Community Post: The Embarrassing Joys of Lost Kingdoms II

Image from Flickr User: Migue Alcaino
Image from Flickr User: Migue Alcaino

Thanks to an idea from Chip of “Games I Made My Girlfriend Play”, the admins and contributors of UWG will be posting a series of community posts over the next span of days on the topic of our “guilty pleasure” games in celebration of April Fool’s Day. And it looks as if the Duck gets the honor of starting things off. And on April Fool’s Day, of all days! Score!

Well, we all have some games we’re rather embarrassed to admit that we like, right? And if you deny it, I’ll only assume that you have a game in mind you’re just keeping secret from me…. Well, I have some of these games, as well. I often have pretty decent taste in games, or so I like to believe. I love “The Legend of Zelda” and “Kingdom Hearts” and “Halo”, but I also have some games I enjoy that I’m less eager to tell you about. But, I will. Now, I have already written a post on a rather goofy game I enjoy called “Bomberman Generation” on my own blog, and so I decided to write about something different this time. And as I thought about what to discuss, yet another GameCube game came to mind because, frankly, I have a lot of bad GameCube games. This game is actually part of a very small series, of which I think there are only two games, “Lost Kingdoms II”. (And notice how it is so very unpopular, I couldn’t even get an image for it, so enjoy this photo of the console it’s played on instead.)

The original “Lost Kingdoms” was a lot of fun, but lacking in a lot of areas. In some ways, it’s better than its sequel, in some ways, it’s worse. But, seeing as the second game has so much more going on, that is the game I’ll be discussing. First off, though, a little background information. To put it simply, “Lost Kingdoms” is “Pokemon”, but instead of Pokeballs, you have cards. Yep, that’s seriously about it. I mean, no, there aren’t trainers or gyms or any of that, but it really is about the same concept.

To get into more detail, cards have different elements that are weak against or strong against other elements (Question: Ooh, where have I heard of that before? Answer: Probably every RPG in existence.). And there are different types of cards, which are all used to aid you in real-time battles. Some are more like melee weapons, where you get to slash away with a Lizardman’s sword or a Chaos Knight’s lance a few times before the card is used up. Some act independently (which is pretty cute), while others are summons, which are extra strong, but attack once. All in all, it’s pretty fun. I enjoy collecting different creatures (many of which are actually pretty darn cool), making them change into stronger ones, and finding really good cards, and there is no greater satisfaction than amassing a really powerful deck that can destroy your enemies. Well, there are actually plenty of better things in the world, but in this game, that’s as good as it gets.

But, at the same time, they’re also just…bad games. They’re fun. That’s what matters. (Except when your character won’t stop falling over when she gets hit, which happens more than it should in these games. That’s not fun at all.) And “Lost Kingdoms II” also has a lot more than the first game. It has over twice as many cards, and it adds mechanical element cards and transform cards, the latter of which allow you to transform into monsters that can attack, heal, or reach locations you couldn’t otherwise get to without them. The game’s whole concept is pretty good, I think. How can you go wrong fighting with a bunch of awesome monsters? You can’t, that’s how. But, while the first game simply was missing some features, like a good story, or good characters (actually, it pretty much just lacked characters…period), “Lost Kingdoms II” is a “fancier” game all around, giving it so many more chances to be just plain embarrassing.

They tried again with a story. I don’t remember it, but I don’t think it was good. They tried again with characters. Again, no. The main one, Tara, is a bore. Yeah, she has some “mysterious” past, I guess, but I can’t see anyone on the planet being interested before or after these mysteries are revealed. I could spoil them right now, and it wouldn’t matter. But, I won’t, mainly because I just don’t have the desire to write such a boring thing and make you guys read it. And the villain, Leod or something, is just really, really…gross. Just so icky and unappealing. Speaking of unappealing, the graphics, while being a little better than the previous game, aren’t that great. Especially concerning the people, which is usually the case, but these are seriously some ugly people. And they decided to add voice acting, something the previous game lacked, and I wish they hadn’t. I really do.

