Monday, October 17, 2011

Silver Star Sandbox

Basically, the plot of the videogame Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete goes like this:

-You (3 PCs at the beginning) go around looking for adventure ("Hey, why don't we go here?"etc.).

-Eventually you run into major villains. They take away one of your PCs.

-In order to get her back, friendly NPCs explain one of your PCs must become The Dragon Master by going to 3 places and getting 3 artifacts. This'll allow you to have enough power to defeat the villains.

-You get the items. (Meeting obstacles along the way.)

-Then you meet the major villain again, who you chase through various lairs, until you finally catch and defeat him.

Since I remember the plot and monsters fairly well, and since it involves a lot of moving from place to place, I drew up these notes to examine the possibility of:

-re-skinning the Lunar world, and
-turning it from a plot-based world into a sandbox

Since the name of the game in a wide-open game is to have a general idea of what's in each area and then zoom in and add detail when your PCs go there, it seems like starting with a world I know well from spending 25 hours in it might be useful...

This map shows the connections between locations--not the precise geography, just what is accessible from where. Only places in the same box, adjacent boxes, or connected by an arrow are accessible.

, a Boring Hometown containing:
Larval White Dragon (looks like a flying cat)
Annoying singing peasant girl (actually reincarnated goddess)
Annoying laconic peasant boy (fated to be a dragonmaster)
A pragmatic fat kid (fated to own a store)
A monument to the dead dragonmaster with a sword in it--it'll come out if you have all the other dragon items and will turn the larval dragon into a regular dragon
Some Wise Parents
No place to sell gems--you'll have to go to Meribia

White Dragon Caves, An Ice Dungeon containing:
White dragon (friendly)--if you lead the albino here he'll attempt to enslave the dragon and reveal himself to be the armored "Magic Emperor" and capture the annoying singing peasant girl
Wendigos/White Apes
Green slimes
Evil Flies
Crystal Monsters
A trick-the-white-ape-into-smashing-the-obstacle puzzle
An ice ring

The Weird Woods, A Forest containing:
An impenetrable mist that can only be dispersed by magic
Trapped treasure
Evil bugs
Evil plants and fungi
Poisons and antidotes
An ancient drag0nmaster, reincarnated with a beret

Saith, A Port Town containing:
A drunken sea captain who lost his sea chart to a gambler
Said gambler, who traded said sea chart to a hag
Sea captain's boat, which is being menaced by a ferocious bubble elemental

Hag's Forest, A Forest containing:
Evil bugs
A helpful hotshot wizard (lightning specialist)
Traps that suck
A hag's hovel
A hag that will trade items with you for a bit, then get annoyed and curse you.

A Boat, containing:
Fuck all

Meribia, A Big City containing:
A boisterous but friendly bruiser--a beastman--who is in charge of the city, father of the priestess in Lann
A street of magic stores, including...
A fortune teller who is also a mysterious femme fatale with a tattoo over one eye who knows and works with the helpful hotshot wizard
(Triggered event: if the albino is turned into the Magic Emperor then the city will be overrun with gargoyles and weird floating evil wizards and priests and the doppleganger sorceress will show up and try to turn anyone who opposes her to stone)
A bar where the waitresses wear Playboy bunny outfits
An unscrupulous owner of said bar who will try to steal your stuff and flee into a sewer dungeon

Beneath Meribia, A Sewer Dungeon containing:
Bridges operated by hidden switches
Shrimp/water-insect monsters
Floating biting white-flame sphere monsters
Fat toad/snakes
Evil hopping fish
A sludge dragon controlled by the guy who took your stuff

Althena's Shrine A Church containing:
Gossipy priestesses
A secretly evil high-priestess

Spring of Transmission, A Magical Spring
...allowing teleportation up to Vane, a floating city, via the...

Cave of Trial A Magic Cave Dungeon meant to test your magical prowess containing:
Evil bugs
A guy whose head is a big eye that shoots lasers
Fungus monsters
A really big fungus monster with tentacles
Some kind of magic restriction preventing you from using any items (but not weapons)
Once you've gone through this place once you can go back and forth between the Spring and Vane without going through it

Nanza Pass, A Wasteland surrounding Nanza in all directions containing:
Trapped treasure
Sleep moths
Giant ants
Fire-breathing mud heads
Stupid dog monsters

Nanza, A Bandit Outpost controlling access to Marius Zone to the south, the Eastern Sector, and Lann, to the west, containing:
A helpful but drunk bandit prince who rules the place and is in love with a priestess who is in Lann
Some gargoyles led by the femme fatale from Meribia who tries to kidnap him while he's dressed as a girl
Several useless fucks

