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A.P.I Review: Legends Of Legaia
Developer: Contrail / Prokion OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony (SCEI) 1 Player
Game Type: Role Playing Game Memory Card
Review Date: March 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Legend of Legaia is an intricately woven yarn about a team of humans that are on a journey to rid the world of an evil mist that threatens to vanquish the entire world.

In the beginning people were a mentally superior but physically inferior race. Wild beasts that roamed the land were intent on making snacks out of the poor weak humans and several times the human race was on the verge of extinction.

Seeing this, the gods decided to bequeath the humans with a gift. This gift was in the form of an entity known as the Seru. When touched by a human, the Seru grafts itself to the body and endows the wearer with immense strength and powers. When worn people could now lift heavy objects, defend themselves against the other creatures and even fly!

This symbiotic relationship continues for many, many years until one day a mysterious mist begins to blanket the landscape. Not sensing anything ominous the people of the world continue their daily routines until one day the mist touches a person that is wearing a Seru. Once touched by the mist, the Seru became deadly and immediately enslaved their host's bodies. Seru began living in the mist and taking on a life of their own. As the mist descended over the land, one by one the now evil and possessed Seru entrapped their unsuspecting human carriers until only small pockets of villages throughout the world remained untouched.

Out of these villages sprang hope in the form of three heroes. Each ventured out into the unknown, eventually one day meeting up with each other. Together they may have the power to rid the world of the menacing mist and whatever dark and sinister forces are behind it.


Legend of Legaia is a fascinating RPG from the folks that brought us that cool RPG, Wild Arms. Instead of just controlling one character, the game has you guiding three would be hero's. Each of the characters attributes need to be cared for and nurtured throughout the game.


The graphics in LoL are a real mixed bag of nuts, containing mostly cashews (which I like a lot) and a smattering of plain old peanuts (blah). The character models and the entire landscape are made up entirely of polygons.

Characters are nicely detailed and quite large, but come off a bit on the blocky side. The backgrounds are intricately designed, but consist mainly of drab earthtones and tend to be a bit pixilated. Being that there is a nice amount of detail, I never found myself missing things like pathways or objects but I have seen better.

The overland that you traverse is really kind of freaky. The effects used (wavy, blurry background movements and character slow motion) gave me the feeling of how it is when you try to run in a dream. Everything moves around you in a very surreal manner. I really enjoyed this effect and it is unlike anything I have ever seen before in a game.

During battles the polygon count in the characters goes way up and it looks almost as if you are in a Tekken style game. The special effects used during battles, especially when you summon magic, is really quite nicely done and impressive to say the least.

There is also sweet CG snippets that are used to progress the storyline along.

Overall, like I said earlier the graphics are mostly quite enjoyable with a few shortcomings that surprised me for a forth generation title. Certainly nothing traumatic to ruin the game, but it could have contained a bit more eye-candy in my opinion.

Sounds and Effects

A strong point in LoL is the music and sound effects.

The music is grand and stylish and matches the action of the game quite nicely. During the opening of a battle sequence you are treated to a nice heavy drum beat that sounds like something from an Alex Van Halen solo and searing melodies that will have your blood pumping. Nice attention was given to the overall musical score of this game and it shouldn't disappoint.

The sound effects are vibrant and alive and set the tone for what is taking place in an action sequence. Even during quieter moments, there are nice subtle sound effects that just add to the overall nuance of the game.


Upon starting up LoL you are immediately presented with a happening little village that has strangely remained untouched by the mysterious mist that now inhabits most of the world.

It seems that years ago the townsfolk built a huge wall that has kept the mist from enveloping their community. In this town you will meet Vahn, your first controllable character. The game will give you the opportunity to change his name to whatever you like and then it's your job to wonder around and talk to everybody.

You discover that it is the eve of your first hunting journey with the town's men. These forays out of the village are always fraught with danger because the hunters never know if the mist will creep up on them and the people remaining behind in the village never know if the men will return. You also meet Mei, a charming green haired girl that has grown up with Vahn and holds a misplaced love for the little guy.

Also in the town you will find a teacher that will show you how to fight, a saving station for saving your game and a mysterious chunk of wood called a Genesis Tree.

