Lufia: The Ruins of Lore: 2003
Developer: Neverland Co., Ltd.
The events of this game take place twenty-five years before those depicted in Fortress of Doom. You control a young man named Eldin. His father was a great treasure hunter who once ventured into ancient ruins and never came back. Eldin became a hunter himself, and is looking for an adventure together with his friends Torma and Rami. Before soon the youngsters come into conflict with the evil kingdom of Gratze, and realize they have to do anything to stop their plans of resurrecting an ancient beast.
This is a traditional Japanese RPG with turn-based combat viewed from top-down perspective. Enemy encounters are not random, and the enemies are visible on screen. You can gain advantage in battles if you initiate combat by approaching the enemy. The characters can master a variety of “jobs”, learning abilities and switching classes, or combining them the way the player likes. You can also use special items in battle to capture monsters and to make them fight on you side. You can also upgrade those monsters and even merge with them to become more powerful.