Majin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden

Majin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden was developed by Westone and published by Hudson.  It was a 1990 NES rpg based off of Mashin Hero Wataru – a sort of comedic giant robot anime.  As NES games go, it has some interesting features.  Most anime tie in games tend to be fairly poor.  Usually, they focus heavily on showing familiar features (in the case of this game, there’s the hero, his giant robot, and the music.)  They also tend to have weird difficulty curves or unbalanced features (which this game may have, but doesn’t appear early on.)  They also tend to have a fondness for free healing spots.

An early town in the game. The brown tent is an inn. The heavy black lines on the graphics is surprisingly nice looking.

The music is very catchy, and I suspect it’s based off of the series. Your hero is Wataru Ikusabe from the series, and the game begins with a fairly simple set up.  As best I can understand it, you need to find an area to unlock magic for your giant mecha, and then to gain 1000 gold to pay a roadblock to continue in the game.    Of course, this requires some grinding.  The amount of music available (between new areas, musical stings for levelling, and the like) is quite nice for a NES game.

Building interiors, like this inn, are brightly colored.

The battle system is the main remarkable feature of the game.  In a battle, your robot walks right and left and can jump.  By slashing with your sword, you can fight various monsters, and pick up the resulting treasure in real time.  While the system seems like it could get annoying late in the game, with enough levelling, it doesn’t feel impossible to play.

Two battle backgrounds in the game. The left shows collecting a chest after battle.

All in all, the game’s not impossible to play in Japanese.  There’s a nice walkthrough out there, and the actual game is pretty fun to play.  The area that seems to be the first dungeon, in particular, has a great combination of graphics and music that actually gives it a really convincing mood.

These stairs lead down to what I think is the first dungeon. Note the simple color changes that make it feel more ominous.

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