The third title in the Lufia/Estpolis RPG series developed by Never-Land Company and published by Natsume. After numerous delays, it was finally released in 2001 for the Gameboy Color.

The game takes place 100 years after Lufia and the fortress of Doom - in other words 200 years after Lufia 2: Rise of the sinistrals, since the second game was a prequel to the first. Thus, the game makes a fresh start with completely new characters.

What makes this game different from most RPG:s out there is that all of the dungeons in the game are randomly generated, like the Ancient Cave in Lufia 2. This is a double-edged sword - the intricately designed dungeons and puzzles from Lufia 2 are gone, and there is less interaction with the environments of the dungeons (bombs, hookshot etc), making the experience more similar to The first Lufia game than the Zelda-like brainteasers of Lufia 2. On the other hand, this provides a more NetHack/Diablo/Azure Dreams-like gaming experience, which is more rewarding in a way, since there are new items to find every time you return to a dungeon.

The plot is OK, but nothing you haven't seen before if you're an RPG veteran. The battle engine from the first two Lufia games remains, with some differences: First, IP skills are now learned instead of being provided by equipment. Second, all your nine party members can be used in combat, but since they are arranged in a 3x3 grid, the formation of your party plays a large role in combat strategy since character placement decides what actions that character can take in battle.

All in all, Lufia: The legend returns is hardly a milestone in the world of RPG:s, but will surely provide a lot of entertainment for those long journeys. Lufia fans and lovers of random dungeons would be well advised to pick it upp, and other RPG fans might want to give it a try since there aren't that many good RPG:s available for the Gameboy Color.


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