SFC Game 126 – BUSHI Seiryuuden

BUSHI Seiryuuden: Futari no Yuusha (BUSHI青龍伝〜二人の勇者〜), released 1/17/1997, developed by Game Freak, released by T&E Soft

We are into 1997! By this point the Playstation and Saturn had eclipsed the Super Famicom (with FF7 coming out in January 1997). If you look at this chart from Game Data Room, it’s clear how the trend was going:

This game was developed by Game Freak, which of course is best known for the Pokemon series. What we have here is an interesting blend of styles — it appears like an action RPG but is actually turn based. The subtitle means “Two heroes” and refers to the two characters that you control during the fight sections.

The opening scene relates a myth about the creation of the world, and then we start in Mamoshima with the main character who is turning 15 (who we’ll name Kurisu)

That dog just follows you around in the first area, he’s not an actual companion

The graphics are quite nice, as you would expect from a game developed this late. Kurisu grabs his father’s sword and goes down to the shore to practice with Ido, and then you are able to cut bushes away so that you can proceed north. The game works essentially on a series of screens that are top down like the above. In the woods, Kurisu saves a small spherical being called Wokuu, who claims to be a girl that was changed into a monster — she is the second hero of the title. Returning home, Kurisu finds his house on fire.

A monster has stolen Kurisu’s sister, and Kurisu (after getting a bit more training from Ido) heads out to try to save her. After this first screen, there are monsters on the top-down areas, which somehow I do not have a picture of. They move one square for each square you move. You can swing your sword at them to get first attack, although if your level is too high it will simply kill them instead. When you get in a battle, it switches to a separate screen.

First, you get a target number of turns (7 in this case). For each turn under that target, you will get 1 “magatama” bead. Kurisu soon learns that collecting these beads is essential to destroying a large tower that is spawning the enemies appearing in the world.

The battles take place on a 2D field. As on the overworld map, you trade actions — you take one action, then all the enemies each take one action. The actions include moving, swinging your sword, and using a charge attack (which hits multiple enemies but makes you lose a few turns recovering). Wokuu can pick you up, which is the only way you can jump in this game. She can do a short or high jump but can only carry you for a couple of moves. You can also raise a shield, which will get broken by an enemy attack or if you swing your sword. The shield can also be thrown to act as a distance attack. Finally, as you progress in the game, Wokuu will get more abilities (such as the ability to go attack enemies herself).

The system is well done, I think. The enemies have a variety of attacks and patterns, and you will have to make use of all of your capabilities to clear the battles, especially clearing them under the turn target to get the magatama. You have to change your tactics based on the specific enemy, as well as whether they’re above or below you, and you get a variety of additional moves as you progress through the game. It means that even fights against easy enemies are still worth thinking over because you need those magatama to win the game.

When you enter a cave or dungeon (or the like), it becomes a larger 2D side scrolling map.

In these areas the controls and gameplay are identical to the battles on the overworld, except that there is no target turn number and you can’t get the magatama. In these sections, Wokuu’s ability to stop your falling (by hitting X when you are falling) is more useful, and you have to use it to get some of the treasures. You can also hit select to see enemy HP, and in these kind of places it will reveal breakable walls as well.

The main goal in the first section is to remove the mushrooms from blocking your way to leaving the first island. Along the way you fight enemies and get some bits of info about the backstory of the war of the gods.

The second area is buffeted by snow; here we have two goals, one is to stop the snow, and the other is to get a more powerful sword that can cut through the stumps. Stopping the snow involves recovering a mirror that can reflect the sunlight back to the area.

After accomplishing these goals, Kurisu finally chases down the monster that captured his sister, and chases it through the next large dungeon.

The bird boss is not all that difficult, but at this point the game froze after I beat the boss. I could not pass this freeze — I tried changing the emulator settings, using a different rom, and even a different emulator, replaying the dungeon and fighting the boss again, and every time it froze. This isn’t a known bug, I don’t think, since people have played through the whole game with and without the translation patch. I’m not sure if starting over from the beginning would let me progress, but at least for now I’m not going to do it.

It’s a shame because I was enjoying the game — the gameplay is an interesting mix of action and turn-based strategy, the music and graphics are good, and the story is interesting enough.

One additional note — although this game gets generally good reviews, there’s one thing that everyone complains about. I mentioned above that you need to get the “magatama” beads by clearing battles quickly. The problem is that you end up needing an enormous amount of these beads just to get a bad ending, and a common experience people have is to reach the end of the game and find out that they need to do a whole bunch of grinding even just to get the worst ending. It’s definitely worth taking extra time as you play the game to get magatama beads to counteract this.

I’m disappointed I was not able to finish the game. I may replay it at some point in the future, or maybe if I can get a save game that starts after this boss I can continue there.

The next game up was supposed to be Milandra, but this is just a Mystery Dungeon clone so I will skip it and move on to Dark Law.

3 thoughts on “SFC Game 126 – BUSHI Seiryuuden

  1. Debian Astrem

    Hello, I got the freeze also in the past, I don’t know how I did but I finally be able to pass it…
    Try to not kill the boss too fastly maybe ?
    I don’t know how it cause that… but I succeeded to finish the game anyway.


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