Title: Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord
Year: 1988 (1987 JP)
Platform: Sega Master System (SMS)
Developer: Kogado Software Products (Sega ported to SMS I believe)
Exploration - Top-down
Combat - Turn-based
"Upon arriving at the castle gate I'm greeted by the king. Without wasting time to chat he tells me I'm the only one that can seal an evil force. My first step is to find the sage Kosama. I'm left to explore the harsh barren land. The town of Garia is nearby, and I realize how ill-equipped I am for this journey. Thankfully the surrounding area provides enough monsters to gain some funds, and one of the villagers tells me Kosama lives elsewhere. Across the land I travel. Crossing many bridges I finally find Kosama, only to be told that I will require the assistance of three companions. The first is said to be in a town where they worship the sea."
I started out by naming my warrior Qycx, and found myself outside of a castle. The king here explains it's my fate to stop an unnamed evil. It seems some seal of a dark lord may be breaking, broken, or threatened in some way. Also, I should seek out a sage named Kosama to learn more.
|And now we begin the cliche...|
|I'm about to gain a level, and low on HP|
|What's with the SMS RPGs having a talk command in battle?|
I spent the first few hours saving up enough to afford the knife, armor, and shield in the first town only to realize that equipment has durability. My knife had broken beyond repair, so I saved up for another. In the second town--after having to deal with repairing my equipment after each venture out--I found the blacksmith required 12,000 Guilders, but this paid for him to follow me around and continuously repair my equipment. It strikes me as odd that the game would throw out a feature like this so early, but I'm glad to be rid of it.
In my wanderings I came across the small village where Kosama stays. He immediately informed me that I need to find three companions born of an "ancient lineage" and also destined to seal the dark lord. He said the first companion would be in a town that worshiped by the god of the sea. At this time, three more spaces for the companions appeared on the display.
|Of course they're of ancient lineage fated to save the world, aren't we all?|
To help with traveling there are feathers that teleport me back to a town that sells feathers. Unfortunately, the only two towns I've found that sell them are on opposite ends of the map, no help when traveling to the middle. Healing is possible while exploring by using herbs. It's a little confusing at first, but you can purchase them in packs of 5 up to 24. I have to have exactly 19 to get 24, having 20 will give the message that he can't sell me anymore.
|It's a trick question. Yes means buy herbs; no means pass...|
|Iris? Is this is a girls axe?|
Upgrading Guy's weapon gave it some kind of mystical power to chop through a skeleton blocking my way to the south. Here, on this small lot of land, I found a small village that wants to sell me a ship, for 30,000 Guilders. Time to grind once again.
|Selling the 144 Fangs would bring me to 22,830 Guilders, so only 7,170 to go|
Experience for each character is gained per hit instead of dispensed at the end of combat. This means characters will only level if they attack. Each round only one character can act, which means only one character is gaining experience. It was already painfully slow with one character, but with two I've yet to gain a single level since having Guy.
Combat becomes somewhat tactical, as the only character that the enemy hits is the one that takes an action. That is, unless the enemy casts magic. I've yet to get any combat spells for my party, but I believe one of my companions will eventually learn some. It's possible to retreat from combat, but if it fails, then each member takes a hit from the enemy.
It's been a little slow going because I haven't found a copy of the manual online. While searching for it recently to see if I missed any resources, I found that the original game came with a cloth map. I've already started on my own MS paint map, which I'll post once it's finished, but below is what the cloth map looked like.
Session Time: 6h00m (Total Time: 6h00m)