Lufia - Ruins of Lore

Taito - Tested on the Gameboy Advance in 2024

As written in our Lufia II review, I'm not a fan of Lufia II, which isn't neccessarily the games' fault. However, not liking a good game bugged me, and so I played basically all of the Lufia games ever since. Some to a small extent only (Lufia II on the DS), and some to a bigger extent. And funnily enough, I like them all. And one of those games I like is "Ruins of Lore".


This game was released in 2002, so it was one of the earlier games for the Gameboy Advance. It is meant to be a sidestory of the original Lufia games, playing some decades after Lufia II. the main protagonist is Eldin, a young boy whose father, a famous hunter vanished shortly after he was born. At the beginning of the plot, Eldin decided that it would be the best to also pursue the career of his father and become a hunter. Together with his childhood friend Torma, he set off and tried to find his first job after getting the hunter's license.

They got the job at the town of Gruberik, where the hunters guild was, and decided to help out a young priestess named Rubius. As is typical for japanese RPGs, there is more behind the assignment than just helping out a young woman in need. The empire of Gratze, controlled by a man called Ragule, tried to help resurrect an evil being in order to gain control over the world. During their travels, Eldin and his friends got into the struggle of Gratze's empirial ambitions.

Puzzle galore?

The gameplay is very typical of 16-bit-era JRPGs, and so it is pretty similar to its predecessors. There are towns, overworld areas and dungeons. The latter two can be populated with monsters. Touching monsters, which roam around when the player moves, starts a turn based battle that is fought in its separate battle screen. The screen setup is pretty similar to Lufia II, the characters and monsters are more detailed and animated, though.

Puzzles still play a relevant part of dungeons, but they are not as present as they were in this games' direct predecessor. There are some switches to be pulled, things to be pushed around or sometimes items need to be found in order to activate things. They are pretty much manageable without a guide, so they're quite easier than in Lufia II. Dungeons can be pretty long, some even with towns in the middle in order to compensate for their length. Overworld areas are sometimes designed to be very maze-like.

Additional game mechanics

Other than fighting and traversing dungeons or mazes, there is the cave of the ancients, a randomly generated dungeon that was also present in Lufia II. It has up to 99 floors, and characters always play alone and start on level 1 upon entering the dungeon.

There are also so called "disc-monsters" to be found. Basically, every monster in the game can be caught and recruited. Those monsters then can participate in battle and leveled up. When placed in battle, the trainers of the monsters can also fuse with them for a short amount of time to get even stronger and perform special abilities. However, in Lufia: Ruins of Lore, experience is shared between characters. This means, the more characters participating, the fewer EXP output for every character.

The soundtrack is composed of some tunes that are reminiscent of older Lufia games, but also offers a variety of new music tracks for all purposes.


Pro Contra
·Composition of music
·Last boss difficulty spike
·Music audio quality
·Sometimes hard to navigate


Good. Lufia: Ruins of Lore is a very inoffensive game. It has nice, likeable characters with some personality that isn't too deep. It has great music that suffers from the sound quality of its instruments. It has great visuals that sometimes make it hard to find out where there are paths and where are not. It has an interesting plot that is not too fleshed out. All in all, it's a game to like, but it's not the first pick on the Gameboy Advance. Or the second. But it's a good third pick.

 share this page   share this page (spoiler) 

You are here: Main Page / Reviews / Lufia - Ruins Of Lore

Back to top

1999 - 2024 Florian Auer. Contents written by me CC-BY-SA 4.0. Details: Copyright / Impressum. Version 13.3

CC-BY-SA-3.0 Fusslkopp (Wikipedia)