Monthly Archives: December 2020

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates.

I’m playing games but won’t have any updates until after New Year; expect Farland Story 2 on the other blog probably next weekend, and then back here for Kishin Korinden Oni.

SFC Game 54 – Tenshi no Uta: Prayer of the White Wings

Tenshi no Uta: Prayer of the White Wings (天使の詩 白き翼の祈り)
Released 7/29/1994 by Telnet

 (I meant to schedule this for Sunday but I accidentally posted it instead, I’ll just leave it up.)

This is the third (and last) game in the Tenshi no Uta series. I played the first two, which were for PC Engine. Some places (such as GameFAQs) incorrectly say this is a remake of the PC Engine game, which it is not. 

The first game took place in a fictionalized Britain, with Christianity explicitly replacing the pagan religions. The second game was a direct sequel and began in a different world but ended up in Britain again. This game is still a sequel to the first two but takes place many years later, entirely in another world, and has only a tenuous connection to the previous games. The plot it mostly a rehash of elements from the first two games.

 Of course this lacks the voiced cutscenes of the first two games, but they still tried to capture some of that feeling with cutscenes featuring pictures. I don’t know why more games didn’t do this.

The battle system is pretty standard AMID (Dragon Quest II style). The only innovation is a negotiation system. Before each battle, you can choose to talk to enemies instead of fighting them. They might get mad and attack you (usually with a free turn for them). Otherwise you can choose a language to speak to them in. At first you only have gestures, but you can learn other languages throughout the game. After that they still might get mad with the same result. The negotiation can also fail. But if it succeeds you can ask them for money, gold, items, or friendship. Any way it turns out you gain some negotation experience and if you at least tried to talk to them your friendship level with that monster goes up. Sometimes monsters will show up randomly in combats and attack the enemies if you’re friends enough with them. This all makes the random encounters somewhat more interesting than normal.


The main character, Reyard, is the son of a blacksmith. One day he encounters a mysterious girl named Krana in the woods.

Soon, Krana is abducted by Rannell, the son of a local Duke. Reyard of course decides to go after her along with some friends. He meets up with Leon along the way, an expert swordsman who helps Reyard train. It turns out there’s a resistance movement against Rannell. Reyard is able to join up with them and beat up Rannell, rescuing Krana. Now Rannell is sought out by demonic powers and becomes a demon.

The next part of the game is just running away from the Duke’s men while we encounter various characters and enemies. There’s another Kurisu:

Kurisu always seems to be a girl’s name in JRPGs.

Eventually we meet the angel Raphael, who reveals that Krana is an angel that was sent to the world to judge humanity. This is the same story as Tenshi no Uta II except that in that game the heavenly powers were going to destroy the world. Here they’re just going to leave it undefended so the demonic powers can take it over. But Krana judges that there are a lot of good humans, and so Raphael pulls back and lets Krana join the attempt to defeat the demons. This begins with beating Bern, who is actually Belial.
After that, one of Lucifer’s main generals comes in and turns Krana to stone. In order to turn her back, we have to go to the underworld and beat the generals and Lucifer himself. This requires getting five different elemental symbols, so it’s time for the usual world-spanning fetch quest.

For the rest of the game your party is Leon, Reyard, and Revi and Sophia — these are two friends of Leon. Revi is supposed to be a wizard type character but I didn’t find attack magic very useful in this game, so he’s not all that useful. Sophia is the healer. Leon and Reyard are the front line attackers and tanks.

One odd aspect of this game is that at certain points, you are just awarded bonus levels (4-6 levels, but it may depend on how much grinding you did). Overall the difficulty level is not high, but there are parts where the enemies hit hard and it’s tough to run away from them. There were one or two dungeons where I got a bunch of game overs,  but by the end of the game it’s not too hard.

Once we get the five symbols, we’re in the last stage of the game. The three Lucifer generals are in a long cave leading down to the underworld.

By this time I did not find the game very difficult. Sophia heals, everyone else attacks, and a few buff spells make it pretty easy.

Lucifer is at the bottom in the underworld. 


Once defeated, Krana is able to convince him to abandon his hatred for humanity and join you (as a summon monster). Now all that’s left is Satan.