Marius Zone

Reza A thieves' guild town containing:
Several jackasses who will try to steal your stuff
(If you are a member of their Theives' Guild they have to give it back)
A hidden black market where you can find anything that was stolen from you plus hot air balloon blueprints and hot air baloon spare parts
Houses connected to each other by tunnels
A singer in the midst of being captured by the femme fatale.
A guy at the bar who will allow you to get hot air balloon parts for free

Althena Springs Magical healing springs

Meryod Woods
A spooky forest between the Marius Zone and Meryod containing:
Evil insects
Evil Plants
A floating sort of shrimp thing with a giant eyeball and mouth called a brain-licker
A sort of cross between an eye of the deep and a fish
Evil fake versions of anyone turned to stone so far who will fuck with you
The Femme Fatale again, who will appear and try to turn you all to stone

Meryod A town built on stilts over water, connecting the Marius Zone to Lyton, containing:
A bridge that'll break as soon as you step on it
Dumb hicks
A guy who administers the thieves' guild test: the current test is to steal something from Damon's Spire. He'll give you the password.

Damon's Spire, a (password-protected) Wizard Tower containing:
multiple floors, each requiring a riddle to ascend to the next level
floor panels that open doors
a library on the top floor
things that look like knight-helmed heads with bat wings
big blue bruisers with horns
some floors where monsters are only susceptible to magic and some where they are only susceptible to physical attacks

Iluk a town of crazy inventors including:
one who will make a hot air balloon for you if you can get him a certain bug
a field containing a million bugs that are kinda like the one you need but are the wrong color and have sleep powers plus evil plants and insects

Red Dragon Cave, a Lava Dungeon, only accessible by flying, containing:
A red dragon (friendly)
Blood ooze
Giant scorpions
Weirdoes wielding red-hot pokers
Fire elementals
Traps cursing you to fall from one level to the next
A thing where you have to run through fire
A pair of bronze dog statues which turn into powerful flaming dog foes
The femme fatale will briefly show up and gloat


Lyton a town full of horrible music, containing:
a guy who will explain the music problem is due to something going on in the shrine
a shrine which is an underground dungeon containing...
cracks in the floor which'll cause you to fall down to a lower floor
a wind-music puzzle
glowing black eyeballed floating electricity monsters
access to the Blue Dragon Cave

Forbidden Forest a Spooky Forest, containing:
Monsters that look like the monsters everywhere else but are insanely powerful
A spring where hot naked chicks bathe

Blue Dragon Cave, a Water-Themed Dungeon, containing:
An entrance that will only emerge from the sea if two people who are in love sing in unison
Teleportation pools that are the only means of moving from one part of the dungeon to the next but which are camouflaged among other pools which contain water weirds
fish-tailed "aqua genies"
blue spinning wolf/sonic hedgehog things
gelatin creatures
a blue dragon--or, if the albino has become the Magic Emperor, its spirit (which will explain that it has been captured)


Tamur Pass, a Wasteland connecting the Meryod-Lyton-Blue Dragon Cave-Forbidden Forest area to the Stadius Zone, containing...
Bug monsters
Plant monsters
Ferret monsters
The doppleganger sorceress, who sics dark sorcerers and evil knights on you
A pair of helpful pseudo-Sioux

Tamur, a stupid town, where people complain, containing...
the access point to Myght's Tower
a man about to be hanged by one of the righteous pseudo-Sioux--who will fight you if you try to stop him and will respect you if you win

Myght's Tower, a Wizard's Tower, containing:
An entrance that can only be accessed by solving a combination puzzle
Elevators that are part of a maze
Magic hats that attack--can only be attacked with magic
Creepy puppet monsters with wheels
Mirror monsters
Crystal monsters
An inventor who will make you an airship if you can find his lab (it'll take a few days)--if you try to follow the Magic Emperor in it, the Hotshot Wizard will try to sabotage you and reveal himself to have been a spy all along.

Lost Forest, a Spooky Forest between Tamur and Myght's Tower and Pao, containing:
evil bugs
evil plants
evil mushrooms
illusory trees making it hard to figure out how to get out of the forest

Pao, a pseudo-Sioux village, containing:
an evil voice which will attempt to put all female characters to sleep
a village elder who controls access to the Black Dragon Cave

Black Dragon Cave, a Stone Dungeon full of undead, containing:
Treasure chest traps that suck your ability to do magic
Floating balls of undead heads
Floating liches
Undead sludge monsters
Evil floating priests
Other weird undead and demonic monsters
A black dragon friendly unless the Magic Emperor has been revealed in which case its body is under his control and it attacks. If you survive, the Magic Emperor briefly appears, then heads off to the frontier.



