Bahamut Lagoon is one of the best RPGS that was developed for the Super Nintendo back in the 1990s era. It's definitely right up there with Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Gaia, Soul Blazer, Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Mario RPG, Earthbound, and Lufia II Rise of the Sinistrals etc.
Bahamut Lagoon was released for the Super Nintendo on February 9, 1996.
In fact, the developers of Chrono Trigger also worked on Bahamut Lagoon since both games were developed by SquareSoft (now called SquareEnix). That's why Bahamut Lagoon bears some similarities to Chrono Trigger such as in the graphics and sound department.
Bahamut Lagoon is not a typical RPG that you would normally see/play on the SNES. Since the the main gameplay of Bahamut Lagoon is pretty much SquareSoft's version of Fire Emblem. Which, at the time, none of the Fire Emblem games were localized/released in English in North America during the 1990s era.
It was not until after the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee was released for the GameCube in late 2001. Since, Marth and Roy were first playable in a Super Smash Bros. game for the very first time. So, sometime after Super Smash Bros. Melee was released, some of the Fire Emblem games were eventually released in North America for the very first time.
However, the biggest problem that Bahamut Lagoon has is that it was never officially released in North America (not even in PAL regions as well). So, Bahamut Lagoon has (and still) only was ever released in Japan. However, there is an unofficial English version of Bahamut Lagoon that was released in North America in 2002. However, I still wish, to this very day that SquareEnix can re-release Bahamut Lagoon officially in English sometime in the future. Since, Bahamut Lagoon was only ever re-released on the Wii and Wii U Vrtual Consoles, but there was still no official English version that was released on both consoles.
In the intro/beginning, of Bahamut Lagoon, you first see Princess Yoyo talking to her father, who is a King of Kahna. Then, you start to see Palpaleos and Emperor Sauzer vastly destroying castles and causing massive earthquakes. Yoyo is a childhood friend of Byuu. Who Byuu is the Dragon Knight/Captain of Kahna's Dragon Squad.
The main storyline in Bahamut Lagoon is somewhat similar to the Super Mario series since you have Emperor Sauzer and Palpaleos kidnapping Princess Yoyo much like how Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach in most of the mainsteam Super Mario games. Except that Princess Daisy was kidnapped by Bowser for a change in Sarasaland in the Super Mario Land series for the GameBoy. Things were also slightly different in the Luigi's Mansion series and in Mario is Missing when Mario was kidnapped by Bowser for a change. Emperor Sauzer is the main villian in Bahamut Lagoon for about the first half of Bahamut Lagoon. Palpaleos is also a side villian for about the first half of the game. Also, Yoyo's father was killed by Sauzer and Palpaleos in the beginning of Bahamut Lagoon after you beat the very first level.
The game also reveals that several years have passed after the war began in the beginning of Bahamut Lagoon. There is an option to go into flashback mode once Byuu enters inside a building in chapter 1. You would have to go inside the building in order to pick up Yoyo's Memory. Byuu's dragon, Salmando asks Byuu to hold Salmando pretty tight before Salmando takes Byuu to a church/cathedral. Byuu then sees his childhood friend, Yoyo who asks Byuu to make a promise to her. Yoyo asks Byuu to come back to the church/cathedral once they get a little bit older. Also, Yoyo wants this to be a secret from Matelite and Yoyo's father (when he was still alive at the time).
You begin to wonder why do Sauzer and Palpaleos even want Princess Yoyo for in the first place. In Chapter 5, Byuu and his friends get to see Yoyo, Palpaleos, and Sauzer once again once you beat Chapter 5. Then, Sauzer and Palpaleos finally reveal why they even wanted to kidnap Princess Yoyo in the first place. Sauzer and Palpaleos kidnapped Yoyo since they wanted to see Yoyo personally speak with the Holy Dragons. Which is the power of Kahna's royal family as it was explained in the legend. Sauzer and Palpaleos wanted to see Yoyo control the Holy Dragons with Yoyo's power/will. Yoyo says that she knows nothing about a legend. Sauzer and Palpaleos wanted Yoyo to let them know what the Holy Dragon was thinking. Matelite then reminds Yoyo that she can't forget about the noble spirit of the Kahna's royal family. Yoyo then reveals to Sauzer and Palpaleos that she can't speak to any Holy Dragons yet. Sauzer says that there's now nothing that he can do. Sauzer also says that ever since Sauzer made Yoyo as part of his kingdom that he had a difficult time handling Yoyo. Sauzer now claims that he can become the man of a legend without even using Yoyo's power.
