Category Archives: PC Engine RPGs

PCE Game 46 – Kaze no Densetsu Xanadu II

Kaze no Densetsu Xanadu II (風の伝説ザナドゥII), released 6/30/1995, developed by Falcom

I only have four PC Engine RPGs left on my list, although because the last one was released so late, I won’t finish up the PCE until I’m almost done with the Super Famicom RPGs as well. All four of the remaining games get fairly good reviews so I may finish them all, although we’ll see.

This is a followup to Legend of Xanadu, which I covered earlier. I would recommend reading that post since this game is very similar to the previous one. However, it is shorter, simpler, and overall much easier.

The graphics are much improved compared to the original; they finally make full use of the PC Engine’s capabilities. The system is the same — you still run into enemies (although now you swing the sword automatically rather than just running into them). The weapons and armor work the same way, where you gain stats for the weapons by attacking and the armor/shield by getting hit. So the first thing to do in any new area is just get beat up by the enemies until your armor/shield have reached a high enough % that you don’t take any more damage, and then continue. There’s basically no challenge.

HP is different; you no longer gain max HP from staying at inns, but only for using Mushrooms or gaining hearts.

The side-scrolling action sequences return from Xanadu I, but with a significant change — only the boss fights are done this way, there are no scrolling stages the way there were in the first game. The bosses are also much easier than the first game because they changed the way the healing items work. In 1, you had two healing items — 1000 hp heal, or full heal. At the beginning of the game the 1000 hp heals are so powerful you can just mash your way through the boss battles, but by the end the full heals are too rare/expensive and the 1000 hp heal barely anything, so it becomes harder. In 2, the basic healing item scales with stages, so that it remains viable up to the final chapter. This means that all of the boss battles can be beaten just by holding down the turbo button for attack. Apparently they added some moves you can do with button combos like a fighting game, and there’s a down stab that I did use in one or two fights, but mostly you can just hold down the turbo button and win.

You can also apparently play 2-player in the boss fights.

The first game involved a huge amount of backtracking, and flags involving talking to various people in the right order — this was annoying but did flesh out the world. The sequel got rid of all of that so that it’s much more streamlined, but you do lose the detail. There are also only 8 chapters instead of 12, and the dungeons are shorter — even the final dungeon, which is longer than the rest, is nothing compared to the massive final dungeon of 1.

Like 1, each chapter ends with a cutscene voiced sequence, which is the only voicing in the game other than the (rather long) prologue. The story continues from the first game and is fairly typical Falcom.

The game takes place 3 years after the first game; in game the magic from Ishtaria (goddess) had disappeared, and the main character Arios overcame the challenge, brought peace to the world, and now is king. But now with the loss of the magic, other continents are available for travel (I don’t remember why they were blocked before, maybe protection of the goddess or something like that). So Arios sends Ryukos from the first game to investigate a new land nearby. But they lose track of him, and so Arios himself goes with Daimos (also from the first game) to investigate.

From here it’s a pretty typical plot — collect 7 gems to prevent the rebirth of a dark god, but we can’t prevent it so then defeat the dark god. It’s competent enough but nothing we haven’t seen before. As I said, there is far less detail and depth than in the first game, particularly with the side characters.

I often have problems in ARPGs finding my way around, and i was even more acute in this game; the corridors all look the same and there are a lot of hidden passageways.

No cheats, this is just your power level at the end of the game

In the end I think I liked the first game better, despite its flaws. The second game has much better graphics, and the streamlined system is certainly easier to play. But at the same time it lacks the overall quality of the first game. (One Japanese site I read said that even though the first game was a console original it felt like a port of a PC game whereas this feels like a console original — I would agree with that.)

When you finish the game you get some bonus modes where you can replay with all your equipment, do a Time Attack on the bosses, watch the visual scenes, replay any of the chapters, and maybe some other things.

So this game isn’t bad — it’s a game to play quickly, enjoy a bit, and forget.

