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SaGa Frontier Remastered

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
paul's post reminded me that there was something really weird that happened when i got to the climatic fight of blue's scenario i totally forgot about: i'd taught blue the gift of light magic, but not bought him any of it, which i assume explains why rouge was casting sunray even though he technically wasn't supposed to have learned it? as in, the game checked to see if i learned it? the first time i did it i did shadow magic so it made perfect sense, but if this is something that always happens...well, that's incredible in its own way
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
Late game Blue stuff: Rouge was using all sorts of advanced mind magic in my fight with him and I’m pretty sure you were in the same split mind boat as me, buddy. How did he sweet talk that lady into letting him learn it?
 
My brain absolutely will not stop correcting Rouge to Rogue. I always thought it happened almost exclusively the other way but why not both? I can’t trust my brain right now.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Late game Blue stuff: Rouge was using all sorts of advanced mind magic in my fight with him and I’m pretty sure you were in the same split mind boat as me, buddy. How did he sweet talk that lady into letting him learn it?
Pretty sure this is an oversight the compilation didn't bother correcting. Rouge can't learn Mind magic if you recruit him in other quests.

That said, you can go learn and get the gift for Mind once Blue and Rouge merge together. The reason they can't learn it as party members is 'cuz Blouge's mind is split in two so merging the two fixes that.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Gauging from the scenario log, I believe I'm at the penultimate dungeon for T260G (I'm supposed to go to "HQ" next but there's no warning about a point of no return). I feel like I've barely done anything so far but that's kind of par for the course with this game's stories I guess. Still feels like Emilia and Red both had more happen in their stories at equivalent places though.

Anyway, I'm still not too keen on mechs or monsters yet; I tried using Riki for a little bit, but just wasn't having a lot of fun watching him yo-yo around between a bunch of crappy monster forms. I imagine monster forms are more fun to play with when you start hitting higher battle ranks though.

The biggest hole for me playing with mechs is that when you fight non-mech enemies it feels too much like of a waste of time; I've still kept Gen in my party the whole time so I always have at least 1 human, but I might need to do 2 humans to keep me more engaged.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
yes, you will come back from that dungeon. i actually kind of want to just post that as a full declarative statement because it has happened to literally everyone i know who's played the storyline (including me) but i guess it really is technically a spoiler. imo it's a pretty full and complete (but certainly short) story arc, though i think there's a fair amount of exposition (for this game, anyway) near the end.

i do agree to some extent about mecs, especially in this storyline where it's so fun, easy, and appealing to use 4-5 robots; even going straight through without much side content the battle rank can rise VERY quickly and since you don't really keep growing in the same way it can feel a little tough to have the game kinda catch up like that. and even more than that, the main story is full of mecs you can fight to score tons of weapons and skills for your party if you go that route, while sidequests don't come close to fulfilling the same role. i think this is diminished in the remaster a bit because it becomes that much more clear how you can max out defensive stats, and even carry over silly amounts of gear via ng+ to really stack your party...but even with that i've always liked the sense that the game rewards balanced parties for most main characters. too many of one kind and you can struggle with stretching equipment between your party members, where to place the healing items, and other resources like skill learning, where in many cases a more even party can grow in each separate dimension nicely without that kind of competition between them. having just one on hand gives you a great character who can fulfill multiple possible offensive and defensive roles, and shift between different potencies very quickly, unlike other character types; using a bunch really cuts some of those options back off and can be much more difficult to work with.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Yeah, while you can do a whole party of mechs, I found battles more engaging and rewarding by limiting the party to one or two and having the remaining spots filled by humans and a monster. Unless you're fighting other mechs to download their programs, battles with a full-mech party do little more than give you credits and maybe drops while eating away at your resources.

On the subject of mechs, here's my opinion on those in T260G's campaign.

