Lunar The Silver Star

GameproVolume 6, Number 1 - Jan '94

Finally! A SEGA CD RPG! Lunar gets imported from Japan, and is worth the wait.
By Lawrence of Arcadia

Fly Ye to the Moon
Lunar: The Silver Star by Working Designs is just what the RPG doctor ordered. Great graphics, awesome sound, and a very intriguing story come together to make this not just the best SEGA CD RPG ever, but one
of the best on any SEGA System.

Lunar is the story of Alex of Burg, who, along with Ramus, and Nall, craves adventure the way that a dragon craves gold. His hero was Dragonmaster Dyne, one of four adventurers who stopped the insane Black Dragon from destroying the world. Alex wants to fight dragons, too, and his ambition to be a hero like Dyne was could be his undoing.

Alex is kinda soft on Luna, a singing enchantress who can heal (or hurt) with her songs. He is also best friend to Ramus a rotund, ribald, treasure-hunting young man who wants the best the world has to offer. Rounding out the party is Nall, a small, winged, cat-like creature that's rumored to be a white dragon. Nall contributes to battles by letting the party know who can be beat, and who should be avoided.

Along the way you meet all kinds of characters, some of whom will help you, and many who need your help. There are many mini-quests that lead you in many directions, adding great appeal to the game. You also meet
other adventurers along the way, such as Nash, a headstrong and cocky magician's apprentice , Mia, a healer who is longed for by Nash, Jessica, (Master Mel's daughter), and Kyle, a barbarian who's sword is just slightly larger than his ego.

A Sight for Sword Eyes
The graphics in Lunar are great. Every cut scene and all the animation is smooth, fast, and colorful. The character sprites are small and cartoony, but the battle scenes (done from a side view a la Final Fantasy) are beautifully crafted. Every enemy has it's own well detailed attributes. The insides of houses look similar, but the game does a good job of mixing up locales, making mazes out of forests, caves, and even some towns.

As for music and sound, this is Grammy Award-winning stuff here. Numerous voices and a great deal of different, mood-enhancing music are strewn throughout the game. Even the standard Lunar theme music is rousing and heroic. This is where the power of CD based games should shine, and Lunar sparkles.

The control (and menu system) of any RPG should be effective and diverse, but not too complicated. Lunar gets high scores on two of those three counts. It's not too complicated, and rather diverse, but sometimes in the heat of battle it is somewhat ineffective. For instance, if a RUN command is given to the party, several creatures
should not all be allowed to gain hits on the party before it runs. The menu does allow you to give control of your party to the game's AI, but sometimes it's better to learn whom to fight and how to fight them for yourself.

RPG Whiz
If you thought that Sword of Vermillion or Phantasy Star were the last great RPGs for a SEGA system, think again. Lunar deserves to be on the hallowed, if somewhat lean, roster of excellent RPGs for SEGA. This is
a terrific translation from the Japanese title, and one game in which graphics, sound, and story line come together in all the right ways.

Lunar will keep you around for a while (Working Designs estimates it'll take at least 30-40 hours of game play to complete this mammoth RPG), so if you're looking for something light, try Lufia. If you can't wait to explore other worlds and other lives, however, pick up Lunar and fly yourself to the moon.