Satan was also the boss in the previous games. I didn’t find him that difficult.


After he’s beaten, Krana learns that her parents are Kearu and Claire (from the first Tenshi no Uta game). They come to take her back to heaven, but she decides to live as a human and marry Rayard.

This is not a bad game at all. It’s no masterpiece but it’s definitely worth a play, especially with the patch. The lack of voice acting is unfortunate compared to the first games but I thought this was a more fun game to play. The story isn’t as interesting because it lacks the real-world Britain of the first games and the idea of the conflict between Christianity and the pagan religions. Instead this is just a normal RPG world with demon names taken from Christianity. I think if we could have Tenshi no Uta II with the SNES game’s system that would be the best of both worlds.

PCE Game 35 – Dragon Knight III (short post)

So I was going to make a short post about this game but I’m not sure I could add anything to the Hardcore Gaming 101 coverage of it, and CRPG Addict’s series on Knights of Xentar (the English localization). The game is not really worth playing.

The main mystery surrounding this game is why Megatech Software decided to make the changes they did in the localization. In the original DK3, Takeru comes to a town during his journey with no real goal, and thieves accost him. He normally doesn’t like to draw his sword against humans so they’re able to beat him up and take his stuff. In the English localization, he stumbles into town drunk, and the same thing happens. In DK3, he goes to beat up bandits to get his stuff back and figures out that the leader is actually a demon. In KoX, there’s this bizarre dialogue about the bandits coming to the town and impregnating women with “demon seed”. Desmond (the KoX main character) smells really bad and has a tiny penis, neither of which is in DK3.

So why did they do this? My only guess is this. They were trying to introduce the world of Japanese eroge to western players who were totally unfamiliar with it. Perhaps they felt that they needed to make it more crassly comic and insulting to make it less creepy or offputting to an audience who might not have reacted well to a cartoon porn game that took itself (fairly) seriously. But I really don’t know. I also wondered if the localizers themselves found the game creepy and were taking a kind of revenge by translating it this way.

There are two more Dragon Knight games that I will be playing — I will at least start the Dragon Knight 1 remake for PCE which is still another year or so away. Dragon Knight IV is an SRPG that was released for SNES, Playstation, and PC-FX (the followup to the PC Engine). I’ll be playing the Playstation version (which seems to be the most polished remake) on my other blog relatively soon.

I’ve already finished Tenshi no Uta so that post should come out this weekend.

SFC Game 53 – Sword World SFC 2

Sword World SFC 2 (ソード・ワールドSFC2)
Released 7/15/1994, T&E Soft


This game is a followup to Sword World SFC, a game based on a popular tabletop RPG in Japan. The game is still going in Japan, with 2.0 released in 2008 and 2.5 in 2018. It seems that in successive versions they have abandoned the more realistic (D&D based?) art of the original and gone with a contemporary anime art style. But this SNES game is still based on the original version.

The system and the way the game works is nearly identical to the first game, so please review my post on that game. The only major change is that you can now level your classes up to 10 instead of 5. There are also more missions than the first game, and there is more story. The game shares the same flaws as the first game, but I liked it in spite of that — the game was clearly created by people who were familiar with playing tabletop RPGs, and each mission feels like an abstracted tabletop gaming session. In my experience, only Pool of Radiance shares that quality, and I would say that in some ways these two Sword World games feel even more tabletop-like than the AD&D Gold Box ones. (However, I think that this game goes further towards standard video game RPG elements than the first game did.)

As in the first game you start out creating a character. This time I went with a Dwarf Fighter-Priest. One visual change in this game is that you have the option to see the dice rolling for everything. This slows down the game a lot and I did not enable it, but I think that if you knew the actual SW tabletop rules this would be a useful option. Although I don’t know how authentic it is; if you had the SW rulebook could you actually know exactly what die roll you were aiming for? The game itself does not tell you.


You can then go around the Inn and recruit some characters. I went with these:

  • Cynthia, a human with Sorcerer 2 and Sage 2.
  • Materia, a half-elf with Thief 3 and Shaman 2.
  • Salem, a human with Sorcerer 2, Priest 2, and Sage 1

I had initially taken another fighter but the enemies on the first mission are almost impossible to hit for some reason, so magic is necessary. You also quickly get Arveil, who apparently is from one of the supplemental books for SW. He’s a fighter and stays with you the rest of the game. 