T260G: Easily the best mech. In her campaign, you can change her role to whatever you want after you help out the Nakajima Robotics crew in Shrike. But the most powerful form is easily the default body 'cuz you can change all but one slot to whatever gear you want.

Doubt that free INT boost Dr. Leonard gives her carries over, though.

Engineer Car: They get overshadowed by Leonard eventually, but they're no doubt more valuable in Red's campaign and the other ones where T260G can be recruited. Healing options are more limited for mechs so it's good to have a dedicated mech repairer.

ZEKE: Stats can't go over 99 so a self-Mobility boosting move feels wasted on them. Not a fave gameplay-wise, though I do like the "Is a starship" thing.

Leonard: Easily the best non-T260G mech in the campaign. He's powerful, he's smart, and he can repair. He became my permanent Mech#2 once I got him.

pzkwV: The secret mech party member obtainable once you get Leonard. Has only four free slots and really low INT, their default capabilities are nothing too spectacular, and on top of that you have to give up access to one of the best heavy weapons dealers around to get them. Only recruit if you really want a 5-mech party.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Yeah, while you can do a whole party of mechs, I found battles more engaging and rewarding by limiting the party to one or two and having the remaining spots filled by humans and a monster.
T260's endboss is hard enough without letting it instakill your guys, which its exclusive supermove can do to humans, mystics, and monsters but not mecs.

When I did my LP I did Emelia first to talk about how humans worked, then T260 with an all-mec party, then Asellus with an all-mystic party, then Riki with an all-monster party (making a bad scenario even worse), then I did Blue to talk about all the magic before wrapping up with Lute and Red.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
It's easy to overlook just how important some kinda meh abilities can be for getting (and keeping) specific transformations.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I finished Blue's story! I didn't even need to go nuclear with any of my big spells, like overdrive or tower. Especially with how, er, abruptly the boss fight ended.

And uh, speaking of which, whoever says this game isn't kind of a mess, just...sorry guys, I just don't see a reality where it's not. Don't get me wrong, I really like most of it and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. But a lot of the game is just kind of aimless and arbitrary. You have bosses at the ends of early-game dungeons that are completely out of tune with the rest of the dungeon; a lot of story/background development is sparse if not nonexistant, with the only thing pushing you in any given direction often being a checklist of stuff to do in your main menu instead of any kind of dialog or interaction (and even the checklist is arbitrary a lot of the time); the scenario I just finished ended by freeze-framing in the middle of an attack technique animation, then slowly fading to black with THE END over it, which could be a bold choice except there's nothing anywhere in the game to indicate it was done for a particular reason or to give a particular feel or meaning, and the only effect it actually creates for its audience is disorientation.

I understand the desire to paint the game in a positive light, but I also don't think it does anyone a service to overlook obvious shortcomings as a way to rationalize poor or forced decisions as something purposeful and positive. What makes it especially clear to me, makes it feel not really debatable, is the game itself, specifically other scenarios, because where some scenarios fail, other scenarios accomplish those things perfectly fine. Rushed, abrupt endings clearly aren't a meaningful, stylistic choice because if they were, the rest of the game would actually do it too. T260G's scenario is a perfect counterexample to Blue's; it actually gave you story direction through in-game presentation and mechanics, a final boss with an actual ending animation and a follow-up scene to bring resolution to the story, the dungeons felt balanced and made sense for your place in the story... Sparse though the story and dialog were, that's a SaGa Thing (tm) and it doesn't leave the game feeling half-done—here, it actually did feel like a stylistic choice that was coherent and didn't detract from the experience.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more Blue's scenario leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Again, I'm liking SaGa Frontier overall! I accept and appreciate a lot of what it does overall! But I really really hope the other scenarios are closer T260G's presentation than to Blue's, because it really was just kind of a mess.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
My recollection from playing back in the day says the fleshed outness goes roughly:
Tier 0
Fuse- I'm cut content but still available as a recruitable character.
Tier 1
Blue- I sure hope my prominence on the box art didn't make you pick him first because this is basically the grindy hell postgame challenge and the game just STOPS when the final boss drops.
Tier 2
Lute- OK we don't have the energy to make 7 whole scenarios. Have kind of a freeplay mode.
Tier 3
Riki- Gonna stumble your way through with at least one monster character? OK, we'll guide you along a little sure.
Red- I never actually got around to Red but I think it's one of the better fleshed out ones?
Asellus- Terra from FF6 was cool, let's do that again. And let's go all Megten and have three different endings based on whether or not you want to reject humanity or esperhood.
Tier 4
T260G- Pretty smooth early game and look at all these friendly robot friends you can make to go exploring with. Nice and fleshed out.
Tier 4.5
Emilia- Here, have a really story focused scenario where we even give you a basic rundown of how the world is structured and where the main hub is and stuff.

