Chou Mahou Tairiku WOZZ (超魔法大陸WOZZ), released 8/4/1995 by Bulletproof Software
(First off, I want to thank commenter Endy who has been commenting on a lot of older posts, linking to archived images of Famitsu previews of the games — the screenshots often show interesting pre-development images.)
BPS, the developer, was the Japanese arm of Blue Planet Software, the company responsible for releasing most of the early console versions of Tetris, and developing Bombliss. This seems to be their first console JRPG; they’ll be on here one more time with “Beast and Blade”. They closed shop in 2001.
The basic premise is that the land of Wozz is being afflicted by the evil king Baram, who has been using technology from the human world to take over Wozz. He also has made the rain turn people into monsters. So the great magician Sullivan decides to bring over a hero from the human world to deal with the problem. He ends up transporting over three “heroes”.
From left to right on the platform (opposite from the title screen), there is Leona, a Japanese inventor girl. Shot, a brash American (who shoots a bow). Chun, a Chinese telepath. You can choose which one of these you want to be your main character. All three accompany you no matter what so the choice of main character only makes a slight difference here and there. I chose Leona. Her special power is that she can invent things.
She can learn new inventions by levelling up, getting recipes from chests/bookcases/etc, or having people teach her. From the menu you can make the weapons, armor, or items as long as you have the resources necessary. She can also make vehicles and robots, but this can only be done at invention stations in towns.
Shot is just an attacker; he gets special moves but for some reason only two of them during the game. Chun begins with Telepathy that can do a bunch of random effects, but will learn magic later. The magic system upgrades his magic after a certain number of battles. However, the number of battles is pretty high (I’m in the last fifth of the game as I type this and most of my spells are only at level 3-4 out of 7). Other companions will join as a 4th member throughout the game. Sometimes you can freely choose, other times a member will be forced for some part of the game.
Finally we have a relatively clean interface and no annoying inventory limits (you can even hold 999 of each item!) It’s not perfect; I would have liked a “best equip” choice, but given the crappy interfaces that most of these games seem to have I can’t complain much. The walking speed is also too slow and there’s no dash button, which is unusual at this stage. Two steps forward, one step back, I guess.
Our first mission is to stop the FearRain that is causing the people to turn to monsters. The battle system is basic RPG style. Leona can scan enemies for weakness, and the other two have their powers. One nice thing about the game is that money is plentiful (after the first couple of dungeons) and MP restoring items cheap, so you don’t really have to worry about using too much MP. The only time it does become an issue is in some boss fights, where the MP restoring items you have access to don’t heal as much MP as you would like. But this game doesn’t have much challenge so I suppose that’s a good thing.
We go to a nearby cave where Balam supposedly is, but it turns out to just be Balamo, one of his underlings. The early boss fights are a little bit challenging; what you have to do is just have Chun use Telekenesis and hope you get a lot of “rock drop” which does a ton of damage.
The great wizard Sullivan taught Chun how to use magic, so we can collect the various types of magic from fairies throughout the world. The first comes soon in the “fire forest”, although you have to walk behind a mountain to get there which is kind of cheap since it’s not clear you can do that.
Heading north, we come across a native inventor Madisto, who agrees to join our party if we can bring him some dinosaur DNA from a nearby lab (is he planning a park?) Once we do he joins. He’s quite helpful because he has powerful healing magics right from the start; I used him as often as I could until later in the game when he leaves the party.
Eventually we do come across the source of the FearRain, which is a whale that has been corrupted to shoot out the rain from its blowhole. So Leona has to invent a cleaner to attach to its hole, after we deal with a rather challenging boss. The Zanzori boss here was the only time I had to do any grinding in the game.
Now that we’ve stopped the FearRain, it’s time to head to the next continent. The game basically plays out over several continents, which have their own features:
- Magic Land (where you start, with wizards/alchemists)
- Elemen (spirits)
- Undeata (skeletons, zombies, ghosts)
- Iryuzu (witches)
- Delmon (demons)
There are other areas than this, but this is the main flow of the game. As far as the story goes, there aren’t a lot of developments or twists; there’s a lot of comical dialogue but not a whole lot of character development either. It’s mostly just going through these continents solving the problems and driving away Balam’s underlings.
Elemen is a cold area, where you have to drive off an underling named Maif and her two servants.
Two new companions come on board here — Eliza and Ceramic. Ceramic has all status heal moves, which makes her rather useless, but Eliza is a decent fighter.
Maif is tough, mostly because you can’t use Madisto so you don’t have a good healer. She uses some nasty all-effect magic, and I think some of this battle is based on luck — if she decides to use her all attack too many times in a row it’s tough to deal with. But my basic strategy was just to have Shott doing most of the damage with Power Shot. Kurisu heals and the rest of the team either does minor damage or heals if they have a chance.
