Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

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jay_are
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Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby jay_are » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:52 am

I've shown Lunar 1 and 2 to a few of my friends trying to get them into the series.
But I have a friend who has a lot experience in RPGs. Of the Final Fantasy games, he's beaten FF1,4,5,6 (GBA), FF3 (DS) even FF7 and 13.
He's addicted to Pokémon and knows about everything there is to know in Pokémon games, from Red and Blue to X and Y. He knows what every attack or item is for. So... he's obviously experienced.
However he really doesn't like Dragon Quest. He's literally unable to get very far in any of the Dragon Quest games due to constant deaths. I understand though. Dragon Quest is much more difficult than Final Fantasy or Pokémon. So I showed him Lunar 1 and 2.

For each game, he has gotten at least 2 game overs in the very first part that you can fight monsters in. (White Dragon's Cave in LSSSC and the Desert in L2EBC)
I'm like what? Seriously??? You died in LUNAR?? I know I've died, but it's to things like bosses or maybe far in the game in some caves with difficult enemies. In Lunar 2, he got a little bit into Disc 2 (after Pentagulia) but he gave up. It was way too difficult for him. I am beyond puzzled. So were these games that annoyingly hard for any of you?

Edit: forgot to add, he died in the white dragon cave of LunarSSSC, but it was AFTER he had already played Lunar2 for 17 hours! So he already knew the basics of the game, which would make it seem as if SSSC is harder.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Angelalex242 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:40 am

Lunar 1 isn't hard at all. Funny thing is, where most games ramp up difficulty over time, Lunar 1 starts as hard as it will ever be (level grinding in the white dragon cave is wise, if not outright necessary...), but gets easier ever moment that goes by.
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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Sonic# » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:52 pm

I'm not surprised.

Lunar can be very difficult at points. In White Dragon Cave, you already have Albino Baboons with high attack, crystals with lower attack but unlimited range, and at least one monster that already inflicts status effects. All of these things aren't too difficult if you know how to pace yourself, buy better equipment at the start, and use items/magic appropriately. But with Lunar in particular I've had that one battle that devastates the party.

And I remember getting stuck at a few points the first time I played SSSC. The Saline Slimer stopped me cold for a while.

In fact, the last playthrough I did, the first time I died was in White Dragon Cave.
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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby jay_are » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:35 am

Angelalex242 wrote:but gets easier ever moment that goes by

I always get a little sad for this, but I guess it fits! Lunar is mostly an enjoyable fun game more than a challenge that will make you scream "HELL YES!!" when you beat it. A little more difficulty wouldnt hurt though =) Kinda like that forest you find mid-game SSSC that has powerful enemies, even in the PSP game they gave me trouble. I like that when a game pushes me a bit to plan new tactics. Which is exactly what Eternal Blue did starting with Borgan til the last moments of the epilogue!

Sonic# wrote:The Saline Slimer stopped me cold for a while.
Oh yeah, that exact thing happened to me too the first time I played SSSC, but keep in mind that when I did, I hadn't played more than like 2 RPGs or something ever, I was a kid basically, having barely just turned 12 xD. I remember letting the AI play for me there to see how it would do.

Still though. Does anyone know Final Fantasy V and it's special bosses? My friend has done all that ages ago! How can someone let Lunar defeat them so easily after having mastered harder games?

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Nonononoki » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:22 am

Hmm, I never had any difficulties with Lunar 1, never had to farm or anything. But Lunar 2 was a whole different story (mainly because I always skipped random battles). I died several times at the beginning and in the epilogue and the boss battles (with the exception of the last one in the epilogue) were always very challenging.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Werefrog » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:00 pm

I think one thing about Lunar is that you have to use support magic to increase defense and attack. A lot of modern JRPGs (thinking FF specifically) don't require that. In my first playthrough I had to learn how to do that before I could get past the Saline Slimer.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Alunissage » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:31 pm

The Saline Slimer is pretty nasty for a first boss, between its healing every round, attack that immobilizes party members, and the ineffectiveness of pretty much everything but Sword Dance. Thinking on it, it's probably the hardest boss in the game for those reasons. You pretty much have to either level up enough to get Vigor or fight it at much lower levels (I think someone told me level 7) than you'd usually be then to fight it.

I do remember Ghaleon being difficult, but that was mainly because we hadn't healed up or refilled inventories after fighting Xenobia. My housemate thought there'd be a Statue soon after and instead it was the final battle. I think the party had about 50MP total between everyone. Ended up with the unusual strategy of Mia and Nash being the main attackers, Alex and Jess healing, and Kyle handing out items.

