Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

For discussion of Lunar: Dragon Song (Lunar: Genesis), the only Lunar game on the DS
Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:13 am

GhaleonOne wrote:You know, I wonder what exactly the legalities of things are in regards to what Kiz and I saw in early scenario documents stated. Our NDAs are long expired with UbiSoft and GameArts, so I'm not sure there's any reason I couldn't mention stuff in the early scenario documents. Still I worry about ticking off GameArts. But there was stuff in the early Genesis documents that would have made the game so much better. When I originally saw the documents for characters and story, I was really thrilled. The final product was obviously a disappointment, but it had a lot of promise. That's another reason why Shigema was probably involved in the beginning. I've always wondered if it would be worth it to ask GameArts if we could do a larger section for that game someday that spelled out a lot of the early scenario documents and the like. There was some very interesting stuff in there that fit Lunar lore very well.


Not to tempt you to break your NDA, but could you possibly give more insight into what the original game was like? It sounded like a very faithful prequel to the Lunar series messed up only by some stupid decisions in the executive department.

I really loved many ideas in Lunar DS such as cards and a martial artist (read: not "Acrobat"????) protagonist. And the music was amazing, even without Noriyuki Iwadare! (Dare I say, maybe better?)

Having been playing through it now, I'm wondering how they could have messed up so badly when the game had so many cool ideas as well.

The beastmen vs humans conflict in particular was interesting, though the lack of maps and over world in general took away a lot of potential they could have used to illustrate the social class division between the two. But the Bridge area of the game had to have been an amazing highlight, motivating the player to investigate the vile tribe directly by sneaking in.

I do have my own questions though:

Was Rufus originally to be killed off in a stupid sacrifice? Or was it originally more meaningful and Jian or Gabriel started kicking ass with his sword?

Were there going to be more locations familiar with the Lunar universe? Vane?

Did Lucia have Blue Hair and have a different name?

Were spells always bad as they were in this game, with Jian and Gabriel only having one "Dark Magic" spell, with all white magic spells learned by MP and NOT level up?

Did the game originally use a style and mechanics more traditional to the Complete games? Could you target foes in battle? Any reason for changing that, and "blow" to run?

Dragon companion like Nall?

A bigger insight into why Althena banished the Vile Tribe? If we look at the Vile Tribe region of Lunar DS, it's really not comparable to the Frontier from Lunar 1, so we can assume something extraordinary went on.

So many questions! The original game sounded thrilling! What the heck could have made them mess it up so badly?

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7023
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Alunissage » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:03 pm

Rufus's sacrifice was about the same, except that Gideon was to bring in his severed arm holding the sword, not just the sword itself.

I don't think Vane itself was originally in the game, but one or two Ausas were, just starting to study magic.

Lucia always had pink hair, and in the Japanese game, the very first image, of Althena and the four dragons, showed her with pink hair, which was kind of a big giveaway. In Japanese, Lucia's name is slightly different from EB's Lucia (ルシア [rushia] vs ルーシア [ruushia]), and the director said in an interview that he hadn't noticed how similar they were until the interviewer asked him whether it was intentional. The difference was lost in translation, obviously.

Magic is supposed to be very primitive, and the spells make sense in that context -- all of Flora's and Lucia's spells are comparable to Jessica's and Luna's, rather than attack spells, and Gabryel's and Rufus's are more like Kyle's skills. The only elemental attack spells are the ones bestowed on Jian. People just don't have much in the way of inherent magical ability at this point in Lunar's history. (I'm not sure I see a significant difference between gaining spells on level-up and gaining them on whether one has enough MP to execute them; I suppose Flora was able to use Divine Rain one level later than Lucia and that's about the only place you'd notice.)

Gameplay mechanics either weren't determined at the time of the story documents or weren't mentioned. One of the developers did say that the inability to select enemies to target was there to make the battles faster. Apparently he didn't notice that combining that with poor or nonexistent AI made the battles as slow as possible most of the time. I suspect the run via microphone thing was put in because this was the first RPG on the DS and there was pressure to use its capabilities.

There may have been something about the Vile Tribe working to develop "Black Magic", and perhaps voluntarily banishing themselves to the Frontier for that reason. I'm surprised you'd say that it's not similar to Lunar 1; I thought the Elda Canyon was rather a nice version of the TSS Frontier, which appeared to have pools of acid in it.

Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:42 am

Do we not know if skills played a bigger role at some point? Where Jian had his own equivalent of Sword Dance, etc... and Gabriel had more than one skill?

Is there anything else they scrapped which would have made this much better, or true to Lunar? Did Rufus join your party earlier?

And how exactly was magic developed? If Jian was one of the first to use the elements (The gameplay sure didn't feel like it), then how did others eventually gain magic? I'm kinda disappointed he didn't play like Alex from Silver Star...

