The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

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coolKarl
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The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby coolKarl » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:54 pm

The past few days i've been looking into the history of Lufia: Ruins chaser, and i was hoping someone on this board would be more familiar with it than i am. I've looked
around at many different sources, but some of this stuff just seems plain WEIRD.

This is what i "know"(Feel free to correct me, i'm just trying to summarize all info i can find on Lufia: Ruins chaser):

-It started its life on the Playstation. It's developer at this point was NOT Neverland, nor was it being published by Taito. The company publishing (As well as developing it?) was called Nihon-Flex.
-At some point, a trailer is shown at TGS for the game, that shows images displaying Maxim as well as the Hero from Lufia 1. (These images are later reused in Lufia: TLR, more on that later.) In addition, six of the playable characters in Ruins chasers are shown. All of this is accompanied by a whole bunch of text. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-X1qw92vpQ
-Somewhere down the line, the publisher, Nihon-flex, goes bankrupt, and Neverland steps in to finish the game.
-After some time, the game is moved to the GBC, and is to be released alongside a Lufia 2 prequel starring Maxim. (Which gets cancelled.)
-After yet some more time, "Ruins chaser" is dropped, and Neverland makes "The legend returns" instead, a game featuring a new story and characters.

Lots of things about this game seems curious. For instance, Another company making a canon Lufia title? Why are there no pictures or footage of the game? If Neverland didn't want to make Lufia 3, then why would they later step in to finish the project, on the Game boy Color, no less? Something that they don't really do, either, as the game seems to end up retooled as Lufia: The legend returns. (This seems likely, as the game uses artwork from the TGS trailer in it's very own opening.) I also can't help but feel that some plot elements from Ruins chaser were worked into TLR. (From the little bits of information i've found on Ruins chasers story, anyway.)

There seems to be a bit of a shortage when it comes to information about the game. Am i missing an obvious site or something, or is it just that very little is known about Ruins chaser?

And finally, the thing that i'm most hung up on: The trailer shown at TGS. I've looked far and wide, but i can't seem to find an honest-to-goodness translation of it. Have i missed it, or is it just not there? And if it isn't...Well, anyone here know Japanese? :P (Honest question, really. I'd love to know what the video says.)

I know i'm asking a lot here (Especially considering this is the first thing i post here) but i feel like there should be more information about this game than what i've found so far.

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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby SinReVi » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:58 pm

-It started its life on the Playstation. It's developer at this point was NOT Neverland, nor was it being published by Taito. The company publishing (As well as developing it?) was called Nihon-Flex.

- The developer was always Neverland. Nihon-flex was the Japanese publisher.
When Lufia III was just announced, it was only known that Nihon-Flex was the publisher. There was no information about who the developer was yet. So I think that's were the confusion came from and some people still say Nihonflex was the initial developer. (besides that there used to be rumors that tri-ace was the developer)


-After some time, the game is moved to the GBC, and is to be released alongside a Lufia 2 prequel starring Maxim. (Which gets cancelled.)

There was information about a gbc game coming out which was said to be a prequel to Lufia II.
However, I really do believe that the part about the game being about Maxim's earlier life is not true. I believe that was just speculation about what GIA thought what the game could be about when they heard the title, and then other (more recent) sites (like wikipedia) just take that information for true, since they probably heard about the story but don't know where the actual source came from since that news is old.
The original newspost:

http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors/thegia/site ... /n10a.html
While speaking with Natsume today, the GIA learned that the much-beleagured third title in the Lufia series has been hit with yet another major change: a completely new plot and game title. Most recently known as "Lufia: Ruins Chaser" for the Game Boy Color, the game has now been retitled "Lufia: The Beginning of a Legend", and takes place, chronologically, some time before Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. The game's new title and timeframe seem to suggest that the game will center around a younger Maxim, hero of Lufia II.


http://www.rpgfan.com/news/2000/1238.html
(which lists GIA as the source)
Now we learn that the game has undergone some more changes. It is now being called Lufia: The Beginning of a Legend but is still planned for a release on Gameboy Color. In addition, the game's title MAY mean that the story will revolve around the main character of Lufia II, Maxim, though at a younger age. In other words, this is a prequel to a prequel. Where's Doc Brown when you need him?


Why are there no pictures or footage of the game?

- Lufia III is said to have 2D isometric graphics like Energy Breaker. And that while it would have 2D graphics, it would use 3D elements. (probably how they used 3D graphics in some parts of other PS1 era RPGs that were 2D?)
I forgot where I read about the 3D elements, but the other information is from Forfeit Island http://forfeit.electromaz.com/ruinschas ... 81024.html
Several sources have described Lufia III as being more of a traditional RPG, with fewer puzzle elements than Lufia II. The actual appearance of the game is similar to games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and the Japanese game Energy Breaker, by Taito. However, Lufia III will use bitmap graphics rather than having a fully 3-D polygonal environment. (Like Tactics Ogre.)

