Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (1993)

by Nish
6 minutes read


Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (1993) is a memorable JRPG known for its engaging story and challenging gameplay, despite criticisms of its battle system and encounter rate.


Lufia & the Fortress of Doom is a classic JRPG that set the stage for the Lufia series with its engaging story and traditional turn-based gameplay.


“Lufia & the Fortress of Doom”, known as “Estpolis Denki” in Japan, is a role-playing video game developed by Neverland and published by Taito in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the first title in the Lufia series of video games and the only game from the series released under the Taito label in North America.

The game’s plot follows The Hero, Lufia, Aguro, and Jerin on a quest to prevent the resurrection of four superpowered beings called Sinistrals. The narrative frequently delves into the political and personal lives of the subjects of kingdoms all around the world. Top-down exploration is mixed with traditional turn-based combat using 2D sprites.

The story begins with four heroes, Maxim, Selan, Guy, Artea, who saved the world from the Sinistrals. The island plummets and two of the heroes are lost, while two live on. Many years of peace later, a mysterious young girl comes into a village and she and the protagonist of the game grow up together.

99 years later, the Unnamed hero boy and his friend Lufia are on a quest to save the world again from the Sinistrals who have revived. The player advances the story by travelling through several harsh dungeons, encountering monsters along the way. These battles occur randomly (every few steps or so) or in scripted situations, and winning them yields experience points that go towards leveling up the characters, giving them access to new abilities and making them stronger in the process.

The battles themselves take place from a first-person perspective, and require the player to use each character’s strengths, such as physical attacks or magic use, as in many other mainstream RPGs. An interesting quirk in the battle system, reminiscent of older RPGs like the early Dragon Quest games, makes it such that when ordering two characters to attack a particular enemy, and the first character defeats the enemy, the second character’s attack will still target the defeated enemy and thus miss. Thus foresight is required to make sure that no characters’ battle moves are wasted, unlike other RPGs, where other enemies will be targeted if the intended enemy has already been defeated.

The game was generally well-received, and has spawned multiple sequels on the Super Nintendo as well as the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS. The game’s legacy continues to be felt in the gaming industry, and it remains a beloved classic among fans of the genre.

In conclusion, “Lufia & the Fortress of Doom” is a classic role-playing game that offers a rich narrative, engaging gameplay, and a memorable cast of characters. Its impact on the genre is undeniable, and it continues to be a beloved title among fans of role-playing games.


The protagonist is joined by Lufia, a powerful magic user with a mysterious past, and other allies, each contributing to the fight against the Sinistrals.


Players explore towns, dungeons, and engage in random encounters with a turn-based battle system. The game is known for its challenging difficulty and the need for strategic planning in combat.


Despite its flaws, Lufia & the Fortress of Doom remains a beloved entry in the JRPG genre, offering a compelling story and a solid foundation for the series.

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