And IS anyone here saying the game isn't a mess? Because it is absolutely a mess. But it's a really intriguing and creative mess, which looks really nice, and is the last stop before the Kawazu train pulled into fixed-finite-encounters-so-you-can-end-up-stuck-at-the-end-of-the-game-not-having-fumbled-through-all-the-needless-obtuseness-and-luck-to-come-out-with-a-viable-endgame-party station.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
honestly i'd put riki as the top tier since despite some of the bullshit it throws at you late game, his quest involves gathering an actual RPG party and uses a lot of locations that otherwise serve no function (the nomad's lair half of tanzer, most of sei's tomb, the billionaire's house in yorkland, most of the gnome cave, virgil's castle, and it's like, yes other characters can go to most of those locations but they don't have a reason to and the ones who do only have to stick their head in for a brief moment and then leave)
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
My SaGa Frontier Story Power Rankings:
A: Riki. Despite some glaring issues in the late game and monsters being underwhelming in general, it feels like a proper adventure where you gather a group of adventurers who actually have stuff to say at the climax of the story, and you get to visit a lot of locations that you probably didn't see a lot of in other stories (unless you went out of your way)

B+: T260G. There's a lot of unique content that literally no one else gets to see or has a reason to visit. I'd probably rank it lower if I didn't play with NG+ to carry over my gear because getting enough stuff to outfit a bunch of robots sounds like a nightmare. Also I was impressed by the character sprite work in the Remaster.

B: Red. Despite him having a lot of unique content, the lack of secondary characters kind of bothered me? Early on it introduces Yuria and Hawk and I wish they had had more to do. Isn't part of Sentai Hero stuff having the main protagonist show up to save their friends?

B-: Asellus. I get this is a Remaster not a Remake, but with the Restored Asellus Content I feel like I would have preferred if those events had made up the bulk of her story instead of "walk around until you encounter an assassin"? Like maybe you'd need to clear a Restored Content event before you could get attacked by another assassin? Anyway, still love the shojo manga vibe.

C: Emilia. I remember liking her story a lot, and I still like the concept but it feels like there's not much to it. Also I know some of Emilia's initial concept art involved her wearing her wedding dress in front of a burning church, so they were clearly married (heh) to that idea, but I don't think they did a good job getting the story there.

D: Blue. "Do the side quests you do in everyone else's story" is not all that compelling, even if the final dungeon is neat and you get to play around with magic builds you'd otherwise never be able to. No secondary cast hurts it a lot too, and I feel like if not for the location markers in the Remaster I would have gotten stuck with the Goddess Statue bit.

D-: Lute. I used to appreciate the Romancing SaGa-esque vibe of just dumping you out into the world, but Fuse's case files are basically that + a few actual scenes (And Lute's case file is basically just Lute's story except with actual scenes and character writing for Lute)
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Rushed, abrupt endings clearly aren't a meaningful, stylistic choice because if they were, the rest of the game would actually do it too.

