The original Playstation is home to numerous Japanese role playing games. One of the lesser known JRPGs on the console is Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. The game was first released as Lunar: The Silver Star for the Sega CD in 1992. Then it was remade for the Sega Saturn in 1996 and ported to the PS1 in 1998. Most versions of this game fetch a pretty penny on the collectors market these days. It can be difficult to say if a game is actually worth the money once the asking price starts to be in the triple digits. For people who enjoy this type of game, Lunar Silver Star Story Complete is one of the rare games that actually might be worth paying the $100+ it usually goes for these days.
The Silver Star Story
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete follows Alex, a young kid with dreams of becoming the next Dragon Master. The story begins when his best friend, Remus, approaches Alex with a desire to explore the nearby dragon cave. Inside they hope to find a Dragon Diamond and become rich. They are joined by Alex’s girlfriend, Luna, because she doesn’t think they can take care of themselves. Inside the cave they meet the White Dragon who recognizes Alex’s potential to become the next Dragon Master. To become the next Dragon Master, Alex must travel the world and meet the other three dragons.
The plot initially seems like a typical JRPG plot where you have to explore the world and find four things representing the elements. However, as more characters are introduced the story becomes considerably more unique. Each character has a strongly defined personality, and none of them are unlikeable. There are a lot of romantic relationships between the characters and they all feel like they happen naturally. It’s great that Alex and Luna are unambiguously boyfriend and girlfriend right from the start of the game. This eliminates any “will they or won’t they” business that so many other romances lean on like a crutch. Many JRPGs have romance in them, but Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete is one where romance is a central theme.
Exploring the World of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
The gameplay is pretty typical for a turn-based RPG. Combat basically boils down to everyone politely standing around and waiting for their turn to hit each other. It’s a type of gameplay that most people either hate or love, and most people already know if they hate it or love it. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete probably won’t be changing anyone’s mind either way anytime soon. Character progression is on a set path and there aren’t any options to customize your characters outside of choosing their equipment. Overall, the gameplay is nowhere near as unique as the story and characters.
The story is a completely linear affair and there aren’t a whole lot of side quests. However, the game does do a few things differently than most JRPGs of its time. For starters, there are no random encounters in this game. Instead, monsters can be seen roaming around the dungeons, and you can sort of gauge how hard the fight will be based on how scary the monster looks. In addition to that, boss fights all scale to Alex’s current level. This makes it much more difficult for the player to simply grind the challenge away from a hard boss fight. Even though the gameplay doesn’t really do anything that other JRPGs already do, it’s still solid and it gets the job done.
Looking at the Silver Star
In the 90’s and 2000’s it wasn’t unheard of for JRPGs to use an Anime art style in their cutscenes. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete uses this type of cutscene more than most others. Most games that use anime cutscenes usually have just one at the start of the game and one at the end. In Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete they are used for some major story beats as well as character introductions. The anime art style of the cutscenes perfectly matches the pixel art of the gameplay, and this really helps the presentation of the story.
The soundtrack to Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete absolutely slaps. It was composed by Noriyuki Iwadare, who isn’t a particularly well-known video game composer, but he should be. His skill level is right up there alongside the greats like Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo. The soundtrack for this game uses a combination of synthesized strings, bass, and drums. This allows the soundtrack to be both funkadelic where the composer wants it to be and sweepingly symphonic when the story needs it to be.
VIBE Score 8.5/10
Retro game collecting can be a strange hobby at times. Prices are constantly fluctuating and JRPGs tend to be on the more expensive end of things. At the time of writing this review, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete goes for around $100. When the asking price of a game gets to be in the triple digits, most reasonable people will think it’s too expensive. Those who can find the game for a good price, or are willing to pay a little bit for it, won’t regret it.
32, living in Arizona with a passion for video games, music and movies.