Sauzer pretty much leaves Yoyo out in the dust, and says that Yoyo can now hang back out with her friends again. Sauzer then says that it's a shame that Sauzer and Yoyo can't watch the door to open up to a new era together. Palpaleos then grabs Yoyo for a second. Then Sauzer decides to do a quick battle with Byuu's squad. However, it's impossible for Byuu's squad to actually defeat Sauzer this time around no matter what do you. Then once Byuu's squas is defeated by Sauzer, Yoyo comes around to finally speak with the Holy Dragon. Sauzer is now pleased that Yoyo was able to speak to the Holy Dragon. Sauzer now talks to Palpaleos about about how Yoyo was able to speak with the true power of the Holy Dragons. Sauzer continues to claim how he can use the power of the Holy Dragons without using Yoyo. Then Sauzer randomly faints/collapses on the ground. Then, Palpaleos has a one to one conversation with Byuu. Palpaleos says that he's heard of Byuu a numerous number of times from Yoyo. Palpaleos then simply lets Yoyo hang out with Byuu's friends again.
In Chapter 15, there's a final battle to fight against Palpaleos and Sauzer.
In Chapter 17, Yoyo brings Byuu back to the Cathedral/Church alone again. However, in Chapter 18, Yoyo brings Byuu and Palpaleos to the Church at the same time. This is when Yoyo explains to Byuu that she's thankful for everything that Byuu has done for her. However, Yoyo also mentions that she can't get back to the happy times with Byuu since she's preoccupied with a war that's still going on, being a princess, and with communicating with Holy Dragons. However, it's really a strange decison for Yoyo to hook up with Palpaleos instead of Byuu especially since Palpaleos was partially responsible for Yoyo's father 's death in the beginning of the game. However, Palpaleos does eventually join up with Byuu's squad.
In Chapter 21, Sauzer talks with Palpaleos outside the castle at Farnheit for one last time before Sauzer ends up dying.
In Chapter 22, there's a funeral service for Sauzer.
I won't spoil too much about the ending for those who have never finished/beaten Bahamut Lagoon before. In Chapter 27, you battle against Alexander, which is the final boss in the game. After you defeat Alexander, Yoyo has a one to one conversation with Byuu again. Also, Palpaleos ends up being killed at the very end of the game. As for Byuu, he just ends up hanging out with Bahamut at the very end of the game. So, neither Byuu nor Palpaleos ends up with Yoyo at the very end.
The story in Bahamut Lagoon can be pretty confusing at times. Especially when Yoyo no longer wants to be friends with Byuu, and instead becomes friends with Palpaleos in Chapter 18. Which can easily anger some players especially since they would be thinking/saying, why would Yoyo want to be friends with Palpaleos after Palpaleos helped Sauzer kill Yoyo's father in the beginning of the game?
Like, I said earlier, Bahamut Lagoon is practically SquareSoft's version of Fire Emblem. The characters are on a grid like/chess/checkers field, and you have to eliminate the main boss in each level in order to progress to the next level. Just like in Fire Emblem, if Byuu's squad dies, then you would have to restart the entire level over again. Since Byuu is the main character in Bahamut Lagoon much like how Marth is the main character in the original Fire Emblem games for the NES.
However, there is no permadeath in Bahamut Lagoon like there is permadeath in the original Fire Emblem games. Which means that you don't have worry about permanently losing any of your squad members and dragons if any of them die on the battle field. You would just have to wait to restart the level, before your squad members return on the battlefield. Which makes Bahamut Lagoon an easier game to play for those who are new to the Fire Emblem genre. However, unlike Fire Emblem, characters and enemies can only attack one time in a row in Bahamut Lagoon. Since characters and enemies sometimes attack twice in a row in the Fire Emblem games.
However, there is a key element that won't even find in Fire Emblem, and that is raising/leveling up dragons. In around Chapter 2 in Bahamut Lagoon, you learn the basic elements in feeding and leveling up dragons to help you out in combat/battle. For instance, if you feed your dragons a Healing potion, then you give them some extra health/HP. If you give your dragons a thunder element, then their thunder stats will increase. However, there are most items that can increase more than one stat at a time. For example, if you feed your dragon/s a long sword, then their Strength and Loyalty will increase at the same time. Some extremely special items such as a Porno Mag can increase multiple stats at the same time such as your Stength, Dexterity, Mind, Loyality, and Fidelity. As time goes on, your dragons will gradually level up to more powerful forms by feeding them specific items that help them level up. Sometimes your dragons can level up with simply giving them one specific item, but there are times when you need to feed your dragons more than one item at a time in order to help them level up. When you eventually level up your dragons to their Master Forms, their HP will be at a maximium of 9,999. Also, keep in mind that the Master Forms of your dragons will look almost identical to their original forms.
