The 1990s were a golden age for JRPGs. One of those games I played a lot of growing up was SaGa Frontier for Sony Playstation 1.
It was a little different than most other JRPGs at the time. For one, there was permadeath. This means, once the character was dead, you lost them for the rest of the game. This could prove difficult if you were trying to get to the end of the game. Also, there was more than one campaign in that game that were all connected in various ways, so it encouraged you to play all of them.
SaGa Frontier Red Campaign
I sat down and played a bit today. One thing I found interesting is that, for whatever reason, the game asks for your blood type. I don’t know how this ties in the game at all. I couldn’t even begin to tell you definitely what my blood type was but I guess this is a thing that is normal to know in Japan. In fact, I found an article explaining the importance of this to Japanese culture.
The campaign I always enjoyed was the character of Red.
In the beginning Red (with blue hair) gets in auto accident caused by his arch nemesis, BlackX. Then he battles BlackX and gets his ass handed to him. At the last minute, a mysterious hero comes in battles off BlackX. Then we get this scene,
Red is almost dead, so what does our mysterious hero do?
You’re now a hero, lol! You had no choice in the matter. Now you got to abide by a whole code of honor and other bullshit. Then the mysterious figure is like “Good luck with that. I don’t even know if you were worthy of saving.”
This straight out of Japanese Anime, almost. You just wake up with powers and stuff. Cool, story bro.
As much as I am ragging on the sudden insane plot twist, I loved this game. The gameplay was classic JRPG turn based action. Not only that, but the game would have combos if you used the right skills from characters. It was a lot of playing around with it to see what worked. Here is some brief footage to my visit from the game:
Also, I have to note that the music for that game was killer. Just check out dat amazing Battle theme…
How to Play the Game
Right now, options are limited on how to play SaGa Frontier. The English version has only been released on Sony Playstation. If you live in Japan, you can get the PS1 classic for PS3, Vita, and PSP. The game and the series in general has a small cult like following in the US. You can emulate it, but the ethics surrounding it are questionable so that is a personal choice.
I will note that recently on Steam, the classic RPG for SNES, Romancing SaGa 2, was released.