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Playstation update of Sega Mega CD classic Lunar: The Silver Star, created by Game Arts and translated/localized by Working Designs.

Lunar: The Silver Star told the story of a fantasy world based on the Moon (The Silver Star), with Earth (The Blue Star) a frozen ball of ice after some great calamity. The plot follows a boy called Alex in his quest to become a Dragonmaster, protector of the Goddess Althena. Aided by his friends, Alex must defeat the threat of the Magic Emperor and save the world of Lunar, etc cliché tricycle. This simple plot actually benefits the game, and is certainly a refreshing break from text-em-ups like Xenogears.

This game is largely identical to the Mega CD original, with the graphics and sound tarted up. Gameplay has changed in a small, but significant way - random encounters have been removed completely, with the game using a Chrono Trigger style system of enemy avoidance, with no enemies on the world map. Bliss. Asides from this, the FMV has been totally re-worked, re-recorded an expanded, leading to many a fantastic anime sequence to advance the plot. A few fanboy-pleasing sequences were added too, including the infamous hot-springs skinny dipping. Lastly, the game's vocal songs were re-recorded, with a new song and anime sequence added early in the game.

OH YEAH AND THEY ADDED lower case letters, so reading the in-game text doesn't give you a headache anymore.

Plot-wise, the game remains much the same. The characters have been made slightly older (sixteenish, I presume), Luna travels with you for a longer time, and there are now three enemy witches (sisters) to battle against instead of just one.

Working Design's distinctive localisation style is here in full effect, with roughly every line of dialogue in the game re-written from the Japanese original. This means that the characters speak much more naturally than those in any other RPG, but dissenters say that WD's translation is unfaithful to elements of the original plot. It also leaves the text rather littered with pop-culture references, many of which are quite US-centric. At any rate, the script is occasionally hilarious and handles the sensitive moments well.

Purchasing the game gains you a decorated cardboard box with velcro cover, which contains a 4CD jewel case, a bound leatherette manual/guide/making-of book, and a cloth map of the Lunar world, which curiously smells strongly of urine. The jewel case contains the two game CDs, a Making Of CD featuring interviews with both Working Designs and Game Arts staff, and a full OST audio CD. The price you pay for this opulence is around $59.99, but it's arguably worth it.

Always intended for a limited release, the game was techincally pulled from the shelves in December 2000, but can still be found if you look hard (in the US) or for an extortionate price on Ebay, if you're a UK based importer such as myself.

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