Mahoujin Guru Guru

Mahoujin Guru Guru is a comedic series, as best I can tell.  The game came out on the SNES in 1995 from Enix.  It’s more or less a roguelike.  You’ve got a set of towers of magic, and your two characters climb them to the top to face a boss.

The mage claps her hands.

During the game, the boy is an uncontrolled defender of the mage.

The battle system is interesting.  The animations vary depending on the strength of your defender character, but over time he is less winded from fighting.  On the bottom right, you can see a grinning sun.  Over time, that fills up  with magical slots.  To cast magic, you press a button for the type of magic, and then directions to mix a form of spell.  At the start of the game, one button is fire, and another is ice.  Fire, up, up equals a fireball.  Ice, up, up equals a sort of icicle attack.

A circle, an upward angle, a line

This is the fireball spell glyph from early in the game.

The gameplay reminds me of the Torneko style roguelikes.  That is to say, a randomized dungeon with wandering monsters and randomized treasures.  Each area has a ‘level’ of treasure.  For example, the first floors of an early area has healing items from enemies and 100R (the money type in the game.)  At the end of a dungeon set, you unlock a new spell after defeating a boss.  The town in the game is mostly there to restock and to occasionally unlock various items.

The main characters walk along a shore

The sprites in this game are huge and have several idle animations.

The graphics in this game seem mostly interested in showing the personality of the characters.  There’s a great deal of digitized voice in the game from your main characters, and every villager has a set of idle animations.  For example, the king is constantly preening his mustache, and there’s a guy near the tower of magic who adjusts his cloak and leans on a tree occasionally.

A map shows where you've walked and darkness covers unexplored maze areas.

Exploring the tower includes a map.

As for the actual exploration, there’s darkness covering unexplored territory, and a map.  Blue dots represent enemies, red represents the main characters, and green represents a teleporter to leave the level.  The music for the exploration is actually pretty nice.  The dungeon tilesets and enemies change as you explore.  Still, as the game goes on, the main excitement is from timing your magic and not from the actual exploration.

More complex spell glyphs.

This shows some magic from later in the game.

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