As for the no footage known, I don't know but I remember there was one source that said everything about Lufia III's development was actually all still in planning stages, and there wasn't done much programming yet. (Forgot what site said that and if it's even still around, so I wonder how much of this is actually true, since I can't check)


-
And finally, the thing that i'm most hung up on: The trailer shown at TGS. I've looked far and wide, but i can't seem to find an honest-to-goodness translation of it. Have i missed it, or is it just not there? And if it isn't...Well, anyone here know Japanese? :P (Honest question, really. I'd love to know what the video says.)

- All the info from the trailer is actually from the TGS booklet. Which contains most info that's also known in English.
here is a google translated version: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... book1.html

- There was also talking about the reason Lufia RC was finally cancelled because the new generation of consoles was coming and that the project already took too much money to just move it to PS2 or something and the PS1 would be outdated by then, and it would be better to start a game from scratch for a new console (rumor???)(and even if it's true, then why would Natsume choose the gbc, since the gba was also coming soon?)

- And that they didn't use the "III" for TLR, because Neverland would want to use the name "Lufia III" for if there was going to be a console Lufia game later (which didn't come). (rumor?)

- I also read that Lufia TLR has a different story because it wasn't written by the same person that did Lufia I and II.
http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors/thegia/site ... /n13e.html
Natsume explained the reason behind the game's latest change: the development group behind Lufia at Japan's Never-Land Company, a team of 8 people, has remained constant through the series' life, with the exception of the third installment. The writer from the first two titles was not responsible for the creation of the previous two story drafts (Ruins Chaser and The Beginning of a Legend), but has now returned to the project and has crafted a story consistent with his original vision. It's believed that the characters and plotlines from the previous two Lufia GBC blueprints will be scrapped entirely, though Natsume hinted that Never-Land has established plans to continue the series on future next-gen platforms.


http://www.lufia.net/classic/ruins.html
Apparantly, the other 2 versions of Lufia 3 (Ruins Chasers and Beginning of a Legend) were not conceived by the writer of the first two original games, so his ideas were scrapped, and the original writer has returned and created "The Legend Returns." This is good news to those of us who love the story line behind Lufia. I also heard from Yukio Nakajima, composer of the Lufia III demo song, that the original composer of the music, Yasunori Shiono, has agreed to work on The Legend Returns. Hopefully this information is true and we can all look forward to amazing Lufian themes.


http://forfeit.electromaz.com/legend/news/000923.html
Set 100 years after the original Lufia, The Legend Returns is being released with another set of entirely new characters. The changeup in plot was explained by Natsume spokespersons as having to do with the changes in the developmental teams and the return of the script author for the first two titles. The plot itself will deal with the returning Sinistrals, this time aided by Balzak, "the God of Fire". It is unknown at this time whether or not Arek will make an appearance. Take a look at the character descriptions for the heroes, straight from Natsume's press release.


- And if you look at old sites it seems that even TLR's story now has changed a lot. No Militia Highlands, 12 holy women, four scars, Tower of Judgement etc in the final game. Three main characters have been scrapped from the final TLR game, but there is artwork of them around.


There seems to be a bit of a shortage when it comes to information about the game. Am i missing an obvious site or something, or is it just that very little is known about Ruins chaser?

Yes, there isn't that much known, however, you can gather at least some more less known details about the story if you look for really old sites/news posts/ Japanese stuff.

- For example, not too many sites mention information like this:
- The last names of the main characters.
- It’s said that the Oracles Cardinal helped to rebuild the world after the Second Doom Island War, but has turned evil (or has always been evil) by the time Lufia III starts.
http://web.archive.org/web/199904280845 ... a3soon.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/200108101047 ... fiatlr.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/200010220026 ... fiatlr.htm
http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors/thegia/site ... ufia3.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200107221919 ... press2.htm

last names (quotes from myself from viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1386888 )
Okay, my take on their names:
シオン=カーチス (Cion Curtis)
セシル=リンガム (Cecil Lingam) (Seems like リンガム is Lingam in katakana, found this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingam )
リリー=リン (Lily Lynn)
ユウ=シャイア (Yu Shaia)
ミシェル=レグナス (Michelle Regnas)
アルバート=ロス (Albert Ross) (actually I like Loss better, but his name starts with a R in that photo so...)


- The game was rumored to be 30% finished. (Rumor???? I really forgot where I read this so... )

- Also read that the reason Lufia TLR exists is because it was actually Natsume that requested the game. Not Taito. That would explain why it always says that TLR is copyright to Natsume (even in the Japanese version), yet for the other games they only get credits for publishing. Apparently the reason why Lufia TLR was requested was because there still was huge demand for a third Lufia game around that time.

