Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered

An old friend.

I played this game, like 20 years ago, on PS2. I have very few recollections of this game. But I do recall it being very hard and that it has very unique features.

Thus, when this remastered version came along, I purchased it on day 1. I knew this was a good game and did deserve its price tag of 34 CAD.

This game has 8 protagonists which you can choose from. Each start has different settings and difficulties. What’s even more unique about this game is that, once you start the game, there is a global timer. Once the timer runs out, you will battle the end boss whether you are prepared or not. More on this later.

When I played this back on PS2 as a teen, I never beat the game due to not being prepared for the final boss.

Now, a new chance comes. I am wiser now.

Old school “Saga” game.

This game does not hold your hand at all. Some start will give you more tutorials than others, but you are pretty much left to figure out everything on your own. But there is a boy scout in every town where you can ask about the game.


It is decent for what they are. The overall graphical atmosphere remains the same with only character sprite textures upscaled for modern resolutions.

Additionally, many characters are voiced although their voice acting leaves much to be desired.

Global timer

This is the defining feature of this game. When you start your game, you are on a long timer. This timer is reduced by how many battles you win, meaning grinding is a big no-no in this game.

This is called “Event rank”. This global timer, once you become aware of what they are, will force you to choose quests that have early deadlines first and then work your way up. Completing quests is the only reliable way to obtain money as well as jewels. Therefore, grinding has little meaning in this game.

It is located on bottom left when you bring up in-game menu.

In English version, there is “slow” and “normal” option for the timer. “Slow” will be more forgiving and allow you to have more extra battles. NG+ will allow “Slower” setting, giving you more freedom to play the game as you see fit.

Because of this timer, you will be required to play this game more than once simply because there isn’t enough time for you to do everything in one playthrough.
And some quests will be absurdly hard for its relatively low ranking to trigger, meaning you aren’t expected to be able to clear such quests on your first playthrough.


I think I mentioned early that I was unable to finish this game 20 years ago. This game is brutal. If you aren’t able to get a hang of its combo system, there is absolutely no way that you will be able to face the final boss. Actually, forget the final boss. Some ingame mini-boss might actually be harder than the final boss, like the jewel beast.

Interestingly, the more you cut down evil-doers, the less powerful your final boss will be. This is an interesting but a logical concept which we don’t see from any other games. Basically, everything you do in the game is tied to the final boss. What is more interesting is that some boss you may defeat might actually be good guys.

This game is probably best played without reading any walkthrough. But then, without a walkthrough, I doubt you will ever be able to experience the full potential this game has. Overall, it’s interesting that we don’t see games like these anymore. AAA tiles focus mainly on combat mechanics and graphics, and indie games struggle to reach its finishing line frequently, often giving up game features just to reach the final line.

Then there are companies whose main goal is to create loot boxes and get kids into gambling. What a sad era this is for gaming…

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