They... wouldn't, and don't? Blue's entire story builds up to the confrontation with Rouge--he cares for nothing else, brushes off would-be allies because he's just so abrasive (as seen in Red's scenario) and views everyone he does ally with coldly as tools, as told through his internal comments when he gauges whether others will bring him any closer to mastering all magic in traveling with them. The story is simple because his goal is, and when it does lead up to it, the game gives all the presentational gravitas to the conclusion, and to really underline it, rolls the actual credits of the game afterward--something that no other character story is privy to. They saved this entire massive convention just to amplify the storytelling in Blue's story, and that it goes on afterward is no betrayal of that intent, as Blue's story is already fundamentally over: he is the greatest magician the world has seen, and that he finds out the intent of that newfound power only after the fact in his own epilogue is really potently bittersweet, as he's forced to claim the duty he was seemingly born and bred to fulfill. That's why the fight with the Hell Lord or Abyss Lord or whoever fades out, because it never really mattered what the conclusion to that battle would be--the narrative's concerns on that front are over, and it's used as a hopeless sign-out for the most grim, humourless character story the game has to offer. It's thematically so good and apt.

That's the impression I had after playing Blue's story on my own, and later read about the very deliberate intent in constructing the story in such a way that Kawazu and others have since shared--I didn't retrofit that authorial statement into my own read of it but was happy to find out that what I got out of it worked along the lines of the story being told. The remaster adds a "conventional" end to Blue through the Fuse scenario files that's almost parodic in the way it follows accepted scripture of what kind denouement should await characters at the end of narratives like this; it's fine for what it is and the almost certain audience commentary that it comes off as, but again it does not overwrite the merit and worth of the story originally told.

SaGa struggles with this all the time in that its narrative decisions and game design choices are constantly second-guessed and portrayed as the result of incompetence in ways that are honestly really rude, just because they don't follow the expectations or hopes of its audience to the letter. I think that's something especially to keep in mind with Frontier, a game that does so much to make its anthology premise matter in the disparate tones, themes, writing styles and game structures it reaches for across its protagonists. Everyone is going to have their individual preferences between them and to frame those conclusions as somehow illegitimate or forced is baffling.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Despite some glaring issues in the late game and monsters being underwhelming in general, it feels like a proper adventure where you gather a group of adventurers who actually have stuff to say at the climax of the story, and you get to visit a lot of locations that you probably didn't see a lot of in other stories (unless you went out of your way)

Incidentally, this is one of the reasons I remember SaGa Frontier simultaneously fondly/"that was a mess". There are a few areas that are very distinctly created "for" particular characters, and only one (maybe two) scenario utilizes those dungeons. And in, like, any other JRPG with the premise of multiple playable characters/scenarios, you would arrive at an abandoned temple meant for Riki, and your character would say "there's no reason we have to be here" and walk away. Or there would be a permanent "guard" outside. Or you wouldn't even be able to select the area on the map. Or something. SaGa Frontier gives you the freedom to say "hey, you want to explore here? Go ahead!" And that was something that was sorely lacking from earlier 32/16-bit JRPGs! I mean, how many people would get excited in the olden days trying to squeeze one character into a place they "shouldn't be" just to see what would happen? ("Hey, I got Gogo to work in the World of Balance!") But, that said, the answer here is kind of sad, because you can bring Red to somewhere he's not supposed to go... and the best you see out of it is maybe some decent treasure, but more likely just a literal waste of time. Did that feel worth it for you? Maybe! But more often than not, when an area doesn't have a distinct reward, it feels like you did something wrong. It varies from player to player, but it is very easy to do a LOT in SaGa Frontier, and feel like the end result of those adventures is a waste of time. And, as I've mentioned elsewhere in one of these SaGa threads, (random example) exploring an area meant for Riki during Emelia's campaign, finding nothing, and then revisiting it for the "real" scenario with Riki feels less like "I got this" and more like "Oh, heck, now I have to do this area again".

