Makai Hakkenden Shada

As best I can tell, this game is another game based around the ancient novel Nanso Satomi Hakkenden.  The plot is similar to the 1982 novel Shin Satomi Hakkenden with a reworked plot based off of the orginal.  The game is a PCEngine HuCard game published by Data East, and came out in 1989.

This is the first town in the game. The hero is in the upper right, facing the wall.

The game has some pretty attractive graphics, considering the era, and there’s large faces for the interior talking scenes.  For example, the weapon shop owner has a hilarious eyebrow twitch when you come in to talk with him.  Scrolling and walking around is pretty smooth.  Unfortunately, talking is done by hitting a button on some people, and bumping other people.  This means you can end up getting stuck in a conversation due to just walking into someone.

The weapon shop owner has a hilarious twitching right eyebrow.

Ys and clones of Ys all have a certain amount of grinding at the start of the game.  Unfortunately, Makai Hakkenden Shada feels incredibly dangerous.  You start with 10 HP.  If you don’t buy the initial armor (of course, one of them is too expensive to buy, much like Ys,) you will die almost instantly.  Unlike Ys, it’s not that easy to get money for the last piece of armor.  It’s 120 gold, and you get about 2 gold per early enemy.

One hit from a phoenix outside left the hero with half his health gone.

Ys has a combat system involving walking into enemies on a slight angle.  The back is more fragile on your character and enemies, and enemies that are high leveled will destroy you even if you are using the back.  A weak enemy is easily killed from the front.  In Makai Hakkenden Shada, a face to face fight will kill you, even at the start of the game.  I lost half my health in one hit from an enemy turning toward me.

The bar at the bottom is the health of the bird that just tied. The one above it is the hero's health. On the left are the jewels of the eight warriors. At the top, there's the money, and then EXP.

From what little I played, the hero found a forest, and a companion, and then someone vanished and left him alone in a forest full of annoying enemies.  Japanese websites complain about confusing gameplay (ranging from tedious poisoning mechanics, odd puzzle design, etc.) and high levels of difficulty.   The companions you find in the game seem to be mostly used to advance the plot and open doors.  This seems very different from the allies in Satomi Hakkenden (NES), or your large and varied party in Shin Satomi Hakkenden (NES.)  All in all, this game is more notable for being a clunky Ys clone.  The graphics, music, and plot all are overshadowed by the game that it isn’t.

An old man discusses the plot before giving you 300 gold and some experience.

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