And how dies this connect to later Lunar games?

Offtopic, but am I the only one who wants this remade done right? I googled and came across this: http://www.hbgames.org/forums/viewtopic ... 1&p=772901 Any hope for it?

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7023
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Alunissage » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:07 am

No, this game was not going to be a clone of Lunar 1, since that seems to be what your questions boil down to.

There was always a maximum of five playable characters, with Rufus's part in it pretty much exactly as it was in the final game save for not having his arm torn off. Jian was always an acrobat (not martial artist), Lucia was always a priest/mage type, etc. One thing that did seem to get dropped was that Lucia felt rather inferior as a human and really admired the beastmen's strength; I didn't see this in the English versions and rather doubt it was in the Japanese either. But otherwise the main characterization and key events were about the same. No baby dragon or similar mini-sidekick.

Originally there were more locations intended, including an early version of Vane, with mother and daughter Ausas. They were the only humans who could use magic yet, though they were studying ways for humans to use magic. That bit survived a little as the students in the Cathedral of Althena, I suppose.

The game takes place 1000 years before Lunar 1, but yes, there don't seem to be many in-game connections to the backstory established by the other games. I and another person here did work out a scenario to mesh them, but that's strictly fan speculation.

Sadrin hasn't been around lately, no. I would like to see an official remake and even a sequel to tie it more closely to Lunar 1, but that seems unlikely. One of the producers did say he'd like to see Ignatius again, which I suppose is why the game never showed definitively that he was dead. I rather think the watering down of the scene with Rufus's sword would allow him to return too, even if that wasn't really the plan.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4555
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Sonic# » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:10 am

Rufus's sacrifice was about the same, except that Gideon was to bring in his severed arm holding the sword, not just the sword itself.


That's so gory and evocative. I can imagine why they didn't do it, but wow, it would be like something out of a revenge tragedy, or perhaps even a saint's life, the body part providing proof of the martyrdom.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7023
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Alunissage » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:45 am

Actually, it's still sort of in the text, though not in the graphics:

Ignatius: Oh dear, what's this? Gideon appears to still have bits of your friend between his teeth! He is clutching something... let's see...
Jian: Oh, Rufus...!
Ignatius: Here, you can have this toothpick back. A parting gift from a precious friend, no? Come, take it.

Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:50 pm

You know, Gideon tearing his arm off and giving it to the Beastmen as a memento is actually really baddass of him. It makes me wonder what he'd be like if the game was polished.

User avatar
Shiva Indis
White Dragon Knight
Posts: 961
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:59 pm
Location: Genjuukai

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Shiva Indis » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:11 pm

If that concept of magic being rare among humans had figured into the plot of the final version, I think I would have felt a lot better about the game overall.
「まあいいけど。」

Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:47 pm

I think that would have improved the game too. Characters should have had minimalmagic, or

In particular, I really think Jian should have played like Sega CD Alex, at least. Having a mage be the "ultimate" character on your team than a sword user would have been a breath of fresh air.

User avatar
Kizyr
Keeper of Knowledge (probationary)
Posts: 8077
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2002 7:36 am
Location: Marius Zone
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Kizyr » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:20 pm

I'd have to go back and check my notes, but I can try to answer some of your questions from memory.

Was Rufus originally to be killed off in a stupid sacrifice? Or was it originally more meaningful and Jian or Gabriel started kicking ass with his sword?

It's as Alun said: originally the sacrifice involved Gideon tearing his arm off. But yeah, the sacrifice was always there.

Were there going to be more locations familiar with the Lunar universe? Vane?

Very early docs hinted at something sounding like Vane, but that sounded like it was omitted from the storyline even by the time we got a look at it. My personal theory is that the underwater lab later in the game is the point where Vane would have been, but mostly based on where it is in the storyline and where it is on the world map (the central continent is where Meribia, Vane, and the Goddess Tower would all be).

Did Lucia have Blue Hair and have a different name?

Alun already mentioned this, but it bears some repeating. Lucia's name in Japanese was still Lucia, but spelled differently. In EB it was Lucia with a longer vowel (ルーシア), while in DS it was Lucia with a shorter vowel (ルシア).

When looking at the names, I assumed that the resemblance was intentional. Since it's not possible to convey the short/long distinction in English, I suggested that they just transliterate the names the same way -- you can have more than one person in the real world with the same name, so it shouldn't be a big deal to have more than one person in Lunar with the same name, right?

...turns out that was kind of a mistake. My bad.

She always had pink hair in the game. Though (if I remember right) the Japanese game had Althena in the opening with pink hair, and the English game had Althena in the opening with blue hair.

Were spells always bad as they were in this game, with Jian and Gabriel only having one "Dark Magic" spell, with all white magic spells learned by MP and NOT level up?