Next week I will be posting the list of games for July through September 1995. I need an extra week of padding for Sangokushi Koumeiden because it’s a rather long game but the gameplay is nearly identical to Eiketsuden and I’m still not going to summarize the entire Three Kingdoms story so I won’t have a whole lot to say about it. I’m also going to be on vacation a few times this summer so it’s possible that I will not be able to keep up the weekly posting all summer, but I’ll do my best.

PCE Game 45 – Nekketsu Legend Baseballer

Nekketsu Legend Baseballer (熱血レジェンド ベースボーラー), released 6/16/1995, developed by Pack In Video

I really did not know what to expect with this title — it turns out this is a horrendously bad RPG; if it weren’t so obscure I think it would be a legendary kusoge. The opening narration is ridiculous. The game takes place on Planet Yakyuu (baseball), which was abandoned by most human colonists because of the harsh living conditions. But baseball players developed it and lived there. Then the evil Dark Baseballer spirit attacked, but 9 holy baseball players defeated it. This narration is done in apparent seriousness; I don’t think this was intended to be a gag or parody.

The main character is the son of one of the 9 holy baseball legends. As you can see the graphics are terrible even for PC Engine, and the voice acting is laughably bad. It’s rare to see really incompetent voice acting from a Japanese game but this may be the worst I’ve seen.

The guy at the bottom has joined the Dark Baseballer forces and killed the other 8 legends. The father tries to use Holy Ball Excalibur but the other guy returns it with Dark Hit Deathbringer and kills the dad. Now the dad passes on the holy symbol to his son, who has to go out and defeat the Dark Baseballer forces.

Here’s the excellent town graphics.

The battle system is a mess — when you get into a battle it goes into some kind of baseball game, but it’s basically just a skin over a regular “hold down the attack button” system.

Basically you throw a pitch, and it’s either a strike (enemy takes damage), a ball (both take damage), or a hit (you take damage). It’s very slow, apparently the fights can take 20-30 minutes in the later part of the game even though you just hold down the turbo button to win.

You assign your members to the 9 positions but it doesn’t seem to have any real effect because in the end you’re just holding the attack button down.

If you can understand Japanese this is a great video on the game. The guy who did this has a channel where he plays bad games (kusoge) and he said this was in the top 5 worst he had ever played. He also faulted the terrible voice acting (which is even worse than what I saw, later in the game), stupid story, and slow battle system — apparently it’s even worse on an actual PC Engine because the loading times are very long. He also said the system is really unbalanced and he never saw the enemies get a hit. He usually streams the games as he does it but he stopped streaming it after the first two because it was so slow and boring, and he said he watched 4 movies to pass the time during the battles (he put something on top of the controller button).

There’s also the usual problem of not being able to see what anything does in the shops or item menu. There’s also a bug where if you choose what you want to buy and then cancel out, you get the item anyway without paying money.

Obviously I did not finish this game, or even play it much — it’s hard to see how this trainwreck of a game was released in 1995 but I guess there are kusoge in every period.

PCE Game 44 – Gulliver Boy

Imagination Science World Gulliver Boy (空想科学世界ガリバーボーイ), released 5/26/1995, developed by Hudson

This is a game based on an anime that ran during 1995. As the title and the picture above indicate, it takes place in an alternate post-Renaissance Europe, where magic and technology coexist. There were three games based on the IP — this one (which was remade for Saturn in 1996), a puzzle game on the Game Boy, and an action RPG on the Super Famicom which I will get to eventually (I have it as game 117 on my list).

The development team that worked on the PC Engine game contained some people that worked on Tengai Makyo, and it shows in the presentation of the game. The most impressive thing about the game is the inclusion of a large number of FMV anime sequences, something that I’m not sure occurs in any other PCE game. This follows a pattern that you can see in games like Star Ocean and Super Robot Taisen J, where late in the release cycle of a console developers figure out how to wring every last drop of capability from the system.