Throughout the beginning in Bahamut Lagoon, you start out with using five squads and dragons. Although in the very beginning of the game, Thunderh joins the party which increases your dragon and squad members from four to five. The original five dragons that you use throughout in battle/combat are Salmando, Icedrake, Thunderh, Twinhead, and Molten. Salmando belongs in Byuu's squad, Twinhead belongs in Sendak's squad, Thunderh belongs in Matelite's squad, Icedrake belongs in Frenzo's squad, and Molten belongs in Lukia's squad. However, you can use formations to rearrange your squad members and place them with different dragons if you wanted to.
Once you beat Chapter 7, then Yoyo and a new dragon called Munimuni will increase your squad/dragon count from five to six. Then finally, in Chapter 19, you can have two dragons breeding with each other to have a brand new baby dragon called Puppy. Although since you can only have up to six party members and dragons at a time, you can't have Puppy be in combat with the other six remaining dragons. So, you would have to swap out/replace Munimuni with Puppy, for instance.
In combat, Byuu, Matelite, and Frenzo's squads are much stronger at dealing damage to enemies whereas Sendak, Lukia, and Yoyo's squads mainly specialtize in healing up other party members. So, you wouldn't want to place Yoyo in with Byuu's squad since Yoyo's squad will do very little damage throughout the battlefield at first. However, the healing squads can eventually summon dragons that can deal a little bit of damage to multiple enemies at a time.
As a tip, try to place the healers next to the heavy hitters such as having Yoyo's squad standing right next to Byuu's squad. So, that Byuu's squad can be healed right when he needs it. Especially if you don't want to use Drugs to heal your party members right away or if your dragons aren't close enough to heal up dragons/squad members. Remember that you can't use Drugs to heal up your dragons. The only ways to heal up your dragons are when dragons heal up other dragons, and if you use any healing squads (such as Yoyo). You can also use Litancibles to revive up party members once their health goes down to zero. However, just like Drugs, you can't use Litancibible on Dragons either.
As a tip on battling against bosses, try to save your magic on bosses instead of using magic on regular enemies since bosses are the most difficult to kill, and they have the most amount of HP. The bosses HP will begin to have question marks in battle starting on Chapter 12, which indicates that the boss's maximum health is now over 9,000. So, it's even now more critical for your party members to use magic on bosses over using magic on regular enemies. If you're having trouble with killing with some of the regular enemies, then keep on using Bingo buffs to strengthen out your party members. Also, have dragons attack regular enemies more often since dragons have much more health and attack power than your party squad members do. Especially since the amount of magic that you have in battle will eventually run out. So, if you use up all of your magic before you get to the boss, then you'll have a much more difficult time defeating bosses then.
There are some other things that you must remember while playing Bahamut Lagoon. You have to use thunder techs in order to destroy bridges and cannons, for instance. Another way to heal up your party members is if your party members stand right on a building/structure. Be careful, that enemies can also heal up when they stand on buildings/structures. Also, later on in the game, you would have to use healing items to get rid of poisonous swamps since poison can take away some of your squad's/dragon's health away. You can also use a Bingo buff to strenghten up your party members for only one round.
The graphics in Bahamut Lagoon look pretty similar to Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana since all three games were developed by SquareSoft. For instance, the buildings/castles strike a similar resemblance to how the buildings/castle look like in Chrono Trigger. Also, the grass/terrain in Bahamut Lagoon bears a similar resembalance to how the grass/terrain looks like in Secret of Mana. The movement/animations are quite limited in Bahamut Lagoon. Which is understandable since the hardware on the Super Nintendo is much more limited back in the days. Since the Super Nintendo is a 16 BIT system. The characters and dragon sprites look pretty crisp and clear. Although the forms of the dragons can appear pretty limited at times especially since the master/final form of all of the dragons look almost exactly the same as the dragons look on their original forms.
Overall, the graphics in Bahamut Lagoon are top notch, but I have noticed a few graphical glitches every now and then. That problem is probably only present if you're playing the unofficial English translation version of Bahamut Lagoon.
