SRPG Game 61 – Nage Libre: Seijaku no Suishin (Super Famicom)

Nage Libre: Seijaku no Suishin (ナージュリーブル 〜静寂の水深〜)
Released 2/24/1995, developed and published by Varie
 

  

This is a game I missed on my first pass through 1995. It’s a 美少女ゲー, a game where every character is a high school girl in various school dress. There was a 1997 sequel for Playstation as well. The game was way too expensive to buy, so I don’t have in instruction manual. My discussion of the system is entirely based on playing the game plus information from one walkthrough site I found; there may be parts of the system I didn’t get.

The game is 23 stages back to back, with no other content other than short story sequences. The story as a whole is fairly thin — five high school girls get brought into the world of Nage. They spend the first half of the game trying to escape, but then find that Nage is imposing itself on the real world. They go back into Nage to defeat Misty, the person that initially summoned Nage, and then defeat Nage itself. Most of the dialogue is just banter between the girls.

The first thing you do is input birthdays for the 5 girls.

This affects the birthday stone system in the battles, but there are two special things you can do. If you put in the birthdays as 1/23, 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, and 10/11, all cards count as birthday stones, making the game much easier. If you do 10/10, 3/3, 2/14, 7/7, and 12/24 you can see profiles of the girls. If you put everyone as 11/25, when you beat the game you get this unknown bald guy singing Happy Birthday to Me (a designer?)

Everyone can move 6 spaces on the map regardless of the terrain. What the terrain does it affect the speed that your turn gauge fills, and some of the map squares are damage or healing.


 


 

The battle system is interesting. It’s based on a card system, but not deck-building as such. Each encounter is 6 rounds (or until one person dies). At the beginning of each battle there is a random hand of 5 cards. When you use one of the cards, it will get replaced by another random one. Everyone shares the same hand so you do sometimes have to use less-than-optimal cards to clear them out of your hand. Each card has two numbers; a power at the top left and a speed at the bottom right. Who actually goes first is affected also by the character’s speed stat in addition to the speed of the card. There is also a gemstone on each card, and if it matches the character’s birthday gemstone, it automatically has max power (15).

The types of cards are:

  • Attack
  • Defense (raise defense just for that battle)
  • Heal
  • SP (a special super attack)
  • COS – This changes your costume.The Winter costume gives you more def/agl at the cost of str/mt. Gym clothes are +str/agl, -def. Swimsuit is +str/-def (more than Gym). Coat is just +10% def. The costume change just lasts until the end of the stage.
  • CHG – This allows you to pull one of your stock cards. Between battles you can buy up to 5 stock cards for each person. All of them have 9 speed and X (maximum) power. At the beginning of the game you have to be somewhat frugal, but starting around mid-game I always had one heal and four SP cards to draw from.
  • Escape (end the battle, can fail)
  • ????? – random effect, although I swear that defense is the most common outcome — maybe this is just confirmation bias though. 

Every character also has a club, although some people are “regular students” or bosses. The main thing I am not sure about is whether the clubs affect your stats; there’s no information about this in the game or on the site. There is a compatibility like in other games (for instance, the Tennis club is very strong against the Karate club but weak against Japanese Dance). This is potentially interesting but in the end not very useful. You only ever have 5 people and can only switch clubs between stages. Most stages have a large assortment of enemies and so it’s difficult to pick an optimum set of clubs.

 

It’s not really necessary though — the game is quite easy for the most part. There are a few tricky stages and bosses, but if you lose a girl they just come back in the next stage.

 

 

One other thing I’m not sure about is the level advancement. There’s no XP; the girls gain levels at the end of the stage, but I can’t tell whether it has anything to do with what they did during the stage.

There are a lot of interface issues. It’s very hard to see the stats of your girls during the stage, and there’s too much opacity in the system (although some of that might be cleared up by the instruction manual). 

In the end this is not a bad game, but it’s not particularly good either. I’ll be interested to see what the PSX game changes in the system. I read one complaint that there aren’t as many clubs, but that doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me. I did notice that they made some changes that reduce the randomness of the card draw a bit, which is probably good — it can be frustrating at times when you’re drawing nothing but costume change and escape cards.

After you win the game you can play an Extra Stage with all the bosses on one map.

Next up we’ll be back to 1996 for Vagrant Story, a game I have heard about but never played.

7 thoughts on “SRPG Game 61 – Nage Libre: Seijaku no Suishin (Super Famicom)

  1. Mars

    No more L3? not that I blame you lol.

    As far as I can tell, the person is probably Masato Tani, the main programmer for the game. can't confirm since I can't read Japanese lol.

    If you're still wondering about vandal hearts, there's not much difference between the versions. PS1 is the original and Saturn is a port. PS1 has better graphics, Saturn has some minor extras. these include a hilariously crap intro, some bonus post game maps which are pretty much glorified test levels, and archers can now open chests.

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  2. Kurisu

    Yeah I put aside L3 to play Lufia 2 and I didn't miss it at all; within a couple of days I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. So I think that's a sign I should just skip the rest.

    I went with PSX for Vandal Hearts — my general practice is going to be that unless the Saturn version is obviously superior, I'm going to go with PSX because the emulation is a lot more reliable.

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  3. Mars

    Oh yeah, I forgot the most important difference. Saturn is JP only, PS1 has a western release, though as far as I can tell, the translation is spotty as best, like most translations from the era, including changing most of the cast's name for no reason. Though the story isn't really anything to write home about in the first place.

    I believe Saturn got a fan translation recently, though it seems they just lazily inserted the PS1 script instead of doing a proper translation.

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  4. Harvester of Eyes

    IIRC, certain other gameplay things were changed too. In the Saturn version, Zohar has an ice dragon spell instead of the fire dragon one that Eleni has; in the original PS, both have the fire dragon spell. There were probably other changes as well, but that's just the main one I know off the top of my head.

    Personally, I'd go with the Saturn one but I may be a tad biased for the Saturn.

    Here's the translation patch in case you're interested: http://www.romhacking.net/translations/5770

    Reply
  5. nick

    A grid stragegy RPG that is also combat based on cards? Sounds interesting to me, I think card games can be nifty. Your description makes it sound like the cards add a lot of randomness to the game, which feels like the opposite of strategy to me. Did you have a common strategy you stick to in the battles? Was there a magic system or just the cards? Besides birthdays were the girls different like was one a tank?

    As always, thanks for the writeup of the game, it's great to get such a wide view of the SRPG world!

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