Recently we were informed that the March 2001 issue of Nintendo Power magazine contains a short story about Lufia: the Legend Returns, along with two screenshots. We have been unable to obtain the magazine or scans of the screenshots, but the full article follows:
The day will soon dawn when RPG fans awake to discover that Natsume's long-awaited epic, Lufia: The Legend Returns for Game Boy Color, is calling their names. The legend began in 1993 when Taito released Lufia & the Fortress of Doom for the Super NES. It grew stronger three years later when Lufia II: The Rise of the Sinistrals appeared. For five years the legend has slept, but now it is stirring. Natsume is just completing the English translation and hopes to release the game this spring. NP's exclusive screen shots from Natsume show highly detailed graphics of overworld and interior areas of the game. The battle system, said to be similar to the system used in Lufia II, allows you to use weapons, spells, items or your shield. As for the story, 100 years have passed since Doom Island sank into the waves, and 12 heroes have appeared in the land to combat the growing darkness-- among them are a Warrior, a Magician, a Princess, a Pirate, a Robber, a Wanderer and an Idol. They head for the "Tower of Judgement" together, in quest of something that they don't understand. All will become clear one day soon. Awaken, dreamer, awaken!
(Source: Nintendo Power Volume 142, March 2001, p.18)
Many thanks to YoshMaster for the tip and article transcript. YoshMaster also provides some interesting details from one of the screenshots, which shows a battle with nine party members simultaneously engaging the traditionally large and detailed Lufia enemies. The battle menu reportedly contains something similar to Lufia II's IP gauge. Whether or not all twelve heroes may be used in a single battle is under speculation. From the screenshot it appears that the screen can scroll to the left and possibly reveal more characters.
The other screenshot featured a boat near a port, with quality graphics for a Game Boy Color game.
Another interesting bit from the article is that out of the fourteen characters revealed (along with one capsule monster and a villain), apparently only twelve will join your party.
In addition, in an unconfirmed e-mail interview between Natsume and fan Thomas Koessler, more details surfaced about Lufia: the Legend Returns. Reportedly, team members from the first two Lufia games, if not the entire team, has returned for the project. The entire team's involvement seems unlikely, however, given the difficulties Never-Land company experienced several years ago. Natsume also promises the "clearest and best sound ever played on a Gameboy system," along with graphics similar to Lufia II. What is likely to interest fans the most, though, is a projected May release date. However, keep in mind that these details came from an unofficial interview and may not be accurate.
Information from the Nintendo Power article, though, may be taken as fact. We hope for additional screenshots and information to follow shortly, now that the next Lufia game appears to be just over the horizon.