(This area appears to have no atmosphere, like the moon. In the original game this is because the whole game takes place on the moon and only the "fantasy" areas have an earthlike atmosphere, but in my gameworld it conveniently fits the spherical-atmosphere-cube-planet model.)

Talon, a Mining Town full of evil humanoids

Talon Mines, a Stone Dungeon containing:
steampunk tanks
rock scorpions
armored guys
an injured miner guy that you can help
The evil high priestess
Healing statue to Althena despite the dominant religion being evil anyway
The evil high priestess from Althena's shrine forces you to fight the...
Shadow spectre
And each other

Cadin, an egg-like structure, containing...
Althena statue
The priestess, who relents and tells you the password for Ruid

Ruid, a Technological Tower, containing...
A space-looking guy
Tread tank with a drill
Electric wand dude with generator on back
An evil inventor
Hotshot wizard traitor in a suit that makes him more powerful
Activation switches for the Grindery
Maybe the albino, if he's been revealed to be the Magic Emperor


Lann, A small town containing a helpful half-beastman priestess, in love with the aforementioned bandit prince. The town controls access to an island containing:
A swamp full of poison water,
Traps that confuse you so you walk into that water,
Floating devil-squid monsters
Eyeball-head guys
More of the monsters that were in the Meribian sewers
An evil guy pretending to be a dragonmaster who actually just rides a giant toad

Vane, A Floating Magical City containing:
A wizard school
A helpful ice witch, daughter of..
A sorceress-queen, locked in the dungeon wearing a magical mask that confuses her
A doppleganger sorceress-queen that rules in her stead--she wants you to check out reports of a dragonmaster in Lann. She's actually the leader of a tribe of evil humanoids. When you return she'll lock you in the dungeon.
A metrosexual long-haired Lotor/Elric-type evil elf wizard who pretends to be good
(Triggered event: if the albino turns into the Magic Emperor, you'll find a giant crustacean attacking this place--it's immune to magic)
The entrance to a tower dungeon, described below--in the same palace as the magic school and the government--the Crystal Spire.
The Silver Spire allows vane to be piloted like a giant spaceship.

Crystal Tower, A Crystal Dungeon containing:
An enchantment making it so you can only use magic, not weapons
Treasure you can see but only get to by regressive paths
Mirror monsters
Evil crystals
Floating balls of plasma
Hovering magic guys called blood lords
A star chamber where the albino (still pretending to be good) and the femme fatale, disguised priestess, and doppleganger queen will reveal themselves and then make you fight some gargoyles
After that, the albino will ask to be taken to the white dragon

Grindery a moving tech-dungeon, containing:
4 colored dragons as power sources
Floating wizard
Flying steampunk devices that are evil--some of whom shoot bombs
Tank-treaded golems with swords
Razor cats
Teleporting tubes
A hidden garden w/healing statue and brainwashed fairyies
The priestess, who helps you by fending off the sorceress and femme fatale
A fake Magic Emperor with 4 elemental attacks
Then: the singing peasant girl turned evil and hot and the real albino laughing at you--they cause the floating Goddess Tower to appear high above the earth
If you lose: transported to Meribia while unconscious

Goddess Tower A floating multidimensional fortress dungeon containing:
Fat quadrupedal demons with wings and snakes curled around them
Cannons with angel wings
Floating crushing stone mouth monsters
Stone Viking Warriors
The nonflyers prevent doors opening--kill them and the doors will open
The femme fatale disguised as the peasant girl--she casts a curse: from now on, during any battle a random 2 of your party will be asleep
More monsters...
Then the Femme Fatale shows up again and fights you with witch powers
Dragon color order puzzle
Confusing door puzzle
Evil doppleganger sorceress makes you face your fears
Then you fight her head on
Then the magic emperor for real

Somehow this post got deleted, so I'm re-posting it with some comments that got swallowed


  1. Jaga has left a new comment on your post "Silver Star Sandbox":

    I could do this same thing with Final Fantasy 3, but all of my friends are familiar with it...Even given name changes it would be recognizable. Maybe a new gaming group is in order?

    mordicai has left a new comment on your post "Silver Star Sandbox":

    How I adore Lunar. I played it on the Sega CD, & haven't "replayed" it in Playstation version. Oh crap, I just remembered "soap." I'm so nostalgic suddenly!


    Crockett has left a new comment on your post "Silver Star Sandbox":

    Great game. I own it and still play. This series came with awesome bonus material such as soundtrack, art hope, strat guides, and character description hardcover book. Great stuff for dnd. Thanks for taking the time to do this and remind people of a great psone game!

  2. I STILL get this song stuck in my head:

  3. for the record:
    I hate the music in this game. I hate a -lot- of things about this game. However: I remember it, so it makes it very useful.