Final Fantasy Legend II was one of the first Game Boy games I played. At the time, I didn’t know that it was a SaGa game. I’m pretty sure one of my friends told me about the name change later, probably when SaGa Frontier came out.
This is a turn-based role-playing game that borrowed some ideas from Dragon Quest and Fire Emblem. Then it went crazy with a bunch of stuff that I’m not sure where the ideas came from.
When I went back to play Final Fantasy Legend II for this, I found that it is still a fun game. I don’t remember seeing other RPGs on the Game Boy in the early 90s. At the time, I wondered why this Final Fantasy was so different from the one on the NES.
TLDR: Final Fantasy Legend II is an excellent RPG with a few annoying things.
The most interesting thing to me was the 1998 re-release of the game. Final Fantasy Legend II was released in 1990 in Japan and in 1991 in North America. Square published this version.
In 1998, the game was rereleased in North America but was published by Sunsoft. This was a licensing deal that was struck between Square and Sunsoft. This is why you can find versions of the three Final Fantasy Legend games and Final Fantasy Adventure. I haven’t noticed any differences, and I don’t think there were any.
I noticed it when I was collecting games in the late 90s and early 2000s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a way to find out why back then because I didn’t have the internet, and my friends didn’t know.
There was a lot of overlap between the Final Fantasy team and the SaGa team. It is cool how they took what they learned on Final Fantasy and created something different.
Final Fantasy Legend II has the same gameplay as other games in the RPG genre. You have an overworld on which you move your character, and at times you enter dungeons and cities.
There are random battles where you fight a variety of enemies. Some are cool and unique; others are generic and boring. I would complain about it, but every RPG from this period seemed to have some monsters that were just animals or people.
This is a turn-based RPG. When you get into a battle, you choose the action each of your characters will take. You can attack, use items, or cast spells. You can also run away, but that is only if you’re scared of a frog or a fungus.
At the beginning of the game, you choose companions for your party. It’s all personal preference, but some classes have their advantages. Here is a list of the characters:
- Human Male
- Human Female
- Mutant Male
- Mutant Female
Mutants are better with magic and will learn spells as the game progresses. Monsters are okay but are a bit more random with how effective they can be. Robots use guns and will get stronger based on the type and number of guns they have equipped.
There aren’t experience points in the game. Your character’s stats will randomly increase through battles unless you have a monster or a robot in your party. The monsters change and become stronger by eating meat that randomly drops at the end of battles. Robots get stronger by equipping more guns.
Your goal in Final Fantasy Legend II is to find your father and collect the MAGI pieces of the Isis statue before the bad guys can. There is an overall bad guy, but along the way, you encounter a bunch of people who want to collect the pieces.
Also, you need to find the main character’s dad. He is part of a secret organization trying to keep the MAGI pieces separate. This group is called the Guardians, who aren’t very good at their job, which is good for the game but bad for the people in this world.
Eventually, the pieces are brought together, Isis is revived, and the world is saved.
One thing I don’t like about the game is the weapon and spell durability. It’s a little like Fire Emblem, where you can only use a sword, spear, gun, or other weapons a specific number of times. I hate this mechanic. It isn’t enjoyable.
I’m unsure where to put this, so I’ll discuss it here. The world works in Final Fantasy Legend II by having a pillar that connects the other regions of the world. Kind of like an elevator.
You move through the different parts of the world until you have collected the MAGI. Some are deserts, some forests, and others. On each of them, your party has to deal with someone who is being a jerk.
There isn’t too much to talk about here. The graphics look good for a Game Boy game. If you use a black and white TV, it doesn’t look too different from the first Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.
The battle scenes look like Dragon Quest. You don’t see your characters, and a picture of the enemies represents the enemies. The text explains what happens when you attack, and you have a visual cue to let you know if you hit or not. It is nice that both are there.
It works for the Game Boy, but if you want something with more visuals, I would look for one of the many re-releases of the game.
9/10. It is one of the best RPGs that I have played. This is probably due to the nostalgia, but I enjoy this game!
- Great Story
- Easy to play
- You don’t need to play the first game to enjoy this one
- Weapon and Spell durability
- Lack of a leveling system
- It is a long game for a handheld
Some of my first memories of the Game Boy are tied to this game. I remember borrowing it and spending many car rides and camping trips as I tried to get to the end. I also remember running out of usable weapons and having to start over.
Playing it again for this review was wonderful. I couldn’t capture the same feeling I had, but it was still great to revisit it.
If you’re looking to play this, there are plenty of options. It is one of the gems of the Game Boy library.