What is impressive is not only that the FMV sequences exist, but how many of them there are and how long each one is. I just played Harukaze Sentai V Force, which relied on many anime sequences as well, but then the rest of the game suffered due to the time and money spent on it. Gulliver Boy was able to avoid this trap because the anime and game were planned at the same time, and even though the game takes place in the second half of the anime story, the animators were able to reuse many of the anime sequences for the show, so they could share the development budget.

Now because the scenes are on the PC Engine, they don’t look great. The resolution is small and there is a lot of dithering to get the graphics to work out, but despite that they are perfectly watchable and do add to the experience.

In addition to the anime scenes, a lot of dialogue is voiced. On the whole, it’s one of the most impressive RPGs on the system from a visual and presentation standpoint.

Like Tengai Makyo, the gameplay itself is kind of disappointing. It’s a typical RPG style of this era, although simplified in some ways. There’s only one equipment slot for each character, and it isn’t really a weapon or armor but depends on who they are (like Edison gets springs). Each character also has a special ability that uses MP (magic for Gulliver, science for Edison — thematically different, but not in gameplay). For some reason there is no visible XP, but you do level up after beating enough monsters.

The game starts with Gulliver, who is the son of a rich trading company president. He saves his friend Edison, a science geek, from some tough guys but in the process Edison’s new invention destroys the bell tower in Venice. As punishment, Gulliver gets sent to a magic school, where he’s bored out of his mind.

One of the teachers tells him to undergo the Trials Cave in order to unlock his “magic mind” and graduate from the school.

The battle system is sort of an FF4 type real-time system. Since there’s no XP I didn’t even realize you could level by fighting monsters, so I ran into big trouble in the trial cave until I watched a video and saw that you can indeed level by fighting. So I did that for a bit and made it through the cave (since it’s just Gulliver, there’s no possible strategy, just holding down fight).

Gulliver graduates and heads back to Venice, where his father gives him a ship and sets him out to trade. He picks up Edison, of course, and a new companion Feebee, a sort of sprite or fairy.

She acts randomly in battle to do various things. You can also give her items but it was never clear to me what that did.

Gulliver goes around visiting some of the towns on the Mediterranean, but when he returns to Venice, Spanish soldiers have taken over the town, led by Doga who wants to become a king. The actual king is weak and powerless, but Gulliver’s father tries to fight Doga.

Doga kills Gulliver’s father, but then we manage to take him down and chase him off. At the same time, a mysterious man is trying to capture a girl named Misty that Gulliver met earlier. Gulliver tries to save her but the man (Gekko) kicks the crap out of him.

Gulliver decides he needs to chase after Gekko, but the way out of the Mediterranean is blocked by Spanish mines. Enter the butler of Gulliver’s house, who was actually a pirate, and he helps Gulliver meet another pirate named Vulcan. After doing a little quest for Vulcan, he removes the mines for us and we are out into the wide sea.

He takes us to an underground cave where Misty and Gekko are. Even though Gekko kicks our ass again, a mysterious ninja girl comes in and drives him off, allowing us to save Misty.

Unfortunately back in Venice, the whole city is underwater. Gulliver finds the Chinese wolfman dude who he got the fairy from.

The guy tells him that something big is going to happen, but Gulliver can stand up to it, and he gives Gulliver a glove with a gem on it that will increase his power.

This is where I stopped, which seems to be about 20% of the game. As I said above, the system is boilerplate and not very interesting, but the animation, voice, and story all seem quite good, so this is probably worth a play if the pedestrian gameplay doesn’t bother you.

SFC Game List (1995, April through June)

Time for a new post outlining my next set of games. As usual, I took my full list from a variety of sources, some of which are very liberal in labeling something an RPG. There’s also a burst of PCE games in this section. The bolded games are the ones I will be playing.

The first three games on the list are all games that I think qualify as Action RPGs, but I’m not 100% certain about any of them.