After speaking with all of the people and "cleaning" their humble abodes of anything useful, you decide to turn in for the night and get ready for your big day out. During the night your father alerting you to a sound coming from the courtyard, awakens you. You stumble out of bed and run outside to discover that someone or something is trying to bash through the wall. All of a sudden out of thin air an evil warrior named Zeto appears (sounds like my Uncle Zeto…hey yo!) and begins mocking the crowd that has gathered around. You are then treated to a fabulous CG interlude, the wall collapses and the Seru begin to pour in with the entrance of the mist. You get your first taste of a real fight and are then informed by one of the villagers that rumors say the Genesis Tree may be able to dispel the mist.

You run down to the tree and hear a voice telling you to gather the villagers and bring them to the tree to pray. Upon doing this the tree grows, drives back the mist and also releases a Ra-Seru, a much more powerful variety of Seru that is immune to the mist's powers. It attaches itself to you and informs you that there are many more Genesis trees scattered throughout the land, lying dormant and awaiting a Ra-Seru to awaken it. You are the only hope to save the world by awakening the trees and thus dissipating the mist

The game plays out from there in much the common RPG way…you roam the land fighting monsters, growing your attributes, collecting items, talking to people and completing a whole slew of subtasks while on your journey discovering the location of the Genesis trees.

Being that there are really three main characters the story is an intricate one, taking many unsuspecting turns and doing a nice job of involving the gamer. I had a real interest in the outcome of the characters and found it hard to pull myself away at the end of a session. I continually wanted to go just a little further and peal another layer of the story away.

The fighting system introduced in LoL is a unique one. Once you enter battle you are presented with a series of options. First you can go to your menu and inspect your items and grab a healing leaf or other remedy if you need during battle. Next you can select something called "spirit". What this actually does is raise your "Attack Points" and allows you to string together more hits. This takes a full turn to perform as does going to your item menu, but the results are worth it. Once you have enhanced your spirit you select it's time to attack and here is where things get pretty cool. Before attacking you need to input a series of commands that consist of high kick, low kick and left / right punches. Sometimes you get lucky and string together a series of commands that will allow you to learn new attack sequences called "Arts". These are powerful combinations of moves that can also be linked together to get some ass-kicking results. There is also "Hyper-Arts" that can be learned. These individually tailored attacks are often found hidden in treasure chests or special books that it's up to you to find. I found the whole battle mode to be quite interesting and amusing to use. A nice bit of strategy needs to go into executing each move because some creatures easily block certain moves or if a monster is attacking from above low kicks become useless. After a few fights it becomes quite intuitive and if you get bored you always have the option of setting it in auto mode, thus allowing the computer to select your moves for you. I found that this usually wasn't the way to go though.

Last up in the fighting menu is something called Meta. These are powerful magic traits that can be used by the Ra-Seru that is attached to your arm. There are many creatures that you will face whose magical abilities can be absorbed when you defeat them in battle. These abilities can then be called upon for you to use during battle as long as you have enough magic points. Each time you use magic, that spell becomes stronger until finally it increases in level. Some of the magic can be used for pretty devastating effect on your opponents.

Overall, LoL is a finely crafted game that sticks with the tried and true elements of a standard RPG but also adds a great deal of innovation and then blends everything to work just right.

Having really enjoyed Wild Arms, I was looking forward to sinking into Legend of Legaia and I was by no means disappointed. The storyline was very interesting for me and there were enough twists, turns and surprising developments to hold my interest throughout the entire journey.

Value for Money

I have always found RPG's to deliver a good bang for the buck because they take a good long time to complete them and normally contain an engrossing storyline that sucks gamers in. Legend of Legaia certainly meets both of these criteria head on and then some.

The game is aimed at an intermediate level as far as RPG's go, and it should prove interesting enough to hold the attention of more veteran players as well. Look to spend 45+ hours playing through this adventure…it's a good-sized game to be sure.

GRAPHICS: 16/20 From the makers of Wild Arms, Legend of Legaia brings players into a world that has been consumed by a mysterious mist that threatens to end all of humanity. It's up to you to control three would be hero's on a quest to rid the world of the mist and return things back to normal.
In typical RPG fashion, LoL weaves a complex story that has you voyaging above and below the land fighting all sorts of weird and magical creatures, talking to everyone in sight and then finally discovering just what is going on and who is behind the world's misfortune.
LoL features decent graphics, a truly triumphant musical score and a unique battle system that will challenge and delight you.
If you like RPG's or just want to see what the fuss is all about do yourself a favor and check this out…just make sure to set aside a LOT of time because this game is looooong baby.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 18/20


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