Vay, for the Sega CD/Mega CD, is an RPG from SIMS. It was localized for release outside Japan by uber publisher Working Designs. Released in 1994 in USA. It followed the release of Lunar: The Silver Star. However, this would actually work against the game, as the brilliance of Lunar outshone Vay in many ways. Which is unfortunate as Vay is a great RPG. Perhaps not as much as Lunar, but Vay, like Lunar, IS well worth your time.
“Long Ago In A Forgotten Corner Of The Universe….”-Opening Narration, Vay-
In Vay, the player assumes the role of Sandor, Prince of Lorath. The game begins on Sandor’s wedding day. He is going to wed the lady Elin. The beautiful and mysterious woman that, ended up in Lorath, it truly was love at first sight.(RPG veterans may recall a similar plot in Phantasy Star III, not that that’s a bad thing.-MM-)
Sandor and Elin are about to exchange vows when, Lorath is suddenly attacked. Large mechs rain destruction down from the heavens. Most of Lorath is destroyed, many lie dead or dying. And it seems than the goal of the attack was the abduction of the Lady Elin.
From here Sandor, decides to go after Elin, rescue his love, and avenge the people of Lorath. It turns out the only way to defeat the might of the Danek Empire, and their awesome technology, is to claim the legendary armor of Vay. The very same armor that, nearly destroyed the world a millennia ago.(What a twist!-MM-) As per RPG tradition there are many twists and turns, monsters to slay, deaths to avenge, and good old fashioned saving the world. Thankfully the lengthy story is well written. (As we have come to expect from a Working Designs translation.-MM-) And filled with interesting characters. Speaking of characters.
Vay has an eclectic cast of characters. From the noble Sandor, to Lynx a bard that has no music talent whatsoever, and the sexy, leather clad mercenary Rachel, just to name a few. And while many of the characters may seem typical a first, they each have a deeper personality that shows. Each has a particular way of speaking, so you know who is speaking without reading their name. (A nice touch oft neglected in RPGS.-MM-) Many of the characters also change during your adventure. For instance the apprentice mage P.J., grows not only as a wizard but also as a person.
Not to be out done, the villains of Vay are also well written. You will love to hate Jeal, the emperor of Danek. Others abound but I would hate to spoil it for you. Hell, even the NPC’s have interesting personalities and things to say.
In Vay, you will have to explore towns. Traverse vast fields. Visit dank dungeons. And do battle with monsters, more on this in a moment. Yes, all the RPG elements we would expect are present. And Vay does them all quite well. The over world map is huge, and greatly varied. As are the different Kingdoms you will travel through. Ditto the many dungeons in the game.
Vae Victius! Or, Vay Victius!
Combat in Vay is, turn based. As we might expect you can attack, defend, cast spells, use items, these are all in a day’s work for most RPGS. However in Vay, you can always opt to use the auto battle feature. First pioneered in Phantasy Star II, and it works rather the same. Your party will fight automatically, they will even heal when necessary.(Unlike in PSII.-MM-) Which is good thing, as you will spend A LOT of time in combat. Not because the random battles are high per se. If has more to do with the fact that in the game you often have a lot of leveling to do. It can seem excessive at times, yet that if often the curse of old skool RPGS. To be honest it does not bother me that much, but some will hate it.
The graphics in Vay were great at the time, and they still look good, considering the age of the game. Sprites are well detailed. And are larger in battle. Battle graphics really shine in Vay. Big, high detailed sprites. Monsters especially the boss creatures look sharp, and snazzy. Unlike many old skool RPGS the monsters are animated!(Yeah!, I mean Vay!?-MM-) The character designs are in a word, superb. As are the scarce FMVS.
In regards to audio, Vay also excels. The music is divine. From the epic opening track. To the adrenaline pumping battle music. And since it is a Sega CD game you can pop the disc into a CD player, and dig on the vibes of one fantastic RPG score.(Unfortunately you cannot buy the album. To my knowledge you never could find it, even when the game was new.-MM-)
The voice acting is very well done as per usual from Working Designs. And sound effects are sharp and match the game well.
And Now For Something Completely Different
As mentioned earlier, the constant leveling may turn some off the game. As it can be excessive. However IT IS worth it. Being at the proper level will make your trek through Vay, a pleasant one instead of a painstaking one.(Roughly a 40 hour trek.-MM-) Taking time to level is better than getting whopped by some chump boss.However those that do not enjoy old skool RPGS will not dig this one.
The Bottom Line
When all is said and done Vay is a great RPG for the Sega CD. That never got out of the shadow of Lunar.(I know people that think that Vay is the superior game.-MM-) However it is just as much worth your time as Lunar.