When there's the possibility that you can explore 90% of the whole game with one scenario, there is the distinct danger that the player is going to become too exhausted/frustrated trying to play 630% of the game. And never mind "knowing" that, like, one goofy NPC or dungeon is going to be a silly diversion in six scenarios, but absolutely essential in scenario seven...

That kind of brings me to my own "final thought" on SaGa Frontier: I feel like this game was a little too understood by its authors, and there were a lot of design decisions that can absolutely make sense, but only if you really understand the whole of the game. Like, every scenario, every sidequest, and the importance of knowing the difference between the two before you burn out on experiencing everything. And narratively, the fact that, say, Blue is very much just a jerk, and isn't like another PSX Final Fantasy-esque "he'll be less gruff eventually" protagonist is super important to his ultimate fate, but you really can't understand the full scope of that until you realize Rogue was "the good twin" all along from other scenarios. And the whole of the game (particularly in the original incarnation, thanks memory cards) is not the easiest thing to grasp under the best of circumstances. I can see how a lot of these decisions make sense in the fullness of understanding all of SaGa Frontier, but in the individual moments of it, it is all over the place, and likely to "offend" a player with its very distinct choices.

Anyway, I do believe a lot of thought and care went into SaGa Frontier's original creation and the remaster. I very fondly remember the game then and now. I also think it is kind of a mess.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
There are a few areas that are very distinctly created "for" particular characters, and only one (maybe two) scenario utilizes those dungeons. And in, like, any other JRPG with the premise of multiple playable characters/scenarios, you would arrive at an abandoned temple meant for Riki, and your character would say "there's no reason we have to be here" and walk away. Or there would be a permanent "guard" outside. Or you wouldn't even be able to select the area on the map. Or something. SaGa Frontier gives you the freedom to say "hey, you want to explore here? Go ahead!" And that was something that was sorely lacking from earlier 32/16-bit JRPGs!
Heck, this is a thing lacking from a lot of modern jRPGs, too. One of my big disappointments with Bravely Default was the game gives you these big open world map areas with a lot of places you could go and then put up a voiced dialogue scene saying "No you can't GO PLACE" if you tried to enter them.

Anyway, I know the potential issues with being able to go somewhere that serves no real purpose unless it's in somebody else's quest but I still love that this is a thing you can do at all. It makes it feel like there's a world out there beyond your own specific goals.

And it's not like there aren't any unique areas to see. Everybody gets their own unique dungeons, even if it's only for the finale in a few cases.
 

Lance Noble Aster

did his best!
(he/him)
To me, SaGa Frontier's abthology presentation and collection of dungeons that everyone can access makes it feel a great deal like a roguelike to me - specifically the fixed floors of Nethack or knowing that I can make a flametongue in POWDER by dipping a longsword into a flame potion. There's a bit of ranomizer DNA in there too - though I already know what's in the treasure chests, I'm absolutely running aroubd making treasure checks as quickly as I can.

SaGa Frontier presents me with a problem in every scenario. The problem is almost universally "you need to win boss fights." And then it hands me a set of the possible characters in the game, and I have to figure out how to outfit those characters. But even if I can't pick up easy answers like T260G every scenario, I know a great deal about the world through accumulated knowledge. There is a Hyper Scale in one of the Shingrow Ruins, a 30 defense chest armor. But to get to it, I need an answer to hordes of Sonic Bats before I can get it (in the remaster you can just run from them, but I try not to use that to circumvent the game design). If only there was a place I can get guaranteed Harmonium gear (spoilers: there is).

In Sei's Tomb, you can get the Murakumo, a 33 attack sword; Mizu....something, a really solid high-end shield with water resistance iirc; and the sacred orb which gives its wearer Hymn, one of the best AoEs, usually only available to monsters, in the game. Later on in the game, when those aren't as valuable of tools, you can come back and trade them in for Kusanagi, an extremely good 66 attack sword OR Sei, a mostly pre-built monster party member that requires much less work to get and to get up and running than other monsters in the game.

