RPG

RS Links: Sands of Destruction VS CERO ratings

SandsofDestruction1

Sands of Destruction is a RPG for the DS that was developed by Imageepoch and published by Sega on September 2008 in Japan (planned to be released in America in January 2010). Robert Seddon has linked us to an interview that  Game Set Watch had with Image Epoch president Ryoei Mikage, and Sands of Destruction Sega producer Yoichi Shimosato, in which they talks about some changes that were made to the game, because of the CERO ratings:

This may be a difficult question, but the high concept of the game, where you are a character who is being compelled to end the world, is very interesting. But why take that and add some very, very traditional RPG fetch quests and anime characters and things like that?

RM: So this is probably the same in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., but the ratings boards — for Japan, it would be CERO — have been cracking down on the game industry. It’s been becoming more and more difficult to make games that are kind of out-there.

So, for this game in particular, Kato’s original scenario actually came back saying… In the final game, humanoids are ruled by the ferals, the beast men. The humans were food for the beast men in the original scenario, and there were scenes in there where the beast men would actually eat the humans.

Obviously, that would be rated Z in Japan. But for an RPG on the DS, the board felt that it would be more appropriate for the actual gameplay content to be something that even kids can pick up and play.

That’s unfortunate — if you had U.S. or Europe as the target market, you would not have had to change that. You would have gotten a Teen rating, maybe, but it certainly would not have been for mature audiences only.

YS: I agree. In my opinion, because this game was made specifically more for the Japanese market, it was appropriate the way we made it. But if it was more geared toward the Western audience, then, as you said, the original idea would have been more fun and compelling.

 

Albert Odyssey Gaiden [SNES – Cancelled]

Albert Odyssey Gaiden (known in USA as Legend of Eldean) is RPG developed by Sunsoft and released for the Saturn in 1996, but it was originally meant to be published for the Super Famicom / Super Nintendo. The SNES version was soon cancelled and the project was ported to the new SEGA console, with many differences. Obviously the graphic was boosted for the Saturn, but even the SNES version looked really good for a 16 bit system.

As in 1994 / 1995 many japanese gamers were going to buy one of the new 32 bit consoles to replace the Super Famicom / Mega Drive, probably Sunsoft thought that Albert Odyssey Gaiden would have sold better on the Saturn.

It’s currently unknown how much the SNES version was completed before its cancellation.

Here is a comparison between the SNES early build and the final game released on Saturn:

Above: Snes . Below: Saturn.

Snes beta Albert odissey 3Albert odissey Saturn Final
Iron Dragon Boss. It seems that in the SNES version you fought it in a different place (or the background was just a placeholder).

Snes beta Albert odissey 2 Albert odissey Saturn Final
Same spell (death rune). We can also see the placeholder sprites in SNES version.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution (Scans from Super Power magazine #20 and #22) and Gamengai for the the fliers shared online.

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Broken Circle [GBA – Cancelled]

Broken Circle is an unreleased rpg created by 7 Raven Studios. The game, which story was based on Nordic mythology, had a troubled development: publishers weren’t interested because it was too risky to cover the release costs for an unknown title that needed a big and expensive 256mbits cartridge.

By the time that the programmers managed to shrink Broken Circle to 64mbits, the console was at the end of its life and the only publisher interested in the game was not officially authorized by Nintendo.

In 2009, 7Raven Studios decided to release a rom of the game on its website, but now the download link is broken. The rom can be easily found with a google search, though.

Props to 7 Raven Studios for sharing Broken Circle with the community! If you are a collector, you can buy an official cart of Broken Cirlce for GBA thanks to Piko Interactive.

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Quest 64 II (2) [N64 – Cancelled]

Quest 2 is the unreleased sequel of one of the few Nintendo 64 RPGs, that was in development at Imagineer in 1998 / 1999. The game was going to be set 100 years after the original Quest 64 and this time the player would have been able to choose between 2 different characters: Leohn, a magician, and Sophia, a swordswoman. Both characters would also had a sidekick known as “the Guardian” to use it as a vehicle or to help in battle (we can speculate that it was going to be something like a Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series). Sadly Imagineer went into financial troubles and they had to cancel Quest 2 and another project that they had in the works for the 64DD,  Desert Island 64. Only a few artworks remains from this game.

quest-64-2-artwork-cancelled

Thanks to Pantalytron we have a translation of the Nintendo Fun Vision article:

