Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Game 9: The Magic of Scheherazade (NES) - 1001 Nights

"I awoke from a dream to a vision of a lost memory. In it, I learned that I am the descendant of Isfa, a powerful magician that defeated demons long ago; recently I had take up his mantle to defeat a new evil, Sabaron. He kidnapped the King of Arabia and the four princesses, including my love Scheherazade, for some nefarious plot (or just for kicks). During our initial battle, my powers failed me, and he cast me through time where I lost my memory. Having just recovered, I was greeted by Coronya--the spirit of time--who will help me return to my own time and banish Sabaron."
It's been too long since I've posted, although I really haven't played all that much. I'm skipping the introduction post to get right into the game. In case some like the blurb, here's a quick overview:
Scheherazade's magic doesn't really play a role as far as I can tell
The Magic of Scheherazade is based on the Arabian Nights . Developed by Culture Brain and released in 1989, it's rather innovative for combining action-adventure and RPG styles into a creative blend. Most of the time, the game resembles Zelda with towns; however, with the addition of character levels, companions, and random turn-based battles in addition to over-world real-time battles the game is hard to pin down. We'll see Culture Brain at least once more when I play through Little Ninja Brothers (aka. Super Chinese 2).

Players control the descendant of a great magician, and choose a class: Fighter, Saint, or Magician. Unlike other games, this isn't a final decision, and at any mosque the player can choose to change classes. I'm not sure what the benefit of doing this is, but it's possible that some puzzles necessitate a certain class, or at least make it easier. The game is stage based, and consists of five chapters.
Pew, pew, I shoot you with my rod

Navigating the map is fairly simple, and getting lost is hard to do. The enemies on each screen come in a set pattern, but will randomly not be there. Also random are the turn-based battles that can occur at screen transitions. During these battles the hero can utilize the help of two of his companions. Only one area of the game has posed a real challenge, the bosses.
Turn-based battles seem out of place in this game
Bosses are the gatekeepers for the next chapter, and very often require magic to defeat them. In fact, the second boss appears to be completely impervious to all attacks except fire magic. The third boss had a spell that prevented me from using my weapons, and did his best to use it as a lock for the rest of the fight. Luckily I had just enough MP to finish him off (i.e. he died on the last spell I could cast).
The boss doesn't even do anything unless attacked with Flamol1
Chapters so far have consisted of exploring the current "world" until I learn which companions I need to find, traveling through time (i.e. finding a time gate), recruiting them (either through completing a task, triggering an event, or simply showing up), and then facing off with the boss. After each boss, we find one of the princesses and move on to the next. There's no way to travel back to a previous world.

Controls are assigned to the two buttons (A and B). One is used for magic spells, while the other is for equipment, items, or actions. There's jump, which doesn't get much use, and speak, which is necessary to get information from the locals. Hidden in the world are secret doors only revealed by the use of the Oprin spell. These aren't a challenge to find though, as Coronya most often tells you when to use it.
Why search for secret doors when you just tell me where they are?
So far there hasn't been a need to grind, and I've kept the same class from the beginning (Saint). There's a set event where the sun will be eclipsed (called the Alalart Solar Eclipse), and during this time favorable things will happen. One example is planting a tree in the past will produce a money tree in the future, and during this time casinos have a higher chance of paying out. It's also the only time when certain high level spells will work. I've yet to need to use one of these though.

Lastly, we're faced with another password system (I'm looking forward to leaving these behind entirely), which is actually somewhat manipulable according to Wikipedia. I haven't tested it out yet, but I plan to once I get through the game.
W4 stand for world 4, entering just that will allow you to start at world 4 with a new character supposedly
At this point, I've saved three princesses, and am a short ways into chapter four. If I end up playing both Tuesday and Thursday, then I fully expect to finish the game this week, and maybe get back to a normal schedule. I don't know if it's just this particular game, or a combination of that and life getting in the way, but I wish I could have stuck to the schedule a bit better. Also, I didn't want to get too far ahead of myself before blogging again, so that kept me from playing as well. Sometimes it's hard to get into the blogging aspect of this project.
Now let's go back in time and finish the game before I started it
 Current Time: 5h02m (Total Time: 5h02m)


  1. Hey, it's great to have you back! I had a hard time trying to figure out how to play, blog and live and the same time last month so I definitely understand what you're going through.

    I'll be glad to read about Magic of Scheherazade! I've never tried it but it always made me wonder if I should play it one of those days. I guess it'll depend on your rating ;)

  2. Yeah, also glad to hear you back. I've never played this, though it's interested me for a while. If you enjoy it, maybe I'll give it a shot....

  3. Glad to have you back. Too bad I've started my summer job and now go to bed at 11 pm EST on worknights. Terrible timing, I must say ;)

    1. Sorry to hear that your job won't allow you to come in later so you can stay up all night watching me play. :D

      I wish I could pick a better time slot, but my job gets in the way of that as well. At least you can still follow along. I'm near the end I believe, and I was debating making an update or finishing it off tonight and writing the final post.

    2. Well, if you play on Friday ever I can watch that one.

  4. Thanks for the welcoming return (I've only really been gone for a week, although sporadic updates before that).

    As for the game itself, I have a feeling it'll fall close to others of the era. There's some interesting aspects to it, but it gets old fast after the first chapter. It'll be interesting to read a walkthrough when I'm done, as I'm sure I didn't fight the second boss in the correct way. In any case, I'll wrap the game up tonight, and I'm changing Saturday to Sunday night. It gives me more of the weekend to do other things I think.