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RPG for the SNES by Square. Never released in the US; I only know it through a bunch of cool SPC dumps lying in my Music folder.

There appears to have been a determined effort to translate Bahamut Lagoon into English. The homepage is located at http://ynt.darkmazda.com/bahamut.html, although it hasn't been updated for around a year at time of writing. The screenshots at the bottom look pretty sweet though.

All the English reviews of the game that I can find look amazingly positive, however since the game is only in Japanese, this is to be expected as the review-writers are probably devoted fans of the game.

Another reason for me to learn Japanese... sigh...)

As of now, Bahamut Lagoon has been translated, and quite well at that.

One can find it in many obscure corners of emulating sites on the internet, if you're willing to spend a bit of time searching; however, it is 100% worth it.

The gameplay itself is very much like the Shining Force series - Turn-based, strategic combat between two parties of characters at a time. Characters can gain levels and signature moves, just like any other RPG, but the game really shines in it's setting and special features.

The story itself takes place in the world of Orelus, a world made up of several land masses floating gently around each other and endless sky. This made for some very pretty cutscenes and even all the scenery in general - even using SNES technology, the graphics were quite impressive.

(to Chrono Trigger fans, think of the scenery on the floating island of Zeal - now imagine a whole world taking place on lush floating continents.)

Personally, I loved the story. The player starts the game as being a witness to some sort of revolution / rebellion to overthrow the current empire (in painfully typical RPG fashion), but quickly gets more unique as the story starts to shift between the larger world picture and the individual relationships between all 27+ characters. In my opinion, the best part was the unusual take on the standard Hero/Love Interest cliches; I don't think i can recall any other game quite like it. But I won't ruin the surprise for anyone.

Oh, and did I mention the Dragons?

The other unique aspect of the game is the Dragons that the player gets to develop and advance as the game progresses. Dragons fight in the battles as part of your army, though they cannot be directly controlled - your choices in how to develop them determines their personality, bravery, stregth, magic use, etc. They have the potential to be wildly powerful, but only if you make the right descisions.

On the battlefield itself, it's worth mentioning that the dragons definately look very cool. Having been an avid fan of Final Fantasy III back in the day, i recognized a good number of the Dragon sprites being reused from FFIII; certainly understandable, as each of the 7 dragons you get has a vastly diverse 40 or so forms.

Well, enough from me - go download it already. You'll be glad you did.

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