were made vulnerable to arrows. In the US game they're wiped out very easily this way (one arrow takes out as many as are in line in one hit) and the manual makes a strong hint in this direction; in the Japanese one the arrows do nothing so it's just sword and perhaps wand hits. They take a lot of sword hits, too, making them somewhat difficult with their unpredictable movement. In Zelda 2, the experience levels were changed quite a bit in some fashion whose exact nature I forget, but it did change the balance. There were other little tweaks, like the overworld enemies/fairies all the same shape and different colors, and sound effect changes.

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Postby Dragonmaster Lou » Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:32 pm

Let's see, what would I do.

This is all assuming that it will go on a console of at least PS2 quality, of course.

1) Tighten up the story - perhaps work it in better to fit with the existing Magic Empire knowledge in TSS/SSS. Along with this would go improving the characters and their roles in the game. Finally, something has to be done to explain Quark's age if this is only 1000 years before TSS/SSS. Alternately, you could make it much earlier than just 1000 years before TSS/SSS and have Quark show up as the flying cat here?

2) Give real towns to explore -- not this click on a building and go junk.

3) Use a varient of the Grandia graphics engine for the in-game graphics. Game Arts owns a top-notch graphics engine already, may as well use it for non-Grandia games.

4) Use a varient of the Grandia battle system, though with Lunar modifications (Lunar-style spells and attacks, etc.). Same reasons as 3, more or less -- you have a top-notch modern battle engine already in house, why not use it? For the person who mentioned using the EB battle system, well, IMHO the Grandia system isn't too different from the EB system except modified to be fully 3D with timer bars as opposed to pure rounds.

5) ANIME CUT SCENES, DAMMIT!

That's about all I can think of for now...
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Postby GhaleonOne » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:34 pm

I second everything Lou just said and add voice acting. And worldmap roaming.

And the most important aspects:

- Put Vane back in.

- I think having the first half of the game be what we know as Lunar DS would be good. They could setup a "6 months later" scenario, where Ignatius and his cronies reappear out of nowhere (explaining the lack of proof of his death) and create the Magic Empire. The end of the game would be the flood of tears.

- I also think the game would have been helped a great deal by more scenes of interaction between the characters. There were plenty of opportunities where characters could have interacted and built up both the story and the character development.
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