I believe this game is known as Kartia in the US, "Legend of" has been added for the UK. Most of the postings in this section seem to be about new games so I thought I would share my experiences of one of the old rpgs. Once I realised how much I enjoyed rpgs on the PSX I read up reviews and this game seemed highly favoured. Initially I was not too impressed, the game must be really old as the graphics are Japanese cute and rather bland. At the beginning of each new chapter you view a short FMV sequence which seems all the more spectacular when contracted against the primitive working graphics. I also initially disliked the way in which the story is told, you have no option other than to view the scenes as they unfold. There is no exploration in this game unless you are in a battle sequence.
The story is excellent and one is soon gripped by all the plot twists and turns. The action is not just rpg, strategy is also involved. My game came from a 2nd hand shop, it was very cheap as it had only half the inlay and no instructions so I was not too sure what I was doing at first. But it is in the gameplay that Legend of Kartia shines, it turns it from a good game into a "keeper" for me.
At the beginning of each battle you are able to view the scene and enemy thoroughly. You can create a small number of phantoms to help your side. These have various different attributes, one type is stronger against another and weakest against the 3rd type so you have to plan attacks with care. You can also use "text" to create better weapons/ clothing. Then you decide how best to equip it and finally off you go into battle. Here you decide how best to place each of your men and what action to perform, from opening treasure chests to casting spells or attacking with physical force. After viewing the effects of an attack you move on to the next character. I enjoyed this part of the combat, there is no time limit so you can take your time planning. If an attack turns out badly for one character you have a second chance in that you can use another member of your team to heal them, or you take a chance and attack instead. The endless possibilities during each battle so appealed to me that I sometime replayed battles just to see if I could finish with more text in hand.
During your turn you can save at any time, once it is your opponent's turn you have to sit and watch them wreck havoc. You still get a chance to retaliate out of turn; if one of your team is physically attacked it will automatically return the blow, provided it has a weapon (some characters use fire and cannot retaliate). If damage is done to the enemy the character's experience points will increase. Of course, this will work against you during your turn and this is why you have to be aware of the type of phantom you are matching against.
During the battles you may find more "text" to replenish your stocks. Once the battle is won you are rewarded with text and more story is revealed.
I have already completed this game with one character, I am now replaying it with the 2nd main character, the same story is told but from their perspective. This means different battles and the story still seems fresh. I have changed tactics this time, I am trying to level up my phantoms rather than "getting by" and having to recreate new ones each round.
A good indication of an excellent game is shown by ebay, this game commands high prices on ebay.co.uk and I was lucky to find it in a 2nd hand shop.
Final verdict: easy to pick up rpg/strategy game with good storyline. It's one to keep hold of and maybe this is why you do not see many of them around.