The first mission is to discover what’s going on in the tombs underneath the city. As I said, these missions feel like the way we would play D&D as kids — you get some kind of mission, have to gather information, then explore a dungeon and do some fights and find treasure. Some of the missions don’t involve much (or any) fighting.
For some reason this first mission is quite difficult; as I said above the enemies can barely be hit by the fighters so you have to rely on magic. The characters’ MP is not very important because you just buy Magic Stones that can be used as MP.
Once you complete this quest, Arveil is called by the King. He used to be a knight but had his title stripped; he can gain it back by doing this task — go to the western town of Palmia and borrow a secret document they have, and return it to the king. The game from this point basically divides into two parts. The journey to Palmia takes you through a number of cities or towns. Each one has additional missions, some of them you can skip and some you have to do.

Along the way we start picking up bits of information about the giants. They seem to be attacking humans more than usual. They’re upset about this great road that was made connecting all the cities — while it increased the trade and prosperity of the human cities, it also caused the humans to encroach onto the giants’ lands and start to kill them and rob their things. At one point we befriend a captive giant who has been made to fight in an arena. The ruler of the city was going to use poison and other means to make sure he lost, but we also enter the tournament and ensure that we win, requesting that the giant gets freed in return.

A lot of the other missions are small, side-quest type things like protecting sheep from wolves, finding herbs to cure sick people, etc. In this first part of the game, Sleep Cloud is by far the most useful spell. It has a huge range and puts most enemies to sleep, allowing the fighters to pick them off. 
This game shares the problem of the last one in that you don’t feel like your guys are getting stronger. This is partly because the numbers are all hidden — there’s no in game indication at all of what it does to level up from Fighter 2 to Fighter 3. The instruction manual for the original game did not specify, and I suppose you would have to look at the TRPG rulebook to find out.

My main party was Arveil and Kurisu who were focusing on fighters (I leveled up Kurisu’s priest ability until he could use Cure Disease since that seems to be the only way to heal it), and one Sorcerer and Shaman. 

Eventually we reach Palmia and recover the secret document, which turns out to be the method by which the Great Road was constructed — the King wants to construct another one apparently. But before we can head back to the King, the giant problem becomes more acute. It turns out that one of the giants is going to do a ritual involving human blood that will result in the resurrection of a god. I was somewhat disappointed by this because it seems like this is where the game goes back into standard JRPG territory. That’s not to say that D&D games never involved this kind of story, but they could have gone with something else.

First we have to be allowed by this wise old giant to go in and stop the ritual. After this is the final dungeon, and this is also very JRPG like — you have to find 4 orbs and use them in the right rooms to unlock doors and move on.

The final boss has two forms (JRPG again) and it’s a rather annoying fight because he can only be hurt by three things — a special sword you get, one spell, and an item that casts that spell. I got basically no use out of the spell so it was just up to the sword, meaning that there was some luck in whether the boss chose to attack the sword guy or not.
Once we win, the people at Palmia warn us that the King may want the road building document to build a new road to the east in preparation for new wars and conquests, just as they did against the giants before. But there’s no choice; we return the document, Arveil becomes a knight again, and the game ends. Now there is one other ending if you take a different choice earlier in the game; maybe in that case you don’t give the document to the king?
Overall I enjoyed this game as much as I did the first one. The story is much better, but I wish they had not gone with the JRPG-style conclusion. I think this would be even more enjoyable if you actually understood the Sword World system, but it’s playable even if you don’t.

This seems to have been the last of the Sword World based RPGs. There are some mobile games that I can’t find any information about, and then in the 2000s there were several games based on Sword World 2.0, but I’m not sure any of them are RPGs. There was a DS game but it seems to be a choose your own adventure style game (maybe more like the Lone Wolf books if anyone remembers those).
Next up is Dragon Knight III but I’m only going to be making a short post on that; I’ve already started Tenshi no Uta (which has a patch).

