Articles by Rav

A loving look at best and the worst of the genre.

Legend is a 1991 Gameboy RPG, published by Quest.  There’s barely any discussion of the game that I can find, and it sounds like it’s pretty obscure.  As games go, it’s got some odd flaws, and definitely seems pretty generic.

This is the starting area of Legend, with the hero on the left at the bottom of the screen. This feels a lot like Twin or a dozen other RPGs, doesn't it?

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STED update

Redid the boss battle, and managed to keep Corona alive.  Unfortunately, much like the grinding near Orvis, I’m hitting another brick wall in regard to levelling.  You see, the next area is a new continent once you use your pass to unlock the tunnels.

The hero's present stats. Notice that we have 1492 credits. The grinding will take a while.

The monsters, as per usual, are worse on the new continent, and there’s a money grind as well.  Basically, if you bought the best of the new weapons, you’re looking at 28,000 gold.

One curious thing about how levelling works in the game.  There’s actually a sort of anti-cheat function.  Experience levels seem to be dependent on your stats.  So, for example, if you give yourself extra points to build the character, you’ll level more slowly.  You will also get less EXP if you’re wearing better armor.  It may actually be better to fight with bad equipment till you hit the level you want and then upgrade.

Other than that, I fear, I’m merely pushing my way through grinding in the game.

Simularity in RPGs

If you talk to someone who hates JRPGs, or RPGs (pen and paper or video game style ones,) they tend to bring up simularity or a lack of innovation.  You can find, for example, tons of D&D clones and there’s even the term “fantasy heartbreaker.”  This basically is used to cover games which claim to be someone’s better than Game X game.  Unfortunately, it’s the same flaws as Game X, and often the new elements are poorly planned or utterly unnoticeable.  In console / computer RPGs, there’s a pretty consistent complaint about novelty / innovation / sameyness between game series / games / etc.

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Silva Saga II

Silva Saga II is a very pretty SNES game.  It was released by Seta in 1993, and features a number of glitzy graphical effects.  The battle system and plot advancement, however, feels a lot like a more retro style Dragon Quest clone.  A translation was quite recently released for the game, but it’s pretty playable in Japanese, as long as you can figure out where to go.

Note the reflections in the water for the hero. The sprite work in the game does look pretty nice.

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Solid Runner

Solid Runner came out in 1997, and was a late game in the SNES lifespan.  It was developed by Sting, and published by ASCII.  The graphics are quite nice in the game, and there’s a number of subtle fancy details.  For example, the very first house in the game has double doors, and each door opens (and swings shut) depending on how you touch them.  Looking online, several Japanese commentators said that the game was gorgeous.

The internet of the far future is apparently a bulletin board like system. A very nice touch is that read messages vanish from the list.

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This game is by Tokyo Shoseki – the same people who published Elysion and a classic action RPG called Romancia.  Snark has a beta translation out, with some truncated lines of text.  The game is a text adventure game with real time side scrolling boss fights.  Considering the game came out in 1989, the game is pretty ambitious.

Choosing to enter a dangerous spring causes a rare death within the text adventure portion of the game.

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This NES game came out in 1990 from Konami.  It’s based off of a manga series which was notable for trying to emulate a “Western” style of plot and layout.  The story is fairly simple.  Your hero, Madara, was dismembered by an evil general, and was found in a river by an old man.  He recreated Madara’s limbs with “gadgets” and raised him as his son.  Meanwhile, the missing body parts are held by powerful generals.  When the old man, Tatara, dies, Madara strikes out to regain his true body parts and to end the Moki invasion.

The introduction shows the hero drifting down a river.

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I was watching someone play the early stages of Rogue Galaxy.  In that game, the tutorials were contextual. So, for example, you could get a reward from an enemy, and a tutorial would explain how to use that reward to upgrade your equipment.  You find an item shop, and a tutorial points it out, and suggests you stock up on items.

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Bloody Warriors

Bloody Warriors came out in 1990 from Toei Animation.  The game was never released in English, but there’s a very rough partial translation released by Dodgy Translations.  From what I could tell, the Japanese version of the game has a surprisingly simple menu system.  On average, you have only one or two choices when you pick something from a menu, and the main menu is only three options.  Each area of the game offers one set of equipment in the early game, and there’s really nothing other than hitting or healing in normal battles.  However, there are some interesting elements, no matter how simple this game may appear.

The elder asks the hero (with the white hair) if he will create a better world.

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Jikuu Yuuden Debias

This game came out in 1987 from Namco (credited as Namcot on the game cover.)  It’s a typical action RPG in the style of Faxanadu with a day / night cycle like Castlevania II.  Gil-Galad worked on a translation with Steve Martin and it was released recently.

In the intro, a schoolboy turns into a soldier in white and then starts the game outside the first town.

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