- I do feel like they might’ve used a few unused Lufia III elements into other games (like Lufia TLR and CIMA The Enemy)

I hope this information has some use to you.
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coolKarl
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby coolKarl » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:04 am

SinReVi, you are awesome :D Thanks a bunch!

There are still mysteries surrounding the project, some of them seemingly stemming from rumours (Tri-ace being the developers, for one thing) but i feel i have sufficient information
to go by now, if only to indulge my curiousity on Ruins chaser. :wink:

I still thinks it's really weird that there isn't any footage of it though. :? This wouldn't bug me so much
if it wasn't for Forfeit island citing "Several sources" who claim that the game sported an isometric look. Makes me wonder
if Neverland were the ones who said that to a magazine or something or that there once was footage of the game that we don't know of or maybe aaaaargh

Also, there's artwork on the three scrapped TLR characters? :shock: Do want!

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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby SinReVi » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:56 pm

Chelsee
Image

Bareia
Image

Panapas
Image

Chelsee (early version)
Image

there were some more earlier sketches:

Wain, as shown on the E3
Image

Randolph
Image

Seena
Image

Dei
Image

Aima
Image

Isaac
Image

The pictures are from the Lufia TLR site
-the archived, google translated, official Japanese Lufia TLR website, which doesn't exist anymore. http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... stpolis%2F
you should try checking out the comments from the staff that's on there, but most of the pictures are broken links.

There's also 2 sketches of a dragon knight-ish person in one of the staff member's comments (Kame Erika), but I don't think that dragon knight person is actually a person, or scrapped person, from Lufia.
Since from what I understand from google translate they seemed to be talking about Randolph and something about he looks like some armor from"Lodoss".
I think that the artist was saying that for Randolph's outfit, they based parts of it on a early design of armor of someone from Record of Lodoss War (game developed by Neverland company, for the dreamcast)

Now, I haven't played Record of Lodoss War, but I did a quick search on the internet, and it does appear that the guy from those two sketches is from that game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSmCsn23cVQ that guy in the video does look like the redesigned sketch of him.

So,

Image Image

Left - Old sketch from that Record of Lodoss War character (looks like Randolph's armor)
Right - Redesigned sketch of the Record of Lodoss War character (doesn't look like in his older sketch and what Randolph's wearing and he looks like the character in the video)

Image Image
And here's Randolph. I can see the similarity between this and the Record of Lodoss War sketch.


So for Randolph they kinda re-used an outfit that was scrapped from a different game they developed.
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby coolKarl » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:52 pm

'Dat concept art. All of this needs to be compiled on a page somewhere. In between the character art, from what we know of the story in Ruins chaser compared to TLR (as well as CIMA, too) this whole thing is a gold mine for speculating what Ruins chaser could have been like.

Could it be that Zalbak actually was Neverlands way of working in the "Fire storm" from Ruins chaser into TLR? What was going to be the significance of the oracles? Why did Randolph swipe the armor from some bloke from another game?

Many thanks for digging up the material, SinReVi :D

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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby SinReVi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Lufia III/TLR news posts from GIA: http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors/thegia/site ... anews.html

Quoting some more interesting (IMO) parts.

About Lufia RC on the gbc
from E3: Lufia III officially switched to Game Boy Color

...

According to Natsume, the decision for the platform change was made shortly after the next generation PlayStation announcement by Sony. "Lufia was in the early stages of development," Renn remarked, "pretty much so that once they announced the PlayStation 2, we started looking at the PlayStation 2 [for development.] I can't say that we're going to do a title, but we're definitely looking into the development on the PlayStation 2. But we didn't want the consumer to wait, so [Lufia III] will be put onto the Game Boy." The company believes that the story of the next game in the series can be narrated and executed just as effectively on the portable system. The Roman-numeral "III" has also been dropped from the game's full title, making it "Lufia: Ruins Chaser." Maekawa explained that although no decision has yet been made, the company would like to leave the "III" appendix open for a future title in the Lufia series -- likely on the PlayStation 2.

...

Natsume offered a few new details concerning Lufia: Ruins Chaser. The game's battle system will remain similar to previous titles, with allied characters aligned along the screen's bottom, and enemies at the top. Multiple weapons, spells, and artifacts must be used wisely within the course of the game. Also, fans of the previous Lufia titles are no doubt familiar with the challenging (read: insane) puzzles which must be solved within dungeons and towers -- like them or not, a slew of devilishly difficult dilemmas are in the works for the next title. There was even a promotional movie of the game on display at the show filled with artwork, but the project still remains in early stages of development -- no actual gameplay footage was seen.



