16. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom SNES Front Cover

Developer: Neverland
Publisher: Taito
Year: 1993
Platform: SNES

The Lufia series was heavily overshadowed by Final Fantasy and Breath of Fire, so much so that I had never heard of it until the internet. I hoped I would find an overlooked gem, but sadly, Lufia’s relatively poor reception was deserved.

I’ll begin by saying Lufia is not a bad game. It’s user-friendly, somewhat engaging, and doesn’t require much level-building between tasks. The enemies are wonderfully drawn. But it lacks that special something to distinguish itself among its competition.

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom SNES Boss battle

The plot is so derivative (good people send four heroes to thwart bad guy) that it’s hard to care about the characters. The music is uninspired and too repetitive. My feelings are also mixed on the battle system. I like the fact that when you run into random enemies, the screen doesn’t change; as you can see in the picture, their sprites simply appear before you. I also like the menu options during battle, aligned in the cross patterns. It requires less scrolling than your typical RPG. On the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of the character sprites being right next to their stats. And, unbelievably, the programmers kept a relic from the NES days where if you plan to attack a now dead enemy, your character gets confused and wastes a turn.

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom SNES Being weak and fighting weak enemies...

I played Lufia during a spell when I had no computer. I think I won it in the span of a week, playing it every night when I got home from work. I suppose that was the ideal scenario for me to play this game. Lufia is not terribly memorable or exciting, but it’s an effective time killer.

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3 thoughts on “16. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

  1. I baaaaarely remember the existence of this game. The cover caught my eye and if I played games as much as I do now (or had money, like I do now) I would have bought it, but…alas.

  2. I’ve played this one a few times and for some reason, I like it because it really sets up Lufia II’s story well. Yes, Lufia II is a prequel, but this game shows a snippet of what occurred to Maxim and his party 99 years before.

    Unfortunately, Lufia is pretty mediocre for RPG standards otherwise. The personalities of the characters don’t start coming out until much later in the game, unfortunately. All you get for dialogue until then is “You have Maxim’s blood!,” “I fought Gades, one of the Sinistrals!,” and “Sit there and shut up Lufia.”

    Thing are made easier for completionists because the game is so linear and you definitely have some strong weapon drops from the later game monsters that you can hunt for. I wish I could say this was the worst game in the Lufia series. This one is actually still playable though.

    • Yeah, the game was easy from a “don’t have to think too hard” perspective. Even though I was not always having fun it was breezy.

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