I haven't played EBC in years, but I remember having to reset after spending half an hour fighting the Blue Fiend with no net effect except for my supplies slowly dwindling because it healed itself frequently. After I shuffled some equipment around it went much better.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Dark_Fairy » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:07 am

The Saline Slimer was pretty difficult for me my first time playing. Other than that, I don't recall anything else in SSSC being too difficult for me. EBC on the other hand...Zophar. Just stupid Zophar. I'm sure that part of it had to do with me first playing EBC when I about 10 or so, but Zophar kept DESTROYING me. Over. And over. AND OVER AGAIN. My nephew had been watching me play and we were both freaking out when I FINALLY beat him. :P

I actually had to think of several different strategies on trying to beat flipping Zophar until something worked.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Angelalex242 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:55 pm

Zophar is tough, even at level 51. (Catastrophe and Triple Sword help a lot, though...)

At level 99 you can punk him, though.
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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Enclave » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:23 pm

I've felt that the first areas have always been some of the hardest ones. In SSSC, you need to level grind for a bit at the very start of the White Dragon Cave in order to stand a chance against the foes in the later area, while the enemies in the desert at the start of EBC can eat you up if you slack off on healing for a little bit.

One thing I like about EBC's gameplay is that there's no need to grind except for the very end of the main plot. If you take out every enemy you find, you have mroer than enough experience to get the levels you need to defeat a boss. It made the game flow a lot better than SSSC, where you had to stop and grind like a maniac every few dungeons because enemies simply didn't give enough experience to defeat a boss or get through the latest dungeon.

Overall though, I think both games are pretty easy because of how powerful magic is. SSSC is a bit easier than EBC because you can hold a decent amount of Starlights, they're much less expensive than they are in EBC, and more of your teammates get access to attacks that hit every enemy sooner than you do in EBC. Once you get Alex's Flash Cut, just have him, Mia, and Nash use their "attack all or most enemies" attacks while chugging Starlights and you can get through any dungeon with no problem. You can do the same thing with Hiro, Jean, and Lemina in EBC, but it isn't as common because of how much Star Lights cost.

Bosses follow an easy pattern; have Mia/Lemina buff Alex/Hiro/Kyle/Jean/Leo with attack and defense-boosting spells while Jessica/Ronfar use Saint Litany, then have the physical characters use their strongest attacks, Mia/Lemina buff their defense and use single-target spells that work on the enemy, and Jessica/Ronfar heal when necessary. Lucia usually covers Hiro with healing spells to take some of the load off fo Ronfar.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Alunissage » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:41 am

It also helps that some enemies in SSSC's Blue Dragon Shrine drop Starlights. I lost my place in checking out every puddle in that (exited or went to the treasure room early, which reset them all) and therefore spent a very long time in there because of redoing things and at the end I had something like 43 Starlights.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby AkagisWhiteComet » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:27 am

I feel that both LUNARs on the PS1 were (relatively) easy for me because I owned and had beaten both of the original games on the Sega CD; I for the most part knew what to expect story-wise and only had to accommodate for the PS1-specific changes. If anything though, even without the Sega CD experience, I'd say the PS1 versions were really easy compared to not only their Sega CD counterparts but also PS1 games in general.

For myself in the "old" games I had a few issues. The most frustrating point playing Silver Star on the Sega CD was finding the Rain Cloud item. I apparently did not read the dialogue story immediately before this point - I guess because of me either being super young and not reading correctly or just a random quick-skim - and missed what I was supposed to be doing. Keep in mind this was before common readily accessible online FAQs so I was kinda stumped. It was only after I went on a crazy buying spree of purchasing every item in all stores I could access to that point did I realize one in the Thieves Bazar "disappeared" after purchase. For Eternal Blue on Sega CD, it was Borgan; no doubt. I'd imagine that fight really got to many gamers during that time.

Again in overall relation to their Sega CD counterparts, the PS1 versions were pretty straight forward I felt. No serious deviations from a rather linear story. I wasn't overly surprised at the amount of game play I put into each one.