Doing more with this blog

I got a comment from an anonymous user that aligned with something I had been thinking for a while — the progress on this blog has slowed down too much because of the SRPG blog. I want to do both projects, but I think doing a 1-to-1 alternation is naturally prioritizing the other blog because the SRPGs tend to be longer. Lately I haven’t even been averaging one game a month on this blog, which is far too slow.

I have two possible fixes for this — one is to do 2-to-1 favoring this blog unless the SRPG is very short (like Tenchi Muyo! I just did which only took me 4 days). The second is to play SRPGs and the SNES RPGs at the same time so that I always have a post to make here each weekend. This might be a better option although I have never liked playing multiple RPGs at once. Or if readers have any other ideas?

Tomorrow or Sunday I will have a new update with Sword World SFC 2 and I have started Tenshi no Uta so I will have updates here for the next few weekends and hopefully I can go more quickly here in the future.

SRPG Game 48 – Tenchi Muyo! Game-hen (SFC)



Tenchi Muyo is an old school anime (at least in the English world); I remember it being one of the small number of things available in English when I first started watching anime, although I never actually saw it. It’s a basic “harem” anime where this normal high school student gets surrounded by a bunch of women. In this case most of them are aliens, Galaxy Police, or other such characters. The first OVA series came out in 1992 and by the time this game was released, there were a total of 2 OVA series and a 26 episode anime. The series is actually still going on, with a new OVA series this year.

The game doesn’t make any attempt to set the background up for the series or introduce the characters (although probably there was some explanation in the instruction manual). That being said I didn’t find it difficult to follow at all. The character types are pretty broadly conceived and easy to understand, and the plot itself doesn’t seem to rely much on previous knowledge of the series.

Definitely the best part of the game is the graphics and presentation. All of the figures are large and detailed, with unique animations for each attack, animations for getting hit, and various animations and picture graphics during the story sequence. Each character also has voicing during their moves; it’s very limited but adds to the appeal.

The game, however, is lacking in a lot of areas. It is quite short and easy, and can be finished in just a couple of days.  This is fine for 2020 when most people playing it probably aren’t paying for it (or if you are, it’s $7 on ebay or $25 with box and manual). But I can imagine that being frustrating for the original audience who paid 10,000 yen. I would rather play a short, easy game that has design flaws than a long frustrating one.

Each character has 8 levels. The level ups are based entirely on number of monsters defeated, but there’s no way to check what the current number is. But this is kind of strange that beating the  earliest monsters in the game provides the same “experience” as the final monsters. 

Each level grants a new move for the character. This is nice, and I appreciate when characters grow throughout the game and learn new powers. The powers use the “kiai” stat, which you see as the green diamonds to the right of the picture above. You recover some kiai each turn and the stronger moves use it. If you have full kiai, most characters can Morph into another form, which grants different powers, and the Morph lasts until the kiai reaches 0. This aspect of the gameplay is good.

However, there is no equipment at all, and only 4 characters per battle. The characters movement is very slow, and seems to be a Tactics Ogre system where turns are based on speed and if you don’t move or act, your turn comes up more quickly.


There are 12 total characters. Some are optional or (slightly) hidden. The differences between the characters are pretty stark, with some characters being nearly useless. The party I have above (Sasami, Katsuhito, Washu, and Shitsuki) are pretty clearly the best party, although Tenchi could be subbed in for Katsuhito without too much trouble.

There is a world map (three of them) and you can choose where you go next, and you can go back and forth between places to level up. Typical battles are against 4-6 enemies with some reinforcements slowly coming in as you play.

The basic story involves this woman Shizuki coming in and capturing Sasami, and then we have to go rescue her. But then it leads into another fight against the purple haired person above, and you go to the moon to defeat her. The plot is decent enough but nothing all that special.

At the end you get a “maniac grade”; I only got 60/100 because I only moved 4 characters up to max level. If I had done that with the other 8 I would have gotten 100%.

This game is nothing exceptional, but it’s fine for a casual play. It can be finished in less than 8 hours. If you’re a fan of Tenchi Muyo! it’s definitely worth a try, but even if you aren’t, it’s a perfectly playable game.