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'The 7th Saga' for the SNES

A Retro Review

By Aaron DennisPublished 5 years ago 4 min read

The 7th Saga is a turn based JRPG released for the SNES in 1993. The 7th Saga…? What happened to the first six sagas? Did I miss them? Were they on the NES? I’m kittening, of course….

The 7th Saga was a game I first saw when my uncle stumbled upon it at a flea market. Back then I must have been around 10 or 11, and I wasn’t too crazy about JRPGs, although Final Fantasy Mystic Quest had left a pretty big impression on me.

I recall what interested me the most about the game was the music. The 7th Saga has some of the coolest music you’ll find in any JRPG on the SNES; it’s epic, grounded, and very fitting. Once the music sucked me in, I began my own adventure and decided to go with Lejes Rimul… the alien of the bunch.

Yes, I’m pretty sure Lejes is the alien and not Wilme. The manual states that Wilme is the alien, and Lejes is the fire demon. Why then does Lejes have access to ice magic? Why does Wilme only get fire magic? Why does he attack with a flaming fist?

I read somewhere that there was a mix up in the translation from the original Japanese version, and Lejes is in fact the alien, but it doesn’t really matter; Lejes marches around like a boss!

The premise is that there are seven seven runes in the world of Ticondera. The king calls upon his finest warriors, warriors he trained, and that includes Kamil, the knight, Lejes, the alien, Wilme, the demon, Olvan, the dwarf, Lux, the TetuJin, Valsu, the wizard, and Esuna, the sorceress. No matter who you pick, you can team up with one of the other characters, and off you go in search of the runes.

Gathering all the runes allows the adventurer to make a wish, and it will be granted. While adventuring, you meet all sorts of people who need your help. You battle your way through dungeons, caves, and castles discovering lost treasure, ancient secrets, and lost civilizations.

The Good

This is far and away one of my favorite games on the SNES. As was mentioned, the music is phenomenal. The graphics and animation are quite good as well. The story is only mediocre and has very little to do with whatever is actually going on; you’re gathering the runes one way or another, and there’s very little you can do to change any outcome of the game.

Still, the story is adequate, and your adventure varies a bit based on who you pick as your hero. Another cool aspect is that the other adventurers will battle you from time to time, and if you have some of the runes, and you lose the battle, they will take the rune from you. Some of the adventurers may even steal the rune from you if you join up with them.

The Bad

Grinding. Yeah, you gamers know what I’m talking about. Grinding is the act of sitting there, fighting one enemy after another for the sole purpose of gaining experience points in order to level up and become more powerful.

I’ve read that some people beat the game at level 50 or under. That seems impossible to me. Maybe it’s because I always use Lejes, and, well, he kind of sucks for a long time because he’s rather average in all his abilities. Nevertheless, I probably spend a good 10 to 12 hours of total game play just mindlessly killing baddies in order to level up, so that I can survive, and usually beat the game around level 70 or 75.

On top of all that, you have to battle some of the other adventurers in the story, and the problem with that is that when you level, they level, and some of them get really strong really fast, making it nearly impossible to progress in the game.

I once got stuck having to battle Valsu as Lejes, and I could not win. Gaining levels wasn’t an option because I know that Valsu gets a very powerful spell, too.

That’s kind of a big flaw, but there are ways around it if you find the right companion, let your main character die, and then battle Valsu as the companion, but I shouldn’t have to do that!

Fortunately, that’s the worst of it. The 7th Saga is a game I love to pop in and play once a year or so. It has some serious nostalgic appeal, but maybe that’s just for me.

If you haven’t played it, I definitely recommend it. It’s just different enough from all the JRPGs of the time to keep most people interested. There aren’t too many riddles, and the townsfolk’s conversations are usually helpful—none of that “I am Error” crap, or “Do not look directly into the Death Star” BS; yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

I score it as a B+ game. There are better JRPGs like EarthBound or Lufia 2, but like those two games, The 7th Saga has uniqueness, so give it a try.

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!


About the Creator

Aaron Dennis

Creator of the Lokians SciFi series, The Adventures of Larson and Garrett, The Dragon of Time series, and more.

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