LUNAR Legend and Harmony of Silver Star were both incredibly easy for me. I had a minor hic-up on Legend, but otherwise I utterly flew through them both.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby jay_are » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:35 am

AkagisWhiteComet wrote: The most frustrating point playing Silver Star on the Sega CD was finding the Rain Cloud item. I apparently did not read the dialogue story immediately before this point


Can you tell more? I've beaten the game a few times and I remember a Rain Cloud item... vaguely. I can't remember what it's for.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Alunissage » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:11 am

It's the item you need to get into the Red Dragon Cave. I think you're directed to the guy in Iluk but he says it was stolen.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby brit » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:30 pm

I don't really find either of them difficult, but that's only because I've played them too many times. I do remember dying a few times in them when I was new at them though. (I also enjoy level grinding...) The Sega CD games are a bit more of a challenge, but still manageable. If they really can't get into the originals or PS remakes you can always let them try the GBA or PSP games. Those are easy. :P

My best friend likes the cutscenes, but can't play them herself... She doesn't like the classic rpg turn base style though. :/
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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby JonOU812 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:25 pm

I never completed SSSC so I don't know exactly how hard it is. However in EBC I've had a couple of encounters where I died a couple of times (the snow monster right after you get Lemia is a good example). I came so close, final dungeon and everything, problem was I was low on MP and used up all my healing items.

I can see why it's somewhat difficult unless you know what you're doing
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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Kizyr » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:37 am

Judging by the general tenor of this thread, it sounds like the games are relatively easy for anyone who's played enough RPGs over the last few years to consider things like status-affecting magic, different spell combinations, or other alternatives that don't involve just whacking every enemy with a sword until it dies. It probably presents much more of a challenge to anyone who's usual m.o. is to brute force their way through everything.

Based on memory, I'd say the general order of difficulty in the games, from hardest to easiest, would be:
EB (SCD) > EBC (PS1) > SSS (PS1) > TSS (SCD)
So... the PS1 version of EBC I do think is a challenge -- there are a handful of fights that seem like they're over your head (esp. Omni-Zophar), even though it was easier than the Sega CD version. With TSS/SSS it seems to be the other way around -- I never was at risk of dying in TSS in nearly any play-through, but there were a few battles in SSS that were challenging enough.

Regardless, I'd consider EB (SCD) hard, and EB (PS1) perhaps slightly challenging, but that's about it. Maybe it's just from having played a few games since then that've been much more difficult.

Oh, and just for fun, here's where I'd rank the relative difficulty of all of the Lunar games:
EB (SCD) > EBC (PS1) > SSS (PS1) > MS (SAT) > WS (GG) > TSS (SCD) > DS (DS) > SSH (PSP) > LL (GBA)
The only reason MS and DS weren't ranked higher is because this doesn't factor in irritation in gameplay. KF

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Alunissage » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:58 am

I have to say that even with all of my party in the 90s (and Alex and Mia at 99), the TSS Grindery is still nontrivial. Of course, I'm generally having Alex and Mia run so the EXP goes to the rest of the party, but it's surprising how much difficulty the area retains even at those levels. Maybe it's more a statement of my playing style, though; I tend to be very conservative about using magic, and of course tending toward physical attacks means that the party member is right there to be swatted by the enemy.

I remember someone here (Shiva Indis, maybe) commenting that TSS never seemed difficult because you can run from any battle. To which my response was: you can? It never occurs to me to try. Between that and the magic thing, I probably tend to make things harder for myself than they need to be.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Imperial Knight » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:22 pm

Speaking only for myself, I found that for quite some time I tended to conserve my MP in RPGs because I had "save your MP for the bosses" drilled into my head. It's one of the most common pieces of generic RPG advice, alongside "talk to everybody." Over time I learned that it's generally bad advice. Most RPGs are easier if you use magic liberally, for one reason or another (it's easy to recover MP, boss fights won't last many rounds, etc.).

In the specific case of Lunar, one thing I really like is how it encourages you to use magic wisely. You don't just want to hold onto it for boss fights, but neither do you just want to cast your most powerful spells in every battle. It really felt to me like the games reward you for spending your MP efficiently by doing things like using your area effect spells when they'll have maximum impact.

As to the overall difficultly level of Lunar, I can't say that I necessarily found it that hard, although at least on my first play through I'd find myself often feeling like I was just teetering on the brink during boss battles. I'd end up winning the battle, but it'd feel like I was one mistake away from disaster for much of the fight.

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Re: Are Lunar 1 and 2 (PS1) actually difficult RPGs?

Postby Leo » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:01 am

The first time I played SSSC, I HATED the Meribian sewers. I would run out of MP during the Water Dragon battle and since only Luna had a projectile equipped, I was screwed.


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