The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch

The Legend of Heroes is one of Nihon Falcom's flagship series alongside Ys and Dragon Slayer, which the Legend of Heroes series was part of before becoming its own franchise. The second series of games in The Legend of Heroes series is known as the Gagharv Trilogy, with North America seeing all three thanks to Bandai-Namco, although they got the order of the games wrong, first localizing the second game of the trilogy, A Tear of Vermillion while passing it off as the first game in the franchise. The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, despite its localized title is actually the first installment of the Gagharv trilogy, providing an experience on par with its predecessors.

The battle system is almost exactly the same as it was in Vermillion, with enemies being visible on fields and in dungeons, charging the player's party if their levels are low and running away when their levels are high, always a welcome system. Furthermore, the player has a pet they can feed outside battle for occasional effects in battle like increased attack and defense. When executing commands such as attacking, using magic, using free special skills, and using items, characters and enemies move around the battlefield like in the Lunar games. The battle system works nicely, with only some minor flaws such as the absence of a turn order meter.

Controls are just as solid, with a generally easy direction on where to go next with some exceptions, although automaps would have been helpful in the more confusing dungeons, particularly those towards the end of the game. Still, the game interfaces well with the player.

The story is run-of-the-mill, focusing on a pair of pilgrims named Jurio and Chris as they go on a pilgrimage to several elemental shrines. Players can import data from Vermillion to update the in-game timeline that records events that happen in the game. The plot isn't anything to write home about, and the lack of links to the other games isn't surprising since Moonlight Witch is the first of the Gagharv trilogy, but it glues the game together decently. The localization does have some flagrant errors and is bland, but luckily doesn't severely hurt the game.

As usual, Falcom does a good job with the game's music, with plenty of decent tracks that always fit the mood, with the visuals looking nice as well despite the odd slant of character sprites as they move towards the left and right edges of the screen.

Finally, the game is about twenty to thirty hours long, with few sidequests of which to speak and little replay value. Overall, Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch is another decent Legend of Heroes games, with simple but enjoyable gameplay and nice graphics and music shining the most, although it does have issues involving its plot and localization. Those who can look past these flaws, however, and enjoyed Vermillion, will likely enjoy this installment of the Gagharv trilogy as well.

The Good:
+Decent simple gameplay.
+Nice music and graphics.

The Bad:
-Narrative could have been better.
-Localization has some minor issues.
-Some confusing dungeons.
-Not much replay value.

The Bottom Line:
Typical Legend of Heroes experience.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Game Mechanics: 9/10
Controls: 8/10
Story: 7/10
Music/Sound: 10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Localization: 6/10
Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Difficulty: Easy
Playing Time: 20-30 Hours

Overall: 7.5/10

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