Last updated
Lufia series logo.png
The logo for Lufia.
Genres Role-playing video game
Developer(s) Neverland Co., Ltd.
Atelier Double (The Ruins of Lore)
Publisher(s) Taito, Square Enix, Natsume Inc., Atlus USA
Platforms Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Color, Mobile phone, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
First release Lufia & the Fortress of Doom
June 25, 1993
Latest release Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals
February 25, 2010

Lufia, known as Estpolis Denki(エストポリス伝記, officially translated Biography of Estpolis [1] ) in Japan, is a series of role-playing video games developed by Neverland (aside from The Ruins of Lore, which was developed by Atelier Double). In Japan, the games were originally published by Taito and later, its now-parent company Square Enix (with Curse of the Sinistrals), and after the closing of Taito's North American branch after the release of the first game, Natsume Inc. (Rise of the Sinistrals, The Legend Returns, and Curse of the Sinistrals) Atlus USA (The Ruins of Lore) in the U.S. While the games are primarily traditional 2D RPGs, they draw on elements from many other genres including action-adventure, monster collecting, and puzzle games. In the 1990s the games were originally developed on the Super NES while the most recent installment, Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, was developed for the Nintendo DS and was released in Japan on February 25, 2010 and in North America on October 12, 2010. The series currently consists of six games, including this most recent installment.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Neverland Company Inc. was a Japanese video game developer founded on May 7, 1993. It has developed games for Super NES, Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and the Wii. The most notable games this company developed were part of the Lufia and Rune Factory series of video games. On November 29, 2013, the company announced that it would cease operations and file for bankruptcy. The very next day, Rune Factory producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto of Marvelous AQL, the series publisher, said that while what their next project was a secret, "the staff members are still doing great." In February 2014, it was revealed that the Rune Factory development team had been hired by Marvelous AQL, and that they were developing the Nintendo 3DS simulation role-playing video game Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven.

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.



The Lufia series spans the course of two centuries, beginning with the defeat of the god-like Sinistrals in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. These events are followed by Ruins of Lore, which takes place 20 years after Rise of the Sinistrals ends. Fortress of Doom picks up another 79 years (99 years after the events of Rise of the Sinistrals) later. The current series ends with the Sinistrals' final defeat in Legend Returns, which takes place 101 years after Fortress of Doom.


Lufia follows the exploits of the hero Maxim and his quest to defeat the Sinistrals; after his death, this task is taken up by his descendants through several generations. One of his descendants is Wain, the main male protagonist of "The Legend Returns".

List of media

Video games


Original release date(s):
  • JP: June 25, 1993 (1993-06-25)
  • NA: December 4, 1993 (1993-12-04)
Release years by system:
Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Mobile Phones

The first game in the Lufia series made for the Super Famicom published in Japan in June 1993 (under the name Estpolis Denki) and later that year for the SNES in North America. It starts out with a prologue where a team of warriors defeat the evil group of super-beings called the Sinistrals. Then, the story changes to the main story of the descendants of these heroes, and how the Sinistrals are trying to be reborn.

The game was ported to Japanese mobile phones in 2009. [2]

Original release date(s):
  • JP: February 24, 1995 (1995-02-24)
  • NA: August 1996 (1996-08)
  • EU: 1997 (1997)
Release years by system:
Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, released in Japan for the Super Famicom under the name Estpolis Denki II, is a prequel to Lufia & The Fortress of Doom that takes place right before the events of the first game occurred. Notably, it ends partly with the events that begin the first Lufia, making the first game's introduction a partial spoiler for the second. It was released in Europe as simply "Lufia" because Lufia & the Fortress of Doom was not released in Europe. This often causes a bit of confusion.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07)
  • NA: September 20, 2001 (2001-09-20)
  • EU: October 23, 2001 (2001-10-23)
Release years by system:
Game Boy Color

Released in Japan in 2000 as Estpolis Denki: Yomigaeru Densetsu, and in the following year in America, Lufia: The Legend Returns is the series' first handheld adventure on the Game Boy Color. Taking advantage of the Game Boy's new enhanced color palette, the game features sophisticated 8-bit graphics, a new battle system and randomized dungeons. In this game, the player acts as a descendant of Maxim in the fight against the Sinistrals.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: March 8, 2002 (2002-03-08)
  • NA: May 6, 2003 (2003-05-06)
Release years by system:
Game Boy Advance

Lufia: The Ruins of Lore was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2002 as Estpolis Gaiden: Chinmoku no Iseki and a year later in North America. It is a gaiden or "sidestory" game that deviates from the normal lore of the series. It was published by Taito in Japan and Atlus in America.

Estpolis Denki DX

Original release date(s):
Release years by system:
Mobile Phones

Estpolis Denki DX or Estpolis Biography DX is a mobile phone game only downloadable in Japan. It consists of the "Ancient Cave" scenario from Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, featuring characters and enemies from the original game.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: February 25, 2010 (2010-02-25)
  • NA: October 12, 2010 [3]
Release years by system:
Nintendo DS

Titled Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, [3] it was developed by the staff of the original Lufia and was announced in November 2009. [4] The game was released for the Nintendo DS on February 25, 2010, in Japan, priced at 5,890 Yen [5] and was released later the same year in North America. [3] The game is a re-imagining of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals with modified story and characters, as well as being an action RPG.

Canceled titles

Lufia: Ruins Chaser

Original release date(s):
Release years by system:

Lufia: Ruins Chaser was a game being developed by Japanese software company Nihon-Flex for the PlayStation until they went bankrupt. For a time, development of the title ceased; however, it was picked up and heavily remade in both story and graphics, being renamed Lufia: The Legend Returns .

Lufia: Beginning of a Legend

Original release date(s):
Release years by system:
Game Boy Color

Lufia: Beginning of a Legend was in development for the Game Boy Color alongside Ruins Chaser for the PlayStation, and was to be a prequel to Lufia II as it told of Maxim's early days as an adventurer years before the Sinistrals strike.


Japanese and Western review scores
Game Famitsu GameRankings Metacritic
Lufia & the Fortress of Doom 28/40 [6] --
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals 30/40 [7] 80% [8] -
Lufia: The Legend Returns 26/40 [9] 61% [10] -
Lufia: The Ruins of Lore 29/40 [11] 71% [12] 76/100 [13]
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals 30/40 [14] 77% [15] 80/100 [16]

See also

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  1. Neverland Co., Ltd. (25 June 1993). Estpolis Denki. Super Famicom. Taito Corporation. < Staff > [...] Biography of Estpolis
  2. 株式会社タイトー|公式ページ| Archived 2009-12-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "『エストポリス』名作RPGの新作が発売決定". Famitsu. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
  5. "Lufia project confirmed for DS – first details". GoNintendo. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2009-11-18.
  6. "エストポリス伝記 [スーパーファミコン]". Famitsu . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  7. "エストポリス伝記II [スーパーファミコン]". Famitsu . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  8. "Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals for Super Nintendo". GameRankings . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  9. "エストポリス伝記 〜よみがえる伝説〜 [ゲームボーイ]". Famitsu . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  10. "Lufia: The Legend Returns for Game Boy Color". GameRankings . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  11. "沈黙の遺跡 〜エストポリス外伝〜 [GBA]". Famitsu . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  12. "Lufia: The Ruins of Lore for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  13. "Lufia: The Ruins of Lore for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  14. "エストポリス [DS]". Famitsu . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  15. "Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals for DS". GameRankings . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  16. "Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals for DS Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 2018-09-13.