  • Lady Stalker: Challenge from the Past
  • Mahoujin Guruguru
  • Rejoice: From Far Aretha’s Kingdom (the last game in the Aretha series)
  • La Wares (This game is notorious as a kusoge)
  • River Fishing 2 (this game may technically qualify but it’s mostly a fishing game rather than an RPG, and I’m not a big fan of fishing games.)
  • PCE Gulliver Boy (This is a different game from the Super Famicom RPG of the same name, although both based on the same anime)
  • Elfaria II (Sequel to the auto battle game I played earlier)
  • PCE Nekketsu Legend Baseballer
  • Princess Minerva (I already played the PCE version)
  • Ruin Arm
  • Der Langrisser (I played the PC-FX version on the SRPG side)
  • Gran Historia
  • Little Master 3 (already done on the SRPG side
  • Tottemo! Lucky Man (I may reevaluate this when I reach this point, but I don’t believe this quite qualifies as an action RPG for me.)
  • PCE Xanadu II (Apparently much shorter and simpler than the first Xanadu game)

No big names in this list. The huge hitter for 1995 will be the last set (October-December), although the next block does have Seiken Densetsu 3 in it.

PCE Game 43 – Dragon Knight & Graffiti (NSFW)

This is yet another game in the Dragon Knight series of eroge. The second and third games had already been released in non-ero ports for the PCE, and they decided to release the first game in 1995. This game was originally released for PCs in 1989, so understandably it’s going to be somewhat outdated by now.

The “graffiti” part of the title refers to the “graffiti mode”, where you can see profiles and pictures of the girls from all three games — you can sort the lists by age, bust size, name, etc. The example is Priscilla from Dragon Knight III (Knights of Xentar).

Like the second game, the first one is a dungeon crawler. The hero as usual is Yamato Takeru, a wandering adventurer who happens on the town of Strawberry Fields, where he doesn’t see anyone. It turns out this is a place of only women, which piques Takeru’s interest. A woman named Ann sees that he is a knight prophecied to save them, and leads him to the Queen. It seems that Gabirlban, the head of the Dragon Knights, has taken six jewels that are necessary to revive the goddess Aqualine. Takeru’s goal is to find one gem on each of the six floors of the goddess tower. Everyone seems a bit uneasy about Takeru because he’s so casual and focused on beautiful girls, but he sets out anyway.

Takeru is given a gem that lets him cast spells — just two spells, a healing spell, and an attack spell that hits all enemies (and can also do some damage to enemies that aren’t hurt much by regular attacks).

Fortunately there’s an automap, so the game plays smoothly. The balance is what you might expect from a 1989 game, though. At first the enemies are very strong and you can only last 2-3 battles before having to go back to town. Healing and restoring MP costs money, so there’s almost nothing left over for upgrading equipment. The enemies also get stronger as you level. But once I hit level 5, the enemies stopped increasing in strength and it became much easier to explore the level, and by level 6 most of the enemies on the first floor couldn’t even hit me. Then I was able to fully explore the level and upgrade my equipment.

The first task is to remove this golem so you can get a key. The wise woman in town has a potion that puts it to sleep. With the key, we can save one of the warriors who was captured by the enemies. This is where the ero-scenes all come in.

As usual we’re faced with the uncomfortable situation where all of the ero-scenes involve the women tied up, captured, or threatened by enemies. Unlike the other DK games, there is no sex. I found a set of pictures from the PC game and many of them don’t even have nudity; the amount of censoring they had to do for the PCE release was very minimal (for instance, the picture I gave above is exactly the same in the PC version).

Anyway, this girl is guarded by 6 goblins who can’t damage me. She gives Takeru a password to reach the next floor, where there’s another captured girl.

She joins the party; you can have one other person with you (this is an addition in the PCE game). She also gives a further password that will let us reach the first of the Dragon Knights, on the first floor.

At level 7, the boss could barely hurt me but had a large HP pool. I just healed once and it was no problem. Takeru then recovers the first of the gems.

We’re now ready to tackle level 2. But even at level 8, the enemies here were so strong that I could barely survive one battle. It seems like the balance continues from the way it worked on the first floor, and I would probably have to do some more grinding on level 1 before I could proceed. But I thought that was a good place to stop.