SOME LINES OF TEXT ARE MISSING FROM THE JPEG, marked with […]. Guess it can’t be that much, maybe one or two lines of each stanza.
This translation tries to be as literal as possible, so some formulations are clumsy – but I can tell you that the German original text isn’t that skillful in telling the story in a pseudo-medieval style to begin with. Translated on 10.01.2017
Swift Follow-up
Imagineer is already working on Holy Magic Century 2
IMAGINEER. Holy Magic Century isn’t out yet in Germany and already there is information about the follow-up! Imagineer bets on a big success of the first part of its role playing game – and it can’t be bad to start the development of the follow-up! In our newsletter you exclusively find out about the story of (and interesting details about) Holy Magic Century 2. [It is] likely that you can put this game in 1999 on your Christmas wish list.
Everything goes back to the grim and distant past, when people depended on the mercy of nature and forces of nature and wild animals still were impregnable foes. But […] were responsible and learned to benefit from the goods of nature. Many centuries live went by this way. Then appeared creatures that were able to control the magic powers of nature. The greatest and most important of these “spirit slayers” was Brian.
The story begins one hundred years after the legendary Brian has lived… spirits only exist in uncharted forests, on secluded lakes, atop high mountains or in desolate deserts. The legends of spirit slayers that ignated torches or made it rain with their magic spells are considered as fairy tales. In a big kingdom in the west of the island Celtland reigned a ruler called Tibelius who was very popular amongst his subjects. But after his death the realm was threatened to be overrun by barbarians – if there had not been Julius, who knew how to prevent that.
The people thanked him by crowning him as their ruler and transferred the reign over the realm. But the celebrated hero turned into a tyrant, let people be incarcerated who opposed obeying him and even did not shy away from murder. After a while the despot began to build the “black temple“. The people suffered but had no other choice than obey Julius. That is the situation in which the two heroes of the story, Leohn and Sophia, grow up!
Leohn is a ten year old boy who lives with his stepfather on the island Lodeal. The islanders consider him as a bit strange, but he is popular [nonetheless] because of his innocence and his good nature. One day his stepfather Shmeon disappears who belongt to the spirit slayers. According to a legend the boy, who has the ability to speak with spirits, departs on a quest for an almighty spirit. He finds Brian and receives […] Julius receives information about […]-abilites and he commands to bring the boy and other spirit slayers to him by ship.
Upon exactly this ship Leohn meets Sophia, a twelve-year old girl. Her big, magical-appearing talent in wielding the sword lead her to be in Julius’s services; her stepfather Patricius, too, works as a custodian of the city Larwena for the king. In [her] fight with an hermit who incites the people she comes in contact with Brian and receives magical powers from him; the girl receives the ordert to go on board of the ship where Leohn is.
The adventure begins when the ship overturns in a storm. The two heroes are separated, but their goal will be the same soon [after]: To stop Julius! The city prospers by the power of the captured spirit slayers, but in the countryside the people suffer more than ever. In the black temple Leohn and Sophia meet […] So much for the [story] of the role playing game which will be designed for one play and shall offer fun for at least thirty hours. The first part already gets praised for it’s graphic, [but] the follow-up shall be even better. Furthermore [is it planned] in the second part to choose between two characters, namely Leohn and Sophia. Each of the two has his own abilities, of course – but not exactly in the “classical” [way of] type casting!
Leohn uses mainly his magical power to reach his goals. Tactical considerations are more his deal than physical fight, magic spells are more his weapon than swords. Things are different considering Sophia: She is a duel ace and does not shy away from confrontations. With her enormous power she can knock out multiple enemies in one blow.
Both heroes have a patron who follows them through the whole world of the game. He guides them, gives them advice when they enter battle and (from a certain point in the game on) he can carry the hero on his back! Money will play an important role: Who slays monsters can collect their belongings and fill his purse. That way, nothing stands in the way of a bulk purchase.
The world of the game was inspired by the Byzantine empire of the early middle ages, it is residing around the Mediterran Sea and the Aegean, Greece, Turkey, Rome and Egypt up to North Europe. The clothing of the citizens comes from another peroid of time; it approximately matches the style of the eleventh to 14th century.

Well, did you become curious? Then play the first part at first and keep Holy Magic Century 2 in mind for the long winterdays of […]

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! Thanks to Mario for Nintendo Fun Vision News scans (issue 8 1998)!

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Monika no Shiro (Faradoon) [Saturn – Cancelled]

Originally titled “Faradoon: The Legend of Dragon Castle”, Monika No Shiro (Monika’s Castle) is a cancelled RPG that was in development for the Sega Saturn in 1996 / 1997, by Pioneer LDC. The game could have been almost completed, as they had a final box art and various ads on magazines, but for some reasons it was never released in the end.

It seems that a playable demo of Monika No Shiro was available at the Tokyo Game Show 1997 (?). Thanks to Raizing from Sega Saturno we can take a look at a trailer and many images from the game! You can find more info on the  game (in spanish) in the Sega Saturno Forum.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution and to Rod_Wod for one of the scans!

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