In 1991, the gaming world was introduced to Lagoon, a top-down action role-playing game (RPG) developed by the Japanese game company Zoom Inc., and published by Kemco for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
Lagoon was originally released on the Sharp X68000, a Japan-exclusive computer, before being ported to the SNES.
Looking back on the journey of this beloved game, it's clear that Lagoon has left an indelible mark in my mind.
The gameplay in Lagoon centers around the protagonist, Nasir, who is on a mission to save the world of Lakeland from impending doom caused by the evil wizard Zerah. Players guide Nasir through various landscapes, dungeons, and boss battles, all while upgrading his equipment and magical abilities.
The top-down view and gameplay mechanics were reminiscent of popular titles like The Legend of Zelda and Ys series, making Lagoon a welcome (albeit lesser played and far less popular) addition to the SNES library.
One of the most memorable aspects of Lagoon is its fantastic soundtrack, composed by Hideki Suzuki. The music beautifully complements the game's overall atmosphere, with lush melodies and heart-pounding battle themes that have stayed with players long after they turned off their consoles. The Lagoon soundtrack has even been released as a separate album, rare for an old hidden gem, allowing fans to relive their gaming memories through music.
I mean COME ON... just listen to THIS:
Although Lagoon was not a massive commercial success, it received generally positive reviews from critics and gamers alike. Its overall review scores ranged from average to above average, with many praising the engaging gameplay, detailed graphics, and enchanting music. Some critics, however, found the game's difficulty and lack of proper guidance to be off-putting. To me, it was an adventure game, and the point was to explore! But I digress...
I remember an issue where I made it extremely far in the game and saved it as I was falling into lava and dying. Because the game allows to save anywhere, but didn't allow for multiple save spots, every time it loaded, I would die, over and over. I had to start all the way back at the beginning of the game and ohhh boy.. that was some old school frustration.
Minor QA oversights aside, for those who grew up playing Lagoon, the game holds a special place in their hearts. The enchanting world of Lakeland, the thrill of exploring dungeons and discovering new equipment, and the joy of overcoming challenging boss battles became a significant part of many childhoods. It was more than just a game; it was an escape into a magical realm where players could be heroes and forge their own destinies.
Personally, I have fond memories of playing Lagoon during my childhood. I remember the sense of excitement and wonder that enveloped me as I guided Nasir through his perilous quest. The game's captivating story and charming graphics provided an immersive experience that I found difficult to put down. To this day, the soundtrack transports me back to those cherished moments when I would play for hours on end, losing myself in the vibrant world of Lagoon.
Lagoon may not have been the most popular or successful title on the SNES, but it undoubtedly left a lasting impact on those who experienced it. The combination of engaging gameplay, mesmerizing music, and a captivating world made it a cherished part of many childhoods, including my own. Lagoon is a testament to the power of games to create lasting memories and connections, reminding us of the joy and wonder they can bring into our lives.
If you've never played it, add it to your backlog. You can thank me later.