In this Fantasy Realm I cover some RPG's for the SNES and Sega CD as well as a feature article on Ogre Battle.
There are a few bits of news that I would like to pass on to you.
First of all Secret of Evermore's release date has been pushed back until November.
The word from Taito is that Lufia 2 may be finished by mid-September.
Also, Lufia for the Genesis has been scrapped.
Chrono Trigger by Square is still set for a September release.
According to Enix, 7th Saga II (Mystic World) is scheduled for an October release.
Believe it or not this is a port-over of the Japanese hit, Mother 2, only it has been made for kids. This is a very simple RPG geared directly for the younger generation. The storyline is very easy to follow and is very fast moving. It seems that all the work and effort was put into the storyline and the length of the game. A meteor has struck near your hometown and you take it upon yourself to check out the crash site and investigate the strange happenings that are going on in your hometown. You uncover an alien plot to take over the planet and it is up to you to find a way to stop them. I personally recommend this game for novice role-players.
Secret of the Stars (Tecmo)
This seems to be the month for beginner RPG's. From a graphics standpoint this game is worse than Dragon Warrior for the 8-bit Nintendo, however graphics don't account for much in RPG's, the story is what counts. Unfortunately, the storyline is very linear and very simplistic. After this game is beaten there is no replay value. You as the player don't have much freedom in the game. In a nutshell here's the story; long ago your father and four friends ruled the world in peace. One day the Evil Lord Homncruse comes along and kills your father and his four friends. You must find the four descendants of your father's friends and overthrow the Evil Lord. If you're a seasoned RPG player this game won't take you long to beat.
Lunar: Eternal Blue (Working Designs)
Lunar was a great game for the Sega CD and it's nice to see a sequel that looks just as good. This game is very much like its predecessor but with better graphics, sound, and of course a new story. The easy to use battle engine is the same. Each of the characters have their own fighting techniques and there are over 20 new spells to use. Lunar: Eternal Blue boasts a long colorful story and lots of allies to be found. Keep your eyes open for this one.
Shining Force CD (Sega)
This awesome strategy series has made its way to the Sega CD. In fact this game handles just like its predecessors. Lots of strategy is necessary to complete the different battles found in this game. The cinemas do a very good job of tying the story into the battles you fight and characters you meet. You assume the role of a young child who is descended from one of the original Shining Force characters. The Queen has been magically put to sleep. It is up to you and your friends to find whoever is responsible and destroy them. As the game progresses a very well written story unfolds and captures your interest. Another excellent addition to the series.
Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (Enix)
The land of Zenobia is overrun with evil men and creatures. A land of peace and prosperity has become a place of death and constant war, ever since the demise of King Gran. His trusted advisor, the sage Rashidi, was corrupted by the evils of power and black magic. Rashidi slew King Gran and immediately joined forces with Empress Endora. This unholy alliance formed the Zetegenian empire which swept across the land of Zenobia.
For 25 years the remnants of the Zenobian Knights have hid from the agents of the Zetegenian Empire. Over that period of time they pooled their resources and united themselves under you. If you can pass the test set by the Wizard Warren, then he will allow you to lead the rebellion against the Empire.
When you first start your adventure Warren has you draw six tarot cards and asks you six questions related to the cards you drew. The way you answer these questions determines your character's alliance, charisma, luck, and methods of attacks.
Alliance is a numerical expression for good and evil; less than 50 is evil, 50 is neutral (which the people still consider evil), greater than 50 is considered good. Your units actions throughout the game affects their alliance and charisma and most importantly your army's reputation.
The reputation meter is one of the single most important things necessary to get the best ending. This meter is affected by many things such as whether you use good or evil units to liberate towns, or whether you fight enemies that are your strength or stronger (the people don't like a bully unit who crushes their enemies without mercy - such actions lead to the dark side), and whether you protect the towns you liberate or let them be retaken by the empire.
Depending on your alignment and reputation, certain people will join your rebellion and give you valuable items and information. For example if you are consistently low in reputation, the thieves in some towns start giving you items and gold for taking over towns and giving them a chance to steal from the citizens. There's a lot to consider before you start slaughtering your enemies, if you're not careful you can become worse than the empire you are fighting. A bit of advice is to follow your own definition of good or evil, because there will always be people who will view you as a hero whereas there will be others who view you as a monster.
With over 10 storylines and 12 endings, this game is the best and most complex Strategy\RPG ever made, enjoy!