SFC Game 117 – Gulliver Boy

Gulliver Boy (空想科学世界ガリバーボーイ), released 6/28/1996, by Bandai

I covered a previous game based off the anime for PC Engine. That game pushed the PC Engine to its limits to include lots of full motion video, and in general seemed to be a decent game. This one, on the other hand, is a lazy shovelware IP project that can be finished in a few hours, including grinding levels.

Unlike the PC Engine version, the story in this one is introduced in fairly brief story segments that don’t introduce the characters or story particularly well — you can follow the basic plot thread but you constantly get the feeling that there’s more fleshing out of everything in the source material.

The system also shows signs of being rushed — you can only see your current XP level by resetting the game and looking at the load game screen. There’s a robot combat mode that is only used once. The “dungeons” are often only a few screens long. There’s no real exploration; when you finish one area you just get taken to the next area automatically. While it’s not necessarily a bad game, it’s definitely one that you would feel cheated spending full price for in 1996.

The battle system is action RPG style. You can switch between the three characters you have during the game. Gulliver attacks with his Maken Glove, which takes a bit to regenerate. He also has “discs” that use his disc power but have stronger effects. Misty in the early game uses spell like abilities, and then later gets a boomerang-like circle she can attack with. Edison throws bombs; he’s not a great character but is necessary to destroy the enemy lairs that otherwise will spawn endless enemies.

When you are controlling one character, the others will recover HP and also their special ability meters will recover more quickly.

There is one place where you will fight in a robot for just two battles.

There is no money or equipment; you find a few items throughout the game that can heal you or restore gauge.

The game is not terribly difficult for the most part, although you can die pretty quickly if you’re not careful or are behind in levels. The way you gain levels is that when you beat enemies, they will sometimes drop these colored bars that give 10 XP to the character who the color matches. Although if you level too high, the area’s monsters will start giving 1 XP instead. Some bosses give 100 xp bars that can go to anyone. My characters were only at level 10 at the end of the game.

The story is difficult to follow but it seems to be essentially a greatly stripped down version of the first half of the anime, ending with the fight against Hallelujah. But a lot of side characters are missing and there is almost no establishing dialogue to help people who haven’t seen the series.

Unless you are a huge fan of Gulliver Boy I don’t recommend this game — if you can read Japanese I would recommend the PC Engine (or Saturn remake) over this.

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