On the whole this is not a terrible game as long as you’re wiling to put up with the 1989 balance issues. The floors have a bit more interest than some of the empty dungeons from this era. The conversation scenes are all voiced, with some amusing dialogue. The creep factor of the tied-up women is hard to ignore, though.

That’s the last game in the first block of 1995, so in a few days I’ll have a post with the lineup of games for the next three months.

Happy new year!

Welcome! (Sticky post)

Thank you for visiting; this is a blog that chronicles my playthroughs of various Super Famicom, PC Engine, and general strategy RPGs. Feel free to respond here to introduce yourself, let me know what your favorite SRPG is, whatever.

I generally update on Saturday or Sunday. I play one strategy RPG, then two Super Famicom (or PC Engine) RPGs.

I’ve now finished the links to all the previous posts, so you can use the links at the top to see the full list of played games so far. Also, if you are only interested in certain types of posts, you can filter by categories (see the bottom of the sidebar). The three categories are Strategy RPGs, Super Famicom RPGs, and PC Engine RPGs.

If you want an RSS feed, this link should work: https://www.rpgblog.net/?feed=rss

PCE Game 42 – Travelers: Densetsu wo buttobase!

Travelers: Densestu wo buttobase! (とらべらーず! 伝説をぶっとばせ)
Released 12/29/1994, published by Victor Entertainment

This is the final game of 1994! It’s a pretty standard RPG with some meta-elements — the back story is that 1000 years ago a demon attacked the world, and after it was defeated, the king created schools to train people who would become “travelers”, which are basically adventuring parties. The main heroes are one of these traveler parties, with the usual fighter, mage, priest, etc. They take missions from the Guild and go around solving problems.

However, there are several reasons why I didn’t play it much. The first is that the voice audio is mixed so low compared to the music that I can barely understand what they’re saying. I’ve encountered this problem before on other PC Engine games. Every time it happens I wonder if it’s an emulation issue or just my non-native Japanese abilities. But I found some Japanese players playing on original hardware who have the same issue; one blogger said “I can’t understand the story at all.”

In the first area (the school) I got a mission to go somewhere, but I have no idea why I’m going there or what I’m doing because I can’t understand the dialogue.

Second, I really do not like the art. All the characters have this creepy, dead-eyed look.


Third, it has all the usual problems of a game this game this age (and worse). The interface is terrible — you can’t tell who can equip things or what the power of items are in the shops. Everything takes more button presses than it should and moves slowly.

The battle sequences divide into front and back:

Only the front characters can attack with melee weapons; back characters have to use magic or spells.

From what I have read, the game is very easy once you move up a couple of levels at the beginning. You level very quickly, the magic is overpowered, and the game itself is quite short. One blogger said it was worth buying it at 10% of the original price.

So that’s about all I will say about Travelers. That ends 1994; next week I will have a preview of the first part of 1994, and then Lufia II, a game I am very much looking forward to. Langrisser III is taking a long time, though, so I’m glad for that buffer week.

PCE Game 41 – Alnam no Kiba

Fangs of Alnam (アルナムの牙 獣族十二神徒伝説)
Released 12/22/1994, published by Right Stuff 
 

 

Right Stuff is the developer responsible for a few other games I’ve played (Emerald Dragon, Alshark, Sword Master). This game takes place in a world with humans, and then 12 tribes of demihumans (who transform into beasts) who are treated as lesser beings by the humans. One day mysterious beings called Shishimura appear, and threaten the humans. The Empress of Alnam, Marien, calls on representatives from the 12 tribes to come to the capital. The main character is Genbu, studying sword use under Ouken. Ouken is supposed to be the representative, but he’s killed by one of the Shishimura trying to protect Genbu, so Genbu goes in his place.

The game begins with an extended cutscene; as is common for these late PCE games, the scenes are well done.