So yeah, I do visit some locations every time. There are places I wish I could visit every time. And there are places that are, at least temporarily, mutually exclusive so I have to think about what I get out of going there before I commit to one or the other.

And there are things I don't yet know the answers to, too. Like, how do I get other people into Facinataru to grab Phantasm and/or the Hourglass? What the heck is behind that Black Dragon and Red Dragon boss fight in the mountains outside Mosperiburg? There's a room with a frozen Suzaku there too, can I do something with that? Note: do not answer these questions outside of spoilers, this is literally the whole game to me.

There's a specific order I buy equipment in because money is so limited, and it varies based on what I want characters to do. An early set of Reinforced Clothes is going to do a ton more for me than saving up to ever buy Powered Armor: late game I have other nearly equivalent options. But I do need to save some money too; if I'm running too many sword users, I might have to buy a Null Sword. If I'm running a dedicated Gun user, they'll need an Agni MBX for staying power in boss fights, and a Lethal Dragoon sure would be nice, too. And a Bolt Thrower would do so much for a given Mystic's damage output in regular encounters. Even the gold and free item exploits I used to use because I had wrongly assumed SaGa Frontier was fundamentally broken were things I had to learn about the world, and had requirements I had to meet before I could utilize.

All of that is to say, I think you're absolutely meant to do the same content multiple times, and the breezy pace of combat if you're properly armed is in service to that. Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song has like eight protagonists, but there's not a world where I play as anyone other than Sif. But SaGa Frontier feels like a game explicitly designed for playing every single character, and I'm eventually going to do so. I'm probably going to explore that crashed plane in Shingrow in every single campaign, too.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
But a lot of the game is just kind of aimless and arbitrary. You have bosses at the ends of early-game dungeons that are completely out of tune with the rest of the dungeon; a lot of story/background development is sparse if not nonexistant, with the only thing pushing you in any given direction often being a checklist of stuff to do in your main menu instead of any kind of dialog or interaction (and even the checklist is arbitrary a lot of the time);
I want to comment on this part specifically, because this is the SaGa style since the Romancing games. The major thing Frontier does in relation to the rest of the SaGa games that came before/after is to really play up the anthology aspect -- each character's story is only about 6-10 hours long, whereas the RS games are all pretty much standard RPG length no matter who you pick. But in terms of narrative, worldbuilding, direction given to the player, and combat/boss balance, Frontier is not significantly different from its predecessors. And I find it hard to buy into the argument that ALL of these games are missing some kind of deliberate polish that then leads to players labeling them as "a mess." You just don't go out and make 7 games in the same series over the course of ~16 years without developing some kind internal framework for your common game design language and concepts.
 
You just don't go out and make 7 games in the same series over the course of ~16 years without developing some kind internal framework for your common game design language and concepts.

Yeah, having played almost all of these games by now it seems pretty clear to me that the "nonexistent" stories in SaGa games are intentionally fragmentary and evocative. It's fine not to like them (although I do and vastly prefer them to the approach to writing in 99% of JRPGs, in terms of both world building and dialogue), but it's definitely not an accident.

I also think that they're "unfinished" largely in the same sense that most creative works are unfinished, which is that at some point you have to decide where to stop and just release the thing to the public. In a relatively open world, this tends to leave more exposed loose ends than in a linear narrative, but I don't think that's because they're uniquely unpolished.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
In the manga, the reason the screen just fades right out in the battle with Hell's Lord (or whatever he's renamed in the remake I guess) is that Blue was lied to, again. He's not going to save the Magic Kingdom. There's no getting back out of hell. There's nothing to be done. His job as the world's greatest magician is to keep Hell's Lord too busy to destroy the universe by battling him FOR EV ER. There's no ending to the battle in-game because the story is that the battle does not, and will not, end.