So seriously, what you do with this game is…you suffer through the story and the characters, and then you start enjoying it. Because there is a lot of fun stuff to do. So many monsters to collect. New levels to explore. It’s a really fun game, and the new monsters really add to it. The gameplay is the only good part about the game (well, both games), and just creating a more and more powerful deck of monsters was motivation enough for me to play through all the levels and collect whatever I could. Unfortunately, aside from the gameplay, little else about these games is any good. So that’s where the “guilty” comes in, while the “pleasure” comes from the gameplay. And now you know one of my deepest, darkest secrets….

The Duck is Not Really Guilty, Though

10 Comments Add yours

  1. benrosslake says:

    I only played the first one but I have a massive soft spot for it. I have vague memories of running around desperately trying to avoid trouble as my AI summoned monsters were attacking everything but my pursers. Sadly, I don’t even have my copy of the first game anymore. I should try and track one down.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories!


    1. duckofindeed says:

      Yeah, the AI wasn’t always great, but it was still fun watching your little monsters do stuff on their own. Except when you throw out some Mantraps, and then a very slow-motion pursuit begins where the stupid things can’t seem to catch up with your enemies. Grr! And was it just me, or did certain monsters, like the rats and the giant dismembered hands, do absolutely nothing? Good times, though.


      1. benrosslake says:

        Good Lord, I can’t remember any of the specific attacks. I remember it all making sense to meat the time but when you’ve just written it, it sound insane. Make me want to dig it out for another go though. I fear I may have traded it in.


  2. cary says:

    “And notice how it is so very unpopular, I couldn’t even get an image for it, so enjoy this photo of the console it’s played on instead.”

    Oh my, how this statement made me laugh! 😀

    I have bad luck with card-based RPGs (ahem, KH: Chain of Memories). Ages ago I considered picking up the original Lost Kingdoms, but I just didn’t understand its description enough to make the purchase. Seems like that was a good thing.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      This game is actually a lot less complicated than “Chain of Memories” (I never understood that game at all). The monsters all come from cards, but the card concept doesn’t extend much further than that. Nevertheless, while I can’t get rid of these games now that I have them (at least, not yet), it’s good you saved your money.


  3. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    On April 6, 2013, the Internet became a better place for us all, for on that day United We Game was UNLEASHED UPON THE WORLD!! Not that I’m excited about a brand new gaming site that I helped create or anything. But yes, this month marks UWG’s 1-year anniversary! And everyone there is incredibly excited and happy with reaching this important threshold. To kick off UWG’s birthday month, we’ve been posting our favorite guilty pleasure games. You know the ones…those games that you’d never play in mixed company? Games that send shivers down the spines of many but warm your heart? Yeah, those games. Here I’m sharing the post that kicked off the series from the wonderful Duck of Indeed.


  4. Kaitlyn says:

    I actually really love this game still. For a gamecube game it had okay graphics and Lost Kingdoms 1 players could transfer their data over to 2 to get all the monsters they found before. The music was also really good.
    There were also some choices you could make. The main guy accomplice can either die or make it to the end of the game, changing the ending. You can also do stuff after completing the main story line.

    Overall it’s a good game. Of course if you’re going to look at it from a 2014 perspective it may seem bad but at the time it was innovative and I didn’t even liken it to Pokémon.
    Other games like this were Baten Kaitos (original and sequel) and Shadow Hearts for the PS2. However both of those are far more intensive on the storyline and longer.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      Even though not many people would consider the Lost Kingdoms games to be classics like more well-known games out there, I do have to admit that the series is pretty darn fun, despite its flaws. I’ve considered selling these games in the past, and yet, every time, I decided I simply can’t part with them. It is pretty cool collecting a bunch of powerful creatures, that’s for sure.

      Oh, I had no idea the guy could live. He died every time I played, and I thought that was just how it always was. I should figure out how to make him survive. Anyway, thanks for reading! I need to look into those games you mentioned. They could be interesting.


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