Estpolis Gaiden

   Though the last handheld Lufia was a bit of a disappointment, Neverland has wisely used the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and try again, resulting in the upcoming Estpolis Gaiden for Game Boy Advance. (The series is known as Estpolis in Japan.)

   The most important misstep in Lufia: The Legend Returns has thankfully been corrected with Estpolis Gaiden: though random dungeons will be featured in the GBA game, they're no longer the main aspect of the game. Even the random dungeons, however, may feature a boost in playability with the new four-player link mode available there.

 The shortest route from A to B

   As for the rest of the game, currently released screenshots show that the well-crafted dungeons of Lufia II seem to have returned; one screen features a character swinging across a gap on a rope with a movable pillar nearby. The IP gauge seen in Lufia II and Lufia GBC is also returning, though since IP attacks were learned by different means in each game, it's not certain how they'll come into play in Estpolis Gaiden.

   So far, three characters have been revealed: the unnamed Hero, whose father disappeared while searching the ruins some years ago; his friend Tom, who lives with an eccentric grandfather; and Rami, who was childhood friends with the hero before going off to Parcelyte. Rami reunites with the hero when she returns to take her Hunter's test, which seems to be an important point in the game.

   Not much else is known about Estpolis Gaiden yet, save that it's due for a February 2002 release in Japan, with no announcement of an American release. We'll report more as it's revealed, but for now, Neverland has shown just enough to make series fans eagerly anticipate another game.

Preview by Nich Maragos, GIA.
Estpolis Gaiden
Developer Neverland
Publisher Taito
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium Cartridge
Platform Game Boy Advance
Release Date  02.02
Lufia Gaiden details
18 screenshots
8 dragon designs
Japanese box art