Of course that's an even worse way to end a manga arc than it is to end a video game, so they wrote around it.
First, Rouge won the duel. Blue, as Peklo mentioned before, is basically a sociopath and doesn't care about anybody except in their capacity to help him on his mission. Rouge is more affable, and picks up all the magic he learns by traveling with the other protagonists on their quests. He made lots of friends.

So Rouge absorbs all of Blue's magic, goes home to find it wrecked, enters hell, and battles Hell's Lord to a stalemate as planned in game.

But eventually he realizes what's going on, pins down Hell's Lord or seals him away or some nonsense, and uses the Power of Friendship to escape hell.

Also, the reason that hell looks like a fluffy cloud heaven and is full of monsters that look like angels ties back to the Rings of Power from Riki's quest. Long ago someone made a wish for heaven on the rings, but the rings are corrupt, so what he got was a hell that only looked like heaven.

I find that detail more interesting than the whole Hell's Lord plot hook, to be honest.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
In the manga, the reason the screen just fades right out in the battle with Hell's Lord (or whatever he's renamed in the remake I guess) is that Blue was lied to, again. He's not going to save the Magic Kingdom. There's no getting back out of hell. There's nothing to be done. His job as the world's greatest magician is to keep Hell's Lord too busy to destroy the universe by battling him FOR EV ER. There's no ending to the battle in-game because the story is that the battle does not, and will not, end.

How do I know this? Like, was it part of some NPC warning you it might happen in the game proper? Was it always just in the manga? I swear I thought the greater context of his ending was a "known thing" within the context of the game.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
i don't think there's anything like that. personally after the shock wore off i came to the same understanding as peklo wrote more or less, because when i thought about what the ending would be like otherwise i realized there was no answer i thought was particularly good (and, as mentioned, the credits do really represent the end of the "original" point of the story). though when i was ranting about this in discord the same thing was mentioned, and i do love that take as well. the one thing that i would say that could be seen as implying it is that the boss changes forms back and forth over and over, where many other bosses in the game (earth dragon, and the final bosses in asellus, t260g, and lute's stories all have obvious ones i remember) have visual cues that show the kind of forward progress you're making. for this boss, he changes, but then eventually goes back, and back again repeatedly until THE END appears.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Maybe it was the switching back and forth that implied "this is going to be an infinite loop" in my mind. Really thought that was somewhere in the text, but now I am concerned about GameFAQS messageboards setting up shop in my brain.
 

Destil

DestilG
(he/him)
Staff member
Someone else mentioned the theory that the screen goes sepia because the Magic Kingdom, bring bastards, just Time Freeze all of Hell while Bluge is keeping Hell Lord busy.

I like that, and my personal head cannon is that's Blue's ending. While Rouge gets out via the power of friendship, if the dual shakes out that way.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Glad to hear that farting around with the stasis rune is canon.
I did Stasis Rune farting for my LP! Overdrive finishing with Stasis Rune, to get lots of extra turns and then lock down Hell's Lord at the end of them.

But all the damage I did during the seven extra turns was enough to get Hell's Lord to switch forms, which shook the Stasis Rune effect off of him but not Blouge. So instead of giving everyone else several turns to buff up, Blouge just stood there invincible while Hell's Lord went nutshit on everyone else. When Blue came back around the rest of the party was already dead.

Good thing the bug actually worked from there, and Blouge got seven turns to each of Hell's Lord's one, so I still got to the fade-to-gray THE END pretty easily.
 
I'm glad people here are agreeing that Blue is the "bad" personality and it's not a false memory I have from playing the game.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I'm glad people here are agreeing that Blue is the "bad" personality and it's not a false memory I have from playing the game.
Rouge's personality doesn't get too fleshed out in-game, but the fact that he's open to joining anybody (who can learn magic) says a lot.

Do wonder what it'd be like if you had the option to spend most of the game in his head instead of Blue's though. I know the manga spinoff is more explicit about him being the "good" personality, but it would be interesting to see the voices inside his head like we do with Blue.
 
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