Sometime in 1993, just before Enix shut its doors on this side of the pond, it released The 7th Saga, a standard type RPG with some tweaks I really wished existed in other RPG games. The game itself turns out to be somewhere between difficult and impossible. Between nasty monsters and sometimes confusing clues, a player has to work pretty hard on this game, sometimes to the point of being tedious. And of note is also the ending, which for such a difficult game, really sucks. Until Final Fantasy Tactics came along, I didn't think an RPG could have a worse ending. I shant be giving it away, but it might be worth playing through the game to find out.
The story is that some ancient book was discovered (kinda like how FFT started now that I think about it. Note to RPG developers, don't base stories around a book) and it tells of a war between SARO and GORSIA. Only when you're in the last 25% of the game does that even matter. The real story is that King Lemele wants the 7 runes, and has hired 7 adventurers to do it. Half the fun is picking who to play, the 2 humans, the elf, the dwarf, the alien, the evil demon (must they always be evil?), and the tetujin (giant robot, ALWAYS TALKS LIKE THIS AND WALKS WITH AN ANNOYING CLANGCLANGCLANGCLANG, JUST AS ANNOYING AS READING THIS, DON'T USE HIM FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR SANITY). The other half is in finding a partner (again, save your sanity, do not team up with the robot) later in the game.
The innovations that make this RPG stand out are the monster globe that tells you where they are so you can try to avoid them. If you stand in one spot long enough, eventually they'll come to you. Also an innovation I wish more developers would use is the ability to play the game with only one's left hand. Select and L do exactly what A and B do, so you can do other things while playing. Why these ideas never took off, I'll never figure out.
Eventually, you get into fights with the other 6 rune seekers until you get the 7th one. The game itself is difficult, and in that sense, if you like to level up often, this is your game. The game is somewhat linear but every character follows a different path. There are no mini games in this game so keep your eye on the prize. The graphics are top notch and the music is usually soothing enough to put you to sleep (considering how the game plays, that's not a good idea sometimes). The ending stinks and that brings the rating down a bit also. The game plays slowly sometimes (having to press a button twice to talk to someone is tedious) and having the robot in your party will require the sound to be shut off. Actually, shutting off the sound might be a good idea altogether. It doesn't add anything to the gameplay.
The saving grace of this game are the innovations that I have yet to see in another game, to this day. While the game was not exactly great, the monster crystal, the one handed controls, and the multi character approach were really well done and prevent this quest from becoming a total loss. If you like challenge, this game's got it. If not, you may want to pass. Overall, the game gets a 6 out of 10 for being clumsy, confusing, tedious, and havingan unrewarding ending after trudging through all that, but also for great innovations and great graphics (for the time)