The game's story is that there is none. Yes, this is a JRPG with almost no story at all. At the outset you pick a main character from a selection of seven, while they all have more or less the same stats, they have individual weapon and elemental proficiency, hidden away from the players. Regardless, once you pick your hero, you are treated to a seconds-long introduction of their 'quest', and then you are brought into the land of Avalon alongside two other characters. Every now and then, your three characters will spout lines regarding their individual quest, but they don't matter in the overall scheme of things. There's no character development, and the individual stories are inconsequential to the game, you might even forget that each character has a personal goal. If you play JRPGs for the characters or the story, this is not your game.
Let me digress for a bit, nowadays people complain all the time about how games handhold players all the time, and it wasn't like that back then, yadda yadda. It's true, to an extent, since some games assume its players are idiots, however, games nowadays are ten times as complex as they were back in the day. Compare Final Fantasy 1's rudimentary mechanics to the ton of different systems that run in THIS game. Heck, even the SNES JRPGs were simpler than any RPG during the PS1 era and after. Plus, players seem to forget that they had Nintendo Power and the Nintendo line to aid them back in the day. There's a difference between handholding and telling you how the game works.
And by the by, this ties into your party. Y'see, you are forced to finish the first dungeon with your starting party, but afterwards you'll be able to recruit the remaining four characters if you find them in the main town. The thing is, why should you alter your party, since, the guys you've been using have already accumulated random power ups to their stats and skills? Why handicap yourself? And while harder enemies have more chances to reward you with your random level ups, these characters are still behind your initial characters, and always will be. Another point of contention are the equipment pieces. The weapons and armor sold at the shop are more often than not crap, if you want anything worth a damn it's either: Pray to the RNG and hope good equipment drops from enemies, or pay for ships to sail for items. What items these ships you hire return with are, you guessed it, RANDOM, and to add insult to injury, you must wait between 1 to 5 hours for the ship to return with the spoils. Does anyone think this is fun? Does anyone think that good equipment being so reliant on luck is fun? What?! And even better, if you decide to buy from the shop, you can't compare the items with your currently equipped ones. Pure genius.
Another thing worth mentioning is how the HP system works. After each battle you win, or run away from, your health is fully restored, but your SP will not. If a character 'dies' in battle, he or she will take Red Damage, and if he or she is hit while 'dead', it will incur in more Red Damage. Red Damage affects your maximum health, so once the battle is over, or if you revive them, they'll have a lower health cap. This is mended by resting at the inn, or by using some rare healing items, which can only be used outside of battle. To be honest, I thought the red damage thingie was kinda smart, but on the last dungeons, obstacles on the environments will directly deal red damage to you, which isn't very fun. Once enemies stop granting random level ups at a steady pace, you might want to avoid enemies, but there's so many enemies that it's easy to fall to these red damage traps trying to avoid them. If your entire party dies, or if one character's max HP drops to 0, it's Game Over.
Another retro-styled issue with the game is how it progresses. Usually, you have to buy a map from the shop, and then you can enter a new area, but later down the line you'll be able to find maps, instead of buying them, by finding exits on previously explored maps. You are incited to explore ever nook and cranny, since you'll chart a map on the lower screen, which can then be sold for money. What makes it 'retro' is that there's more than a couple of times of 'WHAT DO I DO NOW!??!?!' For instance, after getting the Shadow Core, nothing in the game, not even the ever-useful king who repeats 'go explore something!', will tell you that you need to go back to the Ship Graveyard and travel back to where you fought the boss. There's not a single hint guiding you towards this place. I'd rather be spoonfed where to go next than this random, obscure crap.
In conclusion, The Legend of Legacy is a game that will appeal to a very niche crowd, and that very niche crowd only. It has a very unforgiving first part, when you are figuring out things on your own, a great midpoint, when you finally know what you are doing and battles are fair, and a very tedious endgame where you are trudging through long enemy encounters and somewhat unfair boss fights. Unless you are part of the very small niche that this game appeals to, this game isn't even worth a try.
5.0 out of 10