No, not THAT Neko, as cool as that would be, but this guy:
He's a feline merchant who takes full advantage of new markets, showing up in strange places to sell items for more than they would cost elsewhere. But the real reason I bring the game up at this time of year is because of the cameo from this fellow:
Yep, it's Santa Claus himself, who turned into a Frost Gigas when kids stopped believing in him. After you defeat the Gigas, though, he's back to his own jolly self. Also showing up at his workshop is Rudolph, as can be seen in this pictorial evidence:
As I mentioned, the immediate sequel to this game was never released in this country, but some later ones were. And the American version of Square came up with another game in much the same vein that wasn't really a sequel, called The Secret of Evermore. This game stars a kid who's obsessed with B-movies and his shape-shifting dog. A little cheesy, I suppose, but interesting. One thing I particularly remember about it is a cameo appearance by Cecil Harvey, the hero of Final Fantasy IV, who's living out his retirement as a shopkeeper in Ebon Keep. Minor crossovers between otherwise unrelated video games might well be something I'll address in a future post.