Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 30, 2015

Email: Are you kidding about 7th Saga?

I downloaded a ROM to give it a shot. At first it wasn’t that hard as long as you don’t expect to clear an area in one go. Standard stuff. So I made it to the first boss without problems, I got into the fight, attacked him and did one point of damage and he took away most of my health in one hit. I figured maybe it’s one of those bosses where you have to use magic instead. Two points of damage.

Fuck that, this isn’t hard, it’s statistically impossible. The developers expect me now to walk back and forth like an idiot fighting trivial encounters. It’s not a game, it’s a chore. There is no thought in that, no challenge, you just have to repeat the same thing until your stats are high enough so it isn’t impossible anymore. Instead of mindlessly grinding imaginary stats in a video game by repeating the same thing I’m just going to grind my real stats by repeating the same thing in a gym. It’s equally boring, but at least I get something out of it.

Is this some sort of experiment by you? Like “let’s see how many people will call the BS and how many will waste their time”. Icewind Dale is a challenging RPG because there are so many ways to approach an encounter and a fight that seemed impossible can actually be won by adjusting the strategy. There is no strategy in 7th Saga, I can attack, defend, cast fire and use a potion. None of it matters when I cannot heal more damage than the boss can deal out.

But hey, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m lacking some part of the brain that derives pleasure from doing repetitious tasks. I did like Final Fantasy III (the actual III, not VI) because they got the bosses right: the challenge was making it as far into the dungeon as possible and getting back out alive, and if you could make it to the boss you were good enough to beat him. 7th Saga just sets up a difficulty wall that says “you might be this level up to get past”. That’s just cheap.

First, don’t try to use ROMs. The experience is so much better with cartridge on actual hardware. I know that sounds strange, but it is the truth even for these turn based RPGs. Gamers haven’t discovered 7th Saga yet so the price is still pretty cheap on it.

Second, the first boss, I am assuming you were at, was Romus: the big dog. It is possible to beat him… at level 10. But you are meant to die when you get to Romus. Talk to the people in town again and the old lady gives you the whistle. Return to Romus, use the whistle, and instantly kill him. So easy!

Third, leveling up will not save your ass in this game. It will help you with overworld monsters and other map monsters, but the true bosses in this game are the other apprentices. The apprentice levels will always be ABOVE yours!!! I just killed one of the other six apprentices because he went bad and destroyed a town. The battle took half an hour! Very difficult battle! And I enjoyed every second of it. The game delivers such a high satisfaction level.

The more I play this game, the more I love it. This game is definitely a ‘passionately love’ or ‘passionately hate’ game.

I really enjoy the first Dragon Quest and first Final Fantasy. Those games can be difficult and very grindy. 7th Saga is Dragon Quest I on steroids but so much better. The grinding isn’t really that much. Much of the repetition of the game has been removed. Oh yes… The first crystal you get is the Wind Crystal which lets you fly instantly to any city you’ve already been at. The second crystal will heal your HP in battle…. for free. You can even convert your gold to gems so when you die, you don’t lose all your money. Aside from the apprentice battles, this game is not that hard.

And there are some decisions you can make that will make the game easier. The first one is what character to choose. Choose Esuna, the elf girl. She has nasty magic power and will make the game much easier. She is also the worst apprentice to fight against as well so choosing her means you can’t fight against her. Also, don’t get a companion. Stay by yourself. You level up much faster. Did you know the brains by the city of Gruntz drop nearly 500 xp per brain? AND they drop recovery potions! (A recovery potion is like an elixir in Final Fantasy, it heals all HP and MP.) It is easy to level fast if you go where the high xp monsters are.

You can even buy ‘exit’ thingies from the item shop which will transport you out of dungeons. Seriously, this game is not hard. But it does tap into the vibe of the 8-bit RPG.

I love how the game responds to you differently based on your character. If you are Esuna, you get someone to take you on a boat ride to a city to the north. Everyone else has to go through the tower or through a cave (hahaha). Lots of replay value here if you end up liking this type of game.

Leveling up will get you past overworld and dungeon monsters, but it will NOT help you with the apprentice battles. You will need skill and luck to beat the other apprentices.

And now let us watch a noob play 7th Saga:

This guy got his ass handed to him. The only real challenge one should face would be Pison, the hired henchman to take you out. Then it should be the apprentice battles.

I love this game! Going to go play more.

Above: That music! So much more memorable and other worldly than the crap today. 7th Saga is the Dark Souls of SNES JRPGs. Play it and grow hair on your chest!


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