Torneko no Daiboken: Fushigi no Dungeon (translating as “Torneko’s Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon“) is the first game in the Mystery Dungeon series from Chunsoft, the developer known for creating the Dragon Quest series. It is a ‘Roguelike‘ dungeon-crawler, with randomised maze-like dungeons and was first released in 1993.
Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord on the Sega Master System is a very simple turn-based RPG that looks terrible but is surprisingly absorbing when you get into it. It was developed by Kogado, initially for the PC-88, then later it was ported to the MSX, Famicom and Master System. The SMS version was first released in 1987 by Sega.
Developed by Produce! and published by Enix in 1995, Mystic Ark was only ever released in Japan for the Super Famicom, although an English fan translation does exist, making the game playable to Western audiences. And it is a very good RPG, well worth playing now.
Mystic Ark has been described by some as “The 7th Saga II“, and while it does share some similarities with The 7th Saga (by having a circular monster radar and also featuring some of the same monsters) it is not really a sequel as it plays quite differently.
Brain Lord is a strangely-titled, obscure Japanese action RPG developed by Produce! and published by Enix for the Super Nintendo in 1994. The game was officially translated into English and released in North America, but was never released in Europe.
The 7th Saga is an obscure Japanese Role-Playing Game developed by Produce! and published by Enix for the Super Nintendo in 1993.
The story and gameplay of The 7th Saga are fairly simple – at least when compared to other SNES RPGs, like Seiken Densetsu 3 – but the game moves at a quick pace and also has a few unique features of its own that make it memorable.
King’s Field IV was developed and published by FromSoftware in Japan in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. It was later released as King’s Field: The Ancient City in North America in 2002, and in Europe (as simply King’s Field IV) in 2003. It is another first-person RPG and is the fourth and final game in the King’s Field series.
King’s Field III is the second sequel in FromSoftware‘s classic first-person RPG series and was first released in Japan in 1996. It was published in North America by ASCII Entertainment under the title of “King’s Field II” (because the original King’s Field was only released in Japan).
For my money, King’s Field III is the best of the three PlayStation King’s Field games, with larger, more interesting environments, and a bigger scope than the previous two games. The graphics are still borderline laughable, and the controls are still cumbersome, but the gameplay has evolved reasonably well in the space of a couple of years.
FromSoftware‘s King’s Field II was initially released in Japan in 1995 and it is another first-person RPG with open world exploration, dodgy graphics and challenging combat. It was later published under the title “King’s Field” by ASCII Entertainment in North America and Sony in Europe in 1996, which does cause some confusion as the western titling ignores the actual first game in the series. For clarity: the official English language “King’s Field” is actually King’s Field II – the sequel.
With Elden Ring currently wowing gamers I thought I’d take a look at the series that began FromSoftware‘s journey into the action RPG genre, and that would be King’s Field – released in Japan only in 1994 for the Sony PlayStation – and, to be honest, it couldn’t be any further removed from Elden Ring in terms of presentation…
I’ve played a lot of RPGs in my time, and I would go so far as to say that it’s my favourite genre of video game, but King’s Field came as a bit of a shock to me. Yes, King’s Field was an early 3D RPG on the PlayStation, releasing the same year as the PS1 was launched, but it post-dates Ultima Underworld by two years and is archaic in comparison.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube and Wii in 2006 and is an unusual, beautifully-produced game with stunning visuals and evocative gameplay. It was the final first-party release from Nintendo for the GameCube.
Twilight Princess features involving, varied, and ever-evolving gameplay, with a more mature-looking Link in the title role (possibly in response to criticism of its predecessor, 2002’s The Wind Waker, due to its cartoony, cel-shaded graphics). The story involves Link trying to stop Hyrule from being engulfed by a corrupt parallel dimension called The Twilight Realm.