The battle system is pretty simple. You can choose “attack” or “beast attack”. Everything you do uses Qi, which is a bit annoying at the beginning because everyone’s Qi is so low that even just doing basic attacks quickly exhausts your supply. The problem is made worse by this game’s ridiculous random encounter rate, one of the worst I’ve seen (it may even be worse than The Last Battle although this game’s areas are much smaller).

 

But the much bigger issue than this is that the game is full of bugs, almost at the level of Maka Maka. There are numerous graphical glitches here and there, but also a large number of bugs that cause freezes

Some examples of the bugs:

  • The strongest fire spell freezes the game (even if enemies cast it).
  • The strongest weapon (the Fang of Alnam of the game title) sometimes has negative attack power due to a bug.
  • Bosses are frequently absent; you have to leave the dungeon and come back (if it’s the final boss you have to reset)
  • There are other bugs where when you enter or exit places, or use stairs, you get stuck and have to reset
  • For two characters, if you level them up too much before a certain point in the game it will always freeze during a cutscene
  • Characters appear and disappear, or have the wrong face portrait
  • There are multiple places where after a cutscene, if you try to backtrack instead of moving on, you get stuck and have to reset

There are a lot of other minor graphical glitches as well. For some of the bugs you can save your game in a bugged state where you can’t win the game, and since there’s only one save slot you would have to start over.

Once Genbu reaches the capital, he’s ignored and insulted by most of the humans but eventually reaches the Empress, who tells everyone about the Shishimaru and asks for their help. Throughout the game Genbu will work with various representatives to deal with the Shishimaru and also figure out his place in the world.

 

Most of the sites I looked at praised the story and visual scenes, and in fact the game was remade on the Playstation as an adventure game with no RPG elements. A sequel RPG came out for the Playstation in 1997 and there was supposed to be a third game, but Right Stuff went out of business before that could happen.

Given the high encounter rate, basic battle system, and the bugs, I didn’t see any need to play the game beyond this point. It’s a shame because the visuals do look good and there is potential in the game. It has a good interface and everything plays quickly and smoothly.

Next up will be the final SFC game for 1994, Dual Orb 2.

PCE Game 40 – Record of Lodoss War 2

Record of Lodoss War 2 (ロードス島戦記2)
Released 12/16/1994, published by Hudson
 

  

This is the second of the two Lodoss War PC Engine games; you can look back at the post I made on the first one for general information about the series. Like the first game, this is based on one of the computer games, which itself is based on the second group of Lodoss stories. The main character of these is Spark, with a new party of his own (although some of the characters from the original stories appear as well).
 

 

What I appreciated about the original game is that it seemed to capture the tabletop RPG origins of the franchise better than a normal RPG. There are not many random encounters, and you don’t win them just by mashing buttons. Most of the XP you get comes from finishing quests rather than killing monsters, and you don’t level up that many times during the game. It had a different feel from the typical RPGs of the time, and to me it was similar to the Sword World SFC games (especially the first one) in this respect.

Unfortunately the second game walks most of this back. Random encounters are now more along the lines of a regular RPG, most of your XP comes from them, and you’ll end up auto-battling the majority of the encounters. Level ups are also much more frequent, and you can now grind levels and money in a way you really couldn’t in the first game.

 

After the opening movie, the game begins with Spark, who is a knight in training. King Kashue (who I believe is from the original party) and Slayn are in the palace, and charge Spark with the mission of figuring out what’s going on with the Flame Tribe, who seem to be plotting a rebellion. Evidently Spark should be the head of the Flame Tribe but I’m not entirely sure what the backstory is there. Specifically we’re supposed to head to Hilt and Hebun towns.

The towns are “select a building” type

 Spark is on his own at first. While looking around for the towns I hit level 5 and bought most of the good equipment; there are other towns that have better equipment to the left. Hilt was easy to find; there some ruffians attacked but with all my equipment and levels it was fine. Hebun is on the right near the desert; here we’re attacked by Flame Tribe nomads (easy fight as well).

