Sorry for the lack of updates, I’m in the middle of another move so things will be tough until mid-August.
Game 38 – Yume Maboroshi no Gotoku
Released 12/17/1993, published by Intec
This game is based on a manga by Motomiya Hiroshi, best known for his long running Salaryman Kintaro series. The series is an alternate history of the Sengoku period, with Oda Nobunaga surviving the fire at Honnoji and setting out to take over the world. The player controls Nobunaga. From what I can tell, this game tells a somewhat alternate story from the manga, although I can’t get enough information to find out how close it is.
The battle system itself is fairly standard AMID, but there is a fairly robust class system. Everyone has a class, and except for Samurai like Nobunaga, the class can be upgraded at various places, which reduces their level to 1 but allows for better abilities. Abilities are learned by seeking out hermits, mystics, and other people who can teach skills, if the person’s level is high enough. Given that this is the Sengoku period, you can even get Portuguese Catholics on your side.
Fortunately the characters have enough MP, and MP restoring items are common enough, that you can actually make use of all the abilities the game gives you.
The random encounter rate is high, but the areas are small and you level up quickly, so I didn’t find this too much of a problem.
One other thing the game has is an Ogre Battle-like “war mode”.
It was a nice idea but there’s really no purpose to it; you just send everyone after the enemies and win.
One other annoyance is the small inventory limit. I really hope that “feature” is disappearing for good soon.
The game begins with a lengthy story sequence showing that Nobunaga has survived Honnoji, but rather than take over Japan, he leaves that to Hideyoshi and decides to go for world domination instead. First he needs a ship. Although that setup makes it sound like the game will go beyond Japan, the entire game takes place before he leaves (in the manga he does actually make it to the West).
The story of the game basically involves Norinaga supporting Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hideyoshi from behind the scenes as they attempt to take over Japan. Norinaga’s main opponents himself are the priest Tenkai, who (based on an old legend) is actually Akechi Mitsuhide (who betrayed Norinaga). The other is the priest Fransisco Cabral, who in this game has called upon dark forces to oppose Norinaga.
If you are into Sengoku jidai stuff you’ll probably appreciate the story more than I did since there are a lot of historical figures you can meet, and it’s probably fun to see how the story plays with the “known” history of the period.
Overall this is not a bad game at all for late 1993. It’s also fairly short (my timer was 15 hours). Sadly there’s no translation patch, but maybe that will change in the future.
Cool premise for those of us who are interested in history, but it also makes total sense why this one wasn't localized. There are a few more games steeped in Japanese history like that in the SFC library, I am not sure if any of them were brought over to the West…
Inindo got localized, though, and that's about as steeped in Japanese history as this is…