from the Introduction:
…each short campaign played with the Elegia rules should feel like its own separate game, as self-contained as any old video game cartridge. This may very well be the first RPG that seriously and explicitly sets out to capture for the tabletop the unique feel of retro console RPGs like Ultima, Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and others. To wit, Elegia is very much a game of combat and
exploration, albeit in a simplified and abstracted sort of way. If you have come here looking for a dramatic narrative, you are in the wrong place. But neither is this game particularly “old school”, in the sense that players are expected to equip themselves realistically for an expedition, counting rope and rations and torches and henchmen, and then go searching every hexagon on the map for tombs and ruins to loot. If you have come here looking for a swords-and-sorcery sandbox to play in, you also are in the wrong place! Elegia is for players who want to wander around a world map, encounter random monsters, grind for gold and “level-ups”, exchange key items for plot points, and take the battle all the way to the “final boss”.
Elegia is the precursor to, or an early edition of, Retro Phaze.
from the Introduction to Retro Phaze
Retro Phaze is a revision of Elegia, a new edition of the game with more than just the title getting a facelift. Excessive play-testing of the original game revealed its weakness, its imbalances, and its warts—those clunky little bits of inelegance which could use some smoothing over to make the game play better at the table. The upshot: Retro Phaze is not a thought experiment or an exercise in armchair RPG design. It is meant to be played. In the hands of a group that knows well and wants to embrace the tropes, modes, and clichés so lovingly reproduced here, it’s fun. You’ll find no false modesty here: when done right, this game is really fun!