Spark heads back to Kashue to report. For now, Kashue is interested in settling new areas, particularly the dangerous Fire Dragon Hunting Zone — Spark is supposed to deliver a secret message to Raiden port town to enlist the help of the people there. Spark also gets his first companions, Garack the fighter and Ald Nova the magician. They’re a bit lower leveled and have bad equipment so I got them some better stuff and then went to Raiden.

 

The mayor of Raiden seems to be having trouble with bad dreams; it turns out he’s being affected by a succubus. This was still the age where nipples are acceptable in games/manga.

booba

Anyway, after the Succubus goes down, the mayor pledges to give whatever money Kashue needs, and we also get a new party member, the thief (scout) Lyna. At this point we can go to the guild and take on submissions. I did all three — recovering a child from a cult, clearing out thieves from the town, and delivering weapons to a nearby town. This gets some additional XP (the rewards from the quests themselves are quite low but you fight monsters along the way, and there are some good weapon and armor upgrades).

 

Now back to Kashue, where Dark Elves are attacking. After they’re beaten, it seems that the expansion into the Fire Valley has begun, but the new threat of the Dark Elves means it’s time for Spark to head south to Valis.

This is where I stopped. For me, this game is a downgrade from the first one — it’s by no means a bad RPG (it’s in the top class of the PCE games) but I miss the more tabletop RPG feel of the first one.

I’m playing Sakura Taisen for my other blog but I’m on the last stage so I will most likely have a Daikaiju Monogatari post up next Saturday. If you want to see what games are coming up, you should look at the completed games list, where I put in all the games I’ll be playing up to the end of 1994.

PCE Game 39 – Startling Odyssey II

Startling Odyssey II (スタートリング オデッセイ2 魔竜戦争)
Released 10/21/1994, developed by Ray Force

 

This is Ray Force’s third (and final) game for the PC Engine. SO1 was a basic, cookie cutter RPG. SO2 is another basic, DQ2-clone RPG. It is more polished than the first one — the graphics are better, there are more voiced cutscenes, the interface is cleaner, and the game as a whole moves more quickly. So if you like old-school, basic RPGs this one is probably not bad. There’s even a translation patch, although it probably doesn’t translate the voiced cutscenes.

As usual with this kind of game, I have very little to say about the gameplay. You buy the best equipment you can afford, use auto battle for most fights and hold down a speedup key, and go through dungeons and open chests and find the boss or goal. Rinse and repeat.

The game starts with some kind of magician or researcher causing demons to come into the world, and then the main character Robin killing a Chimera with one hit. He’s well known in the kingdom for being the Blue-Haired Knight

Back in the capital city, Robin talks to the king’s daughter, who is his half sister. He gets a new mission to head to Neria town to the south and see what’s the matter there, taking his two best knights with him.

The townspeople say they saw a dragon, and going through the cave we come across the room where the magician from the opening was summoning the monster, but now it’s gone. So back to the castle…where it turns out monsters have overrun the castle and killed the king. Robin’s sister has gone on ahead to try to seek safety, so we follow her through the underground passage.

 
Robin’s two knights have to push him away and collapse the corridor when they’re attacked by dragons, and Robin goes on himself. Attempting to continue his escape a bridge falls away, sending him into the ravine.

He wakes up later in the care of Julia. He’s been out for three days and is only now recovering. But when monsters attack the town, he heads out even in his weakened state.

The PC Engine allowed for more violence and sexual content than the Super Famicom. Anyway, this reopens Robin’s wounds and he has to rest for a while more, but after he’s healed he finds out that a child in the town is sick and needs a special item (the wing of an animal) to heal him. Julia joins him and they go out in search of the wing. They have to beat a boss:

And then find the wing and cure the child. At this point Robin decides he needs to continue on his journey (to find Patricia, his sister) and Julia decides to come with him.

This is where I stopped. As I said in the intro, this is a playable DQ2 clone — if that’s the kind of game you like this is a better game than other examples of the style. At the same time, I really would like to see them doing something innovative in 1994. Even Dragon Quest itself didn’t make any true DQ2 clones.