The music is very catchy/memorable in Bahamut Lagoon. The music ranges from being happy/upbeat to being depressing/emotional. Some of the soundtracks that sound emotional are Kahna, Requiem, Sauzer, Yoyo, Yoyo and the God Dragons, Aqui-Land Mahaaru, Friendship, Kahna Army, Monsters, Green Land Canbel, Desert Daphira, Arutairu, Fight 1, Fight 2, Materaito, and the Ending soundtracks. Some of the soundtracks that sound more upbeat are the Magical City Godorando, Rebel Troops, Orerusu Salvation Army, Guranberosu, Arutairu Monsters, Sub Battle, Bahamut, and Little Nori soundtracks. One song in particular sounds very much like a Bowser/underground level in Super Mario Bros, and that is the Arutairu Monsters soundtrack. Also, some parts of the Bahamut and the Materaito soundtracks sound like the ship/boss levels in Super Mario Bros. 3. Also, the Bahamut soundtrack sounds like Arabian from Aladdin, for instance.
Bahamut Lagoon has a total of 27 chapters. Which makes the game pretty long. Also, once you defeat the final boss which is Alexander, you get the option to do Ex-Play mode. In Ex-Play mode, you get to re-do all 27 chapters all over again. However, this time, all of your strenghts and stats will be maxed out. There's also an option to do a Side Quest mode if you're having trouble with beating a chapter in the main game. Let's say if you lose a battle, you can simply save the game (by doing a quick save). Since you retain everything that you have earned during battle even if you lose, but you would still have to do a quick save. So, your characters and dragons level/stats will continue to increase since you can still earn some extra money and feed your dragons even after you lose a battle.
Overall, Bahamut Lagoon is pretty easy in the beginning of the game, but some of the earlier chapters can be difficult if you haven't fed/leveled up your dragons enough.
After playing Bahamut Lagoon for quite some time, Chapter 6 can be pretty difficult since I personally kept on losing in Chapter 6, at first. Once you beat Chapter 6, some of the later levels can be pretty easy. But, some of the later levels can also be pretty difficult as well. Especially when you enounter an enemy that consistently heals itself up along with other enemies that are close by it.
Bahamut Lagoon gets slightly more difficult on Chapter 12, since that's the chapter where bosses begin to have question marks meaning that bosses now have more than 10,000 HP.
However, things start to really get more difficult on Chapter 15, where you have to defeat Emperor Sauzer for the final time along with Palpaleos. Although you don't need to defeat Palpaleos in order to win Chapter 15.
So, don't be surprised if you keep on losing in Chapter 15 for a good while since it's a pretty difficult chapter. Especially since you can't use Yoyo in Chapter 15, So, you're limited to just using Sendak and Lukia to heal up your squad members for this battle.
Plus, you might have to start doing Side Quests to level up your characters/dragons more. Also, start using Temporary/Quick Saves since it's the only way to save your progress when you don't win a chapter yet.
Overall, Bahamut Lagoon starts off pretty easy in the beginning, but the game can get difficult pretty fast. So, you really have to start paying attention to feeding/leveling up your dragons as time goes on.
Bahamut Lagoon is a must play if you're a fan of the Fire Emblem series. Let's say you're up for a Fire Emblem fix, but you're burned out/tired of playing Fire Emblem at the moment. Then you can simply play Bahamut Lagoon instead for a change of pace.
Bahamut Lagoon has one of the very best games to be released for the Super Nintendo. As I said earlier in my review, it's definitely up there with Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Gaia, Soul Blazer, Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Mario RPG, Earthbound, and Lufia II Rise of the Sinistrals etc. However, the biggest issue that Bahamut Lagoon has is that it was only officially released in Japan. So, until SquareEnix ever decides to re-release Bahamut Lagoon in English, your best bet is to just get the unoffical English version.
*One of the best SquareSoft titles to be released for the Super Nintendo.
*Bahamut Lagoon is some of the best graphics, sound, and gameplay for the Super Nintendo.
*Feeding/leveling up dragons brings out a new element/life into a Fire Emblem style game.
*The characters surprisingly have a lot of personality and humor.
*SquareSoft never officially released Bahamut Lagoon in English.
*The story can be quite confusing at times.
*Bahamut Lagoon can be quite difficult early on in the game sometimes.
Presentation - 9
Graphics - 9
Sound - 10
Gameplay - 9
Lasting appeal - 10
Overall, GameSpot score 9 out of 10.