Did the game originally use a style and mechanics more traditional to the Complete games? Could you target foes in battle? Any reason for changing that, and "blow" to run?

We never saw anything about the game mechanics until the game was actually released. But I think a lot of those mechanics were added because this was the first traditional RPG for the DS, and they wanted to jam in all the unnecessary features.

Oh, and magic was always supposed to be something super-rare for people on Lunar to be able to perform.

Dragon companion like Nall?

Nope.

A bigger insight into why Althena banished the Vile Tribe? If we look at the Vile Tribe region of Lunar DS, it's really not comparable to the Frontier from Lunar 1, so we can assume something extraordinary went on.

Well, the area wasn't always sealed off -- you had the giant bridge connecting it to the mainland. The banishment of the Vile Tribe, according to the Lunar timeline, wouldn't happen for another 500 years (midway between DS and TSS). KF
~Kizyr
Image

Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:13 pm

Wait, so if all they had to do was cross a bridge, why exactly did they hate Althena? In Lunar 1, Ghaleon was sort of justified in what he's doing in his own way because there wasn't a bridge in the first place! But so far this new "dragonmaster" (Who looks nothing like a dragonmaster???) doesn't seem to give any reason. And why are they at war? Do they just hate Althena for the stake of resembling Lunar 1, or was there more meaning behind it all?

I'm still playing this game, and I'm only at the red dragon cave, with the bell shoes and all. The whole frontier chapter was amazing! The only thing necessarily bad was the lack of Althena statues for so long. It's a good thing I stocked up on HP items...

I think if they could have compared and contrasted Ignatius more to Alex and Dyne than Ghaleon, then this story probably wouldn't have felt as much like a rippoff of Lunar 1's plot, and probably could have been amazing. Was that ever considered?

Also, a personal question, but what are the significance of the bell shoes? In this game there is no sword of althena, or sword of ghaleon, or any ultimate weapon. Where they once more? And did they decide "Shoes" of Althena sounded stupid as a weapon? And are they also the best option to use throughout the whole game because of the boosted critical rate, or switch to the crystal shoes? No intentional "ultimate" weapons were given? What were the "Dummy" weapons though?

Anyways, one more question for this post: Was rufus gained EARLIER in the game? I get a bunch of Kyle/Leo vibes from him as the "lancer" of the team, but I guess he isn't this time? Nothing really made me feel too sympathetic to him, especially after the whole "Oh hay we're gonna capture you cuz' humans saving Althena shrine is embarrassing!"

And lastly: Why does the music rule so much, even without Iwadare? :P

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7023
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am
Contact:

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Alunissage » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:55 pm

Wait, have you not finished the game yet? I had the impression you'd already played it through before. It'd make more sense if you finished the story before asking story-related questions... keep in mind that while I'm playing it currently, pretty much everyone else here played it five years ago. I can tell you, or rather remind you, that Zethos informs Jian that the Frontier is where Althena stashes would-be insurgents, so the game establishes that the people of the Frontier would have motive for rebelling against her before they were banished, rather than because they were banished (contrary to what Xenobia claims in SSSC).

And really, what I've said, and Kizyr corroborated, is what there is as far as information is concerned. Rufus really didn't join the party any sooner. He will still not have ever joined the party sooner even if you ask the question a few more times. I checked through the materials when posting previously to this thread. The Bell Shoes are not indicated as having any special significance (the important thing is that Lucia left a package for Jian; the contents of the package are not mentioned), although Rufus's sword crops up again later in the game. That sort of thing simply wasn't part of the information that arrived, nor was there interaction that would answer the questions you have about development. I'm not sure what sort of interaction you think occurred that would make the information you seek exist, but it didn't happen.

The Bell Shoes and Jump Boots are weird, really. You get two separate interesting weapons for Jian at the same time, shortly after a dungeon which had a much better weapon for him (which is also available at a store in a later town). Of all the strange choices regarding equipment availability, that has to be one of the strangest. I suppose it's possible to miss the Dark Boots in the Frontier, but that you get the Bell Shoes and the Jump Boots at the same time is just odd. Would have made a lot more sense to get the latter ones earlier, such as before the Sungrid Bridge.

Oh, regarding the music, keep in mind that Iwadare was not the sole composer for TSS, which many of us consider to have the best music of the series. His involvement isn't actually crucial to the music being good. :P I do think that this game has some good pieces in it, and not just the ones that are clearly based on already-extant Lunar tunes. The one that plays in the Frontier I think is one of the best, and I would welcome its inclusion in a future game.

Lishy
Lyton Singer
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Original story? Scrapped ideas? Questions!

Postby Lishy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:21 am

I guess I'm desperately trying to search for the "good" this game would have had at some point :P


Return to “Lunar: Dragon Song”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests