Collection of SaGa brings three classic Game Boy RPGs to Switch

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As part of a surprise Nintendo Direct this morning, Square Enix announced Collection of SaGa: Final Fantasy Legend for Nintendo Switch. The collection is due out December 15, and will bring the first three games in the SaGa series to modern audiences.

The bundle, priced at AUD $29.95 / NZD $31.95, includes Game Boy classics The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III. All three games are presented in their original black-and-white, 8-bit glory, but with new features like a high-speed mode, adjustable screen magnification, and new commemorative music and illustrations. There’s even the option to replicate the Game Boy experience by holding the Switch vertically (without Joy Cons attached) and using on-screen buttons, and both English and Japanese languages available.

The Final Fantasy Legend games didn’t originally carry the Final Fantasy name in Japan, and were instead the start of a new series called SaGa—which would eventually be followed by games like Romancing SaGa and SaGa Frontier. But when they made their way to North America, they were rebranded to benefit from Final Fantasy‘s popularity.

The Final Fantasy Legend was the first RPG created for the Game Boy, and was designed to suit short bursts of play much more than other RPGs of the day. It was Square’s first game to sell over a million copies, and had a big influence on other Game Boy RPGs that followed, like Pokemon. Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III continued to refine the ideas that would become the SaGa series trademarks, like multiple options for main characters and semi-random character growth.

Since the Game Boy trilogy, the SaGa series grew quiet in the west, but Square Enix has been getting behind it in a big way in the last few years. Romancing SaGa 2 and Romancing SaGa 3 made their global debuts in 2016 and 2019 respectively, more than 20 years since their original Japan-only releases for Super Famicom. Last year also saw the global release of SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions, and the mobile game Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe launched worldwide in June.

Here’s hoping this SaGa love continues, and that we see SaGa Frontier and SaGa Frontier 2 on modern platforms soon, too. Fingers crossed!

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.