That’s where I will end this post; I’m on the last area of the game as I type this but I’m going to be away this weekend for the 4th of July so I won’t be able to finish the game in time. Overall this is a decent game; it’s not a masterpiece but it’s playable and relatively fun.
I’m curious about the developer and publisher here. Wouldn’t BPS be the Japanese arm of Bullet-Proof Software at the time of this game? Since Blue Planet was generally after Bullet-Proof, I think the shift was around 1997? Plus, wouldn’t Red be the developer? Unless there’s something you know that I don’t, which is entirely possible.
No, I think you’re right — it even says Red on the title screen. Sometimes when there’s no wikipedia entry for a game I cobble information from various sources and don’t get it right.
The art and UI seem derivative, but mostly in a good way and not all from one source. Especially in the SFC era I think I’d rather see minor RPGs that do some judicious copying rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. The character designs seem reasonably distinctive, at least.
“The early boss fights are a little bit challenging; what you have to do is just have Chun use Telekenesis and hope you get a lot of “rock drop” which does a ton of damage.”
There are no words for how much I loved that move.
Re: the game itself, I had fun playing it, but I sorta stalled after the first couple of dungeons. Like you said, the lack of any kind of dash really slows the game down.
I know its old, but I wanted to add to this simply saying I really like Chou Mahou Tairiku Wozz. Its got a in my opinion great battle system, I also really so far like most everything about the game. I Just a couple months ago after having had all my US/JP gaming stuff(now EASILLY would be 200k+ on low end. I had so much…spent all i got during my life kid-age 25 on games as I have disabilites but was never understood so got treated like crap all life and in 2010 was forced out becoming broke, homeless, freaked…anyway After getting hedlp from 4 ppl I got on dissability and live in a shithole i want out of but anyway… I restarted gaming in 2016 as after seeing the market from 2013-2015 I was unsure worth even trying to get anything back…
I slowly have a small setup…some playstation/ps2/psp/vita US/JP stuff, and FINALLY some 2D stuff, a PCE briefcase(gotta send my cd-rom unit to be fixed), FINALLY since my Hyperkin SupaboySFC had its battery die I got a boxed SFC, and some 8 loose games. have 19 boxed now. also recently got a Twin Fami, and 9 total games on 7 total disks, 2 casette only, and 11 total complete Fami casette’s(games).
I can use my cheap SD2SNES pro again I love that.
I played a bit of Wozz and I wanted to say so far im around the Robot area and I am alittle lost but despite Wozz being on the upper end of SFC games I want it as I really like it and want to play it on a legit cart. I also dig the simplistic story so far too.
I also just got Power Of The HIRED, Daikaijuu Monogatari 1+2, Go Go Ackman 2(not a jrpg but fun and fufufufu funny short series), Tales of Phantasia, Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu and others but I hope to get Wozz someday and no, not loose haha. Some have me baffled like Rudra no Hihou, the ship on the cover turning over, Human’s(i think its them not Hudson) The Firemen, Megaten Fami games remade for SFC, and other random stuff.
I admit I used too trade NES/SNES/N64 stuff off in the 90s-early 00’s atleast for US/JP consoles/game softs etc so I had tons on PCE/PCFX/saturn/dreamcast/playstation/neogeo/ps2/psp/3DO/jaguar/lynx/wonderswan b/w/color/crystal, genesis model 1-3/sega cd model 1-2/CDX/XEYE/Nomad, Laseractive and had lots more as well as an Egret II new 2 player sanwa panel, shmup pcbs, naomi setu and jamma to non converter, naomi, neo CD/pocket/AES/MVS carts and CD games and lots more all was lost but im able to atleast play SFC/PCE+Turbo hu-card/Famicom+Famicom Disk System games atleast as well as some psx and PS2, as well as some PSP and Vita games. So its something!
I am trying to learn japanese still…bad life, no $, and everything I had being destroyed by building infestation ended any hope but im on and off trying still. why i have these games…I hate the secondary market now that greedy jackasses took it over.
Anyway…as Ill never have most games now and my dreams of dealing with game historys been killed, so I love reading about what someone who knows JP and ENG discuss 2D games I never owned or never beat or owned and beat but didnt understand…your descriptions make so many games id never understand, understandable even if I cant read the plot.
its hard but im enjoying Dead Zone for FDS. I love 2D/sprite/pixil art as well as most genres niche and JRPG/SRPG, adventure, visual novel, date sim, combinations, Arcade style games especially 2D etc. I liked the PC-FX myself.
Thanks, just wanted to comment since I just wish and hope I could/can understand enough to atleast get through a game with a jist.