"Lufia: The Legend returns" is the sequel to "Lufia & the Fortress of Doom" and "Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals", which appeared for the SNES. Actually, Lufia 2 takes place about 100 years before Lufia 1. It tells how the four Sinistrals appear and reign the world with terror from their flying fortress, Doom Island. Finally they are defeated by Maxim, his wife Selan, Guy and the elf Artea.
In Lufia 2, a descendant of Maxim grows up in a peaceful world, together with Lufia, an orphan girl. (Hence the name of the series!) Suddenly there are rumors to be heard that the Sinistrals have returned. So the hero and Lufia get on their way to defeat them again, later joined by Aguro and Jerin, a half-elf girl.
Now 100 years have past, and it seems that the Sinistrals are back again...
Those of you who have played Lufia 1 and/or 2 will recognize many features. The most important difference is that you can have 9 active members in your party (instead of 4). But the battle system is easier than it looks. Your characters are positioned in 3 rows. Every turn, you can choose one character from each vertical line to perform an action. But you can change positions anytime, except if the character is dead. When all members of the front row are defeated, it's game over.
After each battle, you get gold, EXP and LP (learning points). You need the LP to "buy" magic in the temples, but more important, to increase your Spiritual Force value so that you can learn special skills (see IP-Skills). (Unlike Lufia 2, IP-skills are not learned from equipped items, but from Ancient Scrolls which you can find in dungeons.)
You can only save in churches and at savepoints. You can also record in the field log, but this is not really a save - it is deleted when you resume your game. But it's useful if you don't want to play long dungeons in one piece.
Check everything - barrels, woodpiles, fountains, treestumps, bookshelves... there might be hidden treasures everywhere. Most of the shops have a backdoor where you can find treasure chests. Also, if you enter an inn through the backdoor, you can rest for free :-)
There are no dungeon maps, because every time you enter a new floor, it is generated randomly. But they aren't too complicated. The good thing is that, if you leave and re-enter a floor, the treasures are back again. The enemies in the dungeons are visible and move only when you move. What's more, you can paralyze them with a wave attack, so you can avoid fights if you aren't in the mood.
Hit every suspicious wall with your sword or a wave attack - you will find many treasures which can't be got otherwise. And cut down all bushes - some contain treasures or healing tiles, others hide nasty traps:
In most caves there are two ways. One leads straight to the exit and to your next goal, the other one goes deeper into the dungeon. When the guard tells you that the monsters are too strong, believe him! You can come back later. Most of these caves are part of sidequests.