Singing The Praises Of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

The cover art used on the back cover of the large outer box of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete for the PS1. It features the main cast of characters.
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Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete is one of the most memorable RPGs on the original Playstation. It was an upgraded remake of the original Lunar: The Silver Star game from four years prior on the Sega CD. Many of the game’s features were improved for the Playstation release, and it is the favorite version for many fans.

What makes this RPG so well-loved? Let’s take a look back and discover why it stands out from the crowd.

Visual Splendor Abounds

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete has upgraded visuals over its original Sega CD version. The Playstation release from Working Designs brought the game from the 16-bit era into the 32-bit era. Fully animated cinematics were added at key story points and during the introduction of the game. The environments and characters have a much more vibrant and colorful appearance thanks to the upgrades as well.

The cast of characters are drawn in an anime art style. Nowadays that’s very common, but back in the early/mid 1990s, it was much more novel and revolutionary. For many players, Lunar was one of their first such experiences.

A graphical comparison, with Lunar: The Silver Star Sega CD release on the left, and Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete Playstation release on the right.
A visual comparison inside buildings. Left shows Lunar: The Silver Star from the Sega CD, and right shows Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete on the Playstation. Image Credits: Mobygames (Sega CD, Playstation)

Proof That Music And Sound Can Add Richness To An Experience

The audio in Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete is one of the most memorable aspects for many players. The soundtrack is vibrant and has many stellar tunes that feel fitting to the story. Vocal songs were recorded by the characters’ voice actors and actresses. The songs are used at various points throughout the game’s story and some of its major cinematic scenes.

There is considerable emphasis on the power of singing and music in the game. The story itself even revolves around the power of song to some degree. The impactful scenes and story moments with characters singing are memorable and nostalgic for fans even today.

The voice acting was another relatively new and novel thing for games at the time to have, and was especially uncommon for big games like RPGs. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete stands out as an RPG with a considerable amount of voice work compared to its peers. Not only was spoken dialog present in important story scenes and all the cinematics, but also in the battle system. It is made possible thanks in part to the increased capabilities that moving from the Sega CD to the Playstation hardware allowed.

A Few Seemingly Small Improvements Go A Long Way

There are even more aspects of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete that set it apart from other RPGs of the time. One example is that enemy encounters are visible on the map and can be avoided, rather than the typical random battles seen in most other RPGs of its era. Enemy encounters also do not occur on the world map, which is another departure from the norm.

The magic system in Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete was the improved system used in Lunar: Eternal Blue, the second game in the series on the Sega CD, rather than the one from the original game. The descriptions for equipment and items players find along their journey are also quite humorous and memorable. There are many little touches that went a long way towards making the Playstation release the best possible version of the game during its time.

A screenshot from Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete showing the party menu, with a humorous item description for the Holy Shield that reads: “Holy, not hole-y”
One of the many humorous item descriptions in Lunar: SSSC. Image Credit: Mobygames

The Heartwarming Story Is Enriched By A Colorful Cast

A definite standout of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete is its cast of characters. They all have distinct and memorable personalities, and players get to see their growth over the course of the story. The humorous moments in the game and the climactic scenes all add depth and flavor to the cast. Even the characters that play more minor roles in the game end up sticking in the minds of players long after they’ve finished the story.

The story has interesting twists and turns, and while at times it reflects many common elements of fantasy RPGs, it also has some unique qualities to it, such as its emphasis on the power of songs to unite peoples’ hearts. There are some refreshingly different views and perspectives during the tale. At times even the main antagonist in the game feels relatable. Aspects like these add to the overall enjoyment and feeling of quality in the story.

A Legacy Is Born

Lunar: The Silver Star was the first game in what would become a franchise. Its sequel game was also on the Sega CD, called Lunar: Eternal Blue. Like with Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, it would also go on to be remade as Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete for the Playstation. While not quite as beloved as the original game in the hearts of many players, it too was a standout RPG experience for its time, especially for Lunar fans.

Later, re-releases of the first game would go on to be made for a variety of platforms. The Gameboy Advance saw Lunar Legend, the PSP received a very ambitious remake and modernization called Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, and iOS devices have a fantastic version of the game called Lunar: Silver Star Story Touch. Though strangely, Lunar: Eternal Blue never received any modern remakes or re-releases after the Playstation version outside of Japan. There was also a completely new entry in the series on the Nintendo DS named Lunar: Genesis/Lunar: Dragon Song depending on your region.

While any of the Lunar games are potentially worth your time to experience, many players have their most fond RPG adventuring memories of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete on the original Playstation.

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I’ve a knack for tutorials & how-to’s, unusual perspectives that express themselves thru words, and I love writing about video games, especially wholesome ones.

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Jonathan Hawkins

Jonathan Hawkins

I’ve a knack for tutorials & how-to’s, unusual perspectives that express themselves thru words, and I love writing about video games, especially wholesome ones.

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