More Lufia RC on the gbc
from Lufia: Ruins Chaser delayed until fall

...

We spoke with Natsume, who reassured fans that development on the game is definitely continuing, and that concrete gameplay details and screens aren't far off.


Hey Natsume, it's already 2011! Gimme the screens already!

--

And also, I remembered this information, but haven't read it for years, but now I know where I read it again. (actually I think I read a little bit more info about it, but I can;t find it anymore) VVVV


http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors/thegia/site ... /n18b.html <-The beginning of the development of CIMA The Enemy, is that you? I always thought this sound like the game that became CIMA. (it could be Lufia Rol but all the developer and publisher info does not match Lufia RoL's info)





E3: Natsume announces GBA "Lufia" title, second GBA RPG
[05.18.01] » Never-Land brings the Lufia world to the Game Boy Advance with a new franchise name, along with a second RPG GBA title.

Natsume today made a preliminary announcement for two new RPGs for the Game Boy Advance: a new Lufia title from series developer Never-Land, and an RPG based in a medival fantasy world. Taking place far in the future past the timeline of current Lufia titles, the new Lufia game will mark the start of a (currently undecided) new name for the Lufia series. All key members at Never-Land behind previous Lufia titles, including the upcoming Lufia: The Legend Returns, are on board for the project. The new series of unnamed titles will retain key elements of the Lufia world -- Sinistrals, story themes, and more -- while still taking the series far enough into the future to allow a large degree of flexibility in story creation. The new title is expected in Q4 2002.

Natsume explained that the series name change makes sense given that the "Lufia" character has not been mentioned since the first Lufia title. Additionally, a speculated reason behind the change is licensing problems with Taito -- rumors suggest that Natsume only holds a license for three Lufia titles from trademark owner Taito.


The other post I read had similar information about this, except it also said it would introduce a new group of bad guys instead of the four Sinistrals

What else I know about CIMA The Enemy's development:
- In 2002 Natsume announced they've been working on a game for the gba which was named "Project CIMA"
- In 2003 first screenshots and real information was revealed, and the name was changed to "CIMA The Enemy"
- also early information says that CIMA was going to be a trilogy.
- It was Natsume that requested CIMA The Enemy (this would explain why the American release was way before the Japanese version)
- The Japanese version was released in 2005 (the NA release was in 2003)

The information from this "Lufia with name change" from 2001, would go well with the development story of CIMA.

And things that matches the final CIMA game:
- "All key members at Never-Land behind previous Lufia titles, including the upcoming Lufia: The Legend Returns, are on board for the project."
- Is not called "Lufia", but does remind me of Lufia games
- is for the gba and is a rpg developed by Neverland

If it's true then I think they just kept Ark and Ivy's designs as references to the Lufia series and then threw the Lufia backstory out of the game to make it an original game. (But the sword you see in the logo, is actually Wain's sword =P )

Or perhaps they were forced to remove the Lufia related development because of copyright trouble with Taito? (maybe Taito wanted to keep the Lufia name for their own from now on, or because they made Atelier Double develop Lufia The Ruins of Lore and didn't want Natsume involved in a Lufia title because of that?




---

More unused Lufia TLR stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt9HQ0EjCgE

Unused music, which was released on the 2006 OST (skip to around 00:40)
The tracks were nameless, so who knows what they would have been used for?
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby teefa85 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:58 pm

That would be interesting and make a lot of sense if CIMA started out as a Lufia game and they changed it later down the line. Considering the little refs here and there to even plots and such. Heck, for all we know Pike's subordinates could have originally been the four Sinistrals, with Pike as either Arek or another high ranking god they were working under for whatever the original story was.
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby SinReVi » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:51 pm

I think Ivy would've fit the role of Erim.
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Okay, I know that Lufia the Legend Returns uses a random dungeon generator for most of the game. Also, Evolution (a Neverland game for Dreamcast published by Ubisoft here in the US) takes place in a steam-punk setting and it uses randomly generated dungeon.

I don't know if Lufia Ruin Chasers is planned to have randomly generated dungeons, but I do know that Neverland was experimenting with random dungeon generators in the late 90's early 2k's.

I thought I should share this information with you. It's more trivia than not though.
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby SinReVi » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Evolution is made by Sting. I think that the credited neverland members are in there because of helping out with the game, since both Neverland and Sting are part of the ESP.
(though I haven't played Evolution)
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Re: The fate of Lufia: Ruins chaser (Possible spoilers?)

Postby teefa85 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:02 pm

SinReVi wrote:I think Ivy would've fit the role of Erim.


Yeah. That's what I thought when I played the game myself. It didn't help that her and Ark's relationship just reminded me a lot of Wain and Seena's, though Ark wasn't as blindingly idiotic as Wain.
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